By Larry Mahoney
BANGOR — The unbeaten Bangor High School boys soccer team knew it was going to be tested when it entertained a highly skilled Waterville High team on Tuesday. The Panthers had already taken the Rams into overtime earlier this season.
The determined Purple Panthers again took the Rams into overtime and, again, it was the Rams who came out on top. Senior striker Phil Frost scored with 4:04 left in the second overtime to give Bangor a 2-1 victory in the entertaining, well-played game.
Bangor is now 8-0-1 while Waterville fell to 6-3-1. Bangor is 59-0-4 in its last 63 regular-season games.
Luke Hetterman’s first-half goal staked Bangor to a 1-0 lead as his 16-yard shot was going wide but deflected off a Panther defender’s foot and glanced back against the grain.
John Terhune’s penalty kick tied it with 6:11 remaining in regulation after dynamic midfielder Wilson Guthro was tripped in the penalty area.
Energized Waterville generated sustained pressure and nearly won it with five seconds left in regulation when freshman Tommy Samson cleverly maneuvered past two Ram defenders and broke in on Bangor goalie Jesse Perkins from a difficult angle to Perkins’ right.
Samso’s rising, 7-yard shot labeled for the near corner was swatted away by Perkins.
“I put it exactly where I wanted to but the goalie stepped right in front,” said Samson.
“He looked like he was going to go near post with the shot so I gave it my all and tried to get the ball,” said Perkins.
“That was the difference between us winning and going into overtime,” said Waterville coach Kerry Serdjenian, who was pleased with his team’s performance.
Frost’s game-winner was set up by junior midfielder Alex Shi, who sent a long cross into the penalty area.
“One of their guys lost the ball and I picked it up,” said Shi. “I sprinted down the field and saw Luke [Hetterman] on that side and Phil going full speed so I just tried to clip it over their [Waterville defenders'] heads.”
Frost used his strength to shed a Panther defender long enough to tap the ball around onrushing Waterville goalkeeper Max Brown.
“I saw Alex look at me and I know he loves to hit it to the far striker,” said Frost. “I took off and he put it right on my foot. I had to battle a defender, shoulder to shoulder, but I was able to get it done. I saw the goalie coming out and knew all I had to do was put it to his left side.”
“He made a good play with his left foot and put it by me,” said Brown. “There was only so much I could do.”
Bangor parlayed its superior size into a decided advantage in the air but Waterville’s quickness and tenacity enabled sweeper Terhune and backs Matt Lynch, Ryan Tozier and Zack Costello to make it difficult for Frost and Hetterman to create clear-cut chances.
Brown made a nice leg save off Frost’s break-in in the second half to keep it 1-0 and Hetterman broke free moments later but shot high.
Bangor’s three backs, Bobby Winchell, Andy Prusaitis and Jack Stacey, were equally efficient against Waterville’s midfielders and strikers.
“That was one of the best high school games I’ve seen in a long time,” said Bangor coach Dave Patterson. “Waterville gave us everything we could handle. It could have gone either way. Waterville played a great game.”
Perkins finished with five saves on 16 shots while Brown had four stops on 20 shots as both played extremely well.