SACO – Scarborough High has built its field hockey powerhouse by often overwhelming its opponents. But it’s games like Tuesday night that build postseason success.

The unbeaten Red Storm escaped Thornton Academy’s Hill Stadium with a victory, getting a goal from Rachael Wallace with 55.3 seconds remaining to edge the Trojans, 2-1.

Thornton held Scarborough in check for most of the contest, but the Red Storm rallied in the final 15 minutes, scoring goals off two of the eight penalty corners they forced in that time.

Wallace assisted on the tying goal, a perfectly-placed tip-in by Kristen Murray with 13:37 left.

“It’s just the belief that we can do this,” said Red Storm Coach Kerry Mariello. “We were down Marshwood at halftime, same scenario. This is why we play. These are great games. Let’s see how tough we really are.

“And they proved it. These are the games I’d rather win. Even though it is mentally tiring, it proves a lot to yourself internally as a player, as a person, and it allows you to push through hard times. And that’s what we just did.”

The victory pushed second-ranked Scarborough to 7-0 while the seventh-ranked Trojans dropped to 5-3 — the losses all by one goal to the three top teams in Western Class A.

“I just told the girls that it doesn’t feel good at all and you’ve got to remember that so you don’t feel that way again later,” said TA Coach Lori Smith.

The Trojans certainly gave Scarborough a battle. Thornton’s defense, led by Francesca Petrucci, Dorina Sirois and Grace Pickering, was supported by the midfielders to hold the Red Storm to one shot in the first half.

“I thought we took them out of their game for a good majority of the game,” said Smith. “They really couldn’t get much together.”

Morgan Dube gave Thornton a 1-0 lead with 17:38 left in the first half, off a penalty corner, by stuffing in a rebound. The Trojans had a couple of other good scoring opportunities, including a shot by Lauren Russell late in the first half that rolled wide of the post.

But the Red Storm became relentless in the final 15 minutes, finally pulling even on Murray’s goal. Maddy Dobecki inserted the ball on the corner play from the left, to Abby Walker.

She quickly passed to Wallace on her left. Wallace shot, Murray stuck out her stick and tipped the ball back over TA goalie Gabrielle Capozzi’s right shoulder as Capozzi moved to her left.

“That’s what you’ve got to do,” said Murray. “You’ve got to put the ball where the goalie isn’t, so it will go in.”

On the winning goal, Dobecki again sent the ball out to Walker, who passed to Wallace on the left. Her booming shot, low and through a crowd, flew just inside the left post.

When the game ended, Scarborough’s players celebrated quite heartily.

“They’re a great team,” said Wallace. “We haven’t had a challenge like that in a long time.”

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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