RICHMOND — Amber Loon got things started for the Richmond girls soccer team Wednesday afternoon, scoring 11 minutes into the Western D title game against Buckfield.

Loon then finished it for the Bobcats, scoring the dagger with under four minutes to play.

The goals were more than enough for top-seeded Richmond, which advanced to its fourth consecutive Class D state championship game with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Buckfield.

“It’s awesome,” said Loon, a junior. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Sophomore Kelsea Anair also had a goal and an assist for Richmond (15-1-0), which will play Washburn (15-1-0) on Saturday at McMann Field in Bath for the Class D state title. Richmond will make its 13th appearance in the final since Class D soccer was established in 1989. The Bobcats, who beat the Bucks for a third time this fall, are gunning for their 10th state title.

“We pulled through,” Anair said. “We stepped up. We wanted this.”

Richmond controlled play throughout, keeping Buckfield — which was in the Western D game for the first time since 1989 — on its heels. The Bobcats outshot the Bucks 42-5.

Loon opened the scoring in the 11th minute when she took a pass from Autumn Acord, beat a defender and sent a low shot past Buckfield keeper Arradine Dunn.

“I looked up and saw Amber coming down,” Acord said. “I just gave it to her and she took one step by the defender and put it on net. She got it.”

Added Loon: “Autumn gave me a perfect pass and I just put it past their keeper. It was a big goal.”

The Bucks (10-5-2) never threatened in the first half — they were held without a shot — but they trailed just 1-0 at the half.

Buckfield coach Travis Magnusson said the plan was to keep the game close and then look for opportunities when they arose.

“We tried to keep the game as close as we could,” he said. “We’ve been a defensive team all year.”

Buckfield actually sprung to life for about an eight-minute stretch in the second half, but Richmond junior keeper Kelsie Obi stopped everything booted her way.

Then, with 21:05 left, Anair scored off a Kayla Patterson corner kick to make it a 2-0 game.

“I got it about six yards out and I knew I had to just shoot it,” Anair said. “I shot it as quick as I could and it went in. I was so excited.”

Added Richmond coach Troy Kendrick, who could finally exhale a little with the lead extended:”You can’t have the momentum for 80 minutes. We talked about how either we would get the insurance goal or they would tie it up.”

Loon capped the scoring when she took a nice pass from Anair, dribbled around three defenders and buried a low shot past Dunn to the left corner.

“ We played a great game,” Loon said. “We wanted to go to states bad. This is awesome. We just pulled through in the end. It’s such a great feeling.”

Obi finished with four saves for Richmond while Dunn had 21 for Buckfield.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartkj

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