Fall sports season about to get very interesting
Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth boys' soccer, Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and Scarborough-Gorham girls' soccer and Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth field hockey 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:
Scarborough has restored its claim as the best team in Western Class A. The defending state champions made it seven in a row with a pair of dramatic road wins, 2-1, in double OT, at Gorham, and 1-0 at Deering. At Gorham, Charlie Mader scored early and after Sam Cekada was fouled in the box in overtime, Wyatt Omsberg buried a penalty kick to give the Red Storm the win. At Deering, Omsberg had the lone goal late in the first half. Scarborough (8-1 and now first in the Western A Heal Points standings) hosts Westbrook Saturday, goes to Biddeford Monday and Windham Tuesday.
South Portland remains in the playoff hunt at 5-5 and eighth after a pivotal 2-1 home win over Portland and a tough 1-0 home loss to Cheverus. Against the Bulldogs, Ahmed Suja had both goals. The Red Riots were at Massabesic Thursday and host Sanford Tuesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 2-4-4 and fourth in the Heals following a 1-0 home loss to Falmouth, a 3-3 tie at Yarmouth and a 1-1 home tie against Kennebunk. The Capers got two goals from Eddie Galvin and another from R.J. Sarka and led the Clippers, 3-1, in the second half, but couldn't hold on and had to share Heal Points.
"There was a lot of energy, a lot of goals," Galvin said. "You couldn't blink your eyes without a goal. This year, we haven't really been able to score much, so having a lead, we weren't really sure how to keep it. We did lighten up and stopped playing defense for about 10 minutes and that cost us huge."
"We wanted a win, but (Heal) Points are important," said Capers coach Ben Raymond. "It's nice to get some Points anyway."
Galvin had the goal in the tie with Kennebunk. Cape Elizabeth goes to Greely Saturday, visits Fryeburg Monday and plays host to York Wednesday.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 6-3-1 and sixth in the standings after Tuesday's 8-1 win at Islesboro. Ethan Spaulding had five goals. The Lions were at A.R. Gould Thursday, host Buckfield Saturday and welcome Pine Tree Academy Monday.
On the girls' side, defending Class A champion Scarborough remains a powerhouse. The Red Storm improved to 8-0-1 and second to Falmouth in the Heals after recent wins over host Massabesic (5-0) and visiting Gorham (1-0). Against the Mustangs, Aly Atherton, Ainsley Jamieson, Marisa Risbara, Morgan Rodway and Hadlee Yescott (her 20th of the season) had the goals. Freshman Ashley Perriello had the lone goal against the Rams and thanks to a late diving save from senior goalkeeper Sydney Martin, Scarborough held on for the victory.
"It was my biggest goal so far," Perriello said. "To be honest, I was shocked it went in. I was kind of far out. I was just trying to get it on net. I thought it was going to go over. I kind of walked away, then I realized it was going to go in."
"Our team's really starting to come together," Martin said. "It's crucial we do that the next couple weeks. These tough teams will make us better and prepared for playoffs."
"It was a typical Gorham game," Scarborough coach Mike Farley added. "It comes down to who wants it more."
The Red Storm had another tough test Wednesday, when it hosted Deering (see theforecaster.net for game story). After going to Westbrook Friday, Scarborough plays Windham and Thornton Academy next week.
"We don't have a lot of rest," Farley said. "It's going to be a tough stretch. We'll be challenged. It's nice to have it at the end of the year, I guess. We'll be battle tested going into the playoffs."
South Portland earned its first win last Friday, 2-1, over visiting Portland. After falling, 3-1, at Biddeford two days prior (Shae O'Brien had the goal, while goalkeeper Emma Russell made 17 saves), the Red Riots got two goals from O'Brien in the victory. South Portland (1-8 and 14th in Western A, where 12 teams make the playoffs) was at Cheverus Wednesday, hosts Massabesic Friday and goes to Sanford Wednesday of next week.
In Western B, powerhouse Cape Elizabeth sits first in the standings after a dramatic and successful week. Last Wednesday, the Capers went to Falmouth and avenged their lone loss with a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals from Kathryn Clark and Montana Braxton.
"This was such a great win for us," said Clark. "Going into it, we were kind of nervous, but they had beaten us once, so we thought, 'What else can happen'? We did the little things well. We won the 50-50s in the air and on the ground and got the scrappy balls. It was a much better performance than the first game."
"We executed nicely I thought," Braxton said. "We needed to win this game and we got revenge."
"This is what it's all about when you talk about high school soccer," first-year Capers coach Craig Fannan added. "Games like this the girls will remember. We tried to talk to the girls about it not being about revenge, not being about Falmouth, not being about the seniors' last game here. We wanted to go out, relax and play the game we knew we could."
As exciting as that victory was, Saturday's 2-1 come from behind, double overtime win at Yarmouth was even more palpitating. Cape Elizabeth started slowly and was down, 1-0, with less than 10 minutes to go, but Clark (from Katherine Briggs) tied the score and in the second extra session, Briggs scored to give the Capers a dramatic win.
"I just had to think about it," Briggs said. "It just fell right to my chest. It was a beautiful ball. I just had to place it and not hit it too hard. I didn't want to shank it. Once it fell to my feet it was an easy finish. Nothing compares to this."
