RICHMOND — After giving up the game’s first goal early in the second half of Friday’s Class D South semifinal, Richmond knew it needed to rebound quickly.

The second-seeded Bobcats did rebound quickly, and often, to score four unanswered goals and pull away from No. 3 Searsport, 4-1.

Richmond (10-4-0) advances to face top-seeded Buckfield in the regional final Wednesday. The defending state champion Bobcats will be seeking their third regional title in a row.

“It usually takes us a little bit to wake up in our games,” said senior Tyler Soucy, who scored the second of the four goals. “But after we get going, it’s just pure emotion. We just don’t stop. It just flows.”

A little too much water flowed onto Richmond’s field during the mid-week rainfall, and officials decided during pregame warm-ups that it was unsuitable for play. So both teams and their fans moved over to a drier field on the other side of the school, which just happened to be the scene of Richmond’s 4-0 win over Searsport in the girls semifinal earlier in the afternoon.

“It’s a smaller field. We like to play on a big field,” Richmond coach Peter Gardner said. “But we play on fields like this. Our field is probably the only field (in the East-West Conference) that’s not like this. It is an adjustment, but at the same time it didn’t seem to affect us too much in terms of moving the ball. I thought we passed well and got around the corners well.”

The Bobcats just weren’t finding the back of the net for the first 60 minutes. After a scoreless first half that produced just five total shots on goal, Liam MacMillan gave the Vikings (10-4-1) the lead 3:57 into the second with a hard shot to Richmond goalkeeper Zach Small’s left.

“They got into a little bit of a funk when Searsport scored their goal, but they got themselves back out of it,” Gardner said.

Matt Rhines almost snapped the Bobcats out of that funk with a 40-yard shot that hit the crossbar.

The Bobcats weren’t able to do anything with the rebound on that shot, but that was one of the last second-chance opportunities they would miss.

With 20:08 left to play, Holt converted on the second touch of a corner kick from Curtis Anderson with a shot that deflected off a defender or Searsport goalie Ben Powell in front of the crowded net.

“With the play that we run, I knew the ball was going to end up with one of my teammates trying to head it. I just tried to sit back behind him,” Holt said. “I got lucky.”

What proved to be the game-winner came on another corner play that was deflected back to a wide-open Soucy, who had plenty of time to beat Powell from about 15 yards out.

“We kind of anticipating the ball to come out,” Soucy said. “(Thursday) we practiced keeping the ball on the ground because we knew it was going to skip a little bit and bounce off some defenders. So that’s just what I was trying to do. I was trying to keep it low so it just might get the deflection and go in, and it worked.”

Brady Johnson made it 3-1 by redirecting Anderson’s pass inside the left post with 11:53 left.

“Curtis played very well,” Gardner said. “He’s determined not to lose. He’s just working hard.”

Brendan Emmons added the fourth goal off yet another rebound with 9:14 to go.

The Vikings’ opportunities to respond were few and far between. Richmond outshot them 23-7, including 15-3 on goal.

“We just kept the pressure on. We just made sure we kept hammering down on them,” Soucy said.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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