Shady Side upsets GCC for Class A girls soccer title
Maggie Scott walked up to Shady Side Academy teammate Olivia Cochran and, without saying a word, snatched the WPIAL Class A championship trophy for girls soccer from Cochran's hands.
Seemed appropriate Saturday, given the Indians, with little warning, stunned top-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic, 4-2, at Highmark Stadium.
“We've always known they were a tough team,” Scott said of the Centurions, who were averaging 8.4 goals per game this season. “But we knew if we came out strong enough, we could beat them.”
Scott scored twice, and Zoe Schoen and Eliza Cochran added one goal apiece. But the most important thing for the Indians (18-3) was holding Greensburg Central Catholic's Fran Crouse scoreless.
Crouse, a Penn State recruit, had 16 goals in the Centurions' first three playoff games, 199 for her career.
Pitt recruit Malea Fabean scored twice for Greensburg Central Catholic (17-2), but the decision to drop Jackie Cepicka back as a fifth defender paid off.
“We knew if we could stop Frannie and Malea, we would have a good shot of winning,” said Shady Side goalkeeper Olivia Cochran, who made seven saves. “I think that's what we did today.”
And it ended a nine-game winning streak for the defending PIAA Class A champions over Shady Side Academy. Greensburg Central Catholic had won the past two WPIAL titles by routinely owning Section 4-A rival Shady Side Academy.
“You have to have your best game in the final,” Centurions coach Ashley Shasko said. “They had theirs, and we didn't have ours.”
Shady Side Academy will play District 5 winner Conemaugh Township on Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs. Greensburg Central Catholic draws District 9 champion Karns City. Both sites and times are yet to be determined.
Eliza Cochran headed a corner kick in the 10th minute and Scott went upper left with a shot in the 38th for a 2-0 halftime lead.
Fabean tied it after converting a pair of crosses from Megan Shearson early in the second half.
Schoen got the game-winner on a high, driven shot from about 22 yards in the 55th minute, and Scott finished it with her 10th goal of the playoffs and 46th this season.
Shady Side Academy was blown out during both regular-season meetings, giving up a total of 15 goals.
“I think the biggest thing was believing we could win this game,” Shady Side Academy coach Mary Lynch said.