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GCHS Braves remain unbeaten

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Even as the schedule gets tougher, the Grant County Braves’ soccer team remains impressive.

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Playing the two toughest opponents of the young season, Grant County remained undefeated with a win and a tie in last week’s action, leaving the Braves as one of only two unbeaten teams in Kentucky’s Region 8 at 3-0-1.

The Braves are currently the top defensive team in the region allowing well under one goal per game, while ranking second offensively with an average of 3.6 goals per contest.
In the Braves’ most recent action, the team played to a 0-0 tie with Covington Holy Cross, a team that Grant County Head Coach Garrett Griffith called “easily one of the best teams we will see all year.”
Grant County had it’s chances against the visitors, including a near goal in the final minutes that took a great save by the Holy Cross goalie to stop. While not totally being satisfied with the tie, Griffith did find plenty of positives in his team’s performance.

“I would have liked to have had more shots on goal, but overall, I thought we played great,” he said. “Defensively, it was the best we’ve played all year. We pressured the ball well. And while Holy Cross did have more shots on goal than us, they were not dangerous shots. We didn’t give them anything.”

Earlier in the week, Grant County hit the road for it’s first away game, traveling nearly two hours to Maysville to face the St. Patrick Saints of the 10th Region. After scoring two goals early, Grant County allowed the host team to come back and tie the game with a late first-half goal and another mid-way through the second half.
But much like it has all season, Grant County was strong down the stretch and scored two goals in the final 15 minutes to secure the victory.

“It wasn’t our best game, especially defensively,” said Griffith. “But it’s a long trip over and it’s not always easy to get the guys to adjust to just having to get off the bus, rush through warm ups, and start playing.”

Breaking the trend set last week when junior Joel Hornsby led the Braves’ offensive attack with back-to-back hat tricks, Grant County got it’s offense elsewhere against the Saints in a 4-2 win. Freshman

Nathan Yaeger led the way with two goals, while juniors Colin Cain and Bret Marinacci chipped in one each.
Senior Robbie Nelson and freshmen Bo Cobb and Matthew Barnett all had assists for the Braves.

Griffith said after the game that he was happy to have a variety of players able to put the ball in the net when given the opportunity. But the first goal by Yaeger is something he says all players can learn from.

“It was a pure hustle play,” said the coach. “Nathan didn’t give up on the ball. He crashed the goal and the keeper didn’t come up to get the ball and Nathan was there to put it in. It was a great finish.”
Grant County is back in action on the road at district-rival Simon Kenton, but will be back home to face Calvary Christian at 7 p.m. on Sept. 5.

Griffith said he expects to learn a lot about his team in its match up with Simon Kenton, which beat the Braves out of the 32nd District Tournament a year ago.

“Simon Kenton is always tough, especially defensively,” said Griffith. “They’re always a very strong team. Even when I played here in high school, it was always 1-0, 2-1 or something like that. They play great defense.”