No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic boys blank Brentwood in WPIAL quarterfinals
Last year, the Greensburg Central Catholic boys soccer season came to a shocking and abrupt end after a loss to Winchester Thurston in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
After another 14-win regular season, the Centurions wanted to make sure their season didn’t end in the quarterfinals again. No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 5-0 win over No. 7 Brentwood (11-3-2) at Upper St. Clair on Thursday evening.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense. To get the shutout in the quarterfinal game, which for two years in a row was a game that we lost, it just shows the dedication and how much hard work that gets put in,” Greensburg Central Catholic coach Tyler Solis said.
The Centurions (16-1) were led by senior forward Luke Mort, who scored three times. Mort has 34 goals the season.
The Pitt recruit pressured Brentwood throughout, creating numerous opportunities in the first half. However, Brentwood freshman goalkeeper Cody Bagnull made pivotal saves to keep the Centurions off the scoreboard.
“I think throughout the season we’ve had that where we couldn’t score. We were down four or five times this year, and we came back and won. We just stick to our gameplan of possession, and that’s all we need to do,” Mort said.
The Centurions move on to face No. 3 Seton LaSalle (16-3) in the semifinals on Monday at a time and site to be determined. Seton LaSalle advanced with a 3-0 win over No. 6 Winchester Thurston (11-6).Senior midfielder Christian Kline got the Centurions on the scoreboard when he converted on a corner kick in the 19th minute.
Four minutes before halftime, Mort got on the score sheet when he bent in a shot to the left post from 18 yards.
In the second half, Mort continued to lead the offensive pressure, scoring twice in the first eight minutes. The first was a boot from 30 yards out that slipped through Bagnull’s hands in the 45th minute; he scored his third goal in the 48th minute.
“I don’t think it really matters who scores. We came out flying with being up 2-0 in the first half. We stayed composed and kept the field spread because we like to use our speed,” Mort said.
Dylan Sebek scored the Centurions’ fifth goal midway through the second half with a strike that snuck in the near post.
Junior Patrick Brewer earned the shutout for the Centurions, their seventh of the season.
“I was telling the team before the game that I feel like our team is built for this playoffs. We’re built to go into this 80-minute game,” Solis said. “We’re built to battle the entire time. I think in years past we didn’t have that commitment as a team, it was more individually.”