Norwin soccer standout Owen Christopher makes dream come true with Pitt commitment

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Saturday, May 4, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Owen Christopher had college soccer interest from a number of schools at multiple levels.

He only revealed one of them, though, and it’s a winner for the Norwin senior.

Christopher, the 2023 TribLive Westmoreland Boys Soccer Player of the Year, will play at Pitt next fall.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” he said. “This was the perfect scenario for me.”

Christopher helped lead No. 8-seeded Norwin to its first WPIAL championship in boys soccer, and the Knights (17-6) also reached the PIAA 4A semifinals.

He had 13 goals and five assists as the Knights’ front man, earning all-section, All-WPIAL and all-state recognition and playing in the WPIAL 4A all-star game.

A commitment to Pitt fulfills, at least partially, a long-time goal for Christopher.

“It has always been my goal to play at the Division I level, and since middle school, I’ve been going to Ambrose Urbanic Field with my dad to watch games,” he said. “Since then, playing at Pitt was a dream for me, but turning that dream into a reality seemed out of reach. The talent is top-notch, and they play a great style of soccer that is fun to watch.”

Pitt has become a contender in the ACC and played in the College Cup — college soccer’s final four — two years ago.

“Everything about the team’s environment is extremely professional, and the attention to detail is something that really stands out to me,” Christopher said. “The coaches are among the best in college soccer, and the support staff is just as good. Being able to surround myself daily with people who are going to push me to be at my absolute best is hugely important to me and one of the main factors in my decision.”

Christopher was accepted into Pitt’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

“So academically, it was a no-brainer for me,” he said.

He also said there is merit to playing close to home.

“Being able to see my family, friends, former coaches and teammates weekly, as well as just knowing the area fairly well should make the transition a bit smoother,” he said.

Knights coach Scott Schuchert said Christopher will be known as one of the best players to come out of Norwin.

“Look for Owen to play outside back or a center midfield position (at Pitt),” Schuchert said. “These roles demand exceptional agility, endurance and technical abilities, all of which Owen possesses.

“Almost all D-I athletes are extremely hard workers like Owen. His ability to elevate his team’s game and win is what sets him apart. He is the total package who loves to compete.”

Making his mark on an established program comes with no guarantees, but Christopher is embracing the demands.

“Being able to represent my city means so much to me and is something I will make sure I never take for granted,” he said. “I know it’s going to be a challenge both mentally and physically, but I’m ready and looking forward to it.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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