BAINBRIDGE -- They say when it rains it pours. This was certainly the case when Greencastle boys' soccer visited North Putnam.
While the clouds overhead held no precipitation, the Tiger Cubs' offense rained down four goals in under eight minutes late in the first half.
While much of the first half was scoreless, the Tiger Cubs controlled the action. They kept the action almost exclusively in North Putnam's end of the field.
The constant attack kept the Cougar defense on its heels, but resulted in no goals until GHS senior Eric Davis found the net off an assist from classmate Pat Eiteljorge with 10:12 remaining.
GHS assistant coach Nate Martin, filling in with the absence of head coach Dave Lilly, said the Tiger Cubs had done a good job of controlling the ball throughout the half, but the breakthrough finally came when they found a way to get out of their own way.
We just needed to move the ball around, get it out wider, and once we did that we kind of opened up the net a little. The middle was jammed a lot," Martin said.
With the first goal finally on the board, the floodgates opened from the Tiger Cub offense. At the 8:47 mark, Davis found Pat Martin for the game's second goal.
The barrage continued when Eiteljorge scored an unassisted goal with 7:11 remaining in the half.
"I think we were a little worn down; maybe that was just a mental lapse there," Cougar coach Dave Moeller said. "We kind of got our heads down after that first goal."
While the Cougars were able to stop the bleeding briefly, the Tiger Cubs added another goal when Pat Martin scored on a deflection with 2:34 remaining.
With less than two minutes remaining in the half, the Cougars mounted their first serious charge at the Tiger Cub goal in the game. However, the shot sailed wide right.
The half ended with Greencastle leading 4-0.
Coach Martin liked how his team looked in the opening half, particularly after they opened up the attack and began finding the net.
"We did a good job of controlling the ball. Up top, it's kind of our demise sometimes because we usually control the ball a little too much up there," he said. "The key to it was getting one or two passes up there, and getting a through-ball was really what we were looking for."
For his part, North Putnam goalie T.J. Wilhite was making the best he could of a rough situation. While GHS had scored four goals, Wilhite had made 10 saves on 14 shots on goal. His Greencastle counterpart Ryan Payne had yet to face a shot on goal.
In the second half, North Putnam came out with the wind at its back and a much more even game ensued in the final 40 minutes. Moeller thought the change of sides made much of the difference in his team's play and attitude.
"The wind kind of played a factor," Moeller said. "Our confidence was up because we knew we had the wind at our back. We did a lot better of playing the ball at the feet."
At around the 34-minute mark, the Cougar managed their first shot on goal, but Payne made the stop.
With 28:49 remaining, Davis collected his second goal of the evening on an unassisted shot.
The two teams traded fruitless possessions for the bulk of the half, which played into the hands of GHS, sitting on a five-goal lead.
The Cougars were able to avoid the shutout when Mitch Hadley put a ball past Payne with 14:36 to play. The goal closed the scoring for the evening.
Martin said his team played well, but still found ways he knew the Tiger Cubs could improve.
"I thought, all in all, we played good," he said. "We did a good job of controlling the ball, but, still, we have a bad time of getting stuck up in our own offensive third and getting jammed up there. We need to spread the ball out more, that's kind of our issue right now."
While Moeller was displeased in defeat, he also knew that but for a short stretch, his squad had played even with its county rival.
There was a five, six minute span where they put in three or four of their goals," he said. "I'm happy with the way we played in the second half."
North Putnam travels to Covington at 11 a.m. Saturday. Greencastle returns to action at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Northview.
At North Putnam
Greencastle 4 1 -- 5
North Putnam 0 1 -- 1
Goals -- Davis 2, Martin, Eiteljorge (GHS), Hadley (NP)
Assists -- Eitlejorge, Davis (GHS)
Saves -- Payne 2 (GHS), Wilhite 12 (NP)
Next game -- The Cougars will travel to Covington at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Tiger Cubs visit Northview at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.