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Deering football, Cheverus girls' soccer and field hockey lead the way in early fall action

Sports

Deering football, Cheverus girls' soccer and field hockey lead the way in early fall action

While the fall sports season is still in its veritable infancy, it's become clear that we have some very talented athletes and teams in our midst. With the first full week (and then some) of the campaign in the books, here's a glimpse at where things stand:

Football

While Cheverus was upsetting Windham and Portland challenged Bonny Eagle before falling (please see stories), Deering was busy winning its 12th successive regular season contest.

The Rams, coming off a 14-0 home win over Portland, started slowly against visiting Gorham Friday evening and found themselves down 6-0 and 12-7 before taking the lead for good on a TD pass from junior Jamie Ross to junior J.J. Hardy late in the first half. Deering then dominated in the second half, getting long TD runs from Ross and sophomore Trey Thomes, along with a touchdown pass from Ross to sophomore Renaldo Lowry for a 35-12 victory.

The Rams next face a huge test Thursday night when they go to 2-0 Bonny Eagle, the defending Class A champions. The contest is being played Thursday instead of Friday due to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Last year, Deering rallied for a stunning 29-28 regular season win at Bonny Eagle, then lost 26-14 at home to the Scots in the Western A semifinals.

Boys' soccer

On the pitch, Deering's next victory will be its third of the season and tie the 2008 squad's production. The Rams lost 4-0 at Windham last Tuesday, but bounced back with a 3-0 home triumph over Massabesic Thursday behind two goals from junior Charlie Dupee. Deering (2-1 and ninth in the Western A Heal Points standings at press time) faced a big home test Tuesday night when it hosted Westbrook. Thursday, the Rams are at Portland.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, one of the preseason favorites is struggling to score in the early going as opponents focus on neutralizing junior standout Fazal Nabi. Portland won 6-0 at Thornton Academy in its first contest, but lost last week 3-0 at defending Class A champion Scarborough and 2-0 at home to unheralded Windham to fall to 1-2. The Bulldogs (14th in Western A) hoped to get back on track Tuesday when they went to Noble. Portland hosts Deering Thursday.

Cheverus is 2-1 to date. After losing 2-1 at home to Gorham to start the season, the Stags last week were 4-3 winners at Marshwood and 3-1 victors at Sanford. Cheverus hoped to make it three in a row Tuesday when it played at Biddeford. Thursday, the Stags (fifth in the Western A Heals) welcome Bonny Eagle.

Waynflete took last week off for the school's Outdoor Experience. The Flyers won their opener, 3-1 at Traip back on Sept. 4. Tuesday, Waynflete hoped to improve to 2-0 when it played at Lake Region. Thursday, the Flyers (11th in the Western C Heals) play host to Freeport. Monday, they go to Gray-New Gloucester and Tuesday they visit rival North Yarmouth Academy.

Girls' soccer

The Cheverus girls' soccer team, perennial contenders in recent seasons, were expected to face some growing pains early in the 2009 season. Instead, only the Stags' opponents are hurting.

Cheverus was hit hard by graduation and had the unenviable task of opening with defending regional champion Gorham and last year's runner-up, Marshwood. After rallying to tie the Rams 1-1 in the opener, the Stags enjoyed a 2-0 victory at the Hawks last Wednesday, thanks to goals from senior Grace Fitzpatrick and freshman Hannah Noonan. Saturday, Cheverus was down 1-0 at South Portland at the half, but erupted for four unanswered second half tallies to win 4-1 and improve to 2-0-1. Sophomore Allison Thomas scored twice.

"We played absolutely awesome in the second half," said Stags coach Dan LaVallee. "Against Gorham, we played hard, but not particularly well. In this game, in the second half, we played hard and well. It's been a great start to the season. So far, so good."

Cheverus (first in the latest Western A Heal Points standings) hosts Biddeford Wednesday and visits Bonny Eagle Friday.

The other city teams are also off to promising starts.

Deering is 2-1. The Rams lost 2-0 at Gorham last Wednesday, but bounced back Saturday with a 5-1 win at Noble. Sophomore Alexis Sivlovos scored three times. Deering (eighth in Western A) plays host to Westbrook Wednesday and visits Portland Thursday.

McAuley has already doubled last year's win total. The Lions let one slip away in a season-opening 2-1 loss at Portland, but enjoyed a 5-2 victory at Biddeford Wednesday (sophomore Shelby Bryant had three goals), then won their home opener, 3-1, over Massabeic Saturday to improve to 2-1.

