Playoff push begins in Portland

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The spring sports season is rapidly winding down and even with Mother Nature taking center stage and causing some disruptions this week, there will be plenty of pivotal action in the days to come.

The past week was highlighted by dramatic action in softball, lacrosse, track and tennis.

Here’s a glimpse:

Softball

McAuley’s softball team continued its high-wire act and stayed undefeated last week.

The Lions eked out a 2-1 win at Windham, held off visiting Noble, 4-3, had a relatively easy (by their standards) 8-3 triumph over host Deering, then had to go 10 innings before winning at Marshwood, 6-1, to improve to 9-0 (good for third in the Western Class A Heal Points standings, as of Monday).

Against the Eagles, senior Jen Field had a pair of hits, hurled a three-hitter and struck out five. Field scored the go-ahead run on a double by junior standout Shelby Bryant. In the win over the Knights, Bryant had three hits, including a triple, scored twice and drove in the winning run. Sophomore Gabby Townsend earned the victory.

At the Rams, senior Kayla Daigle singled and homered. Senior Sara Mercier also had a pair of hits. Libby got the win. Against the Hawks, the game was scoreless until the seventh when McAuley got a run only to see the hosts answer and tie the game. Finally, in the 10th, the Lions erupted for five to secure the victory. Libby scored the winning run, Bryant and sophomore Sam Schildroth belted triples and Townsend struck out 13, while giving up seven hits in 10 innings of work.

McAuley was scheduled to host Gorham Monday, visits Massabesic Wednesday, hosts Thornton Academy Friday and goes to Scarborough Monday of next week.

The other city teams have work to do to get in the playoff picture.

Deering started the week in 15th in the Heals with a 2-7 mark. After being blanked by visiting Kennebunk (6-0) and dropping the 8-3 home decision to McAuley, the Rams were a 3-1 winner at Westbrook Friday. Junior Nicole Mason had three hits versus the Lions. In the victory, senior Kaylee Wheeler had three hits, including a triple, and got the win on the mound with a five-hitter. Deering was home with Windham Monday, goes to Noble Wednesday, hosts Marshwood Friday and plays at Gorham Monday of next week.

Cheverus was 1-9 and 14th as of Monday. The Stags lost last week at Marshwood (7-4), at home to Gorham (10-3), at Windham (8-4) and at Massabesic (12-3). Junior Erin Cianchette hit a home run against the Rams. Sophomore Emily Rodrigue had three hits versus the Eagles. Freshman Brittany Bell had a single and home run in the loss to the Mustangs. Cheverus hosted Thornton Academy in a playoff rematch Monday, visits Scarborough Wednesday, welcomes Biddeford Friday and plays at Portland Monday of next week.

The Bulldogs were 17th with an 0-9 mark when the week started after setbacks last week to host Massabesic (7-5), Marshwood (16-0, in five innings), visiting Thornton Academy (16-0, in five) and host Scarborough (21-0, in five). Portland was home Monday against Biddeford, goes to defending Class A champion South Portland Friday and hosts Kennebunk Saturday and Cheverus Monday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Portland and Deering’s boys’ lacrosse teams continue to set the pace, even though each suffered their first loss last week.

The Bulldogs blanked visiting Biddeford, 14-0, last Wednesday (senior Bronson Guimond scored four times), but Saturday, at Messalonskee, Portland lost a regular season game for the first time since May 18, 2009 (11-9 at Yarmouth), ending a 24-game run. The game was tied, 5-5, at halftime, but the Eagles blanked the Bulldogs in the second half. Guimond had three goals in the loss.

Portland (7-1, second to Messalonskee in the Eastern A Heals and fourth in the latest coaches’ poll) hosts Gorham Wednesday and goes to Deering Friday at 7:30 p.m. (that game was moved from its originally scheduled date of Saturday). After going to Westbrook Wednesday of next week, the Bulldogs close the regular season with a state final rematch at Scarborough June 1.

