FALMOUTH – Caitlin Bucksbaum moved to Maine in time to lead Falmouth to two Class B girls’ soccer state championships.

Bucksbaum, a midfielder who previously played for high school teams in Vermont and North Carolina, led the Yachtsmen in both goals and assists during her two seasons with the team.

She made a lot of her contributions this fall at the most critical points of games, as she scored four game-winning goals and assisted on five winning goals.

“She was not a 25-goal scorer on our team, but it’s because she was playing defense equally as much as she was playing offense,” Falmouth Coach Wally LeBlanc said. “She worked both ends of the field. The girl was tireless.”

Bucksbaum, the Maine Sunday Telegram player of the year, has verbally committed to play at Villanova next fall. She was the only Maine high school player selected for the 20-player Region I squad in the U.S. Olympic Development Program’s Thanksgiving Interregional tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.

It was Bucksbaum’s approach to the game that impressed her Falmouth teammates the most.

“She probably has the best work ethic that I’ve ever been privileged to experience,” said Cassie Darrow, a senior midfielder. “Most important, she truly loves the game, which is always good to see as teammates. Her passion for the game motivates us, and her hard work motivates us.”

Falmouth’s offense ran through Bucksbaum at her center midfield position, but she was counted upon to play defense, too.

“She must have played 99 percent of the entire season,” LeBlanc said. “I would not take her out of games, and it’s because her production never went down. Even if it was the last minute of the game, she was still sprinting to try to help our team. She has fitness, but she has heart to match it.”

Bucksbaum, who also is a member of the ski team, said she believes players get out of soccer what they are willing to put into it.

“I think soccer rewards hard work,” she said. “I think how well I do is based on how much work I put into it.”

Bucksbaum’s penchant for hard work extends beyond the soccer pitch.

“She’s good at everything she does,” Darrow said. “What a lot of people don’t know from just watching her on the field is how motivated at school she is. It seems that she does everything well, and with character.”

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH