STANDISH — The return of goalkeeper Sydney Gillingham seems to have put the Bonny Eagle girls’ soccer team back on track after a rough stretch.

Gillingham kept Portland off the scoreboard with 12 saves Wednesday night, and the Scots came away with a 0-0 tie following a stretch in which they had lost five of six.

“Hats off to their goalie for coming out strong a couple times,” Portland Coach Curtis Chapin said. “We had one or two opportunities where we had beaten everybody, and we couldn’t quite get it turned.”

Portland outshot Bonny Eagle 21-15, with twins Annika and Isabella More leading the Bulldogs’ offense.

“We’re ‘twinning’ at the top,” Chapin said. “We’ve got an incredible corps of freshmen who don’t play like freshmen.”

However, the Scots (4-5-1) threatened to score first when Emily Ginter launched a shot a minute and a half into the game. Portland keeper Taylor Crosby managed to dive and get a hand on the ball, redirecting it away from the the net. Crosby finished with six saves.

The Bulldogs didn’t get off their first shot until 11 minutes later, when Annika More nearly converted a Morgan Kierstead cross. But Gillingham charged the ball and was there to make the save.

From there, Portland (5-2-3) managed to control most of the half, outshooting Bonny Eagle 9-3.

“They did test us quite a few times, but I thought, for the most part, we handled it well,” Chapin said. “We had at least five or six golden opportunities. We just couldn’t get on the board.”

Bonny Eagle Coach Ed Taylor said he thought his team controlled the first 15 minutes and Portland the next 20.

“We started hot — we had a funk,” Taylor said. “It happens.”

That seems to be a metaphor for the Scots’ season as well. Bonny Eagle started 3-0, outscoring two of those opponents by double digits before gaining a 1-0 win over Scarborough – the Class A South top seed that recently beat Portland 3-0.

But the Scots have faltered since then – a slump that coincided with Gillingham’s absence because of an ankle injury.

“It’s no secret that when you’re confident from the back, every line feels it all the way forward,” Taylor said. “Now, my defense is playing less tentative because they know that if they make a mistake, Sydney is behind them.”

In the second half, the Scots matched the Bulldogs’ shots, thanks partly to Hailey Bell’s long throw-ins to the box that proved as effective as corner kicks.

“We did everything except finish,” Taylor said. “Hopefully, as the season rolls on, (Bell’s throw-ins) will become a little more effective, and some of those will find the back of the net.”

Gillingham continued to thwart Portland’s scoring opportunities. Two minutes into the second half, she snagged a cross from the air before the Bulldogs could capitalize.

“We’re always supporting each other – I think it was all the positive energy,” Gillingham said of her performance. “You’ve got to do it for your team. Injuries happen, you just have to go for it.”

Taylor said he thought his team played strong from halftime until the end.

And if their season follows a similar trend, the Scots appear to be headed back up the Class A South rankings.

“Eventually, the floodgate has to break,” Taylor said. “You’re going to see us rack up some goals again before the season is over like we did early because we’re just too darn talented not to.”