No October surprise: Local squads keep on winning

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-Cheverus boys’ and Deering-Scarborough girls’ soccer game stories, please visit

The month of October has arrived – the month of champions.

The first hardware will be handed out Monday when golf crowns its state champions. The other fall sports are also winding down their regular seasons and the drama is palpable.

Here’s a glimpse at where things stand:


Local boys’ teams vied for a berth in the state match at a qualifier Monday.

Deering (5-5 in the regular season) saved its best golf for the biggest day, shooting the lowest score in the field (312) to qualify for states Monday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Joe Walp led the way with a 71. Rocco Spizuoco finished with a 78. Will Barlock shot an 81. All three players also qualified for the individual championships. Dan Ruhlin rounded out the Rams’ scorers with an 82.

Cheverus (8-2 in the regular year) also qualified with a 314. Mike Haas-Zanghi tied Walp for the low score (71). Chris Billings (75) also made the individual cut. Oher Stags’ scorers included Andrew Cloutier (82) and James Kapothanasis (85).

Portland (2-8 in the regular year) shot a 349 and fell short. Individually, Zach Luce’s 83 was the top scorer. Mike Fuller (87), Kyle LeBorgen (89) and Anthony Bowden (90). No Bulldogs qualified for the individual state match.

The girls’ state qualifier was last Wednesday at Willowdale Golf Club in Scarborough. Three locals made the cut. Cheverus’ Maria Cianchette was sixth with a score of 95. Deering’s Delaney Loring (15th, 105) and Austin Lemoult (20th, 110) also qualified. McAuley’s Molly Mack (25th, 121) took part, but fell short.

The individual golf championships for boys and girls will be held Oct. 15, also at Natanis.

Cross country

McAuley took a place in the Belfast Invitational, also known as the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions Saturday. The Lions were 21st of 40 teams as freshman Adele Werner was the team’s top individual (61st, 22 minutes, 25.29 seconds).

Closer to home, the Cheverus girls (ranked first by the state’s coaches) beat host Windham and Marshwood in a meet last Wednesday. Fiona Hendry won the race in 18:32. Shannon Conley was six seconds behind in second. Kiera Murray (19:40) placed third. The boys were also first at that meet as Brady Foshay was runner-up (17:39).

Deering ran at Bonny Eagle last week, where the boys (ranked 10th in the coaches’ poll) came in first and the girls second. Tom Dean won the boys’ race (18:26) and Ella Ramonas (fourth, 24:04) was the top female finisher.

Portland hosted Biddeford, Gorham and Massabesic, where the boys were first and the girls third. Ben Allen (17:42) was runner-up in the boys’ race. Nyawel Lia was 11th (23:23) on the girls’ side.

Waynflete joined Sacopee at Poland Friday and both squads finished first. The boys were led by Abshir Horor, who was first in 18:05. Martha Veroneau was the runner-up in the girls’ race (21:37).

This Friday, Cheverus is home with Scarborough and Thornton Academy, Deering joins Noble at Gorham, McAuley hosts Massabesic and Westbrook, Portland (along with Sanford and Windham) runs at Kennebunk and Waynflete joins Wells and York at Traip.

Boys’ soccer

Portland hosted Cheverus in a boys’ soccer classic last Tuesday. The Bulldogs took a quick 2-0 lead behind a pair of goals from dangerous junior Tim Rovnak, but the Stags pulled even on successive corner kicks when sophomore Sterling Weatherbie fed senior Nick Melville for goals. The game would go to overtime, then a second extra session, but just when it looked like a tie was imminent, Rovnak took a long pass from senior Brett O’Kelly, blew past a defender and buried a shot for a 3-2 victory, Portland’s sixth straight over Cheverus.

“It means a lot,” said Rovnak. “It’s definitely an emotional boost and we hope to build off it the rest of the year. Brett crossed it to me from the defensive end. I was looking to get past the defender and finish. It seems like time slows down. When the goalie makes a move, you make yours. I thought I struck it well.”

“We just asked the boys to show us another gear,” said Bulldogs coach Rocky Frenzilli. “To keep working hard. After the first overtime, I said, ‘Guys, we have another gear left. Let’s see what can happen.’ When Brett put the ball on Timmy’s foot and he turned the corner, you wanted to think good things because he’s done it for us time in and time out. This time was no different.”

Cheverus kept the loss in perspective.

“We competed on 50-50 balls and played them straight up in the second half,” Stags coach Bill LeBlanc said. “In overtime, we were going for it. Portland’s a nice team. Rocky does a nice job with them. We hope we play them again. I like this team. If we clean up some of our mental mistakes in the back, we’ll be fine.”

The Bulldogs won their fifth in a row and extended their unbeaten streak to eight games Friday thanks to a 5-1 triumph at Massabesic. Rovnak and freshman Guled Hussain-Ali each had two goals. Portland (7-1-1 and fourth in the Western Class A Heal Points standings at the start of the week) hosted Marshwood Tuesday, visits Kennebunk Thursday and welcomes Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

The Stags bounced back with a 4-2 home win over Westbrook Friday, as Weatherbie set up yet another corner kick goal, this one finished by senior Elliot Maker, to put Cheverus on top to stay. Melville and seniors Alexander Hoglund and Tyler Friedman also scored as the Stags improved to 6-2 (seventh in Western A).

Cheverus was home with Thornton Academy Tuesday, has a tough home tilt with South Portland Thursday and plays at Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

Deering is still in the middle of the playoff hunt. The Rams played powerhouse Scarborough tough for 80 minutes last Tuesday, but lost, 1-0. Then, Saturday, Deering snapped a three-game skid with a 3-0 triumph at Thornton Academy. The Rams (4-4 and 10th in the Heals) were home with Kennebunk Tuesday, play at Windham Thursday and visit Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, Waynflete is up to fourth in the Heals with a 6-0-3 record after going 2-0-1 last week. First, the Flyers dominated visiting Wells, 9-1, as Daniel Wiener scored three times and William Cleaves and Peabo Knoth had two goals apiece. After settling for a scoreless draw at Sacopee, Waynflete earned a satisfying 2-1 win at rival North Yarmouth Academy Saturday. Pressure from Henry Cleaves set up the first goal, Knoth scored the winner and goalkeeper Zander Majercik made several clutch saves as the Flyers got a small measure of revenge against the team which beat them in last year’s Western C Final.

“Zander kept us in the game, he made several huge stops,” said Waynflete coach Brandon Salway. “He played with confidence and was always in perfect position to make a play. Once they scored to tie, we improved our intensity. NYA played an excellent game. They carried the play, but we’ve been on the other side of that. Luckily, Zander made some big stops and Peabo converted a chance. Peabo took on a defender, played the ball from his right to his left and cracked a low shot into the right corner.”

Waynflete was at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, visits Traip Friday and has a showdown with Western A power Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

“We have a brutal schedule, playing teams from Class A, B, and C,” Salway said.

Girls’ soccer

Deering’s girls’ soccer team earned a big dose of confidence last week, even though it came in a loss.

The Rams hosted defending Class A state champion Scarborough last Wednesday and twice rallied from one-goal deficits, thanks to tallies from sophomore Alexis Elowitch (on a gorgeous 30-yard blast) and senior Alexis Sivovlos (who banged home a rebound as time expired before halftime). The Red Storm went back on top early in the second half and this time, Deering couldn’t respond as it fell short, 3-2.

“We showed great resiliency,” Rams coach Kevin Olson said. “We’ve just been in a lull to find the back of the net. We moved the ball and were pretty sound defensively. We got our scoring back. We fought to the end. It was a great match. I was happy. We’ll take the positives away and go forward.”

Deering improved to 5-4 (and 12th in the Western A Heals) with a 1-0 victory at McAuley Saturday. Elowitch had the goal, from Cole Spike. The Rams are at Kennebunk Wednesday, play host to Windham Friday and welcome Marshwood Tuesday.

Cheverus was 7-0-1 and seventh when the week began. The Stags, despite playing just once in the previous nine days, defeated three teams last week, host Bonny Eagle (4-0), visiting Portland (5-0) and host Westbrook (5-0). Junior Darby Rawcliffe and sophomores Sade Lyons, Abby Maker and Meredith Willard all scored against the Scots. Maker had a hat trick and Lyons and senior Allison Thomas also scored in the win over the Bulldogs. Against the Blue Blazes, Lyons scored three times, while Thomas and junior Eden Monsen also had goals.

