In a shootout that saw a goal scored in the first minute and a total of 12 tallies in the match, Greensburg Central Catholic proved to be twice as explosive as South Side Area, winning 8-4, in the WPIAL Class 1A Girls semifinal at Norwin High School on Monday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The 12-seed South Side Area Rams entered this semi final taking down higher seeded teams along the way, and were looking at taking down the top seed GCC on Monday night.
For fearless South Side, they must have really believed that sometimes what you don’t know doesn’t scare you — and with the cold weather, who knows?
South Side Area came out with an aggressive mindset, and they would earn an early corner.
Mairin Turek would glance it off the crossbar. The Rams immediately earned another corner kick, and the second one was the charm as Turek would find Maura Heberle to give the underdogs the early 1 – 0 lead just under 4 minutes into the game.
GCC didn’t waste any time responding as they would get even as Bethany Winnor carried the ball past a few Rams defenders and slid it across the box for Sara Felder, who would find the net on the short side to tie it at 1.
Felder would come breaking in from the left just minutes later and blasted a ball on goal that South Side Area’s Ellie Schrier would absorb to keep the match tied.
Looking to play fast and apply pressure on GCC’s back line, found a shot from Lydia Persohn which deflected off GCC’s goalkeeper Lyndsey Szekley and in for the 2-1 lead with 26: 49 still left in the first half.
Once again, the Centurions would fight right back. Hannah Nelson tied it back up at 2-2 right at the midway mark of the first half.
Only 3 minutes later GCC struck again as Bethany Winnor made it 3-2 to give the Centurians the first lead of the match. They kept the pressure on when Hannah Nelson played a ball through to Bethany Winnor, who took two touches, then slotted it into the right side of the goal to extend the lead to 4-2.
As the clock ticked under a minute of what was already a wild scoring first half, Sara Felder got her second goal of the evening to make it 5-2 with just 23 seconds left.
GCC continued to stay on the attack as the second half began as the match continued to be open-ended. The Rams’ Ellie Schrier made a key save early but a shot from Tatum Gretz into the upper corner gave GCC what appeared to be a convincing 6-2 lead two minutes into the second half.
GCC added another one to push the lead to five, as Sara Felder would get her second goal of the evening to make it 7-2.
As both teams kept taking turns in an end-to-end, open-minded match, there was still room for more goals to be scored.
After a foul call around 20 yards out and near the far sidelines, Mairin Turek’s free kick strick hit the far backside of the net, pulling South Side back to make it 7-3.
The Rams would not go away as they kept pushing for more. After earning another corner, Turek’s corner would find Rian Garvey who would put her shot into the back of the net to get the match to 7-4.
For South Side there just wasn’t enough time to pull off a remarkable come-from-behind win. GCC found room to counter and get one more goal to seal the victory. Sara Felder would win a ball at midfield, then carry it past a Rams defender — and find sister Samantha Felder who would cap the scoring spree — giving GCC the 8-4 victory.
And once again, Greensburg Central Catholic are back in familiar spot — in the WPIAL Final. The five-time WPIAL champions will take on upstart Our Lady of Sacred Heart, who beat Steel Valley, 2-1 in OT on Monday. The match will be played Thursday at 5:15 p.m. at Gateway High School.