GCC girls soccer team overpowers Springdale
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Springdale and Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer teams have shared joy and agony over the last three seasons on the 10 occasions the section rivals have met.
But for all of the nail-biting section and playoff encounters the two sides enjoyed and suffered through in their recent rivalry, Wednesday night's WPIAL Class A quarterfinal matchup was the most lopsided.
Behind a four-goal effort from prolific junior forward Frannie Crouse, the top-seeded Centurions defeated No. 9 Springdale, 7-0, at Gateway.
The seven-goal margin of victory was the highest achieved by either side since the teams joined Section 4-A in 2010. The previous high was two. GCC (17-1) has won 17 straight since its season-opening defeat at Fox Chapel.
“They're a great team, and they're well-coached. We have the utmost respect for them. They always bring us a great game, and we get better every time we play them,” GCC coach Ashley Shasko said. “But, you know, we brought it to this game. We were mentally prepared.
The Dynamos (9-11) came out in a resolute defensive formation and sat its midfield deep to support its back line.
Though the underdogs capably absorbed pressure during the opening moments, a snap-header off of a corner kick from Centurions junior forward Malea Fabean found the back of the net. The first of her two goals gave GCC a 1-0 lead near the 10-minute mark.
“We have an attacking mentality, and that's the way we want to play all our games,” Shasko said. “We want to be on the attack, and we did that.”
Springdale had a chance to tie the score a few minutes later when a scramble in front of the GCC goal gave freshman forward Casey Hughes a sight of the goal, but her shot went just wide.
“It was a big moment, but you know, credit to Casey, it was a tough ball to finish,” Springdale coach Jerry Concannon said. “She's moving sideways; the ball's going sideways. She tried to come around it and get it, but it couldn't quite get it.”
Less than a minute later, Crouse worked her way into the Springdale box, cut inside and fired a low, sure shot past freshman goalkeeper Stephanie Manning to extend GCC's lead to 2-0.
Down, 3-0, at the half, Springdale threw an extra forward into the attack. But possession was difficult to come by, and after a handful of solid saves from Manning, the Dynamos were eventually overwhelmed.
While Fabean and sophomore forward Italia Biondi also stood out, Crouse, a Penn State recruit who has played for the U.S. U-17 women's national team, appeared to perform at another level.
Beyond her ability to strike the ball cleanly and with intent, her off-the-ball movements and short, efficient passing helped give the GCC attack an impressive fluidity.
“I just try to be a team player and take on what I need to take on for the team,” said Crouse, who has scored more than 40 goals this season. “I try to be unselfish.”
Despite finishing with a losing record thanks in part to a brutal nonsection schedule, Concannon looked at Springdale's season as a success.
“From a program standpoint, it was a perfectly good season,” Concannon said. “Our program is solid. And over time, I'll be able to look back at this season and say it was one of the reasons why we were successful in the future.”
Stephen Catanese is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Defending section champ Ringgold returns just three starters in boy’s soccer
- Experienced Sewickley Academy boys have lofty goals
- BVA girls poised for another big year
- Fox Chapel girls soccer returns 10 successful starters
- Senior leaders take reins for Quaker Valley girls soccer
- Sewickley Academy girls chasing return to postseason