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Stretch run begins for fall teams

Sports

Stretch run begins for fall teams

(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Yarmouth boys' soccer, Falmouth-Yarmouth girls' soccer, Falmouth-Greely field hockey and Greely-Biddeford volleyball game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

With the colors changing and the temperatures dipping, it's clear that fall is in the air. With September about to give way to October, it won't be long until we're talking about the postseason for local athletes.

The golf regular season ends this week, we're just a couple weeks out from the start of the cross country postseason and soccer, field hockey and volleyball are closer to the end of their regular seasons than the beginning.

Here's a glimpse at where teams stand and what's to come.

Boys' soccer

Act one of the 2012 version of the best rivalry in southern Maine high school sports, Falmouth-Yarmouth boys' soccer, was held Saturday afternoon in Yarmouth.

The Clippers were coming off a 4-0 home victory over Poland. Wyatt Jackson had two goals and David Clemmer and Adam LaBrie added one each. The Yachstmen had previously blanked host Freeport (3-0) and visiting Gray-New Gloucester (5-0). Cooper Lycan had two goals and Luke Velas one against the Falcons. In the win over the Patriots, Grant Burfeind and J.P. White had two goals each, while Lycan had one.

Saturday, after a scoreless first half, Yarmouth got the jump on a goal from Clemmer with 21:28 to play, but just six minutes later, the Yachtsmen answered as Ian McBrady buried a rebound. Yarmouth then appeared to have the win wrapped up when freshman Walter Conrad scored his first varsity goal with just 5:10 remaining, but again, never-say-die Falmouth rose off the canvas and to the surprise of no one, it was Burfeind doing the honors, tying the score on a goal out of a scrum just 29 seconds later. The game would go to overtime, but neither powerhouse could break through and the squads settled for a 2-2 draw, with the promise of even more memories to be made when they meet again for another Saturday Night Special in Falmouth.

"I feel like we play our best when we're down," said Burfeind. "When we got in those situations, we got desperate and that led to good stuff. We need to play like that all the time. We were fired up. We weren't going to lose the game. We've been in that situation before. We just did what we do best."

"It was a good game up to a point," Yachstmen coach Dave Halligan said. "We would have liked to have come away with a win, but I was happy with how (the guys) responded."

The Clippers felt they let one get away, but splitting Heal Points with the defending champion is not the worst thing in their world.

"It's a little disappointing, but mainly because we could have found another level, played cleaner and better and taken better shots," said Chandler Smith, who helped neutralize White. "It was a fantastic game. It was really great intensity. We really played as a team. We gave so much. The intense rivalry just adds to the team atmosphere."

"It was a great game," said Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty. "It's everything you expect and then some."

Falmouth took a 6-0-1 record and the top spot in the Western Class B Heal Points standings to Traip Tuesday, then host the Clippers Saturday. Next Tuesday brings a trip to York for a rematch of last year's Western B Final.

Yarmouth (second in Western B) plays at Greely Thursday (please see theforecaster.net for game story). After going to Falmouth Saturday, the Clippers host Freeport Tuesday of next week.

The Falcons fell to 1-6-1 and 14th in Western B after losses last week to visiting Falmouth (3-0) and at North Yarmouth Academy (3-1). Connor Dietrich had the goal against the Panthers. Freeport hosted Poland Wednesday and goes to Yarmouth Tuesday.

In Western A, Greely has won three straight: 5-1 at Fryeburg, 1-0 at Cape Elizabeth and 1-0 over visiting Gray-New Gloucester. Against the Raiders, Ted Hart had a hat trick, while Liam Campbell and Mitchel Donovan had one goal each. Jacob Nason scored against the Capers (on a penalty kick) and also had the lone goal in the win over the Patriots. Greely (6-2 and seventh in the Heals) has three huge home games coming up: Thursday against Yarmouth, Saturday versus York and Tuesday of next week against Cape Elizabeth.

In Western C, NYA is 5-3-1 and fifth in the standings after beating host Traip (3-2), visiting Wells (10-2) and Freeport (3-1). The Panthers got two goals from D.J. Nicholas and the winner from Jacob Scammon in the victory over the Rangers, three goals apiece from Nicholas and Scammon against the Warriors and Nicholas scored three more against the Falcons. NYA hosts Sacopee Thursday and Traip Saturday and goes to Sacopee Tuesday of next week.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, Falmouth finally suffered a blemish Saturday night at Yarmouth, but it was a tie, not a loss. The Yachtsmen were coming off a 3-0 home win over Freeport (Caitlin Bucksbaum scored twice, while Tyler Spence added a goal). At the Clippers, Falmouth had several golden opportunities in the first half, but couldn't finish and settled for a 0-0 draw.

"You want to finish the opportunities we had," said Yachtsmen coach Wally LeBlanc. "Certainly we had opportunities, but I wouldn't focus on that. I'm glad we played a 0-0 game against a good Yarmouth team. We played hard as a team. They played hard as a team. It was a typical Falmouth-Yarmouth game. We held our own."

Falmouth (6-0-1 and second to Morse in the Western B Heals) is home with Wells Thursday, welcomes Yarmouth Saturday and York Tuesday.

The Clippers have shown signs of moving up the standings. In the tie, Yarmouth had several good second half chances, but couldn't convert, but still got to split valuable Heal Points with the two-time defending Class B champions.

"It's a good tie," said Clippers coach Rich Smith. "I thought we played well. Falmouth's a very good team. We gave them everything they could handle tonight."

Yarmouth improved to 2-3-2 and eighth with a 2-1 win at Wells Monday. Ariel Potter and Eaven O'Neill had the goals. The Clippers are at Greely Thursday (please see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Falmouth Saturday and play at Freeport Tuesday.

The Falcons are 4-4 and 10th in Western B after going 1-2 in recent action. Freeport lost, 3-0 at Falmouth and 2-1 at Old Orchard Beach last week, but bounced back Monday with a 2-0 home win over NYA. Ashley Richardson scored against the Seagulls. In the victory, Jocelyn Davee and Necole Harrison had the goals. The Falcons were at Poland Wednesday, play at Wells Saturday and host Yarmouth Tuesday.

In Western A, Greely beat visiting Fryeburg (2-0) and lost at home to Cape Elizabeth (1-0) last week. In the win, Julia Mitiguy and Mary Morrison had the goals. Caton Beaulieu made six saves in the setback. Monday, the Rangers improved to 4-3 and ninth in the Heals with a 3-0 win at Gray-New Gloucester. Mitiguy, Molly Fitzpatrick and Mia Lambert scored. Lambert added an assist and Izzy Hutnak had a pair. Greely hosts Yarmouth Thursday and York Saturday, then visits Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

In Western C, NYA is 1-6 and 16th after losing at Old Orchard Beach (2-1) and Freeport (2-0). Lizzie Lewis scored against the Seagulls. Scout Fischman had a dozen saves against the Falcons. The Panthers go to Sacopee Thursday, host Traip Saturday and welcome Sacopee Tuesday.

Field hockey

North Yarmouth Academy's two-time defending Class C field hockey state champion leads the Western C Heals and is 9-1 after extending its win streak to six with recent victories over visiting Sacopee (6-0), host Freeport (5-1), visiting Old Orchard Beach (4-1) and visiting Traip (3-0). In the win over the Hawks, Juliana Tardif scored twice, while Marina Poole and Kayla Rose also scored. Against the Falcons, the Panthers dug out of an early 1-0 hole, tying the game on Rose's goal just before the half. In the second half, NYA got tallies from Rose, Jen Brown, Poole and Tardif to pull away. Against the Seagulls, Rose had two goals, Poole and Tardif one apiece. Poole had two goals and Rose in the win over the Rangers. The Panthers go to Poland Friday and have a showdown at Western B contender Falmouth Monday.

Freeport saw its five-game win streak come to an end last week with losses to Traip (1-0), NYA (5-1) and Poland (2-1, in overtime). Goalie Tallie Martin made 15 saves against the Rangers. Against the Panthers, Emily Sturtevant gave the Falcons the lead with a goal 13 minutes in, but it didn't last. Martin made 16 saves. Olivia Bubar scored against the Knights. Monday, Freeport settled for a 0-0 tie at Waynflete. Martin made 13 saves. The Falcons (5-4-1 and fourth in Western C) are at Sacopee Friday and visit Old Orchard Beach Tuesday.

In Western B, Yarmouth is up to seventh in the Heals with a 5-3-1 mark. The Clippers lost, 3-0, to visiting Fryeburg last Wednesday, but bounced back to tie host Greely, 3-3, and beat visiting Gray-New Gloucester, 4-2. Emma Peterson had two goals and Katie Overhaug one against the Rangers. In the win, Carleen Shaw, Sarah Overink, Overhaug and Peterson all scored. Yarmouth goes to Lake Region Thursday and visits defending Western B champion York Tuesday.

Falmouth and Greely met last Tuesday in a game both teams needed, but neither managed to win. Jess Wilson and Rachel Hanson scored in the first six minutes to make it 2-0 Rangers, but the Yachtsmen answered in the second half, drawing even on goals from Elle Fitzgerald and Mikey Richards. Midway through the second half, however, lightning was seen in the area, the game was called and resulted in a 2-2 tie.

"I'm not happy with a tie, but it wasn't worth having any players injured," said Greely coach Kristina Lane Prescott.

I'm glad we had a second half so we could tie it up," Haley said. "We played more of our game. I think our girls needed that."

The Rangers went on to lose to visiting Cape Elizabeth (5-4), tie visiting Yarmouth (3-3) and fall, 4-1, at Lake Region. Against the Capers, Hanson had a hat trick. Wilson had two goals against the Clippers and the lone tally against the Lakers. Greely (2-7-2 and 10th in Western B) hosts York Saturday, goes to Cape Elizabeth Monday and closes the regular season Thursday of next week at home against Wells.

