Another exciting week in the books for southern edition teams as fall officially arrives
(Ed. Note: For the South Portland-Cheverus field hockey game story, please visit theforecaster.net)
Leaves are beginning to change and there is definitely a chill in the air as the calendar confirms that autumn is here.
What that means for local athletes and teams is that it's time to get serious about a season that is roughly halfway over. Here's a look at where things stand as we say farewell to a wonderful summer:
While Scarborough and South Portland's football teams had mixed results last weekend (please see stories), Cape Elizabeth, the defending Western Class B champion, remained unbeaten and unscored upon.
The Capers, who blanked host Poland (25-0) and visiting York (21-0) their first two times out, dominated host Fryeburg, 34-0, Saturday to improve to 3-0. Cape Elizabeth only held a 7-0 lead at halftime (on an interception return from junior Austin Shields), but put it away in the second half. TD runs from junior Derek Roberts and senior Jack McDonald made it 20-0 after three periods and another McDonald TD run, followed by a short scoring run from senior Robbie Martin accounted for the final score.
The Capers now face a huge test Friday night at home against 3-0 Falmouth. The Yachtsmen already have a win over York to their credit and have dominated Fryeburg and Lake Region to a 91-14 tune the past two weeks. Last year, Cape Elizabeth was a 28-0 winner at Falmouth.
The big news on the boys' soccer front last week was the sudden and unexpected fall from perfection of the Scarborough Red Storm. The Red Storm entered Thursday's home contest against Gorham riding a 40-match win streak and a 72-match league unbeaten streak dating back to a 2-1 home loss to Gorham on Sept. 6, 2005. Scarborough had won its first four outings in 2010 by a composite 16-1 margin and had great chances against the Rams in the early going, but couldn't finish. Gorham scored twice in the second half, then held on after Red Storm junior standout Andrew Jones struck late for a goal.
"I saw (the loss) coming," said Scarborough coach Mark Diaz. "I was worried it would come in (the playoffs). I see it as a positive. We needed to be humbled. I think (the win streak) bothered us a little bit and maybe we were a little self-conscious. It showed in our play. We haven't been down in a game 2-0 since I can't remember when."
The last time the Red Storm trailed by two goals in a game was in the 2004 Western A Final, in a 3-1 loss to Greely.
Tuesday, Scarborough started a new win streak with a 2-0 victory at Westbrook Sophomore Austin Wilcox had goals in each half as the Red Storm improved to 5-1 (good for first in the Western A Heal Points standings as of Wednesday).
"(The Westbrook win) was a step in the right direction," Diaz said. "It was a good win. I know their record doesn't reflect it, but Westbrook's a good team. We know we're starting over from scratch."
Scarborough hosted Cheverus Thursday and goes to Kennebunk Tuesday.
South Portland is 4-2 and 11th in the region. Saturday, the Red Riots rolled, 5-2, at Biddeford. Sophomore Damjan Draskovic had a pair of goals, while senior Nem Kaurin and juniors Nick Genesio and Dan Grazewski also scored. Tuesday, South Portland fell, 3-2, at home to Marshwood. The Red Riots took a 2-1 lead at halftime (behind goals from Grazewski and Kaurin), but couldn't hold on.
South Portland played at Sanford Thursday and hosts Deering Tuesday.
Cape Elizabeth entered Thursday's home showdown with Yarmouth with a 5-0 mark, good for fourth in Western A. The Capers were riding high after rivalry wins over host Greely (1-0), visiting Falmouth (2-0) and visiting York (1-0, in overtime). Against the Rangers, senior Timmy Takach (from junior Brian Brett) had the winner. In its first win over the defending Class B champion Yachtsmen since Oct. 9, 2007, junior Tim Lavallee gave Cape Elizabeth the lead for good in the 47th minute when he scored after a turnover. With 25:32 to play, Takach (from junior Blake Barritt) struck to account for the final score.
"It was a little sloppy here and there, but we had some chances," said Capers coach Ben Raymond. "Tim Lavallee got the ball in the right place and put it away. Timmy Takach had a nice goal off a corner kick."
