(Ed. Note: For the complete Yarmouth-Falmouth boys’ soccer, Falmouth-Scarborough, NYA-Lisbon and Yarmouth-Spruce Mountain field hockey and Greely-MDI and Yarmouth-Bonny Eagle volleyball game stories, see theforecaster.net)
The playoff season has brought mixed results to Forecaster Country.
Title hopes were high for field hockey teams, but last week, all three surviving squads were eliminated in painful fashion.
The story has been different in volleyball, where two teams advanced to a semifinal round showdown, and in boys’ and girls’ soccer, where several squads still entertained championship dreams at press time.
Here’s a look back:
Yarmouth’s field hockey team had a superb regular season and earned the No. 2 seed in Class B South. The Clippers hosted No. 7 Spruce Mountain in a quarterfinal last Wednesday and got off to a hot start when Taylor Robison scored off a penalty corner. Yarmouth couldn’t add to its lead, however, and the Phoenix tied it with 10:16 to play in regulation. After neither team scored the rest of regulation or in an eight-minute overtime, thanks in large part to the heroics of Clippers senior goalie Tori Messina, Spruce Mountain won it, 2-1, with 6:41 to go in the second OT, ending Yarmouth’s season at 11-3-1.
“We certainly hoped for a different outcome today,” said Clippers coach Mandy Lewis. “We knew it would be a tough game. We have to hold our heads up. We know we played hard and did the best we could.”
Yarmouth’s season ended sooner than hoped, but it was quite a ride.
“I think coming back into Class B, it was unknown what our journey would look like, but I think we won more games than we expected,” Lewis said. “It’s been an exciting season.”
Yarmouth loses six seniors, but there’s a lot of strong young talent on this roster, suggesting the Clippers will be right back in the hunt in 2016.
“I think each season when we have success, it excites the girls (on the team) and the girls in middle school,” Lewis said. “The future remains bright.”
In Class A South, Falmouth earned the No. 7 seed and survived 10th-ranked Bonny Eagle on penalty corners in the preliminary round. That sent the Yachtsmen to No. 2 Scarborough, the defending Class A champion, for the quarterfinals last Wednesday and Falmouth was every bit the Red Storm’s equal, but couldn’t score. Scarborough, however, finally broke through with 17.9 seconds and ended the Yachtsmen’s season at 10-6 with a 1-0 decision.
“We were starting to talk about overtime, but you’re always a little nervous when the ball is in the circle because anything can happen,” said Falmouth coach Robin Haley. “I hoped we’d survive and get to overtime, but those things happen. We gave them a great game. I’m proud of how we played.”
Falmouth graduates four players, but returns everyone else and should be a top contender next fall.
“I lose four seniors, but we return a lot of good younger kids, so it’s promising,” Haley said. “We won’t forget this game. It’s fuel to the fire when we go into the preseason in August. It’s going to be a long winter, but I can’t wait until August.”
In Class C South, NYA won its final seven games to earn the No. 5 seed and last Tuesday, the Panthers upset fourth-ranked Mountain Valley, 1-0, on Mackenzie Sangster’s goal in the second overtime. Saturday, NYA got to play one final game at home, versus Lisbon, the No. 8 seed, which had knocked off top-ranked Dirigo in its quarterfinal.
The Panthers fell behind in the first half, but after failing to convert on seven penalty corners, they made good on their eighth, as freshman Emma Cohen buried a shot, making it, 1-1. Despite ample opportunities to win it in regulation, NYA couldn’t do so and the game would go to overtime and eventually a second OT, where, with 3:15 to go before penalty corners would have been needed to decide a winner, the Greyhounds scored on a breakaway to win, 2-1, ending the Panthers’ season at 11-5.
“I feel like we were the better team at some points,” said NYA coach Julia Sterling. “At more points. I can’t say enough about the girls and the whole season. I’m really, really proud of them.
“We went further than we expected. People played in various positions on the field and with just one sub, I couldn’t ask for more. These kids played with heart.”
The Panthers listed 12 players on their varsity roster and six of them are seniors, so there will be some major holes to fill in 2016.
