BUCKFIELD — Rangeley head coach Danielle Ellis said her players did a good job of keeping their heads up after Buckfield scored one minute into Wednesday’s playoff game. Unfortunately for Ellis and the Lakers, the Bucks were a head above them — literally.

Top-ranked Buckfield scored three goals off corner kicks, including two early in the second half in a 7-0 victory over the eighth-seeded Lakers in a Class D South boys soccer quarterfinal.

The game was just 62 seconds old when Buckfield’s Noah Patenaude found space in the left side of the box and drilled a right-footed shot into the back of the net.

That early tally looked like it might be the start of another easy win for the Bucks (14-1), who averaged four goals per game and scored six or more four times. But the scoring stopped for Buckfield for a while after that, as Rangeley (3-8-1) employed a trap that halted Buckfield’s attack.

“We work on that quite often,” Ellis said. “We get a lot of offsides calls because we do try to pull up, and it’s hard for offensive teams that want to drive it down.”

Buckfield sophomore Ethan Jackson said that was probably the first time a team has utlizied the trap strategy against his team this year, and they just had to adjust. Jackson said ground passes and communication were two things that help combat the trap.


Jackson’s older brother, senior captain Sidney, was the beneficiary of both just over 15 minutes in on his way to the Bucks’ second goal. The elder Jackson received a ground pass while onsides against the Rangeley back line, then fought through a defender into the box before firing a low shot past Lakers goalie Zachary Trafton.

The younger Jackson made it 3-0 with just over five minutes left before halftime, with a mix of corner kick execution and luck of the bounce. Jackson inserted a short corner kick from the right corner, received a pass back, made one defender miss, then sent a shot from near the sideline that was headed in by a Rangeley defender trying to head the ball out.

Buckfield put the game away early in the second half, scoring a pair of goals a minute apart. Jonathan Randolph converted an easy tap-in after Rangeley goalie Hunter Lowell (who moved from the field to goal at halftime) made an inital save on Matthew Beaucage. Randolph scored again off a corner kick, as Ethan Jackson hit it back to defender Jacob Hackett, whose send-in was redirected in on a Randolph header.

“We’re lucky enough we have a lot of tall guys,” Buckfield head coach Kyle Rines said. “We have probably four, five 6-footers, one guy over — he’s like 6-4. We’re really good in the air.”

Randolph used his head again on another successful corner kick, but he was on the giving end as Bryan Chabe scored 16:36 into the second half. The play again started with Jackson, and ended when Chabe’s low shot in the box made it through traffic and into the net.

“Once we just relaxed, played our game, got warm — it’s kind of cold out — we did fine,” Rines said. “We made some good adjustments.”


Buckfield stayed hot for just over another minute, as Sidney Jackson capped the scoring. His younger brother sent a lot pass from deep in his own zone to his brother streaking up the middle. The senior captain then beat his defender before beating Lowell.

“We adjusted to the team, we adjusted to the defense,” Ethan Jackson said. “I think we can beat any team as long as we communicate and work together as a team.”

The Bucks have proven they can beat every team they’ve played so far, as their lone loss — a 1-0 loss against Sacopee Valley in Hiram — came in a rematch game with the Hawks. They now advance to the semifinals, where they will again be the host.

“We’re 100 percent healthy, we are at home, we have a lot of spirit,” Rines said. “We’re good to go.”

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