BRUNSWICK – Grace MacLean and Libby Huber scored first-half goals, and Bangor held off a second-half challenge by Brunswick to capture the Eastern Class A girls’ soccer championship with a 2-1 victory Wednesday.

The game was a rematch of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference final, which the defending state-champion Dragons won, 1-0.

“That game gave the girls the belief that they could play with (Brunswick),” Bangor Coach Joe Johnson said.

“We came in with a different mind-set,” said Huber, who scored her second goal of the year. “We felt we didn’t come out hard enough last time.”

The second-seeded Rams (15-0-2) had to weather some early pressure by the top-seeded Dragons (16-1), with Liz Hinz kicking out a header by Dakota Foster off Ali Walton’s corner less than two minutes into the game before goalie Mia Smith blocked a hard shot by Walton at the right post.

“I think we came out a little nervous,” Johnson said, “and Brunswick had some energy. But going in, we had said, ‘Let’s see if we can get the lead and see what happens when they play from behind.’“

That’s a situation the Dragons hadn’t faced all year, but in the final 15 minutes of the half Bangor began to dominate and took the lead with MacLean’s goal at 26:25.

Denae Johnson sent Kim Jordan in on net, and Brunswick keeper Lydia Caputi made a sliding save on Jordan’s bid. But MacLean collared the rebound and lifted it high into the net before Caputi could recover.

“It was a 50-50 ball at the top of the 18,” said MacLean. “There was no one there, so I went to it and put it up and in.”

Bangor continued to control play and Huber made it 2-0 following MacLean’s corner kick from the left.

Caputi punched the ball out of the crease, but Jordan redirected it on net. Defender Cassandra Murano blocked Jordan’s point-blank shot, but Huber was there for the rebound.

“Kim had it going in and I just finished it off,” said Huber, who was on the sideline for much of the second half with an ankle injury. “I’m so happy, I can’t keep from smiling.”

Walton nearly scored for the Dragons 15 minutes into the second half when her shot from the right side of the box deflected off a defender, but Smith came up with a diving save.

Walton then cut the margin to 2-1 with 17:34 remaining off a crossing pass from the right by Foster, pushing the ball with her upper body past Smith from in close.

Brunswick pressed for the equalizer in the final minutes. Smith knocked Morgan Libby’s bid over the net, Foster headed a shot just high and Libby hit the crossbar late, but the Rams held on to advance to the state final.

“It was a good game,” said Brunswick Coach Martyn Davison, “but it just wasn’t our day. Those last 15 minutes of the first half, we didn’t mark up as well as we needed, and good teams can take advantage of that.”