Local teams hit their stride
(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and Scarborough-Cheverus boys' soccer and Scarborough-Cheverus girls' soccer game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)
The fall sports season has benefited from wonderful weather, which, along with stellar local athletes, has made for a most entertaining time for area fans.
Several teams are already closing in on the midway point and here's a glimpse at what you may have missed and what's to come.
Scarborough and South Portland's boys' soccer teams remained undefeated at press time.
The Red Storm held off visiting Cheverus, 3-1, last Thursday, then improved to 4-0-2 Tuesday with a 3-1 victory at Kennebunk. Against the Stags, Dan Ornstein scored on a rebound for a quick lead, but Cheverus rallied to tie. In the 29th minute, Wyatt Omsberg was held in the box, leading to a penalty kick, and Omsberg buried it, putting Scarborough ahead to stay. A second half goal from Charlie Mader iced it.
"The first half, we didn't play our best," said Omsberg. "The second half, I think we kept the ball more and played our game. We tried to transition the ball better. It's nice to play a good second half after playing a weak first half."
"We just settled down a little bit in the second half," said Red Storm coach Mark Diaz. "We just tried to do too much, too fast. We slowed down. I got people to stay in their positions. One of our drawbacks is that we take off too quick. Patience is what we're working on right now. We were patient in the second half. That's how we envision playing soccer. We took our time and switched the point of attack. We had more chances. I was happy overall with our second half."
In the win over the Rams, Austin Downing scored twice and Trevor Sparda had a goal and two assists. Scarborough (first in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) was home against Bonny Eagle Thursday and goes to Deering Tuesday.
The Red Riots improved to 5-0-1 with recent wins over host Sanford (3-0) and visiting Deering (2-0). Dillon Burns, Damjan Draskovic and Adam Helmke had goals against the Spartans. Robert Graff and Ryan Pelletier scored in the win over the Rams. South Portland (fifth in Western A) was at defending state champion Windham Thursday and hosts Kennebunk Monday.
Cape Elizabeth fell to 1-3-1 Saturday after a 2-1 home loss to Yarmouth. The Capers took the lead early on a sensational 35-yard free kick by Griffin Thoreck. The Clippers tied the game before halftime, then won it in the second half, beating Cape Elizabeth for the second time in a week.
"We played a little bit better than last week," Capers coach Ben Raymond said. "The game was pretty darn even. Each team had chances. That's what we come to expect. Things are definitely coming along. We're learning what we're good at and what we're not good at. The kids are figuring out when to put the ball where. When to possess. We can't just program it for them. It doesn't work that way. They have to be able to read situations. It's just playing more and getting them more time together as a group."
Cape Elizabeth (10th in Western A) hosts Greely Friday night.
"If there's any team we need to stay ahead of, it's Greely," Raymond said. "We compete for one or two (playoff) spots."
The Capers go to Lake Region Monday.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 4-1 and eighth in the Heals after recent wins over visiting Highview Christian (11-1), Islesboro (3-2) and Rangeley (2-0). Against Highview, the Lions were paced by four goals from Ethan Spaulding. Eddie Daigneault, Jeremiah Hammond and Eric Pearson all had two. The win over Islesboro came in double overtime when Ryan Waugh scored (from Daigneault). Teddy Lane scored twice. Against the Lakers, Byeong Woo "Jam" Jung had his first varsity goal and Lane also scored. James Perkins made four saves. GPCS goes to A.R. Gould Friday and Chop Point Monday.
Scarborough's girls' soccer team remains unbeaten and unscored upon.
The Red Storm is now 6-0 and second to Windham in the Western A Heals after blanking visiting Portland (3-0), host Cheverus (3-0) and visiting Kennebunk (5-0). Against the Bulldogs, Jess Meader had two goals and Sarah Martens one. The tandem then helped produce the first goal against the Stags. Meader was fouled in the box and had to leave the game with an injury. Martens then buried a penalty kick to put Scarborough ahead to stay. In the second half, Ashley Gleason and Hadlee Yescott scored to allow the Red Storm to pull away.
"Once we get our momentum going, we go strong all the way," Martens said. "We work so well together. We work so hard to keep it going. It feels good to know we can go away from our home field and hold on to the game and possess the ball and win on a grass field."
"It was a good job of us gutting out a win," said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. "It was a good, physical game. It always is against Cheverus. We started to move the ball better in the second half. Their pressure got to us in the first half and we were defending. The second half was better, settling the ball, quick touches and out."
While the three goals were great, the Scarborough defensive effort is what lingered most.
"If one player steps, the other drops behind," Maria Philbrick said. "I think we handled it well. It's just a mentality for us. Play the best defense we can. We take a lot of pride in defense. If we do our job, it's worth it."
Against the Rams, Taylor LeBorgne scored twice, while Meader, Kate Daniels and Sam Sparda also tickled the twine. The Red Storm is home with Deering Tuesday, then plays at Thornton Academy next Thursday before hosting Windham two days later.
After losing in last year's state game, Scarborough once more has its eye on the biggest prize.
"We still have big games coming up, but I'm excited," Philbrick said. "Last year was really irritating. I think we're ready. We want revenge for last year. That drives us."
