BANGOR — Nick George displayed why he is the leading goal-scorer in Bangor High School boys soccer history Wednesday evening.
The senior forward scored once from long range and once from in close as the top-ranked and undefeated Rams cruised past No. 8 Lawrence of Fairfield 4-0 in an Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinal.
George also had an assist as the defending regional champions advanced to a semifinal set for Saturday against No. 5 Erskine Academy of South China, a 2-1 overtime survivor of No. 4 Lewiston in its quarterfinal.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said George, who now has 15 goals this season. “We attacked like we usually do, and got back to the ball every time we lost it. Overall it was a pretty solid performance, I think.”
Kyle Savage and Cody Cormier also scored for 15-0 Bangor, while Brandon Landry and Jacques Larochelle each contributed an assist.
“It was a playoff atmosphere, a big game and the boys responded really, really well,” said Bangor coach David Patterson. “They matched the other team physically for sure, we wore them down and by the end of the game I think the result was fair.”
This game, indeed, was fairly physical from the outset, with Lawrence seeking to reverse the results of its two regular-season meetings against Bangor, 5-0 and 5-1 defeats.
But Bangor established immediate territorial control and took a 1-0 lead when Savage scored his first goal of the season.
The play began on a corner kick that Lawrence goalie Codey Fabian tried to knock away, but he couldn’t clear from the heavily occupied goal crease. The ball went to the ground, where Savage shot through the crowd and just inside the right goal post.
George made it 2-0 with 6:35 left in the half, taking a pass from Brandon Landry and then dribbling into the center of the field before rocketing a high 25-yard shot to Fabian’s right.
“I had a little bit of space, and the ball set up pretty well on the grass and I hit it,” said George.
George scored again with 18:13 left in the second half. Cormier carried the ball deep down the right side of the field then crossed the ball through the goal crease. Larochelle was first to the ball, and he tipped a pass back to George, who scored on a fairly sharp-angled shot from the left side.
“Jacques saved it from going out,” said George. “He was on the end line, and he got it back to me because there was a defender coming at him. I just had all the time in the world.”
Cormier capped off the scoring with 9:19 remaining, running in to redirect a corner kick from the right wing by George just inside the near post for his 10th goal of the season.
Bangor outshot Lawrence 21-5. Bud Angst earned his 13th shutout this fall with four saves in goal for Bangor, while Fabian made 10 stops for 6-8-1 Lawrence.
“Teams that are bigger, stronger and faster usually make it through the playoffs,” said Patterson. “We talked to the boys about making sure that we match every team that we play that way. The ability and the talent and the teamwork take over after that, and that was true tonight.”