Third current Norwin girls soccer player, Lacey Bernick, commits to Pitt

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Monday, September 17, 2018 | 11:21 PM


It might be considered an accomplishment for a high school sports program to send three recruits to the same Division I school over say, several years time.

But Norwin girls soccer has accomplished that feat in the same season.

A third player from the Knights’ current team, sophomore midfielder Lacey Bernick, gave a verbal commitment to Pitt on Monday.

She joins sophomore forward Katelyn Kauffman and junior defender Eva Frankovic as Panthers recruits.

Duquesne also showed interest in Bernick, a speedster and one of the team’s better goal-scoring threats this season. She saw playing time last season when Norwin won the PIAA Class AAAA title.

Norwin is ranked nationally again. The Knights are up to No. 27 in the Top Drawer Top 50. They started last season at No. 1.

“I chose Pitt because I really like the new coaches, Randy and Ben Waldrum,” Bernick said, echoing sentiments of Kaufman and Frankovic, who initially chose Kent State before changing her mind. “Also, the school as a whole really focuses on student athletes and it just has a great atmosphere.”

Having players nearby who are not only current teammates but also future ones is a unique occurrence but also a pillar of support on which Bernick can lean.

“It’s comforting knowing that there will be some familiar faces going into it since we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses from playing together,” she said. “Plus the three of us have grown so close over the past couple of years so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Norwin coach Lauren Karcher has been through the recruiting process with a number of other players before. Norwin had five Division I commits on last season’s team, and others over the years, but they have been scattered on the map. Last year’s team included stars Emily Harrigan (Rutgers) and Sam Wexell (Ohio), among others, and had a few more worthy of playing at that level who chose Division II programs.

Pitt suddenly is Norwin West for girls soccer with Bernick giving the Knights a trifecta.

“She’s the fastest player I’ve ever seen,” Karcher said of Bernick. “Her quickness with and without the ball is unreal. She has a great understanding of the game, and utilizes both technique and awareness to beat her opponents. Lacey is also a great team player and won’t pass up an opportunity to provide someone else with an assist.”

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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