FALMOUTH — Brad Wilcox gained unique status Saturday, becoming the most prolific goal scorer in state schoolboy soccer history.
And he and the Bangor Christian Patriots returned to familiar status — that of state champions.
Junior Ben Bragg scored two goals and Wilcox added a goal and two assists as undefeated Bangor Christian won its third consecutive Class D state title with a 4-2 victory over Greenville at Falmouth Stadium.
“I don’t get tired of winning, they’re all awesome,” said Bangor Christian coach Aaron Wilcox, Brad’s father.
Greenville, making its first appearance in a state final since winning the Eastern Maine title in 1995, finished its season with an 11-5-2 record.
“They certainly moved the ball well,” said Greenville coach Jeff Richards of Bangor Christian. They’ve been coached to spread the offense out and move the ball around and they did it well,” You could see they were very skilled at finding the open man and keeping the ball moving.
“Our guys were chasing our tails quite a lot today, but I kind of expected it.”
Brad Wilcox, who scored four goals in Wednesday’s regional final against Central Aroostook of Mars Hill to tie the state record of 106 career goals set during the late 1990s by Roger Levesque of Falmouth, broke that mark on the home field of Levesque’s alma mater with a shot from the center of the penalty area midway through the first half.
It was the 30th goal of the year for the senior, who missed five games at the end of the regular season with a leg injury.
“It’s definitely all about the teammates who passed me the ball,” said Wilcox. “If they don’t pass me the ball I don’t score. I bet 80 percent of those goals were assisted, they weren’t done by myself.”
This match had plenty of fireworks early, with Bangor Christian scoring on its first shot of the game as Wilcox passed the ball from the center of the field near the 18-yard line to Bragg on the right wing. Bragg quickly shot the ball back across the goalmouth past Greenville goalie Corey Henderson and inside the left post to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead 1:40 into the match.
“I got a good lead pass and beat a defender and kicked it to a corner,” said Bragg.
But Greenville struck for the equalizer less than three minutes later, as Henry Hersey was sent in by Tristan Richards through-pass and grounded a 15-yard shot from the right side of the penalty area across the goalmouth, past goalie Caleb Peary, and off the inside of the left post.
Bangor Christian regained the lead — and experienced some history — with 24:34 left in the opening period. Bragg had possession on the right wing, then crossed the ball to Sam Proctor to the left of the goal.
Proctor settled the ball, then spotted Wilcox to his right. Wilcox gained possession, then scored his state-record 107th career goal with a shot to Henderson’s left — a play on which Henderson was screened from a clear look at the shot by a Greenville defender.
“I was yelling ‘Sam, Sam’ because I didn’t think he saw me,” said Wilcox. “He said he saw me out of the corner of his eye and said, ‘I’m passing to blue (Bangor Christian’s uniform color).’ He passed me the ball and I just took what I had.”
Bangor Christian threatened several times to extend its lead before intermission, but Henderson came up big in goal several times. So did center back Howie Stone, who blocked two shots headed for the back of the net, and Stephen Richards, who used a bicycle kick as the last line of defense for a Bangor Christian header bound for the goal.
“At halftime I told the guys it could have been a lot uglier than it is,” said Richards. “We were still in it, and we’d get our chances.”
But it was the Patriots who persisted best, finally breaking the game open with two goals within a 46-second span 10 minutes into the second half.
First junior David Peters — who needed to be granted a waiver to play in the game because he wasn’t listed on the original BC roster sent to the Maine Principals’ Association — soared into the goalmouth to head home a Wilcox corner kick with 29:45 left in the match.
“The ball felt good off my foot,” said Wilcox. “I was hoping someone would come in and put a head on it.”
Less than a minute later, Bragg scored his second goal of the match, volleying the ball out of the air after a long throw-in into the goalmouth by Jeremy Miller was deflected out to him, leaving Bragg with a 15-yard shot to make it a 4-1 game.
“We’ve been really working with our guys hard this year that when you have somebody who can do corners like we can and can do throw-ins like we have, we have to score off those,” said coach Wilcox. “Those goals were huge, they absolutely changed the momentum of the game.”
Tristan Richards scored Greenville’s final goal on a penalty kick with 9:14 left after being tripped in the penalty area.