Last week of regular season has arrived-Northern edition

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Maine Coast Waldorf’s Olivia Reynolds was all smiles in winning the Division II individual title at last week’s Western Maine Conference cross country championship meet.

Yarmouth’s Ben Cox-Faxon runs toward a ninth-place individual finish in the Division I boys’ race. The Clippers were fourth as a team.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Yarmouth-Waynflete boys’ soccer game story, see theforecaster.net)

The curtain has lifted on the field hockey playoffs (see story) and the rest of the fall sports are winding up their regular seasons as this edition goes to press.

The intensity is about to rise and memories are sure to be made.

Here’s an overview of what local teams have accomplished and what they have to look forward to in the days to come.

Golf

The golf season concluded last Saturday with the individual championships in the rain at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Greely’s Rachel Smith stole the show by winning the girls’ championship with an 18-hole round of 78. three shots better than Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock. Smith became the second Ranger (Erin Holmes) in three years to take home a title.

“I’ve wanted this for all four years,” said Smith, who will play at Merrimack College. “It’s so great. I’m ecstatic about it. I worked on my short game a lot this past week with my coach Abby Spector because I knew that was going to make or break this (chance to win a high school title).”

In Class A boys’ competition, won by Mt. Ararat’s Caleb Manuel, who shot an 18-hole round of 69, Falmouth’s Tyler Baker (78) finished eighth, Greely’s Andrew Klein (82) tied Scarborough’s Cam Chamberlain for 13th and Greely’s D.J. Kenney (89) tied Mt. Ararat’s Ty Henke for 23rd.

In Class B, won again by Cape Elizabeth’s Austin Legge (69), Yarmouth’s Ethan Haag (81) tied York’s Tyler Rivers for sixth place and Yarmouth’s Sam O’Donnell (84) tied Nokomis’ Sam Smestad for 10th, 

In Class C, where Houlton’s Nick Brewer and Kents Hill’s Mitch Tarrio (75) tied for top honors, North Yarmouth Academy’s Jared Buckner (81) tied Gould’s Elijah Grammas for seventh place.

Football

Freeport’s football team continued to excel in Class E Developmental League play last week. The Falcons improved to 6-1 by downing visiting Old Orchard Beach, 20-6. Freeport fell behind early, 6-0, by went on top to stay on Aiden Michaud’s 21-yard touchdown run for a 12-6 halftime advantage. Adam Ulrickson added a 2-yard scoring run to account for the final score. The Falcons (first in Class E) close the regular season Friday at 1-6 Sacopee Valley.

Yarmouth won its second straight game in Class C South action, improving to 3-4 after a 55-6 romp at Gray-New Gloucester. The Clippers (seventh in the region) close at home against defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth (3-4).

In Class B South, Greely returned to the win column with a dramatic 22-14 overtime triumph over visiting Gorham to improve to 4-3. Joey Cassella scored the winning touchdown and added a two-point conversion and the Rangers stopped the Rams on downs to prevail. Greely (third in the Heals) closes at Falmouth in the “Battle of Route 9” Friday night.

Falmouth, meanwhile, fell to 4-3 after a 25-7 loss at undefeated Kennebunk. Coleman Allen scored on a 3-yard run for a 7-6 halftime lead, but the Rams rallied in the second half to avenge last year’s playoff upset. The Yachtsmen fell to sixth in Class B South, but have a chance to move up when they host Greely Friday night.

The football playoffs begin with the quarterfinals, on the fields of the higher seeds, Oct. 26-27.

Boys’ soccer

North Yarmouth Academy’s boys’ soccer team will be the top seed for the Class D South playoffs after completing a 12-2 regular season (its best since 2013) with a 7-0 home victory over Buckfield and a 4-1 win at Richmond Monday. Stefan Kulhanek and Alasdair Swett both had two goals and Ryan Baker, Cam Goodrich and Chase Rhode each scored once in the win over Buckfield. Goodrich had two goals and Baker and Rhode had one apiece against Richmond. The Panthers are a number one seed for the first time since 1998 and will open the playoffs at home in the quarterfinals Tuesday of next week.

“It’s been an interesting season for sure,” said NYA coach Martyn Keen. “This group is actually still a work in progress as none of the players is a year-round soccer player and the newest players are still learning how to play in games as part of a team.  While we are hopeful for the postseason, we will try to guard against any complacency. 

