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Top-ranked Greensburg CC girls soccer blanks Springdale

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By George Guido
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 10:54 p.m.

Two of the WPIAL's premier girls soccer programs got to experience the region's newest venue Wednesday night.

Greensburg Central Catholic and Springdale hope to return to Highmark Stadium for the WPIAL finals Nov. 1-2.

If the Section 4-A game is any indication, the top-ranked Centurions are going to be difficult to beat.

The two-time defending WPIAL Class A champions and 2012 state champs scored two goals in the first five minutes and went on to shut out Springdale, 3-0.

It didn't take long for the all-state combination of Malea Fabean and Frannie Crouse to make its presence known.

Crouse handled Megan Shearson's corner kick and passed to Fabean, who scored for a 1-0 lead 4:01 into the match.

Just 35 seconds later, Crouse got behind the Springdale defense and caromed a shot off the left post for a 2-0 lead.

Greensburg Central (2-1, 1-0) wasn't done. With 19:54 to go in the first half, Shearson found Fabean near the goal on a long pass from the right sideline to give Fabean her second goal of the night.

“It's early in the season and we're still learning,” Greensburg Central coach Ashley Shasko said. “We want to keep getting better, that's everyone's challenge.”

Solid play by Dynamos junior goalkeeper Allison Seiler prevented the Centurions from widening their lead.

Shearson's free kick went off Seiler's fingertips and over the goal. In another instance, Crouse's shot got behind Seiler, who dove and stopped the ball just short of the goal line.

Later in the half, Seiler dove to her right to deny Crouse.

“She made some great saves,” Springdale coach Jerry Concannon said. “Anytime you have a team like GCC that has a lot of firepower, you've got to hope individual players step up.”

Springdale (3-2, 2-1), gunning for its seventh straight WPIAL playoff berth, kept the Centurions in check through much of the second half.

“We changed some things up a little bit, reorganized a little bit,” Concannon said. “I think Greensburg didn't try to let up at all. My impression of the second half was that we held them at bay.”

Springdale's best chance to score came with about two minutes left when Brittany Smajda's shot was turned back by Centurions goalkeeper Olivia Binda.

Both teams were happy to play at the 3,500-seat home of the Riverhounds near Station Square on Pittsburgh's South Side.

“It's such an honor to be given this opportunity, and we're grateful for that,” Shasko said. “It was a great experience for the girls and they really enjoyed it.”

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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