Another Falmouth golf title kicks off postseason
(Ed. Note: For the complete Yarmouth-Falmouth boys' soccer, Falmouth-Yarmouth and Greely-Cape Elizabeth girls' soccer and Greely-Freeport field hockey game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)
The postseason is upon us, even if many local squads are still winding down their regular seasons.
This past Saturday, the first championships of the 2013 fall sports season were bestowed and there will be many more to come.
Here's a glimpse at what occurred last week and what's on this week's docket:
The first team to earn a championship this fall is anything but a stranger to such greatness.
Saturday, at the golf Class A state match, Falmouth made it eight titles since 1990 (four in a row in Class C from 1990-93, Class B crowns in 2004 and 2008, and a prior Class A title in 2011) by posting a team score of 316. Craig Smith (77) was the low scorer, but teammates Brad Gilbert and Joe Lesniak (78) were right behind. Matt Hutcheon (83) also had his score factored in. Russell Barnard (89) did not.
"This one was really, really amazing," said longtime Yachtsmen coach Spike Herrick. "We had a very strong team. You always worry when you go up (to Natanis) that two kids will stub their toes and we'll be in trouble. Our top two stubbed their toes a little, but our 4 and 5 shot unbelievably well. Craig really won it. Early on, I watched him four-putt a green. When I four-putt, I'm done. The look on his face when his score was posted was so happy, so full of joy, enough to fuel anything. I wanted to bottle it. The smile on Joe's face when Craig's score was posted was like a big brother. Russell Barnard, who shot high, was very happy. Brad Gilbert is a macho guy, but he gave me a big hug and a smile. He was so happy. I'll never forget that.
"There's a lot of anxiety over five or so hours. There's nothing (a coach) can do. You just wait. It doesn't get any easier as you get older. They're awfully good kids who take golf seriously. It's an honor to have an opportunity to be with them."
Only Smith returns next year, meaning that in the eyes of some, Falmouth will be vulnerable, but don't think for a second that the Yachtsmen won't be back in the hunt.
"We're losing a ton and it will be hard to repeat, but there's talent there," Herrick said. "Our No. 6 (Chris Dewolf) shot an 86 at the qualifier. We had kids do well at the JV tournament. We have the tradition."
Greely (326) was fourth in Class A, behind only Falmouth, Bangor (323) and Gorham (324). The Rangers were led by 79s from Sam Burgoyne and Tom Buchholz. Also scoring were Bailey Train (83) and Aidan Roberts (85). Nathan Gervais also took part.
In Class B, won by Camden Hills with a 321, Yarmouth placed 11th with a 378. The Clippers featured an 86 from Spencer Olsen, Monica Austin's 90, Grace King's 95 and Nate Dealaman's 107. Tyler Hall (113) also took part.
In Class, St. Dom's won the title with a 329. North Yarmouth Academy finished with sixth with a 373. The Panthers were led by Brad Potter's 90. Also scoring were Nick Demers (93), Dan Mahoney (94) and Brad Rockey (96). Ben Ambrose (110) also took part.
The individual championships (Class A, Class B, Class C and girls) will be contested back at Natanis Saturday.
Falmouth's Barnard, Gilbert, Hutcheon, Lesniak and Smith, Greely's Burgoyne and Train will take part in Class A.
"I'm really looking forward to (the individual championships) Saturday," Herrick said. "There will be a lot less pressure."
Girls' qualifiers include Freeport's Wynne Cushing, Greely's Erin Holmes, Sarah Novick and Isabella Perry and Yarmouth's Austin and King.
All eyes in the Forecaster Country boys' soccer were on the Greely at Yarmouth showdown Wednesday evening (please see theforecaster.net for all the details).
That's because the Clippers and Rangers (who tied, 2-2, in an earlier match in Cumberland) were first and second in the Western Class B Heal Points standings at press time and homefield advantage for the upcoming playoffs was at stake.
