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High School Sports

GCC too much for Seton-La Salle

| Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006

The good news for the Seton-La Salle girls soccer team is its season isn't over, despite a loss in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals.

The Rebels were caught flat-footed in the opening minutes Monday night and trailed by three goals in a 4-1 loss to top-ranked and defending Class AA champion Greensburg Central Catholic at Elizabeth Forward.

"We've got players who aren't accustomed to the playoffs and this type of atmosphere, and they just kind of caught us off-guard," Seton-La Salle coach Brooke Mangis said.

Both teams will be joined in the PIAA playoffs by No. 4 South Park and Freeport as WPIAL Class AA representatives. South Park, which defeated Freeport, 5-1, at Shaler in the other semifinals game last night, will face Greensburg Central Catholic in the Class AA championship game at 10 a.m. Saturday at Elizabeth Forward.

Greensburg Central Catholic (19-1-1) posted its 13th consecutive victory and ended a 13-game winning streak by Seton-La Salle (16-4-0).

"We jumped on them early and that gave us a lot of confidence," Greensburg Central Catholic coach Jim Hampton said.

Greensburg Central Catholic again was playing without junior forward Nicole Petrillo, its all-time leading scorer, who has missed the playoffs with mononucleosis.

It didn't matter.

"The first 20 minutes was the best we've played all season," Hampton said. "But I'm not surprised. We're the defending champs, and we're more than just one girl. That's how you win games -- as a team."

Fans barely were in their seats before Greensburg Central Catholic struck with a pair of goals. Freshman Darla Sebbens gave the Centurions a 1-0 lead with at 36:55 and Liz Robinson made it 2-0 at 35:42.

Robinson, the school's second all-time leading scorer who is headed to Duquesne University, sat out the second half with a strained groin.

"For any player, it's really tough to come out," she said. "But I had no doubt, no doubt at all about our ability to win this game. Our defense is just so solid."

Another freshman, Samantha Crouse, buried a shot into the net past Seton-La Salle goalkeeper Christina Blasi at 25:40 to increase the Greensburg Central Catholic lead to 3-0.

Seton-La Salle finally broke through at 4:51 with its only goal, by Danielle Joseph.

It was the first goal allowed by Greensburg Central Catholic and goalkeeper Emily Myers in its past five games and the first in a WPIAL playoff game against the Centurions since a 2-1 loss to Shady Side Academy on Oct. 30, 2004, a span of seven games.

Greensburg Central Catholic registered the only goal of the second half, when Rachel Sebbens, the older sister of Darla Sebbens, scored at 14:17.

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