Many memories made this fall
It came and went in a flash, but the fall sports season, circa 2012, was once again a great one in Forecaster Country.
Soccer stole the headlines as both Scarborough teams won the Class A state championship. The boys did it in relatively easy fashion, riding senior Dan Ornstein's first half hat trick to a 4-0 state game win over Mt. Ararat. The girls made their fans sweat, battling defending champion Bangor in a double-overtime epic that was finally decided by Miss Clutch, senior Sarah Martens, who delivered the game winner. Cape Elizabeth girls' team had its best season this century and the Capers boys and both South Portland squads also made it to the postseason.
On the gridiron, Scarborough had a solid seven-win campaign and reached the Western A semifinals. Cape Elizabeth extended its playoff streak to seven years, but lost to eventual regional champion Marshwood in the Western B quarterfinals. South Portland wasn't able to make the playoffs, but did spring an upset over Portland in the "Battle of the Bridge."
Scarborough's field hockey team was sensational for 17 games, not allowing a single goal in winning the regional crown. The Red Storm finally met its match in the Class A Final, losing to perennial champion Skowhegan. Cape Elizabeth had a solid year and made it to the Western B quarterfinals before being eliminated.
There was plenty of glory on the trails as the Cape Elizabeth boys won the Class B state championship. Scarborough's Robby Hall (boys' Class A) and South Portland's Nyajock Pan (girls' Class A) were individual runners-up.
Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough's golf teams made it to the state match. Capers standout Reese McFarlane won the Class B individual title.
Scarborough's volleyball team earned another shot at Greely in the playoffs, but despite a valiant effort, dropped a five-set decision to the eventual champion Rangers in the Class A semifinals. Cape Elizabeth reached the postseason for the first time and even won its first match, over Windham in the preliminary round, before losing to top-ranked Biddeford in the quarterfinals.
While the snow will soon be flying and we'll taking our sports viewing indoors for the most part, here's one last look back and tribute to those who made the fall of 2012 so special:
Fall 2012 state champions
Cape Elizabeth Capers boys' cross country, Class B
Scarborough Red Storm boys' soccer, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm girls' soccer, Class A
Fall 2012 regional champions
Scarborough Red Storm field hockey, Western Class A
Fall 2012 individual champion
Reese McFarlane, Cape Elizabeth, Class B golf
Michael's top five stories
5) A first for Cape Elizabeth volleyball
Cape Elizabeth's nascent volleyball program has slowly improved and the Capers took the next step this fall. Cape Elizabeth went 5-9 in the regular season, then hosted and won its first ever postseason contest, 3-1, over Windham in the preliminary round. The Capers were ousted by top-ranked, undefeated Biddeford in the quarterfinals, 3-0, but this program should be even stronger going forward and this autumn won't be the last time we hear from them in the playoffs.
4) Capers girls' soccer squad turns heads
After losing last year's top goal scorer to a prep school, there weren't a lot of expectations on the Cape Elizabeth girls' soccer team. As it turned out, the Capers embarked on their best campaign this century, losing once and tying once, while winning their other 12 regular season contests. A poised attack, which featured an abundance of young stars, and a steady defense proved to be a winning recipe. As the No. 3 seed in Western A, Cape Elizabeth survived a scare from South Portland in the preliminary round, beat rival Greely with surprising ease in the quarterfinals, then survived top-ranked Windham in penalty kicks in the semifinals. The run finally ended with a 1-0 loss at eventual champion Scarborough in the regional finals, but with this team's youth and now winning pedigree, look out in 2013.
3) Cape Elizabeth boys' CC wins Class B
Cape Elizabeth wasn't necessarily expected to be the team to beat in the Class B boys' cross country world this fall, but the Capers wound up on the podium at the end of the season. Cape Elizabeth won its first four meets and was fourth at the Belfast Invitational. After coming in second at the Western Maine Conference meet, the Capers made the jump to the top spot at the regional meet and at states, held off the rest of Class B to take the title for the first time in six years. Don't be surprised if Cape Elizabeth does it again next fall.
2) Scarborough field hockey untouchable for 17 games
There's dominance, then there's what the Scarborough field hockey team managed to do this autumn. The Red Storm entered the season still steaming over last year's surprising playoff ouster. Scarborough then produced literally a perfect regular season, winning all 14 games while not surrendering a single goal, something which has hardly ever been accomplished, not only in Maine, but nationwide. The Red Storm's streak continued in the regional finals, as it won Western A for a third time by blanking Thornton Academy, Westbrook and Cheverus. The shutout run finally ended in the second half of the state final versus perennial powerhouse Skowhegan, which scored three times to end Scarborough's mindboggling streak of not allowing a goal at 1,053 minutes, 15 seconds. Remarkable.
1) Scarborough soccer teams share title spotlight
Scarborough could make the argument (with only Falmouth disagreeing) that it was the center of the Maine high school soccer universe this autumn. The Red Storm haven't been any strangers to dominance on the pitch, but what the two squads did this season was something for the ages. The boys bounced back from consecutive years with disappointing playoff ousters by winning 16 games and tying two. Scarborough got past Portland, Greely and Gorham to win the region and at states, turned heads as senior Dan Ornstein scored three first half goals to help the Red Storm prevail, 4-0. The girls had won the 2010 Class A title over Bangor, but lost, 4-0, to the Rams in the 2011 state final. This year, Scarborough got another crack at Bangor, but had to hold off Sanford, Thornton Academy and Cape Elizabeth in the regional playoffs to do so. In the state game, the Red Storm fell behind 1-0 in the second half, but drew even on senior Jess Meader's tally. Then, after goalkeeper Sydney Martin saved the season late in regulation, the game went into overtime, then a second where senior Sarah Martens capped her fairy tale postseason with the winning goal and for the first time since joining Class A, both Scarborough teams were champions in the same year.