Greensburg Central Catholic boys soccer too much for Jeannette

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | 9:44 PM

A confident expression turned to one of wounded surprise as Jeannette watched Greensburg Central Catholic fire goal after goal into the back of the net.

After a while, the surprise wore off and reality set in.

As injuries mounted and a thin bench emptied to nothing, the Jayhawks realized what they were up against facing the WPIAL’s top-ranked Class A team.

“We’ll never be able to compete with a team of that caliber,” Jeannette coach Art Cicero said. “No matter how hard we try, we can’t match the depth they have.”

Jeannette’s best start in program history was met with serious resistance Tuesday night in rain-drenched Carbon as the top-ranked Centurions overwhelmed the Jayhawks, 11-2, in a Section 2-A boys soccer game.

“If we have the depth they have, maybe we hang with them,” Cicero said. “But it’s obvious we don’t have the numbers. We only had 11 players. That put a dent in our plans. Our guys played really hard, and I am pleased with that.”

Its first loss puts Jeannette at 4-1 overall and 2-1 in section.

GCC, long removed from a 4-3 loss to Eden Christian in the season opener, moved to 5-1 and 4-0.

“Jeannette (junior) goalkeeper (Mitchell Steele) is pretty good. He’s one of the top keepers in the section,” GCC first-year coach Rob Fabian said. “And we knew (sophomore Jordan Taylor) and a couple of other guys could give us problems. So we tried to neutralize (Taylor) from the start. We did a decent job of that.”

Senior Mason Fabean had a hat trick and two assists, and junior Carlo Denis scored twice for GCC, which was the beneficiary of two own goals by Jeannette.

Shane Mickens scored both goals for the Jayhawks, who have proven they are far from a one-man show — Taylor the man in question. Jeannette was coming off an impressive 3-2 win over Serra Catholic that saw sophomore Jared Vincent score with 0.1 seconds left.

Sophomore Austin Emery assisted both goals Tuesday.

Steele injured his left foot in the first half Tuesday but stayed in the game despite being in obvious discomfort. GCC attacked the net knowing he was vulnerable.

A scoreless game for about 15 minutes, GCC opened the scoring on a goal from sophomore Ben Duong. Denis and senior Ryan Reitler followed, and it was suddenly 5-0 by halftime.

Mickens touched in a corner kick in the 42nd minute, but GCC added three more scores in a three-minute stretch, two from Fabian and another by junior Kyler Miller.

Fabian’s first goal came on a penalty kick.

“Once we got that first goal, we were off and running,” Rob Fabian said. “In the second half, we outworked them in the midfield when we went to a 3-6-1 (formation).”

GCC played two keepers in freshman Isaac House and sophomore Michael Oldenburg, the latter making a few tough saves with Jeannette’s starters still very much on the attack and his team’s junior varsity players in the game.

Would-be starting keeper Max House is out until November with a knee injury he suffered in cup season.

“They’re getting better each game,” Fabian said of his young goalies.

Denis pumped in his second score, and Fabian followed with his third — 12th of the season — to make it 10-1.

Junior Tyler Neffield completed the scoring for GCC before Mickens found the net again with about seven minutes to go.

Jeannette played the final minute-plus with 10 players because of another injury.

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

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