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Greensburg Central Catholic boys and girls come up short in PIAA finals

File Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson

Greensburg Central Catholic boys and girls come up short in PIAA finals

PIAA Boys Class 1A Soccer Final

FINAL: Faith Christian 5, Greensburg Central Catholic 1

Jordan Smith’s Game Summary

Luke Perreault’s hat trick helps Faith Christian breeze by winning their first PIAA state final against Greensburg Central Catholic 5-1. 

Early on it was all Greensburg. The Centurions made every pass look easy.
Only seven minutes in, Carol Denis ran down the right side, cut in around two players and scored near-side. The all-wpial sophomore scored his 37th of the season. It was all Greensburg from the start.
But, in the 25th minute, a miscommunication led to a chance for Faith Christian. Collin Moyer took advantage as Max House got off his line and Moyer passed it in.
From then on, the momentum changed to Faith Christian.
Immediately into the start of the second half, Luke Perreault took a corner kick for the Lions. It bounced back out to him from the corner of the 18, and he curled it in far side.
Not long after, Kieran Rea, who led the team in goals with 14, scored his 15th as the ball bounced out to him off a free kick, and he found an opening through the traffic in the box. Faith Christian leads 3-1.
The Lions came out flying to start the second leg, and the Centurions decided to switch up strategies. They put more numbers forward as they changed to a 3-4-3.
A risky move as it leaves more holes defensively, the Lions continued to pound on chances. Their wingbacks stayed high and got involved in the offense and Greensburg could never seem to get by again.
With 12 minutes left, the Senior Perreault again scored as the Lions were rewarded a PK. And again, two minutes later, Perreault from the corner of the box shot in a ball that found its way through some players and into the net.
Perrault came into this game with four goals and six assists but would finish with seven goals and seven assists today.
Faith Christian with so much success in recent years wins their first PIAA state title. They won four district titles in the past five years in 2016, 17, 18 and this season. Head coach Ryan Clymer in his 15 years as head coach, now has an overall record of 262-43-11. An impressive record, as few coaches in the state have over 200 wins.
For Greensburg, Seth Skowronek the all-wpial player of the year in single A graduates. As well as Ricco Ciccarelli. But, Carlo Deis and Mason Fabean return next season to help bring the Centurions back to another wpial title.
The backline was solid all day for the Lions. Marcus Pringle and David Brownell with their high pressure were also essential to their success in today’s game. Luke Perreault was named PCNTV player of the game.

Gameday Updates

FINAL:  Faith Christian 5, Greensburg Central Catholic 1

68′ – FAITH CHRISTIAN EXTENDS THEIR LEAD!! Luke Perrault scores the PK!

56′ – Fabean gets taken down about 25 yards out. Free kick now for GCC. Advantage should’ve been allowed has Carlo Denis picked up the ball and was going towards the goal.

54′ – Looks like GCC has moved to a 3-4-3 formation. Trying to get more numbers forward.

48′ – ANOTHER GOAL FOR FAITH CHRISTIAN!! Perreault plays in the free kick, bounces out to Kieran Rae and he shoots in his 15th goal of the season!

42′ – GOAL FOR FAITH CHRISTIAN!! Luke Perreault from the corner of the box curls in a shot into the corner. That goal looked like something I’ve seen Messi do quite a few times. Great goal! His fifth of the season. GCC 1 – FC 2

41′ – David Brownell with a chance 30 seconds in. Good shot from distance but House punches it above and behind the net.

You can follow Jordan Smith for all the latest updates on this match…

Starters for GCC:

Max House – GK Dylan Sebek – RB Max Szekely – CB Ryan Reitler – LB Kyler Miller – LW Seth Skowronek – CDM Jack Cryblskey – MF Carlo Denis – RW Jake Gretz – CAM Mason Fabean – F Rico Ciccarelli – CAM

Starters for Faith Christian:

JR Roberts – GK Luke Perreault – LB Sebastian Zavaleta – CB Peyton Curry – CB Evan Wright – RB Brendon Moyer – CM Bobby Elitz – CM Marcus Pringle – CM Kieran Rea – CM David Brownell – CAM Chris Evans – F

Match Preview:

Greensburg Central Catholic (17-1) vs Faith Christian Academy (15-1) 

The Centurions have finally made it to a PIAA final!

For all of its success in WPIAL, GCC boys soccer program has never gone this far.

This season, they had to weather some tough competition in the WPIAL. In addition to its usual battles with Winchester Thurston, who made last year’s PIAA final, three times they were also pushed in WPIAL quarterfinal and semifinal matches vs Eden Christian Academy (1-0) and previously unbeaten Springdale (2-0).

Then came the rematch with Winchester Thurston. The two section foes split the season series to share the Section 2 title.  Then, in the rubber match, the Centurians rode a very strong first half start to a WPIAL title win, 3-2, on Saturday, November 7 tto become the lone WPIAL qualifier. 

The WPIAL champs then had to win a couple hard-fought, physical matches just to get to Hershey. They won 3-2, against Rockwood, as Carlos Denis’ late second half goal was the difference. And once again, Denis did it again, putting home a game-winner with a little more than six minutes left in regulation against Brockway.

Carlos Denis’ brace vaults Greensburg Central Catholic to first-ever PIAA final

It was Denis’ 35th goal of the season.

GCC’s Tyler Solis after winning 2019 WPIAL title at Highmark Stadium.

This will be a reunion of sorts for GCC’s head coach Tyler Solis, Solis was a standout at Lower Dauphin, a Class 4A school in Hummelstown. When he played there, Lower Dauphin played home games at Hersheypark Stadium.

Much like GCC, this will be Faith Christian’s first-ever PIAA final appearance.

Kieran Rea’s goal in the 104th minute of a match that was pushed to double overtime gave Faith a 1-0 victory over the District Three Champion Tulpehocken Trojans.

One thing is certain, this match will likely be yet another tight affair for GCC and it will produce a first-time PIAA champion.

To Mask or Not to Mask? 

There was some question about whether players would be wearing masks, in light of PA mandate that begins on Friday.

In light of new PA mandate, players may (or may not) be wearing masks at PIAA Soccer Finals

Mars Athletic Director Scott Heinauer shared this with Pittsburgh Soccer Now this morning:

“Mars athletes have a wavier from our solicitor saying that our players are not mandated to wear face coverings while playing a sport however if they choose to do so they may do so.”

Game officials and all players and coaches on the benches will be required to wear a mask.

 

 

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