Fall sports action underway in abundance-Northern edition

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Greely-Falmouth girls’ soccer and Falmouth-Yarmouth and Freeport-Gray-New Gloucester field hockey game stories with additional photos, see theforecaster.net)

The fall sports season is underway and local athletes have already produced some exciting story lines in the early going.

Here’s a glimpse.

Football

Three of four local football teams opened the 2016 season with victories.

The biggest victor was Freeport, which didn’t win a game in 2015. The Falcons downed visiting Poland (a team which beat them by a 49-12 score last autumn), 22-8, Saturday for their first triumph since edging Mountain Valley, 24-18, in two overtimes, on Oct. 18, 2014. Freeport fell behind, 8-0, on the game’s first play, but drew even on a TJ Morrill touchdown run and two-point conversion. The game stayed 8-8 until the fourth period when Josh Burke scored on a short run. Connor Dostie’s interception return for a TD in the waning moments accounted for the final score. The Falcons will have their hands full Friday when they go to 1-0 Wells, the preseason favorite. The Warriors beat host Spruce Mountain, 32-6, in their opener. Freeport lost last year at home to Wells, 63-6.

Defending Class C South champion Yarmouth extended its regular season win streak to 11 with a 45-13 victory at Lake Region. The Clippers, who beat the Lakers, 31-13, a year ago, scored first on a 61-yard touchdown pass from John Thoma to Caleb Middleton. Three more Thoma TD passes (20 yards to Middleton, 30 yards to Jack True and 15 yards to Remi Leblanc) accounted for a 26-13 halftime advantage. Thoma threw another touchdowns pass (giving him five for the game) in the third quarter (38 yards to Leblanc) in the third period and Leblanc’s 14-yard scamper and Ben Gleason’s 1-yard TD run accounted for the final score. Thoma completed 9 of 15 passes for 226 yards. Leblanc caught four balls for 80 yards. Henry Venden had 93 yards rushing on 10 attempts. Yarmouth stays on the road Friday when it visits 1-0 Mountain Valley (a 63-6 victor at Gray-New Gloucester in its opener). Last year, the Clippers beat the visiting Falcons, 40-14, in the regular season and 50-15 in the quarterfinals.

Falmouth, a regional finalist in 2015, got off to a fast start this autumn by winning at York, 56-30. The Yachtsmen, who blanked the visiting Wildcats, 33-0, in last year’s opener, fell behind, 3-0, but grabbed a 7-3 lead when quarterback Jack Bryant hit Will Blum for a long touchdown pass. By halftime, a long TD run from Garret Aube and a scoring run from Brandon Martin helped produce a 20-10 advantage. Falmouth put it away in the third period, as Griffin Aube scored on a fumble return, Garret Aube scored on two TD runs and Bryant hit Max Fortier with an 80-yard scoring pass for a commanding 48-16 lead. The Yachtsmen’s final score came in the fourth quarter when Martin scored from the 1. Falmouth has its home opener Friday when Westbrook pays a visit. The Blue Blazes opened with a 27-21 victory at Leavitt. Last year, the Yachtsmen won at Westbrook, 14-7, in the regular season and blanked the Blue Blazes, 32-0, in the semifinals.

Greely lost at home to Kennebunk, 12-0. The Rangers, who lost, 26-14, at the Rams a year ago, gave up touchdowns in the second and third quarters and couldn’t muster any offense. Greely seeks its initial victory Friday at two-time defending Class B state champion Marshwood (0-1 after a 20-13 loss at Biddeford Friday). Last year, the Rangers lost, 49-12, at home to the Hawks in the regular season, then were eliminated, 34-12, by Marshwood in the semifinals.

Boys’ soccer

Yarmouth’s two-time defending Class B champion boys’ soccer team got its 2016 season off to a fast start with a 1-0 home win over Cape Elizabeth on Luke Groothoff’s goal in the 19th minute. Cal Owen made four saves. The Clippers are back in action Saturday when York pays a visit. 

Falmouth and Greely had an Opening Night showdown and the host Yachtsmen eked out a 1-0 win behind a goal from John Mullin in the first half. Falmouth was at Cape Elizabeth Thursday and visits York Tuesday of next week.

Greely went to York Tuesday hoping for its first win. The Rangers have their home opener against Kennebunk Thursday and visit Fryeburg Academy Tuesday of next week.

Freeport started with a 3-0 home victory over North Yarmouth Academy to win the McDougal Cup. Eriksen Shea had two goals and Jesse Bennell had the other. The Falcons hosted Fryeburg Academy Tuesday and welcome Wells Saturday.

NYA hopes to get in the win column Thursday at Fryeburg Academy. The Panthers visit Cape Elizabeth Saturday. 

Girls’ soccer  

Greely’s defending Class B champion girls’ soccer team opened with a dramatic and somewhat controversial 3-2 overtime win at Falmouth Friday. 

