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Late Libhart goal lifts Bangor by Brewer

Bangor's Dana Libhart (left) and Brewer's Deaven Smith fight for control of the ball in the second half of Tuesday's game, Oct. 6, 2009 at Bangor. (Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown)
By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School field hockey team gave up a goal with 1:12 remaining in regulation in a 1-0 loss to Edward Little High School of Auburn on Monday.

But it was the Rams’ turn to generate a late game-winner on Tuesday at the expense of the Brewer High School Witches.

Junior midfielder Dana Libhart scored her first goal of the season with 31.4 seconds remaining to give the Rams a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over the archrival Witches.

Bangor improved to 8-4 while Brewer fell to 4-6-3.

Her goal came off a penalty corner taken by Emily Chick, who passed it to Alexis Casey at the top of the circle.

The unattended Libhart was well-placed to the right of Brewer standout goalie Angela Patterson and Casey calmly avoided a Witch defender before slipping a diagonal pass across to Libhart, who one-timed a blistering shot into the cage.

“Usually, if you’re angled to the post, you want to go far post [with your shot],” explained Libhart. “I just wanted to get it in there and it went right in the middle of the goal through [Patterson’s] pads. It was lucky.”

“[Libhart] hit it pretty hard. It was a well-planned corner,” said Patterson, who finished with nine saves on 23 shots in an exceptional performance.

Libhart credited Casey for the nice set-up.

“[Casey] waited until their girl, who had come out at her, had left and then she passed it to me. That set up the goal because the defense was out of the way,” said Libhart.

Casey said she knew “if I waited long enough, their girl would be right beside me and then if I passed it over to my left, [Libhart] could tip it right in.”

The determined Witches had a good chance to equalize but Bangor goalie Melissa Mower kicked out her right pad to make a save after a free hit had deflected across the crowded goalmouth.

Mower wasn’t quite as busy as Patterson but the Witches generated a handful of good chances and Mower turned in an exemplary outing of her own with five saves on 10 shots.

Brewer’s Nicole Hayes and Bangor’s Casey Pray each bailed their goalies out by clearing balls before they crossed the goal line.

Pray’s clearance came in the second half.

“If [Mower] goes out, I have to back her up. I cover the post,” explained Pray.

“We’ve been working on that a lot and it’s good [Pray] came through. We definitely needed that one,” said a thankful Mower.

Chick said the Rams really wanted to bounce back after Monday’s heart-breaking setback.

“Brewer has improved a lot since we last played them. We had to play really hard. [Monday’s loss] was really tough on us. We really wanted to win today,” said Chick.

Bangor beat Brewer 4-1 on Sept. 8.

The Rams had a golden opportunity to break the scoreless tie earlier in the second half when Hillary Throckmorton, who generated a bunch of scoring chances with her runs down the left flank, beat a defender and centered the ball into a crowded goal mouth.

Patterson was forced to make four saves during a wild scramble around her cage.

Bangor coach Sue Tyler praised the performances turned in by midfielders Libhart, Darcy Andrade and Casey.

Brewer coach Duffy Doiron called it a “fantastic game.

“Our girls played much better than the last time. They were much more aggressive,” said Doiron, who singled out Patterson, Rowan Bost and Amanda Ryan for their stellar performances.

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