TENNERTON – With important sectional seeding at stake in the Buckhannon-Upshur – University soccer clash Saturday morning, the Bucs came up short in a 5-1 setback.
University is now 2-0 in the sectional standings while Bridgeport is 1-0-1, B-U is 1-1-1 while Preston is 0-3.
University and Bridgeport will play this week for the top sectional seed while it appears the Bucs will land third and will have to travel in their sectional opener next week.
Without starting keeper Slaton Kowalkoski in net because of an injury, the Bucs gave up five goals, which was their second worst defensive outing of the season after giving up six goals in a previous game to Wheeling Park.
University struck first when Alex Maldonado scored on a direct kick from the top right of the penalty area in the fourth minute.
The Hawks held that lead for less than a minute when Buckhannon-Upshur’s Riel Figueroa played a poor clear of a Hawk defender on a corner kick and scored with a shot to the back of the net.
University responded with a pair of goals in the 12th and 13th minutes on scores by Davion Huckaby and Maldonado.
University took that 3-1 lead into the break.
Huckaby added two more goals for University in the second half to wrap up the scoring.
“Our formation and movement were okay, but where we were lacking was in our 1v1 defending,” stated Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato. “After giving up the first goal, we were able to adjust and force them to change their attack and we turned that into valuable possessions, but our execution in 1v1 situations just wasn’t our best.”
The Bucs were outshot by an 11-5 margin but led in corner kicks by a 5-4 count.
Buckhannon-Upshur was guilty of six fouls while University was called for 11.
Dirk Riley made four saves while Kaleb Kowalkoski stopped two shots in net for the Bucs.
Connor Montgomery made four saves for University.
University improved to 9-8-1 on the year while the Bucs dropped to 5-11-3.
The Bucs will wrap up their regular season Wednesday hosting Elkins at 7:30 p.m.
University 3 2 – 5
Buckhannon-Upshur 1 0 – 1
University – Alex Maldonado (unassisted), 4th minute.
Buckhannon-Upshur – Riel Figueroa (unassisted), 5th minute.
University – Davion Huckaby (unassisted), 12th minute.
University – Maldonado (unassisted), 13th minute.
University – Huckaby (unassisted), 47th minute.
University – Huckaby (unassisted), 51st minute.
Shots-on-goal – University: 11; Buckhannon-Upshur: 5.
Corner kicks – University: 4; Buckhannon-Upshur: 5.
Fouls – University: 11; Buckhannon-Upshur: 6.
Saves – University: Connor Montgomery 4; Buckhannon-Upshur: Dirk Riley 4; Kaleb Kowalkoski 2.