Playoff berth shows Norwin girls lacrosse trending in right direction

Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The positive comments from opposing coaches lets Norwin girls lacrosse coach Courtney Kloos know she and her team are doing something right.

That and the fact the Lady Knights (4-11) returned to the WPIAL postseason.

“Despite some heavy competition in the section, our team refuses to give up,” Kloos said. “In fact, it is during those tough games that they bring the most intensity.”

Norwin finished inside the top six in Section 1-3A to secure a postseason berth for the first time since 2019.

“(Opponents) are often impressed with our ability to hang with competitors and how we force them to work from beginning to end,” Kloos said.

Norwin saw its season end with a 13-4 first-round loss to Shady Side Academy on May 15.

A highlight was a 14-10 win at home over Latrobe in the regular season finale.

Kloos said the team’s energy is one of its greatest attributes. Slowly, Norwin is getting back into contending form.

“We set three goals at the beginning of the season,” Kloos said, “make playoffs, change our team’s reputation in the minds of opponents, and finish on close games. The first two were certainly achieved, and as far as the last goal — despite some of the final scores, we played hard until the last whistle.”

Junior Ava Wilson was leading the team in scoring with 53 goals and 10 assists, while junior Ava Kessler was the leader in draw controls.

Also on the attack is freshman Gia Fernandez, who had 25 goals and 10 assists, while freshman Karlie Johnson had 27 goals and Kessler 25.

Junior defender Ray Mamas topped the team in caused turnovers and had 19 ground balls.

Kloos could also depend on senior Sophia Alvarez and senior Kayla Cessna in an experienced midfield.

Cessnas had 21 ground balls.

Another freshman worked the goal in Sydney Valenta, who saved 50% of the shots she faced.

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


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