Mountain Statesman | GHS Bearcat Soccer gets off to a good start for the 2022 season

GRAFTON—Grafton High School’s (GHS) Bearcat Soccer program kicked off its season last Saturday, toppling the Dots of Poca High School 7-1, in a home game at McKinney Field.

It would be junior midfielder Landen Hulley who would land the first blow against Poca. With a steal at the four-minute mark in the first half, he stole the ball and quickly found the back of the net 15 yards out for the Cats.

“We then continued with possession, but we just couldn’t score another goal in the first half,” revealed head coach Arthur Knight.

The second half would see the Bearcats dominate the field early, with four goals scored in the first 12 minutes of play.

The first attack came from Colton Sanders from over 20 yards on a pass from Spencer Copeland at the two-minute mark, followed by a shot from Copeland that found the back of the net thanks to a pass from Layne England, barely two minutes later.

Hulley scored again for the Cats, this time on a penalty following a foul in the box on Jude Minard.

The Dots tried to rally after Hulley’s goal and found the back of the net, eventually putting a score on the board. However, the Bearcats didn’t take the pressure off the field and continued to dominate.

Hulley managed to steal the ball from Poca in the 12th minute and, with a third goal scored from 25 yards, earned a hat trick.

In the 22nd minute, England, on an assist from Hulley, put the ball into the corner of the goal for a 6-1 lead. And with a goal from Connor Abraham, the Cats closed out the contest 7-1 over the Dots.

Then on Tuesday, the Bearcats traveled to Pony Lewis Field at JW Ruby Stadium in Morgantown to take on defending AAA champions Morgantown High Mohigans in a game that would see both teams put in a huge effort.

Although both teams showed great skill in the first half, neither team was able to find the back of the net and the score was 0-0 at halftime. time.

“After kick-off we controlled the midfield and had the majority of possession for 25 minutes, but we just couldn’t get past the strong Mohigan defence,” Knight revealed. “The start of the second half saw plenty of play in midfield again, with both teams putting in a few shots on goal but unable to get past either goalkeeper.”

GHS keeper Bryson Kittle kept the Morgantown side from scoring in the second half, using his body length with a few full extension saves. Unfortunately, goalkeeper Mohigan was just as adept at keeping the Cats out of the net, and when the final whistle sounded, the score was still tied.

“We told the young men before the game it was going to be like a playoff game, and it was definitely a dogfight,” Knight said.

On Wednesday, it was the junior varsity (JV) team’s turn to show off their skills, as they traveled to AAA Preston High School.

“It was a very even game with a lot of play in midfield again,” Knight revealed.

It would be the second Avery Duckworth who would score the first’s only goal, sending the Cats to halftime with a score of 1-0.

“With Bearcat JV having only one sub for the second half, our young men battled with Preston Knights but played a lot on our heels due to tired legs,” Knight reported.

With just nine seconds left, the Knights found the back of the net, making it 1-1. And although the Cats rallied, they couldn’t score before the final whistle.

The Bearcat Soccer Varsity team will be back in action tonight as they travel to Point Pleasant to take on the Black Knights of Point Pleasant High School. The results of this competition will be presented in a future edition of the Mountain Statesman.

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