Freeport Falcons Fall Sports Preview

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Senior Alexa Koenig was named to the field hockey all-state team a year ago. This season, before she goes off to play at the University of New England, Koenig hopes to lead Freeport deep into the playoffs.

File photos.

More photos below.

FOOTBALL

Coach: Paul St. Pierre (fourth year, 5-20 overall record)

2017 record: 1-7 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Hunter Demers (Senior), Matt Hinds (Senior), Adam Ulrickson (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We have 25 kids and the majority are freshmen and sophomores. We only have three seniors and five juniors. Almost everyone from last year graduated. It was a good choice to move down to Class E for a year. It will be a competitive league. We’re focusing on conditioning and limiting contact in practice. We’ll take it day-by-day, practice-by-practice. It will be fun to see new teams. We want to be healthy at the end of the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport is taking a step back this fall due to its youth and low numbers and is leaving Class C for a year to play in the Class E Developmental League. While there is a championship bestowed at the end of the season, the Falcons, along with the other squads, are more concerned with health and growth.

This year’s squad will feature sophomores Justin Cogswell and Anthony Panciocco at quarterback. Ulrickson will be the main ball-carrier. Demers will see time at fullback. Cogswell can also play receiver. Hinds returns to anchor the offensive and defensive lines. Demers can play defensive end or linebacker. Ulrickson is a top linebacker.

Freeport has its eye on making the most of this opportunity to grow and hopes to be back in either Class C or D next fall. The Falcons hope to win some games and develop some talent along the way.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Bob Strong (first year)

2017 record: 9-7 (Lost, 3-0, to eventual champion Yarmouth in Class B South quarterfinal)

Top returning players: Caleb Arsenault (Senior), Wes Goodwin (Senior), Atticus Patrick (Senior), Owen Patrick (Senior), Eriksen Shea (Senior), Shea Wagner (Senior), Jesse Bennell (Junior), Damon Butler (Junior), Sam Larochelle (Junior), Gabe Wagner (Junior), Will Winter (Junior), Ethan Prescott (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 5 GREELY, Sept. 11 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 14 YORK, Sept. 17 @ Cape Elizabeth, Sept. 26 @ Greely, Oct. 2 @ York, Oct. 5 YARMOUTH, Oct. 12 CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach’s comment: “Being in a conference with Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Greely and York, most consider us to be an underdog again this year and we’re perfectly content with that. Our team is both athletic and technical, which should give us the opportunity to adapt to the playing styles of any team in our conference. For us to be successful, if we play smart and demonstrate consistency, everything should fall into place. Our focus in the preseason has been heavy on team chemistry. For everyone to be on the same page, they need to spend a lot of time with each other, on and off the field. Hopefully that is the glue that keeps us together in the weeks to come.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After its best season since 2008, Freeport is ready to continue to climb the ladder this fall and challenge the state’s elite powers. The Falcons have a new coach this season in Strong, who replaces Joe Heathco. Strong was a standout player at Georges Valley and the University of Maine and has coached at the youth and travel levels in Freeport prior to inheriting a Falcons squad that has an abundance of promise.

Bennell was a league all-star a year ago. He’ll help control the midfield, as will Prescott and Shea Wagner. Up top, look for Shea, Gabe Wagner, Winter and Bill Antoine to do the majority of scoring. Defensively, Butler, Goodwin, Larochelle and Owen Patrick have experience. Arsenault can do a little of everything. Atticus Patrick returns in goal.

Freeport has a lot to look forward to in the weeks to come, beginning with its new turf field. The Falcons have the firepower necessary to not just contend for a playoff spot, but to perhaps be the squad best equipped at making a run at ending Yarmouth’s longtime title reign. This will be an enjoyable and memorable campaign in Freeport.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: David Intraversato (first year)

2017 record: 11-5 (Lost, 4-0, to Greely in Class B South quarterfinal)

