Norwin's DelleFemine to play on at WV Wesleyan
Three years after her sister made the same leap from Norwin, Rachel DelleFemine is moving on to the collegiate soccer ranks.
DelleFemine signed her National Letter of Intent to join the women's soccer team at West Virginia Wesleyan last week after the open signing period for soccer began on Feb. 6.
The 2012 McKeesport Daily News Athlete of the Year and a captain of this year's Norwin girls soccer team, DelleFemine chose West Virginia Wesleyan over her other finalist schools, Kent State and California (Pa.).
“I love the athletics there, and they have my major, elementary education,” DelleFemine said. “I just really loved the campus and the coach.”
It was three years ago that DelleFemine's older sister, Dana, joined the soccer team at Pitt after her graduation from Norwin. As a three-year letter winner for the Panthers, the elder DelleFemine was an easy-to-reach resource for Rachel as she conducted her own college search.
“I think it was a lot of help seeing what she did because it's a big difference between college soccer and high school soccer,” Rachel DelleFemine said. “She's helped me with a lot of it, getting me prepared to go to college. The amount of work you have to put into playing college soccer, you have to really balance your time.”
DelleFemine will be joining a program that has experienced its share of recent success after choosing West Virginia Wesleyan.
The school, located in Buckhannon, W.Va., finished last season with a 12-6-3 record and won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 1-0 win over Charleston in the tournament final.
The Bobcats then went on to upset No. 7-seed Gannon in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament before losing to West Chester in the second round, and DelleFemine hopes to help the team have that sort of success during her time there.
“They've sent me a packet of things to work on to help stay in shape — lifting, things like that,” DelleFemine said. “I've just got to keep working hard to get ready for the fall.”
DelleFemine will see some familiar faces among her teammates with the Bobcats. Eight of West Virginia Wesleyan's players from 2012 graduated from WPIAL schools and three of them — Colette Biondi, Olivia Peduzzi and Rachel Ritchey — played against Norwin and DelleFemine at Penn-Trafford.
The Norwin senior still has things ahead of her in this school year, the first of which is finishing out the winter with the Knights' playoff-bound girls basketball team. But with her college decision out of the way, DelleFemine now can relax and close out her last year at Norwin on the court and in the classroom.
“I'm so excited. There's so much less stress now,” DelleFemine said. “Now that (the decision) is done, I'm just excited and ready to finish the year and start college.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.