PORTLAND—Five Gorhamites scored five goals – that’s one apiece by Olivia Michaud, Madison Michaud, Lauren Fotter, Gracie Forgues and Anneka Braynt – as the visitors cruised to a big win at Deering on Saturday morning, Sept. 21.

5-0 the final in a thoroughly Gorham-controlled outing.

“[This was our] best 80 minutes,” Gorham head coach Jeanne Zarrilli said. “In other games, we’ve had 20-minute flurries, but we don’t score. This was – I just told them, ‘We played as a team for 80 minutes, did what we had to do for 80 minutes.’”

Madison Michaud vies with a Deering opponent. Adam Birt / American Journal

Deering assembled a respectable attacking stretch early in the first half, but Gorham soon seized control, pushing play back to midfield and into Deering’s end. Still, it took Gorham a long while to finally get on the board. Lexi Waterman logged a nice throw-in from the right sideline around 15:40, leading to a quality shot for Madison Michaud – a quality shot, but one that nevertheless curled just wide left.

Deering managed a brief foray into the right Gorham corner with roughly 13:00 to go before the break, but dug up nothing. Gorham took possession again, and at 12:22 finally snapped the 0-0 deadlock. Olivia Michaud notched the point, picking up a pass from behind her, beating a defender in a footrace and earning a one-on-one with Deering netminder Grayson Soldati – a one-on-one from which Michaud emerged the victor. 1-0.

23 seconds later, Fotter made it 2-0, zipping with the ball up the left side of the field and pulling the trigger. Soldati fell on the incoming shot – but was behind the goal line when she did so. 2-0.

Gorham settled into a slick attacking stretch after that, generating numerous opportunities on drives from their end or midfield. Each time, one Gorhamite would cross the ball to another: Olivia Michaud fed Fotter three times in three minutes. Fotter couldn’t quite find the back of the net, but the action clearly lay in Gorham’s hands.

“They had some speed up top,” Zarrilli said, asked what sorts of tough looks Deering presented. “But we’ve been working on covering and shifting, so that was good. And I think one of our keys is we use our goalie really well on the back pass. We’ve been trying to make sure everybody’s confident about that – not being nervous to pass back to her, because we’re good at that.”

With 2:40 to play, Anna Nault carried into the left Deering corner for Gorham. A few ping-ponging passes ensued, culminating in an Emma Callahan feed to Anneka Bryant. Bryant tipped the ball past Soldati at the bottom-left corner of Soldati’s cage. 3-0.

Anneka Bryant recorded one of the Rams’ five goals vs. Deering. Adam Birt / American Journal

Gorham continued to dominate in the latter 40 minutes: Madison Michaud ratcheted the score ahead to 4-0 with 32:03 on the board, finding the top corner of Soldati’s net on a long shot – a precision strike from 30 or 35 yards out.

11 minutes later, Gracie Forgues became the fifth Gorhamite to pick up a goal: Forgues headed a rebound past Soldati following a corner kick by Nault.

Other Gorham girls churned up chances during the game as well: Both Britteny Landry and Mackenzie Dix came close to scoring in the second half, for example. Neither did, though, and 5-0 is how things finished.

Gorham moved to 2-3 on the season – a slow start for the Rams. To be fair, the team has played some tough opponents already this fall: Gorham opened with a 3-2 loss to Portland, currently ranked fifth in A South; they followed up with a 5-2 win over No. 10 Marshwood, then dropped one game to No. 8 Falmouth and another to No. 1 Cheverus.

Moreover, good parity has settled on the League in recent years, and 2019 is no exception. Falmouth and Cheverus might be seven slots apart in the standings, for instance, but both are undefeated as yet.

“We’re reshaping a little,” Gorham head coach Jeanne Zarrilli said, asked about the Rams’ record thus far. “We have some reconfiguring issues, sorting out what we have to do – just, you know, we’re trying to learn from every game. All those games taught us a lot; obviously you learn a lot from losing. We’re ready to put things together now.”

Gorham hosted Biddeford on Tuesday, Sept. 24, winning 5-0 once again. They travel to Bonny Eagle on Saturday the 28th.

Raechel Edwards pounces on an airborne ball. Adam Birt / American Journal

Brylee Bishop heads a ball for Gorham. Adam Birt / American Journal

Rachael Gross connects with an airball. Adam Birt / American Journal

Lauren Fotter boots the ball ahead. Adam Birt / American Journal

Anna Nault leaps over a slide-tackling opponent en route up the sideline. Adam Birt / American Journal

Sydney Fox blasts a shot away for Gorham. Adam Birt / American Journal

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