Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By STEVE CRAIG/Staff Writer
Kerry Mariello has heard the phrase, said with equal parts admiration, envy and even disdain.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nicole Miranda, Westbrook junior: Miranda posted her fifth and sixth shutouts of the season, including an eight-save effort in a 1-0 win at Sanford, followed by another 1-0 win against Deering. Westbrook (6-2) has won four straight.
Gabby Martell, Gorham senior: Hardworking midfielder scored all three goals in Gorham's wins against South Portland (2-1 in overtime) and Kennebunk (1-0).
Elizabeth Berthy, Waynflete senior: The midfielder had five goals in three wins for the Flyers, including two-goal games against Gray-New Gloucester and Sacopee Valley.
AREA TOP FIVE
4. Lake Region
Scarborough High field hockey is an artificial turf team.
Well, thanks to two key wins on good old natural grass, the Red Storm have likely assured that their most meaningful games this fall will be on artificial surface.
"We played Sanford on their surface and played Cheverus on their surface, and to come out with those wins, it's a huge mental boost for us," Mariello said Monday, three days after her team swamped Cheverus, 4-0.
"People say, oh, Scarborough's a turf team. It shows we're solid on any surface. Are we really just a turf team? No. We're not."
In Friday's game at Cheverus, Scarborough scored 90 seconds into the game, led 3-0 at the half and posted its eighth shutout in as many games. Scarborough has outscored its opponents 35-0.
"Coming into the season, knowing who I had coming back, was I expecting the results we've had? No. Who would, it's near perfect?" Mariello said.
"But these girls really love the game, they love each other and they love the sport, and they're doing everything they possibly can to do as well as they can."
With six games left, Scarborough's toughest remaining challenge may well be Tuesday's game at Gorham, which has won five straight.
If Scarborough does earn one of the two top seeds in Western Class A -- Cheverus is still ranked first in the Heal points -- all of its playoff games will be on turf since, because the Western Maine finals (all classes) will be at Scarborough on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The Western Class A winner has to expect to once again see Skowhegan in the final. The Indians are 10-0 and have outscored their opponents 85-0.
BACK ON Sept. 7, Westbrook hosted Gorham. At the time Gorham was 0-3 and Westbrook was feeling pretty good about itself, at 2-1 and having played tough in a 2-0 loss to Scarborough.
Gorham scored early and upset the Blue Blazes, 2-0. Since then, neither team has lost, and Westbrook has posted four straight shutouts, including last Wednesday's 1-0 win at Sanford.
"In that game against Gorham, they didn't play to their level, so from then on they've been trying to focus on each team individually," Westbrook Coach Beth Murphy said of her players. "I think they looked at that as, 'OK, we took this game for granted and we didn't play the way we should have.' "
Gorham Coach Becky Manson-Rioux said the Westbrook game was a confidence booster for her squad, which features 11 seniors. Gorham has gotten superior play from midfielder Gabby Martell, who scored all three of her team's goals last week after inserting the starting pass on penalty corners.
"Each time she was right there ready on the post to knock it in the goal," Manson-Rioux said. "I basically can't take her out. She doesn't give up and she's just dead tired. She leaves it all on the field."
SCARBOROUGH WAS without senior defender Ali Pelczar on Friday. She was in the Chicago area on previously planned college visits to the University of Chicago and Northwestern. According to Mariello, Pelczar scored over 2200 on her SATs (maximum is 2400).
ONLY ONE game is on tap in the area on Wednesday, but it's a battle of unbeatens in Western Class B as No. 2 Lake Region is at No. 3 Fryeburg. Both teams have scored key wins against York and Falmouth. Coming off a 3-2 overtime win against Cape Elizabeth, Lake Region beat York 2-1 last Tuesday when Victoria Girardin scored with eight seconds left in regulation.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: email@example.com