Soccer Bucs advance to sectional championship match

MORGANTOWN – Ryan Hurst scored two goals as the Buckhannon-Upshur High School soccer Buccaneers defeated Morgantown 2-1 Tuesday to advance to the Region 1, Section 1 finals.

“Tonight was a great team effort,” B-U head coach Mike Donato said after the game. “I thought both teams came out and played better from the last time we met in August. Morgantown came out with a very disciplined defensive shape that took us a little while to break down and get chances, but some patient play allowed things to open up for our attack.”

Dawson Carpenter found Hurst on a long through ball up the middle, and Buckhannon-Upshur’s prolific striker finished near post to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.

Morgantown came out of the haltime break ready to go and evened the game just four minutes into the second half when Daniel Polinski finished a deflected shot to put the game at 1-1.

But despite getting outshot 6-2 in the second half, the Bucs battled back and converted the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute on another Carpenter-Hurst combination. This time, Carpenter flicked the ball to Hurst, who volleyed it inside the back post.

“We withstood some early pressure from them get a great goal on the counter,” Donato said of B-U’s first goal. “Second half, we gave up that early goal, but I commend the team for not letting that get them down and keeping the focus on quality play and really earning the go-ahead goal.”

Morgantown’s 2018 season came to a close at 7-11-1.

The win improved B-U’s record to a dead even 9-9-3 as they advance to a tough test against undefeated University for the sectional title. The AAA top-ranked Hawks rolled over Preston 9-0 in the other sectional semifinal game.

The sectional championship will be played at University, with kickoff set for 6 p.m. Thursday.

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