Bangor Rams before their soccer game against Brewer Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Brewer. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Jack Banks is one of several Brunswick High School boys soccer players who has spent much of the season sidelined by injury.

But he’s back now, and late Tuesday afternoon the senior captain and midfielder made a big difference as the fifth-seeded Dragons defeated No. 4 Bangor 4-0 in a Class A North quarterfinal at Cameron Stadium.

Banks, playing in just his second game after missing the Dragons’ final 12 regular-season contests due to a quadriceps injury, scored one goal and assisted on a second as Brunswick built a 3-0 halftime lead.

He then set the stage for the lone goal of the second half with a shot off the crossbar that led to teammate Luke Patterson scoring off the rebound with 1:34 remaining.

“I thought [Banks] was gone for the year,” Brunswick coach Mark Roma said. “The work that kid has put in with the training staff … it’s still a marvel to see him out there. I get scared every time he goes into a tackle.”

Brunswick, which also defeated Bangor 2-0 in their lone regular-season meeting on Sept. 21 at Bangor High School, improved its record to 12-3-1 and will visit top-ranked Lewiston in the semifinals. The Blue Devils defeated No. 8 Messalonskee of Oakland 7-0 in its quarterfinal Tuesday.

Bangor finishes at 9-4-2.

“One of the hardest things to do is finish, and I thought we made it too easy for them in the first half,” said Bangor coach Don Erb, whose team will graduate just five seniors. “You can’t give a team three goals in a half and expect to come back.”

Brunswick played with the wind at its back during the first half, and while Bangor possessed the ball well for much of the opening 40 minutes the Dragons converted on its more dangerous chances.

Brunswick broke on top 9:01 into the contest off a corner kick after Bangor goalie Trey Bourassa jumped to tip a threatening 35-yard direct kick Banks over the crossbar.

Banks lined the ensuing corner kick from the right side into the far side of the penalty area where Iain Clendening headed it back into the net.

“I’ve played with Iain Clendening my whole life and I know where he’s going to be on the field so I just looked for him on the corner,” Banks said.

Gus Silverman made it 2-0 nearly 12 minutes later, one-timing a cross from deep on the left wing by Mateus Nascimento into the center of the net.

The Brunswick lead grew to three goals with 8:58 left in the half.

Banks gained possession in the offensive end of the field after a short clearing kick into the wind by Bourassa.

Banks attempted to advance the ball to a teammate but it went toward Bourassa as he raced out from the goal crease to gain possession. Banks got to the ball just before Bourassa could gain control, tipped it past him and then scored into the open net.

Bangor, which was outshot just 9-8 during the first half, had its best scoring chance of the match with 3:45 left in the period.

Freshman Josh Partal did some nice controlling work deep in the left corner, then dribbled briefly along the end line before passing the ball ahead to teammate Noah Varisco. Varisco then passed the ball to Eli Herzog in the goal crease, but Herzog’s 6-yard bid went over the crossbar.

Brunswick finished the match with a 15-12 shot advantage. Dragons’ goalie Brady LaForge made five saves to preserve the shutout while Bourassa had six stops for Bangor.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...