GRAFTON— It was a good week for the Grafton High School (GHS) Bearcat soccer program, as the team claimed impressive victories over Preston and Liberty.
On Monday, the Bearcats took to their home turf against the Knights of Preston County High School, and would dominate the field, controlling the game, and winning by a landslide score of 8-0.
The first goal for the Cats would come just two minutes into action, with an assist by Layne England made to Spencer Copeland, who was quickly able to place the ball into the Knights’ net, giving Grafton the early 1-0 lead.
Selfless teamwork continued for the Bearcats giving them an edge over Preston.
At the 11-minute mark, Copeland earned Grafton’s second goal, once again off an assist, this time, from Bearcat Gage McVicker.
Copeland continued to carry the Bearcats, as he earned his third goal of the night less than five minutes after his second. This goal came off of a hat trick from an Adrian Joyce assist and widened Grafton’s lead to 3-0.
The Bearcats went into the halftime break still ahead by three goals and would come out in the second hungry for more.
Starting the second half, the Bearcats held the majority of possession, and Grafton’s Landen Hulley added to the team’s lead, placing a great shot into the back of the net off of a free kick from 25-yards out at the seven-minute mark.
The Bearcats went on to tally another goal made by England, with McVicker once again assisting in the effort.
Hulley knocked in another of his own at the 15-minute mark off of a Colton Sanders assist.
The scoring frenzy continued for the Bearcats up until the final buzzer, with additional goals from Ethan Weaver, off another Joyce assist, and Markus Carder, dribbling through defenders to put one into the goal for Grafton, giving the Cats with 8-0 victory.
Then, on Thursday, Grafton would go head-to-head with the Liberty Mountaineers on their rough grass field in Clarksburg.
Prior to the start of the contest, GHS Head Coach Arthur Knight stressed to his players, the importance of the match ahead, as the outcome would affect sectional playoff seating.
With that in mind, the Bearcats went to work, and saw great success.
“Upon kickoff, our midfield controlled the game with some great passing and possessing of the ball. We had several good placed balls but just couldn’t quite put it all together for a goal,” Assistant Coach Jack Wolverton shared.
The scoring drought would soon end for the Bearcats though. At the nine-minute mark, England threw the ball toward the goal, that came under control by Cody Abraham, who sent the ball into the far corner of the Liberty goal off of a header.
Retaining possession for most of the remaining minutes in the half, Grafton went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats kept possession to start things out in the second half and earned another goal at the eight-minute mark, with a hard shot from Hulley.
Moments later, an offensive play executed by McVicker and Abraham added another goal to Grafton’s score.
“At the 19-minute mark, a penalty kick was awarded to Liberty on a questionable call,” Wolverton commented. “On the ensuing penalty kick Bryson Kittle made a valiant try and got his fingers onto the ball but just could not stop the goal.”
After a little more than 20 minutes of play, the Bearcats escaped with the 3-1 victory, which they were able to secure with once again through exhibiting selfless team play.
After the game, Coach Knight sent praises to his Captain Cody Abraham for the way that he steps up in these sectional feeling games.
The Bearcats take to the field today at noon at Brooke High School.
Individual player stats vs. Preston:Landen Hulley: 2 goals, 4 shots, 7 steals, Spencer Copeland: 3 goals, 3 shots, Layne England: 1 assist, 1 goal, 2 shots, Gage McVicker: 2 assists, 4 steals, Colton Sanders: 1 assist, 3 shots, 3 steals, Levi Miller: 2 steals, Gavin Wolverton: 4 steals, 1 shot, Devin Weaver: 2 steals, Justin Gainer: 3 saves, Markus Carder: 1 goal, 1 shot, Adrian Joyce: 2 assists, 1 shot, Hayden Derk: 3 steals, Landen Miller: 3 steals, Ethan Weaver: 1 goal, 1 shot, Alex Himes: 1 steal, Jude Minard: 1 steal
Individual player stats vs. Liberty:Cody Abraham: 2 goals, 2 shots, Landen Hulley: 1 goal, 2 shots, Spencer Copeland: 2 shots, Layne England: 1 assist,6 shots, Gage McVicker: 1 assist, 6 steals, Colton Sanders: 4 steals, Levi Miller: 2 steals, Gavin Wolverton: 4 steals, Devin Weaver: 3 steals, Hayden Derk: 4 steals, Bryson Kittle: 4 saves