Playoff action heating up in Forecaster Country
(For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Greely and Scarborough-Falmouth volleyball matches, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)
The golf season has come to a close, field hockey's playoffs are underway and cross country, soccer and volleyball's postseason are primed to begin.
Buckle up, the fun's just getting started.
Here's a glimpse:
The final act of the 2013 high school golf season, the individual championships, were held Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
Cape Elizabeth's Reese McFarlane hoped to repeat as the Class B champion, but he wound up tied for third after shooting a 75, four shots behind Maranacook's Luke Ruffing. Teammate Nate Ingall shot an 83 and tied for 13th. Michael Best (89) was 20th and Bryce Hewitt (92) tied for 23rd.
In the girls' championship, Cape Elizabeth's Lauren Schonewolf tied for 11th after shooting a 96. Lincoln Academy's Bailey Plourde and Presque Isle's Jenna Hallett tied for first with a 76.
Two of three local field hockey teams began championship quests Wednesday.
Scarborough earned its fifth straight No. 1 seed after going 13-0-1. The Red Storm closed with a 4-0 win at Deering last Wednesday. Scarborough (which will take a 47-game regular season unbeaten streak into 2014) hosted No. 9 Gorham (8-6-1) in the quarterfinals Wednesday night. The teams didn't play in the regular season. They had split four prior playoff meetings, with a 1-0 Red Storm in the 2008 semifinals the most recent.
If victorious, Scarborough would host No. 4 Cheverus (11-2-1) or No. 5 Marshwood (12-3) in Saturday's semifinals. The Red Storm tied the visiting Stags, 1-1, Oct. 10 and won at the Hawks in the opener way back on Sept. 4, 2-1. Scarborough is 2-1 all-time against Cheverus in the playoffs and has no history with Marshwood.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth posted its best record since 2000, 10-4, which gave the Capers the No. 3 seed. Cape Elizabeth won its finale, 1-0, at Fryeburg last Wednesday, on a goal from Hannah Newhall. The Capers welcomed No. 6 Kennebunk (8-4-2) Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The teams split in the regular season, with the Rams prevailing at home Sept. 23, 1-0, and Cape Elizabeth returning the favor by the same score on its turf eight days later. The Capers and Rams have split two previous playoff meetings. Cape Elizabeth won the 1990 quarterfinals, 2-1, while Kennebunk prevailed in the 1997 quarterfinals, 2-1, in double overtime.
If the Capers won, they'd either go to No. 2 Spruce Mountain (13-0-1) or host No. 7 Fryeburg (6-7-1) in Saturday's semifinals. Cape Elizabeth doesn't play Spruce Mountain in the regular season. The Capers just beat the Raiders in the finale and also downed them, 2-0, at home, Sept. 13. Cape Elizabeth has no playoff history with the Phoenix, but is 6-0 all-time against Fryeburg, dating to 1981. The last time the Capers met the Raiders was in the 2005 preliminary round, a 3-0 victory.
Looking ahead, the regional finals are Tuesday at Thornton Academy. The state games will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, at Yarmouth High.
South Portland finished 3-10-1 and 16th in Western A and fell short of the playoffs. The Red Riots closed with a 3-0 loss at Cheverus last week.
Two local volleyball teams have a legitimate shot at winning the Class A title.
Scarborough wound up first after posting its first ever undefeated (14-0) regular season. The Red Storm closed with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-16, 24-26, 25-21) win at Gorham and a 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-25, 15-5) home victory over Falmouth. Against the Rams, Abby Mills had 14 kills, Mary Cleary had nine kills, four digs and three aces, Natalie Foster had eight kills and six digs, Hallie Odonnell added 18 assists, seven digs and three aces, Lauren Piper had 20 assists and three aces and Kayla Savage finished with nine digs. In the five-set thriller, Cleary had 16 digs, 11 kills and five aces, Mills had seven kills and nine digs and Piper finished with 18 assists, six aces and seven service points in the decisive fifth game.
"One of our main goals was to win all of our home games," Piper said. "I can't even believe we've gone undefeated. A lot of us have grown up together. There's so many seniors. We've played together so well. We've meshed. We trust each other. Falmouth gets us pumped. They push us."
"Going 14-0 was not a goal, but this was the first year we set specific goals," said Scarborough coach Jon Roberts. "We felt strong about our team. You can't write a better end to the regular season."
The Red Storm wound up first in the Class A Heals and will host either No. 8 Cony (7-7) or No. 9 Kennebunk (6-8) in Saturday's state quarterfinal round. Scarborough beat both teams by 3-0 scores in the regular season. Two-time defending champion Greely (10-4), which the Red Storm swept this year, is a likely semifinal opponent.
Cape Elizabeth's best season to date ended at 12-2 after a 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 16-25, 13-25) loss to visiting Greely and a 3-0 (25-15, 25-5, 25-22) victory at South Portland. The Capers had the Rangers on the ropes, but couldn't quite beat the team that is the state's gold standard for the first time.
"If we're going to take a loss, that's not a bad way to go down," said Cape Elizabeth coach Sarah Boeckel. "Five games against a really good team. They've been winning a lot for a long time. We're not usually in that position. Years past, we went down in three games and we went down quick. Tonight, we came out and took the first game and kept on fighting. That's a testament to how far these girls have come."
The Capers earned the No. 6 seed and will go to No. 3 Mt. Desert Island (11-3) Saturday for the quarterfinals. The teams didn't play this year and have no playoff history. If Cape Elizabeth prevails, it will like go to No. 2 Falmouth (12-2) for the semifinals. The Yachtsmen handed the Capers a 3-1 loss in four close games back on Sept. 20. The teams have no playoff history.
