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Local teams hit their stride

Sports

Local teams hit their stride

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Scarborough and Waynflete-NYA boys' soccer and the Cheverus-Scarborough and Waynflete-Freeport girls' soccer game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

The fall sports season has benefitted from wonderful weather, which, along with stellar local athletes, has made for a most entertaining time for area fans.

Several teams are already closing in on the midway point and here's a glimpse at what you may have missed and what's to come.

Boys' soccer

Defending Class C boys' soccer state champion Waynflete is off to a strong start.

After a 10-day break, the Flyers blanked visiting Wells (5-0), won at rival North Yarmouth Academy (5-0) and downed visiting Freeport (6-1) last week to improve to 4-0 (good for fourth in the Western C Heal Points standings). Against the Warriors, Peabo Knoth had two goals while Kevin Kanakan, Aaron Lee (the first of his career) and Paul Runyambo each had one. Runyambo assisted on two of the goals.

Against the Panthers, in a rematch of last year's regional final, Runyambo (from Henry Cleaves) broke the ice in the 25th minute, then Waynflete benefited from a pair of fortunate bounces off NYA defenders, giving goals to Max Belleau and Mohammed Suja for a 3-0 lead at the half. Clancy Mitchell and Peter Miner scored in the second half to allow the Flyers to pull away.

It was Waynflete's biggest win in the series this century.

"We were more ready," said Runyambo. "We really wanted to win this game. Especially the seniors. We came out strong. We could have done a better job, but it was good enough. Before the game, we knew this was our first true test. We were ready because it's NYA. Say no more."

"(The Panthers) were impressive in the beginning," said Flyers coach Brandon Salway. "They carried play initially. It took us awhile to get used to their speed. We're not there yet, but I think we made big plays inside both 18s. We started to become a team a little bit today. I learned they're sincerely enthused for each other. They rooted for their teammates today. That's what builds a team. You could see it. Kids who started were up at the end rooting their teammates on. It's a good win, good Heal Points. (NYA) will win a lot of games. We haven't heard the last of them."

Against the Falcons, Kanakan and Knoth both scored twice, while Suja and Jack Cutler also tickled the twine.

Waynflete was at Sacopee Tuesday (a victory would have given Salway 200 in his memorable career). The Flyers are at Western B contender Gray-New Gloucester Saturday.

In Western A, Cheverus entered last week undefeated and exited 3-2 after falling at home to Noble (1-0) and at Scarborough (3-1). Against the Red Storm, Elijah Yeboah scored to tie the contest, but the Red Storm struck right back before halftime and added another goal in the second half to improve to 9-0-1 all-time against the Stags.

"We played defensive," said Cheverus coach Bill LeBlanc. "We played a 4-5-1 and tried to counterattack. I thought we competed with them. If a few bounces go the other way, we're right there. They're a quality, traditional program. I thought as a group, we all competed. We tried to play more defensive and beat them, 1-0, or tie, 1-1. This was a good experience for a lot of guys."

The Stags (11th in Western A) were home against defending Class A champion Windham Tuesday, visit Kennebunk Thursday and play host to Portland Tuesday of next week.

Deering began the week 1-2-1 and ninth in Western A after splitting 2-1 decisions last week. The Rams lost at home to Gorham by that score (Ben Peterson had the lone goal) before finally getting in the win column at Noble. Peterson and Billy Farrell had goals in that one. Deering was at South Portland Tuesday, welcomes Biddeford Thursday and plays host to Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

Portland fell to 1-3 and 13th in the region after losses last week to visiting Scarborough (6-1) and at Gorham (5-1). Tim Rovnak scored versus the Red Storm. Ek Bakunda had the goal against the Rams. The Bulldogs were at Biddeford Tuesday, host Westbrook Thursday and play at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Girls' soccer

The Cheverus and Deering girls' teams both fell from the unbeaten ranks last week.

The Stags first improved to 4-0 with an 11-0 win at Noble (thanks to five goals from scoring machine Abby Maker). Friday, Cheverus hosted unbeaten, two-time reigning regional champion Scarborough. The Red Storm did a stellar job defensively on Maker before she had to leave the game with an ankle injury with 17 minutes to go. Scarborough scored three times in the second half to beat the Stags, 3-0.

"I was really pleased with how we played," Cheverus coach Dan LaVallee said. "We came out pretty defensive, but we didn't end up playing that way. I thought we played great in the first half. We played 79 minutes and 30 seconds great. The other 30 seconds cost us. A team like Scarborough will punish mistakes. Abby had a couple of really good runs at their goalie. If she'd popped one in, it was a different game. That's the way it is. You'll get five quality chances against a team like Scarborough and you've got to hit one. I'm disappointed in the result, but not in the performance at all."

