Thu, Jul 24, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Believe it or not, fall sports season half over

Sports

Believe it or not, fall sports season half over

(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys' soccer, Falmouth-York and Greely-Cape Elizabeth girls' soccer and Greely-Cape Elizabeth and NYA-Sacopee Valley 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:

Boys' soccer

Yarmouth's boys' soccer team was first in the Western Class B Heal Points standings at the beginning of the week. The Clippers took a 3-0-2 mark into a game at Western C power Waynflete Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). Last week, Yarmouth played host York to a 0-0 tie, then won at Kennebunk, 2-0. Against the Wildcats, the Clippers had a 15-3 edge in shots, but couldn't finish. Alex Lyon made three saves. In the win at the Rams, Henry Coolidge and Wyatt Jackson were credited for the goals, although both were "own goals." Three huge home games loom for Yarmouth, which welcomes Cape Elizabeth Friday, Falmouth Monday and York Wednesday.

Greely began the week 3-1-1 and second to Yarmouth. Last week, the Rangers lost at Kennebunk, 2-1, then bounced back with a 2-1 victory at Cape Elizabeth. In the loss, Aidan Black had the goal. Against the Capers, Black and Matt Crowley tickled the twine. Greely was home with Freeport Tuesday, goes to Falmouth Friday, plays at York Monday and welcomes Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

The two-time defending Class B champion Yachtsmen hosted Cape Elizabeth last Wednesday and despite ample chances, settled for a 0-0 tie.

"It was pretty frustrating," said Luke Velas, who had several good looks. "We had a lot of chances. Not being able to put one away is tough.

"It's like kissing my sister," said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. "We had chances. We're not satisfied with the tie, but we'll build on it. I saw the sparks there. It's just a matter of putting it together."

Friday, the Yachtsmen went to York and again played to a 0-0 draw. Now 2-0-2, Falmouth (fifth in Western A) hosted Poland Tuesday, welcomes Greely Friday, goes to Yarmouth Monday and Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.

"I'm optimistic about the future," Halligan said. "We just want to make the tournament, we don't care what place we're in. We don't care if we're in A, or B, or C, we just want to be the best team we can be."

Freeport was 1-3-1 and ninth in Western B following a 3-2 home loss to Gray-New Gloucester and a 1-1 tie at Fryeburg. Ethan Ronan and Nick Wilson had the goals in the setback. Jack Davenport scored in the tie. The Falcons were at Greely Tuesday, host Lake Region Friday, play at North Yarmouth Academy Monday and welcome Wells Wednesday of next week.

Speaking of NYA, the Panthers are off to a surprisingly strong start. Friday, NYA downed visiting Wells, 8-0, as D.J. Nicholas continued his early-season tear with four goals, while Forrest Chicoine had three. A 4-1 win at Wells Monday lifted NYA to 5-0 (third in Western C). Chicoine, Nicholas, Jackson Cohan-Smith and Wes Bright all scored. The Panthers were at Richmond Tuesday, host Sacopee Valley Saturday, welcome Freeport Monday and play at rival Waynflete in a playoff rematch Wednesday of next week.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, three-time defending Class B champion Falmouth, now in Class A for postseason purposes, is up to its usual tricks, improving to 4-0 with impressive wins last week at previously undefeated Cape Elizabeth (2-0) and at home over longtime rival York (4-1). At the Capers, Emma Van Wickler and Megan Miller had the goals. The Yachtsmen were down early to the Wildcats, but freshman Mia Cooney tied the game just before halftime and in the second half, Miller, Taylor Russell and Mary Catherine Kowalsky (on a penalty kick) scored to put it away.

"We came out a little cocky," Miller said. "We expected it to be an easy win based on their record, but they come to play every game. We matched them in the second half, but it took us awhile to get into it."

"We talked about a letdown because I think we were on such a high after (the Cape Elizabeth) game," said first-year Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier. "It would have been nice to have more time to prepare for a good team like York. We didn't have much preseason success. but we're starting to jell."

The Yachtsmen (third in Western A) were at Poland (which beat Falmouth last year) Tuesday and play at Greely Friday. After visiting Yarmouth Monday, Falmouth hosts revenge-minded Cape Elizabeth, Greely and Yarmouth in succession.

"It's more exciting to play our rivals," Miller said. "It's (the seniors') last year, so we want to go out and give it our all. We have really good chemistry, even though we're such a new team. We work well together. That's helped us in our success."

