BUCKFIELD — With more than a week off before its Class D South quarterfinal game against Rangeley, the Buckfield girls soccer team had plenty of time to put in an offensive game plan in place.

The third-seeded Bucks followed the plan to move the ball around in the offensive zone early and earned a spot in the semifinals with a 3-0 win over the sixth-seeded Lakers on Tuesday.

“We had a plan we wanted to execute for the last nine or 10 days,” Buckfield coach Larry Thornton said. “The girls executed the plan and that was to move the ball, be patient and take the opportunities.”

The Bucks will face No. 2 Richmond in the D South semifinals Friday or Saturday.

Buckfield attacked relentlessly to start the first half as Molly Bourget, Paige Fogg and Lynn Szabo created opportunity after opportunity with great passing and movement.

Rangeley struggled to get the ball over midfield early in the game, which helped the Bucks find their offensive rhythm.

Bourget scored a shortly after the 20-minute mark of the first half when she slipped the ball across the goal and into the far-right corner to give Buckfield an early 1-0 lead.

Rangeley’s best chance of the half was with 8:15 remaining when Buckfield’s goalkeeper Makenna Blodgett came out of net to stop a ball. Olivia Pye received the clearance for Rangeley and ripped a 30-yard shot just wide left.

Pye and fellow senior Lauren Eastlack worked hard to gain and keep possession for the Lakers.

“They mean a lot to the soccer program over the last five years,” Rangeley coach Chip Smith said. “I had the opportunity to coach them as eighth-graders. Olivia gets a lot of the credit with all the girls, but Lauren has been the dirt dog of this team. This soccer team has two big shoes to fill going forward.”

With less than four minutes remaining in the first half, Fogg brought the ball down the right sideline before crossing the ball perfectly into the box and to the head of Bourget, who was able to flick it into net for Buckfield’s second goal.

“Paige is the person that crossed it, and we’ve practiced that countless times,” Bourget said. “It didn’t work, didn’t work, but I knew that when it was show time we would get it.”

Thornton also knew that it would come together at some point.

“The crossing, that’s what we kind of worked on all week,” Thornton said. “Getting the ball in the middle. It’s Molly’s second goal like that.”

Rangeley struggled to get much offense going in the second half as Buckfield continued to dominate possession.

“Typically, when you play Buckfield, they’re strong down the middle,” Smith said. “Our game plan was to try to get down the sides, but we weren’t really presented with that situation. That’s a good team and they’re used to playing good competition in the Mountain Valley Conference.”

With 25 minutes remaining, Bourget crossed the ball into the front of the net in the near post for an easy tap-in by Katy Henderson that made the Bucks’ lead 3-0.

“The past week we worked on getting it outside and then getting it back in and stretching the defense,” Bourget said. “The last two goals, that’s what it came off of were crosses. The defenses couldn’t quite handle it.”

Rangeley began to press more in the final third with Jackson Haley and Ellah Smith pushing the ball, but the offense came up short.


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