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Postseason honors roll in for GCC lacrosse

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

The Greensburg Central Catholic boys lacrosse team advanced to the WPIAL Division II semifinals this season, despite essentially only using 13 players in its rotation.

But as the postseason honor roll was announced, it turned out that five of those 13 were named as WPIAL Division II all-section players.

Seniors Brady Wargofchik (attack) and Michael Dowling (defense), along with juniors Nick Benjamin (defense) and Albert Blevins (long stick midfielder), joined sophomore midfielder Barrett Naugle on the elite list.

While coach Mike Evans' team may have only played with three substitutions, his group of five all-section players helped lead the team to a 7-7 record (5-0 in WPIAL Division II Section 1) and nearly an appearance in the Division II title game.

“This was the youngest and smallest team I've ever had in 10 years, and for us to make the WPIAL semifinals and only lose by one shows just how much improvement these guys made, how hard they worked and really how tough they were,” Evans said.

Offensively, the Centurions were led by Wargofchik and Naugle. Evans cited that Naugle essentially never came off the field all season, while Wargofchik was able to put the ball in the net at an elite pace.

For Wargofchik, who scored 45 goals this season, the all-section honor meant a lot.

“It's a pretty big accomplishment,” said Wargofchik, who is heading to Bucknell in the fall to study management. “It feels good to know that all your hard work in practice and everything paid off. I couldn't have done it without my teammates certainly, so I like to consider it more of a team award than an individual award.”

“The two seniors showed great leadership, and Brady had one of the most outstanding years ever for a GCC player in terms of goal production,” Evans added.

On the other side of the ball, the Centurions featured a stout back line anchored by Dowling, Benjamin and Blevins.

Dowling was converted to defense due to his physical traits and skill set. He also took the majority of the faceoffs for Greensburg Central Catholic.

Benjamin and Blevins were typically given the task of being relied on to create turnovers and stop the opposing team's elite player, respectively.

“Nick Benjamin was probably our best stick-handling defenseman, and he was our takeaway guy. When we wanted the ball on the ground, we put Nick on the guy,” Evans said. “Albert, as a junior, was one of our best athletes, and he was our shutdown guy. We usually put him on the other team's best player and told him ‘Don't let that kid touch the ball.' ”

Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.

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