October drama at a fever pitch-Northern edition

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Longtime Greely boys’ soccer Mike Andreasen beams after receiving the game ball following the Rangers’ 2-0 win at Freeport last week, which was Andreasen’s 200th victory with the program.

Yarmouth’s Ehryn Groothoff fights for the ball during the Clippers’ 1-0 win at Cape Elizabeth Saturday. Defending Class B champion Yarmouth stayed undefeated on the season.

Greely goalie Kylie Rogers denies Freeport Kerry Lefebvre during the teams’ contest last week. The Rangers won in double-overtime, 2-1.

Maine Coast Waldorf’s Nick Neveu competes in the Western Maine Conference championship meet Friday. Neveu was fourth individually and MCW was second to Wells as a team.

Ed. Note: For the complete Greely-Freeport and Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys’ soccer, Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth girls’ soccer and Freeport-Greely and Greely-York field hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The golf season has come to a close and by press time, the regular season will be over in field hockey, soccer and volleyball, meaning only football will remain.

The postseason is underway in field hockey and will commence this weekend in cross country, soccer and volleyball.

As the days get shorter, the clock is running out on the fall sports season, but the greatest drama is still to come.

Here’s an overview:

Golf

Ten local golfers made the trip back to Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro for the individual state championships Saturday. 

Greely’s Rachel Smith shot an eight-over round of 80 to finish third in the girls’ competition (Scarborough’s Elizabeth Lacognata won with a round of 70). Freeport’s Mia Spencer tied for ninth with 89.

In the Class A boys’ individual match, Falmouth’s Charlie Emple (77) came in ninth (Scarborough’s Anthony Burnham and Camden Hills’ Cole Anderson tied for first with a round of 70). Falmouth’s Tyler Baker (81) and Brady Pierson (81) tied for 15th. Greely’s Ben Rosenthal (89) placed 27th. 

In Class B, Yarmouth’s Ethan Haag (79) tied for fifth-place (Cape Elizabeth’s Austin Legge won the crown with a round of 70). Yarmouth’s Mac Leahy (88) tied for 16th. Freeport’s T.J. Whelan (92) tied for 22nd and teammate Sullivan Smith (98) finished 28th.

Field hockey

Falmouth got the field hockey postseason off to a fast start with a preliminary round victory Saturday. The Yachtsmen finished the regular season 6-8 after a 1-0 overtime loss at Thornton Academy and a 1-0 home victory over Sanford. Emma Cohen had the goal against the Spartans. Falmouth wound up ninth in Class A South and went to eighth-seeded Marshwood Saturday for a prelim. After Stone Carmichael gave the Yachtsmen an early lead, the Hawks tied the game in the second half and the game went to overtime. There, in the second OT, Falmouth prevailed, 2-1, on a goal from Grace Soucy.

The Yachtsmen advanced to a showdown at top-ranked Scarborough (13-1) in the quarterfinals Tuesday evening (see theforecaster.net for game story). Back on Sept. 1, the Red Storm won in Falmouth, 3-1. In the only previous playoff encounter, Scarborough edged Falmouth, 1-0, in the 2015 quarterfinals. If the Yachtsmen were able to spring another upset, they’d visit either No. 4 Biddeford (12-2) or No. 5 Kennebunk (11-4) in the semifinals. Falmouth lost to both teams at home this fall: 1-0 to the Rams and 2-0 to the Tigers. The Yachtsmen have no playoff history with either team.

In Class B South, Yarmouth earned the No. 2 seed after a 10-3-1 regular season, capped by a 2-1 loss at Poland Tuesday. The Clippers host No. 7 Leavitt (8-5-1) in Wednesday afternoon’s quarterfinal round. The teams had no history. If Yarmouth advances, it will either welcome No. 3 Poland (10-4) or sixth-ranked Greely (7-6-1) in the semifinals this weekend. The Clippers split 2-1 decisions with the Knights this season, winning at home and losing away, and beat the host Rangers, 2-1. Yarmouth beat Poland, 4-1, in the 2004 preliminary round in the teams’ lone prior encounter. The Clippers are 1-3 all-time in the postseason against Greely, with a 3-2 setback in the 2004 quarterfinals the most recent.

Freeport finished 9-4-1, its best regular season record since 2009, after a 2-1 double-overtime home loss to Greely in the finale last Tuesday. Kerry Lefebvre scored for an early lead, but the Falcons couldn’t make it hold up.

“We accomplished a lot,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood said. “Two of our losses were in overtime and could have gone either way. I’m happy for the girls and proud of them.”

The Falcons finished with the No. 4 seed in Class B South and hosted fifth-ranked Lake Region (7-7) in the quarterfinals Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). Freeport twice beat the Lakers by 1-0 scores in the regular season. The teams  had no playoff history.

