For north area teams, soccer and volleyball regular seasons near completion
The soccer and volleyball regular seasons took another step toward completion last week with plenty of drama. Here's a look at where things stand as we hit mid-October:
Sooner or later, a Falmouth-Yarmouth boys' soccer game is going to turn memorable. Last Thursday night (please see Web site for full game story), the longtime rivals did battle for the second time in 2009 (the first ended in a 1-1 draw).
At Falmouth, the host Yachtsmen appeared en route to a rather humdrum 1-0 victory (on senior Alec Dunn's goal in the 56th minute), but everything changed with 6:33 to play, when the Yachtsmen were called for a foul in the box, allowing Clippers' senior Ebrahim Fazeli to take a penalty shot, which he sent past Falmouth junior goalkeeper Ben Goffin to tie it up.
If that wasn't enough, both teams had their chances during the final 16-plus minutes (including overtime) and two red cards were given to the hosts. When the dust settled, the Clippers had rallied for a 1-1 draw.
"It's always something with Falmouth-Yarmouth," said longtime Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan. "That's what makes it interesting. This game is unforgiving. (Yarmouth) played hard and stuck with their game plan and we lost our composure a little bit. We'll work on that. If we solve that problem, we'll be all right. We pulled together. There was a lot of emotion in this game. The kids were pumped up. I was pleased we pulled together when we were down a man."
"It was a pretty cool game," said Clippers coach Mike Hagerty. "I was proud of how the kids responded. I thought (Falmouth) had the better of the play in the first half. We knew the intensity would pick up in the second half. It's a game of matchups. Dave moves his players around. We try to move our players around. We did a better job of getting the ball outside in the second half and getting the ball in the final third. I thought we did a nice job keeping our composure. Both teams tackled hard. I was proud of how we played clean and hard and how we responded when things got verbal. It was like a playoff game. It'll make round three really fun."
Round three will be in the playoffs. If local fans are fortunate, it'll come in the regional final.
Falmouth then snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Saturday night against Greely (in a game played at Yarmouth High after Falmouth's lights failed). The Rangers led 1-0 after junior Chase Rochon scored late in the first half. It looked as if that goal would hold up, but with just over six minutes left in regulation, junior Michael Bloom scored on a rebound and in the 79th minute, senior Kyle Lucas made jaws drop with a 30-yard cannon shot that proved to be the winner.
The Yachtsmen (9-0-2 and first in the latest Western Class B Heal Points standings) were at Freeport Tuesday, host Lake Region Thursday and wrap up their regular season Monday at home versus York.
The Rangers fell to 9-3 with the painful loss. Greely (fifth in the Western A Heals) was home against Cape Elizabeth Wednesday and goes to Yarmouth for its finale Tuesday.
The Clippers followed their game with Falmouth by going to Cape Elizabeth Saturday and engaging in another back-and-forth affair. Yarmouth scored first on a Capers "own goal," but after Fazeli was stopped on a PK, gave the lead right back just before halftime on its own "own goal." The Capers went up 2-1 in the second half on senior Brock Barritt's PK and it appeared as if the Clippers were going to suffer their first loss, but with 32 seconds to play, just seconds after senior Travis Merrill had hit the post, senior Jeff Kuklewicz scored on a rebound to force a 2-2 deadlock, which is how things ended up.
Yarmouth (8-0-3 and third in Western B) played at York Tuesday, hosts Poland Thursday and wraps up its regular season at home against Greely Tuesday.
Freeport took a 3-6-1 mark (and the No. 11 ranking in Western B) into Tuesday's home game against Falmouth. The Falcons were coming off a 1-1 home tie against Gray-New Gloucester (sophomore Jack Dawe had Freeport's goal). The Falcons visit North Yarmouth Academy Thursday and close the year with a home game versus Cape Elizabeth Monday. Barring a dramatic turn of events, Freeport will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
In Western C, NYA fell to 5-5-1 (and eighth in the Heals) after losses to Traip (2-0) and Fryeburg (2-1) last week. Senior Henry Sterling had the Panthers goal against the Raiders. After going to defending Western C champion Waynflete Tuesday, NYA hosts Freeport Thursday and closes at Hyde Monday.
