Norwin diary: Tie-breakers prevent Knights from making football playoff despite big win


Saturday 30 October 2021 | 11:01 am

The WPIAL tiebreaker math can make your head spin and raise your blood pressure, especially if you’re a team trying to make the football playoffs.

Take Norwin.

The Knights (3-6, 1-5) put on one of their best games of the season, knocking down Canon-McMillan, number 5, 16-7, for their first victory in the Class 6A conference.

The Week 8 win shattered a five-game losing streak. The Knights learned they were still alive in the playoff race.

But then the news arrived that Norwin, no matter what he did against Hempfield in the regular season finale, couldn’t make the playoffs.

“It was really heartbreaking because we played a great game and never gave up,” Norwin senior running back Dom Barca said. “As for this last game, there is nothing different. It’s another opportunity to play and have fun against our rival.

Even though the Knights finished tied with Canon-McMillan and Baldwin, they couldn’t have passed them in the tie-breaking points. With minus-41, Norwin had no chance of catching either team to secure fifth place in the eight-team conference.

volleyball playoffs

Norwin was seeded No. 12 in the WPIAL Class 4A women’s volleyball playoff and fell to No. 5 Pine-Richland in straight sets in the first round on October 26.

Knights win the first match

Norwin has overcome a number of injuries throughout the season to stay in the thick of the race for the Class 4A women’s football title. The Lady Knights advanced to the quarter-finals with a 5-0 victory over No.12 seed North Hills as junior Halle Holtzman had a goal and an assist and senior Natalie Barkley had senior Alyssa Shields , sophomore Evelyn Moore and junior Alyssa Aquilio also scored in the victory.

Fifth-seeded Norwin (13-4) qualified to face the number 4 Seneca Valley, a team he eliminated 1-0 earlier in the season. The quarter-final was a rematch of the 2019 semi-finals when Norwin won 1-0.

The first round victory marked Norwin’s 10th shutout of the season.

Unified Champions

Norwin was named the 2020 National Banner Unified Champion School by the Special Olympics.

The achievement was recognized during the homecoming soccer game on October 22 at Knights Stadium. Only 10 schools in Pennsylvania received the award.

Sophomore Eli Passarelli (Unified Bocce and Unified Track and Field) and Michelle Bojalad senior (Unified Track and Field) spoke at the announcement.

Norwin has had a unified athletics team since 2016 and a unified bocce team since ’19.

The Peer Buddy Mentor Club (PBMC) has been active since ’13.

Members of Unified Sports and PBMC host a number of inclusive events and fundraisers throughout the year, including the 2017-19 Westmoreland County Special Olympics Track and Field Event.

College scene

Women’s football

• Slippery rock: Senior backline teammates Katy Ericson (Norwin) and Emily Arnold (Norwin) have been key contributors to six shutouts this season for the Rock (10-3-2, 9-3-1). Ericson, who has two assists, has started all 15 games. Arnold, with an assist, has appeared in 14 games and has been in the starting lineup 11 times.

Men’s football

• Penn State Behrend: Senior defenseman Cameron Eckberg (Norwin) led the Lions (12-3, 7-0 AMCC) in goals (8) and points (18) in 15 games.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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