Fall sports season starts fast, furious and triumphant-Northern edition

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Yarmouth’s Noah Eckersley-Ray shoves an Oak Hill player out of bounds during the Clippers’ 36-12 loss Saturday.

Greely senior Courtney Sullivan and Yarmouth junior Olivia Feeley battle for the ball during the Clippers’ 4-0 win last week.

The 2017 fall sports season has produced enough of a sample size to suggest that there’s a lot to look forward to in the weeks to come.

First, here’s what you might have missed in the early going:

Football

Falmouth’s football team is the only squad to get in the win column so far, opening with a 41-19 victory at Cony before blanking visiting Mt. Ararat, 37-0, Friday night. Garret Aube opened the scoring with an 11-yard run for a 6-0 lead after one period. A 2-yard TD run by quarterback Jack Bryant and a 45-yard interception return for a score from Emmett Zinn made it 19-0 at the half. In the third quarter, Bryant passed 22 yards to Brady Douglas for a touchdown and Bryant scored on a 2-yard run for a 31-0 lead and in the fourth, backup quarterback Gibson Scott threw a 6-yard TD pass to Evan Lovley to account for the final score. Bryant finished with 171 yards passing and gained 89 more on the ground. The Yachtsmen are at defending regional champion Kennebunk in a battle of unbeatens Friday. The teams didn’t meet in 2016.

Greely fell, 26-0, at Kennebunk in the opener, then lost in Friday’s home opener, 47-14, to Marshwood. The Rangers’ points came on a 30-yard pass from Nick Male to Nolan Anderson and a 9-yard run by Joey Casella. Greely hopes to get in the win column Friday when it hosts 1-1 Westbrook. The teams didn’t play last year.

In Class C South, Freeport started 0-2 with losses at Old Orchard Beach (28-8) and Lake Region (12-0). The Falcons host 0-2 York in their home opener Saturday. The teams have never met.

Yarmouth, which lost, 48-0, at Cape Elizabeth in the opener, fell to 0-2 Saturday after a 36-12 setback at Oak Hill. The Clippers’ points came on a 24-yard pass from Noah Eckersley-Ray to Wyatt Sullivan and a 2-yard run by Eckersley-Ray. Liam Harke led Yarmouth with 75 yards on 21 carries.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries in our program recently and we’re still trying to come back from that and get the kids in the right positions,” Yarmouth coach Jason Veilleux said. “We have a long way to go.”

Yarmouth hosts 1-1 Morse in its home opener Friday. The teams didn’t play last year.

Boys’ soccer

Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the three-time defending Class B state champion, is living up to its lofty preseason billing. The Clippers started with a 5-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester. Tahj Garvey, Jack Jones, Aidan Hickey, Luke Groothoff and Will Morton had the goals. Yarmouth went to Greely last Tuesday night and after 12 scoreless minutes, lightning in the vicinity forced the game to be postponed to Thursday. There, the Rangers staggered the Clippers by scoring three goals in the first half, but Yarmouth roared back for five in the second half to prevail, 5-3. LaBrie had two goals, while Groothoff, Garvey and Eric Loomis all scored once. Saturday, Yarmouth improved to 3-0 with a 9-0 home shutout of Poland, as LaBrie and freshman Ian LaBrie both had two goals and Garvey, Morton, Liam Ireland, Ian Bohrmann and Joe Truesdale all produced one. The Clippers were at York for a key showdown Tuesday, host Greely Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and travel to Poland Tuesday of next week.

Greely lost, 3-2, to visiting York in its opener, despite two goals from goals from Hazael Tshituka. Tshituka then scored twice and Andy Moore had a goal, but the Rangers couldn’t hold a three-goal lead in their 5-3 home setback to Yarmouth. Saturday, Greely got in the win column, 3-2, over visiting Freeport. Moore, Tshituka and Quinn Molloy had the Rangers’ goals. Greely was home with Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, visits Yarmouth Saturday and goes to Cape Elizabeth in a playoff rematch Tuesday of next week.

Freeport opened with a 1-0 loss at Cape Elizabeth, then fell, 3-2, at Greely despite goals from Joe Ashby and Caleb Arsenault. The Falcons went to Fryeburg Academy Wednesday and visit North Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

Falmouth opened play in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association with a weather-shortened 1-0 home win over Cheverus on a goal from Nate Arrants. After a 2-1 loss at Bonny Eagle (Arrants had the goal), the Yachtsmen improved to 2-1 with a 7-0 victory at Noble. Arrants scored three times, while Eli Friedman, Niklas Hester, Griffin Conley and Josh LeFevre also tickled the twine. Falmouth was home with Portland in a playoff rematch Tuesday, goes to Sanford Thursday and hosts Westbrook Tuesday of next week.

