TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur soccer Bucs let one slip away against the talented Wheeling Park Patriots on the road Thursday night in a 2-1 setback.
The Bucs gave up a late goal in the 74th minute, suffering their first setback of the year.
Head coach Mike Donato’s Bucs however recovered nicely Saturday against Princeton as Ryan Hurst had a field day against the Tiger defense with five goals in a 7-0 rout.
“This was a very physical and demanding game; a great test for us this early in the season,” remarked Donato about the Wheeling Park game. “Wheeling Park is one of the best teams in our region so it is good to play them early on to measure out where we stack up against the other teams in the region.”
Wheeling Park struck early just two minutes in when Louis Aulick scored on a header following a deflection on the throw-in to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Hurst deadlocked the game for the Bucs in the 50th minute when he made a run on a through ball by Dawson Carpenter and scored to the far post making it a 1-1 game.
The Patriots scored the game winner in the 74th minute when Andrew Glass played a cross from the corner to Jason Penneybacker who shot it to the back post for the game winner.
“Wheeling Park stepped very quickly to every ball and caught us a little of guard early,” noted Donato. “At the half, we made some adjustments to the attack and our team responded wonderfully, creating some chances and getting a goal early on. We talked at the end of the game about the good adjustments we made and mistakes that we can fix.”
Donato also said after the game, “I believe our guys will respond well and be ready for Saturday.”
He was oh so right about that comment as the Bucs blanked Princeton controlling most of the game.
Despite the blowout win, the first half was a frustrating excursion for Donato as his Bucs were whistled several times for being offsides, which led to the coach picking up a yellow card in the 31st minute.
The lone goal of the first half belonged to Hurst who scored to the far post after playing a through ball from Carpenter in the fifth minute.
Hurst scored in the first minute of the second half after stealing the ball away and putting a shot in the back of the net.
Hurst then used the Tiger defense as his own personal play toy for the next six minutes with three goals.
Lamar Hurst sent a cross into the box to Ryan Hurst who blasted a hard shot past the Princeton keeper in the 60th minute to make it a 3-0 game.
Two minutes later, Hurst had another steal and scored from the top of the penalty area giving the Bucs a 4-0 advantage.
Four minutes later, he played a ball from Carpenter with a goal to the far post making it a 5-0 game.
Lamar Hunt made it 6-0 less than a minute later when he scored after playing a through ball from Zach Calef-Boring and hitting it to the near post.
Calef-Boring wrapped up the scoring after playing a combination pass from Carpenter and scoring with a shot from the top of the penalty area.
“I was very pleased on how we bounced back after Thursday's loss,” Donato stated. “We spent time in practice on Friday trying to simplify parts of our attack and we saw it pay off against Princeton.”
Donato not only praised Ryan Hurst’s output but the guys behind him feeding him the ball.
“Ryan's five goals attest to the work he's been putting in, learning how to be a true forward player, but behind the stats, our midfield has been putting in quality work,” explain Donato. “Guys like Lane Tenney, Dawson, Lamar, and Caden Andrick have been doing a phenomenal job working both sides of the pitch, winning balls and recovering on defense. Their hard work combined with guys stepping up to fill in spots due to injuries gave us this great win. And of course when you shut a team out a lot of credit goes to our keeper Logan Kelley and our back line. Ciao Silva stepped up big moving to the center back position for Haven Tyson and Bryer Ketterman stepping up in play to win balls and made a big stop on a back post header.”
The Bucs, now 3-1, will return to action Tuesday hosting North Marion at 7:30 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur 0 1 – 1
Wheeling Park 1 1 – 2
Wheeling Park – Louis Aulick (unassisted), 2nd minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (Dawson Carpenter assist), 50th minute
Wheeling Park – Jason Penneybacker (Andrew Glass assist), 74th minute
Shots-on-goal – Buckhannon-Upshur 3; Wheeling Park 7.
Corner kicks – Buckhannon-Upshur 1; Wheeling Park 5.
Fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur 6; Wheeling Park 7.
Saves – Buckhannon-Upshur: Logan Kelley 5; Wheeling Park: Zach Calvert 2.
Princeton 0 0 – 0
Buckhannon-Upshur 1 6 – 7
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (Dawson Carpenter assist), 5th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (unassisted), 41st minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (Lamar Hurst assist), 60th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (unassisted), 62nd minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Ryan Hurst (Carpenter assist), 66th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Lamar Hurst (Zach Calef-Boring assist), 66th minute
Buckhannon-Upshur – Calef-Boring (Carpenter assist), 70th minute
Shots-on-goal – Princeton 4; Buckhannon-Upshur 10
Corner kicks – Princeton 3; Buckhannon-Upshur 3
Fouls – Princeton 11; Buckhannon-Upshur 13
Saves – Princeton: Ashton Burgess: 4; Buckhannon-Upshur: Logan Kelley 3.