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Record misleading for Greensburg Central Catholic boys lacrosse

Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review - Greensburg Central Catholic coach Mike Evans talks with players during a lacrosse match held at Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review</em></div>Greensburg Central Catholic coach Mike Evans talks with players during a lacrosse match held at Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review - Greensburg Central Catholic's Willis Croker (27) slips through a body check from Latrobe's Shawn Kissell (26) on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review</em></div>Greensburg Central Catholic's Willis Croker (27) slips through a body check from Latrobe's Shawn Kissell (26) on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review - Greensburg Central Catholic's Adam Tucker (34) and Latrobe's Isaiah Jones (54), fight for a lose ball during a lacrosse match held at Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review</em></div>Greensburg Central Catholic's Adam Tucker (34) and Latrobe's Isaiah Jones (54), fight for a lose ball during a lacrosse match held at Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review - Latrobe's Isaiah Jones (54) applies a body check to Greensburg Central Catholic's Willis Croker (27) during a lacrosse match held at Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rebecca Emanuele | for the Tribune Review</em></div>Latrobe's Isaiah Jones (54) applies a body check to Greensburg Central Catholic's Willis Croker (27) during a lacrosse match held at Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.

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Numbers can be deceiving.

At first glance, the Greensburg Central Catholic boys lacrosse team has had a down season, but that's a matter of perspective.

Over the last five seasons, GCC has been among the class of WPIAL Division II with a record of 61-30 in that span.

Although a loss Saturday to Division I Shady Side Academy (8-3) left GCC at just 5-5 with four games to play, the Centurions are still strong playoff contenders.

As of Tuesday, GCC was 2-1 in WPIAL Division II, Section 1 play, trailing only Indiana (3-0) for the section lead.

While the overall record is not as glamorous as years past, it's a bit misleading.

“I always like to start the season off with tough competition,” coach Mike Evans said. “We like to gear up, play a tough Division I team early in the year just as a barometer of how our team will look.”

Removing games against Division I and independent opponents, the Centurions' 4-2 record looks much better, with losses against Quaker Valley (11-0) — the top-ranked team in the WPIAL, according to laxpower.com — and Indiana.

The offense has managed just 5.6 goals per game this season, and the defense has allowed, 7.9. But against Division II opponents, the goal total increases to 6.5 per game, compared to 6.7 goals allowed, a more workable ratio.

Despite the fluctuating numbers, the defense — led by seniors Nick Benjamin and Albert Blevins — has kept his team in games this season, Evans said. Meanwhile the offense is still learning to possess and clear the ball more effectively.

“It's a combination of passing and catching more consistently and moving at a faster pace,” Evans said. “We need to move at a higher tempo and with pressure on us.”

This year's squad looks a lot different from the past few years. Numbers are down across the roster, with just four seniors and an especially young offense led by juniors Barrett Naugle (20 goals, 10 assists) and Willis Croker (12 goals, 10 assists) and sophomore Brad Caric (six goals, four assists).

But just like in plenty of other areas with this team, numbers aren't always an accurate depiction of performance.

“When you're a senior you bring some experience, some maturity and some game sense,” Evans said. “Our seniors have done a very nice job.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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