SACO — Even though Thornton Academy’s field hockey team came into the season regarded as one of the favorites in Class A South, Coach Lori Smith knew her players had a lot of work to do – especially on defense.

It appears as if the Trojans are rounding into shape.

Thornton Academy got a goal from sophomore Taylor Ouellette early in the second half and then held on to defeat Marshwood 1-0 at Hill Stadium, a victory that likely secured a first-round bye for the Trojans in the upcoming playoffs.

Smith knew exactly where the credit belonged.

“We’ve been working on defense,” she said. “And defensively I think it was one of our better games.”

The victory lifted the Trojans to 12-2 while the Hawks (10-3-1) had an eight-game winning streak snapped.

Marshwood had a territorial advantage throughout and was awarded four penalty corners to one for the Trojans. But a Thornton defense paced by Sidney Hurst and Grace Decker held the Hawks to just two shots and continually broke up Marshwood rushes or passes in the circle.

And goalie Isabella Capozzi made a huge stop to secure the victory.

The Hawks kept the pressure on Capozzi for much of the final three minutes. And with 75 seconds remaining, Lexi Tworkowski ripped a shot from the right that Capozzi blocked with her right pad. The rebound was shot just wide of the left post.

“She has been looking really great lately,” said Smith. “She’s very talented. We’re lucky to have her. She’s quick and she’s strong.”

Capozzi said she simply relied on her fundamentals.

“In practice we’ve been focusing on staying square to the ball,” said Capozzi. “I could see it coming, so I lunged for it.”

Offensively, the Trojans have found another scorer to go along with senior Libby Pomerleau, the school’s all-time leading scorer. That would be Ouellette, who scored her 10th goal of the season.

For Ouellette the season changed when Smith moved her from center forward to left wing, which is her natural position.

On the goal, Pomerleau carried the ball into the circle and crossed a pass to her left to Ouellette.

“I just tried to hit it,” she said.

She certainly did, firing a blast that went inside the left post with 25:32 remaining.

The assist was Pomerleau’s ninth of the year and tied the school’s career assist record of 20.

Since Ouellette moved to the wing, she has taken a lot of pressure off Pomerleau. The goal was her seventh in the last seven games.

“I think it was a matter of getting to know each other, how we play and knowing where each other would be,” Ouellette said of her bond with Pomerleau.

While disappointed with the outcome, Hawks Coach Lisa Truesdale was not disappointed with the effort.

“I knew this was going to be a hard one, I knew it was going to be back and fourth,” she said. “I’m not displeased with the kids. We played well.”