BANGOR, Maine — Bangor High School’s nine-match boys soccer winning streak is no statistical oddity — it merely reflects the Rams’ play of late as evidenced by Tuesday evening’s 7-0 Class A victory over Hampden Academy.
Junior forward Garth Berenyi had two goals and three assists and senior midfielder Carson Atherley also scored two goals as Bangor improved its record to 11-1 with two games remaining in its regular season.
“I think we’re playing a lot better right now,” said Atherley, who will play at Division I Brown University next fall. “A little of it is lineup changes, but overall I just think we’re starting to click. The guys are all playing well together, and the chemistry is improving.”
The primary lineup change for the Rams has shifted Garth Berenyi from midfield to the offensive front, where he has produced five goals in the last two matches alone — including three goals in Bangor’s 3-1 showdown victory last Friday at Mt. Ararat of Topsham.
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Mt. Ararat (10-2) had won nine-consecutive matches until being subdued by the Rams.
“We have really come together well as a team,” said first-year Bangor head coach Garth Berenyi, the father of Bangor twins Garth and Jacob Berenyi. “The guys are hungry, they’re training hard and playing hard, and they know they can play well against the really good teams. They know success is ours if we do what we need to do.”
Bangor’s offense was its primary defense against Hampden, which is 4-8 and battling for one of the final playoff berths in Class A North.
The Broncos were unable to generate a shot on Bangor goalie George Payne, in large part because they spent the majority of the match attempting to cope with the Rams’ crisp passing that led to numerous offensive flurries.
Bangor, whose lone loss came in a 1-0 decision to Edward Little of Auburn on Sept. 10 while Atherley was away on a college visit, took a 1-0 lead barely three minutes into the match when Atherley finished off a feed from Garth Berenyi at close range.
Colin Waterman made it 2-0 three minutes later off a long lead pass from Garth Berenyi, then Garth Berenyi scored his first goal of the match on a pass from Jacob Berenyi with 16 minutes left before intermission.
Senior Onyekachukwu Eyimegwu, who joined Bangor’s starting lineup at midfield when Garth Berenyi was shifted to forward, scored on a rebound with 13 minutes left to give Bangor a 4-0 halftime lead.
“That was a big change in our lineup that’s really helped us,” said Atherley. “We needed more of a target up front that we could play to, and Garth has played fantastic there, and that also gave us a chance to bring in Onyeka to give us even more size in the midfield.”
The slickest goal of the night came 11 minutes into the second half when Garth Berenyi used a heel flick to re-direct the ball toward the left endline to Waterman, whose crossing path led to an Atherley one-timer into the back of the net.
Garth Berenyi scored again with 23:17 remaining on an assist from Alec Jansujwicz before Kyle Jeffrey scored Bangor’s final goal off a pass from David Miller.
Bangor is scheduled to host 2-10 Skowhegan on Friday before playing for what could be home-field advantage throughout the Class A North playoffs in its regular-season finale next Monday at once-beaten Lewiston — the reigning state champion.
“We’re excited for Lewiston, for sure,” said Garth Berenyi. “We’ve been ready for that one all year.”