Field hockey teams hopeful as postseason begins-Northern edition

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Senior Alexa Koenig and her Freeport field hockey teammates are looking to follow up the program’s best regular season since 2000 with a deep playoff run.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Freeport-Greely game story, see theforecaster.net)

The field hockey playoffs are underway in Forecaster Country and the anticipation of drama and triumph is in the air.

All five local squads have qualified for the postseason and none will be satisfied with anything shy of a deep run.

Freeport capped its best regular season since 2000 last Wednesday when it beat visiting Greely, 6-1, on Senior Night to finish 11-2-1. Alexa Koenig had two goals, while Natalie Anderson, Amelia Farrin, Autumn Golding and Ally Randall also rattled the cage. 

“We had motivation and we knew we could do it,” Anderson said. “Getting this (new turf) facility is amazing. It’s the first Senior Game we’ve had here.”

“The chemistry has been consistently there,” Koenig said. “We’ve worked really hard. It’s clicking. We all trust each other on the field.”

“Every game that I know will be a close game, the girls just come out and perform,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood added. “I was nervous about their focus since we’ve had a lot of down time the past two weeks, but they were fabulous.”

The Falcons earned the No. 3 seed in Class B South and opened their playoff quest Tuesday at home versus sixth-ranked, 7-7 Poland (see theforecaster.net for game story). Freeport blanked the visiting Knights, 4-0, Sept. 24. The teams had no playoff history.

If the Falcons advanced, they’ll either go to this year’s nemesis, No. 2 Fryeburg Academy (10-2-2), or host No. 7 Leavitt (7-7) Saturday in the semifinals, a round the program hasn’t reached since 2002.

Freeport lost, 1-0, at home to the Raiders Sept. 4, then rallied to tie host Fryeburg Academy, 1-1, Sept. 28. The teams have no playoff history. Freeport didn’t meet Leavitt this year. In the teams’ lone prior playoff encounter, in the 2014 Western B quarterfinals, the Hornets prevailed 4-0.

It’s going to be an exciting postseason,” Wood said. “I really hope we can do it. This is a very special group.”

Greely finished 10-4 (its best record since 2011) and fifth in Class B South following its 6-1 loss at Freeport. Megan Beaulieu scored the goal.

“Some days we just can’t finish,” said Greely first-year coach Chelsea Morley. “Freeport’s a super-talented team. I’m very proud of my team for putting up an amazing first half battle.”

The Rangers visited No. 4 Lake Region (9-5) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. Greely lost the regular season meeting, 2-1, at home Sept. 18. The teams have played two prior playoff games with the Lakers taking them both: 1-0 in the 2004 Western B semifinals and 2-1, in double-overtime, in the 2005 Western B semifinals.

If Greely sprung an upset, it would either visit No. 1 York (10-3-1) or host No. 8 Yarmouth (7-7) in Saturday’s semifinal round. The Rangers beat the visiting Wildcats, 1-0, Sept. 26 and lost by the same score at York, Oct. 4. The teams have met six previous times in the playoffs with each squad taking three. The Wildcats prevailed, 2-1, in overtime, in the 2011 semifinals in the most recent encounter. Greely was a 3-0 winner at Yarmouth on Sept. 12. The Rangers have won three of four prior playoff meetings including a 3-2 victory in the 2004 Western B quarterfinals, the most recent.

“We just have to play a full game and going into playoffs, that’s what we need to focus on,” Morley said. “We just need to play with heart, have confidence and I think we’ll see some big things.”

Yarmouth wound up 7-7 and eighth in Class B South after closing with a 3-1 home win over Poland behind two goals from Kyaira Grondin and another from Lydia Guay. The Clippers went to top-ranked York Wednesday afternoon for the quarterfinals. The Wildcats won both meetings this fall, 1-0, in overtime, Sept. 4 in Yarmouth and 5-0 at home Sept. 28. The teams have played twice before in the playoffs, each winning once. York took a 2-1 decision in the most recent encounter, the 2016 Class B South Final.

If the Clippers sprung an upset, they’ll visit Lake Region or Greely in the semifinals. Yarmouth lost, 1-0, at home to the Lakers Sept. 15 and 2-0 in Naples Oct. 8. Lake Region won three of four previous playoff meetings with a 2-0 victory in the 2012 Western B quarterfinals the most recent.

In Class A South, Falmouth edged host Sanford, 2-1, last week to finish 9-3-2, good for the No. 4 seed in the region. The Yachtsmen welcomed No. 5 Gorham (11-3-1) for a quarterfinal round game Wednesday. On Oct. 1, the host Rams edged Falmouth, 1-0. The Yachtsmen won both prior playoff encounters, with a 4-1 victory in the 2016 Class A South quarterfinals the most recent.

If Falmouth advanced, it would go to top-ranked Biddeford (13-0-1) or host No. 9 Thornton Academy (9-5-1) in Saturday’s semifinal round. The Yachtsmen were the only team the Tigers couldn’t beat this year, as they settled for a 2-2 tie Sept. 25 in Biddeford. The teams have no playoff history. Falmouth edged the visiting Golden Trojans, 10, Oct. 5. Thornton Academy won the only previous playoff meeting, 2-1, in the 2014 Western A quarterfinals.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy closed with a 3-0 home win over Traip Academy to wind up 7-7 and seventh in the region. Eleanor Commons, Mary Parker and Amber Rose all scored. The Panthers went to second-ranked Spruce Mountain (8-5-1) for the quarterfinals Tuesday. The teams didn’t play this year and have no playoff history.

If NYA sprung the upset and advanced, it would go to No. 3 Dirigo (9-5) or No. 6 Lisbon (5-8-1) for a semifinal Saturday. The Panthers didn’t play either team this year. They’re 3-2 all-time in the playoffs versus the Cougars, with a 3-0 loss in last year’s Class C South quarterfinals the most recent, and have split six prior playoff games against the Greyhounds, with a 3-1 setback in the 2016 Class C South quarterfinals the most recent.

The regional finals for field hockey are Tuesday of next week at Biddeford High School.

The state finals are Saturday, Oct. 27 at Husson University in Bangor.

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.