The Yachtsmen followed up their draw at Greely by tying visiting York, 2-2, and winning at Gray-New Gloucester, 3-0. Richards and Hayley Winslow scored in the deadlock. In the victory, Youngjin Kim, Jillian Rothweiler and Leika Scott had goals. Falmouth (4-3-2 and sixth in Western B) was at Wells Tuesday, visits Fryeburg Friday and plays host to NYA Monday.

Cross country

Four local teams competed at the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational Saturday.

In the boys' small school division, Freeport was 12th, Greely 17th, Merriconeag 22nd and NYA 27th. Individually, the top local runner was Merriconeag's Jack Pierce, who was fourth in 16 minutes, 9 seconds. Greely's Nate Madeira was seventh (16:29). Freeport's Abrim Berkemeyer finished 29th (17:22). NYA's Matt Malcolm placed 43rd (17:48).

On the girls' side, the Rangers were fifth, Falcons seventh and Merriconeag 21st. NYA didn't score as a team. Individually, Greely's Kirstin Sandreuter (19:22) and Eva Bates (19:23) were second and third, respectively. NYA's Hannah Austin had the 20th-best time (20:42). Merriconeag was paced by Samantha Pierce (46th, 21:47). Freeport's top runner was Bethanie Knighton (56th, 22:09).

Closer to home, Falmouth hosted Poland, Sacopee, Traip, Waynflete, Wells and York. The Yachtsmen won both the boys' and girls' competitions. Bryce Murdick (17:19), Jay Lesser (17:28) and Scott Lambert (17:43) went 1-2-3 for Falmouth in the boys' race. On the girls' side, the Yachtsmen were paced by Madeline Roberts (20:39).

Yarmouth joined Cape Elizabeth and Lake Region at Gray-New Gloucester, where the girls were first and the boys second. Sarah Becker won the girls' meet in 21:38. Braden Becker was third in the boys' race (17:29).

This weekend, local schools will run in the Belfast Invitational. Freeport is joining Gray-New Gloucester and York at Poland.

Golf

On the links, the regular season is coming to a close and the qualifiers and state matches are coming right up.

Defending Class A champion Falmouth took a 5-2 mark into Tuesday's home match versus Portland. Last week, the Yachtsmen downed Deering, 12-1, and lost, 8-5, to Cheverus. Falmouth was home against South Portland Wednesday and finishes up Thursday at South Portland.

Greely dominated Windham (12.5-0.5) and Westbrook (13-0) last week to improve to 6-2. The Rangers were home with Thornton Academy Tuesday and close Thursday against visiting Gorham.

Yarmouth entered the week a perfect 8-0 in Class B after recent wins over Wells (6-1) and rival Cape Elizabeth (5-2). The Clippers were home with Freeport Tuesday and look to finish with an undefeated mark at York Thursday.

NYA's return to varsity status continues to go well. The Panthers beat Lake Region (7-0) and Waynflete (6-1) last week to improve to 8-1. NYA closed against Sacopee Thursday.

Freeport beat Old Orchard Beach (5-2) and lost to Cape Elizabeth  and York twice by 7-0 margins to fall to 3-7. The Falcons hosted Yarmouth Tuesday and go to Cape Elizabeth Thursday.

Volleyball

Defending Class A volleyball champion Greely saw its four-match win streak end Wednesday at home against Biddeford. The Rangers lost at the Tigers to start the season and despite three close games, fell again, 21-25, 23-25, 22-25.

"We had difficulty playing under pressure," said Rangers coach Kelvin Hasch. "(Biddeford seems) to be happy and having fun and they were able to close it out each time. I would think we could handle pressure, but we haven't been able to do it yet. We're not believing in ourselves. People are hesitating, not going after the ball."

Greely took a 4-2 record and the No. 7 spot in the Class A Heals to Windham Monday. The Rangers are home with third-ranked Gorham Saturday, go to Cony Monday and visit No. 2 Scarborough in a state match rematch Wednesday.

Falmouth took a 4-3 mark and the No. 6 ranking into Monday's match at Lake Region. The Yachtsmen were coming off a 3-0 home victory over Windham and a 3-1 loss at Biddeford. Falmouth is at Cape Elizabeth Thursday, visits NYA Friday and plays host to Yarmouth Monday.

Speaking of the defending Class B champion Clippers, they took a 6-1 record and the top ranking into Monday's match at Cony. Yarmouth was coming off a hard fought 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 15-9) win at first-year Cheverus Friday. After hosting Windham Thursday, the Clippers are at Falmouth Monday.

NYA dropped to 0-7 and ninth in Class B after losing in three games to visiting Cony, four at Kennebunk and five at Cape Elizabeth. The Panthers host Falmouth Friday.

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

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