SACO — Abby Pomerleau was on the field in the waning minutes of the Class A South quarterfinal field hockey game Wednesday night because Coach Lori Smith thought the freshman could provide a spark.

Pomerleau did more than that, scoring her first career goal with 1:31 left to give third-seeded Thornton Academy a 2-1 victory against sixth-seeded Marshwood.

“Oh my God, the freshman,” Smith said. “We have found subbing her in, in small spurts gives us a lot of energy. She’s pretty confident for a freshman, and she has a nice hit and crossing the ball to the center was important.”

The hope was that Abby Pomerleau could help set up someone like her big sister Libby Pomerleau – Thornton’s all-time leading scorer – or Grace Pickering. But when a scramble ensued, with a Pickering bid sliding from right to left in front of Marshwood goalie Shannon Giblin and her defenders, it was Abby Pomerleau who got the chance to play hero.

“I wasn’t really thinking, I was just playing,” Abby Pomerleau said. “I kind of just was in my zone and pretended like it was just me, my teammates and the corner, and just kind of took the shot that I do in practice and did what I could.”

Pomerleau rolled a sweeping shot past Giblin and under the stick of a defender. As the ball crested the goal line, Pomerleau was jumping into a teammate’s arms.

“It was awesome that she got that goal. I was so proud I almost started crying,” Libby Pomerleau said. “It was perfect timing, and as a big sister and a senior captain I was very, very proud of her.”

Libby Pomerleau tied the game with her 22nd goal of the season off a corner with 22:59 left.

Thornton will be at No. 2 Scarborough for Saturday’s regional semifinal. A game time is expected Thursday.

Marshwood scored first with a hard drive off a penalty corner by Hannah Costin with 14:53 left in the first half. Costin was a standout with her ability to rush the ball through the midfield, along with strong play on defensive corners.

“Hannah Costin played out of her mind and she didn’t want to settle for defeat,” Marshwood Coach Lisa Truesdale said.

Marshwood continued to have the edge through the first half before Thornton used the intermission to regroup tactically and mentally.

“We knew that we had another 30 minutes and they were only up by one goal,” Libby Pomerleau said. “We knew that we have come back before and we could do it again. We just walked out with confidence in ourselves.”

Marshwood did get a final penalty corner with just under a minute left. The start of the corner was delayed by about 20 seconds due to Desiree Bracamonte of Thornton picking up the ball and carrying it more than halfway to midfield before tossing it softly back. Bracamonte, who had played a strong second half defensively, was not whistled for an infraction and the referees neither stopped the clock nor adjusted it.

The Hawks did get the corner off. Costin was able to dodge one onrushing defender before Ali Ouellette of Thornton kept her from getting off a drive with a solid block.