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Thursday, May 5, 2016

GHS advances to sectional final on penalty kicks

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Greencastle senior Nick Tharp sends the first of four GHS penalty kicks that found the net in the Tiger Cubs' win over Cascade Wednesday. [Order this photo]
BROWNSBURG -- When the boys' soccer teams from Greencastle and Cascade got together at the Bethesda Christian Class A Sectional, it must have seemed like déjà vu.

The two teams tangled in the regular season final with Greencastle coming out on top after going to penalty kicks. The same scenario presented itself Wednesday as the two squads battled to a 1-all tie, with the Tiger Cubs coming out on top after edging the Cadets 4-2 in penalty kicks.

"I'm happy and I'm disappointed at the same time, because the game was ours and letting them taking us to OT and kicks with five minutes to go was not good," GHS head coach Dave Lilly said. "We just got playing too soft.

"We needed to continued to play to win the ball, to get it in the other end to have some attacking options and we just kept giving them corner kick and free kicks."

Cascade had the chance to go up early but came up short as a goal was called off due to an offsides penalty and a header by Conner Branscum sailed just right of the goal.

Greencastle scored the first goal of the night on an atypical goal. The Tiger Cubs earned a corner kick, with Jacob Kessler getting the call to send the kick in.

After raising his hand, Kessler unleashed a kick that took a mean left turn and found the far corner of the net with 9:20 left in the first half. Greencastle was able to hold that edge for the remainder of the half.

Greencastle didn't escape the half unscathed though, as defender Cameron Hinton went down with an ankle injury.

"Losing Cameron in the back hurt us," Lilly said. "He was doing a great job and wanted the ball and delivering up front. I hope that he's OK for Saturday."

Lilly said the sophomore was taken for X-rays and more would be known after that.

The Cadets came out strong in the second half and attacked the Tiger Cubs, which resulted in multiple shots on goal, but GHS keeper Zane Miller was a wall keeping the advantage in favor of the Tiger Cubs.

Greencastle looked in control of the match, but a hard push by the Cadets caught GHS off guard and was able to get Austin Lautenschlager out front. He sent a shot behind Miller who had moved to the left to tie the game at 1-all.

The two teams carried that 1-all score through the remainder of regular time and through a 14-minute overtime period.

The two teams chose their five kickers and marched them out on the pitch. Greencastle and Cascade traded goals on the first two penalty kicks, but the Tiger Cubs went ahead on the third goal.

Paul Heithaus connected on Greencastle's third PK goal to put GHS up 3-2 in penalty kicks.

Cascade's Cameron Phillips' shot went high, followed by Greencastle's Sedrick Weinschenk drilling a shot past freshman keeper Josh Masner.

With Greencastle holding a 4-2 edge in penalty kicks, Cascade's final shot at extending the match lay on the foot of Hayden Suter. He eyed his kick, sent it to the right of Miller, but the kick found the right bar of the goal and bounced away harmlessly giving GHS the win.

Greencastle has enjoyed success in penalty kick situations, so Lilly is confident if matches come down to PKs, his team has the right stuff to get the job done.

"Like I told the guys before we started, if the other team doesn't score or if we can keep it even and go to penalty kicks, I like our chances," Lilly said. "You can see our guys are pretty cool. No one had the nerves tonight and Zane is good to at least stop one. They beat themselves tonight, but if the ball weren't high, he was on position to stop them."

While his team came out on top, Lilly commended the Cadets for their performance, especially its seniors.

"I have to give Cascade credit, they are much, much improved," he said. "Their senior play was better than our senior play tonight and it's the seniors' game. It's their time. They have the maturity, they have the soccer aptitude."

Lilly also reserved some praise for one of his own seniors and his performance Wednesday.

"I thought Sam Sloan played really well for us tonight. He played a lot of minutes. They all did, but he especially did. He's got the body mass that he wins a lot of those, so he definitely held his own in the middle," Lilly said.

Greencastle will take on the winner of Tri-West and Bethesda Christian Saturday at 7 p.m. in the sectional final.

At Bethesda Christian

IHSAA Boys' Soccer Class A Sectional No. 49

Cascade 0 1 (2) -- 1

Greencastle 1 0 (4) -- 2

First Half

GHS -- Kessler 9:20

Second Half

CAS -- Lautenschlager 6:44

Penalty Kicks

Cascade -- 2

Greencastle -- 4