INWOOD - Jefferson Cougars senior Bryan Orcutt has a play style that marches to the beat of a different drummer.
In the Class AAA, Region II finals against Buckhannon-Upshur Tuesday night at the Musselman soccer complex, Orcutt carried his cadence to the deciding goal in the 1-0 victory, advancing the Cougars to their first state tournament since 2007.
"Orcutt is a quirky player," Jefferson coach Chris Steffey said. "He does some things in an unorthodox manner, and it throws other teams off."
Photo by Ron Agnir/Ogden Newspapers
Buckhannon-Upshur’s Marty Elliott (2) and Jefferson’s Anthony Wenner (9) and jostle for position during first-half action of the Class AAA, Region II soccer championship Tuesday in Inwood.
"Bryan and I know each other very well," Jefferson's Austin Ogden said. "He is cracking jokes, headbutting people and doing other weird things at practice, but he did his thing and worked hard."
Orcutt's goal was assisted from a crossing pass by Ogden in the 31st minute.
"Ogden played a tremendous game," Steffey said. "He played the game of his life."
"He was in the right position for my cross, and he put it in," Ogden said. "It's not about who is there. It is about when you are there and why you are there."
Steffey spent a significant portion of the season switching positions for the players on the pitch, including both Ogden and Orcutt. Ogden, primarily a midfielder, was moved to defender on the left side, and Orcutt, who started the season as a defender, moved up to the striker position.
Orcutt had to adjust to playing offense, while Ogden and teammate Austin Doughty had no trouble adapting.
"It was difficult because I had played defense all my life," Orcutt said. "It was really exciting that in my third game playing there, I score the goal that got us to states."
"It is the similar gist of position that Doughty and I both played as wingers," Ogden said. "Instead of constantly going forward, we have to step back a little more.
"We have a deep bench, and we play off of each other well."
Jefferson outshot Buckhannon-Upshur 16-11 and had a shot on target advantage of 10-7. Ian Forrest saved all seven shots on target, and Buccaneers goalkeeper Christopher Orwig saved nine shots.
The Cougars advance to play George Washington, which defeated Oak Hill 3-0 in the Class AAA, Region III final, at the state tournament at the YMCA Facility in Beckley on Nov. 8.