Stretch run begins for fall teams
(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Deering girls' soccer and Scarborough-Cheverus field hockey 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.
Scarborough is first in the Western Class A Heal Points standings with a 6-0-2 record after downing visiting Bonny Eagle (5-0) and host Deering (3-1). Against the Scots, Sam Cekada, Austin Downing, Kenny Hodgdon, Max Ornstein and Trevor Sparda had the goals. At the Rams, the Red Storm trailed at halftime, but came to life in the second half, pulling even when Downing, on his birthday, scored with 29:51 to go. The go-ahead tally came with 15:19 showing, courtesy a rebound goal from Wyatt Omsberg. Scarborough kept the pressure on and clinched it with 12:33 to play when Chris Cowie scored on a corner kick.
"The last 15 minutes of the first half, we played really, really well," said Red Storm coach Mark Diaz. "We passed well and moved off the ball and created opportunities. We hit the post twice. Their keeper made some nice saves. We just said, 'In the second half, let's do the same thing.' It was about composure today. Three weeks ago, we would have panicked. We might not have won. We stayed composed and chipped away. When we got opportunities, we hit them. There was no let up. We're not there yet, but we're coming."
Scarborough has perhaps its last big regular season test Saturday night when defending Class A champion Windham pays a visit in a rematch of last year's regional final.
"Windham will be a good barometer for how good we might be," said Diaz.
The Red Storm goes to Noble Tuesday.
South Portland is 5-1-2 and fourth in Western A after a 2-1 loss at Windham and a 1-1 home draw with Kennebunk. In the loss, Danny Fox had the goal. A goal late in the first half from Damjan Draskovic (assisted by Robert Graff) gave the Red Riots an advantage over the Rams, but Kennebunk tied the score with 31:35 to to and the teams settled for a tie. South Portland was at Bonny Eagle Thursday and goes to Gorham Tuesday. The Red Riots have been eliminated from the playoffs in each of the past two years by the Rams.
Cape Elizabeth suffered a tough 1-0 home loss to Greely Friday, on a penalty kick, but bounced back for a 5-1 victory at Lake Region Monday. Florian Krause had two goals, while Eli Breed, Cole Caswell and Kayne Munson each scored once. The Capers (11th in Western A) are at York Thursday and play at Greely Tuesday.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School is ninth in the Heals at 4-3 after losses at A.R. Gould (2-1) and Chop Point (3-0). Ethan Spaulding had the lone goal against A.R. Gould. James Perkins made 10 saves. The Lions were at Islesboro Thursday, go to A.R. Gould Monday and host Chop Point Wednesday.
On the girls' side, Scarborough continues to lead the way even though the Red Storm finally surrendered a goal. Scarborough improved to 7-0 Tuesday with a 2-1 home win over Deering. The Red Storm got goals from Sarah Martens and Jess Meader. The first goal Scarborough has given up this season was on a late penalty kick. The Red Storm is tied with Windham in the Western A Heals and hosts the Eagles Saturday. First, Scarborough went to dangerous Thornton Academy Thursday. The Red Storm welcomes Noble Tuesday.
South Portland continues to show signs of life. After a 4-0 home loss to Windham last Thursday (goalkeeper Emma Russell made 12 saves), the Red Riots nearly upset host Deering Saturday. A first half goal from Jenacee Bradbury combined with six saves from Russell, held up until less than 10 minutes to play when the Rams pulled even. They scored again on a corner kick with just over three minutes remaining to win, 2-1.
"I thought we played our best game of the season by far," South Portland coach Andy Pappas said. "I thought we did a good job of keeping (Deering) to two goals. They have a lot of firepower. It's always a battle. Jenacee did a great job getting us a lead at the half."
The Red Riots got back in the win column Tuesday with an impressive 4-3 victory at Kennebunk. Shae O'Brien had a hat trick and Bradley also scored. Russell made eight saves, including stopping a pair of penalty kicks, as South Portland improved to 3-6 (15th in Western A, where 13 teams make the playoffs). The Red Riots are home against Bonny Eagle Friday and host Gorham Tuesday.
"We're playing a tough schedule," Pappas said. "A lot of teams are very good. We're battling with everybody. We're capable. It's just a matter of getting some breaks. We don't seem to get a lot of breaks."
Cape Elizabeth is riding a seven-game win streak and is fourth in Western A after recent victories at Greely (1-0) and at home over Lake Region (6-0). Against the Rangers, Addison Wood had the goal. Wood also scored twice against the Lakers, while Montana Braxton, Kathryn Clark, Sarah O'Connor and Talley Perkins added goals. The Capers hosted York Thursday and welcomes Greely Tuesday.
In Western D, GPCS is sixth at 0-5 after falling, 11-0, to visiting Richmond Monday. The Lions go to Vinalhaven Friday.
