BANGOR — The Bangor High School Rams and Waterville High School Panthers have developed quite a rivalry in girls soccer.
Waterville dominated the rivalry until last year when Bangor won all three meetings, including an Eastern Maine Class A semifinal decided by penalty kicks.
The veteran Rams, the defending EM titlists, made it four in a row over Waterville on Tuesday night as senior striker Ashley Robinson had three goals and an assist and junior striker Grace Maclean had two goals and two assists in Bangor’s 8-0 triumph.
Jordan Seekins had a goal and an assist and Leanne Violette and Alex Malarky had the other goals for the 2-0 Rams and goalies Mia Smith, Kristen Henigan and Meri Wicks combined for four saves on five shots.
Sophomore Hannah Allen made three saves on 19 shots for the 1-1 Panthers, who have just three seniors on their roster after graduating the likes of 171-goal scorer Jordan Pellerin and center back Katy Massey.
“They’re our rivals. They have been for years. So we came out with a lot of energy,” explained Robinson, who staked Bangor to a 2-0 lead with goals 10:15 apart in the first half.
Maclean set up Robinson’s first goal with a pinpoint through-ball that enabled Robinson to take the pass in full stride, split a pair of defenders and slot the ball with her left foot into the corner to the left of Allen.
“We’ve been working on through-balls and Grace and I have been staying close together. She gave me a good pass, I sprinted to beat (the defenders) to the ball and I angled my shot,” said Robinson.
Robinson extended the lead when she re-directed Maclean’s shot from the top of the penalty area back against the grain and past the helpless Allen.
“I didn’t see it coming and then it came to my feet. I tried to re-direct it. I didn’t see anyone in front of me and it ended up working out,” said Robinson.
Robinson turned distributor on the next goal as she fed Maclean, whose left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area skipped under the left arm of the diving Allen.
Maclean closed out the half with a blazing free kick from just beyond the penalty area that nestled into the far corner past Allen, who had no chance.
“There was a gap in the wall and I looked into the corner of the goal and I found it,” said Maclean.
Tenacious Ram left midfielder Jade Baumrind, who was a constant presence and consistent ball-winner throughout, said, “We did really well as a team. We kept the ball on the ground, found each other’s feet, connected on some through-balls and passed the ball into space (for a teammate to run on to).”
Seekins figured in the next two goals, scoring the fifth by directing the ball through the hands of Allen off a deflected cross from Tiffany Gray and feeding Robinson for her hat trick goal off a side-foot volley.
That gives Robinson five goals through Bangor’s first two games.
Violette found the back of the net with a long arching ball from midfield that bounced over Allen’s head and Malarky capped the scoring with the prettiest goal of the evening as she ran on to a perfect far-post cross from Ally Vanidestine and headed it into the near-side corner.
Vanidestine had fought past a Panther defender to get into position to make her cross.
“We’ve got a lot of young players who played hard and did their best,” said Waterville coach Ian Wilson, whose Panthers are 62-7-3 over their last 72 games. “You’ve got to give credit to Bangor. They were much, much better than we were tonight. Maclean and Robinson complement each other very well.”
Wilson praised the performance turned in by junior defender Melanie Bureau.
“She played pretty well in the back. She’s an intense, fiery competitor,” said Wilson.
Bangor’s back four of Gray, Liz Hintz, Erin Boulier and Denae Johnson did a thorough job limiting Waterville’s chances.
JV: Bangor 7-1