If the Falcons were able to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2002, they would play at three-time defending state champion York (11-2-1) or host No. 8 Fryeburg Academy (5-9) this weekend. On Sept. 23, Freeport lost at home to the Wildcats, 3-0. York won both prior playoff meetings, including an 8-0 victory in last year’s quarterfinals. The Falcons swept the Raiders this year, winning 1-0 in Fryeburg and eking out a 3-2 overtime home victory. The teams have no playoff history.

Greely wound up 7-6-1, its first winning record since 2011, after a 2-1 double-OT win at Freeport and a 1-0 home loss to York. In the victory, Delia Knox tied it and Ella Novick, from Sydney Meredith-Pickett, won it.

“We had played enough overtime.” Meredith-Pickett said. “I was really tired and I just went for it.”

“I was waiting for the rebound,” Novick said. “I had to be there to finish it. It felt amazing.”

“We’ve talked about competing and keeping our composure and we kept it together as a team and we finished it off with an exclamation point,” added Rangers coach Becki Belmore.

Against York, goalie Kylie Rogers made 17 saves, many of the acrobatic variety, but Greely couldn’t generate any offense.

“I was focusing on tracking the ball and being aware of my surroundings,” said Rogers. “It’s fun to make those saves. That’s why I play.”

“Kylie stepped up today,” said Belmore. “It was one of her best games of the season for sure.”

The Rangers wound up sixth in the region and go to No. 3 Poland (10-4) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The Knights won the regular season meeting, 3-1, in Cumberland Sept. 18. Poland also won last year’s playoff encounter, 2-1, in overtime, in the preliminary round.

If Greely turns the tables and advances, it will go to No. 2 Yarmouth or host No. 7 Leavitt in the semifinals this weekend. The Rangers and Hornets don’t play in the regular season. Greely had taken three of the five prior playoff meetings, with the most recent a 1-0 victory in the 2011 quarterfinals.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy wound up 7-7 after a 4-2 home victory over Traip Academy last Tuesday. Eleanor Commons, Caroline Gepfert, Katie Larson and Amber Rose had the goals. The Panthers earned the No. 5 seed in the region and went to fourth-ranked Dirigo (9-5) for the quarterfinals Tuesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season. NYA won three of four prior playoff meetings with a 2-0 win in the 2012 semifinals the most recent.

If the Panthers were able to advance, they’d go to top-ranked St. Dom’s (14-0) for the semifinals this weekend. NYA lost to the Saints, 9-0, in Auburn and 8-2 at home in the regular season. The teams split two prior playoff encounters with a 1-0 St. Dom’s win in the 2002 quarterfinals the most recent.

Looking ahead, the regional finals will be held at Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week. The state finals are Saturday, Oct. 28 at Falmouth.

Football

With “Rivalry Week” upon us, all four Forecaster Country football teams are jockeying for playoff positioning.

Falmouth improved to 5-2 and third behind Marshwood and Kennebunk in the Class B South Heal Points standings following a 48-6 home win over Gorham Friday. A 24-yard touchdown run from Garret Aube, a 44-yard TD pass from Jack Bryant to Brady Douglas and a 9-yard Bryant scoring run made it 20-0 after one quarter. Aube had TD runs of 48- and 2-yards and Riley Reed added a 70-yard touchdown scamper to made it 41-0 at halftime. Bryant’s 22-yard scoring run accounted for the final score. Falmouth hosts rival Greely in the “Battle of Route 9” Friday night. 

Speaking of Greely, the Rangers made it five wins a row last Friday with a 20-7 home win over York. Greely fell behind, 7-0, after one quarter, but came to life in the second period, as Joey Casella’s 27-yard touchdown run and Shane DeWolfe’s extra point tied it, Tim Coyle’s 23-yard TD run and DeWolfe’s PAT put the Rangers ahead and a 10-yard Casella scoring run accounted for the final score.

Last year, host Falmouth beat Greely in the regular season finale, 14-0, but a week later, in a Class B South quarterfinal, the Rangers returned to Falmouth and sprung a 20-7 upset.

The Yachtsmen lead the all-time series, 8-7.

In Class C South, Freeport fell to 1-6 and eighth in the region with a 33-20 home loss to Gardiner. After falling behind, 7-0, in the second period, Jacob Tomm’s 56-yard TD scamper pulled the Falcons even at halftime. Adam Ulrickson scored on a 62-yard touchdown run in the third period, but the Tigers led, 27-14, heading for the fourth. Tomm scored on another long (62-yards) TD run in the final period, but Freeport couldn’t catch up.

The Falcons go to Yarmouth in Friday’s finale, “The Battle of the Bay.

Yarmouth is coming off its first victory, as it improved to 1-6 and ninth in Class C South with a 13-6 win at Gray-New Gloucester. The Clippers got a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Noah Eckersley-Ray and a 50-yard TD scamper from Jack Ricciardi, then needed a huge defensive stand late in regulation to earn their first victory since Sept. 16 of last year.

