GORHAM — While the Gorham girls’ soccer team entered Wednesday’s matchup having outscored its first three opponents 22-1, Scarborough goalkeeper Emily Royce managed to keep the Rams off the board.

In a game dominated by defense, Royce notched 11 saves for Scarborough in a 0-0 tie.

“The team has worked so hard, and I knew I needed to do my part,” said Royce. “It honestly felt like a playoff game. Gorham is always a good, tough team. No matter what our record is, it’s always a good game.”

The teams were as evenly matched as the score, with Scarborough finishing with 14 shots and Gorham recording 13.

Scarborough (1-1-2) hasn’t won since topping Deering 3-1 in its opener. Since then the Red Storm tied Sanford 2-2 and fell to Bonny Eagle 1-0.

Gorham, the defending Class A South champion, is 3-0-1 but hadn’t been tested, with decisive victories against Maine Girls’ Academy, Biddeford and South Portland – all 0-3 teams.

“It’s always a game like this with Scarborough,” Gorham Coach Jeanne Zarrilli said. “Although I saw some sloppy field play, I thought we stepped up and played really hard with a lot of intensity in the end when the game was on the line.”

Both teams created a handful of opportunities in the first half, though Gorham dominated possession.

While Zarrilli said she thought her team controlled the first half, the first 20 minutes of the second half was “all theirs.”

“We were on our heels,” Zarrilli said. “It could have been 2-0 at that point.”

Scarborough opened the second half with four near goals in the first 10 minutes.

“Playing against probably the best team in the league, I thought we showed ourselves really, really well,” Scarborough Coach Mike Farley said. “The kids put everything they had out there.”

Farley said his team’s improvement stemmed more from the “passion they were playing with” rather than specific halftime adjustments.

“We just have to bear down a little bit more on the attacking end of the field and finish some of those goals,” Farley said. “I was really proud and impressed with the way they played. I haven’t seen that yet this year. It was fun to watch.”

Leah Dickman nearly scored for the Red Storm in the first minute of the second half, launching the ball from midfield on a direct kick. Gorham keeper Emma Smith couldn’t gather the shot but defender Maddie Hincher managed to sprint back and scoop the ball away from the goal with her foot.

Smith finished with 13 saves.

“We talked for a long time about covering your goalie,” Zarrilli said. “(Hincher) had a great game. I think it was a very defensive game with both defenses holding on. Their goalie made two fabulous saves.”

One of them came in the last 12 minutes of the second half on a Gorham shot headed for the far right corner of the net. Royce leaped to punch it out of bounds. Ten minutes later she had another diving save on a Hincher shot.

“Both defenses were solid,” said Gaby Panagakos of Scarborough, who just barely overshot a penalty kick early in the second half.

“We had so many opportunities but we played great. Everyone stepped up.”