BANGOR — The high-scoring and undefeated Bangor High School girls soccer team found itself in a battle Monday night with archrival Hampden Academy, which played a disciplined, defensive-oriented system that frustrated the Rams.
The Rams were holding a 1-0 lead early in the second half when goalie Mia Smith saved a Chelsea Kuzio breakaway and the Rams broke the game open moments later on goals 13 seconds apart by snipers Ashley Robinson and Grace Maclean en route to a 5-0 triumph.
Bangor, which entered the game averaging 6.2 goals per game, improved to 6-0 while Hampden Academy fell to 2-2-1.
Maclean had scored the only goal in the first half and Smith wasn’t required to make a save over the first 40 minutes.
But when a Ram defender shanked a clearance, the speedy Kuzio outraced the Ram defenders only to have Smith come out to the top of the penalty area and reject her shot..
“It was just an instinctive save,” said Smith. “(Kuzio’s) head was down and it hit my right leg and right hand.”
Hampden Academy coach Gina De Santis called Smith’s save a “game-changer.”
Just a few minutes later, a Maclean through-ball sent Robinson in on Bronco goalie Makayla Clewley down the right side.
“Right before, Grace had told me to keep moving. So I saw the space, took the pass and (Clewley) gave me some room (to the far side). I was looking for the corner, (Clewley) came out toward me so I had to sneak it by her,” said Robinson.
Thirteen seconds later, Liz Hintz played a ball to Maclean along the left flank and Maclean took a stride and hammered a rising shot from just outside the penalty area over Clewley’s head and under the crossbar.
“I looked at the goal and shot,” said Maclean.
Jade Baumrind and June Candland capped the scoring as Baumrind scored with a long-range shot that glanced in off Clewley’s hands and Candland converted from 14 yards out off a feed from Libby Huber.
Bangor had a 12-1 edge in shot attempts in the first half but could only score once as Hampden defended tenaciously, double-teamed Maclean and Robinson and clogged up the penalty area.
Just a few minutes after entering the game, Ally Vanidestine set up Maclean’s goal by outmuscling a defender down the right flank and sliding a low cross into the penalty area.
“It was a 50-50 ball between the goalie and me. She went for it, I went for it and I ended up getting my foot on it,” said Maclean, who poked it around Clewley and deposited it into the vacant net.
“Ally did a great job. She’s strong and fast. She came down the wing and got a good ball in to me,” said Maclean.
“We played well,” said Robinson. “They’re definitely a rival of ours. They’re always tough. But we stepped up in the second half.”
“I was proud of my girls,” said De Santis. “We did what we came her to do. We marked their key people (effectively). They’re a physical team, a tough team, but we gave them a good match.”
Both teams received exceptional play from their backs.
Hintz, Erin Boulier, Denae Johnson and Tiffany Gray consistently won balls and enabled Bangor to keep pressure on the Broncos in the attacking third.
Kylee Fogg, Naomi Shearer and Kristi Reichel were among Hampden’s standouts.
Smith made two saves on three shots while Kristen Henigan and Meri Wicks weren’t required to make any on the four shots they faced.
Clewley played well for HA, turning aside five of Bangor’s 29 shots.