Playoff fever strikes Forecaster Country in several sports

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Falmouth and Scarborough-Thornton Academy field hockey game stories, with photos, see

The playoff season has brought mixed results to Forecaster Country.

Title hopes were high for Scarborough’s defending Class A champion field hockey team, but last week, the Red Storm were eliminated in painful fashion.

The story has been different in volleyball, where two teams advanced to a semifinal round showdown, and in boys’ and girls’ soccer, where several squads still entertained championship dreams at press time.

Football’s playoffs kick off Friday night.

Here’s a glimpse:

Field hockey

Scarborough’s field hockey team won regional titles in 2012, 2013 and a year ago and in 2014, the Red Storm also won the Class A championship in dramatic fashion, but this fall, Scarborough’s run ended in the semifinals.

After a 12-2 regular season, the Red Storm earned the No. 2 seed in Class A South, then, in the quarterfinals, survived No. 7 Falmouth in a first-ever playoff meeting, 1-0, on Rachel Paradis’ goal with 17.9 seconds remaining.

“I just kept trying,” said Paradis. “I kept getting my footing wrong and hitting it wide, then I finally got low enough and got it right into the back (of the cage). It was incredible. I had a little bit more time, so I could really focus on getting it in. The goalie was in front of me, but I saw the net and aimed and sent it right in there.”

“It’s incredible, fantastic,” said Scarborough coach Kerry Mariello. “I knew this game would be a battle.”

The Red Storm hosted No. 3 Thornton Academy in the semifinals Saturday and this time, weren’t as fortunate. After the Golden Trojans got an early goal, Scarborough senior goalie Alyssa Souza (13 saves) single-handedly kept her team alive, but Thornton Academy added a goal in the second half and went on to a 2-0 victory.

“(Thornton’s) a great team,” said Mariello. “They were the better team today. They were deserving of this game.” 

If this was a rebuilding year for Scarborough, then pity the rest of the league. The “rebuilding” Red Storm managed to go 13-3 and get to the semifinals for the eighth time in nine years.

“It’s hard to describe all we lost (after last year),” Mariello said. “We lost 11 players, including four all-state players. We were basically brand new coming in. We had ailments, we had personal issues going on, but we won in a lot of ways the scoreboard doesn’t represent. The girls definitely exceeded expectations.”

Scarborough graduates Souza, defenders Caitie Coombs and Emma Hall and forward Grace Bailer. 

Everyone else returns.

“Hopefully we’ll come back healthy,” Mariello said. “We’ll be excited to see what next year brings.”


Defending state champion Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough reached the Class A volleyball final four and had to square off Wednesday in Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals for the right to advance to the state final.

The Capers, ranked first, advanced with surprising ease by virtue of a straight set (25-14, 25-23, 25-19) over No. 8 Yarmouth in Saturday’s quarterfinals. 

The Red Storm, ranked fifth, had to survive a mighty scare from 12th-ranked Biddeford in the preliminary round last Thursday, but did so in five hotly contested sets (25-20, 25-17, 17-25, 25-27, 15-10), thanks to 15 kills from Jordyn Cowan, 10 kills from Kacey Foerster and nine kills from Taylor Marinko. Scarborough then won in four sets at Thornton Academy in Saturday’s quarterfinals (25-18, 15-25, 25-8, 25-19).

Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough split during the regular season, as the Red Storm opened the regular season with a four-set victory at home Sept 4 and the Capers won in three games at home Oct. 1.

In the lone prior playoff meeting, Cape Elizabeth rallied for a 3-2 victory in last year’s quarterfinals en route to the championship.

The winner will face either No. 2 Greely (12-3) or No. 3 Falmouth (11-4) in the Class A Final, Saturday at 1 p.m., at South Portland High School.

The Capers swept the Yachtsmen, winning 3-1 in Falmouth and 3-0 in Cape Elizabeth and are 1-1 all-time in the postseason against the Yachtsmen, dropping a five-set heartbreaker in the 2013 semifinals and rallying for an epic five-set win in last year’s state match.

