Boys soccer: Norwin upsets No. 4 Franklin Regional
It would be an understatement to say Norwin has been one of the WPIAL's most consistent boys soccer programs.
The Knights have made the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs 31 of the past 32 years since the team began competing in 1980.
But this season has been a bit of a disappointment and, coming into its match Tuesday against first-place Franklin Regional, Norwin was tied with Hempfield for third place in Section 1-AAA and in danger of missing the playoffs.
The Knights needed an upset. And, as fortune would have it, they got one.
Norwin (6-6-0, 5-4-0) picked up a pair of second-half goals in a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Trib Total Media Class AAA No. 4 Franklin Regional (10-1-2, 8-1-1) at Norwin Knights Stadium.
“To us, it wasn't an upset. It was just finding a way to win a game,” Norwin coach Scott Schuchert said. “We've just been trying to preach ‘Win the next minute and win every minute of soccer,' and, if we can keep that mentality, the sky's the limit for this group.”
Norwin broke a scoreless tie early in the second half when Nate Andreyko slid a crossing pass from the left side, through the box and to the top of the key for Cody Drum, who rifled a shot past Franklin Regional sophomore goalkeeper Chris Ralph to put the Knights ahead, 1-0, at 49:46.
Norwin padded its advantage at 58:55, when Zachary Lakenan launched a 30-yard direct free kick past a sprawling Ralph just inside the right post for a 2-0 lead.
The Knights had peppered the Franklin Regional net for the final 10 minutes of the first half and well into the second half and ended up with more frustration than result.
“One thing that we've been stressing is that, during a game, there's going to be a time when the other team puts you on your heels and you're going to face their best stuff,” Schuchert said. “That's when our kids really responded as far as gaining control back in the game and eventually they got rewarded for it.”
The result was the upset Norwin so desperately needed.
“We've been outplaying a lot of our opponents,” Schuchert said. “It's good to finally see the boys get rewarded for good play.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.