BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Christian boys soccer team has never hosted a regional championship game on its home field on Kenduskeag Avenue.
Not even when the Patriots ran the table (18-0) en route to the Class D state championship in 2005, as wet field conditions forced them to host that contest on Hampden Academy’s artificial turf surface.
That dream came closer to becoming a reality Friday when Christopher Parent and Brandon Wilcox netted first-half goals as the second-ranked Patriots defeated sixth-seeded Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook 2-0.
Coach Aaron Wilcox’s club (14-2) will play for the regional title against No. 5 Central Aroostook of Mars Hill on Wednesday, and BC principal Jim Frost is hopeful the school will be able to hold the game on its field.
Southern Aroostook finishes 12-4.
Bangor Christian controlled play right from the outset, dominating the midfield, winning virtually every 50-50 ball and applying constant pressure on Warriors’ goalkeeper Jesse Boulier.
The Patriots had a 25-8 advantage in shots.
While the Patriots had an edge in speed, Southern Aroostook tried to offset that with muscle.
“I definitely thought it would be a more physical game, but we’ve had a few physical games this year,” said senior Brandon Wilcox. “Our goal is to just pressure the ball, win the 50-50’s, and we can’t let the physical style throw us off.”
It didn’t as after BC was denied a few opportunities throughout the first half by Boulier, who made several high-percentage saves, Parent deflected home a rebound with 8:51 left before intermission.
The Wilcox brothers — Brandon and Brad — teamed up at the 1:51 mark, as sophomore Brad sent a through-ball down the middle that deflected off Boulier and came out to Brandon, who slid it inside the left post.
“I think I got lucky on that pass,” Brad Wilcox, a sophomore, admitted.
Southern Aroostook, which didn’t have too many golden opportunities, had a couple good early chances in the second half, but one shot deflected off the crossbar while another trickled just wide to the left two minutes into the half.
Play was fairly physical throughout the match and numerous fouls were called and two yellow cards were issued.
Southern Aroostook’s Dakota Sleeper was assesed a red card late in the game after throwing his mouthpiece after being assessed a yellow.
The Patriots, however, kept their cool.
“Like my dad said at halftime, we just had to keep our composure, let the officials call the calls, just play our game and keep our heads in the game,” said Brad Wilcox.
Bangor Christian came out and set the tone offensively right off the bat with a pinpoint possession game in which it used the wings with precision.
“I thought that they were controlling it, they possessed the ball, we had a lot of good opportunities, we were getting them on goal,” Aaron Wilcox said. “I thought that they did a very good job at the beginning of the game at setting the tempo.”
Tyler Alexander had six saves for Bangor Christian while Boulier finished with 15 for the Warriors.