SACO — Stout defense and a pair of early goals led Cheverus to a 3-1 win over Thornton Academy in a Class A South field hockey game Thursday at Hill Stadium.

Cheverus (6-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead when freshman Lucia Pompeo scored less than four minutes into the game.

Pompeo took a shot that was stopped on a kick save by goalie Jenica Botting, but the rebound went right back to Pompeo, whose second shot slipped past Botting’s extended left leg.

“The idea was that we were going to beat (Thornton Academy) to the ball and just take charge of the momentum of the game. I think we did that,” said Cheverus Coach Sally Cloutier.

The Stags made it 2-0 with 20:16 remaining in the first half when Haley Hinkle finished off a pass from Sophia Pompeo.

“I could tell that (we) just looked tired today; coming out in the very beginning we were unorganized,” said Thornton Coach Lori Smith.

Cheverus’ defense limited Thornton’s scoring opportunities, especially in the first half.

“We worked really well together today and worked on our clearing, getting (the ball) out,” said Cheverus back Olivia Adams.

“Every game we try to stay on our marks, keep (the ball) off our feet, and just try to get it out of there,” added Cheverus back Hannah Abbott.

The Trojans (5-3) got their offense going in the second half, earning six of their 10 corners in the final 30 minutes.

“(Thornton) did get a lot of corners, but I think we played off those corners pretty well,” said Cloutier.

Cheverus outshot the Trojans, 11-9. Stags goalie Kat Kane made eight saves and effectively controlled rebounds.

“Kat had some amazing saves today. She helped us out when we needed it,” said Adams.

It was a typically solid defensive performance for the Stags, who have allowed five goals in seven games.

“Our defense is so strong,” said Kane. “I would not want to be back there with anyone else. I have so much confidence in them.”

Cheverus maintained its 2-0 lead until midway through the second half, when Thornton’s Abby Pomerleau notched an unassisted goal.

“I felt like if we didn’t have that disorganization happen in the beginning, that we would have been in it a little bit more,” said Smith. “Definitely a (growing) and learning (experience) on our part. Just every game, try to get better. (This was) a missed opportunity, unfortunately.”

Cheverus responded about 21/2 minutes later on a goal by Isabella Booth.

“That (goal was huge),” said Cloutier. “We answered and that’s what we needed. (Thornton) is a great team and they were going to come out hard, I knew that. I couldn’t ask for more from the kids.”