PORTLAND — Second? Or third?

Lori Smith, the field hockey coach at Thornton Academy, doesn’t care.

Her Trojans scored a major victory Tuesday, beating Cheverus 2-0 in the regular-season finale for both teams. Now they wait to see the final Heal point standings.

Thornton (10-3-1) was ranked fifth entering the game but will move up. Just how far will be determined by other teams. Cheverus (10-4) was ranked second coming in but will drop, likely to fourth.

“We wait and see,” said Smith. “Either one is OK with us.”

The Trojans finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak, the last two especially impressive. Last Saturday they defeated Westbrook, 1-0. The Blue Blazes were ranked third going into Tuesday’s games.

This victory was very similar. Like Westbrook, Cheverus had a huge territorial advantage, getting 17 penalty corners to Thornton’s three (Westbrook had a 28-2 advantage). But the Stags couldn’t beat Thornton’s defense, especially goalie Abbey Siulinksi, who made nine saves for her ninth shutout. And the Trojans made the most of their chances.

“I was worried when Mary (Brown) went down,” said Smith of the talented junior midfielder who injured her left shoulder in a collision with Cheverus’ Emily Sawchuck in the first half. “But we held it together.

“I was especially worried about their corners with Sawchuck, because that’s how they score their goals. But we did a good job when Mary was in and when Mary was out. But that’s how this team has had to operate this year. Other people step in and step up.”

Brown is the flyer on Thornton’s defensive corners, meaning she rushes the opposing player who receives the ball. When she was out, Nichole Moore took that role. Both were effective in forcing Sawchuck to shoot wide.

And when she did get the ball past them, Thornton’s Jasmine Roy was often there to stop the shot.

“You get a little scared when they have those corners,” said Roy. “But we’re very confident. We trust each other.”

Thornton scored in each half, its first coming with 7:59 left in the first on its only penalty corner. Morgan Ouellette-Foss inserted the ball from the left of the goal to Katrina Thibodeau, who got the ball to Breanna Thibodeau on the left. She swiped the ball back to Ouellette-Foss uncovered at the left post, and she flicked the ball into the net.

“It’s all or nothing pretty much for us on corners,” said Ouellette-Foss. “You’ve got to take advantage of those chances.”

Katrina Thibodeau got the second goal on an outstanding effort. Cheverus kept the ball in Thornton’s end for the first six minutes of the second half before Thibodeau poked the ball ahead at midfield, split three defenders with a dribble and raced past the final defender.

She dribbled to the right and let go a hard, low shot that caught the far corner for a 2-0 lead with 23:23 remaining.

“I practice that,” said Thibodeau, who has 10 goals. “When I go down the field, I look up at the goalie, look down at the ball, pick a corner, shoot and hope for the best.”

Cheverus continued to press, but Siulinski was unbeatable. The Stags ended the season with two losses in their final three games.

“It didn’t end the way we wanted to,” said Stags Coach Amy McMullin. “But we’ve already forgotten it. It’s on to the playoffs.”

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]