BANGOR, Maine — Twice the Hampden Academy boys soccer team took a one-goal lead over Bangor during their initial meeting of the season Thursday evening.
But each time the Broncos tried to build momentum off those goals, Bangor responded with a quick-strike response, leaving the Class A rivals to settle for remaining unbeaten with a 2-2 tie through two overtimes.
“It was a typical Bangor-Hampden game with a little extra for good measure,” said Bangor coach David Patterson. “I thought it was a great game, a great advertisement for high school soccer. Both teams played well.”
Hampden is now 3-0-2, while Bangor is 2-0-3.
“Overall we played pretty decent,” said Hampden senior midfielder Erik Hanson. “Give Bangor credit, they played a good game, but we just have to work on a few things and tighten some things up and we’ll be OK.”
Bangor held a marked territorial edge for most of the first half, but the game remained a scoreless deadlock at intermission.
“As I told the boys at halftime that’s the best half of soccer I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said Patterson. “We weren’t turning it into goals, but we played very, very well and I was proud of that.”
Hampden regrouped during the break and quickly took the lead, with Hanson opening the scoring just 2:40 into the second half.
Broncos senior midfielder Ian Miller set the play in motion on a restart with a booming kick from midfield along the right wing toward the goal crease. The ball took a high bounce, but Hanson was waiting near the far goal post to redirect the ball into the net.
“I made a back-post run where I was supposed to be and just put it home,” said Hanson of his fourth goal of the season. “I didn’t put anything on it, I just placed it.”
Bangor needed just 13 seconds to tie the match on Nate Bach’s eighth goal of the season. The Rams quickly advanced the ball into the left corner after the restart before Alex Campbell lined a high shot that Hampden goalie Zach Gilpin was able to keep out of the net but could not control.
Bach was waiting to tap in the rebound with 37:07 left in regulation play.
“We were really scrapping hard and I saw the loose ball and tried to put it in,” said Bach, a sophomore. “Their goalie fumbled it a bit and I just tried to get to it first.”
The teams then swapped penalty kicks, with Dan Good connecting for Hampden 37 seconds after Bangor had tied the game and the Rams’ Chapin Frost answering with 31:20 remaining.
“That’s definitely the best team we’ve played all year, so we knew we had to come out and play our hardest,” said Bangor senior midfielder Hunter Boyce. “They jumped on us first, but we came back and scored in less than five minutes which is what coach always says. He always says the next five minutes after a goal are really important and we were able to capitalize on that both times.”
Bangor had the best opportunity during the late stages of the second half when Bach won the race to a loose ball near the end line just to the right of the goal and centered it into the crease, from where Campbell booted the ball over the crossbar.
Ben Foster had two long-range bids for Hampden during the second five-minute overtime, and Bangor freshman Eli Clein later tipped a short pass into the goal crease from Bach just wide of the left post for the Rams’ best bid of extra time.
“In the first half we were a little off,” said Hampden coach Josh Stevens. “We really couldn’t find the ball to feet and we couldn’t get the ball outside wide to get services, but we made our adjustments at halftime and came out after that and started to be more successful.
“Once we got the ball outside wide we started to have more success, we could just never put that third one in.”
Bangor finished with a 20-11 shots advantage, with Liam Harrigan making three saves for the Rams and Gilpin finishing with 11 stops for Hampden.