BANGOR — The John Bapst High School girls soccer team ran into a hot goalie in Mattanawcook Academy junior Taylor Blood.
But the Crusaders were able to find the back of the net three times, including two by senior Katie Ward, and they went on to post a 3-0 triumph over the Lynx, who are in just their third varsity season.
The Class B Crusaders are now 5-1 including three straight shutout wins while Class C Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln fell to 2-2-1.
Blood finished with 18 saves on 37 shot attempts by the Crusaders and several of those came off high-percentage chances.
“I kind of figured (I’d face a lot of shots). They’re good,” said Blood, who couldn’t be faulted on any of the goals.
John Bapst dominated the game from the opening whistle but the Lynx worked hard and defended valiantly.
Senior striker Sierra Pierce scored the game-winner 4:30 into the game and Ward extended the lead with 2:01 remaining in the first half.
Ward capped the scoring in the second half with 26:58 remaining.
Ward’s goals were her second and third of the season and Pierce’s goal was her second.
Sophomore Abby Pyne, who has been converted from goalkeeper to midfielder this season, set up the Pierce goal with a well-placed free kick from the left flank to the far post.
“Abby and I try to find each other a lot,” said Pierce. “Once Abby kicks it, I just kind of read it.”
The unmarked Pierce sliced from right to left across the goal mouth and actually chested the ball past Blood.
The influential Pierce created lots of problems for the MA defense as she wound up attempting 14 shots with Blood making eight saves off her.
It was a Pierce cross from the right flank that resulted in Ward’s first goal.
Blood came off her line to alertly swat the ball away from an open Crusader but the ball landed on the foot of Ward, who was able to deposit it into the empty net.
Ward iced it in the second half with a nice finish from inside the penalty area.
“It was a great win. I was very proud of the girls,” said John Bapst coach Nikki Novak.
The imposing Pyne controlled the midfield and used her powerful right foot to send menacing shots on goal and dangerous free kicks and crosses into the penalty area.
Pyne had 10 shot attempts requiring five saves from Blood.
Ward said Blood did a real good job against them.
“She’s one of the best,” said Mattanawcook coach Stephanie Dubay about her goalie.
“Sierra Pierce had quite a few great shots that a lot of goalies wouldn’t have saved. Taylor is very aggressive. She comes out on the ball.”
John Bapst goalie MacKenzie Hayman made one save on four shots. Her lone save came with 6:10 left in regulation off midfielder Mikaila Bisson.
Bisson had missed the net with a rising shot a few minutes earlier.
John Bapst has now allowed just three goals in its first six games and has posted four shutouts.
Dubay, who said she was without three players due to family deaths, praised the efforts turned in by Bisson and sweeper Taylor Gardner in addition to Blood. Ashley Crosby was impressive in the midfield.