Hampden Academy midfielder Callie Moran, a junior, and Bangor High senior Genevieve Sychterz play in a Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, field hockey game. Credit: Seth Poplaski

It was a Saturday morning field hockey battle between local rivals featuring first-year coaches.

And it was Bangor High School’s Jay Kemble, in his first year coaching field hockey, who earned his first win as the Rams beat Edythe Dyer’s Hampden Academy Broncos 3-0 at Cameron Stadium.

Dyer was a first-year coach at Bangor last year before moving on to Hampden Academy.

Bangor senior forward Evelyn Humbert scored a pair of goals and junior forward-midfielder Chase Smith had the other as the Rams rebounded from a season opening 11-0 loss to powerhouse Skowhegan, which has won 20 consecutive Class A North titles and 16 state championships during that span.

The Rams dominated play with the exception of a couple of Hampden Academy spurts including an impressive stretch early in the second half.

Hampden Academy junior goalie Jada Bilodeau kept the game close with a sensational performance as she made 22 saves on 32 shot attempts.

Bangor junior goalie Lydia Lynch made 10 saves on 14 shots including several gems during a five-shot flurry by the Broncos in the opening five minutes of the second half.

“It feels great,” said Kemble, the former University of Maine relief pitcher from Farmington who also coaches the Bangor High girls basketball team.

Bangor High Senior Nora Morasco and a Hampden Academy player are shown in this Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, photo from a field hockey game. Credit: Seth Poplaski

“I’m happy for the girls. Any time you play a team like Skowhegan with such a great tradition, so many quality players and so much depth, you take away something from it. The girls learned about spacing and stepping, about the physicality of the game and how relentless you have to be to get those 50-50 balls,” said Kemble.

The players felt the improvement too.

“We played strong. We held up the entire game,” said Bangor standout senior center back Nora Marasco. “Coming back from our game at Skowhegan, we were fighting really hard.”

Dyer was pleased with her team’s effort.

“Everybody had a great game. It was a great matchup. One team come out a little hungrier and that’s all right,” Dyer said.

Humbert scored when she found the back of the cage with 1:24 left in the first quarter.

Genevieve Sychterz took a shot from the top of the circle that was kicked out by Bilodeau.

“I knew I could get the rebound and then I saw the [far] corner. I was like ‘Okay, I’ll shoot for this. If it doesn’t go in, that’s okay. But if I [put it there], we get a goal,” said Humbert.

Bangor took that lead into the intermission after outshooting Hampden Academy 11-1 in the first half.

Humbert’s second goal came with 9:43 left in the third period with Anika Noack assisting.

“Anika got ahold of the ball and shot it in,” said Humbert. “I was right near the pads of the goalie. I could hear her breathing. I was angled so my leg was at her knees. It was kind of perpendicular. I got a hold of the ball and swept it in.”

Smith sewed up the win by scoring during a scramble in front five minutes later.

Noack and Rylee Junkins picked up assists in the win.

Bangor High senior Genevieve Sychterz and Hampden Academy junior Morgan Robinson clash in a Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, field hockey game while another Hampden Academy player looks on. Credit: Seth Poplaski / BDN

Pivotal play: Humbert’s second goal gave the Rams some needed breathing room. Hampden Academy had its best spell of the game over the opening five minutes of the second half and was threatening to get the equalizer. The Rams quickly regained control of the game and that led to Smith’s insurance goal.

Takeways: The Rams have a bunch of talented attack-minded players in Noack, Junkins, Humbert, Sychterz, Smith and Sadie D’Alessio and Marasco is a very athletic and game-changing center back when she is on the field. But asthma limits her playing time as she constantly shuffles in and out. Rowan Osmer is another top-notch defender.

Hampden Academy also has some impressive players like junior forward Lilly Dewildt and senior midfielder Corina Arimond and they may have KVAC North’s best goaltender in Bilodeau.

What’s next: Bangor takes on John Bapst on Tuesday at 4 while 0-2 Hampden Academy hosts Edward Little of Auburn, also Tuesady at 4.