City teams look to finish regular season strong

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With golf already bestowing state championships (please see story) and field hockey set to begin its postseason Saturday (please see story), the rest of the fall slate is also rapidly nearing an end. Here’s a look at how local gridiron warriors, soccer standouts and cross-country runners are faring:

Football

While the Deering football team was making another resounding statement Friday night (please see story), Cheverus and Portland were also earning victories.

The Stags had no trouble with host Westbrook, cruising, 35-0, for their second shutout in a row and third overall this autumn. The offense featured three TD runs from senior Peter Gwilym and two more from Evan Jendrasko. Cheverus was up 7-0 after one quarter, but erupted for 21 points in the second period as it pulled away and improved to 6-0, setting up a delicious showdown Saturday (12:30 p.m.) when undefeated Bonny Eagle comes calling.

Last year, the Stags suffered an agonizing 24-21 (overtime) loss at the Scots. Bonny Eagle also eliminated Cheverus from the 2008 playoffs. The winner has the inside track for the top seed in Western Class A and homefield advantage for the postseason.

The Bulldogs still have a lot of work to do to join the Stags in the playoffs. Portland did improve to 2-4 Friday with a 42-22 victory at Gorham, its best offensive production of the season. Senior Imadhi Zagon had a breakout game, scoring four first half TDs as the Bulldogs cruised to a comfortable 35-8 advantage. Portland must win its final two games (Friday at home versus defending Class A state champion Windham and at South Portland) to have a chance of qualifying for the postseason. Last year, the Bulldogs lost at the Eagles, 38-6.

Boys’ soccer

Speaking of Portland, its boys’ soccer team is going strong as the playoffs near. The Bulldogs entered the week with an eight-game winning streak after downing host Cheverus (1-0) and visiting Massabesic (7-1) last week. Against the Stags, senior Ralph Houanche scored early and Portland’s defense held on to win pivotal Heal Points, as well as bragging rights.

“I’m just so happy with how the kids worked together and communicated,” said Bulldogs coach Rocky Frenzilli. “We’ve preached the concept of team and helping out. Whenever you play Cheverus, Deering, South Portland, you throw the records out. Everyone is tough. I’m always wary of what’s out there. We can’t relax in any game.”

Against the Mustangs, on Breast Cancer Awareness Night, senior standout Fazal Nabi erupted for four goals as Portland improved to 9-1-1.

“We’ve really stressed getting wide and playing strong defensively,” Frenzilli said. “The midfield guys have come together, but when you have (Fazal) out there, you have to feel good about your chances. He’s stepping up.”

The Bulldogs entered the week fifth in Western A, but there figures to be plenty of fluctuation in the season’s final days and Portland could wind up as high as second. The Bulldogs were at Marshwood Tuesday, host dangerous South Portland Thursday and close at Bonny Eagle Oct. 19.

“It’s a dogfight in this league right now and everybody’s around everybody,” Frenzilli said. “It’s just a jumble. We have some really difficult games coming up.”

Cheverus was fourth in Western A at 7-3-1 when the week began. The Stags bounced back from their loss to Portland with a 2-0 win at Westbrook (juniors Elliot Maker and Nick Melville had the goals). Cheverus was at Thornton Academy Tuesday, hosts Deering Thursday and closes at South Portland Monday.

“Hopefully we’ll win out,” said Stags coach Bill LeBlanc. “The kids are playing well. It’s a good group. Our goal is to get a home playoff game.”

Deering has struggled this fall, but the Rams shocked the world last Tuesday when they grabbed an early lead on a goal from senior Charlie Dupee (from sophomore Billy Farrell) then held off powerhouse Scarborough, the two-time defending Class A champion, 1-0.

“The boys played an extremely hard game,” said Deering coach Andy LeFebvre. “They gave their best all-around effort. They defended many strong attacks and (junior goalkeeper) Jamie (Gullbrand) came up big in the second half to make key saves when needed. Overall, the defense played organized and strong.”

Deering lost, 3-1, at Bonny Eagle Thursday (junior Brandon Saucier had the goal) and is now 3-7-1 on the season (14th in the region, only the top nine make the playoffs). The Rams were home with Kennebunk Tuesday, visit Cheverus Thursday and close at home versus Mashwood Tuesday of next week. A couple more seismic upsets are needed for Deering’s season to continue.

In Western C, Waynflete figures to have a robust future. The Flyers entered the week third in the region with a 7-0-2 mark. Waynflete’s coming off a 4-3 come-from-behind win at Gray-New Gloucester and a 3-0 home victory over Freeport. Against the Patriots, senior Tucker Geoffroy scored twice, including the winner with 1:26 to go. Sophomores Kevin Kanakan and Paul Runyambo also had goals, while Kanakan, senior Omar Abdille and junior Daniel Wiener all added assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Zander Majercik had 13 saves. 

