SPENCER -- It was a game of two different halves Monday as Greencastle traveled to Owen Valley to take on the Patriots in varsity soccer action.
Owen Valley took full advantage of its home pitch, with senior Ethan Fields scoring early in the opening period to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.
A failed offside trap by the Tiger Cubs let a second Patriot attacker slip a shot past Greencastle keeper Ryan Payne and the lead was 2-0 mid way through the first half.
The Tiger Cubs had several good scoring chances during the balance of the half but were unsuccessful in finding the back of the net.
Fields struck again late in the half when a ball was headed past the Tiger Cubs back line. He was able to beat freshman keeper Kyle Parker, who had just entered the game for Greencastle. Owen Valley held a 3-0 lead at the break.
"The field there is extremely narrow and short. It can be difficult to score since the backs can crowd the goal area and get a lot of help from the midfield," GHS coach Dave Lilly said. "Unfortunately, we failed to possess the ball in the first half and played their type of game. We failed to connect on the good shots we had. They did and we were in real trouble."
The Tiger Cubs came out in the second half and began to control possession. After missing several close shots, their patience finally paid off.
Kyle Thomas took a crossing pass from Pat Martin and drilled in a shot with 16:50 to go, cutting the Patriot lead to 2 goals.
Three minutes later, Spencer Moore found the back of the net and the Tiger Cubs trailed by one goal. Greencastle dominated play for the remainder of the game, keeping the ball mostly in front of the Patriots' goal.
With 2:55 to play in the match, Greg Lilly delivered an assist to Pat Martin, who was able to score the game tying goal.
The Tiger Cubs had several corner kicks in the final minutes that almost yielded a game winning goal. One shot hit the post, a header missed just wide and the Patriots' keeper made a couple crucial saves as Owen Valley held on for the draw.
"We needed another minute or two of playing time and I think we would have scored again," Lilly said. "The result tonight is disappointing as we are a much better team than we showed in the first half. Owen Valley has improved a lot this year, and we took them a bit lightly. That will not be a problem on Thursday as we will need to play 80 minutes of our best soccer in order to advance in the state tournament."
The Tiger Cubs (10-5-1) will play Martinsville at 5 p.m. Thursday in the first game of the Mooresville sectional.
At Owen Valley
Greencastle 0 3 -- 3
Owen Valley 3 0 -- 3
Goals -- Thomas, S. Moore, Martin (GHS), Fields (2), unknown (OV)
Assists -- Lilly (2), Martin (GHS)
Next match -- Greencastle will open sectional play against Martinsville at 5 p.m. Thursday at Mooresville.