Positive trends continue for city teams

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Portland-Thornton Academy and Waynflete-Greely girls’ soccer game stories, with additional photos, see theforecaster.net)

Like the weather, fall sports action has been quite enjoyable so far.

Last week, local teams and individuals continued to do big things and as the season’s midway point approaches, the fun figures to continue.

Here’s a glimpse.

Boys’ soccer

Deering’s boys’ soccer team won its first five games, capped by home victories last week over Sanford (3-0) and Westbrook (1-0). Orey Dutton, Robert Ochan and Iessa Ramadan scored against the Spartans. In the win over the Blue Blazes, an early goal from Ramadan held up.

The Rams are living up to preseason billing and then some in the early going.

“I can say that this year’s team has had a bit more defensive grit than in past years and our team speed and chemistry have been a huge asset,” said Deering coach Joel Costigan. “We have done a decent job defending as a team, especially in our defensive third, and guys have stepped up at the right times, making big plays, whether it be a timely goal or a crucial stop, including a huge breakaway save from Mustafa Kadhim towards the end of our game against Westbrook. We have also been very fortunate so far, there have been a few too many shots from opponents that have just sailed wide or have found the post. We need to be better at closing down those passing lanes that have set up our opponents with scoring opportunities.”

After playing at Bonny Eagle Tuesday, the Rams host undefeated Gorham Thursday and visit Windham Tuesday of next week.

“We are looking good, but we are not yet where we would like to be,” Costigan said. “We have a tough few games ahead of us, so I’m hoping we can use our training sessions wisely, learn from our mistakes and improve in some key areas quickly so that it translates into these games.”

Portland suffered its first loss last week, 1-0, at Thornton Academy, but the Bulldogs rebounded to edge visiting Marshwood, 1-0, to improve to 4-1. Zekariya Shaib scored a highlight reel goal to beat the Hawks. Portland was at Massabesic Tuesday, hosts Westbrook Saturday and visits South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus split a pair of home games last week, losing to Westbrook, 4-2, and blanking Noble, 5-0. Luc Dionne had both goals in the loss and three goals in the win, while Michael Nason and Chris St. John also tickled the twine against the Knights. The Stags were at Windham Tuesday, play at Thornton Academy Thursday and return home to battle Biddeford Saturday and Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete returned from the school’s Outdoor Experience hiatus last week and won two of three games. The Flyers blanked visiting Traip Academy (7-0) and host Scaopee Valley (1-0), then lost at Class A South powerhouse Falmouth, 5-0. Mykel Henry had three goals, Ilyas Abdi a pair and Christian Brooks and Askar Hussein one apiece in the win over the Rangers. Hussein (from Abdi) had the winner at the Hawks. Waynflete is home with North Yarmouth Academy Thursday and welcomes two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

Don’t look now, but Cheverus’ girls’ soccer team is red hot.

The Stags, who expected to be improved this fall, lost their opener at Portland, but as of press time, had won four in a row, including a 3-0 victory at Westbrook last Wednesday and a 3-2 win at Noble Friday. Lauren Jordan had two goals and Emma Gallant added the other against the Blue Blazes. Gallant, Katie Gordon and Mackenzie Johnston had the goals in the win over the Knights.

“We have a nice mix of veterans, who have played three years in the same system, and freshmen soccer players, who play year round and have stepped in nicely at positions of need,” said Cheverus coach Craig Roberts. “Most importantly though, after some growing pains early in the preseason, we’ve finally been able to identify roles for players which has translated into better play in each third of the field.”

The Stags seek their fifth straight victory Wednesday when Windham pays a visit Friday, Cheverus is home with Thornton Academy (see theforecaster.net for game story).

“We certainly aren’t content and we aren’t comfortable,” Roberts said. “In my opinion, there’s more parity in the league this year than any of my previous three seasons as coach. When I look at our remaining schedule, all the games are against competitive teams. If we don’t show up and play 80 minutes in each of those games, we’ll find ourselves on the outside looking in, but the girls like playing for each other. They’re resilient and determined. We’re hoping we can just continue to take one game at a time and compete with the other teams in the league to put ourselves in the best position possible when the regular season ends.”

