Soccer Bucs tops rival Elkins, 2-0

Junior Zach Loudin draws back to fire Tuesday at Elkins. Loudin had the Bucs only goal of the first half in their victory against their conference foe.

ELKINS — Head Coach Mike Donato and his Buckhannon-Upshur High School Buccaneers soccer team (5-10-2) entered their final regular season game of the 2022 campaign, a road clash with rival Elkins back on Tuesday, October 11, looking to take advantage of the opportunity to collect one more win and possibly improve their seeding in the upcoming Region I, Section 2 soccer tournament.

With these two teams’ being very familiar foes, the game’s first ten minutes were relatively quiet, however the Buccaneers broke up the early stalemate, as a nice touch pass from Christian McDowell found Zack Loudin in scoring position. Loudin finished the job with an accurate strike off his right leg, sailing the ball into the back of the net in the eighteenth minute for not only the game’s first goal, but his first career varsity goal to give the Buccaneers an early 1 to 0 lead. The Buccaneers 1 to 0 advantage held for the remainder for the first half.

The second half saw both teams trading several shots on goal, but each time coming up empty-handed. Late in the game, still holding onto a narrow 1 to 0 advantage, Coach Donato’s Buccaneers found themselves in need of a decisive score to put the game out of the Tigers’ reach. This play came when Tim Snyder collected a loose ball near the top of the penalty after a save from the Tigers goalkeeper. Snyder’s follow up shot found the back of the net in the fifty-eighth minute to seal the Buccaneers 2 to 0 road win.

In the last regular season game of his decorated Buccaneer career, goalkeeper Dalton Auvil collected the road shutout win, racking up eight saves on the evening.

Coach Donato was proud of how his team performed, despite the team’s continuing string of bad luck with injuries, saying, “I was extremely proud of how our guys overcame with being down three starters. We counted on guys to step in playing positions and extended minutes and they were up for the challenge.”

When asked on what stood out to him during his team’s regular season finale, Donato said, “Our defenders played great, Dalton made some key saves and I was very happy for Zack getting his first varsity goal. The important thing us for now is to get healthy and prepare for sectionals.”

With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 6-10-2 on the 2022 season. The Buccaneers will now turn their attention to the upcoming sectional tournament. The Buccaneers boast a 1-1-1 record against teams within their section.


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