Tag Archives: Abbey Thornton

Scarborough defeats defending Class A champion Windham 1-0

Emma Blanchette and Ali Mokriski celebrate a goal

(Windham) A beautiful moon was rising in the background as Scarborough edged Windham, 1-0, on Thursday night at Windham.

The Portland Press Herald had both teams (Windham/Scarborough) worthy of watching as well as four players (Abbey Thornton, Stella Gervais, Lana Djuranovic, Ali Mokriski) equally deserving of a special look.

Those stars were definitely special tonight and each one impressed me.

Both teams had players who could possess the ball and both teams were quick to go on the attack.

Jaelyn Poitras defends Lana Djuranovic

It was exciting to watch.

Senior Ali Mokriski (Bryant commit) produced the game winner with 10:55 left in the game.

Ali set up the scoring opportunity by pressuring the Lady Eagles defense and causing a violation to be committed.

Ali’s score came off a direct kick from about twenty yards on the right side.

“It was set up just right for her,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley afterwards.  “She is left-footed and just wrapped it around the side of the wall.”

Ali said, “it was set up perfectly so that I could get the ball around the wall and go to the other side of the goalie.”

Ali Mokriski’s shot gets just inside the post

It was certainly not an easy shot.

“I had a feeling she was going to wrap it around,” recalled Windham coach Deb LeBel post-game.  “It was perfectly placed.  It was a great shot.”

And that was all the scoring there was….although both teams had chances long range and in close.

Sophomore Sophie Rinaldi had the shutout for the (3-0) Red Storm. 

The Scarborough GK sounded like a future coach afterwards when asked about getting the win and the shutout.  “It was very exciting, but we really need to focus on the rest of the season.  It’s early.”

Sophie spent the second half in front of the active Eagles student section with a slippery grass field in front of her.

“It was pretty hectic at times,” she said.

Sophie got high praise from Coach Farley.  “Sophie had the game of her life.  She made a ton of good saves.”

Goalie Sophie Rinaldi mobbed by teammates at the end of the game

“I’ve been asking our goalies to make those one or two saves that keep us in it,” he added.  “She probably made four in this one and made it look easy.”

The most dangerous attacker for the Lady Eagles is Abbey Thornton.  Abbey had 32 goals last year in Windham’s undefeated (19-0) Class A championship season.  She had a goal in the title win versus Brunswick.

Abbey Thornton on the move

Abbey can create her own space and she moved into some with eighteen minutes left in the game.  Abbey launched a laser that clanked off the crossbar.

“We dodged a bullet when Abbey got that open shot,” said Coach Farley.

If you’re thinking that a little lower would have been a goal, not so fast.  “I literally had my hands right under the crossbar,” explained GK Sophie Rinaldi. “So, it was either the crossbar or my hands.”

Abbey was in the middle of some more excitement in the final two minutes in front of the Scarborough net.  The ball got into the box with lots of players there.  The ground was mushy and players from both sides were struggling to get a foot on the ball.  Down went Abbey as she tried to get control.  Foul?  Not according to the official.  That lack of a call didn’t set well with Windham afterwards.  My picture of the action, however, would suggest that Abbey fell over the ball and would justify the lack of a whistle.

Abbey Thornton falls in the box

Coach LeBel had Scarborough as “the team to beat in the league” even before this game was played. 

“It was tough to play a game like this for our second game,” she added.  “To have a close game with them this early makes me happy with the way we played.  We had our chances.  Our goalie (Reilly Russell) was very good tonight. The ball just didn’t fall.  We’re fine.  We have a young team.  We’ll clean up some things and we’ll be fine.”

Ali Mokriski and Lana Djuranovic totaled thirty-nine goals for Scarborough last year. 

Windham’s Stella Jarvais was on the SMAA’s all-conference first team last year as a freshman.  She was an excellent defender vs Scarborough.  She went down with a leg cramp in the second half but returned.  I’m sure the cramp was painful but someway the players from both sides were smiling as she was being attended to.

A less than serious moment

Scarborough was the Class A champion from 2017-2019.

It was a beautiful night for soccer.  The 6PM start provided a first half of daylight.  Did I mention that the moon was spectacular?

It is not a reach to imagine Scarborough and Windham meeting in the regional Class A finals.

The moon over the field was eye-catching

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Windham takes Class A title 3-1 over Brunswick

Windham – Class A champions
Windham raises the Gold Ball

(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 had two goals for Eagles

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.”

Sarah Talon scores 2nd Windham goal

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.

Abbey Thornton (9) shoots the 3rd goal

“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.”

The Dragons celebrate Logan Brown’s goal off a direct kick

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.

Amelia Mortero (17) clears the ball away from in front of Windham net
Brunswick captains with plaque

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.”

Windham goalie Eliza Trafford

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.)

Brunswick coach Martyn Davison and daughter Emily
Lady Eagles celebrate
Sarah Talon (12) elevates for a header
Lexi Morin (9) and Kayla Flanders (11)
Abbey Thornton and Sarah Talon celebrate 3rd goal
Brunswick goalie Sophia Morin
Emily Talbot had an assist.
Riley McAllaster
Sarah Talon celebrates her goal
Kynli Van Leer (7) and Elizabeth Talbot (10)
Shannon Flanagan (13) chases Abbey Thornton (9)
Molly Taub (10) and Kyla Harvie (34)
Windham Lady Eagles – Class A champions

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