April triumph brings May optimism

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Waynflete-Yarmouth and Waynflete-Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse game stories, including detailed box scores and additional photos, as well as the complete McAuley-Windham softball and Cheverus-McAuley girls’ lacrosse game stories, with detailed box scores, please visit theforecaster.net)

The very short spring sports season is now underway for everybody. Some teams have played several games, others just one or two, but it’s becoming clear that preseason projections of excellence were right on the mark.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred in the past week and what’s to come.

Baseball-Stags suffer a loss

The defending Class A state champion Cheverus baseball team won its first two outings, 11-3, over visiting Bonny Eagle and 2-1 in 10 innings at Windham (junior Ryan Casale had the game-winning single, senior Harry Ridge earned the win with a strong nine-inning effort and sophomore Mitchell Powers got the save).

But Thursday, the Stags lost, 6-3, at Marshwood, their first setback since May 28, 2011. Cheverus failed to hold an early 3-0 lead. The Stags got back in the win column and improved to 3-1 Saturday with a 10-1 home victory over Noble. Casale earned the victory. Cheverus was home with Massabesic Tuesday, goes to Thornton Academy Thursday and visits Kennebunk Tuesday of next week.

Deering, which blanked visiting Massabesic in its opener, 7-1, has dropped three straight, 6-4 at Gorham, 4-0 to visiting Thornton Academy and 6-2 at Westbrook. After visiting Bonny Eagle Tuesday, the Rams are at Windham Thursday. They host Noble Saturday and go to Sanford Tuesday of next week.

Portland began the week chasing its first win. The Bulldogs followed up a 10-5 home loss to Sanford to start the year with setbacks to visiting Scarborough (5-3), host Noble (3-1) and visiting Marshwood (3-1). Junior Nate Smart pitched well in the losses to the Red Storm and Hawks. Portland was at Biddeford Tuesday, visits Gorham Thursday, plays host to Kennebunk Saturday and goes to Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, Waynflete began its season with wins over visiting Greater Portland Christian School (21-2 in five innings) and Old Orchard Beach (5-4). Against the Seagulls, sophomore Joey Schnier got the win. Sophomore Nik Morrill earned the save, while also singling twice and driving in a run. Junior Tom Spagnola added two hits. The Flyers fell to 2-1 Wednesday after a 6-4 loss at Class B Gray-New Gloucester. Waynflete was at Old Orchard Beach Monday. It hosts Lake Region Wednesday, goes to Western B contender Cape Elizabeth Friday and welcomes Sacopee Monday of next week.

Softball-Lions roar

McAuley’s softball program has enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons, but after being hard hit by graduation and transfer, the Lions weren’t mentioned in the same breath as other contenders at the start of the 2012 campaign. Regardless, McAuley has managed to win two of its first four contests.

After opening with a 15-0 loss at Kennebunk, the Lions blanked host Cheverus, 2-0, last Wednesday. Sophomore Sam Libby earned the win with a five-hitter. She struck out 13 and also had a key triple to put her team on top. Freshman Taylor Whaley also had two hits. After losing, 10-0, to visiting Marshwood Thursday, McAuley hosted Windham Friday and earned another win, 2-1, in eight innings.

The Lions couldn’t score in the first five innings, but in the bottom of the sixth, they got a break, turning a dropped pop fly into the tying run on a Libby double which scored senior standout Shelby Bryant. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Bryant got on base by virtue of a bunt, moved to second on a Libby single and after a wild pitch, scored when junior Molly Mack reached on an error.

“I just had to get on base,” said Bryant, McAuley’s two-time reigning Spring Athlete of the Year. “I have great people behind me. If I swung for the fences, I’d strike out. I had to score.”

“I was just trying to make contact,” Mack said. “The pitcher was a little quicker. I’m better at hitting faster pitches. I thought I was going to get out. It’s my first game-winning hit. It’s exciting. Whatever works.”

“I’m tickled pink at 2-2,” added Lions coach Robbie Ferrante. “We got lucky. We’re not going to score many runs. It had to be very frustrating for (Windham). They left 10 runners on base. The girls feel good about themselves.”

Libby gutted out the win, allowing four hits and eight walks, but just one run while striking out 13.

“I was in the strike zone,” Libby said. “I felt good. We’re working on things and making improvements.”

McAuley was at Westbrook Monday, hosts Biddeford Wednesday, goes to Portland Friday and is home against South Portland in a playoff rematch Monday of next week.

“I think we have to keep it day-to-day,” Bryant said. “We have to keep level heads. We can’t get down. We’ll keep improving. At the end of the season, we’ll be so much better than we are now.”