Portland had an eventful week. Last Wednesday, the Bulldogs held off visiting Thornton Academy, 1-0, for their first win over the Golden Trojans since Oct. 12, 2004. The goal came on a penalty kick from Kate Johnson and the defense, led by Ella Altidor, and goalkeeping of Taylor Crosby did the rest.

“This year, we know we have the chance to do something really special,” Johnson said. “We’ve worked toward this since I was a freshman. We’re looking to be one of the teams to beat.”

“I’m happy,” Altidor said. “This is big. We were ranked number one in Heal Points, so we were pumped and we wanted to maintain it.”

“It was rough, duking it out in the first half, but we caught our breath and took hold of the game in the second half,” added Portland coach Curtis Chapin. “The girls stepped up and I’m really proud of the entire team.”

Friday, the Bulldogs suffered a painful and controversial 2-1 overtime defeat at Marshwood (the Hawks’ winning goal in overtime came on a play that Portland felt should have been ruled offsides). The Bulldogs’ goal came from freshman Annika More. 

Portland (2-1-2) hosts Massabesic Wednesday and welcomes Westbrook Saturday.

Deering won its third straight game last Wednesday, 6-1, at Biddeford, then fell to 3-2 with a 5-0 setback at Sanford Friday. In the win, Mia Sargent scored twice, while Sahar Habibzai, Maggie Healy, Annah Rossvall and Sophie Silva all had one goal. The Rams were home against Bonny Eagle Tuesday and visit defending regional champion Gorham Saturday.

Maine Girls’ Academy fell to 0-5 after 8-0 losses to visiting Sanford and at Biddeford last week. The Lions are at Scarborough Wednesday and host South Portland Friday.

Defending Class C South champion Waynflete returned from a hiatus last Tuesday with a 1-0 win at Traip Academy (behind Isabel Canning’s goal), then fell to 2-2 after losing at home to Sacopee Valley (2-0) and at defending Class B champion Greely (4-0). Against the Rangers, goalkeeper Ali Pope made several big saves, but the Flyers fell behind, 4-0, early and despite some second half chances, couldn’t respond.

“Greely’s a tough team,” said Waynflete coach Todd Dominski. “We play these teams so we can get better and this helps us tremendously. We definitely got better in the second half. If we played the first half like we did the second half, we’d have been in the game more. We had major lapses in marking. You can’t do that against teams that move the ball like they do.”

The Flyers went to St. Dom’s Tuesday, host Fryeburg Academy Thursday and welcome Old Orchard Beach Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Deering’s field hockey dropped its first five games, including a 2-0 setback at Portland last Tuesday, then the Rams got in the win column Friday night, surprising visiting Sanford, 3-2. Sophomore Alli Donovan scored all three goals.

“Our defense played a hard fought game, led by Maddalena Lapomarda in goal with some amazing saves,” said Deering first-year coach Aimee Burgos. “Aleah Murph and Sreyley Sao were key players in the midfield, constantly moving the ball and sending it forward with beautiful clears to our forward line. After losing our first five games, we decided to shake things up a bit and created a completely different lineup. Many players were put in positions they had never even played before, but something truly clicked and every single player rose to the occasion. The score was the result of a team coming together when they needed it the most and persevering all the way to the end. If the girls continue to play hard, support each other and believe in themselves, this team has the potential to turn things around for the second half of the season.”

Deering was at undefeated, top-ranked Massabesic Monday, hosts Noble Wednesday, goes to Gorham Friday and plays host to Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus won four of its first five games, including a 3-2 win at Sanford last week (Bella Booth, Caroline Ford and Sophia Pompeo had the goals), but Thursday, the Stags were blanked by visiting Scarborough, 4-0, to drop to 4-2. Cheverus went to Noble Monday, hosts Portland Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), visits Marshwood Friday and is home against Massabesic Monday of next week.

