May 26, 2018
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Veterans, newcomers help Bangor girls soccer team roll by Waterville

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

WATERVILLE, Maine — The defending state Class A champion Bangor High School girls soccer team keeps rolling along.

With an impressive blend of veterans and newcomers, the Rams extended their winning streak to 20 games with a 5-1 victory over a youthful but talented Waterville High School team on Tuesday at Webber Field.

Sophomore midfielder Ali Boulier scored a pair of goals, senior striker Grace Maclean had a goal and two assists and senior midfielder Jordan Seekins contributed a goal and an assist in Bangor’s triumph. Senior midfielder Ally Vanidestine scored the other Ram goal.

Sophomore Sarah Shoulta notched the Waterville goal.

Bangor attempted 21 shots to Waterville’s eight.

Bangor, which was 18-0 last season, is now 2-0 this season while Waterville is 1-1.

“I thought we played very well,” said Bangor coach Joe Johnson. “We possessed the ball in the middle of the field pretty well and we finished.”

The Rams controlled play, using their flanks effectively to spread the Panthers out before sending a number of menacing crosses into the penalty area.

The hard-working Panthers, led by sophomore midfielder Morgan Tortorella, mounted some dangerous counterattack pressure but the Rams, led by center backs Anna Morris and Anna-Maria Dagher along with energetic midfielders Denae Johnson and Jacqueline Veilleux, did an efficient job limiting Waterville’s penetration into the penalty area.

“We’re working well in the back,” said Morris. “We’ll get wide [to create passing lanes out of the back] but when we’re under pressure, we’ll stay close together.”

Bangor also exhibited its depth as Johnson used 28 players.

Boulier opened the scoring 10:53 into the game when she was fed a precise diagonal pass by Maclean just beyond the top of the penalty and placed her right-footed shot over the hands of diminutive freshman goalkeeper Gabi Martin.

“I was wide open because we switched [the ball] fast and Grace gave me a nice ball in front,” said Boulier. “I shot it early.”

Seekins extended the lead 5:48 later when she tracked the ball down deep in the right side of the penalty area and sailed a well-placed cross that glanced in off the hands of the fully-extended Martin.

“When I’ve got the ball down near the [end] line, I look to chip it across. But I was more out [front] so I put it more toward the goalie. That wasn’t exactly a shot,” said Seekins.

Boulier scored her second goal with 9:36 remaining in the half when she was again set up nicely by Maclean at the top of the penalty area and curled a left-footed shot into the upper far corner.

“I don’t think we could have played any worse in the first half,” said Waterville coach Ian Wilson. “We’ve got a very young team and they were nervous, tense and tight. But we played better in the second half. We showed some flashes. We did some [positive] stuff.

“Bangor is better than we are. They were the better team today. But I was proud of how my kids came back and fought in the second half.”

Vanidestine made it 4-0 9:51 into the second half when Seekins’ deflected cross bounced around in the crowded goal area before she poked it home from point-blank range.

Shoulta scored 2:35 later when she ran on to a Kellie Bolduc cross from the right flank and directed it home at the far post.

Maclean, bothered by a tender ankle, capped the scoring when Anna-Maria Dagher lofted a long ball over the defense and she beat the defenders to the ball before sliding it past Martin from a tight angle.

“If you can send it over [the defense], Grace can score,” said Dagher.

Bangor’s Kristen Higgins faced four shots in the first half but wasn’t required to make a save. Chandler Stairs made one save on four shots in the second half.

Martin finished with 10 saves.

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