Fall sports season hits midway point-Portland edition

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Portland’s Lydia Stein plays the ball during the Bulldogs’ 0-0 home tie with South Portland Saturday morning.

Cheverus’ Bella Booth plays the ball during last week’s 4-0 home win over Falmouth last week.

Portland’s Liam Niles, Will Brewster and Joe Harrington compete in a meet at Kennebunk last week. Niles finished 10th, Brewster 11th and Harrington 12th as the Bulldogs were third as a team.

Considering it’s felt like summer the past several days, the fact that the fall sports season is halfway over might be hard to believe.

In truth, we are closer to the start of the playoffs than the beginning of the season, and there is a lot of excitement in store.

Last week produced its share of drama and here’s a look back, with a glimpse at what’s to come as well:

Boys’ soccer

All four boys’ soccer teams are well on their way to a playoff appearance.

Portland began the week second to defending regional champion Gorham in the Class A South Heal Points standings after improving to 6-1 last Tuesday with a 2-1 double-overtime victory at Bonny Eagle. Daniel Hanley scored in regulation and Zekariya Shaib had the winner in OT. The Bulldogs were home with Sanford Tuesday, visit Westbrook Thursday and host Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus was 5-2 and fifth at press time after wins over visiting Sanford (2-1) and host Westbrook (4-0) last week. Luc Dionne had both goals against the Spartans. In the win over the Blue Blazes, Dionne scored twice more and Michael Nason also had a goal. The fourth goal came on an own goal. The Stags, who have already exceeded last year’s win total, were home with Marshwood Tuesday, visit Deering Thursday and play host to South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Deering extended its win streak to five games and improved to 6-1 last week with a 2-1 victory at Kennebunk and a 3-1 home triumph over Windham. Bill Turahimbawe had both goals in the win over the Rams. Against the Eagles, Nick James, Jonah Peterson and Daniel Seke tickled the twine. Deering (seventh in Class A South) was at Falmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and hosts Cheverus Thursday.

Waynflete was 4-0-1 and fifth in Class C South at press time after settling for a 3-3 tie at Sacopee Valley and blanking host North Yarmouth Academy, 3-0, last week. In the tie, Mykel Henry, Diraige Dahia and Askar Houssein all scored, but the Flyers let a two-goal lead slip away in the second half. In the win, Houssein had two goals and set up Luca Antolini’s first career tally. Max Winson had the shutout in goal. Waynflete was home with Freeport Tuesday, goes to Wells Thursday, hosts Fryeburg Academy Friday and welcomes St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, only three squads would be in the postseason if it began today.

Defending Class C South champion Waynflete was 3-2-1 and sixth in the Class C South Heals at press time after a 7-2 loss to visiting Sacopee Valley and a 9-0 home victory over NYA. Kilee Sherry had both goals in the defeat. Against the Panthers, Ava Farrar scored five times and Lydia Giguere added two goals. The Flyers were at Freeport Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and play at St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

In Class A South, Cheverus improved to 6-1 and sixth in the region after wins last week over visiting Portland (2-0), visiting Westbrook (2-0) and host Thornton Academy (3-1). Against the Bulldogs, sophomore speedster Emma Gallant had both goals as the Stags beat Portland for the first time since 2012.

“I feel so good,” Gallant said. “Winning this one is really exciting for us. We really picked it up this game and we didn’t have bad minutes. We kept the ball in their half most of the time.”

“They’ve handled us pretty well the past few years, so the seniors were excited to beat them,” said Cheverus coach Craig Roberts. “We have a more veteran group this year. We’re playing with more urgency.”

Gallant and Lauren Jordan had the goals in the win over the Blue Blazes in a game played on Deering’s turf field. Gallant continued her onslaught with three goals against the Golden Trojans. The Stags host Bonny Eagle Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome Deering Friday.

Speaking of the Rams, they were 1-4-2 and 11th in the region after a scoreless home tie against Noble and losses at Scarborough (2-0) and Sanford (3-0) last week. Deering hosts Massabesic Wednesday, visits Cheverus Friday and welcomes Thornton Academy Monday,

Portland was 1-5-1 and 15th in the region after a 2-0 loss at Cheverus, a 4-3 home setback to Windham and a 0-0 home tie against South Portland. The Bulldogs only gave up two goals against the Stags, but couldn’t score one of their own.

“It’s the same old problem right now, a lot of possession, but we get too narrow and we can’t get a shot in the final third,” Portland coach Curtis Chapin said. “I feel like we had the majority of possession and had a good chance to win, but we couldn’t take advantage.”

In the loss to the Eagles, Morgan Kierstead, Annika More and Toni Stevenson all scored. Against the Red Riots, the Bulldogs had plenty of chances and even hit the post and the crossbar, but couldn’t find the net.

“It’s about turning the corner,” said Chapin. “I feel like the second half against Windham, we did everything but draw level against a good team. Today, we had to get a result.”

Portland will play at Falmouth Wednesday and hosts Westbrook Friday.

