Norwin boys soccer ready for another playoff run

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Saturday, September 19, 2020 | 11:01 AM


After a lengthy first-round playoff drought, Norwin broke through and reached at least the WPIAL boys soccer quarterfinals two years in a row.

The Knights were the WPIAL Class 4A runner-up in 2018.

A mostly young team a year ago, the Knights bring back a number of core players and a long bench which should throw them back into the mix of title contenders.

The mood is upbeat around the Knights, and it has much more to do with the fact that there is actually a season.

“The team’s biggest strength is depth,” coach Scott Schuchert said. “We have a stout goalie with a cast of unselfish all-stars. Our loaded attack will provide numerous opportunities to create scoring chances.”

Top seniors back are Ian Brown, Brendan Ash and Nathan Bown, while other key components are juniors Riley Zimmerman, Caleb Yuricha and Andrew Yanez, the goalkeeper.

“Expectations couldn’t be higher right now,” Schuchert said. “Our seniors are ready to lead the charge and those juniors are extremely talented and will hopefully give us an opportunity to compete for a championship.”

Schuchert said Class 4A is wide open. His team could emerge as the frontrunner if its defense stays level with its potentially explosive offense.

“Our defensive back four is what will separate us from the rest,” Schuchert said. “It will be extremely difficult to score a goal on us this year. I predict the defenders will have a strong identity and lead to our success.”

A trying offseason and stagnant start to practices because of the virus pandemic has put a lot of teams behind their usual training regimen.

“The pandemic put things into perspective for our team,” Schuchert said. “Every opportunity they get the field to play alongside one another is truly cherished and embraced. I love to see it as a coach and mentor.”

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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