BANGOR, Maine — Brittany Chapman scored the first two goals, and the rest of Bangor’s offense did the rest as the Rams downed rival Brewer 5-2 in field hockey action at Bangor High School Thursday.
The Rams, now 4-2, started strong, but went into halftime with just a 3-2 advantage, and that was only due to a late goal by Molleigh Mahaney with 12 seconds left.
Despite the lead and an 11-5 shots edge, Rams head coach Lisa McPhee wasn’t satisfied.
“There was some upset on our defensive end. We needed to slow down a little bit and be a little calmer. That’s where we changed the momentum,” McPhee explained. “Intercepting passes and getting to the ball first was what made the difference for us.”
What a difference it was. The Rams didn’t generate as many shots, but totally shut down Brewer’s offense, scoring two goals off five unanswered shots.
“Their stickwork and getting a stick on almost every ball we passed or dribbled kept us on our heels,” said Brewer coach Duffy Doiron, whose Witches are now 3-5. “They forced us to play defense so much… you can only do that so long.”
Bangor’s second-half scores came with 7:35 left as Alexis Casey scored from about 30 feet out on a hard shot to the right side, and with 1:02 to play as Hillary Throckmorton took a pass from Casey, who settled a shot from the sideline by Breianna Tocci, and hit it in.
“I think we all just relaxed,” Casey said of the turnaround. “We were all worked up because Brewer came here to play and we heard they thought they were going to beat us, but we needed to take a deep breath and chill out.”
Bangor goalie Melissa Mower, who replaced starter Hilary Babin to start the second half, had plenty of time to chill out as she never faced a shot or any serious pressure. Babin made two saves on five shots.
Brewer goalie Angela Patterson finished with seven saves on 22 shots.
Brewer’s goals came courtesy of senior captain Emily Fraser, who engaged in a scoring duel with Bangor’s Chapman early on with two unassisted scores 11 minutes into the fist half and with 5:54 left. Her second goal tied the game before Mahaney’s late strike.
“We weren’t really marking up very well or talking like we usually do early on,” said Chapman. “The mids definitely stepped up and passed more to the offense and the wings got the ball more, which is key.”