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Norwin soccer standout Bolden commits to PSU Behrend

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Doug Gulasy | Norwin Star
Brea Bolden (center), who committed to play soccer at Penn State Behrend, is seen at the Norwin High School library on Friday, April 19, 2013. Pictured with her are parents Brett (left) and Kelly (right). In back are Norwin soccer coach Jeff Palm (left) and athletic director Randy Rovesti (right).

Although Brea Bolden lettered in soccer during her sophomore and junior seasons, she really came on as a senior starter for the Knights.

She hopes to get that kind of playing time early at the next level.

Bolden committed last week to play soccer next season for Penn State Behrend. The center midfielder said she expects to compete for a starting position in her first season for the Lions.

“I hope to get a lot of playing time,” Bolden said. “I still want to be able to work for my position.”

Bolden was a key contributor from the center midfielder position for the Knights (14-4-2), who finished in second place in Section 1-AAA and beat Mt. Lebanon in the first round of the playoffs before falling to Bethel Park in double overtime in the quarterfinals.

She scored a goal in the 4-0 victory over Mt. Lebanon in the playoffs.

“During her senior year, she really came on strong,” Norwin coach Jeff Palm said. “She's a very aggressive player (and) became a very good leader for our team.

“Something that's going to help her in college is her knowledge of the game and how she was able to work together with the rest of her team.”

The center midfielder position involves “a lot of running,” Bolden said, but it's a position she enjoys.

“I make a lot of assists because I play center, but I (can) score, too,” she said.

“Center mid's kind of like the quarterback, because everything goes through the middle.”

Penn State Behrend competes in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in Division III and won the AMCC title for the second straight season in 2012.

The Lions lost, 3-0, to William Smith in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Bolden said she first visited the school while playing an indoor soccer tournament and came back for another visit.

The university's location in Erie and the accredited business program convinced her to commit.

“I liked the overall atmosphere of the school,” she said.

Additionally, two of her club teammates – Katie Gvozden of Franklin Regional and Marissa Duvall of Latrobe – also committed to play soccer for Behrend.

Bolden expects the familiarity of playing together to help her make the transition to collegiate soccer more easily.

“I know how to play with them (already),” she said. “It'll kind of be easier, because I know two people (rather) than getting to know a whole group of new freshman. We play good together.”

While Bolden said she is excited to play soccer at the next level, she likes the idea of competing in Division III, where she can more easily focus on her academics.

“I'm excited because it's not really stressful and I can still focus on school,” she said.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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