The Bucs went on the road to High Point University on Friday, Aug. 26 in their first regular season game of the fall.
In an unwanted finish, the Bucs fell to High Point 5-1. There were high moments and low moments that got the better of the Bucs, but in the end, the loss will turn to be the driving force for the rest of the season.
Set pieces were the name of the game for the Bucs, helping them attain momentary triumphs against High Point as well as disappointments.
High Point scored three of their five goals off of set pieces, one coming in the first half and the other two in the second.
Senior Mitchell Cecatiello (Pascagoula, Miss.) felt this was due to a lack of communication and a “disjointed” vibe, but it’s nothing that won’t get better as the season moves forward.
“We’re a closer team this year than we were last year and it will come with time,” Cecatiello said.
The Bucs had five new players incorporated into the game that had yet to play with the Bucs, including transfer Nick Speilman (Melbourne, Fla.) from Lincoln-Memorial University.
Two red-shirt freshman notably made a difference in the game against High Point.
John Lucchesi (Johnson City, Tenn.) scored the only goal of the night. It was his first collegiate goal.
Red-shirt Javier Alberto (Johnson City, Tenn.) is credited with the assist to Lucchesi after a High Point defender failed to block the corner kick by ETSU Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tenn.).
Head Coach Bo Oshoniyi said Javier “came on in the first half and really changed the game.”
It was just 10 minutes after his substitution that he assisted the goal to Lucchesi and gave the Bucs a fighting chance with the score being 3-1 at the half.
Coach Bo is excited about the talent in this group and is ready to work on the defending of set pieces and move forward.
“Going into the game, I said this game isn’t going to define our season whether we win or we lose,”Oshoniyi said. “And I really believe that.”
Despite the loss, it does not change the overall momentum of the season.
“The ultimate goal is to win the SoCon championship,” Cecatiello said. “And that’s what we’re striving for.”
With this game under their belt, the Bucs are ready to rebound against George Mason University on Wednesday in their first regular season home match of the season.