GORHAM — In one loss, the Gorham field hockey team couldn’t find the goal it needed. In the other, the Rams couldn’t find a goal at all.

Those problems came to an end Friday afternoon.

Ellie Szostalo scored twice, Annie Cunningham and Natalie Miner added goals, and Gorham defeated Windham, 4-2, in a battle of Class A South contenders looking to shake off frustrating starts.

“It feels really good to come onto our home field with a win,” Szostalo said. “Coming back today and really putting our foot (forward) on offense was really nice.”

Predicted to be one of the stronger teams in the region, Gorham was dealt two early defeats, a 2-1 overtime loss to Scarborough and a 1-0 loss against Thornton Academy. With an 0-3 start on the line, the Rams were eager to start clicking.

“Today, we really wanted it,” Gorham Coach Becky Manson said. “We knew we had to come out strong, we really worked on cutting and passing and weaving for those forwards, and they followed through with it.”


After a slow-paced first quarter, the Rams found a rhythm in the second. Hannah Bickford played the ball over to Szostalo, who tried to hit the ball in front of the cage but instead got it to redirect off of Windham goalie Emma Theriault and in with 12:41 left. Szostalo played a key role on another score later in the period, setting up Miner on the doorstep with 5:35 remaining.

Szostalo wasn’t finished, putting Gorham up 3-0 in the third on a corner. She inserted the ball to Cunningham, and then got the ball back and knocked in a shot with 12:48 to go.

“That’s the second time we’ve ever run that play. We ran it for the first time in practice yesterday,” Szostalo said. “So for it to just work out perfectly, it was really exciting for me, but also for Annie and everyone on the field.”

The third quarter was Gorham’s best. The Rams hovered around the Windham cage, racked up six corners, and got a goal from Cunningham when she knocked in the rebound of a Brooke Farquhar shot for a 4-0 lead with 12:17 left.

“It was definitely frustrating (to start 0-2),” Cunningham said, “but I think it forced us to work harder. We know what we have to work on.”

Windham Coach Cory Didonato struck a positive tone, even after seeing her team fall to 0-3. She had her reasons; one was how the Eagles finished the game, as they got a goal from Zoe Dries on a rebound of an Emma Morrison shot with 4:10 left in the third, and then another from Hannah Heanssler with 5:08 to play that cast some doubt on the outcome.

“We’re just working through, when we get scored on, being able to come back,” Didonato said. “And they did.”

Another is the schedule. After opening with Cheverus, Biddeford and Gorham, Windham will see its slate ease up.

“We played three of the toughest teams in the league,” she said. “I’m still fully confident that we’re going to win a bunch of games.”

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