Scarborough's field hockey team is still undefeated and is now the team to beat after a decisive and impressive 4-0 win at until-then unbeaten Cheverus Friday afternoon. The Red Storm grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2 minutes, 7 seconds in when Emily Bunting scored on a rebound. Five minutes later, off a penalty corner, Rachael Wallace finished and after Scarborough's superb defense fended off four straight Cheverus corners, the Red Storm broke it open on Katie Granzier's goal for a 3-0 halftime lead. Scarborough never let up in the second half and with 11:51 to play, Karli-An Gilbert delivered the coup de grace as the Red Storm went on to a 4-0 win.
"We were all pumped for this," said Bunting. "We'd been waiting for this. Everyone on this team does a great job. We're strong and close. At halftime, coach said, 'Imagine it's a 0-0 game. Stay with them.' We did."
"It's just a big fat wow!" said Scarborough coach Kerry Mariello. "We knew it would be a tough game. The girls were hyped. You never know how they'll respond in a situation like this. I'm proud of each one of them. It was a full team effort."
Another shutout was in the books.
"This is our eighth straight game without any goals being scored on us," Gove said. "Shutting them out feels so good."
"It's not necessarily the defense, it's all 11 players who have done the job," Mariello added. "They know how valuable possession of the ball is. They have great vision. They read the ball well and they know what to do with it when they get it."
The Red Storm made it nine wins in a row with another shutout Tuesday, 3-0, at Gorham. Ellen Walker, Maddie Dobecki and Grace Whalen had the goals. Scarborough (first in the Western A Heals) hosted Thornton Academy Thursday, welcomes Windham Saturday, goes to improved Deering Monday and hosts Noble Wednesday of next week. The Red Storm closes the regular year Oct. 5 at Kennebunk.
"We know other teams will be up for us," Mariello added. "We need to continue to grow and expand on what we're doing. No one's ever perfect. We want to be the best we can be and be there in that final game."
South Portland snapped a six-game skid last Wednesday with a 10-0 home win over McAuley. Kristina Salafia scored four times. Elizabeth Albert and Kirsten Kane each added two goals. Tuesday, the Red Riots fell to 2-7 with a 6-0 loss at Cheverus. Lani Edwards made 20 saves. South Portland (16th in Western A) was home with Biddeford Thursday, hosts Sanford Saturday, plays at Windham Monday and welcomes Deering Wednesday of next week. The Red Riots close at Noble Oct. 6.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth sits ninth in the Heals with a 4-5 mark. Last Thursday, the Capers won a 5-4 slugfest at Greely (Abby McInerney led the way with two goals). Cape Elizabeth then dropped 1-0 decisions at Fryeburg and York (in overtime). The Capers host Wells Saturday, Greely Monday and Yarmouth Wednesday.
Cape Elizabeth's cross country teams joined Lake Region and Yarmouth at Gray-New Gloucester last weekend. The boys were first as Peter Doane was the individual champion in 17 minutes, 22 seconds. The girls (paced by Ellen Best, who was fourth, in 21:57) placed second to the Clippers.
Scarborough hosted Biddeford, Deering and Sanford. The boys were first, while the girls tied the Spartans for the top spot. Marisa Agger won the girls' race (21:22). Robby Hall was second on the boys' side (17:08).
South Portland joined Noble at Windham, where the Red Riots were second to the hosts in both the boys' and girls' races. Nyajock Pan was the top female in 20:02. On the boys' side, Max Knutsen was tops in 17:32.
This weekend, Scarborough is home against Kennebunk, McAuley and Noble, South Portland joins Sanford and Thornton Academy at Westbrook and Cape Elizabeth takes part at the Belfast Invitational.
The golf regular season came to a close Thursday. Scarborough took a 7-2 mark into its final match versus Portland. South Portland was seeking its first victory when it hosted defending Class A champion Falmouth. Cape Elizabeth was 6-4 before playing host to Freeport.
October brings qualifiers and state matches.
Scarborough's volleyball team is second to Biddeford in the Class A Heals with a 6-2 mark. The Red Storm eked out a 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-12) win at Gorham last Wednesday and blanked host Cape Elizabeth 3-0 (25-8, 25-20, 25-7) Saturday. Monday, Scarborough won the first set against visiting Biddeford, 25-22, but lost the next three, 22-25, 11-25, 20-25. The Red Storm was home with Cony Thursday, goes to Cheverus Saturday and Lake Region Monday. Wednesday of next week, Scarborough hosts Greely in a state final rematch.
Cape Elizabeth sits eighth in Class A at 3-4 after winning three of four matches. After getting in the win column, 3-2, at Kennebunk, the Capers fell in three games to Scarborough (8-25, 20-25, 7-25). Cape Elizabeth answered with a 3-2 triumph over NYA, then blanked Lake Region Tuesday, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-12). The Capers were home with Falmouth Thursday, travel Down East Saturday to face Ellsworth and Mt. Desert Island, then return home Wednesday of next week to battle Gorham.