Gorham midfielder Kristi Zarrilli was just trying to get one final shot off before the end of the first half. What she did was put a big wrench in Marshwood’s upset plan.

After falling behind in the first 10 minutes, Gorham tied the game just over midway through the first half and scored two goals in the final minute of the half- the second by Zarrilli with less than three seconds left -to take a commanding lead. The Rams went on to win 4-1 at home on Tuesday, extending their unbeaten streak over four seasons to 57 games and improving to 4-0 on the year. It was the first loss for Marshwood, which dropped to 3-1.

As the first half ticked down with Gorham leading 2-1, the Rams had a direct kick from 35 yards out on the left side. Zarrilli rushed to get the ball set and sent a high arcing shot toward the net. It sailed just inside the left goal post, out of the reach of the Marshwood keeper, with 2.4 seconds on the clock.

“I knew we had barely any time and I was actually going to ask for 10 (yards) because (a Marshwood player) was too close, but I looked at the clock and there were like eight seconds, so I’m like, ‘You know what, I just need to shoot this, not matter what happens, just shoot it,’ and it went in,” Zarrilli said.

It was a deflating goal for the Hawks, who took a 1-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game on a goal by Emma Collins off a cross from Michelle Williams. Marshwood was the more relaxed and patient team early on, passing the ball well and limiting Gorham’s offensive touches.

Gorham coach Jeanne Zarrilli said the Hawks are always tough.

“They always play really well. I have a lot of respect for the club,” she said. “They always have good ball movement, they’re always on top of everything. So if we don’t play that way, we can get taken advantage of. We were so slow to start. We were awful. Literally, it was the worst 10 minutes I’ve seen in four years.”

The coach took responsibility for the poor start. She said she was trying a new marking system, which she soon scrapped. “As soon as we changed back, we were better,” Jeanne Zarrilli said.

Rachele Burns scored the equalizer for the Rams with 16:13 left in the first. She one-timed Kiersten Turner’s long throw-in from the left sideline into the top of the goal.

“She threw the ball in, it went long and I just turned and one-touched it,” Burns said. “We’ve worked on one-touching and volleying in practice, and that’s what I did, taking it from practice and brining it into a game.”

Burns struck again with the go-ahead goal with 54 seconds left in the first. Sierra Peters took a cross in the box and sent a shot towards an open net, but with a Marshwood defender closing in fast, Burns put a foot on it to make sure it found the back of the net. After the game, Burns apologized to Peters for “stealing” her goal.

The two-goal flurry in the final minute of the half allowed the Rams to settle in at the start of the second half.

“That gives you the momentum going into the half,” Jeanne Zarrilli said. “Then in the second half we were able to settle down and play our game and not panic so much.”

Gorham, which outshot Marshwood 18-9, controlled possession from the start of the second half. Kristi Zarrilli added her second goal of the night with 21:54 to go. She took a pass from Burns and unleashed a blast from 30 yards out. It deflected off the hands of the leaping Marshwood net minder and into the goal.

The Rams defense did a fine job of limiting the touches of Marshwood standout forward Elise Amioka all night long. Jeanne Zarrilli credited Caitlin Caldwell with putting the clamps on Amioka.

“Caitlin’s the marking back I put on her,” the coach said. “Last year and this year she shut her down. She’s a kid you don’t really notice in a game, but she’s so important…She plays one-on-one defense so well. You don’t really see her do a lot, but you don’t see Elise get in because Caitlin just holds her. She knows how to stay and contain rather than lunge and let her get by. She’s so key to our team.”


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