ShareThis Page
Two-time champ GCC girls soccer blanks Shady Side Academy to reach state semifinals |

Two-time champ GCC girls soccer blanks Shady Side Academy to reach state semifinals

Ken Reabe Jr. | For Trib Total Media
Greensburg Central Catholic striker Bailey Cartwright (2) makes a play on the ball in front of Shady Side Academy's Allyson Eismont during a PIAA quarterfinal game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Canon-McMillan in Canonsburg.

It was an 80-minute match, but the Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer team needed about 10 minutes to advance in the PIAA playoffs.

The Centurions scored twice in the opening seven minutes and added another score less than four minutes into the second half on the way to a 4-0 PIAA Class A quarterfinal victory over Shady Side Academy on Saturday at Canon-McMillan.

It marked the second straight season the Centurions (23-1) knocked the Indians (18-5) out of the state playoffs.

Greensburg Central Catholic’s quest for a third consecutive PIAA title continues Tuesday against Freedom (15-9) at a site and time to be determined. The Centurions handled the Bulldogs, 9-1, in the WPIAL championship match.

Bailey Cartwright scored the first two goals Saturday to give her 56 for the season. Each time she chased down a looping pass and weaved her way toward the goal for a score.

“We know when we score first that we have the momentum,” Cartwright said. “It helps us for the rest of the game.”

The Centurions typically play a more possession-oriented game, but they felt they could exploit the Indians defense by kicking and chasing.

“We worked on that coming in,” GCC coach Bryan Cartwright said. “We know they play a 4-4-2 and they pack the middle, so we were hoping we could use some of our speed and get the ball over the top. Fortunately, it worked out for us quick.”

Cassie Sauter tapped in a loose ball early in the second half, and Keli Rosensteel added a goal on a penalty kick to put the match out of reach.

The Centurions swept their regular-season meetings with Shady Side Academy, winning 2-1 and 2-0. Saturday was an uncharacteristically wide margin of victory between two of the best Class A programs in the WPIAL. Since the addition of a Class A in 2010, either the Centurions or Indians have won every WPIAL championship.

“Trust me, coming into this game I in no way thought we would win 4-0,” coach Cartwright said. “I thought it would be a close battle, as it always is with Shady Side.”

The score could have been wider if not for the play of Indians goalie Samantha Morlacci, who made 11 saves and stopped Cartwright on several occasions.

“She’s got really good instincts, and she’s got really good reflexes,” Shady Side Academy coach Mary Lynch said. “She played a great game.”

The Indians early woes also included two key injuries. Starters Rachel Slaugenhaupt and Courtney Clark were knocked out of the match in the first half. Clark returned to play in the second half.

“We had a couple early injuries that took a little gas out of us,” Lynch said. “But as soon as we reorganized, I think we finished strong.”

Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.