FALMOUTH—A week after losing its season opener, Scarborough’s field hockey team has learned how to win.
And one year after being upset by Falmouth in the playoffs, the Red Storm have delivered a dose of revenge.
Friday evening, on the Yachtsmen’s Senior Night, Scarborough’s youth was served at Falmouth’s turf field.
After senior Avni Bhatnagar gave the Red Storm a 1-0 lead in the second period, sophomore Stella Grondin followed suit just before halftime with her first varsity goal.
Grondin then added her second tally in the fourth quarter as Scarborough went on to a 3-0 victory.
The Red Storm won their second game in a row, improved to 2-1, handed the Yachtsmen their second straight defeat and dropped them to 2-2 on the season.
“This was kind of a redemption game for us from last year,” Grondin said. “We’ve worked hard and bonded. We’re playing as a team and trying to win. We’re very grateful to be able to play.”
A year ago, Scarborough opened with a 3-0 home win over Falmouth, but when the teams met again, in the Class A South preliminary round, again in Scarborough, it was the Yachtsmen emerging victorious, 1-0, as Mary Kate Bayer scored with 7:25 to play. Falmouth went on to lose, 3-1, at Gorham in the quarterfinals to wind up 7-9.
So far in 2020, the Yachtsmen defeated visiting Yarmouth (2-1) and host Westbrook (2-0) and lost at Cheverus (5-0).
The Red Storm (who finished 9-5-1 a year ago) dropped a 3-2 double-overtime home decision to Cheverus to open their season, then bounced back and defeated host South Portland, 3-0, Tuesday.
Including the split in 2019, over the past five years, Scarborough had won five of six meetings (see below).
Friday, on a chilly evening (54 degrees at the start, 48 degrees by the end), Scarborough took advantage of its opportunities to prevail.
Scarborough tested Falmouth senior goalie Stella Del Tergo early, but Del Tergo turned aside a couple point blank shots.Scarborough junior Bella Bateman tries to block a hit by Falmouth junior Chloe Bush.
The Yachtsmen then looked to grab the lead, when sophomore Sloane Ginevan raced in and shot, but Red Storm senior goalie Katie Roy made the save.
Scarborough had three penalty corners in the first quarter, but couldn’t convert.
The Red Storm’s luck would change in the second period.
Falmouth nearly broke the ice early in the second stanza, as during a protracted scrum, the Yachtsmen put multiple shots on cage, but Roy came up big and got a huge assist from a defender, who swept the ball off the line at the last second.Falmouth junior Mia Wrisley pushes the ball past Scarborough junior Anna Borelli, left, and sophomore Jessica Giguere.
“We had some incredible saves or this could have been a completely different game,” said Scarborough coach Kerry Mariello.
Then, with 9:35 to play in the first half, the Red Storm broke the ice.Scarborough senior goalie Katie Roy of Scarborough pokes the ball just far enough away from the goal during a first half scrum.
The goal was set up by a cross from junior Erin Bresnahan and in the ensuing scrum, Bhatnagar was there to knock home the loose ball and Scarborough was ahead to stay.
Grondin then took center stage with 5:42 to go before halftime, as she got to a rebound and sent it past Del Tergo for a 2-0 advantage.
“It was a very exciting night for me,” Grondin said. “Scoring my varsity goal was really big. I’m excited to be starting this year. I was just there at the right time. (The ball) came across and I was just ready. The goalie was on the other side and I had a wide open shot. It was all a blur, incredible.”
Falmouth hoped to answer in the third quarter, but its best opportunity came on a penalty corner which didn’t result in a shot.
Early in the fourth period, the Yachtsmen had a look to cut the deficit in half, but sophomore Brooke Saulter was denied by Roy.
Then, with 3:21 to play, Bresnahan got the ball to Grondin at the top of the box and Grondin fired a shot which found its way past Del Tergo to make it 3-0 and essentially ice the victory.
“Erin sent (the ball) across and I just went for it,” Grondin said. “I think it might have touched off somebody else or hit the goalie’s pad, but it didn’t matter, I was in the circle.”
“Stella’s a great little player,” Mariello said. “Once she got one, it was contagious.”
Scarborough’s defense didn’t allow a good Falmouth opportunity from there and the Red Storm celebrated their 3-0 victory.
“We’re getting that varsity experience these girls don’t have,” Mariello said. “The tempo and speed and getting all levels cohesive together. Our defense has always been strong. We’ve been relying on them and hopefully building around them. So far, so good. We’re only returning three starters, so it’s just a matter of the girls figuring our their role. It’s about knowing you’ve got a lead and keeping possession and playing composed. That’s what I keep reinforcing.”
Scarborough held a 14-7 shots advantage, a 4-3 edge in penalty corners and got seven saves from Roy.
Falmouth got 11 saves from Del Tergo, but couldn’t take advantage of its scoring chances.
“We didn’t lack for chances,” said longtime Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley. “I felt we played well. We just had a hard time finishing it off. I’m very pleased how we played tonight coming off a tough loss to Cheverus. We knew we could play better. We knew Scarborough would be tough. They’re talented and strong.”
Falmouth plays host to Gorham Wednesday of next week.
“Playing is the most familiar thing for the girls,” Haley said. “It’s great to see them out here, see them feeling comfortable. We treat it like every day out here is a gift. We’re prioritizing what’s important. We’re coaching a game we love and keeping the kids together and working toward the goal of being better players and a better team. Not having people in the stands, it brings you back to the core values and why you play sports.”
Scarborough sees Cheverus again Wednesday, this time in Portland. The Red Storm host Portland/Deering Friday of next week.
“We look forward to see Cheverus again,” Grondin said. “Maybe we can get more revenge.”
“That will be a different game on grass,” said Mariello. “We’ll see how far we’ve come.”
Recent Falmouth-Scarborough results
@ Scarborough 3 Falmouth 0
Class A South prelim
Falmouth 1 @ Scarborough 0
@ Scarborough 2 Falmouth 0
Scarborough 3 @ Falmouth 1
Class A South quarterfinals
@ Scarborough 1 Falmouth 0
Class A South quarterfinals
@ Scarborough 1 Falmouth 0