BANGOR — When Bangor boys soccer coach David Patterson suggested to Phil Frost that lopsided matches were rare in the deepest reaches of postseason play, Frost absorbed the thought — and then went out and helped prove his coach wrong.
The Rams' senior striker scored three goals while teammates Adam King and Jack Stacey each scored on a deflection into the net off a defender as unbeaten and top-ranked Bangor overwhelmed Morse of Bath 5-0 in an Eastern Maine Class A semifinal.
"Coach actually said before the game that there would never be a 5-0 game this late in the season," said Frost, who now has 23 goals on the season.
And while Bangor could have been considered the favorite entering the match against a Morse program that scored its first playoff win since 1999 in the quarterfinals, few could have anticipated the Rams' level of domination against the fourth-seeded Shipbuilders.
"This time of the year you expect the games to be close and hard fought, and I wasn't expecting anything different today," said Patterson. "This was a hard-fought game, we just executed really well."
The win advances Bangor (15-0-1) to its third straight regional final and fourth in the last five years. The Rams will host Brunswick, a 1-0 semifinal winner over Messalonskee of Oakland, on Wednesday for the chance to represent Eastern Maine in next Saturday's Class A state final.
Brunswick outlasted Bangor 2-1 in double overtime in the 2009 EM title game.
"I know we want it really badly this year so we're coming out here with as much focus as possible to get the job done," said Bangor senior striker Luke Hetterman.
Save for a few long-range bids from striker Eric Trautman-Mosher, Morse was unable to generate any offensive consistency against a Bangor defense anchored by goalie Jesse Perkins (four saves) but also including senior Seth Freudenberger, who moved from midfield to center back for the game due to an injury to Bobby Winchell.
"This was only my second time playing defense," said Freudenberger, "but it makes it a lot easier because the communication is so great back there with Jack (Stacey) and Andy (Prusaitis)."
Bangor took a 1-0 lead with 25:07 left in the first half when King's throw-in from deep on the right wing to the goal crease caromed into the net off a Morse defender — the fourth time King has scored in that fashion this season.
Frost made it 2-0 exactly 13 minutes later when he beat Morse goalie Grady Madden (eight saves) to a long, bouncing lead pass from Freudenberger up the center of the field, then headed the ball over the charging netminder and into the net.
"Seth worked hard to clear the ball and it was bouncing," said Frost. "I saw the goalie come out, so I tried to head it over him and into the goal."
Stacey added to the Bangor lead with 26:19 left in the second half when his 40-yard free kick toward the goalmouth caromed off a sprinting Morse defender and went just inside the right post.
"I saw Luke cutting toward the goal and he was open so I kicked it to him," said Stacey. "But one of their defenders got in the way and it bounced off him and went into the net. I was shocked."
Frost's second goal came less than three minutes later on a pass from Hetterman, who stole the ball along the right wing and eluded a defender before spotting Frost racing toward the center of the crease. Hetterman grounded a lead pass to Frost, who one-timed the ball into the right side of the goal.
Frost capped off his hat trick with 18:14 left by beating two Morse defenders to the 18-yard line to gain possession of a long lead kick from teammate Jacques Larochelle and tap the ball inside the right post.
Morse ends its season with a 10-6 record.