New coach takes over successful Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer program

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020 | 6:34 PM


Olivia Kruger is new to the Pittsburgh area, but she knows a lot about Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer.

Even from halfway across the state, in Chambersburg, Kruger followed the program’s dominance in the WPIAL and PIAA.

It was hard not to notice the Centurions come postseason time.

“I knew that they were a very successful single-A school district and had some very talented players,” she said. “(Those type of players) are going to be key aspects for our success.”

Eyeing GCC from afar turned out to be research for Kruger.

She inherited much of the talent that helped GCC to a WPIAL runner-up finish and the PIAA semifinals last season. She is the new head coach of the Centurions, replacing Ashley Davis, who resigned after three seasons.

“I respect the history of where GCC has been, and we are looking to build something that will continue to be successful,” Kruger said. “I am looking to be able to build on the structure that GCC provides its student-athletes with the tools to be able to succeed.”

Kruger, whose husband Zak is the head women’s soccer coach at Seton Hill, began the year coaching the Pittsburgh Hotspurs club program. She most recently served as an assistant at Wilson College in Chambersburg.

The 27-year-old is a caseworker for Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families.

She played at Tulpehocken High School, a single-A school just outside of Reading, and at Milllersville, near Lancaster.

Since 2005, GCC has won six WPIAL titles with four runner-up finishes, two PIAA titles, three PIAA runner-up finishes and six state semifinal trips.

Davis won a WPIAL title in her first season in 2017. Bri Guy was the interim coach last season until Davis returned from maternity leave. Guy no longer is on staff at GCC.

“I’m looking to bring a fresh perspective,” Olivia Kruger said. “I just recently got done playing within the PSAC. I hope to be able to pass on perspective and opportunities for my players to better themselves as athletes and as people, while also being able to help my players with being able to possibly move on to the next level and play in college.”

GCC had a long-standing rivalry with Shady Side Academy, but Kruger will be unable to see the heated matchup up close. Shady Side Academy moved up to Class 2A.

The new-look Section 1-A is home base for Apollo-Ridge, GCC, Jeannette, Ligonier Valley, Riverview, Serra Catholic, Springdale and St. Joseph.

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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