Wed, Sep 17, 2014 ●
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Fall sports season about to get really interesting

Sports

Fall sports season about to get really interesting

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

The postseason is just days away (golf states kicks off the fun Saturday) and there's definitely a playoff feel in the air. The time to secure a playoff spot and a strong postseason seed is disappearing as quickly as the leaves on the trees.

Here's a glimpse:

Boys' soccer

The roller-coaster ride that is local boys' soccer continued last week.

At press time, Yarmouth was holding off Greely for the top spot in the Western Class B Heal Points standings after a challenging week which included a home win over York (4-1) and a come-from-behind home tie against Cape Elizabeth (3-3).

Against York, Adam LaBrie had two goals, while Chandler Smith and David Murphy also scored. Against the Capers, Smith forged a first half tie with a goal and after falling behind, 3-1, in the second half, the Clippers roared back again, courtesy goals from LaBrie and Travis Hamre.

"When we went down, 3-1, my only thought was that we had to get back within a goal," Hamre said. "LaBrie had an amazing finish to make it 3-2. Once we were there, we pressed them. It's an amazing feeling to have that tying goal."

"It was certainly a good comeback," Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty said. "I'm really, really proud of how the kids responded. They showed a lot of heart. They didn't stop working. It's demoralizing being down, 3-1, but they showed a lot of maturity. None of these guys ever stop working."

Yarmouth took a 7-0-3 record into Falmouth Tuesday night (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Clippers host Kennebunk Friday, then gear up for a home battle versus Greely Wednesday of next week, in a game likely to determine homefield advantage.

Greely had a stellar week, increasing its win streak to six after blanking visiting Kennebunk, 1-0, and holding off visiting Falmouth, 2-1. Against the Rams, Matt Crowley had the lone goal. The Rangers then swept the Yachtsmen for the first time this century, thanks to a tying tally from Hunter Graham and the go-ahead score from Crowley late in the first half.

"We knew Falmouth's a good team and probably felt a little embarrassed after (we beat them, 3-0, at their place), so we knew they'd come out hard and we'd have to come out as hard as them," Crowley said. "It feels good being a part of Greely history."

The Rangers (8-1-1) were home with York Tuesday, welcome Cape Elizabeth Saturday and go to Yarmouth Wednesday of next week.

"I wish we were healthier, but hopefully that comes along," Greely coach Mike Andreasen. "This reminds me a little of last year, when we won three in a row at the end of the season. Doing it without three or four of our regulars is good for us  We'd rather play on turf, but there's no place like home."

Falmouth began the week 4-3-2 and eighth in Western A after a 1-0 win at Cape Elizabeth (Luke Velas had a highlight reel goal in the waning moments) and a 2-1 loss at Greely. Ben Lydick scored early for the Yachtsmen in that one, but they couldn't hold on.

"Our kids are progressing," Falmouth coach Dave Halligan said. "We're not the strongest team, but we're making process. I can't be upset with the effort. We pushed it to the end, but they did a good job keeping it out."

The Yachtsmen were home with Yarmouth Tuesday, welcome York Thursday and visit Kennebunk Wednesday of next week.

Freeport was 3-5-1 and ninth in Western B (the top 10 teams make the playoffs) after a 6-0 home win over Wells last week. Zach Merrill and Nick Wilson both scored twice. The Falcons were at Waynflete Tuesday, host Traip Friday and welcome Poland Wednesday of next week.

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy continued to dazzle last week with a 1-0 win at rival Waynflete. Forrest Chicoine scored a goal early in the second half and the Panthers, behind five saves from goalkeeper Austin Kidder, made it hold up.

"We have a bunch of great freshman," said Chicoine. "We've played great as a team."

"We're not worried about last year, we're focused on this year," Kidder said. "It's a new team. We're playing as a team. It wouldn't work with one player being really good."

"There's incredible chemistry with this group," NYA coach Martyn Keen added. "They like each other and work hard for each other. They're great kids. Of all my years coaching, and this is now my 15th year in high school, they're by far the nicest group. They work together so hard."

The Panthers improved to 10-0 and second in the Heals after a 3-2 win at Fryeburg Friday. Jackson Cohan-Smith had two goals, while D.J. Nicholas added one. NYA was home with Poland Tuesday, hosts Lake Region Friday and goes to Sacopee Valley Wednesday of next week.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, Greely has quietly played itself to an 8-2 record and the No. 2 spot in the Western B Heals behind Cape Elizabeth. Last week, the Rangers won at Kennebunk, 5-4, and Falmouth, 3-0. In the high-scoring affair, Greely got the winner from Allie Morrill. Izzy Hutnak scored twice, while Jocelyn Mitiguy and Kristina Volta both had one. Hutnak had the winner against the Yachtsmen, as the Rangers avenged an earlier loss. Greely as at York Tuesday, goes to Cape Elizabeth Saturday, as it looks to avenge its other loss, then plays at Yarmouth Wednesday of next week.