In Western B, unheralded Yarmouth has come to life and took a 3-1 record into Tuesday's home game versus Wells. The Clippers, who dropped their opener to Greely before beating visiting Freeport, got a win at always-difficult York, 1-0, then triumphed at Kennebunk, 5-0. Abby Belisle-Haley's early goal stood up against the Wildcats. Emma Torres had three goals against the Rams. Yarmouth (third in the Heals) goes to Cape Elizabeth Friday, hosts longtime nemesis Falmouth Monday (in a playoff rematch) and welcomes York Wednesday of next week.

Greely made it four wins in a row last Wednesday, when it prevailed at Kennebunk, 4-1 (Izzy Hutnak, Hannah Keisman, Alexa Sullivan and Kristina Volta all scored). The Rangers then tumbled from the unbeaten ranks and fell to 4-1 Saturday night with a 2-1 home loss to Cape Elizabeth in a playoff rematch. Greely fell behind 2-0 early, got a late goal from Jocelyn Mitiguy, but couldn't manage the equalizer.

"Second half, that's more our style," said first-year Rangers coach Josh Muscadin. "The first half, I think it was a lot of not being afraid, but more being worried. Our kids came out saying it was a big game. I said, 'What's so special about this one?' They beat us in the playoffs last year, so for the girls, there was a little residue. It took us 25 minutes to finally wake up. By then, we were down, 2-nil."

Greely (fourth behind Cape Elizabeth, Morse and Yarmouth in the Western B Heals) was at Freeport Tuesday, welcomes Falmouth Friday and York Monday and goes to Kennebunk Wednesday of next week.

Freeport began the week 4-2 and sixth after win at Gray-New Gloucester (1-0) and visiting Fryeburg (3-0). Against the Patriots, Julia Smith had the goal. Brooke Heathco, Alyssa Richardson and Ashley Richardson all scored against the Raiders. The Falcons were home with Greely Tuesday, go to Lake Region Saturday, host NYA Monday and visit Wells Wednesday of next week.

In Western C, NYA is off to a strong start. The Panthers evened their record at 2-2 last Wednesday with a 6-0 home win over Old Orchard Beach. Melanie Regan scored three times. NYA (11th in the Heals) was home with Buckfield Tuesday and Fryeburg Wednesday, welcomes Sacopee Friday, visits Freeport Monday and plays host to defending Class C champion Waynflete Wednesday of next week.

Field hockey

There wasn't a lot of buzz around the North Yarmouth Academy field hockey team this season, but the Panthers, who had no peer in Class C between 2007 and 2012, are up to their usual tricks.

Last week, NYA improved to 6-0 (second to Lisbon in the Western C Heals) with an 8-0 victory at Waynflete and a 2-0 home triumph over Sacopee. Against the Flyers, seven different players scored, with Juju Tardif rattling the cage twice. Goals didn't come as easily against the Hawks, thanks to a strong goalie, but in the second half, Kayla Rose scored on a penalty stroke and Tardif set up Olivia Madore on a penalty corner for the second goal.

"We stayed as relaxed and controlled as much as we could, but give (their goalie) credit, she was fabulous," Rose said.

"Their goalie was spectacular today," NYA coach Tracy Quimby said. "We looked at our shots-on-goal percentage in the second half and it was 100 percent, but she stopped just about everything."

The Panthers had a showdown at Falmouth Wednesday night (see theforecaster.net for game story). NYA hosts Wells Saturday and goes to Traip Tuesday.

"I am pleasantly surprised (with what we've done so far)," Quimby said. "These teams always give us their best."

Yarmouth got a 4-0 win at Wells and played host Traip to a 1-1 tie last week. In the victory, Kallie Hutchinson had two goals, while Lily Daggett and Emma Peterson both rattled the cage once. Tori Messina made seven saves. The Clippers (3-1-1 and seventh in Western C) were at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome Sacopee Saturday and play host to Waynflete Tuesday.

In Western A, Falmouth suffered its first loss last Tuesday, 2-1, at York, but bounced back with wins at Lake Region (2-0) and Kennebunk (1-0). Mikey Richards scored in the tie, had the lone goal against the Rams and added another against the Lakers (Jillian Rothweiler also scored). Monday, the Yachtsmen improved to 6-1 (fourth in the Heals) after a 4-0 home win over Freeport. Elle Fitzgerald had two goal. Falmouth was home versus NYA Wednesday, gets another crack at York Saturday at home and goes to Fryeburg Tuesday.

