TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur soccer Bucs couldn’t make a late first-half lead stand up against the visiting and unbeaten Fairmont Senior Polar Bears Thursday night at the high school.
Two first-half goals by Josh Gregory put the Bucs ahead by a 2-1 score but they wound up dropping a 3-2 decision to Fairmont Senior.
Despite the setback, Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato was pleased with how his Bucs performed throughout the contest.
“This was a complete turnaround from how we played Tuesday,” stated Donato. “We challenged on every ball and created some good scoring opportunities against one of the best teams in AA/A. Every time we play Fairmont Senior it’s a close physical game. I credit players on both teams for playing hard and leaving it all on the field. Our guys showed some real growth as we’ve been challenging them to play quicker and more physical and they did exactly that tonight.”
Fairmont Senior took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Grant Broadhurst dribbled through the B-U defense and scored with a shot to the far post.
Gregory tallied his first goal in the 28th minute when he played a pass into the penalty area from Noah Radabaugh and dribbled it in and scored with a shot to the far post.
Just three minutes later, Gregory scored again with an unassisted goal with a shot behind the keeper to the near post giving the Bucs their 2-1 lead.
Cam Peschl tied the game at 2-2 for the Polar Bears two minutes later when he scored off a deflected clear by the B-U defense.
The game winner occurred in the 53rd minute when Fairmont Senior’s Ro Jones dribbled across the top of the penalty area and scored with a shot to the near post.
“If that ball doesn’t take an odd deflection of that clearance who knows what might have happened but those things happen,” said Donato about the Polar Bear’s game-tying goal. “The team didn’t let that get them down and finished strong.”
Fairmont Senior held a 19-6 lead in shots-on-goal and owned an 8-3 margin in corner kicks.
The Bucs were guilty of 12 fouls while the Polar Bears were guilty of eight.
Dalton Auvil made 16 saves for the Bucs while Trevin Price stopped three shots for the Polar Bears.
Fairmont Senior improved to 8-0-2 while the Bucs dropped to 3-7-1.
The Bucs will be back in action at home Saturday hosting Brooke at 2 p.m.
Fairmont Senior 2 1 – 3
Buckhannon-Upshur 2 0 – 2
Fairmont Senior – Grant Broadhurst (unassisted) 10th minute.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Josh Gregory (Noah Radabaugh), 28th minute.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Gregory (unassisted), 31st minute.
Fairmont Senior – Cam Peschi (unassisted) 33rd minute.
Fairmont Senior – Ro Jones (unassisted), 53rd minute.
Shots-on-goal – Fairmont Senior: 19; Buckhannon-Upshur: 6.
Corner kicks – Fairmont: Senior: 8; Buckhannon-Upshur: 3.
Fouls – Fairmont Senior: 8; Buckhannon-Upshur: 12.
Saves – Fairmont Senior: Trevin Price 3; Buckhannon-Upshur: Dalton Auvil 16.