The Tiger Cubs boys' varsity soccer team traveled to Greenfield on Saturday to participate in the Cougar Cup tournament hosted by Greenfield Central High School.
In the opening round of play, the Tiger Cubs defeated Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter by a score of 2-1, while the host Cougars fell to Muncie Central in penalty kicks.
Greencastle came out strong against Cardinal Ritter, firing several good shots in the first two minutes of the match only to be denied by excellent play by Ritter's keeper. It was Ritter that took the early lead, however, as Sam Dorsa received a long pass forward, slipped past the Tiger Cubs back line and hit a long shot over Greencastle keeper Kyle Parker less than 10 minutes into the match.
The Tiger Cubs battled back with 3:03 to play in the first half.
Senior Josh Bonebrake netted his first goal of the season on an assist from junior Brandon Query. Greencastle dominated play and possession in the second half and took the lead with 21:30 to play.
Sophomore Evan Smith drilled a header into the back on the net on a corner kick from junior Sonney Basham for the game-winning goal.
In the other match, Muncie Central took a 3-0 lead into halftime only to have Greenfield Central come back to tie the contest with 20 seconds remaining.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the match was decided by penalty kicks with Muncie Central finally prevailing on the 11th kick.
In the consolation match, Cardinal Ritter defeated the hosts 3-1.
The score was tied 1-1 at the break, but Ritter scored early in the second half to go ahead and seal the win with a late goal.
In the championship game, the Tiger Cubs again came out strong against Muncie Central, taking several early shots. Senior Spencer Moore scored less than two minutes into the match on a direct free kick following a Bearcat foul.
With just under five minutes played at 35:47, Moore netted his second goal on an assist from Evan Smith to put the Tiger Cubs ahead 2-0.
"We wanted to set the tone early in both games, which we did," GHS head coach Dave Lilly said. "Ritter was fortunate to get through the early chances we had or it might have been a rout. Muncie Central was stunned, which is exactly what we needed."
The Bearcats battled right back and answered with a goal on a direct free kick with 31:21 to play in the first half. The play evened out and as both teams fought for possession until Mitchell Ball blasted a shot through traffic with 17:22 remaining in the half to extend the Tiger Cubs lead to 3-1.
"Mitchell's goal was really important for us before the half. It took the energy out of them and allowed us to dominate play for the balance of the period," Lilly said.
In the second half, the Tiger Cubs played a bit more defensively and with possession to control the clock. As the Bearcats wore down, Greencastle was able to continue substituting, with 23 players seeing action.
Moore capped off the scoring by netting his hat trick with 7:40 to play in the match and extending the lead to 4-1.
"Spencer Moore had a monster night against a team that made it to semi-state last year. We wanted a chance to compete with them at this tournament in order to see how we will measure up in the state tournament this season. Although it's early, we feel very confident that we can compete with anyone right now," Lilly said.
The Tiger Cubs improve to 4-0 and will play host to the Crawfordsville Athenians on Tues evening.