SCARBOROUGH—The Rams bounded out front of the Storm 4-0 in the first seven minutes on Monday night, May 20, with Carson Battaglia contributing two. After that, Scarborough doubled down on defense to really give their guests a game, one that got as close as 5-3 midway through the second half.

Things went Gorham’s way in the end, however: 8-4 the final.

“Really, it was our defensive spark today,” Gorham head coach Mary Guimond said. “Turnovers on defense that [were] leading to good things on attack – because attack really couldn’t get started, for a long time.”

“Our defense has done a really good job of clamping down, and communicating and talking about things when they’re not going right,” Guimond continued. “In their defensive huddles, they’re figuring out what to adjust. Leadership back there by Sarah Walker is just – everybody really focusing and doing well.”

Hailey Morrill kicked off the Rams’ opening rout: Morrill dashed up the right side and beat Storm Keeper Kathleen Murphy for 1-0 just over three minutes in, at 21:35. A minute later, Hallie Shiers made it 2-0, shooting from out front. Battaglia followed up nine seconds after that, winning the ensuing draw and zipping directly upfield to fool Murphy again. Finally, Battaglia, with 18:26 on the clock, drove in from the left side almost unopposed and buried her second ball of the evening. 4-0.

“At the beginning, we were figuring out how to pull their defense away,” Guimond said, “and take those drives.”

It looked, then, like the outing was fated to turn into a massacre – like No. 2 Gorham (now 8-1) was on pace to utterly smother the Storm, to dry them out completely. But Scarborough had something to say about that: The team called timeout, and upon returning to the turf looked like a changed unit. They ratcheted up their defense to better protect Murphy, and Murphy herself suddenly caught fire.

“They called timeout,” Guimond said, “and their defense doubled on ball for us. It’s been hard for us to move the ball around quickly and find those open people as fast as we need to. Their defense definitely stepped it up, and their goalie played a tremendous game. Tough goalie to beat.”

In fact, even though Gorham controlled most of the matchup from there on out, they only scored four further goals.

Scarborough notched next – Natalie Bilodeau did the honors, with roughly 10 minutes to play in the opening half – before Gorham retorted, another strike by Morrill, this one early in the downhill half. The Storm put up the next two points, bringing the team (currently winless, and ranked 10th in A South!) within two at 5-3. But Shiers, Morrill and Morrill again pushed the Rams to 8-3. The Storm did dig up one final goal, at 19.7 seconds, but clearly they were done for.

“We’ve had a lot of spread out scoring,” Guimond said. “Different girls step up in different games. I don’t think we’ve played a good 50 minutes of lacrosse yet; there’s patches here and there where we’re playing really well and we’re on, different girls play well at different times.”

“Hallie Shiers played awesome today on both ends of the field,” Guimond said. “Carson Battaglia had a couple nice rips; Hailey Morrill took scrap for that last one – that was a huge scuffle. It was a really physical game; Scarborough plays with so much heart and you can tell they really want it. They’re going to find it, I think.”

Gorham’s got a tough stretch coming up at the end of their regular schedule, with No. 3 Massabesic, No. 5 Marshwood and feisty Bonny Eagle waiting to face them. Regardless, they’re well-positioned as the playoffs approach to secure a good seed.

“We have a great group of girls this year,” Guimond said. “They respect each other on and off the field, which makes them really easy to coach. They kind of coach themselves. It makes it so enjoyable for me; they know exactly what to do and how to motivate themselves. They deserve this; the seniors especially deserve to have a really good season.”

Adam Birt can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Alie Peterson circles in toward the Scarborough goal.

A Stormer swoops in and knocks control of the ball away from Gorham middie Hallie Shiers.

Carson Battaglia turned in an excellent offensive effort.

Hailey Morrill put up a number of goals for the Rams in their victory.

Faith Dillon carries for the Rams.

Kacie Walton approaches the Scarborough net on a free position.