GORHAM — The Gorham girls’ soccer team isn’t very familiar with losing – especially in the regular season.

But Kennebunk has a history of bringing its ‘A’ game when playing the perennial powerhouse. After nearly ending Gorham’s playoff run in the Class A South quarterfinals last season, Kennebunk won 1-0 on a goal by Lydia Howarth Monday night.

“We have to be ready for every team to give us their best game,” Gorham Coach Jeanne Zarrilli said. “Tonight, I think we weren’t.”

Howarth, a sophomore midfielder, scored with 12:56 left in the first half when she drove down the middle of the field and arched her shot over Gorham goalkeeper Michelle Rowe.

“A friend told me to run through the ball, and I did,” Howarth said. “She (Rowe) was bending down to stop it at my feet, and I popped it up over her head.”

From there, goalkeeper Adia Grogan helped Kennebunk sustain its lead. She made seven saves against Gorham, which had scored a combined 15 goals in its first two games.

Rowe had three saves.

“Once they got up, I thought they defended really hard – their goalie came up big,” Zarrilli said. “We’ve got to come back and learn our lesson from this.”

It was a physical game from the start and the two teams appeared evenly matched.

Kennebunk freshman Emily Archibald nearly scored in the first two minutes, but her shot bounced off the goalpost before Gorham cleared it.

Gorham threatened to tie the score with 2:30 left in the first half when Emma Forgues fed Lyndsey Estes the ball while charging toward Grogan. Grogan managed to block Estes’ shot, redirecting it out of bounds.

Kennebunk also suffered a major loss late in the first half when Hallie Schwartzman – a top offensive threat – left the game with an ankle injury.

Schwartzman did not return, and Kennebunk Coach Shannon Cavanaugh said it was too early to know the significance of the injury.

In the second half, Archibald continued to test Rowe. She fired off two shots on goal before receiving a yellow card after colliding with a Gorham defender – a call with which Cavanaugh did not agree.

“That was for, in their opinion, persistent infringement – they felt that she had already fouled a few times, so it was essentially just a warning for her to keep it in check,” Cavanaugh said. “I don’t always agree with them, but their job is to keep everyone safe.”

Forgues threatened Kennebunk’s lead until the end.

With 27 minutes left, the junior striker nearly scored on a header, which Grogan tipped over the crossbar. Sixteen minutes later, Grogan blocked another Forgues shot, bobbling the ball before collecting it with Gorham forwards charging for the rebound.

Both Gorham and Kennebunk will play on Wednesday. Gorham plays at Portland and Kennebunk hosts Scarborough.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

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Twitter: TaylorVortherms