Figueroa scores four times as soccer Bucs down Preston, 8-2

KINGWOOD – Freshmen Riel Figueroa scored four goals to lead his Buckhannon-Upshur soccer Buccaneers to an 8-2 victory over the homestanding Preston Knights Thursday night in Big 10 Conference action.

Figueroa started the scoring early after recording his first goal just six minutes in on a rebound.

Less than a minute later, Preston tied the game when Sam Klimas headed in a corner kick.

Coby Smith gave the lead back to the Bucs seven minutes later when he played a cross from the corner from Figueroa and scored with a shot to the back post.

Figueroa scored again in the 22nd minute after playing a cross from Owen Cutright and putting a goal down the center of the net to give the Bucs a 3-1 lead.

That score remained at the half.

Figueroa scored two quick goals in a five-minute span to start the second half, playing a centering pass from Brady Hommema for the first one and dribbling in past the Knight defense for the second one to stake the Bucs to a 5-1 advantage.

Preston made it a 5-2 contest in the 63rd minute when Cordell Ayers played a loose ball near the top of the penalty area and scored.

The Bucs ended the game with three unanswered goals with Christian Dowell scoring in the 72nd and 74th minute. His first goal was assisted by a centering pass from Smith while his second goal was on a misplayed ball by the Preston keeper.

Camdin Carpenter wrapped up the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 75th minute.

The win was the third in a row for the Bucs after an 0-3 start to the season.

“It was great to see us carry over how well we possessed the ball and created changes from Tuesday into tonight’s game,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato. “Our formation and passing have improved greatly the past few days. We did have a few miscues, especially on Preston’s first corner kick, but I give our guys credit for staying calm and getting back in control. The biggest challenge we knew going into tonight’s matchup was going to be Preston’s physical play. They stepped hard to every ball and didn’t back down to any challenge, but we were able to match that physicality and turn those into quality chances on the attack.”

Preston was called for eight fouls with their physical play while the Bucs were guilty of just two.

The Bucs owned a 16-5 advantage in shots-on-goal and a 3-2 lead in corner kicks.

B-U goalie Slaton Kowalkoski made three saves while Preston’s Garrett Haymond stopped six shots and Evan Livengood made two sharing time in the net.

Preston dropped to 2-3-1 overall and 0-1-1 in the Big 10 Conference.

The Bucs improved to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the Big 10 Conference.

Buckhannon-Upshur will be back in action Tuesday at home with North Marion in Big 10 Conference play.

The game will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Buckhannon-Upshur  3  5 – 8

Preston 1  1 – 2


Buckhannon-Upshur – Riel Figueroa (unassisted), 6th minute.

Preston – Sam Klimas (unassisted), 7th minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Coby Smith (Figueroa assist), 14th minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Figueroa (Owen Cutright assist), 22nd minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Figueroa (Brady Hommema assist), 43rd minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Figueroa (unassisted), 48th minute.

Preston – Cordell Ayers (unassisted), 63rd minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Christian Dowell (Smith assist), 72nd minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur –  Dowell (unassisted), 74th minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Camdin Carpenter (unassisted), 75th minute.

Shots-on-goal – Buckhannon-Upshur: 16; Preston: 5.

Corner kicks – Buckhannon-Upshur: 3; Preston: 2.

Fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur: 2; Preston: 8.

Saves – Buckhannon-Upshur: Slaton Kowalkoski 3; Preston: Garrett Haymond 6; Evan Livengood 2.

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