On the night they were honored for their contributions to GHS boys' soccer, no one came through bigger than the two Greencastle seniors on the field.
Although the Tiger Cubs (13-3, 3-1 WCC) had a big lead late, the players wanted to keep playing. The combination of senior night and the possibility of Lilly breaking a record led to Coach Dave Lilly leaving them in at the end.
"The fact that Greg's my son makes it a little more difficult," Lilly said. "On senior night, it's hard to back off. We had to keep them out there and let them play. Since Griffen and Greg were freshmen, I've been involved in coaching them. They're a couple of great kids.
"We knew that five was the single-game record, so we kept Greg in there. He had a couple goals early, so we kept trying to get him the ball. He had chances to beat that; he ended up tying it with five goals tonight," he added.
Classmate Cary Russell has been out with a collar bone injury, but was still able to start the game before being pulled about 15 seconds in.
"Although Cary got hurt, he's still out at practices, he's still contributing. He got out on the field tonight even though he's hurt. He's chomping at the bit to play."
The entire team actually had a record-setting night Monday, as they set the school's single-season win record.
"It's fitting that this season we set a record for the boys' soccer program. Tonight's our 13th win," Lilly said. "That's more than any team has had in the past, and we've had good teams. Sometimes you look and see that we have a good team with only a few seniors and you wonder how it's going to be. They exceeded my expectations, in large part due to the leadership of those guys."
The first half saw plenty of shots on goal, but few were strong shots. They would were right at Patriot keeper Dayton Gobert or just wide or high of the goal. Even the shots Gobert had to stop were often soft rollers.
The defense suffered similar problems. Although the defensemen were getting to balls and trying to clear them out, the attempts would be soft headers that didn't get the ball much farther from the goal.
"We did come out flat. It was probably one of the least impressive halves we've had," Lilly said. "Fortunately, we were still up 2-0 at the half. We didn't finish well. Greg had two one-on-keeper chances. One he hit right at him and one he hit just wide. Sometimes, those things, if you score, totally change the outcome of the game."
However, GHS finally broke through on the scoreboard when Spencer Moore found Lilly for a goal with 20:18 remaining.
Things remained slow, though. Although GHS seemed more in control, they could not build the lead they wanted. They finally added a second goal with only 49 seconds remaining, as Griffen Moore passed to Spencer Moore, who put it in from right in front.
"That was a big goal for us, to put us up two at the half," Lilly said. Any time at this level that they're within a one- or two-goal differential, guys can be just dog-tired, but they're going to find the energy to try to compete."
Gobert had kept OV in the game for much of the first half. Not only did he have nine saves, but his monster leg cleared the ball well into the Greencastle half of the field.
GHS keeper Ryan Payne had four saves at the break.
The second half was much sharper for the Tiger Cubs. Josh Bonebrake started things off, when he deflected a shot off of a Patriot defender and past Gobert to make it 3-0.
Although OV's Kyle Faulkner made it 3-1 with 31:43 to go, Lilly began to put the match out of reach. His scored on an assist from Griffen Moore with 24:51 to go and added an unassisted goal at 18:50.
With a 5-1 lead in hand, some other scorers got a chance to shine for GHS. Brandon Query scored off of a Griffen Moore assist with 18:10 remaining, and Mitchell Robinson broke through off a Spencer Moore assist with 15:05 to go.
"In the second half, we got back to more fundamental possessing and making better passes and runs. They really weren't forcing with one guy trying to do it all on his own," Coach Lilly said.
After a Faulkner direct kick gave the Patriots their final goal, Lilly put the finishing touches on his evening. He scored off a Destin Holmes assist at 5:45 and then off a Spencer Moore assist with 1:53 to go.
Spencer Moore finished the night with a goal and three assists.
With the regular season over, the Tiger Cubs now turn their attention to sectional.
"At this point, I'm looking forward to sectionals and next year, too. I hope this is the year that this may be the year that we can win a tough sectional," Lilly said.
Greencastle travels to the Mooresville Sectional to battle Monrovia at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Owen Valley 0 2 -- 2
Greencastle 2 7 -- 9
GHS -- Lilly (S. Moore ast.) 20:18
GHS -- S. Moore (G. Moore ast.) 0:49
GHS -- Bonebrake 35:49
OV -- Faulkner 31:43
GHS -- Lilly (G. Moore ast.) 24:51
GHS -- Lilly 18:50
GHS -- Query (G. Moore ast.) 18:10
GHS -- Robinson (S. Moore ast.) 15:05
OV -- Faulkner 9:36
GHS -- Lilly (Holmes ast.) 5:45
GHS -- Lilly (S. Moore ast.) 1:53
Saves -- Gobert (OV) 12, Payne (GHS) 6.
Next game -- Greencastle (13-3, 3-1 WCC) travels to the Mooresville Sectional to take on Monrovia at 7 p.m. Thursday.