Conemaugh Township ends GCC's season in OT
BERLIN - The Greensburg Central Catholic and Conemaugh Township girls soccer teams battled a lot of things Tuesday night during the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs, including gusty winds, bone-chilling temperatures and snow flurries.
But it was a goal by freshman Kelsey Hostetler five minutes into the first overtime that lifted Conemaugh Township to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic at Berlin Brothersvalley High School's Snyder Sports Complex.
The loss was a difficult one to accept for the Centurions after they lost in the WPIAL playoffs.
Last year, Greensburg Central Catholic had its way with the District 5 champion, Berlin Brothersvalley. But Conemaugh Township proved to be a tougher opponent.
The winning goal came off a corner kick that was awarded to Conemaugh Township. Sophomore Alyssa Hoffman kicked the ball into the goal box where Hostetler settled the ball and put a shot off a Greensburg Central Catholic defender and into the goal.
Greensburg Central Catholic coach Jim Hampton did not dispute the officials' call for a corner kick. He said his team just didn't play well enough to win.
"We have no excuses," Hampton said. "Calls are calls. Conemaugh Township beat us. We had our chances to win it. We just didn't finish."
Greensburg Central Catholic (18-4-2) looked like it would win in regulation, when senior forward Rachel Sebbens scored with 19:48 left.
Sebbens took a back pass from senior midfielder Nicole Petrillo and drilled a shot from 25 yards with her left foot past Conemaugh Township freshman goalkeeper Emily Felton. The ball skipped into the right corner of the net.
But Conemaugh Township (23-1), the District 5 champion, refused to go quietly. It pushed the action late and tied the score when senior midfielder Jamie Gennett got behind the Greensburg Central Catholic defense and drilled a shot past senior goalkeeper Emily Myers to tie the score with 4:26 left.
Gennett was later carried off the field in overtime with a right leg injury.
"That's been our season," Hampton said. "We never seemed to take control. We never had that feeling about this team. Maybe the expectations were too high."
Conemaugh Township grabbed a 1-0 lead 17 minutes into the game, when sophomore Julie Byer picked up a loose ball off a direct kick and drilled the ball past Myers.
Greensburg Central Catholic tied the score three minutes later. Petrillo skipped a 30-yard shot past Felton in the left corner of the net.
Greensburg Central Catholic had more quality scoring chances in the first half, but it failed to beat Felton.
Hampton said he'll miss watching the seniors play. The group included Petrillo, Rachel Sebbens and Myers. Petrillo finished with 50 goals this season and more than 160 career goals.