Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer wins WPIAL championship

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Thursday, November 5, 2020 | 8:49 PM


Greensburg Central Catholic’s girls soccer team has had a relatively easy path through the season.

The high-scoring Centurions averaged nearly eight goals per game, but Thursday in the WPIAL Class A championship game against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, three was enough.

Senior Samantha Felder scored two goals, including the winner with 14 minutes, 4 seconds left, and junior Tatum Gretz added one, including a go-ahead goal with 17:06 left, to lift No. 1 Greensburg Central Catholic to a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Gateway.

It was the seventh WPIAL title, first since 2017, and sixth since 2011, for the Centurions (16-0).

The victory advances the Centurions into the PIAA playoffs, which begins Nov. 14 for them when they battle the winner of game between the District 5 champ Fannett-Metal and District 6 champion West Branch, which will be played Nov. 10.

“I wanted this more than anything for these girls. Every hard game, hard moment and every moment we put into this was worth it,” GCC first-year coach Olivia Kruger said. “To have this opportunity to play this and win it is incredible.”

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, which had only allowed three goals in one game this season, slowed down Greensburg Central Catholic’s attack with a physical style.

But Felder managed to break a scoreless game when she blasted a shot from 30 yards past goalkeeper Isabella Costanzo for a 1-0 lead.

OLSH tied the score 1-1 when Alexa Taylor’s free kick was settled down in front of the net, and sophomore Evie Minzer slipped it past GCC goalkeeper Lyndsey Szekely.

“I felt this was going to be a battle,” Kruger said. “I knew they’d come out hard and fast and would be ready to play. They tested us. When we are able to play our game and allow ourselves to get in our heads, it really makes a big difference.”

The score remained tied until 17:06 left when Gretz got free. As she approached Costanzo, she waited for the keeper to make a move and she slipped the ball past her and then nailed the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

“I knew she was coming out so I knew I had to get the ball past her and finish it,” Gretz said.

OLSH coach Paige Petroval said Costanzo’s aggressive play didn’t bother her.

“She’s been aggressive all season,” Petroval said. “I support the confidence she has. I trust her instinct, and it was just an unlucky call. Lucky for them.”

Felder, who got frustrated at times with the physical play, added her second goal of the game to make it 3-1 with 14:04 left

“They’re a good team,” Felder said. “It was hard going forward. They were a good defending team.”

OLSH (12-3) didn’t go quietly as Taylor blasted a free kick from 40 yards past Szekely with 13:11 left to make it 3-2.

That sent up an exciting finish, but GCC wouldn’t allow OLSH to set an attack.

GCC continued to attack and play keep-away, working down the clock.

“I thought everyone played such a great game together,” Petroval said. “They really worked hard, and no one expected us to be here. So for us to come out and do as well as we did, we showed who OLSH is and it was great.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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