Cape Elizabeth split with the Rangers, losing in five sets at home early in the season, then winning in four sets in Cumberland. The teams met just once prior in the playoffs, a four-set Capers’ win in last year’s semifinals.

Scarborough and Falmouth split five-set decisions during the regular season, each winning at home. The Red Storm lost to the Yachtsmen in the 2010 quarterfinals and in the 2013 state final.

Scarborough and Greely split during the regular season, as the Red Storm won in five sets in Cumberland and the Rangers prevailed in four sets in Scarborough. Greely has won three of four previous postseason encounters with a 3-1 Scarborough win in the 2013 semifinals the most recent.

Boys’ soccer

All four local boys’ soccer teams remained alive at press time.

For the 11th time in 12 years, Scarborough earned the top seed for the regional tournament after finishing unbeaten for the ninth time in that span. The 12-0-2 Red Storm downed visiting No. 9 Westbrook, 2-0, in Tuesday’s quarterfinals behind goals from Garrett King and Matt Blaisdell. 

Scarborough hosts either No. 4 Falmouth (10-3-1) or fifth-ranked Portland (8-2-5) in Saturday’s semifinals. The Red Storm didn’t face the Yachtsmen this year and the two storied programs have no prior playoff history. Scarborough settled for a 1-1 home tie with the Bulldogs Oct. 1. The Red Storm won four of the previous five playoff meetings, with a 4-0 regional final triumph two years ago the most recent.

South Portland finished sixth in Class A South (winning a coin flip with Cheverus) and Saturday had no trouble with 11th-ranked Kennebunk in the preliminary round, winning, 8-1, behind four goals from Kervens Anthoine, two from Ahmed Suja and one apiece from Liam Coyne and Khalid Suja.

The Red Riots (8-3-4) played a quarterfinal round game at No. 3 Thornton Academy (11-1-2) Wednesday. South Portland lost at home to the Golden Trojans, 1-0, Oct. 6. The teams’ only prior playoff meeting came in the 2011 preliminary round, a 2-0 Red Riots’ win.

If South Portland made it to the semifinals for the second year in a row, it would host defending champion, seventh-ranked Cheverus (9-3-4), which upset No. 2 Gorham in the quarterfinals. The Red Riots played to a 0-0 tie at the Stags Oct. 8 and lost both previous postseason encounters, including a 2-1 (5-4 PKs) loss in last year’s semifinals.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth finished seventh after a .500 regular season, then barely survived No. 10 Freeport in Saturday’s preliminary round. After falling behind, 1-0, the Capers tied the score on Nicolai Sabatini’s goal. The game went to overtime, where Connor Thoreck ended it, giving Cape Elizabeth a 2-1 win.

The Capers had to go to defending champion Yarmouth (12-1-1), the No. 2 seed, for the quarterfinals Wednesday. Cape Elizabeth lost twice this year to the Clippers, 4-0 on the road and 5-1 at home. The teams’ lone prior playoff meeting resulted in a 5-0 Yarmouth win in the 2013 semifinals.

If the Capers sprung the upset, they would go to third-ranked Greely (8-3-3) or No. 6 York (6-7-2) for the semifinals Saturday. Cape Elizabeth lost twice to the Rangers this year, 5-4 in overtime at home and 5-0 in Cumberland. The Capers split 1-0 decisions with the Wildcats, with each team winning at home. Cape Elizabeth is 7-6 all-time in the postseason versus Greely, with the Rangers winning, 1-0, in last year’s semifinals in the most recent encounter. The Capers beat York in the only previous meeting, 2-1, in last year’s quarterfinals.

In Class D South, Greater Portland Christian School, ranked fourth after an 8-5-1 regular season, hosted No. 5 A.R. Gould (7-2) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The Lions won at A.R. Gould, 5-0, and lost at A.R. Gould, 4-2, during the regular season.

If GPCS advanced, it will likely go to No. 1 Buckfield (13-1) for the semifinals. The Lions lost, 5-0, at Buckfield Sept. 25 and fell at home to Buckfield, 2-0, Oct. 10.

The regional finals will be played Wednesday on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The state finals are Saturday, Nov. 8. Class A and B will be contested at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Class C’s title game is in Presque Isle.

