Brewer’s Andrew Hodgins tries to keep control of the ball from Bangor's Beckett Parkin (left) and Josh Partal during their soccer game Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Brewer. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Junior midfielder Jed Gilpatrick made the best of a bouncing ball with 8:31 left in the second half to lift Brewer to a 2-1 schoolboy soccer victory over Bangor in a Class A North matchup at Brewer Community School.

The crossriver rivals had been locked in a 1-1 stalemate since midway through the first half until Gilpatrick and teammate Brady Saunders worked the ball forward amid a flurry of action in the middle of the field at the offensive end entering the contest’s later stages.

Gilpatrick finally grounded a shot from about 20 yards out that bounced over the outstretched left arm of Bangor goalie Trey Bourassa and just inside the right goalpost to give the Witches their first and final lead.

“It was just a cluster,” Gilpatrick said of the go-ahead goal. “Brady Saunders passed it over the middle and I hit it and it took a funny bounce and went in. The goalie was about to pick it up and it bounced about 2 feet in front of him and went right in.”

Brewer’s win avenges a 2-1 loss at Bangor a week earlier and improves the Witches’ record to 4-3-2. Bangor dips to 3-2-2.

“I think we played with a lot more passion than we did last week when we played them,” Brewer coach Ben Poland said. “The energy level for us last week wasn’t where you’d expect a Bangor-Brewer game to be, and after we lost we took a deep look at ourselves and how we wanted to play the rest of the year.”

From left: Bangor’s Seamus MacDonald and Brewer’s Andrew Hodgins battle for the ball; Brewer’s Colby Smith and Bangor’s Jacob Osmer battle for a header during their soccer game Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Brewer. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

Bangor finished with a 14-13 shots advantage, with Brewer goalie Grady Vanidestine making five saves and Bourassa stopping four attempts.

“We were playing with them,” Gilpatrick said. “It was pretty close but we came out on top.”

Bangor needed less than two minutes of playing team to score the first goal of the match, with freshman Josh Partal accepting a pass from deep along the right wing in the middle of the penalty area and quickly blasted the ball past Vanidestine to give the Rams a 1-0 lead with still 38:08 left in the opening half.

Brewer sophomore Braden Carr scored off an assist from senior captain Ben Lord 18 minutes later to tie the match, then the Witches controlled play for the rest of the half thanks in great part to some inspired play by junior midfielder Andrew Hodgins.

Play was even for much of the second half, with Brewer’s size on the defensive end at times neutralizing Bangor’s front-line speed and the Rams able to match the Witches’ defensive effort at the other end.

 “After we scored we really pressed forward a lot, and in the second half we were creating opportunities,” Poland said. “We’re still a team trying to find its way in the final third because we don’t have that All-American goal scorer running free.

“With the open tournament this year we just want to be playing our best at the end, and we’re getting there.”

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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...