BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School boys soccer team overcame off some inconsistent play and two late penalty-kick attempts by Hampden Academy to scratch out a 2-1 victory over the stubborn Broncos in a Class A North matchup Tuesday evening.
The defending state champion Rams, already with pointworthy victories over fellow top contenders Lewiston and Camden Hills of Rockport, are now 4-0 two weeks into the season.
“For periods of time we played well and controlled the game,” said Bangor coach Garth Berenyi. “We certainly didn’t play 80 minutes the way we want to play 80 minutes and part of that is a credit to Hampden, they came out to play and they wanted to take one.
“Our guys played our game but we lost our composure at times. I thought we played a little frantic and as I told the guys at the end we’ve got to be able to play quick and under control, not quick and frantic.”
Hampden Academy dipped to 1-2, but not for lack of effort as coach Josh Stevens’ club battled Bangor to a halftime stalemate before the Rams took control with goals by sophomore Alec Jansujwicz and senior Garth Berenyi, son of the coach, eight minutes apart after intermission.
“To be 0-0 at halftime was big for us,” said Stevens. “It showed we could play better than we’ve been playing, and being this early in the season we’re trying to trend upward and the first half showed we were trending upward.”
Goalies Austin Conway of Bangor (four saves) and Sam Lilley of Hampden (eight stops) came up big in net until Bangor finally broke through with 31:56 left in the match.
Berenyi dribbled the ball down the right wing toward the end line, drawing Lilley toward him before he slid a pass inside to an unmarked Jansujwicz, who scored into an open net.
Berenyi made it 2-0 with 23:57 left, winning a scramble for the ball near the edge of the penalty area to the left of the goal and finding space between a maze of defenders to line the ball inside the far post.
“I think the goalie went up to get it and it popped loose,” said Berenyi. “Three of them came running in, I faked a shot and then slotted it in.”
Hampden kept competing, and was rewarded with two penalty kicks in the final 3:29.
Broncos’ senior midfielder Alex Ross converted the first one, lining a shot into the right corner of the goal to make it a one-goal game.
A tripping call in the penalty area against Bangor barely 90 seconds later gave Ross a second chance, but this time his shot caromed off the left goalpost and then off Conway’s back before the Bangor netminder was able to turn and grab the ball before it crossed the goal line.
“I was still pretty confident on that one, but the post was my best friend,” said Conway, a sophomore. “It went off my back and I was just hoping it was going to be right there so I could grab it.”