Questions remain as playoffs near

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Deering girls’ soccer and Scarborough-Cheverus and South Portland-Cheverus field hockey games, with additional photos, please see theforecaster.net)

Football and golf got a ton of attention last weekend and rightfully so (see story), but the other fall sports are compelling as well and with the postseason looming, there’s a lot of drama to come.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s transpired, what’s to come and what it all means as we hit the middle of October.

Boys’ soccer

Scarborough’s two-time Class A defending state champion boys’ soccer team was vying with Falmouth for the top spot in the Heal Points standings at press time.

The Red Storm followed up their pivotal victory over Deering with a 2-0 triumph at Westbrook and at 4-1 home over Windham. Matt Caron had two goals against the Eagles. Scarborough (second in the standings) had a showdown at Thornton Academy Thursday and closes at home versus Bonny Eagle Monday.

South Portland improved to 7-3-2 and sixth after a 4-0 home victory over Massabesic and a 3-1 win at Sanford. Ahmed Suja had two goals against the Mustangs, while Khalid Suja and Tristan Campbell also scored. The Red Riots were at Bonny Eagle Thursday and close at home Tuesday versus Marshwood.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth improved to 7-4-1 and third behind Greely and Yarmouth after beating the visiting, defending champion Rangers, 2-1, and downing visiting Fryeburg Academy, 3-1. J Bottomley and R.J. Sarka had the goals against Greely. Sarka, Noah Haversat and Wes Parker scored versus the Raiders. After going to York Saturday, the Capers close at home versus Kennebunk Tuesday.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School, which downed visiting Greenville last Thursday, 3-1 (as Jeremiah Hammond, Matt Hammond and Ethan Spaulding all scored), fell to 10-2-1 and third in the region after losing to visiting Buckfield Saturday (2-1) and visiting Pine Tree Academy Monday (1-0). The Lions closed the regular season at A.R. Gould Thursday.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, Scarborough took a seven-game win streak, a 10-1 record and the number three ranking into Wednesday evening’s showdown at undefeated, top-ranked and defending Class A state champion Windham (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Storm were coming off a 2-0 victory at Deering and a 5-0 home win over Westbrook. Against the Rams, after a scoreless first half, Ashley Gleason scored in the first minute of the second half.

“Coach (Mike Farley) always knows what to say and he always gets us going at halftime,” Gleason said. “We knew we had to keep possessing and put it in. All I had to do was tap it in. That pass was crazy-good.”

Katherine Kirk added a second goal.

“I’m really proud of us for playing our game and not getting rattled,” Kirk said.

“It’s never easy to beat Deering,” said Farley. “They’re organized. It took us awhile to figure out how to break them down. That’s what happens when you play competitive games, you find out what works and what doesn’t work.”

In the win over the Blue Blazes, Ashley Perreiro had three goals, while Elise O’Reilly and Sam Sparda also scored. Scarborough hosts Thornton Academy in another pivotal showdown Saturday and closes the regular season Tuesday at home versus Bonny Eagle.

South Portland fell to 1-9-1 and 16th (13 teams make the playoffs) after a 3-0 home loss to Cheverus and a 5-2 setback at Massabesic. After hosting Sanford Wednesday, the Red Riots play at Bonny Eagle Saturday, then finish at Marshwood Tuesday.

Defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth suffered an agonizing 2-1 double overtime loss at rival Greely Friday, then improved to 7-4-1 Tuesday with a 2-0 victory at Fryeburg Academy. Kathryn Clark gave the Capers the lead at the Rangers and after Greely rallied to tie, Cape Elizabeth hit the post in overtime, but still fell short. In the win, Mariah Deschino and Sarah O’Connor scored the goals. Cape Elizabeth (fourth in the region) hosts York on Senior Night Saturday and closes at Kennebunk Tuesday.

In Western D, GPCS finished 0-13 and ninth (six teams make the playoffs) after losses to Greenville (7-0), Buckfield (7-0) and Pine Tree Academy (7-2).

Field hockey

Scarborough’s nonpareil field hockey team finished the year 14-0, extended its regular season unbeaten streak to 61 and locked up the top seed for the playoffs for the sixth year in a row. The Red Storm closed by downing visiting McAuley (10-1), winning at Cheverus (1-0) and blanking visiting Deering (5-0). Against the Lions, Maddy Dobecki had a hat trick. Dobecki set up Abby Walker’s second half goal in the game against the Stags which saw Scarborough ousthoot Cheverus, 17-0, and earn 13 penalty corners to none for the hosts.

“It’s really important to have a close game before the playoffs,” Walker said. “Cheverus always plays really tough against us, so we were expecting a tough game. We wanted that challenge. I think close games are fun. It’s so exciting. When we get in these high intensity games, we don’t get scared. We play our game and get our passing going and it works out for us.”

“This was really good,” defender Kaitlin Prince said. “I knew we had it in us. Cheverus played so well today. It was good for conditioning. It will get us in tip-top shape going into the playoffs.”

“It was like usual against Cheverus,” said Red Storm coach Kerry Mariello. “It was an exciting game. I want to thank Cheverus giving us that kind of game. We needed it. They came out tough. I knew they would. They play well on their home surface, but we got one in and they didn’t.”

