BANGOR – Mount Ararat High School junior outside midfielder Kelsey Karkos was trying to get the ball to the Bangor High School net-front. Her team was down by a goal and time was running out.
She did better than that.
Karkos’ cross wound up in the net with 5:07 left and she was also credited with the overtime game-winner when a Sami Owen throw-in deflected in off a Ram defender as the Eagles stunned the previously unbeaten Rams 2-1 in overtime in their Eastern Maine Class A semifinal Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Eagles, 14-2-1, visit No. 2 Waterville, 15-1, for Saturday’s Eastern A final.
Bangor wound up 14-1-1.
Bangor junior standout Amy Hackett staked Bangor to a 1-0 lead with 3:11 left in the first half as her powerful header off an Erin MacDermott corner beat helpless MA goalie Jessica Stahl.
Stahl made a game-saving stop off a perfectly-placed free kick by Emily Heath early in the second half. The ball was labeled for the upper corner to Stahl’s left but the goalie was able to extend herself to deflect the ball over the crossbar.
“If she was two inches shorter, that ball would have easily gone in,” said MacDermott.
Stahl had five second-half saves, four off Heath, to keep her team within striking distance as Bangor had an edge in play over the first 25 minutes.
“She made two unbelievable saves [off me]. If they go in, or even one of them goes in, it’s a different game,” said Heath.
The Eagles began applying consistent pressure over the last 15 minutes as they sought the equalizer.
They were rewarded for their persistence when Owen passed the ball to Courtney Ouellette on the right side and she spotted Karkos.
“Kelsey was headed for the corner so I fed a through ball to her,” said Ouellette.
Karkos said, “I one-timed it. I was actually hitting it toward the goal but I didn’t think it would go in. I thought it would be a cross. It’s so hard because the wingers [going to the net] were so tired. I just gave it that last oomph.”
Bangor goalie Tawnya Godinez reached up as far as she could but the ball slipped under the crossbar.
“It was a real good goal,” said Bangor senior back Kristin Eremita, who turned in an exceptional performance against the speedy Eagles. “There was no way Tawnya could have gotten that.”
Bangor coach Larry Smith said Mount Ararat’s energy was “impressive.
“Mount Ararat came charging strong the last 15 minutes. I thought we would hold up but they eventually got it in and had momentum going into overtime,” said Smith.
Bangor made a couple of dangerous forays early in the first OT but the Eagles eventually penetrated the attacking third to earn a throw-in from the right sideline.
Owen’s throw-in into the crowded goalmouth glanced backwards off a Bangor defender’s head and sailed over the head of Godinez and into the net with 9:17 left in the first OT.
Karkos was awarded the goal because she was the closest Eagle to it but Karkos, Owen and Ouellette said Molly Parker got her face on the ball as it crossed the line and should have been awarded the goal.
Owen said she was trying to put her throw-in “between the 6 and 12 [yard lines] because their goalie is big and likes to come out.”
Neither team generated much offense in the evenly-played first half until the unmarked Hackett nodded home MacDermott’s precise corner.
Stahl finished with 11 saves on 21 shots while Godinez made four stops on 16 shots.
MA’s Emma Bouchard suffered an apparent concussion in a collision with Godinez in the first half.