SACO – The Thornton Academy field hockey team proved it could do what was expected.

Now, can it do the unthinkable?

The eighth-seeded Trojans scored late in each half and held No. 9 Bonny Eagle without a shot Saturday in a 2-0 Western Class A preliminary-round playoff game.

Thornton (9-5-1) won eight games in the regular season. Bonny Eagle finished with a 3-10-2 record and essentially earned its seed with a scoreless tie against No. 4 Westbrook. So it was no shock that Thornton would earn the right to face No. 1 Scarborough, which hasn’t allowed a goal this season.

The quarterfinal matchup will be Wednesday at Scarborough, tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m.

“We’re actually excited for it because we did get a goal (in the regular season) but the whistle was blown at kind of the wrong time,” said Kaitlin Hilton of Thornton, referring to a disallowed goal in a regular-season 4-0 loss to Scarborough.

Against Bonny Eagle, Hilton put the game away when she connected with 4:56 left in the second half, knocking home a long, reverse-stick crossing pass from Lauren Russell.

Against Scarborough, Hilton said her team just wants, “to come out hard and give it our all. … I think we just have our own personal goals that we want to achieve and just working as a team and having it be our last game, we just want to have fun there and work together.”

Thornton quickly established an edge against Bonny Eagle, racking up eight penalty corners through the first 20 minutes. The Scots’ right side of Cassidy Merrill and Jordan Ray was able to make gains up the sideline, and Rosanna Woodruff repeatedly stepped up to halt attacks.

Thornton’s repeated attempts to work a short-side give-and-go on penalty corners between leading scorer Morgan Dube and center midfielder Libby Pomerleau were being disrupted by defenders Morgan Thomas and Courtney Ross.

“We were down there quite a bit and we needed to get one in,” Coach Lori Smith said. “It’s frustrating when you put that much pressure on and you don’t score quickly. We’re used to scoring quickly in a lot of games.”

On the ninth corner, Dube inserted the ball to the top of the circle to Hilton, who sent a short pass to her right to Karen Jacques, who already had shown the ability to generate a hard push shot to the far post. She did it again, and this time Carli Legere had both time and space to get low and forcefully deflect in the pass.

“Karen Jacques had a lot of people on her and she just had a great pass over to me,” Legere said. “I just happened to be open at the time so I took a shot to the opposite corner.

“Everybody wants to get the first goal and not be playing catch-up, so that first goal really meant a lot to us, got our confidence up.”

The Scots showed the resilience they’ve had all year.

“I just asked them to play with intensity and we did. They stepped right up and stayed with them. Even after that first goal, we were still right with them. They had that desire to score,” Coach Caterina Riitano said.

Thornton needed several good stick checks by Hannah Huntress to keep the Scots out of the penalty circle when it was still a one-goal game. A long drive by Huntress initiated the sequence for Thornton’s second goal.

“She’s a force. When she’s on, she’s on, and she had a good game,” Smith said of Huntress.

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

[email protected]