Thornton Academy’s Hannah Collins battles Biddeford’s Kaelly O’Guinn during Wednesday’s girls soccer clash. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

BIDDEFORD — A strong first half led the Thornton Academy girls soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Biddeford at Waterhouse Field on Wednesday night.
“I’m really impressed with how hard our girls played particularly with the 50-50 balls. We talked a lot about that going into this game, controlling the air and controlling the game. They really delivered on that point,” said Thornton head coach Natalie Sharland.
The Trojans (6-6) opened the scoring seven minutes into the first half. The Trojans received a corner kick and Alyanna Beaudoin crossed the ball to Hannah Niles, who headed it into the back of the net.
At the 24:03 mark, the Tigers (2-10) answered the Trojans goal. Claudia Janelle passed the ball to Kaelly O’Guinn, who dribbled through two TA defenders before finding the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.
“KK is just a pretty extraordinary player and the ball came from a very experienced player Claudia Janelle. We have a very young varsity team. They’re still learning a lot even this late in the season. It’s really pleasing to see when things go right,” said Biddeford head coach Darren Boynton.

Biddeford’s Kadynne Smith pushes the ball past a Thornton Academy defender during Wednesday’s game at Waterhouse Field. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Sharland echoed Boyton’s sentiment about O’Guinn’s talent.
“Got to give it to Biddeford, particularly their forward (O’Guinn) — she’s a dangerous player. Awesome speed, she definitely put our defense to a test,” said Sharland.
Less then a minute after the Tigers goal, the Trojans took the lead — this time for good. Thornton Academy was awarded a free kick at the 12-yard mark. Niles sailed the ball over the Tigers’ block and into the back of the net for her second goal of the night.
“The first goal I tried to hit more back post and it ended up going more middle,” said Niles.
With 15:59 left in the first half, the Trojans scored again to cement their lead. TA was awarded another free kick, this time at the 15-yard mark. Beaudoin rammed the ball into the goal to produce a 3-1 score.
During the second half, Niles scored the last goal of the game. With 36:34 left in the contest, the Trojans received a free kick at the 27-yard mark. Niles smashed the ball into the net out of reach for Biddeford goalie Molly Scott to complete a hat trick and create the 4-1 final.
“Hannah got a hat trick for us tonight. She’s been clutch for us especially with free kicks. She just plays all out every game,” said Sharland.
Niles was humble when asked about her first hat trick of the season.
“I feel like all three thirds of our field played hard tonight and did what they had to do so we could win the game,” said Niles.
During the last 35 minutes of regulation both teams battled across the field but neither could find the back of the net.
“It was a good game. We definitely got outplayed by Thornton Academy tonight. We didn’t get outworked, but we definitely got outplayed (and) I’m proud of the girls. It was just a good game, back-and-forth,” said Boynton. “In the end, we gave up four goals on four set pieces. Nothing in the run of play, we’re pretty proud of that.”
Scott made eight saves for Biddeford. Thornton goalie Grace Mears made nine stops in the win.
Biddeford will travel to Kennebunk, while Thornton will visit Falmouth on Saturday.
“I think it’s pretty safe that we’re in playoffs, but right now we’re shooting for a home playoff game and we need to win out the rest of our season. We have Falmouth next and we’re taking it one game at a time and we’ll be ready to go,” said Sharland.
— Sports Writer Sienna Barstow can be reached at [email protected] or at 780-9018. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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