BUCKFIELD — Goals have been hard to come by at times for Buckfield this season, and head coach Larry Thornton said the breaks haven’t been going his team’s way against some quality opponents as of late.

A break and a goal jump-started that inconsistent offense Saturday, and that paced the Bucks to a 3-1 Class D South girls’ soccer victory over Rangeley.

“The girls have been super focused this past week, where we had to work in the gym a few days, but we’ve been really, really focused with putting the ball in the net, finishing our chances,” Thornton said. “Especially when we get the opportunities, the good ones, and we buried them today.”

Neither team could put a shot on goal through the first 15 minutes, but Katy Henderson’s cross from the left side in the 16th minute led to one of those breaks the Bucks have been looking for. The cross caromed off Molly Bourget to Hannah Shields, and the senior buried her shot from inside the box.

Shields set up Bourget for the Bucks’ (7-5-1) second goal with less than 12 minutes left in the first half.

“Our team’s not built where we get 2-0 to come back,” Rangeley coach Chip Smith said. “We’ve done it. We’ve shown that we can come back and get the next one, but it’s what do we do after that?”

It wasn’t until five minutes later that the Lakers (6-5-1) put their first shot on goal, with Hannah McMillan eventually finding frame off a corner, though Buckfield goalie Ruby Cyr was there for the save.

The Lakers looked better coming out of the halftime break, putting more pressure on the Bucks offensively than they did in the first half, but an on-target shot didn’t come until 15 minutes in from Emily Eastlack.

“They looked a lot better. Right from the start of (the second) half, you know, looked better,” Smith said. “Didn’t show up to play in that first half at all.”

McMillan converted a penalty kick with 21 minutes left to cut the deficit in half after Eastlack was taken down in the box. But the Lakers had no more shots on goal after that.

Julia Dow scored what Thornton called a “backbreaker” with less than nine minutes left to put the Bucks back up by two. Paige Fogg’s throw-in made its way to Sami Patenaude, who got the ball to Dow.

“Hannah’s been scoring a lot this year, but Julia, to get that goal, she hasn’t scored a lot this year, but she keeps working on her shot, working on her shot. And we finally moved her around a little bit on the field, different position, and she did exactly what she’s been doing all week — or for the past couple weeks — and she buried that,” Thornton said.

Cyr made two saves in net for the win, and Rangeley goalie Winnie LaRochelle also made two saves.

The win pushed the Bucks ahead of the Lakers in the D South standings ahead of a regular-season finale against top-seeded Richmond. Rangeley closes with Temple Academy, which is currently fourth in the standings.

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Rangeley goalkeeper Winnie LaRochelle, left, and Molly Bourget of Buckfield collide in front of the net during the first half in Buckfield on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Mary-Page Swiney, left, of Rangeley and Katy Henderson of Buckfield compete for the ball during the second half in Buckfield on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Sami Patenaude, left, of Buckfield and Olivia Pye of Rangeley compete for the ball during the second half in Buckfield on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Lauren Eastlack, front, of Rangeley and Julia Dow of Buckfield compete for the ball during the second half in Buckfield on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)


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