It’s officially, official.
The Greater Latrobe girls’ soccer team officially clinched the WPIAL Class 4A, Section 3 championship with a 3-0 victory against Hempfield Area on Tuesday at Rossi Field.
“It feels great to make it official,” Greater Latrobe coach Jamie Morrison said. “The girls have absolutely earned it, and it was even better to be able to clinch the title on senior night.”
The Lady Wildcats thought they clinched the section championship last Wednesday during a dramatic 1-0 home victory against Fox Chapel Area, but they didn’t mathematically wrap up the section title at the time.
Now, it’s official.
Greater Latrobe won its first section championship since the 1992 Lady Wildcats, led by Dan Grobe, captured the WPIAL Section 5 title with a perfect 10-0 record in only their second season as a school-sponsored sport.
This year’s group is currently high atop a powerhouse Section 3 with an 8-0-1 section mark and an 11-0-1 overall record. Norwin (8-2, 11-2) finished in second place, as the Lady Knights’ lone defeats this season came against Greater Latrobe. Fox Chapel Area (6-3-1, 8-5-1), last year’s section champions, ended third, while Penn-Trafford (4-6, 5-8) placed fourth.
The closest thing to a blemish on Greater Latrobe’s record was a 2-2 tie at Fox Chapel Area on Sept. 20. The Lady Wildcats won the rest, including five one-goal games and six shutouts. It’s a far cry from a time in which Greater Latrobe recorded just eight wins total from 2016-19.
“Coach Ross, coach Kennedy and myself could not be more proud of this special group of young ladies,” said Morrison, who is in her sixth season as head coach. “They had their eyes set on a goal, and after a season of hard-fought victories, achieved a huge success.”
Robin Reilly, Regan Reilly and Ella Bulava had the goals for Greater Latrobe on Tuesday. Regan Reilly scored the lone goal in last Wednesday’s win against Fox Chapel Area, while Bulava struck in a one-goal win at Norwin.
Becca Reed and Morgan Reilly both tallied assists on Tuesday, while Sofia DeCerb and Corinne Brunetto combined in goal for the shutout. DeCerb has factored in on all six shutouts this season. Morgan Reilly was one of six seniors recognized on Tuesday, as the group also included Lauren Davis, Claire Gerard, Abby Kostic, Martina Ciafre and Rebecca Reed.
“We had six seniors who played a significant part in (Tuesday’s) game to seal the deal,” Morrison said.
Greater Latrobe extracted revenge against Upper St. Clair — a team that bounced the Lady Wildcats from the playoffs last season — with a convincing 4-0 victory to start the season before a pair of other impressive non-conference wins against West Mifflin Area and Kiski Area by a 9-1 margin.
Then, came the 2-1 upset at Norwin, a perennial powerhouse throughout the WPIAL and the state. It was the Lady Wildcats’ first win against Norwin in more than 18 years — they lost 36 previous consecutive games against Norwin dating beyond 2003.
The Lady Wildcats then took down Taylor Allderdice, tied Fox Chapel Area, the defending section champions, and swept Penn-Trafford — another perennial power — in back-to-back games by a 5-1 margin. It was the fourth straight contest in which Greater Latrobe didn’t lose against Penn-Trafford, as a year earlier, the Lady Wildcats hadn’t beaten the Lady Warriors in more than 17 years, losing at least 34 consecutive games during that span.
Then, came another win against Norwin, and this time the Lady Wildcats did it on the road. Greater Latrobe scored two more one-goal wins against Allderdice and Fox Chapel Area before Tuesday’s multi-goal clincher versus Hempfield Area.
The Lady Wildcats will try to close section play with a perfect record, 10 a.m. Saturday at Hempfield Area before exhibitions matches to end the regular season next week against Connellsville Area and Franklin Regional.
Greater Latrobe has outscored the opposition 32-7 in 12 games this season. The Lady Wildcats have won six games by shutout, including two to start the season and four of the last five. Greater Latrobe has won five one-goal games and six others by multiple goals. Four of their last five have been decided by a goal, as Greater Latrobe has outscored the opposition 8-1 during that span.
The Lady Wildcats want to finish strong and keep their momentum rolling into the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.
“We know the work is not done and there are more goals to strive for,” Morrison said. “We take time to celebrate the achievement, and then we get back to work to prepare for the next game.”