SCARBOROUGH — A year ago, Scarborough High’s girls’ lacrosse team saw its hopes for a fourth consecutive Class A state championship quashed in the regional semifinals. The Red Storm have spent much of the 2014 season trying to regain their championship focus.
Wednesday afternoon they found it.
Using a well-executed passing game and a tight defense, third-seeded Scarborough moved past No. 6 South Portland 15-4 in a Western Class A quarterfinal game at the Mitchell Sports Complex. Kaitlin Prince scored three goals for the Red Storm while Bailey Adams, Emma Smith, Abby Mills and Ainsley Jamieson each had two. Hadlee Yescott and Rachael Wallace were defensive standouts.
“We’ve been up and down all season,” said Scarborough Coach Marcia Wood. “We’ve just been kind of working it out. There’s nothing specific, just keep playing, keep getting better, keep everyone focused and intense and wanting it. It’s one-and-done and if you don’t perform, it’s not like you have a chance to go back.”
Scarborough (8-5) will play at No. 2 Thornton Academy in Saco Saturday. The Trojans beat the Red Storm 9-5 on May 15.
South Portland, which finished 6-7, took a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game on the first of three Shae O’Brien goals. But Scarborough responded with nine consecutive goals.
“I know I was like, ‘Wow,’ I was taken aback,” said Prince, a junior midfielder, of the early deficit. “I think our whole team realized this is the playoffs and we needed to get our heads in the game and play our game.”
And once that happened, the Red Storm rolled. Adams, Smith, Adams again and Mills scored in a 3:13 span to give Scarborough a 4-1 lead and force Riots Coach Bill Fenton to call a timeout with 20:01 left in the first half. That did little to slow the Storm. Abby Corbin scored from Jamieson just 24 seconds after the timeout. By the end of the first half, the Red Storm had a 9-2 lead, with Prince getting three goals.
“When we get going we can produce,” said Jamieson.
Fenton agreed. “They’re really good. Look at who they got. Their ballhandling. They do a good job looking for each other. They have a great transition game. And they’re well coached.”
What has held them back, said Woods, is their focus. Or, more specifically, their lack of it at times. But she believes her team is coming on.
“Absolutely,” she said. “I’ve seen moments of greatness. We just need to play a whole game.”