TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur soccer Bucs earned a hard-fought 2-2 tie with the visiting Wheeling Park Patriots Thursday night in a non-conference battle on a hot and humid evening at Ted Crites Alumni Field at Tom Hasbrouck Stadium.
Buckhannon-Upshur veteran head coach Mike Donato felt it was a building block game for his Bucs as they move forward as his team showed a lot of heart in the tie.
“Tonight was a true test of our character,” stated Donato. “No matter the circumstances and no matter who we put in, we got the best out of everyone tonight. Our heart and effort truly deserved the win, but to be able to battle back amid injuries, cramps, exhaustion and come back to tie was truly something special. Guys had to play extended minutes and in this heat and against a quality opponent, it was not an easy task, but our team was up to the challenge.”
Owen Cutright gave the Bucs a quick 1-0 lead in the sixth minute when a Wheeling Park defender misplayed the ball and Cutright took advantage of the mistake with a shot and goal to the near post.
Wheeling Park tied the game in the 21st minute when Alex Conestraro scored on a penalty kick after a B-U foul.
The game remained tied at 1-1 at the break.
Wheeling Park took their first lead in the 42nd minute when Brody Wall scored on a header off a corner kick to the back post.
The Bucs kept battling and tied the game in the 74th minute when Noah Radabaugh sent in a rebound that was misplayed by Wheeling Park keeper Hayden Barbour as he put the goal in on the middle of the net.
Neither team could score the game-winning goal in the final six minute of action.
The Bucs were outshot by a 9-6 margin and trailed by a 3-1 margin in corner kicks.
Buckhannon-Upshur was guilty of just one foul while the Patriots were called for six.
B-U keeper Dalton Auvil made seven saves in the tie and earned high praise from Donato after the game.
“I've got to give a lot of credit to Auvil as tonight was one of his better games of his career,” noted Donato. “He made the right decisions when we needed him to and had some key saves in the second half which kept us in the game.”
The Bucs are now 0-1-1 on the season and will play again today with a trip to Princeton.
Kickoff is slated for noon.
Wheeling Park 1 1 – 2
Buckhannon-Upshur 1 1 – 2
Buckhannon-Upshur – Owen Cutright (unassisted), 6th minute
Wheeling Park – Alex Conestraro (penalty kick), 21st minute
Wheeling Park – Brody Wall (assist no recorded in book), 42nd minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Noah Radabaugh (unassisted), 74th minute
Shots-on-goal – Wheeling Park 9; Buckhannon-Upshur 6.
Fouls – Wheeling Park 6; Buckhannon-Upshur 1.
Corner kicks – Wheeling Park 3; Buckhannon-Upshur 1
Saves – Wheeling Park: Hayden Barbour 5; Buckhannon-Upshur: Dalton Auvil 7.