“We lose a lot,” Sterling said. “It will very much be a rebuilding process.”
Falmouth and Greely reached the Class A volleyball final four and had to square off Wednesday in Cumberland in the semifinals for the right to advance to Saturday’s state final (see theforecaster.net for match story).
The Rangers earned the No. 2 seed in Class A and had little trouble with seventh-ranked Mt. Desert Island in Saturday’s quarterfinals. The all-around brilliance of Kayley Cimino, power game of Alex Tebbs and pinpoint passing of Hannah Butland helped Greely win the first game by a decisive 25-14 margin. While MDI made things very interesting in the second set, tying the score at 20-20 at one juncture, Greely closed strong and a block from secret weapon Lauren Murley, closed out a 25-20 victory. Rangers coach Kelvin Hasch was able to substitute liberally in the third game and while the Trojans refused to go quietly, Greely gradually pulled away for a 25-17 win as it took the match in three straight sets.
Cimino had 16 service points, including six aces, 12 assists and eight kills. Tebbs had 11 kills and Butland added 14 assists.
“We didn’t really know what to expect,” said Molly Chapin, who had 11 service points and seven kills. “We heard (MDI was) a really good defensive team and they were really scrappy. We didn’t want to discount them before we played them.”
“Our offense really worked hard,” Murley said. “We came out and had a lot of energy in the first and second sets.”
“We wanted the first set and then I wanted to get some kids in there to play because going forward, I don’t know how much they’ll get to play,” Hasch added.
Falmouth earned the No. 3 seed in Class A and swept No. 6 Windham, 25-12, 27-25, 25-19, in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
The Yachtsmen and Rangers met in the opener, Sept. 4, in Falmouth, and the Yachtsmen won the first two sets, the Rangers took the third and fourth and Falmouth rallied to take the match with a 15-12 victory in the decisive fifth game. The teams met again Oct. 1 in Cumberland and this time, Greely prevailed in four sets (25-16, 24-26, 25-20, 25-18).
The Rangers had won all three previous playoff meetings, taking the state final in 2009 (3-0), the 2011 semifinals (3-0) and the 2012 quarterfinals (3-1).
“I expect a tough match from Falmouth,” Hasch said. “They’re a good hitting team and they block. We have to play errorless ball. It should be fun.”
The winner gets No. 1 Cape Elizabeth (13-2), the defending state champion, or No. 5 Scarborough (11-5) in the state final Saturday at 1 p.m. at South Portland High School.
Falmouth went 0-2 against the Capers this year, losing 3-1 at home and 3-0 in Cape Elizabeth, and split five set decisions with the Red Storm, as each team won at home. The Yachtsmen are 1-1 all-time against the Capers in the playoffs, winning in five sets in the 2013 semifinals en route to the championship and letting a 2-0 lead slip away in a five-set loss in last year’s state match. Falmouth beat Scarborough in the 2010 quarterfinals and in the 2013 state match.
Greely split with Cape Elizabeth this year, winning in five sets on the road and losing in four sets at home. The Rangers also split with Scarborough, losing at home in five sets, then winning on the road in four. Greely lost a five-set heartbreaker to the Capers in last year’s semifinals. The Rangers won three of the previous four postseason encounters with the Red Storm, with a 3-1 Scarborough win in the 2013 semifinals the most recent.
Yarmouth and NYA weren’t as fortunate.
The Clippers, ranked eighth in Class A, had no trouble with No. 9 Bonny Eagle, a first-year varsity program, in last Thursday’s preliminary round. Yarmouth rode long service runs from Alison Clark and Kenzie Sheehan to erase an early 2-0 deficit en route to a 25-6 triumph in the first set. Bonny Eagle was much more competitive in the second set, but the power of Heather Clark and the serving of reserve Cat Thompson proved to be too much as Yarmouth prevailed, 25-14. The Clippers then went out and closed out their first Class A playoff victory with a 25-11 win in game three.
“We definitely knew we were the better team even though we were just one place above them (in the standings), but we wanted to treat them like any other game,” said Alison Clark, who had 17 service points, including eight aces, and six kills.
