Bukoski sparks Voltage past Western Mass

MANCHESTER -- Separated by two points in the Premier Development League's Northeast division, the Vermont Voltage needed a win over the Western Massachusetts Pioneers on Wednesday to move in third place.

Thanks to Chance Bukoski, the Voltage were able to do just that.

Bukoski scored two goals, including the game-winner and added an assist in a 4-2 victory over the Pioneers at Applejack Field.

"It was all about who wanted it more," said player-coach Bo Vuckovic. "We can play against them. We gave them an excellent game, it was an excellent job by all the guys."

The Voltage started off on the offensive and broke through in the first 10 minutes against Pioneer goalie Warren Gross. After pressing the zone, Voltage leading scorer Lucas Carvalho Cordeiro scored his sixth goal of the year to take a 1-0 lead.

Western Mass tied it in the 21st minute as James Goff took a pass that bounced right in front of the net and buried it past Voltage goalie Ryan Brooks-Newton. It broke a span of more than four games that Brooks-Newton hadn't been scored on.

Less than two minutes later, off a corner kick from Lucas Almeida, Bukoski was in the right place to blast a header past Gross to retake the lead.

"We had a lot of build up plays and a lot of quality crosses from the left side," said Bukoski, a native of Hawaii. "The corner from Lucas was a nice set play as well. My spot is on the goalpost at all times, but I couldn't do it without my team. Everything came in perfect and I finished, that's my job."

The Pioneers tied it at 2-2 less than 10 minutes before the break to send the teams to halftime deadlocked.

"It was an amazing game, we were bursting with energy and everyone showed up and stuck together," Vuckovic said. "No one put their heads down when it was 1-1 or 2-2, we just [kept] plugging away."

Western Mass coach Federico Molinari said the one positive from the match was that his team came back in the first half when Vermont would take the lead. But he wasn't pleased with the effort overall.

"It's one of those days where every single pass is wrong, the decision making is wrong," Molinari said.

Vermont came out in the second half fast with Bukoski at the front. Three minutes in, he took a precise cross from Joaquin Rivas and fired a shot just past the goalie's outstretched arms for a 3-2 lead.

"We talked at half, and we had control for most of the first half," Vuckovic said. "We just had to correct mistakes in the back."

Cordeiro put the game away with 16 minutes left with his second goal of the night.

"We didn't play good for the full 90 minutes [and] the 2nd half was worse," Molinari said. "We didn't play the way we want to play."

Brooks-Newton made six saves, including a diving one with only three minutes remaining.

"With the [day] camps and the [hot] weather, the guys found the energy," Vuckovic said. "We had an amazing crowd; it was a pleasure to play her in front of so many people, they really were the 12th player."

The Voltage have three more games at Applejack Field, the next one is July 24 against the Southern Vermont All-Stars.


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