Cheverus field hockey's regional final run highlights playoff week

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Cheverus’ field hockey team and several soccer squads were still standing at press time, as the playoffs have brought a lot of drama to Forecaster Country over the past week.

Here’s a glimpse:

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team has enjoyed being together so much this fall that it made sure it drained every ounce of drama out of two marathon playoff victories.

The Stags, who earned the top seed in Class A South for the first time in program history following a 12-2 regular season, had to go to overtime and beyond to beat both No. 8 Westbrook in the quarterfinals and fourth-ranked Sanford in the semifinals.

Against the Blue Blazes, Cheverus took a 1-0 lead with 23:10 to play when sophomore Hannah Abbott scored out of a scrum, but before those on hand could collect their breath, the Blue Blazes raced back down the field and tied it up 12 seconds later. From there, it was a story of near misses through regulation and two eight-minute, 7-on-7, “sudden victory” overtimes and the contest had to go to penalty corners to determine a survivor.

After one scoreless round, Cheverus broke through, as sophomore Hannah Abbott set up senior Colleen Slattery, who rattled the cage. Westbrook got one final chance to answer, but couldn’t convert and the Stags were finally able to exhale by virtue of a 2-1 (2 PC) victory.

“I’m in shock, I can’t even believe it,” Slattery said. “It went as long as it could have. It’s hard when you play a team that tough. We did a nice job fighting for it.”

“I’m very proud of how we finished,” said Cheverus coach Amy Ashley. “The sign of a good team is one that can pull it out. We’re resilient. I’m glad it’s over. Usually the first one’s the toughest one.” 

As it turned out, the second one was even tougher.

Against the Spartans Saturday, the Stags again came out hungry, grabbing a 1-0 lead less than five minutes in when freshman sensation Sophia Pompeo set up senior Becca Archer for a goal off a penalty corner. Cheverus tried to preserve that lead, but with 15:59 left in regulation, the Spartans drew even. Neither team could win it in regulation and after Stags sophomore goalie Kat Kane came up big in overtime, the teams had to go to corners to determine a winner.

Cheverus stood tall again as first Kane made a highlight reel save and then, in the fifth round, Slattery, set up Archer for the long-awaited goal.

“I couldn’t tell you how I scored either goal,” Archer said. “I was just in the right place at the right time. The ball was where it needed to be. My heart was racing.”

The Spartans had a chance to answer, but the Stags’ defense stood tall and senior Abby Ford’s clear unleashed a celebration two hours in the making as Cheverus survived and advanced, 2-1.

“I was so nervous,” Kane said. “I’m just happy my team made it. I’m so proud of everyone. I knew we could do it.”

“It was an all-out battle,” said Ashley. “I’m so excited to get back to the (regional final). We love being around each other and I think that’s why we do so well. We talked about performing and keeping our heads and we did. It was really special.”

The Stags (14-2) had to get past No. 3 Thornton Academy (14-2) Tuesday in the Class A South final (see for game story). Cheverus edged the Golden Trojans, 3-2, in overtime, Sept. 10, in Saco, on Pompeo’s goal. The Stags won the lone prior playoff meeting between the schools, 1-0, in the 2007 preliminary round.

“It seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve been (to the regional final),” Ashley said. “We have players who haven’t been there before. They’re so excited and they deserve it.”

If Cheverus advances to states for the first time since 2010, it would meet an absolute juggernaut at the University of Maine in Orono Saturday at a time to be announced. The Class A North title came down to top-ranked, 16-0 Messalonskee (Ashley’s alma mater) or perennial powerhouse Skowhegan (14-2).

Boys’ soccer

Cheverus’ defending Class A state champion boys’ soccer team is looking to repeat last year’s magic and make a title run from the No. 7 seed.

