Believe it or not, fall sports season half over
(Ed. Note: For the complete McAuley-South Portland girls' soccer and Cheverus-Deering field hockey game stories, please visit theforecaster.net).
As the calendar flips from summer to fall, local athletes are roughly midway through their seasons. Some trends have emerged and many questions remain as big showdowns await.
Here's a glimpse:
Waynflete's boys' soccer team was undefeated at press time. The Flyers triumphed three times last week: 2-1 at Fryeburg, 8-0 over visiting Lake Region and 3-1 at Gray-New Gloucester. Harry Baker-Connick and Boni Kabongo had the goals against the Raiders. Henry Cleaves added an assist. Serge Nyirikamba had three goals and Baker-Connick two versus the Lakers. Baker-Connick had two more goals against the Patriots and Cleaves had the other. Milo Belleau had four saves, including denying a penalty kick with his team trailing, 1-0. Waynflete (4-0 and sixth in the Western Class C Heal Points standings as of Monday) had a home test versus Yarmouth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visits Poland Friday.
In Western A, Deering finds itself atop the Heals at 4-0-1 after sandwiching 1-0 victories at Gorham and Windham around a 0-0 home tie with Noble. Matthew Alvarez's goal in the first minute stood up against Gorham. Stephan Ochan's penalty kick was the difference against the Eagles. The Rams were home with Bonny Eagle Tuesday, host South Portland Thursday, have a showdown at Portland Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and visit Westbrook Tuesday of next week.
Portland suffered its first loss last week, 1-0, at Noble, but bounced back with a 6-0 home victory over Bonny Eagle and a 2-0 win at Thornton Academy to improve to 4-1 (good for fourth in Western A). Against the Eagles, Steve Rwendeye and Yusef Yama both scored twice. Ibrahim Dahir and Sam Farr had the goals against the Golden Trojans. The Bulldogs (who have outscored the opposition, 14-1,) were at Massabesic Tuesday, host Cheverus Thursday, welcome Deering Saturday and play host to Marshwood Tuesday of next week.
Cheverus improved to 3-1 and 11th in Western A with three wins last week: 5-1 over visiting Marshwood, 2-0 at Windham and 1-0 at Biddeford. Colin Grove scored twice against the Hawks. Isaac Yeboah and Joe Smith had the goals versus the Eagles. Felix del Vecchio's goal just before halftime was the lone tally versus the Tigers. The Stags were at Sanford Tuesday, go to Portland Thursday, welcome defending Class A champion Scarborough Saturday and host Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.
On the girls' side, Deering suffered its first loss last week, 2-0, to visiting Gorham, but bounced back with a 3-0 triumph at Noble (Edie Pallozzi had two goals and Ewa Varney one) Saturday to improve to 3-1 (seventh in Western A). The Rams were at Portland Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story), host Bonny Eagle Wednesday, go to South Portland Saturday and play host to Westbrook Tuesday of next week.
Portland has been a pleasant surprise. The Bulldogs improved to 3-1 with 2-0 victories over visiting Noble and host Bonny Eagle last week. Chessa Hoekstra and Kate Johnson scored versus the Knights. Johnson and Madison Bolduc had the goals against the Eagles. Portland (11th in Western A) was home with Deering Monday, welcomes Massabesic Wednesday and visits Cheverus Friday.
The Stags fell to 0-5 and 15th after losses last week at Marshwood (5-3), at home to Windham (10-0) and at Biddeford (4-1). Emily Turner scored twice against the Hawks. Julia Landry had the goal versus the Tigers. Cheverus seeks its first win Wednesday, when it hosts Sanford. The Stags then welcome Portland Friday.
McAuley would be in the playoffs if they started today. Last week, the Lions lost, 4-1, at home to Biddeford, then held on for a 3-2 victory at South Portland. Ayla Tartre had the goal against the Tigers, then scored all three (in the first half no less) as McAuley held on against the Red Riots.
"Our teamwork up top was great," said Tartre. "I just shot the ball hoping it would go in. They were lucky goals."
"It was pretty awesome," said Lions senior captain Katherine Lake. "I told her to just keep shooting."
"Ayla can really turn it on," added McAuley coach Vince Aceto. "We wanted her to score three more in the second half. Katherine really controls us. The team follows her."
The Lions (2-3 and 12th in Western A) welcome Gorham Wednesday and go to Scarborough Saturday.
"Now that we're playing against teams more our caliber, we're taking it up a level," said Lake. "We made it to playoffs my freshman year. It would be very cool to do it again my senior year. We just need to keep building."
Defending Class C state champion Waynflete began the week 3-0-1 and fifth in the standings. Last week, the Flyers sandwiched shutout wins at Fryeburg (2-0) and at home over Gray-New Gloucester (3-0) around a 2-2 tie at Lake Region. Arianna Giguere had both goals and Ella Millard both assists against the Raiders. In the win over the Patriots, Leigh Fernandez, Cat Johnson and Marijke Rowse tickled the twine. In the tie, Giguere and Millard both scored. Waynflete was at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday, hosts Poland Friday and welcomes OOB Monday.
Cheverus' always-strong field hockey team has shaken off some early struggles to find itself fourth in Western A with a 5-1 record following wins over host Windham (2-1), visiting Deering (3-0) and host Gorham (3-1). Against the Eagles, Hattie Train and Laura Bither had the goals. Elyse Caiazzo, Elizabeth Ford and Emily Michaud all scored against the Rams. In the win over Deering, Michaud had one goal and Becca Archer the first two of her varsity career.
