Westmoreland girls soccer notebook: Norwin looks for turnaround to keep playoff streak alive

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | 7:18 PM


Diane Metzger played for Norwin, so the second-year coach knows about the school’s rich tradition in girls soccer.

Since the program began in the mid-1980s, the team has never missed the WPIAL playoffs.

But Norwin is 2-8-2 overall and sits sixth out of eight teams in Section 1-4A at 2-6 after an 0-4-1 stretch, so is this the year the Knights don’t make it?

Metzger hopes not, but she isn’t preaching to the team about history. Norwin is injury-stricken again, just like last season, and is trying to form chemistry with new faces in new positions.

“Injuries have been a tough factor as they have all been amongst our upperclassmen, and those girls not only have great skill but also the most experience,” Metzger said. “Every team deals with (injuries), and I have seen other teams this year who have also lost some very big, impact players.”

Senior Maggie MacLaughlin and juniors Evelyn Moore and Gabby Shoemer are out with season-ending injuries.

Norwin hopes for a turnaround in the second leg of section play.

A 1-1 tie with longtime rival Penn-Trafford, now a nonsection opponent, was a good sign. Senior defender Ashley Ornowski had the lone goal, early in the first half, before the Warriors tied it late in the second half in on a goal by Emily Oslosky.

“I think that the defense getting more involved in the offense has really helped us create more opportunities on net the past few games,” Ornowski said. “Unfortunately, we got a few injuries earlier in the season, which is a bummer because they’re key players to the team. Our record doesn’t represent how we play and the talent we have on our team.

“I think our team is ready to turn things around, and playoffs is something that’s really motivating us.”

Learning what to expect from a new-look section also has been part of Norwin’s maturation.

“I think that the toughest part of the new section was the first half this year,” Metzger said. “Facing new opponents who we knew nothing about is difficult. The rest of the section is experienced with one another, yet we were trying to understand a new team nearly every game. In the second half, we hope to make key adjustments and surprise some teams who may have beat us in the first matchup.”

Norwin was shut out five times over a six-game stretch, which revealed the inexperience in the lineup.

Rematch time

Class 3A No. 1 Plum used its speed to push past then-No. 4 Latrobe, 4-2, on Sept. 7 at Plum.

The Mustangs looked like the championship contender they are.

Latrobe (5-5-2, 5-1-1) will get a shot at revenge Monday when the teams square off in a Section 3-3A rematch at Latrobe’s Rossi Field.

Annabel Arhin had two goals and an assist, and Camryn Rogers had a goal and assist for Plum (9-0, 7-0), the returning WPIAL runner-up.

After Latrobe’s Ava Yurko, who suffered a season-ending knee injury three games later at Franklin Regional, scored to make it 2-1, Plum added two more scores, including one by Pitt commit Kaitlyn Killinger to make it 4-1.

Bowling Green commit Regan Reilly had Latrobe’s second goal with 6:39 to play.

Rank and file

Mt. Pleasant’s 6-1 victory over Southmoreland had a lot to do with the Vikings taking away the Scotties’ No. 2 ranking in WPIAL Class 2A.

Mt. Pleasant, which opened the week with a 8-0 record (4-0 Section 3-2A), has allowed just four goals all season.

Southmoreland moved to No. 3.

The rest of the top five in the class are Avonworth (1), North Catholic (4) and South Park (5).

The other No. 1 teams are: North Allegheny (4A), Mars (3A) and Springdale (A).

Quotable

“Nonsection games shouldn’t have overtime … Hope that changes someday.” — Franklin Regional coach Scott Arnold.

Corner kicks

Hempfield has been outscored 105-0. … Penn-Trafford has outscored its opponents 35-14 but is 4-3-3 overall. … Greensburg Central Catholic is averaging 6.5 goals in section games. … Mt. Pleasant is one of just six undefeated, untied teams in the WPIAL, joining Mars (8-0), Plum (9-0), Moon (9-0), Freeport (8-0) and Winchester Thurston (4-0).

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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