KENNEBUNK — The regular season field hockey game between Kennebunk High and Thornton Academy was lopsided in the Rams favor. The playoff game between the two Friday afternoon was anything but.

Becky Taggart’s goal 2:05 into the first overtime period lifted eighth-ranked Kennebunk to a 1-0 victory over the No. 9 Trojans in the opening round of the Class A South tournament.

“It was a really great game,” said Kennebunk senior center midfielder Sam McGrath. “We tried to go into this game not thinking about the last game (a 4-0 Kennebunk win). We went in thinking, ‘This is anyone’s game.’ We knew they were seeded lower than us and were the underdog and we didn’t want to let them become the underdog story.”

Kennebunk (8-6) will play top-ranked Cheverus, which beat the Rams 3-0 on Sept. 22, in the quarterfinals next Tuesday. The Trojans finished 6-8-1.

The Rams nearly won the game in the final minute of regulation, getting two penalty corners and three shots. But Thornton freshman goalie Allison Marines (eight saves) stopped each shot, and when the ball got behind her after she knocked down the second, defender Emma Boissonneault was there to sweep it away from the goal.

But in the eight-minute sudden-death overtime the Rams pushed the tempo and ended it quickly.

“We did play in an overtime situation (in the regular season) and it did not go in our favor,” said Kennebunk Coach Kayla Billings, of a 2-1 overtime loss to Massabesic on Oct. 12. “So they learned from that. They knew what they had to do from the very beginning and in the first few minutes we understood that we didn’t want to play well into overtime.”

Kennebunk teammates surround goalkeeper Ariann Fourtzialas-Price after defeating Thornton Academy in overtime. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

McGrath began the winning play by controlling the ball on the right, where she found Ruby Sliwkowski down low in the circle. Sliwkowski, with quick hands and feet, stickhandled through two Thornton defenders then snapped a pass into the middle, where Taggart was engaged with another defender.

Taggart controlled the pass, turned and fired the ball into the corner to end the game, prompting a mad rush onto the field by the Kennebunk bench players.

“Ruby, she’s my best friend and I can always count on her,” said Taggart. “She crossed a really nice ball and I was right there for the goal. I kept my stick low and did everything you practice in practice.”

Thornton Coach Lori Smith, whose team has only three seniors, said it was a quality opportunity.

“It was a nice shot to the opposite post,” said Smith. “Hard for the goalie to save.”

Taggart was concerned when the game went into overtime but trusted her teammates.

“We knew we had to stay calm and composed and play our game,” she said. “We couldn’t worry that it could be our last game of the season. We had to play with our hearts.”

Kennebunk’s defense was solid too, limiting Thornton to just one shot, none after the second period.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.