Field hockey playoffs begin with mixed results-Northern edition

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Greely goalie Kylie Rogers goes all out to make a save during the Rangers’ Class B South preliminary round playoff game at Poland Saturday. Despite Rogers’ best effort, Greely fell in overtime, 2-1.

Freeport’s Izzy Masison gives the ball a ride during the Falcons’ 3-0 win over Cape Elizabeth in Saturday’s Class B South prelim.

The field hockey playoffs are underway and local teams figure to be a big part of the story this postseason.

Freeport and Greely kicked things off Saturday in the preliminary round with the Falcons advancing and the Rangers being eliminated.

Falmouth, North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth were preparing to play quarterfinal round games at press time.

One up, one down

Freeport had a roller coaster regular season, but wound up with the No. 8 seed in Class B South after finishing 6-7-1. Saturday, the Falcons hosted No. 9 Cape Elizabeth in the preliminary round. Freeport swept the Capers this year, winning 4-0 in Cape Elizabeth Sept. 6 and 2-1 at home Oct. 4. The teams had no playoff history.

For the Falcons, the third time was the charm, as Alexa Koenig set up Natalie Anderson for a goal out of a scramble in the first half. Later in the half, Bailey Coffin redirected Chloe Davidson’s shot for a 2-0 lead. Freeport added one more goal as Kerry Lefebvre rebounded Koenig’s shot into the cage to produce a 3-0 victory.

“We played very well,” said Falcons coach Marcia Wood. “Three different people scored and we had three different assists. Much better than in games in the past where we were just kind of playing the rebound off the goalie. It was finally an entire team effort, which is fabulous.

“It’s the third time this season we’ve played Cape. Beating a team three times is difficult. Plus, the last game was pretty close. I’m glad that we came out on fire and were able to go into halftime with a 2-0 lead. That kind of let us be a little bit more comfortable, and even let us get another one in the second half.”

Freeport faces the daunting task in the quarterfinals Wednesday of going to top-ranked York (14-0), the two-time defending Class B state champion, which has won 50 straight games. On Sept. 24, the Falcons lost, 5-0, at the Wildcats. Three years ago, in the lone prior playoff encounter, Freeport fell, 4-0, at York.

“It’s kind of a theme, we play prelims and then we go see York,” Wood said. “As a coach, I just want things to be better than the last time we played them. Whatever that is. From there, we’ll see what happens.”

Greely wound up 5-9 and earned the 10th and final playoff spot in Class B South. The Rangers had to travel to No. 7 Poland for the preliminary round. The teams met back in the opener Aug. 31 and in an overtime contest, the Knights prevailed, 3-2. History would repeat itself Saturday in the first ever postseason battle between the schools.

Poland took a 1-0 lead just over a minute into the game.

“They caught us flat-footed and on our heels a little bit,” Greely coach Becki Belmore said. “But we usually rebound really nicely when something like that happens.”

The Rangers pulled even on Lizzie Brown’s second half goal, but the Knights scored in overtime to prevail, 2-1, ending Greely’s season at 5-10.

“We have a strong junior class, a strong sophomore class and I couldn’t ask for more from them,” Belmore said. “They’ll all come back next year with the experience they’ve had this year.”

Ready for a run

Prior to this fall, the last time Falmouth’s field hockey team was ranked first for the playoffs was in 1977, the first year of the Jimmy Carter Administration and the year of the death of Elvis Presley.

The 2016 Yachtsmen finished 12-2 and first in Class A South and open the playoffs Wednesday evening at home versus No. 8 Gorham (10-3-2) in the quarterfinals (see for game story). The teams don’t play in the regular season. They had met just once before in the playoffs, a 2-1 double overtime win for Falmouth in the 2004 Western B quarterfinals.

If the Yachtsmen were able to advance, they will host either No. 4 Westbrook (11-2-1) or No. 5 Massabesic (10-3-1) in the semifinals Friday or Saturday. Falmouth didn’t play either squad this year. The Yachtsmen and Blue Blazes have never met in the playoffs, but Falmouth has split two prior meetings with the Mustangs, winning a Western B quarterfinal in 1977 (1-0, in overtime) and falling, 2-0, in the 2013 Western A quarterfinals.

In Class B South, Yarmouth finished 10-4 and third in the Heal Points standings after closing with a 4-0 win at Gray-New Gloucester last Wednesday. Ally MacLeod scored twice, while Emilie Martin and Abby McDowell also rattled the cage. The Clippers hosted No. 6 Fryeburg Academy (6-7-1) Tuesday in the quarterfinals (see for game story). Yarmouth held off the visiting Raiders, 2-1, Sept. 16. The teams had must just once previously in the playoffs, a 1-0 Clippers’ victory in the 2001 Western B quarterfinals.

If Yarmouth advanced, it would either go to No. 2 Kennebunk (11-3) or host No. 7 Poland (9-5-1) in the semifinals Friday or Saturday. The Clippers split with the Rams this season, losing in overtime (1-0) at Kennebunk Sept. 20 and winning at home (2-1) Oct. 5. Yarmouth blanked visiting Poland, 2-0, back on Sept. 2. Yarmouth and Kennebunk have no playoff history. The Clippers beat the Knights, 6-1, in the 2004 Western B preliminary round in the only prior postseason encounter.

In Class C South, NYA wound up 7-5-2 and fourth in the Heals after a 3-1 setback at Traip Academy in the finale last Tuesday. The Panthers went to No. 4 Lisbon (9-5) for a quarterfinal Wednesday afternoon (see for game story). The teams don’t play in the regular season, but had met in five of the past eight postseasons with the Greyhounds holding a 3-2 lead. Last year, Lisbon won, 2-1, in double overtime, at NYA in the semifinals.

If the Panthers were able to spring the upset and advance, they’d go to top-ranked Oak Hill (13-1) or host No. 8 Mountain Valley (5-9) in the semifinals Friday or Saturday. NYA doesn’t play either team during the regular season. The Panthers edged the Falcons, 1-0, in double overtime, in last year’s quarterfinals and lost, 4-0, at the Raiders in the 2014 semifinals.

Big stage

The Southern Maine regional finals will be held Tuesday of next week at Massabesic High School in Waterboro.

The state finals are Saturday, Oct. 29 at McMann Field in Bath.

Sun Journal Sports Editor Justin Pelletier and Current staff writer Adam Birt contributed to this story.

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

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