SCARBOROUGH — In games between evenly matched soccer teams – especially top squads – often the difference can be a set play.

On Wednesday night in an SMAA girls’ game, Cheverus allowed too many set plays to the home team. The result was a game-winner off a corner kick near the end of regulation and a 3-1 Scarborough victory.

With the score tied, the Red Storm (5-1-2), who had a 5-1 corner-kick advantage in the second half, converted on their second straight chance with 3:13 remaining. Striker Leah Dickman ran onto Gaby Panagakos’s kick from the left wing and scored at the near post on a one-timer for a 2-1 lead.

Red Storm Coach Mike Farley said his team has been working on set plays and feels they can be the difference for his squad.

“In the run of play, we play very well,” Farley said. “If we can get a goal or two from a set play and hopefully one in the run of play, (then) we are in a really good spot because we are not going to give up three goals.”

Midfielder Lauren Sabatino secured the win when her shot deflected off a defender with 56.5 seconds to play. The ball had come in to Dickman, who was holding off a defender and got the ball to Sabatino.

Panagakos got the Red Storm on the board earlier in the second half when she ended up with the ball in a scrum in front of the goal and her low shot to the far corner eluded Cheverus goalie Katie Boynton (11 saves).

The play started with Sophie Glidden lofting a pass to Ashley Perriello at the far post. She beat her defender to the end line before centering to Panagakos.

“Last year set plays were definitely not our strong suit so it was really good to come up big with set plays,” said Panagakos. “We were getting balls in (to the box), getting good crosses and finishing them.”

The Red Storm’s three second-half goals came after they found themselves down 1-0 at intermission with the visitors having controlled the opening 10 minutes.

But the young Stags (5-2-1), who start four freshmen and one sophomore, couldn’t capitalize on their chances for a two-goal cushion.

Cheverus took the lead 18:03 into the game when Mackenzie Johnston got the ball at the top of the box and fired it past Royce, after it deflected off a defender.

Then in a four-minute span Cheverus got the ball into the box on numerous occasions but Scarborough’s backs, including Ellie Span twice, were able to clear it before it got to goalie Emily Royce (7 saves).

“I told the girls we will have ebbs and flows in the game,” said Cheverus Coach Craig Roberts. “We had a good 10 minutes where (our shots) were just over, just wide (or) not enough oomph. You have to finish one of those, get them down 2-0, and put a team away.

“We can take a lot away from this game,” Roberts added. “I was concerned going to Scarborough and getting down early. I think we found out we can (play with top teams).”

For the Red Storm, a team that went 13-1-2 last year and is continually in the championship hunt, a win over a top opponent is important.

“Games like this will get us ready for the playoffs,” Farley said.

“We have to strive to get a consistent level of play for 80 minutes and these types of games will help get us there.”