Norwin boys soccer receives shining stars recognition

The Knights won their first ever WPIAL boys soccer title in the fall

Tue Dec 26, 2023 - 1:11PM

Westmoreland Sports Network Westmoreland Sports Network
Pictured From L-R: Jeff Mikell (Smail Kia), Rick Zappone, Anthony Scalise, Chase Briney, Coach Scott Schuchert, Coach Mike PowersPictured From L-R: Jeff Mikell (Smail Kia), Rick Zappone, Anthony Scalise, Chase Briney, Coach Scott Schuchert, Coach Mike Powers

Last Updated: Tue Dec 26, 2023 - 1:14PM

When the Norwin boys soccer team received the No. 8 seed in an eight-team bracket entering the Class 4A playoffs, the path to the championship seems improbable. But the Knights overcame the odds over the next three contests, winning the first WPIAL crown in team history in a shootout thriller. Norwin also showed a flair for the dramatics in the state playoffs, reaching the PIAA semifinals to cap the best season in program history.

During the regular season, the Knights compiled a record of 12-5-1, including a mark of 10-3-1 in Class 4A Section 2. Despite tying for second place in the section, though, Norwin received the unenviable matchup against top-seeded Seneca Valley to open the postseason.

In that quarterfinals clash, the Knights claimed a 3-2 win in penalty kicks, redeeming a regular-season setback against the Raiders two months earlier.

The Knights subsequently edged fifth seed Fox Chapel Area in the semifinals, setting up the WPIAL title game showdown against No. 2 seed North Allegheny.

The Knights produced a golden performance, edging the Tigers 2-1 by prevailing in penalty kicks 5-3.

Trailing 1-0 for the majority of the match, Norwin netted the equalizer when Daniel Maddock headed in a corner kick from George Bunovich with approximately seven minutes left in regulation.

With no winner decided after a pair of 15-minute overtime periods, the match went to the PK shootout, where Norwin’s goalkeeper Anthony Scalise shined, making a save to guide his team to the triumph.

The Knights continued their run through the PIAA bracket, edging Warwick 1-0, the first state playoff win since 1989. Norwin then outlasted Abington, 2-1, via penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

The historic run ultimately ended with a 1-0 loss to Central Bucks South in the state semifinals, as Norwin finished the campaign with a mark of 17-6-1.

Scalise, senior midfielder Owen Christopher, and Maddock, a junior forward, were recognized as All-WPIAL performers for their efforts.

Veteran head coach Scott Schuchert guided the Knights for the 12th season, but he was sidelined for the WPIAL semifinals and championship because of an ejection. As a result, former Norwin standout Carter Breen served as the acting coach for the title victory.

In recognition of their accomplishments, the Norwin boys soccer team receives the Shining Stars recognition and a $500 donation to their program courtesy of Smail Kia in Greensburg and the Westmoreland Sports Network.

ABOUT SHINING STARS: Shining Stars is a program formed by Westmoreland Sports Network and Smail Kia in Greensburg to recognize and support Westmoreland County student-athletes whose academics, community and athletic excellence shines the brightest. Two teams will be chosen as Shining Stars each season throughout the year with both receiving funding to assist their booster programs.