Top-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic boys soccer empties bench, survives scare

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | 5:02 PM


The way Tyler Solis sees it, what happened Tuesday night was a win-win-win situation for his Greensburg Central Catholic boys soccer team.

For one, the Centurions won their first-round playoff game to advance in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

Secondly, Solis got to empty his bench and give younger players a taste of the postseason.

And third, perhaps the gold star of the bunch, was GCC showing an act of sportsmanship.

The Centurions (12-1) are the defending WPIAL champions and the No. 1 seed, and they were expected to coast past No. 16 Aquinas Academy (5-9), a small Catholic school in Gibsonia.

But the final score — GCC 7, Aquinas 5 — turned some heads.

Here’s what happened: GCC came out firing and quickly took command as it built a 6-0 lead late in the first half on goals by Dylan Sebek, Carlo Denis (2), Mason Fabean and Seth Skowronek.

It was 7-0 early in the second after Denis capped a hat trick.

But that’s when Solis started plucking starters and substituting. Aquinas spent the next 12 minutes rallying as John Hence scored four times to trim the lead to 7-5.

Solis said he would do the same thing again, given the chance.

“It was an opportunity for some growth to the guys who may not get to play as the competition gets tougher,” he said. “I don’t see there being a difference in us winning the game. We are a team, and I was happy to see all of the boys getting to play. It is a privilege to get to play and am happy for the all the boys who got to play.

“It’s always nice to rest some of the starters and try to show sportsmanship as well.”

GCC will meet No. 9 seed Eden Christian (9-2) in the quarterfinals 2 p.m. Saturday at North Allegheny.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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