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PIAA Girls Class 1A Soccer Championship: So. Columbia 2, Greensburg Central Catholic 1, Final

Preview: PIAA Girls Class 1A Soccer Final

FINAL: So. Columbia 2, Greensburg Central Catholic 1

Jordan Smith’s Match Summary

Loren Gehret’s brace led Southern Columbia to win the PIAA Class 1A Soccer Championship, denying Greensburg Central Catholic an opportunity to win its first girls soccer state title since 2013.

How It Happened 

The Tigers marched out into a 4-5-1 formation as the Centurions rolled out at 4-2-2.

The first half featured many chances as Loren Gehret scored 19 minutes into the game. On the goal scoring sequence, defender Colby Bernhard chipped a ball into the box, as GCC keeper Lyndsey Szekely came out to challenge she was beat to the ball by Gehret, who chipped it past her.

Only eight minutes later, Tatum Gretz, who is committed to play at Villanova, picked up the ball just inside the box and slotted a shot into the bottom right corner to bring GCC level with Southern Columbia, 1-1.

In the closing moments of the first half, Gehret caught Szekely off her line and sniped in a shot from 40 yards out. Szekely did her best to try to get back to save it but the ball sent in from long-distance went in just under the crossbar.

Things tightened up in the second half — as it became more physical with 15 total fouls in the final 40 minutes. Each team had a player given a yellow card, with the officials quick to step in to try to get control of the match.

The Felder sister’s created a few opportunities for the Centurions, but weren’t able to finish any chances. The talented siblings showed off their pace and technical skill throughout the game. During the season, they accounted for 54 goals, but couldn’t get one more for the equalizer.

The Tigers pressed hard all game, keeping their midfield pushed high, slowing down and limiting GCC’s attacking opportunities. They didn’t change this strategy, dominating the tempo of the match through the second half.

It was remarkable win for Southern Columbia, their second PIAA title ever, as at one point they had a 7-9 record, and were in danger of missing their district playoffs. They finished the year with eight straight victories, knocking off the previously undefeated Centurions, who finish a remarkable season with a 19-1 record.

Loren Gehret was named PCNTV player of the game.


Gameday Updates




Two goals by Loren Gehret lead the Tigers.

Greensburg Central Catholic loses its first match of what was a terrific season.

Here’s the game-winning goal…

HALF – S.C. 2, GCC 1

Follow Jordan Smith for game updates…

Greensburg Central Catholic Starters (4-4-2)

Lyndsey Szekely – GK Alexa Gill – D Ella Machusko – D Hannah Hoffman – D Natalie Ward – D Hannah Nelson – M Bethany Winnor – M Jessica Nemeth – M Tatum Gretz – M Sara Felder – F Sam Felder – F

Southern Columbia Starters (4-5-1)

Mackenzie Palacz – GK Marlee Swank – D Emma Genners – D Colby Bernhard – D Riley Reed – D Cassidy Savitski – M Sophie Shadle – M Evelyn Cook – M Summer Tillett – M Karly Renn – M Loren Gehret – F

Match Preview – Greensburg Central Catholic (19-0) vs Southern Columbia (14-9)  

This is a match between two schools that have flat-out dominated the competition thus far in the PIAA Class 1A tournament.

GCC last made it to the PIAA final three straight years, from 2012 to 2014, winning it all twice, in 2013 and 2013.  Then its long-time section rivals, Shady Side Academy jumped in and started making deeper runs, getting to the PIAA finals three times in the past five years.

However, this season, Shady Side moved up to Class 2A, leaving GCC with having to face some different obstacles. In the WPIAL playoffs, they faced a fierce challenge from the young ladies of Our Lady of Sacred Heart, but they held on for a 2-1 win in the final. GCC, have plenty of offensive firepower, with four girls who have scored 13 or more goals: Sara Felder (29), Tatum Gretz (25), Sam Felder (24) and Jessica Nemeth (13).

Now, it seems as the postseason has gone on, they’ve really started to get into a groove in the first two round of the PIAA playoffs, beating West Branch, 7-1 in the quarterfinal, then shutting out Cambridge Springs, 7-0.

This has been the first year for new Head Coach Olivia Krug, but it’s an experienced group determined to get back to this point, scoring more than 30 goals in six postseason matches.

Southern Columbia were equally dominant from start to finish on Tuesday night in their semifinal, throttling Conwell-Egan 9-0 to advance to this point.

The fact Southern Columbia have made it this far is pretty stunning when in early October they held a 7-9 overall record. But they got everything back in order in time. After beating Lewisburg in the regular season, they entered its District 4 playoffs as an 8th seed. They turned things up a notch to win another District title, the once getting into the PIAA’s the Tigers have outscored the opposition 15-0.

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.



Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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