TENNERTON – Ashley Caitlin had a goal and an assist and keeper Kyndal Davis kept University off the scoreboard as the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the visiting University Hawks in the Section 2, Region 1 tournament opener Monday evening at Ted Crites Field at Tom Hasbrouck Stadium.
“I am so proud of how well Caitlin played,” stated Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jackie Zuliani. “She always gives it everything she has, but you could see in her play she didn’t want tonight to be our last game. She was going to do what she could to help us move on.”
The victory came after the Lady Bucs were virtually shut down over the last three weeks as the county fell in the ‘orange’ category on the state’s COVID-19 map.
“I am very proud of how the girls played overall,” remarked Zuliani. “We haven’t been able to fully practice or play a game for almost four weeks. We were a little rusty, but the intensity was there and that was great to see.”
The Lady Bucs took a 1-0 lead with 29 seconds remaining in the first half.
Caitlin fired a shot that hit the crossbar with the rebound coming right back to her and she buried a shot to the right corner of the net giving the Lady Bucs the lead at the break.
Miranda Greene was credited with the assist.
The Lady Bucs gave themselves some breathing room with their second goal in the 59th minute as Caitlin and Cameron Zuliani teamed up for the score.
Caitlin played a beautiful cross from the right corner of the field to a wide open Zuliani who was in front of the net and put a shot to the left corner for the score.
Davis and the Lady Buc defense did the rest pitching the shutout.
“I thought our defense played very well,” said Zuliani. “Laikelyn Leggett and Kierra Arbogast worked very well together and listened to us from the sidelines and didn’t allow them to get much going offensively. Davis keeps improving and did a nice job. She had some nice saves on the few opportunities University had.”
A strategic decision by the coaching staff moving Kennedy Samargo to striker also paid dividends for the Lady Bucs.
“Samargo created opportunities and opened things up for our midfield,” stated Zuliani. “Their defense focused on her every move because they knew she could make things happen.”
The Lady Bucs owned a 10-4 lead in shots-on-goal and a 6-5 margin in corner kicks.
Davis turned away four shots while counterpart Liz Edwards made eight saves for University.
The win improved the Lady Bucs to 9-3-1 on the season.
They were slated to play Bridgeport in Bridgeport Wednesday evening for the sectional championship.
The Lady Indians downed Preston by a 12-0 score Monday night.
Bridgeport entered the sectional championship with the Lady Bucs with a perfect 12-0 record.
The winner of the Buckhannon-Upshur-Bridgeport contest will meet Wheeling Park Saturday at Brooke in a regional battle.
University 0 0 – 0
Buckhannon-Upshur 1 1 – 2
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ashley Caitlin (Miranda Greene assist), 39th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Cameron Zuliani (Caitlin assist), 59th minute
Shots-on-goal – University 4; Buckhannon-Upshur 10.
Corner kicks – University 5; Buckhannon-Upshur 6.
Saves – University: Liz Edwards 8; Buckhannon-Upshur: Kyndal Davis: 4.