GRAFTON— The Bearcat Boys Soccer team took to the turf this week against two formidable opponents, securing wins in both battles.
Grafton’s first victory was one years in the making.
For the first time since the 2015-2016 season, the Bearcats claimed victory of the Robert C. Bryd (RCB) Eagles with a score of 2-1.
The contest started off as a back-and-forth battle in the mid-field, with minimal shot attempts from both teams.
RCB would be the first on the board, with a shot from just inside the front post that connected with the back of the net at the eight-minute mark.
The 1-0 score carried the Eagles into the half time break with the lead, but Grafton was prepared to fight back.
After Head Coach Arthur Knight made necessary adjustments and discussed how the team be should attacking, the Bearcats went back on the field in a new mindset, ready to take control.
“The second half we had a good deal more possession and some good shots,” said Assistant Coach Jack Wolverton.
19 minutes in the second half of action, Bearcat Spencer Copeland dribbled by a couple of defenders and made a hard shot that an RCB defender. The defender put the ball right back on Copeland’s foot and he punched in into the back of the goal, tying things up 1-1.
With the Bearcats mainly in possession, Landen Hulley took a hard shot from 16 yards out that the Eagles’ goalie was unable to fully handle. Luckily, Grafton’s Adrian Joyce was there to capitalize on the goalie mistake and promptly put the ball into the top of the goal, putting the Bearcats ahead by one.
“We had two defensive starters and one solid sub out for the game, but we had Landen Miller and Hayden Derk step in and help take care of the RCB threats,” Wolverton shared.
At the final buzzer, Grafton remained on top 2-1, claiming the hard-fought victory.
On Thursday, the Bearcats were back on their home turf for a matchup against the Lincoln Cougars to celebrate their seniors, Cody Abraham, Gage McVicker and Gavin Wolverton.
From the first whistle, Grafton controlled the ball, making good passes, yet they were unable to find the goal after multiple attempts.
That would change for the Bearcats at the 30-minute mark when Hulley sent a pass to Layne England, who was finally able to finish and put Grafton on the board, 1-0.
England’s score would be the lone goal of the first half, as the teams went into break.
After making some adjustments to their formation during halftime, the Bearcats came out on fire and would widen their lead over the final half of play.
Just two minutes into the second half, England scored again from 18 yards out, and just a few minutes later, Colton Sanders scored form 12 yds out off an assist from Copeland.
Following those goals, Hulley scored from inside the six-yard box from a Joyce assist.
The Bearcats’ scoring frenzy continued with a goal by Copeland off another Hulley assist.
Just a few minutes after, GHS Captain Gage McVicker was fouled in the box and took the Penalty Kick, earning a goal of his own for the Bearcats.
“After a lot of subbing and still keeping Lincoln on their heels Captain Cody Abraham converted a loose ball in the box into a goal for GHS at the 27 min mark. At the 34 min Landen placed a corner kick onto freshman Ethan Weaver’s head who placed it perfectly into the goal,” recalled Wolverton.
At the final buzzer, Grafton took the big shutout win over the Cougars with an impressive score of 8-0.
“Once again our midfield controlled the game,” Wolverton commented. “Our defense stood strong once again and only allowed one Lincoln shot. I love how we shared the ball and seven different players scored. That’s great Bearcat team ball!
The Bearcats are back in action today, as they travel to Wheeling to take on Wheeling Central.
GHS vs RCB:
Landen Hulley: 3 shots, 5 steals, Spencer Copeland: 3 shots, 1 goal, Layne England: 4 shots, Gage McVicker: 4 steals, Colton Sanders: 2 steals, Zach Nibert: 1 shot, 1 steal, Gavin Wolverton: 4 steals, Bryson Kittle: 3 saves, Adrian Joyce: 1 goal, Landen Miller: 2 steals, Hayden Derk: 2 steals
GHS vs Lincoln:
Cody Abraham: 1 goal, 1 assist, Landen Hulley: 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, 6 steals, Spencer Copeland: 3 shots, 1 goal, 1 assist, Layne England: 2 goals, 4 shots, Gage McVicker: 1 goal, 4 steals, 1 shot, Colton Sanders: 1 goal, 1 shot, 3 steals, Levi Miller: 1 steal, Devin Weaver: 2 steals, Justin Gainer: 1 save, Markus Carder: 1 steal, Gavin Wolverton: 3 steals, Bryson Kittle: 3 saves, Adrian Joyce: 2 shots, 1 assist, Landen Miller: 2 steals, Avery Duckworth: 2 shots, Ethan Weaver: 1 goal, 2 shot, Jude Minard: 3 steals