TENNERTON – It was utter heartbreak for the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs in their 2023 soccer debut Saturday at home against the defending state champion the Morgantown Mohigans.
In a game that featured limited offensive opportunities for both squads, the two teams appeared to be heading to a scoreless tie, but a B-U penalty in their own box gave Morgantown a penalty kick in the 77th minute of the game.
Morgantown’s Gracie Brown sent the penalty kick to the lower right portion of the net for the score giving the Mohigans the 1-0 win and sending the Lady Bucs to the crushing defeat.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted but we learned that this team has a humungous amount of potential,” stated first-year head coach Jason Piacente. “I was so impressed with the effort that they put out. They gave it their all. It was a tough loss but I thought we outdid ourselves with effort.”
Piacente said his team, while disappointed with the setback, handled the loss well.
“In our post-game, something I was really impressed with was they were able to stay positive,” said Piacente. “Nobody was blaming anyone for the loss and our captains were staying positive with our team and everybody was on board with that.”
Piacente said he and the team will work this week to fix the offense to set up better chances.
“We have some concepts to work on to control the ball better and get more quality chances offensively,” he noted.
The first-year coach said overall he was pleased with how his team played against the defending state champs.
“We came out and played how I thought we would,” remarked Piacente. “We actually played better than I thought we might. We just need to fix the little things. I thought our midfielders played well, Hannah Boyles, Sidney Hollen and Grace Queen. They controlled the field and shut down a lot of their options. Our defensive line played well too slowing down Morgantown.”
One of those defensive stalwarts was tri-captain senior Kyleigh Keener.
“We have made a lot of alterations to our defense with our new coaching staff, and I am really proud of the work we have put in on that side of the ball,” said Keener. “I think we need to keep working on our communication and fix the things that we weren’t doing well. We will work hard at fixing those things for our next game on Saturday. Despite the result, I am very proud of our team that we came out and played hard against the defending state champs.”
The Lady Bucs were outshot by a 5-3 margin and trailed in corner kicks by a 4-1 count.
B-U keeper Kyndal Davis shined making four saves while counterpart Camdyn Smith stopped three shots for Morgantown.
The Lady Bucs will be back in action Saturday making the trip to Lewisburg to face Greenbrier East at 2 p.m.
Morgantown 0 1 – 1
Buckhannon-Upshur 0 0 – 0
Morgantown – Gracie Brown (penalty kick), 77th minute
Shots-on-goal – Morgantown: 5; Buckhannon-Upshur: 3
Corner kicks – Morgantown: 4; Buckhannon-Upshur: 1.
Saves – Morgantown: Camdyn Smith 3; Buckhannon-Upshur: Kyndal Davis 4.