October means postseason nears

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Yarmouth and Greely-Yarmouth boys’ soccer, Greely-Yarmouth girls’ soccer and Falmouth-Yarmouth volleyball game stories, with additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

Buckle up.

October is upon us.

A new month means local teams are either priming for the postseason or jockeying for positioning.

Golf’s team state championship match is Saturday and individual champions will be crowned the following weekend. Cross country has just one regular season meet left. Soccer, field hockey and volleyball are all rapidly coming to a close.

Here’s a glimpse at where things stand and a look ahead:

Boys’ soccer

One week after battling to a 2-2 tie, the defending Class B state champion Falmouth Yachtsmen and ancient rival Yarmouth Clippers did battle again Saturday night, this time in Falmouth. Once again, the state’s best rivalry produced thrills and overtime.

After a scoreless first half, the game remained 0-0 until 11 minutes remained when Yarmouth’s Thomas Sullivan was fouled in the box, giving the Clippers a penalty kick. Max Watson did the honors and buried it to seemingly send Yarmouth on its way to a victory. As was the case in the first meeting, however, the Yachtsmen rallied and not surprisingly it was Grant Burfeind (on his birthday) tying the game on a late header. The Clippers would have the last laugh this time. In the second OT, David Murphy’s free kick came to Watson and Watson sent it into the net for a 2-1 victory.

“These games are so much fun,” said Watson. “With a team of that caliber and seniority, you have to respect all of their players. We know we have work hard and bring our level up higher to match them. We threw everything at them tonight and they threw everything they had at us and it showed.”

“We’ll take the victory,” added Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty. “Soccer’s a funny game. Overall, I thought it was a terrific game by both teams. This game was very back-and-forth. It felt very even. A tie might have been a deserved result, but we’ll take the Heal Points. It was another chapter, a heck of a game.”

Falmouth suffered its first loss in nearly a calendar year (Oct. 12, 2011), but certainly put on a show in the process.

“We had our chances,” Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan said. “We didn’t put them away. When you don’t put them away, it comes back to bite you against a good team. You have to give (Yarmouth) credit. They come at you hard and play an aggressive game. I was proud of our effort. It’s two good programs with good players. We don’t have to hide any players on the field. They don’t have to hide any players on the field. Even their young players are technically good players. There wasn’t much whacking going on. It was a good, hard fought game tonight.”

The Clippers had won at Greely two days prior, 1-0, on Watson’s early goal. Yarmouth (7-0-2 and second to Maranacook in the Western Class B Heal Points standings, as of Tuesday morning) was home with Freeport Tuesday, goes to Gray-New Gloucester Thursday and visits Fryeburg Tuesday of next week.

“We need to work harder in practice to get better,” Murphy said. “Everyone’s so close in this league.”

Falmouth had beaten Traip, 4-1, four days prior to its loss. Burfeind, Cooper Lycan and J.P. White had goals. The Yachtsmen (third in Western B) were at York Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s regional final and play at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

“We have to try to keep it on an even keel, since it’s a long season,” Halligan said. “We want to be at our best at the end.”

Freeport entered Tuesday’s game at Yarmouth at 2-6-1 and 14th in the Heals (the top 11 teams qualify) after a 4-2 home win over Poland last Wednesday. Goals came from Jack Davenport, Connor Dietrich, Landon Easler and Parker Matheson. The Falcons visit Cape Elizabeth Friday and play host to York Tuesday of next week.

In Western A, Greely is fifth in the standings at 7-3. The Rangers had some chances in their 1-0 home loss to Yarmouth, but fell just short.

“As a team, we give our all,” said Greely coach Mike Andreasen. “I think it was our best effort in a number of games. The kids rose up to the challenge. It comes down to making plays. I feel frustrated because we haven’t beaten (Yarmouth) in a number of years. They have that little something we’re still looking for.”

The Rangers held off visiting York, 2-1, Saturday behind goals from Mitchel Donovan and Jacob Nason. Greely was home with Cape Elizabeth Tuesday in its final home game and goes to defending Class C champion Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy has won five straight, sits fourth in the Heals and has a 7-3-1 record after recent victories over visiting Sacopee (8-1) and Traip (6-1). Against the Hawks, D.J. Nicholas had three goals, while Colby Bate, Wes Bright, Jackson Cohan-Smith, Aiden McLaughlin and Eliott Wellenbach also scored. In the win over the Rangers, Wellenbach had two goals while Cohan-Smith, McLaughlin, Nicholas and Jacob Scammon also scored. The Panthers were at Sacopee Tuesday, have a showdown at Waynflete Friday and finish the regular season Tuesday of next week at Gray-New Gloucester.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth remains undefeated and first in the Heals after downing visiting Wells (7-0) and Yarmouth (3-1) last week. Against the Warriors, Alex Bernier had two goals, while Georgia Babikian, Cassie Darrow, Hannah Donovan, Mary Catherine Kowalsky and Julia Spugnardi also scored. In the win over the Clippers, Babikian, Bernier and Angie Mallis tickled the wine. The Yachtsmen (8-0-1) were home with York Tuesday and host Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth sits 2-5-2 and 10th in Western B. Prior to its loss at Falmouth (where Lily Watson had the goal), the Clippers fell at Greely, 3-0. Yarmouth was at Freeport Tuesday, hosts Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and welcomes Fryeburg Tuesday of next week.

