Buccaneers rally for sectional crown

The Inter-Mountain photo by Tony Baisi B-UHS senior Trevor Short back-heels the ball to help push up into attacking territory Thursday at Ted Crites Alumni Field.

TENNERTON — Buckhannon-Upshur High School earned a 2-1 comeback victory to take the Region I Section 2 title over the University Hawks Thursday afternoon.

The Buccaneers will now advance to a region final on Tuesday against Wheeling Park at Brooke High School in Wellsburg.

Thursday’s game was played in front of a capacity crowd at Ted Crites Alumni Field.

Riley Nett got University out in front with a 1-0 lead at intermission when he put a GK deflection back into the B-U net 20 minutes into the contest.

Buckhannon poured in 2 unanswered goals in the second half to nab the sectional crown and stay alive in the quest for the Class AAA state playoffs.

“This game played out very similar to the last time we played University,” B-U coach Mike Donato said. “We withstood their pace of play from the beginning and were able to settle things down late in the half — unfortunately giving up a goal in the process.

“In the second half we came out much more composed and limited their chances. I give the team all the credit for their fight and finishing the game out tonight,” Donato added.

Buckhannon-Upshur 10th-grader and goal keeper Logan Kelley came under fire early and often as the two AAA squads ran the pitch. Kelley collected 4 saves while under pressure from an attacking UHS Hawks offense. University keeper Cameron Mitchell recorded 1 stop.

Junior Alek Seech — with an assist from sophomore Tyler Sandreth — made the match level at 1-1 when Seech took a drop pass and shot it in from 20 yards out.

Joel-Prats Casado, a sophomore, was awarded a penalty kick opportunity with 6 minutes to go, and put the ball in the back of the net for the go-ahead score.

Shots on goal were at a premium in the highly contested match, University posting 5, and B-U totaling 3. The Bucs countered with a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks, and cut things in half with only 10 fouls to the Hawks’ 20 violations.

Buckhannon will get some practice reps in before heading back to the northern panhandle to face Wheeling Park for the AAA Region I championship on Tuesday. The Bucs defeated the WPHS Patriots 1-0 in Wheeling earlier in the season.