BANGOR — The Bangor High School girls soccer team proved a point Wednesday afternoon.
Even when their top two scorers, Ashley Robinson and Grace Maclean, don’t add to their combined total of 52 goals, they can still win.
Senior midfielder Hanna Colpritt’s goal with 11:27 left in the first half proved to be the game-winner and junior midfielder Ally Vanidestine iced it with 2:03 left in regulation as Bangor defended its Eastern Maine A title by beating Brunswick 2-0 at Boucher Field on the Husson University campus.
Top-seeded Bangor is now 17-0 and will take on 14-1-2 Scarborough in a rematch of last year’s state championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Falmouth High School. Scarborough beat Bangor 3-0 last year.
Brunswick, the second seed, finished 15-2 with both losses coming at the hands of the Rams.
Colpritt ran on to Maclean’s corner kick and scored with a powerful header from 8 yards out for her eighth goal of the season.
“We work on corners a lot. It’s one of the easiest opportunities to score in soccer,” said Colpritt. “Grace places it perfectly every time and all you have to do is get something on it. Hopefully, it will go in. We all start our runs at the top (of the penalty area) and hope to pull away from our marks.”
“It was one of our first corners, so I was just looking to put it in (the penalty area) and Hanna did a great job getting to it,” said Maclean.
“I think Hanna has scored five or six of her goals off corners,” said Bangor coach Joe Johnson. “She’s the best I’ve seen getting to the ball and having a nose for it.”
Brunswick goalkeeper Lauren Thacker had no chance.
“(Colpritt) came in really quickly. My defenders and I weren’t prepared for it,” said Thacker.
Brunswick was extremely organized defensively and effectively marked the high-scoring Robinson (a Class A-leading 28 goals) and Maclean (24 goals) with up to five players. Rachel Moroney marked Maclean and Libby Arford kept an eye on Robinson with three other backs supplying support, so they were often double- and triple-teamed.
As a result, Brunswick’s attack became more direct with probing long balls that were well-monitored and cleared efficiently by Bangor’s back four of outside backs Tiffany Gray and Denae Johnson and inside backs Liz Hintz and Erin Boulier.
“We really wanted to get to the ball first and we made sure the long balls didn’t get over our heads. If they did, we know Mia (goalkeeper Mia Smith) is always there for us,” said Johnson.
“Our game plan was great but, unfortunately, we conceded a very poor goal so, down 1-0, our game plan went out the window,” said Brunswick coach Martyn Davison, whose team lost to Bangor 5-1 and 4-0 (KVAC title game) during the season. “Our girls played a great game. We just didn’t have enough scoring punch up front, but we tried.”
Bangor’s superior depth became a factor in the second half as the Rams, who substituted several players on a rotational basis, kept the Dragons pinned in their own half of the field. Brunswick had just three subs and they played very limited minutes.
Bangor had a 15-1 edge in shot attempts in the second half after each team generated four attempts in the evenly played first half.
“That’s the luxury of having such a deep team. We kept 26 players because they all could play,” said Johnson.
Vanidestine finally gave Bangor some well-deserved breathing room when she raced down the right flank, ran on to Jade Baumrind’s diagonal cross and rifled the ball into the short-side corner for her fourth goal of the season.
“I didn’t know it was going to come to me. I saw it and went for it,” said the speedy Vanidestine. “It bounced once and I just booted it. I was just thinking that I had to get to it. I just caught it at the last second.”
“I was just trying to get a cross in. I didn’t really see her. She came out of nowhere,” said Baumrind.
“We kind of stopped and I was a little hesitant,” said Thacker, who turned in an exceptional 12-save performance.
“I think everyone thought there was going to be a whistle,” said Johnson.
Smith finished with four saves as the Rams posted their 11th shutout.