On Wednesday, Oct. 21 the Buckhorn Soccer Team took to the field against rival Delaware Valley, and from the opening ceremonies celebrating the seniors on the squad the crowd could feel something electrifying in the air.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21 the Buckhorn Soccer Team took to the field against rival Delaware Valley, and from the opening ceremonies celebrating the seniors on the squad the crowd could feel something electrifying in the air.

Coming off a huge win on Monday against Abington Heights, their first win over the Comets ever, they were about to write another chapter in the storied history book, if they could pull off another win against a team they have never defeated. When the final whistle blew that chapter was written with a 2-1 victory over the Warriors.

Wallenpaupack Head , with a smile the size of the Big Lake, sat back and watched as his team headed over to the bleachers to thank the fans for supporting them, and just took it all in.

“They’ve (the seniors) been phenomenal. They have worked hard and have been true leaders, they’ve motivated the other kids and been committed to the team, it’s exciting to be around them. I will miss them they’re a good bunch of kids,” he said after the celebrations.

This was the Buckhorn Seniors’ last regulation game of the year, and it was a week that will never be forgotten. After beating Abington earlier in the week by a score of 1-0, they closed out the regular season with a match-up against Delaware Valley, another team they have never beaten.

The game opened up with both teams feeling each other out, keeping the ball in the middle of the field and counter-attacking at times. At the 8:16 mark the Warriors struck first on an own goal that was deflected in off a Buckhorn defender, and the way the half would end with the Warriors taking a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The Bucks never gave up. They regained their composure and came out as a team and were determined to end their season on a high note.
A little over seven minutes into the second half, they struck back. Riley McConnell fed a bouncing ball to a streaking John Kilduff who calmly received the pass, took one touch on the ball and lofted it over the keeper to knot the score at one all.

“Johnny Kilduff is our leading scorer on the team right now and is a sophomore and he has been working really hard, he listens well and is very coachable,” said Bonagura.

For the better part of the rest of the half the defense buckled down, clearing balls from their end of the field and limiting shots by the Warriors. Overall DV recorded only six shots in the contest, with goalkeeper Chris Schneider keeping the ball out of the net.

“Defensively we have Ryan McDevitt on the left and is kind of our unsung hero as an outside back, he does such a great job shutting down the right-footed players coming down the right side,” said Bonagura. “Victor Robertazza as a junior has just grown immensely in the way he leads the back and sweeps up. We’ve been moving different people to stopper depending on who we are playing but Bobby Skibber did a great job today. Brendan Beilman has been in there doing a great job and Cody Ragonese and Keegan Marchand rotate on the outside right have been real strong. It’s been a huge help (in our success) to have those guys.”

With time winding down, and overtime looking like a definite possibility the Bucks broke through the sturdy Warrior defense and capped off the night when McConnell was the recipient of a Kilduff pass and knocked the ball into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead with just over two minutes in regulation.

The Purple Pack closed out the game and defeating Delaware Valley for another “first” in their storied season.

“I think we just played smarter. We always worked hard but we’ve made mistakes in games that cost us goals or goal-scoring opportunities. I think what we’re doing now is playing smarter and using our hard work to our advantage, defending smarter, and attacking with a little more confidence,” added Bonagura.

When the final whistle blew the Bucks erupted in celebration. Years of coming up just short to the Warriors, and a big win on Monday over Abington Heights, had them finally overcome a hurdle that was always in the way.  A sense of relief and jubilation was felt by all in attendance.

“It just feels amazing. We’ve progressed so much since our freshman year. I’m just so happy and we’re such a close-knit team,” said senior Brendan Beilman. “We’ve been playing hard all season and it feels really good to finally come out on top. This is the best way we could end our senior year, hopefully we can carry it on in districts. From keeper up to the strikers we played tremendous, I’m really proud of our guys.”

Against Abington on Monday the Bucks handed the Comets their first loss of the year when Jesse Brown scored off an assist from Jamie Snyder with 4:51 to go in the first half. Snyder won a tackle and beat his man around the outside and dribbled to the endline where he played a ball across and Brown knocked it in.

“Our defense played very strong and limited them to long shots. We did a good job of counter-attacking as they pushed forward for the equalizer,” said Bonagura.