TENNERTON - For the first time since being state runner-up in 1995, the Buckhannon-Upshur girls soccer team is heading back to the state tournament after defeating Washington 3-2 Thursday night.
"I really wanted it for this group of seniors," Buckhannon-Upshur coach Tom Hasbrouck said. "They have accomplished a lot over their careers, but had never taken this step. I'm very proud of this team, and I felt we played very well tonight against a very strong team."
Washington delivered the first blow in the contest when speedster Devyn Hosby scored on a through ball from Kayleigh Pierce just eight minutes into the contest.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Ferguson
Members of the 2012 Buckhannon-Upshur girls soccer team pose with the regional championship plaque after defeating Washington 3-2 Thursday night. The Lady Bucs advanced to the state tourney with win.
B-U answered at the 24th minute when Emily Godwin scored off a short pass from Hannah Stankus.
Stankus put the Lady Bucs up 2-1 seven minutes later, finishing off a combination from Brooklyn Waddell. Stankus stole the ball and after it was lost into a sea of defenders in the box, Waddell toe-poked it free to the opportunistic Stankus.
With the score still standing at 2-1 early in the second half, Washington's Erin Buchanan provided the equalizer at the 51st minute, finding the net with a short tally off a Washington free kick.
For over 12 minutes, the game remained tied, setting the stage for the game-winner.
Brooklyn Waddell delivered the historic goal, drilling home a rocket off the post as she finished off an effective cross from freshman Taylor Starkey. Obtaining a 3-2 lead, B-U held off the Lady Patriots down the stretch for the Class AAA, Region II title.
For Hasbrouck, it will be his sixth trip the state tournament. The coach had a seventh group in 1987 that went undefeated, but the first official tourney wasn't until 1988. He took the Buckhannon-Upshur boys team to the semifinals in 1988 and 1992, before winning three consecutive state titles in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
"That seems like a lifetime ago," Hasbrouck conceded. "It's just as exciting with the girls. A lot different, but absolutely just as exciting."
Buckhannon-Upshur put on the bulk of the pressure throughout the evening, outshooting the Lady Patriots 10-7 in the contest.
The Lady Bucs earned 10 of the evening's corner kicks. B-U goalkeeper Kelsey Hinzman collected five saves, while Washington goalie Kylie Nelson had seven.
Buckhannon-Upshur improves to 22-1 on the season. The senior class has now accumulated 73 wins over their four seasons of wearing the Blue and White.
The Lady Bucs play next Friday at 10 a.m. in the first Class AAA semifinal in Beckley.