BREWER – After controlling play in the early going and taking a 1–0 lead over arch-rival Brewer on a goal from sophomore striker Clara Oldenburg, the Bangor High School soccer team suddenly found itself in a 1-1 tie after speedy Lauren Vanidestine scored on a breakaway off a Kathleen Brydges through ball.
But the undefeated Rams answered with three goals over the final 11:57 of the first half to earn a 5-1 Class A victory on Tuesday and improve to 4-0 on the young season.
Brewer is now 0-3.
Junior striker Azylynn Gifford snapped the 1-1 tie with 11:57 remaining in the first half before University of Maine-bound senior midfielder Olivia Scott scored at the 11:12 and 3:38 marks.
Junior midfielder Teagan Atherley added a second-half goal.
“After they had scored, when we scored after that it gave us more momentum and we used that and kept going,” said Scott. “When they scored, it motivated us to work harder.”
Gifford scored the game-winner off a cross from Lily Chander as she was able to race to the ball and tap it around Brewer goalie Gabby Chasse from six yards out.
“The goalie was coming out a little bit. I barely touched it,” said Gifford.
Scott then netted her two to give the Rams some valuable breathing room.
“There were a lot of good, short build-up passes on both of my goals,” said Scott. “We did a good job moving the ball around in the box to set up for the shot.”
Scott’s first goal came off an Atherley feed as her shot deflected in off the post.
On her next one, Mallory Tritt laid the ball off to her at the top of the penalty area.
Scott angled her shot perfectly inside the far post into the upper corner.
Atherley made it 5-1 in the second half with a perseverance goal as she fought through a couple of physical challenges, kept her balance and fired the ball past Chasse from 11 yards out.
“The girls came out and played hard,” said Bangor coach Jay Kemble. “They were aggressive, they took away Brewer’s space and did what they needed to do to be successful.”
Oldenburg had opened the scoring with a well-placed 16-yard shot into the far corner.
Vanidestine equalized off Brydges’ pass as she broke away from the Bangor defense and tucked a 14-yard shot into the near side corner.
It was Brewer’s first goal of the season.
The youthful Witches worked hard, but the Rams won most of the 50-50 balls and forced a number of turnovers with their tenacity and physicality.
“Credit to Bangor, they ramped it up (after we scored),” said Brewer coach Phil Turmelle. “We have to be mentally ready for that. We need to grow and develop mental toughness so we’re able to respond to that.”
Junior goalie Eva Coombs finished with five saves on seven Brewer shot attempts while sophomore Chasse wound up with 11 saves on 29 Ram shots.
The Bangor defense, featuring seniors Mimi Quinn and Izzy Ireland, junior J.J. Williams, sophomore Avery Clark and freshman Jo Jo Clukey, did an excellent job marking the Brewer forwards and midfielders.
“Our defense is really starting to jell,” said Kemble.
Brewer will play on Wednesday in Ellsworth against the Class B Eagles beginning at 6, while Bangor will host in-town rival John Bapst on Thursday at 6:30.
The Crusaders are also a Class B team.