Norwood seventh-grader Dylan Trotman (left) goes around a Nazareth defender. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Poor weather and field conditions disrupted Norwood Fontbonne Academy’s soccer schedule in the early weeks of the 2018 season, but the Bears are now making up for lost time.

Norwood climbed to a 2-0 mark in the co-ed Catholic Academies League with a 4-0 victory over visiting Nazareth Academy last Thursday at the Water Tower Recreation Center.

The Bears had opened the season just a day earlier with a victory at Gwynedd Mercy Academy, where eighth-grader Alex Farina scored the lone goal of the game. Three of his classmates provided the goals against Nazareth the following afternoon; Maia Mocharnuk tallied twice, and there were single markers for Caleb Millan and Michael Malloy.

The final score was not misleading, as Norwood did indeed control the run of play for most of the game. Nazareth made occasional attacks across the Bears’ 18-yard-line, but the zero remained on the visitors’ side of the scoreboard thanks to NFA’s two seventh-grade goalies, Tommy Donovan (first half) and Paddy May (second half). Eighth-grader Collin Cummings performed as a solid sweeper in front of the NFA goaltenders.

The other eighth-graders who saw action last week were Mali-Vinn Renz, Zachery Collelouri and Luke Riethmiller. In addition to the goalies, the seventh-grade class was represented by Dylan Trotman, Freddie Zamichieli and twins George and Jane Hohenleitner. Two other NFA seventh graders, Evelyn Ebersole and Paul Hutepea, were temporarily deactivated for medical reasons.

Against Nazareth, the Bears jumped on top early with quick strikes by Millan and Mocharnuk, and it was still 2-0 at halftime. Malloy made it 3-0 with 18-and-a-half minutes remaining in the second half, and four minutes later Mocharnuk’s second goal rounded out the scoring for the afternoon.

Mali-Vinn Renz, an NFA eighth-grader, is confronted by a Nazareth Panda cub. (Photo by Tom Utescher)