When Greencastle boys' soccer hosted Edgewood at Big Walnut Tuesday evening, the Mustangs didn't find the Tiger Cubs so welcoming. GHS racked up 20 shots on goal while allowing Edgewood zero, en route to a 7-0 win.
The unassisted Lilly goal came with 24:43 to go in the half. The shot slid past the goalie, striking the left post before ricocheting across the line.
The Tiger Cubs had stayed on the attack up to that point in the evening, but the Lilly goal gave them something to show for it.
In the coming minutes, Greencastle kept the action in the Edgewood end and kept the Mustangs on their heels. Even when the ball got into Greencastle territory, the defense would usually take control before the action got anywhere near GHS goalie Ryan Payne.
With 7:11 remaining, Lilly stole the ball around midfield, and took it all the way to the goal, collecting his second unassisted score of the night and putting GHS up 2-0.
"When he scored the second goal, we felt pretty good being up 2-0 because we possessed the ball and looked pretty strong," Coach Lilly said.
The score was 2-0 at the half.
At the beginning of the second half, Greencastle really took control of the game. Only 38 seconds into the half, Eric Davis scored on an assist from fellow senior Kyle Thomas.
In a nice little bit of symmetry, Thomas scored on an assist from Davis a little over a minute later, putting GHS up 4-0.
For Lilly, the onslaught to open the half was simply a case of numbers. The Tiger Cubs played more people, and the advantage of fresh players really began to show in the second half.
"We have the numbers and we substituted pretty freely, especially in the second half," Lilly said. "I think on a big field like it is out here, that plays to our advantage because you could see they were just worn down."
While the goals did not come quite so quickly for the remainder of the match, but the GHS advantage continued to show itself. The game continued to be played mainly in Edgewood territory, and the Mustang defense never really found a break.
According to Lilly, the later goals in the game were really a result of Greencastle's earlier momentum.
"We just had the numbers, and soccer's that way," Lilly said. "When you're scoring goals everybody has a lot of energy and they're making runs. When you're on the other end and you're getting scored on, you lose some energy.
"I think the game play was closer than 7-0, but in the second half they just kind of ran out of gas, and we got a few more goals," he continued.
Freshman Spencer Moore found the net with 31:15 to play, making the score 5-0. Destin Holmes made it 6-0 on an unassisted goal around the 15:00 mark. Finally, Davis rounded out the scoring on an assist from Pat Martin with about four minutes to play.
In all, five Tiger Cubs scored goals.
"I think it was just all around a good team effort," Lilly said. "We passed the ball well. We possessed it, and that opens things up to get good scoring opportunities."
Not to be lost in the offensive outburst is the job the defenders did for the Tiger Cubs. Although the game was played largely in the Edgewood end, when the action reached the GHS defense, they quickly retook control.
Goalie Ryan Payne can thank his defense for an easy night in which he faced no shots on goal and only a handful of legitimate scoring opportunities from Edgewood.
While the coach was happy with the entire defense, Lilly wished to highlight one player's effort in particular.
"Tim Bray's been doing a really good job at sweeper, and he did tonight," Lilly said. "He stepped up when he needed to step up and he played some longer balls to space.
"That's something we've been working on with our defensive unit," he continued. "They tend to try to play close when there's more opportunities to play long and keep the ball on the other end. He did a really good job of that."
The Tiger Cubs host Speedway at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and Lilly hoped Tuesday's good outing would carry over to the conference match.
"It was a good game, I hope we play as well Thursday when we see Speedway for a WCC matchup. It's always tough when we play Speedway," Lilly concluded.
At Big Walnut Sports Park
Edgewood 0 0 -- 0
Greencastle 2 5 -- 7
GHS -- Lilly 24:43
GHS -- Lilly 7:11
GHS -- Davis (Thomas assist) 39:22
GHS -- Thomas (Davis assist) 38:10
GHS -- Moore 31:15
GHS -- Holmes 15:00
GHS -- Davis (Martin assist) 4:00
Goals -- Lilly 2, Davis 2, Thomas, Moore, Holmes (GHS)
Assists -- Thomas, Davis, Martin (GHS)
Saves -- Theodore 13 (EHS)
Next game -- GHS hosts Speedway at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Big Walnut in a WCC match.