Top returning players: Allison Greuel (Senior), Abbi King (Senior), Abbye Koenig (Senior), Catriona Gould (Junior), Tara Migliaccio (Junior), Tia Peterson (Junior), Carly Intraversato (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 4 @ Greely, Sept. 11 YARMOUTH, Sept. 13 @ York, Sept. 17  @ Cape Elizabeth, Sept. 27 GREELY, Oct. 2 YORK, Oct. 5 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 12 CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach’s comment: “With the new track and turf facility in town, there’s a real positive vibe happening around the program. I know the girls will be ready to give their best every time they step on the pitch. We have a tough schedule, playing the top four teams twice. This is a great opportunity for us to gain some Heal Points to help us secure a playoff spot. With the depth we have, we should be able to compete with anyone.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport is coming off a season which saw it post its highest win total since 1989 and the feeling is that the 2018 Falcons could be even better. The program will be led this fall by David Intraversato, who was Elayna Girardin’s assistant the past three years. Intraversato played in high school in Massachusetts and has been involved for many years with the Freeport United Soccer Club.

The Falcons have one of the area’s best goalies in Carly Intraversato, who was a league all-star as a freshman after posting eight shutouts. The defense is anchored by Koenig, a captain. Midfield should be a strength, as Freeport features King, a captain, Migliaccio and new junior Caroline Smith, known best for her basketball excellence. The offense features Greuel, a captain, on the wing, along with Gould, last year’s leading scorer and an all-conference selection, and Peterson up top. Junior wing Hannah Spaulding and sophomore striker Rachel Wall will also be heard from. Look for freshmen Megan Driscoll and Ellie Whitter to play key roles as well.

The Falcons’ success will be determined by how much confidence they can bring into battle against the traditional powers. Yarmouth is the two-time defending state champion, Cape Elizabeth is this year’s favorite and Greely has served as a nemesis the past two postseasons. If Freeport can get some positive results in those games, it will be in position to not only make the playoffs, but to stay awhile and continue the school’s recent theme of resurgence and triumph.

FIELD HOCKEY 

Coach: Marcia Wood (sixth year, 35-39-3 overall record)

2017 record: 9-5-1 (Lost, 4-0, to Lake Region in Class B South quarterfinal)

Top returning players: Natalie Anderson (Senior), Alexa Koenig (Senior), Kerry Lefebvre (Senior), Reilly Lefebvre (Senior), Katelyn Rouleau (Senior)

Pivotal games: Aug. 30 @ Greely, Sept. 6 @ Lake Region, Sept. 18 ST. DOM’S, Sept. 20 @ York, Sept. 22 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 24 POLAND, Oct. 10 GREELY

Coach’s comment: “We have huge numbers this year. We have big senior and sophomore classes. The girls have talked about this year since losing last year. They’ve worked hard all winter. If we can stay healthy and focused, we can turn heads. The regional final is our goal.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport had a breakout season a year ago, posting its best record since 2009. The Falcons suffered a disappointing playoff loss, however, and have been stewing about it for 10 months. This fall, Freeport is well equipped to be one of the very best teams in Class B South, but it won’t be easy.

This year’s squad is led by Koenig, Freeport’s 2016 Fall Female Athlete of the Year and an all-conference and all-state selection a year ago. Koenig, who plans to play field hockey at the University of New England next year, will be a top ball-handler and figures to score her share of goals. She’ll be the focal point of every opposing defense. Anderson was the team’s top scorer in 2017 and should rattle the cage with regularity again this season. Kerry Lefebvre, Reilly Lefebvre and sophomore Aynslie Decker will also be in the scoring mix. Rouleau returns in goal, giving the Falcons comfort that they’ll be strong on the defensive side as well.

Freeport, which didn’t even play on campus a year ago, gets to compete on its new turf field this fall. That’s an exciting enough prospect, but if you add in the team’s potential, there is realistic reason to think this squad will be one of the last ones standing in Class B South.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coach: Brian Berkemeyer (12th year, two state championships)

2017 results:
(Boys) 2nd @ Class B state meet
(Girls) 9th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:
(Boys) Paul Biberstein (Senior), John Giddens (Senior), Alex Les (Senior), Nick Mitch (Senior), Tanner Morrison (Senior), Dawson Pillow (Senior), Jeremy Brogan (Junior), Heath Cockburn (Junior), Martin Horne (Sophomore)
(Girls) Lily Horne (Senior), Jessica Minieri (Senior), Katie Morrissey (Senior), Caroline Doyle (Junior), Sadie Southall (Junior), Elsa Blease (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We have a solid boys’ team with Alex and Martin leading the way. It may come down to the person that wants to be that fifth runner. We have a lot returning and with a group of nine freshmen, it will be interesting to watch who emerges this season. The girls have high hopes for Lily as she continues to develop as a solid runner. Putting together another four or five runners to compete as a team looks promising. We have a lot returning from last year and have a great group of freshmen girls.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Freeport program remains one of the best in Class B and this fall, the Falcons have a brand new track on campus on which to train and compete.

