City schools begin fall season

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Westbrook field hockey and Deering-Cheverus boys’ soccer game stories, please see theforecaster.net)

The fall sports season is still in its infancy, but there are already ample signs that it’s going to be something special.

While football garnered its share of headlines (please see story), soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cross country and golf teams are also underway.

Here’s a glimpse at the limited action so far.

Boys’ soccer

The boys’ soccer season began with an exciting showdown between highly touted Deering and a Cheverus squad with a new coach, Colin Minte, Friday afternoon.

On a sizzling hot day at Boulos Stadium, the Stags carried play for stretches of the first half, but couldn’t score and the Rams took a 1-0 halftime lead courtesy a goal from senior Frankie Alvarez.

Cheverus was rewarded for its strong play with a goal just over six minutes into the second half, as senior standout Mackenzie Hoglund finished off a set piece, but with 15:54 remaining, a Rams’ proven standout and a new star combined for the winner.

Senior Stephan Ochan sent a long pass up the field and new senior Hany Ramadan, playing in his first varsity game, ran it down and found the net for what proved to be the winner in Deering’s 2-1 victory.

“It was very exciting,” said Ramadan, who ran cross country prior to this fall. “I got the ball and went one-on-one with the goalie. I just had to kick it past him. It felt really good. I like soccer. I never played on a team, so I wanted to play this year.”

“Hany brings speed,” Ochan said. “He’s extremely fast. It’s hard to contain him. Most of my big (passes) go to him.”

Deering was at Massabesic Tuesday, then opens up its home schedule with a big showdown versus rival Portland Friday. Tuesday of next week, another powerhouse, Gorham, pays a visit.

“If we work hard, we’ll be very good,” Ramadan said.

“We don’t think we’re the number one team,” Ochan said. “We’re trying to get better and better. We’re not there yet. We have a lot of things we need to improve. We have to move the ball quicker and play better.”

Cheverus wasn’t discouraged by the result.

“I thought we competed hard for 80 minutes,” Minte said. “I thought we had some good opportunities and we didn’t capitalize. Unfortunately, they got the bounces to go their way. It’s tough to come out and play a team like Deering first game of the season. (Deering’s) everybody’s pick to be one of the best teams in the conference, if not the state. They’re physical and strong, but I thought we came out and played strong. I thought they were slightly better on the day. “

The Stags play at Marshwood Thursday and host Windham Tuesday of next week.

“We’ll continue to grow as a team,” Minte said. “We’re still figuring out our identity. It’s tough to go down to Marshwood. We’d like to get a win to build some confidence.”

Portland earned an impressive 5-0 win at Sanford in its opener Saturday. Jonathan Bobe had three goals, while Faris Baziga and Will Sarvis also scored. The Bulldogs hosted defending Class A champion Scarborough Tuesday, play at Deering Friday and if that’s not enough, Noble pays a visit Tuesday of next week in a playoff rematch.

In Western C, Waynflete got underway Tuesday at Traip. The Flyers host Fryeburg Thursday, then welcome perennial powerhouse Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, two-time defending Class C state champion Waynflete began its quest for a third straight championship Tuesday at home versus Traip. The Flyers are home with Fyreburg Friday and travel to powerhouse Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

In Western A, Deering went to Cheverus Friday for the teams’ mutual opener and the Rams eked out a 1-0 win on Simone Lauture’s goal. The Rams hosted Massabesic Tuesday and welcome Portland Friday.

Cheverus sought its first victory Tuesday at McAuley. The Stags are home against Marshwood Friday.

Portland rolled at Sanford in its first game Friday, winning, 5-1. Hayleigh Blanchard scored twice, while Madison Bolduc, Kate Johnson and Isabel Stehli each had one goal. The Bulldogs went to Scarborough Tuesday and play at Deering Friday.

McAuley opened with a 10-0 loss at defending Class A champion Windham. The Lions hoped for their first win Tuesday when they hosted Cheverus. A trip to Massabesic looms Friday.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team has been a perennial contender, but was expected by many to take a step back this season after being decimated by graduation. Instead, for one day at least, the Stags proved to be just fine.

Playing at Westbrook in the opener last Thursday, Cheverus fell behind early, but Abby Ford tied the score with a penalty stroke and freshman Hannah Abbott gave the Stags the lead. After the hosts pulled even in the second half, Emily Michaud capped a dazzling individual effort with a goal and Cheverus went on to a 3-2 triumph.

“We realized we had to buckle down,” Michaud said. “Communication was key. It’s really rewarding when we work together. Everything we practiced we put into this game.”

“It’s a good start,” said Ford. “Our quote this year is to expect the unexpected. It took us awhile to get into the game. We just had to keep our sticks down at the end and make sure the ball didn’t get past us.”

“Cheverus-Westbrook is always a fight and it’s never easy here,” added Cheverus coach Amy Ashley. “The kids battled hard.”

The Stags were back in action Monday at home versus Biddeford. After going to Bonny Eagle Wednesday, they host McAuley Tuesday of next week.

“We’re definitely getting there,” Ford said. “We’ll get a lot better as the season goes on.”

“I think we’ll be a good team,” Michaud said. “We have to take our skills and work together. It’s a lot different from last year.”

“We’re new at every position, so the more experience we have will help us down the road,” Ashley added. “It’s a work in progress.”

Portland also prevailed in its opener, downing visiting Noble, 3-0, behind goals from Taylor Sargent, Renata Serio and Gabby Wagabaza. The Bulldogs hoped to improve to 2-0 Monday when they hosted Windham. After playing at Sanford Wednesday, Portland is home against defending regional champion Scarborough Monday of next week.

Deering’s first game resulted in a 4-2 loss at Thornton Academy. The Rams hoped to get in the win column Monday when they hosted Westbrook. After visiting Biddeford Wednesday, Deering is home against Bonny Eagle Monday of next week.

McAuley fell in its first outing, 14-0, at Biddeford. The Lions were at Bonny Eagle Monday, host Windham Wednesday and play at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Waynflete’s first game came Monday at Yarmouth (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Flyers are home against Sacopee Thursday and play host to Traip Saturday. Monday of next week’s they’re at defending Western C champion North Yarmouth Academy.

Volleyball

The city’s lone varsity volleyball program, Cheverus, dropped its first match, 3-0, at Biddeford. The Stags hosted last year’s Class A runners-up, Scarborough, Tuesday, go to Windham Thursday, Mt. Desert Island Saturday and welcome defending Class A state champion Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

After opening with the SMAA Relays last week, local cross country teams begin countable meets Friday.

Cheverus will join Marshwood and Windham at South Portland.

Deering (along with Gorham and Noble) goes to Westbrook.

McAuley joins Bonny Eagle and Sanford at Thornton Academy.

Portland (along with Massabesic and Scarborough) runs at Biddeford.

Waynflete begins at Lake Region.

Golf

Portland’s golf team expects to contend in 2014 and got off to a good start last Wednesday with an 8-5 home win over South Portland. The Bulldogs paid a visit to Deering Monday and host defending Class A champion Falmouth Wednesday.

Cheverus lost its first match, 8.5-4.5, to visiting Scarborough last week. The Stags were home with Falmouth Monday.

Deering was blanked in its opener, 13-0, by Falmouth.

Waynflete begins Friday at Freeport.

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

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