Norwin alum Metzger expects smooth transition as new coach of girls soccer team

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Sunday, July 18, 2021 | 3:35 PM


When she begins her new job, Diane Metzger said she will not have to focus on fixing something that isn’t broken.

That is for sure.

The new Norwin girls soccer coach, who is an alum and former goal-scorer for the Knights, knows what kind of program she is about to inherit.

Norwin has elite status in WPIAL circles. It’s a program that knows how to win championships and builds talented teams from the ground level.

“Lauren (Karcher) has done a great job throughout her time coaching at Norwin,” said Metzger, who replaced Karcher, the coach of the Knights for seven seasons. “I hope to continue many of the things that she put into place, including traditions, community outreach and player development. These things help build team chemistry, both on and off the field. Team chemistry is essential. Without it, a very talented group of players will only enjoy moderate success.”

Metzger is not sure how much she will alter the team’s current schemes, but she does not expect the girls to be shellshocked by her presence.

“Lauren and I share a similar coaching philosophy,” she said. “I hope for a very smooth transition between coaches for the players and to continue the legacy of excellence for Norwin Lady Knights soccer.”

Metzger, a physical education teacher at Yough, was a member of the 1996 PIAA championship team at Norwin before graduating in 2000 and playing at Grove City, where she won two PAC titles and made the NCAA Tournament twice.

Don’t ask her how many goals she had in her high school career.

“I have no idea,” she said. “I have never focused much on individual statistics for myself or anyone else on my team. Both as a player, and as a coach, I have always had a very deeply rooted team-first mindset.”

After college, she soon became interested in coaching, and not just soccer. She has coached youth basketball, softball, volleyball and track and field.

As a soccer coach, she has had stops at a pair of North Carolina high schools — Cary and Fuquay-Varina, both near Raleigh.

She also was an assistant at Chatham, a coach in the Allegheny Force Football Club in Monroeville (U16-U19), with the Norwin Soccer Club Tiny Kickers (U19) and with the Yough Middle School team.

Metzger was scheduled to meet with the team July 7. She might have been more excited — and nervous — for a new season than the players.

“As the new coach, of course, I bring a fresh set of eyes,” she said. “This is an opportunity for girls to make a great first impression and earn their place on the team and on the field.”

The alumni part was magnetic for Metzger when the Norwin job opened, but she also appreciated from afar the organization within the program and saw herself fitting in nicely as the team’s leader.

“I learned a great deal as a player at Norwin, and having the opportunity to play and coach elsewhere has helped shape me into the coach that I am today,” she said. “As a teacher and a coach, I love working with youth. They have great energy and enthusiasm. Norwin has the unique advantage of having one of the best feeder programs that I’ve ever experienced. That, combined with great options locally to continue player development through travel, cup and ODP programs has led to an incredible talent pool at Norwin High.

“I am excited to work with and help develop young ladies and equip them to face obstacles both on and off the field that life will throw their way.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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