GRAFTON—The Grafton High School (GHS) Bearcat Soccer team has been busy hitting the field and taking down the competition.
Last week, the Cats were able to shut down Elkins 7-0 on Tuesday, with dominating play and steady control of the ball. GHS entered the contest ranked #6 with a record of 5-2-4, while Elkins (5-1-1) sat at #10 in class AA action.
That momentum carried into Thursday, when the Bearcats met up with the Knights of Preston County in a road contest at Preston High Soccer Field. Again, the Cats governed play, controlling the ball and pace of the match, defeating the Knights 8-1.
Grafton hoped to continue their winning ways last Saturday, when they took to the turf at McKinney Field in a match-up against the Keyser Golden Tornadoes.
The contest proved to be one that did not disappoint Bearcat Soccer fans, as the team walked away in victory once more.
The Bearcats took control of the ball early on after the first whistle sounded and were presented with multiple shots on goal by controlling the ball on the final third of the pitch.
Just eight minutes into play, Spencer Copeland took a shot that was finished by Jude Minard, giving the Cats a 1-0 lead.
Carrying over the momentum from the opening score, just four minutes later, Minard took a Bearcat corner kick, and Layne England made a great header finish past the Keyser Keeper, bringing the score to 2-0 in favor of the Cats.
It would once again be Minard’s clever footwork at the 24-minute mark of play that would see the Cats lengthening their lead to 3-0, after he chipped a shot past the Keyser goalie and into the back of the net.
The Bearcats entered halftime with a comfortable 3-0 lead over the Tornadoes.
While GHS continued to control the ball, the Tornadoes made their move at the 8-minute mark, and, on a long kick, found the back of the net, bring the score to 3-1.
The Cats quickly rallied to shut down any momentum gained by the Tornadoes, and just one minute later, Landen Hulley launched the ball from 20-yards out, sending it sailing past the Keyser Keeper.
The score now sat at Grafton 4, Keyser 1, however it wouldn’t remain that way for long.
In a quick turnaround, 30 seconds later, England kicked the ball in front of the Keyser goal to a waiting Adrian Joyce, who promptly placed a first touch volley into the back of the goal for a 5-1 score.
The Cats worked to keep the Tornadoes from scoring the remainder of play, and the 5-1 Bearcat victory carried to the final whistle.
“We passed the ball very well again, and created some good scoring opportunities,” said the Bearcat coaching staff. “A good many subs got some field time again today.”
They went on to note that the Cats start 11 players, with subs who are strong enough players to be starters on many high school teams.
The Cats were back in action this past week taking on Fairmont Senior on Tuesday and Preston County on Thursday.
The Bearcats will hit the turf of McKinney Field on Tuesday against Robert C. Byrd. The game is set to begin at 6:00 p.m.