Yarmouth took a 9-0-3 record and the No. 1 spot into the showdown after a stunningly easy 6-1 victory at longtime rival Falmouth last Tuesday and a 1-0 home win over Kennebunk Saturday,
In the Clippers' biggest win over the Yachtsmen in memory, Adam LaBrie and Wyatt Jackson scored in the first half, while Jackson, Max Watson, Ben Vigue and Brazilian exchange student Caio Sawaya scored in the second.
"This was an incredible game," Watson said. "It was a complete team effort. Everyone played their roles. We had to play our game to get the 'W' and everybody played great tonight."
"It definitely comes as a surprise," Jackson said. "We just made our runs and we finished our runs. We made it happen. We just finished in the box and that was the difference."
"We certainly didn't expect this," said longtime Clippers coach Mike Hagerty. "We never thought we'd score six goals. We had some nice bounces that went our way, don't get me wrong. I'm really happy for our kids. Our seniors especially, who had a great four years on this field. I feel like it's the most complete game we've played."
Against the Rams, LaBrie crossed to Jackson for the winner with just under 10 minutes to go. After battling Greely, the Clippers close the regular season by hosting Gray-New Gloucester Monday.
As for Greely, it tied visiting York (0-0) and downed visiting Cape Elizabeth (2-0) last week. In the win, Aidan Black scored a tremendous individual goal to break the ice, then set up Matt Crowley for the clincher. The Rangers (9-1-2 entering the Yarmouth showdown) close at Lake Region Saturday.
Freeport was holding on to the No. 9 spot in Western B (the top 10 make the playoffs) with a 4-6-1 mark after a 2-0 loss at Waynflete and a 3-1 home win over Traip last week. In the win, Jack Davenport, Addison Vosmus and Nick Wilson tickled the twine. The Falcons were home with Poland Wednesday, host Falmouth Friday and finish at Cape Elizabeth Monday night.
Speaking of Falmouth, the two-time defending Class B state champions, the Yachtsmen got a goal from Luke Velas, but gave up more goals against Yarmouth than they ever had in the Dave Halligan Era.
"They beat us in every phase of the game," said Halligan. "They're a good team. Games like this happen sometimes."
Falmouth got a much-needed bounce-back win Thursday, when it edged visiting York, 1-0, on a Velas goal. The Yachtsmen (5-4-2 and eighth in Western A) was at Kennebunk Wednesday, visit Freeport Friday and close at home versus Waynflete Monday.
In Western C, NYA was perfect at press time, improving to 12-0 after wins last week over visiting Poland (4-2) and Lake Region (10-0). Forrest Chicoine scored twice against the Knights, while eight different players finished against the Lakers, led by D.J. Nicholas, who had three goals. The Panthers (third in the Heals) were at Sacopee Valley Wednesday and close with a home test versus rival Waynflete Friday.
On the girls' side, Greely has quietly positioned itself to finish first in Western Class B if it continues its recent surge. Last week, the Rangers settled for a 0-0 tie at York, then rallied to stun host Cape Elizabeth, 3-2. Greely had gone 0-5-1 in its previous six games against the Capers and was down, 2-0, at halftime, but three second half goals from Izzy Hutnak turned the game around and ended the drought.
"It was not easy," said Hutnak. "It's a huge deal for us. It will be a very nice bus ride home."
"We made some adjustments," said first-year Greely coach Josh Muscadin. "We watched a little in the first half. The second half was much better. I'm proud of them. They gave everything they had."
The Rangers (9-2-1 and second to Cape Elizabeth at press time) was at dangerous Yarmouth Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and closes at home against Lake Region Saturday.
Speaking of Yarmouth, the Clippers settled for another frustrating result last Tuesday, when, despite having the better chances, they left Falmouth with a 0-0 tie.
"The girls played hard again," said longtime Clippers coach Rich Smith. "I thought we had an edge in good scoring opportunities, but their defense was strong and their goalie was there."
Saturday, finally, Yarmouth's hard work was rewarded with a victory, as the Clippers edged visiting Kennebunk, 1-0, on Emma Torres' tally, which made their record 5-3-3. Yarmouth (fourth in Western B) was home versus Greely Wednesday, goes to Poland Saturday and visits Gray-New Gloucester in the finale Monday.