The Rams’ best start to date reached six wins in a row last Monday after a 17-4 romp at Westbrook. Senior Zach Poulin and Noah Whittenberg had five goals each. Junior Anthony Verville finished with four. Wednesday, however, Deering fell, 6-4, at Kennebunk. In that one, the Rams appeared to have tied the game at 1-1 early, but a stick check led to a ruling of an illegal stick, erasing the goal and forcing Deering to play a man-down. Kennebunk scored three times and the visiting Rams could never catch up as they unleashed 45 shots, but only scored four times. The next day, Deering bounced back with a 13-4 triumph at Morse behind four goals from senior Carleton Allen and three goals and four assists from Poulin.

The Rams (7-1, third in Eastern A and fifth in the latest coaches’ poll) host Massabesic Wednesday, Portland Friday and Gorham Wednesday of next week. They close the regular season at Bonny Eagle June 1.

Cheverus has some work to do if it wants to make the playoffs. The Stags lost a 7-6 (triple overtime) decision to Westbrook, then fell, 10-4, at Yarmouth to drop to 2-6 (seventh in Eastern A, where only six teams qualify). In the loss to Westbrook, junior Spencer Amberson, senior Stephen Ambrose, junior Cam Olson, sophomore Lucas Richio, junior Tommy Sullivan and freshman Jack Sutton all had one goal. Amberson, Ambrose, sophomore Warren Murray and junior Brian Whalen scored versus the Clippers. Senior Evan Jendrasko made 13 saves and, in a flashback to the fall, made several stirring runs up the field.

“That was awesome,” said longtime Stags coach Deke Andrew. “We caused a lot of problems with their clearing, which was excellent. In the second half, I thought we did well. We’re athletic, we just don’t have anyone who’s especially experienced. Thank goodness, we have athletes from other sports to fill in the gaps.”

Cheverus hopes to extend its postseason streak to 12 seasons, but likely needs to win out. The Stags host Noble Wednesday and Windham Friday (that will be played at Deering High School at 5:30 p.m.). They play a makeup game at Bonny Eagle on Monday and close at Gorham June 1.

“We’ve got to look forward and play hard,” Andrew said. “Every day I go to practice, the guys are smiling and excited to be there. When you’re 2-6, that’s what keeps you going. We’ve had three one-goal losses. We’re in a unique situation. Our skill players are inexperienced. Our best athletes have never played before. It’s an unusual combination. Obviously, our defense is pretty strong. We need to develop a little offensively. I’d love to make the playoffs. We just want to get there.”

In Western B, Waynflete began the week third behind Falmouth and defending champion Cape Elizabeth in the Heals with a 6-2 mark. The Flyers dropped a 9-3 home decision to Yarmouth last Tuesday, but bounced back to down visiting Lake Region (16-2) and Camden Hills (17-2). Against the Lakers, senior Matt Butler and junior Chris Burke both scored five times. In the win over the Windjammers, freshman Henry Cleaves led the way with four goals. Freshman Jack Cutler finished with three.

Waynflete was at York Monday, visits Wells Thursday, hosts NYA Wednesday of next week and finishes the regular year at Cape Elizabeth May 31.

Girls’ lacrosse

Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team continues to set the pace in Western Class B after wins last week over visiting Greely (22-11) and host Cheverus (10-6). The Flyers began this week 6-1 and first in the Heals.

The Greely win was a wild one as Waynflete scored its most goals in memory. Leading just 8-7 at halftime, the Flyers pulled away in the second half behind seven goals from sophomore standout Martha Veroneau, six from senior Liv Chap and five from sophomore sharpshooter Sadie Cole. Senior Mica Thompson added two goals and two assists. Freshman Walker Foehl scored a goal and finished with two assists. Sophomore goalie Katherine Torrey made seven saves. Against the Stags, Cole had four goals and Torrey made 10 saves.

Waynflete was home against Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, welcomes Falmouth Thursday and goes to NYA Tuesday of next week and York the following day. The Flyers close the regular season at Yarmouth June 1.

In Western A, McAuley lost, 13-10, at Windham, then beat visiting Noble, 18-3, last week to improve to 4-3 (11th in the Heals). In the loss, junior Sadie DiPierro scored twice. In the victory, senior Tori Tenenbaum led the way with five goals, while junior Clare McLaughlin and sophomore Sam Paglia both scored three times.

