PORTLAND – All Hannah Kallis wanted to do was to become the first Sanford player to score a goal while playing as the Spartans, but she did better than that.

Kallis, a junior forward, scored four goals and had an assist as the former Redskins, recently renamed, rolled to a season-opening 7-2 win over McAuley in an SMAA girls’ soccer game Thursday afternoon at Larry Mahaney Athletic Park.

“It was kind of important to me,” she said. “I’ve tried really hard in past years, and I figured this was the opportunity to go down in Sanford history, sort of, so that was my goal for today.”

Sanford was scheduled to open the season Tuesday night in Buxton against Bonny Eagle, but that game was postponed because of rain.

But the Spartans were ready to play Thursday.

Kallis opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game when she rolled a shot from the right side inside the far post after goalie Molly Miller came off her line to challenge Kallis. Taylor Littlefield set up the goal by threading a pass in between two defenders from just inside the midfield stripe.

“Really, it was the passing,” Kallis said. “We did a lot of really good passing to spaces. We found each other. We talked. My team just helped me out the whole game.”

Samantha Fecteau, Kallis and Littlefield scored goals during a 15-minute span as Sanford moved into a 4-0 lead with five minutes left in the first half.

“We have some multiple options of players that can score,” Sanford coach Kendra Brown said. “That’s always a great asset for any team. Today, we kind of utilized that.”

For the most part, the Spartans, playing a solid possession game, kept the ball on the ground.

“We need through balls on the ground,” Kallis said. “Sometimes, chipping works, but it’s hard (to maintain possession) because those are 50-50 balls. It’s a lot easier when it’s on the ground to feet, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

To McAuley coach Vince Aceto, the game was a tale of two halves.

“We had to dig ourselves out of a hole in the first half,” he said, “but the girls responded well and we scored two goals in the second half. We settled down and made some adjustments, and it paid off.”

After Kallis scored her third goal of the game less than two minutes into the second half, Ayla Tarte and Delaney Regan scored goals for the Lions (0-2) to make it 5-2 with more than 21 minutes to play.

“We should elevate our game to play against a team like Sanford, which is loaded with talent and has a lot of seniors,” Aceto said.

The Lions are made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores.

“We’re rebuilding right now,” Aceto said. “We’re just trying to get (the players) used to each other and to the way things work here.”

Kallis scored her fourth goal during the 67th minute.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH