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Norwin field hockey team continues building process

| Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Matt Grubba | Norwin Star file
Norwin midfielder Anna Romeo handles the ball during a game against Pine-Richland in the 2011 season.

Once a perennial playoff squad in WPIAL Class AAA, the Norwin field hockey team spent the past two postseasons on the outside looking in.

After a difficult 2012 campaign, the Knights are hoping to build themselves back into a playoff team.

Norwin began fall practice last week looking to bounce back from a 2012 season in which it finished 3-7 in section play and miss out on the WPIAL playoffs.

“The girls look pretty good,” coach Laura Peery said. “I think again, it's another building year for us. We're getting a lot of freshmen in. A couple girls from the middle school program are starting to trickle up to our team, so we're definitely improving from last year.”

Because the Knights' roster includes just four seniors, Peery expects a “huge” junior class and a large amount of sophomores and freshmen to contribute to the team's success this season.

Junior midfielder Anna Romeo will lead the way for the Knights after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

“She's been working out all summer, and you can really tell,” Peery said. “She came back last year for hockey season, so she didn't miss all of last year, but she missed field hockey season. But her knee looks pretty good, (and) her skills have definitely improved. So she's a key player for us.”

Romeo will be joined at midfield by senior Nicole Berardinelli, giving Norwin a strong 1-2 punch.

“(Berardinelli is) looking pretty strong this year,” Peery said. “She played for us in the midfield last year and did some really good things. Her and Anna will be working together.”

Up front, senior Kira Baierl will look to fill the void left by graduated forward Corinne Dally. The Knights will also need younger defenders to step up after the graduation of Kylie Varga, Peery said.

Junior Lauren Slivka looks to start in goal after splitting time last season.

Norwin was scheduled to play a scrimmage Wednesday at Shadyside Academy. The Knights will open the regular season at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at Ellis School.

“I'm just looking for them to compete as a team and work hard to break some of our goals from last year,” Peery said.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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