Ninth seed Hampden Academy avenged a pair of regular-season losses with an impressive performance Friday night that resulted in a 2-0 Class A North boys soccer prelim victory over No. 8 Bangor at Bangor High School.
The Rams beat the Broncos 2-1 on Tuesday.
Hampden Academy (6-8-1) received a late first-half goal from Kenny Penney and an early second-half tally from Japanese exchange student Tetsushi Okada to earn a berth in next week’s quarterfinals against top seed Lewiston (12-1-1).
The Broncos seemed a step quicker all night long and limited the Rams to just four shot attempts in the game. Senior goalkeeper Colby Small was only forced to make one save.
Senior goalie Austin Conway finished with five saves on 15 shot attempts for 5-7-3 Bangor.
The Broncos had a decided edge in possession in the first half but could not parlay that into a goal until three minutes remained.
Wade Brown’s corner kick found the 5-foot-4 Penney 8 yards out and Penney’s authoritative header glanced off the underside of the crossbar and dropped down behind Conway before finding its way into the net during a wild scramble.
“Their defender slipped. He tried to make the right play, but the field was muddy,” Penney said. “So I managed to get my head on the ball.”
Gavin Partridge nearly added to the lead with 15 seconds to go, but Conway dove to his right to get his hands on Partridge’s 24-yard free kick and the ball was pushed away from the onrushing Hampden attackers.
Conway’s save was the only one made by either goalie in the first half.
Hampden Academy spent much more time in the attacking third than the Rams, but the Broncos missed the net six times.
Bangor managed just two shot attempts. One went wide and was blocked.
Bangor did generate some pressure in the waning minutes of the half and Small had to scamper off his line to smother a pass before Bangor’s Andrew Munroe could reach it.
HA’s Collin Scobie prevented a potential goal midway through the first half by knocking down a shot by Bangor’s Munroe with a wide open net available. Small had been trapped way out of his net due to a series of misadventures originating with a backward pass to Small.
Scobie was assessed a foul and a yellow card.
Okada extended the lead four minutes into the second half, only a minute after Small made his only save of the game, a diving stop off Garrett Courtney’s one-time shot from 10 yards out.
Okada took the ball down the left flank but used his quickness to dart across the top of the penalty area before launching a powerful and well-placed shot past the outstretched arms of Conway into the upper corner.
“We had time to reflect on our last game against them, and we committed ourselves to playing Hampden Academy soccer: Control side to side, keeping possession and being diligent,” Hampden Academy coach Paul Wellman said. “We got caught up in the moment in the last game and were very direct, and that didn’t suit us very well.”
“We really brought it this game,” Penney said. “One of our main focuses was winning all the 50-50 balls and not let them get free for breakaways.”
“They did a real good job keeping their back line in shape,” said Bangor senior midfielder-striker Damien Sheffer, one of the Ram captains. “The last game, we had a lot easier time getting behind them. And their midfielders played real well. They controlled the midfield.”