Fall sports action underway in abundance-Portland edition

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-Cheverus girls’ soccer and Cheverus-Windham field hockey game stories, with additional photos, see theforecaster.net)

The fall sports season is underway and while many eyes were trained on the gridiron Friday (see story), soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cross country and golf have also produced some exciting story lines in the early going.

Here’s a glimpse.

Boys’ soccer

Defending Class C South boys’ soccer champion Waynflete was hit hard by graduation, but the Flyers expect to be very strong again in 2016 and opened with a 1-1 home tie versus Class B contender Wells and a 6-0 home win over Poland. Ilyas Abdi had the goal against the Warriors. In the victory, Abdi, Isaaq Bashir, Christian Brooks, Oliver Burdick, Askar Hussein and Burr Rhodes all scored. Mykel Henry and Thorne Kieffer both had two assists. Goalkeeper Luca Antolini earned his first career shutout and win. The Flyers return to action Tuesday at home against Traip Academy. 

In Class A South, Portland enjoyed a 1-0 win at Cheverus in the teams’ mutual opener Friday. Manny Yugu scored the goal.

“It was back and forth the whole game,” said longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli. “Both teams had their share of chances, but the one goal stood up. Our defense cleared two Cheverus shots off the goal line.”

The Bulldogs hosted Noble in their home opener Tuesday, go to Windham Thursday and visit Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus hoped to get in the win column Tuesday at Marshwood. The Stags play at Massabesic Thursday and host Westbrook Tuesday of next week.

Deering opened by shocking defending Class A South champion Scarborough, 1-0, on the Red Storm’s home field. Lounge Turahimbawe had the goal (from Iessa Ramadan). It was just the Rams’ second win against Scarborough in 18 all-time meetings (a 1-0 victory in 2010 was the other) and avenged a 4-0 home setback to the Red Storm a year ago. Deering hoped to go 2-0 Tuesday when it visited South Portland. The Rams play their home opener Tuesday versus Biddeford.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, defending Class C South champion Waynflete got off to a fast start with a 3-0 win at Wells. Isabel Canning had a goal and two assists, while Amelia Bertaska and Ava Farrar also scored. The Flyers return to action Tuesday at Traip Academy.

In Class A South, Portland won its season opener for the fourth year in a row Friday, blanking visiting Cheverus, 3-0.

Portland struck first when senior standout Kate Johnson scored on a breakaway in the 27th minute.

“A girl popped it up with her knee, Annika (More) was there at the right time to head it forward and I got it,” Johnson said.

Early in the second half, Stags freshman Emma Gallant had a great opportunity to tie the score, but Bulldogs senior goalkeeping stalwart Taylor Crosby made a dazzling save to preserve the lead. Portland added a goal with 35:51 to play when the freshman sister tandem of Annika More to Isabella More struck and moments later, Crosby came out again to make a big save to keep a ‘0’ in Cheverus’ column.

“I know what I can do and I just focus on that,” Crosby said. “It’s stressful, but I just react. There’s no time to think.”

With 19:55 remaining, Bulldogs junior Gracie Lagrange showed off her powerful foot, burying a shot from long range and Portland went on to a 3-0 victory.

“It’s always great to start off with a win,” said Johnson, a captain and four-year starter. “We were really confident coming in. We had a great couple weeks of preseason and I think today shows how much we’ve come together as a team. We executed what we needed to do and it went well.”

“It was a classic first game,” said Curtis Chapin, the former Portland assistant, who is serving in a head coaching role this fall. “We were feeling it out at first, but once we got that first goal and took that lead into halftime, we settled down in the second half.”

The Bulldogs are back in action Wednesday at Noble and visit perennial powerhouse Windham Friday. 

Cheverus had some great chances in its loss to Portland, but couldn’t finish.

“I told the girls that in my mind, it was a game of opportunities,” said Stags coach Craig Roberts. “Portland capitalized on theirs and we didn’t capitalize on ours. I don’t think we’re three goals worse, but that’s the result and we have to learn from it and move forward. The girls saw they could play with Portland. They want better results.”

Cheverus hosts Marshwood Wednesday and welcomes Massabesic Friday.

