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Cheverus fall teams close to perfect so far; Other schools also show promise

Sports

Cheverus fall teams close to perfect so far; Other schools also show promise

While all eyes have been on the fast start of their football team (please see story), the truth is, the Cheverus Stags are pretty much excelling across the board so far this fall.

Better yet, the Stags have plenty of company from other squads in the city.

Almost unbeatable

Cheverus' football, boys' soccer, girls' soccer, field hockey and golf teams took a combined 23-2-1 record into this week. The boys' and girls' cross country teams each have taken part in two meets and won both. While it's still early, the Stags could be in for one of the most memorable fall seasons in school history.

Boys' soccer lost its first game, 2-1, at home to Gorham in a playoff rematch, then won 4-3 at Marshwood, 3-1 at Sanford, 4-2 at Biddeford (behind two goals from senior standout Thomas Mourmouras) and 1-0 at home over Bonny Eagle (on another Mourmouras goal) to improve to 4-1 (fourth in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings). The Stags went to Noble Tuesday, then face undefeated, defending Class A champion Scarborough Thursday.

The girls' soccer team has been a very pleasant surprise. The Stags were expected to come back to the pack this fall after some key graduation losses, but instead has yet to lose. After opening with a confidence-boosting 1-1 home tie against four-time defending regional champion Gorham, Cheverus won 3-0 at Marshwood (avenging last year's playoff loss in the process), 4-1 at South Portland, then 3-0 over visiting Biddeford (behind goals from seniors Alex Kane and Amanda Royer and freshman Darby Rawcliffe) and 2-1 at Bonny Eagle (thanks to goals from Rawcliffe and Royer) last week to improve to 4-0-1 (fourth in the Heal Points).

The Stags were at Noble Tuesday and play at undefeated Scarborough Thursday. Saturday, they visit Thornton Academy.

Field hockey is only in its fifth varsity season, but Cheverus has made incredible strides quickly. Just last season, the Stags reached the semifinals and so far this season, they have had no peer, rising to first in the Western A Heals thanks to a seven-game season-opening win streak. Last week, Cheverus got two goals from junior Emily Sawchuck in a 2-1 home victory over perennial power Sanford, won 5-0 at South Portland (senior spark plug Maggie Grindatti scored twice) and held off visiting Westbrook 1-0 (thanks to junior Anna McDonough's late tally).

"That was a very intense game," said Cheverus coach Amy McMullin. "Both teams played very hard. I'd like to score five goals every game, these are stressful. I didn't think we'd be 7-0, but I thought we'd be close to that. Now we'll forget we're 7-0 and get ready for our next game." 

After going to Biddeford Tuesday, the Stags pay a visit to Thornton Academy Saturday and play host to Gorham in another compelling showdown Monday.

The Cheverus cross country teams have high expectations in 2009 and have lived up to them so far. After finishing third at the Class A state meet a year ago, the boys' squad defeated Gorham and Marshwood in a home meet, then beat Thornton Academy and host Windham Friday. Senior Taylor Dundas was the fastest individual (16 minutes, 45 seconds). The girls returned a ton of talent this fall and added sophomore Emily Durgin, a transfer from Bonny Eagle. As expected the Stags have had no peer this fall, beating Gorham and Marshwood their first time out, then downing Thornton Academy and host Windham Friday. Durgin was first in 19:01. Next, both Cheverus teams join Deering, Portland and Scarborough at Falmouth in a rare joint
Southern Maine Activities Association/Western Maine Conference meet.

Last, but not least, is a strong golf team that feels it can challenge defending Class A champ Deering for the top spot. The Stags beat the visiting Rams 9-4 on Sept. 10 for their third straight win, then lost 7-6 at home to improved South Portland. Last week, Cheverus bounced back with a 7.5-5.5 victory at Westbrook, then improved to 5-1 with a 9-4 home victory over Scarborough.

After going to Portland Tuesday, the Stags have a rematch at Deering Thursday.

Deering bests its rival

The biggest news last week for Deering was great head-to-head success at fierce rival Portland in three different games.

Last Monday, the Rams field hockey team continued a long win streak over the Bulldogs with a 2-1 overtime triumph on senior Jami LeRoy's penalty corner goal. LeRoy was also superb defensively throughout.

Deering came back to earth Wednesday with a 6-0 home loss to defending regional champion Scarborough, but improved to 4-3 Friday with a 1-0 overtime win at Thornton Academy (senior Monique Guimond did the honors). The Rams (sixth in the latest Western A Heal Points standings) hosted Windham Tuesday and go to Bonny Eagle Thursday.

Thursday, Deering went to Portland for a soccer doubleheader.

The girls, coming off a 1-0 home loss to Westbrook the day before, played first and took an early 1-0 lead on a goal from sophomore Alexis Sivlovos. After the Bulldogs drew even on senior Sophia Nappi's strike eary in the second half, junior Caitlynn Brown delivered the game-winner for a 2-1 triumph. The Rams (3-2 and 11th in Western A) were home with Marshwood Tuesday and play at Massabesic Saturday.

In the boys' showdown, Deering, which had lost 3-2 at home to Westbrook two days prior, twice took a one-goal lead on strikes from senior Sebit Garasiano and sophomore Jamiel Kidd, but the Bulldogs answered on goals from sophomore Paley Burlin and junior A.J. Hasanovic to force a 2-2 draw. The Rams (2-2-1 and 11th in Western A) went to Gorham Tuesday and host Noble Thursday.

