WESTBROOK — Kerry Mariello, the Scarborough High field hockey coach, doesn’t usually make too much of regular-season games. But even she knew how important the Red Storm’s 2-1 double-overtime victory over Westbrook was Tuesday.
“This was our pinnacle game of the season,” she said.
Scarborough, which forced overtime with a late second-half goal, won when Kristen Levesque’s shot from the top of the circle bounced through a maze of bodies and just inside the right post with 6:37 remaining in the second overtime. The Red Storm were playing short-handed with one of their players serving a two-minute penalty.
“It shows we can be the team that overcomes the odds,” said Levesque, who suffered an ankle injury in the first overtime period. “We were down for a good period of time and we came back.”
The victory was Scarborough’s seventh in a row after opening the season with two losses. Westbrook, which hadn’t lost since its opener on Sept. 1, dropped to 5-2-1.
Westbrook’s coaches and players contended Levesque’s shot came from outside the circle and was not touched, which would have nullified the goal. But the officials consulted and upheld the goal.
“This game was a great experience for us,” said Mariello. “To go into that overtime, to be down, to be able to come back from that and go into overtime, it’s just a great opportunity for these girls.”
It was a tough loss for the Blazes, but it also showed how far this team – which starts four sophomores and a freshman – has come.
“Our kids are starting to believe they can play with anybody,” said Westbrook Coach Beth Murphy. “A 2-1 game. I’ll take that any time. But a win would have been huge.”
Westbrook only had two shots on goal in the game as Scarborough’s defense – led by Victoria Timm and Sydney Rusak – kept the Blazes contained for the most part. But Maddison LeBeau put the second shot in with 4:25 left in the first half.
Westbrook’s defense, headed by goalie Kim Goddard, defender Camryn LaPierre and midfielder Avery Tucker, pushed back every Scarborough attack until 11:36 remained in the game, when Lily Nygren converted a pass from Ashley Levesque into the tying goal.
“We’ve been in those types of situations, so we knew how to handle it,” said Timm. “We knew from the start that Westbrook was going to be a tough team.”
Westbrook had a chance to win it in the first overtime on a penalty corner, but Tucker’s shot was inches wide of the right post.
Short-handed to start the second overtime, the Red Storm ended it when Kristen Levesque saw an opening and took her shot.
“My goal was just to hit it to the net,” she said. “And hopefully someone would tip it in.”
Instead it went in. And the Red Storm had a big victory.