Many local squads still alive in postseason-Southern edition

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Scarborough’s Jarret Flaker hauls in a touchdown pass during the Red Storm’s 35-14 win at previously undefeated, defending state champion Bonny Eagle last Friday night. Scarborough earned the top seed for the upcoming playoffs.

South Portland quarterback Jake Poole scores on a touchdown run during the Red Riots’ 34-17 home win over Portland in Saturday’s “Battle of the Bridge.”

While there have been some heartbreaking losses, most of the postseason action to date has produced positive results.

As October dwindles, nothing is going to get easier, but local squads are looking forward to the challenge.

Here’s a glimpse at what you might have missed and what’s still to come:

Field hockey

Scarborough’s field hockey team was the only local squad to qualify for the playoffs and the top-ranked Red Storm passed their quarterfinal round test, edging No. 9 Falmouth, 1-0, but in last Friday’s Class A South semifinals, Scarborough lost at home to No. 4 Biddeford, 2-1. Lauren Topchik scored off a penalty corner for the Red Storm, but it wasn’t enough.

“Hard-fought game and well-deserved by Biddeford,” said longtime Scarborough coach Kerry Mariello. “They’ve been knocking on the door the last couple years, they’ve worked hard and they deserved this game. I wish them luck.”

The Red Storm finished 14-2.


All three local volleyball teams reached the state semifinals.

Cape Elizabeth finished the regular season 14-0, earned the top seed in Class B and advanced with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-8) home win over No. 8 Kennebunk in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Wednesday, in the semifinals, the Capers welcomed No. 5 Greely (8-7), the defending Class A champion. Cape Elizabeth twice beat the Rangers this year, 3-1 at home and 3-2 in Cumberland. The Capers won the lone prior playoff meeting, rallying for a 3-2 victory in the 2014 Class A semifinals.

If Cape Elizabeth reaches the Class B state final, it will play on its home court Saturday at 1 p.m. against either Yarmouth (14-1) or Falmouth (12-3). The Capers beat the visiting Clippers by a 3-1 margin in the regular season and twice downed the Yachtsmen, 3-1 in Falmouth and 3-2 at home. Cape Elizabeth beat Yarmouth in the lone prior playoff encounter (3-0 in the 2015 Class A quarterfinals) and split two previous meetings with the Yachtsmen (losing the 2013 Class A semifinals, 3-2, and rallying for a five-set victory in the 2014 Class A state final).

In Class A, Scarborough finished second after a 12-2 campaign and in the quarterfinals, swept No. 7 Thornton Academy (25-19, 25-11, 25-23) to set up a home semifinal round showdown against third-ranked Biddeford (12-3) Wednesday evening. The Red Storm beat the host Tigers, 3-1, on Oct. 12 and split two prior playoff meetings, with a 3-2 win in the 2015 Class A preliminary round the most recent.

If Scarborough makes it to the Class A state match for the third year in a row, it would face either No. 1 Deering (14-1) or No. 5 South Portland (9-6) for the title Friday at 7 p.m., at Deering High School. The Red Storm lost the season opener to the visiting Rams, 3-2, Sept. 1 and swept the host Red Riots Oct. 17. Scarborough has no playoff history with either school.

South Portland had never posted a winning record or captured a playoff match prior to this fall, but after an 8-6 regular season, the Red Riots upset fourth-ranked Gorham in Saturday’s quarterfinals in four sets (15-25, 25-21, 25-20, 28-26) to advance.

“I’m super-proud of the girls,” South Portland coach Nicole Kane said, “Especially in that last game for fighting through to the end and not giving up on themselves. I’m really proud of us as a team, because this was totally a team effort tonight.”

The Red Riots went to top-ranked Deering for a semifinal Wednesday night (see for match story). The Rams won the regular season meeting, 3-0, Sept. 12 at home. The teams hadn’t met before in the postseason.

Boys’ soccer

Four local boys’ soccer teams qualified for the postseason and three remained at press time.

South Portland has been the feel-good story of the year and wound up first in Class A South after a program-best 13-0-1 campaign. The Red Riots hosted No. 8 Thornton Academy (9-5-1) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. South Portland opened the season with a 3-0 victory at the Golden Trojans Sept. 5. The Red Riots are 2-0 all-time versus Thornton Academy in the playoffs with a 3-2 (4-2 on penalty kicks) win in the 2015 Class A South quarterfinals the most recent.

If South Portland advanced to the semifinals for the third time in four years, it will host either No. 4 Portland (10-3-1) or fifth-ranked Scarborough (11-4) in the semifinals this weekend. The Red Riots eked out a 1-0 victory at the Bulldogs Oct. 10. They didn’t face the Red Storm this year. South Portland and Portland have never met in the postseason. Scarborough is 3-0 all-time versus the Red Riots in the playoffs with last year’s 1-0 quarterfinal round victory the most recent.