"I'm glad we managed to sneak out of here with a win," said Fannan. "It's the first time ever I sat the girls down at halftime and told them off. I wasn't happy at all with how we played. Yarmouth was the better team for the first 60 minutes of this game."
Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth improved to 9-1-1 with a 5-0 win at Kennebunk, as Braxton, Briggs, Clark, Kirsten Rudberg and Phoebe Shields all tickled the twine.
The Capers have a huge home test versus Greely Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story), where a win will likely lock up homefield advantage for the playoffs, then host Fryeburg Monday and visit York Wednesday.
"The whole season is about learning and the playoffs are about winning," Clark said. "This was a great experience. We hope to go into playoffs feeling strong and healthy."
In Western D, GPCS was 0-7 and eighth in the Heals at press time (the top six make the playoffs). The Lions lost, 2-0, to Vinalhaven and 7-0 to Highview Christian in recent action. GPCS hosts Buckfield Saturday, welcomes Pine Tree Academy Monday and closes at Pine Tree Wednesday.
Scarborough's field hockey team took a 35-game regular season win streak and a 45-game regular season unbeaten streak into Thursday's home showdown against Cheverus (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Storm recently downed host Biddeford (10-1), visiting Bonny Eagle (4-0) and host McAuley (13-0) to improve to 12-0. Against the Tigers, Maddy Dobecki and Kristen Murray both scored two goals. Dobecki, Murray, Anna Driscoll and Kaitlin Prince had the goals against the Scots. In the win over the Lions, Murray, Maggie Carbin and Sarah Huber all had two goals. Scarborough (first in the Western A Heals) closes the regular season Wednesday of next week at Deering.
South Portland was 2-9 and 15th in Western A (only 12 teams make the playoffs) after 5-0 loss at Westbrook and a 4-1 home setback to Biddeford. Kristina Salafia had the goal against the Tigers. The Red Riots host McAuley Friday, go to Bonny Eagle Saturday and close at Cheverus Wednesday of next week.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth fell to 8-3 after a hard-fought 1-0 loss at Falmouth last Thursday.
"We had scoring opportunities, but we couldn't get the ball in there," said Capers coach Darci Holland. "We tried a couple different lineups, moving people around. It didn't seem to work though. We just couldn't finish tonight. We need to capitalize more on corners, stop the ball and drive the ball."
Cape Elizabeth (fourth in the Western B Heals) was home against Greely Wednesday, hosts York Saturday and closes at Fryeburg Wednesday of next week.
Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland joined many other area runners in Belfast for the Festival of Champions Saturday.
In the boys' meet, the Capers were second to Lewiston, while the Red Storm placed fourth and the Red Riots came in 19th. Individually, Cape Elizabeth's Liam Simpson was fourth for scoring purposes with a time of 16 minutes, 0.08 seconds. Scarborough was paced by Colin Tardif (16th, 16:30.52). Saadeldin Zackaria (65th, 17:25.16) led South Portland.
On the girls' side, MDI was first, Cape Elizabeth placed fourth, South Portland eighth and Scarborough 22nd. South Portland's Shannon Conley was the individual runner-up in 18:59.21. Teammate Casey Loring (seventh, 19:15.8) also placed in the top 10. The Capers were led by Rhoen Fiutak (21st, 20:02.5). The Red Storm was paced by Laura Volan (32nd, 20:21.77).
This weekend, Scarborough hosts South Portland, McAuley and Noble, while Cape Elizabeth joins Traip, Wells and York at Kennebunk.
The golf regular season came to a close last week.
Monday, the Western Maine Conference and Southern Maine Activities Association held their team and individual qualifiers.
In the WMC, Cape Elizabeth shot a 325 to come in first and qualify for the state match. Reese McFarlane had the low score in Class B (75) and along with teammates Nate Ingalls (80), Bryce Hewitt (85) and Michael Best (85), qualified for the individual state match.
In the SMAA, Scarborough (352 and ninth) and South Portland (366 and 12th) fell short of qualifying.
The golf team state match is Saturday, with the individual championships Oct. 19. Those matches will be contested at Natanis in Vassalboro.
Scarborough's volleyball team is now 10-0 and first in Class A after beating host Kennebunk, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-12), as Natalie Foster had 10 kills and Abby Mills added five kills and five aces, and rallying to stun host Falmouth in five dramatic sets (15-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22, 18-16). Mary Cleary had 14 digs, 13 kills and two blocks, while Mills added 12 kills, six digs and two blocks. The Red Storm was at Windham Thursday and hosts Biddeford in another key test Tuesday.
Cape Elizabeth was 9-1 and fifth in Class A at press time after 3-0 wins over visiting Cheverus (25-13, 25-13, 25-16) and host Lake Region (25-10, 25-8, 25-7). The Capers go to Kennebunk Friday and host NYA Tuesday.
South Portland fell to 0-10 and 15th after Tuesday's 3-0 (19-25, 18-25, 22-25) loss at NYA. The Red Riots were at Yarmouth Thursday and play host to Thornton Academy Tuesday.