Fall sports season begins

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth-Waynflete field hockey game stories, please see theforecaster.net)

The fall sports season is still in its infancy, but there are already ample signs that it’s going to be something special.

Here’s a glimpse at the limited action so far.

Football

Falmouth and Yarmouth’s football teams impressed in their first outing.

Falmouth, a squad viewed by many as a possible Western B contender this fall, dominated host Gorham from the get-go Friday, as George Gilbert returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Yachtsmen never looked back en route to a 49-0 triumph. Gilbert also returned a punt for a score and caught a touchdown pass from Noah Nelson. Connor Aube ran for three TDs and Falmouth also got a fumble return for a score from Aiden Murphy.

“It was a good game,” said Yachtsmen coach John Fitzsimmons. “Execution was at a very high level for this early in the season. We had three touchdowns on special teams alone. Wednesday, we spent an hour just on special teams. The kids got to see the cause and effect. It doesn’t always happen that quickly. George had a breakout game. Noah couldn’t have been more steady. He had command of his throws and did a magnificent job running the offense. The defense was very strong up the middle. I’m very pleased.”

Falmouth comes home Friday to meet 1-0 Morse. Last year, the Yachtsmen won at the Shipbuilders, 7-0.

“We look forward to it,” Fitzsimmons said. “We need to do a better job on our tackling. We had some mental mistakes on blocking. There’s still room for improvement.”

Yarmouth rang in the Jason Veilleux Era with a 41-0 win at Gray-New Gloucester. New quarterback John Thoma threw two first quarter TDs, one to Jack Snyder and another to Cody Cook, and Snyder also ran for a score. Cook scored a short touchdown run for a 28-0 halftime lead and the Clippers put it away in the second half as Cook scored a third touchdown on a long run and Yarmouth added a pair of field goals.

Thoma had 147 passing yards and two TDs, Cook rushed for 118 yards and two scores and had 85 receiving yards with another touchdown. Snyder had a combined 117 rushing and receiving yards and on defense, produced a sack and an interception. The Clippers produced 398 yards of offense.

It’s always nice to get a win in the first game of the season,” Veilleux said. “We got off to a fast start, scoring 21 points in the first quarter. We looked sharp out of the gate, then we began to make those typical first game of the season mental errors which I was not pleased with, but they are all correctable mistakes.”

Friday, the Clippers go to 0-1 Leavitt, the defending Class C champion (which dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Cape Elizabeth Friday). Last year, Yarmouth took the visiting Hornets to the wire, but lost, 14-7. Leavitt is a traditional power and along with Spruce Mountain, Cape Elizabeth and Wells, a preseason favorite.

I felt pretty good about our team after playing with Spruce Mountain in the preseason, but we will have to play mistake free football against Leavitt this week at Leavitt,” Veilleux said. “(Turner) is one of those true football towns and it will be a lot of fun to play in that type of an environment. I think we will learn a lot about where we stand in the league this Friday night.”

Freeport and Greely fell short.

The Falcons lost at Western C’s preseason favorite Spruce Mountain, 59-14. Freeport looks to get in the win column Saturday when it opens the home portion of its schedule against 0-1 Gray-New Gloucester. Last year, the Falcons won at the Patriots, 18-12.

The Rangers, playing short-handed, lost at the team viewed by most as the gold standard in Western B, Marshwood, 47-0. Greely is home Friday night against Fryeburg, which is coming off a win over last year’s regional champion, Kennebunk. Last year, the Rangers won at the Raiders, 38-24.

Boys’ soccer

Longtime Yarmouth boys’ soccer coach Mike Hagerty reached a milestone Saturday morning.

The Clippers gave him his 200th victory with the program by virtue of a 7-0 triumph at Poland. Seven different players tickled the twine. Connor Lainey, Andrew Beatty, Adam LaBrie, Connor Hoehle and Patrick Grant all struck in the first half. Matthew Dostie and Nicholas Kamra added second half tallies.

Yarmouth figured to get a more stern test Tuesday night when it hosted defending state champion Greely in a rematch of last year’s shocking Western B Final (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Clippers welcome Cape Elizabeth Friday and play host to Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Greely’s first outing resulted in a 7-0 home win over Fryeburg. Ben Leverett led a balanced attack with two goals. Paul Bischoff, Luc Dionne, Ben Ingraham, Nick Pronovost and Luis Villa also scored. After playing at Yarmouth Tuesday, the Rangers go to rival Falmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday of next week.

