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Now the fun really begins.
With the field hockey playoffs in full swing (please see story), soccer, volleyball and cross country teams begin their playoff runs this week. Golf wrapped up its season Saturday with the individual state championships. Here’s a glance:
For the third year in a row, the Scarborough boys’ soccer team is the top seed for the Western Class A playoffs.
Tuesday night, the Red Storm completed their fourth straight unblemished regular season with their 32nd win in a row, 9-0 at Thornton Academy (senior standout Trevor Hoxsie led the way with three goals).
To appreciate just how dominant this program has been, chew on these numbers for a minute: Scarborough hasn’t lost a game since Oct. 23, 2007 (on penalty kicks to Greely in the Western A semifinals). The Red Storm haven’t dropped a league game since Sept. 6, 2005 (2-1 at Gorham). Tuesday’s victory stretched their unbeaten streak in the regular season to 68 games. Scarborough hasn’t lost a league game at home since Sept. 24, 2003 (3-1 to Portland). Since the start of the 2003 campaign, the Red Storm have gone 93-6-5!
Now, Scarborough, which is the top-ranked team for the Western A playoffs for the third straight year, turns its attention to repeating as state champions for the first time since the 1973-76 squads won four straight under Dick Plummer.
The Red Storm are idle until Wednesday, when they host either No. 8 Kennebunk (8-5-1) or No. 9 South Portland (8-5-1). Scarborough beat the Red Riots 4-1 at home Sept. 11 and downed the Rams, 1-0 at home Sept. 29. The Red Storm have no playoff history with either school.
Speaking of South Portland, the Red Riots could be a potential darkhorse. South Portland posted its second straight winning record for the first time since 1999-2000. Earlier in the year, the Red Riots were riding high at 6-1-1 and dreaming of hosting a playoff game, but four losses in five games put them on the brink of missing out on the postseason altogether. Monday, however, South Portland enjoyed a 3-2 win at Cheverus on second half goals from senior Brian Arsenault and sophomore Dan Grzewski.
The Red Riots finished 8-5-1 and earned the ninth and final playoff spot in Western A. South Portland fell 1-0 at No. 8 Kennebunk on Oct. 6. The teams met two years ago in the preliminary round, with the Rams winning, 1-0. The Red Riots are seeking their first playoff triumph in nine years and a date with Scarborough in the quarterfinals.
Cape Elizabeth’s quest for a 24th straight playoff berth appeared in jeopardy late in the season, but the Capers got the Heal Points they needed with a clutch 1-0 victory at Greely last Wednesday (on senior Brock Barritt’s late goal). Monday, Cape Elizabeth put the wraps on its 9-4-1 regular season with a 4-1 victory at Freeport (Barritt scored twice to lead the way).
The Capers finished sixth in the standings and will go to No. 3 Windham Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The teams didn’t play in the regular season. Cape Elizabeth beat the Eagles 2-1 in the 1986 preliminary round, 3-0 in the 1999 quarterfinals and 2-1 in the 2004 quarterfinals.
Looking ahead, the boys’ soccer semifinal round is Saturday, Oct. 31. The regional finals are Wednesday, Nov. 4. Games in both rounds will be held on the field of the higher remaining seeds. The state championship games are Saturday, Nov. 8.
Scarborough will also be the top seed in the girls’ Western A soccer playoffs.
The Red Storm sewed that spot up Tuesday night with a 1-0 home victory over surprising Thornton Academy. Scarborough got a goal from senior Jenn Colpitts (assisted by sophomore Haley Carignan) in the 51st minute and held on to finish 13-1, its best mark since 2005.
“This was kind of like a playoff game before the playoffs,” said Red Storm coach Mike Farley. “In years past, we really haven’t had that challenging game at the end of the season. This game was perfect for us. Both teams wanted to win. This helps us out a lot.”
Scarborough bounced back from a 3-1 upset loss at South Portland Sept. 26 to win its final seven games.
“The South Portland loss might have been a good thing,” Farley said. “The next couple games we got refocused. I think the difference in our season was the beginning of the year, when we beat quality teams like Gorham and Cheverus in a row. It’s the first time since my first year (2005) that we’ve won the conference title. It’s always been Gorham. Until you beat them in the playoffs in our league, they’re the team to beat.”
