WINDHAM — The unbeaten Windham High girls’ soccer team was tested Saturday by fifth-seeded Thornton Academy.

Suffice to say, the No. 1 Eagles (17-0) aced the exam, scoring five goals in just under 12 minutes to roll to an 8-2 Class A South semifinal win.

Sarah Talon scored three of the late goals to go with a first-half assist. Abbey Thornton added two goals. Ashley Clark had a goal and two assists, and both Emily and Elizabeth Talbot contributed a goal and an assist.

Windham advances to the regional final at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Thornton Academy against No. 3 Gorham. Windham will be going for its first regional title since winning back-to-back state championships in 2013-14.

Thornton, a junior center midfielder, jump-started the onslaught with a hard, sure one-timer off a Clark corner kick with 27:30 remaining. That came just five minutes after Thornton Academy became the first team this year to score two goals against Windham, when Charlotte Belanger chipped a 28-yard direct kick just under the crossbar and over Windham keeper Eliza Trafford to cut the Eagles’ lead to 3-2.

With a persistent mist falling on the increasingly slick grass field opening the door for a fluke goal, the Golden Trojans (12-5), who won their quarterfinal at Scarborough, forced Windham’s talented and diverse offense to respond.


“I think we were nervous as any team would be, but we all banded together,” Thornton said. “We all really wanted this for our seniors. This was their last 40 minutes here (at Windham’s field), so we knew if we worked hard and together there was nothing we couldn’t do.”

Another Clark corner kick went all the way across the goal, where Emily Talbot was waiting patiently to bury a shot from distance. Talon then scored three straight goals, sneaking a slow roller under freshman keeper Ava Lomax (eight saves), banging a hard shot off Lomax’s hands, and then scoring on a breakaway off a pass from Emily Talbot.

“It was a little wake-up call for us,” Talon said. “We faced adversity for one of the few times this season. It was good for us.”

Windham has outscored its opponents 94-8. The Eagles appeared ready to soar in the first half when Thornton and Elizabeth Talbot scored just 1:03 apart to provide a 2-0 lead. Thornton Academy responded with a couple of just-miss chances in front of the net, including one sequence when two shots hit the crossbar.

After Clark’s goal made it 3-0, the Golden Trojans got on the board with 15 seconds left in the first half when a Belanger direct kick was inadvertently headed in by a Windham defender.

“A couple opportunities capitalized on earlier, maybe it would have been a little different, but (Windham is) a great team,” said Thornton Coach Natalie Sharland. “They are a top-to-bottom solid team. It was hard for us to get the ball out of the back. But I’m still very proud of our girls and the effort they displayed and the heart they always play with. We were a little bit gassed from the Scarborough (quarterfinal win).”

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