Portland recap: June brings playoff excitement
As this issue hits the streets, the baseball, softball and lacrosse regular seasons are coming to a close.
Here's a look at where things stand with the playoffs right around the corner:
Baseball: Deering's win streak hits 44
Deering's baseball team once again has no peer. The Rams haven't lost a game in over two years and improved to 14-0 Saturday with a 9-5 home victory over Bonny Eagle, thanks to another big game from senior standout Regan Flaherty.
Deering, first in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings, hosted South Portland Monday and visited Windham Tuesday (both games were too late for print).
Cheverus has also shown glimpses of being a team that could make a playoff run. The Stags enjoyed a 7-2 win at Portland last Tuesday, thanks to a stellar start from senior pitcher Mick DiStasio. Then, after being rained out twice, they split a doubleheader Saturday, winning 4-3 in 11 innings at Noble (sophomore Jack Bushey had the go-ahead hit) and losing 9-4 at home to Thornton Academy to drop to 9-6. Cheverus wraps up its regular season at home Wednesday versus Westbrook.
Portland fell to 7-7 on the year Saturday after a 5-1 loss at Westbrook. The Bulldogs hosted South Portland Monday and went to Sanford Tuesday (both games were played too late for print) to end their regular year.
After an 11-day respite, Waynflete played at North Yarmouth Academy Saturday and fell to 2-9 with a 7-4 loss. The Flyers ended their year Tuesday (too late for print) at St. Dom's.
Softball: Cheverus eyes high seed
On the girls' side of the diamond, Cheverus continues to set the tone. The Stags, who have already exceeded their finest win-loss record, extended their winning streak to seven games Saturday with a 4-3 home victory over Thornton Academy. Junior Theresa Hendrix earned the win on the mound and had a double and a triple. Cheverus, third in the latest Western A Heals, has a chance to move up even further in the standings Wednesday night when it goes to powerhouse Scarborough.
Deering also appears playoff-bound thanks to a second half surge. The Rams held on for an 8-7 victory at Westbrook to improve to 6-8, their fifth win in seven games. Senior Katie Pickering paced the offense with two RBI. Deering, 10th in the standings, was at Noble Monday and hosted Windham Tuesday (both games were played too late for print).
McAuley had its three-game winning streak snapped Friday, 5-3 by visiting Gorham. Saturday, the Lions fell to 4-11 with a 1-0 loss at Marshwood and likely had their playoff hopes dashed as well. McAuley closed Monday at Massabesic (too late for print).
Portland lost 14-0 (in five innings) at home to Biddeford Saturday to drop to 2-13. The Bulldogs, 17th in the Heals, wrapped things up Monday at Scarborough (too late for print).
Boys' lacrosse: Portland drubs NYA
The boys' lacrosse story continues to feature the brilliance of the Portland Bulldogs. After rolling to a 19-0 home victory over Deering last Tuesday (behind senior Tyler Sandler's six goals), the Bulldogs went to perennial power North Yarmouth Academy for what was expected to be close contest.
After a slow start (Portland led just 2-1 after one period), the Bulldogs won 16 straight faceoffs, erupted offensively and led by as many as 13 goals en route to a 17-5 win. Portland won 21 of the 25 faceoffs for the game, had a 41-20 edge in shots on goal and won 56 ground balls (seniors Erik Casparius and K.R. Jurgelevich both had eight) to just 25 for the Panthers. Jurgelevich led the offense with five goals and two assists.
"We settled in and started playing more of our game: up-tempo, fast break," said Bulldogs coach Eric Begonia. "That led to a lot of transition goals."
Portland, 10-1 and a solid first in the Western A Heals, finished its regular season at Thornton Academy Monday (too late for print). The Bulldogs will then focus on winning their first-ever state championship.
"Having homefield would be nice for us," Begonia said. "We're playing good ball right now and knock on wood, we're pretty healthy. We're locked in the rest of the way. It's a good time of the year to peak."
Cheverus and Deering are less of a sure thing.
The Stags have lost four straight and are 4-7. Thursday, Cheverus fell 13-3 at Cape Elizabeth. Saturday, it lost 5-2 at home to Thornton Academy. The Stags finish at dangerous Falmouth Wednesday.
The Rams are 2-9 after their 19-0 loss at Portland and a 19-1 home setback to Yarmouth. Deering was home with Massabesic Tuesday (too late for print) in its finale.
In Western B, Waynflete snapped a two-game skid Saturday with an 11-10 home win over York to improve to 6-5. The Flyers almost let a late three-goal lead slip away, but held on for the victory. Junior Miles Beaven had five goals and senior Otis Wortley added three.
"I hope this puts us in the playoffs," said Waynflete coach Bob Johnson. "I think it does. We could see York again."
The Flyers closed at Wells Tuesday (too late for print).
Girls' lacrosse: Cheverus thinking playoffs
On the girls' side, while Waynflete was putting the finishing touches on its third undefeated regular season in five years (see story, page 11), Cheverus and Portland are hoping to join the Flyers in the postseason.
The Stags, who fell 15-2 at home to Waynflete last Tuesday, rebounded with an 8-4 home win over Deering last Wednesday (thanks to four goals from junior Emily Van Duzer) and a dramatic 9-8 triumph at York Friday (on senior Bethany Schleh's free position goal in the final second) to improve to 4-7. Cheverus finishes at Massabesic Wednesday and if it qualifies, could be a very dangerous foe in the playoffs.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, dropped a 13-2 decision at Thornton Academy last Tuesday, then recovered to beat visiting Fryeburg, 17-2 Friday to balance their record at 5-5. In the win, junior goal-scoring machine Nancy McAdam and freshman Rachel Allen both scored four times. Portland hosted Sanford Monday (too late for print) and closes the regular season at Wells Wednesday.
Deering has been much more competitive of late, but is finding wins tough to come by. The Rams fell 8-4 at Cheverus last Wednesday and lost 6-5 at Marshwood Friday to fall to 2-8 on the year. Deering was at Scarborough Monday (too late for print) and closes at Kennebunk Wednesday.
McAuley played a rare doubleheader Saturday. The Lions dropped a 13-12 decision at Windham, then fell to 1-9 after a 12-11 loss at Noble. McAuley was at South Portland Monday and hosted Gorham Tuesday (both games were too late for print).
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org