Golf state match rings in postseason
(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth girls' soccer, Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth field hockey and Scarborough-Greely volleyball game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)
The postseason fun is underway and there is plenty more to come in the days and weeks ahead.
Golf's team state match was held Saturday and individuals go for glory this coming weekend. Field hockey's regular season has come to a close. Soccer and volleyball are nearing their end and cross country's postseason is just days away.
Here's a look:
Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough both took aim at team state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
The Capers, after a 7-4 record and 335 team score at the Western Maine Conference qualifier, wound up fifth in Class B with a score of 336 (York repeated with a score of 311). Standout Reese McFarlane led the way with a score of 69. Jackson Berman (86), Xander Schonewolf (88) and Nate Ingalls (93) also scored. Bryce Hewitt's score of 101 wasn't take into account.
"We were very consistent with our qualifying and state scores," said Cape Elizabeth coach Tim Desmarais. "Our experience showed up with our No. 1 man besting his qualifying score by 10 strokes, but the rest of the team was very nervous being their first time to states and York played very well and deserved to capture the title."
Scarborough was 8-2 and shot a 331 at the Southern Maine Activities Association qualifier to earn a spot at the Class A state match. There, the Red Storm shot a 332 and placed eighth in a very competitive field (Gorham took the title with a 309). Scarborough got 78 from Brendan Hall, an 83 from Hunter Sackville, an 84 from Kyle Parrott and an 87 from Matt McAlary. Matt Hartl (88) also took part, but his score wasn't taken into account.
Several local players will return to Natanis Saturday for the boys' and girls' individual state matches.
Cape Elizabeth's boys' soccer team appears to be peaking at the right time. After a 2-5-1 start, the Capers have won three straight, capped by a 4-1 home win over Freeport Friday and a 1-0 home victory over defending Class B state champion Falmouth Tuesday. Against the Falcons, Eli Breed scored twice, while Charlie Laprade and Matt Riggle also tickled the twine. In the win over the Yachtsmen, Griffin Thoreck scored on a booming 45-yard free kick in the second half to provide the margin of the victory. Cape Elizabeth was 10th in the Western Class A Heal Points standings at press time (the top 12 teams reach the postseason). The Capers were at Sacopee Thursday, go to Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and close the regular season at home versus defending Class C champion Waynflete Monday.
Scarborough remains in the top spot after recent wins over Sanford (5-0) and Westbrook (8-1). The victory over the Spartans came at home, even though the game was originally scheduled to be played at Sanford (poor field conditions there forced the move). Austin Downing had two goals, Sam Cekada, Jerry Kenney and Wyatt Omsberg also scored. In the win at the Blue Blazes, Cekada went off for four goals, while Chris Cleary, Downing, Jordan Luong and Dan Ornstein all had one. The Red Storm (10-0-2) was home with Biddeford Thursday and closes at home versus Massabesic Tuesday.
South Portland was 6-2-3 and seventh in Western A at press time. The Red Riots rallied for a 1-1 home tie with Cheverus Saturday when Damjan Draskovic scored late. Monday's home game versus Thornton Academy was postponed due to poor field conditions. It will likely be made up Saturday. South Portland was Portland Thursday and closes Tuesday at home versus Marshwood. The Red Riots are in line to host a playoff game for the second year in a row.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 5-7 and ninth in the Heals at press time (only the top seven squads reach the playoffs). Last week, the Lions fell at home to Chop Point (2-1), at Richmond (9-0) and to visiting Pine Tree Academy (4-2). GPCS was at Highview Christian Thursday and closes the year Saturday at home against Buckfield.
The Cape Elizabeth girls' team is also peaking. The Capers bounced back from last week's scoreless tie versus Greely to win at Freeport (4-1) and hand host, two-time defending Class B state champion Falmouth its first loss, 3-1. Against the Falcons, Kathryn Clark had a pair of goals and Montana Braxton and Maddy Riker each struck once. The showdown at the Yachtsmen was chock full of drama and even a little controversy.
