Norwin soccer coach Lauren Karcher resigns after 7 successful seasons
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 9:46 AM
Pregnant with her second child who is due to arrive in mid-September, Lauren Karcher knows she won’t be able to dedicate all of her attention to the girls soccer program at Norwin.
She had the same issue in 2019 when she gave birth to her daughter, Harper, and she turned the team over to her reliable assistants, Samantha Fairbanks and Lesley Kaminski.
Rather than take another extended leave of absence, Karcher decided to resign from the team after seven successful seasons.
“It’s in the best interest for the girls to have consistency throughout the season especially after the covid year,” Karcher said. “It’s the hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to do. I battled with the decision for awhile but knew it was best for the team and selfish for me to stay.”
The position has been posted in house and will go public if Norwin does not find an immediate replacement.
Karcher’s record is impeccable: 123 wins, 16 losses and four ties. Granted, she missed most of the ‘19 season, the Knights did not lose more than three games in a season under her watch.
Norwin won WPIAL titles in 2015 and ‘16, and took home a PIAA championship in ‘17.
From 2015-17, Karcher’s teams finished 24-1, 21-1-1 and 21-2-1. The Knights were WPIAL runners-up in ‘19 and made the state playoffs four times under Karcher, a Norwin alum and former soccer player who can’t single out a favorite memory from her days on the sidelines.
“Obviously our playoff runs were always memorable and will always stand out,” she said. “It was incredible over the years to see our community get so wrapped up in girls soccer and each year the team came back hungrier for more. There was always so much excitement leading up to tryout week, and it really did feel like Christmas.”
She said the Penn-Trafford rivalry, the teams’ annual fundraisers, and winning a WPIAL title with one of the youngest all-female staffs in the district, will hold a special place with her.
“Truthfully it was the build up and everything in between,” she said. “Earning respect of other teams, really getting to know the girls during preseason early mornings, bus rides and finding out my music taste is officially ‘old,’ having fun with 3v3 tournaments, or soccer tennis when you would have thought a state championship was on the line, but they really were just playing for a cool pair of socks or candy.”
Karcher is not ruling out a return to coaching, but starting a family must come first.
“Never in a million years did I think we would create so many memories, or success when I took the position,” she said. “I got more from coaching than I ever could have imagined. It’s so great to see the girls and how they’re doing once they’re gone, and I hope to always stay in touch. I don’t plan to go far and can be a lot less stressed watching from the stands as their No. 1 fan.”
It won’t be long before her daughter is kicking around a soccer ball to carry on mom’s tradition.
“I also just realized this will be the first year I won’t have soccer in my life since I was 4, so I think I need to get Harper signed up ASAP,” Karcher said. “I have a heavy heart but a thankful heart.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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