Looking ahead, the Class A state final match is Saturday, Nov. 2, at Windham High School.
South Portland finished its first varsity season 2-12 and 13th in Class A, but only 10 teams made the playoffs.
All four local boys' soccer teams are playoff-bound.
In Western A, Scarborough will be the top seed for the ninth time in 10 years. The Red Storm closed the regular season with a 3-0 home win over Thornton Academy on Senior Night and a 7-2 romp at Bonny Eagle. Against the Golden Trojans, Chris Cowie, Josh Morrissey and Wyatt Omsberg had the goals. Max Ornstein and Sam Cekada both had two goals at the Scots. Scarborough (13-1) will host either South Portland (8-5-1) or Kennebunk (6-5-3) in the quarterfinals Wednesday of next week. The Red Storm didn't play the Rams this year and beat the visiting Red Riots in the opener, 5-0, way back on Sept. 7.
South Portland closed with a 1-0 home win over Bonny Eagle and a 4-2 triumph at Marshwood. Ponneray Men scored against the Scots. Ahmed Suja had two goals against the Hawks. The Red Riots host Kennebunk in a preliminary round playoff game Saturday. The teams didn't play this year. The Rams took the most recent postseason encounter, 1-0, in the 2007 preliminary round.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth will be the No. 4 seed after a 5-5-4 regular season, which was capped by a 2-1 home win over York and a 4-0 home victory over Freeport. Connor Thoreck and Noah Haversat had the goals against the Wildcats. Haversat, Kayne Munson, Omar Khalidi and Brian Taintor scored in the win over the Falcons. The Capers project to host Lincoln Academy (2-5-7) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams don't play in the regular season and have no playoff history. The quarterfinal will be Cape Elizabeth's first at the Class B level.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School wound up 8-5-1 and sixth. The Lions lost their finale, 2-1, to Richmond. Ethan Spaulding had the goal for GPCS. The Lions will be at Greenville for the quarterfinals next week. The teams didn't play in the regular season.
On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth secured the top seed in Western B at 11-2-1 after closing with a 2-0 win at York, on goals from freshman Mariah Deschino and junior Kathryn Clark, last Wednesday. The Capers will likely host either Poland or Spruce Mountain the quarterfinals Tuesday. Cape Elizabeth enjoyed a 6-1 home win over the Knights back on Sept. 16. The teams have no playoff history. The Capers have never played the Phoenix.
The Red Storm (11-1-2) will host a quarterfinal round game Tuesday, likely against Marshwood (10-4). Scarborough beat the visiting Hawks, 3-0, back on Sept. 18. The most recent playoff meeting resulted in a 2-1 Marshwood overtime upset victory in the 2009 quarterfinals.
"I think we have as good a chance as anyone, but we certainly will have a tough road," said Red Storm coach Mike Farley. "Marshwood's beaten some tough teams and has played everyone tough. Everyone in the top eight or nine can beat anyone on a given day, so that will make for a very exciting playoffs. We need to be solid defensively and finish the chances we create. I have a great group who has been through playoff battles before, so hopefully that experience will be an advantage for us."
South Portland wound up 2-11-1 and 14th in Western A, but only 12 squads made the playoffs. The Red Riots closed with a 5-3 loss at Sanford, a 1-0 home victory over Bonny Eagle and a 3-1 home loss to Marshwood. Against the Spartans, Abby Letourneau had two goals. Shae O'Brien had the only goal in the win over the Scots.
In Western D, GPCS finished 0-10 and eighth (only six teams made the cut) after closing with a 3-1 loss at Pine Tree Academy.
The postseason begins for local runners Saturday when they converge on Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland for the regional championships. Cape Elizabeth's girls run in the Western B race at 10 a.m. The Capers boys go at 10:35 a.m. The Scarborough and South Portland girls run in the Class A race at 2:30 p.m. The Red Riots and Red Storm boys compete at 3:05 p.m. Teams and individuals will look to qualify for the state meet the following Saturday, Nov. 2, back at Twin Brook.
Last weekend, Cape Elizabeth competed in the Western Maine Conference championship meet at St. Joseph's College in Standish. The boys won Division I, as Liam Simpson (second, 16 minutes, 34 seconds), Peter Doane (third, 16:52), Mitch Morris (sixth, 17:16), Kyle Kennedy (10th, 17:48) and Julian Pelzer (17th, 18:22) all excelled.
"Our focus was to run as a team and we did a great job up front with three guys in the top six," said Capers coach Derek Veilleux. "We didn't cut back for the race with there still being two weeks until the state meet, so I thought our performance on a tough course was excellent. We ran without Will Britton who is still injured, and Julian did a solid job in his absence. It was our first time winning WMCs since 2006, so it's a nice accomplishment for the team.
"The goal for regionals is the same as every other team, qualify for the state meet. We will again be short-handed with Will still not able to compete, but I'm confident the guys we put on the starting line will run well. We're ready to perform at our best the next two weeks. This group has been focused since June on the next two meets. If all goes well, hopefully we will bring back some hardware."
Cape Elizabeth's girls tied York for fourth (Falmouth was first). Rhoen Fiutak led the way with a ninth-place showing (21:27).
Scarborough finished the regular season at Windham, joining Bonny Eagle and Gorham. The boys were first, as Jacob Terry came in second individually in 17:27. The girls were third behind the Eagles and Scots, as Laura Volan was runner-up in 21:35.
South Portland closed against Biddeford, Thornton Academy and host Westbrook. The boys were first, as Gavin Damian-Loring came in fourth (17:22). The girls also placed first, as Casey Loring won the race in 19:41.