Trinity ends Greensburg Central Catholic’s reign as state champ
HERSHEY — Among Greensburg Central Catholic’s players, few tears fell Friday night as the Centurions accepted silver medals in the PIAA Class A girls soccer championship at Hersheypark Stadium.
Apparently neither the end of their reign as state champs nor their first shutout loss since the 2013 season opener crushed the spirits of a group that accomplished so much these past few seasons.
Greensburg Central Catholic (24-2), the Class A state title winner each of the past two seasons, controlled play for the first 20-plus minutes but then fell behind and never rebounded in a 3-0 loss to District 3’s Trinity (22-1-2), which claimed the crown one season after it reached the Class AA finals.
“We left a legacy behind,” said senior defender Megan Shearson, whose class will leave with two PIAA golds and one silver and three WPIAL titles. “This is nothing to be ashamed of.
“Their goalkeeper is amazing, and just the way they managed the ball was really, really good.”
Trinity junior goalkeeper Amanda Knaub charged out of the goal mouth and successfully challenged Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Bailey Cartwright on breakaways twice in the game’s first 15 minutes.
“We just played three teams that played the ball over the top in the state playoffs, so that was a real good prep for this,” Trinity coach Terry Mull said.
Knaub’s first charge forced Cartwright to push the ball a little too far ahead. On the second, Knaub got a hand on Cartwright’s shot, and a Trinity teammate recovered to collect the ball before it rolled into the net.
“She made some nice moves but just couldn’t finish,” Centurions coach Bryan Cartwright said of his daughter. “(One goal) probably could’ve helped us a lot, but that’s the way it goes.”
The final 10 minutes of the first half shifted momentum Trinity’s way.
First came a goal by Trinity junior Ashley Rogliano, who poked in a loose ball inside GCC’s 6-yard box with 10 minutes left.
Then just moments after the restart that followed the goal, Bailey Cartwright went down with a right knee injury.
She remained on the sideline until halftime.
Trinity extended its lead just before the teams headed to their locker rooms, as Rogliano buried a penalty kick. Rogliano went up for a contested head ball inside GCC’s 18-yard box and drew contact from a defender with 45 seconds left.
“After the PK, (morale) kind of dropped down because it was not that great of a call, and it kind of dropped the hopes of a lot of us,” Shearson said. “There wasn’t much panic after the first goal, but after the second one, it was kind of uneasy and not that comfortable of a game anymore.”
Rogliano added a third goal with 21 minutes remaining.
Cartwright started the second half for the Centurions, but Trinity’s considerable lead allowed the Shamrocks to concentrate on shutting down any GCC scoring chances.
“We truly do have a great team, and it’s not that we changed much (without Bailey) — it was Trinity,” Bryan Cartwright said. “They came out here and put on a show. The way they possess the ball, they play our style. It might’ve hurt us a little bit, speed-wise up top (without Bailey), but it was just Trinity and what they did.”