The Scarborough girls’ soccer team learned Tuesday night that life can be mighty unfair and disappointing.
Less than a minute from surviving a scare from No. 9 Marshwood in the Western A quarterfinals, the host and top-ranked Red Storm watched in horror as the Hawks tied the game, then beat them on a corner kick in overtime, ending their stellar season at 13-2.
Scarborough, which was upset at home last fall in the preliminary round by Cape Elizabeth, was superb this regular season, winning 13 times (by a composite 56-5 margin) against just one defeat (3-1 at South Portland Sept. 26).
Back on Sept. 11, the Red Storm had no trouble with visiting Marshwood, beating the Hawks, 4-0 at home. Tuesday’s meeting was the first ever between the programs in the playoffs.
After an abundance of chances that it couldn’t convert, Scarborough finally took the lead, 1-0, on senior Jenn Colpitts’ goal in the 77th minute and appeared home free, but with 50 seconds remaining, a long, one-time 40-yard blast off the foot of Marshwood’s Natasha Chabot improbably tied the score and sent the game to overtime.
There, the Hawks ended the Red Storm’s season when Brittany Henley converted a header on a penalty kick.
“It was a tough way to end the season,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “Last night’s game highlighted a couple of weaknesses that we have been trying to overcome all season. We had a tendency to get off to slow starts in the first half and then turn it on in the second. Unfortunately when we don’t play well for 40 minutes, it gives the other team confidence. In the playoffs, giving an opponent with a lot of experience and good goalkeeping like Marshwood has a little confidence can turn the balance of a game. This year we have also struggled a little bit clearing balls out of the back and on the tying goal we had three or four chances to clear the ball and just couldn’t do it.
“Give a lot of credit to Marshwood. They are an experienced team and that is how you react to giving up a goal, by not giving up and pressuring till the end. As I told the players, they have a lot to be proud of. We had an amazing regular season where we beat teams that we have struggled against the past couple years and we ended up winning our conference and getting the No. 1 seed which we haven’t done in years. This team battled hard all year and that is what makes this loss hard, because I think the players deserved more. Unfortunately that’s soccer, sometimes you come out on top and sometimes its heartbreak.”
Expect the Red Storm to be right back in the thick of things in 2010.
“Things look good for next year,” Farley said. “We have a strong junior class this year that will hopefully lead the way and we have some younger players that are coming into their own. We are losing four seniors that provided great leadership this season, so we’ll miss them. If we keep getting better, as we have the last couple years, we should be able to put ourselves in a good position next year and we’ll see if we can learn the lessons from this year.”
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com