WINDHAM — Normally, Jenna Shoemaker of Windham wouldn’t take a shot 40 yards from the goal. But in a slanting rain, with the wind at her back, she didn’t hesitate.

“Our coach told us to shoot from far out,” she said, “and I just let it go.”

The slick ball didn’t stop until it found the net after squirting through the grasp of Cheverus goalkeeper Mikayla Mayberry for the tie-breaking score of a 3-1 SMAA girls’ soccer victory Tuesday at Windham High.

“It was so wet,” Shoemaker said. “My jersey was sticking to me. It was freezing. But we pulled it together, strung some passes together and got the win.”

The Eagles (6-0) scored in the seventh minute on a transition following a Cheverus corner kick, then added two in a 34-second span midway in the second half to break a 1-1 tie.

Cheverus (4-2) was coming off its first loss, a 3-0 defeat against Scarborough in which SMAA-leading scorer Abby Maker limped off with a bone bruise in her right foot.

Originally expected to sit out a game, Maker instead lined up at striker and seemed as dangerous as ever, shielding defenders with her body and distributing passes to the wings.

“She did a nice job,” said Cheverus Coach Dan LaVallee, “but it was tough. We didn’t get much of a chance to get the ball to her.”

Blame a swarming defense. In particular, Emily Gilman and Jordan Sargent kept close tabs on Maker, who scored 15 times in the first four games.

“We knew after that loss that they were going to be fired up and ready to go,” Windham Coach Deb Lebel said. “Our kids knew they had to come out strong, too.”

Freshman Ciera Berthiaume scored first, finding the far corner with a shot Mayberry managed only to deflect after Jenna Soucy sent a long lead pass up the right wing and Berthiaume chased it down.

“A strength of ours is our speed up top,” Lebel said. “It’s amazing as a freshman how strong and quick (Berthiaume) is.”

Windham’s 1-0 lead stood for 11 minutes before Darby Rawcliffe of Cheverus pounced on a post-corner kick ball that rattled off the legs of at least three players before squirting free. Her drive from the right side sailed over the leaping reach of keeper Kate Kneeland and under the crossbar.

The game remained tied through halftime and nearly 18 minutes into the second half before Shoemaker’s long goal, set up by Jordan Symonds from near the left sideline. After the stoppage in play, Cassie Symonds returned after a three-minute break, took a pass directly in front from Berthiaume, and found the upper left corner from 23 yards for a 3-1 lead.

“It was nice for (Cassie Symonds) to go back in there and be able to do that,” Lebel said, “because before that she hadn’t had such a good game.”

With the wind advantage, Windham dominated play in the second half, taking 12 shots on goal to three for Cheverus and racking up a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Mayberry made several impressive saves to keep the game close. She finished with 14 to Kneeland’s seven.

“Days like this are a goalie’s worst nightmare,” Lebel said. “They both did a nice job.”

Cheverus was down to one substitution at game’s end after losing two more players to injury.

Hannah Robbins suffered a possible concussion after being hit with a ball kicked by a teammate and Haley Morin went to the sideline after winding up on the bottom of a pile in the aftermath of a corner kick.

LaVallee had opted for the wind in the first half, hoping to take a quick lead.

Sadie Lyons and Alyssa Smith nearly converted from close range, and Maker was high on a direct kick five minutes before the break.

“We had a couple of good chances,” he said. “We just didn’t bury any of them. And frankly, they’re a really good team. You don’t beat Gorham if you’re not good.”

The Eagles edged Gorham 2-1 last week on a last-minute goal by Soucy. They won’t face unbeaten Scarborough – which entered the week unscored upon – until Sept. 29 in Scarborough.


Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH