Grafton soccer struggles on offense, faces tough losses


GRAFTON— After starting their week with a 3-0 loss to the Fairmont Senior High School Polar Bears on the road, the Grafton Bearcats soccer team returned home on Thursday night looking for redemption against the Morgantown Mohigans but were unable to find it.

Taking to the turf of East/West Stadium on Tuesday night, the Bearcats entered a grueling battle with the Polar Bears but were unable to put together a solid offensive attack. 

With the first half of action dwindling away, the Bearcats made a costly mistake, in which the Polar Bears took advantage, capitalizing on the opportunity and finding the back of the net. 

Fairmont led going into the break with the score sitting at 1-0. 

While the second half opened with much of the same from both teams, Grafton’s goalkeeper made several miraculous saves to keep the contest close. 

However, the Polar Bears were able to break through the Bearcat defenders and connected with the back of the net two more times in the last half of action, ultimately securing the 3-0 win. 

“Bryson played a heck of a game for us and kept it close. We just weren’t able to capitalize on that,” remarked coach Jack Wolverton. 

Next, the Bearcats would head into competition with a local powerhouse, the Morgantown High School Mohigans. 

Hoping to claim the win on their home field Thursday night, the Bearcats and Mohigans engaged in seesaw action throughout the first half with a lot of midfield play. 

The contest remained scoreless heading into halftime, and while Grafton had a few chances to score, they were unable to connect with the net, and ended up finding themselves with limited offensive opportunities, resulting in a battle for the Bearcat defenders. 

Morgantown earned a free kick at the 20-minute mark during the final half of the game, sending the ball passed the Bearcat goalkeeper and into the net from 25 yards out. 

While the Mohigans had hoped to widen their lead, the strong Bearcat defense and midfield played solidly and prevented Morgantown from making any further attacks. 

Despite their strong defensive efforts, the lack of offensive opportunities plagued the Bearcats, and they dropped the contest 1-0.

“Overall, us coaches don’t like to lose, but we were very pleased with the way our team kept their heads up, encouraged one another, played with a lot of field smarts and played as a team,” Wolverton voiced. “It’s a game we didn’t win on paper, but as a team, we played very well.”

The Bearcats will be back in action on Tuesday, October 5, meeting up with Robert C. Byrd on the road. The contest is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m. 

Individual player stats, v. Fairmont Senior: Landen Hulley: 4 steals, Spencer Copeland: 1 shot, Gage McVicker: 3 steals, Colton Sanders: 2 steals, Zach Nibert: 2 steals, Gavin Wolverton: 3 steals, Devin Weaver: 2 steals, Bryson Kittle: 10 saves

Individual player stats, v. Morgantown: 

Layne England: 1 shot, Landen Hulley: 6 steals, Gage McVicker: 3 steals, Colton Sanders: 2 steals, Zach Nibert: 1 steal, Levi Miller: 2 steals, Gavin Wolverton: 4 steals, Devin Weaver: 3 steals, Bryson Kittle: 4 saves

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