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October means postseason nears

Sports

October means postseason nears

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Greely and Scarborough-Windham girls' soccer game stories, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

Buckle up.

October is upon us.

A new month means local teams are either priming for the postseason or jockeying for positioning.

Golf's team state championship match is Saturday and individual champions will be crowned the following weekend. Cross country has just one regular season meet left. Soccer, field hockey and volleyball are all rapidly coming to a close.

Here's a glimpse at where things stand and a look ahead:

Boys' soccer

Cape Elizabeth got a much needed victory Tuesday evening in its quest to improve its playoff standing. The Capers were coming off a 3-0 setback at York, but at rival Greely, got a first half goal from Noah Haversat and made it stand up in a 1-0 triumph over the Rangers to improve to 3-5-1 (11th in the Western Class A Heal Points standings, where the top 12 teams qualify for the postseason). Cape Elizabeth plays host to Freeport Friday and welcomes Falmouth Tuesday.

Scarborough has a solid hold on the top spot yet again with an 8-0-2 mark, following wins over visiting Windham (4-0) and host Noble (4-2). In the victory over the Eagles, which avenged last year's regional final loss, Wyatt Omsberg had two goals and Austin Downing and Kenny Hodgdon also scored. Against the Knights, Hodgdon had two goals, Downing and Dimitri Roumeliotis one apiece. The Red Storm was at Sanford Thursday and visits Westbrook Tuesday.

South Portland fell to 6-2-2 and seventh after Tuesday's 1-0 loss at Gorham. The Red Riots had previously won at Bonny Eagle, 2-0, on two goals from Ahmed Suja. South Portland hosted Cheverus Thursday in a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser (please see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcomes Thornton Academy Tuesday.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School was 5-4 and eighth in the Heals (only the top seven make the playoffs) at press time. The Lions were coming off a 3-2 win at Islesboro (Jeremiah Hammond, Eric Pearson and Sam Whiting all scored) and a 2-1 loss at A.R. Gould. GPCS was home with Chop Point Wednesday, went to Richmond Friday and hosts Pine Tree Academy Monday.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth's eight-game win streak came to an end Tuesday, but with a tie, not a loss. The Capers had made it eight straight last Thursday with an impressive 3-0 home win over York, as Montana Braxton, Kathryn Clark and Lizzie Raftice tickled the twine. Tuesday, against visiting Greely, neither team was able to generate much in the way of opportunities and the contest ended in a 0-0 draw.

"There weren't many chances," Cape Elizabeth coach Luke Krawczyk said. "You saw two teams who are defensively strong. I'm proud of the girls. Our biggest thing is not conceding. We gave up two goals in the first half against Falmouth (in the first game of the season) and just one more since. The girls have worked hard. We've probably scored more than last year. We've created chances."

The Capers (fifth in the Western A Heals) go to Freeport Friday and visit two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth Tuesday.

"We just need to continue to win," Krawczyk said. "We play some tough teams still. We've got (Heal) Points on the board already. Last year at this time is when we started to drop off."

Scarborough was tied with Windham atop the Heals with an 8-1-1 mark at press time. The Red Storm fell from the unbeaten ranks last Thursday, 1-0, at Thornton Academy, but salvaged a 1-1 home draw with the visiting Eagles Saturday, when Hadlee Yescott scored a goal with 3:54 remaining. Scarborough nearly won it in overtime, but Ashley Gleason's bid was denied on a great save from Windham goalie Kate Kneeland.

"We tied them, but I'm happy with the tie," Yescott said. "We knew Windham's a great team. It's a little disappointing, but we'll take it. We always talk about being desperate. It's the first time we've been down going into halftime. We have a lot of heart. Everyone wanted it."

"We had to battle back after a tough week," said Red Storm coach Mike Farley. "You could tell we were fatigued, but we pushed to the end and got the tying goal. It shows the character of this team."

Tuesday, Scarborough handled visiting Noble, 7-0, as Sarah Martens erupted for four goals, Yescott added a pair and Morgan Rodway scored as well.

The Red Storm hosts McAuley Friday and goes to Westbrook Wednesday.

South Portland is 4-7 and 14th, just outside of a playoff spot (the top 13 teams qualify) after beating visiting Bonny Eagle, 2-1, in overtime, and falling at home to Gorham, 3-2. In the victory, Jenacee Bradbury had the winner, Shae O'Brien also scored and Emma Russell made seven saves. In the loss, Bradbury and Ericka Lightner had the goals. The Red Riots are at Thornton Academy Wednesday.

