BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School boys soccer team accomplished two feats on Tuesday night.
Not only did the Rams become the first team to beat visiting Camden Hills High School of Rockport this season, they were the first one to score on the Windjammers.
Junior midfielder Garth Berenyi’s goal with 2:55 left in the first half and senior midfielder Carson Atherley’s second-half goal gave the Rams a hard-fought 2-0 triumph in a battle of highly skilled Class A rivals.
Both teams are now 5-1.
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Camden Hills had outscored its five previous opponents 23-0.
“We played real well. It was a scrappy game. We had to grind it out,” said Atherley, who was a tower of strength in the midfield, winning balls consistently and triggering attacks by threading passes to his teammates.
He headed a number of Windjammer corner kicks out of danger.
Berenyi complemented him nicely with his speed and ball skills.
Scoring chances were few in the first half but the Windjammers had a golden opportunity to open the scoring just three minutes into the game when a weak Ram header back to goalie George Payne wound up on the foot of Windjammer striker Kieran Lydon.
Lydon alertly chipped it with his right foot past the onrushing Payne but the ball carried just wide of the far post.
The Windjammers had a slight edge in possession in the first half with their quick passing game but it was the Rams who broke through when Berenyi raced on to brother Jacob’s lofted pass and outmuscled a defender before directing the ball into the far corner with his left foot from 12 yards out.
“It was a flick over the top and I was kind of level with their guy,” explained Berenyi. “I gave him a little bump and it created a little gap just enough so I could tuck it home. I was kind of off-balance, I saw the goalie (Lucas Boetsch) step up and I slid it back post.”
Bangor had the better of the play in the second half and Atherley scored a pretty insurance goal after Boetsch was hurried into a clearance that Bangor’s Marshall Merriam was able to get his foot on 25 yards from goal.
The ball squirted to Atherley, who worked a give-and-go with Garth Berenyi.
Atherley fought his way into the penalty area, back-heeled a pass to himself and blasted a 10-yarder over Boetsch’s outstretched hands.
“It was a great through ball and I got kind of lucky because of the way it popped right up to me,” said Atherley, who will play his college soccer at Brown University in Providence next fall. “I took a touch back through a defender and I put it top left.”
Atherley thought Camden Hills had an edge in play in the first half “but we took the game (over) in the second half.”
“There wasn’t a real flow because the game was back and forth but our effort and attitude was the best it has been all season,” said Atherley.
“We played a real good, all-round game. We really came to play today,” said Garth Berenyi.
The desperate Windjammers generated some good chances late in the game as they tried to cut into the two-goal deficit but Andy Gross’ well-struck half-volley from just beyond the penalty area grazed the crossbar and Payne darted off his line to kick out Havana Lyman’s nine-yarder when the ball pinballed to him off a corner kick.
“They wanted it a little more than we did,” said Camden Hills coach Ryan Hurley. “We didn’t cash in on a couple of opportunities early. They outplayed us today. We worked hard the whole game and that’s all you can ask for.”
Payne finished with two saves on seven shots while Boetsch made five on 13 Bangor shots.
Both teams did a thorough job defensively.
JV: Camden Hills 7-2