WINDHAM—Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team knows that everyone is watching it when it takes the field and the defending Class A state champion Red Storm like it that way.

Because they’re happy to show what they’re made of.

Monday evening, Scarborough visited Windham, one of its top contenders in Class A South this fall and with members of its next two foes, South Portland and Gorham, on hand, the Red Storm took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute on a goal from senior standout Lana Djuranovic.

The Eagles had their chances in the first half, but couldn’t solve Scarborough’s defense or junior goalkeeper Sophia Rinaldi and the Red Storm got some breathing room eight minutes into the second half, when Djuranovic scored again.

Scarborough then put it away with 5:40 to play, when junior Delia Fravert added a goal and the Red Storm went on to a 3-0 victory.

Scarborough improved to 5-1 on the season and dropped Windham to 3-3 in the process.


“We heard the other players cheering against us and it motivates us,” said Djuranovic. “We know teams will come watch us. We know we have eyes on us, but we’re trying to stay focused on ourselves more than other teams.”

Taking care of business

Scarborough kicked off the 2023 campaign with wins over visiting Falmouth (4-1), visiting Noble (5-0) and host Kennebunk (5-0), then was shocked by visiting Thornton Academy (3-2, in overtime), before bouncing back to down visiting Cheverus last Wednesday (3-0).

“We knew after we lost that we don’t have much room for error, so we show up to every game knowing we have to win it,” said Red Storm senior captain and defensive standout Natalie Ryan. “We try to play the whole game like we’re a goal down and we have to score. After not losing for a really long time, we forgot what it’s like to be down. That was a big wakeup call for us.”

Windham opened with a 2-0 victory at Cheverus, then blanked Portland (6-0). After a 1-0 (double-overtime) loss to Gorham, the Eagles were upset at Falmouth (3-1) before beating Bonny Eagle (2-0).

Since 2010, Scarborough and Windham have represented the region in the Class A state final every season but two, with the Red Storm taking home Gold Balls that first season, again in 2012 and of course, last fall, and the Eagles celebrating a championship in 2013, 2014 and in 2021.


In that span, the teams have met five times in the playoffs, with Scarborough holding a 3-2 edge. The most recent was a 1-0 overtime victory for the Red Storm in 2018.

Last year, Scarborough eked out a 1-0 victory at Windham on a late goal from Ali Mokriski.

Monday, the Eagles sought their first win in the series since a 1-0 road victory Oct. 20, 2015, but instead, the Red Storm made it eight straight over their rival.

With surprising decisiveness.

Early on, however, Windham carried play, as Rinaldi had to save shot from junior Emily Talbot in the first minute of play and the Eagles had the majority of possession.

“We did let them get down the field on us a couple times at the beginning,” lamented longtime Red Storm coach Mike Farley, who now has 247 victories with the program. “It was a little slow for us. We have to play hard from the opening whistle.”


Then, with 32:36 to go in the first half, Djuranovic put Scarborough ahead to stay, taking a long pass from Fravert, going one-on-two against the defense, working around one of the defenders, then firing a low shot with her right foot to the left of diving Eagles senior goalkeeper Alejandra Hidell.

“I was just at the turf field yesterday with my Dad, practicing one-on-ones, because I hadn’t played in a bit, and whatever we worked on worked really well,” said Djuranovic. “It was important to get that early goal to show our team that we could beat them.”

“That goal gave us confidence,” Ryan said. “We always want to score quickly to set the tone. That gave us a pep in our step.”

“Lana’s special,” Farley said. “When she gets the ball in transition and can run at your center-back, that’s a bad spot for the other team. Once she beat the defender, she’s slotting balls in the side netting. It’s insane. She can do anything she wants when she puts her mind to it.

“We have so many diverse players where we can make the game really hard on the other team if we get a lead, so getting that lead was big.”

The Red Storm then had to protect the lead, as Rinaldi caught a corner kick in traffic and saved shots from junior Stella Jarvais, sophomore Neve Ledbetter and Talbot.


At the other end, Scarborough senior Avery Pettingill missed just high off a corner kick, junior Emmi Flaker was just off target, Djuranovic missed twice and Fravert had a shot saved by Hidell, keeping the score 1-0 at the break.

Windham had a 4-2 edge in shots on frame in the first 40 minutes, but found itself trailing.

“I think we came out lacking confidence,” said longtime Eagles coach Deb LeBel. “We know Scarborough’s good. If we played with more confidence, we could have finished some shots and it could have been a different game.”

Windham had a corner kick in the second minute of the second half and the ball sat free in the box before the Red Storm could clear it.

Then, after Hidell dove to rob sophomore Maya Taylor, Taylor set up Djuranovic for Scarborough’s second goal. With 31:52 left, Djuranovic got the ball and this time got some room and finished with her left foot to extend the lead.

