Norwin boys soccer getting its swagger back, getting into thick of Class 4A picture

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | 6:25 PM


Call it conditioned experience.

That is what five Norwin senior soccer players are getting — and honing — with each game they play this season.

The players’ fast growth from JV a year ago to key varsity contributors has the Knights on a hot streak, back in the thick of the WPIAL Class 4A playoff race and out to prove this is no “down year” in North Huntingdon.

Norwin (7-4, 6-3 Section 2-4A) has won seven in a row and suddenly has its bravado back.

The five starters: goalkeeper Kaleb Eddy, who saw big minutes when junior Anthony Scalise was injured; center backs Jackson Sirianni and Aiden Ash; and midfielders Noah Carson and Caden Luther have made key contributions for Norwin, which started 1-4, has notable wins of 2-1 over Mt. Lebanon, 1-0 over No. 5 Upper St. Clair and 3-1 over Allderdice, which beat the Knights, 3-2, in the section opener.

“It’s about finding the right formation that fits our team,” coach Scott Schuchert said. “I had a long talk with those five seniors about their importance to what we do. They have really been a key to our wins. They took the reins and turned the tide for us.”

Injuries to key starters Scalise and junior defender Owen Christopher did not derail Norwin, which eked past Mt. Lebanon with a shorthanded rotation.

Christopher came back against Upper St. Clair and scored with 25 seconds remaining in the victory.

Junior forward Alex Brown was leading the Knights with 11 goals, and sophomore Daniel Maddock, a backer playing up, was next with eight scores.

The underclassmen, Schuchert said, are framed by the play of the seniors.

“Their fitness level has been the key,” Schuchert said. “As they continue to adapt to varsity soccer, they allow for our defenders and midfielders to play longer periods of time.”

In other words, the more games the new starters play, the more conditioned they become to soccer in the WPIAL’s largest classification.

“We’re getting use to it,” said Sirianni, whom Schuchert refers to as the anchor of the four-man back line. “We are more focused than we were at the beginning. We’re getting back to doing what we want to do.”

Five additional seniors also have logged important minutes and provided words of wisdom for younger players: forward Austin Vistas, defender Tim McCabe, midfielder A.J. Gentile, defender Craig White and midfielder Andrew Wade.

“We need all of their senior leadership,” Schuchert said. “We call (White) ‘The Voice’ because of the vocal energy he brings.”

Schuchert always has enjoyed a wave of goals — what coach doesn’t — but he gladly will accept one more than the other team scores.

“I don’t care how we win,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how it looks, 1-0, whatever. As long as we win. “We want to be section champs. That goal doesn’t change. We have an opportunity to stay in that discussion.”

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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