Speaking of the Clippers, they settled for a scoreless home tie with York last Wednesday, then suffered an agonizing 2-1 home loss to Cape Elizabeth Saturday night in double overtime. Against the Capers, freshman sensation Katie Clemmer gave Yarmouth a second half lead, but Cape Elizabeth drew even with less than 10 minutes to go, then won it in the second OT.

"I thought it was the best game we've played all year," Yarmouth coach Rich Smith said. "I feel badly for the loss, but I'm excited about how well we're playing and developing. Our captains have done a great job of getting everybody involved, making the freshmen feel welcome and cheering for them. (Abby Belisle-Haley, Julia Primeau and Emma Torres') leadership has spread through the team. They believe they can get better."

The Clippers (4-3-2 and fourth in Western B) were at Falmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), host Kennebunk Friday and welcome Greely Wednesday of next week.

Freeport is up to fifth at 7-3 after extending its win streak to three Wednesday with a 1-0 win at Wells. After hosting defending Class C champion Waynflete Tuesday, the Falcons are at Traip Friday and visit Poland Wednesday of next week.

Three-time defending Class B champion Falmouth, which will be in Class A this year for the playoffs, fell from the unbeaten ranks last week with home setbacks to Cape Elizabeth (2-1) and Greely (3-0). Laura Bauer had the goal against the Capers, but it wasn't enough.

"We lost 2-1 and worked our tails off for 80 minutes," first-year Yachtsmen coach Andrew Pelletier said. "If we played 10 times, we'd split five apiece. (Cape's) probably the best team on our schedule."

Falmouth (7-2 and first in Western A) was home with Yarmouth Tuesday, goes to York Thursday and welcomes Kennebunk Wednesday of next week.

In Western C, NYA rallied to tie visiting rival Waynflete last week, 1-1, and began this week 4-3-2 and seventh in the Heals. Alex Wahlstrom had the goal against the Flyers. The Panthers were at Poland Tuesday, visit Lake Region Friday, go to Old Orchard Beach Monday and visit Sacopee Valley Wednesday of next week.

Field hockey

NYA field hockey team keeps on finding a way to win and as a result was 9-1-1 and first in the Western C Heals at press time. The Panthers settled for a scoreless tie at Traip last Tuesday, then dominated visiting Gray-New Gloucester Friday, 8-0, behind a hat trick from Marina Poole and two goals from Olivia Madore. Monday, NYA went to crosstown rival Yarmouth and managed to sweep the season series from the Clippers by virtue of a 1-0 win. Madore had a first half goal and the Panthers held on for dear life in the second half.

"It was a tough game," Madore said. "They're our rivals for other sports, so having them as a rival in field hockey is nice. It's a good feeling to beat them."

"It was another thriller," said Panthers coach Tracy Quimby. "They really gear up for us. We gear up for them as much as we can. They played hard. They're a great team."

NYA hosted Waynflete Wednesday, goes to Sacopee Valley Friday and closes the regular season at home Tuesday against York.

Yarmouth was coming off shutout wins over visiting Waynflete (4-0) and Sacopee Valley (2-0) and a 3-2 loss at Freeport. Against the Flyers, the Clippers scored four times in the first 10-plus minutes, as Breanna Morrill had two goals. Kallie Hutchinson and Emma Peterson scored against the Hawks. In the loss to the Falcons, Katie Overhaug and Hutchinson scored. Monday's loss to NYA featured several close calls in the second half.

"I think we came out with much more intensity in the second half," Lewis said. "We talked about the last three inches of a play and how in the first half, NYA was ahead of us all the time in the last three inches of a play."

The Clippers (6-3-1 and seventh in Western C) hosted Wells Wednesday, welcome Traip Friday and play host to Freeport in the finale Tuesday.

In Western A, Falmouth continues to impress. Last week, the Yachtsmen won, 2-0, at Fryeburg and 1-0 at home over Cape Elizabeth to improve to 9-2 (third behind Scarborough and Massabesic in the Heals). Against the Raiders, Jillian Rothweiler scored twice. She also had the goal against the Capers.

"It was definitely a battle," said Rothweiler. "Cape's always a good game. We're so well matched. Watching the clock go down into the single digits is the best and the worst feeling. It's nervewracking, but there's nothing better. Time stands still, but it's awesome."

"We knew we were playing for (Heal) Points," said Falmouth coach Robin Haley. "It was a key game for both of us in terms of possibly getting homefield advantage for the playoffs. I think you saw a great game out there."

The Yachtsmen are at Poland Friday, go to Greely Saturday and close at home against Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.

In Western B, Freeport and Greely could be on a playoff collision course.

The Falcons moved up to seventh in the Heals at 4-7 after Saturday's 3-2 win over Yarmouth. Freeport had previously lost at Kennebunk, 4-1. In the upset of the Clippers, Taylor Schenker scored twice, including the winner, and Olivia Bubar also rattled the cage. Freeport is at Gray-New Gloucester Thursday, hosts Greely Friday and closes at Yarmouth Tuesday.