In the win over the Falcons, Kanakan (from Runyambo), Geoffroy (from Abdille) and Abdille (assisted by Geoffroy) had the goals. Majercik had his fifth shutout of the season.

The Flyers hosted Traip Tuesday, welcome Western A contender Greely, visit Poland Saturday, then close Oct. 19 at home versus defending Class B champion Falmouth.

Girls’ soccer

Four of five city girls’ soccer squads have a good shot at qualifying for the playoffs. The one that’s out of the picture, Portland, got in the win column for the first time Friday by virtue of a 2-1 (overtime) triumph at Massabesic. The Bulldogs, who lost, 4-0, at Westbrook three days prior, got the tying goal from sophomore Ashley Frank and the winner from freshman Emma Stehli. Portland (1-10 and 19th in the Western A Heal Points) hosted Cheverus Monday, South Portland Friday and Kennebunk in the finale Oct. 19.

The Stags entered the week third in Western A. A 5-0 win at Westbrook Saturday gave Cheverus an 8-2-1 mark. In the victory, juniors Leann Morrison and Ali Thomas, sophomore Hannah Noonan and freshman phenoms Sade Lyons and Abby Maker all scored. The Stags were at Portland Monday, host Deering Friday and close at McAuley on Oct. 19.

The Lions were clinging to the 10th and final playoff spot in Western A when the week commenced. McAuley snapped a two-game skid Thursday with a 2-0 win at South Portland. Senior Allison Bonner and sophomore Hannah Cooke scored. The Lions hosted Noble Monday, visit Marshwood Wednesday and Thornton Academy Friday, then close Tuesday of next week at home against Cheverus.

Deering was 7-4 and ninth in the Heals as of Monday. Last week, the Rams lost at home to undefeated, top-ranked Scarborough (3-0), then downed visiting Bonny Eagle, 3-1. Senior goalkeeper Jen Lynch stopped 14 shots against the Red Storm. Senior Aarika Viola (from junior Alexis Sivovlos), senior Amanda Masse (from Sivovlos) and Viola again (from freshman Edie Pallozzi) scored in the win over the Scots. Lynch made six saves. Deering hosts Kennebunk Wednesday, goes to Cheverus Friday and closes at Windham Tuesday.

In Western C, Waynflete is one of 10 teams battling for the final six playoff spots. The Flyers suffered a 2-1 loss at Gray-New Gloucester last Tuesday (freshman Ella Millard had the goal), then downed visiting Fryeburg, 4-0, Thursday to improve to 5-3-1. Millard, seniors Izzer Berrang and Liv Chap and junior Becky Smith scored in the victory. Waynflete (seventh at press time) was a Traip Tuesday, goes to Western A power Greely Thursday and Sacopee Saturday, then closes at Western B contender Falmouth next  Tuesday.

Cross-country

The cross-country postseason is drawing near. Thursday, Waynflete took part in the Western Maine Conference meet at Falmouth. Both Flyers teams were second in Division II, as the boys were runners-up to NYA and the girls came in second behind Yarmouth. Individually, sophomore Martha Veroneau was sixth overall and first in  Division II girls with her time of 21 minutes, 8 seconds (over a three-mile course). Junior Abshir Horor was runner-up among the boys in 16:25. Waynflete runs at NYA Friday.

Cheverus’s girls’ team (top ranked in the coaches’ poll) stayed unbeaten Friday by winning a meet over host Scarborough and Marshwood. Junior Fiona Hendry (19:17.79) was first. The boys were third. Junior Lucas Temple (fifth, 18:03.39) was the top finisher.

Deering hosted Gorham and Kennebunk Friday. The boys were second and the girls third. Junior Ella Ramonas had the third-best girls’ time (20:11). Junior Tom Dean (fourth, 17:35) led the boys’ effort.

McAuley was third at a meet Friday at Bonny Eagle (along with Biddeford and Massabesic). Junior Becca Kaiser was the fastest Lion (ninth, 22:54).

Portland (along with Noble and Westbrook) competed at Thornton Academy. The boys won the meet, with the girls second. Junior Dexter Morse was second among the boys (18:09). Junior Nyawel Lia (22:46) came in fifth in the girls’ race.

Cheverus hosts a regular season-ending city meet Friday against Deering, McAuley, Portland and South Portland.

The regional championships are Saturday, Oct. 23 at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The state meets are Saturday, Oct. 30, in Belfast.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

Sidebar Elements


Waynflete senior Omar Abdille dribbles past the Freeport defense during Friday’s 3-0 home win over the Falcons.

Waynflete sophomore Abukar Adan came in seventh in Division II at Thursday’s Western Maine Conference meet in Falmouth.

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