In a highly anticipated showdown between two remaining unbeaten teams in WPIAL 4A Girls soccer, Norwin won its second consecutive WPIAL title with 3-1 win over Canon-McMillan at Highmark Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Norwin’s leading goal scorer, Emily Harrigan opened broke free on the left side in the 13th minute in the first half — and beat Canon-Mac keeper Megan Virgin to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Down a goal, the Big Macs responded immediately, as Aideen O’Donoghue made a nice move to the end line two minutes after the Harrigan goal, drawing a foul in the box to set up a penalty kick.
O’Donoghue, one of the top scholastic players in our region, and a Rutgers recruit, stepped up to take the kick.
Norwin’s junior goalkeeper Sam Wexell was ready. O’Donoghue tried to drill the shot to the right side, but Wexell made the diving save.
After the first half ended 1-0, Norwin came out of the gates strong in the second half, as they’ve been known to do in the past few years as they’ve gone almost two full seasons only losing once.
Two minutes into the half, Harrigan found herself in the box with her back to goal and the ball at her feet, and a defender to her right and another to her left.
Like all top notch scorers do, she didn’t panic. She took a few touches, found some space, and drilled home a shot from 12 yard that gave the Knights a 2-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Lexie Kolano received a ball on the left side of the goal box, and ripped a shot — top shelf — into the top inside part of the net to give Norwin a commanding 3-1 lead.
So much for a highly anticipated showdown, as Canon-Mac were victimized by the firepower of the Norwin attack that is often capable of putting a game away in a hurry.
Canon-Mac would add a very late goal by Addie Roman to spoil the shutout bid, but it was a little too late.
It was the fourth WPIAL title for Norwin, who will meet Fox Chapel in rematch of the WPIAL 1-0 semifinal win on Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA playoffs, while Canon-Mac will play either the District 9 or 10 winner.