The Bangor High School field hockey team cheers on their teammates in a game against Hampden Academy at Cameron Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Credit: Seth Poplaski / BDN

The Bangor-Old Town field hockey game was a defensive battle with few good scoring chances on a rainy night at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.

It was no surprise the game was scoreless after regulation time but Bangor senior midfielder Anika Noack decided it with 4:27 left in the first eight-minute sudden-death overtime.

Gigi Sychterz assisted on the game-winner as Class A Bangor improved to 5-3 while defending Class B North champ Old Town fell to 4-2.

Bangor already has one more win than last season when the Rams finished at 4-10.

Bangor had nearly won it with a minute and half left in regulation with a perfectly executed passing sequence off a penalty corner.

Rylee Junkins inserted it to Sadie D’Alessio, who slid it across to the right to Noack. Noack passed it back across the grain to the open Junkins but her shot went wide to the short side.

Old Town goalie Amara Francis made four saves on 10 shot attempts while Bangor’s Lydia Lynch made two on seven.

Neither goalie had to make a save in the first half.

Old Town dominated possession and won most of the 50-50 balls but couldn’t transform that advantage into scoring chances.

Old Town generated the only four penalty corners of the half but couldn’t convert as Bangor did an impressive job defending them.  

Old Town finished with an 8-4 edge in penalty corners over the course of the game.

“We have done a great job defending penalty corners all year. Our kids are real quick,” said Bangor coach Jay Kemble, whose penalty corner defensive unit includes Noack, Lauren Small D’Alessio and Nora Marasco.

Old Town coach Courtney Lanham said “we did a real good job moving the ball up the field but we couldn’t find the cage.”

Dynamic Old Town midfielder Grace Willey was a constant threat with her speed and skill, making several dangerous runs down the flank throughout the contest.

“We did a good job controlling [the game] in the first half but they have a really good defense and they did a really good job,” Willey said.

Bangor played much better in the second half and began creating chances, including a series of them off their third penalty corner only to be thwarted by Francis.

“We came out with energy in the second half and generated more offense,” said Bangor back Marasco, who was omnipresent and continuously broke up Old Town attacks.

Pivotal play: Bangor had carried the play in overtime, which consists of seven-on-seven as four players are removed from the field for each team.

“Gigi passed the ball down to me and then I took it over to the side,” Noack said. “I didn’t think it was going to go in but I thought I would just take a shot. I was kind of far down in the corner so I thought I would shoot it up but it ended up just going in.”

Her 8-yard shot slipped inside the far corner of the cage.

Noack called it one of the biggest thrills of her career.

Big takeaway: These two teams have a bunch of tenacious players who swarm the ball and make it difficult for the opponent to generate offense. Even the forwards will come back to help out defensively and that can lead to offensive chances off transition when they force a turnover.

Up next: Bangor visits Hampden Academy on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. while Old Town hosts Orono Friday at 4 p.m.