Westmoreland County soccer notes: GCC preps for WPIAL semifinal without top scorer

Monday, November 1, 2021 | 5:35 PM

Greensburg Central Catholic will be a man down when it takes on Eden Christian on Tuesday night in the WPIAL Class A semifinals.

A key man.

How the Centurions respond to playing without senior midfielder Mason Fabean could determine if they get to play for a third straight championship.

Fabean, a Division I prospect who leads the team with 27 goals, received a red card in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Springdale with about three minutes remaining in the quarterfinal.

By PIAA rule, he was to serve a one-game suspension.

GCC (14-3) believes it has plenty of depth to compensate, but Fabean will leave a void no matter how the team looks at the situation.

Eden Christian beat GCC early in the season, 4-3.

“Everyone can score and our whole team works great together,” junior Kyler Miller said. “Everyone steps up in big games. It’s our whole team. In both games we had shutouts. Our defense is stepping up — our midfield, our offense, everyone.

“We’re going to need everyone to step up but even more. It’s going to be hard, but we can do it. It was an unlucky game (in the first meeting). We can beat them.”

With Fabean out, the Centurions will have to do some shuffling around in the lineup.

Freshman Jackson Vacanti will likely move back to the midfield with junior Jake Gretz, coach Rob Fabean said.

Junior standout Carlo Denis could move from the wing to the midfield to create chances.

“We’ll figure out where we’re going to play Carlo at,” Rob Fabean said. “It’s just a shame that Mason won’t be able to play.”

Rob Fabean said a formation change was necessary after the loss to Eden Christian. Once that happened, the Centurions rolled through section play on the way to earning the No. 1 seed.

“It’s going to be a hard spot to fill, but we’ll make the adjustments and we’ll win the games,” Fabian said. “We have enough good players. We aren’t a team that’s going to rely on one or two players. We’re going to beat you many different ways. We’ll just have to have people step up.”

Another rematch

Southmoreland girls soccer coach Josh Pajak said he was anxious to start breaking down film of Avonworth, the team the Scotties will play Tuesday in the WPIAL semifinals.

Second-seeded Southmoreland (14-1-2), seeking its first trip to the final four, lost to Avonworth in last year’s quarterfinals, 3-2.

Pajak has talked all season about Avonworth (14-3-1) being a dangerous team and a title contender in Class 2A.

“They are talented; I think everyone knew they were a top team,” Pajak said. “We are looking forward to the rematch.

“I think our girls are motivated by the game last year. At the same time, they respect Avonworth as a top team and are excited to play again. I look forward to seeing them play (on film) and putting the game plan together.”

Southmoreland learned over the weekend that standout juniors Olivia Cernuto and Kendall Fabery are All-WPIAL players.


Fourteen WPIAL players were announced Friday as Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association all-state selections.

The picks include Franklin Regional senior Anthony DiFalco, Seneca Valley senior Nathan Prex and junior Beaux Lizewski, Butler senior Landon Mohney, Peters Township senior Andrew Massucci, Charleroi senior Eden McIntyre, senior Sam Farner of Shady Side Academy, senior Luke Kolankowski of Plum, North Allegheny senior Evan Anderson, senior Rowan Kriebel of Quaker Valley, Norwin senior Caleb Yuricha, senior Preston Cecotti of South Park, senior Kalala Iraqi of Brashear and senior AJ Getsy of Thomas Jefferson.

DiFalco has made the list three times, while Mohney, Massucci, McIntyre and Farner are two-time selections.

DiFalco, who had 30 goals and 25 assists this season going into Monday’s semifinal, led Franklin Regional to the WPIAL 3A semis for the fourth straight season.

McIntyre, who had a WPIAL-best 70 goals this year and 168 for his career, helped the Cougars reach the 2A semifinals. He recently committed to Pitt.

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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