BANGOR, Maine — OK, so the ultimate aura of invincibility may be gone — after 11 consecutive shutouts the Bangor boys soccer team did allow a goal the other day.
But the Rams have still outscored their opposition 57-1, and they’re still undefeated and top-ranked in Eastern Maine Class A, and they’re just one victory away from a perfect regular season after a 2-0 win over Brewer on Saturday.
“We knew it was inevitable that [allowing a goal] was going to happen sometime,” said Bangor senior midfielder Cody Cormier. “I think the team was ready but it was just a shock that it actually did happen.
“But we’ve picked ourselves up and we’re past that now.”
And while Brewer was unable to match the offensive output of Lawrence of Fairfield’s Ben Pearson against the Rams, the Witches used aggressive team defense to limit Bangor’s clean chances on goal.
“They played us really hard, and they had a plan set up for how we play,” said Bangor senior defender Colby Treadwell. “They were on us as soon as we got the ball, they stepped right to us.”
Yet with Bangor’s midfield tandem of Cormier, Nick George and Jacques Larochelle rarely letting Brewer advance the ball into its offensive end, the Rams outshot Brewer 26-1.
Bangor goalie Bud Angst was not required to make a save while Brewer’s Evan Nadeau made 12 stops to keep the 4-7-2 Witches close.
The 13-0 Rams — playing without one of its leading scorers in injured junior Phil Frost — broke through six minutes into the match as Cormier tipped in a shot by Clark Noonan.
The play began with a long throw-in from the right wing by Adam King. The ball sailed into the penalty area, where Noonan shot it toward the center of the goal.
Cormier then beat a Brewer defender to the ball to score for the eighth time this season.
Brewer’s best scoring bid came eight minutes into the second half when Jacob O’Donnell was sent in on Angst thanks to a lead pass from Ray Bessette. But as Angst came out from the goal crease and the Bangor defense pursued the play, O’Donnell’s low shot went wide of the right goalpost.
Bangor, meanwhile, adjusted its offensive formation to include two strikers instead of one after intermission, and that created more dangerous offensive chances.
Several of those bids stemmed from long throw-ins by King or corner kicks, but Nadeau and teammate Shawn Williams were effective in clearing the ball out of the goal crease for most of the final half.
The reigning Eastern A champions, who close out their regular season at 6 p.m. Tuesday against rival Hampden Academy, doubled their lead off such a restart with 14:17 to play.
George struck a low corner kick from the right wing toward the near goal post, right to where Larochelle was running. Larochelle one-timed a grounded shot just inside the goal post to cap off the scoring.
“[Brewer] definitely came out with a plan,” said George. “They kind of packed it in, and when they got forward they got forward quickly. At times we had a hard time with it, but I thought we did a pretty good job handling it.
“We know we just have to keep playing and keep going at it, because if we let up we won’t score.”