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Greensburg Central Catholic wins seventh WPIAL girls soccer crown

Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson

Greensburg Central Catholic wins seventh WPIAL girls soccer crown

WPIAL Girls Class 1A Final

FINAL: Greensburg Central Catholic 3, OLSH 2 

Greensburg Central Catholic captured its seventh WPIAL Girls Class 1A soccer title, beating Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 3-2, on Thursday evening at Gateway High School in Monroeville.

Samantha Felder scored twice and Tatum Gretz added another, as the Centurions held off a significant challenge from the Chargers, who were making their first-ever WPIAL Finals appearance.

Ed Thompson Photo Gallery

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How It Happened

In the beginning of the year when Greensburg Central Catholic’s Olivia Kruger was named head coach of the Centurions, she was aware of the history of the program. Now just a few months later she found herself coaching in WPIAL championship game. 

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart came into the match with plenty of momentum and confidence, taking down a Class 1A favorite in 3-seed Freedom, then the 2-seed Steel Valley.

So why not knock off the top seed to top it all off? 

GCC would start the game as they have throughout the playoffsby controlling the ball and bringing pressure and shots on goal.

In the early going, OLSH would also have a dangerous free kick that a GCC defender would have to clear off the back post with her head.

GCC would earn several corners but it would the possession and movement of the ball that would deliver their first goal.

Hannah Henn played a ball back to Sam Felder who drilled a shot from 26 yards out over the out stretched hands of OLSH goal keeper Bella Costanzo to make it 1-0.

Both teams would exchange a couple of hard fouls.

The second one committed by GCC would be taken by Alexa Taylor, created a loose ball in the box. This allowed Evie Miller to get her foot on the ball and sneak through bodies into the net to tie it 1-1.

GCC continued to create quality shot opportunities on frame as the action shifted to the second half. Costanzo stood her ground — making numerous quality saves to keep the match level.  

Costanzo had to come off her line in one sequence, but was beat to the ball by GCC’s Tatum Gretz.

Gretz touched it around Costanzo, went to her right and put her shot in the net for the 2-1 lead.

Minutes later, with OLSH still reeling from the go-ahead goal, Sam Felder made a nice move along the right side and into the box. She blasted a shot under the crossbar to make it 3-1 in favor of GCC.

OLSH was not going to go away.

Only second late, the Chargers pushed forward quickly — and Alexa Taylor would get one goal right back to set the stage for a tense finish with 13 minutes left in the match.  

Taylor had the game’s next quality chance on a free kick, but she drove her shot off the crossbar, nearly tying the match.

The game would slowly trickle down and away from OLSH, as GCC’s ability to possess the ball helped them steer through the remainder of the match without allowing any more OLSH opportunities.

Greensburg Central Catholic are now Class A Girls’ soccer champs for the seventh time. They’ll now be headed to the PIAA state playoffs.

GCC will wait for the winner of District 5 or 6. Their first game will be slated for November 14 at a site to be determined.

Gameday Updates

FINAL – GCC hangs on!!  One last OLSH push forward can’t create a shot on goal.

This is the seventh WPIAL title for GCC.

We’ll provide updates here once the game kicks off.

Our coverage team will include Ed Rosensteel (reporting) and Ed Thompson (photography).

 

Look for the game recap, postgame reaction & photo gallery here after the match.

Key Storylines / Preview  

Greensburg Central Catholic is where they usually are, the Class A Final. This will be the first year for new Head Coach Olivia Krug but not the first for several of her players. They are used to the expectations and the game day preparation but it still makes it no different.  It is exciting and until the whistle blows to start the game, there will be nervous energy. The Felder girls Samantha and Sara along with Bethany Winnor, Tatum Gretz and Jessica Nemeth have been filing the net to a tune of 19 goals in 3 games.
OLSH is here to upset the apple cart. I always say to be an upstart in Class A you have to take down one of the perennials. Freedom did it in 2014. Charleroi did it in 2015 and Bentworth in 2018. OLSH has taken down Freedom, the 3 seed and Steel Valley the 2 seed. What’s left for OLSH taking down the 1 seed. OLSH will rely on their goalkeeper Bella Costanzo who has been stingy with the help of Abby Aeillo, Alexa Taylor and Kennedy Walsh.

This is a match that features one program that’s been to 10 WPIAL finals in the past 11 eleven years in Greensburg Central Catholic against another, Our Lady of Sacred Heart that’s never made it this far.

After Shady Side Academy moved up in class, that left Greensburg Central Catholic as the heavy favorite this season in this classification and they’ve lived up to the hype.

The Centurions are undefeated (15-0) — scoring a ton of goals along the ways (103 to be precise).

When getting forward in the attack, GCC relies on the Felder sisters, senior Sam and sophomore Sara. They combined on three goals in the Centurions’ wild 8-4 win against South Side on Monday. Junior Bethany Winnor also scored twice.

Shootout at the Castle: Greensburg Central Catholic rolls past South Side, 8-4, to advance to WPIAL final

Meanwhile — OLSH under the direction of coach Paige Petroval, may not have scored as many goals as GCC, but that might be because they’ve been a bit more battle-tested coming out of a section that included three Class 1A quarterfinalists and two semifinalist, as they did play Freedom three times (including its playoff win) and South Side Area.

This has prepared them for what has been a pretty impressive playoff run, beating two very high scoring teams in Freedom and then Steel Valley in the semifinal.

They should give GCC a firm test on Thursday night in the final.

In the back, they have solid goalkeeping with Isabella Costanzo along with solid group of seniors who have led the way including defender Abby Aiello, outside forward Ella Wrabley and midfielders Sydney Grimes and Julia Centofanti — our Week 4 PSN WPIAL Girls Player of the Week.  

Greensburg Central Catholic are excited and ready for the challenge.

“I asked them before the season what their goals were and they said make it back to the WPIAL championship,” Kruger told the Tribune-Review “Now they want to win a state title. Getting to the finals again means everything to them. To them, it’s everything they wanted and hoped for. You can tell they are buzzing and ready to go.”

During this remarkable stretch and dominant run in Class 1A Girls Soccer, Greensburg Central Catholic has won six WPIAL titles and two PIAA titles.

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