SACO — Kennebunk scored two goals less than two minutes apart early in the second half Tuesday and went on to a 2-0 victory against Thornton Academy in a Southern Maine Activities Association schoolboy soccer game at Hill Stadium.
“I think the game was for the taking in the second half,” Thornton Coach Andrew Carlson said. “(Kennebunk) came out and I think they played with a bit more desire, a bit more execution.”
Lucas Butterfield put a header inside the left post from 10 yards to open the scoring in the 59th minute.
It was the third goal of Butterfield’s career and came on a broken play following a corner kick from the right side.
“I saw it coming across and hit (forward) Robby Burns in the head, and I was in the right place at the right time,” said Butterfield, who normally plays center back.
“On those set pieces he’s a target, and he’s a dangerous target,” Kennebunk Coach Nate Bean said. “He’s a kid who I’ll give the license to go forward, but he knows he’s the anchor of our defense, too, so he better put it in the back of the net or get back.”
In the 61st minute, Griffin Drigotas’ hard crossing shot from 25 yards on the left was redirected inside the near post by a defender for an own goal.
Kennebunk opened the scoring moments after goalie Jack Burns ranged far out of his goal to break up a scoring attempt by Darius Nytacyo of Thornton, who had broken in alone on the left.
Burns leaped to slap the ball away with his left hand as Nytacyo tried to drive it into the far side.
“He’s going to make those saves and if we can feed off those saves when he makes them, we’re going to be in good shape,” Bean said.
“We picked up the intensity,” Butterfield added. “(Burns) sets the tone for the team, I believe, and we feed off his energy.
Neither team was able to get much going in the scoreless first half.
The Rams (1-1) held a 6-2 edge in shots, but Zach Lombard of Thornton Academy (1-1) wasn’t credited with his first save until he picked up a ball redirected by a defender with less than four minutes remaining before halftime.
Kennebunk’s best opportunity in the first half came after 24 minutes when Dany Rayes-Caballero, a sophomore forward, got free with the ball on the left side.
Myles Gamage, a sophomore back, came from behind to make a nifty sliding tackle to break up his run about 15 yards out.
Not one of the first-half shots came from inside the penalty areas.
“We never really found our rhythm today,” Carlson said. “It’s early in the season and guys are trying to find themselves. They’re not only trying to find their own game, they also are trying to link up with other guys.”
The Rams held an 18-7 edge in shots.
Burns made six saves to post his first shutout of the season.
Lombard also was credited with six saves.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org