The Rangers jumped ahead, 1-0, in the 31st minute when senior Ellie Schad scored, but the Yachtsmen, playing without several key players who are out with injuries, tied the score in the 36th minute on a gorgeous finish from junior Amelia Waite. Falmouth then appeared to grab the lead early in the second half when senior Lucy Mahoney finished a feed from Waite, but to the shock and dismay of the hosts, the goal wasn’t allowed as it was ruled to have hit the post, although it clearly hit a sandbag holding down the back of the goal frame.

“They said they didn’t see it go in the back of the net,” Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier said. “I’m not sure what they were looking at.”

Undaunted, the Yachtsmen did take a 2-1 advantage with 28:52 to play, when Mahoney set up junior Lauren Wendland, but just 97 seconds later, after a Falmouth turnover, Greely junior Courtney Sullivan tied the score.

The game would go to overtime and in the first of a possible two five-minute, “sudden victory” extra sessions, the Rangers won it, as sophomore standout Anna DeWolfe got the ball to senior Riley Soule and Soule, who played defense a year ago, buried her first varsity goal to give Greely a 3-2 triumph.

“Anna deflected it off a defender and it happened to go right in front of me,” Soule said. “I was trying to shoot in the right corner and I put it where I wanted. It was my first varsity goal. It feels great. It was a great game. Going back and forth. There was high intensity. I loved it. We’ve played in a lot of big games. That helped and so did the bench really cheering us on.”

“It was an exciting game,” said Greely coach Josh Muscadin. “It’s a game that we dominated, but we just couldn’t score. I have to give Falmouth credit. They came back and scored goals on our mistakes. We had more opportunities, but we didn’t put them away. If we did, it wouldn’t have gone to overtime.”

The Rangers look to improve to 2-0 Thursday at Kennebunk. Greely plays its home opener Tuesday of next week versus Fryeburg Academy.

Falmouth wasn’t happy with the way its loss to Greely transpired.

“We deserved to win,” Pelletier said. “No doubt about it. The kids played hard. We dominated the second half. I assume we outshot them.”

The Yachtsmen hosted Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and welcome York Tuesday of next week.

Preseason favorite Yarmouth lived up to billing in its opener, winning at Cape Elizabeth by a decisive 5-1 margin, its biggest win over the Capers this century. After falling behind in the 15th minute, the Clippers drew even on a goal from Eva Then, went ahead to stay on Katie Clemmer’s goal just before halftime, then got second half goals from Clemmer, Sara D’Appolonia and freshman Hannah Dwyer. Yarmouth returns to action Saturday at home versus York. The Clippers go to Lake Region Tuesday of next week.

Freeport opened its season Tuesday at Fryeburg Academy. The Falcons are at Traip Academy Saturday.

Field hockey

Falmouth and Yarmouth’s field hockey teams kicked off the season in palpitating style last Wednesday, as 60 minutes weren’t enough to decide a victor.

The Yachtsmen went on top, 1-0, in the game’s 14th minute when senior Kate Kelley tipped home a terrific feed from senior standout Sydney Bell. Yarmouth drew even with just under 10 minutes to go in the half, as senior Eliza Lunt made a jawdropping move to set up senior Abby McDowell to score on a rebound. With exactly 8 minutes to go before halftime, Yachtsmen senior Devon Sarazin put the hosts back on top, 2-1.

The game remained that way until 18:53 remained, when Clippers senior Ally McLeod put home a rebound. Yarmouth had some chances to win it in regulation, but couldn’t convert and the game went to a 7-on-7, “sudden victory” overtime, where with 1:18 left, Bell sent a long pass ahead to Sarazin behind the defense and Sarazin managed to tuck the ball into the cage to end it and give Falmouth a stirring 3-2 victory.

“When they scored that tying goal, it got us nervous and we played as if we were down when it was tied,” Bell said. “We regrouped and played back at our level. This is a huge win. This will be huge for us when playoffs come.”

“Syd made the big play,” Sarazin said. “When I turned around, the goalie was diving, so I knew I had a lot of the net. I just focused. I did what I could to help my team.”

“It was a great game,” added Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley. “The kids played hard. We fought hard. It was anybody’s game, but we did some nice things at the end.”

Falmouth improved to 2-0 Saturday with a 2-1 win at Kennebunk, as Sarazin and Grace Soucy scored. The Yachtsmen went to Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, host Gray-New Gloucester Thursday and travel to Greely Monday.

Yarmouth, under new coach Amy Ashley, was disappointed by its season opening loss at Falmouth, but encouraged by its effort.

“I’m thrilled with the way we played,” Ashley said. “It’s nice to see the girls step up and play the way we wanted them to. Yes, we lost, but we had opportunities to stick one in. A few weeks ago, the girls weren’t in those spots. Today, they were there and they missed. Hopefully in the future, they’ll put those in. Falmouth is great. They capitalize on everything. If you look at missed opportunities, we had more.”  

The Clippers got in the win column Friday, beating visiting Poland, 2-0, behind two goals from McDowell. Yarmouth goes to Lake Region Thursday and Wells Saturday and has a home showdown versus York Monday.

