GORHAM — Gorham goalie Sawyer VonderHaar focused on stopping penalty kicks at Wednesday’s practice, then told Coach Jeanne Zarrilli that if the game came down to penalties, she would just have to save two.

“And that’s what she did,” Zarrilli said Thursday after a 2-1 victory over Windham in a Class A South girls’ soccer semifinal that was decided when VonderHaar came up with two saves on penalty kicks after 80 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime.

No. 2 Gorham (13-1-2) will take on top-ranked Scarborough in the regional final at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Kennebunk High. It’ll be a rematch of last year’s final, which Scarborough won 4-0 on its way to a state championship.

Windham, the No. 3 seed, ends the season at 11-4-1.

This was the fourth straight girls’ soccer tournament in which Windham and Gorham met, and the third won by the Rams. Gorham won the regular-season matchup, 1-0 in overtime on Sept. 14.

“In overtime, we were great. We were ready to go. We had fire again. We had great opportunities,” Windham Coach Deb Lebel said.


Gorham got successful penalties from Ashley Connolly, Kaitlyn Nichols and Piper Forgues, while Stella Jarvais scored for the Eagles. VonderHaar stopped shots by Abby Lloyd and Marley Jarvais, and Windham’s final shot went wide of the net.

“We’ve been practicing PKs for a few practices, so I felt confident. I’m glad I could perform how I performed in practice and showed off what I can do,” said VonderHaar, a sophomore. “You’ve got to go with your gut. You can’t overthink it, because then you end up not diving.”

Kyla Harvie’s goal with 32 seconds left in the first half gave Windham a 1-0 lead after the Rams had the better scoring chances throughout most of the first half. Harvie’s shot from 30 yards to the left of the goal caught the bottom of the crossbar and ricocheted into the net.

“Their transition game was scary. They’re fast and strong and they shoot quickly and they shoot well,” Zarrilli said.

For most of the second half, Gorham applied pressure but couldn’t get a shot. With 7:40 left in the regulation, though, Sarah Rosingana’s scored on a rebound, tying the game at 1-1.

“This season, we’ve struggled to find the back of the net. We’ve played beautiful soccer, and we just have been struggling to finish. You wait and hope it’s going to come. We have the tenacity to keep pushing,” Zarrilli said.


Lebel said she thought fatigue was a factor.

“We had to hang on for a long time in that second half,” Lebel said. “They didn’t give up, so we’ve got to give them a lot of credit for that.”

Windham had a chance to win it in the first overtime, but a Marley Jarvais shot went just wide, and the Eagles could not convert on three corner kick opportunities in the first extra session. Gorham’s best chance in the second overtime was nullified when the Rams were whistled for being offsides.



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