MORGANTOWN – The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers were never able to find the back of the net against the University Hawks Wednesday evening in the Section 2, Region 1 Championship contest.
And as a result, the Bucs saw their season come to an end with a 1-0 setback to the Hawks.
Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato felt his Bucs didn’t come out playing a crisp game early on which allowed University to take their 1-0 lead.
Riley Nett had the game’s lone goal for University in the 18th minute when he dribbled across the top of the penalty area from left to right and blasted a hard shot to the near post.
“We made a few mistakes early,” remarked Donato. “We had a couple of communication errors and errant passes and it cost us.”
The Bucs settled in after that University goal but were continually turned away by the University defense.
Donato felt if the Bucs could have gotten that first goal, there might have been a different outcome to the contest.
“After the University goal, we settled in and played a great game,” said Donato. “I felt we started to wear them down and were able to take advantage of their aggressive attack. I really feel had we managed to convert on one of our chances we could have taken the momentum and got the game, but I give credit to their defense and goalkeeper (Timmy Bailey) who really made things difficult for us.”
The Bucs were outshot by a 6-5 margin but owned a 4-3 lead in corner kicks.
Buckhannon-Upshur was guilty of two fouls while University was called for seven and was issued one yellow card.
Buckhannon-Upshur keeper Dalton Auvil made five saves in net while Bailey also turned away five shots for the Hawks.
University (8-2-1) will now face Brooke today at Brooke in the regional final.
Kick-off for the regional will be at noon.
The Bucs saw their season come to an end with a 7-6-1.
“I am extremely proud of this group of young men for persevering through everything they had to just to get to this point,” concluded Donato. “I'm particularly proud of this group of seniors who really set the bar for these underclassmen for what it takes to be true leaders of a team. I am forever in their debt and very thankful for their hard work and dedication to the program.”
Buckhannon-Upshur 0 0 – 0
University 1 0 – 1
University – Riley Nett (unassisted), 18th minute
Shots-on-goal – Buckhannon-Upshur 5; University 6.
Corner kicks – Buckhannon-Upshur 4; University 3.
Fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur 2; University 7.
Saves – Buckhannon-Upshur: Dalton Auvil 5; University: Timmy Bailey 5.