TENNERTON – Ready or not, the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc soccer team will get their season underway today when they host the Lincoln Cougars at 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Bucs have been the unfortunate victims of having their lone scrimmage and their original home opener on Wednesday canceled due to the teams they were facing being in red-coded counties.
“At first we felt rushed, but with no scrimmage and having a game canceled, we are ready to play against someone other than ourselves,” said Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jackie Zuliani. “But overall, I think the girls have done a nice job of handling everything.”
The Lady Bucs are loaded with experience this season with all 10 of their field players returning, as well as several talented players that came off the bench last season.
“We are fortunate to have an experienced group returning this season,” noted Zuliani. “There will be a couple changes, but the returners know their roles. We have great speed in our attack with Cameron Zuliani on the left, Lexi Kelley in the center and Catherine Oliveto on the right. Cameron and Catherine contributed the most of the offense last year with Cat leading in scoring and Cameron a close second. Cameron led in assists with Cat right behind. Lexi has improved a great deal and I am excited to see what she can do with Cameron and Cat on the attack! Maggie Queen will be our center mid. She has great control and great vision. She creates so much for us in the middle of the field. Defensively we can be really solid, but our communication needs to get better. We have Gracie Boyles at holding defensive mid along with Maggie Nolte. Behind them Laikelyn Leggett and Kennedy Samargo will lead our back line. We also have Iris Tenney as outside defender. Other contributors will be Miranda Greene, Ashley Catlin, Olivia Ellis, Sheridan Phillips, and Chloe Cale.”
Samargo, Notle and Oliveto were All-State selections last year as Samargo was named to the First Team while Notle and Oliveto were named to the Honorable Mention team.
Despite so much talent returning, the Lady Bucs will have an injection of youth as well with 11 freshmen on the roster.
“The freshman have been working hard and they are a great group to coach,” remarked Zuliani. “They are improving and we are trying to define their roles in our formation, something new to them. Allison Andrew, Ava Hollen and Kyleigh Keener have been doing some nice things, but again the freshman class as a whole is doing a great job!”
In the net, Zuliani has two girls working in that area in junior Kiki Arbogast and freshman Kyndal Davis.
“They both are doing very well,” stated Zuliani. “Kiki is a great athlete and being in goal has in many ways come natural to her. She was a starting defender for us last year, but is working in goal to help the team as a keeper.
“Kyndal has a year of experience in goal and is making her transition to the high school game. We feel really good with both of them. We will have to see what benefits us the most with them and positioning, but feel really good about the keepers.”
With expectations high this year, Zuliani wants her team to still take it just one game at a time.
“Every year and every team I have ever coached in all the different sports have had the same goal, to improve from last year and make it to the post season,” remarked Zuliani. “However, over the years I have been blessed with some talented teams and when they have what it takes, the goal now is going as far as we can in the post season. Anything can happen and you see great teams who have one bad game or a bad play which costs them everything. We just need to take one game at a time, correct any mistakes and keep improving and our chances will be really good! Could be an exciting year, but is going to be up to 27 young ladies to work together to make those dreams become a reality.”
While Zuliani feels Lincoln will give the Lady Bucs a test in the home opener today, she feels that her Lady Bucs are prepared for the challenge.
“Lincoln has struggled over the years and often have inexperienced players, but they always play hard and pack the box defensively making it harder to score,” said Zuliani. “Last year we had a million shots on goal, but ended up with only three finding the back of the net. We need to use our speed and athleticism as well-as good ball movement and I think we can do very well in the opener.”
With Wednesday’s opener with Hurricane being canceled, Zuliani has found a replacement game.
The Lady Bucs will now play Parkersburg this Saturday with the junior varsity game starting at 10 a.m. and the varsity contest at 11 a.m.
“This will help fill in where we lost the scrimmage and game with Hurricane,” said Zuliani. “We will likely have more games cancelled and rescheduled because our out of conference games are mostly in hot spot areas.”
Zuliani said her along with her team are pleased the season opener is finally here.
“We are excited for the season and I mentioned it before, but remind the girls about being a team and staying together while on that field,” concluded Zuliani. “If we can do this the whole season, those goals we set can become a reality.”
Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc Soccer Roster
No. Name Class
0 Kyndal Davis Freshman
2 Gracie Boyles Senior
3 Ava Hollen Freshman
4 Iris Tenney Senior
5 Lexi Kelley Sophomore
6 Kierra Arbogast Junior
7 Kennedy Samargo Senior
9 Chloe Cale Sophomore
10 Catherine Oliveto Junior
11 Miranda Greene Junior
12 Olivia Ellis Junior
13 Maggie Nolte Senior
14 Ashley Catlin Sophomore
15 Maggie Queen Senior
16 Sheridan Phillips Junior
17 Kyleigh Keener Freshman
18 Brinkley Currence Freshman
19 Allison Andrew Freshman
20 Kaylee Black Freshman
21 Nina Mae Coberly Freshman
22 Cameron Zuliani Junior
24 Tanley Triplett Sophomore
25 Destinee Thomas Freshman
26 Alivia Barton Freshman
28 Laikelyn Leggett Senior
30 Emma Beckner Freshman
31 Rosie Shackleford Freshman
Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buc Soccer Schedule
Sept. 2 – Hurricane – Canceled
Sept. 3 – Lincoln, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 – Parkersburg, 11 a.m.
Sept. 8 – Preston, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 10 – at North Marion, 6 p.m.
Sept. 12 – George Washington, 11 a.m.
Sept. 15 – Grafton, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 17 – at Liberty, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 – Wheeling Park, 12 p.m.
Sept. 22 – Fairmont Senior, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 – East Fairmont, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at Robert C. Byrd, 8 p.m.
Oct. 1 – at Morgantown, 6 p.m.
Oct. 3 – Parkersburg South, 12 p.m
Oct. 6 – at Philip Barbour, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 – at Bridgeport, 8 p.m.
Oct. 10 – at University, 11 a.m.
Oct. 13 – Lewis County, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 – at Elkins, 7:30 p.m.