Senior Jack Queeney (from senior Alex Diaz on a corner kick) had the winner against the Wildcats.
"It's been a good week," Raymond said. "We continue to get better. We're able to change the way we play our formation. We don't have to play the same way all the time. We adapt to what's best on a given day. The kids are having fun. They like being here and enjoy coming out to play soccer."
Greater Portland Christian School is now 2-3 and fifth in the Western D Heals. The Lions enjoyed a 10-1 victory at Highview Christian (Anthony Simpson scored five times and Ben Hammond added two), then lost, 5-4, at Islesboro (Simpson had two goals, Ben Hammond and Matt Hammond one each) and 3-2 at Buckfield (despite Simpson's 16th goal of the year and another from Adam Simpson).
On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth has gone toe-to-toe with the best teams in the Western Maine Conference in recent days and has held its own, despite a pair of tough losses.
Last Thursday, the Capers edged visiting Greely, 2-1, behind goals from senior standout Karyn Barrett and junior Abby Houghton. It was Cape Elizabeth's first victory over the Rangers since Oct. 10, 2005.
"We know this was only a regular season game, however, it was important for us on many levels," said Cape Elizabeth Gary Newell, who also credited junior defender Kayla Raftice, sophomore midfielder Maddie Riker, freshman midfielder Elizabeth Raftice and senior goalkeeper Lexi Weatherbie with big games. "The team was well prepared and focused, we have a game-by-game approach and we're ready each day. Heal Points are huge, obviously. Mentally, I feel like we turned a corner. This team is special and it's good for them to see who they are and what they can be with games like tonight."
Saturday, the Capers hosted Falmouth and had chances, but couldn't finish. Two second half goals from the Yachtsmen spelled Cape Elizabeth's first defeat of the 2010 season, 2-0.
"We had our opportunities, but we were out of sorts most of the evening," said Newell. "We didn't possess the ball or keep our shape. Credit to Falmouth. There's no let-up right now. We're in a brutal stretch."
Monday, Cape Elizabeth suffered a gutwrenching 2-1 loss at York, on a goal with 27 seconds remaining in overtime. A Barrett goal on a first half penalty kick gave the Capers the lead, but they couldn't hold on.
Cape Elizabeth (3-2 and 11th in Western A) had another huge home test Thursday against undefeated Yarmouth. Saturday, the Capers are home against Poland. Tuesday they go to Fryeburg.
Scarborough took a 5-0 mark and the No. 4 spot in Western A into a showdown at top-ranked Cheverus Thursday. The Red Storm blanked visiting Westbrook, 4-0, Tuesday. Senior Tori Armishaw scored twice and assisted on senior Margaret Palmer's goal in the second half. Sophomore Jessica Meader accounted for the final score with a goal late.
Scarborough is home against South Portland Saturday and hosts Kennebunk Wednesday of next week.
The Red Riots were 3-1-1 and seventh in Western A heading into Thursday's home game against Sanford. South Portland won a pair of 1-0 decisions last week, at Massabesic and at home over Biddeford. Sophomore Jenna Wing had the goal against the Mustangs. Classmate Jenacee Bradbury had the winner versus the Tigers.
The Red Riots are at Scarborough Saturday and host Bonny Eagle Wednesday.
In Western D, GPCS is now 2-0-1 and fourth in the Heals after a 5-1 victory at Buckfield Tuesday. Elaine Beech scored three times, while Ashley Whalen and Robyn Waugh also tickled the twine.
South Portland's field hockey team dropped its first four outings, including an agonizing 2-1 overtime home loss to Biddeford last Thursday, but the Red Riots have turned the corner in a big way. Saturday, at undefeated Cheverus, South Portland got penalty corner goals from junior Maraka Soule and senior Becca Roberts and rode a stellar defensive effort to an inspirational and surprising 2-0 victory.
"It's a huge win for us," said Red Riots coach Heather Seavey. "We needed it. We had to prove ourselves. I'm so happy for the girls. This is the biggest win we've had in the last four years. We had a rough start (to the season). We let one get away against Biddeford and I think we were ready to redeem ourselves. It's good confidence for the girls to know they can beat one of the best teams. I hope we're on our way to something good."