Deering's cross country teams both came in second during a three-team meet at Gorham. Tom Dean was the top male (fourth on the 3.1-mile course in 18:19). Ella Ramonas finished third (20:38).

Friday, the Rams go to Falmouth.

The Rams defending Class A state championship golf team improved to 5-1 with wins last week over Scarborough (8.5-4.5), Portland (13-0) and Westbrook (11-2). Deering was at South Portland Tuesday and hosts Cheverus in an opportunity to avenge its lone loss Thursday.

Deering's football team suffered its first loss last Thursday (see accompanying story).

McAuley cross country places first

The best news at McAuley last week came Friday when the Lions cross country team finished first at Westbrook (Noble also took part). McAuley was led by senior Lauren Fecteau, who was first in 19:04. The Lions run at Bonny Eagle Wednesday, then take part in the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational Saturday.

Girls' soccer got off to a 2-1 start, but fell to 2-3 after losses last week to visiting Marshwood (3-2) and at Windham (7-0).

McAuley (15th in Western A) hosted Gorham Tuesday, welcomes Westbrook Thursday and plays at Sanford Saturday.

Field hockey is still seeking its first victory, but finally got in the scoring column last week. McAuley went scoreless in its first five games before losing 2-1 to visiting Massabesic Wednesday and 2-1 (in double overtime) at Noble Friday. Junior Sara Mercier got the Lions' first goal of the year against the Mustangs. McAuley (17th in Western A) played at Sanford Tuesday, hosts South Portland Friday and visits Westbrook Saturday.

Portland football in the win column

The Portland football team is definitely improved this fall, but the Bulldogs hadn't proved that until a palpitating 36-30 victory at Westbrook Thursday.

Portland lost 14-0 at Deering and 27-14 at home to Bonny Eagle in its first two outings. Against the Blue Blazes, the teams went back and forth (the game was tied 8-8 after one, Portland led 16-14 at halftime, then trailed 22-16 after three). The Bulldogs' offense was spearheaded by two TD passes from senior quarterback Jason Strauss. The game-winner came late on a long kickoff return from senior Jake Alexander. Portland hopes to improve to 2-2 Friday night when it hosts undefeated Cheverus.

Boys' soccer is 2-2-1 after last week's 6-1 win at Noble (behind four goals from junior A.J. Hasanovic) and 2-2 home tie against Deering. Portland (13th in the Western A Heals) was at Sanford Tuesday and welcomes dangerous Gorham Thursday.

Girls' soccer fell to 3-2 with its 2-1 home loss to Deering. The Bulldogs had defeated visiting Noble 2-0 the day before on goals from seniors Kristin Baker and Nancy McAdam.

Portland (ninth in Western A) hosted Sanford Tuesday, goes to Gorham Thursday and welcomes Marshwood in a playoff rematch Saturday morning.

Field hockey is finally in the win column. The Bulldogs bounced back from a painful 2-1 overtime home loss to Deering and a 6-1 setback at Kennebunk with a 3-2 victory at Massabesic Friday. Junior Maura O'Connor scored twice and sophomore Rachael Allen rattled the cage once. Portland (13th in Western A) is home against Sanford Thursday and goes to Bonny Eagle Saturday.

Portland's cross country teams, along with Biddeford and Scarborough, traveled to Marshwood Thursday. The girls were second and the boys placed third. Cole Hutchinson came in fourth on the boys' side (19:32). Sophomore Nyawel Lia came in third in the girls' race (24:47). Portland runs at Falmouth Friday.

Golf is still seeking its first victory. Last week, the Bulldogs lost 9-4 at Westbrook, 13-0 at home to Deering and 12-1 at South Portland. Portland (0-6) was home with Cheverus Tuesday and hosts Scarborough Thursday.

Waynflete's golf team makes history

The Waynflete golf team enjoyed a first on Thursday when it edged host Wells 4-3 to win its initial varsity match. The Flyers are 1-2 this year. They were at Poland Monday and visit NYA Wednesday. Friday, Waynflete plays host to Freeport.

Both soccer teams returned to action with a vengeance.

The boys' squad improved to 2-0-1 after a 0-0 tie at Lake Region and a 1-0 home win over Freeport (senior Bill Ngoal had the game's lone goal). The Flyers (seventh in the Western C Heals) went to Gray-New Gloucester Monday and NYA Tuesday. They host Wells on Saturday.

The defending Class C champion girls' team is 3-0 to date, edging visiting upset-minded Lake Region 3-2 (behind two goals from senior standout Sasha Timpson) last Monday before rolling to a 4-1 win at Freeport (Timpson led the way with three scores) Thursday. Waynflete (fifth in Western C) was home against Gray-New Gloucester Monday and rival NYA Tuesday. Thursday, the Flyers are at Old Orchard Beach.

Field hockey lost 6-1 at defending Class C champ NYA last Tuesday to fall to 0-3, but Thursday, the Flyers got in the win column, 3-0 at Traip, behind two goals from freshman Liz Berthy. They fell to 1-4 on the year Friday after a 2-1 home loss to Freeport. Freshman Nyanen Deng had Waynflete's lone goal. The Flyers (10th in the Heals) hosted Poland Monday, welcome Sacopee Wednesday and have a rematch at Freeport Friday.

Cross country kicked off its season Friday at Wells. Waynflete joined Cape Elizabeth, Traip and York and both the boys' and girls' teams came in third. Freshman Akubar Adan was the fastest male (17th, 17:17). Senior Amy Allen led the girls with an 11th-place showing (19:41). The Flyers are at South Portland Friday.

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