Westmoreland County girls soccer notebook: Greensburg Central Catholic winning with small but mighty roster

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Greenburg Central Catholic has to take it easy in practice this season. Like Yough last year, the Centurions have a small roster. Sometimes, they barely have enough for one side.

The year started with 15 players, but GCC played with only 11 in a recent game against Serra Catholic, which meant no substitutes.

Junior Riley Kerr said it is important for the team to get an early cushion on the scoreboard for when it “runs out of gas.”

“Even with a full week off, we rarely have more than nine that can practice, due to injuries and illness,” Kerr said. “So we worked on what we could with the numbers we have. With the last two games, I think we are starting to see improvement and understanding what (first-year coach Derek Cuthbert) wants us to do.”

Checking the rankings

Greensburg Central Catholic held its ground in the latest Trib Live HSSN rankings. The Centurions are No. 3 in Class A.

Latrobe, meanwhile, stayed at No. 4 in Class 3A, and Mt. Pleasant remained the No. 2 team in 2A.

The No. 1 teams are North Allegheny (4A), Mars (3A), Avonworth (2A) and Springdale (A).

Moon loses

The big shake-up in the rankings came in 3A when No. 1 Moon was upset by South Fayette, 1-0. Moon, which was ranked No. 4 in the country, was coming off a 0-0 tie with Montour.

The Tigers saw their 47-game unbeaten streak come to an end. It was their first loss since moving from 4A to 3A two years ago.

Moon won the PIAA Class 4A championship in 2021 and took the 3A state title last year.

The loss turned heads in 3A and gave other contenders a glimmer of hope.

“They’re fallible,” Latrobe coach Jamie Campbell said. “We want to take care of our section opponents first, but we’re anxious to see what we can do against (Moon) maybe down the line.”

Morgan’s Message game

Franklin Regional took part in the Morgan’s Message program, a nationwide “ambassadors” initiative that brings attention to mental health in student athletes. The theme was part of Monday’s game against Plum.

Morgan Rodgers was a former Duke lacrosse player who died of suicide in July 2019 after struggling with the stress of an injury and the rigors of playing college sports.

Her parents, Dona and Kurt Rodgers, formed the advocacy group to help other athletes in similar circumstances know they are not alone.

First-place matchup

Southmoreland (5-2, 4-0) is off to a perfect start in Section 3-2A play, but the Scotties will face an immense test Wednesday night when they visit No. 2 Mt. Pleasant (5-2, 3-0).

What is interesting is that neither team has allowed a goal in section play. Mt. Pleasant has outscored it section opponents 38-0, and the Scotties have done so by a 22-0 margin.

Mt. Pleasant has 46 goals (6.6 per game), the most in 2A. The Vikings have five straight shutouts.

Southmoreland has four clean sheets in five games.

Bauer, Patterson nominated

Latrobe midfielder Annalyse Bauer and Jiana Patterson of Greensburg Central Catholic are planning a trip to Europe.

The sophomores were nominated for the Exact Sports “Exact 11” international team that will travel to London in March to play against top European players.

The girls, who play on the same Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy team, were selected based on their performance at the Mid-Atlantic Academic 50 ID Camp.

Exact Sports is an online training and showcase organization that helps athletes with the recruiting process.

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

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