The Buckhannon-Upshur High School boys soccer team prevailed in a wild shootout on the road against Liberty on Saturday, beating the Mountaineers 6-4 in a game that was played at Lincoln High School due to wet field conditions.
“Between the early start time, change of venue and change at goalkeeper because of injury, we had to deal with a lot of things that could have thrown us off of our game,” Buckhannon head coach Mike Donato said after the game. “I have to commend our team for dealing with all these last-minute changes and still coming through with a good result against a quality team.
“Liberty has some quality players that we had to keep accounted for throughout the game while still trying to keep a quality attack going forward. I was also very pleased with the fact that we assisted on goals scored.”
And goals scored there were, with the teams unleashing a combined 10 scores. But despite the offensive fireworks, the Buccaneers never trailed, thanks in large part to a goal in just the first minute of play. Ryan Hurst got the first of his – count them – four goals, collecting a pass from Tyler Sandreth and placing a shot inside the far post to give B-U a 1-0 lead.
Lane Tenney extended the Buckhannon advantage to two in the 12th minute, taking a negative ball from Dawson Carpenter and rocketing a hard shot through Lincoln keeper Nick Jackson’s hands.
Then it was time for Liberty to put one on the scoreboard. Chris Takins won the ball from a B-U defender and hit a hard shot that keeper Coleman Shreve couldn’t corral.
The Bucs rallied quickly, with Isaac Stankus dribbling into the attacking third and playing a pass into the middle to Carpenter, who hit a nice shot far post to extend Buckhannon’s lead back to two goals. Hurst then notched his second of the match in the 29th minute, again on a Sandreth assist, chipping the keeper to push the score to 4-1 at halftime.
But the Mountaineers came out of intermission ready to rumble. Chance Howell hit a deep shot just one minute into the second half to bring the score to 4-2, and Hayden Dodd added another Liberty goal in the 47th minute to cut Buckhannon’s lead to just one.
Hurst completed his hat trick in the 55th minute on a Carpenter assist, but Howell scored again four minutes later to keep the game on edge. Hunter Cohen then fed Hurst the ball for the game’s final goal in the 68th minute, his fourth, known as a ‘haul.’
Shots and corner kicks were fairly even, with Buckhannon controlling a 10-8 advantage in each. Shreve had five saves for the Bucs, while Jackson recorded four for the Minutemen.
B-U will remain on the road for a clash at Philip Barbour on Tuesday. Kick-off for that game is set for 5:30 p.m.