It’s quite likely that Forecaster Country will be home to more than one state lacrosse champion come June 16.
The boys’ story is led by Scarborough, which won Class A in 2010 and 2011 and has a great chance to make it three in a row.
Scarborough finished 11-1 after a 15-4 home win over Thornton Academy last Wednesday. John Wheeler had six goals, Ryan Pallotta four and Jon Blaisdell three. The Red Storm earned the top seed for the playoffs and will host No. 4 Thornton Academy (10-3) in the semifinals Saturday at 5 p.m. In addition last week’s win, Scarborough also beat the Golden Trojans, 8-3, in last year’s regional final.
South Portland wound up seventh at 4-8. The Red Riots qualified for the playoffs for the fourth year in a row and went to second-ranked Kennebunk (9-3) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams didn’t play this year. They had no playoff history.
They have one now as South Portland kept things tight throughout, trailing 2-0 after one quarter, 4-2 at halftime and 4-3 after three. The Red Riots had their chances, but never could pull even and they went down to a 5-3 defeat to finish 4-9. Chris Mitchell, Alec Neal and Duncan Preston had the goals. T-Moe Hellier made 10 saves.
“We were right there the whole way,” said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. “(Kennebunk) knew they were in a game. Our kids played their hearts out. They showed a lot of passion and guts. We just couldn’t put the ball in the cage. We couldn’t catch a break. We were down 4-3 and were man-up, but we kicked the ball out of bounds. That sums up our season. We were in every single game, but our youth and inexperience was our Achilles’ heel.”
The Red Riots only lose five seniors and should be improved in 2013.
“We have almost everybody back and some good kids coming in,” said Fiorini. “The future’s so bright it’s blinding. I bet we’ll reverse our 4-9 record.”
In Western B, perennial power Cape Elizabeth lost just once in the regular season, at defending Class B champion Falmouth, and finished a close second to the Yachtsmen at 11-1. The Capers closed with a 10-5 home win over Yarmouth as Timmy Lavallee scored four times.
Cape Elizabeth hosts No. 3 Greely (8-4) in Saturday’s semifinals (game time is 7 p.m.). The Capers handled the visiting Rangers, 14-5, back on May 8. Cape Elizabeth beat Greely in all six prior playoff encounters, including a 15-3 semifinal round decision last year.
“We had a very good regular season, we have improved all season long and are looking to keep things going in the playoffs,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “The boys are looking forward to playing some quality playoff competition and like our chances if we play well.”
The Western A and Western B Finals are Wednesday of next week on the fields of the highest remaining seeds. The Class B state game is Saturday, June 16 at 12:30 p.m., at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. The Class A game is the same date and location, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
On the girls’ side, all eyes are on 12-0 Cape Elizabeth as it seeks a first championship. The Capers are the top seed in Western B, the region which also features powerhouses Waynflete and Falmouth. While the winner of that semifinal looms in the regional final, Cape Elizabeth must first defeat No. 4 Greely (6-6) in Saturday’s semifinals.
The Capers twice beat the Rangers this spring, 19-8 and 8-7. The teams only met once prior in the playoffs, a 9-6 Greely upset win in the 2002 quarterfinals. That Cape Elizabeth team also went 12-0.
“Homefield’s a big advantage,”said Capers first-year coach Jeff Perkins. “Cape’s never had that before. We’re excited. Now, we have to keep playing. We haven’t won anything yet. We need to keep playing like we’ve been playing, keep practicing and learning and keep going.”
In Western A, two-time defending state champion Scarborough earned the top seed again with an 11-1 mark.
“Our regular season was full of ups and downs,” said Red Storm coach Marcia Wood. “I know that our record doesn’t show it, but we played a lot of close games. I feel that towards the end of our season, we really started to play our game and everyone was included. We are most successful when we involve everyone. I knew coming into the season that our offense would be explosive and they didn’t disappoint. Our defense has also stepped up and really denied some teams scoring opportunities. Meg Kirsch, our goalie, has done exactly what she needs to be doing and is just getting better each game.”
This year, the Red Storm had to play a quarterfinal and did so Thursday when it hosted No. 8 Bonny Eagle (5-7), a team it beat, 16-3, at home, April 26. The Scots beat Scarborough, 18-8, in the 2002 preliminary round in the last postseason encounter.
“It’s always hard to start off playoffs, seniors have so much going on with graduation,” Wood said. “With a team of 12 seniors, I of course get nervous but the 12 seniors we have are driven and feel they have a mission to complete. It’s going to be a great playoff in our class. Massabesic, Marshwood (and Kennebunk) are all playing very well, along with (Thornton Academy). It’s going to come down to who plays their ‘A’ game on that day. Let’s hope it’s us.”
If, as expected, the Red Storm got past Bonny Eagle, it will host rival No. 4 seed Kennebunk (8-5) Saturday in the semifinals. Scarborough held on for a 9-8 triumph May 24 at the Rams. In last year’s regional final, the Red Storm downed Kennebunk, 9-6.
Kennebunk advanced to the semifinals with Wednesday’s 12-5 home win over No. 5 South Portland Wednesday night. The Red Riots didn’t play Kennebunk in the regular season. The teams last met in the 2003 quarterfinals (a 15-4 Rams’ victory).
Wednesday, Kennebunk took control early and even four goals from South Portland’s Lani Edwards couldn’t stem the tide. Red Riots freshman goalie Lily SanGiovanni stopped 23 shots. Rose Bryant had six goals for the Rams.
“(Kennebunk’s) pretty good,” said South Portland coach Bill Fenton. “They put a lot of pressure on us. Lily was unbelievable. We just fell behind and couldn’t come back. We just couldn’t pass and catch today. The girls played their hearts out, but couldn’t pull it off. It was a good season. We did really well. This year was probably the closest team we’ve had. I had two great assistants, Molly Radis and Blaik Watson.”
The Red Riots graduate five, but will be a factor again next spring.
“We have a good, young team,” said Fenton. “I’m optimistic about next year.”
The Western A and Western B Finals are Wednesday of next week on the fields of the highest remaining seeds. The Class B state game is Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m., at Fitzpatrick Stadium. The Class A game is the same date and location, beginning at 3 p.m.
Cape Elizabeth senior Janessa White and the rest of the Capers hope to continue their undefeated run as their playoffs begin Saturday.
Junior John Wheeler and the Scarborough boys’ lacrosse team is gearing up for another title run.