GORHAM – When Gorham High sophomore Meghan Cushing gets to a soccer ball, close to the goal, good things usually happen for the Rams.

That was true Tuesday as Cushing scored both goals in Gorham’s 2-0 win over Windham in a Western Class A quarterfinal.

The top-seeded Rams (15-0) move on to host a semifinal Saturday against the winner of today’s quarterfinal between No. 4 Thornton Academy and No. 5 Greely.

No. 8 Windham, which saw its winning streak end at seven, finished 12-4.

Windham, which lost to Gorham 2-1 last month, again played the Rams tough.

“We gave it all we had,” Windham Coach Deb Lebel said. “We had opportunities. We just didn’t let it rip.

“They had some opportunities, and they finished.”

Credit Cushing.

Halfway through the first half, midfielder Kiersten Turner slid a ball to Cushing, sprinting down the right side of the penalty box. Covered tightly, Cushing still got control of the ball and made a sliding kick inside the far corner.

“I collided with the defender,” Cushing said, “but I got to (the ball).”

Cushing usually does get to the ball.

“Meghan is tenacious,” Gorham Coach Jeanne Zarrilli said. “She’s a competitor.”

Cushing gave Gorham insurance with 4:58 left in the game when Audrey Adkison lobbed a ball into the box and Cushing headed it over the goalkeeper’s head.

Zarrilli would have liked that insurance goal earlier to ease her nerves as Windham came out firing in the second half.

“They came on really strong,” Zarrilli said. “They challenged everything we did. They won a lot of the air game.”

Early in the second half, Windham’s Jenna Soucy drove into the left side of the box, but defender Lindsey Smith kept her from getting a shot.

Then Cassie Symonds fed Jordan Symonds from 10 yards out, but she was stopped.

Mary Margaret Green crossed over to Melissa Morton, but defender Jessica Rexrode blocked the shot and cleared it.

Gorham defenders Allie Lurvey, Sierra Peters and Sarah Fogg all played a role in preserving the shutout.

“It was not our best game, but we withstood the pressure,” Zarrilli said.

Halfway through the second half, Gorham began pressuring again. Morgan Cushing, Meghan Cushing and Emily Lewis all just missed shots.

Finally, Meghan Cushing gave the Rams their two-goal lead with her header.

“They gave us all they had,” Cushing said of the Eagles. Despite Windham’s No. 8 seeding, Cushing said her team did not let up.

“We go in thinking that we have to play every game our hardest,” she said.

The Rams’ next game will be against a team they have not played this season – either Thornton (12-1-2) or Greely (13-2). Those teams play at 5 p.m. today in Saco.
“I’ll be there,” Zarrilli said.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]

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