Norwin notebook: Knights boys soccer climbing Class 4A rankings

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Saturday, October 2, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Norwin coach Scott Schuchert thinks his team is rounding into form, both on the scoreboard and across the lineup.

“We’re finding our identity,” he said after a recent 4-1 victory over Penn-Trafford that kept the third-ranked Knights undefeated in Section 3-4A. “Our back line guys have really played well for us. We have a goalkeeper, two good wingers. We moved Caleb Yuricha up, and that has benefited us. We can just let him go.”

While the offense starts with Yuricha, a dynamic senior forward with speed and moves, the defense has helped Norwin post four shutouts. The Knights allowed eight goals in their first eight games, but five came against No. 1 Seneca Valley in their only loss.

The Knights (7-1-1) tied Plum, 0-0, two Saturdays ago.

“Owen Christopher, Ryan Dimitroff and Andy Yanez are so good back there but they often get overlooked with Caleb and Riley up top,” Schuchert said. “Owen is a sophomore but plays like a senior. Dimitroff is one of the best center backs I have ever coached here.”

Yuricha had 20 of the team’s first 31 goals of the season.

Senior Riley Zimmerman also fuels the offense, along with sophomore Alex Brown.

Norwin blanked Central Catholic and Allderdice by 3-0 scores. Schuchert said his team’s performance against Central was “perfect.”

“A lot is going well for us right now,” Schuchert said. “We’re a top five team and we’re confident. But we know it’s going to be a challenge every game.”

The recent return of senior Ryan Harrigan from injury also gave the Knights a boost.

More rivalry soccer

The first victory of this year’s Norwin/Penn-Trafford rivalry series went to Norwin.

The Knights posted their fourth straight shutout, 3-0, over the Warriors as freshman Julia Bursick scored a pair of goals.

Senior Paloma Swankler also found the net for Norwin, which has outscored its opponents 18-0 since a 2-1 loss to Latrobe.

Knights take second

The Norwin girls cross country team finished second at the 37-team Mt. Lebanon Blue Devil Invitational, 57 points behind Latrobe.

Audra Fedor was the team’s top finisher, in 20 minutes, 39.72 seconds, which put her in 26th place. Rosemary Gaydos was 36th (20:58.23).

College scene

Women’s volleyball

Chatham: Senior outside hitter Emily Richie (Norwin) was named the PAC Women’s Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week as Chatham put together a 4-0 stretch. Richie had a season-high 19 kills in a four-set win over Thiel, and added 12 kills in 3-0 win over Franciscan. She added kills totals of 12 and 16 against Saint Vincent and Geneva. Her hitting percentage for the four matches was 25.9%.

Waynesburg: Senior Jordan Stein (Norwin) registered 14 digs for the Yellow Jackets in a 3-1 loss to Geneva.

Men’s soccer

Cal (Pa.): Junior Jake Nebinski (Norwin) had a pair of assists as the Vulcans opened PSAC play with a 5-0 victory over Pitt-Johnstown.

Men’s golf

Penn State Altoona: Freshman Logan Divald (Norwin) shot 79, the third-best score for the Lions, in a 303-330 victory over Juniata.

In the following event, Divald shot 81, 79 to finish tied for 37th at the Allegheny College Guy and Jeanne Kuhn Memorial Invitational at the Country Club of Meadville. Team and classmate Nathan Graham (Norwin) shot 86-78 to tie for 47th.

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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