BIDDEFORD — Thornton Academy applied the defensive clamps in the second half to cruise to a 10-4 victory against South Portland in a schoolboy lacrosse game Tuesday at the University of New England.

While registering their third consecutive victory, the Trojans held the Red Riots scoreless in the second half to snap their four-game winning streak.

“It’s all about defense,” Thornton Academy Coach Ryan Hersey said.

“We had a 4-1 lead and let them get back into the game because we were concentrating on our offensive set rather than our defense. It’s defense first, then we play offense. Shutting them out in the second half was huge.”

The Trojans (6-2) took the lead for good when Thomas Abbott weaved his way through the defense to score the second of his five goals less than two minutes into the third quarter to snap a 4-4 tie.

“They came out to hit us and looked a little scrappy, so we just tried to work the ball around and get some good shots,” Abbott said, explaining how his team compiled a 6-0 edge in scoring in the second half.

In his last three games, Abbott, a sophomore attackman, has 15 goals.

“The first couple of games he was hitting posts, he was hitting goalies, he was just missing by an inch or two,” Hersey said.

“He’s a talented young boy. He’s got a lot of skill and he can find the back of the net.”

The score was 1-1 at the end of the first quarter, but Chris Dolewa scored two of his three goals and Parker Roma scored the first of his two goals less than five minutes into the second quarter to send the Trojans into a 4-1 lead.

By the end of the first half, Thomas Leddy sandwiched his two goals around a goal by Thomas Salvatore to tie the score.

For the game, South Portland (5-4) held a 22-20 edge in shots, but most of their shots in the second half, when Brett Levasseur made nine of his 14 saves for Thornton, came from long range.

“The zone (defense) leads to shots from outside and up high, and he’s one of the best keepers in the state,” Hersey said.

“If he can see it, that’s good. In a couple of games, particularly with Gorham and Scarborough, they were able to get inside on him, and that’s where the goals come from.”

“(Levasseur) came up huge in this game,” Abbott said. “He made big saves throughout the game.

“He just kept us in there.”

It was a big victory for the Golden Trojans, who were ranked third in the Western Class A standings.

“This is a big week where we have to take some big steps because the opponents just seem to get harder,” Hersey said.

Thornton Academy is scheduled for a road game Friday against Kennebunk, the second-ranked team in Western Class A.

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

Twitter: Twitter.com/PaulBetitPPH