Greensburg Central Catholic gets revenge on Avonworth in boys soccer playoffs

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 8:51 PM


Itching to play Avonworth again for the better part of a year, Greensburg Central Catholic got its shot at redemption in the boys soccer playoffs Wednesday night.

The second-seeded Centurions embraced the challenge and made amends, scoring three unanswered goals to post a 3-1 victory over No. 7 Avonworth in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals at Fox Chapel.

GCC (13-3-1) advances to play No. 6 Springdale (15-3) in Saturday’s semifinals at a time and site to be determined. Springdale sneaked past No. 14 Bishop Canevin, 2-1, in overtime.

GCC dictated the tempo from the start, going on the offensive with a steady stream of shots to counter some early physical play by Avonworth (15-4). The Antelopes defeated GCC in the WPIAL title game and PIAA semiifinals last year to doubly deny the Centurions.

Revenge was sweet as two second-half goals allowed GCC some breathing room after a relatively close first half (1-1).

“Last year we came so close and worked so hard,” GCC coach Tyler Solis said. “The guys this year, especially the seniors, knew what this game meant. We wanted to make sure we’re taking games one at a time. We had a little quote today, ‘A thousand-step journey begins with a single step.’ We wanted to put our best foot forward tonight and show them how much we can play as a team.”

Mason Fabean gave GCC a 2-1 advantage just after halftime when he delivered a lunging, sliding shot — somehow managing to get it on net — to beat Antelopes keeper Will Lucas.

“We were fired up and ready to go,” Fabean said. “Knowing we were down 1-0 and came back and scored three, it’s great. It’s a reliever.”

Fabean said he knew his shot had a chance.

“I tapped it then touched it by a kid, then volleyed it back corner,” Fabean said. “I think all my shots have somewhat of a chance.”

Fabean has 18 goals this season.

An insurance score came with 27 minutes, 45 seconds to play when Nate Ward, looking for his second score of the night, took an angled shot in close. The ball bounced off an Avonworth player and came to freshman Carlo Denis, who struck back the rebound to extend it to 3-1.

“When we started going, you could see our team was very organized,” Solis said. “I don’t think (Avonworth) sniffed the goal really in the second half. That’s a credit to the boys in the back. Hopefully next game we can get that shutout. That’s our goal.”

GCC controlled most of the play in the first half, outshooting the Antelopes, 17-5. Still, it was a 1-1 draw at the break.

GCC defender Patrick Brewer, the former goalkeeper, fell backwards onto an Avonworth shooter and was called for a foul in the box at the 15:12 mark. Tyler Bryan took the penalty kick and converted low and left past goalkeeper Max House to give the Antelopes a 1-0 lead.

Still firing away on the attack, GCC tied it with 8:15 to play in the half on a score by Ward, who handled a deflection just inside the 10-yard line and stung it low past Will Lucas to tie it.

“I told our assistant, ‘Man, I hate this halftime is coming,’” Solis said. “You could tell we had the tempo. When we scored in the second half, you could see the boys weren’t going to let it go.”

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

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