GRAFTON—The Grafton High School (GHS) Bearcat Soccer team welcomed the Minutemen of Lewis County to the turf at McKinney Field on Thursday, in a sectional showdown that would see the Cats put on a winning display.
At the open of play, the Bearcats were quick to take possession of the ball, controlling the speed and pace of the first half of play, as they worked to outmaneuver and outscore the Minutemen.
The Cats would be the first on the board with a connection from Layne England to Adrian Joyce, who was able to easily place the ball passed the Lewis keeper just eight minutes into play.
Building off of the momentum of the first score, just four minutes later, Spencer Copeland once again found Joyce, who sailed the ball into the back of the net, claiming another Bearcat goal.
Determined to see the first half of play end in their favor, and with the score sitting at 2-0 in favor of GHS, the Cats worked diligently to keep the Minutemen out of scoring position.
As the halftime whistle blew, Grafton maintained their lead, and entered the second half of play up two goals to none.
With a focus on victory, the Cats came into the second half and quickly scored. Within just a minute of action, England found the net off of a Lewis mistake, making the score 3-0, in favor of the blue and gold.
The lead now lengthened, the Bearcats seemed to back off of their aggressive play, and that would lead to a Lewis County goal.
“We seemed to relax and play a little flat-footed,” voiced Bearcat Soccer Assistant Coach Jack Wolverton. “A little too much for our liking, and it cost us a goal.”
At the 12-minute mark of the second half, Lewis got on the scoreboard with an “unlucky” shot from 30 yards out, lessening the Cats lead to just two goals with the score at 3-1.
The Minutemen tacked on another score at the 36-minute mark of action after a foul in the box. The result of the infraction was a Lewis County penalty kick, and they would capitalize on it, placing the ball into the net and bringing the score within one, at 3-2 GHS.
The Bearcats would spend the final minutes of play defending their turf, and held the Minutemen scoreless. When the final whistle sounded, the Cats claimed a 3-2 victory over Lewis.
“This was a nice Bearcat win against a quality opponent,” said Wolverton. “We found some things we need to work on, and we will clean up our game for this coming week’s action.”
The Bearcats will play away at Elkins on Tuesday, away at Preston on Thursday, and will return to McKinney Field with a home game on Saturday against Keyser.
The away games are slated to begin at 5:30 p.m., and the home contest will get underway at 1:00 p.m.
“Come out and support your Bearcats,” urged Wolverton.