Deering dropped a 3-1 home decision to Scarborough in its opener. Candy Odhiambo gave the Rams a 1-0 lead early in the second half, but they couldn’t hold on. Deering looks to get in the win column Wednesday when it hosts South Portland. The Rams visit the Maine Girls’ Academy (formerly McAuley) Friday.

Speaking of the Lions, they opened with a 9-0 setback at defending regional champion Gorham. Maine Girls’ Academy was at Bonny Eagle Tuesday and has its home opener Friday versus Deering.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team, a regional finalist in 2015, is off to a hot start this fall under new coach Sally Cloutier.

The Stags opened with a 3-0 victory at Westbrook behind two goals from Hannah Abbott and one from Mallory Leighton. Saturday morning, Cheverus hosted Windham and again won by a 3-0 margin, as Abbott, Caroline Ford and Sophia Pompeo scored.

The Stags started 2-0 for the eighth year in a row.

“Everyone has brought their ‘A’ game the past two games, it’s really exciting,” said Abbott. “We miss our (graduated) seniors, but we have a ton of returning players and the girls who are new are stepping it up.”

“We have some power out front and we’re capitalizing,” Cloutier said. “We’re young and we have a lot of potential. We have a goal of getting a playoff berth. We’re having lots of fun.”

Cheverus hoped to improve to 3-0 Tuesday when it went to South Portland. The Stags host defending Class A South champion Thornton Academy in a regional final rematch Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Sanford Tuesday of next week.

Portland began with a 3-0 home win over Noble, as Sydney Gilbert scored the first goal and Bridget Maloney added a pair in the second half. Saturday, the Bulldogs fell to 1-1 with a 6-0 loss at Biddeford. Goalie Madeline Pettengill had 10 saves. Portland hosts powerhouse Marshwood Wednesday (see theforecaster.net), goes to Massabesic Saturday and welcomes Deering Tuesday of next week.

Speaking of the Rams, coached this fall by Aimee Burgos, they opened with losses at Thornton Academy (7-0) and at home to Westbrook (4-0). After going to Scarborough Wednesday, Deering is home with South Portland Friday and plays at Portland Tuesday next week.

The Maine Girls’ Academy/Waynflete Flying Lions begin their second co-op season Monday at Old Orchard Beach.

Volleyball 

A new volleyball season is underway and Cheverus engaged in a marathon at South Portland in its opener Friday. The Stags lost a five-set thriller (19-25, 25-14, 26-28, 29-27, 14-16). Cheverus hosted powerhouse Falmouth Tuesday, goes to Bonny Eagle Thursday and welcomes Cony Tuesday of next week.

Deering began with a 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 13-25, 18-25) loss at Bonny Eagle. The Rams hoped to get in the win column when they hosted Portland Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for match story). Deering is at Gardiner Thursday and hosts York Tuesday of next week.

Portland which won just one match in its first varsity season a year ago, began 2016 with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-19) home victory over Cony. After traveling to Deering Tuesday, the Bulldogs host first-year program Brunswick Thursday and welcome Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

Waynflete’s cross country team joined Poland and Wells at North Yarmouth in its opener. The Flyers girls came in first and were led by Abby Pipkin, who placed fourth individually 22 minutes, 31 seconds. The boys finished second behind the Warriors. Willson Moore (third, 17:43) was the third-fastest individual. Waynflete is back in action Friday, Sept. 16.

The SMAA regular season begins Friday. Cheverus will join South Portland and Windham at Marshwood, Deering (along with Gorham and Westbrook) runs at Noble, Maine Girls’ Academy joins Bonny Eagle and Thornton Academy at Sanford and Portland (along with Biddeford and Scarborough) runs at Massabesic. 

Golf

The golf season began last week where Cheverus beat Portland, 8-5, and Scarborough, 10.5-2.5. Portland then downed South Portland, 11-2. Deering lost to South Portland (8-5) and Falmouth (13-0).

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

Sidebar Elements


Portland’s girls’ soccer team celebrates a goal during Friday’s 3-0 win over Cheverus in the regular season opener.

Cheverus sophomore Sophia Pompeo drives the ball during Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Windham.

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