BUCKFIELD — Striker Victor Verrill has been doing the bulk of Buckfield’s scoring this season, but he opted for the role of playmaker in a Class D South boys soccer preliminary game Friday.

Verrill did score, but he also collected a pair assists as the Bucks cruised to a 5-0 victory over Piscataquis Community High School. The eighth-seeded Bucks (9-6) move on to face No. 1 Richmond in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Buckfield goalie Tyler Gammon makes a save during Friday afternoon’s soccer playoff game between Piscataquis Community High School and Buckfield Jr/Sr High School in Buckfield. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“I got like seven hat tricks this season, so I am more like the goal scorer, but, yeah, like I was like looking at my teammates this playoff game, more focused on the team than me,” Verrill said. “So I just wanted to make that happen.

“I thought we played to the best of our ability and we all connected passes great. We all took amazing shots. Whenever we put out a shot, at least it was on goal.”

Verrill lauded the fight that ninth-seeded Piscataquis put up.

“They were a good team. They put up a good fight,” he said. “Obviously the scoreboard says differently, but I thought they fought really good, honestly.”

Those first seven minutes in the first half included a back-and-forth battle before senior Caleb Chabe broke the ice with his goal on a Max White assist at 32:59. That goal made it 1-0 and had a snowball effect on the Bucks’ offense.

“That first goal Cale Chabe got was huge,” Buckfield coach Kyle Rines said. “It kind of relieved some pressure for us. We were able to play better after that.”

Junior Kaleb Harvey followed with his first of two goals on a Verrill assist at 19:20. 

With 4:56 left in the first half, junior Rick Kraske took a feed from Verrill and scored, providing the Bucks with a comfortable 3-0 lead going into halftime.

“We were pretty gutsy,” Rines said. “The game plan was to pass well and find each other. I thought Victor really followed that. He had a couple of assists and found Kaleb Harvey early in the game. I thought we played well.

“Defensively, we were strong. We didn’t make that many mistakes. We capitalized off PCHS’s mistakes.”

The Bucks continued to apply the pressure, but the Pirates also fought back and made Buckfield work for its next two goals.

Verrill punched in his unassisted goal at 26:09 and Harvey followed less than five minutes later with his second goal of the game to put the Bucks out in front 5-0. Senior goalie Tyler Gammon made 12 saves in net and earned the shutout.

“Basically, we play northern teams,” Piscataquis coach Trey Gilbert said. “and this was kind of a different style than what we are used to, but we are a young group. We have only one senior. 

“We played tough, but it was tough to adjust to that style a little bit. Buckfield played very good. We have played some of the top teams in the north, Class D obviously. They executed very well.” 

Rines said the Pirates provided a nice test for the Bucks.

“So I think we are heading to Richmond on Wednesday of next week for the quarterfinals,” Rines said. “There is tons of space on that field, so we’re hoping to capitalize on that space and use our speed.

“Looking forward to it, but PCHS played very well. Their keeper played very well. No. 10, the coach’s son, Kobe Gilbert, was pretty phenomenal. He had a lot of shots, that’s for sure.”

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