The Lions hosted South Portland Tuesday, welcome Sanford Thursday, go to Biddeford Saturday and visit Westbrook Monday. They close the regular season next Thursday at home versus Bonny Eagle.

Cheverus got two goals from freshman Elyse Caiazzo and nine saves from junior goalie Ali Saxton in the loss to Waynflete. Two days prior, at Scarborough, the Stags were within a goal of the defending Class A champion Red Storm late in the first half, but went down 8-3 at the break. They never got closer than five in the second half. Junior Sarah LaQuerre had three goals and an assist, while Caiazzo scored twice. That loss left Cheverus 1-7 on the season.

The Stags (ninth in Eastern A) hosted Windham Monday, go to Kennebunk Thursday and Thornton Academy Monday before closing at home next Thursday against Gorham.

Portland would be the last team out if the playoffs started now. The Bulldogs began the week 4-4 and seventh in Eastern A, but only six teams qualify. Last week, Portland lost at Bonny Eagle (18-14) and at home to Thornton Academy (10-8) before winning at Camden Hills (16-13). Junior Raechel Allen scored five times against both the Scots and Golden Trojans. In the win, Allen and junior Catherine Flaherty had four goals apiece. 

After hosting Deering Monday and going to Westbrook Thursday, Portland finishes with games at South Portland (May 26) and Marshwood (May 31).

Deering was 10th in Eastern A at the start of the week with a 2-5 mark. The Rams did get their first two wins last week, 16-4 at Biddeford (senior Zahra Abu had five goals and Maddie Burns added four) and 12-6 over visiting Westbrook (Abu scored six goals, senior Kayla Vachon had four and goalie Lilly Worthley made nine saves). Saturday, they dropped a tough 14-13 decision (in four overtimes) at Gardiner in a crossover game (despite four goals each from Abu and Veronica Mitchell)

“We are playing much better now,” said Deering coach Andrew Gordon. “Last Thursday, we probably played our best game in a couple of years in beating Westbrook. It was a real team effort. Saturday, we were down 6-1, scored nine straight to lead 10-6, then they tied it. We were up, 11-10, with 1.2 seconds left when they tied the foolish game. We played two three-minute periods of overtime after which it was 13-13, then two more (‘sudden-victory’) periods. They scored halfway through the second. To add to the fun, were were a player down through the last 10 minutes of the game and all the overtimes, because an overexcited referee had given one of our players two yellow cards.”

Deering was at Portland Monday, hosts Bonny Eagle Thursday and South Portland Monday of next week. The Rams close at home against Lewiston (May 26) and Massabesic (May 30).

Track

Outdoor track is a little over a week away from the start of its postseason as the Southern Maine Activities Association and Western Maine Conference meets will be held May 28.

The Cheverus’ girls hosted Gorham, Kennebunk and Massabesic last Tuesday and the Stags came in first. Caroline Summa won the high jump and the triple jump. Katie Shapiro took the shot put (with a new personal record of 36 feet, 1.5 inches) and the discus. Brooke Flaherty set a new personal record with a javelin throw of 79-5. Emily Durgin won the mile. Shannon Conley took the 800. The 1,600 relay team (Summa, Alli Thomas, Lizzie Gwilym and Durgin) also came in first. The Cheverus boys competed against the same schools at Gorham and placed second.

Deering joined Noble and Westbrook at Bonny Eagle. The girls finished second and the boys were third. In the boys’ meet, Anthony Miller took the 200 and the 3,200 relay team placed first.

McAuley and Portland joined Biddeford and Marshwood in a girls’ meet at Scarborough, where the Bulldogs were fourth and the Lions fifth.  Results for the Portland boys’ meet at Marshwood weren’t available.

Waynflete joined Freeport, St. Dom’s and Wells at Cape Elizabeth. Both Flyers teams came in fifth.

Tennis

The Maine Principals’ Association Region 1 tennis singles tournament is underway.

Saturday, at Deering High School, featured the girls’ qualifying for the singles championships, to be held later this month in Lewiston.

