CHARLESTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc soccer team had their final preseason scrimmage of the fall traveling to George Washington High School on Tuesday.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“The scrimmage ended in a tie, but we controlled possession and after starting slow, got stronger and played better and tough until the end,” said Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jackie Zuliani. “We missed some opportunities, but we created some as well and I was happy how they turned things around.”
Zuliani used this scrimmage just like the one last Saturday, to figure out where everyone can best help the team.
“As I stated before, we are trying to define roles of players and we tried to build these off of the three week period and scrimmages we had in June. It isn’t easy filling five holes where you had seniors, who played pretty much the entire game, a year before.”
This scrimmage followed a scrimmage with the state defending champs at home against Hurricane.
“When you play the defending state champion right off the bat, you quickly see what may have worked against a weaker opponent, may not be the same against someone else,” noted Zuliani. “We just need to play hard for 90 minutes regardless of the opponent and remember to do the small things right. Too many small mistakes or mishaps killed us.”
Zuliani made some adjustments to her line-up prior to the George Washington scrimmage.
“I went home after playing Hurricane and really thought about how I was going to change things up to make the team stronger offensively, but not weaken our defense,” stated Zuliani. “I moved Maggie Queen to center attacking midfield instead of a holding midfielder and she had a terrific game. She has great vision, touch and skill. She really helped develop plays and created a more possession game for us.
“I moved Catherine Oliveto back out to the outside wing midfielder position, where she spent a big part of last season. She did well and had a nice goal for us. Defensively, I moved Kennedy Samargo back into the center defense. We had her outside defense for the offensive push up the wing. She has great speed and loves to score, but we need our defense to be solid, so I moved her back. I also wanted to see her and Laikelyn Leggett control the defense together and they did a nice job.
“Gracie Boyles is a hustler wherever you put her and has great knowledge of the game, I moved her to center holding mid where she played very well and helped control the center of the field.”
Zuliani also praised her keeper, Claire Coffman, for her performance during the scrimmage.
“Claire had some nice saves in goal and is doing much better with her communication,” she explained.
Zuliani is also being patient with her young team.
“We Just need to get some of our freshman and sophomores to see the field better to make those connections on the field,” she remarked. “We will keep improving and some nice plays will develop, hopefully ending with us scoring. Our team is very young as a whole. We are relying on a couple freshmen to step up for a couple injured players. They are good athletes, very coachable and are willing to do what they can to help the team. They need to keep practicing and get more experience and I feel they will adapt to the high school game and really help our team.”
The Lady Bucs will open their season Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest with Parkersburg.