Speaking of 2016, Freeport beat the Clippers last year for the first time, 30-16, in Yarmouth. The Clippers lead the all-time series, 7-1.

Friday’s contest is essentially a play-in game for the final playoff spot in the region.

The football postseason starts the weekend of Oct. 27-28 on the fields of the higher seeds.

Boys’ soccer

All five local boys’ soccer teams were hopeful of making the playoffs at press time.

In Class A South, Falmouth projects to wind up either first or second. The Yachtsmen improved to 11-2 last week by blanking visiting Gorham (1-0) and host Biddeford (6-0). Nate Arrants had the goal (assisted by Tom Fitzgerald) in the win over the defending regional champion Rams. Against the Tigers, Ben Wuesthoff scored twice, while Kyle Bouchard, Joe Dye, Gus Ford and Nick Hester also tickled the twine. Falmouth closed at home versus Massabesic Tuesday, then will host a quarterfinal round playoff game next week.

Three-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth will be the top seed in Class B South. Last week, the Clippers improved to 13-0 after downing host Fryeburg Academy (7-0) and Cape Elizabeth (2-1). Silas Chappell, Anders Corey, Max Coury, Tahj Garvey, Aidan Hickey, Liam Ireland and Eric LaBrie all scored in the win over the Raiders. Against the Capers, LaBrie set up Luke Groothoff for a first half goal and after the Capers tied the score on a penalty kick in the second half, Groothoff scored off Coury’s corner kick with 5:43 to go for the victory.

“We knew we could get one back,” Groothoff said. “We’ve worked on a new corner kick play and it paid off.”

“It’s always fun,” Clippers coach Mike Hagerty said. “This was like a playoff game.”

Yarmouth had a chance to finish 14-0 for the first time when it closed at home against Wells Tuesday. The Clippers will be home throughout the regional playoffs, starting with the quarterfinals next week.

Greely improved to 7-5-1 and sixth in Class B South after a 2-0 win at Freeport and a 7-1 victory at North Yarmouth Academy. The Rangers got goals from Hazael Tshituka and Brendan Carrell and more importantly, gave longtime coach Mike Andreasen his 200th victory with the program.

“We’re not the most glitzy program, but we go our business and let the results fall where they may,” said Andreasen, who has coached Greely to four state titles. “The kids from 1998 to now, they have been great. I’ve been asked when I’m going to get done and I say, ‘When it’s not fun anymore.’ The kids make it fun.”

Against NYA, Evan Wyman had three goals, Tshituka scored twice and Carrell and Andy Moore both had one goal. The Rangers closed at Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and will likely host a preliminary round playoff game this weekend.

Freeport bounced back from its 2-0 home loss to Greely with an 8-0 home victory over Poland Saturday and a 4-1 home win over Fryeburg Academy Monday to finish the regular year 8-6. Jesse Bennell, Evan McKittrick, Eriksen Shea and Shea Wagner scored against the Raiders. The Falcons, who finished the regular season with a winning record for the first time since going 8-6 in 2008, will likely host a prelim this weekend.

In Class D South, NYA began the week 3-9-1 and 14th in the Heals, but only 12 teams make the playoffs. Last week, the Panthers lost at Sacopee Valley (6-2) and at home to Greely (7-1). Pierce Manchester and Linus Maurer scored against the Hawks. In the loss to the Rangers, Xander Kostelnik had the goal. NYA finished at St. Dom’s Tuesday and needed a win to have any hopes of qualifying to play a prelim on the road this weekend.

Girls’ soccer

Four of five local girls’ teams will compete in the postseason.

Defending Class B state champion Yarmouth finished the regular season 14-0 for the first time after a 9-0 home win over Fryeburg Academy, a 1-0 victory at Cape Elizabeth last week and a 5-0 home victory over Lake Region Monday. Sara D’Appolonia continued her assault on the record books with three goals against the Raiders. Ehryn Groothoff and Adriana Whitlock both scored twice, while Audrey Goessling and Ellie Purgavie had goals as well. In the win over the Capers, D’Appolonia scored early and it held up, thanks in part to four timely saves from goalkeeper Meredith Lane.

“I was hoping we’d get more, but I can’t complain with 1-0,” D’Appolonia said. “That’s still a good win.”

“It was a little nervewracking, but we rallied and came on strong,” Lane said. “We knew it would be a great game.”

“Cape did a tremendous job,” added Clippers coach Chris Coleman. “They made it very difficult for us.”

Against Lake Region, D’Appolonia scored her 30th and 31st goals of the season and Purgavie and Isabel Brennan also found the net. Yarmouth will play at home throughout the regional playoffs, starting with a quarterfinal next week. 

