News Article
Scarborough girls shut out South Portland


SCARBOROUGH—Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team is accustomed to putting the ball in the net with regularity.

But not this year.

Prior to Tuesday’s home contest against South Portland at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex, the Red Storm had scored just four goals in five games.

Things got better against the Red Riots.

Slightly.

And as a result, Scarborough is back in the win column.

The Red Storm missed some great looks and were stymied by South Portland junior goalkeeper Elise Connor for most of the first half, but with 3:57 remaining, senior Abby Drapeau broke the scoreless tie.

Junior Natalie Bilodeau added a goal with 11:33 left and that was enough for Scarborough to prevail, 2-0.

The Red Storm evened their record at 3-3-1 and in the process, dropped the young Red Riots to 2-5.

“We’re creating chances, but we need to be able to finish them,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “We need to stop pressing and relax and finish. We’re getting chances that we usually finish, we just have to do it. We’re trying to find consistent play.”

The finishing piece

Scarborough, the three-time reigning Class A South champion, was decimated by graduation and hasn’t been its usual dominant self this fall.

The Red Storm opened with a 2-1 win at Bonny Eagle, then settled for a scoreless home tie versus Gorham before losing, 1-0, at Gorham, 2-0 at home to two-time Class B champion Cape Elizabeth and 4-0 at Cape Elizabeth. Friday, Scarborough got back in the win column, 2-0, at home over Bonny Eagle.

South Portland, under new coach Adam Perron, who previously coached boys’ soccer at South Portland and Deering, won its first two outings: 1-0 at Deering and 10-1 over visiting Westbrook, then lost at Portland (4-1), fell in overtime at Cape Elizabeth (2-1) and was blanked by visiting Cheverus (4-0) and at Cape Elizabeth (8-0)

Last year, the Red Storm beat the Red Riots, 3-0, in Scarborough to improve to 15-1 all-time in the series (see below, for previous results).

Tuesday, South Portland sought its first win over the Red Storm since a 3-1 home victory Sept. 30, 2009 (which was also the last time the Red Riots scored a goal in the series), but instead, Scarborough made it nine in a row over its neighbor.

The Red Storm held possession for most of the first half, but just couldn’t find the finishing touch.

At least for awhile.

The tone was set in the third minute, when senior Grace Pettingill made a nice move around a defender to find some room, but her shot was saved by Connor.

After Pettingill eluded two defenders and shot just wide, sophomore Ali Mokriski bent a corner kick on target, only to have Connor make the stop.

In the 13th minute, Drapeau got into the box and while colliding with a defender, missed wide.

After Pettingill missed wide, Mokriski had a shot saved.

In the 20th minute, Pettingill made a long run, cut back and shot, but missed just wide.

After senior Maddie Scammell set up freshman Lana Djuranovic for a one-timer which went just wide, Mokriski appeared primed to break the ice in the 25th minute, but Connor dove to rob her.

With 11:10 to go before halftime, the Red Riots nearly got a gift and took the lead, as sophomore Bella Schifano pounced on a turnover and with some room, shot on Scarborough junior goalkeeper Savannah Beaulieu, but she missed just wide.

The Red Storm then got the only goal they would need with 3:57 to go before the break.

Djuranovic set it up, crossing the ball in front where Drapeau ran onto it and redirected it home for a 1-0 lead.

“Whenever Lana has the ball, I try to get in position in the box, then, I just let whatever happens happen and I try to throw my body on the ball and when it goes in, I’m in shock and celebrate with Lana,” said Drapeau. “I’m glad I’m able to have playing time this year because I was injured last year.”

“Abby’s super-fast, super-talented on the outside,” said Farley. “The last two games especially, she’s done a great job driving to goal and tonight, all she had to do was get a body part on it. She did that and it was awesome.”

The Red Storm had a 7-0 advantage in shots on frame and took four corner kicks in the first half, but hadn’t been able to break it open.

“We knew we had to clean up the last touch,” Drapeau said. “I knew we could have scored even more, but that gave us motivation for the second half.”

The second half was similar to the first, as senior Olivia Martell sent a shot just wide, then had a shot saved by Connor.

After Schifano tried to tie the game with 34:06 to go, but missed wide, Djuranovic had a shot saved by Connor, Mokriski missed high and Mokriski had two shots saved.

Then, with 11:33 on the clock, senior Paige Spooner set up Bilodeau, who finished for a 2-0 lead.

“That was big for (Natalie) because she’s played awesome today,” Farley said. “She did a good job staying wide and then was all alone on the back post where she could finish. She just took her time and finished in the corner. That’s what we need. We just have to put the ball in the goal.”

South Portland couldn’t counter and the Red Storm prevailed, 2-0.

“We haven’t been finishing, but we’re actually playing well for 80 minutes,” Farley said. “We’re defending well, passing to feet and getting chances. We’re just not getting the result of goals. We’ve worked stuff out during practice. I’m looking for the consistency of the past couple games.”

The Red Storm finished with a 15-0 shots advantage and a 13-0 edge in corner kicks.

The Red Riots got 13 saves from Connor, but couldn’t generate any offense.

“It’s tough to play defense all the time and when we were on offense, it wasn’t for long,” Perron said. “We’re getting to the point where we’re learning a lot in practice and trying to put it on the field and we’re getting there. It’s a slow process, but we’re really close.

“You’re only as good as your teammates and the girls have been responsive. They’re thankful to be out there. I haven’t had the time for teaching. The loss of summer and preseason really hurt. We haven’t been able to put things in fundamentally, so we’re teaching fundamentals now.”

Tournaments to come

South Portland hosts Portland Friday, then will take part in the “City Cup” tournament next week, along with Cheverus, Deering and Portland.

“The girls have been great,” said Perron. “I really like our younger group coming up. I feel pretty good about the future.”

Scarborough is at Falmouth Thursday, then will take part in a four-team tournament along with the Yachtsmen, Gorham and Windham.

“I’m sad we didn’t have summer season, but I’m glad to play with this team because we have some great players,” Drapeau said. “I’m really excited to come back for games next year. I think they’ll be really good and come out strong.”

“It’s a very different season this year,” Farley said. “The competition the young girls have been able to play will get them ready for the future. I’m sad the seniors can’t have playoffs, but the younger girls are getting a sense of what it’s like to play in these games.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Previous Scarborough-South Portland results

2019
@ Scarborough 3 South Portland 0

2016
Scarborough 4 @ South Portland 0

2015
@ Scarborough 2 South Portland 0

2014
Scarborough 3 @ South Portland 0

2013
@ Scarborough 8 South Portland 0

2012
@ Scarborough 4 South Portland 0

2011
Scarborough 3 @ South Portland 0

2010
@ Scarborough 4 South Portland 0

2009
@ South Portland 3 Scarborough 1

2008
@ Scarborough 4 South Portland 0

2007
Scarborough 3 @ South Portland 2 (OT)

2006
@ Scarborough 2 South Portland 1

2005
Scarborough 5 @ South Portland 1

2004
@ Scarborough 1 South Portland 0

2003
Scarborough 2 @ South Portland 0

2002
Western A prelim
@ Scarborough 5 South Portland 1