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October arrives, finishing kick begins

Sports

October arrives, finishing kick begins

(Ed. Note: For the complete Yarmouth-Waynflete and Yarmouth-Falmouth boys' soccer, Falmouth-Yarmouth girls' soccer, Falmouth-NYA, Falmouth-York and Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth field hockey and Greely-Ellsworth volleyball game stories, with photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

The calendar has flipped to October and an already exciting fall sports season is about to get even more riveting. Local teams are jockeying for playoff positioning and showdowns will continue.

Here's a glimpse:

Boys' soccer

The latest chapter of (what's for my money the best rivalry in high school sports) played out Monday evening, when Yarmouth hosted Falmouth.

The Clippers came into the game on a roll, after wins last week at Waynflete (3-0) and Cape Elizabeth (1-0, in overtime). Adam LaBrie, Ben Decker and Chandler Smith scored against the Flyers.

"Overall, we worked pretty hard," Decker said. "That's something Coach (Mike) Hagerty has established firmly as a base expectation for our team. We moved the ball pretty well."

David Clemmer had the winner with 29 seconds left in overtime against the Capers, heading home a LaBrie cross.

The Yachtsmen entered Monday's showdown struggling for offense. Last week, Falmouth beat visiting Poland, 4-0 (Luke Velas scored twice), but was then shutout for the third time in four games, 3-0, at home against Greely.

Monday, the game's lone goal came late in the first half, when Smith scored on a rebound. The Yachtsmen had a good look late, but Jonah Speigal's bid was denied by diving Yarmouth goalkeeper Alex Lyon and the Clippers prevailed, 1-0.

"(We're) always about looking forward, but there was thought in the minds of guys who lost (to Falmouth in the regional final) last year that we wanted to come out strong," Smith said.

"It's a huge deal for Heal Points and for the Brady Cup (given to the best team in head-to-head competition between Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth)," said Clippers senior David Murphy. "It's unsettling to go through a half of a game against Falmouth with a one-goal lead. It was a little nervewracking."

"I actually thought we played a really good first half," added Hagerty. "We had good chances to put it away on the doorstep in the first half. Those are chances that can come back to bite you and they almost did at the end."

Yarmouth (now 6-0-2 and first in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) hosts York Wednesday, welcomes Cape Elizabeth Saturday, then has a rematch at Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

"We love the tough games," Murphy said. "It's more fun to play with a huge fan base."

With the loss, Falmouth fell to 3-2-2 and seventh in Western A.

"We wanted to try to keep it close and have a chance in the end and we were there," longtime Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan said. "They were a little stronger than we were."

Falmouth's upcoming road is also daunting. It visits Cape Elizabeth Wednesday and Greely Saturday, then hosts Yarmouth.

"Every game is huge," Halligan said. "There's a lot of balance and a lot of parity. We're paying our dues. If we can physically survive it, we'll be fine. We'll play our best at the end. If we get in, we'll see what happens."

Greely is hot on Yarmouth's heels in Western B, sitting second with a 6-1-1 mark after extending its win streak to four with recent victories over visiting Freeport (4-0), host Falmouth (3-0) and host York (3-0). Against the Falcons, Jacob Nason scored twice. Nason, Hunter Graham and Austin Nowinski had the goals against the Yachtsmen. The Rangers then became the first team in eight games to score on the Wildcats, as Nowinski, Aidan Black and Matt Crowley tickled the twine. Greely was home with Kennebunk Wednesday, has a rematch at Falmouth Saturday and plays host to York Tuesday.

Freeport fell to 2-5-1 and 11th in Western B (10 teams make the playoffs) after a 4-0 home loss to Greely, a 12-0 home romp over Lake Region and a 3-0 setback at North Yarmouth Academy. In the win, Nick Wilson had three goals and Caleb Abbott had two. The Falcons were home with Wells Wednesday and visit Waynflete Tuesday.

In Western C, NYA continues to dazzle, improving to 8-0 and third in the Heals after wins over host Richmond (5-0), visiting Sacopee (5-0) and visiting Freeport (3-0). D.J. Nicholas had three goals against Richmond and scored four times against the Hawks. Nicholas scored twice versus the Falcons and Jackson Cohan-Smith also scored. The Panthers were at rival Waynflete Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), visit Fryeburg Friday and play host to Poland Tuesday.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, three-time defending Class B champion Falmouth remains perfect.

The Yachtsmen, who will be in Class A this fall for postseason purposes, improved to 7-0 after winning at Poland, 3-0, and downing rivals Greely (2-1) and Yarmouth (3-1) on the road. Tyler Spence had the first goal and Megan Miller was credited for the winner against the Rangers, when her shot went in off a Greely defender. At the Clippers, Taylor Russell scored off a corner kick 81 seconds in and Miller broke a tie in the second half with a penalty kick. Spence added the insurance goal.

"(Yarmouth is) always a big game," Miller said. "We knew we had to come out hard and match their intensity in the second half. I think we did that. To be 7-0 is really exciting."

