WATERVILLE — The Bangor High School boys soccer team remained unbeaten Tuesday as Luke Hetterman scored with 1:39 left in the first overtime to give the Rams a 3-2 victory over Waterville at Ron Webber Field.
But the 4-0 start has a bittersweet quality to it — perhaps not all that surprising given Bangor’s recent success, which includes one state title and two Eastern Maine Class A titles in the last four years, not to mention being undefeated during regular-season play since the 2006 season.
The Rams are winning, but they’re not dominating — all four of their victories this season have been one-goal decisions.
“Most of the time we’re frustrated with how we play,” said Hetterman, a senior striker. “Every game we go out and know we should win by three or more goals. We’ve just got to get better at putting teams away.”
Hetterman finally put away the 2-1-1 Purple Panthers with a quick individual move after accepting a long lead pass down the left wing from classmate Phil Frost.
“There was one guy coming to my side, and once I took a step by him I just saw Luke going toward the net and I knew I had to get it to him so I tried to slip one through,” said Frost, who also scored both of Bangor’s goals during regulation time.
Hetterman gained possession about 25 yards from the Waterville goal, dribbled past a defense before driving a low shot past Purple Panthers’ goalie Maxwell Brown and inside the far goal post.
“I saw Phil coming up the left side, and I knew he’d get it to me,” said Hetterman. “He played the ball to me, and I knew I had to get it done. I had the ball and there was a defender on me, so I cut back to the left and then just put it far side.”
Bangor outshot Waterville 25-12, with senior Jesse Perkins, a first-year starter in goal, making five saves to preserve the victory. Brown made 16 saves for Waterville.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” said Bangor coach David Patterson, “but I thought at times today we showed a lot of character. The game wasn’t going the way we wanted it to but we hung in there, we battled and we continued to make a game of it, but at other times I thought we were outworked by Waterville and that the game could have gone either way.”
The Rams spotted Waterville a 1-0 lead 2:06 into the game on a penalty kick by John Terhune, but Bangor soon took territorial control and were rewarded with a penalty kick of its own midway through the opening period after Hetterman tipped the ball past Brown just inside the penalty area and then was hit from behind.
Brown stretched out to block Frost’s low penalty kick toward the right post, but the Waterville goalie couldn’t gain possession and Frost was able to score on the rebound with 22:12 left in the period.
Frost then scored on a header with 6:52 left in the half to give Bangor a 2-1 lead. The play began with a long throw-in from the left wing by senior defender Adam King that sailed over Frost’s head, but the ball then was blocked into the air and right back to Frost, who patiently headed the ball over his defender and inside the right post.
But Waterville’s collective quickness gradually began to assert itself in the second half, with senior midfielder Wilson Guthro serving as an effective playmaker and teammates David Cook and Alex Rowe generating solid scoring chances.
Cook finally netted the equalizer with 11:36 left in regulation time. Rowe started the play with a sharp-angled shot from just to the left of the goal that bounced to Guthro on the other side of the crease. Guthro spotted Cook centered near the 18-yard line, and Cook gathered in the subsequent pass and hit a shot that nestled just inside the right goal post and under the crossbar.
But Waterville couldn’t sustain that momentum into the first five-minute overtime period, as Bangor regrouped to maintain its status atop the Eastern A Heal point ratings.
“We’ve done enough to win all four games, but that’s not a good way to be on a consistent basis,” said Patterson. “We need to figure out a way to put some games away earlier. It’s going to come back and bite us if we don’t, and today was one of those days where it was awful close.”