Scarborough beat Portland in the regular season, 1-0, at home Oct. 12 and is 4-1 all-time against the Bulldogs in the postseason, with a 4-0 win in the 2013 Western A Final the most recent.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth wound up third after a 9-4-1 campaign and hosted ancient rival Greely (9-5-1), the No. 6 seed in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The Capers and Rangers played to a scoreless tie Sept. 19 in Cape Elizabeth and Cape Elizabeth won in Cumberland, 2-1, Oct. 5. The teams split 14 prior playoff encounters, with Greely’s 2-1 quarterfinal round upset last fall the most recent.

If the Capers were able to advance to this weekend’s semifinal round, they would either go to second-ranked York (12-2) or host No. 7 Leavitt (8-4-3). Cape Elizabeth lost twice to the Wildcats this season, 2-1 at home Sept. 9 and 2-0 in York Sept. 30. The only prior playoff meeting went to the Capers, 2-1, in the 2014 Western B quarterfinals. Cape Elizabeth and Leavitt have no history.

Looking ahead, the regional finals are Wednesday of next week on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A state game will be Saturday, Nov. 4 at Hampden Academy. The Class B Final is the same day at Deering High School.

In Class D South, Greater Portland Christian School earned the No. 8 seed, but was ousted by No. 9 Rangeley in the preliminary round, 2-1, to finish 5-9-1.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, Scarborough wound up first in Class A South for the first time since 2010 after a 13-0-1 regular season. The Red Storm then rallied to edge upset-minded, eighth-ranked Windham in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round, 2-1. Gaby Panagkos scored both goals. Scarborough will next host No. 5 Cheverus (14-2) in Saturday’s semifinal round. The Red Storm downed the visiting Stags, 3-0, Oct. 7 and have beaten them in all three prior playoff meetings, with a 2-0 victory in the 2011 Western A quarterfinals the most recent.

South Portland, coming off its best regular season since 2006, posted its first playoff win in nine years Saturday. The seventh-seeded Red Riots held off visiting No. 10 Noble, 2-1, as Sophie Chase scored on a rebound of her own saved penalty kick and Hattie Tetzlaff converted a PK. Goalkeeper Maria Buck made nine saves. That win sent South Portland to second-ranked Kennebunk for a quarterfinal Tuesday, where the Red Riots’ season ended at 8-5-3 with a 1-0 setback.

“It was a tough loss, but the team played very well and we nearly tied it up several times,” said South Portland coach Jeff Selser. “I thought Kennebunk played an outstanding game and they had the better of us for a lot of the first half. In the second half, we shifted the momentum and hammered away at them, but their back line was extremely well organized and we couldn’t quite break through. Great, great credit to Kennebunk for their defensive organization and their relentless overall teamwork. Honestly, I’ve not seen individuals on a team play so unselfishly in a long, long time). Those two things are what did us in and gave Kennebunk the edge.

“Still, we finished the season strong and can hold our heads very high. This season was a huge tipping point for us. Three years ago, we were 2-11-1 and routinely got blown out by the competition. This season, we went 8-5-3, and our biggest loss was, 2-0, to Windham, in our first game. The other four losses were all one-goal games, and we tied the number two and number three teams in the league. When we started our rebuilding project, the current seniors were freshman. The prior year, the team had given up 51 goals and scored only 13. This year, we scored 36 goals and gave up only 18. That’s our first time having a positive goal differential in more than 10 years. Also, we went undefeated at home, we had the third-best record in program history and the first winning season in nearly a decade. Only three other SPHS teams have ever won a playoff game. By any way you measure it, this season has been a breakout year for and one of the best ever for the program.
“It is a shame that (senior) Juliana (Selser) got injured and was out for half the season. She has been the engine of our rebirth as a team, thanks in large part to her obsessive individual practice at home, her devotion to local pick-up games, usually with college-aged men, and the soccer-crazed immigrant communities in the Portland area, and her constant study of the game itself. We had a lot of depth this year in some areas and also some players turned in huge seasons for us this year. Madi Cyr, for example, had a phenomenal season as a holding midfielder and often played the full 80 minutes. Our back line was fantastic, I had a lot of options at forward and we got standout performances in goal from Maria Buck and Jewels Ward, who filled in when Maria was injured.”
South Portland loses some key contributors to graduation, but hopes to remain a top contender in 2018.
“Even though we’re graduating 10 quality seniors, we have a strong group returning, as well as some awesome JV players who should make the jump to varsity fairly smoothly. Four of our five leading scorers are freshmen and sophomores. Our top scorer, Evelyn Selser, with 10 goals, is a freshman and she is followed by Hattie Tetzlaff, a sophomore, with 6 goals, and behind her are sophomores Brooklynn Ortiz (3 goals) and Mackenzie Farnham (3 goals) and senior Sophie Chase (3 goals). We will miss Sophie up top, for sure, but we are returning a very dangerous scoring trio of Evelyn, Hattie, and Brooklynn, plus Mackenzie Farnham who was a swing player this year and who turned in some excellent varsity time. We also have Julia Banks returning as a senior next year. She had some injuries this year that limited her playing time, but she has been a goal-scoring threat since her varsity debut last year. Our midfield triangle of seniors Juliana Selser, Madi Cyr and Meg Graff will be hard to replace, but Koto Yamada performed well as a sub for Madi Cyr during the season and Izzy Chase who trained with the varsity for playoffs looks very promising. There also are a slew of talented JV players, and rumors abound of a strong incoming freshman class next year.
“You never know what will happen over the course of a year, but I feel that all the pieces are in place for the program to keep improving. Maybe not at the meteoric pace of this last season, but certainly we will look to finish higher up next year, with a goal to earn one of the coveted bye slot for playoffs.”