Maine Girls’ Academy fell to 0-6 and 18th in the region after a 7-1 home loss to Noble last week. Catherine Reid had the goal. The Lions were at Bonny Eagle Monday, host Gorham Wednesday and welcome Scarborough Saturday.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team remains one of the best teams in Class A South, improving to 6-1 and extending its win to streak to four after downing visiting Falmouth (4-0) and host Thornton Academy (3-1) last week. Bella Booth and Lucia Pompeo both scored twice in the Stags’ first-ever meeting with the Yachtsmen.

“Our passing is getting a lot better and I think it can still be better going forward,” Booth said. “Our communication needs to get better. Our confidence is where it needs to be. We’re having fun.”

“We just kind of played our game,” said Cheverus coach Sally Cloutier. “We knew they’d be strong. It’s a good win. We got our momentum.”

Against the Golden Trojans, Booth, Pompeo and Haley Hinkle rattled the cage. The Stags (second to Scarborough in the Class A South Heals at the start of the week) were home with Sanford Monday, visit Portland Wednesday, welcome Westbrook Friday and play at Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Deering fell to 1-7 and 15th in Class A South with losses last week at home against Westbrook (8-0) and at Marshwood (2-0). The Rams hosted Scarborough Monday and play at Noble Monday of next week.

Portland fell to 0-7 and 16th in the region after a 1-0 setback at Noble and a 3-1 home loss to Bonny Eagle. Jaidyn Appel had the Bulldogs’ goal. Portland was at Windham Monday, hosts Cheverus Wednesday, visits Kennebunk Friday and plays host to defending regional champion Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

The Maine Girls’ Academy/Waynflete co-op team was dropped to 0-6 and 13th in Class C South after losing last week at home to NYA (5-0) and at Old Orchard Beach (2-0) and Sacopee Valley (5-0). The Flying Lions were at powerhouse St. Dom’s Tuesday, visit Traip Academy Thursday, host Sacopee Valley Friday and play at Wells Monday.

Volleyball

Deering’s volleyball team continues to steal the show, improving to 7-0 and extending its lead in the Class A Heals with 3-0 wins last week over visiting Windham (25-9, 25-18, 25-22) and host Gorham (25-21, 25-11, 25-18). Maddy Broda had 29 assists, Avery Donovan finished with 12 kills and Dianne Dervis added nine kills against the Eagles. In the win over the Rams, Broda finished with 18 assists and Donovan added 10 kills. Deering was home with Cheverus Tuesday, visits Bonny Eagle Thursday and goes to Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

Portland took a 4-2 mark (and the No. 7 spot in Class A) into a home match versus Biddeford Monday. Last week, the Bulldogs outlasted host Bonny Eagle in four sets (25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22). After going to Thornton Academy Tuesday, Portland hosts South Portland Thursday and visits Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus fell to 1-6 and 12th after losses last week at South Portland in straight sets (22-25, 16-25, 5-25) and at home to Thornton Academy in four sets (25-14, 14-25, 8-25, 6-25). The Stags went to Deering Tuesday, play at Class B power Yarmouth Thursday and host Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

Deering’s boys traveled to New Hampshire last weekend to take part in the Manchester Invitational. The Rams were 13th in the large school division and were led by Alec Troxell, who was 13th individually in 16 minutes, 40 seconds. Deering’s girls also placed 13th in the large school division and were paced by Nicole Whipkey (37th, 21:03).

Cheverus’ also took part in Manchester and the girls came in eighth in the small school division. The Stags were led by Hannah Galeucia (34th, 22:20). The Stags boys placed 16th and were paced by Donald Mahoney (31st, 18:04).

Closer to home, Portland joined Falmouth, South Portland and Windham at Kennebunk. The Bulldogs boys came in third while the girls were fourth. The boys were led by Liam Niles (10th, 17:46). Elizabeth Thomas was the top female finisher (18th, 24:19).

Maine Girls’ Academy took part in a seven-team meet at Thornton Academy, where the Lions placed seventh. Chloe Cott (51st, 26:01) was MGA’s top individual.

Waynflete joined NYA at Wells and both the boys and girls were second to the hosts. Abby Pipkin won the girls’ race in 21:48. The boys’ team was led by Henry Spritz (third, 17:57).

The Festival of Champions will be held Saturday in Belfast. Deering and Portland join Kennebunk at Noble the day before.

Golf

The final matches of the golf regular season are upon us and the Southwestern Maine Activities Association qualifier will be held Tuesday of next week at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, the site of the state match.

Cheverus fell to 5-3 after losses last week to Portland (10-3) and Scarborough (11-2). The Stags were home with Falmouth Tuesday and finish Thursday at South Portland.

Portland evened its record at 4-4 with wins last week over Cheverus (10-3) and South Portland (9-4). The Bulldogs were at Deering Tuesday and close at home versus Falmouth Thursday.

Deering got its second win last Tuesday (11-2 over South Portland), then fell to 2-6 with a loss to Falmouth. The Rams were home with Portland Tuesday and finish at Scarborough Thursday.

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

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