Freeport was 5-5 and ninth heading into Tuesday’s home game versus Yarmouth. The Falcons lost, 1-0, at Poland, then beat host Wells, 3-1, last week. Aubrey Pennell had 11 saves in the loss and five in the victory. Against the Warriors, Ashley Richardson had two goals and Jocelyn Davee one. Freeport hosts Cape Elizabeth Friday and goes to York for a playoff rematch Tuesday.

After going win-loss-win-loss-win-loss to start the season, Greely has rattled off three straight victories. capped by home wins over Yarmouth (3-0) and York (4-0) last week. Against the Clippers, Greely shot to a quick lead on a goal from Izzy Hutnak, doubled it in the 12th minute on a tally from Kristina Volta, then in the second minute of the second half, Holly Rand scored just her second varsity goal to provide some breathing room.

“It’s nice to get two in a row,” said Rangers coach Michael Kennedy. “To have a shutout and get three goals, that’s what we need to do.”

In the win over the Wildcats, Hutnak scored twice, while Mykaela Twitchell and Leah Young also had goals. Young added an assist and Gabby Morris also had one. Goalie Caton Beaulieu made nine saves.

Greely (6-3 and seventh in the Western A Heals) was at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday night (please see theforecaster.net for game story) and hosts Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, NYA got its second victory Saturday, 2-1, over visiting Traip, as Melanie Regan and Alex Wahlstrom scored. The Panthers had previously lost, 2-0, at Sacopee. NYA (2-7 and 14th in the Heals) was home with Sacopee Tuesday, plays host to rival Waynflete Friday and visits Traip Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Falmouth’s field hockey team is getting hot at the right time. The Yachtsmen have won three of four to improve to 6-4-2 and seventh in Western B. Last week, Falmouth blanked host Wells, 1-0 (Mikey Richards scored the goal), then lost, 3-1, at Fryeburg (Youngjin Kim scored in that one). Monday night, the Yachtsmen got an early goal from Leika Scott and made it hold up in a 1-0 home victory over two-time defending Class C champion NYA.

“We did a better job passing the ball,” said Falmouth coach Robin Haley. “We’ve struggled with that the past few games. Today, we played like we did earlier in the season. We just needed a win. Obviously, this is a big win. It helps our confidence as well. We’ve had our ups and downs. If we can put two solid games together this week, I’d be hopeful.”

The Yachtsmen have a big home test with Cape Elizabeth Thursday, then finish the regular season at home versus Wells Wednesday of next week.

Yarmouth was 5-4-1 and eighth at press time. The Clippers fell, 2-0, at Lake Region last Thursday. They were at defending regional champion York Tuesday, host Freeport Thursday and Poland Saturday and go to Cape Elizabeth for the finale Wednesday of next week.

Greely is in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996. The Rangers were 2-8-2 and 12th in Western B at press time, but only the top 11 teams make the playoffs. Monday, Greely lost at Cape Elizabeth, 2-0. The Rangers host Wells Thursday and have a makeup game versus York Monday at noon. A win in one or both contests would help Greely’s cause.

In Western C, NYA extended its win streak to seven Thursday with a 2-1 victory at Poland, but fell to 10-2 Monday with a 1-0 loss at Falmouth. The Panthers (second to Lisbon in the Heals) host Waynflete Thursday and close the regular season at Sacopee Wednesday of next week.

Freeport began the week 5-5-1 and fifth after Friday’s 2-1 loss at Sacopee. Abby Smith (from Megan Peacock) had the goal. Tallie Martin made 10 saves. The Falcons were at Old Orchard Beach Tuesday, visit Yarmouth Thursday and close at home versus Traip Wednesday of next week.

Cross country

Local cross country teams took part at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions in Belfast Saturday.

The Falmouth boys were third out of 60 teams. Cumberland, R.I., was the champion with Lewiston runner-up. Yarmouth (19th), Merriconeag (35th) and NYA (42nd) also took part. The fastest Yachtsmen was Bryce Murdick (27th, 17 minutes, 0.58 seconds). The Clippers featured Braden Becker (20th, 16:55.45). Merriconeag was paced by Jack Pierce (fourth, 16:14.27). The fastest Panther was Matt Malcolm (51st, 17:30.89).