Freeport took visiting Cape Elizabeth to the wire in its opener, but lost, 2-1, despite a goal from Chandler Wyman. The Falcons looked to get in the win column Tuesday when they hosted Sacopee. After playing at Wells Saturday, Freeport goes to Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

In Western A, Falmouth started with a 2-0 home victory over Gray-New Gloucester, Jake Grade and Nick Sanzari had the goals. The Yachtsmen went to Kennebunk Tuesday, welcome Greely Saturday and play at Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy romped over visiting Traip, 7-2, in its first game under new coach Raiff Gwinnett. Monday, the Panthers lost in the regular season for the first time in 16 games, 2-1, to visiting Richmond. D.J. Nicholas had the lone goal. After playing at Sacopee Friday, NYA visits Traip Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, perennial powerhouse Falmouth opened with a 2-0 victory at Gray-New Gloucester. Georgia Babikian and Amelia Waite had the goals. Emma England and Lucy Mahoney had assists, as the Yachtsmen enjoyed a 26-1 edge in shots. Falmouth was home against Kennebunk Wednesday, plays at rival Greely Saturday and hosts two-time defending Class C state champion Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

In Western B, Greely, a regional finalist last fall, handled host Fryeburg in its first game, 4-0. Izzy Hutnak, Kelsey Otley, Maggie Reed and Ellie Schad all scored. The Rangers went to Yarmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), host Falmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday of next week.

Freeport dropped its opener, 5-0, at defending state champion Cape Elizabeth. The Falcons sought their first win Tuesday at Sacopee. After playing at Wells Thursday, Freeport hosts Yarmouth in a playoff rematch Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth was scheduled to open Saturday night at home against Poland, but bad weather postponed the game. After hosting Greely Tuesday, the Clippers welcome Cape Elizabeth Friday and play at Freeport next Tuesday.

In Western C, NYA fell in its opener, 3-0, at Traip. The Panthers were at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, play host to Sacopee Friday and welcome Traip Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Defending Western Class C field hockey champion NYA got off to a fast start last week with a 1-0 win at Wells (Kiersten Marr had the goal) and a 2-0 victory at Traip. The Panthers hosted Old Orchard Beach Tuesday, have a  showdown at Yarmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), play host to Waynflete Monday and visit Sacopee Wednesday of next week.

Yarmouth is proving that last year’s surge was no fluke with a pair of decisive wins to start the year. The Clippers won their opener at Old Orchard Beach, 7-0, as Molly Wilson scored three times and Kallie Hutchinson added a pair of goals. Monday, Yarmouth handled visiting Waynflete, 7-0.

Just four minutes, 36 seconds in, Hutchinson scored and opened the floodgates. A little over a minute later, senior Fiona Clarke struck. After sophomore Abby McDowell extended the lead to 3-0, freshman Emilie Martin scored her first varsity goal, then tacked on another for a 5-0 halftime advantage.

“It’s so amazing to get a goal in my first varsity field hockey game,” said Martin. “I thought it was pretty cool because I love field hockey so much. It felt good.”

Sophomore Taylor Robison and junior Bre Morrill rattled the cage in the second half and the Clippers went on to a most impressive 7-0 victory, improving to 2-0 with some bigger tests on the horizon.

“We have a young team,  but we’re connecting and everything’s worked out great so far,” said Morrill,, who was a force from end line to end line. “We just want to come out and attack teams.”

“We’re really excited to see the opportunities we’re creating inside the circle,” said Clippers coach Mandy Lewis. “It’s good to see that the girls are all hungry and have their sticks down in the circle. I think that we have some very talented midfielders delivering the ball and our offense starts with our back line. I think Bre and Kallie working together on midfield, their intensity and communication, really feeds our offense.”

The Clippers visited Sacopee Wednesday, are home with NYA Thursday, go to Wells Monday and welcome Traip Wednesday of next week.

“I think we could go really far because we’re a strong team,” Martin said.

“I’m very excited to see NYA,” Morrill said. “My first goal for us this year is to beat NYA. I think we’ll be just as good as last year, if not better.”

“(NYA’s) in our thinking, but it’s a three-game week and we have to take on Sacopee first,” Lewis said. “With the momentum we’ve had, I think we’re ready.”

In Western B, Freeport opened with losses at York (7-0) and at home to Kennebunk (2-1). Dani Foster scored against the Rams. The Falcons play at Gray-New Gloucester Thursday and visit Old Orchard Beach Saturday. Freeport welcomes Poland Monday and Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.

Greely lost twice by 3-2 scores (at Lake Region and at Poland) as the Becki Belmore Era began. Kayla Berry and Lucy Wetzel had goals against the Lakers. Barry and Gina Richard had goals in the loss to the Knights, which went into overtime. The Rangers were home against Falmouth Tuesday, go to defending Western B champion York Thursday, play at Cape Elizabeth Monday and visit Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday of next week.

In Western A, Falmouth opened with a 6-1 romp at Fryeburg, then dropped a tough 2-1 home decision to Cape Elizabeth. In the victory, Elle Fitzgerald and Kate Kelley scored twice, while Keunjoo Kim and Blair Lindberg each rattled the cage once. Against the Capers, Fitzgerald scored for an early lead, but the Capers rallied and handed the Yachtsmen their first loss, 2-1.

