BANGOR, Maine — In most games a team’s primary opponent is just that, the opposing team standing in the way of victory.
In other cases, a team’s main foe is its own expectations.
The undefeated Bangor boys soccer team bested one of those opponents Wednesday evening with an 8-0 win over Waterville.
As for the opponent from within — that’s a continuing challenge for any team with championship aspirations.
“Every night we need to come out as hard as we can,” said Kyle Savage, a senior back for the reigning Eastern Maine Class A champs. “We can’t let the other team keep us from playing the way we expect to.
“I think we did a good job and played hard, but we still have some things to work on.”
Ten Bangor players had either a goal or an assist for coach David Patterson’s club. Phil Frost scored twice, Brian Loiselle had three assists, Cody Cormier added a goal and an assist and Luke Hetterman chipped in with two assists to lead the way.
Bangor outshot Waterville 31-9, with goalies Bud Angst and Collin Corneil combining for six saves. The 4-0 Rams have yet to allow a goal this season, outscoring its opponents 22-0.
Nate Rector made 10 saves for 1-3 Waterville.
Waterville came out undermanned with just two substitutes available, but the Purple Panthers got some strong play from midfielders Abu Mannochi and Wilson Guthro and striker Alex Rowe to stay competitive for much of the match.
Gradually Bangor’s talent and physical presence began to dominate the smaller Waterville club, with the Rams moving out to a 3-0 halftime lead.
Frost got Bangor on the scoreboard 10:25 into the match, receiving a centering pass from Hetterman to the goal crease, settling the ball off his chest and then blasting a close-range shot past Rector.
Jacques Larochelle made it 2-0 seven minutes later, taking a long kick off a restart from Clark Noonan, wheeling around a defender near the 18-yard line and scoring into the center of the net.
Senior striker Nick George netted his team-leading eighth goal with 15:16 left in the half to extend the Bangor lead to 3-0.
Loiselle passed the ball to Brandon Landry on the left wing, then headed toward the net as Landry crossed the ball toward the goal. Loiselle skimmed a header toward the far goalpost, where George was waiting to finish the play.
Bangor outshot Waterville 13-4 in the half and came on stronger after intermission, scoring five goals on 18 shots
Cormier and Hetterman worked a give-and-go deep in the offensive end, with Cormier scoring from close range with 38:06 to play.
Sophomore Connor Griffin scored on an assist from Adam King 10 minutes later, then Frost scored his second goal on a circus pass from Cormier to extend the margin to 6-0 with 21:31 left,
Bangor sent a high cross through the crease, and it was heading toward the end line when Cormier jumped up not only to keep the ball inbounds, but to redirect it back toward the crease where Frost had made a run toward the goal.
“I saw it coming through and it was farther back than I expected to I had to get up a couple of feet to get it back through,” said Cormier. “It was definitely not an opportunity to score, I just tried to get it back to the six and [Frost] put it right back in.”
Noah Frost and Jack Stacey each scored in the final 20 minutes — both assisted by Loiselle, who leads the Rams with six assists on the season.