In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth earned the No. 7 seed after an 8-6 campaign. In the preliminary round, the Capers ousted No. 10 Gray-New Gloucester, 3-1, behind two goals from Prezli Piscopo and one from Karli Chapin. Cape Elizabeth was scheduled to go to No. 2 Oak Hill (13-1) for the quarterfinals Tuesday, bad bad weather moved the game to Wednesday, where it was promptly rescheduled for Thursday. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season and had no playoff history.

If they advanced, the Capers would next visit third-seeded Greely (12-3) in Saturday’s semifinal round. The teams split this season, each winning on the road (Cape Elizabeth 3-2 and Greely 4-3). The Capers are 8-10 all-time versus the Rangers in the postseason. Cape Elizabeth won the most recent meeting, 2-1 (4-2 on penalty kicks) in the 2014 Western B Final.

Looking ahead, the regional finals are Wednesday of next week on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A state game will be Saturday, Nov. 4 at Hampden Academy. The Class B Final is the same day at Deering High School.

In Class D South, GPCS missed the playoffs with an 0-13 record. The Lions were 11th in the region, but only eight teams qualified for the postseason.


Scarborough’s football team made a major statement in the regular season finale last Friday, going to undefeated, defending Class A champion Bonny Eagle and not just winning, but winning decisively behind multiple big plays, 35-14. The Red Storm took an early 6-0 lead on a 74-yard touchdown pass from Zoltan Panyi to Reece Lagerquist, but the extra point was blocked. After the Scots answered to go up by a point, Panyi hit Jarret Flaker for a 40-yard score and a 13-7 advantage after one period. Bonny Eagle took a 14-13 lead to the second half, but the final 24 minutes were all Scarborough, as Flaker scored on a 77-yard run (Panyi hit Cody Dudley with a two-point conversion pass), Panyi and Lagerquist hooked up for an 86-yard TD pass and Owen Garrard slammed the door with a 40-yard touchdown scamper.

The Red Storm beat the Scots for just the third time in 11 all-time meetings.

“We had a little slip-up (in a week three loss to Thornton Academy) and I think everyone kind of forgot about us,” said Scarborough coach Lance Johnson. “Our kids wanted to come out and prove a point.”

As a result, the Red Storm moved from third to first in the Class A South Heal Points standings and earned a quarterfinal round bye. Scarborough will host either South Portland or Sanford in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 3.

Saturday, South Portland beat rival Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge” for the first time since 2012, 34-17, to improve to 55-44 (with three ties) in the all-time series. A 6-yard touchdown run from quarterback Jake Poole put the Red Riots on top to stay, 6-0, after one period. Poole then hit Spencer Houlette for a 20-yard score to help produce a 13-3 halftime lead. Poole scored on a 3-yard TD run and after the Bulldogs scored a touchdown, he passed 17 yards to Hunter Owen for a touchdown and a 27-10 lead after three quarters. Portland scored one final TD, but Riley Campbell’s 1-yard run slammed the door and accounted for the final score.

“For us to have a ‘Bridge’ championship, a home playoff game and to be undefeated at home is just an amazing accomplishment,” said South Portland coach Steve Stinson.

The Red Riots finished the year 4-4 and earned the No. 4 seed in Class A South. They host No. 5 Sanford (4-4) in the quarterfinals Friday night. On Oct. 6, South Portland handled the visiting Spartans, 28-6. The teams have met five previous times in the playoffs. The Red Riots hold a 3-2 edge, but the last meeting went to Sanford, 33-32, in the 2013 Western A quarterfinals.

In Class C South, Cape Elizabeth capped a solid 6-2 campaign with a 29-3 win at York last Friday. Touchdown runs of 21-yards by Ryan Weare and 3-yards by Jack Glanville produced a 14-0 lead after one period. Weare scored again, on a 6-yard run, to make it 20-3 at halftime. A 5-yard Weare TD run in the third period and a 38-yard field goal from Hajmil Carr in the fourth accounted for the final score.

The Capers wound up second to Leavitt in the region and will host seventh-ranked Lake Region (5-3) in the quarterfinals Friday. The teams didn’t meet this fall and have no playoff history.

Adam Birt and Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig, Mike Lowe and Kevin Thomas contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports

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