GORHAM — On Senior Night, senior Sam Burghardt scored the lone goal Thursday to propel Gorham to a 1-0 victory against Cheverus in an SMAA boys’ soccer game.

Burghardt scored for Gorham (10-2-1) with 55 seconds remaining in the first half.

He stormed up the left side and executed a one-on-one move on a defender to open up a shooting lane, then took a hard shot that snuck past Cheverus keeper Harrison Bell on the right side.

“Toward the beginning of the game, we didn’t have a lot of energy. I just tried to pick it up and make a play, and I guess I made that play,” said Burghardt.

“(Burghardt) has been a little bit snake-bitten, so that felt good for him, I’m sure … and for us,” said Gorham Coach Tim King.

Bell, a sophomore, played a fantastic game for Cheverus (7-5-1), making 11 saves, including numerous diving stops.

“I give my backs credit, they really killed a lot of shots for me,” said Bell. “We communicated well, but they just made one more play tonight.”

About two minutes before the goal, Bell made an outstanding diving save to his right, denying Burghardt.

Midway through the second half, Bell again dove to his right to stop Burghardt, this time on a header.

“I can’t complain. I thought we gave it our all like every game,” said Bell.

The score easily could have been 3-0 or worse if not for Bell.

“We’re spoiled to have two more years of (Bell),” said Cheverus Coach Matt Andreasen.

Cheverus mustered few chances because of Gorham’s physical defense. The Stags did have an opportunity to tie the game with 4:10 remaining, but a direct kick by Luc Dionne was just wide and hit the side of the net.

“We’re definitely a physical team. From last year to this year, we’re definitely more body-oriented. I guess that’s how it works,” said Burghardt.

Gorham keeper Clayton Bassingthwaite earned the shutout with four saves.

The game had a playoff atmosphere, featuring the fourth- and fifth-ranked teams in Class A South.

Gorham was able to use its size advantage to control play for most of the first half and at crucial times in the second.

“(The game) was physical, it was very emotional. Unfortunately in this sport, like many other sports, it usually comes down to a play or two,” said Andreasen. “(Gorham) made a play tonight and we didn’t. They deserved to win.”

“(Cheverus) came real hard at us and gave us everything we could (handle),” said King. “That’s what it’s going to be in the playoffs.”

Cheverus closes out its regular season at home Tuesday against Biddeford.

“We want to be playing better a week from now, and hopefully our best is good enough to make a little run (in the playoffs). We’ll see,” said Andreasen.

Gorham will finish its regular season Tuesday night at Bonny Eagle.

“We’re looking just to win out the rest of the season, get the best possible placement we can for the playoffs,” said Burghardt. “From there on, we’ll see what we can do.”

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