BANGOR — A muddy field and cold blustery winds did not slow down Bangor’s offensive attack against Lawrence Tuesday night as the Rams scored five goals in the second half and cruised to a 7-0 schoolgirl soccer victory in an Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinal.
The Rams jumped out to an early first-half lead against the Bulldogs as they scored 4:20 into the first half and didn’t look back as they improved to 15-0 and powered their way into the semifinals where they will host No. 4 Waterville Saturday.
“Field conditions were a concern,” Bangor coach Joe Johnson said. “The field being wet and sloppy you never know what you’re going to get out of it and I thought the kids played really well under the circumstances.”
Junior forward Grace Maclean scored a hat trick and pitched in two assists for the Rams and senior forward Ashley Robinson notched two goals and contributed two assists as the duo pestered Bulldog defenders throughout the match.
“In practice we’ve been trying to work off of each other and keep moving all the time,” Robinson said. “Tonight it worked for us.”
Johnson added that the two forwards make it look easy.
“The way they can see each other and put the ball into space and the both of them can finish is a plus on both sides of the ball.” Johnson said.
Rams senior midfielder Jade Baumrind started the scoring for Bangor with 35:40 remaining in the first half as she picked up a shot deflected by a Bulldog defender and tapped the ball past Lawrence freshman goalkeeper Paige Belanger.
“Jade has a history of making big plays in the playoffs, she steps up big in big games,” Johnson said. “You have to get the first one in so they can’t take control of the game, once we got that first goal they weren’t able to drop back and pack it in.”
The Rams controlled possession of the ball and set the pace of play as they displayed excellent field vision and completed quick and effective passes.
“We came out a little flat and there are some things we could have done differently,” Lawrence coach Michael Hinckley-Gordon said. “You’ve got to tip your hat off to Bangor though, they have a wonderful team and they’re solid. They came to play and they’ve got a lot of weapons at their disposal.”
Bangor extended the lead to 2-0 with 24:34 remaining in the first half as MacLean picked up her first goal when Robinson pushed the ball up the right wing and snuck it across the box to her left where MacLean buried the pass into the near side of the goal.
“We really wanted to get a quick start,” Robinson said. “Especially with the field in this condition it was important to start strong.”
Six minutes into the second half the Rams displayed pretty passing skills as Robinson scored off of a give-and-go from MacLean as Bangor extended the lead to 3-0. About two minutes later, MacLean added another goal after Robinson blasted a ball into the stomach of Bulldogs junior goalie Ashley Yahnel, who entered the game in the second half. Yahnel made the initial save but could not hang onto the powerful shot as MacLean tapped in the rebound.
MacLean completed her hat trick 4:27 later off another give-and-go inside of the box with Robinson.
Robinson buried another goal on a corner kick with 20:31 remaining in the game as she launched herself over a group of Bulldog defenders and headed MacLean’s volley into the back of the net.
Freshman forward Ali Boulier added a goal for the Rams with 9:00 left in the game.
“It’s fun to be able to score but we worked well as a team,” MacLean said. “I think we worked really well together.”
Belanger and Yahnel combined for six saves on 22 shots for 8-7-1 Lawrence. Mia Smith made three saves on five shots for Bangor
After the win the Rams were already focused on their semifinal.
“Waterville is always tough,” Johnson said. “Coach (Ian) WIlson always does a great job of getting his team ready to play and they will come in thinking they can beat us. It should be a hard fought game.”