Cheverus was at Sanford Monday, plays at Thornton Academy Wednesday, then has a week off before hosting Massabesic.

McAuley was 1-6-1 and 14th in the Heals when the week commenced. The Lions lost at Marshwood (3-0) and at home to Deering (1-0) last week. Standout goalkeeper Molly Miller did stop 14 shots against the Rams. McAuley was at Kennebunk Monday, hosts Portland Wednesday, Scarborough Friday and Biddeford Tuesday of next week.

Portland was 0-10 and 19th in Western A at the start of the week. The Bulldogs were coming off a 5-0 setback at Cheverus and a 2-0 home loss to Massabesic last week. Portland goes to McAuley Wednesday and hosts Kennebunk Friday.

In Western C, Waynflete is up to third in the Heals with an 8-1 mark after recent wins over host Old Orchard Beach (5-3), visiting Sacopee Valley (4-0) and host NYA (6-0). Against the Seagulls, senior Becky Smith scored three times and sophomores Ella Millard and Walker Foehl once apiece. In the win over the Hawks, Millard had three goals, Smith one. Millard and Smith both scored twice against the Panthers, as junior Isabel Agnew and sophomore Ellen Silk also scored and Foehl had three assists.

The Flyers go to Sacopee Thursday, host Traip Friday and have a big test at Western A power Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

Field hockey

Portland’s field hockey team has lived up to preseason billing with a recent hot streak.

The Bulldogs have gone 4-0-1 in their last five games, including wins over host Deering (1-0), visiting McAuley (2-0) and host Bonny Eagle (3-1). Raechel Allen had the lone goal versus the Rams and joined senior Natalie Anderson as a goal scorer against the Lions. In the win over the Scots, seniors Eleni Anderson and Kristina Brown and junior Gabi Cardona had goals. Portland (6-4-1 and seventh in the Western A Heals) was home versus Noble Monday, goes to Westbrook Thursday and finishes the regular season at home against Biddeford next Wednesday.

Cheverus, a state finalist in 2010, is playoff-bound again this fall. The Stags bounced back from their lone loss by blanking host South Portland (5-0) and visiting Gorham (4-0) last week. In the win over the Red Riots, junior Emily Rodrigue led the way with two goals. Sophomore Alex Logan scored twice and senior Ali Saxton and junior Katie Roy once against the Rams. Cheverus (10-1 and second to unbeaten Scarborough in the standings) was at Kennebunk Tuesday, hosts McAuley Thursday and finishes the regular season at home with Sanford next Wednesday.

McAuley dropped a 2-0 decision at Portland and a 6-1 home game to Massabesic in recent action to drop to 3-7-1 (12th in the Heals, only 11 teams qualify for playoffs). The Lions got a goal from Lulu Hawkes against the Mustangs. McAuley was home with Bonny Eagle Tuesday, visits Cheverus Thursday and closes the regular year at home with Westbrook next Wednesday.

Deering began the week 1-8-2 and 13th in the standings. The Rams are coming off 1-0 losses to visiting Portland and host Noble and a 2-0 setback to visiting Marshwood. Deering was at Scarborough Tuesday, hosts South Portland Friday and ends the regular year at Gorham next Wednesday.

In Western C, Waynflete is firmly in the playoff hunt with a 4-6 mark and the No. 6 ranking at the start of the week. The Flyers beat visiting Old Orchard Beach, 4-2, last Tuesday, then fell at Sacopee, 2-0, Friday. In the win, senior Rosalind Gray-Bauer and junior Merilla Michael both scored two goals. Waynflete was at Freeport Monday, hosts Traip Wednesday, visits Poland Friday and closes at home with defending Class C state champion NYA Tuesday of next week.

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

Sidebar Elements

Deering junior Chelsea Saucier battles McAuley’s Katherine O’Donoghue during the teams’ Saturday showdown. The Rams improved to 5-4 with a 1-0 victory.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.