“Cape’s a tough team,” said longtime Falmouth coach Robin Haley. “They played very, very well today. It pointed out some things we need to work on. We have some new kids playing key positions. We had some chances. I’m proud of how the girls fought for it.”

The Yachtsmen hope to bounce back Tuesday, when they go to rival Greely. After hosting Kennebunk Thursday, Falmouth welcomes nemesis York Monday of next week and plays host to Lake Region two days later.

“We’ll keep working at it,” Haley said. “I think we have some really good leadership.”

Volleyball

Falmouth’s defending Class A champion volleyball team had no trouble winning its opener, blanking visiting Kennebunk (25-16, 25-19, 25-12). The Yachtsmen were at Lake Region Tuesday and welcome Scarborough Thursday for a state final rematch (see theforecaster.net for game story). Falmouth goes to Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Greely outlasted defending Class B champion Yarmouth in a four-set thriller in the teams’ mutual opener last Friday (25-15, 20-25, 25-11, 25-18). The Rangers went to Windham Tuesday, play host to Cape Elizabeth Thursday and welcome Gorham Tuesday of next week.

The Clippers hope to get in the win column Thursday when they welcome NYA. Yarmouth hosts Lake Region Tuesday of next week.

NYA played its first match Tuesday at Kennebunk. After going to Yarmouth Thursday, the Panthers are idle for a week before hosting Cony.

Cross country

Two of the traditional powerhouses on the trails, Falmouth and Greely, did battle in a season-opening meet Friday (which also included Gray-New Gloucester) at Twin Brook in Cumberland.

The Yachtsmen took first on the boys’ side, with the Rangers second. Individually, Falmouth’s Bryce Murdick (17 minutes, 29 seconds), Scott Lambert (17:45), Josh Simensky (17:48) and Sean Soucy (18:00) went 1-2-3-4. Greely was placed by fifth-place finisher Troy Cochran (18:05).

The Rangers won the girls’ meet, with the Yachtsmen coming in second. Greely was led by Katherine Leggat-Barr, who was first in 19:59. Teammates Emily Mason (21:19) and Izzy Evans (21:34) placed second and third, respectively. Falmouth was paced by Antoinette Lambert (fourth, 21:36).

Freeport, NYA and Yarmouth opened at Merriconeag.

In the boys’ meet, Merriconeag held off Freeport by two points, while Yarmouth came in third and NYA was fourth.

Individually, Yarmouth’s Luke Laverdiere was first (16 minutes, 33.77 seconds). NYA’s Matt Malcom was second (17:04.91). Freeport’s Chandler Vincent placed third (17:14.58). Merriconeag was led by fourth-place finisher Tucker Pierce (17:58.65).

On the girls’ side, the Clippers came in first, Merriconeag was second, the Falcons came in third and the Panthers were fourth.

Individually, NYA’s Hannah Austin led the way with a time of 20:09.91. Yarmouth’s Grace Cowles came in second (20:53.12). Merriconeag’s top finisher was Olivia Skillings (third, 21:03.96). Freeport was paced by Hannah Schnyder (eighth, 22:05.67).

This Friday, Greely and NYA run at Merriconeag, Falmouth and Freeport join Sacopee at Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth hosts Fryeburg, Gray-New Gloucester and York.

Golf

Defending Class A golf champion Falmouth opened with a 13-0 victory over Deering. The Yachtsmen improved to 2-0 with an 11-2 win over Cheverus Monday and played at Portland Wednesday.

Greely handled Windham in its first match, 11-2. The Rangers went to Westbrook Monday and have home showdowns against Thornton Academy Wednesday and Gorham Monday of next week.

In Class B, Yarmouth edged Wells, 4-3, then lost to NYA, 6-1. The Clippers were at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and visit Lake Region Thursday.

NYA was at Fryeburg Tuesday and Sacopee Wednesday.

Freeport played its first match Tuesday at home against perennial powerhouse Cape Elizabeth. The Falcons visit Old Orchard Beach Thursday and host Waynflete Friday.

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

Sidebar Elements


Falmouth sophomore Kate Kelley fires a shot during the Yachtsmen’s 2-1 home loss to Cape Elizabeth Saturday afternoon.

Greely’s Katherine Leggat-Barr races toward a first-place finish in last weekend’s regular season-opening cross country meet. The host Rangers beat Falmouth and Gray-New Gloucester. In the boys’ meet, Falmouth was first and Greely came in second.

Yarmouth freshman Emilie Martin tries to get past Waynflete senior Gavriella King during the Clippers’ 7-0 home win Monday. Martin scored her first two varsity goals in the victory.

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