"It feels amazing," Archer said. "I'm really proud of my team. I think we all played really well today. We were so enthusiastic. We believe in each other and it showed. Everyone has a role."
"We've been waiting for these sophomores to step up," said Cheverus coach Amy McMullin. "They need to help take the pressure off the older girls. That gives the seniors confidence that they can trust the younger girls. Today was hopefully a glimpse of the future. They realize now why (the coaches) been so hard on them. I'm hoping this carries over for the second half (of the season)."
The Stags hosted dangerous Marshwood Tuesday, go to contender Massabesic Thursday and play at McAuley Friday.
"This team is just amazing together," said Archer. "The JV and the varsity, we don't feel separated. It's just one big team. I think today showed that. I think it will be a great season for us."
"We'll find out more about our team going forward," McMullin added. "(Today) couldn't have come at a better time. It was a complete team effort. I couldn't be more proud of that sophomore group."
Deering entered the Cheverus game coming off a 15-0 home triumph over McAuley, where Mia Thurston and Kerry Wells both had hat tricks and Amanda LeMoult and Rylie Turner both scored twice. The Rams then played the Stags tougher than in recent years, but fell short.
"I'm pleased with the overall game," said Deering coach Liz Koharian. "Last year, they beat us, 5-0, and dominated the game. Today, I feel we played strong."
Friday, the Rams improved to 2-4-1 (ninth in the Heals) with a 1-0 home win over Windham. Kristen Francouer had the goal. Deering was at Gorham Tuesday in a playoff rematch, then goes to Marshwood Thursday.
Portland fell to 1-5 and 15th after recent losses to visiting South Portland (5-3), host Thornton Academy (6-0) and visiting Westbrook (4-1). Tori Clayton, Lauren McIntyre and Gabby Wagabaz had the goals against the Red Riots. Clayton scored against the Blue Blazes. The Bulldogs were at defending Western A champion Scarborough Monday and visited Biddeford Tuesday. Portland hosts Bonny Eagle Friday.
McAuley fell to 0-6 and 16th after losses to host Deering (15-0), visiting Gorham (9-0) and host Marshwood (6-0). The Lions were home with Massabesic Tuesday, go to Noble Thursday and host Cheverus Friday.
In Western C, Waynflete began the week 0-3-1 and 12th in the standings. Last week, the Flyers tied host Sacopee, 1-1, and lost, 8-0, to visiting North Yarmouth Academy and 2-1 (in overtime) at Wells. In the tie, Charlotte Majercik had the goal. She also scored against the Warriors. Waynflete was home with Traip Monday and goes to Greely Wednesday.
On the trails, Cheverus' girls' team beat Sanford, host Scarborough and Westbrook last week. Kiera Murray was the top individual, posting a time of 20 minutes, 19.7 seconds. The Stags boys were third behind Scarborough and Sanford. Parker Montano came in fourth (17:49).
Deering's boys were second to Massabesic, in a meet which also included Bonny Eagle and host South Portland. Yahye Hussein was the individual winner in 14:56. The Rams girls came in fourth. Freshman Phoebe Bell came in 11th (18:43).
McAuley was third behind Marshwood and Gorham in its meet. Adele Werner was fifth (24:29).
Portland joined Noble and Windham at Thornton Academy. The boys were second to Windham, as Ben Allen was the individual runner-up (16:25). The girls came in third behind the Eagles and Golden Trojans, as Lizzy Landry was seventh (21:58).
Waynflete joined Cape Elizabeth and Fryeburg at NYA. The girls were second to the Capers, as Phoebe Colvin Oehmig placed sixth in 22:50. The boys came in fourth. Graham Chance (18th, 20:09.5) was the top individual.
This weekend, Cheverus joins Biddeford and Bonny Eagle at Noble, Deering (along with Scarborough and Thornton Academy) runs at Marshwood, McAuley joins Westbrook and Windham at Massabesic, Portland (along with Gorham and South Portland) runs at Sanford and Waynflete joins Kennebunk and Sacopee Valley at Yarmouth.
After dropping its first three matches, the Deering Rams won two in a row last week: 9-4 at Cheverus and 8-5 over visiting South Portland. The Rams had a tough task, going to powerhouse Falmouth Monday. They then host Portland Wednesday. The Bulldogs improved to 3-2 last week with an 8.5-4.5 win over Cheverus. Portland was home with South Portland Tuesday. Cheverus fell to 0-5 with the loss to Portland, then went to Scarborough Tuesday. Waynflete played its first varsity matches last week, falling twice to NYA (5-2 and 4-3) and also to Gray-New Gloucester (5.5-1.5).
Cheverus' second-year volleyball team began the week 3-2 and ninth in Class A. The Stags enjoyed a 3-1 (28-26, 26-24, 14-25, 25-19) win at South Portland last Monday. Coach Kiah Begley credited Abby Biegel, Josie Bradshaw, Caty Galligan, Steph McKew and Natalie Waite for their strong play. Cheverus then lost, 3-0 (13-25, 21-25, 12-25), to Yarmouth. Friday, the Stags blanked visiting Lake Region, 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-12). McKew had six aces in the first set. Begley also credited Lizzy Ferriera, Sam Sessler and Katie Smith for strong play.
The Stags were home with Windham Tuesday, go to undefeated Falmouth Thursday and welcome Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.