SCARBOROUGH — Nikki Young knew a shot was coming, and from close range. The Scarborough keeper spread her arms, trying to cut down options for Cheverus forward Emma Gallant.

With a tie score in the second half of the Class A South girls’ soccer championship game Wednesday night, Gallant had a golden opportunity to regain a lead against the unbeaten Red Storm, who had trailed just once in the regular season, and then only on an own goal.

Young and Gallant have played together on club teams. Young knows Gallant “takes really hard shots.”

Sure enough, Gallant uncorked a blast and Young never had a chance to react. The ball struck her flush in the face from 6 yards away and knocked her down, but the carom bounced wide of the near post.

“It didn’t feel too good,” Young said. “It was scary, but I was happy I saved it.”

Ten minutes later, Molly Murnane broke the tie and sent the Red Storm to a 3-1 victory. Scarborough (17-0) will face two-time defending champion Camden Hills – a 4-3 winner over Messalonskee – in a Class A title game rematch Saturday morning at McMann Field in Bath.

Cheverus (14-3) lost for the second time to the Red Storm, who won by the same score in Portland during the regular season.

“Cheverus played very well,” said Murnane, a senior. “This is the first time we were really worried.”

Gallant set up Helena Bolduc racing in from the left side to give the Stags a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute.

“As soon as they scored,” Murnane said, “we put our heads down for a second and then we decided, ‘No, not any more.’ “

It took another 10 minutes, but Scarborough senior Leah Dickman’s pressure on a Cheverus defender resulted in a ball that bounced back to the top of the box, where Ashley Sabatino unleashed a shot that deflected off either Dickman, the defender, or both and came to rest in the net.

Shortly thereafter, Gallant delivered the knockdown shot off Young and the Red Storm thwarted the ensuing corner kick for a huge momentum swing.

“It was right in the time we were vulnerable,” Scarborough Coach Mike Farley said. “We needed that save. I don’t think she wanted to take it in the face, but …”

After winning a 50-50 ball near midfield, Murnane raced in and bounced a shot over a Stags defender and into the far corner for a 2-1 lead with 13:05 remaining.

Minutes later, with Cheverus pushing forward, Murnane set up Dickman in front for the clincher.

“We played hard for 80 minutes,” Cheverus Coach Craig Roberts said. “They finished their chances and we came up short on a couple of ours.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

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