Just minutes after Thursday’s regional semifinal, Centerville coach David Barnett was already looking toward the future.
And why not? The Bulldogs’ future certainly looks bright with the vast majority of the team returning after back-to-back Class A sectional titles in boys soccer.
Greensburg denied Centerville a second straight trip to a regional final, though, stopping the host team 5-0 to earn a spot in Saturday’s championship game.
“I’m proud of my guys, keeping their heads up and fighting through,” Barnett said.
” … Our goals the next two years are to go beyond. We want to get back here and go beyond. That’s what we talked about tonight. We’ll push harder next year.”
Greensburg pushed ahead to a 3-0 lead Thursday night.
Tyler Burcham scored the first of his two first-half goals at 26:24 off a direct kick to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Edgar Cruz struck at 15:46 and Burcham convert immediately after that to send Greensburg into halftime leading 3-0.
“They played well,” Greensburg coach Rick Fayette said of his squad. “It’s very important in soccer to score early. The team that scores first is sometimes the team that walks away with the win.”
Greensburg continued to pressure the Bulldog goal, as Cruz added two more goals in the second half.
Still, Barnett had plenty of praise for Centerville goalkeeper Casey Crumbaugh, who made many difficult saves in both halves.
“I think he ended up with 27 saves. He was busy,” Barnett said. “He did some things that maybe other teams aren’t used to. He did a great job.”
Despite facing the host team on its turf, Fayette said the Pirates play on a similar field during the regular season.
“It’s almost identical to ours,” he said. “There was no adjustment at all. It’s just a really nice field. It’s level, it’s big and we’re accustomed to that.”
Greensburg (13-6) plays Heritage Christian in Saturday’s 1 p.m. final.
Centerville (10-9-1) was playing in its second straight regional tournament. The Bulldogs have one senior on the roster: Kyle Jones.
“Greensburg came out and they played a strong game,” Barnett said. “They did well. They have a lot of players, and some teams at this level have one or two.
“They’re a well-rounded team. … They did a fine job.”