WATERBORO—The Rams’ season ended all-too-soon at Massabesic on Saturday, Oct. 26: Gorham got a goal apiece from Molly Rathbun and Sophie Gagne – but they needed more. Ultimately, the Mustangs outpaced their guests 3-2, and thus claimed a tournament triumph.

“The girls did not give up the entire game,” said Gorham head coach Becky Manson, “and I am certainly proud of them, for sure. They even got better in the final 15 minutes of the game, rarely allowing the ball past the 50.”

The action lodged at or near midfield for much of the early going, though it’s fair to say Massabesic held the offensive edge. The Mustangs failed to generate a lot of quality shots, however, and those they did generate – e.g., a rolling ball around 23:45 – failed to find the back of the cage. Maeve Donnelly prowled the endline as the Rams’ goalkeeper.

Massabesic finally capitalized following a corner around 22:30, Isabelle Hurlburt doing the honors. 1-0. Eight minutes later, give or take, Rathbun reset the scoreboard, notching 1-1 for the Rams.

“They all did such a great job,” Manson said, asked who played well, “but I think Molly Rathbun, Faith Dillon and Lydia Gaudreau all had a great game. We were solid in almost every minute of that game; it’s hard to single out only a few.”

The next two goals belonged to the Mustangs. First – with roughly eight minutes to play before the break – Emma Snyder pushed them ahead 2-1; then, around 10 minutes into the downhill half, Hurlburt piled on an insurance goal. 3-1.

Gorhamite Sophie Gagne swiftly answered, keeping her girls in the hunt at 3-2, and the Rams desperately increased their pressure as minutes passed – as the final buzzer approached. Alas, 3-2 is where the day settled out.

“They picked up every aspect of their game and in the end came up short with being able to score on Massabesic’s goalie and defense,” Manson said. “We needed to lift the ball over the pack blocking the cage.”

Gorham concludes their 2019 at 10-6. The Rams entered the tournament ranked third in A South; that seed earned them a bye through the prelims. In the quarters, the bested Falmouth with ease, thus advancing to their faceoff with the Mustangs.

Manson reflected on the season: “As a coaching staff, we are extremely proud of the team for overcoming some adversity in the beginning and middle of the season to go on a five-game winning streak in the end – and for making it into a semifinal game for the first time since 2009.”

Kacie Walton controls for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Gorhamites Sydney Connolly (8) and Lydia Gaudreau harangue a Mustangs opponent. Adam Birt / American Journal

Lauren Green lifts a ball. Adam Birt / American Journal

Faith Dillon chases a loose ball. Adam Birt / American Journal

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