“(Bonny Eagle) played hard,” Yarmouth coach Jim Senecal said. “For a new team, they’ve really done a nice job.”
Saturday, Yarmouth met its match in top-ranked Cape Elizabeth, losing in three sets, 14-25, 23-25, 19-25. Alison Clark had eight kills and Heather Clark had a half dozen, but it wasn’t enough as the Clippers finished 11-5.
“Cape came out really strong against us, which normally has been our trademark this season,” Senecal said. “They moved the ball very well and covered the floor as well as I’ve seen all year. We were hoping that they’d feel the pressure of being the number one seed, but that didn’t happen. They were very loose and seemed to thrive in the tournament atmosphere. They were definitely the better team.
“We had a lot of fun in our first year back in Class A and I’m proud that we were able to compete like we did.”
Graduation will hit the Clippers hard, but they expect to compete again next fall.
“We lose nine seniors from our program next year and we will certainly miss them,” Senecal said. “We’ll have some big holes to fill, especially at setter and middle hitter. There is good news in the fact that throughout most of the year, we started four underclassmen. Both of our outside hitters are juniors, Alison Clark and Rachel Chillé, and had great seasons for us. We will also return our starting libero and defensive specialist, twins Andrea and Sydney St. Pierre. Breanna Taylor also saw meaningful rotations this season for us and is developing quickly as a strong six-rotation player. We won’t be a big team, but we expect to be competitive once again.”
In Class B, NYA earned the No. 6 seed, but was ousted in straight sets by No. 3 Washington Academy in the quarterfinals to finish 8-7.
Four of five boys’ soccer teams were still alive at press time.
Defending Class B champion Yarmouth closed the regular season with a 2-0 win at rival Falmouth, sweeping the Yachtsmen this year. Matthew Dostie and Christopher Pidden scored second half goals.
“We picked up the intensity, we played to feet, had some combinations and got some good opportunities,” said Dostie. “I’m always confident that we’ll put one in.”
“The key in a tight game like this is 50-50 balls and we did that better in the second half,” Pidden said. “Beating Falmouth twice senior year is just the best feeling.”
“It’s been a great season,” added Clippers coach Mike Hagerty. “The way the kids have responded to everything has been quite nice.”
Yarmouth finished 12-1-1 and second behind Maranacook in Class B South. The Clippers hosted No. 7 Cape Elizabeth (8-7) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Yarmouth beat the Capers twice this year, 4-0 at home Sept. 12 and 5-1 in Cape Elizabeth Sept.29. The Clippers won the lone prior playoff meeting, 5-0, in the 2013 semifinals.
“I think we’re ready for a playoff run,” Hagerty said. “I’m excited.”
If Yarmouth advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, it would meet No. 3 Greely (8-3-3) or No. 6 York (6-7-2).
The Rangers went into the playoffs on a 7-0-2 tear, capped by a 7-1 home win over York last Tuesday, as Jacob Nason erupted for five goals and Dylan Fried and Henry Melville also tickled the twine. Greely also won at York, 3-0, Oct. 3. The Rangers won the previous playoff matchup, 1-0, in the 2013 semifinals.
If Greely and Yarmouth do battle Saturday, it could serve as the de facto state final a week early. The Clippers won, 2-0, in Cumberland Sept. 8 and the teams tied, 1-1, Oct. 17 in Yarmouth. The Rangers have won three of the previous four playoff meetings, but last year, in the regional final, the Clippers prevailed, 4-2.
Freeport lost its finale, 1-0, at Waynflete last Tuesday.
“I’m really pleased,” said Falcons coach Joe Heathco. “I think it’s the most complete game we’ve played.”
The Falcons did get in as the No. 10 seed, but lost an overtime heartbreaker at seventh-ranked Cape Elizabeth, 2-1, Saturday in the Class B South preliminary round. Chandler Wyman had the goal, but the Falcons finished 4-9-2.
In Class A South, Falmouth wound up 10-3-1 after a 2-0 home loss to Yarmouth.
