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October means postseason nears

Sports

October means postseason nears

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Portland boys' soccer game story, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

Buckle up.

October is upon us.

A new month means local teams are either priming for the postseason or jockeying for positioning.

Golf's team state championship match is Saturday and individual champions will be crowned the following weekend. Cross country has just one regular season meet left. Soccer, field hockey and volleyball are all rapidly coming to a close.

Here's a glimpse at where things stand and a look ahead:

Boys' soccer

Cheverus boys' soccer team has been hot and cold this season. The Stags won their first three games, then dropped four in a row, but appear to have returned to form after recent victories over visiting Portland (2-0) and at Westbrook (3-0).

Against the Bulldogs, Cheverus managed to grab a 1-0 lead when Jimmy Campbell scored in the sixth minute. That would prove to be the only goal the Stags would need, but they got an insurance tally with 32:17 to play when Jamie Biegel lofted a shot into the goal.

"I thought a fast start was crucial," said Campbell. "I think that helped a lot."

Derek Hammond, Elijah Yeboah and Isaac Yeboah had the goals against the Blue Blazes.

Cheverus (5-4 and 12th in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) was at Thornton Academy Tuesday, plays at South Portland in a "Coaches vs. Cancer" fundraiser Thursday and plays host to Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

Deering began the week 5-3-1 and eighth in the standings after a 3-1 home loss to Scarborough and a 4-0 home victory over Thornton Academy last week. Against the Red Storm, Nathan Finberg gave the Rams a lead at halftime, but Scarborough turned the game around in the second half. In the victory, Qutaiba Hassan, Kuba Chandler, Zach Duperry and Stephen Ochan had the goals. Deering was at Kennebunk Tuesday, hosts Windham Thursday and is home against Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Portland was 2-5-1 and 14th in the Heals when the week began. Last week, the Bulldogs lost at Cheverus, 2-0, then bounced back to blank visiting Massabesic, 3-0. In the setback, Portland had some chances, but couldn't convert.

"We just had too many chances go awry," Bulldogs coach Rocky Frenzilli said. "I thought we had chances in the first half, but unfortunately didn't put any away. Cheverus is a skilled team. They deserve credit for finishing their chances. They knew what to do. The second half, they literally took us out of our game. We didn't get any chances at all. they just denied us. It was tough. They deserved to win."

Portland was at Marshwood Tuesday, plays host to Kennebunk Thursday, goes to Windham Saturday and visits Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, Waynflete began the week fifth with a 7-0-1 mark after downing host Traip (4-1) and visiting Sacopee (4-2). Against the Rangers, Peabo Knoth had three goals (including a penalty kick), while Henry Cleaves also tickled the twine and freshman Tommy Silk earned his first victory in goal with five saves. The Flyers were tied, 2-2, at halftime against the Hawks, but prevailed behind goals from Knoth, Cleaves, Mohammed Suja and Paul Runyambo. Waynflete was home with Traip Tuesday, welcomes rival North Yarmouth Academy Friday, goes to Richmond Saturday and hosts Greely Tuesday of next week.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, Waynflete began the week unbeaten at 5-0-3, good for sixth in the Western C Heals. Last week, the Flyers tied host Old Orchard Beach, 2-2, then downed visiting Traip, 4-0. In the deadlock, Walker Foehl and Arianna Giguere had the goals. Against the Rangers, Isabel Agnew, Leigh Fernandez, Amelia Mitchell and Annarosa Whitman all had goals. Waynflete was at Traip Tuesday, goes to NYA Friday and Richmond Saturday and visits Greely Tuesday of next week.

In Western A, Cheverus sits sixth in the Heals with a 7-2 mark after a 3-0 win at Portland last Wednesday. Darby Rawclife scored twice and Abby Goodrich also had a goal. The Stags were home against Westbrook Monday and welcome Thornton Academy Wednesday.

Deering is 6-3 and ninth after losing, 2-1, at Scarborough and beating visiting McAuley, 3-0, last week. In the setback, the Rams became the first team to score a goal against the Red Storm when Edie Pallozzi converted a penalty kick. In the victory, Pallozzi, Alexis Elowitch and Simone Lauture all scored in a 10-minute span. Deering hosts Kennebunk Wednesday and goes to Windham Saturday.

Portland was 15th at 2-7-1 (the top 13 teams make the playoffs) at the start of the week after losses to visiting Cheverus (3-0) and host Massabesic (3-1) last week. Ashley Frank scored the goal against the Mustangs. The Bulldogs hosted McAuley Tuesday and go to Kennebunk Friday.

McAuley fell to 1-8 and 17th after losses last week to visiting Marshwood (2-0) and at Deering (3-0). The Lions were home with Kennebunk Monday and played at Portland Tuesday. Friday, McAuley goes to Scarborough.

Field hockey

Cheverus' field hockey team bounced back from its first loss with a 6-0 home win over South Portland and a 2-1 victory at Gorham. Against the Red Riots, Elyse Caiazzo scored four times. Staci Swallow and Katie Roy had the goals in the win over the Rams. The Stags (10-1 and second to Scarborough in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) were home with Kennebunk Monday, visit McAuley Wednesday and close the regular season Friday at Sanford. Cheverus should have homefield advantage for the quarterfinals and if it advances, the semifinals as well.

