The No. 3 Rams hung tough with the No. 1 Storm for a substantial chunk of the A South Championship on Wednesday, June 15: Gorham Stalwarts like Joe Gallant and Alex York matched Scarborough goal-for-goal through the first quarter-plus. But the Storm’s relentless attack won the day, prying open a lead as the action progressed, rolling to a 12-8 W and thwarting Gorham’s hopes for a States berth.

“We had a very slow start in the third quarter,” said Gorham head coach Dan Soule, “which swung the momentum hugely in Scarborough’s favor in the first two minutes. From that point, we were trying to play catch-up.”

When Gorham visited Scarborough in the regular season – way back at both teams’ opener, on April 16 – the Rams emerged victorious for the first time in program history, 9-8. So the outcome of the rematch was, in advance, completely wide open: Now that Gorham had dried out the Storm once, why couldn’t they do it again?

“The first game is only the first game of the season,” Soule said, looking back on the Rams’ victory over the Storm, “but to beat a team that’s beaten us the last 11 straight years, that was a big accomplishment for the kids, and I think that built some confidence.”

“We felt confident that we grew over the course of the season,” said Soule. “But we knew they had probably developed as well … We were aware of the personnel they had, and the depth.”

The Rams kept close with Scarborough for some time, the teams trading goals back and forth. The Storm jumped on top first: Having gone man-up, Cam Thibault capitalized, converting a feed from Marco Manfra into a blast past Gorham keeper Carter Landry. Gallant answered two minutes later, though, cutting in low from the right side for a bouncer past Scarborough netminder Dominic Joy.

“We had certain matchups we were trying to make happen,” said Soule. “And the angles we were trying to take worked in the first half.”

Stormer Cam Nigro made it 2-1, and York 2-2; Marc Guerette made it 3-2, and Chris Tucker 3-3. Then, however, Scarborough began to wedge open the advantage they needed. They may never have held an insurmountable lead, but nor did they ever fall behind. 

“Scarborough had a lot of energy, and were up,” Soule said of the critical stretch just after the teams returned from halftime. “They took advantage of their athleticism and really pushed hard at the start of the third quarter.

“They got three quick goals. Three goals isn’t enough to end the game in the third quarter by any means, but it was definitely a huge momentum swing. They played with a lot of confidence from that point on. That momentum swing wore on us a little bit.”

Gorham slipped on the loss to 12-3, where they hung up their cleats till 2017. Still, it’s the program’s best finish ever, and something to be proud of. Soule expressed great pride in his boys.

“Absolutely,” he said. “The team goal was to win states this year, as it is every year. But over the last four years, we’ve taken steps to get that much closer. The kids realistically felt it was a possibility this year.” 

“Making it to the Southern Regional Championship game was huge,” Soule said. “Because I don’t think very many people, at the start of the year, if you asked them who they thought would be playing in the Regional Championship game, I don’t think Gorham was in that conversation.” 

That’s perhaps a bit modest – or if it’s true, all those people need to think about the bigger picture. Gorham may not have the longest roster, but they’re stacked with talented and hardworking athletes. Such that, even though Scarborough successfully held standout Alex York to just one goal and two assists, they couldn’t also stop the young Chris Tucker from stepping up and notching a hat trick.

“We had to rely on Chris, as a sophomore, which is actually great,” said Soule. “Looking at it next year.”

Additionally, Cam Wright had an assist; Tristan Brunet finished with two goals and two assists; and Cam Tracy had a goal. On the other end of the field, Carter Landry – easily one of the best goalies in the state – had 17 saves.

Scarborough, meanwhile, continued on to Saturday the 18th’s Class A Final at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. There, they triumphed over North reps Brunswick 18-10.

 

Gorhamite Tristan Brunet fends off a Scarborough opponent.

Ram Alex York fires a shot in his team’s A South Final at Scarborough.

Gorham’s Chris Tucker winds up to pass in the Rams’ A South final vs. Scarborough.

Gorhamite Sam Burghardt defends against the Scarborough onslaught.

Gorhamite Mat Anderson harangues Scarborough’s Cam Thibault during the teams’ matchup.

Cam Wright pushes through a Scarborough opponent in Juen 15’s A South Final.


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