After a 7-3-4 regular season, the Stags had no trouble with 10th-ranked Marshwood in Friday’s Class A South preliminary round, romping, 4-0, behind goals from Brady Levesque, Michael Nason, Nik Hase and Mackenzie Hoglund. Cheverus goes to No. 2 Gorham (12-1-1) for the quarterfinals Wednesday evening. The Rams won the regular season meeting, 3-1, Oct. 6 in Gorham. The Stags are 1-2 all-time against the Rams in the playoffs, losing in the 1982 and 2008 preliminary rounds and winning in the 1986 preliminary round.

If Cheverus advances to the semifinals, it would visit No. 3 Thornton Academy (11-1-2) or sixth-ranked South Portland (8-3-4). The Stags lost at home to the Golden Trojans, 2-1, Sept. 24 and settled for a 0-0 home tie versus the Red Riots Oct. 8. Cheverus has no playoff history versus Thornton Academy and is 2-0 against South Portland, winning in the 1999 quarterfinals and in penalty kicks in last year’s semifinals. 

Portland wound up 7-2-5 and fifth after closing with a 1-0 double overtime home loss to Deering last Tuesday. The Bulldogs had to host No. 12 Sanford in the preliminary round Friday and finally got some offense going, getting goals from Alex Frank, Josh Irving and Josue Madrid Benis in a 3-0 victory. Portland advanced to face No. 4 Falmouth (10-3-1) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season. The only prior playoff meeting came two years ago in the quarterfinals, a 3-0 Bulldogs’ triumph.

If Portland advances to the semifinals, it would either go to top-ranked Scarborough (12-0-2) or host No. 9 Westbrook (6-7-2). The Bulldogs won at the Blue Blazes, 1-0, Sept. 24 and settled for a 1-1 tie at the Red Storm a week later. Portland is 1-4 all-time against Scarborough in the playoffs, with a 4-0 loss in the 2013 regional final the most recent, and is 1-2 versus Westbrook, with a 1-0 loss in the 2008 quarterfinals the most recent.

Deering ended the regular season on a high note with a 1-0 double overtime win at Portland behind Matthew Alvarez’s goal and earned the No. 8 seed in Class A South. The Rams hosted No. 9 Westbrook in Friday’s preliminary round and went down to a 1-0 defeat, finishing the year, 7-6-2.

In Class C South, Waynflete capped a terrific 11-2-1 regular season with a 1-0 home win over Freeport last Tuesday, as Aaron Lee set up Ilyas Abdi for the game’s lone goal.

“One goal was enough,” Lee said. “We’d have liked to have finished more and we had expected to score more, but after we got the one, I think we got a little lackadaisical.”

“If you told me we’d go 11-2-1 through this schedule, I would’ve taken it, absolutely,” Flyers coach Brandon Salway said. “I won’t say I’m surprised. It’s an impressive achievement for this group.”

Waynflete earned the No. 2 seed and hosted seventh-ranked Carrabec (9-5-1) in Tuesday’s quarterfinals (see for game story). The teams don’t play in the regular season. The only previous playoff meeting between the schools resulted in a 3-1 Flyers’ victory way back in the 1985 preliminary round.

If, as expected, Waynflete advances, it will host either No. 3 St. Dom’s (11-2-1) or No. 6 Sacopee Valley (7-6-1) in Friday’s semifinal. The Flyers don’t play the Saints in the regular season. They blanked the visiting Hawks, 4-0, Oct. 6 and settled for a scoreless tie at Sacopee Valley a week later. Waynflete lost the only previous playoff meeting versus the Hawks, falling in PKs in the 2007 preliminary round, and is 4-3 against the Saints, winning the most recent meeting, 3-0, in last year’s quarterfinals.

The regional finals will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4, on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The state finals are Saturday, Nov. 7. Class A will be contested at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Class C is being held in Presque Isle.

Girls’ soccer

Only Deering and Waynflete’s girls’ teams were still alive at the start of the week, as two other local squads fell in the preliminary round of the playoffs.

