BANGOR, Maine — It was apparent the Bangor Christian boys soccer team was sufficiently motivated to beat Penquis of Milo in a rematch at the BC field Thursday afternoon — even before the game started.
The players repeated a chant in unison as they ran their opening pregame laps.
“We chanted four things: I will never get outplayed again, I will communicate with my team, I will pressure the ball and win the 50-50s,” said senior striker Brandon Wilcox.
Check, check, check, and check as the Patriots avenged their first loss of the season with a 3-1 victory over their namesakes from Milo.
Penquis coach Jason Mills certainly didn’t see much on that list they didn’t do.
“They were quicker to the ball probably the first 60 minutes of the game and they had more chances,” said Mills, whose team is now 6-5-1. “Any 50-50 ball, they were the first ones to it. We were slow, for whatever reason, getting to it.
“We outworked them there and they outworked us today. It’s that simple.”
Wilcox was one of Bangor Christian’s hardest workers as he had two goals. He scored the game’s first goal after getting the ball just outside the 18 and rushing in unchallenged to beat goalie Richie Russell with a hard shot to the far right corner with 16:57 left in the first half.
That was the beautiful goal. The beastly one came with 23:32 left in the second half as he again came up with the ball near the 18, this time on a fortuitous pass from Nate Fowler.
“I ran up the field and tried to lay it through to Brandon,” Fowler said. “Thankfully, it went off a defender’s head perfectly and right to him.”
Wilcox scored despite colliding with an onrushing Russell.
Penquis cut BC’s lead in half a minute later as Jason Durant scored on Jerell Arefein’s assist on a hard shot from the circle, but the BC Patriots restored their two-goal lead on a score by Zach Sirois, who was assisted by Chris Parent, with 13:26 left to play.
Bangor Christian, which lost to Penquis 4-2 last month, is now 8-2 after outshooting Penquis 23-9.
While the shot differential made BC head coach Aaron Wilcox smile, the team’s one goal off 16 shots in the first half did not.
“That’s been our problem most of the year. We outshot Foxcroft 24-8 and lost 3-1,” he said. “It was more on today, but we still weren’t finishing as well as we should.”
Part of that was the play of Russell, who made 12 saves.
BC junior Tyler Alexander came up with 11 saves.
Fowler was also lauded for his overall play as well as his versatility.
“He usually plays stopper and inside half,” said Aaron Wilcox. “Rarely does he go on offense, but we put him in there a little today to generate some more pressure with our speed and he did a great job.”
He also helped BC come up with an effective adjustment to increase offensive pressure.
“They would double team him, so today I pulled him back and their man came right with him so that opened up the middle more,” Aaron Wilcox said.