(Waterboro ME) The style of play wasn’t what the coach wanted.
“We like to play a passing game, a possession game on the ground,” said Windham coach Deb LeBel afterwards. “Today, we were just clearing it to give us a sense of relief.”
The shaky technique aside, Windham did defeat Brunswick, 3-1, and capture the Class A title today at Massabesic High School.
The undefeated Eagles (19-0) scored three times in the last seventeen minutes of the first half and that was enough to gain their first title in seven years.
Brunswick (15-3) got a goal midway through the second half and had some chances to get closer, but it didn’t happen on this sunny morning.
“I thought we played very well in the second half,” said Brunswick coach Martyn Davison post-game. “The first half killed us a little bit.”
Abbey Thornton (2) and Sarah Talon (1) had the goals for Windham while Logan Brown scored for Brunswick.
Abbey and Sarah worked together on the first Eagles’ goal. It came off a corner kick at 16:22.
“We’ve scored a lot on corner kicks this season,” recalled Coach LeBel. “We’ve scored a ton on headers. Sarah (Talon) is super-tall and can place it.”
“On the first goal I had a great ball from Sarah (Talon),” said Abbey Thornton. “We’ve been able to do that the whole season.”
Freshman Stella Jarvais didn’t get any credit on the goal, but she took the corner kick. Stella put the ball right where Sarah (Talon) could elevate and head the ball.
Sarah’s header kept the ball going toward the front of the net where Abbey Thornton was waiting to head the ball into the Brunswick net.
Here are a series of pictures to show what that goal looked like:
Just over five minutes later (11:07), the Eagles had a second goal.
And just like the first goal, a key participant doesn’t make it to the official scoring summary. But she’ll make it here!
Junior Ashley Clark brought the ball down the left sidelines quite a distance before passing ahead to teammate Emily Talbot.
Emily sent a hard shot toward the net and Sarah Talon was able to deflect it in.
“I wasn’t expecting it to go in,” admitted Sarah afterwards, “I just wanted to get a foot on it.”
But in it went and Windham led, 2-0.
Junior Abbey Thornton is a center midfielder who made All-Conference as a freshman.
“Abbey creates turnovers,” said Coach LeBel. “Sometimes she thinks that if she doesn’t score, she’s not contributing. What she does best is stopping the ball and getting our offense going the other way.”
In the last minute of the first half, Abbey intercepted a pass, but she wasn’t at midfield. She was over to the right and closer to the Brunswick goal. Abbey knew what to do with the interception.
“I had an open shot, and I took it,” said Abbey. The quick shot sailed into the upper left corner of the Brunswick goal and the Windham lead was now, 3-0.
Abbey’s second score was Windham’s 100th goal of the season.
The Dragons (15-3) shut out Windham in the second half.
“Our second half was tremendous,” said Coach Davison. “We could have had a couple of goals. We knew that they would score. We needed to capitalize on our chances.”
The Dragons did capitalize once in the second half.
And again (third time) a contributor to a goal is left off the score sheet.
Logan Brown’s goal off a direct kick was listed as unassisted. Logan, however, ended up with the direct kick because freshman Lexi Morin drew a penalty on her defender.
“It was a great shot by Logan,” said Coach Davison. “She’s done that all year. It was tough for the keeper with the sun in her eyes.”
Logan’s goal was at 19:41. Plenty of time left for Brunswick to get closer.
Windham, however, had the next scoring chance…..a penalty kick. Junior Ashley Clark drew the penalty.
Abbey Thornton took the shot and sent it wide with 16:14 remaining.
Windham’s Logan Brown had a corner kick at the eight-minute mark and the Dragons nearly scored a minute later.
The ball, on the close call, was loose and the goalie Eliza Trafford was on the ground. At the last second, however, Windham senior captain Amelia Mortero came from the left to clear the ball away.
Sarah Talon: “We knew what we had to do, and we were really excited to be here. Our mindset on the first day of preseason was to get here….and we did. It feels good to get the Gold Ball back for Coach LeBel. Our coaches really care for us.”
Coach Davison: “Windham is a great team. I’m really proud of what our girls did.”
Abbey Thornton: “We’ve worked hard together. We connect passes and play for each other. It was fun this year. We’re a big family.”
Coach LeBel: “The kids have worked really hard all season. They are extremely unselfish. Brunswick is very talented. I liked that they continued playing right to the end.”
Brunswick lost to Camden Hills and Bangor during the regular season and then came back to beat both in the tournament.
The referee had to get after the Windham student section in the second half……and they deserved it. Credit to those kids thereafter, because they switched to their best behavior for the rest of the game.
The weather got better as the game went on. Arrived and it was 30 degrees. When I left it was in the low 50’s. The sun never left.
Nice turf field at Massabesic. Plenty of seating available on both sides.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)