July 25, 2021

Hartley nets game-winner for Bangor Rams blank Cougars 1-0

BANGOR – This time, it was a bit easier for Casey Hartley.

Six days after scoring the game-winning goal in a make-or-break matchup against Waterville, the Bangor girls soccer junior forward netted another game-winner.

Hartley’s goal, which came off a crossing pass from Catherine LeClair, was the difference as the undefeated Rams earned a 1-0 victory over Mt. Blue of Farmington Tuesday evening at the high school field.

It was the 12th straight win this year for coach Larry Smith’s Bangor squad, which is now sitting second in the Eastern Maine Class A Heal point standings released earlier in the day. The jump came after Thursday’s 1-0 win over the Panthers, who were undefeated heading into the game.

Mt. Blue, now 5-4-3, was eighth before the game.

Hartley’s goal started with LeClair, who had the ball on the right wing. LeClair passed it over to Hartley at the near post.

All Hartley had to do was settle the ball and tap it in past Cougar goalie Caitlin Scott.

Hartley said she was the benefit of a good bounce.

“The only reason it really got by [a Mt. Blue player] was because it bounced off her hip,” Hartley said. “I was right there and it went right to my feet. It wasn’t like I had to try [to reach] for it.”

Hartley’s winner against Waterville came with less than three minutes left in regulation.

Although Mt. Blue managed just one shot on goal, the Cougars dominated at times. They won enough balls in the midfield to direct the flow of play and move deep into Bangor’s defense.

“They did take us kind of off-guard with [winning 50-50 balls],” Bangor senior midfielder Erin MacDermott said. “They would wait and try and step in front of us really quick… It’s a risky step that teams take to leap out in front of somebody and they were good at it. You could see they had practiced it.”

In fact, Mt. Blue coach Dave Ronald has emphasized that this year and was pleased with his team’s execution Tuesday.

“One of the things we’ve focused on since Day 1 of the season is, first to the ball, first to the ball,” he said. “When we do that, good things happen.”

Ava Amador recorded the Mt. Blue shot, kicking a ball wide of the left post about 81/2 minutes into the game.

Bangor goalie Tawnya Godinez didn’t have to make any saves in her eighth shutout, but she did have to come out to disrupt some of the Cougars’ runs. She picked up a ball late in the game and then booted it away to tick off some seconds from the clock.

“I was just focusing on trying to get the ball to punt it away,” Godinez said. “They were coming on strong.”

Scott made eight saves.

Bangor was without standout forward Amy Hackett, who sat out the game to rest a nagging knee injury as playoffs loom. She will likely be back for Saturday’s game against rival Hampden.

Bangor won the junior varsity game 3-0.

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