Soccer Bearcats capture Region II title behind “Legion of Zoom” defense, outlast Minutemen in thriller, 2-0

GRAFTON—The Grafton Bearcats soccer team (13-4-4, 8-2-2 in Big 10 Conference play) welcomed the Lewis County Minutemen (15-4-2, 7-2-1 in Big 10 Conference play) to Grafton for the Region 2 championship game with the winner set to move on to the State Championship’s final four. 

After a slow start to the game, with both teams finding trouble getting into scoring territory; Jude Minard gained possession quickly finding a streaking Layne England, who with a few nifty moves maneuvered himself into position before sending a shot into the back of the net to break the ice with the game’s first score in the thirty-third minute. 

This score held until the halftime, as the Bearcats entered the locker-room holding a tenuous one-goal lead. 

In the second half, these two seemingly evenly-matched squads opened up the action offensively, with both teams being aggressive and going for broke when they gained possession. 

In the game’s fifty-eighth minute, Landen Hulley put a perfectly placed pass on the head of Adrain Joyce who instinctively knocked in the header for the goal, extending the Bearcats lead to 2-0. 

In the end, the Bearcats “Legion of Zoom” defense held the Minutemen scoreless, collecting another shutout en route to the 2-0 win and the Region II title. 

The Bearcats talented group of defenders stonewalled the best attempts of Lewis County’s offense; only allowing three total shots on goal from the potent Minutemen attack. 

The Bearcats defense, has certainly earned the “Legion of Zoom” moniker as they have only allowed a single goal over the span of their last seven games. 

  With the win, the Bearcats move on the State Championship final four in Beckley at the Paul Cline Memorial Soccer Complex, this coming Friday, November 4 at 4:30 p.m.

The Bearcats are slated to square off against the #1-seeded, nationally-ranked, and state-ranked Charleston Catholic Irish.


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