SCARBOROUGH — They are the top seed. They took a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the game and dominated the first half.

But nothing was ever comfortable for the Scarborough High Red Storm in a 1-0 win over ninth-seeded Falmouth in the Class A South field hockey quarterfinals Tuesday night at the Mitchell Complex.

Scarborough’s solid defense allowed Lucy Malia’s goal to hold up. The Red Storm (14-1) advanced to the semifinals, either Friday or Saturday, when they host No. 4 Biddeford (13-2). The two teams have not met this year.

The Yachtsmen (7-9) were a dangerous No. 9 seed, having won 4 of 5. They had not played Scarborough since Sept. 1 (a 3-1 Red Storm win).

“Falmouth has never really been blown out. They’re always in it,” Scarborough Coach Kerry Marriello said. “This is a playoff game. There’s no such thing as standings and rankings. Everyone is equal.”

Scarborough played nearly the whole first half in Falmouth’s end with six shooting attempts (to none by Falmouth) and with a 5-0 edge in penalty corners.

“We were just nervous going into this game,” Falmouth Coach Robin Haley said. “Scarborough has such an incredible team and such a rich history in field hockey.”

On Scarborough’s fifth corner, Malia sent the ball to her teammates. It came out. Rachel Paradis got control, sent the ball back in, near the left post, where Malia tipped it in with 19:05 left in the half.

“We really executed that one well,” Paradis said. “It was a great team play. I touched it, and Lucy had a wide-open shot.”

Other shots were just off, and the Red Storm kept up the pressure.

“We were really passing well all over the field,” Paradis said. “That passing got us all those shots.”

A lot of shots, but one goal. Falmouth was still in it. That was Haley’s point to her team at halftime.

“I said, ‘Now let’s settle down and play the way we know we are capable of playing.’ And they did,” Haley said. “We just couldn’t put it in the net.”

In the second half, Falmouth began getting chances, but few shot attempts. Lucy Bogdanovich and Hannah Dobecki anchored the Red Storm defense, with help on the wings from Caitlyn Tyrrell and Anna Walker.

“Defense played great,” goalie Sam Carriero said. “They were all over the place. It’s always great when I think the ball is coming, and they stop it.”

Still, Marriello did not like Falmouth grabbing the momentum. She called timeout with 20:21 remaining and told her team to “wake up.”

“We started strong,” Marriello said. But in the second half, “when they’re not going to the ball, getting beat to the ball, losing possession because of laziness, it’s frustrating. Those are things we can control, so I tried to motivate them a little bit.”

Scarborough pressured again, but Falmouth did not give up, earning a penalty corner with two minutes left. The Yachtsmen got off their only shot on goal, from Grace Soucy, but Carriero was there.

The Red Storm move on, but nothing is safe in Class A South.

“It will be a battle every game,” said Scarborough senior co-captain Cat Taylor.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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