After dropping their season opener against Tri-West earlier in the week, Greencastle juggled some players, hoping to find the right combination. On Thursday, it seemed they moved in that direction.
"It was a good game tonight," GHS head coach Scott Weltz said. "It was good coming back off that loss to a tough Tri-West team. With only one day in between games, we kind of went back into the classroom and did some X's and O's, looked at what our weaknesses were and see what we can fix game to game to get better.
"They responded well. We moved a couple people around. We have a lot of strength out there, but (we) need to make sure they are in the right position," he said.
Greencastle controlled tempo early, but found that putting the ball in the net was going to be difficult. They had their chances, but their shots sailed wide or were intercepted by North Putnam keeper Dakota Malayer.
GHS put their first goal on the board at the 18:30 mark when Brotherton slashed toward the goal and sent a sliding shot past Malayer. She repeated the act with 7:52 remaining to put the Tiger Cubs up 2-0.
Teammate Melissa Ball chipped in a goal of her own after blasting a shot into the net with 5:37 on the clock.
The break was perhaps more beneficial to the Cougars than the Tiger Cubs. North Putnam took to the pitch with the minimum 11 players, which resulted in a long, exhausting night.
"They played a hard game," Cougars head coach Willie Gaskins said. "We only had 11. We have a short list of players anyway. Having a small list and no substitutes tonight, it definitely affected our game. They were able to sub regularly and we didn't have that opportunity that they had."
The second half began as the first had. The teams were held scoreless until Brotherton scored with 25:34 on the clock. Fellow junior Katie Farris scored with 21:41 remaining. Brotherton concluded the GHS scoring 29 seconds later, lifting a shot high over Malayer's outstretched hand in the left half of the goal.
North Putnam put its only goal up at the 1:42 mark when sophomore Maggie Pinney found the net. The Cougars had two free kicks in the second half, but both opportunities sailed wide left.
After their contest against the Bruins, Weltz had a few things he wanted the team to address against their county rivals.
"We had two goals tonight," Weltz commented. "We had too many gaps between our players, so we wanted to close our gaps and we needed to move side-to-side as a whole unit, as a team, and not leave gaps. It's kind of the foosball table approach, where we all move together."
Looking ahead, the GHS coach wants his team to work on their communication and learning the ins and the outs of their new formation. And as the team danced to "Cotton Eyed Joe" in the background, he emphasized that he just wants them to remember to have fun.
Although his team fell by five goals, Gaskins knows that each of his girls gave all they had and sometimes the outcome is not as important as the effort put forth.
"They gave their heart. They gave what they had to give and in the end it hurts, but it happens," he commented.
Moving forward, defense is going to be a focus for the Cougars. Gaskins noted that the team lost some big contributors from last year and will continue to find ways to fill their shoes.
Greencastle will host Crawfordsville Monday at 5 p.m., while North Putnam will head south to take on Owen Valley Tuesday at 5 p.m.
At North Putnam
Greencastle 6, North Putnam 1
GHS -- Brotherton (18:30)
GHS -- Brotherton (7:52)
GHS -- Ball (5:37)
GHS -- Brotherton (25:34)
GHS -- Farris (21:41)
GHS -- Brotherton (21:12)
NP -- Pinney (1:42)
Next game -- Greencastle will host Crawfordsville Monday at 5 p.m., while North Putnam will head south to take on Owen Valley Tuesday at 5 p.m.