Deering appears playoff bound for the first time since 2009. The Rams began the week 6-4 and eighth in Western A (11 teams qualify for the postseason). Last week, Deering blanked host Portland (2-0) and visiting Noble (1-0). Against the Bulldogs, the Rams got goals from Mia Thurston and Caryn True. In the win over the Knights, Kiana DiBiase had the lone tally. Deering hosted undefeated Scarborough Monday and went to reigning regional champion Marshwood Tuesday. After a trip to South Portland Wednesday, the Rams finish Friday at home versus Gorham.

Portland is showing late signs of life, but still sat in 14th with a 2-8-1 mark when the week began. Last week, the Bulldogs lost at home to Deering (2-0), then got in the win column with a 2-1 triumph at McAuley. Georgia Drew and Isabelle DiMillo scored. Portland then blanked visiting Bonny Eagle, 2-0, as DiMillo and Carissa Porcaro rattled the cage. The Bulldogs were at Noble Monday, host Westbrook Wednesday in what is essentially a play-in game, then close at Biddeford Friday.

McAuley is still winless, but finally got its first goal last week in a 2-1 home loss to Portland (Jenny Devine did the honors). The Lions took an 0-10 record and the No. 17 ranking in Western A into Monday's game at Bonny Eagle. McAuley hosts Cheverus Wednesday and is at Westbrook Friday. The Lions also have to make up Saturday's rainout at Massabesic.

In Western C, Waynflete appears bound for a third straight playoff trip. Last week, the Flyers and visiting Freeport settled for a 0-0 tie, then, Waynflete won, 3-1, at Poland, before settling for another scoreless tie at Traip. Merilla Michael scored twice and Jo Moore added a goal in the victory. Katherine Torrey made 11 saves against the Knights. The Flyers (6-3-2 and fifth in Western C) were home with Traip Monday and Poland Tuesday and close at two-time defending Class C state champion NYA Thursday. Waynflete is still in line for a home playoff game.

The field hockey playoffs begin Oct. 13 with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Oct. 16 and 17. The semis will be played Oct. 20. All of those rounds will be contested on the field of the higher seed. The regional finals are Oct. 23 at Scarborough. The state championship games are Oct. 27 at the University of Maine in Orono.

Cross country

Local cross country joined a throng of others at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions in Belfast Saturday.

The three time defending Class A state champion Cheverus girls had the best city showing, coming in fourth out of 50 teams (Mt. Desert Island came in first). The Stags were led by Kiera Murray, who was ninth for scoring purposes with a time of 19 minutes, 27.82 seconds. Portland came in 26th. Katherine Miller was the top Bulldog (106th, 22:07.97). Waynflete placed 31st as Martha Veroneau was 44th individually (20:43.10). McAuley was 46th. Adele Warner led the Lions with an 86th-place showing (21:49.94).

On the boys' side, Cheverus was 17th, Waynflete 33rd and Portland 39th (Cumberland, R.I., came in first) out of 60 teams. Individually, the Stags were paced by Brady Foshay (76th, 17:47.37), the top Flyer was Josh Espy (58th, 17:35.27) and the fastest Bulldog was Ben Allen (18th, 16:51.39).

Deering did not travel to Belfast. The Rams hosted Bonny Eagle, Kennebunk, McAuley and Noble (Scarborough was scheduled to join, but didn't take part). Deering's boys finished second while the girls were third. Individually, the boys got a top finish from Yahye Hussein (18:11).  The girls were paced by Mel McClure-Chute (third, 22:50). McAuley's Werner was runner-up in that race (22:12).

The penultimate race of the Southern Maine Activities Association's regular season is Friday when Cheverus joins Thornton Academy at Scarborough, Deering (with Gorham) goes to Noble, McAuley and Massabesic are at Westbrook and Portland (with Kennebunk and Sanford) runs at Windham.

Waynflete's final regular season meet is Thursday at Traip. York will also take part.

The Western Maine Conference championship meet is Oct. 13. The regional championships are Oct. 20 at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The state championships are Oct. 27 in Belfast.

Golf

The SMAA state golf qualifier was held Monday. Cheverus expected to qualify and make a run at the championship Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. The individual championships for boys and girls are Saturday, Oct. 13, also at Natanis.

Cheverus ended the regular season with an 11-2 home win over Deering to wind up 8-2. The Rams finished 2-8. Portland finished 4-6 after a 9.5-3.5 loss at Scarborough in its finale.

Waynflete went 4-6 in the regular season and took part in the WMC qualfiier Tuesday.

Volleyball

Cheverus' first-year varsity volleyball program has some work to do if it wants to make the playoffs. The Stags began the week 12th in the Class A Heals, but only the top 10 teams qualify. Cheverus fell to 2-6 last week after 3-0 losses last week to visiting Gorham (10-25, 13-25, 14-25) and host Kennebunk (24-26, 15-25, 22-25). The Stags welcome undefeated, top ranked Biddeford Wednesday and go to defending state champion Greely Friday.

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