"We're struggling to put 80 minutes together right now, but to be 7-0 without putting together an 80-minute game is good for us," said first-year Yachtsmen coach Andrew Pelletier.

Falmouth (first in the Western A Heals) had a huge home showdown with Cape Elizabeth Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcomes Greely Friday and Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

"We just have to listen to Andrew," Spence said. "He knows what to do with us. He leads us in the right direction. I trust him completely."

Yarmouth, which got a goal from freshman Gretchen Barbera, saw its five-game unbeaten streak end with the loss to the Yachtsmen.

"I felt like in the second half, we were still controlling momentum and had more shots," said Clippers coach Rich Smith. "When they got the PK, I never felt like we were out of it. Even after they made it 3-1, we had looks."

Yarmouth was coming off a 1-0 home win over Wells (on Katie Clemmer's goal) and a 1-1 tie at Cape Elizabeth.

Yarmouth (now 4-2-1 and third behind Cape Elizabeth and Greely in the Western Class B Heal Points standings) welcomed York Wednesday, plays host to Cape Elizabeth Saturday and visits Falmouth Tuesday.

"We'll be fine," said Smith. "We have a very difficult schedule. We play all the best teams. We get experience each game and learn from the positives and negatives."

Greely sandwiched wins over host Freeport (2-0) and visiting York (3-0) around a 2-1 home loss to Falmouth. Izzy Hutnak had both goals against the Falcons. Hutnak, Liz Clifford and Allie Morrill had the goals against the Wildcats. Jocelyn Mitiguy scored in the loss to the Yachtsmen. The Rangers (6-2 and second in the Heals) were at Kennebunk Wednesday, visit Falmouth Saturday and go to York Tuesday.

Freeport has moved up to fifth at 6-3 after wins at Lake Region (2-0) and at home over NYA (3-0). Alyssa Richardson scored twice against the Lakers. Brooke Heathco, Lizzy Martin and Maddie Squibb had the goals against the Panthers. The Falcons were at Wells Wednesday and welcome Waynflete Tuesday.

In Western C, NYA was sixth at 4-3-1 at press time after a 6-0 home win over Buckfield, a 0-0 home tie with Fryeburg, a 3-1 home win over Sacopee and a 3-0 loss at Freeport. Against Buckfield, Melanie Regan had two goals, Chloe Leishman had a goal and two assists. Taylor Leech, Lizzie Lewis and Alex Wahlstrom also scored. Regan scored twice and Leishman had the other goal against the Hawks. The Panthers hosted rival Waynflete Wednesday and go to Poland Tuesday.

Field hockey

Falmouth's field hockey team found itself third behind Scarborough and Massabesic in the Western A Heals at press time. Last Wednesday, the Yachtsmen extended their win streak to four with a dramatic 1-0 overtime win over visiting NYA. Jillian Rothweiler got the lone goal.

"It's pretty exhilarating," said Rothweiler. "We knew NYA was a good team. They played such a great game."

"Overtime, it's who gets a good bounce," said Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley. "We just executed that really well. We've had experience in overtime. Playing at home helped. We made a couple connections and finished it off."

Saturday, Falmouth fell to 7-2 with a 4-0 home loss to longtime nemesis York.

"We didn't play well," said Haley. "York was on on every pass and we weren't. That was basically it."

The Yachtsmen were at Fryeburg Tuesday, host Cape Elizabeth Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Greely Monday.

In Western B, if the playoffs started today, Greely and Freeport would meet in a preliminary round game.

The Rangers were 3-5-1 and eighth in the region after a 4-1 home win over Waynflete and a 1-1 home tie against Kennebunk. In the tie, Mimi Lyon-Edmondson had a goal in the second half (assisted by Sophie McMonagle) to forge the deadlock. Greely is at York Thursday, hosts Falmouth Monday and goes to Cape Elizabeth Wednesday.

The Falcons were 3-6 and ninth after a 2-1 home loss to Lake Region and a 1-0 home victory over Poland. Hannah Williams scored in the loss. Bailey Coffin had the goal in the victory. Freeport was at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, visits Kennebunk Thursday and welcomes Yarmouth Saturday.

In Western C, NYA fell from the unbeaten ranks with a tough 1-0 overtime loss at Falmouth, but the Panthers played very well in the process.

"It was an unbelievable game," said assistant coach Lucy Gerrity, who filled in for head coach Tracy Quimby. "The kids played so well. This was a fun game to coach. I was extremely happy with how they stepped up and played NYA field hockey the best we've seen them play."

Saturday, the Panthers improved to 7-1 (second to Lisbon in the Heals) with an 8-0 home win over Wells. Olivia Madore erupted for four goals and three assists. Juliana Tardif added three goals. NYA was at Traip Tuesday, hosts Gray-New Gloucester Saturday, has a showdown at Yarmouth Monday and welcomes Waynflete Wednesday.