"We still have huge games," Farley said. "TA and Windham, I think, are two of the best teams in the league. I'd put Gorham and Cheverus up there too. We don't play Sanford, but they'll be good. We have huge tests. We want to be consistent and want to play well for the playoffs and be hitting on the same cylinder."
South Portland, which started 0-3 is now 2-4 after sandwiching wins over visiting Westbrook (2-1, in overtime) and host McAuley (4-3) around a 3-1 home loss to Sanford. Ericka Lightner and Emma Dennison had the goals against the Blue Blazes. Abby Letourneau had a goal in the loss. In the win over the Lions, Lightner scored three times, Jenna Wing scored as well and goalkeeper Emma Russell made 11 saves. The Red Riots were home with Windham Thursday, go to Deering Saturday and visit Kennebunk Tuesday.
Cape Elizabeth sits third in Western A with a 5-1 mark following wins over visiting Wells (6-0) and host Yarmouth (2-1, in overtime). Against the Warriors, Kathryn Clark had a pair of goals. Katherine Breed, Katherine Briggs, Natalie Vaughn and Sydney Wight also scored. In the win over the Clippers, Briggs scored on a penalty kick and Talley Perkins won it. The Capers are at Greely Friday as they look to extend their win streak to six games. Monday, they host Lake Region.
In Western D, GPCS is 0-4 and sixth in the Heals after a 9-0 home loss to Rangeley Tuesday. The Lions are home against Richmond Monday.
Scarborough's undefeated field hockey team was primed for a battle at unblemished Cheverus with the top spot in the Western A Heals at stake Wednesday, but poor field conditions postponed the game to Friday (please see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Storm was coming off shutout wins at Sanford (1-0), at home over Marshwood (1-0) and at South Portland (4-0). Sarah Huber had the goal against the Spartans. Emily Bunting had the lone goal versus the Hawks. Maddie Dobecki had two goals and Huber and Katie Granzier one each against the Red Riots. Scarborough (second in the Heals as of Wednesday morning) plays at Gorham Tuesday.
South Portland was 1-6 and 14th in Western A entering Wednesday's home contest with McAuley. The Red Riots were coming off losses to host Kennebunk (1-0), host Gorham (2-1, in overtime) and visiting Scarborough (4-0). Courtney Pelkey scored in the overtime loss and goalie Lani Edwards made 13 saves. Edwards stopped 10 shots versus the Red Storm. South Portland is at Cheverus Tuesday.
Cape Elizabeth blanked visiting Traip, 6-0, and lost in overtime, 3-2, at Lake Region last week. Hailey Petsinger scored twice and Jane Coffrin, Abby McInerney, Aubrey O'Meara and Lauren Steidl all had one goal in the victory. Against the Lakers, McInerney and Petsinger scored. The Capers (3-3 and ninth in Western B) were at Greely Thursday, go to Fryeburg Saturday and play at reigning regional champion York Monday.
South Portland's cross country teams hosted Gorham and Kennebunk last weekend. The girls came in first as Nyajock Pan had the top individual time (16 minutes, 41 seconds). The boys were a close second to Gorham. Max Knutsen was first individually in 14:58.
Scarborough joined Portland at Marshwood, where the defending Class A champion boys were first and the girls came in third. Individually, Jack Sullivan came in third in the boys' race (19:09) and Laura Volan was second on the girls' side (24:11).
Cape Elizabeth joined Merriconeag and Poland at York, where each team was triumphant. The boys were led by Peter Doane (second, 17:19). The girls' race saw Ellen Best place second (21:43).
This weekend, Scarborough hosts Biddeford, Deering and Sanford, South Portland (along with Noble) goes to Windham and Cape Elizabeth (with Lake Region and Yarmouth) runs at Gray-New Gloucester.
Scarborough's golf team scored a huge victory Monday when it edged defending Class A state champion Falmouth, 7-6, to improve to 5-1 on the season. The win avenged a season-opening loss to the Yachtsmen. The Red Storm had likely their last big test of the regular season Wednesday at home versus Cheverus.
South Portland fell to 0-5 after recent losses to Deering (12-1) and Cheverus (8.5-4.5).
Cape Elizabeth lost, 6-1, to York last week, but defeated both Old Orchard Beach (6.5-0.5) and Freeport (7-0) Tuesday to improve to 6-2.
Scarborough's volleyball team, a state finalist in 2011, took part in the match of the year Saturday. The Red Storm hosted Mt. Desert Island in a marathon. After Scarborough took the first set, 25-13, the Trojans answered with a 25-23 win. After the Red Storm took the third set, 25-16, MDI won again, 25-20. That set up a decisive fifth set, played to 15, but even that wasn't enough. Finally, Scarborough prevailed, 16-14, to win the match, 3-2, improving to 4-1 in the process. The Red Storm (fourth in Class A) was at top-ranked Gorham Wednesday, visits Cape Elizabeth Friday and hosts Biddeford Monday.
Cape Elizabeth took an 0-3 mark and the No. 12 ranking in Class A into a match at Kennebunk Wednesday. The Capers hadn't played since Sept. 6. Cape Elizabeth hosts Scarborough Friday, NYA Monday and Lake Region Tuesday.