BANGOR — After an early exit from last year’s playoffs, the Calvary Chapel of Orrington boys soccer team hopes to finish off a similar fast start this season.
The Sabers completed the first phase of that pursuit Monday, defeating Machias 3-0 at the University College of Bangor field to cap off a 14-0 regular season — the best in school history.
“Everyone wants to upset us but we were prepared to finish the season strong,” said Calvary Chapel senior Stephen Berenyi, who scored twice in the Sabers” regular-season finale. “No other Calvary team has done this and we wanted to be the first, so to come that close and not do it would have been disappointing.”
Calvary Chapel already had clinched the No. 1 playoff seed in Eastern Maine Class D for the second straight year, but now hopes to advance further than last fall when the Sabers were stunned by Deer Isle-Stonington in the quarterfinals.
“It’s been a constant reminder to the boys that we lost in the first round last year,” said Calvary Chapel coach Mike Warman. “The lack of experience and confidence took us out of that first round of the playoffs, but this year I’ve got nine seniors, and I’ve been working with 11 of the players building this team for four years because two of the juniors have been with me since they were eighth-graders.”
Machias (10-3) was ranked fourth in Eastern D and hoping to move up as high as second with a win over Calvary Chapel or at Class C Washington Academy of East Machias on Tuesday.
But with a stiff breeze at its back, Calvary Chapel took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Berenyi eight minutes into the match and then closed out the first half with a goal by David Goodness.
The Bulldogs had their best scoring bid in the opening minutes when a blast by Jacob Scoville caromed off the right goalpost.
Berenyi scored on a breakaway moments later, and from there the Sabers maintained almost constant pressure throughout the first half.
Finally Jeremy Miller lofted a long shot from near midfield that Machias goalie A.J. Dolley couldn’t control, and Calvary Chapel’s Goodness did gain possession and grounded a shot into an open net with five minutes left to give the Sabers a two-goal edge.
“The first half I thought we played rather tentatively,” said Machias coach Bob Sinford. “We played on our heels a bit, especially after we had that early chance and didn’t bury it. We would have been all right if we hadn’t made that second mistake and got down 2-0. If we could have gotten to halftime being down just 1-0 I think we could have been all right, because in the second half we played reasonably well.”
Machias, a youthful team with just four seniors on its roster, did generate more possessions with the wind at its back after intermission, but it was Berenyi who scored the only goal of the second half, executing a give-and-go with teammate Matt Goodness deep on the right side of the field to produce a sharp-angled shot that went high into the center of the net.
Junior goalie Devon Warman then teamed with defenders Miller, Dominique Veilleux, Jonas Waaben and Tyler Lacadie to preserve the shutout and the perfect regular season.
Calvary Chapel outshot Machias 35-7 for the match, with Warman making three stops while Dolley had 13 for Machias.