In the girls’ competition, won by Mt. Desert Island, Falmouth finished eighth out of 50 teams, Yarmouth was ninth, Merriconeag 34th and NYA 39th. Individually, the top Yachtsmen finisher was Madeline Roberts (23rd, 20:11.63), the first Clipper to finish was Sarah Becker (33rd, 20:31.22), Hannah Austin led the Panthers with a 68th-place finish (21:21.76) and Merriconeag’s first finisher was Sam Pierce (78th, 21:36.21).

Freeport joined Gray-New Gloucester and York at Poland and both the boys and girls came in first.

The regular season ends this weekend as Greely hosts Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Wells and Yarmouth and NYA welcomes Freeport, Merriconeag and Sacopee Valley.

The Western Maine Conference championship meet is Oct. 12 at St. Joseph’s College. The regionals are Saturday, Oct. 20, at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The state meet is Saturday, Oct. 27, at Belfast.


The Falmouth and Greely golf teams have qualified for Saturday’s Class A state golf match at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. The defending state champion Yachtsmen (8-2 in the regular season) qualified automatically as the Northern Division champion and had a score of 329 at Monday’s Southern Maine Activities Association qualifier. Greely (7-3 in the regular season) shot a 317, the low score on the day, to qualify.

The Western Maine Conference qualifier was Tuesday, too late for press. 10-1 Yarmouth (please see story) expected to make the cut in Class B, while 9-1 NYA is hopeful in Class C. Freeport (3-9) also took part.

The individual boys’ and girls’ championships are Oct. 13, also at Natanis.


Falmouth and Yarmouth produced a memorable volleyball showdown Monday night.

The Clippers were coming off a 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-22) win at Cony, a 3-2 home loss to Windham and 3-0 victories at Downeast rivals Sumner and Narraguagus. Against the Rams, Gina Robertson had seven aces and 11 service points. Madeleine Anderson had four kills. Maddy Mairhofer added five digs.

The Yachtsmen had blanked host Cape Elizabeth and NYA in prior action.

Monday, Yarmouth, behind strong play from Robertson, shot to an early lead and took the first game, 25-21. Falmouth then appeared to seize control with victories in the next two (25-13 and 25-14), but the Clippers rallied to take game four, 25-18, setting up a winner-take-all fifth set. There, Yarmouth scored the first four points, but the Yachtsmen, paced by Katrina Meserve, came to life and wound up triumphing, 15-5, to take the match, 3-2.

“It was definitely rewarding,” Robertson said. “I’ve never seen my team work this hard. We really wanted it. We didn’t succeed, but I think we succeeded as a team in the sense we played our hearts out. We really just wanted it. We have great energy. We work hard every practice and every game. We know how to push ourselves. It looked really good, but they have an amazing outside hitter. She’s a great player.”

“Talk about a momentum game,” said Clippers coach Jim Senecal. “It was really something. I thought after Falmouth took games two and three, I didn’t know my kids could do what they did coming back in game four. I’m really proud of them. Our team came out with a lot of energy. Falmouth’s a great team. For us to play like we did against that team is good for us and for our program. We gave it everything we had and we lost to a better team.”

Falmouth (7-3 and seventh in the Class A Heal Points standings at press time, but due to move up) was back in action Wednesday at Kennebunk. The Yachtsmen host Scarborough Friday and close the regular season at home Oct. 12 against Greely.

Yarmouth (9-3 and third in Class B) hopes to bounce back Thursday, but it won’t be easy as defending champion Greely pays a visit. The Clippers close the regular season Oct. 10 at NYA.

“If we play like we did tonight, we will be right there in the end,” said Senecal. “There are some good teams in Class B this year, but our performance tonight, if we can carry it through, we’ll be OK.”

Greely is sixth in Class A with a 7-2 mark after blanking visiting Gorham (25-14, 25-15, 25-7) and host Cony (25-15, 25-16, 25-6). After going to Scarborough for a state final rematch Wednesday, the Rangers visit Yarmouth Thursday and play at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.

NYA is 0-8 and eighth in Class B after a 3-0 home loss to Falmouth Friday. The Panthers are idle until Tuesday of next week when they host Yarmouth.

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

Sidebar Elements

Greely sophomore Mitchel Donovan eludes a Yarmouth defender during the Rangers’ 1-0 home loss to the Clippers last week.

Yarmouth junior David Murphy and Falmouth senior Hugh Grygiel battle for possession during yet another thrilling installment of their rivalry Saturday night. Murphy assisted on the game winner in double overtime as the visiting Clippers won, 2-1.

Falmouth sophomore Ally Hickey and Yarmouth senior Kate Myers meet at the net during the Yachtsmen’s memorable five-set win Monday night.

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