In Western D, GPCS was 0-6 and seventh in the Heals at press time. The Lions lost, 4-1, at Vinalhaven in their last outing, last Friday. GPCS is at Richmond Friday and hosts Pine Tree Academy Monday.

Field hockey

Scarborough's field hockey team has all but locked up homefield advantage for the playoffs once again.

The Red Storm, which still hasn't surrendered a goal in 2012, improved to 12-0 with recent blankings of visiting Thornton Academy (4-0) and Windham (2-0) and host Deering (4-0). Ellen Walker had three goals and Katie Granzier one in the win over the Golden Trojans. Against the Eagles, a win which avenged last year's stunning playoff upset, Raechel Wallace and Grace Whelan scored. At the Rams, Granzier had two goals, Whelan and Emily Bunting one apiece. Goalie Shannon Hicks continued to be impossible to beat, as she's been all season. Scarborough was home with Noble Wednesday and closes the regular season at Kennebunk Friday.

South Portland has work to do if it hopes to qualify. The Red Riots were 2-8-1 and 14th at press time, but only the top 11 teams make it to the postseason. South Portland dropped a 2-1 home decision to Biddeford last Thursday and settled for a scoreless tie at Windham Monday. Kristina Salafia had the goal against the Tigers. Goalie Lani Edwards stopped nine shots in that game and made 14 saves versus the Eagles. South Portland hosted Deering Wednesday, goes to Noble Saturday and closes with a home game against Sanford Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 6-5 and ninth in the Heals at press time after blanking visiting Wells (5-0) and Greely (2-0) in recent action. Against the Warriors, Lauren Steidl put on a show, scoring all five goals. Steidl and Abby McInerney had the goals against the Rangers. The Capers were home with Fryeburg Wednesday and went to Falmouth Thursday. They close at home versus Yarmouth Wednesday of next week.

The field hockey playoffs begin with the preliminary round Oct. 13. The quarterfinals are Oct. 16 and 17. The semifinals will be played Oct. 20. All of those rounds will be contested on the field of the higher seed. The regional finals are Oct. 23 at Scarborough. The state games are Oct. 27 at the University of Maine in Orono.

Cross country

Local cross country teams took part at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions in Belfast Saturday.

Cape Elizabeth's boys placed fourth among 60 teams, while Scarborough was fifth and South Portland 34th. Individually, the top local finisher was Robby Hall of the Red Storm (ninth, 16 minutes, 38.06 seconds). The Capers were led by Liam Simpson (10th, 16:41.26). The fastest Red Riot was Max Knutsen (23rd, 16:58.66).

In the girls' race, South Portland was 18th out of 50 teams and Scarborough placed 35th. Red Riots standout Nyajock Pan placed seventh (19:23.75). The Red Storm was paced by Marisa Agger (46th, 20:43.90).

Cape Elizabeth's regular season ends this weekend as it joins Falmouth, Wells and Yarmouth at Greely.

Scarborough hosts Cheverus and Thornton Academy. South Portland (with Bonny Eagle and Marshwood) runs at Biddeford.

The Western Maine Conference championship meet is Oct. 12 at St. Joseph's College. The regionals are Saturday, Oct. 20, at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The state meet is Saturday, Oct. 27, at Belfast.

Golf

Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough's golf teams will battle for state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Monday, the Red Storm (which went 8-2 in the regular season) shot a 331 at the Southern Maine Activities Association qualifier to make the Class A cut. South Portland (0-10 this year) missed out after shooting a 387.

Tuesday, at the Western Maine Conference qualifer, Cape Elizabeth (7-4 in the regular season) finished with a 335, which was third behind Yarmouth (319) and York (322). The Capers will take part in the Class B state match.

The individual boys' and girls' championships are Oct. 13, also at Natanis.

Volleyball

Scarborough's volleyball team entered Wednesday's home match versus Greely (for story, please see theforecaster.net), a rematch of last year's state final loss with an 8-2 record, good for third in Class A Heals. The Red Storm had blanked Cony and Cheverus, 3-0, in its previous two outings. Scarborough goes to Falmouth Friday and closes the regular season at home versus Gorham Oct. 12.

Cape Elizabeth is seeking its first playoff berth. At press time, the Capers were clinging to the eighth and final spot in Class A with a 3-7 record. Cape Elizabeth had lost three straight matches, all by 3-0 scores, to Falmouth, Ellsworth and Mt. Desert Island. The Capers were at Gorham Wednesday, play at Windham Saturday and close next week with home matches versus Greely and Cheverus.

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

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