Mt. Pleasant, Latrobe girls soccer enter territory very familiar to Greensburg CC: PIAAs

By:
Sunday, November 6, 2022 | 6:58 PM


For one local girls soccer team, the PIAA playoffs are old hat.

For two others, the experience is new.

Perennial state qualifier Greensburg Central Catholic (Class A) will join newcomers Mt. Pleasant (2A) and Latrobe (3A) in the PIAA playoffs beginning Tuesday with first-round games.

All three teams will be on the road.

GCC (13-5) won the WPIAL third-place game to get into the state tournament for the 11th time in 12 years.

The Centurions have made the state finals two years in a row but have not won a title since 2013.

A 7-0 win over Waynesburg took some of the sting out of a 4-3 overtime loss to Freedom in the WPIAL semifinals.

“It was good to get back to winning,” GCC sophomore Riley Kerr said. “The loss to Freedom really took the wind out of us. I think when Freedom got their early lead we lost our composure and struggled to get it back. We did not really get back to playing soccer with the ball on the ground and that played into Freedom’s hands.”

GCC will open the tournament at District 5 champion Windber (19-0) at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

“If we stick to our game, I think we can hang with anyone,” Kerr said. “We all need to work as a team and play to our strengths, and I think we will be able to go far into the tournament.”

Mt. Pleasant played for a WPIAL 2A championship Saturday at Highmark Stadium but fell to Avonworth, 2-1.

Now, the upstart Lady Vikings (19-2) will play Bedford (16-3), the District 6 winner, in the state first round. The teams will meet 6 p.m. Tuesday at Richland High School in Johnstown.

“We’re not done,” Lady Vikings coach Rich Garland told his team in a postgame huddle after Saturday’s final.

Garland didn’t want his girls to reflect too much on the loss.

“We can’t dwell on it,” he said. “We have to have a short memory. Our focus has to be the next game.”

Like Latrobe, a youth-filled Mt. Pleasant team could be building a special run in the WPIAL.

“Mt. Pleasant is a very good team,” Avonworth coach J.C. Mahan said. “Everyone can play. And they’re young like us. Who knows? Maybe it will be the two of us (in the finals) again next year.”

Latrobe also will reset after playing two grueling games in three days.

After a 4-1 loss to Mars in the WPIAL semifinals, the Wildcats (12-4-2) fell to Plum for the second time this season, 2-1, in the third-place game.

A matchup with WPIAL champion Moon (20-0) awaits. Latrobe will visit Moon 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s time to get a few days off and let our bodies and minds recover,” Latrobe coach Jamie Morrison said. “We wanted to win (the Plum game), but our girls played hard. Placing in the top four, I’m extremely proud of them.”

Latrobe junior midfielder Ella Bulava knows the state bracket will present new challenges for the Wildcats, who had never won a playoff game of any kind before this season.

“It’s been such a great ride,” Bulava said. “It feels great to be part of it. We can (make a run), but we have to play our game and push together. As we get into the state tournament, teams are going to be hard to break down. We learned a lesson (against Plum).”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

Tags: , ,

More High School Soccer Girls

Girls soccer team’s WPIAL title run highlights year in Fox Chapel sports
Freeport’s Camryn Woods values experience with U.S. ODP national team
Upper St. Clair’s Sierra Dupre called up to U.S. national team for international soccer tournament
New coach brings energy, ‘tough love’ to Norwin girls soccer program
Norwin girls soccer coach steps down