BRIDGEPORT – The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneer soccer team gave Bridgeport an early 1-0 lead in the Section 2, Region 1 opening-round clash Monday evening at Wayne Jamison Field.
That was all they gave the Indians as they went on to dominate the game and earn a 6-2 victory.
The victory propelled the Bucs into the sectional championship game that was set to have been played last night against University High in Morgantown.
For the Bucs, they showed little rust after being idle for nearly four weeks with the county going ‘orange’ on the COVID-19 color-coded map.
Even giving up the first goal in the 12th minute, most of the early part of the game was played in the Bridgeport end.
For Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato and his Bucs, they were just thankful for the opportunity to play in the sectionals after a three-day ordeal last week when they were out, back in, out and finally back in after the sectionals were delayed a week.
“I can't express how great it felt for all of us to be back on a field and playing a game,” stated Donato. “We are extremely thankful for all the teams in our section for delaying our tournament and giving us the chance to play. We didn't get a lot of time to really prep and practice based on the restrictions we were under the past three weeks, but I give our team a ton of credit for making the most of the practices we did have within the guidelines. Given the circumstances I am very proud with the effort and quality of play the team showed tonight.”
Despite controlling play early on, the Bucs fell behind by a 1-0 score on an unassisted goal by Kyle McCarthy in the 12th minute.
The Bridgeport lead would be short-lived as Ryan Hurst tallied the first of his three goals just six minutes later.
Hurst dribbled through the Bridgeport defense and followed up on a rebound for the goal making it a 1-1 contest.
Josh Gregory gave the Bucs their first lead at 2-1 when he sent in a corner kick that deflected of a Bridgeport defender and into the net in the 28th minute.
The Bucs took that 2-1 lead with them into the break.
Caden Andrick played a ball rolling to the top of the penalty area and scored with a hard shot to the back post to get the second-half scoring underway in the 58th minute.
The assist on the goal went to Lane Tenney.
Andrick’s score really swung the momentum of the game in favor of the Bucs as his goal was the first of four unanswered in a 16-minute span.
Hurst scored his second goal in the 67th minute as he played a through ball from Zach Calef-Boring and snuck a shot just inside the far post past Bridgeport keeper Levi Crayton.
Hurst scored his hat trick just three minutes later scoring on a penalty kick after he was taken down in the box.
That gave the Bucs a 5-1 lead.
Calef-Boring wrapped up the scoring for B-U in the 74th minute after he found the back of the net after playing a ball for Julien Larcher from the left corner.
Bridgeport’s Zane Wagner scored in the final minute on a header.
The Bucs doubled up Bridgeport in shots-on-goal by a 10-5 margin and owned a 6-2 lead in corner kicks.
Fouls were even at six apiece.
Dalton Auvil made four saves in net for the Bucs while Crayton made four stops for the Indians.
The win improved the Bucs to 7-5-1 on the season.
The winner of Buckhannon-University sectional championship game will move onto regional play where they face Brooke at Brooke High School Saturday afternoon.
Buckhannon-Upshur 2 4 – 6
Bridgeport 1 1 – 2
Bridgeport– Kyle McCarthy (unassisted), 12th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (unassisted), 18th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Josh Gregory (unassisted), 28th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Caden Andrick (Lane Tenney assist) 58th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Hurst (Zach Calef-Boring assist), 67th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Hurst (penalty kick), 70th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Calef-Boring (Julien Larcher assist), 74th minute
Bridgeport – Zane Wagner (unassisted), 79th minute
Shots-on-goal – Buckhannon-Upshur 10; Bridgeport 5.
Corner kicks – Buckhannon-Upshur 6; Bridgeport 2.
Fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur 6; Bridgeport 6.
Saves – Buckhannon-Upshur: Dalton Auvil 4; Dirk Riley 0; Bridgeport: Levi Crayton 4.