Soccer Lady Bucs scrimmage state champ Hurricane

Kennedy Samargo (7) of the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc soccer team out hustles a Hurricane defender to the ball during their scrimmage Saturday afternoon at the high school. In the background is B-U keeper Claire Coffman.

TENNERTON – When Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc head soccer coach Jackie Zuliani made out her exhibition schedule, she went straight to the top.

Zuliani threw her Lady Bucs right into the mix Saturday in their first scrimmage of the season as they welcomed the defending state champions Hurricane to town.

“We knew Hurricane would give us a good workout,” stated Zuliani. “Going into the scrimmage we wanted to see if the players could work together in the roles they were given to develop an offensive attack as well as a strong defense.”

Zuliani said she saw some good things from her team and things that they still need to work on. 

“We saw some good things, but we struggled with our shape on defense” explained Zuliani. “We need to shorten the field to help our game in so many ways.  We had several people out of position which led to some defensive breakdowns. Offensively we needed to connect more passes and feed the ball to spaces or feet and make our runs.  We couldn’t seem to get many offensive opportunities and we need to work on positioning to develop a balanced attack.”

While talented, the Lady Bucs are young this season with just one senior on the roster. That has forced Zuliani to move some of her players around to new positions this year. 

“We are rather young and some players have been put into some different positions from last season to help the team,” she remarked. “We need everyone to remember we are a team and they need to do their best to learn multiple positions on the field so we can develop a strong offense and defense.  We do not want one-dimensional players.  We don’t have a lot of depth when it comes to experience, so we need our upperclassmen to be ready to fill in anywhere on the field at times.” 

Zuliani was also able to gauge her team’s conditioning coming out of the scrimmage as it was played under sunny skies and temperatures reaching the low 90s.

“We are still getting in shape,” remarked Zuliani. “We stressed how important conditioning is and the girls definitely see this after the scrimmage.”

Overall, Zuliani was pleased with how the scrimmage turned out for her Lady Bucs. 

“I was pleased with how multiple girls played and we are going to keep working to build as strong of a team as possible to have a great season,” concluded Zuliani. “We just need to relax a little and do the simple things correctly. Little mistakes add to big problems.”

The Lady Bucs will have a final scrimmage Tuesday at George Washington before getting their season started on Saturday at Parkersburg for a 1 p.m. clash.

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