Portland enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Deering last Tuesday (Sydney Gilbert scored both goals), then fell to 2-4 Thursday after a 7-0 setback at Gorham. The Bulldogs hosted Bonny Eagle Monday, go to Cheverus Wednesday, host Windham Saturday and welcome Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

The Maine Girls’ Academy/Waynflete co-op team was blanked in its first three games: 3-0 at Old Orchard Beach, 6-0 at home against North Yarmouth Academy and 4-0 at St. Dom’s. After visiting Poland Monday, the Flying Lions welcomed Traip Academy Tuesday, go to Traip Thursday and play host to Wells Monday of next week.

Volleyball

Deering’s volleyball team has shaken off its loss in the opener and won four straight matches at press time after 3-0 wins last week over visiting York (25-9, 25-18, 25-15) and host Lake Region (25-8, 25-12, 25-19). The Rams hosted Cheverus Tuesday, go to South Portland Thursday, then host reigning Class A champion Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus evened its record last Tuesday with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-13) home win over Cony, then fell to 2-3 with a 3-0 setback at Biddeford. After going to Deering Tuesday, the Stags host Marshwood Thursday and Portland Monday.

Portland fell to 2-3 after a 3-0 (19-25, 17-25, 11-25) home loss to Bonny Eagle and a 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-22, 24-26, 8-15) setback at York. The Bulldogs hosted South Portland Tuesday, welcome Westbrook Thursday and go to Cheverus Monday.

Cross country

Deering’s boys’ cross country team came in first in its meet last weekend, at Bonny Eagle (Massabesic and South Portland also took part). The Rams were led by Yahya Nure, who was second individually in 17 minutes, 16 seconds. Deering’s girls placed fourth, despite a fifth-place showing from Nicole Whipkey (20:48).

Cheverus joined Sanford and Westbrook at Scarborough. The Stags boys came in third behind the Red Storm and Blue Blazes. Steve Larkin (seventh, 18:25.24) led the way. The Cheverus girls were also third, behind Westbrook and Scarborough. Rosie Train came in seventh in 21:30.50.

Portland (along with Noble and Thornton Academy) ran at Windham. The Bulldogs boys were second to the hosts, as Joe Harrigan was third individually in 18:47. The girls finished third behind Windham and Thornton Academy. Raven Bradenday came in third (23:25).

Maine Girls’ Academy joined Biddeford and Marshwood at Gorham. The Lions came in fourth, as Sanni Hackett was the top individual (21st, 25:05).

Waynflete joined Kennebunk and Yarmouth for a close meet at Sacopee Valley. In fact, one point separated the top three boys’ teams, as the Clippers were first and the Flyers and Rams tied for second. Waynflete was led individually by Willson Moore, who had the second-best time (18:22). In the girls’ race, the Flyers were third behind Yarmouth and Kennebunk. Abby Pipkin placed fourth in 21:44.

This weekend, Cheverus joins Gorham and Massabesic at Thornton Academy, Deering runs with Sanford and Windham at Biddeford, Maine Girls’ Academy (with Noble and Scarborough) runs at South Portland, Portland (along with Bonny Eagle and Marshwood) is at Westbrook and Waynflete (with Old Orchard Beach and Traip Academy) runs at Wells.

Golf

Cheverus’ golf team continued to excel last week, blanking Deering, 13-0, and beating Portland, 9-4, to improve to 5-1. The Stags hosted Scarborough Tuesday and have a chance to avenge their lone loss Thursday when they welcome Falmouth.

Portland dropped to 2-4 with losses to Scarborough (8-5) and Cheverus (9-4).

Deering fell to 0-6 after losses to Cheverus (13-0) and South Portland (8.5-4.5).

Portland is at Deering Thursday.

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

Sidebar Elements


Portland senior Kate Johnson plays the ball around a Thornton Academy defender during last week’s historic 1-0 Bulldogs’ victory. Portland beat the Golden Trojans for the first time since 2004.

Waynflete goalkeeper Ali Pope dives in vain for a shot during the Flyers’ 4-0 loss at defending Class B champion Greely Saturday.

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