The Stags (fourth in the Western A Heals at the week's onset) were at undefeated, preseason favorite Windham Tuesday, go to Kennebunk Thursday, play host to Sanford Saturday and visit Portland Tuesday of next week.

"We'll bounce back," LaVallee said. "Frankly, this may be a good thing for us. We'd been untested. Now we know what it's like. We have Windham, Sanford, Gorham and TA still. There's definitely stuff we need to work on."

As for Deering, it dropped a gutwrenching 1-0 overtime decision at Gorham last Wednesday despite 13 saves from goalkeeper Lee Ann Downs. The Rams got back in the win column and improved to 4-1 with a 5-0 home triumph over Noble Friday. Edie Pallozzi had two goals, Alexis Elowitch, Chelsea Saucier and Meaghan Wells all scored once. Deering (seventh in Western A) goes to Thornton Academy Thursday, welcomes South Portland Saturday, then has a showdown at Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

McAuley dropped to 0-4 and 19th in Western A with losses last week at Windham (6-3) and Thornton Academy (8-0). Against the Eagles, Sarah Clement, Delaney Regan and Ayla Tartre scored, while Olivia Smith made 26 saves. The Lions hosted South Portland Tuesday, welcome Bonny Eagle Thursday and visit Gorham Saturday.

Portland began the week 1-4 and 13th after falling last week at Scarborough (3-0) and at home to Gorham (3-1). Isabel Stehli scored against the Rams, while Ashley Frank had the assist. The Bulldogs were home with Biddeford Tuesday, play at Westbrook Thursday and Bonny Eagle Saturday, then host Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, Waynflete is off to a 3-0-1 start (good for eighth in the Heals). Last week, the Flyers tied visiting Poland (2-2), blanked visiting NYA (2-0) and rallied for a 3-2 overtime win at Freeport. In the draw, Isabel Agnew and Walker scored the goals. Against the Panthers, Sofia Canning and Sadie Cole tickled the twine. At the Falcons, Waynflete found itself down, 2-0, with less than 18 minutes to play, but Agnew twice scored goals out of scrums to force overtime and there, freshman Arianna Giguere was in the right place at the right time to give the Flyers a 3-2 win.

"I think we all had the desire to come back and score," said Giguere, who banged home a rebound of a Cole shot to end it. "I know personally, I just got more motivated as the game went on. The first goal made our spirits skyrocket. I felt like we had the momentum in overtime."

"We stole one," said Flyers coach Todd Dominski. "We kept fighting. We made a formation adjustment. Once we got one, we had confidence to get another. I felt pretty good that we had momentum going into overtime. It's so short though. We wanted to get pressure on them. We got a shot off. We've worked on goal scoring all week. We'll continue to work on it. Everybody's contributing. We'll spread our scoring out this year. We're getting goals from wherever we can. Arianna played incredible. So did Isabel. It's the best I've seen them play all season. Lots of pressure on the ball. A lot of good things out there. It's a confidence and character builder. It shows we have the ability to bounce back."

Waynflete hoped to keep its run going Tuesday at Sacopee. Gray-New Gloucester pays a visit Thursday. The Flyers are at Old Orchard Beach Monday.

"We have tough games coming up," Dominski said.

Field hockey

Cheverus' field hockey team has played half its schedule and has passed every test.

Last week, the Stags downed blanked visiting Bonny Eagle (4-0), allowed their first goal of the year but held off host Massabesic (3-1), then dominated host Portland (7-1). Against the Scots, Staci Swallow had two goals, while Elyse Caiazzo added one. Caiazzo, Alex Logan and Emily Rodrigue scored in the win at the Mustangs. Swallow had three goals, Katie Roy two and Logan and Anne Slattery one apiece against the Bulldogs. Cheverus took a 7-0 record and the top spot in the Western Class A Heal Points standings to defending regional champion Marshwood Monday. The Stags host undefeated powerhouse Scarborough Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). They're then idle until next Tuesday when South Portland pays a visit.

