Greensburg Central's Fabean, Crouse look to end careers with another title
They've been two of the WPIAL's best girls soccer players over the past three years.
They've combined forces to win two WPIAL Class A championships and one PIAA title and been on Greensburg Central Catholic teams that have gone 45-2-0 over the past two seasons.
Each will play at a Division I college.
What can Frannie Crouse and Malea Fabean do for their final season playing together for the Centurions?
“Definitely to aspire to follow what we did last year,” said Crouse, referring to the WPIAL and PIAA championships that GCC won. “End our four years with another state title. That's the ultimate goal.”
Few are counting out Crouse, Fabean and the rest of the Greensburg Central Catholic players' chances of doing just that.
In addition to forwards Crouse and Fabean, the Centurions welcome back the vast majority of their team that finished last season riding a 23-game winning streak. Only two seniors who saw significant action graduated.
“It's really special, being my last year, I really want to win a state title again like we did last year,” Fabean said. “I'm going to have fun, but I'm going to take it seriously because it's worthwhile. I'm graduating in January, so it's my only thing left of high school to do.”
Not long after the soccer season ends in November, Fabean plans to enroll at Pitt. Crouse will play next season at Penn State.
Those two share the Greensburg Central Catholic captaincy as seniors and also play for the Beadling Soccer Club — although they play on different age group teams in club soccer.
“They take a lot of accountability, and they push themselves,” Centurions coach Ashley Shasko said. “And they set a great example for everyone else to follow in practice, so I hope that the legacy those two will leave continues to carry through this season because the level of intensity they bring is seen by everybody. It brings everyone up and makes everyone better.”
That will help with a team that, although it has the majority of its starters returning also will have an impact made by an incoming freshman class.
Junior forward Megan Shearson and senior defender Deanna DeCesare serving as assistant captains.
“We have a great group of incoming freshman and a great team all-around,” Shasko said. “It'll be different from last year — it's a different team with different faces and things like that — but I really can't say enough about them as a group. The one thing we strive to teach them is, win or lose, as a team, they're all accountable.”
In recent years, accountability hasn't taken on many negative forms for Greensburg Central Catholic; things have been overwhelmingly positive. The Centurions don't have any designs on that trend reversing, but they also understand that if it doesn't, it'll be because they don't let it.
“We look at each season like it's a brand new season,” Crouse said. “What we did last year, we look at it as last year. We realize that what we did last year has put a big target on our back and made people want to play harder against us.
“That's good, though. It's nice to have someone who wants to beat you so badly they play 10 times harder against you. It makes you make sure you never take a game or a play off and are trying to match that.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.