After September success, stretch run begins for North area teams
As the calendar flips to October, local football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, golf and volleyball teams look to build on strong starts and position themselves for the postseason.
Last week produced another round of drama and here's a glimpse at where things stand as we've passed the midway pole of the 2009 campaign.
Local football teams went 2-2 over the weekend with the victors keeping themselves in playoff contention.
Friday night, Yarmouth enjoyed its second consecutive romp, 56-0, over visiting first-year program Sacopee. The Clippers, who were coming off a 56-8 triumph at Traip, scored 21 points in the first period, went up 34-0 at the half and cruised from there. Senior Eric Estabrook had a TD run, threw a scoring pass and had an interception return. Senior Brodie Woodson scored on a short run and caught a TD pass. Senior Spencer Dorsett returned an interception for another score as Yarmouth evened its record at 2-2. The Clippers (who have outscored the opposition 147-62 this fall) host 4-0 Lisbon in a Western C showdown Friday evening. Last year, the Clippers lost 39-21 at the Greyhounds.
In Western B, Greely is also 2-2 after blanking visiting Lake Region, 17-0. Junior quarterback Justin Moore had a 1-yard TD run and freshman Patrick Finnegan booted a 34-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. In the fourth period, junior Ethan Wyman scored on a 7-yard scamper. The Rangers visit 3-1 York Friday. Last year, the Wildcats beat Greely 46-13 in Cumberland.
Falmouth wasn't as fortunate. The Yachtsmen fell to 2-2 Friday night after a 28-0 home loss to unbeaten powerhouse Cape Elizabeth. Falmouth surrendered a touchdown in each quarter and couldn't convert on offense. Junior Caleb Bowden finished with 60 yards on 13 carries. He also made eight tackles on defense. Sophomore Jack Cooleen caught three passes for 59 yards and recovered a fumble on defense, as did junior Greg Oulton and sophomore Will Ryan. The Yachtsmen have another tough test Friday when they go to Wells (3-1). Last season, host Falmouth edged the Warriors, 32-27.
Saturday, Freeport dropped to 1-3 in Western C action after a 48-8 loss at unbeaten Lisbon. Senior standout Miguel Beckels had the Falcons lone score, a 30-yard run in the second period. Freeport is home against Old Orchard Beach (2-2) Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
On the pitch, Yarmouth's boys' soccer team blanked Greely in a Saturday evening showdown (please see story, page 17).
Falmouth, meanwhile, continues to dazzle. The Yachtsmen won at Wells and York last week by a combined 24-0 margin, scoring 14 times at the Warriors and 10 times at the Wildcats. Falmouth took a 6-0-1 mark (and the No. 3 ranking in the latest Western Class B Heal Points standings) into Wednesday's game at Gray-New Gloucester. The schedule then gets much tougher as the Yachtsmen host Greely Saturday and play Cape Elizabeth (away) and Yarmouth (home) next week.
Freeport earned its first two wins last week. The Falcons broke the ice with a 1-0 home triumph over Sacopee last Tuesday (sophomore Jack Dawe had the goal).
"We played a great first half but did not score," said Freeport coach Joe Heathco. "We scored early in the second half and held on for the win."
Thursday, Freeport dispatched host Poland, 4-1. Monday, at Lake Region, the Falcons lost 3-1, despite a goal from senior Thomas Dorsey, to fall to 2-5-1.
"The season has been difficult, mostly due to injury," Heathco said. "We've only had our
complete starting lineup in three of our games, and even then, we're not
fit to play an entire game. When we are healthy and fit we are very
competitive. The boys have worked very hard and are quick to pick
things up. They have been a very coachable group. I am still very
optimistic about the rest of the season. The next few games will tell the story of our season,"
Freeport (11th in Western B) was home against Wells Wednesday, hosts undefeated defending Western C champion Waynflete Saturday and welcomes Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.
North Yarmouth Academy is now 5-3-1 on the year. The Panthers lost 4-2 to visiting Waynflete last Tuesday (despite goals from freshman Isaac Lipton and senior Sam Nye), but bounced back two days later with a 3-0 triumph at Lake Region (thanks to goals from senior Henry Sterling, junior Mohamed Dahia and sophomore Asad Dahia). Monday, NYA lost 1-0 at Sacopee. The Panthers (seventh in the Western C Heals) are idle until Tuesday when they host Traip.
On the girls' side, Falmouth hosted rival York in a possible playoff preview Saturday night. Both teams had ample chances, but couldn't finish in the first half. Then, midway through the second, the Yachtsmen caught a break, when on a corner kick, a York defender hit the ball with her hand, giving senior Sarah Girouard a penalty kick. Girouard's blast was true and Falmouth held on and improved to 5-0-2 with a 1-0 victory.