Deering has been much more competitive this season under new coach Liz Koharian and won a pair of games last week: 1-0 over visiting Kennebunk and 7-0 at McAuley. In the battle of the Rams, Kiana DiBiase had the lone goal. Against the Lions, DiBiase and Amanda LeMoult both had two goals, while Keirsten Parker, Kylie Patchell and Rylie Turner all scored once. Goalie Bri Delano made eight saves. Deering fell to 3-3 with a 3-1 home loss to Sanford Saturday, despite a goal from Patchell and 17 saves from Delano. The Rams (10th in the Western A Heals) host Bonny Eagle Wednesday, visit Windham Friday and play at Portland Monday.

McAuley is still seeking its first win and its first goal. Last week, the Lions lost to visiting Windham (8-0), Deering (7-0) and Noble (5-0). Akech Allolding made 19 saves against the Rams and 14 versus the Knights. McAuley (tied for 16th in Western A) looked to end its slide Monday at Sanford. Wednesday brings a trip to South Portland.

Portland, a regional finalist in 2011, also entered the week winless. Last week, the Bulldogs fell at Scarborough (6-0) and Gorham (5-1) and at home to Cheverus (7-1). Victoria Clayton had the goal versus the Rams. Gabi Cardona scored against the Stags. Portland, which made a second half charge a year ago, is about to have its schedule ease up dramatically after playing most of the top contenders out of the gate. The Bulldogs (tied for 16th) are home with Windham Wednesday, have a playoff rematch at Thornton Academy Saturday and play host to Deering Monday.

In Western C, Waynflete was in the thick of things at 2-3 and seventh in the Heals at the start of the week. Last week, the Flyers enjoyed a 2-1 win at Sacopee, then fell at home to Yarmouth (2-1) and two-time defending state champion NYA (4-0). Jo Moore and Maddy Pellow had goals in the victory. Nyanen Deng had the goal against the Clippers. Waynflete was at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, goes to Old Orchard Beach Thursday, welcomes Sacopee Friday and Freeport Monday.

Cross country

Both Cheverus cross country teams stayed unbeaten in the early going with first place finishes Friday in a meet at Westbrook (which included Biddeford and Noble). The boys were led by Brady Foshay, who came in fourth individually in 17 minutes, 56 seconds. The girls' team was paced by Kiera Murray, who was first in 19:18.

Deering joined Massabesic and Windham at Thornton Academy, where the boys finished second to the Mustangs and the girls fourth. Individually, the boys featured Yahye Hussein (fifth in 18:09). Mel McClure-Chute was 16th (23:55) in the girls' race.

Portland joined Scarborough and Marshwood. The girls came in second to the Hawks as Abby Popenoe came in fourth (25:36). The boys placed third and were led once again by Ben Allen, who won the race in 18:52.

Waynflete joined Greely, Sacopee and Traip at Wells and both teams were second to Greely. The boys got a first place finish from Josh Espy (17:49). The girls were paced by Martha Veroneau, who came in third (21:03).

Results for McAuley's meet at Sanford (with Bonny Eagle) weren't available.

This week, Portland hosts Westbrook, Cheverus (along with Bonny Eagle and Massabesic) runs at Kennebunk, Deering joins Biddeford and Sanford at Scarborough, McAuley (with Gorham and Thornton Academy) goes to Marshwood and Waynflete runs at the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational.

Golf

Cheverus' golf team took a 2-2 mark into Monday's home match versus Portland. Last week, the Stags lost at home to Scarborough (9-4), then blanked host Deering (13-0). Cheverus has a rematch at Scarborough Wednesday and plays at reigning Class A champion Falmouth Friday.

Deering dropped four straight matches, including decisions last week at Scarborough (13-0), and at home to Falmouth (9-4) and Cheverus (13-0). The Rams then improved to 2-4 with a 12-1 home victory over South Portland. Deering goes to Falmouth Wednesday and visits Portland Friday.

The Bulldogs dropped to 2-3 with home losses last week to Falmouth (11-2) and Scarborough (9-4). Portland was at Cheverus Monday, hosts South Portland Wednesday, welcomes Deering Friday and plays at Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Waynflete began its season last week with losses at Freeport (5-2) and Yarmouth (6.5-0.5). The Flyers were home with Fryeburg Tuesday, visit NYA Thursday and welcome Old Orchard Beach Monday.

Volleyball

Cheverus' first year volleyball program began the week 1-3 and 10th in the Class A Heals (the top nine teams make the playoffs). Last week, the Stags lost at established powers Scarborough 3-0 (9-25, 24-26, 8-25) and Falmouth 3-0 (14-25, 9-25, 16-25). Cheverus hosts Lake Region Wednesday, defending Class B champion Yarmouth Friday and Gorham Monday.

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