Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Telegram
SACO - Ashley Ronzo scored one goal and assisted on another as Scarborough blitzed Thornton Academy in the opening half on its way to a 3-0 win in a Western Class A girls' soccer semifinal played Saturday night at Thornton Academy.
The third seeded Red Storm (14-1-1) accounted for all of their offense in the opening half, a period in which they outshot the second seeded and previously undefeated Trojans (15-1) by a 10-0 margin.
"I thought they came out and played the best half of soccer that I've ever seen them play," said Scarborough Coach Mike Farley. "In my nine years at Scarborough I've never had a team play like that in the first half."
The Red Storm will face No. 4 Cape Elizabeth (15-1-1) in the regional final on Wednesday.
Motivating factors abounded for the Red Storm heading into the game. Advancing to the regional final and handing the Trojans their first loss of the season were enough to get them going. But making sure Thornton Academy couldn't ring the school's victory bell might have put them over the top.
Following a 1-0 regular-season victory over the Red Storm at the end of September, the Trojans reportedly rang the bell, which is traditionally reserved for postseason victories.
"Oh yeah, it was brought up a few times at practice," Ronzo said with a smirk. "We definitely said we weren't going to ring any bells. We were just going to show them on the field."
The Red Storm put together three good scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes before breaking through in the 25th minute. Ronzo started the play from deep in the Thornton Academy end with a cross to the front of the goal. The volley found Sarah Martens, who beat goalkeeper Emily Richards for a 1-0 lead.
Ronzo made it 2-0 with a great individual effort 14 minutes later. The senior hustled to save a ball on the end line and, after gaining control, she curled a ball from a tight angle that carried into the upper portion of the goal.
Martens capped off the dominating half when she scored her second of the game by pouncing on her own rebound to put Scarborough up 3-0 with just 11.5 seconds left in the half.
"I thought the first 10 minutes we came out played pretty well," said Thornton Coach Chris Kohl. "Then we just started getting a little bit panicked. We just sort of got out of our shape and because of that everything just went everywhere. They smelled the blood and took advantage of their opportunities."