SCARBOROUGH – After three consecutive years of what Coach Mike Farley called season-ending “heartache,” otherwise known as early playoff elimination, the Scarborough High girls’ soccer team finally reached its goal — a spot in the Class A state championship game.

The undefeated Red Storm continued their season-long mission Wednesday night, beating second-ranked Thornton Academy 1-0 in the Western Class A final.

Haley Carignan got the goal on a rebound in the second half. But it was the Red Storm’s defense that again shone brightest.

Scarborough, which has given up just one goal all season — and it was in the playoffs — allowed few chances and continually turned back every Trojan rush, led by Emily Tolman, Heidi Bogdanovich, Nicolette Caron and Jessica Broadhurst.

“They’re just awesome,” said Trojans Coach Chris Kohl. “They head the ball awesome. They win the ball in the air like no other team; they win every head in the back. There’s really no bad bounces back there you can take advantage of.”

Scarborough (17-0) will play Bangor in the state final Saturday. The site and time will be determined today.

Thornton (13-4) also lost to Scarborough 1-0 in the regular season.

“This makes it all worth it,” said Farley. “Just the way they put the whole thing together is really special for them.”

Both teams played strong defense and, Kohl said, games like that usually come down to a couple of bounces.

The Trojans had one early in the first half, when a long drive bounced over the head of goalkeeper Jill Deering toward the goal. But Deering dove back and swatted the ball away just before it crossed the line.

“That’s what we need,” said Farley. “We don’t give up a lot of shots. We need our goalkeeper to step up and make the big save. And she’s done that time and time again.”

Scarborough got its bounce in the second half and capitalized. Cortney Hughes was left open at the top of the box and got off a hard drive that was knocked down by Thornton goalkeeper Sydney Proctor as she dove to her right.

But the ball bounded away and Carignan raced in to kick it into an empty goal with 21:05 remaining.

“Cortney has one of the strongest shots on our team,” said Carignan. “So I took a chance and followed the ball. Coach is always telling us to anticipate a bobble. I just went with it and got lucky.”

“That’s the difference in the game,” said Farley. “It’s one step and you’re either going on or going home.”

From there it was up to the Scarborough defense, which was determined not to allow the dangerous Trojans to get any chances.

“We talk a lot back there and we all work really well together,” said Tolman. “We make sure we drop behind each other. We all know what we’re doing.”

And it shows.

“I knew we would be good because these players have a lot of experience,” said Farley. “I never in a million years would have thought we’d go throughout the season without giving up a goal and play as well as we’ve played, and with as much passion as we have, in these playoffs.

“I think they surprise me every day by really stepping their play up in the toughest times in games.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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