SCARBOROUGH – Scarborough High had one shot on goal in the second half. That’s all it needed.

Sarah Martens found the corner and the Red Storm are off to a third straight state Class A girls’ soccer championship game after Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Cape Elizabeth in the Western final.

Stationed just outside the 6-yard box, Martens picked up a well-placed pass from Jessica Meader and scored in the 65th minute.

“It was really a hard-work play by Jess. It felt like slow motion coming in to me,” said Martens, who tied Scarborough’s single-season record with her 19th goal. “I looked up and found the corner and just placed it there. Best feeling in the world.”

Scarborough (15-1-1), the third seed in the West, will play for its second state title in three years at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Hampden Academy against Eastern Maine champ Bangor. Scarborough has faced Bangor each of the past two years, winning 3-0 in 2010 and losing 4-0 last year.

“This is what we’ve been working for, to make it to states, since day one, to get back to states, to get a redemption from last year,” said Martens.

“Sarah did a great job of holding that space and then she just one-timed it in,” Scarborough Coach Mike Farley said.

Cape Elizabeth finished 15-2. The fourth-seeded Capers had won 15 straight after a season-opening loss.

“We had two of the best chances, their keeper pulls off two good saves and they hit us on the counterattack,” Cape Coach Luke Krawczyk said. “I thought in the second half, for at least 20, 25 minutes, we were the better team.”

Throughout the game Cape looked to either chip the ball over or thread a pass through Scarborough’s four-person defense. The target was Kathryn Clark.

“She’s just hovering around your backs looking for an opportune time to really put you under pressure,” Farley said of Clark.

In the 59th minute, Cape built a multiplayer attack and freshman Kate Breed sprang Clark through the defense. Scarborough keeper Sydney Martin decisively raced Clark for the ball. Clark got her foot on it but with Martin just inches from her foot, the shot was blocked toward the sideline where it was cleared away by Sam Sparda.

A few minutes later, with the game still scoreless, Clark raced up the left sideline with Scarborough’s Katie Wahrer contesting every step. Stopping quickly, Clark got space to fire a long shot to the opposite corner that Martin was able to go up and collect.

Over the final minutes, an already physical contest got even tougher. Not long after her goal, Martens stepped through aggressively to win a ball and collided with Cape junior midfielder Lizzie Raftice, who had to be helped off the field and did not return.

“It got pretty physical. It’s a shame that it resorted to a couple of late tackles from them to try to break up our rhythm but that’s the game,” Krawczyk said.

“The first half the difference was we were just letting them have every ball,” Farley said. “The second half, I don’t think it was dirty. I thought it was two teams going really hard, trying to win 50-50 balls. That’s why the ref is here. He’s here to police the game. If he doesn’t think it’s a foul, I will defer to him. If he does think it’s a foul, I will defer to him as well.”

 

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

scraig@mainetoday.com