Bangor Rams’ keeper Emily Gilmore kept her team in the Class A Girls’ soccer State Championship vs. the Gorham Rams with several spectacular saves, tallying seven first half saves to keep the game scoreless.
After Gilmore did her part, Bangor’s offense finally chipped in, netting two goals midway through the second half and the Rams toppled Gorham 2-0 to win the state title.
Megan Conner scored the first goal on a penalty kick at 18:20 in the second half, and Grace Morris added insurance on a spectacular header at 26:51 to propel Bangor to victory.
Gorham entered the game seeded third in the Class A South Division and immediately pressured Bangor, ranked second in the Class A North Division.
Using an offense including senior Lizzie Sullivan and freshman Emma Forgues, Gorham came up with several quality opportunities. Forgues had a shot go high from about 12 yards out. Minutes later, midfielder Narissa Libby sent a shot from 35 yards out, forcing Gilmore to elevate to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Gorham keeper Nicole Couillard made just one save in the first half off a set piece shot from Bangor defender Maeve Harrigan. Harrigan also came up with a critical goal-line stop in the first half when a Gorham corner kick went off of Gilmore’s fingers and into the middle. Sullivan blasted what looked like a sure goal but Harrigan was there to block the blistering shot.
The half ended with the score 0-0 and when the second half started, Bangor was able to null more of Gorham’s chances, eventually garnering their own opportunity. After Maddison Cormier was taken down in the 18-yard box, Conner converted the penalty kick, placing the shot just inside the right post for a 1-0 lead.
Gorham turned the pressure up a notch and forced Gilmore to make several big saves before Morris added insurance. Harrigan sent in a free kick from just over forty yards out and Morris won a contested header, deflecting the ball under the crossbar for a 2-0 lead.
Gorham (14-4) continued to pressure but Gilmore continued to come up big, saving two spectacular opportunities. On one, Gilmore elevated once more to tip a sure goal over the crossbar and, on another opportunity, she saved a point-blank header off a corner kick.
Slowly, Gorham’s attack subsided and there was nothing left but to count the final ticks of the clock.
Bangor received excellent defensive play from Harrigan, Katie Butler. Morris, Conner, Cormier, and Luci Clein led the offensive attack for Bangor who managed a mere four shots on net, including the penalty kick.
Bangor (15-1-4) celebrates their first state title since 2011 and a win in a rematch of 2005’s state title game.