Some days you eat the bear. Some days the bear eats you.
The Greencastle girls' soccer team learned that the hard way Tuesday when they hosted the Tri-West Bruins in the season opener. The Lady Tiger Cubs fell 7-3 in the contest.
In the early going Tri-West was constantly on the attack. Several early saves by GHS goalkeeper Jennifer Grumme kept the game at a scoreless tie, but the attempts were certainly taking a toll on her and the rest of the defense.
Offensively, the Cubs could get nothing going. There was very little ball control and, therefore, few scoring opportunities.
"We were outplayed by a team with a passing game," GHS coach Maurice McKee said.
The coach said Tri-West knew not only where their own passes were going, but also where the GHS passes would end up. That kind of control is hard to outplay.
"Every time we would pass the ball, they would know where it was going," he said.
In spite of this, the Tiger Cubs were able to get on the scoreboard first. With 26:42 remaining in the half, GHS senior Hannah Spencer put one past Bruin keeper Emily Devore, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
While this seemed to equalize the play for a while, Tri-West soon took control again. This time, though, the shots began slipping past Grumme.
With 17:29 remaining, Sydney Lightner evened the score at one. The Bruins stayed on the attack and made the game theirs with two more quick goals. Abbey Rhodes headed it in with 10:46 remaining, and Kylee Bennett gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead with 9:38 remaining.
With 5:49 left, Tri-West's Abby Kahl closed out the first half scoring, putting her team up 4-1.
GHS needed an adjustment at the half. They had been unsuccessful trying to take the ball up the sideline and pass it to the center. Tri-West, on the other hand, had been coming right up the middle and scoring freely.
"We suggested they change their method of trying to score," McKee said of the halftime talk. With these keys in mind, his team certainly made a better showing in the second half.
"They play a more controlling game (in the second half)," the coach said. "They actually settled down and knew they just needed to play soccer."
For the first 10 or 12 minutes of the half, things seemed to work. While GHS did no scoring, they also allowed no Bruin goals.
More importantly, Tri-West did not dictate the pace and location of the game. GHS was actually able to control the ball and got just as many scoring opportunities as the Bruins.
It all fell apart in 15 seconds time, though. With 27:33 remaining, Kahl added her second goal. Then at the 27:18 mark, Megan Bennett put another Tri-West goal past Grumme.
Tri-West led 6-1.
With the game out of hand, Spencer gave GHS its one bright spot of the game. She added her second goal with 23:26 remaining and completed her hat trick with a13:48 to go.
The senior is certainly off to a good start in her bid to break the school record for goals.
The final Tri-West goal had come from Kylee Bennett with 14:42 left.
Following the game, McKee spoke of the work his team needs to do heading into Thursday's matchup with North Putnam.
"We'll work on being where you have to be," he said. "We're still working on passing to the feet. We'll see how that works Thursday against North Putnam."
The Tiger Cubs host the Cougars at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Tri-West 4 3 -- 7
Greencastle 1 2 -- 3
First half -- 26:42-Spencer, GHS; 17:29-Lightner, TW; 10:42-Rhodes, TW; 9:38-K. Bennett, TW; 5:49-Kahl, TW.
Second half -- 27:33-Kahl, TW; 27:18-M. Bennett, TW; 23:26-Spencer, GHS; 14:42-K. Bennett, TW; 13:48-Spencer, GHS.
Saves -- Devore 5 (T), Grumme 13 (G).
Next match -- Greencastle hosts North Putnam at 5 p.m. Thursday.