If that wasn't exciting enough, South Portland then downed visiting Gorham, 1-0, Monday on Roberts' second half penalty corner goal. Sophomore Lani Edwards pitched her second straight shutout with four saves.
The Red Riots (2-4 and sixth in the Western A Heals) went to Marshwood Wednesday and host McAuley Tuesday.
Scarborough, the defending Class A state champion, is still rolling along. The Red Storm are 6-0 after recent victories over Bonny Eagle (6-0), Deering (4-0) and Kennebunk (3-0). Senior Sarah Bunting had three goals agains the Scots. In the win over Deering, now coached by former Scarborough assistant Marcia Wood, Bunting, senior Rachael Millett and juniors Lindsay Dobecki and Kelsey Howard all scored. Against Kennebunk, Bunting, Howard and senior Kristen Felt had the goals.
"This team is coming along quite nicely," said Red Storm coach Kerry Mariello. "We're just focusing on one game at a time. Each game has shown growth and with that, confidence is building. We have to continue to work hard and think unit."
Scarborough (second to Cheverus in the Western A Heals) hosted Massabesic Wednesday and goes to Noble Tuesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is 4-2-1 and sixth in the Heals at the midway point. The Capers were 7-0 home winners over Traip Friday (sophomore Lauren Steidl and freshman Hannah Newhall both scored three times). Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth settled for a 1-1 tie at Lake Region. Freshman Liz Robinson had the tying goal in the second half.
The Capers were at Yarmouth Thursday, host Fryeburg Saturday and welcome Greely for a pivotal showdown Monday.
On the trails, Scarborough went to Westbrook last weekend to run with Kennebunk and McAuley and both Red Storm teams won their respective meets. The boys were paced by junior Nick Morris (who lapped the field in 16 minutes, 50 seconds). In the girls' race, senior Sarah Dugas came in third (20:38).
South Portland hosted Biddeford and Noble and both Red Riots squads were first. The boys featured senior Matt Clement posting the fastest time (14:43). For the girls, sophomore Nyajock Pan was the winner (17:24).
Cape Elizabeth's boys did not compete last week after its meet at Wells was moved up a day and a bus wasn't available. The girls' team was third at the Bobcat Invitational in New Hampshire. Senior Rachel Nichols led her team with a 10th-place finish (20:23).
All local teams with the exception of the Cape Elizabeth girls will compete in Saturday's Southwestern Classic meet at Twin Brook in Cumberland, a joint Western Maine Conference-Southern Maine Activities Assocation event. The Capers girls' squad (ranked second behind Cheverus in the latest coaches' poll) is heading for the New Balance Ocean State Invitational in Rhode Island.
Scarborough is ninth in the girls' coaches' poll. The Scarborough boys are first, with Cape Elizabeth third.
As local golfers gear up for the upcoming state qualifying meet, the regular season is winding down. In Western A, Scarborough is 5-1 after an 11-2 victory over Westbrook Monday. South Portland fell to 2-4 after a 8.5-4.5 loss to Deering Monday. In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 0-5 heading into Wednesday's home match against Old Orchard Beach.
Scarborough's volleyball squad was 2-4 and fifth in Class A at press time after sandwiching losses to Greely (3-0: 11-25, 13-25, 27-29) and Biddeford (3-2: 25-13, 25-16, 22-25, 18-25, 12-15) around a 3-0 win over North Yarmouth Academy (25-10, 25-6, 25-12). Against the Rangers, junior Emily Robbins had 18 assists, senior MacKenzie Bowker added nine digs and junior Brittany Bona finished with 11 kills. In the victory, Robbins had nine aces and five assists, while senior Bridget Hicks added five aces and five digs. Bona had 16 kills, seven aces, eight digs and two blocks in the narrow loss to the Tigers. Robbins added 19 assists, while Bowker had 23 serve receptions.
The Red Storm were at undefeated Falmouth Thursday and host Greely Tuesday.
Cape Elizabeth is 0-6 and 11th in Class A after recent losses to Greely (3-0) and NYA (3-1). The Capers were at Kennebunk Wednesday and play host to Yarmouth Friday.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org