GORHAM — Biddeford High’s field hockey team has been searching for its identity since starting the season 1-2. The Tigers may have found it in the last week or so.

Biddeford won its seventh consecutive game Thursday afternoon, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Gorham 4-3 on a penalty stroke by Jill McSorley with 4:26 remaining in the second sudden-death overtime period.

It was McSorley’s second goal of the game and capped the Tigers’ second late-game comeback in the last five days, the other coming in a 3-2 win over Thornton Academy.

“We’re young,” said Biddeford Coach Caitlin Tremberth. “And I say we’re young even though we have a good amount of seniors (nine). We only have four starters from two years ago and we started out building.

“But they’ve proved that they’re so resilient. They don’t give up. They don’t give up in practice, they don’t give up on the field, they don’t give up on each other. They feel united and positive. And they’re playing for each other.”

The victory lifted Biddeford, ranked fourth in Class A South Heal points, to 8-2. Gorham, ranked sixth, dropped to 5-3.

The Rams had controlled this game at every level and in every way for almost three quarters, building a 3-0 lead on first-quarter goals by Ellie Szostalo and Sydney Connolly and then a second goal by Connolly, once again assisted by Brooke Farquhar, with 9:37 left in the third.

That’s when things began to change. “You’re winning 3-0 and maybe you feel a little sense of security even though we try to go out and play as if it’s 0-0 every time,” said Gorham Coach Becky Manson-Rioux. “We say that every time, ‘Don’t let up, don’t let up,’ because they’re good and we’ve watched them play and seen them come back.”

Cece Keller began the comeback with a goal off a penalty corner with 2:21 left in the third. Then the Tigers kept pushing and got two goals within 80 seconds to tie it. McSorley, who will next play at Division II Assumption College, got the first one, also off a penalty corner. Freshman Ayla Lagasse tied it, collecting a bounding ball and tipping it past Gorham goalie Lauren Bachner with 7:49 left in the regulation.

“The sideline kept us going,” said Lagasse. “Everyone was cheering and that helped a lot, telling me it was going to be OK.”

On to 7 vs. 7 overtime they went. And midway through the second extra period, the Tigers got a break.

Keller broke out alone and Bachner came sliding out to stop her, the two colliding. The Tigers were awarded a penalty stroke and McSorley’s shot was low to the left corner, just inside the post.

“I was thinking a lot,” said McSorley. “I knew what I was supposed to do, knew where to shoot … And obviously it came out in my favor.”

McSorley echoed her coach’s words on the comeback.

“I think it says resilience, never giving up,” she said. “We were down, but we know we’re a team that’s capable of coming back. We’re able to come back and make things happen.”


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