“I think 1-0 is a difficult game because a lot can go wrong, especially when they kept getting corners,” said the University of Miami-bound Djuranovic, who now has 10 goals on the season. “Going ahead by more (than one) gave us confidence and cooled our nerves a little bit. Then we could just play the way we play. I knew there was a player behind me because I was marked all game. I felt her going to the right, so I just chopped the ball, then I just shot it and hit it right.”


“I love playing with Lana,” said Ryan. “Playing against Lana in practice makes me a better player. My favorite thing is to watch her play. It’s just the best thing to just watch her dribble through the defense. Whenever I get the ball, I look for her right away and I know she’ll take care of it.”

“Lana’s got great skills,” LeBel said. “Even marking her, she scored twice with someone right there. She’s really versatile. She knows when to let the ball go. She’s got great movement on and off the ball. She sets the other players up really well. She’s very impressive to watch.”

Again, the Eagles threatened to answer, but Red Storm freshman Maggie Booth cleared the ball off the line on a corner kick, then a cross from sophomore Marley Jarvais kissed off the top of the crossbar before Rinaldi saved a long free kick from junior Tayla Pelletier and Djuranovic headed away a Windham corner kick.

With 25 minutes left, Djuranovic had a chance to complete the hat trick and put the game away when she lined up a free kick from just outside the top of the box, but she sent it just wide.

“She hit it about a half-foot outside the bar, so even her misses are close,” Farley said.

After Hidell saved a shot from Djuranovic and sophomore Paige Garlock just missed, Scarborough put it away, thanks to a gorgeous transition passing sequence with 5:40 on the clock.


Djuranovic got the play started by getting possession in the middle of the field, racing into the attacking zone, then passing to a speeding Flaker on her left. Flaker then sent the ball back to the middle, where Fravert ripped a one-timer past Hidell to make it 3-0.

“I was really impressed the way we countered tonight,” Farley said. “When we won the ball, we were flying forward and got a couple goals straight in transition. That was huge to see.”

After Rinaldi made one more save, diving to deny Stella Jarvais, the clock ran out and the Red Storm celebrated their 3-0 victory.

“We were excited and we knew we had to get it done in a rivalry game,” said Djuranovic. “It was important for us to get in the mindset that we can beat good teams by a lot.”

“We played here last year and we know whenever we come over here, it’s going to be a close game and we have to give everything we have to win,” Ryan said.

“It’s always good to come to Windham and win a game like that,” Farley added. “That’s the best we’ve played here in awhile, against a very good team. A team we have to put behind us (in the standings). It was a very good job by our kids. I think that second goal put it out of reach.”


Scarborough had a 10-6 edge in corner kicks and got seven saves from Rinaldi, who got a big assist from the defense in producing a clean sheet.

“Tonight was a good challenge for our defense,” Ryan said. “Not getting scored on off a corner was good for us. Staying physical on set plays will be good for us the rest of the season.”

“I think a lot of credit goes to the people who score, but the most important thing is our back line,” said Djuranovic. “No other team moves the ball like we do in the back. Being comfortable with the ball in the back makes us different from other teams.”

“We faced a lot of corners and we haven’t dealt great with that,” added Farley. “Even when we didn’t win the first ball, we got after the ball that got knocked down and had good clears. Natalie is an unsung hero on this team. She’s very good at reading where the play goes. Often she beats the other player and gets balls cleared out to the next level. It’s a small thing when you watch the game, but it’s huge because we don’t let them get behind us. Natalie allows us not to turn the ball over. She can also play balls 40 yards from the back to our target player’s feet. She’s a real weapon for us.”

The Eagles had a 7-6 edge in shots on frame, but couldn’t convert.

“Scarborough’s the bar we want to get to,” said LeBel. “I would say at this point, they’re the best team we’ve seen this season.”


The fun continues

Windham is at Deering Wednesday, then hosts South Portland Saturday.

“We need to figure out who is going to be our goal scorer,” LeBel said. “Hopefully we’ll find someone who wants to step up.”

Scarborough is home versus South Portland Wednesday, then has another pivotal showdown, at undefeated Gorham Saturday.

“We have to focus on South Portland,” Ryan said. “Once Gorham comes, we’ll deal with that when we get to it. I think we definitely have the same motivation we had last year. This team is really close. We lost some key players, but the underclassmen are doing an amazing job filling those spots and our level hasn’t dropped.”

“We’ve lost our margin for error,” Farley said. “South Portland’s doing very well this year and last year, they came in and battled us at home and it was a tough game. I told the kids that we have to take care of ourselves. After that, we can worry about the other games.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

Comments are not available on this story.