Michael’s top five stories
5) A first for Cape Elizabeth volleyball
Cape Elizabeth’s nascent volleyball program has slowly improved and the Capers took the next step this fall. Cape Elizabeth went 5-9 in the regular season, then hosted and won its first ever postseason contest, 3-1, over Windham in the preliminary round. The Capers were ousted by top-ranked, undefeated Biddeford in the quarterfinals, 3-0, but this program should be even stronger going forward and this autumn won’t be the last time we hear from them in the playoffs.
4) Capers girls’ soccer squad turns heads
After losing last year’s top goal scorer to a prep school, there weren’t a lot of expectations on the Cape Elizabeth girls’ soccer team. As it turned out, the Capers embarked on their best campaign this century, losing once and tying once, while winning their other 12 regular season contests. A poised attack, which featured an abundance of young stars, and a steady defense proved to be a winning recipe. As the No. 3 seed in Western A, Cape Elizabeth survived a scare from South Portland in the preliminary round, beat rival Greely with surprising ease in the quarterfinals, then survived top-ranked Windham in penalty kicks in the semifinals. The run finally ended with a 1-0 loss at eventual champion Scarborough in the regional finals, but with this team’s youth and now winning pedigree, look out in 2013.
3) Cape Elizabeth boys’ CC wins Class B
Cape Elizabeth wasn’t necessarily expected to be the team to beat in the Class B boys’ cross country world this fall, but the Capers wound up on the podium at the end of the season. Cape Elizabeth won its first four meets and was fourth at the Belfast Invitational. After coming in second at the Western Maine Conference meet, the Capers made the jump to the top spot at the regional meet and at states, held off the rest of Class B to take the title for the first time in six years. Don’t be surprised if Cape Elizabeth does it again next fall.
2) Scarborough field hockey untouchable for 17 games
There’s dominance, then there’s what the Scarborough field hockey team managed to do this autumn. The Red Storm entered the season still steaming over last year’s surprising playoff ouster. Scarborough then produced literally a perfect regular season, winning all 14 games while not surrendering a single goal, something which has hardly ever been accomplished, not only in Maine, but nationwide. The Red Storm’s streak continued in the regional finals, as it won Western A for a third time by blanking Thornton Academy, Westbrook and Cheverus. The shutout run finally ended in the second half of the state final versus perennial powerhouse Skowhegan, which scored three times to end Scarborough’s mindboggling streak of not allowing a goal at 1,053 minutes, 15 seconds. Remarkable.
1) Scarborough soccer teams share title spotlight
Scarborough could make the argument (with only Falmouth disagreeing) that it was the center of the Maine high school soccer universe this autumn. The Red Storm haven’t been any strangers to dominance on the pitch, but what the two squads did this season was something for the ages. The boys bounced back from consecutive years with disappointing playoff ousters by winning 16 games and tying two. Scarborough got past Portland, Greely and Gorham to win the region and at states, turned heads as senior Dan Ornstein scored three first half goals to help the Red Storm prevail, 4-0. The girls had won the 2010 Class A title over Bangor, but lost, 4-0, to the Rams in the 2011 state final. This year, Scarborough got another crack at Bangor, but had to hold off Sanford, Thornton Academy and Cape Elizabeth in the regional playoffs to do so. In the state game, the Red Storm fell behind 1-0 in the second half, but drew even on senior Jess Meader’s tally. Then, after goalkeeper Sydney Martin saved the season late in regulation, the game went into overtime, then a second where senior Sarah Martens capped her fairy tale postseason with the winning goal and for the first time since joining Class A, both Scarborough teams were champions in the same year.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.