The boys were Class B runners-up last year and will be among the top teams in the conference and state again behind Horne (eighth at the state meet as a freshman), Les (12th), Cockburn (26th) and Biberstein (44th). Giddens and Pillow also have experience. Brogan, Mitch and Morrison provide depth. Freshmen Blaine Cockburn and Sam Robinson will soon become household names. Freeport will take some time coming of age, but this should be a very formidable group by late October.

On the girls’ side, Horne had no peer a year  ago, winning the individual title by 32 seconds. She’s the favorite to repeat this fall. Blease (58th) and Morrissey (59th) also scored at states a year ago and look to move up. Southall will be a factor as well. Doyle and Minieri round up the veteran group. Sophomore Jane Dawson and freshman Katie Whittier are newcomers to watch. Look for Horne to again set the tone and for her teammates to rise to the occasion and move up the standings.

GOLF

Coach: Mike Lawson (second year)

2017 results: 7-3 (6th @ Class B state match)

Top returners: Sullivan Smith (Senior), Steele Young (Senior), Tom Robinson (Junior), Molly Whelan (Junior), TJ Whelan (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We experienced a lot of growth and progress last year. The season resulted in the program’s first visit to Natanis Golf Course (for the state match), an experience which motivated many of the golfers to play a lot this summer. We have a number of talented golfers eager to step up and play well. The team is excited to put in the work and see if we can get back to the state tournament this October.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Last year proved to be the most successful in the history of the Freeport program. Not only did the Falcons put up an impressive number of victories in the regular season, they made it to states and posted a solid finish. While Ethan Sclar, Freeport’s 2017 Fall Male Athlete of the Year, has graduated, there are several hungry players returning, looking to keep the Falcons in contention.

Robinson (96 at last year’s state match), Smith (98), Young (98) and T.J. Whelan (101), a league all-star last season, all have experience and will be this team’s nucleus, along with junior Molly Whelan, who finished ninth at last year’s girls’ individual championship match. Freshmen Finn Sharp and Louis Walker are promising newcomers.

Gone are the days when Freeport can sneak up on anyone. It will get its opponent’s best effort every time out. This group has the necessary talent to be a tough foe in the regular season, however. If the Falcons can save their best for when it matters most, qualifying day, another positive postseason experience could be in store.

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

Senior Hunter Demers is a gritty two-way player who will be a key contributor to Freeport’s football team this season.

Senior Wes Goodwin is a top defender for Freeport’s boys’ soccer team, which is getting a lot of preseason attention this fall.

Senior Owen Patrick returns in goal for the Falcons.

Junior Catriona Gould led Freeport’s girls’ soccer team in scoring in 2017. She and her teammates expect to contend this fall.

Senior Allison Greuel is a key returning veteran for the Falcons.

Senior captain Abbye Koenig will anchor Freeport’s defense.

Goalkeeper Carly Intraversato turned heads as a freshman and was named to the all-conference team. She’ll be a top keeper again this fall.

Senior Natalie Anderson was Freeport’s top scorer a year ago. She’ll play a big role in the field hockey team’s success this autumn.

Senior Kerry Lefebvre is another top returner for the Falcons.

Martin Horne placed eighth individually at the Class B boys’ cross country meet as a freshman a year ago. He’ll try to move up this season as the Falcons look to remain one of the top teams in the state.

Senior Alex Les placed 12th in Class B last fall.

Senior Lily Horne left the field in her wake last season, winning the Class B girls’ cross country individual title. She and her Falcons teammates are hoping for more big things this fall.

Sophomore Elsa Blease is another returning scorer for the Falcons.

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