BANGOR – The John Bapst girls soccer team is in a fight for its playoff life. Bucksport would prefer not to see the Crusaders make the postseason.
The Golden Bucks did their part Wednesday afternoon to hold back the talented but injury-plagued Crusaders.
Lindsey Gordon scored two goals and Keely Sullivan had two assists as Bucksport earned a 3-0 victory at the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center field.
Katie Hurd saved a penalty kick to preserve the shutout and Emily Lenor added her second goal in as many games as the Golden Bucks moved to 8-1-2.
The Crusaders fall to 4-5-1. They were 12th in Tuesday’s Heal Point standings – only the top 10 Eastern Maine Class B teams advance – which puts on the pressure for their final four games against Caribou, Foxcroft, Hermon and a rematch against Bucksport next week.
“We need as many victories as possible,” Bapst coach Ken Wood said. “The injuries haven’t allowed us to become a cohesive unit. Every day it’s somebody else out. We’ll see what happens.”
The Golden Bucks were aware of the Crusaders’ precarious situation.
“They’re a good team,” Hurd said. “We know that. We don’t want to see them in the playoffs.”
Gordon gave the Golden Bucks a 1-0 lead with 27 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first half.
She was about 30 yards from the goal when she booted a ball that bounced, hit the crossbar and fell down. The ball was ruled to have crossed the goal line.
“It’s exciting to score from that far out because people aren’t expecting it,” Gordon said.
The Bucks looked off-kilter early, despite the lead. In the second half, however, winning balls in the midfield and short passes helped them control things.
The first big play of the half belonged to goalie Hurd.
John Bapst’s Whitney Sinclair took a penalty kick about 41/2 minutes into the second half, but Hurd tipped it away and off the left post. A Bapst rebound hit the crossbar.
“I was so nervous,” said Hurd, who also saved a PK earlier this season. “Whitney Sinclair, she’s a good player. I knew what was coming. I could see she was going for the right. … I love PKs. I like to play under pressure.”
Hurd finished with two saves on seven shots, while Crusaders goalie Caroline Cassling made four saves on nine shots.
Gordon scored her second goal after running on to a pass from Sullivan.
“That was a case of one of our defenders thought she was offsides and didn’t wait for the whistle and just assumed she was offsides,” Wood said. “… Today everything just seemed out of whack. I don’t know if it was the pressure of trying to win the game to get into the playoffs or what. It was uncharacteristic.”
Later, Lenor settled a Sullivan throw-in for the third goal. Lenor, who comes off the bench, scored the Bucks’ only goal in a key 1-1 tie Monday against undefeated rival Ellsworth.
“Usually when I throw it in, I aim right for the front of goal and she’s always there,” Sullivan said. “She doesn’t go around people, she goes through them and that’s what we need.”