BANGOR, Maine — The Orono boys soccer team prides itself on wearing down foes through depth and conditioning.
When its opponent Monday had to play a man short for most of the match, that task became easier and the Red Riots scored seven goals in the second half to pull away to an 8-0 win over Bangor Christian.
“What I tell the kids in the middle of August when we start practicing is that we might not be the best team that shows up at the field but we’re going to have more in the gas tank than the other team, and we proved that today,” said Orono coach Larry Berthiaume.
Ian Staples led Class C Orono with three goals and two assists, while Lee Hecker scored twice and Sean Kilpatrick had a goal and an assist. Brandon Paul and Dan Lesser also scored for the 4-2 Red Riots, while Gracen Malave and Paul Ohno each added an assist.
A.J. Coleman preserved the shutout with 12 saves, while Tyler Alexander and Tim Whitaker combined for 11 saves for Class D Bangor Christian.
Staples gave the Red Riots a 1-0 lead 13:21 into the match on an assist from Ohno.
“He played me a ball through two defenders and I got past the sweeper and put it to the far left post past the goalie,” said Staples.
Bangor Christian (4-2) played Orono even for the first 20 minutes, with Zach Welch anchoring the defense and brothers Bradley and Brandon Wilcox, Brett Bradford and Christopher Parent creating offensive opportunities.
But the match changed fundamentally with 20:19 left in the half when Welch was redcarded for tripping Staples from behind as the last defender on a breakaway, forcing Bangor Christian to play 10 on 11 for the rest of the day.
Orono also was awarded a penalty kick, but Alexander made a diving save on Ohno’s bid and the Patriots remained within 1-0 at intermission.
The Red Riots broke the match open with two goals within a 2-minute, 15-second span early in the second half.
Lesser scored with a shot from the right side of the 18-yard line off an assist by Staples 3:30 into the period, then Staples one-timed a perfect serve from deep along the left wing to the middle of the goal crease by Malave.
Paul scored unassisted with 26:10 left to make it 4-0, and Hecker scored his first goal five minutes later.
“We were able to hang with them for quite a while,” said Bangor Christian coach Aaron Wilcox. “But then you run into the problem of not having enough depth to go to the bench and they’re continually subbing, running guys in and out, and it just wears you down.”
Staples scored his third goal unassisted with 14:15 to play, then Hecker headed in a Kilpatrick corner kick with 5:20 to play before Kilpatrick added his first varsity goal with 2:06 remaining.
“I’ve seen us play better, and I’ve seen us play worse, for sure,” said Hecker, “but it was a pretty good game. Some of the younger guys who don’t get to play as much stepped it up today, especially at the end with a couple of goals and a couple of assists. It was good to see.”