BANGOR — Bangor-Hampden girls soccer games are always physical and well-played, and Tuesday’s night clash in the Queen City was no exception.
Even though the Rams came out a bit slowly on Senior Night, they cranked up their attack just before halftime. Grace Maclean scored a goal in each half while Shannon Brozyna added another as coach Joe Johnson’s club earned a hard-fought 3-0 victory.
Bangor wrapped up an undefeated regular season 12-0-2 and will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Class A playoffs while Hampden finished 9-3-2 and will likely go in sixth.
Both clubs were a bit tentative in their attacks in the early going, and the Broncos nearly took the lead with 18:40 left until halftime off a Michaela Stephenson corner kick, but Chelsea Kuzio’s shot clanged off the left goalpost.
The Rams took advantage of a break with 9:26 to go, with Kim Jordan finding an open Maclean at the goalmouth after Hampden goalkeeper Julia Snyder aggressively came out of the cage, and Maclean tapped the ball home.
Bangor’s intensity showed more after that, as the Rams won more of the 50-50 balls and kept the ball out of their defensive end, proving they weren’t taking lightly a Hampden team that tied them 1-1 earlier this fall.
“You don’t want to let up, things can happen, a lower seed can beat you, you just have to play your hardest every game,” said Jordan, one of six Ram seniors. “It’s whoever plays the best and sticks with it.”
The Rams got some insurance midway through the second half as Brozyna slammed home a cross from Ashley Robinson, while Maclean scored the game’s final goal on a hard 25-yard shot which was smoked into the upper right corner of the cage.
“She has beautiful shots, its crazy,” Jordan said.
Defensively, Erin Boulier, Tiffany Gray and Denae Johnson did a solid job of marking the dangerous Stephenson, who constantly had two Rams on her, preventing her from turning and shooting.
“If you can take her out of the game, there’s a good chance you’ll be in it,” Johnson said. “She can turn and shoot from about 25 yards, too.”
While the Broncos certainly played tough, the Rams had too much depth, and it showed compared to the previous meeting in which Bangor struggled adjusting to Hampden’s turf field.
“Our team really worked good together this time,” Brozyna said. “I think we were just not really used to the turf over at Hampden, but this is our home field.”
Hampden struggled to get any consistent attacks going, but the Broncos had some chances to get the equalizer in the second half.
“For a long time we didn’t shoot, and once we started to shoot a little bit, we just didn’t get any breaks there,” said HA coach Jeff Ingalls. “Their defense is very quick.”
Snyder played a strong game in goal for the Broncos, coming up with seven saves on 14 shots, while Bangor’s Mia Smith was just as effective, making five saves on 10 shots. Smith hasn’t allowed a goal since returning from injury midway through the season.
“We love Mia, she’s such a good goalie. She definitely contributes for the team,” said Brozyna.