Falmouth and Yarmouth's girls also did battle last week in Falmouth and also played to a 1-1 draw. In that one, the Clippers (energized by a cameo appearance from senior Lizzie Fischman, who returned earlier than expected from a knee injury) struck first as senior Annie Clabby gave her team a 1-0 lead. The Yachtsmen drew even in the second half on junior Jamie Sabo's goal. Both teams had chances the rest of the way, but wound up splitting the Heal Points.
"If you play the No. 1 team in Class B and don't let them beat you, it's encouraging," said Yarmouth coach Rich Smith. "It was fun. We played hard and played well to play with them for 90 minutes. Things look better than they did a couple hours ago."
"Give Yarmouth credit," said Falmouth coach Jon Shardlow. "They knew they needed results. They came out and outworked us for the first 40 minutes. We put ourselves in a hole early. That allowed them to dictate how the rest of the match was played. We weren't able to get a go-ahead goal. We had opportunities. Unfortunately, we only played for 40 minutes and that's the end result. I feel like we're moving forward. I feel we've lacked consistency. With our schedule, if we make a mistake, team will make us pay for it. That's the upside of playing in this conference. We're battle tested. We have to go out and accumulate points."
Falmouth took a 7-0-4 mark (and the No. 1 spot in the latest Western Class B Heal Points standings) into its home finale Tuesday against Freeport. The Yachtsmen played at Lake Region Wednesday and visit York Monday in the last game of the regular season, a game which could go a long way toward determining homefield advantage for the playoffs.
Yarmouth, meanwhile, improved to 6-3-2 Saturday night after winning 1-0 at Cape Elizabeth. Junior Courtney Barker scored on a first half direct kick. Junior goalkeeper Samantha Fochler was solid throughout. The Clippers (sixth in the latest Western B Heals) hosted red-hot York Tuesday, go to Poland Thursday and close the regular year at Greely Monday.
Freeport improved to 2-8-1 last Tuesday after a 1-0 win at Gray-New Gloucester. Senior Bryn Gallagher had the goal. The Falcons (14th in Western B) went to Falmouth Tuesday, host NYA Thursday and close up at Cape Elizabeth Monday.
In Western A, Greely suffered its first loss of the year last Tuesday, 3-2 at York. Senior Taylor Hicks and junior Kelly Burrell scored for the Rangers. Friday, Greely bounced back and improved to 9-1-2 with a 6-0 home victory over Gray-New Gloucester (Burrell scored three times and sophomore Audrey Parolin added two goals). The Rangers (fourth behind Scarborough, Thornton Academy and Cheverus in the latest Heal Points) visited Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and close the regular year Monday at home versus Yarmouth.
In Western C, NYA stayed hot with a 3-0 win at Traip (senior standout Courtney Dumont scored three times) and a 5-1 triumph at Fryeburg (as Dumont found the net on four more occasions) last week to improve to 9-2-1 (good for fifth in the Heals). The Panthers go to Freeport Thursday and host Old Orchard Beach in the regular season finale Monday.
The Falmouth volleyball team built on its historic win over Greely with a 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-8, 25-19) home triumph and a 3-0 (25-5, 25-13, 25-9) home victory over Gorham last week to improve to 12-0. The Yachtsmen (first in the Class A Heal Points standings) hosted Scarborough Wednesday, then visit Greely in a much-anticipated regular season-finale Friday night.
The Rangers bounced back from just their fourth loss in their history with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-18) victory over Scarborough last Thursday to improve to 11-1. Greely (third behind Falmouth and Mt. Desert Island in Class A) hosted Cape Elizabeth Wednesday and Falmouth Friday.
Yarmouth continues to impress and appears to have a stranglehold on the No. 4 seed in Class A. Last week, the Clippers were a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-14) home winner over Cape Elizabeth to improve to 10-3. Yarmouth closes at Scarborough Friday.
In Class B, NYA is 1-11 and seventh in the Heals after falling 3-1 (20-25, 23-25, 30-28, 17-25) at Cony and 3-0 (23-25, 16-25, 6-25) at home to Biddeford in recent action. The Panthers hosted Gorham Tuesday and wrap up their season at Cape Elizabeth Friday.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com