Cheverus fell to 0-3 with a 2-0 home loss to McAuley last Wednesday (despite a strong effort from sophomore pitcher Brittany Bell). The Stags got their first win for new coach Maureen Curran Thursday, downing host Deering in a 18-8 slugfest. Junior Staci Swallow had three hits, four runs scored and drove in a pair of runs. Junior Kelsey Dulac added three hits and three RBI. Cheverus fell to 1-4 on the year Friday with a 15-3 (six inning) loss at Kennebunk. Casey Simpson had a double and two singles. Cheverus hosted Marshwood Monday, goes to Windham Friday and is home with Westbrook Monday of next week.

Deering entered the week 0-4. Prior to the Cheverus loss, the Rams had lost, 11-3, at Windham. Deering was at Biddeford Monday, plays host to rival Portland Wednesday, travels to South Portland Friday and welcomes Gorham Monday of next week.

Portland suffered losses last week at Thornton Academy (21-1, in five innings), at home to Noble (13-0, in six innings) and at Sanford (12-0, in five innings) to fall to 0-4. The Bulldogs were home with Massabesic Monday, visit Deering Wednesday, play host to McAuley Friday and travel to Kennebunk Monday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse-Rams keep rolling

On the heels of last year’s regional final appearance, the Deering boys’ lacrosse team is impressing once again. The Rams rolled at Westbrook (9-4) and Bonny Eagle (18-5) last week to improve to 4-1 on the year. Against the Blue Blazes, Matt Flaherty had three goals and Karl Rickett finished with a pair. In the win over the Scots, Flaherty and Anthony Verville both scored five times, while Rickett added three goals. Deering has a huge test Wednesday night when it visits two-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough.

Cheverus is also off to a hot start in 2012. The Stags made it four straight with home wins last week over Noble (17-0) and Waynflete (10-9, in overtime). Against the Flyers, Jack Sutton had three goals, Brent Green and Thomas Lawson two apiece.

“It was one of the most intense games I have been involved with,” said Cheverus coach Deke Andrew. “I don’t think we ever had the lead, but we were tied or down one most of the game.”

The Stags (4-1) are at Massabesic Wednesday.

Portland evened its record at 2-2 last Tuesday with a 14-6 triumph at Gorham. Junior Max Pierter had four goals, junior Joe Nielson and sophomore Mike Fuller both scored three times. The Bulldogs were home against defending Class B state champion Falmouth Monday, travel to Kennebunk Wednesday and play host to reigning Class A champion Scarborough Friday.

Waynflete fell to 0-2 with the overtime loss to Cheverus. The Flyers opened with a 12-7 home setback at the hands of Greely. Junior Zander Majercik had three goals, senior Chris Burke finished with two. Against the Stags, Burke scored three times, while Majercik added a pair. Senior Max McKendry made 14 saves. Waynflete sought its first win Monday at York. The Flyers are home against Cape Elizabeth Wednesday and Freeport Saturday.

Girls’ lacrosse-Flyers perfect so far

Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team has met every challenge in the early going. After dominating visiting North Yarmouth Academy, 15-5, in the opener, the Flyers earned wins last week over visiting Yarmouth (13-2) and at Wells (15-7) and Kennebunk (10-8).

Against the Clippers, junior Sadie Cole and sophomore Walker Foehl paced the attack with four goals apiece and sophomore Ella Millard scored twice as Waynflete avenged a loss in last year’s Class B state final.

“This was good,” Foehl said. “We picked it up. We kind of got in a rhythm and really wanted it. In the first half, we figured it out and in the second we went and did it.”

“It felt very close the whole game,” Waynflete coach Cathie Connors said. “Yarmouth has such good athletes, so it can turn around any second. They always play hard. They’re coached well. It’s always going to be a good fight. I felt like anything can happen until the end.”

After getting five goals from Foehl and three each from Cole, Millard and junior Martha Veroneau in the win at Wells, the Flyers found themselves in their closest battle yet at Kennebunk. Four first half goals from Cole gave Waynflete a cushion, but the Rams battled back to tie the score at 8-8 in the second half. Veroneau put the Flyers on top to stay with a terrific individual effort and she added a free position late to help Waynflete survive.

“We went out and came together as a team and pulled it out,” said Veroneau, who nearly matched Cole’s five goals with four of her own. “Kennebunk’s a really good team. It went down to the final buzzer. This is the first time we’ve had to push ourselves mentally that far. It’s good experience, especially moving on from here.”

“It’s very exciting,” Cole said. “We came out and executed well. Kennebunk’s one of the best teams in the state. I wasn’t surprised they came back. We just stayed composed and played our game. These are my favorite types of games. I’m really proud to see everyone pull through. Getting an opportunity to play one of the best Class A teams is fun.”

“I’m really psyched how we were patient,” added Connors. “The offense played well. We did a lot of work with the defense. Today, it clicked. That’s what we worked on in practice yesterday. I was glad to see them pull that together.”

Waynflete was home with Fryeburg Tuesday, then has another huge test at undefeated and high flying Falmouth Friday night.

“I’m really excited for that,” Cole said. “That’ll be huge. It’ll definitely be a big test.”