Walker had a hat trick in the final against the Rams, while Gabby Farino and Lily Nygren also rattled the cage.

Scarborough will likely host Biddeford or Deering in its first playoff game next week.

South Portland began the season 1-9 and appeared en route to missing the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, but the Red Riots won their final four contests and earned the final spot in the region. South Portland blanked visiting Bonny Eagle (6-0) and host McAuley (6-0) and closed with a 2-1 home victory over Cheverus. Against the Scots, Kelby Doyle and Amelia Papi each had two goals, while Sophia Cummings and Lydia Henderson had one apiece. Against the Lions, Maddie Hasson had two goals, while Doyle, Henderson, Sara Axelrod and Bonge Lako each scored once. South Portland fell behind Cheverus, 1-0, on a first half penalty stroke, but Lako scored twice in the second half and Chitam made several key saves down the stretch to help the Red Riots prevail.

“It was really nervewracking,” Chitam said. “I was nervous going to the ball.  It wasn’t easy. In the second half, I could tell everyone was fired up.”

“We’ve worked really hard for this,” Lako said. “We’re a really good team and we play well with each other.”

“I think we realized partway through the season that we lost all the games we could afford to lose,” Hasson said. “Our goal, at least since I’ve been in high school, is getting to playoffs and rebuilding the program. We knew we had to win all these games to get in. Everyone came together. That’s what we’ve worked on all season and we came out on top.”

“I’m very happy,” added South Portland coach Leslie Dyer. “I knew we could do it. I’m happy we’re peaking. This is the one we needed. This was one of my goals as a coach. It was my fourth year and we hadn’t gotten in. The girls have worked so hard and I’m glad to see them rewarded for their hard work.”

The Red Riots will be the No. 12 seed for the playoffs and will be on the road for a preliminary round game, likely at Falmouth.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth lost, 2-0, at York last Thursday to finish the regular year 6-7-1. The Capers (ranked fifth at press time) will be on the road in the quarterfinals next week, unless they slip down to eighth which would require a prelim.

The preliminary round of the playoffs will be contested Saturday. The quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Volleyball

Cape Elizabeth’s volleyball team continues to peak at the right time and had a golden opportunity to really help its playoff cause Thursday when it hosted top-ranked Greely (see theforecaster.net for match story). The Capers improved to 10-2 with recent victories at Gorham (3-1, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-16) and at home over Kennebunk (3-0, 25-10, 25-13, 25-18). Against Gorham, Cape Elizabeth got 27 assists, 15 digs and four aces from Maggie Dadmun, 12 digs and seven kills from Monica Dell’Aquila and eight kills, four blocks and three aces from Tess Haller. In the win over Kennebunk, the Capers’ seventh in a row, Lydia Brenneman had 28 digs and seven aces, while Haller added seven kills and three aces. Cape Elizabeth (fifth in the Class A Heals) closes at home versus Lake Region Monday.

Scarborough improved to 10-3 and fourth in Class A after Tuesday’s 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-14) win at Thornton Academy. The Red Storm finished the regular season with a home showdown and state game rematch Thursday versus Falmouth.

South Portland was 3-9 and 13th in Class A (only 10 teams make the playoffs) entering Thursday’s match at Gorham and Monday’s finale at home versus North Yarmouth Academy. The Red Riots were coming off a 3-1 loss at Kennebunk (20-25, 16-25, 25-22, 14-25), a 3-0 home win over Lake Region (25-13, 25-12, 25-12) and a 3-1 home loss to Greely (18-25, 15-25, 25-15, 15-25).

Cross country

Cape Elizabeth’s cross country team wrapped up its regular season last weekend as both teams came in first in a home meet against Gray-New Gloucester, Merriconeag and Poland. The boys were led by Mitch Morris, who was first in 15 minutes, 41 seconds. The girls were paced by Madori Kwan (fifth, 21:50).

Scarborough and South Portland joined Noble at McAuley. In the boys’ meet, the Red Storm came in first, while the Red Riots were second. Individually, Jacob Terry was first in 16:31 as Scarborough had the top six runners. South Portland’s Gavin Damian-Loring was seventh individually in 17:29. In the girls’ race, the Red Storm finished first, while the Red Riots were second. South Portland’s Casey Loring was tops individually (19:51). Scarborough was led by Laura Volan (third, 21:36).

This weekend, Cape Elizabeth competes in the Western Maine Conference meet at St. Joseph’s College, while Scarborough joins Gorham and Windham at Bonny Eagle and South Portland (with Thornton Academy and Westbrook) runs at Biddeford.

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

Sidebar Elements


South Portland junior Maddie Hasson whacks the ball upfield during the Red Riots’ 2-1 home win over Cheverus Tuesday. The victory locked up South Portland’s first playoff bid in four seasons.

Scarborough senior Abby Walker (far left, in headband) is swarmed by teammates (from left) sophomore Lily Nygren, sophomore Ashley Levesque and senior Kristen Murray after her goal in the second half of last Friday’s battle at Cheverus. Walker’s goal stood up and the Red Storm won, 1-0, to stay undefeated on the season.

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