Girls’ soccer: Persistence pays off for Windham in 3-1 win

After suffering its first loss of the season earlier in the week, the Windham girls’ soccer team recognized it needed to find a new sense of urgency when it stepped on the field Wednesday at Memorial Stadium against Deering.

The results was a non-stop offensive effort for the Eagles in a 3-1 victory.

“We came off a loss where we felt like we didn’t really execute,” said Windham Coach Deb Lebel. “Tonight, they knew they needed to step up. It started with our midfielders and defenders winning a lot of balls, so (Deering) couldn’t really get going the other way. We felt that pressure last game and we knew we needed to fix that.”

Windham (3-1) came out in attack mode, and it took the Eagles less than four minutes to cash in. Maggie Symonds, a senior, scored off a pass from classmate Hannah Kaplan 3:50 into the game.

The Eagles continued to pepper the net but were repeatedly denied by sophomore keeper Gianna Charest. The first-year varsity player made 15 saves while surrendering a pair of goals in the first half.

“She did a great job,” said Lebel. “She turned away a lot of shots that we thought could go in. We took good shots, and she’d come out of nowhere to make the save. She really was great tonight.”

Charest continued her impressive goalkeeping throughout the second half before finally surrendering a third goal with just over a minute to play.

“They did put a lot of pressure on us,” said Deering Coach Kevin Olson. “(Charest) put in the time this summer and really worked hard during our training sessions. She’s working hard to understand when to come off the line and when not to come off the line, understanding where the ball is on the field and where her positioning should be. Because she’s really picking up where she should, her athletic ability is allowing her to make those saves.”

Deering (1-2) tied the game in the 25th minute when sophomore Mia Sargent scored off a corner kick. But Windham’s forwards quickly came to life again, and freshman Riley Beem netted the go-ahead goal on a pass from junior Meghan Hoffses less than two minutes later.

“It was huge,” said Lebel. “We needed the momentum to come back our way. We had really possessed the ball and just couldn’t get it in there. We needed that (goal) to swing things back our way.”

Maggie Lloyd, a senior, clinched the victory with 1:04 to play after Deering failed to clear a loose ball from the box.

“That one was like ‘Yes! Finally!,” said Lebel. “It was a one-goal game and they’d threatened us with some corner kicks. This game wasn’t done. You can’t take anything for granted and that goal was such a relief.”

Source: Portland pressGirls’ soccer: Persistence pays off for Windham in 3-1 win