“My greatest pleasure this year is that we have a wonderful group of seniors who have been here during some of my toughest times, so it is really nice to help them round off their NYA soccer carers with a good season. The hope and aim now is to make it a great and memorable one and we have the real possibility to do that.

“It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the great work done with our boys by my long time friend and assistant, Scott Jarosz. Because I have had to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to create viable goalkeepers, much of the work done with the field players has fallen on his capable shoulders and he has done an amazing job.”

Yarmouth, the four-time defending Class B state champion, will once again be the top seed in Class B South. The Clippers finished 12-0-2 after a 6-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester and a 1-1 home draw versus Class C South top seed Waynflete last week. In the victory, Eric LaBrie had a first half hat trick, Jack Jones scored twice and Baden McLaughlin also scored. LaBrie had a goal just before halftime against the Flyers, but the visitors answered off a corner kick in the second half and the teams settled for the tie. 

“We’ve played a lot of one-goal games, at least half of them this year, and we still haven’t played our best, but I’ll take 12-0-2 with a young team,” said Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty. 

The Clippers, who enter the playoffs on a 44-game unbeaten streak and a 16-game postseason win streak, will be the top seed in Class B South for the second straight season and fifth time in seven years and will next play in the quarterfinals Tuesday of next week.

“We have to find that next gear and I think we will,” Hagerty said. “Last year, we were the clear favorite. This year, we’re still the favorite, but the distance is pretty close.”

Freeport finished 9-3-2 (its best record since 2004) after home wins over Fryeburg Academy (4-0) and Cape Elizabeth (2-1). In the win over the Raiders, Shea Wagner had two goals, while Jesse Bennell and Ethan Prescott each scored once. Against the Capers, where the Falcons avenged an earlier loss, Gabe Wagner and Sam Tourigny scored in the second half to help their team come from behind. The Falcons earned the No. 2 seed in Class B South (their highest ranking since 1975) and will host a quarterfinal round game next Tuesday.

Greely finished 8-4-2 after sandwiching home wins over Lake Region (6-2) and Gray-New Gloucester (1-0) around a 2-1 victory at York. Against the Lakers, Pietro Ambrosini scored twice, while Chase Cornwall, Silas Cunningham, Lucas Goettel and Andy Moore each had one goal. Ambrosini and Moore scored against the Wildcats. In the win over the Patriots, Aiden Smith scored late. The Rangers, who exceeded expectations this fall, will be the No. 3 seed in Class B South and will host a quarterfinal next Tuesday.

“We were able to win our final five games to give us a little momentum going into the playoffs,” said Greely coach Mike Andreasen. “I’m really most proud of our resiliency, in that we don’t score a lot of goals, but we play hard every minute of every game and make our opponents work hard for their offensive opportunities. We’re not a team of stars, but everybody knows his role and plays within that role to better help the team.”

In Class A South, Falmouth took a 10-2-1 mark into Tuesday’s regular season finale at Massabesic. Last Tuesday, the Yachtsmen’s 10-game shutout streak and 10-game unbeaten streak ended with a 2-1 loss at Gorham. Josh LeFevre had the goal. Last Thursday, Falmouth blanked visiting Biddeford, 5-0, behind goals from LeFevre, Rion Dos Santos, Gus Ford, Nik Hester, Sam Manganello. Falmouth will finish anywhere from second to fourth in the region and will host a quarterfinal round playoff game next week.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, NYA was battling for a top seed in Class D at the start of the week. The Panthers finished 10-3-1, their best mark since 2006, after blanking visiting Buckfield, 1-0, and winning, 3-2, in overtime, at Richmond last week. Serena Mower had the goal against Buckfield. In the win over the Bobcats, Maggie Holt and Catherine Reid scored in regulation, while Mower had the winner.

“Absolutely, this is the game we wanted,” said NYA coach Ricky Doyon. “They played with a lot of heart. This is what we’ve been doing all season long.”

The Panthers (second in the region at press time) will host a quarterfinal round playoff game for the first time since 2006 next week.

In Class A South, Falmouth took a 7-3-3 mark and the No. 6 ranking into Tuesday’s finale at home versus Kennebunk. Last week, the Yachtsmen blanked host Westbrook, 5-0, and shut out visiting Thornton Academy, 1-0. In the win over the Blue Blazes, Lexi Bugbee had two goals, while Abi Blakeman, Chelsea Gravier and Madison Wolf each scored once. Bugbee had the goal to beat the Golden Trojans. Falmouth will likely host a preliminary round playoff game Saturday.

