Westmoreland County girls soccer notebook: Norwin tackling tough section schedule

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | 5:43 PM


Norwin girls soccer coaches and players were not altogether thrilled when the WPIAL two-year realignment cycle brought some change to their section.

They couldn’t have been, mainy because of one team.

Fox Chapel was added to the mix in Section 3-4A. That immediately drew concern. After all, the Foxes almost upset Norwin in last year’s WPIAL quarterfinals. Pitt commit Eva Frankovic scored for the Lady Knights late in overtime for a razor-thin 4-3 win. Norwin went on to play in the WPIAL final but fell to North Allegheny, 2-0.

Norwin (2-2), which started the season ranked No. 1, knew it would have to face the third-ranked Foxes twice in section play this season. The first meeting went the Foxes’ way as they notched a 2-1 victory Sept 17 at Fox Chapel.

The loss ended Norwin’s 29-game section winning streak.

The team’s second meeting could help decide the section title and play a key role in playoff seedings. The WPIAL has not announced its official plans yet for the postseason.

Norwin hosts Fox Chapel, now ranked No. 1, on Oct. 5.

The Lady Knights have been up and down so far, by their standards. They fell behind against Latrobe, 2-0, but rallied for a 4-2 win. But they lost to then-No. 2 North Allegheny, 2-1, in overtime.

Panthers unbeaten

Franklin Regional started fast with four wins in Section 1-3A. The Panthers (4-0) figure to be a playoff contender under first-year coach Scott Arnold, who is preaching defense.

Senior goalkeeper Sydney Caldwell is one of the better and more experienced shot-stoppers in 3A. She posted her 20th career shutout when the Panthers blanked Indiana in the opener, 3-0.

In an 8-0 shutout of Armstrong this week, Sydney Kranick had three goals and Sierra Todero added two for the Panthers.

Games to watch

There never seems to be a dull moment when Norwin and Penn-Trafford play each other. The rivals will meet for the first time this season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Norwin Knights Stadium.

Norwin swept the season series last year for the fourth time since 2015.

Since 1997, Norwin and Penn-Trafford have 10 section titles apiece.

Elsewhere, Yough will visit Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday night at Viking Stadium in a Section 3-2A game of well-matched teams.

Mt. Pleasant also is set to host upstart Southmoreland at 10 a.m. Saturday in another key section game.

BV reverses course

It did not take Belle Vernon long to recover from a surprising 5-0 loss to Connellsville in the season opener.

The Leopards shut out their next two opponents, outscoring them, 19-0.

Derry merges again

Derry does not have a girls soccer team this season again, so any girls players participating in the sport have been added to the boys team. It’s the same approach that was taken last year due to a lack of interest in the girls program.

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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