SCARBOROUGH – Chev-erus ended Scarborough’s one-year reign as the Class A field hockey state champion in dramatic fashion Saturday.

Brooke Flaherty put in a rebound from point-blank range with 3:33 left to lift the fourth-seeded Stags to a 2-1 victory against the top-ranked Red Storm in a regional semifinal at the Mitchell Athletic Complex.

Cheverus (12-4) will play seventh-seeded Bonny Eagle (11-5) for the regional title at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Scarborough.

Cheverus and Bonny Eagle are both in the Southern Maine Activities Association but didn’t play each other during the regular season.

It was the Stags’ first-ever victory against Scarborough, and came 15 days after the Red Storm, who were seeking a third straight regional title, beat Cheverus 6-1 in the regular season.

“We just couldn’t play any worse than we did that game,” Cheverus Coach Amy McMullin said.

“I think we really beat ourselves,” Flaherty recalled. “We weren’t talking to each other and weren’t playing as a team.”

Ths time the Stags focused on keeping the ball out of the middle of the scoring area, limiting the Red Storm’s chances.

“We just wanted to keep the ball out of the middle, where they had some very, very strong players,” McMullin said. “We just tried to keep it along the sidelines, and I thought we did a great job of doing that.”

The Cheverus defense was especially effective in the first half, limiting Scarborough to one shot on goal.

Emily Sawchuk, the Stags’ leading scorer, opened the scoring after 16 minutes. Her goal came moments after play resumed following a Cheverus timeout.

“Coach told us if we want to get (a goal) we’ve got to go and do it,” Sawchuk said. “She told us we’ve got to take these chances, and we’ve got to go hard to the net every time we can.”

Sawchuk didn’t wait to drive to the goal. Instead she put in a blast from just inside the 15-yard line on the left side of the scoring box.

“It was perfect,” she said. “I just had to get the timing right, and it went in.”

The Red Storm (14-2) tied it four minutes into the second half when Karli-An Gilbert put in a rebound.

Flaherty’s winning goal came during a two-shot flurry.

“I just tried to do what the coach has told me to do and we’ve been practicing all season, getting through the pads and trying to place (the ball) where the goalie’s not,” she said.

Scarborough held a 6-2 edge in corners but couldn’t convert.

“We had our opportunities,” Coach Kerry Mariello said. “It comes down to doing the right thing at the right time. When it comes to playoffs, there is very little margin for error, and you have to execute.”

Cheverus goalie Cindy Clark made five of her six saves in the second half. Scarborough goalie Shannon Hicks also had six saves.


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]