LEWISTON — Buckfield’s missed penalty shot was in the back of Andrew Vachon’s mind as he raced toward the Bucks’ net on a breakaway.

Vachon kicked the ball past Buckfield goalie Tyler Gammon with 3:16 left in the first overtime of a Class D South boys soccer quarterfinal, giving top-seeded Richmond to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over No. 8 Buckfield at Lewiston High School on Wednesday.

Buckfield captain Rick Kraske watches as Richmond celebrates its overtime victory in the Class D South quarterfinals in Lewiston on Wednesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The Bobcats (10-3-1) move on to the semifinals where they will take on No. 5 Temple Academy, which defeated No. 4 Rangley 2-1 in overtime Wednesday.

“I don’t know what I was feeling,” Vachon said. “I was kind of in disbelief still from the penalty kick earlier that was missed. 

“I just decided to go for it and took my chance. I think the (missed penalty shot) showed us that we are going to have to work a lot harder than we believed we should — and I feel like we brought it today.”

Punching in the game-winning goal was just one of Vachon’s heroics against a determined Buckfield (10-8) squad.

Vachon also knew what it was like to miss a penalty shot for a moment in the first half.

After a tripping was called against the Bucks at 33:50, Vachon was awarded the penalty kick, but his shot bounced off the cross bar and in front of the net. Vachon got the rebound and punched in the ball back into the net. Dakotah Gilpatric got the assist and the Bobcats led 1-0.

“I am usually really good at them,” Vachon said. “I don’t know what happened. It hit the crossbar and came down. I always think about it. I was like, ‘What happens if I miss?’ There is always that chance. I was like, ‘I am going after it,’ and I made sure I could get it in.” 

“He is just a very, very good player,” Richmond coach Peter Gardner said. “He is a very, very smart player, but he is also not a selfish player. He will put the ball where they need to be, and in some instances, they should be finished.” 

The first half ended in a 1-1 tie. After Vachon’s first goal, the Bucks responded with a goal of their own at 25:13, when Elijah Chasse drilled a corner-kick shot that incredibly veered into Richmond’s net.

““I think (our) performance was gutsy,” Gardner said. “I think we played hard and I think we played fairly smart. But every single kid out there didn’t want to lose, and somebody had to lose.

“I knew (Buckfield) was going to be tough. Buckfield used to be in the East-West (Conference). We played them all the time.” 

The Bobcats and Bucks battled through the second half that featured a game of one-upmanship. The Bobcats struck first with their second goal when Gilpatric scored on a penalty shot at 32:20 after the Bucks were called for tripping.

Richmond’s lead held up for the next 20 minutes before the Bucks tied the game on a Kaleb Harvey goal, with the assist going to Victor Verrill, at 12:39. 

At 5:22, Gilpatric scored his second goal on a Vachon assist to put the Bobcats ahead again, 3-2. But Verrill, who has been Bucks’ leading scorer, dropped in a goal at 3:48 on a penalty kick after Richmond was cited for pushing.

With the score tied at 3-3, the teams headed into a 15-minute overtime. In that first overtime, Verrill was awarded another penalty kick at 4:18, but his hard-kicked shot bounced off the post. Vachon scored his game-winner about a minute later in sudden-death overtime.

“I thought we deserved to win,” Buckfield coach Kyle Rines said. “Richmond deserved to win. It is a shame we had to meet right now — an incredible game.

“We definitely had our shots. We had our sights set pretty high. We just needed to win today. Neither team wanted to lose. I think that’s how it shakes out. Andrew Vachon is an incredible player. 

“I thought my really good players dominated as well. Sometimes it comes down to hitting a post.”

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