"It is very early," cautioned McAuley coach Vince Aceto. "We take each game at a time. The girls are totally committed to wanting to win."

The Lions (11th in Western A) were home with Marshwood Tuesday and visit Windham Friday.

Portland lost 3-1 at home to Scarborough last Wednesday, but improved to 2-1 Friday with a 1-0 triumph at Windham, thanks to senior Maggie Kilbride's second half score. The Bulldogs (fifth in the Western A Heals) are home with Noble Wednesday and welcome Deering Thursday.

Defending Class C champion Waynflete had last week off due to Outdoor Experience. The Flyers, who won their first game 7-0 over visiting Traip back on Sept. 4, returned to action Monday at home against Lake Region. After visiting Freeport Thursday, Waynflete (10th in the Heals) comes home for games against Gray-New Gloucester Monday and fierce rival NYA Tuesday.

Field hockey

Cheverus has solidified its status as a top contender in Western Class A. Last week, the Stags won three times to improve to 4-0. Last Tuesday, Cheverus was a 3-0 winner at Kennebunk (junior Emily Sawchuck had two goals). Thursday, the Stags dispatched visiting Massabesic 6-1 behind three tallies from sophomore Sarah LaQuerre. Saturday, they went to Noble and rolled in the rain, 7-1, behind three more goals from Sawchuck. Monday (see Web site for game story), Cheverus hosted perennial power Sanford, the team the Stags shocked in last year's Western A quarterfinals. Wednesday, Cheverus (fourth in the latest Western A Heal Points standings) is at South Portland. Friday, the Stags host Westbrook.

Deering dropped its first two games this fall (4-0 at Cheverus and 2-0 at home to Gorham), but bounced back with a pair of victories: 2-0 at Marshwood and 2-0 over visiting McAuley. Against the Hawks, seniors Isabelle Barton and Monique Guimond had goals. Against the Lions, Barton and senior Maggie McKeon rattled the cage. The Rams (13th in Western A) went to rival Portland Monday (too late for print). Wednesday, Deering gets a stern test when it hosts powerhouse defending regional champion Scarborough. Friday, the Rams visit Thornton Academy.

McAuley is still seeking its first win and its first goal of the year. After falling 5-0 at home to Thornton Academy in the opener, the Lions lost 7-0 at Windham, 1-0 at home to Bonny Eagle and 2-0 at Deering. McAuley hoped to end the scoreless, winless drought Monday when it hosted Kennebunk. Wednesday, the Lions (16th in the standings) are home with Massabesic. Friday, they play at Noble.

Portland is seeking its first win. The Bulldogs lost 12-0 to visiting Scarborough in their first game, but have been much more competitive lately. Last Tuesday, Portland lost 1-0 at Thornton Academy. Thursday, the Bulldogs got their first goal (junior Effie Drew), but lost 4-1. Junior goalie Kathleen Dalbec continues to play well. Portland looked to beat Deering for the first time in recent memory Monday (too late for print). Wednesday, the Bulldogs (17th in Western A) play at Kennebunk, Friday they go to Massabesic, Monday of next week, they visit Bonny Eagle.

Waynflete lost back-to-back games to start the year, then had last week off for Outdoor Experience. The Flyers returned to action Tuesday at high-powered North Yarmouth Academy, the defending Class C state champion. Thursday, Waynflete (12th in Western C) plays at Traip. Friday, the Flyers host Freeport and Monday they host Poland.

Cross country

The first full weekend of league races are in the books and Cheverus continues to excel. The Stags hosted Gorham and Marshwood and won both the boys' and girls' races.

Deering joined Biddeford and Westbrook at Massabesic. The boys tied for second and the girls were runners-up.

McAuley hosted Kennebunk and Scarborough and finished third.

Portland ran at Sanford, competing against Bonny Eagle and Thornton Academy. The boys' team finished first and the girls' placed third.

Waynflete begins its season Friday. The boys, along with the two-time defending Class C champion girls, join Cape Elizabeth, Traip and York at Wells.

Golf

Cheverus made a major statement on the links Thursday with a 9-4 home win over defending Class A champion Deering. The Stags improved to 3-0, while the Rams fell to 2-1. Portland is still seeking its first victory. The Bulldogs lost 10-3 at Scarborough last Thursday and are 0-3. Waynflete opened its season Tuesday at home against undefeated NYA.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net