SACO — Meghan Hoffses scored twice in the first half, and Windham held on for a 3-2 win over Thornton Academy in a Class A South girls’ soccer game Wednesday.

Rylee Pepin added a goal and assist for Windham (5-2), which remained in eighth place in the Heal point standings. Thornton Academy, still in ninth place, fell to 3-5.

Windham bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Noble in its previous game.

“This is a huge win because we practiced and went over exactly what to do and how we were going to execute,” Hoffses said. “We needed this win really badly because we weren’t playing our best.

“To have this win is a huge boost for us.”

Hoffses made it 3-1 with 5:22 remaining in a wild first half. She took a through pass up the middle of the defense from Pepin, fended off a defender and unleashed a short shot past keeper Grace Mears (11 saves).

“Meghan has a fire in her a lot of athletes don’t have,” Windham Coach Deb LeBel said. “She’s not going to give up.”

Windham worked on its through balls and chip shots over the defense this week, and the work came to fruition. The Eagles attacked Thornton with countless runs by its wings and crosses into the middle.

“We knew Windham is great with through passes,” said Thornton Coach Natalie Sharland.

“On the winning goal, our defense was tired from chasing them a little bit and they got us.”

After the Trojans scored 2:11 into the game on a hard shot from 25 yards by Hannah Niles, Windham tied the game less than a minute later. Riley Beem crossed the ball from the right wing to Pepin, who settled it and fired a low shot into the opposite corner.

“We have worked on possessing the ball and not just kick and run,” LeBel added. “We were working both sides of the field and not just pushing it up the middle.

“There was a lot of switching (the field) tonight and a lot of unselfish play.”

Windham grabbed the lead for good with 7:57 left in the half on Hoffses’ first goal.

She picked up a loose ball in the box and tucked a shot inside the near post.

After Hoffses connected again just a couple minutes later, Thornton answered with 1:19 left in the half when Alyanna Beaudoin scored on a rebound past Windham keeper Riley Silvia (seven saves).

The Trojans carried their momentum into the second half. Hazel Stoddard picked up a loose ball, dribbled a few times and uncorked a hard shot that Silvia had to dive to stop.

Thornton mounted its best sustained pressure in the second half with 15 minutes left, but Ameila Mortero, Belle Skvorak and Emma Yale were there to clear the ball any time it made it into the box.

Windham came close to adding to its lead a couple times late in the game.

The Eagles’ best chance in the second half was with 8:45 left, when Caitlin Drouin dribbled down the left wing and left a short pass for Pepin, whose 20-yard shot was headed to the top opposite corner before Mears made a fingertip save.

“We could have folded right from the beginning once they got that quick goal, Hoffses said. “But we stayed real positive and we kept attacking them.”


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