GORHAM — Right from the start, Cheverus High’s girls’ soccer team pushed the tempo. And Gorham could never match it.

The third-seeded Stags got goals from Lauren Jordan and Emma Gallant and timely saves from Neve Cawley to upend the second-seeded Rams 2-0 Friday in a Class A South semifinal.

“We talked about, playing on the road, needing to set the tone early,” said Cheverus Coach Craig Roberts. “And except for a little lull in the first half, we played hard.”

The Stags eliminated Gorham on the road for the second straight year, after a quarterfinal win in 2017. The victory lifted Cheverus (14-2) into the regional final at top-ranked Scarborough. Gorham finished 11-3-2.

“They’re a good team,” said Jordan, a junior defender. “Every game, we have to bring our ‘A’ game. We always go hard against them.”

Gorham Coach Jeanne Zarrilli said the Stags’ aggressive start put the Rams “on our heels.” And while Gorham regrouped midway through the first half, it couldn’t sustain the momentum.

“Kudos to Cheverus,” said Zarrilli. “They played hard, they played well, they’re a well-coached team, they supported each other, they challenged the 50-50 balls really well.

“We lost to a team that gave us everything they had, and they did a good job.”

Roberts made sure his players understood what was at stake, telling his players “if we don’t show up, you’re not going to have a chance. There’s less room for error, and I thought that we played pretty good soccer for 80 minutes.”

While the Stags carried the play early, Gorham had two great chances in the first half, both by Hallie Shiers. But Cawley came up big both times, including a save on a point-blank bid by Shiers after a nice cross from Emma Forgues on the left.

Then Jordan struck with 5:20 left in the half. She began the play with a throw-in from the left sideline. The ball came back to her at about the 30, and she kicked it toward the net. Gorham keeper Lily Courtney got her hands on the ball, but it slipped out and rolled just over the line.

“I didn’t even see it go in,” said Jordan. “I thought it was saved, and I was hauling back so I could keep the ball in front of me.”

Both teams played hard in the second half, but Cheverus’ defensive line of Jordan, Julia Ryan, Tellie Stamaris and Hayley Jordan stood its ground.

Then Gallant put it away with 9:36 remaining, taking a through pass from Julia Kratzer and putting the ball inside the far post.

“We’ve been fortunate the last two games, our best players have played best when it mattered most,” said Roberts. “I think that’s a sign of maturity and leadership, and they’re going to have to do it again.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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