Greely, meanwhile, has won six straight, capped by a 3-1 victory at Sacopee Valley and a 5-1 home win over Waynflete, to improve to 10-3 and third in Class B South. Julia Martel had two goals and Katherine Clancy one against the Hawks. In the win over the Flyers, Brooke Obar and Courtney Sullivan had two goals apiece and Molly Hale added the other. The Rangers closed at home versus Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, then will host a quarterfinal next week.

Freeport was 9-4 and fifth in Class B South after blanking visiting Lake Region and Poland by 2-0 scores last week. Catriona Gould scored both goals against the Lakers. The Falcons hosted Fryeburg Academy in their finale Tuesday. Freeport was seeking its first 10-win regular season since 1989. If the Falcons remain in the top five, they’ll avoid a prelim. If they move up to four, they’ll host a quarterfinal.

In Class A South, Falmouth began the week 6-6-1 and 10th following a 6-1 home win over Westbrook and a 3-2 victory at Thornton Academy last week. Amelia Waite had two goals and Lexi Bugbee, Allie Cunningham, Alyssa Drum and Sarah Wuesthoff had one apiece in the win over the Blue Blazes. Madison Wolfe had two goals and Caroline Cohen scored the winner against the Golden Trojans. The Yachtsmen took a five-game unbeaten streak into the finale at Kennebunk Tuesday. A victory could have moved Falmouth up high enough to host a prelim this weekend.

In Class D South, NYA was 2-11 and 10th at the start of the week, but only eight teams make the playoffs. The Panthers lost at home last week to Buckfield (3-1) and Wells (6-0). Natalie Farrell scored against Buckfield. NYA closed at home versus St. Dom’s Tuesday.

Volleyball

All four local volleyball teams will be factors in the upcoming postseason.

Yarmouth will be the second seed behind Cape Elizabeth in Class B. The Clippers improved to 12-1 last week by sweeping visiting Windham (25-19, 26-24, 25-16). Kaitlyn Bennett had eight kills and six aces. Yarmouth closed the regular season at Kennebunk Tuesday.

Falmouth will likely be the No. 3 seed in Class B. The Yachtsmen improved to 9-4 last week by virtue of a 3-0 home win over Brunswick and a 3-1 victory at Greely. Falmouth closed the regular season at home versus York Tuesday.

Greely, the defending Class A state champion, projects to be the No. 5 seed in Class B this year after finishing the regular season 7-7. Last week, the Rangers won in straight sets (25-12, 25-17, 25-16) at York, then fell in four sets to visiting Falmouth.

In Class C, NYA also finished the regular season 7-7 after a five-set (25-14, 13-25, 23-25, 25-23, 12-25) home loss to Washington Academy and a four-set (25-19, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22) home win over Machias. In the victory, Sydney Plummer had 14 kills and eight aces, Jordan Ackerman added eight kills and eight aces, Afton Morton had 16 assists and Tessa Quattrucci finished with 38 digs. The Panthers will likely be the No. 4 seed for the playoffs and if so, will host No. 5 Narraguagus (8-6) in the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinal round is Saturday and the semifinals are Wednesday of next week on the courts of the higher seeds. 

Cross country

Freeport, Greely, Maine Coast Waldorf, NYA and Yarmouth all went to Standish Friday for the Western Maine Conference championship meet.

Freeport’s boys finished third in Division I, while Greely placed third and Yarmouth was seventh. The Falcons were led individually by Alex Les, who was second in 17 minutes, 51 seconds. The Rangers’ top finisher was Nicholas Giandrea (fifth, 18:25). Justin Pietropaoli led the Clippers with a 23rd-place showing (19:43).

In the Division I girls’ race, won by Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth came in fourth and Freeport was fifth. Greely didn’t score as a team. The Falcons produced first-place individual Lily Horne (19:54). The Clippers were paced by Anneka Murrin (fourth, 21:23). Greely’s Chloe Smith had the 14th-best individual time (22:28).

MCW’s girls won the Division II title, as Olivia Skillings (20:48) and Olivia Reynolds (21:12) were the top two individuals. NYA didn’t score as a team. Charlotte Collins had the 26th-best time (25:14). 

In the Division II boys’ meet, won by Wells, MCW was runner-up and NYA placed eighth. MCW was led individually by Nick Neveu (fourth, 17:47). Chris Hamblett led the Panthers with a 14th-place finish (19:12).

Falmouth closed its regular season by joining Cheverus, Deering, Maine Girls’ Academy and Portland at South Portland and the Yachtsmen boys and girls were both second behind the Rams. In the girls’ race, Falmouth’s Karley Piers (16:45) and Malaika Pasch (17:04) were the top two individuals. Conner Piers placed third on the boys’ side in 14:23. 

The regional championships are Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland.

The state meet will be Saturday, Oct. 28 also at Twin Brook.

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

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.