Villanova recruit Gretz leads high-powered Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer

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Sunday, August 18, 2019 | 8:26 PM


As Bri Guy becomes more acquainted and comfortable with her new team and players, the rookie coach continues to see a skilled group that can be a title-contender if it simply stays the course.

Greensburg Central Catholic is a perennial power in WPIAL girls soccer and Guy, who is filling in for Ashley Davis while the head coach is on maternity leave, does not want to fix something that isn’t broken.

“I just want to keep what Ashley has created,” said Guy, 23, who played soccer at Woodland Hills and St. Francis (Pa.). “Hopefully, I can add some winning pieces. Two people (coaching) is always better than one.”

Guy will be an assistant when Davis returns.

GCC returns 10 starters from a team that finished 12-4 and reached the WPIAL Class A semifinals. One thing Guy knows her team has is speed. The Centurions should be track-fast.

“We want to get back to WPIALs,” said sophomore Tatum Gretz, who scored 31 goals last season and earned All-WPIAL honors. “We want to win WPIALs and states.”

This program has heard those words before.

GCC has won five WPIAL titles and a PIAA title since 2011. It has not missed the postseason since 1997 and hasn’t lost more than five games in a season since 2002.

Guy said the plan is to continue to operate out of a 4-3-4 formation.

Gretz is a speedster who already has committed to Villanova.

But she isn’t the only scoring threat.

“We have a good freshmen group, too,” Gretz said. “They should be a big help. Coach Bri is new, but everything seems the same. I think we’re better than we were last year. We’re disappointed with how last year ended.

“I want to become more of a leader. I’m not a freshman anymore.”

The other returnees are senior tri-captains Brenna Springer and Samantha Nemeth, both midfielders, and Ashley McWillliams, a defender.

Springer is an Akron commit, and Nemeth will play at IUP.

Also an All-WPIAL player, Springer had 10 goals and 20 assists last season.

“We’re stressing being a unit a lot this season, and the more we’ve been practicing together the better it is getting,” Springer said. “I hope the intensity we have continues to get better as the season progresses, along with the bond we have as a team. Coach Bri is definitely pushing us to learn how each other plays so as a team we can utilize the skill we have.”

Key juniors who return are forward Samantha Felder, midfielder Jessica Nemeth and defender Alexa Gill.

Another key sophomore is defender Bethany Winnor.

A major void left by graduation was at goalkeeper, where Bella Skatell was a four-year starter and a proven winner.

Skatell, who was part of two WPIAL title-winning teams and a runner-up, made 87 saves last season and was part of four shutouts.

Sophomore Lyndsey Szekely appears to be the replacement in net.

“It’s huge for Lyndsey to come in and play … she hasn’t been on the field,” Guy said. “She will do a solid job.”

Guy was a standout defender, so she appreciates strong defensive play. In this case, she hopes to cross-connect an already potent offensive attack with sound defense.

“I want our girls to be versatile,” Guy said. “I want them to see how important defense is and how it can help us win championships.”

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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