Vikings blanked by Bucks as islanders ousted from playoffsYoung Vinalhaven gives its all in quarterfinal loss to Buckfield
Buckfield — The No. 5 Vinalhaven girls soccer team knew it would have its hands full with No. 4 Buckfield on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 23, especially with a berth in the Western Class D semifinals on the line.
After all, of the 16 players on the Viking roster, eight had never played soccer prior to this season.
Still, the young Vikings left it all on the field against the talented Bucks. However, the hosts had little trouble against the visiting islanders and galloped to a 6-0 Western Class D quarterfinal playoff win to eliminate the Vikings from the postseason.
Vinalhaven coach Susan Philbrook said her team "has grown and improved a lot this season," despite Tuesday's lopsided playoff loss.
Buckfield (8-7) moves on to face top-seeded Richmond (13-0-1) on Friday, Oct. 26 in the semifinals. Vinalhaven's season ended at 4-9.
Bri Damon had a hat trick to lead the Bucks, while Nadia Wesley, Dakota Warren and Ashley Campbell creased the net for the hosts. Buckfield surged to a 4-0 lead at halftime.
Philbrook said the Bucks "were pumped up and very well prepared" and had essentially their entire school student body at the game for the noon kickoff.
"Overall, we just didn't come out at all in the first half," said Philbrook. "Buckfield was really just getting to the ball first every time. And they know too because we talked about it at halftime. We've been playing better in the second half of the season because we've been getting to the ball first and that just didn't happen."
Viking goaltenders Hayley Bryant and Bailey Wadleigh were plenty busy on the afternoon, with Bryant minding the net in the first half and Wadleigh in the second. Bryant made six saves on 14 shots, while Wadleigh turned away five of eight shots in the second half.
"They both had pretty good games," said Philbrook. "Three of the goals Hayley gave up were 1-on-1. Our sweeper wasn't pulling back so those were pretty unstoppable. Bailey had a pretty good game too. I was happy with their play."
Arrabine Dunn made five saves on six shots in goal for Buckfield, while the islanders held a 2-1 edge in corner kicks.
Buckfield struck a mere three minutes into the contest on the first of Damon's three scores, while Wesley doubled the Bucks' lead 12:58 into the half. Damon then completed her hat trick with a pair of scores, the first 25:04 into the half and the second with four minutes remaining.
Warren and Campbell rounded out the scoring in the second half for Buckfield.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.