SCARBOROUGH – It’s not often one shot is enough to win a field hockey game.

Essentially that was all Scarborough High needed Saturday. Emily Bunting scored on the first shot of the game by either team, and it held up for a 1-0 win against Marshwood in a matchup of undefeated teams in Western Class A.

Scarborough (6-0) did end up with three shots, but the second didn’t come until 4:09 was left in the second half. Marshwood (6-1) did not have a shot and became the sixth shutout victim of the Red Storm.

Scarborough’s defense was able to read the Marshwood attack throughout the contest and stop it before it could get going. Passes that lacked crispness were intercepted, and drives up the field were usually blocked before they reached the target area.

“It’s all about having a plan right away, before you receive the ball; knowing what you’re doing and knowing to be in the right positions and having the position before you play the ball, because that’s going to make you the stronger, more efficient player,” Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello said.

Sophomore Maddie Dobecki was particularly effective at stopping Marshwood forays before they could reach the penalty circle.

“We can read the ball really well. We’re all really experienced, so we can see where they’re going so we can read it and intercept those passes,” said Dobecki, whose sister, Lindsey, plays for Merrimack College. “We’re all about watching their eyes and their shoulders and their hips to see where they’re going.”

Most of the game was played in the middle of the field. Only one penalty corner was generated, that by Scarborough with 3:05 left.

Marshwood was averaging 5.67 goals per game.

“It didn’t seem like there was a lot of flow going,” Marshwood Coach Lisa Truesdale said. “I think just the way they overloaded on defense and the way they played, we didn’t necessarily see the opportunities. We kind of fed into that overload.”

On the rare occasions when a team did get the ball inside the scoring circle, both defenses routinely were able to recover before a shot attempt and clear the ball out.

One of the few times that didn’t happen led to Scarborough’s goal with 6:36 remaining in the first half. Marshwood right back Erica Connors’ clearing attempt got outside the circle but was promptly intercepted by Grace Whelan, who sent a hard, smooth-rolling pass to the opposite side. Like her defensive teammates, Bunting was in the right position and knew what she was going to try to do.

“Grace Whelan has a really good insert and she did a great insert, and it’s always great to have your stick down right there. I did, and she popped it right in,” said Bunting, a senior.

Scarborough was coming off a 1-0 win Thursday night at Sanford, which is also on the short list of top teams in Western Class A.

“We’re fighters. We play every minute for 60 minutes, and it was definitely (proven) at the end, being up 1-0 and knowing there are going to be close battles, and being able to pull through with shutouts in both of those games is huge for confidence and huge for everything in this program,” Mariello said.

Marshwood had not played a team in the top 10 of the Heal point standings since its season-opening 5-2 win against Sanford. Truesdale said she could sense her squad was nervous entering Saturday’s game.

“I was happy that my defense got challenged and they stepped up and played strong,” Truesdale said. “Scarborough’s goal was a great goal. I don’t think anyone saw it until it hit the back.

“Obviously there were girls who have had better games and now they can see what they can improve on. I’d rather have it happen now than later.” 

Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@mainetoday.com