SCARBOROUGH — With opening games come jitters. With jitters come mistakes.

For one half Thursday night, Scarborough High’s powerful field hockey team struggled to finish plays and make connections. Then in a 10-minute span of the second half, the Red Storm struck for three goals and defeated Marshwood, 3-0.

Scarborough dominated with a 17-1 advantage in penalty corners and 10-1 edge in shots, but couldn’t pull away from the plucky Hawks – who were without injured star player Lindsey Poirier – until they settled down.

“The nerves got hold of us,” said Red Storm Coach Kerry Mariello. “It’s just one step at a time and they were trying to think too far ahead. It’s just going to be a matter of time; the more we keep knocking on the door it’s going to open. It just took us until the second 10 minutes of the second half to get going.

“We just need more time. It’s Game 1 and we’ve got a lot of things to work on.”

The Hawks, even without Poirier (sprained ankle), had something to do with Scarborough’s first-half frustration. Cassidy Smith made some impressive saves and sophomore defender Alexis Tworkowski continually thwarted Scarborough’s corners with aggressive play.

The game was scoreless until 17:01 remained. After Scarborough misfired on its 15th corner, the ball eventually found Kristen Levesque in the middle of the circle. She passed to Lily Nygren, who swatted the ball out of the air and over Smith for the goal.

“My stick was not on the ground; it was supposed to be on the ground,” said Nygren, a sophomore, of her first varsity goal. “I decided to give it a shot. It went in, surprisingly. I wasn’t expecting that.”

The next goal, by Gabby Farino with 8:55 remaining, came off a penalty corner. Farino inserted the ball from the left of the goal, then patiently squatted at the left post as the ball worked its way back to her. She scored on a rebound.

“That’s the sweet spot where you’ve got to play,” said Farino.

The third goal, with 6:54 remaining, came on a tip-in by Kristen Murray of an Abby Walker shot.

This was a great first test for both teams. If there is a team in Western Class A that will challenge Scarborough’s dominance, many expect it to be Marshwood.

“I thought we played extremely well in the first half. We were controlled, composed, smart,” said Coach Lisa Truesdale. “The second half, when (we) first came out, (we) got behind, a step behind, going to the ball … Overall I’m not disappointed.”

Scarborough, meanwhile, displayed the resiliency that has been a trademark of its program for years.

“They came out strong and we were a little taken aback by that,” said midfielder Maddy Dobecki. “At the half we talked about how we needed to pick up the intensity, connect our passes and keep possession. And in the second half we did that.”

It was simply a matter of playing like they knew they could.

“At the half we were definitely feeling some frustration,” said Nygren. “We decided this isn’t really how Scarborough plays field hockey and we needed to change something. So we decided that we were going to go out harder and put in more effort in playing as a team. I think that worked for us.”


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