Fall sports fun was fantastic-Southern edition

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Cape Elizabeth’s volleyball team was one of many local squads to celebrate a state title this fall.

The fall sports season was one of triumph and making memories and Forecaster Country teams made noise across the board.

The gridiron witnessed greatness from start to finish (see below), as Scarborough lived up to billing as the state’s best large-school team, winning the Class A title for the first time. Cape Elizabeth nearly joined the Red Storm at the pinnacle, but fell one win shy. South Portland also enjoyed a solid season, making it to the playoffs once again before losing to Sanford in the quarterfinals.

Volleyball did produce a pair of champions (see below), as Scarborough took Class A honors for the second time in three years, while Cape Elizabeth went undefeated and won Class B. South Portland excelled as well, making a stirring and unexpected run to the Class A Final.

Then there was golf, which not only saw Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough win team titles, but multiple individuals from those schools take home hardware as well (see below).

South Portland’s boys’ soccer team stole headlines in the regular season, posting the program’s best-ever record (see below), but the Red Riots were upset in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. Scarborough also lost in that round, to eventual regional champion Portland. Cape Elizabeth got to the semifinals, but lost in penalty kicks to York.

On the girls’ side, Scarborough navigated the regular season without a blemish and returned to the state final for the first time since 2012, but despite a valiant rally, fell a goal short (see below). Cape Elizabeth made a surprise run to the Class B South Final before losing to eventual repeat champion Yarmouth and South Portland enjoyed its best campaign in a decade, making to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Kennebunk.

Scarborough’s field hockey team got to the playoffs yet again, but was upset by Biddeford in the semifinals.

Cross country didn’t produce a team champion this year, but Scarborough’s boys were second to Falmouth in Class A. Cape Elizabeth’s girls came in fourth in Class B, while the boys were sixth.

Before we move indoors to winter sports, here’s one last look at the biggest achievers and top stories of the autumn:

Southern edition state champions

Cape Elizabeth Capers volleyball, Class B
Cape Elizabeth Capers golf, Class B
Scarborough Red Storm football, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm volleyball, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm golf, Class A

Southern edition regional champion

Cape Elizabeth Capers football, Class C South
Scarborough Red Storm girls’ soccer, Class A South

Southern edition individual state champions

Austin Legge, Cape Elizabeth, Class B boys’ golf
Anthony Burnham, Scarborough, Class A boys’ golf
Elizabeth Lacognata, Scarborough, girls’ golf

Michael’s top five stories

5) SP boys make history

Prior to this autumn, South Portland’s boys’ soccer team had never posted an undefeated record, but this year’s squad, anchored by senior goalkeeper Riley Hasson and prolific senior scorers Charlie Cronin and Kyle Patterson, managed to go 13-0-1. Along the way, the Red Riots gave their coach, Bryan Hoy, his 100th victory with the program. South Portland even earned the top seed in Class A South for the first time since 1988, but despite all that glory, there wouldn’t be a happy ending for the Red Riots, who couldn’t score in their quarterfinal against Thornton Academy and ultimately suffered an agonizing defeat in penalty kicks. This team won’t soon be forgotten, forever.

4) Scarborough girls fall just short

Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team had fallen just short the past four seasons, losing either to Windham or Gorham deep in the playoffs. This fall, the Red Storm returned to what they feel is their rightful place atop the region by going 13-0-1 in the regular season, then downing Windham, Cheverus and Kennebunk to reach the Class A Final. There, against defending champion Camden Hills, Scarborough dug a 3-0 hole and appeared destined to go quietly ,but the Red Storm would do just the opposite, scoring a pair of second half goals to make things very interesting. Scarborough couldn’t quite generate the equalizer, however, and its championship dreams were denied.

3) Gridiron champion (and near-champion)

The stage was set the weekend of Nov. 17-18 for Forecaster Country to win a pair of football Gold Balls, as Cape Elizabeth was favored against Maine Central Institute in the Class C game and Scarborough was a heavy favorite versus Windham in Class A. The Capers had beaten the Huskies, 35-13, in the regular season, but in the rematch at the University of Maine, Cape Elizabeth fell behind early and never could rally as its dream for a first title ended with a crushing 30-13 loss. The following day, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, Scarborough never let Windham breathe, scoring 21 first period points. The Red Storm played with a mercy rule running clock throughout the second half and left no doubt that they’re the state’s best team by virtue of a 57-0 romp. Scarborough had won Class B way back in 2002, but this by far was the program’s finest hour.

2) Golf greatness

Forecaster Country was the epicenter of the high school golf world this fall. First, on Oct. 7, Scarborough won its second Class A championship in four seasons, while Cape Elizabeth capped a year of dominance by capturing Class B yet again. If that wasn’t enough, what occurred a week later was even more impressive, as Scarborough’s Anthony Burnham tied for the Class A boys’ individual title, Cape Elizabeth’s Austin Legge won the Class B boys’ individual crown and Scarborough’s Elizabeth Lacognata won the girls’ title.

1) Two volleyball champs

With volleyball going from two classes to three this fall, Cape Elizabeth moved from Class A to B and became the dominant team in the state, going 14-0 in the regular season, beating all of the top teams in the process. As the top seed for the playoffs, the Capers kept the good times rolling, beating Kennebunk, Greely and finally Falmouth, surprisingly in just three sets, to win the title, giving the program a Class B crown to go with the Class A title won by the 2014 squad. In Class A, Scarborough, not surprisingly, rolled to the state match where it matched up against upstart South Portland, a team no one expected to still be standing (the Red Riots had upset top-ranked Deering in the semifinals). While the Red Riots hung tough throughout, even winning a set, the Red Storm were too big, too deep and too experienced and prevailed, 3-1, for their second championship in three seasons.

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

Senior Charlie Cronin and his South Portland boys’ soccer teammates didn’t lose a game during the regular season.

Goalie Sam Carierro and her Scarborough field hockey teammates enjoyed another successful campaign, one which stretched to the Class A South semifinals.

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