TENNERTON – It’s only the summer, but the Buckhannon-Upshur girl’s soccer team is off to a fantastic unofficial start to their 2018 season during their three-week offseason workout period.
The Lady Bucs wrapped up their offseason sessions Wednesday afternoon with a 6-0 home scrimmage win over Lewis County.
“We started the contest going a little away from our game plan,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jackie Zuliani. “We were not doing a good job securing the ball and our first touch overall was not that great. However, we calmed down and started connecting passes and we played more possession ball. The girls did much better, especially in the second half and moved the ball well. Everyone got a great deal of playing time and we did some nice things.”
Catherine Oliveto scored four times in the win while Sheridan Phillips and Cameron Zuliani each added a goal.
Earning the assists on the goals were Kiera Arbogast, Zuliani, Brooklyn Maxwell, Oliveto and Kennedy Samargo.
Just five days prior, they blanked Philip Barbour by a 5-0 score.
Oliveto and Maxwell each had two goals in the game along with Leigh Ann Bennett scoring once.
Assists went to Oliveto who had two along with Zuliani and Hannah Walton.
“Against Philip Barbour, we moved the ball well, but we had some issues with our conditioning and fatigue setting in,” stated Zuliani. “We had some players move into different positions to see what they could do.”
Zuliani was pleased with the number of Lady Bucs that showed up for the three-week sessions.
“We had an excellent turnout,” remarked Zuliani. “We had about 30 interested and we averaged around 20 during each session. Our highest turnout was probably 23 or 24 girls. With our numbers, we should have enough for a junior varsity team this fall. I already have eight junior varsity games scheduled at this point. I was very proud of our turnout as the numbers have been great.”
Zuliani points to a large sophomore and freshman class for the large turnout.
“We are young, but we also have a lot of experience,” she stated. “Many of our younger players have that experience from playing travel league. We are very excited about the future of the Buckhannon-Upshur program.”
Zuliani said a lot of the work during the three weeks was a return to the basics and introducing the program to all the new players.
“We touched on a lot of the basics of the game and formations just to show the players what we want from them,” remarked Zuliani “The middle school game is a little different than what we do. We worked a lot on possessions and how we want everyone to play Buckhannon-Upshur soccer and to buy into what we want them to do. We wanted them during this time to play together and come together as a team. We also want them to recognize that just because you don’t start doesn’t mean you can’t do amazing things on the field when you get out there.”
Zuliani and her Lady Bucs participated in a 7 vs. 7 tournament at Fairmont’s East-West Stadium two weeks ago.
They evenly split their squad into two teams for the tournament with the White team winning the championship.
“Both the White and Blue teams played well,” she stated “It looked like the two teams may square off against one another in the championship but the Blue team fell a game short.”
Zuliani says her team is excited for July 30, the first official day of preseason camp, to arrive.
“I am sure the kids are looking forward to the break we have coming up, but I know they are excited as well to return to camp and get things going. The response of the kids was very good during this three weeks and I feel this was a great start to what we all hope is an outstanding season.”
The Lady Bucs will get their season underway Saturday, Aug. 18 when they host the Brooke Bruins at 11 a.m.