Westmoreland boys soccer notebook: Norwin back to full strength for playoffs

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 4:48 PM


Norwin had two late-season ties in boys soccer, which caught the eye of opposing teams and the people who conjure up the WPIAL rankings.

Both games were at Norwin Knights Stadium.

Allderdice played the high-powered Knights to a 0-0 draw, and, three games later, improved Latrobe and No. 4 Norwin played to a 1-1 stalemate.

But coach Scott Schuchert said the Knights (10-0-2) were not at 100% for those games. He expects the firepower to return for the WPIAL playoffs.

The team had at least five players out because of injury and other reasons such as covid-19 tracing.

The lineup slowly is returning to normal.

Senior forward Brendan Ash missed time with an ankle injury he sustained in the first Penn-Trafford game.

“Ash has been out and (opponents) have been defending with their entire team,” Schuchert said. “We will have him back for the playoffs 100 percent. We should get everyone back Wednesday.”

The Knights also plan to slide junior Caleb Yuricha from defender to striker. Schuchert used the word “unleash” when discussing the position switch.

Norwin beat Central Catholic, 3-1, to clinch the Section 3 title with a 10-0 mark.

“This will be our year,” Schuchert said.

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Latrobe sidelined

Latrobe has missed four games because of team members possibly coming into contact with someone who tested positive for covid-19.

The Wildcats, who still are in quarantine, have been shut down since last Tuesday but will play in the WPIAL playoffs.

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Fab freshman

Four-win Jeannette didn’t make the playoffs this season despite showing vast improvements in several areas, but the Jayhawks had a bright spot in the lineup.

Freshman Jordan Taylor quietly has been one of the WPIAL’s top goal scorers. He had 26 this season for the Jayhawks (4-10-1), who scored 45 times as a team.

“He’s been the answer to our need for speed and the ball skill that our team has needed on offense,” Jeannette coach Art Cicero said. “He will be an ever-growing concern to our opponents the older he gets.”

Taylor had a pair of six-goal games against Geibel, and added six more in a 10-1 win over Valley in the season finale.

“He is selfless in the sense that he is by far our high scorer but never talks or brags about being it,” Cicero said.

Taylor plays cup soccer for Century 5.

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Let’s play two

Southmoreland raced to get the regular season finished after its program paused for five days over covid-19. That meant a rare doubleheader in the final day of the regular season.

The Scotties, who are in the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs, defeated Yough, 4-0, and lost to Mt. Pleasant, 1-0, to complete Section 3-2A play under the gun.

“It was an amazing effort by all of the Scotties to be able to play 160 minutes of soccer in one evening,” Scotties coach Jeff Schaeffer said.

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Reunion game

Belle Vernon played Beth-Center last week, but the contest was more than a nonsection game to the coaches. It was like a class reunion.

Belle Vernon’s Rob Miele and Shane Snyder of Beth-Center were teammates and classmates at Belle Vernon 15 years ago when they won a section title together.

Miele and Snyder graduated in 2005 and went to school together from kindergarten through high school.

“It was pretty cool to share the field again,” Miele tweeted after the host Leopards won, 7-0.

Miele said the looser schedule this season allowed the matchup to happen. It was a late addition.

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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