Family ties make trip to Hershey a special occasion for Greensburg C.C. soccer teams

Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 4:52 PM

Greensburg Central Catholic’s trip to Hershey for the girls and boys PIAA Class A soccer championships will be a family affair.

The girls team has two sets of sisters in senior Sam Felder and sophomore Sara Felder, and junior Bethany Winnor and sophomore Ashley Winnor.

The Felders have combined for 54 goals this season.

The boys have brothers Jack and Owen Cryblsky, a senior and freshman, along with a pair of cousins, senior Dylan Sebek and freshman Logan Sebek.

The connections don’t end there. There also is a cross-team sister-brother combo with junior Tatum Gretz and sophomore Jacob Gretz, and sophomore Max Szekely and junior Lyndsey Szekely are cousins.

There also are family ties to the GCC girls’ last state title-winning team, in 2012. Freshman Sarah Ward played on that team, and her sister is current junior Natalie Ward. Former standout Malea Fabean played for the ‘12 and ‘13 PIAA championship teams. She is the sister of junior Mason Fabean, a standout on this year’s boys team.

And Charlotte Szekely, who also played on the ‘12 team, is a cousin of the current Szekelys.

Current boys assistant coach Rob Fabean has coached six years at GCC, four with the girls.

He has been part of five WPIAL titles, including three with the girls.

Malea Fabean, who once had the state record for assists, won three WPIAL titles and two state championships before playing at Pitt and Duquesne.

Mason Fabean is versatile like his sister: He can shift positions and be just as effective.

Double dip

In a rare instance, GCC’s teams will play a doubleheader for the third straight round in the PIAA tournament.

They played back-to-back in the state quarterfinals and semifinals at Norwin, where they were a combined 8-0 this postseason, and now will follow each other in Hershey.

The Class A girls final between Greensburg Central Catholic (18-0) and Southern Columbia is set for 11 a.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.

The Class A boys soccer championship between Greensburg Central Catholic (17-1) and Faith Christian follows at 1:30 p.m.

Almost a reunion

Tulpehocken, a District 3 school just outside of Reading, made the boys PIAA semifinals but lost to Faith Christian, 1-0, in overtime.

GCC girls coach Olivia (Webber) Kruger is a Tulpehocken alum, having played goalkeeper there until 2011. The former four-sport athlete was hoping to see her alma mater play the GCC boys.

While that would have been a sort of reunion for Kruger, GCC boys coach Tyler Solis gets the homecoming he longed for with a return to Hersheypark Stadium.

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.

Covid concerns?

GCC was to take two buses to Hershey and planned to stay overnight Thursday, play the games Friday, then drive back to Westmoreland County.

The teams did not have reservations over covid-19, and the trip east was never in question.

“We are concerned,” GCC athletic director Dan Mahoney said. “But our coaches have been doing a great job with the covid protocol that has been in place since we returned to play.”

GCC has not had any issues or stoppages because of the virus during fall sports season.

Mahoney said there has been no indication players will have to wear masks during play Friday.

Practice makes perfect

Both of GCC’s teams planned to practice Thursday at In The Net sports complex in Palmyra, about nine miles from Hersheypark Stadium.

The facility has been part of a tradition for the GCC girls in previous trips to the state finals.

Solis used to train there when he played club soccer.

Mellow yellow

Many wondered why Solis received a yellow card in Tuesday night’s semifinal win over Brockway.

It wasn’t over anger toward an official, the likely culprit of most coach cards.

Solis said the call was rather odd. He was carded because one of his players did not have the proper uniform equipment.

Sophomore Kyler Miller’s shin guard fell out, and he was whistled for a foul because of it after he won a 50/50 ball.

Solis told his trainer to tape the guard, so she did. It was white tape over black socks, which caught the official’s attention and made him flag Solis.

“There went my squeaky clean record,” Solis said with a smile.

Solis had not been yellow-carded since his first season at GCC, in 2016.

“I wasn’t happy with a call (then),” Solis said. “I was young and full of emotion. This time was a lot different — and confusing.”

Here comes the sun

It’s late November but don’t expect snowy weather in Hershey Friday. Quite the contrary, in fact, according to the forecast.

It is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 65 degrees. In Tuesday’s semifinals, GCC played in light snow and mid-30-degree temperatures at Norwin.

On the tube

PCN will air live all eight PIAA championship games on Friday and Saturday. The games can be seen on the cable channel or via a live stream online.

The WPIAL has a team playing in all eight finals.

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


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