Girls’ soccer

Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s girls’ teams were still standing at press time.

The Capers, the two-time defending regional champions, closed on a four-game win streak and earned the No. 3 seed in Class B South with a 10-4 record. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth welcomed No. 11 Gray-New Gloucester, a team the Capers blanked, 5-0, Oct. 15 at home, for the quarterfinals. In the first-ever playoff encounter between the programs, Cape Elizabeth prevailed, 1-0, behind Sarah O’Connor’s free kick goal early in the second half.

Saturday, the Capers go to second-ranked York (9-3-3) for the semifinals. The teams split 2-0 decisions during the season, each winning on the other’s home field. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class A South, Scarborough finished second at 12-1-1 after falling at home to two-time defending regional champion Windham, 1-0, in its finale. The Red Storm hosted No. 7 Deering in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Scarborough won the regular season meeting, 2-1 at home, Sept. 5. The teams had no playoff history.

If Scarborough advanced, it would host No. 3 Gorham (12-3) Saturday in the semifinals. The Red Storm edged the visiting Rams, 1-0, Sept. 15. Scarborough won three of the previous four playoff meetings, including a 1-0 overtime victory in the 2011 regional final in the last encounter.

South Portland wound up 5-8-1 and 13th in Class A South, but only 12 teams qualified for the playoffs.

In Class D South, GPCS wound up 2-11-1 and ninth, but only seven teams made the cut.

The regional finals will be played Wednesday on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The state finals are Saturday, Nov. 8. Class A and B will be contested at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. 


All three local football teams ended the regular season with losses, but all three are playoff-bound.

In Class A South, Scarborough closed with a 27-7 home loss to Deering to wind up 4-4 and fourth in the Crabtree Points standings. Jack Hughes hit Griffin Madden with a long touchdown pass for the Red Storm’s lone points.

Scarborough hosts No. 5 Sanford (4-4) in Friday’s quarterfinals. The Red Storm won the regular season meeting, 37-15, Sept. 25 at home. Scarborough beat the Spartans in two of the past three postseasons: 42-16 in the 2012 Western A quarterfinals and 42-35 in last year’s quarterfinals.

If the Red Storm advance to the semifinals, they will play at top-ranked, defending state champion Thornton Academy (7-1) Saturday, Nov. 7. Scarborough lost, 48-7, at the Golden Trojans Oct. 3 and dropped both prior playoff meetings: 49-14 in the 2012 semifinals and 50-20 in last year’s semifinals.

South Portland started the season 2-0, then lost its final six games, capped by a 31-0 loss at Portland Friday in the 100th “Battle of the Bridge.” The 2-6 Red Riots earned the sixth and final playoff spot in Class A South and will play at No. 3 Bonny Eagle (5-3) in the quarterfinals Friday. South Portland opened the regular season with a dramatic 18-14 come-from-behind win in Standish Sept. 4. The Scots won the only prior playoff meeting, 32-0, in the 2010 quarterfinals.

If the Red Riots are able to spring an upset, they’ll go to second-ranked Deering for the semifinals next weekend. South Portland lost at home to the Rams, 27-14, Sept. 26. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class C South, Cape Elizabeth dropped its final two games to finish 6-2. Friday, the Capers were blanked by visiting Wells, 15-0, but still earned the No. 2 seed in the region. Friday, Cape Elizabeth hosts seventh-ranked, 4-4 Gray-New Gloucester in the quarterfinals. On Oct. 9, the Capers eked out a 7-0 win in Gray. The teams have no playoff history.

If Cape Elizabeth advances, it will host either third-ranked Wells (6-2) or No. 6 Poland (4-4) in the semifinals. The Capers romped over the visiting Knights, 47-6, Sept. 11. Cape Elizabeth has no playoff history with Poland and is 1-2 all-time against the Warriors, with a 13-0 loss in the 2011 semifinals the most recent encounter.

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

Sidebar Elements

Scarborough goalie Alyssa Souza makes a save during the Red Storm’s 2-0 loss to Thornton Academy in Saturday’s Class A South semifinal.

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