GRAFTON— Despite dropping their first of their three most recent contests, the Lady Bearcat soccer team picked things up mid-week and secured two big wins.
On the road first against Saint Joseph Central Catholic on Saturday, Grafton would give up three goals through balls up the middle, which Head Coach Lorraine Isner shared was because the Lady Bearcats struggled to maintain possession in the midfield.
All three of St. Joseph’s goals came from Junior Maren Muth.
“She finessed the first one as she dribbled unmarked into the goal box at the 34:22 mark. Muth scored two more goals at the 16:48 and 14:38 minute marks,” recalled Isner.
Although the Lady Bearcats recorded good stats, the team was unable to put together solid offensive play and couldn’t find a way to score.
St. Joseph’s tallied seven shots in the first half, with six shots on goal, while Grafton recorded 18 shots in the first half and 11 shots on goal.
“We could not finish any of our attacks, and the second half was the same. They had one shot and one shot on goal in the second half and we had nine shots and seven shots on goal,” Isner disclosed.
The Lady Bearcats would then move on from their 3-0 loss, to take on conference and sectional opponent Robert C. Byrd.
Putting in the heart and hustle for a full 80 minutes, the Lady Bearcats controlled the game, and took the shutout win over the Lady Eagles, 4-0.
The first Grafton goal came at the 29:54 mark, as Hadley Horne possessed in the box, after a combination between Claire McCarthy and MacKenzie Hunter.
The Lady Bearcats would earn their second goal at the 28:01-minute mark in the second half when Midfielder Mara Griffith delivered a perfect ball to McCarthy who finished with her left on a left to right shot.Horne and McCarthy would once again link up for a combination up the left side of the turf, ultimately finding Horne, who took the shot for Grafton’s third goal at the 24:15 mark.
Isner shared that the team’s final goal came from deep in the box with Horne dribbling to the right post and finding Jennah Charlton making a textbook run to the back post.
“Brenna Wilson has really come on strong her senior year. She moved to the midfield early in the season and she is owning it, playing strong and confident,” Isner voiced. “She has a beautiful touch on the ball and her play is very tactfully sound and skillful.”
Isner also shared on her Senior Captain Kelly Grass, who moved from the midfield to center defensive back at the start of the season.
“She never played the position, but she is also owning her new position, playing very well. She is a natural at shutting down attackers. She reads the play well and is quick to step into the gaps and stand up her marks. She is strong and has excellent tacking skills,” she added.
With the impressive win under their belts, the Lady Bearcats went into their match up with Lincoln at home, hungry for another W, and their determination and drive answered that desire with another shutout on the 3-0 victory.
“It was good to get back-to-back shutouts. Lincoln only had two shots and two on goal. Our team pressure on the ball, closing passing lanes, and ability to possess and distribute the ball shutdown any offense they tried to create,” Isner said of the contest.
“They had a different formation than other opponents with eight in the defensive third. This presented a challenge to scoring, but we were patient and aggressive with our attacks. We kept the pressure on the whole game, and it was another solid performance by everyone. We had a lot of shots on goal, and we kept their keeper busy,” she recollected.
Stats Grafton vs RCB:
Grafton:4 goals, 3 assists, 15 SOG, 28 shots, 12 steals, 12 intercepts, 4 fouls, 6 corners. RCB stats: 4 SOG, 7 shots, 3 fouls, 1 corner, 11 saves
#18 Hadley Horne: 2 goals, 1 assist, 8 SOG, 16 shots, #9 Claire McCarthy: 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 SOG, 1 shot, 1 intercept , #7 Jennah Charlton: 1 goal, 1 SOG, 2 shots, #21 Mara Griffith: 1 assist, 1 SOG, 1 shot, 1 intercept , #13 Brenna Wilson: 1 SOG, 2 shots, 3 steals, 2 intercepts, #12 Payden Morris: 3 shots, 3 intercepts, #19 McKenzie Flohr: 2 SOG, 2 shots, 1 intercept , #11 Riley Countryman: 1 SOG, 1 shot , #2 Abigail Stewart: 3 steals, 1 intercept , #10 Kelly Grass: 1 steal, #14 Emma Fridley: 2 intercepts , #16 MyKenna Stemple: 1 defender save, #23 Elizabeth Uhl: 4 steals, 1 intercept , #26 Izzy Carroll: 1 steal
#00 Nicole Giles: 40 minutes, 0 shots, 0 GA, 0 saves “clean sheet”
#99 Regan Knight: 40 minutes, 4 SOG, 7 shots, 0 GA, 3 saves (1 def save)
Stats Grafton vs Lincoln:
Grafton: 3 goals, 2 assists, 24 SOG, 37 shots, 9 steals, 8 intercepts, 4 fouls, 5 corners, 2 saves, Lincoln: 2 SOG, 2 shots, 4 fouls, 20 keeper saves, 1 defender save
#6 MacKenzie Hunter: 1 SOG, 1 shot, #7 Jennah Charlton: 1 shot, #9 Claire McCarthy: 3 SOG, 3 shots, #10 Kelly Grass: 1 intercept , #11 Riley Countryman: 1 shot, #12 Payden Morris: 1 goal, 3 SOG, 5 shots, 1 steal, #13 Brenna Wilson: 2 SOG, 3 shots, 3 steals, 3 intercepts, #14 Emma Fridley: 1 intercept, #17 Lillie Singleton: 2 SOG, 2 shots, 1 steal, 1 intercept , #18 Hadley Horne: 2 goals, 8 SOG, 11 shots, 1 intercept , #19 McKenzie Flohr: 1 steal, #20 Addie Tucker: 4 SOG, 8 shots, 2 steals, #21 Mara Griffith: 1 shot, 1 steal, #23 Elizabeth Uhl: 1 SOG, 1 shot, 2 assists, 1 intercept
#00 Nicole Giles: 73 minutes, 2 SOG, 0 GA, 2 saves
#99 Regan Knight: 7 minutes, 0 SOG, 0 GA, 0 saves