Kendro provides scoring touch for Norwin girls
For some athletes, changing positions in a sport can be challenging. It can take time to adjust to the new surroundings or learn how their skills fit in the role.
But for Lexy Kendro, a change in position for the Norwin girls soccer team has been a natural progression. The senior moved from the midfield to forward for the Knights this season and is leading the team with 13 goals.
“I have always been more of an attacking player,” Kendro said. “I like the move. It has benefited the team, and I like to score.”
Kendro was a top midfielder for the Knights last season and received all-WPIAL honors. But with the graduation of Lexie Kolano, the school's all-time leading goal scorer with 80, the Knights needed to boost their offensive production.
Kendro has fit that role. She was an offensive-minded midfielder in seasons past, but her scoring has seen a spike since moving up top. She has three hat tricks so far.
Helping the transition has been Kendro's connection with fellow senior forward Emily Harrigan. The duo has a long history of sharing the field.
“We have been playing together since we were 9 or 10 years old,” Kendro said. “Having that type of relationship has really helped us start strong from the beginning.”
The dynamic duo is a catalyst for Norwin's offensive success. Harrigan is second on the team in scoring with 12 goals. Harrigan and Kendro have combined to score 25 of the team's 47 goals this season.
“On and off the field, she is one of my best friends,” said Harrigan, who had 32 goals and 14 assists as a junior. “We do everything together. We sense each other on the field. I know where she is, and she knows where I am. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses.”
In addition to Kendro and Harrigan, Norwin has seen more than 10 other players score goals. Seniors Emily Arnold, Katy Ericson and Michelina Rush, as well as freshmen Lacey Bernick and Morgan Sigut have contributed multiple goals and assists.
“We have a lot of speed on the outside,” Harrigan said. “We have a lot of hard workers in the midfield who get up and down the field. We are talented with a lot of depth.”
The Knights scored a 4-0 nonsection win over Baldwin on Saturday. Kendro led the way with two goals, and Harrigan finished with a goal and a pair of assists. Sophomore Emily Shaw also scored.
It was a strong bounce back from a 1-0 loss to rival Penn-Trafford on Sept. 25 that snapped a 47-game regular-season unbeaten streak.
“They played a great game,” Harrigan said. “We played well as a team but didn't get the result.”
With the team entering the final stretch of the season, the Knights will be facing a lot of questions about where they want to finish.
Sure, the players know what they hope to accomplish: another section title, a third straight WPIAL title, a chance to play for a PIAA title. But to get there, the Knights want to focus on the immediate future.
“We want to take each game one at a time,” Kendro said. “We want to stay focused on the next game and not look too far ahead.”
Nathan Smith is a freelance writer.