HAMPDEN, Maine — Scarborough High School senior striker Sarah Martens concluded a memorable postseason on Saturday afternoon.
Martens scored her fourth consecutive playoff game-winner, this one coming 1:30 into the second overtime, to give the Red Storm a thrilling 2-1 win over Bangor in their state Class A soccer final at Hampden Academy.
It was the third consecutive year the two schools had met in the title game, with Scarborough winning 3-0 two years ago and Bangor triumphing 4-0 last season.
It was a physical battle. Both teams limited the opponents’ time and space with the ball by converging quickly and fearlessly.
Bangor (16-2) had the better chances in the overtime but Jessica Meader fed a through ball to Martens, who had slipped between defenders and broke in alone on Bangor goalie Cordelia Stewart before converting with her left foot.
“I turned around and saw [Martens] make a diagonal run,” said Meader. “We’ve had a real good connection.”
“I looked up to see where the goalie was and I tried to put it in the corner,” said Martens, whose goal was her sixth in the playoffs and school-record 20th of the season.
Stewart dove to her left but had no chance on the perfectly-placed shot.
Libby Huber had staked Bangor to a 1-0 lead 1:14 into the second half but Meader tied it just 2:38 later.
Bangor had three glorious chances to win it.
First, Scarborough goalkeeper Sydney Martin made a spectacular full-extension save to parry away Alli Boulier’s curling left-footed strike headed for the upper far corner with two minutes left in regulation.
“I was hoping the ball would go past her but she made a great save,” said Boulier.
“I read her foot at first. I knew she was going to put it to my right so I gave it my best shot. I’ve always dreamed about making a save in the upper-90 [top corner],” said Martin.
“That was the best save she’s made all season,” said Meader.
On the opening kickoff of sudden-death overtime, Bangor’s dynamic Grace MacLean found some room in the middle but side-volleyed a thigh-high cross from Jordan Seekins wide of the near post.
Just a minute later, an unattended Boulier sailed a low cross from Ally Vanidestine over the crossbar from seven yards out.
“The ball came across a little funny. It was pretty fast and it bounced up a little. I couldn’t quite get all the way over it [to keep the shot low],” said Boulier.
“My heart stopped for a second,” said Martin.
Scarborough (16-1-1) had two glittering chances to win it late in regulation but Emily Brookings cleared a loose ball out of the goalmouth and then stopped Meader in a one-on-one.
Huber had opened the scoring when Seekins’ corner kick created a scramble in the penalty area. Huber spun around and roofed a 10-yarder.
Scarborough tied it when Meader raced into the goal area and nudged home the rebound of a Sam Sparda free kick. Stewart got her gloves on Sparda’s near-post shot but was unable to hang on to the ball.
Martin finished with seven saves on 20 shots while Stewart came up with 10 stops on 23 shots.
“It was more of a battle than even I was prepared for,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “Bangor played so hard and so well, it was a great test for us. We hadn’t been tested like that all season. They were winning 50-50 balls. I take my hat off to them. We were fortunate to win.
“They could have ended the game twice early in overtime. We stuck with it, created one chance and, luckily, it fell to one of our best players.”
Bangor coach Joe Johnson said, “We played one of our best games of the year. Unfortunately, we had a couple of point-blank chances in the first part of the first overtime [that didn’t go in]. They’re a good team. I knew it would be a good game.”
Scarborough’s Maria Philbrick and Ainsley Jamieson were superb in the back as were Bangor’s Denae Johnson and Anna Morris. Midfield standouts included Scarborough’s Taylor Leborgne and Bangor’s Jackie Veilleux.