The Capers controlled play in the early going, but failed to convert some golden opportunities, even hitting the post on one occasion. The Yachtsmen then went ahead, 1-0, on Tyler Spence's goal in the 24th minute, but five minutes later, Cape Elizabeth managed to draw even as Clark finished. With 53.4 seconds to go in the half, the Capers took the lead as Clark's cross was poked home by Katherine Briggs.
The second half was full of fireworks, both on the field and the sidelines. The Yachtsmen carried play for the most part and after a controversial ruling, almost tied the score on an indirect kick, but Mary Catherine Kowalsky's header off Caitlin Bucksbaum's feed was denied in diving fashion by Cape Elizabeth goalkeeper Mary Perkins to keep it a one-goal game. Then, in the 78th minute, the Capers got a gift goal, credited to Talley Perkins, and went on to the victory.
"We earned so many Heal Points from (Falmouth) since they're the number one team in Class B," said Clark. "It also gives us a confidence boost going into playoffs. We know if we can beat Falmouth, we can beat so many teams."
"Adrenaline got us going when we tied it," Mary Perkins said. "Then, the second goal came. We were pumped. It feels good to beat them. It was a long 40 minutes trying to hold the lead, but we're determined."
"Falmouth's always a big game for us," said Talley Perkins. "It's a big rivalry. It doesn't matter what sport. If you have the lead, it's more motivation for the other team. You have to keep the momentum up."
"We put them under a lot of pressure," Capers coach Luke Krawczyk added. "The girls played very well, especially the first 10-15 minutes. It always worries you when you play that well and don't score. We need to be more composed in front of the goal. The pleasing thing is the girls keep getting chances. They'll score the chances eventually. I'm happy with the way they're creating more chances."
Cape Elizabeth (second in the Western A Heals at press time with a 10-1-1 mark) hosts Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and finishes the regular season at Waynflete Monday.
"Hopefully, we can keep picking up points and scrape into the third position," said Krawczyk. "We have two tough games. Hopefully we can get through them and build on this performance."
Scarborough sat 9-1-1 and fourth in Western A at press time after a 9-0 home romp over McAuley Friday night. Katherine Kirk led the way with three goals. The Red Storm was at Westbrook Wednesday, hosts Biddeford Friday and closes at Massabesic Tuesday.
South Portland was clinging to the 13th and final playoff spot in Western A with a 4-7 mark at press time. The Red Riots were at Thornton Academy Wednesday, play host to Portland Friday and close at Marshwood Tuesday.
In Western D, GPCS was seventh at 0-8 (the top five teams make the postseason) after recent losses at Richmond (21-1) and to visiting Pine Tree Academy (4-0). The Lions were home with Vinalhaven Thursday and close the year at home versus Buckfield Saturday.
Scarborough's field hockey team finished the regular season a perfect 14-0, having surrendered not a single goal. The Red Storm closed with shutouts of visiting Noble (6-0) and host Kennebunk (5-0). Against the Knights, Maggie Carbin and Rachael Wallace each scored twice and Emily Bunting and Abby Walker both had one goal. In the win over the Rams, Katie Granzier had two goals and Wallace, Maddie Dobecki and Ellen Walker added one apiece. Scarborough will host a quarterfinal round playoff game Wednesday against a yet-to-be determined foe.
South Portland finished 3-10-1 and will likely miss the playoffs. The Red Riots closed with a 4-1 home win over Deering and losses at Noble (3-1) and at home to Sanford (5-0). Kristina Salafia had all four goals in the win. Kailey Hannigan scored versus the Knights. Goalie Lani Edwards made 23 saves in the finale.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is heading for the postseason after falling short in 2011. The Capers earned their biggest win of the year last Wednesday, blanking visiting Fryeburg, 3-0, as Hannah Newhall, Hailey Petsinger and Lauren Steidl all scored goals. The following evening, Cape Elizabeth lost at Falmouth, 2-0, to fall to 7-6.
