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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

Cougars blanked by Bruins

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(Photo)
North Putnam's Lauren Campbell clears the ball during Tuesday's sectional contest. [Order this photo]
For the second straight year, the Tri-West Bruins bounced North Putnam girls' soccer out of the tournament. The Cougars lost to the Bruins 7-0 Tuesday at the Greencastle Class A No. 42 sectional to close its regular season.

Tri-West utilized a great first touch to put themselves in position to attack the Cougars and it didn't take long for them to put some points on the board. Abby Meyers scored the Bruins first goal, with Lauren Pfeifer adding the Bruins' second goal of the first half.

North Putnam head coach Willie Gaskins noted Tri-West's impressive first touch and had a game plan ready for it.

"What they were doing well was their first touch," Gaskins said. "They had a phenomenal first touch. Ninety percent of the time when they touched the ball the first time, it was a trap and it was where they wanted it to be. Which was a weakness with my girls and it's been a weakness and I've tried to work on it.

"I had planned to play a very defensive-oriented game anyway and just use a counterstrike to try to bring them all to my side and then get a quick launch, which I almost had a couple times," he added.

North Putnam held its own in the first half, finding itself down just 2-0 at the break and Gaskins thought the second half might just hold something special for the Cougars.

"I was very happy with my girls having it only 2-0 at halftime. I was still fully in belief that we could do something," he said.

Gaskins pulled his keeper Jaclyn Rousch, replacing her with Maggie Pinney. He said he wanted to change some things up in the goal, but also wanted to give Rousch a shot at her first high school career goal. Unfortunately, the second half wasn't what the Cougars had hoped it would be.

Tri-West posted five second half goals, while the Cougars were held scoreless. With the win, Tri-West will now face Western Boone Thursday at 7 p.m.

Even though his team lost the contest, Gaskins saw some nice things out of his squad Tuesday.

"Something I thought we did really well was the fact of covering each other's spots," Gaskins said. "When one girls moves from one spot, another girl takes her spot, which is something I worked on this last week. Making sure other people could cover other people's spots that way if something happens and you have to get out of your spot, we have someone to cover it. Which is something we did awesome -- it was awesome in the first half."

North Putnam will lose seniors Pinney, Rousch, Robin Downton, Lydia Volland and Jaclyn Davidson to graduation. Gaskins had had his five seniors had been together for their four year high school career. With graduation, he will be losing a player from each spot on the field and he acknowledged his returning and incoming players would have some big shoes to fill.

"They got big shoes to fill, which they know," Gaskins said. "A couple of them I'm not too worried about because I got them some playing time throughout the season to try to test them out. Most of them are going to be freshmen stepping into those spots.

"As we go on they'll step up to the challenge. I have this every year. A couple years ago I had the same thing," he said.

At Greencastle

Class A No. 42 Sectional

Tri-West 2 5 -- 7

North Putnam 0 0 -- 0