Greensburg CC beats Shady Side Academy to reach title game
Once again for the Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer team, the combination of standouts Frannie Crouse and Malea Fabean proved to be the difference.
Crouse scored three goals, and Fabean added two assists as the top-seeded Centurions earned a chance to defend their WPIAL Class A title after a 3-1 semifinal victory over Shady Side Academy on Tuesday night.
The win was the 18th in a row for Greensburg Central after a season-opening loss to Fox Chapel. The Centurions meet No. 2 Sewickley Academy in the title game Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Meanwhile, Shady Side (14-5) will meet Mohawk in a consolation game Saturday to determine the third PIAA qualifier.
With the score knotted a 1-all at Hampton's Fridley Field, Fabean nearly went out of bounds to the right of goal but managed to set up Crouse with the go-ahead goal with 29:36 left in the match.
“That was really important,” Centurions coach Ashley Shasko said. “They're a tough team, and it was a tough game.”
Crouse scored an insurance goal with 14:43 to go.
After Shady Side's Maggie Scott received a yellow card near midfield, Crouse corralled Sabean's free kick and scored her 42nd goal of the season just under the crossbar.
Following regular-season losses of 4-1 and 5-0 to Greensburg Central during Section 4-A play, the Indians came out strong in the first 10 minutes. With just 90 seconds gone, Calsey Holshue's shot from point-blank range was stopped by Centurions goalkeeper Olivia Binda. Later, Binda stopped Zoe Schoen's rising shot.
“They have some outstanding players and I thought we were compact and organized and moved the ball well,” Indians coach James Meara said.
Crouse broke through with 9:10 left in the first half. After taking a pass from Sarah Ward, she got past two Shady Side defenders and fired a shot to the left of Indians goalkeeper Olivia Cochran.
A little more than four minutes later, Scott tied it up on a shot from the middle of the attacking area.
George Guido is a freelance writer.