“It was a dysfunctional game,” said Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan. “It started dysfunctional and ended up dysfunctional. It would have been helpful going into playoffs if this was a good, hard, competitive game, but it wasn’t.”
Falmouth earned the No. 4 seed in the region and hosted No. 5 Portland (8-2-5) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The teams don’t play in the regular season. The Bulldogs won the only prior playoff matchup, 3-0, in the 2013 quarterfinals.
“We’re 0-0 now, just like everyone else,” Halligan said. “Every Class A team is good. We’ll give it our best shot.”
If the Yachtsmen advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time in Class A, they would either visit top-ranked Scarborough (12-0-2) or host No. 9 Westbrook (6-7-2) Saturday. Falmouth didn’t play either team this year and has no playoff history with either program.
In Class C South, NYA finished 10-4 after a 5-2 home win over Poland last Tuesday (Thomas Pitts scored four times and Xander Kostelnik had one goal). The Panthers earned the No. 5 seed and went to No. 4 Monmouth (11-3) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season and had no playoff history.
If the Panthers advanced to Friday’s semifinals, they’ll either go to top-ranked Hall-Dale (12-0-2) or host No. 9 Traip Academy (4-9-2). NYA doesn’t meet Hall-Dale in the regular season. The Panthers won all three prior playoff encounters, with a 2-1 semifinal round win in 2010 the most recent. NYA beat Traip twice this year, 5-1 in Kittery in the opener Sept. 4 and 4-0 at home 11 days later. The Panthers are 3-2 all-time against the Rangers in the playoffs, with a 2-1 loss in the 2008 preliminary round the most recent.
The regional final will be played Wednesday on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The state finals are Saturday, Nov. 8. Class A and B will be contested at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Class C’s title game is in Presque Isle.
Greely and Yarmouth’s girls’ teams were still standing at the start of the week.
The Rangers earned the top seed in Class B South despite dropping their last two games, capped by a 1-0 loss at York last Tuesday. Greely (12-2) hosted No. 9 Lincoln Academy (10-5) in the quarterfinals Tuesday. The teams don’t play during the regular season. The Rangers won, 3-0, in last year’s semifinals.
If Greely advanced, it would host either No. 4 Yarmouth (6-5-3) or No. 12 Fryeburg Academy (8-6-1) in Saturday’s semifinals. The Rangers split with the Clippers this year, winning at home, 6-3, and falling in Yarmouth, 2-1, and blanked the visiting Raiders, 5-0, in the opener Sept. 4. Greely has no playoff history with the Clippers. Last year, the Rangers beat Fryeburg Academy, 3-0, in the quarterfinals.
Yarmouth closed with a 1-0 loss at Falmouth, but still earned the No. 4 seed. The Clippers didn’t face the Raiders this year. Yarmouth was 3-0 all-time against Fryeburg Academy in the playoffs, with a 3-0 win in the 2011 preliminary round the most recent.
Freeport closed with a 2-1 home overtime loss to Waynflete and wound up 3-9-2 and 14th in Class B South, but only 12 teams made the playoffs.
In Class A South, Falmouth closed the regular season with a 1-0 home win over Yarmouth behind a goal from Marcy Kittredge. The Yachtsmen earned the No. 6 seed, but lost in Saturday’s preliminary round, 1-0, to No. 11 Thornton Academy to finish 8-5-2.
In Class C South, NYA wound up 2-12 and 13th, but only 11 teams made the postseason.
The regional final will be played Wednesday on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The state finals are Saturday, Nov. 8. Class A and B will be contested at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
Greely’s volleyball team celebrates a point during its straight sets win over Mt. Desert Island in Saturday’s Class A state quarterfinal.
Falmouth junior Olivia Stucker breaks up a Scarborough rush during last week’s 2-1 loss in the Class A South quarterfinals. The Red Storm scored the winning goal with 17.9 seconds to play.
Yarmouth senior Henry Becker tries to keep the ball away from Falmouth junior Olin Rhoads during the Clippers’ 2-0 win in the teams’ regular season finale last Tuesday.