Portland area soccer, cross country regular seasons near finish line
The soccer and cross country regular seasons took another step toward completion last week with plenty of drama. Here's a look at where things stand as we hit mid-October:
The biggest highlight on the boys' soccer side in recent days was a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness held at Fitzpatrick Stadium when Portland hosted Cheverus (please see Web site for full recap and game story) last Tuesday.
Pink ribbons were painted on the field, a pink soccer ball was used and donations were accepted at the gate. On the field, the Bulldogs left the Stags blue with a stunning 6-1 triumph, behind three goals from junior standout Fazal Nabi.
"This was a very special night," said longtime Portland coach Rocky Frenzilli. "We talk a lot about firsts. This is the first game we've played for this cause. I'm happy the boys were able to come out with a victory. I appreciate Cheverus coming over and joining us in this thing.
I'm just so happy for the kids. We've been through it this year and they've persevered and done everything we asked them to do. I feel if we play the way we're capable of playing, we can play with anyone. (Cheverus) is a very good team. They're well coached. We were very fortunate tonight. The kids played hard. I thought they earned the win."
Thursday, Portland improved to 6-3-2 with its fourth straight win, 10-0 at Massabesic.
Junior A.J. Hasanovic scored three times and Nabi added a pair.
The Bulldogs (eighth in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) were home against Marshwood Tuesday, visit South Portland Thursday and wrap up the regular season next Tuesday at home versus Bonny Eagle.
The loss at Portland (senior Thomas Mourmouras had the lone goal) was just the third of the year for the Stags. Thursday, they improved to 7-3-1 with a hard-fought 3-1 home triumph over Westbrook. Senior Max Miller's two second half goals were the difference.
Cheverus (fourth in Western A) was home against Thornton Academy Tuesday, visits Deering Thursday and closes the regular year at home against South Portland Monday.
Expect Breast Cancer Awareness to return next year, perhaps as an even bigger production.
"Next year what we'll try and do is have a doubleheader at Deering with Deering and South Portland and have more people involved," Stags coach Bill LeBlanc said. "It is a good cause."
Deering is fighting for its playoff life. Last week, the Rams fell 4-0 at Scarborough, then dropped to 4-6-1 after a 1-0 home loss to Bonny Eagle. Deering (13th in Western A, only the top nine teams qualify for postseason play) was at Kennebunk Tuesday, plays host to Cheverus Thursday and closes at Marshwood Tuesday of next week.
Defending Western C champion Waynflete is in great position. The Flyers were 2-0 winners at Fryeburg last Tuesday (seniors Sam Cleaves and Daniel Mitchell scored while senior Chris Gillespie pitched a shutout), then downed visiting Poland 4-0 Thursday (Mitchell and senior Robin Wajler each scored twice) to improve to 10-0-1 on the year. Waynflete (third in Western C) had a home showdown against North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday (see Web site for game story), visits Richmond Saturday and wraps up its regular season Monday at home versus Sacopee.
Portland's girls' team also enjoyed a big win over Cheverus last Tuesday. The visiting Bulldogs got a goal in the third minute from senior Maggie Kilbride and made it hold up behind strong defense and clutch goalkeeping from freshman Mishale Nabi to win 1-0.
"I'm happy for my seniors," said Portland coach Dave Levasseur. "We've had a good rivalry with Cheverus the past few years. It seems like the score's always one goal one way or another and we've been on the short side of the stick. We scored early and the defense stepped up."
The Bulldogs made it three wins in succession Friday with a 3-0 home triumph over Massabesic (senior Sophia Nappi scored twice) to improve to 6-4-2. Portland (sixth in the latest Western A Heals) is at South Portland Friday and closes the regular year at Kennebunk next Tuesday.
The loss was just Cheverus' second this year. Friday, the Stags improved to 8-2-2 with a 3-1 home win over Westbrook (freshman Hannah Noonan, freshman Darby Rawcliffe and sophomore Ali Thomas had the goals). Cheverus (fourth in Western A) is at Deering Friday and wraps up the regular year at home versus McAuley next Tuesday.
Deering had its five-game unbeaten skid snapped with a 4-1 loss at Scarborough. Junior Britni Mikulanecz had the Rams' lone goal. Saturday, Deering bounced back with a 2-1 win at Bonny Eagle (junior Caitlynn Brown and sophomore Alexis Sivlovos scored) to improve to 7-3-1, guaranteeing the Rams their first winning season since 2005. Deering (eighth in Western A) is at Kennebunk Wednesday, hosts Cheverus Friday and closes Tuesday at home against Windham.
McAuley took a seven-game winless streak into Monday's game at Noble. The Lions were supposed to host South Portland last Wednesday, but that game as postponed by rain. McAuley (2-6-2 and 17th in Western A) is home against Thornton Academy Friday and visits Cheverus in the regular season finale Tuesday of next week.
In Western C, defending state champion Waynflete rebounded from its first loss (at NYA) with a 3-0 home win over Fryeburg last Tuesday. Senior standout Sasha Timpson scored twice. Thursday, the Flyers won 3-0 at Poland (Timpson, senior Morgan Woodhouse and sophomore Becky Smith all scored). Friday, they improved to 11-1 with a 2-0 triumph at Wells (behind goals from Smith and Timpson). Waynflete (second in the Western C Heals) is home against Old Orchard Beach Thursday and brings down the curtain on its regular season Monday at Sacopee.
The Class A cross country regular season comes to a close Friday when Cheverus hosts rivals Deering, McAuley, Portland and South Portland.
Last week, Cheverus welcomed Kennebunk, Sanford and Westbrook.The Stags finished first in both the boys' and girls' races.
Deering joined Noble and Thornton Academy at powerhouse Scarborough. The Rams boys came in second. The girls placed third.
McAuley (along with Bonny Eagle) ran at Marshwood and came in third.
Portland (with Windham) ran at Massabesic. The Bulldogs were third in each race.
The Waynflete Flyers took part in the Western Maine Conference meet last Thursday in Falmouth. The Flyers girls came in sixth with 158 points (defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth was first with 30). Freshman Martha Veroneau was Waynflete's top individual, finishing eighth in 21 minutes, 13.8 seconds. Senior Amy Allen was right behind in ninth position (21:32.8). The boys were ninth with 253 points (defending Class B champion Greely won with 41). Freshman Abukar Adan was the top individual (40th, 19:09).
"I was very pleased with the WMC meet," said Waynflete coach Ziggy Gillespie. "The girls' team is again very strong, much stonger than the meet score. Our fourth girl, Grace High, should have not run the meet. She was sick, but wanted to race. She is normally a minute behind Emily Trafton, was three minutes behind Friday, She should have been in 40th place, not 58th. That's 18 points. We still would have beat Freeport even if Grace had not run. We have a strong 1-2, with great depth at 5-6-7. I was very pleased with both the girls' and boys' races. Our boys' team has improved greatly, our top four is very strong. We have a great chance to qualify for the states."
Waynflete runs at NYA Friday in its final regular season meet.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com