PORTLAND—Deering’s girls’ soccer team has shown it can go toe-toe-to with the best teams in the league, but getting results against those teams has proven elusive.
Wednesday evening at Memorial Field, the Rams hosted red-hot Marshwood and had their chances to produce a Heal Points-rich victory, but instead fell frustratingly short.
After Deering failed to capitalize on some early looks, the Hawks grabbed a 1-0 lead on sophomore Marin Smith’s goal in the 26th minute, but two minutes later, senior Simone Lauture broke free and scored the equalizer.
After the Rams had some near misses at the end of the first half, Marshwood went back on top with 26:05 to play, when junior Natalie DuBois’ shot eluded Deering senior goalkeeper Cassidy Coyne for a 2-1 lead.
The Rams looked again to answer, but despite some good chances, couldn’t convert and the Hawks went on to a 2-1 victory.
Marshwood improved to 8-1 with the win and dropped Deering to 5-4-1 in the process.
“We just have to finish games better,” said Rams coach Kevin Olson. “We made some adjustments and had some opportunities, but we have to capitalize on those opportunities.”
Deering has been very competitive this season. The Rams opened with a close 2-1 loss at Scarborough, then blanked host South Portland (3-0), visiting McAuley (4-0) and visiting Biddeford (4-0). After a 2-2 home tie against Sanford, Deering lost, 3-1, at Bonny Eagle. After a pivotal 2-1 home win over Gorham, the Rams rolled at Noble, 6-2, before losing in their last outing, 2-1, at two-time defending Class A champion Windham.
Marshwood started with shutout home wins over Noble (2-0) and Cheverus (5-0), before earning a huge 2-1 victory at Thornton Academy. The Hawks were then blanked at home by Windham (2-0), then turned it on again, downing host Portland (2-0), host Westbrook (7-0), visiting Massabesic (6-0) and visiting Sanford (3-1).
Last year, Marshwood came to Deering and prevailed, 2-1.
Wednesday, the Rams looked for their first victory over the Hawks since a 6-3 road win Oct. 10, 2012, but instead, Marshwood made it three in a row in the series.
Deering had some good chances early, but a bid from junior Abby Elowitch off a corner was saved by Hawks senior goalkeeper Emily Robida and a low bid off the foot of junior Ewka Varney was also saved.
After Coyne denied junior Reagan Nichols, then saved another Nichols shot, off a corner kick, the visitors broke through.
The first goal came with 14:01 to go in the half, as Marshwood forced a turnover and freshman Natalie Herbold set up Smith for a shot that Coyne couldn’t quite reach.
Deering didn’t put its head down and instead, promptly answered.
The Hawks defense had done a good job preventing through balls to the speedy Lauture much of the half, but with 12:45 remaining, one got through, Lauture ran it down and went one-on-one with Robida before finishing to tie the score, 1-1.
“It was a good answer,” Olson said. “Simone has a physical presence. She spent a lot of time in the offseason working on her speed, strength and ball touches. She understands timing. She’s been a force for us.”
A minute after tying it up, Lauture had a great chance to put the Rams ahead, but after taking a lead pass from senior Siobhan Densmore, Lauture’s second touch sent the ball too far ahead and Robida got to it first.
Before halftime, junior Meghana Clere had a pair of chances, but the first was broken up by a defender and the second, on a rush, was saved by Robida, sending the game to the break, 1-1.
Marshwood had a 5-3 edge in shots and corners were 3-3 in the first half. Coyne made four saves to Robida’s two.
The Rams pushed hard for the lead to start the second half as well, but couldn’t finish.
First, Lauture got the ball after a Hawks defender whiffed, but she shot just wide.
Moments later, Robida had to fall on a loose ball in the box a split second before Lauture could reach it.
Robida then saved a shot by senior Cora Melcher, preserving the tie.
Then, with 26:05 to go, the Hawks went back on top for good.
The ball came to DuBois in the middle of the field, at the top of the box and for a moment, Deering’s defense stood still. That gave DuBois enough time to fire a left-footed blast that got past the diving Coyne. For a moment, it appeared the Rams would get a break as the shot hit squarely off the near post, but the ball bounced back and hit Coyne, then ricocheted the other way, into the net to make it 2-1 Marshwood.
“The second goal, we just had a little lapse in judgement and awareness of where we were standing,” Olson said.
The rest of regulation featured Deering trying to answer.
To no avail.
First a long arcing shot from Lauture was snared by Robida.
With 14:35 to play, a rush from senior MiCary Verville was broken up at the last second.
Three minutes later, Robida got to a loose ball just before Lauture could reach it.
With 10:45 remaining, junior defender Paige Singer broken up a Lauture rush, leading to a corner kick which produced nothing.
With 4:15 left, Lauture took a lead pass from senior Megan Violette and raced in from the right side, but two defenders cut off her angle and her shot sailed high.
With 1:27 to play, a long shot from sophomore Darrah Scott was saved by Robida and Marshwood went on to the 2-1 win.
“We really wanted this game,” Olson said. “They’re a good team.”
Each team had 10 shots, with the Hawks putting seven on frame to six by the Rams. Each team had four corner kick opportunities.
Both goalkeepers made five saves.
Marshwood is in line for one of the top seeds in Class A South (the Hawks were fifth in the Heal Points standings at press time). Marshwood welcomes winless McAuley Friday, plays at Biddeford Saturday, has a showdown at Scarborough Wednesday and finishes with games at Bonny Eagle and at home versus Gorham.
Deering is hoping to finish eighth or higher to ensure a home preliminary round playoff game, but the remaining schedule isn’t easy. The Rams (currently eighth) are at Massabesic Friday, host Thornton Academy and Cheverus next week, then close the regular season at Portland, in a rematch of last year’s playoff thriller, Oct. 20.
“We have 16 players and their understanding of the game is good, it’s just the execution for 80 minutes is what it comes down to,” Olson said. “Sometimes we come out of the gate and play well. Other times we come out not as hard, then bounce back second half, like the Windham game, where I’ve never seen us play so well. It’s just a matter of finding out how to sustain it for 80 minutes. I hope it comes sooner than later and we figure it out before playoffs. I think we’ll be that team that wherever we end up, we’ll have a chance. We’ve done well against the top teams. We just have to take that next step forward.”
Deering senior Simone Lauture is slowed by Marshwood senior Hailey Tarr during the teams’ battle Wednesday night. Lauture had a first half goal, but the Rams fell just short, losing to the Hawks, 2-1.
Mike Strout photos.
Deering junior Meghana Clere races down the field with Marshwood junior Paige Singer in hot pursuit.
Deering junior Ewka Varney gets past Marshwood sophomore Marin Smith.
Deering senior Cora Melcher gets the ball past Marshwood junior Reagan Nichols.
Deering sophomore Darrah Scott and Marshwood junior Zoe Janetos fight for the ball.
Marshwood junior Paige Singer shields the ball from Deering senior MiCary Verville.
Deering junior Leinani Farnsworth tries to poke the ball away from Marshwood sophomore Marin Smith.