NYA started with a 3-2 home win over Sacopee Valley, then settled for a 1-1 home draw with Wells. Ryan Baker, Markus Russell and Alasdair Swett scored in the victory. Baker had the goal in the tie. The Panthers were at rival Waynflete Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), travel to Poland Friday and host Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

The  Yarmouth girls have also been very impressive in the early going. The defending Class B champion Clippers started with a 2-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester (Hannah Corey and Sara D’Appolonia had the goals), Yarmouth enjoyed an impressive 4-0 victory at Greely in a regional final rematch, then handled host Fryeburg Academy (12-1) and shut down visiting Freeport (5-0) to improve to 4-0. Ellie Purgavie, Olivia Feeley, D’Appolonia and Hannah Merrill scored in the win over the Rangers.

“We’re just taking it game by game and focusing,” Feeley said. “We have the right mindset and play our best game because every team wants to play well against us.

“Things are looking good,” D’Appolonia said. “The younger kids are filling positions great. It’s a little different this year. Teams are coming for us. We’re the team to beat, but we just have to play our game.”

“It was a great performance from the girls,” new Yarmouth coach Chris Coleman added. “One thing we wanted to improve on was our final product near the goal area. We made sure to hit the target.”

D’Appolonia set a new program record with seven goals in the win over the Raiders. Merrill and promising freshman Parker Harnett both added a pair and Corey scored once. Against the Falcons, D’Appolonia added her 10th and 11th goals of the season (both on penalty kicks) and Harnett, Purgavie and Ehryn Groothoff had the other goals. The Clippers hosted York Wednesday, play Greely again, this time at home, Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story), and visit Poland Tuesday of next week.

Greely started with a 3-0 home win over York. Skylar Cooney, Anna DeWolfe and Julia Martel had the goals. A 4-0 home loss to Yarmouth followed.

“We definitely learned a lot,” said Rangers coach Josh Muscadin. “Yarmouth is very good. If you make mistakes against them, they’ll put it away.”

Greely bounced back to beat visiting Freeport (3-1) and Poland (5-2) to improve to 3-1. Anna DeWolfe scored twice and Brooke Obar had the other goal in the win over the Falcons. DeWolfe and Courtney Sullivan both had two goals, while Katie Steinberg had the other versus the Knights. The Rangers were at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, visit Yarmouth Saturday and welcome Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

Freeport started with a historic, first-ever win over visiting Cape Elizabeth, 1-0, behind Catriona Gould’s goal, then lost at Greely (3-1) and Yarmouth (5-0) to drop to 1-2. The Falcons went to Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, return home Thursday to battle Gray-New Gloucester, then go to Lake Region Saturday.

Falmouth began SMAA play with a 2-1 loss at Scarborough. Cali Wiberg had the Yachtsmen’s lone goal. Falmouth then downed visiting Sanford (3-1) and Maine Girls’ Academy (9-0). Amelia Waite, Sarah Wuesthoff and Lexi Bugbee had the goals against the Spartans. In the win over the Lions, Madison Wolf had three goals and Waite added a pair. The Yachtsmen went to Noble Wednesday, go to Cheverus Friday and play host to Marshwood Wednesday of next week.

NYA started with a 1-0 home loss to Old Orchard Beach, then was blanked, 11-0, at Wells and fell, 1-0, at home to Rangeley. After playing host to Greater Portland Christian School Wednesday, the Panthers visit Buckfield Thursday.

Field hockey

While the big field hockey news came in the form of longtime Falmouth coach Robin Haley earning a landmark win last week (see story), the team off to the best start is Yarmouth. The Clippers, regional finalists in 2016, opened by edging visiting Poland, 2-1, on goals from Kirsten Thomas and Lydia Guay. Yarmouth then blanked visiting Fryeburg Academy, 2-0, Friday, behind goals from Guay and Emilie Martin. The Clippers had a showdown/regional final rematch at York Monday, visit Lake Region Thursday and Greely Saturday before coming home Monday to meet Gray-New Gloucester.

Freeport and Greely settled for a 1-1 tie in the opener. The Falcons got a goal from Natalie Anderson. Freeport then earned 1-0 victories over visiting Lake Region and at Fryeburg Academy to improve to 2-0-1. Anderson had the winner against the Lakers, while Lauren Schenker scored against the Raiders. The Falcons went to Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, visit Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and play at Traip Academy Monday.

Greely got a goal from Maddy Perfetti and a couple of crucial saves in overtime to forge a tie against Freeport in the opener. The Rangers then lost, 1-0, in double-overtime at Cape Elizabeth before enjoying a 5-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester Saurday to even their record at 1-1-1. Delia Knox scored the first two goals of her career, while Perfetti, Hannah Perfetti and Sydney Meredith-Pickett also rattled the cage. Greely went to defending champion York Wednesday, host Yarmouth Friday and welcome Poland Monday.

