Playing for a state championship is every soccer team’s hope to begin a season.

The Lewiston boys have chased that goal since losing last year’s Class A state game. The Buckfield boys have dreamed about it for a lifetime.

Saturday, both teams get their chance.

Lewiston returns to the state final and plays Scarborough at 12:30 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. The Blue Devils have been intent on challenging for a state championship since losing to Cheverus last fall.

“We always say that we have unfinished business,” Lewiston senior Abdi Shariff said. “That just motivated the whole team. Last year, we came up short, and this year we’re just going to give it everything.”

The Bucks lost in the regional final to Richmond last year but swept the Bobcats in the regular season and then beat the defending Class D champs in penalty kicks in the South D final Wednesday. Buckfield plays Fort Fairfield Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Presque Isle Middle School.

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“It feels amazing,” senior defender Bryan Chabe said after the thrilling win over Richmond. “This is our goal. We said that we were all in at the beginning of the year, and we went all in. It’s great.”

While Saturday marks the first state championship appearance for the Bucks, the Blue Devils have some experience on this stage. Lewiston has lived with the disappointment of last year’s loss, and now the Blue Devils are ready for a different approach — and result.

“I learned a lot from last year,” midfielder Noralddin Othman said. “Last year, we were scared. We played defense the whole first half and we didn’t attack. They scored two goals against us.”

Lewiston tried to rally in the second half but came up short. The Blue Devils haven’t played scared since. They’ve outscored opponents 113-7 this season, including 13-0 in three playoff games.

“We have to have composure and we have to be confident,” senior defender Zakariya Abdulle said. “We’re going to be confident. You have to play with confidence. Otherwise, you’ll make mistakes.”

Lewiston plays an unbeaten Scarborough team that the Blue Devils played in the preseason. Coach Mike McGraw made sure to point out to his team after Wednesday’s win over Hampden that Scarborough was the last team to outscore them. The Red Storm handed Lewiston its last loss, 2-1 in the preseason.

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“They know what it’s like to be there,” McGraw said. “They’re going to play their hearts out and they know Scarborough. They know who they’re playing. They’re playing a team that’s very disciplined. They’re very good defensively. They have timely attacks. They know who those guys are.”

Top-seeded Scarborough (15-0-2) lost to Cheverus in double overtime in the regional final last year. The Red Storm beat the Stags Wednesday to avenge that loss. Scarborough outscored opponents 50-8 in the regular season with eight shutouts.

Senior Matt Caron up front and junior Garrett King were both all-regional all-stars for the Red Storm., which have won four of the last seven Class A state titles, the last being back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013. Lewiston had four players recognized, including seniors midfielder Abdulkarim Abdulle, defender Zakariya Abdulle, forward Maslah Hassan and Shariff.

The Bucks are in unfamiliarity territory. In addition to the lengthy trip to the County, Buckfield faces a team they know little about in the biggest game of the season. Coach Kyle Rines says the key for his team this season has been working together and facing the challenges of the season as a group. He expects that to be the case Saturday.

“Everyone loves to win,” Rines said. “That’s what we’ve talked about. We love to win but the message that I wanted to tell my boys is that everyone loves to win, but it’s the love we have for each other that gets things done.”

The top-seeded Bucks (16-0-1) have allowed only 10 goals all season and have given up just two goals in its past eight games, one of which was an own-goal against Greater Portland Christian in the quarterfinals.

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“We’re going to go out there Saturday night and it’s going to be just like (Wednesday’s regional final),” Rines said. “We’ll give it all we’ve got and try to beat Fort Fairfield.”

Top-seed Fort Fairfield (16-0-1) beat Bangor Christian in overtime in the D North final, ending a run of six consecutive regional crowns for Bangor Christian. It’s the first trip to the state game for Fort Fairfield since 1976. Freshman Jonah Daigle scored the game-winner in a 1-0 win over Central Aroostook in the semifinals and had the overtime winner against Bangor Christian. Fort Fairfield scored 74 goals during the regular season and only allowed 13. Fort Fairfield is strong in the middle led by all-regional juniors Chris Giberson and Ryan Player.

The Bucks have some speed up front led by all-region forward Jon Randolph, the school’s all-time leading scorer. Sidney and Ethan Jackson and Hunter Wiley are threats offensively as well. Ethan Jackson and Wiley were both all-regional picks as was sophomore defender Zack Grover, who leads a strong defense along with Chabe.

“We’re going to do our best and play our hearts out,” Chabe said. “Just like we did Wednesday. We’ll do what we can.”

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