"It was another fight to the finish," said Yachtsmen coach Jon Shardlow. "I thought we generated
some good opportunities. I thought we deserved to have a goal on the
board. York's a very good team. We knew that coming in. We have a lot
of respect for them. The lineup has changed a bit. We're still trying
to figure out what our best matchups are on the field. Tonight was a
great example of us having a great purpose, not only tactically, but
also with our personnel."
Falmouth (which also beat Wells last week, 7-0, behind senior Allie Lycan's two tallies), is now first in the Western Class B Heal Points standings. The Yachtsmen were home with Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, then go to Greely Friday and host Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and Yarmouth Thursday of next week.
The Clippers hosted undefeated Greely Monday night and lost 2-0 (for a full game story, please see Web site). Yarmouth (eighth in Western B) was at York Wednesday, plays at Cape Elizabeth Saturday and welcomes Lake Region Tuesday.
The Rangers got goals from freshman Sammi Toorish and sophomore Audrey Parolin against the Clippers. Greely (now fourth in Western A) is in the midst of its toughest stretch. It was home against Cape Elizabeth Wednesday, welcomes Falmouth Friday and plays at York Tuesday.
Freeport is now 1-7-1 on the year. Last week, the Falcons tied visiting Sacopee 2-2 (junior Allyson Fuehrer and freshman Naomi Otis scored), lost 2-0 at home to Poland, then fell 2-0 at home to Lake Region Monday. Freeport (14th in Western B) went to Wells Wednesday and plays at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.
In Western C, NYA suffered an agonizing 1-0 overtime loss at defending state champion Waynflete last Tuesday. The Panthers had some great chances in regulation to win the game, but fell on senior Morgan Woodhouse goal in the extra session.
"It was exciting," first-year NYA coach Charles Fischman said. "I enjoyed watching it. It embodies what interscholastic sports represent. Players giving their best efforts. The teams are evenly matched and both played very hard. I would have liked to come out on top, but Waynflete played well and to their credit, were able to score a goal at the end and win the game. The expectations were we'd play a hard game against each other and that's how it turned out today. We have some things to work on to try and improve. We play (Waynflete) again."
That showdown comes Saturday at high noon in Yarmouth. First, the Panthers (6-1-1 and fifth in the Heals after Monday's 2-0 home win over Sacopee) played at Old Orchard Beach Wednesday. Tuesday of next week, NYA visits Traip.
While defending Class C state champion North Yarmouth Academy continues to run roughshod over all comers, the Freeport Falcons are also enjoying a great season. The Falcons lost to the Panthers in their opener, but won six straight (capped by a 6-0 triumph at Poland in a game that saw six different players rattle the cage). Friday, Freeport settled for a 0-0 home tie against Waynflete. Senior goalie Hannah Schuchert made 15 saves.
"I think the differences this season have to do with the dynamics and
attitudes on this team," said second-year coach Sara Dimick. "The girls seem to genuinely enjoy playing
together and the group of seven seniors, who have been playing together for
years, have had a lot to do with it. Some key players who are stepping
it up and who are really making a difference are Hannah Schuchert in
net and (senior) Mia Taggart at midfield. A statistic that really demonstrates
the character on our team is how we do not have a highest scorer.
Almost every game we have had a different scorer for each goal which is
thrilling to see as a coach. I tell them that any player can score at
any time and it isn't important who scored or assisted the goal, it
matters that it was a team effort and a result of the team's hard work
The Falcons (6-1-1 and fifth in the latest Western C Heals) were at NYA Tuesday, play at Old Orchard Beach Thursday welcome Sacopee Saturday and visit Gray-New Gloucester Monday.
Back to NYA, the Panthers took an 8-0 mark into the Freeport game and were ranked third in the Heals. Last week, NYA dominated visiting Traip Academy 10-0 (senior Lianna Hachborn had four goals) and rolled over host Poland 9-0.
well so far," Hachborn said. "The team dynamics are going. We work well together. I
didn't think we'd be this dominant. We're not really focusing on the
scores. We're just thinking about playing together and connecting. We
still feel like we have a lot to prove. We still play like we're the
underdogs. It's tough to turn it on and off."
"I have a really fantastic team," added coach Julia Sterling. "A great bunch of kids.
They really like each other. It's been a blast. It's been great for us
to work on our skills. There's not very much great competition, other
than Freeport and Old Orchard Beach. The kids are still hungry."
The Panthers are at Waynflete Thursday, host Old Orchard Beach Saturday and Sacopee Tuesday.
