FALMOUTH – After they hugged and screamed their joy. After each received her medal and watched the presentation of the championship trophy. After they ran to one end of the field for the photos in front of the scoreboard — which had already erased the 3-0 tally of their victory.

It still hadn’t sunk in. The girls of Scarborough’s soccer team understood they beat Bangor on Saturday afternoon but they had not yet grasped the enormity of their success. Except, perhaps, for goalkeeper Abby Van Note who corrected me when I referred to Scarborough’s won-loss record.

“No losses,” she said, smiling. “We didn’t lose.”

No defeats in 18 games. One goal scored against Jill Deering and Van Note in 18 games and that was a penalty kick last Saturday by Cheverus in the Western Maine final. This was a season that flirted with perfection in a very imperfect sport.

In the previous century this dominance might have been understandable. Schools had one or two or more weak sisters on their schedules. Schools had a core of stars, not a team of girls who could score and defend.

Now there are many more teams with good players and those who play on the premier teams sponsored by soccer clubs. Many more girls who understand the toughness it takes to be competitive in every game.

Van Note entered Saturday’s game with a few minutes left to play. She and Deering had alternated through much of the season, but Deering got the starts heading into the playoffs. After cheering her teammates from the sideline Van Note had to shift her mind to another gear to make the stops to preserve the championship shutout. No problem.

“I don’t think we ever felt pressure (to win, to keep the shutout streak alive),” said Van Note. “I’m sure the bonds we have as teammates helped. This team is so close.”

So close, they picked each other up throughout the season and the final game. So close, the competition between starters and those coming off the bench was friendly but intense.

That the goalies pitched shutouts game after game was tribute to their reflexes and instincts. That they only had four or five shots to deflect was tribute to the midfielders who interrupted their opponents’ offense. And a pressing Scarborough attack that kept the ball in their opponents’ end.

Remarkable too, said Coach Mike Farley, was that his team didn’t blink when it ran onto the field in its opponents’ house. Scarborough was the team to be taken down. No one could.

“It’s still unreal,” said Tori Armishaw, one of the captains. “Going into this season we didn’t expect to win every game and give up one goal and that was a penalty kick. It’s just unbelievable.”

Championship teams come and go. With the passage of time and the cycle of scholastic sports, one team’s success at a school blurs into another. This team should withstand the test of time. Farley will always have a standard by which to compare future teams.

This team got it done. Start to finish. “We never talked about (the winning and shutout streaks),” said Van Note. “We pretended they didn’t exist.”

They no longer pretend. “This is really cool,” said Van Note. “It is going to hit us.”

Last week, Scarborough’s Nick Morris won the Class A boys’ cross country race, pacing his team to the title. Scarborough’s football team lost to Cheverus in the Western Maine semifinals earlier Saturday. Scarborough’s top-ranked boys’ soccer team was upset in the regional quarterfinals.

Last year, many of Scarborough’s teams and individuals won titles and appeared before the school board to hear praise. Van Note has been the student representative on the board. “It will be nice,” she said, looking forward to that night when her teammates and coaches make their appearance.

Accepting congratulations is different from giving them.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

[email protected]