"It was very tough to bounce back," Capers coach Darci Holland said. "It's frustrating to see them play like that since we played so well against Fryeburg. I think the girls were exhausted tonight. Mentally and physically. I feel like we were coming off a high today and crashed. Not that that's an excuse because Falmouth played very well tonight. They had great passing. They were stopping shots. We just couldn't make things happen. We just didn't get it going. We didn't cut to the ball. They stopped everything. Defensively, we couldn't seem to get our sticks on the ball either, unfortunately."
Cape Elizabeth (eighth in the Western B Heals at press time) hosted Yarmouth in the regular season finale Wednesday. The Capers hoped for a win and an opportunity to host a preliminary round playoff game Saturday.
"I know I have a good team," Holland said. "Beating Fryeburg was proof right there. Hopefully we'll host. We're very capable."
The field hockey playoffs begin with the preliminary round Saturday, continue with the quarterfinals Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and the semifinals Oct. 20. Each of those rounds will be hosted by the higher ranked team. The regional finals are Oct. 23, at Scarborough High School. The state championship games are Oct. 27, at the University of Maine-Orono.
The Cape Elizabeth cross country teams' regular season ended Friday at Greely, in a meet which also included Falmouth, Wells and Yarmouth. Both teams finished fourth. The boys were led by Will Britton, who was third individually in 18 minutes, 3 seconds. The girls' top finisher was Rhoen Fiutak (eighth, 22:19). The Capers will take part in the Western Maine Conference meet Friday, at St. Joseph's College in Standish.
Scarborough hosted Cheverus and Thornton Academy last weekend. The boys' team was first (paced by individual winner Jack Sullivan, 17:18.16) and the girls (led by Marisa Agger, fourth, 21:11.63) came in third.
South Portland joined Bonny Eagle and Marshwood at Biddeford, where the Red Riots girls placed second and the boys were third. Individually, Nyajock Pan once again led the girls' charge by finishing second (20:36). Teammate Casey Loring was third (21:36). The boys were paced by Gavin Damian-Loring (13th, 19:42).
The SMAA regular season concludes Friday when Scarborough (with Bonny Eagle, Westbrook and Windham) runs at Gorham and South Portland joins Cheverus, McAuley and Portland at Deering.
Looking ahead, the regional championship races are Oct. 20, at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland. The state championships are Oct. 27, in Belfast. The New England championship meet is Nov. 10, back at Twin Brook.
Scarborough's volleyball team is now 10-3 and third in the Class A Heal Points standings, behind undefeated Biddeford and defending state champion Greely. Last week, the Red Storm hosted the Rangers in a state final rematch, but fell behind, 20-6, in the first set and wound up losing in three straight (14-25, 13-25, 17-25). Scarborough has never beaten Greely in a countable match.
"Greely played very strong," Red Storm coach Jon Roberts said. "They didn't make any mistakes. I think they earned their points. They didn't let the ball hit the floor. They're a great team. They're playing well. They didn't make mistakes and put the pressure on us. They're mentally strong and believe they're going to win every time. I think we came in thinking we could compete. They just outplayed us tonight. I don't know if it was mental. I'm sure it's in the back of their minds it was Greely, but we've beaten them in tournaments that don't count. I didn't think we fought very hard in the first game. We were shellshocked. I was happy with how we fought back in the second and third games.
"Our focus has been on not making mistakes. That's not good enough. We had to be more aggressive and put pressure on them. My hitters need to be more aggressive. We've worked on not making mistakes that killed us at the beginning of the season. That's good enough against some of the middle teams. Now, we need to hit and block better and take pressure off the defense. I think our defense is better than we showed today."
Friday, Scarborough got back on track with a thrilling 3-2 (21-25, 25-23, 26-28, 25-23, 15-10) triumph at Falmouth. Lily Lemire had 17 service points, 32 service receptions and 26 digs. Mary Cleary and Meghan Lynch each had 12 kills and Lauren Piper finished with 36 assists and six digs.
The Red Storm closes at home versus Gorham Friday night.
Cape Elizabeth was clinging to the ninth and final playoff spot in Class A at press time with a 4-8 record following a 3-0 loss at Gorham and a 3-0 home win over Windham last week. The Capers were home against Greely Wednesday and close the regular season at home Friday versus Cheverus.