GRAFTON— After a ten-day break in action, the Lady Bearcat soccer team made their way to McKinney field Thursday evening, to take on Buckhannon-Upshur (BU) in what would be a back-and-forth battle to start.
The Lady Buccaneers were able to connect with the back of the Lady Bearcat’s net in less than three minutes into play, when Grafton fell victim to a defensive mistake, not clearing the ball off their first corner kick.
In the fast-paced action, just two minutes later, Lady Bearcat Mackenzie Hunter unleashed her aggression, attacking the goal to even things up, 1-1.
“This was huge because it gave us confidence to stay in the game and keep working,” coach Lorraine Isner boasted.
Unfortunately, BU would answer right back when Grafton loss possession in the defensive half, once again topping the Lady Bearcats 2-1.
As the physicality of the head-to-head contest continued, Grafton’s Hadley Horne sent the ball past the Lady Buc’s goalkeeper, Kyndal Davis, off a rebound to once again tie things up at 2-2.
From there, BU’s speed became hard for the Grafton defense to handle, and the Lady Buc’s would earn another goal to go into the halftime break ahead 3-2.
Coming out of the break, Grafton suffered from a defensive miscommunication inside the penalty box, and within the first five minutes of the final half, BU was able to steal another goal, adding to their lead, 4-2.
Battling their way back, unwilling to give up, Horne once again found the back of the net for Grafton putting her team back within striking distance with the score standing at 4-3.
“We persevered and showed a lot of grit to fight our way back,” Isner voiced.
However, the relentless BU offense continued to answer the Lady Bearcats’ attempts and pulled away once more.
On the next Grafton possession, Horne connected a nice pass with Hunter who ran hard, possessing the ball under tight pressure, drilling the shot left to right, not giving the BU keeper a chance to make the stop.
Unfortunately, the fire came a little late, and time was running out. Despite giving it their best efforts, the Lady Bearcats fell short of the win by one goal, with a final score of BU-5 Grafton-4.
“Our midfield of Payden, Mara and Brenna really played well and were key to our possessions and attacks. Addie had a strong game too, which opened up a lot more for our offense,” Isner mentioned.
The Lady Bearcats will face Charleston Catholic today at 3:00 p.m. and will face off against Bridgeport on Tuesday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Team Stats: Grafton: 4 Goals, 9 shots, 6 SOG, 1 assist, 9 intercepts, 6 steals, 2 corners, 1 foul, 9 saves
B-U: 5 Goals, 21 shots, 14 SOG, 3 corners, 6 fouls
Individual team stats: #2 Abigail Stewart: 1 shot, 1 SOG, 2 steals, #5 Madison Mayle: 2 steals, 3 intercepts, #6 MacKenzie Hunter: 2 Goals, 2 shots, 2 SOG, #13 Brenna Wilson: 1 shot, #18 Hadley Horne: 2 Goals, 3 shots, 3 SOG, 1 assist, 1 steal, #19 McKenzie Flohr: 1 shot, #21 Mara Griffith: 1 shot, 3 intercepts, #23 Elizabeth Uhl: 1 steal, 2 intercepts.