SACO — Megan Hurrell of Thornton Academy had one thought as the soccer ball ricocheted off diving Deering goalkeeper Lee Ann Downs and skipped to her inside the 18-yard line.

“It was my only shot. I just had to go for it,” she said.

Hurrell got all of her small frame’s power into her right foot. Downs got both hands on the shot but only enough to send it glancing into the top net.

Hurrell’s 15th-minute goal held up as third-seeded Thornton Academy beat sixth-ranked Deering 1-0 in a Western Class A quarterfinal Wednesday.

Hurrell’s shot came after Tori Daigle, sent into space by Amanda Arnold, let rip with a shot that Downs stopped.

Daigle set the tone with a similar play in the opening minutes – again stopped by Downs, who made 16 saves.

“I was ready to play them because I knew they were going to be a good opponent so I came out strong,” Daigle said.

Thornton (13-1-1), in the semifinals for the fifth straight year, will play Saturday at second-seeded Falmouth. The time will be determined.

“At the beginning of the game we were great. I think we did a lot of good things and then we fell back into a couple of little things we had worked on, easy things to clean up,” Thornton Coach Chris Kohl said.

Deering (11-4-1) tied Thornton 1-1 in the regular season.

The Rams had limited opportunities in the first half. Thornton consistently worked the action up both wings and through Arnold in the middle.

The second half was different. After a couple of solid chances, Edie Pallozi had what proved the best opportunity to tie the game when an odd carom allowed her to unload a shot from about 10 yards that a defender deflected wide of keeper Alexis Nason (7 saves).

“They came out a lot harder in the second half. I think that’s all it was. The energy level was higher in the second half,” Deering Coach Kevin Olson said.

With time dwindling, Olson moved Alexis Elowitch to the front line.

“We knew we had to really cover them and not let anyone get by us. It was nerve-racking because we only had one goal,” Thornton back Allie Pettaway said.

Elowitch did take off on two charges through the middle but couldn’t get off a quality shot.

Thornton controlled the final minutes. Haley DaGraca and Arnold had short-range shots stopped by Downs.

“Lee Ann has been a phenomenal goalkeeper for us. She came up with some amazing saves and the goal that went in was not her fault. She just played a great game,” Olson said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:[email protected]Twitter: SteveCCraig


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.