In Western B, Freeport handled host Poland, 5-2, last Tuesday, then fell at Cape Elizabeth, 2-0. In the loss to the Capers, Morgan Karnes made 12 saves. Monday, the Falcons dropped to 2-5 with a 4-0 loss at Falmouth. Freeport (eighth in the Heals) was home with Lake Region Wednesday, welcomes Poland Friday and goes to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday of next week.

Greely dropped a painful 3-2 overtime decision to Cape Elizabeth last Tuesday. After falling behind, 1-0, the Rangers got goals from Anna Fitch and Sophie McMonagle to take the lead, but the Capers tied the game with 3:55 left and added another in overtime.

"I take this as a positive," Greely coach Kristina Lane Prescott said. "We got comfortable and it showed. We had some solid goals. I'll take those all day long. We were very strong on defense. We have a lot of speed, which honestly is hard to control at times. Every game we're getting better and stronger. We're exceeding my expectations for sure."

The Rangers bounced back with a 4-1 win at Gray-New Gloucester, as McMonagle scored three times. Saturday, Greely suffered 5-0 home loss to York. Monday, the Rangers dropped to 2-5 (and ninth in the Heals) after a 5-0 loss at Lake Region. Greely. The Rangers were home with Waynflete Wednesday, play host to Kennebunk Friday and go to York Tuesday.

Cross country

On the trails, Falmouth hosted Yarmouth, Poland, Traip and Wells. The Yachtsmen won both the boys' and girls' races, with the Clippers coming in second in both. The boys' race featured a battle between Yarmouth's Braden Becker (first in 16 minutes, 59 seconds) and Falmouth's Bryce Murdick (second, 17:07). In the girls' meet, Falmouth's Madeline Roberts won in 20:25. The Clippers were led by Ellie Teare (fifth, 21:58).

Freeport's boys and girls defeated Gray-New Gloucester, Kennebunk and Lake Region. The boys were led by Chandler Vincent, second (16:06). The girls' race was won by Bethanie Knighton in 19:26.

Greely's girls beat York and Sacopee Valley. Kristina Smith was first in 21:23. The boys were second to the Wildcats. Ryan Morrison came in first in 18:20.

NYA hosted Cape Elizabeth, Fryeburg and Waynflete. The girls were third, but Hannah Austin had the fastest time (19:48). The boys also came in third and were paced, as usual, by Matt Malcom (third, 16:52.3).

This weekend, Freeport, Greely and NYA will compete at the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational, while Falmouth joins Lake Region, Traip and Wells at York, Yarmouth plays host to Kennebunk, Sacopee Valley and Waynflete and Merriconeag joins Cape Elizabeth and Poland at Gray-New Gloucester.

Golf

Falmouth's powerhouse golf team is now 6-0 following an 11-2 win over Deering Monday. The Yachtsmen hosted Cheverus Wednesday and go to Portland Friday. Greely took a perfect record into Tuesday's match at Windham. The Rangers were also at Gorham Wednesday. Yarmouth blanked Freeport, 7-0, Monday, to improve to 2-6, dropping the Falcons to 0-9. NYA took a 5-1 record into Tuesday's match with York. The regular season comes to an end next week.

Volleyball

Falmouth's volleyball team remains the lone local unbeaten after surviving a scare last week. The Yachtsmen dropped the first set, 22-25, at up-and-coming Cape Elizabeth Friday, but came back to take the next three, 25-21, 27-25, 25-20, to survive. Monday, Falmouth improved to 5-0 with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-19) win at Kennebunk. The Yachtsmen (now first in the Class A Heals) host Cheverus Thursday and go to South Portland Tuesday.

Greely improved to 3-1 with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-12) win at Kennebunk. The Rangers (fifth in Class A) were home versus Gorham Wednesday, welcome MDI Friday, host Ellsworth Saturday and play host to Scarborough, the team which handed them their lone defeat to date, Tuesday.

In Class B, Yarmouth improved to 3-1 last week with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-12) win at Cheverus. The Clippers (second to Washington Academy in the Heals) was at Kennebunk Wednesday, hosts Machias and Washington Academy Saturday and welcomes Cony Wednesday of next week.

NYA fell to 0-4 after dropping a five-set heartbreaker to visiting Kennebunk last week,18-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-17, 12-15. The Panthers (10th in Class B) were at Thornton Academy Wednesday, host Machias and Washington Academy Saturday and play at Lake Region Wednesday of next week.

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