In Class A South, the Rams closed the regular season with a 3-2 loss at rival Portland (despite two goals from Simone Lauture). Deering earned the No. 7 seed and blanked No. 10 Bonny Eagle, 3-0, in Friday’s preliminary round, as Meghana Clere had two goals and Lauture scored once.

That win sent the Rams (9-5-1) to No. 2 Scarborough (12-1-1) for a compelling quarterfinal Tuesday. Deering lost, 2-1, at the Red Storm in the regular season opener, Sept. 5. The teams had no playoff history. 

If the Rams sprung the upset, they would go to No. 3 Gorham (11-3) or host No. 11 Thornton Academy (8-7) in Saturday’s semifinals. Deering beat visiting Gorham, 2-1, Sept. 25 and blanked the visiting Golden Trojans, 3-0, Oct. 13. The Rams have no playoff history with Gorham and lost the only previous meeting with Thornton Academy, 1-0, in the 2013 quarterfinals.

Portland closed the regular season in style with a 3-2 home win over Deering, as Chessa Hoekstra scored twice and Kate Johnson also tickled the twine. That gave the Bulldogs the No. 8 seed in the region and allowed them to host No. 9 Kennebunk in a prelim Friday, but Portland couldn’t generate any offense and lost, 2-0, to finish the season 8-7.

“We weren’t at our best today, who knows why?” said Bulldogs coach Arthur Mosen. “Credit to Kennebunk. I thought they played very well.”

Portland hopes to bounce back in 2016.

“The program overall is in good shape,” said Mosen. “We would have loved to have gone further, but it wasn’t to be today. I’m sure we’ll be back.”

Cheverus rallied for a 2-1 home win over McAuley in the regular season finale, as Mackenzie Johnston and Katie Gordon scored late. The helped the Stags finish with the 12th and final playoff spot in Class A South, but Friday, Cheverus was ousted, 4-0, at No. 5 Marshwood as it finished the season 5-8-2.

McAuley finished 0-14 and 18th in Class A South (where 12 teams made the playoffs) after a 2-1 loss at Cheverus. Catherine Reid had the goal.

In Class C South, Waynflete closed with a 2-1 overtime win at Freeport to wind up 10-4 and sixth. Arianna Giguere had both goals. The Flyers then had no trouble versus No. 11 Boothbay in the preliminary round, romping, 7-0, behind three goals from Ava Farrar, two more from Elizabeth Lualdi and one apiece from Amelia Bertaska and Lydia Giguere. 

Waynflete advanced to play at third-ranked St. Dom’s (11-2-1) in the quarterfinals Tuesday. The Flyers don’t play the Saints in the regular season. They were 4-1 all-time against St. Dom’s in the playoffs, with a 5-2 win in the 2013 semifinals the most recent. 

If Waynflete advanced, it would either go to No. 2 Madison (10-1-3) or host No. 7 Lisbon (9-6) in Friday’s semifinals. The Flyers didn’t play either team this fall. Waynflete blanked the Greyhounds, 4-0, in the 2012 semifinals. The Flyers have no history with Madison.

The regional finals will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4, on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The state finals are Saturday, Nov. 7. Class A will be contested at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Class C is being held in Presque Isle.


Cheverus’ volleyball team was the lone city squad to qualify for the playoffs.

After capping a 4-10 regular season with a 3-2 home loss to South Portland, the Stags earned the No. 10 seed in Class A, but as a result, they had to go to No. 7 Mt. Desert Island for the quarterfinals.

In the first-ever meeting between the schools, the Stags bowed out in three sets, finishing their season at 4-11.

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

Sidebar Elements

Cheverus’ field hockey team celebrates after surviving Sanford in five rounds of penalty corners in Saturday’s Class A South semifinal. The Stags, who previously outlasted Westbrook in two rounds of penalty corners in the quarterfinals, advanced to meet Thornton Academy in the regional final.

Portland goalkeeper Taylor Crosby boots the ball down the field during the Bulldogs’ 2-0 loss to Kennebunk in Friday’s Class A South preliminary round playoff game.

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