TENNERTON – Veteran Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato is hoping a solid preseason has his soccer Bucs primed for their opener today as they make the long trip to Lewisburg to face Greenbrier East.
Kick-off is slated for noon.
“We had a great preseason,” stated Donato. “We saw a lot of growth and development of all of our players, and guys are stepping up and learning to play new positions to help out and give our team the best chance to win. Each day we gave the team a challenge or something new to learn and they stepped up embraced those challenges each training session.”
The Bucs had two different scrimmage sessions this preseason, playing in Brooke’s Soccer-Roma last Saturday and at Parkersburg this past Tuesday.
At the Brooke Soccer-Rama, playing three 40 minute games, they went 1-0-2 tying Steubenville Central Catholic and Weir by identical 1-1 scores and beating Oak Glen won 1-0 count.
Against Parkersburg, the varsity team lost a 2-0 decision while the junior varsity squad dropped a 1-0 decision.
“I was pretty pleased with how we performed at the Soccer-Roma and against Parkersburg,” noted Donato. “These matches were vital for us as we have a lot of younger players that didn't have any or limited high school varsity experience, and with our lower numbers, it was nice to be able to match up 11v11 and give all our players game-like experience before we start the season. Parkersburg is one of the best programs in AAA so scrimmaging them gave us a great measure right before the start of the season.”
With the loss of eight seniors from last year’s team, including the graduation of all-time leading scorer Ryan Hurst, the Bucs will have a different look and formation this season.
“This season we're looking to implement a 4-5-1,” stated Donato. “We're putting most of our experience and in the back and anchor our defense. Senior Julien Larcher and junior Josh Gregory will anchor our backline with juniors Jared Brandish and Caleb Haney on the outsides. Senior Caden Andrick will return to his holding mid position to work with freshman Christian Dowell and sophomore Noah Radabaugh at the attacking mid. Junior Zach Calef-Boring will take over at our striker position and junior Dalton Auvil returns to his starting position as goalkeeper. Our two wing positions will see a rotation of players with sophomores Owen Cutright and Dirk Riley, and freshman Camden Carpenter will rotate seeing the majority of the minutes, but don't be surprised to see other players step up and see significant minutes as well.”
Donato said Greenbrier East will present a formidable challenge for his Bucs in the opener today.
“The Spartans are a great season opener,” stated Donato. “They return several key players to a team that beat us twice last season including junior midfielder Adam Seams who was a First Team All-State player last year as a sophomore. He'll be a great challenge for our mids and defenders as he controls their attack with a great touch and even better passing.”
Following their opener today, the Bucs will have their home opener Thursday against Wheeling Park at 6 p.m.
B-U SOCCER ROSTER
No. Name Pos. Grade
1 Dalton Auvil GK Junior
2 Bailey Cleavenger F/M Senior
3 Zach Calef-Boring F/M Junior
5 Josh Gregory D Junior
6 Zack Loudin D Sophomore
7 Noah Radabaugh M Sophomore
8 Ethan Dowling M/D Sophomore
9 Caleb Haney D Junior
10 Julien Larcher D Senior
11 Christian Dowell M Freshman
12 Kyle McCann M Freshman
13 Tim Snyder F/M Freshman
15 Camden Carpenter M Freshman
17 Caden Andrick M Senior
20 Jared Brandish D Junior
21 Wyatt Mason D Freshman
23 Dirk Riley M Freshman
24 Owen Cutright M/GK Sophomore
33 Branson Carpenter F/M Senior
Aug. 21 – at Greenbrier East, noon
Aug. 26 – Wheeling Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 28 – at Princeton, noon
Aug. 31 – at Lincoln, 8 p.m.
Sept. 2 – at Preston, 8 p.m.
Sept. 7 – Huntington, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 – at Grafton, 8 p.m.
Sept. 14 – Liberty, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 – at Fairmont Senior, 8 p.m.
Sept. 18 – at Brooke, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 – Robert C. Byrd, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 – Woodrow Wilson, noon
Sept. 28 – Morgantown, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 – Philip Barbour, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 – Bridgeport, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 – at Lewis County, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 – University, 1 p.m.
Oct. 12 – Elkins, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18-23 – Sectional Tournament
Oct. 25-30 – Regional Tournament
Nov. 5-6 – State Tournament