GORHAM — After needing overtime to slip past Windham two weeks ago, the eighth-seeded Gorham field hockey team took care of business in regulation Saturday as it beat the No. 9 Eagles 3-0 in a Class A South preliminary matchup.

Gorham, which was eliminated in the preliminary round last year, advanced to face No. 1 Falmouth in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Rams (10-3-2) took the lead less than six minutes into the contest. Erin Esty sent a crisp pass to the waiting stick of Jamie Juskiewicz, who drilled the ball into the back of the cage.

“We were connecting those passes and not giving up,” said Gorham Coach Becky Manson-Rioux. “It just kind of came across from one person to the next, and she just kind of followed through with it.”

The score remained 1-0 through the rest of the first half, despite nine penalty corners for Gorham. The Rams continued to put offensive pressure on the Eagles (6-8-1) in the second half, finishing with 18 corners.

“At halftime we said, ‘OK, are we satisfied with it being one to nothing?’ We had nine corners at halftime, and when you don’t score on nine corners in a half, it’s actually a little frustrating,” said Manson-Rioux. “We just tried to light a fire under them and it looked like it worked. I think our girls really picked it up intensity-wise.”

Gorham added its second goal with just over nine minutes remaining when Hallie Thomas converted a penalty stroke – the result of a Windham player’s using her body to make a save in the circle.

“To score on a stroke, and she hadn’t scored yet this season, that really set the tone for the rest of the game,” said Manson-Rioux. “I think it helped us even further to keep up the intensity and not have a letdown.”

Added Windham Coach Cory DiDonato: “That was definitely kind of tough. It was hard for my girls, especially my seniors, to know they scored another goal. And it was a preventable goal, because a player and not the goalie put herself in front of the ball.”

Grace McGouldrick made it 3-0 with 1:24 remaining when she scored on a pass from Grace DeWitt, capping a lengthy offensive thrust that typified the entire contest.

“The last game we played them, Gorham had 13 penalty corners and 17 shots on goal, so we worked really hard on getting low in the circle and having our sticks down,” said DiDonato, whose team missed the playoffs the previous two seasons. “We have a really strong defense, but we kept getting a little high in the circle today. They ended up with 18 corners today.”

On the other end of the field, Gorham goalie Jessica Dusseault – who has allowed just 1.26 goals per game during the regular season – turned in her sixth shutout of the season.

“She averages 10 saves a game, which is enormous,” said Manson-Rioux. “Some games she had just a couple, but some games she had 18. She’s fast, and she talks and just wants it. The team relies on her for that, and they just know she’s there defensively behind them.”