Bucs Soccer secures wins against Lincoln, Preston

Junior Dirk Riley gets his head in the game.

TENNERTON — Head Coach Mike Donato’s Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers soccer team had gotten off to a slow, 0-3-1 start to the season through the first two weeks of the season. This week, the Buccaneers welcomed both Lincoln and Preston County to Tennerton for a two-game home stand.  

The Buccaneers opened the week this past Tuesday, August 30 against Lincoln. A big opening half for coach Donato’s relentless Buccaneer attack culminated in a 3 to 0 score at the half. Goals from Gavin Harvey in the thirteenth minute, Christian Dowell in the sixteenth minute and Caleb Haney in the twentieth minute helped give the Bucs a nice cushion at halftime.  

Coach Donato’s defense held firm in the second half as the Buccaneers lethal attack from the first half went silent, allowing the Bucs to hold on for the 3 to 0 win over Lincoln on Tuesday night.  

Coach Donato broke down his team’s performance against Lincoln, saying, “It took a little bit to get some rhythm and movement on the ball due to changes in the lineup due to illness and injury. Even though we created chances and eventually moved the ball well it still isn’t quite to the level that I know we’re capable of playing. I gave the team a lot of credit because we did the most important thing we look to do in any game and that is get a shutout.” 

Coming off their first win of the year, coach Donato’s soccer Bucs were back in action on Thursday, September 1; this time welcoming the Preston County Knights to Tennerton for a Big 10 Conference match-up. The Bucs thoroughly dominated the Knights this past Thursday, collecting their second straight shutout victory by a final score of 6 to 0.  

At the half, the Bucs held a 2 to 0 lead, after Tim Snyder scored in the opening minute of the game and Josh Gregory found the back of the net in the eleventh minute. While the Buccaneers attack was quiet for most of the later portions of the first half and the early stages of the second, they came alive as the game clock began to wind down, scoring four goals in twenty-six minutes of gametime down the stretch. Christian McDowell got the run started in the fifty-third minute as he rocketed the ball through the Preston County goalkeeper’s hands. Ten minutes later, McDowell struck again with another goal in the sixth-third minute. From there Caleb Haney scored a nice goal in the sixty-sixth minute before Tim Snyder capped off the night’s scoring with a goal in the seventy-ninth minute to seal the lopsided victory for coach Donato’s soccer Bucs.  

Coach Donato analyzed his team’s second straight win, saying, “This was a good bounce back performance for us tonight. Even though we won Tuesday we felt we still weren’t playing at our best. Again, we had to work with lineup adjustments due to different circumstances but our guys stepped up big tonight. Preston is a scrappy hungry team that gave Elkins a battle the other day so we knew they’d want to build off that performance but the 2 early goals we scored were able to help use relax and settle in. We saw a lot smoother possession and good movement. Defensively we didn’t give up any silly chances and was able to keep the ball in our half of the field.” 

With back-to-back home wins, the Bucs improve to 2-3-1 overall. The soccer Bucs will be back in action this Saturday, September 3 as they travel to Charleston for a date with an undefeated 5 and 0 Charleston Catholic team this weekend. 

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