SACO — Soccer can be a very simple game sometimes, often decided simply by which team capitalizes on its chances.

In Friday night’s Class A South boys’ preliminary-round playoff game, that was Thornton Academy and Noah Niles.

Niles scored his second goal of the game 4:35 into overtime to lift the seventh-seeded Trojans to a 2-1 victory over No. 10 Marshwood at Hill Stadium. Niles combined with fellow senior Ben Steva on a nifty play to end the game, then went sliding on his knees into the right corner as his teammates swarmed him.

“I don’t think Noah was going to walk off this field, in his last game as a senior, with a loss,” said Thornton Coach Andrew Carlson.

The Trojans (9-4-2) will play at No. 2 Falmouth in the Class A South quarterfinals on Tuesday. Marshwood, which lost 4-1 to the Trojans back on Sept. 8, finished 7-7-1.

“I thought it was the type of game where whoever made the shot, whoever scored the goals … I know it sounds simple but it is,” said Marshwood Coach Ben Deschene. “We had chances, they had chances and they just scored on them. It was a game that could have gone either way.

“It was one of the most competitive games I’ve ever been a part of.”

It was only the second playoff win in Thornton’s history and Carlson is hoping his players can carry the momentum over to the quarterfinals. The Trojans had lost four of their last five games, all to teams ranked in the top five in Class A South.

Each team scored a goal in the first half – Marshwood with 24:41 remaining when Riley Dinsmore-Patch scored from a near-impossible angle on the left end line and Thornton with 11:23 left on a nice play started by Zachary Ahmida that Niles finished – and had chances in the second.

In overtime, the Trojans came out fast. Eventually, Steva came up the left side and sent a pass through to Niles, who cut in on one defender and then beat Hawks keeper Sam Leathe with a shot from about 10 yards out to the right corner.

“Steva played a great pass to me,” said Niles. “I saw an opening with one defender in front of me, I just cut it and the kid fell and I just put it in the corner.”

Niles was quick to credit his teammates with the victory. “It was a team effort more than anything,” he said. “It just happened to be me who scored.”

Both teams played strong defensively. Liam Keating and Max Berman stood out for the Hawks, continually breaking up plays before they could be completed.

Thornton’s Brandon Lebel kicked the ball away as it got past Trojan keeper Colin Daly and rolled toward an open corner. He was part of a steady back line that included Daniel Roch, Noah Edborg, Noah Goren and Jacob Nason.

“We rely a lot on those guys,” said Carlson.

Niles also praised the team’s mental toughness after giving up an early goal.

“One thing about this team all year is that we’ve shown great resilience,” he said. “No matter how early the other team scores we always keep our heads up and know we’re in any game.”