BUCKFIELD — Eight goals separated Buckfield from Pine Tree Academy the last time the two teams met.

More relevant to Tuesday’s rematch in the Western Class D quarterfinals, nearly eight weeks, 13 games and dozens of practices separated both teams from that lopsided season-opener. The third-seeded Bucks quickly found themselves in a physical nail-biter with the much-improved, sixth-seeded Breakers.

Bri Damon’s goal 14 minutes into the second half was all the Bucks needed to advance to the semifinals with a 1-0 win. They will face No. 2 seed Greenville on Friday.

“That’s the great thing about playoff soccer. You never know what’s going to happen,” Buckfield coach Travis Magnusson said. “We got some good shots early on. We just weren’t able to finish. They had, not many good looks, but they had an opportunity or two, as well. But I told them at the end of the game, we survived and we get to move on to Friday now, and that’s all that matters.”

The Bucks (9-4-2) outshot the Breakers, 27-8. Their best opportunities came in transition, particularly when goalkeeper Arrabine Dunn (eight saves) was able to boot the ball to midfield and get the Bucks into transition.

“She’s done well with that. She does it quickly, so she gets rid of it,” Magnusson said.

Dunn didn’t hesitate after making her first save of the second half, sending her kick past midfield to Damon near the right sideline. Damon raced past the defense to collect the ball from about 30 yards out and had a good angle on Pine Tree keeper Kimberly Emerson to aim for the far corner, but her bid rolled just outside the front post.

Two-minutes later, Dunn made another save and another boot to midfield to Amanda Paradis, who led Damon toward the right corner. On the verge of being surrounded by defenders, she tried to kick it over Emerson again, but this time the ball bounced in front of the keeper and over her head into the far corner.

“Once you get to know where a person kicks, you kind of set yourself up so you can get those chances,” Damon said. “You have to bust your butt and keep on trying, I guess, because I had quite a few shots that didn’t go in.”

Damon could have been excused for getting a little frustrated with some bad luck on those shots. A few minutes prior to the goal, she took a nice feed from Gabby Theriault and aimed for the upper right corner, but Emerson (15 saves) used all of her 5-feet-11 inches to leap and deflect the ball with her left hand to momentarily preserve the scoreless tie. The Bucks had another good chance on a header on the ensuing corner kick, but that went wide right.

“She actually improved a lot since the first game,” Pine Tree assistant coach Eric Stoddard said of Emerson. “She had never played in a game the first time we played here.”

The bulk of Pine Tree’s chances came early and late, many of them coming on direct kicks. Junior midfielder/forward Allison Verrill, who did not play in the first game, had most of those opportunities, but Dunn was able to square up on virtually every one.

“They definitely like trying for the top corner,” Dunn said.

In the first half, Buckfield’s Naudia Wesley went for the top left corner to elude Wesley on a cross, which Kali Litchfield tried to deflect into the open net with a header. The ball had just enough english on it to bounce wide left, however.

Moments later, Ashley Campbell won a ball at midfield, kicked it 25 yards ahead and out-raced a defender to it to the left of the goal box and kicked a ground ball for the far corner that went wide.

The Bucks played second-seeded Greenville to two scoreless ties this season, including the season-finale in Greenville on Oct. 19.

“We really feel like we’ve got a great chance to keep this going,” Magnusson said. “We tied Greenville twice, 0-0 both games, so it’s two good defensive teams. We’ve just got to make it happen inside the 18 (yard line), and it might only take one or two to win it.”

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