BUCKHANNON - After four years of regular-season domination and postseason heartbreak, the Buckhannon-Upshur girls soccer team has finally made the state tournament.
It is a culmination of four great years from a group of seniors that has re-written the record books for the program, and along the way, has accumulated an incredible 71-11-3 overall record.
"The senior class speaks for themselves. They have had a lot of heartbreak the past three seasons, but they have set their goals for this season and have accomplished the first three (conference, sectional, and regional championships). We are a very experienced team," veteran head coach Tom Hasbrouck said. "We saw all kinds of strategies to slow us down, but we have been able to figure out how to beat each team we have faced. The Morgantown loss in August was probably a blessing, as it has changed our team's approach to each game."
After the aforementioned loss to Morgantown early in the year, the Lady Bucs have caught fire and not looked back, rolling to what is now a 22-1 record. The early loss was not the only adversity the team had to overcome, as it lost two key seniors to injury for the season early on - Abby Lantz and Morgan Fair.
"Our seniors have experienced success in track and field (two state titles and one runner-up), and that leadership has definitely been a plus for us this year," Hasbrouck said. "I hate to point out one leader as this group has displayed that they have their own distinct ways to lead. We think that it is always Lauren Cvechko or Emily Godwin, when in many instances it is one of the other seniors that is gathering them together and speaking up."
Buckhannon-Upshur has been off the charts this season statistically, posting some very dominant numbers. The Lady Bucs have outscored their opponents a whopping 138-12, with their passing abilities shining through in the total of 116 assists. Balance is also a hallmark of this athletic unit, as three different players have recorded over 30 goals.
Godwin has tallied 32 goals and 30 assists, Brooklyn Waddell 31 goals and 18 assists, Hannah Stankus 31 goals and 14 assists. That group has been helped by an athletic and physical freshman in Taylor Starkey who has recorded 14 goals and 12 assists.
Cvechko has not only anchored the athletic and effective defense from her middle back position, but has also ventured forward to score nine goals herself. They have been complemented in the scoring column by Jessica Feronti (eight goals, 11 assists), Lindsey Beets (six goals, 10 assists), Lexi Greene (three goals, three assists), Haley Ware (two goals, seven assists) and Megan Williams (two goals, one assist).
In goal, Kelsey Hinzman has recorded 15 shutouts, and collected 72 saves. The save total is even more impressive considering she backs a defense that does not allow a large total of shots on goal.
Hasbrouck's group of seniors includes Waddell, Feronti, Beets, Godwin, Fair, Lantz, Beer, Williams, Cvechko, Hinzman, and Hannah Williams.
"The seniors on this team know what the goal for the season is and we are determined to reach that goal," Hasbrouck said. "This may the teams' first trip to the state tournament, but we know we can play with the other four teams."
Hasbrouck coached the B-U boys to three consecutive state titles from 1993 to 1995, and to the semis on two other occasions. This is B-U's first trip on the girls' side since the 1995 state runner-up team.
B-U faces Winfield at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Schoenbaum Soccer Complex in Charleston.