The Bangor High School girls soccer team at one point had a 16-game regular season winning streak that spanned last year and the first two games of this season.
But the Rams squandered a 2-0 lead in the second half against rival Camden Hills on Sept. 9 and wound up with a 2-2 tie and that triggered a five-game winless streak, one of the program’s worst in recent memory.
The Rams had four straight ties before losing to archrival Brewer 1-0, its first loss to the Witches since 1992, on Oct. 1.
Despite having all of their leading scorers back with the exception of All-Northern Maine striker Devon St. Louis, the Rams went 250 minutes and 18 seconds without scoring a goal in the midst of the streak.
Bangor has bounced back with three consecutive victories, including an impressive 2-1 win over Brewer on Monday night that would have been more lopsided if it weren’t for the stellar performance turned in by Brewer goalie Bella Tanis, who finished with 13 saves.
The Rams took a 5-1-4 record into a Tuesday game against Edward Little of Auburn and had climbed to third in the Class A North Heal Point standings behind Brunswick and Mt. Blue of Farmington.
Bangor head coach Andrew Varisco and his players feel they are primed to make a postseason run like the one they made a year ago to the Class A North finals, where they lost to Brunswick 2-1 in overtime.
Bangor and Brunswick played to a 2-2 tie last month.
“We have been working really hard in training to be fundamentally sound,” Varisco said. “We’re trying to make sure we are passing to feet, we’re staying connected, our spacing is good, we’re trusting each other and we aren’t trying to do too much individually but working as a collective group.”
Junior right wing Lily Chandler said the loss to Brewer was a wake-up call for the team.
“We know we are a very able team and we can take it all the way,” Chandler said. “That woke us up and we were ready to start winning again.”
Speedy All-Northern Maine senior left wing Anna Connors said they have been moving the ball around better of late thanks to more communication and good team chemistry. She added that Varisco has moved players to new positions.
One of those moves involved switching All-Northern Maine senior midfielder Emmie Streams to striker.
“She has a knack for goal scoring. Her aggressive play up top has gotten us going,” said sophomore attacking midfielder Teagan Atherley.
“Emmie is a smart player. She’s the point guard on the basketball team,” Varisco said. “She understands spacing, positioning, how to receive the ball and how to set up other people. She has facilitated a big chunk [of our offense].”
Varisco added that Athlerley’s return to the team after suffering a sprained ankle has been a big help as well.
With Atherley, junior attacking midfielder Olivia Scott and Streams in the middle and Connors and the resourceful Chandler on the flanks, the Rams appear to have solved their scoring issues.
Connors and Chandler served a number of crosses that produced scoring chances in the Brewer game.
Following the Edward Little game, the Rams will finish up the regular season with home games against Oxford Hills of South Paris (Thursday) and Hampden Academy (next Tuesday), which will sandwich a trip to Mt. Blue on Saturday morning.