SACO – Thornton Academy took advantage of two miscues and disrupted Greely’s strong passing game to advance to the Western Class A girls’ soccer championship game with a 2-1 win Saturday.

The Golden Trojans eliminated the Rangers in the semifinals for the second year in a row and move on to face top-ranked Scarborough, which rallied for a 2-1 victory over Cheverus.

It’s only the third time that Thornton has advanced to the Western Maine final, but the second year in a row. The Golden Trojans made it to the state final last year, losing to Brunswick.

Thornton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 14 minutes, scoring first on a long floater by senior forward Danielle Daigle. Daigle caught goalie Lindsay Arsenault out of the net after a clearing attempt.

Moments later, freshman standout Amanda Arnold put in a rebound after a shot by senior Lauren Titus that Arsenault couldn’t control.

“I’ve held Amanda back because we’re a senior-laden team and I didn’t want to throw her to the wolves. But today I thought there is no need to hold her back,” said Thornton Coach Chris Kohl.

“We kept the pressure up. In the playoffs it all comes down to bounces. The bounce went Amanda’s way.”

The game was stopped for a half hour in the second half when Sammi Toorish, a Greely sophomore, was hit in the face by a hard shot and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Less than four minutes after play resumed, Greely junior Audrey Parolin connected, on a Leah Young assist, to make it 2-1 with 29:53 remaining.

Greely had two golden opportunities soon after with corner kicks but was unable to convert.

Then Thornton regained the momentum in the final 10 minutes. A hard shot by Arnold was stopped by sophomore goalie Caton Beaulieu.

Arnold teamed up with Daigle minutes later and tried to convert a perfect cross, but Dinan again thwarted the effort.

Greely entered with a 10-game unbeaten streak (8-0-2), but the early deficit proved too much to overcome.

“We didn’t put as much pressure on them as we have in other games. They kept us to one goal. Typically we score three goals,” said Rangers Coach Michael Kennedy.

Senior standout Sydney Proctor, who has a school-record 23 shutouts, made eight saves for the Trojans.

Arsenault and Beaulieu each stopped three shots for the Rangers, who finished 10-4-2.

 

Staff writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at [email protected]