Six local players move on. Cheverus’ Maria Cianchette (seeded 11th) downed Lindsey Robinson of Yarmouth (6-4, 6-4). Teammate Abby Harrison (No. 15) also advanced by virtue of a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Cape Elizabeth’s Catherine Macdonald. McAuley’s Addie Devine (ranked sixth) was a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Megan Boisclair of Biddeford. Teammates Nicole Connolly (the No. 9 seed and a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Gorham’s Sarah Moir) and Paige Hickey (ranked 10th and a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Windham’s Vanessa Plante) also moved on, as did Portland’s Molly Gallagher (No. 12, a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victor over Biddeford’s Ashley McCauley) and Waynflete’s Kaitlyn Thompson (ranked eighth, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Windham’s Shaina Metevier).

In the first round, Deering’s Georgia Hutchins beat Michelle Pham of Gorham, 8-4, to reach the qualifying round, where she lost to second-ranked Annie Criscione, of Falmouth, 0-6, 1-6. Teammate Jackie Huynh lost in the first round to Greely’s Alison Eaton, 5-8. Portland’s Annette Denekas (3-8, to Windham’s Keisha Williams) and Kayla Berg (3-8 to Macdonald) and Waynflete’s Phoebe Suva (1-8 to York’s Emily Campbell) and Emily White (3-8 to Cape Elizabeth’s Sara Cummings) also fell in the first round.

 The boys’ competition was held in South Portland.

Top-ranked Patrick Ordway of Waynflete beat Greely’s Peter Bailinson by default in the first round, then defeated Alex Parent of Massabesic, 6-0, 6-0 in the qualifying round. Eric Ordway, seeded 16th, won his first match, 8-1. Cheverus’ David Woodbury was also a first round winner, 8-2, over Adam Cotton of Biddeford. Ordway then eliminated Woodbury in the qualifying round, 7-5, 6-2. Cheverus’ Will Lenk, seeded ninth, moved on by virtue of wins over Sanford’s William Wallace (8-1) and Windham’s Tyler Nadeau (6-1, 6-0).

Cheverus’ Connor O’Neil was an 8-1 winner over Massabesic’s Kyle Christensen in the first round, but was eliminated, 1-6, 1-6 by second-ranked Matt Gilman of Cape Elizabeth. Waynflete’s Benjamin Shapiro eliminated South Portland’s Eric Berry-Sandilen, 8-2, then lost to Kennebunk’s Charlie Merry, 4-6, 2-6.

Deering’s Dejan Varajic lost his first match, 0-8, to Cape Elizabeth’s Ross Sherman. Portland’s Isaac Jaegerman did the same, 0-8, to Jackson Towle of Marshwood.

Portland’s Wil Chapman won his preliminary round match, 9-7, over Casey Brown of Marshwood, then lost to Ryan Lusty of York, 8-0.

Portland’s Malcolm Henry was an 8-1 preliminary round loser to Thornton Academy’s Tyler Gaylord.

Local teams are also sitting pretty.

The Cheverus girls started the week first in Western Class A with a 7-0 record after downing visiting Portland, 4-1, last Wednesday. Portland is third at 6-2 after 4-1 losses at defending regional champion Gorham and Cheverus. McAuley sits in fourth at 6-1 after key wins over Scarborough (3-2) and Deering (4-1) last week. Deering is clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot at 4-3 after beating visiting Sanford, 4-1, Friday. In Western C, Waynflete began the week ninth in the standings at 4-3 after a 4-1 home victory over York Friday.

On the boys’ side, in Western A, Cheverus is up to second in the Heals with a 7-1 win after downing Sanford (5-0), Portland (3-2) and Marshwood (3-2) last week to extend its win streak to seven. Deering started the week 5-2 and fourth after a 3-2 win at Sanford Friday. Portland was 1-7 at 12th at the onset of the week after dropping its seventh straight decision, 5-0, at Kennebunk Friday. In Western C, three-time defending state champion Waynflete lost 4-1 matches at Falmouth and York last week to drop to 4-3 (good for fifth in the Heals).

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

Sidebar Elements


Waynflete senior Tucker Geoffroy looks for an open teammate during last week’s 9-3 home loss to Yarmouth.

Waynflete freshman Rowan Price takes part in the 800 at last week’s track meet in Cape Elizabeth. She finished third in the race.

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