In Western A, Cheverus has impressed in the early going. The Stags dropped their opener, 12-9, at Massabesic (sophomore Elyse Caiazzzo did have five goals), but Thursday, they dominated visiting McAuley, 14-5, as sophomore Meredith Willard scored six times.

“It feels great, I think we all wanted it,” Willard said. “The team spirit drove us.”

“It was good to get in the win column,” said Cheverus coach Jamie Chamberlain. “We have a lot of newer players. It was good for them to get into a comfort zone today and be able to work on some things.”

Saturday, the Stags improved to 2-1 with a 13-8 home victory over NYA. Willard and sophomore Alex Logan both scored four times. Senior Sarah LaQuerre added two goals. Cheverus was home with Portland Tuesday, visits Deering Thursday and is at Marshwood Monday.

“We have a lot of potential,” Willard said. “I love this team. It’s the best team I’ve ever been on. We have to work together and work hard.”

“Like last year, we want to keep improving each game and give new players confidence and take care of the details,” Chamberlain said. “That’s what we’re focusing on.”

McAuley lost its first two games, 13-0, at two-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough and 14-5 at Cheverus. Seniors Sadie DiPierro and Clare McLaughlin both scored twice, while senior goalie Jaime LaCasse made 12 saves in the loss to the Stags.

“I thought we played much, much better in the second half,” Lions coach Jo-Ellen Rand said. “If we did that in the first half, it would have been a different game. It was a tough start. It’s hard to fight back from being down 9-1.”

McAuley got in the win column Saturday, holding off visiting Deering, 11-9, as junior Sam Paglia had three goals, DiPierro scored twice with two assists and McLaughlin, senior Mary Leasure and sophomore Katherine Lake also had two scores. LaCasse made 18 saves. The Lions were home with Massabesic Monday, visit Biddeford Thursday and play host to Windham Tuesday of next week.

Portland cruised past visiting Biddeford in its opener, 15-2, but lost at home to Kennebunk Thursday, 14-8. Saturday, the Bulldogs rolled over visiting Sanford, 15-6, behind six goals from junior standout Drew Barry. Portland was at Cheverus Tuesday, goes to Windham Thursday and hosts Bonny Eagle Monday.

Prior to losing at McAuley, Deering downed visiting Windham, 12-6, as seniors Veronica Mitchell and Anastasia Muca both had four goals, while sophomore Cole Spike added a pair. Mitchell and senior Maura Densmore both scored four times in the loss to the Lions. The Rams (1-2) were home with Thornton Academy Monday, welcome Cheverus Thursday and Biddeford Monday of next week.


The outdoor track season is underway.

Cheverus’ girls’ team beat host Windham, as well as Bonny Eagle and Sanford in its first meet. The Stags boys went to Bonny Eagle and edged Sanford by a single point to finish first.

Deering’s boys were second to host Thornton Academy, in a meet which also included Marshwood and Westbrook. The girls were third behind Thornton Academy and Marshwood, in a meet including the same teams.

Portland’s boys went to Noble, along with Kennebunk and Scarborough, and finished fourth. The Portland girls hosted McAuley, along with Kennebunk, Noble and Scarborough. The Red Storm was first. The Lions placed fourth and the Bulldogs fifth.

Waynflete joined Falmouth and Old Orchard Beach at Poland. The boys came in third. The girls placed fourth.

City Class A boys’ and girls’ teams squared off at the start of the week. Waynflete hosts Greely, NYA and Traip Friday.


On the hardcourts, Cheverus and Portland lead the girls’ parade at 3-0. The Bulldogs defeated Bonny Eagle, Gorham and Sanford by 5-0 scores. The Stags blanked South Portland and Thornton Academy and defeated Scarborough, 4-1. McAuley is 2-0 after 5-0 wins over Sanford and Marshwood. Deering began with losses to Windham (4-1), Massabesic (3-2) and South Portland (4-1). Defending Class C champion Waynflete opened with losses to Yarmouth (3-2), Falmouth (5-0) and Fryeburg (4-1).

Big matches this week include Portland at Cheverus Wednesday and Cheverus at Deering Friday.

On the boys’ side, Deering is 3-0 after downing Windham (3-2), Massabesic (4-1) and South Portland (5-0). Cheverus sandwiched wins over South Portland (5-0) and Thornton Academy (3-2) around a 5-0 loss to Scarborough. Portland beat Sanford and Bonny Eagle and lost to Gorham. Reigning Class C champion Waynflete lost to defending Class B champion Falmouth, 5-0, in its opener, then downed Yarmouth (5-0) and York (3-2).

The Flyers are home with Yarmouth Friday and go to Falmouth Monday. Cheverus is at Portland Wednesday and home against Deering Friday.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

Waynflete’s Zander Majercik ducks under a Greely defender during last week’s 12-7 Rangers’ victory.

Waynflete’s Jo Moore yells at and attempts to slow a Kennebunk offensive player during the Flyers’ 10-8 win at the Rams Saturday.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.