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Soccer Bucs rally in second half for 2-1 win over Eagles

TENNERTON – Second-half comebacks are becoming the new normal for Buckhannon-Upshur head soccer coach Mike Donato and his Buccaneers.

Thursday night at the Ted Crites Memorial Field at Tom Hasbrouck Stadium, the Bucs were down to Robert C. Byrd by a 1-0 score at the half but rallied for two second-half goals for a 2-1 victory in Big 10 Conference action.

“Once again, we found ourselves in a situation we’ve been in more than I’d like and that’s trailing at the half,” noted Donato.

The Bucs trailed 1-0 at the break behind an unassisted Robert C. Byrd goal by Alex Bovino in the 28th minute of the game.

Donato said it was self-inflicted errors that put the Bucs down at the half.

“We definitely had the run of possessions but made too many mistakes in the first half and allowed RCB to get the early lead,” said the veteran coach.

The Bucs finally got on the scoreboard and tied the contest in the 54th minute with an unassisted goal by Caden Andrick when he put in a shot from the middle of the field from about 20 yards out.

Zach Calef-Boring had the game winner for the Bucs with seven minutes remaining when he put in a rebound off of Eagle keeper Cameron Clark following a shot by Noah Radabaugh.

“Noah had a really nice shot, but the keeper was there to save it,” stated Calef-Boring about his game winner. ”Their keeper ended up hitting it out and I was there to follow it up with a hard shot into the net that put us up 2-1. From there it was all defense in the final seven minutes, and players like Josh Gregory, Julien Larcher, Caleb Haney and Jared Brandish all stepped up big not allowing anything at all for Robert C. Byrd.”

Donato praised his team for their second-half performance.

“As the second half went on, I felt we did a good job of holding possession and wearing them down which created several quality chances for us, that thankfully, we were able to convert on two of them,” remarked Donato. “Hopefully we can continue to build on the past two games and practices knowing we’ve got a tough stretch of games forthcoming.”

Calef-Boring credited his coach with some halftime adjustments that allowed the Bucs to wear down the Eagles.

“At halftime, coach Donato gave us some adjustments and a good speech and got us amped up,” stated Calef-Boring. “We controlled the whole second half and shut down Robert C. Byrd’s possessions. The midfield of Christian Dowell and Andrick really stepped up and controlled the pace. Our defense was spot-on, not allowing anything really to get through, and as always, our keeper Dalton Auvil had some key saves. We really pressured the ball towards the end of the second half once Andrick scored his goal.”

The Bucs owned a 21-4 margin in shots-on-goal and a 4-1 margin in corner kicks.

Auvil made three saves in net for the Bucs while Cameron Clark made 19 stops for the Eagles.

The win lifted the Bucs to 5-4-2 on the season overall and 5-2-1 in the Big 10 Conference.

They will host Woodrow Wilson Saturday at home for a 1 p.m. start.

The boxscore:

Robert C. Byrd 1  0 – 1

Buckhannon-Upshur 0  2 – 2


Robert C. Byrd – Alex Bovino (unassisted), 28th minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Caden Andrick (unassisted), 54th minute.

Buckhannon-Upshur – Zach Calef-Boring (Noah Radabaugh assist), 73rd minute.

Shots-on-goal – Robert C. Byrd 4; Buckhannon-Upshur 21.

Corner kicks – Robert C. Byrd 1; Buckhannon-Upshur 4.

Fouls – Robert C. Byrd 5; Buckhannon-Upshur 4.

Saves – Robert C. Byrd: Cameron Clark 19; Buckhannon-Upshur: Dalton Auvil 3.

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