FALMOUTH, Maine — The Bangor High School girls soccer team left Falmouth Stadium last fall disappointed but motivated after a loss to Scarborough in the Class A state championship match.
A year later, the Rams are the one celebrating a milestone moment.
Jade Baumrind and Grace MacLean each scored two goals and Ashley Robinson added two assists as Bangor capped off an undefeated season and won the program’s first state title Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Scarborough before a crowd of more than 1,500 fans.
“I don’t have words for this,” said Erin Boulier, one of 12 seniors on the Bangor roster. “Last year we were bawling our eyes out because we had something taken away from us that we really wanted, and this year we came out with a lot of fight because we really wanted this, and now we’ve got it.”
It was indeed sweet redemption for coach Joe Johnson’s club, which fell to the Red Storm 3-0 in the 2010 state final.
“There is no comparison,” he said. “Second place is hard to deal with because you work so hard to get here and play, and when you lose it sticks with you for a while.
“I can’t even describe this feeling. To do something that’s never been done before in our school or our community and to have the kids work and become part of something this big, it’s just super.”
Bangor goalie Mia Smith preserved Bangor’s fourth straight postseason shutout with five saves. She was well protected from major Scarborough challenges by the Rams’ defensive set of Boulier, Denae Johnson, Liz Hintz and Tiffany Gray, who rarely allowed the Red Storm as much as an uncontested dribble in their offensive end.
“We always want to get to balls first,” said Denae Johnson. “We don’t want any long balls going over us, and we always try to stay tight and moving like one unit and not letting loose balls into open spaces.”
Scarborough, which had graduated 12 seniors off its 2010 championship team, concluded its season with a 14-2-2 record.
“You’ve got to give it to Bangor, they came out and really won this game,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “It wasn’t that we lost it, they came out and put forth an effort that was pretty impressive.
“Once they got that first goal, we could never reverse the tide, and when we tried to push forward a little, they made us pay.”
Baumrind staked Bangor to a 1-0 lead after 10 minutes of back-and-forth play between the teams produced few serious scoring bids, save for a MacLean shot from 10 yards out off a Robinson corner kick that sailed over the crossbar.
Moments later Bangor was able to prevent Scarborough from clearing the ball out of the defensive end, with Robinson gaining possession along the right wing some 15 yards out. Robinson lined a crossing pass toward the crease, where Baumrind was able to skim a header behind her and just inside the far goal post to give Bangor a 1-0 lead 10:22 into the match.
“We had the momentum going in the midfield and on the forward line,” said Baumrind. “I saw Ashley had the ball and I was just calling for it. I didn’t know if it was coming in the air or on the ground but I just went after the ball.”
Scarborough gained a territorial edge over the next 10 minutes but was unable to manufacture any good scoring bids as the Bangor defense didn’t relax with the lead.
“From the opening whistle you could really tell they wanted to win this game,” said Farley. “They played with some serious passion and every ball was challenged. We never really got the ball under control and settled because we were pressured the whole game.”
MacLean gave Bangor a two-goal lead 9:13 into the second half, out-sprinting two defenders to a long through-ball from Baumrind, then eluding oncoming Scarborough goalie Katie Mader before scoring into an open net.
“Getting that second goal was a really good feeling,” said MacLean.
MacLean scored again with 14:25 left on a similar play, this time with Robinson sending her teammate in alone on Mader to loft the ball under the crossbar.
“When we can see the defense gapping in the back, we try to slot the through balls, and Ashley and I work hard to try to get to them,” said MacLean.
Baumrind capped off the scoring with 2:26 left on the rebound of a shot by MacLean that bounced off the left goal post.
Bangor finished with a 19-11 advantage in shots, with Mader making eight saves for Scarborough.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” said coach Johnson. “I’m going to sit back and enjoy these kids and watch their faces and just be delighted with how happy they are right now. They did all the work.”