Championship teams come and go, but what the Scarborough girls’ soccer squad accomplished this fall will live in immortality.
The Red Storm didn’t just go undefeated for the first time in program history and win a long-coveted initial Class A title.
They did so in a manner that cleansed away painful losses of years past and with a defensive effort that might never be matched.
In nearly 1,500 minutes of action, Scarborough didn’t surrender a single goal during the run of play (Cheverus managed one on a penalty kick in the semifinals). The Red Storm overcame the agony of prior postseason heartache and played their best on the biggest stage.
All you can say in retrospect is, Wow!
“It was a 24-player effort to make what happened this year,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley, who was still in awe nearly two weeks after the title game. “It started with the Gorham game (a stunning 1-0 road win over a nemesis on a goal just before time expired in the second overtime). After the Cheverus regular season game (a 2-0 road victory on Sept. 23), we knew we had something special. Against (defending regional champion) Thornton Academy (a 1-0 road win to close the regular year, Oct. 19), we had some close calls.”
Farley admitted that he felt more nervous than he ever had as a coach or player prior to meeting Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals. In 2005 (his first year) and 2008, the lower-seeded Capers upset the Red Storm in the first round. When this year’s contest was scoreless at the half, nerves were ratcheted up a notch, but Scarborough rose to the occasion in the second half, scoring twice, and the monkey was off its back.
Scarborough survived the only goal it allowed all season to beat Cheverus in the semifinals, blanked Thornton Academy in the regional final, then dominated Bangor, 3-0, in the state game.
“We just had great balance,” said Farley. “We never played as well as we did in the first half at states. Our bench players deserve a lot of credit. The seniors were great. The kids were all so unselfish.”
“Everyone was on same page wanting to win,” added senior Cortney Hughes, one of countless key contributors. “The defense was unbelievably strong. We weren’t aware of the (scoreless streak) until midseason. We wanted to keep it up. We all wanted to win it our senior year. We worked hard and pushed each other. We wanted to win it for coach.”
The Perfect Storm have set the standard for all soccer teams of both genders to aspire in the future. Eighteen impressive wins, a state title and most dazzling of all, a season without a goal surrendered during regular play, is a legacy that will persevere.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com
Junior Emily Tolman and her teammates frustrated the opposition from start to finish this fall, not surrendering a single goal in the run of play en route to an undefeated season and a first-ever Class A state championship.