June 24, 2018
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Wilcox leads Bangor Christian past Central Aroostook in East D boys soccer final

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN — Brad Wilcox tied a state record Wednesday — and was the last to know.

The senior striker scored four goals as top-ranked Bangor Christian defeated No. 2 Central Aroostook of Mars Hill 6-0 to win its third consecutive Eastern D boys soccer title at the Weatherbee Complex.

Coach Aaron Wilcox’s club, 17-0, will try to win its third straight state title at Falmouth High School on Saturday against Greenville, a 1-0 winner over Richmond in the Western Maine final.

Brad Wilcox now has 106 career goals, which ties a state schoolboy soccer record set by Falmouth’s Roger Levesque during the late 1990s.

The match was stopped after Wilcox scored his fourth goal with 9:38 left in the second half, and with many in attendance believing he had set a new state record, coach Wilcox presented his son the game ball in recognition of his 106th career goal.

But Levesque’s professional soccer biography — he’s now with the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer — states the 106 goals he scored before graduating from Falmouth in 1998 stood as the state record, so in that case Wilcox now has a share of the mark with one game left to play.

“I guess I’ll just have to try and score another goal in the next game,” Wilcox said.

Either way, it was a impressive performance by Wilcox in leading his team past Central Aroostook (10-5-1) in the regional final for the second time in three years.

“Just with the team behind me, they give me so many opportunities,” said Wilcox. “When they send it in to me, I just try to do my best and sometimes they go in.”

Wilcox scored twice in the first half as the Patriots built a 2-0 lead.

The first goal came less than eight minutes into the contest when Bangor Christian gained control at midfield and Ben Bragg passed the ball to freshman Seth Pearson along the right wing. Pearson centered the ball ahead of the defense to Wilcox, who one-timed it to the right of Central Aroostook goalie Ross Grass.

Wilcox made it 2-0 seven minutes later, taking a long lead pass from Jay Bishop and dribbling between two defenders before grounding a shot into the net.

“We knew they were fast all over the field, but we thought with our speed could keep up with them,” said Central Aroostook coach Dave Collins. “We heard they hadn’t trailed all season long and we wanted to get on the board first and see how they’d react. But we were unlucky and they scored first.”

The Patriots broke the game open midway through the second half, but not until Central Aroostook had its best scoring bid when Brandon Anthony was sent in alone against BC goalie Caleb Peary and blasted a shot that Peary blocked away.

Wilcox chased down a long crossing pass in the offensive end and then rifled a shot back through the goal crease and into the net with 30:21 left in the match. Zac Palmeter followed less than four minutes later by scoring on the rebound of a Rem Poulin direct kick from just outside the penalty area to make it 4-0.

Pearson scored five minutes later with a screen shot to the left side of the net before Wilcox capped off the scoring with his record-tying goal, a 15-yard shot from the center of the penalty area after he chased down a loose ball.

“I had no idea,” said Wilcox of his proximity to the state record. “My dad didn’t let me know and he told everybody not to tell me. When I saw my dad talking to the ref after I scored the last one, I thought I might have done something.”

While Wilcox dominated the headlines, Bangor Christian benefited from a complete performance, as the play of Poulin and Palmeter in the midfield limited Central Aroostook’s offensive forays and a defense anchored by Peary and sweeper Matt Swanson contested nearly all of the Panthers’ shots.

Bangor Christian finished with a 26-12 shots advantage, with Peary making eight saves to preserve the shutout while Grass made 12 stops for Central Aroostook.

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