GORHAM—Gorhamite Javin Stickney took charge vs. visiting Windham on Thursday night, Oct. 3, tallying two goals. Fellow Ram Andrew Farr added one as well – a flourish of a notch that sent his bench into a bit of a frenzy.

3-0 the final.

“Javin had a couple good opportunities and he put them in, and that’s what we need,” Gorham head coach Tim King said. “We need balanced scoring, and he provided a couple goals tonight. And of course, Andrew had that run down the wing here at the end.”

Windham’s Dylan Raynor and Gorham’s Ryan Farr clash. Adam Birt / American Journal

The Rams possessed more than the Eagles in the contest, and applied most of the offensive pressure. It took them a while, though, to get on the board – almost 42 minutes.

“We did control the ball,” King said. “And we thought we could. But, you know, I think a lot of things and they don’t happen. So we were actually able to go out and do that. We had good spacing in the midfield; we were able to find feet a little bit better than we have, and move the ball a little bit better and keep possession. We’ve had a little bit of a problem with that from time to time this year.”

Stickney struck for the first time with 38:01 to play in the downhill half: Colby Christakis fed a rolling cross in front of Windham netminder Cam Brown and Stickney dove inward at the left post for the redirect.

Despite the loss, Brown deserves props for a solid game. He turned in a number of good saves – including a diving stop around the 30-minute mark. His teammates on the other end of the field simply couldn’t find a way to penetrate the Rams’ defense.

Defense has long been a Gorham strength. Kyle Hamblen set off some fireworks, protecting for the Rams around 27:30, when he dipped into a slick slide-tackle and thwarted an Eagle’s attacking progress.

Farr contributed his goal with just under 12 minutes to go. Up high in the Windham zone, Farr stepped right, then cut back left – he shucked his defender, gave himself a wide-open angle on the Eagles’ net and fired a flawless curling ball inside the left post. Farr’s teammates went ballistic. 2-0.

Brady King (2) and Hayden Bilodeau (14) go shoulder-to-shoulder. Adam Birt / American Journal

“He’s probably one of the fastest kids in the State,” King said of Farr. “We joke, because he almost uses his right foot exclusively on, like, every single kick. And so he went all the way down there with his right foot, and then he cut it back and shot it with his left. I think that’s why you heard the kids erupt – they couldn’t believe that he hit it with his left foot, and it was just a perfect placement in the corner.”

“He’s just such a fast player, and he’s so relentless,” King continued, “so when we can get him forward, we like to. Because if he does lose the ball, he can recover and get back in no time.”

Up 2-0, the Rams could’ve relaxed. Relaxing is dangerous, of course – the opposition can come crashing back.

“You can be complacent when you get to 2-0, but we didn’t get to 2-0 until pretty late,” King said. “I don’t think we had time to get complacent, and at that point, I would take 2-0 over 1-0 any day of the week. I’ve been in that spot where you’re up 2-0 and if they score, they get the momentum and all of a sudden you’re on your heels. That’s not that way it worked tonight, thankfully.”

Stickney capped the night at 9:56, scooting up the left-middle and casually pulling the trigger on a successful, near-side shot.

“That third goal is always such an important one,” King said. “The second one helps you a lot, but you get that third one and you feel like you’re in a pretty good place.”

Gorham’s Mike Darasz and Windham’s Owen Flibbert wrestle on the run. Adam Birt / American Journal

The victory bumped Gorham to 6-2-1 on the fall. The Rams were coming off a 4-2 defeat vs. Westbrook, themselves having a respectable season.

“Westbrook is very good, and they were really, really good against us,” King said. “And we weren’t good, and they jumped on us. So they deserve a ton of credit.”

The elephant on the field in Gorham’s games lately is really a sort of absence: Superstar Andrew Rent, arguably the best player in Maine, is out for the season, convalescing from a knee injury. The Rams continue, to some extent, to reel from the loss.

“We’ve struggled with losing Andrew, and with injury, so we just haven’t found a good rhythm all year,” King said. “I don’t know if we’ve found it yet – we got a win tonight, but we’ve got to follow that up and string a few together. And we really haven’t been able to do that.”

“When things are tough, you’re looking for that person to step forward,” King said. “And it was Andrew. And now we need it to be somebody else. So we’re adjusting to try to figure out who that is.”

Rent hasn’t just up and vanished. “He was here on the bench,” King said. “He was here, and supporting, and he watches all of our game film and gives me feedback. He’s still an important part of the team, he’s just not on the field.”

Zach Beaumont boots away a kick for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Rent wasn’t the only important figure missing from the Rams’ lineup vs. the Eagles: Travis Matheson, another senior captain, didn’t play either.

“It’s not only Andrew we’re missing; Travis was out today. So we had to shift a lot of things around,” King said. “Play a little bit of a different formation. I don’t know if it worked or not, but we played a little bit better than the other night.”

The Rams travel to South Portland on Tuesday, October 8.

Windham slipped on the loss to 1-8. The Eagles suffered another defeat 3-0 to Cheverus on Saturday the 5th; they visit Deering on Thursday the 10th.

Ryan Farr fires a ball for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Matt Phinney shovels the ball away, harassed by Windhamite Hayden Bilodeau. Adam Birt / American Journal

Ram Colby Christakis pushes ahead. Adam Birt / American Journal

Braeden McCrillis drives forward for the Eagles. Adam Birt / American Journal

Sebastian Irish cuts through the corner. Adam Birt / American Journal

Grant Nadeau unwinds into a kick. Adam Birt / American Journal

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