Greensburg Central Catholic is headed back to Hersheypark Stadium, and it will take the WPIAL's all-time career scoring leader on the trip.
Senior forward Frannie Crouse blasted home a 25-yard strike three minutes into the second half Tuesday night to etch her name into the WPIAL record books and ensure that the Centurions (20-2) return to the PIAA Class A championship after a 2-0 semifinal win against Shady Side Academy (20-3).
Crouse's goal gave her 206, separating her from 2001 Steel Valley graduate Jess Strom (205).
"I was kind of nervous because I was hoping to score this game," Frannie Crouse said. "I'm glad I got it in this game."
It was Frannie's younger sister, sophomore Colby Crouse, who gave Greensburg Central Catholic its lead with a goal 17 minutes into regulation.
The Crouse sisters took care of the scoring and senior midfielder Malea Fabean moved back to defense to shore up the backline.
Shady Side Academy had trouble sustaining possession and getting players moving forward in the first half. The Indians mounted offensive attacks in the second half, but Fabean and the rest of the Centurions defense held firm.
"Malea can play anywhere," Frannie Crouse said. "Having her back there, I felt so much more confident."
Greensburg Central Catholic won both regular-season meetings, but the Centurions were stunned 10 days ago in the WPIAL final, losing, 4-2, to Shady Side Academy.
"We knew we had to play a better defensive game and we definitely did that," Greensburg coach Ashley Shasko said.
After each team won easily in the PIAA first round and quarterfinals, the rematch was set.
There were 26 goals in the first three meetings between the teams, but even with the WPIAL's top three goal-scorers, Frannie Crouse, Fabean and Shady Side Academy's Maggie Scott on the field, the game was a defensive battle on a snow-covered pitch at Chartiers Valley with temperatures dipping below 30 in the second half.
"We haven't really played on snow," Shasko said after the game. "But the girls did a great job of adjusting and not letting circumstances be a factor in their game."
Greensburg Central Catholic will seek its second consecutive PIAA championship when the Centurions face Southern Columbia (22-1-1) in the Class A final at 5 p.m. Friday.
■ Spring-Ford 1, Seneca Valley 0: Seneca Valley (20-3-1) was denied its first trip to the title match after falling against Spring-Ford (24-2-1) at Chambersburg. Spring-Ford's Megan Giannopoulos scored with 6:31 left in the second overtime.
Seneca Valley, the WPIAL champion, entered the game on a 14-game unbeaten streak and had not allowed a goal in the postseason.
"It was a well-played game," Seneca Valley coach Dave Sylvester said. "We struggled a bit in the second overtime. We should have tried to get to the shootout, especially with the way [goalkeeper] Jess [O'Neill] has been playing."
■ Central Valley 2, Hopewell 0: Central Valley kept its record clean with a 2-0 win against Hopewell in a PIAA Class AA semifinal at Chartiers Valley. The undefeated Warriors (22-0) are 4-0 against their section rivals Hopewell (17-6) thanks to goals from Samantha Fields and Carolina Lucci.
"It is hard because we are so familiar with them," Central Valley midfielder Katie Alexander said.
The game was a rematch of the WPIAL final won by Central Valley. The Warriors will face Camp Hill Trinity (22-2) for the PIAA title at 11 a.m. Saturday in Hershey.