Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

April 17, 2013

G-Men booters silence Bulldogs 9-3

EAST RIVER — Forrest Yates attracts plenty of attention on the pitch.

For good reason.

Yates, a senior at Graham, scored three goals, and a trio of freshmen scored a goal apiece, leading the G-Men to a 9-3 non-district win over Tazewell on Wednesday evening at East River Soccer Complex.

Graham (2-0-1), which was playing just its third game of the season, fell behind 1-0, but scored five unanswered goals in the opening half, and four more goals after the break to cruise to victory.

Yates, who will play next fall at Bluefield College, answered an early goal by Tazewell freshman Corey Brewster with one of his own, added at least one first half assist and then nailed two more goals in the second half.

“We have had a few of those over the years and Graham has had a few,” said Tazewell boys coach Tim Rasnick, of Yates. “You are lucky and extremely fortunate when you have one like that that comes through, but you don’t always have them. He is a very, very good player.”

His hat trick gave Yates seven goals in three days.

“We played Narrows Monday and I scored four goals. I have done it a couple of times in the past,” Yates said. “I had some really good passes, they were playing an offsides scrap and if you can play against it, we broke it down really well by passing really, it wasn’t all me.”

Other goals by Graham came from junior Samuel Stowers — who had two goals and at least one assist — and one goal each from senior Cody Hatfield, and the freshmen trio of Nathan Figueroa, Alex Aiello and Caleb Cox, which is a good sign for G-Men soccer in the future.

“It is looking really good, we have a lot of talent,” Yates said. “I think we had three freshmen score. It is looking really good and I had a couple of assists from them.”

Tazewell (4-3), which played without three starters and had no seniors on the pitch, got a stellar performance by freshman goalkeeper Nick Barnett, but the G-Men just kept attacking and were finally able to get shots in the goal.

“We are dealing with several issues from previous games and when you play a good team like Graham it is hard to be consistent and trying to move people around and find spots and to cover,” Rasnick said. “As a whole I thought they played pretty well, we didn’t maintain consistency, and when you make those mistakes, it causes you problems.”

 Brewster, who scored early by kicking the ball past goalkeeper Hunter Cook, was one of several freshmen to play for both teams.

“Corey is tough, as a matter of fact, we had several,” Rasnick said. “The goalie is a freshman, (Corey) is a freshman, the two defensive mids are freshmen. We didn’t have a single senior on the field tonight.”

By the time the youthful Bulldogs scored again, the G-Men were up 8-1 late in the second half. Yates scored first to tie the score at 1-1, and Graham added first half goals by Figueroa, Aiello, Stowers — off an assist by Yates — and Cox. The final three goals came over the final 11:09 of the half.

“What I did the last two days was just try to get us back outside, back in the mode of passing and spreading,” said Hank Furry, who was the acting head coach in the absence of George Aiello for the G-Men. “The first 25 minutes of the game, even though we weren’t putting the shots in the goal, you could clearly see we were passing the ball, hitting the people in space...

“George and I spend a lot of time talking soccer together so we kind of have the same understanding of what works best with this group of boys.”

Graham continued its assault, with Yates collecting his second goal off an assist by Hugh Clary just 3:25 into the second half. He would score again 16 minutes later with help from an assist by Stowers to build the lead to 7-1.

“They know me, I have been here for a while, but we have some talent and in the first part of the first half, everybody else scored and I didn’t,” Yates said. “I draw a lot of attention most of the time.”

That attention allowed other G-Men to get loose, sprint down the field, catch up with passes and then take shot attempts at the net. Stowers scored off an assist by Figueroa, and Hatfield would later score on a pass from Brenden Wehrle to finish up the scoring for Graham.

“We knew Forrest was going to draw people and if Forrest is drawing three there has got to be three of our people open,” Furry said. “That is what we are trying to make the players understand is put yourself in the situation where Forrest can take advantage of that and then when those players sag off of Forrest, then Forrest is open,” Furry said. “Forrest had an exceptional night.

“A lot of teams come up here and play an offside trap on this big old field at East River and if you don’t have backs that are fast, if our front line is faster than your backline it is hard to play a trap.”

Spencer Necessary scored twice in the final 14 minutes for the Bulldogs, including a final goal right as the final buzzer sounded.

“We did a lot of things well, we did a lot of things not very well,” Rasnick said. “Tomorrow is a new day. You get started and we get ready for Richlands on Friday.”

Both teams have been affected by the weather, but more games are on the horizon. Tazewell hosts Richlands in the Southwest District opener on Friday and have three games on tap for next week.

“Things are coming, it is up and down, this makes us 4-3,” Rasnick said. “We will head into district play on Friday and kind of go for the next two or three weeks with nothing but district play. It is time to grow up and move forward.”

Graham has three games on tap next week, and plenty more in the weeks ahead.

“We are going into a segment here before long where are going to practice, play, practice, play because of the makeup games and getting back on track,” Furry said. “It is just a matter of that hopefully the weather has broke. Of course I heard this weekend it is going to be cold.”

Bring on the games, Yates is ready to play more soccer.

“I think we have one week where we are going to have to play five games in a row,” Yates said. “We are ready to start playing, we are glad we got to come out today and play. This is a beautiful field.”

—Contact Brian Woodson


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