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GCC copes without leading scorer

| Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008

Greensburg Central Catholic junior forward Tim Wood has been on a record-setting scoring pace throughout the soccer season, but the team is learning to win without him.

Over the past four games, Wood has had a nagging foot injury, but Greensburg Central Catholic still defeated Trinity Christian, South Allegheny, Serra Catholic and Indiana to improve its record to 12-0, 11-0 in Section 1-AA.

In the Centurions' first eight games, Wood scored 33 goals and was on pace to eclipse the school regular-season record of 42 set by Jeff Farrell in 2002.

"He's got great foot skills, and it's just one of those things where he's played with these guys for a couple of years and they really complement each other," Greensburg Central Catholic coach Tom Kennedy said. "They like him, he likes them, and they all work well together."

Wood, who has 70 career goals and has an outside chance of topping Farrell's school record of 139, is expected to make his return next Monday when Greensburg Central Catholic hosts Class AAA Norwin in a matchup of two of the best teams in their classifications.

"He's just such a good player and he's got good players around him," Kennedy said. "It's just a bone in there that needs some rest."

With Wood out, the bulk of the scoring has been distributed among several players, including Ethan Shula, Dan Szeckley, Dominic Pimpinella, Greg Kemerer and Rooney Columbus. So far, Greensburg Central Catholic hasn't felt any ill effects with its top scorer sidelined. The team won all four games by a combined 15-0 score, including 1-0 last night against Indiana.

Then again, the way the Centurions have played this season, that shouldn't be much of a surprise. Greensburg Central Catholic has outscored its opponents, 77-6, and has shutouts in its past six games.

More impressive is the way the Centurions have done it. Of the six goals Greensburg Central Catholic has allowed, only two have come against the team's starting defense -- in 3-1 victories over Mt. Pleasant and Trinity Christian in its first two games of the season. The other four occurred in games where the Centurions had removed their starters and had either their second team or junior varsity in the game.

Senior goalkeeper Adam West has posted seven shutouts this season, and the defense has been outstanding. But he, like the rest of the team, will benefit when Wood makes his return.

"Actually, the couple of games that he's missed are going to make us better, which is nice," Kennedy said. "But we know we had a couple games here where we could get him fixed up and have him ready for the playoffs."

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