Bison rumble past Generals

QUICKSBURG — Buffalo Gap’s Seth Long scored five goals and assisted on a sixth as his Bison knocked off homestanding Stonewall Jackson 7-2 on Friday night in boys soccer.

It was a Shenandoah District game, but points counted for the upcoming conference tournaments.

Long, who has scored 23 goals for his team (5-7 Shenandoah District, 5-8 overall), put three of his shots through the net in the first half and then chipped in two more through the 57th minute when coach Dustin Zickefoose pulled him.

“He’s a great leader and a fine student-athlete on the pitch and off,” said Zickefoose.

Of the total 12 goals the Bison scored over the Generals in their two-game sweep, the senior, who also plays boys basketball and kicks for the varsity football team, has totaled eight of them.

He scored a hat trick against the Generals earlier when the Bison dropped Stonewall on the Buffalo Gap home pitch on April 16 by the score of 5-2.

Long scored four goals in a 6-1 victory at home against Luray earlier in the week.

“Well, it doesn’t have as much to do with the other team as it does Alex [Berumen] and the other midfielders. They make sure the ball gets to me and then I try to take care of it from there,” he said.

Berumen and senior Sergio Berumen, another midfielder, found Long for through balls throughout the 80-minute match. The latter came up with two assists as Long finished each pass off for a goal.

“Alex is a real unselfish kid,” said Zickefoose. “We play a 4-1-4-1 on offense and Seth is our only striker, but it takes somebody to get him the ball.”

Stonewall Jackson coach Caleb Golladay saw the loss as yet another chink in the armor as the 3-7, 5-7 Generals attempt to rebuild after reaching 2014 Region 2A East quarterfinals.

“Right now, we’re fourth in our (seven-team) conference (35). It looks like George Mason will finish on top. They will get the bye. But after that, they seed us from two on down.”

If the season were to end tonight, Golladay said his club would play Page County in the first round of the conference post-season play.

Meanwhile, Zickefoose, whose team plays in 2A’s Conference 36, said his team has 36 points toward its after-the-regular season placement. Each team earns seven points per victory against its overall schedule. Additional points are awarded if the game is against a bigger school.

“We’re trying to host the first round in forever. That hasn’t happened at Buffalo Gap in a long time,” said Zickefoose.

Buffalo Gap led 4-1 at the half. Long scored three of the goals in the 17th, 19th and 36th minutes of the first stanza. He fed teammate Michael Spechio for the other goal in the 24th minute.

Stonewall’s Carlos Romero-Hernandez found a rebound on a shot that teammate Lukas Fultz sent at the crossbar for the Generals’ only score before intermission. It came in the 28th minute.

In the second half, Long scored in the 41st minute and 57th minutes.

Zach Thompson scored the final Bison goal of the night in the 59th minute.

Pedro Jacuinde scored the Generals’ second goal of the game 50th minute.

Jacuinde, a junior, was active throughout the game. He tried six shots on goal in the first half and made one of eight in the second.

Meanwhile, Long was 5-of-9 in goals scored and attempted. His speed served him well against the younger Generals.

Stonewall has lost 18 players to graduation in the last two years.

One General who showed well was senior defender Ben Rosenberger, who was running as hard at the end of the match as he was at the outset.

“Ben has been with us since the eighth grade and has been here all the way through,” said Golladay. “He’s receptive and respectable. You ask him to do something and he gets it done.”