Bangor and Brewer performed an action-packed common season finale on Tuesday, with the Witches outlasting a second-half Ram comeback to win it 4-3 at residence.
Having been mathematically eradicated from Class A North playoff rivalry final week, the 3-9-1 Rams have been enjoying for delight, whereas the Witches have been nonetheless on the bubble at 4-7-2 and wanted a win to cement their spot within the playoffs.
Brewer demonstrated this urgency by getting on the board in solely the second minute, with junior midfielder Andrew Clark shortly smacking in a cross in entrance of objective to make it 1-0.
“It simply occurred,” Clark mentioned. “It at all times feels good to attain on our rivals.”
9 minutes later, Bangor’s Zach Shaw returned the favor by scoring his first of two objectives. Chasing after a by means of move up the center, the junior beat Brewer’s sweeper to the ball, in the reduction of, and unleashed a stupendous curling shot along with his left foot from roughly 20 yards out.
It was one among many objectives scored on Tuesday off of upfield passes in transition.
Brewer responded with two such objectives within the twenty third and thirtieth minutes, from junior ahead Cade McKenney and senior ahead Braden Carr.
“So long as we are able to transfer the ball from one facet to the opposite, then we are able to go far these playoffs,” Carr mentioned.
Racing with an upfield move, Carr dribbled the ball all the way in which towards the endline, shortly made his transfer, and at near full velocity managed to poke the ball previous the Bangor keeper on a very robust angle.
With 4 objectives complete scored within the first half, it appeared like there was no method the second half might be almost as thrilling — till it was.
At across the fiftieth minute, the primary of many extra distinctive performs occurred, when Brewer earned an oblique free kick inside Bangor’s penalty field as a result of goalkeeper Graeme O’Neal mishandled a move.
A miscommunication between seniors Josh Schnieder and Braden Carr on the set piece prompted Brewer to lose management of the ball, which Bangor was completely happy to kick out of bounds. However on the following nook, Brewer junior defender Ryan Edgecomb flew into the field and buried a bouncing ball with a flying kick.
It was Edgecomb’s first ever varsity objective, and he celebrated by leaping into the air and yelling triumphantly.
“We had this joke going that I’m a middle defensive striker,” Edgecomb mentioned. “Everytime you rating towards Bangor it feels nice.”
However lower than 90 seconds later, Zach Shaw was again at it, slicing Brewer’s result in 4-2 and shifting the momentum again to Bangor.
The Rams continued to knock on the door for the subsequent half hour, forcing Brewer senior defender Cayen Philbrick to move away a shot proper on the Witches’ objective line, and later making it 4-3 within the 78th minute on a objective from senior midfielder Jack Earl.
Brewer senior goalkeeper Grady Vanedistine dangerously pounded away a blocked shot towards the center, proper the place Earl was ready for a rebound. Like Edgecomb, it was Earl’s first ever varsity objective.
“Down 3-1 at half, that was slightly discouraging,” Earl mentioned. “I’m glad we bought it collectively within the second half and made it an in depth sport.”
The ultimate two minutes of play have been a frenzy of motion, culminating in a Bangor set piece from midfield. The Rams even introduced goalkeeper Graeme O’Neal out of web, and in a last-ditch effort to attain, lofted a ball into the Brewer penalty field with 24 seconds left.
Sadly for Bangor, the Witches have been in a position to kick the ball out of bounds a pair occasions, and celebrated because the eightieth minute lastly ended.
“It was so enjoyable to be on the market the previous few minutes,” Bangor senior defender Cooper Thibodeau mentioned. “I’m glad my final sport as a senior was towards Brewer.”
Bangor and Brewer beforehand drew 1-1 on Sept. 12, with objectives scored by Carr and Bangor winger Jasper Sparks. Final 12 months, Brewer additionally beat Bangor as soon as, and drew Bangor as soon as.
With Tuesday’s win, Brewer will play reigning champs 8-4-1 Brunswick within the first spherical of the Class A North playoffs. The Witches are the No. 6 seed, and the Dragons are the No. 3 seed, behind No. 1 Lewiston and No. 2 Camden Hills.
Brewer beforehand drew Brunswick 2-2 away this season.
“Brewer generally is a darkish horse within the playoffs, I believe,” Earl mentioned. “They’ve plenty of good goalscorers up prime, and their keeper’s an incredible participant.”