In Class B South, two-time defending state champion Yarmouth closed on a three-game win streak to finish 9-5. Last week, the Clippers won at Gray-New Gloucester (2-1) and Wells (2-0) and Monday, they edged host York, 1-0. Olivia Feeley and Ehryn Groothoff had the goals against the Patriots. Feeley had the only goal at the Wildcats. Yarmouth was ranked fourth at press time and if that seed holds, will have a bye into the quarterfinals next week.

Freeport finished 8-4-2 after a 6-0 win at Fryeburg Academy and a 1-0 home loss to Cape Elizabeth. Catriona Gould continued her assault on the record books with five goals in the victory. Rachel Wall also scored. The Falcons were ranked fifth in the region at press time and if that seeding holds, they’ll go on the road for a quarterfinal, possibly at Yarmouth, next week.

Greely was 6-6-1 and ninth in Class B South entering Tuesday’s regular season finale at Gray-New Gloucester. Last week, the Rangers won, 4-3, at Lake Region and fell, 3-0, at home to York. Greely will take part in a preliminary round playoff game Friday or Saturday. Who the Rangers will play and whether or not the game will be at home remains to be determined.

Volleyball

Falmouth will be the top seed for the Class A volleyball playoffs. The Yachtsmen took a 12-1 record into Tuesday’s home finale versus York. Falmouth was coming off 3-0 victories at Brunswick/Mt. Ararat and Deering and Monday, the Yachtsmen dropped the first two sets at rival Greely, then rallied to win the match in five sets. Falmouth will host a state quarterfinal Saturday.

In Class B, Yarmouth improved to 11-2 after recent 3-0 wins at Windham (25-5, 25-12, 25-14) and at home over York (25-10, 25-17, 25-11). The Clippers closed at home versus Kennebunk Tuesday, then will be the No. 2 seed for the tournament and will host a state quarterfinal Saturday.

Greely finished 5-9 (its first-ever non-winning season) after a 3-1 victory at Cony and a 3-2 home loss to Falmouth. The Rangers project to be the No. 6 seed in Class B and will travel for the quarterfinals Saturday.

In Class C, NYA finished 9-5 after a 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-23) home win over Lake Region, a three-set (18-25, 26-28, 14-25) loss at York, a straight-set (6-25, 24-26, 14-25) loss at Washington Academy and a three-set (25-11, 25-16, 25-21) win at Bucksport. Afton Morton served 11 aces and Sydney Plummer had seven kills and five aces in the victory over the Lakers. The Panthers were fourth in the Heal Points at press time and if that holds, they’ll hold a state quarterfinal Saturday.

Cross country

Freeport, Greely, Maine Coast Waldorf, NYA and Yarmouth took part in the Western Maine Conference cross country championship meet Friday at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. 

In the Division I boys’ meet, won by York, Freeport placed third, Yarmouth was fourth and Greely fifth. Freeport’s Martin Horne was first individually, finishing the five-kilometer course in 17 minutes, 16 seconds. The Clippers were paced by Odeh Rizkallah (eighth, 18:19). The fastest Ranger was Leif Harvey (16th, 18:59).

In the Division II boys’ race, won by Wells, MCW finished second and NYA seventh. MCW’s Aiden Kusche was sixth individually (18:34). The Panthers were led by Chris Hamblett (ninth, 18:49).

In the Division I girls’ meet, Yarmouth was first. Maddie Marston (fourth, 21:36) was the top individual. Freeport’s Lily Horne was second individually in 19:52. 

The Division II girls’ race was won by Wells. MCW finished second, as Olivia Reynolds was the top individual (20:42). NYA didn’t score as a team. Lila Ojakaar had the 46th-best time (30:45).

Next up is the regional championship meet Saturday at Twin Brook Recreational Center in Cumberland. The Class A boys run at 11 a.m., the Class A girls at 11:45 a.m., the Class B boys start at 12:30 p.m., the girls run at 1:15 p.m., the Class C boys begin at 2 p.m. and the Class C girls run at 2:45 p.m.

Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig, Sun Journal staff writer Nathan Fournier and Times Record writer Chris Quattrucci contributed to this story.

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.