Buckley Tops Leland on PKs for First Regional Title

CADILLAC – Behind its second shootout win of the postseason, the eighth-ranked Buckley boys soccer team made history by capturing its first Division 4 regional championship via a 1-0 win over No. 2 Leland on Thursday.

Scoreless through regulation and overtime, the Bears (21-1-3) won 4-1 on penalty kicks to post their second win over the Northwest Conference rival Comets (23-2) this season.

“Team is just overjoyed for our team, for our program, for our school, for our town,” Buckley coach John Vermilya said. “We’ve never, ever run a regional. So we just made history tonight.”

Buckley handed third-ranked Muskegon Western Michigan Christian a 1-0 loss via a shootout in the regional semifinal on Tuesday.

Through five postseason games Buckley has yet to surrender a goal, outscoring opponents 21-0.

“I actually don’t know what to feel. It’s just phenomenal,” senior goalkeeper Joey Weber said. I went crazy over there on the sideline. It’s just a big accomplishment for our program. It’s showing out there with how crazy our fans are right now. I’d say amazing. It feels amazing.”

Buckley will take on either Hartford or Kalamazoo Hackett in a state semifinal at East Kentwood at 6 p.m. Wednesday.