Camden Hills High School reminded Bangor that just because its streak of four consecutive Class A state schoolgirl soccer championships came to an end with a semifinal loss to Brunswick last season, it is still a strong contender.
The Windjammers erased an 0-2 deficit with goals just 49 seconds apart midway through the second half to earn a 2-2 overtime tie at Cameron Stadium Friday night.
Bangor is now 2-0-1 while Camden Hills is 1-1-1.
It was an entertaining game between two teams that have met five times in the playoffs, with Camden Hills winning four of those matchups en route to its state titles.
Bangor snapped Camden Hills’ 71-game unbeaten streak with a 1-0 win in Rockport last season.
Senior back Hannah Christie and sophomore midfielder Leah Snyder erased first-half goals by Bangor senior forward Samantha Erb and sophomore midfielder Olivia Scott.
Christie cut the lead in half with 20:39 left off a nifty pass from Snyder.
Snyder had sprinted down the left wing and slid the pass across to the far post where Christie directed it inside the near post before Bangor goalkeeper Emma McNeil could scramble across.
Just 49 seconds later, Sydney Stone sent a long pass to the top of the penalty area and McNeil raced out to try to collect it or clear it out of danger.
But Snyder beat her to the ball.
“Sydney sent me a through ball and I caught onto it. I saw the goalie coming out and I kicked it in. I put it to her left,” Snyder said.
Erb had opened the scoring just seconds after entering the game. Lily Chandler picked up the assist.
Olivia Scott slid the ball across to Chandler, who crossed it from the left flank.
The ball hit a Camden Hills defender and dropped in front of Erb, who swept it home from 8 yards out.
Scott extended the lead with 18:06 left in the half.
A Callie Tennett tackle pried the ball free to Scott, who was 40 yards from goal in the middle of the field.
She launched a high shot that was perfectly placed and sailed into the top corner to Camden Hills goalkeeper Maddy Tohanczyn’s right.
Bangor had a decided edge in possession but Camden Hills was dangerous on the counter attack and defended well.
Snyder had a good chance in the second overtime as she was sent in down the left wing but McNeil made a nice diving save to preserve the tie.
McNeil finished with seven saves on 17 shots and Tohanczyn had seven on 19 shots.
“What a great match,” said Camden Hills coach Meredith Messer. “That was intense. That was good soccer. That was fun.”
Bangor coach Andrew Varisco said his team “did a lot of good things but there are areas we need to work on.“
Varisco wasn’t happy about giving up a 2-0 lead but gave credit to Camden Hills for the team’s comeback.
“It happens when you play a great team like Camden is. They’re well-schooled and well-organized. You blink for a moment and sometimes things like that can happen. It was a good game, though,” Varisco said.
Pivotal play: Christie’s goal turned the game around. Camden Hills put more pressure on Bangor in the second half and was creating chances but Bangor was also generating opportunities. Camden Hills needed a goal to gain some badly needed momentum and that provided it.
Big takeaway: It should come to no surprise to anyone if these two meet for the A North title. There are a host of other teams that could also be there, such as defending champ Brunswick and Mt. Blue of Farmington. But these are two deep, skillful teams that battle for every 50-50 ball and are used to winning.
Up next: Bangor travels to play Messalonskee in Oakland on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Camden Hills hosts Hampden Academy on Friday at 4 p.m.