GRAFTON—Both of the Grafton Bearcats’ soccer teams opened play recently with the boys traveling to Weirton on Saturday, August 24 to challenge the Weir Red Riders and then set off to East/West Stadium on Tuesday, August 27 to face the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears.
The Lady Cats also faced Fairmont Senior on August 27 to begin their 2019 regular season campaign.
Against Weir, the boys lost by the final score of 2-0 after trying a tweak to their formation after only three practices. The adjustment was nearly enough to overcome some other challenges that the Bearcats faced throughout the day.
“We played much better than we had been,” said Bearcats head coach Arthur Knight. “We controlled positioning and scoring chances most of the game. But we had a couple of breakdowns and they made us pay for them. On the flip side, we didn’t execute well in the final third of the contest to finish some of the scoring chances we created.”
Despite the 2-0 final score, Knight was still appreciative of the effort put forth by his senior goalkeeper, Alec Correia.
“Alec still played well in the goal,” Knight added. “We will still be making adjustments to find our true identity here in the early games so we can be more efficient and successful all the way down the schedule.”
The Bearcats then hit the road against Fairmont Senior at East/West Stadium on Tuesday. The Bearcats would drop that contest by the score of 1-0 as seniors Hunter Taylor and Eyan Moran both left the contest early in the first half with concerning injuries.
“With those two senior starters going down in the first few minutes, we could have folded but we came together and played a hard-fought game,” explained Knight. “I was really proud of the effort we put forth. Although we’d rather have been on the other side of a 1-0 game, we take pride in the fact that we are still improving. We still need to find a way to finish more of our scoring chances. Hopefully over the next week or so we can get some things ironed out while getting healthy.”
Coach Lorraine Isner’s Lady Cats soccer team also hit the road on Tuesday as they too faced Fairmont Senior at East/West Stadium in Fairmont.
The game was scoreless all the way until the 72nd minute, when freshman Addie Tucker found the back of the net to give the Lady Cats a 1-0 lead, which would eventually hold.
Tucker is on fire as of late, also notching a hat trick in a recent scrimmage against Philip-Barbour.
Fairmont’s most promising scoring opportunity came just moments later but Grafton senior goalkeeper Jocelyn Countryman made a crucial save to preserve the victory for the Lady Cats.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Tuesday, September 3, as they travel to Bridgeport to take on the Indians. That match is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m.
The Lady Cats will return to action on August 29, when they host AAA Wheeling Park at McKinney Field at 6:00 p.m.