Greensburg CC soccer teams land No. 1 seeds in WPIAL playoffs; Norwin boys, Latrobe girls have a bye

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 7:14 PM


Greensburg Central Catholic’s soccer teams seemed to follow each other around last fall during the WPIAL postseason, figuratively and physically.

The boys and girls teams won WPIAL Class A championships and reached the PIAA finals, finishing runners-up in Hershey.

The Centurions shared Norwin as a home field throughout the playoffs, going a combined 8-0 there.

They could be on pace to have parallel runs again as the WPIAL playoffs are set to open this weekend.

GCC again is the favorite in both brackets as both teams landed No. 1 seeds Wednesday.

The boys (12-2), two-time defending champions, are on top of the bracket and will host No. 16 Chartiers-Houston (6-11-1) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mt. Pleasant. They were seeded first despite a 13-1 setback to Quaker Valley earlier this week.

“The challenges are really playing at a consistent level, knowing every team is going to want to be the team that knocks off the two-time defending champion,” GCC first-year boys coach Rob Fabean said. “We have had the mindset from the first game. We treat every game as if it’s the WPIAL final.”

The GCC girls (12-1) will play 16-seed Eden Christian (4-7-2) at noon Saturday at Franklin Regional.

“We are excited and looking forward to another year of playoffs,” GCC girls coach Olivia Kruger said. “We will approach each game (the same). We just need to play the way that we know how and go into each game never underestimating anyone.”

The Southmoreland girls drew a No. 2 seed in Class 2A. The Scotties (12-1-2), fresh off back-to-back section titles, will host No. 15 West Mifflin (4-12-2) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“We appreciate the respect the committee showed us,” Scotties coach Josh Pajak said. “But we weren’t focused on the seeding. We were excited all day to find out who we were playing so we can begin to prepare.”

The Norwin boys and Latrobe girls each were awarded a No. 3 seed in 4A and both received a first-round bye.

Norwin (14-1-1) takes a 14-game unbeaten streak into the playoffs. The Knights won’t play until Oct. 30.

Coach Scott Schuchert thinks this team has the potential to make a serious run.

“There is a sense of calmness here,” Schuchert said. “There is a confidence that the seedings really don’t matter.”

Latrobe (13-0-1) just won its first section title since 1992. The team has only made the playoffs a handful of times since 2000, and school officials believe the team never has won a playoff game.

Nine Westmoreland teams have their boys and girls teams in the postseason. One is Franklin Regional.

A No. 3 seed also went to the Franklin Regional girls (12-3-1), another local section champion. The Panthers will host No. 14 West Allegheny (6-8-2) 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 3A first round.

The Franklin Regional boys (13-3) also are a third seed in 3A and will host a doubleheader Saturday. The Panthers will play No. 14 Trinity (10-5-2) at 2 p.m., after the GCC girls play Eden Christian.

Southmoreland could see section opponent Mt. Pleasant (12-5) in the quarterfinals. Mt. Pleasant, the No. 7 seed in 2A, welcomes Beaver Area (8-4) at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Another girls rematch could happen in 4A if No. 5 Norwin (11-4) and No. 13 Penn-Trafford (6-10) advance. Norwin hosts No. 12 North Hills (6-11), while Penn-Trafford visits No. 4 Seneca Valley (12-3-2). Both games are 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The Jeannette boys are in the playoffs for the first time, while Yough has not appeared in the postseason since 2016. The Jayhawks (10-5) will play No. 2 Winchester Thurston (15-0-1) in the Class A first round 8 p.m. Tuesday at Shady Side Academy.

Higher-seeded teams will play at home — or close to home — in the first round and quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played at neutral sites.

The WPIAL finals are scheduled for Nov. 4-6 at Highmark Stadium in Station Square.

The WPIAL is ready to adjust its finals schedule if the Pittsburgh Riverhounds get a home playoff game Nov. 6.

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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