The Rangers were 3-6-1 and in possession of the ninth and final playoff spot at press time. Last week, Greely lost, 7-0, at York. The Rangers were at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday, go to Freeport Friday, host Falmouth Saturday, then close  Fryeburg Tuesday.

Cross country

Falmouth, NYA and Yarmouth joined many other area runners in Belfast for the Festival of Champions Saturday.

The Yachtsmen girls were second to Mt. Desert Island. Madeline Roberts led the way individually, placing 12th in 19 minutes, 30.12 seconds. The Clippers were a strong seventh and were paced by Caitlin Teare (47th, 20:39.41). The Panthers finished 39th, as standout Hannah Austin placed 10th individually (19:27.12).

In the boys' race, won by Lewiston, Falmouth was a strong fifth, as Bryce Murdick placed 10th (16:22.33). Yarmouth finished 47th. Sam Gerken (171st, 18:38.92) was the top finisher. NYA placed 50th. The Panthers featured Matt Malcom (37th, 17:00.3).

Freeport, meanwhile, hosted Fryeburg, Merriconeag, Traip and Wells. The Falcons girls were first with Merriconeag second. Freeport's Elly Bengtsson came in second (20:53). Merriconeag was paced by Samantha Pierce (seventh, 21:46.3). The boys' meet was won by Fryeburg. The Falcons were second and Merriconeag placed third. Freeport's Chandler Vincent was first (16:44.4). Merriconeag was led by Zach Neveu (third, 17:13.1).

This weekend, Greely hosts Falmouth, Gray-New Gloucester and Waynflete, NYA plays host to Freeport, Merriconeag and Yarmouth.

Golf

The golf regular season came to a close last week.

Girls' qualifiers include Yarmouth's Monica Austin (who had the top score of 80), Yarmouth's Grace King (a second-best score of 86), Greely's Erin Holmes (89, which was fifth), Greely's Isabella Perry (99, good for eighth), Freeport's Wynne Cushing (105, which tied for 11th) and Greely's Sarah Novick (106, good for 13th).

Monday, the Western Maine Conference and Southern Maine Activities Association held their team and individual qualifiers.

In the WMC, NYA and Yarmouth made the cut. In Class B, the Clippers were fourth with a team score of 361. Cape Elizabeth (325) was first. NYA was tops in Class C with a 352. The Panthers featured Dan Mahoney, who shot an 81, which qualified him for the individual state match.

In the SMAA, Falmouth (which already qualified as the Central Division winner after a 10-0 regular season) had the top score of 324. Greely (which already qualified as the Northern Division winner after a 9-1 regular season) came in fourth with a 339. Falmouth's Russell Barnard (third with a 78), Falmouth's Matt Hutcheon (fifth with an 80), Greely's Bailey Train (who tied for sixth with an 82), Falmouth's Craig Smith and Joe Lesniak (who tied for 12th with an 83) and Greely's Sam Burgoyne and Falmouth's Brad Gilbert (who tied for 18th with an 84) made the cut as individuals.

The golf team state match is Saturday, with the individual championships Oct. 19. Those matches will be contested at Natanis in Vassalboro.

Volleyball

Falmouth's volleyball team improved to 9-0 last week with a 3-1 home victory over South Portland, a 3-0 home win over Lake Region and a palpitating 3-2 home victory over two-time defending Class A champion Greely, in which the Yachtsmen won the first two sets, dropped the third and fourth, then captured the fifth. Falmouth (second to Ellsworth in the Heal Points) had another huge test Tuesday, when it hosted Scarborough. After welcoming Gorham Thursday, the Yachtsmen go to Greely Tuesday of next week.

The Rangers suffered their second loss last week when they fell to Scarborough for a second time this fall, 3-0 (17-25, 23-25, 28-30).

"That's not us," Hasch said. "Not to take anything away from (Scarborough). When they had to play, they played great. We just couldn't execute. We're trying to figure out what we need to do to get it together. We have the talent. I think we can turn it into a positive."

Greely fell to 7-3 Saturday with the 3-2 loss at Falmouth. The Rangers (fourth in Class A) go to Biddeford for a state final rematch Thursday, then host Falmouth Tuesday.

In Class B, Yarmouth sits in the top spot at 7-1 after downing visiting Cony, 3-1 (25-7, 25-14, 24-26, 25-17) last week. Grace Mallett had 11 service points and four aces. Hannah Elrick added seven kills. The Clippers host South Portland Thursday, go to Bucksport and Sumner Saturday, then host Windham Tuesday.

NYA began the week 2-6 and eighth in Class B (just seven teams make the playoffs). Last week, the Panthers enjoyed a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-10) win at Lake Region. NYA hosted South Portland Tuesday, plays at Sumner and Narraguagus Saturday, then visits Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

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