Greely has played a pair of dramatic games in the early going, losing, 3-2, in double overtime, to Poland, then beating host Gray-New Gloucester, 2-1, in overtime. In the setback, Lizzie Brown scored twice and Maddy Perfetti had an assist, while Kylie Rogers made 15 saves. Perfetti had the winner against the Patriots, while Emma Dexter also scored. The Rangers hosted Lake Region Tuesday, go to Old Orchard Beach Saturday and host Falmouth Monday.

Freeport opened by avenging last year’s playoff ouster with a 4-1 home victory over Gray-New Gloucester. Bailey Coffin had two goals and Chloe Davidson and Alexa Koenig rattled the cage once apiece. 

“It feels pretty good to finally beat them,” Coffin said. “It feels good to come back after last year.”

“When the girls saw (Gray-New Gloucester) was our first game, I didn’t need to motivate them,” Falcons coach Marcia Wood said. “It doesn’t take the sting out (of last year), but it helps. It gives us confidence because we scored four goals and probably could have had a few more.” 

Freeport returned to action Tuesday at Cape Elizabeth. After visiting NYA Saturday, the Falcons return home to meet Kennebunk Monday.

NYA gave new coach Wendy Polstein an impressive 9-0 win over visiting Old Orchard Beach in her debut. Amber Rose and Hannah Twombly both had three goals, Kiersten Marr added a pair and Katie Larson also scored. The Panthers welcomed Sacopee Valley Tuesday, play host to St. Dom’s Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and Freeport Saturday.

Volleyball

Greely’s volleyball team got a measure of revenge for last year’s state match loss with a 3-0 season opening win over defending Class A champion Scarborough Friday. The Rangers won by 25-22, 25-15, 25-15 scores behind 11 kills from Kayley Cimino, 11 assists from Morgan Selby and four kills and five digs from Molly Chapin. Greely was at Cony Tuesday, hosts Biddeford Thursday and goes to Brunswick Tuesday of next week.

Falmouth opened with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-18) win over visiting Cape Elizabeth. Victoria Burton and Madi Tait both had five kills. The Yachtsmen went to Cheverus Tuesday, host Gorham Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and play at Biddeford Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth also opened with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-9) win over visiting Kennebunk. Alison Clark had 11 kills and Andrea St. Pierre added six aces. After going to Gardiner Tuesday, the Clippers host Wells Thursday and visit Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

NYA began its season Tuesday at Lake Region. The Panthers host Marshwood Thursday and welcome Wells Tuesday of next week.

Cross country  

Two-time defending Class B boys’ state champion Freeport opened the new cross country season by hosting Greely, Old Orchard Beach, Sacopee Valley and York. The race was won by Falcons standout Henry Jaques in 16 minutes, 38.16 seconds, but Greely downed Freeport for top team honors. Max Stickney led the Rangers by coming in second in 17:38.20. In the girls’ race, Katherine Leggat-Barr (19:01.88) and Carolyn Todd (19:24.91) went 1-2 individually and led Greely to a first-place team finish. Freeport was third and was paced by Lily Horne, who was fifth in 20:30.03.

The reigning Class B champion Yarmouth girls joined Gray-New Gloucester and Lake Region at Cape Elizabeth and finished first, thanks to a 1-2 finish from Abigail Hamilton (17:59) and Georgia Giese (19:50). In the boys’ meet, the Clippers came in first, as Luke Laverdiere (15:23) and Sammy Potter (16:38) were the top two individuals.

NYA hosted Poland, Waynflete and Wells to open the season. In the boys’ meet, won by Wells, the Panthers didn’t score as a team, but got the 18th-fastest time from Jake Kostlnik (21:11). In the girls’ meet, NYA didn’t score as a team (Waynflete came in first), but Megan Alberding had the second-best time (21:50).

Falmouth hosted to Fryeburg Academy, Kennebunk, St. Dom’s and Traip. The Yachtsmen boys won easily as Jeremiah Sands (17:17), Ben Wyman (17:54), John Auer (17:57) and Conner Piers (18:09) finished in the four spots. The girls were first as well, as Malaika Pasch was the top individual in 20:11.

This weekend, Falmouth and Yarmouth join Old Orchard Beach and Poland at York, Freeport (along with Cape Elizabeth and Fryeburg Academy) runs at St. Dom’s and Greely and NYA join Kennebunk and Lake Region at Traip Academy.

Golf

Yarmouth won its opening golf match, beating Gray-New Gloucester, 5.5-1.5.

NYA beat Lake Region (6-1) and Wells (6.5-0.5) to start the year.

Freeport fell, 6.5-0.5, to Fryeburg Academy to start the season.

Falmouth blanked Deering, 13-0.

Greely beat Bonny Eagle and Windham by 13-0 scores.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements


Freeport’s Bailey Coffin backhands a shot into the goal during the Falcons’ 4-1 home win over Gray-New Gloucester in last week’s regular season opener.

Falmouth senior Sydney Bell drives the ball up the field during last week’s 3-2 overtime win over Yarmouth.

Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere and Sammy Potter run in tandem at last week’s regular season-opening five-team cross country meet. Laverdiere was first individually and Potter came in second as the Clippers were first as a team.

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