BANGOR — It took 80 minutes of regulation time, about 21/2 minutes of overtime and a little help from the left post for top-ranked Bangor to win its fourth straight Eastern Class A girls’ soccer championship with a 2-1 victory against second-seeded Mt. Ararat.
Anna-Maria Dagher got the winner at 12:36 of overtime.
“I think it hit the inside of the left post, and just rolled across the line and behind the goalie,” said Dagher. “It was kind of lucky.”
Not so, said Bangor Coach Joe Johnson.
“Not with the hard work she’s put in. I hate to think a kid deserves something more than another kid but I haven’t been around someone who’s any more passionate about soccer than her, he said.”
Mt. Ararat Coach Sam Chard agreed Dagher’s goal was far from lucky.
“She took a nice shot. It hit the left post and went in,” he said. “Those things happen. It was a great game.”
This regional final lived up to its No. 1 versus No. 2 billing. Both the Rams and Eagles used their speed and considerable talent to move up and down the field for the first 20 minutes.
Bangor (16-1) scored first. Mary Butler took a throw-in, spun and made a perfect pass to the middle. Allie Boulier booted it past Mt. Ararat keeper Kate Guerin.
“I knew Mary was going to angle it. I made the run in and I just wanted to get a good foot on it,”said Boulier, who scored her 11th goal of the year.
It stayed 1-0 until 11:39 of the second half when Danielle Krause of Mt. Ararat put a great corner kick on net and it deflected in off a Bangor player.
The Eagles (14-3) had a couple of golden chances in the final minutes.
A Libby Ouellette direct kick went wide and another direct kick went over the net.
And then Bangor had the last great chance with just seven seconds left. Mary Butler made a steal about 35 yards out and took a straight-on shot that was saved by Guerin.
In overtime, Mt. Ararat’s only shot was a header by Ouellette that was stopped by Bangor goalie Emily Gilmore.
A minute later Dagher scored her 13th goal of the year and sent the Rams to another state final.
“It was just amazing; we all started crying. All the hard work paid off and now we’re going to the states,”said Dagher.
The Rams will meet Windham or Thornton Academy.
That Western Class A championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
“I knew (Mt. Ararat) would keep coming after us. They played a great second half. We had to dig deep,”said Johnson.
“I’m so proud of these kids, they’ve come a long way,” said Chard. “We’re so young. We’ll be back.”
The Eagles’ roster included five seniors and six freshmen that were starters.
Johnson said he didn’t really want to use the word dynasty when talking about four straight regional titles.
“I’m not sure I’d call it that but it’s sure a lot of fun being a part of it, I can sure tell you that,” he said.
Gilmore finished with six saves for Bangor. Guerin stopped five shots for Mt. Ararat.