Freeport was fifth in Western B at press time with an 8-4 mark following a 2-0 home loss to Waynflete and a 4-1 win at Traip last week. The Falcons were at Poland Wednesday and close at Falmouth Friday.
Those Yachtsmen were second to defending state champion Scarborough in the Class A Heals at press time. Falmouth, the three-time defending Class B champion, which will be in the Class A postseason this fall, overcame injury to tie visiting Yarmouth last Tuesday, 0-0.
"Obviously we wanted a win," said first-year Yachtsmen coach Andrew Pelletier. "We had a lot of younger girls filling roles for injured seniors."
Falmouth improved to 8-2-1 after a 2-0 win at York (Mia Cooney and Taylor Russell had the goals). The Yachtsmen were home versus Kennebunk Wednesday, host Freeport Friday and close at defending Class C champion Waynflete Monday.
In Western C, NYA is headed back to the playoffs after falling short the past couple years. The Panthers were eighth at 6-4-2 after a 3-1 loss at Poland, a 2-1 double overtime win at Lake Region and a 2-1 double overtime victory at Old Orchard Beach (Alex Wahlstrom had both goals). After going to Sacopee Valley Wednesday, NYA finishes at Waynflete Friday.
Falmouth's field hockey team was third behind Scarborough and Massabesic in the Western A Heals entering the week after wins at Poland (3-1) and Greely (2-0) last weekend. In the win over the Knights, Keunjoo Kim, Jillian Rothweiler and Hayley Winslow scored. Against the Rangers, Mikey Richards (assisted by Elle Fitzgerald) and Fitzgerald (assisted by Leika Scott) had the goals. The Yachtsmen (11-2) finished at home versus Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday.
In Western B, Freeport and Greely might very well be on a playoff collision course and if so, Friday's meeting suggests it worth watching.
The Falcons entered the game coming off a 3-1 win at Gray-New Gloucester (freshman Bailey Coffin scored twice), while the Rangers had lost at Cape Elizabeth, 2-0.
Friday, Freeport took a 1-0 lead on Hannah Williams' goal in the first half and held it until after time had expired, but after being allowed to play our its penalty corner, Greely forced overtime when Cassie Demick scored.
"I just really wanted it," Demick said. "We don't give up. We never give up, even if we're losing, 6-0, we're always on the ball and trying our hardest."
Then, in overtime, Mimi Lyon-Edmondson scored on a breakaway and the Rangers stole one, 2-1.
"When I came to a defender, I changed my speed," Lyon-Edmondson said. "A lot of times, I feel like I whiff the ball, but that time, I got really low and I hit it really well. I just did my best."
"This was a huge boost for us,' added Greely coach Kristina Lane Prescott, who got a very sweet birthday present about six hours early. "We talked about hustling to the ball and not watching it. We have 10 seniors and we have to get to playoffs and this will help."
Freeport got 13 saves from goalie Morgan Karnes (including one on a penalty stroke), but it ultimately wasn't enough to fend off a gutwrenching defeat.
"It's really, really painful," first-year Falcons coach Marcia Wood said. "It's a lesson in always having to give your all. The second you kind of relax or think someone else has it, they don't. We just fell short."
Greely fell to 4-8-1 and ninth in the Western B Heals (nine teams make the playoffs) with a 2-0 home loss to Falmouth Saturday, despite seven saves from goalie Sabrina Thompson. The Rangers closed at Fryeburg Tuesday.
Freeport took a 5-8 mark and the No. 8 spot in Western B into Tuesday's finale at Yarmouth.
In Western C, NYA appears destined to finish second behind Lisbon in the standings. The Panthers improved to 11-1-1 after an 8-0 home victory over Waynflete and a 2-1 double overtime win at Sacopee Valley. In the romp, Olivia Madore had three goals and Marina Poole and Juju Tardif two each. Tardif had the tying goal against the Hawks and Emma Randall delivered the winner. NYA closed at home versus undefeated Western B power York Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story).
