Elijah Chasse, left, of Buckfield and Ford Strout of Richmond compete for the ball during the first half in Buckfield on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

BUCKFIELD — Richard Kraske wasn’t going to let last year happen again.

The Buckfield senior goalie helped the No. 4 Bucks to a 1-0 win over No. 5 Richmond in a Class D South boys’ soccer quarterfinal with 15 saves, including 11 in the second half.

The two teams met in last year in the regional final and the Bobcats came away with a 2-0 victory. Kraske remembered how Richmond beat him last year by aiming for the crossbar and getting him off his feet.

“They scored on me last year in the regional final on that,” Kraske said. “So I have been working on those high ones, and get up there, just to make sure it doesn’t go in. I would take a corner over a goal, just getting up there to clear it out.”

Kraske had to employ that strategy with 15 minutes remaining in the game when the Bobcats were in desperation-mode, trying tie the game up.


Richmond forced a corner when Kraske made a save. Shortly thereafter, the Bobcats were awarded a direct kick, and Kraske had make another save, which forced another corner, but Kraske and his teammates stopped the defending regional champions from scoring.

The Bobcats (8-6-1) had four corners in the game.

Richmond coach Peter Gardner thought the execution was there in the final 15 minutes, they just didn’t get the results they were hoping for.

“What they did do is they kept working at it and kept getting good opportunities,” Gardner said. “The ball gets bouncing around a little bit, when it doesn’t come in through it bounces around a little bit. All in all, I am satisfied with the way we played.”

Buckfied coach Kyle Rines said he told his team at halftime to expect the Bobcats, trailing 1-0, to make a strong push.

“When a team is down like Richmond was, they are going to play desperate and they are going to press, press,” Rines said. “When a team presses, you are going to give up corners and you are going to give up free kicks. We just talked about being tough and doing your job.”


Rines said the cold weather and not subbing much in the second half helped Richmond’s cause to possess the ball as much as they did in the after the halftime break.

The only goal of the match came with 14:30 remaining in the first half when Buckfield’s Caleb Chabe made a cross in the 18-yard box to Victor Verrill. Verrill kicked the ball with the outside of his foot and curved it around Richmond goalie Kyle Tilton (seven saves).

It wasn’t the cleanest of shots Verrill has ever taken, but he knew he just need to get the ball on net.

“We took the opportunities when we could and we made the best of the choices we did have. It worked,” Verrill said.

Chances are usually are limited when Buckfield and Richmond face off. They had a scoreless draw early this season in Richmond, and then Buckfield won the regular-season finale 1-0 last week.

Rines liked how his players stayed within themselves for the entire 80 minutes.


“I thought we played tough tonight. It was a physical game,” Rines said. “We knew that they would come out with that pressure. I told them it was like a boxing (match), we just needed to take the blows and keep playing through the 12th round. I thought our guys showed a lot of good mental toughness, and physical toughness, too, in the cold weather — physical play against a really good team.”

The game was physical for both sides, but the Bobcats thought they weren’t getting some calls. In the first half a Richmond player was knocked down on what Gardner thought was a foul. Gardner complained to the official and received a yellow card.

In the final minute of the game, a similar situation happened, a Richmond player appeared to get fouled with no call. A yellow was given out to a Richmond player for arguing the call.

“There some things in there that shouldn’t have happened, that happened, I think should have been called but weren’t called,” Gardner said. “I think there’s a physical part of the game, but there’s not one (part of the game) where you can hurt somebody. That’s a good (team), they did what they needed to do. They stopped us from scoring, which is a pretty good (feat) in itself.”

Buckfield (11-3-1) will take on North Yarmouth Academy in a regional semifinal matchup. Rines said that game will probably be played Thursday.

Victor Verrill of Buckfield bicycle kicks the ball during Tuesday’s playoff game against Richmond in Buckfield. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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