Bangor’s Eliza Jansujwicz gets a foot on the ball ahead of Lewiston’s Sara Robert (14) and Kajha Gagnon during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.
LEWISTON — The early returns on Bangor’s new crop of players were positive, to say the least.
The Rams got two goals from freshmen and two more from a rising sophomore to put away host Lewiston, 5-0, in a KVAC Class A North girls’ soccer season opener at Drouin Field on Saturday.
Bangor (1-0) had to fend off an initial surge from the Blue Devils (0-1). Junior goalie Alexis LeBreton made a point-blank save of Maddy Foster’s try just five minutes in, and the Rams’ defense was then tasked with clearing away a corner kick.
“In soccer, it doesn’t really matter who’s playing well. It’s when the ball goes in, and momentum,” Bangor coach Joe Johnson said. “You can see some weird things change soccer games. Any time you keep it out of the net and don’t give up goals you’re a lot better off than trying to fight back into something.”
After that, the Rams started to push back. Bangor’s first corner kick eight minutes in went into the box, making for a tense few seconds for the Blue Devils’ back line. A solid shot by Rowan Andrews three minutes later barely went over the crossbar.
Bangor finally struck just under 18 minutes in, with some help from the opponent. Maddie Cormier’s strike from the right side went off a Lewiston defender and up and over goalie Gemma Landry.
The Rams kept the momentum going, with freshman Sophia Mullins putting a shot past Landry from the left side two minutes later.
The Blue Devils had another surge just before the end of the half, but couldn’t make the most of two late corner kicks.
“We knew we were going to have a tough time scoring. That’s been something we’ve been working on,” Lewiston coach Brant Remington. “We had a few chances, but we’re just a couple steps away.”
Lewiston kept momentum to start the second half. LeBreton had to recover and make a diving save five minutes in after Taylor Chamberlain beat her to a loose ball in the box.
“She’s worked really, really hard to step up to be the goalie she is,” Johnson said. “It’s nice to see a kid work that hard and have things come full-circle for them.”
Remington did all he could to get his team back into the game early in the second half.
“At half I told them we got to take a chance. We added another forward,” Remington said. “Trouble is if you add another forward then you sacrifice something in the back a little bit. And they did a good job. They held them for a while there, we had a couple chances.”
Eliza Jansujwicz then started pounding the nail in the Blue Devils’ coffin. The sophomore converted on a cross from Maddie Symonds in the 14th minute of the second half. She later added a goal that was assisted by freshman Riley Andrews with less than three minutes to go.
“She (has a nose for the goal) now,” Johnson said, “and she’s getting more and more of it with the experience and just feeling more comfortable with her teammates. Her teammates are starting to realize where she’s getting open and where we can find her.”
Andrews found herself on the receiving end of an assist with 59 seconds left, with Cormier giving her the feed.
“Our young kids can play, and we got enough older kids with the experience I think we’ll settle in nicely once we get comfortable with each other,” Johnson said.
The Blue Devils had a youngster of their own stand out in her first varsity game. Landry, just a freshman, made 13 saves on 18 shots. Remington said Landry did “super.”
“She’s one that’s going to get really down on herself. She wants the best every time,” Remington said. “But she’s tough. I’m really pleased with her. I can’t wait to see her keep growing as a keeper.”
Bangor’s Maddie Cormier possesses the ball away from Lewiston’s Sydney Roy during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.Bangor’s Rowan Andrews holds off Lewiston’s Kelsie Lynch during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.Lewiston’s Kelsie Lynch boots the ball ahead of Bangor’s Meg Putnam during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.Lewiston’s Kallie May beats Bangor’s Eliza Jansujwicz for possession of the ball during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.Bangor’s McKenzie Lambert (20) and Lewiston’s Christine Chasse look on as Bangor goalie Alexis LeBreton dives for a save attempt during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.Lewiston freshman goalie Gemma Landry makes one of her 13 saves during a 5-0 loss to Bangor in Lewiston on Saturday.
Bangor’s Eliza Jansujwicz, in front, and Lewiston’s Kelsie Lynch make contact fighting for the ball during the Rams’ 5-0 win in Lewiston on Saturday.