Falmouth started with losses at Westbrook (4-1) and at home to Scarborough (3-1). Mary Kate Bayer had the goal against the Blue Blazes, while Liberty Ladd scored against the Red Storm. The Yachtsmen then downed host Deering (3-0) and visiting Noble (3-0). Bayer scored all three goals against the Rams. Bayer, Keller Gardner and Abbie Marley all scored against the Knights. Falmouth was at Bonny Eagle Wednesday, hosts Windham Friday and plays at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

NYA opened with a 9-0 home loss to York, then was blanked, 2-0, at Sacopee Valley. The Panthers sought their initial victory Monday at Old Orchard Beach. Tuesday, NYA welcomes the Maine Girls’ Academy/Waynflete co-op team. After going to Traip Academy Thursday, the Panthers visit St. Dom’s Saturday.

Volleyball

Falmouth’s volleyball team started with a pivotal 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-19) over defending Class A state champion Greely, then blanked Cony and Gardiner by 3-0 scores to get off to a fast 3-0 start. Against the Tigers, Katie Stimson had seven aces and Alex Burton finished with five kills. The Yachtsmen had a showdown at Scarborough Tuesday, host South Portland Thursday, then welcome Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

Greely bounced back from its opening loss to Falmouth with a dramatic 3-2 (25-9, 23-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-7) home win over Kennebunk. After falling in straight sets (16-25, 14-25, 17-25) at Biddeford, the Rangers blanked visiting Ellsworth Friday to even their record at 2-2. Greely plays at Yarmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for story), go to Gardiner Thursday, then return home Tuesday of next week to meet Gorham.

Yarmouth won its first three outings by 3-0 margins, downing visiting York (25-11, 25-10, 25-15), visiting Brunswick (25-9, 25-17, 25-14) and host South Portland (25-19, 25-5, 25-19). Against the Dragons, Kaitlyn Bennett led the way with nine kills and Evelyn Lukis added six. In the win over the Red Riots, Bennett had nine kills and Maggie Murray added seven. Dominique Moran finished with 20 assists. After welcoming Greely Tuesday, the Clippers go to Cape Elizabeth Thursday and visit Cony Tuesday of next week.

NYA lost in straight sets to visiting Lake Region to start the season, then beat host Wells by a 3-0 score. Saturday, the Panthers fell to 1-2 after a five-set (17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 11-25, 10-15) loss at Brunswick. NYA was home versus Gardiner Tuesday and play at Poland Thursday.

Cross country

Local cross country teams took part in the Southern Maine Classic Invitational last weekend in Gorham.

Greely’s boys were first and Falmouth was second among 23 scoring teams. Yarmouth came in fifth, Freeport ninth, Maine Coast Waldorf 12th and NYA 22nd. The individual race winner was Luke Laverdiere of Yarmouth, who had a time of 15 minutes, 17.85 seconds. The Rangers top finisher was Luke Marsanskis (fourth, 16:11.93). The Yachtsmen were led by John Auer (seventh, 16:19.72). The Falcons top finisher was Martin Horne (20th, 17:06.79). Nick Neveu (19th, 17:04.05) led MCW and the Panthers were paced by Chris Hamblett (70th, 18:33.29).

In the girls’ meet, won by Gorham, Yarmouth finished third, Falmouth was fifth, Greely eighth, MCW ninth and Freeport 13th. Falmouth’s Sofie Matson was the individual winner (18:20.70). The Clippers were led by Anneka Marrin, who was runner-up in 18:28.74. The Rangers top finisher was Carolyn Todd (third, 18:44.99). The Falcons were led by Lily Horne (fourth, 19:04.40). MCW was paced by Olivia Skillings (12th, 19:56.67). 

This Friday, Falmouth hosts Biddeford, Bonny Eagle, Noble and South Portland, Yarmouth welcomes Freeport, Lake Region and Traip Academy, Greely and MCW, along with Cape Elizabeth and Poland, run at Gray-New Gloucester and NYA joins Waynflete at Fryeburg Academy.

Golf

Falmouth’s golf team captured its first three matches, 8.5-4.5 over Scarborough, 7.5-5.5 over Deering and 9-4 over Cheverus. The Yachtsmen hosted Portland Tuesday, go to South Portland Thursday and visit Scarborough Monday.

Greely lost its opener, 8-5, to Gorham, then defeated Bonny Eagle (7-6) and Westbrook (13-0). The Rangers hosted Thornton Academy Tuesday, welcome Gorham Thursday and play at Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth has already played half of its regular season schedule, beating Wells (6.5-0.5) and Lake Region (5-2) and losing to Cape Elizabeth (7-0), Gray-New Gloucester (5-2) and Fryeburg Academy (5-2). The Clippers were at NYA Wednesday, visit Old Orchard Beach Thursday and travel to Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Freeport dropped its opener, 4-3, to Gray-New Gloucester. The Falcons were home with NYA Tuesday and went to Poland Wednesday.

NYA started with a 7-0 loss to Fryeburg Academy. The Panthers were at Freeport Tuesday, hosted York and Yarmouth Wednesday and play at St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

Sun Journal staff writer Randy Whitehouse contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follolw 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.