No. 2-ranked Norwin boys shut out rival Penn-Trafford
Thursday, October 11, 2018 | 10:15 PM
With the section title all but locked up, one might think the Norwin boys soccer team might have fallen flat heading into the Thursday night’s game against Section 3-4A rival Penn-Trafford — wrong.
The Knights came to play.
Carter Breen scored twice as No. 2-ranked Norwin rolled to a 6-0 victory.
“The flood gates opened up and a sense of composure and senior leadership led us to play the way we wanted to play,” Norwin coach Scott Schuchert said. “Once (Breen) scored the goal, I think everybody wanted to get in on the act.”
It marked the first shutout win in the rivalry since 2013.
The loss eliminated fifth-place Penn-Trafford (8-8-1, 8-5-1) from playoff contention.
Norwin (14-1-1, 12-0-1) dictated the pace of play for much of the game. With great ball skill and passing, the Knights were able to keep possession in the Penn-Trafford end for much of the first 40 minutes. Breen broke the ice when he beat Warriors goalkeeper Logan Kreutzberger to his right from 22 yards out to give the Knights a 1-0 lead with 5 minutes, 38 seconds left in the first half. Kreutzberger finished with four saves.
“We know we had to come out fast and strong to make sure everything was right from the beginning,” Breen said. “We just try and play our own game every single game.”
Two minutes later, Jared Crowley added another goal to give Norwin a 2-0 lead and all the momentum going into the half.
“We needed a win, and my mindset was to try and get to halftime 0-0 and then take our chances in the second half,” Penn-Trafford coach Rick Nese said.
Matt Federovich had the most creative goal of the game 8 minutes into the second half. Federovich drilled a header off the crossbar. The ball hit the ground with backspin and bounced into the net to bring the score to 3-0. Five minutes later, Breen drilled his second goal to make the score 4-0.
“One we got them out of the middle of the field that exposed them a little bit,” Schuchert said. “I think we were able to get a little bit more runs and sustain an attack when we got a little bit more confident.”
The Warriors had their chances. In the first half, Reno Kerns centered a corner kick in front of the Norwin goal but two quick stops at point-blank-range by Norwin goalkeeper Kyle Krotec kept the Warriors off the board. Krotec finished with six saves.
“(Krotec) is just amazing,” Schuchert said. “Every game he comes up with a few big saves when you need them, and every team you play is going to get their chances. He’s a really sharp senior, and we’re really lucky to have him.”
Jake Nebinski added another goal at the midway point of the second half to make the score 5-0. Freshman Riley Zimmerman beat Kreutzberger with 16 minutes remaining to close out the scoring.
“I’m just happy that we’re playing well and that we played back-to-back games where we scored 12 goals against two teams in Connellsville and Penn-Trafford tonight,” Schuchert said. “One game at a time right now, and we’re looking to play Franklin Regional on Saturday and keep this momentum going.”
William Whalen is a freelance writer.