SCARBOROUGH—After a tough one-goal loss at Cheverus two days ago, longtime Scarborough field hockey coach Kerry Mariello suggested that her team would play a little bit irritated when the Red Storm hosted Gorham Saturday afternoon at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex.

But the only one irritated in the first quarter was Mariello, as her team fell behind in the first minute and couldn’t respond.

Until suddenly, Scarborough roared to life.

After senior Sydney Connolly gave the Rams the lead just 53 seconds into the game, Gorham appeared poised to hold that advantage into the second period, but as time expired in the first, the Red Storm were awarded a penalty corner and sophomore Maggie Pendergast scored, completely turning the game around.

Scarborough’s defense didn’t allow a shot on goal the rest of the way and with 5:25 to play in the first half, senior captain Lillian Finley converted a penalty stroke to put the Red Storm ahead to stay.

In the third quarter, senior Bella Bateman added a goal on a penalty corner and Scarborough slammed the door from there and went on to a 3-1 victory.

The Red Storm improved to 5-1 and in the process, dropped Gorham to 3-2.

“I wanted to see what this team was made of coming off a loss,” Mariello said. “It didn’t start the way we wanted to, but the girls persevered, they got through and that says a lot about this team. I knew that was in them and now they can believe it because they made it happen.”

Bounce back

Scarborough won its first four games, all by shutout, over visiting Falmouth (2-0), at Portland (8-0) and Biddeford (2-0) and at home over Sanford (4-0), but Thursday, its offense went quiet in a 1-0 loss at Cheverus.

Gorham handled its first three opponents, blanking Thornton Academy (3-0), Noble (2-0) and defeating South Portland (11-1) before falling Thursday to Massabesic, 2-1.

The teams met once last year, a 2-0 home win for the Red Storm.

Saturday, on a sizzling Saturday afternoon (72 degrees at the start and 77 by the end of the game), the Rams hoped to turn the tables, but Scarborough got back on track.

Gorham rushed the ball down the field and just 21 seconds in, earned a penalty corner.

Then, with 14:07 to go in the first quarter, after an initial shot was saved by Red Storm senior goalie Katie Roy, Connolly found herself all alone at the far post with the ball and banged it home for an immediate 1-0 lead.

But that would be the Rams’ highwater mark.

Senior Lili Stone took Scarborough’s first shot with 10:30 on the clock, but it was saved by Gorham senior goalie Lauren Bachner.

After Bachner denied senior Anna Borelli and senior Halle Seguin, the Red Storm earned a corner just before the horn and by rule, got to play it out even though the quarter expired.

Pendergast then inserted the ball, it came to Finley and while her shot was saved, Pendergast was there to tap home the rebound out of a scrum and just like that, the game was tied and Scarborough had found another gear.

“It’s always nice to score on a corner,” Finley said. “Corners are big for us. We practice them a lot.”

“Securing that tie made it a new game and we were starting fresh,” Mariello said. “We had adrenaline going into that second quarter. That made a difference and we wore them down. We work on corners. We try to use them to our advantage. We put everyone on the circle because we had nothing to lose and with numbers up like that, the odds were in our favor.”

The Red Storm eventually broke through and took the lead in the second period.

First a backhanded shot from junior Daisy Stone deflected wide.

Then, off a corner, Scarborough sent a shot on goal, but a Gorham defender got in front of it and stopped the sure goal with her body, giving the Red Storm a penalty stroke.

Scarborough senior Lillian Finley sends a penalty stroke past Gorham senior Lauren Bachner to put the Red Storm ahead to stay. Hoffer photos.

Finley was chosen by Mariello to do the honors and she sent a high blast past Bachner and into the goal for a 2-1 lead.

“I had an idea I’d take it, so I looked to Coach,” said Finley. “It was really scary, but I tried to go up top and I hit it well.”

“Lillian always takes the strokes because I’m very confident in her,” said Mariello. “We don’t get those often, but she’s pretty level-headed in those situations and when we need big goals, she’ll be there.”

The Red Storm took the 2-1 lead to halftime and after outshooting the Rams, 6-2, and having four penalty corners to Gorham’s one in the first half, built on the lead in the third quarter.

After Bachner saved shots from junior Ayden Harris and Finley, Scarborough scored on a penalty corner again, as with 5:54 on the third period clock, the Rams couldn’t clear the ball and senior Erin Bresnahan got the ball to Bateman, which rattled the cage to make it 3-1.

In the fourth period, Gorham couldn’t generate any offense and the Red Storm closed out their 3-1 victory.

Scarborough celebrates its 3-1 victory.

“This was really important,” Finley said. “We wanted to come back from our loss with a huge win. It was important to stay strong and not let that (first goal) bring us down. Our defense is really strong always. When we give up a goal, we always push back.”

“Gorham’s a good team and they’ll win some games and we’ll definitely see them again,” Mariello said. “It was a very good all-around game for us. Now that it’s a (four quarters instead of two halves) scenario, we talk about winning each quarter. They didn’t have an answer. With the depth we have and the amount of subbing we can do, we can wear teams down and that showed.

“This says a lot. We had a long, challenging week. It was warm today. The girls turned the switch and I’m very proud of them.”

The Red Storm finished with a 12-2 shots advantage and a 10-1 edge in penalty corners. Roy made one save.

Bachner stopped nine shots for Gorham.

Moving along

The season is nearing its midway point and both squads hope to stay near the top of the Class A South standings.

Gorham has another big test Monday when Falmouth pays a visit. The Rams go to Marshwood Wednesday and host Portland/Deering Friday.

Scarborough stays home to meet Bonny Eagle Wednesday, then visits Kennebunk Friday.

“We’re coming together really well as a team,” Finley said. “We still need to score more and stay strong.”

“We want to grow each game and we’re heading in the right direction,” Mariello said.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Comments are not available on this story.