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Preview: WPIAL Girls 4A Final – North Allegheny vs Norwin

Junior Sarah Schupansky leads North Allegheny into its first-ever WPIAL girls soccer final appearance (photo credit: David Hague)

Preview: WPIAL Girls 4A Final – North Allegheny vs Norwin

WPIAL Girls Soccer 4A Final 
Thursday, October 31 –  6 p.m. – Highmark Stadium 

Norwin Knights (18-1-0) vs North Allegheny Tigers (16-2-1) 

PSN Coverage:

reporting-Ed Rosensteel (Twitter @EdRosensteel) | photography-Ed Thompson (Twitter (@Thompson12foto

Although they compete in different sections and the schools are in different counties, Norwin and North Allegheny girls soccer are very familiar with each other. The two teams have been playing each other since 2010 annually at the end of the regular season either a few games before or just prior to the start of the WPIAL playoffs.

This will be the first time Norwin and North Allegheny meet in the WPIAL Finals. 

Last year Norwin defeated North Allegheny 2-1 in the WPIAL quarterfinals. In 2017, Norwin would defeat North Allegheny in both the WPIAL semifinals and again in the PIAA quarterfinals. 

These three meetings are the only time the two programs have met in the playoffs. 

This year’s regular season meeting saw Norwin defeat North Allegheny 3-1.

You might have figured out by now that the history between these two schools girls programs has been very one sided in Norwin’s favor. They have met 13 times since 2010, with the Knights holding a decisive edge in goals scored 11-2. Goals are 29 to 10 in Norwin’s favor as well. 

On paper, the edge goes to Norwin but to quote the late great Adolph Rupp, “That’s why they play the game”. Thursday’s match up looks to be a game of who can force their will and style of play over the other. Will it be the team that has speed and athleticism in Norwin or the one who has the tactical ability and discipline of North Allegheny?

NEW FRONTIER FOR NA

It’s hard to believe, but this is North Allegheny’s first-ever WPIAL finals appearance. 

The Tigers are coming off a very difficult contest with Peters Twp which saw the match go into PK’s with NA’s Isabella Pietropola securing the win with her goal in PK’s to win 4-2. 

Tiger Beat: NA nips Peters in penalties for Girls 4A Final Berth

In the quarter finals after a bye in the first round, North Allegheny found redemption over Penn Trafford who had defeated NA in early September 3-0. NA returned the favor and took the quarter final playoff win 3-0. After 100’ minutes of soccer on Monday versus Peters Twp, it is a quick turnaround to compete for their first WPIAL title.

RETURN TO FINALS FOR NORWIN

Highmark Stadium has been a familiar spot for Norwin — as they’ll play in their sixth WPIAL final and fourth in the last five years. Norwin has gone 3-2 in WPIAL finals, with titles in 1997, 2015 and 2016. 

Their runner ups came in 2010 and 2017. Norwin’s lone loss this season came to defending WPIAL Champions, Seneca Valley, 4-3 in September. 

Norwin won a fast paced quarterfinal match-up over Fox Chapel in overtime 4-3. The Knights got their revenge winning a 1-0 in the semifinal over Seneca Valley on a goal from Katelyn Kauffman. 

Players to watch (for complete roster, click links embedded into school name) 

Norwin:

  • Eva Frankovic Sr. (Pitt)
  • Katelyn Kauffman Jr. (Pitt)
  • Lacey Bernick Jr. (Pitt)
  • Anna Durmis Jr. (William & Mary)

North Allegheny 

  • Sarah Schupansky Jr. (Pitt)
  • Hannah Kirkpatrick Sr.  (U of Tampa)
  • Emma Bundy Sr. (Duquesne)
  • Ava Ruppersberger Sr.
Goal Leaders:
  • Norwin: Katelyn Kauffman – 19
  • NA: Sarah Schupansky – 19
Goals For: 

Norwin  94, NA  62

Goals Against: 

Norwin  13, NA   18

Goal Differential           

Norwin +81, NA +44

 

LAST YEAR’s GIRLS 4A FINAL RECAP 

Seneca Valley stuns Peters to seize WPIAL title in OT

LIST OF WPIAL BOYS & GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONS

 

 

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