SCARBOROUGH – As the boys’ soccer season neared, it would have been understandable to think the power in the rivalry between Scarborough and South Portland had shifted South Portland’s way.

Both teams lost in the Western Class A quarterfinals a year ago, but South Portland returned eight core starters from the team that had the school’s best regular season (10-3-1) since 1988. Scarborough, the state champs in 2008 and 2009, said goodbye to seven starters.

Well, Scarborough showed in Saturday’s opening 2-0 win it may be young in key positions, but still has the skill, depth and confidence for the upper hand.

“We want to win the championship. We’ve won eight state championships, nine state championships, so we expect to win again,” said Charlie Mader, who scored the first goal.

Mader headed home J.D. Herr-man’s corner kick in the 14th minute to give Scarborough the lead. Austin Downing converted a great through ball from Dan Ornstein with 14 minutes left.

“We play Scarborough every year and they’re the type of team that if you make a mistake, they score a goal,” South Portland Coach Bryan Hoy said. “They had a great goal on the corner kick. I can’t fault my guys on that, but giving up the corner, the guy dribbled through two guys.

“Then the second goal they put in, the defense was a little out of position and we weren’t really ready for the counter- attack. Again, second mistake, second goal.”

Mader and Ornstein are first-year varsity players who shined, and Andrew Jones of Scarborough was the best overall field player in the game.

“To beat a good team like that is a tone-setter because when you’ve got a young team, they’ve got question marks in their mind, too,” Scarborough Coach Mark Diaz said. “You know, ‘I think I’m ready. Am I really ready? Can I handle the speed?’ And some of those guys showed that they could.”

Mader, a sophomore, played with confidence as both an offensive table-setter and a defender.

“That’s why he’s starting, because he plays like he belongs there,” Diaz said.

“That (goal) didn’t surprise anybody here because we’ve seen him here the last three weeks.”

On his goal, Mader cut toward the corner from right to left, met the ball with his head at the top of his leap and was able to direct it back toward the right side of the goal, leaving keeper Shawn Shannon (eight saves) with no chance.

“The goal I scored off the corner, we’ve been working that all week off of corner plays,” Mader said. “It takes time (to learn), but once you get the hang of directing the ball it’s not that difficult. The ball was kicked perfectly.”