In Class B, Falmouth is 5-2-1 after a 0-0 home tie against Cape Elizabeth and a 2-1 home victory over Yarmouth. The Yachtsmen's attack sputtered without injured senior standout Nicole Foley, but goals from senior Jacki Aaskov and junior Courtney Proctor were just enough to beat the Clippers. The Yachtsmen (sixth in the Western B Heals) went to Lake Region Tuesday, host Fryeburg Thursday, play at defending state champion York Saturday and welcome Wells Monday.
Greely is 5-3 after recent home wins over Yarmouth (6-1) and Lake Region (1-0). Against the Clippers, six different players scored. Senior Kate Storey had the goal against the Lakers, scoring unassisted in the second half. The Rangers (eighth in the Heals) went to Fryeburg Tuesday, host York Thursday, play at Wells Saturday and visit Cape Elizabeth Monday.
Yarmouth came oh-so-close to its first win at Falmouth, but fell to 0-8 with the 2-1 setback. Senior Chantel Albert scored for the Clippers (15th in Western B). Yarmouth hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and welcomes Lake Region Thursday. Saturday brings a trip to Fryeburg. Monday, the Clippers host York.
Last weekend brought a pair of rare joint Western Maine Conference/Southern Maine Activities Association cross country meets.
At Falmouth, the Yachtsmen welcomed powers Cheverus and Scarborough, along with Deering and Portland and both Falmouth teams placed third. Scarborough edged Cheverus on a tiebreaker in the boys' race and the Stags were first on the girls' side.
"It was fun to see some new competition," said Yachtsmen co-coach Jorma Kurry. "Racing top schools from the SMAA and some geographical rivals was exciting. It would be fun to continue the tradition and see more SMAA schools in the future. This meet was good preparation for the big meets. Scarborough and Cheverus were certainly challenging opponents, but our kids stepped up and ran well against top competition. We'll be better for it at the end of the season."
"I hope we do it more often," added co-coach Danny Paul. "There have been many years when we would won overall. Cross country is not a sport where there is a difference from Class A to Class B. Over the years, Class B teams have been the best in all classes many times."
Falmouth runs at the Belfast Invitational Saturday.
North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth joined Gorham and Westbrook at South Portland last weekend. The Clippers came in third in the girls' race and fifth in the boys'. The Panthers were fourth in both races.
Yarmouth will run at Belfast this weekend. NYA joins Cape Elizabeth, Fryeburg and Waynflete at Greely.
The Rangers made their annual trip to the Manchester (N.H.) Relays. The boys were a stellar second out of 31 teams in the small school division. The girls came in seventh. Freeport also took part. The Falcons finished eighth on the boys' side and 16th in the girls' race. Freeport hosts Lake Region this weekend.
The golf season is entering its final days and Greely is still unbeaten at 8-0. The Rangers closed out the regular year Tuesday at York. Elsewhere, NYA suffered its first loss Friday, 5.5-1.5 at Cape Elizabeth, but is 9-1 overall. Yarmouth is 4-4 after falling 5-2 at Greely last Friday. Defending Class B champ Falmouth is 3-5 after a pair of losses last week to York (5.5-1.5) and (5-2). Freeport is 2-6 after falling 5-2 to Yarmouth and 6-1 to Waynflete last week.
The eyes of local volleyball fans will be on Falmouth High School Monday night when the undefeated and Class A Heal Points-leading Yachtsmen host six-time defending state champion Greely in the most eagerly anticipated regular season showdown in memory.
Falmouth is 8-0 after 3-0 road wins over NYA (25-14, 25-15, 25-14) and Biddeford (25-17, 25-18, 25-9). Before meeting the Rangers, the Yachtsmen play host to Cape Elizabeth Friday.
Greely won 3-1 at Scarborough (25-19, 25-12, 18-25, 25-18) and 3-1 over visiting Biddeford (25-14, 25-20, 21-25, 25-11) last week to improve to 7-0 (good for third in Class A). The Rangers were home with Yarmouth Tuesday, go to Cape Elizabeth Thursday and host Gorham Friday.
Yarmouth is still in the playoff hunt. The Clippers held off visiting Kennebunk for a dramatic 3-2 (25-19, 25-22, 31-33, 17-25, 15-13) victory last Tuesday, then won 3-0 (25-6, 25-9, 25-16) over Cape Elizabeth Friday to improve to 6-2 (fourth in the Heals). Yarmouth was at Greely Tuesday, hosts NYA Thursday, and plays at Cony and also meets Mt. Desert Island Saturday.
NYA is 0-7 after dropping three-game decisions last week to Falmouth and Gorham. After going to Kennebunk Tuesday, the Panthers (10th in the Class B Heals) are at Yarmouth Thursday, host Cony Friday and go to Cony next Tuesday.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com