BANGOR, Maine — Senior striker Nick Gilpin had a goal and an assist in the first half, and a defense anchored by goalie Kyle Townsend made that stand up after intermission as Hampden Academy edged Bangor 2-1 in a Class A North boys soccer match Tuesday.
The win was the fourth straight since a season-opening loss to Messalonskee of Oakland for coach Josh Stevens’ Broncos.
“This win meant a lot to us,” said Hampden senior striker Nick Chasse, who scored on a header off a Gilpin throw-in 67 seconds into the match to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead. “We came in here expecting to get either a draw or a win, and a win is huge because it moves us up in the Heal points and pushes us forward.”
Bangor (3-2) countered Chasse’s goal just 67 seconds later when junior midfielder Carson Atherley converted a penalty kick after Hampden was whistled for a hand ball in the penalty area.
But that was the only shot that got past Townsend, a senior who made 10 saves.
His biggest test came in the final seconds of the first half when he dove to stop a direct kick by Bangor’s Eli Clein that made its way virtually untouched through Hampden’s defensive wall.
Bangor opened the second half aggressively and generated several scoring bids, only for Townsend to turn them all away.
“They came out really hard the first five minutes of the second half and had some chances at goal,” he said. “But once we found our momentum going up the wings we started playing as a team again and found our rhythm. Our defense was solid.”
Bangor finished with a 17-11 shots advantage.
“Something we talk about every game is coming out and competing for the whole 80 minutes,” said Bangor coach Billy Shannon. “If we don’t come out and match their work rate and look to possess and look to play around and look to defend well and don’t compete for the full 80, we can end up with results like we got today.”
Hampden capitalized on its height advantage at the striker position and anticipation between teammates to take its 1-0 lead.
The Broncos worked the ball toward the right sideline and were awarded a throw-in, which the 6-foot-3 Gilpin quickly launched toward the 6-foot-3 Chasse, who skimmed a header toward the far post and past Bangor goalie Stanley Clarke (five saves).
“We try to take our set pieces and throws quickly, and that’s what we did on Nick’s goal,” Gilpin said. “We got the ball going and threw it in before they had a chance to set up, and that’s why Nick got an open look.”
Gilpin’s game-winner came with 8:46 left in the opening half.
Chasse gained control of the ball in the defensive end and fed it ahead to senior Jackson Gilmore. Gilmore spotted Gilpin along the right wing and delivered a lead pass that left Gilpin alone to direct a low shot to the right of the diving Clarke.
“He finds himself in the right place just about every time,” said Stevens. “That’s basically what it was. We had some success going down the right side and he got on the end of it and put it home. That’s what we want him to do.”