Yarmouth has struggled to score goals of late, but was seventh in the region at 4-2-1 after a 1-0 loss at Cape Elizabeth and a 1-0 victory at Sacopee Valley. In the setback, the Clippers had seven penalty corners and got nine saves from goalie Tori Messina.

"It's hard to have so many opportunities and not be able to finish," Yarmouth coach Mandy Lewis lamented.

Katie Overhaug had the goal in the victory. The Clippers were home with Waynflete Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome Sacopee Valley Thursday, go to Freeport Saturday, host NYA Monday and Wells Wednesday.

Cross country

On the trails, Greely and NYA took part in the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational last weekend. Rangers senior standout Kirstin Sandreuter stole the show by winning the small school race in 18 minutes, 59 seconds, helping Greely place second among 26 teams. NYA was 22nd. The Panthers were led by Hannah Austin (eighth for scoring purposes, in 20:15).

In the boys' small school race, Greely placed fifth and NYA 18th. The Panthers were led by Matt Malcom (23rd, 17:26) and the Rangers were paced by Troy Cochran (24th, 17:27).

Yarmouth hosted Freeport, Kennebunk, Sacopee Valley and Waynflete last weekend. The Clippers won the boys' meet, with the Falcons second. Freeport's Chandler Vincent was the fastest individual (18:53). Yarmouth was paced by Sam Gerken (third, 19:51.7). The Falcons were first on the girls' side, with the Clippers runners-up. Freeport's Sydney Ambrose (22:16.7) won the race. Yarmouth's Ellie Teare placed second (22:26.7). Caitlin Teare was third with the same time.

Falmouth joined Lake Region, Traip and Wells at York. The Yachtsmen won the boys' race, as Josh Simenskey was first in 17:27. Falmouth's girls won as well, led by Madeline Roberts' runner-up finish in 20:03.

Merriconeag joined Cape Elizabeth and Poland at Gray-New Gloucester. The boys placed second to the hosts, as Tucker Pierce was the individual runner-up (18:02). The girls were second to the Capers, as Samantha Pierce was fourth individually (22:34). 
 
This weekend, Falmouth, NYA and Yarmouth take part in the Festival of Champions in Belfast, while Freeport hosts Greely, Fryeburg, Traip and Wells.

Golf

Golf's regular season comes to a close this week. The girls' state qualifier was held Monday and Yarmouth's Monica Austin and Claire King both earned a berth.

Falmouth took an 8-0 record into its final two matches, versus South Portland and Scarborough. Greely was 7-0 going into its final three matches, versus Gorham, Thornton Academy and Bonny Eagle. NYA finished its regular season with a 9-3 mark. Yarmouth took a 4-5 mark into its finale at Wells Tuesday. Freeport finished the regular season 0-12 after a 7-0 loss to Wells.

The Western Maine Conference team and individual qualifier is Monday. Falmouth and Greely take part in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association qualifier is also Monday.

The golf team state match is Oct. 12 with the individual championships Oct. 19.

Volleyball

Greely's two-time defending Class A state champion volleyball team returned to the top spot in the Heals after a pair of wins over Down East foes last weekend. After blanking visiting Gorham (25-20, 25-21, 25-4) last Tuesday, the Rangers welcomed Mt. Desert Island Friday and prevailed, 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-21). Saturday, Greely played host to Ellsworth in the first-ever countable meeting between the programs, and prevailed in three games, 25-19, 25-17, 25-23.

"We're back up (at the top)," said Jordynne Copp, who had a dozen kills and five aces. "I like playing these teams. It keeps us on our toes. It's nice to see something new."

"We had to refocus a few times today," said Greely coach Kelvin Hasch. "They're a scrappy team, but when we needed it, we were able to pull it off. We had smart plays. That helped us out."

The Rangers took their 7-1 record into a showdown Tuesday evening against visiting Scarborough (see theforecaster.net for match story), the team which handed them their lone loss. Greely plays at Falmouth Saturday.

The Yachtsmen were fourth at 6-0 at press time after blanking visiting Cheverus last week, 3-0 (25-4, 25-12, 25-17). Falmouth was at South Portland Tuesday and hosts Lake Region Friday prior to the Greely showdown. The Yachtsmen host Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

In Class B, Yarmouth rallied for a 3-2 (25-19, 17-25, 18-25, 25-15, 15-8) victory at Kennebunk last Wednesday, then won a pair of 3-1 decisions Saturday, against visiting Machias (25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 25-16) and Washington Academy (25-10, 25-27, 25-21, 25-18) to improve to 6-1 and first in the Heals. The Clippers hosted Cony Wednesday and welcome South Portland Thursday of next week.

NYA got its first victory last Wednesday, 3-2 (25-20, 14-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11), at Thornton Academy. Saturday, the Panthers hosted a pair of matches and dropped 3-0 decisions to Machias (18-25, 16-25, 13-25) and Washington Academy (17-25, 22-25, 14-25). After going to Lake Region Wednesday, the Panthers (1-6 and eighth in Class B, where seven teams make the playoffs) host South Portland Tuesday.

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