Mark Schmidt has been waiting for his team to play their game from start to finish. They finally did so Monday.

Gorham (4-1), behind a pair of first-period goals from Schmidt, topped host Windham (1-2-2), 4-0, in an SMAA boys soccer contest.

“We needed to step it up and this was the first game we actually played 80 minutes of our soccer,” said Schmidt, “and it was good to see.”

The Rams continually beat their opponents to loose balls and, when the Eagles did attack, the visitors managed to break up the threat before any harm was done.

“If anyone tries to get the ball, we swarm them with two people,” Gorham defender Kyle Perkins said, “and then have one fall back if he beats the two.”

Windham seemed frustrated.

“We had some nice plays, but we couldn’t get the ball up there long enough to put it in,” said Eagles forward Dylan Janosik. “Gorham sprinted out and we were walking a lot.”

Schmidt controlled the first half, getting Windham on the ropes and not letting them go.

With just over 12 minutes played, the Rams senior brought the ball down the left side of the field. Feeling a defender on his outside shoulder, Schmidt slowed, which forced his opponent to pull up and caused Eagles goalkeeper Zach Cantor to worry that Schmidt was about to pass to a teammate in the middle.

Instead, the Gorham forward sent the ball to the far corner, past the diving Cantor.

Sixteen minutes later, Schmidt scored from the same side, firing the ball in from an even deeper angle.

“I had a chance to shoot and I said, ‘Why don’t I just hit it. We need to start something here. At least get some of our guys going,'” Schmidt said. “When one of us gets a shot on, we all like to get shots on.”

A short while later, Schmidt took a pass from Isaac Pease, who was getting to balls ahead of Windham defenders all night, and then softly rolled the ball to the middle, where a streaking Gunner Smith knocked it home.

“(The forwards) are up there to make things happen,” said Seth Benjamin, Gorham’s assistant coach, “and they got the job done tonight.”

The Eagles had an occasional rush, but were generally forced into weak shots, which Rams keeper Will Pike handled easily in the first half. With the game firmly in hand after 40 minutes, Pike came out and played a little forward, scoring in the waning minutes of the action on a pass from Trevor Ross.

“I should have had two,” Pike said, “but one is not bad for a goalie.”

Josh Tanguay took over in the net and didn’t miss a beat, keeping the shutout intact.

Windham is hoping to bounce back after a tough stretch that has seen the Eagles lose two and settle for ties in a pair of games in which they outplayed their opponents.

“We work great as a team, but we need to work with our guys up top and play it on the ground more,” said Windham’s Jeremy Egan. “We play it too much in the air.”

Since dropping their opener to Deering, Gorham has won four straight and the Rams will look to continue playing their game at home against Kennebunk (Tuesday) and Massabesic (Thursday).

“This was a very good win for us,” said Schmidt.


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