FARMINGTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers got back on the winning track Thursday with a 4-2 win over the North Marion Huskies in Big Ten Conference soccer action.
Marty Elliot scored a pair of goals Thursday, including the game’s opening tally just six minutes after kickoff on a penalty kick to give B-U a lead they would never relinquish. The win snapped a three-game losing skid and improved the Bucs’ season record to 8-6-0 and their Big Ten ledger to 6-2.
“The communication and overall play was outstanding tonight,” B-U head coach Mike Donato remarked. “We found a way to gain possession on almost every 50-50 ball and keep possession. We were very patient in our attack the entire game, keeping the ball on the ground, playing the ball wide and making great runs. Because of that we were able to dictate the overall pace and flow of the game.”
“Dylan [Hall], Matt McCoy, Josh [Tenney] and Marty [Elliot] were the main reason we kept control by dominating the center of the field with a lot of quick, combination passing and well timed passes and runs. The defense rarely let a ball through and was able to get us possession back and keep it.”
The Bucs out-shot the Huskies by a 14-2 margin and enjoyed a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. While Elliot’s sixth-minute goal stood up as the only score at halftime, B-U did not allow North Marion a single shot on goal during the first half.
Nine minutes into the second half, the Bucs began adding onto their lead, as Marcus Lofton took command of Trey Short’s deflected pass to the center of the field and shot to the far post for his first goal of the season.
Christian Hamrick also scored his first goal of the season for the Bucs in the 62nd minute, cleaning up a rebound off Dylan Hall’s free kick and shooting to the far post for a 3-0 B-U lead.
North Marion trimmed the B-U lead to 3-1 just a minute later, as Kurt Rogers rocketed a shot from 30 yards out into the top corner of the net.
But four minutes later, Elliot struck again, with an assist from Tenney springing him to score his team-high eighth goal of the year on a rebound opportunity.
North Marion tacked one last goal in the final minute of play, as Colby Collins carried the ball to the corner and shot to the back post.
B-U freshman Cam Blake made his first start in goal for the Bucs to earn the win, while North Marion keeper Eric Dunigan made 10 saves in defeat.
“It was great to see players like Marcus [Lofton], Jordan [Thomas] and Christian [Hamrick] play really aggressive up front, which helped us create 26 shots — 14 of which we got on goal,” Donato said. “Although we were only able to finish on three, we did a great job of creating those chances.
Although Cam didn’t record any saves, his overall vocal presence and decision making was great, and the shots we gave up would be impossible for any keeper to stop, so I give those players from North a lot of credit on perfect placement from tough angles.”
The Bucs will return home Tuesday to host Liberty in another Big Ten matchup and will travel to Grafton for another conference outing Thursday.
Buckhannon-Upshur 3 1 — 4
North Marion 0 2 — 2
B-U (6:00) — Marty Elliot (penalty kick)
B-U (49:00) — Marcus Lofton (Trey Short assist)
B-U (62:00) — Christian Hamrick (Dylan Hall assist)
NM (63:00) — Kurt Rogers (unassisted)
B-U (67:00) — Elliot (Josh Tenney assist)
NM (79:00) — Colby Collins (unassisted)
Shots on goal — Buckhannon-Upshur 14; North Marion 2.
Corner kicks — Buckhannon-Upshur 7; North Marion 3.
Fouls — Buckhannon-Upshur 3; North Marion 6.
Saves — Buckhannon-Upshur: Cam Blake none; North Marion: Eric Dunigan 10.
For the complete article see the 10-01-2012 issue.
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