Yarmouth snapped a two-game skid with a 1-0 home win over Wells last Wednesday (Bre Morrill had the goal), then improved to 8-4-1 Friday after a 3-1 home victory over Traip (Lilly Daggett, Kallie Hutchinson and Katie Overhaug scored). The Clippers (sixth in Western C) closed at home against Freeport Tuesday.
The playoffs begin with the preliminary round Saturday. The quarterfinals are Wednesday and Thursday of next week. The higher seeds will host those rounds.
The final weekend of the cross country regular season saw Falmouth and Greely square off for the only time prior to the postseason Friday at Twin Brook (Gray-New Gloucester and Waynflete also took part). The Yachtsmen were first and the Rangers second in both genders. In the boys' meet, Falmouth's Bryce Murdick was first (17 minutes, 12 seconds), while Troy Cochrane (fifth, 17:43) led Greely. In the girls' race, Falmouth's Madeline Roberts was the individual runner-up (20:35). Sophie Stickney led the Rangers by placing sixth (22:10).
Freeport, Merriconeag, NYA and Yarmouth all ran at Pineland Farms. Merriconeag was first in the boys' race, with the Falcons second and Panthers third. NYA's Matt Malcom was the individual winner in 17:03. Merriconeag's Zach Neveu was second (17:24). Freeport was paced by Chandler Vincent (third, 17:29). On the girls' side, the Falcons won the meet, Merriconeag placed second, the Panthers were third and the Clippers fourth. NYA's Hannah Austin was first individually (20:00). Freeport's Sydney Ambrose placed second (21:10). Samantha Pierce led Merriconeag (sixth, 21:51). Lucy Alexander (ninth, 22:21) led Yarmouth.
Friday brings the Western Maine Conference championship meet at St. Joseph's College in Standish.
The regional championships are Saturday, Oct. 26, at Twin Brook in Cumberland, which is also where the state meets will be held, Saturday, Nov. 2.
Yarmouth's volleyball team has quietly put together a special season and began the week 10-1 and first in the Class B Heals. Last week, the Clippers downed visiting South Portland, 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-21), then won a pair of three-set matches at Down East and potential playoff foes, Bucksport and Sumner. Yarmouth got four kills and five aces from Hannah Elrich against the Red Riots, while Morgan Hamre added five aces and seven service points and Maddie Damboise had two blocks and a kill.
Yarmouth was home with Windham Tuesday, plays at Thornton Academy Thursday and closes Saturday when Jonesport-Beals pays a visit. The Clippers hope to hold off Washington Academy for the number seed for the upcoming postseason.
Also in Class B, NYA would be a playoff team if the season ended today. The Panthers improved to 5-6 with a four-game win streak. Last week, NYA downed visiting South Portland, 3-0 (25-19. 25-18. 25-22) and enjoyed 3-0 triumphs at Sumner and Narraguagus. The Panthers (seventh in the standings, the top seven make the playoffs) were at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, host Windham Thursday and close at home versus Jonesport-Beals Saturday.
In Class A, Falmouth dropped a five-set thriller to visiting Scarborough last Tuesday to fall from the unbeaten ranks. The Yachtsmen won the first set, 25-15, dropped the second, 15-25, then got to the brink of victory with a 25-20 triumph in the third. The Red Storm battled back in the fourth set, 25-22, then eked out an 18-16 win in the decisive final game. Falmouth improved to 10-1 Thursday after a 3-1 (25-16, 25-13, 23-25, 25-22) triumph over visiting Gorham. The Yachtsmen (second to Scarborough in the Class A Heals) had a huge test at Greely Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for story), plays at Biddeford Thursday and closes with a rematch at Scarborough Monday.
Two-time defending champion Greely was 8-3 and fourth in Class A entering Tuesday's match against Falmouth after a 3-0 (25-1, 25-14, 25-23) win at Biddeford in state match rematch Friday. The Rangers play at Cape Elizabeth Thursday and close at Gorham Monday.