The Red Storm will host either No. 8 Windham (8-5-1) or No. 9 Marshwood (6-5-3), a regional finalist a year ago, in Tuesday’s Western A quarterfinals. Scarborough won 4-0 at home over the Hawks Sept. 11 and enjoyed a 3-0 triumph at the Eagles Oct. 5. The Red Storm beat Windham 1-0 in the 2006 semifinals. They’ve never faced Marshwood in the postseason.
“Playoffs is a totally new season,” Farley said. “We’re treating it differently. Last year, we were a little unsure of ourselves. This year, we’ll see good opponents and we have to come to play. This team has put it together. When we want to, we can dominate. When we do, we’re fun to watch.”
Cape Elizabeth and South Portland fell short this fall.
The Red Riots appeared playoff-bound after their upset win over Scarborough, but a five-game losing skid sealed their doom and despite Tuesday’s 1-0 home win over Marshwood (on senior Karleigh Bradbury’s second half goal), South Portland finished 5-8-1 and will have to wait until next year. The Red Riots’ nine-year streak of postseason appearances is over.
The Capers had been in the playoffs every season since 1993, but despite a 5-1-2 start this fall, Cape Elizabeth couldn’t return. A five-game slide was too much to overcome and despite Monday’s 7-1 romp over visiting Freeport (senior Kristin Kerney had three goals in her swan song), the Capers finished 6-6-2 and on the outside looking in.
The girls’ soccer semifinal round is Saturday, Oct. 31. The regional finals are Wednesday, Nov. 4. Games in both rounds will be held on the field of the higher remaining seeds. The state championship games are Saturday, Nov. 8.
The cross country regular season concluded last weekend.
Cape Elizabeth hosted Falmouth, Lake Region and Yarmouth. The boys placed their top five runners among the first seven spots and enjoyed an easy win. The defending state champion juggernaut girls’ squad had the top five finishers and won easily.
Scarborough (along with Bonny Eagle, Westbrook and Windham) competed at Gorham. The boys edged the hosts by two points to place first. The girls came in second behind Gorham.
South Portland joined Deering, McAuley and Portland at Cheverus for the “City Championship.” The boys were second to the Stags. The girls placed second to Cheverus as well.
This Saturday, all eyes turn to Twin Brook at Cumberland, the site of the regional championships, where local teams will look to qualify for the state meet, also held at Twin Brook on Oct. 31. The Western A girls kick things off at 10 a.m. The Class A boys go at 10:35 a.m. Cape Elizabeth’s girls race in the Western B meet at 11:10 a.m. The Capers boys go at 11:45 a.m.
Golfers from Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland took part in the individual state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
South Portland’s Aidan Boyce shot a 78 to finish in a sixth-place tie in Class A (Thornton Academy’s Brian Angis was first with a 73). Teammate Anthony Canarie shot an 85. Scarborough’s Kevin Fasulo finished with a 90.
In Class B, Cape Elizabeth’s Conor Moloney tied for fifth with a 79 (York’s Aaron Bailey won with a 75). Will Pierce (85) and Wilson LaPrade (88) also took part.
South Portland’s Elizabeth Canarie took part in the girls’ championship match, shooting a 123. Greely’s Laura Grant (83) was the champion.
Scarborough’s volleyball team made the long, long trip to Mt. Desert Island Wednesday to compete in the preliminary round of the Class A playoffs.
The Red Storm went 8-6 this year, capping the regular season last week with losses to Falmouth (3-0) and Yarmouth (3-1).
Scarborough finished with the No. 6 seed and went to No. 3 MDI for a first-ever playoff matchup against a Trojans team the Red Storm don’t face in the regular year.
If victorious, Scarborough would play at six-time defending state champion Greely (13-1) in the semifinals Saturday. The Red Storm lost twice to the Rangers this year, 3-1 at home Sept. 22 and 3-0 in Cumberland Oct. 8. The teams have no prior playoff history.
The state final is Saturday, Oct. 31 at Windham High School.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
South Portland’s Jon (front) and Matt Clement lead the pack at the start of the “City Championship” cross country race last weekend at Cheverus. The Red Riots were second to the Stags as a team, but defeated Deering and Portland. Jon Clement finished third individually. Matt was sixth.
South Portland’s Annelise Donahue (left) and Bridget Mulligan chase Cheverus’ Liana Rubinoff during the girls’ race last Friday. The Stags finished first as a team, the Red Riots were second. Donahue came in sixth individually. Mulligan placed seventh.