Regular season ends, playoffs begin

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-NYA boys’ lacrosse and Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth and Scarborough-Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse game stories, with box scores and photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

While track’s postseason has already begun (please see story), tennis, baseball, softball and lacrosse are about to follow suit.

Forecaster Country features several teams capable of winning it all, meaning the next couple weeks will be full of drama and excitement.

Here’s a glimpse at where local schools stand and what’s to come:

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth’s Matt Gilman made it to the semifinals of the state boys’ singles championships. Gilman, the No. 3 seed, defeated York’s Ryan Lusty (6-4, 6-0), Scarborough’s Alex Henny (6-1, 6-1) and No. 11 Sam Leeman of Morse (6-2, 6-0) before finally falling to No. 2 Justin Brogan of Falmouth, 1-6, 3-6.

Gilman’s teammate, Satchel McCarthy, the No. 9 seed, advanced with wins over Camden Hills’ John Vannorsdall, 6-3, 6-3 and No. 8 Brandon McCarthy of Falmouth, 6-4, 7-6 (3) before losing to top-seed Patrick Ordway of Waynflete, 0-6, 0-6.

Henny won his first two matches, 6-0, 6-1, over Matt Surette of Maranacook and Presque Isle’s Connor Shaw, 6-0, 6-0.

The team tournament is underway.

Scarborough’s boys, the defending regional champion, earned the No. 3 seed in Western A with a 10-2 mark. The Red Storm hosted sixth-ranked Portland (8-4) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. Scarborough beat the host Bulldogs, 5-0, back on May 7. The teams had no playoff history.

South Portland finished 4-8 and 11th, but fell just short of the playoffs as only 10 teams qualified in the region.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth finished 10-2 and third. The Capers hosted No. 6 York (7-5) in the quarterfinals. Cape Elizabeth twice beat the Wildcats this year by 5-0 scores.

On the girls’ side, defending regional champion Scarborough took a 9-3 mark and the No. 4 seed in Western A into Thursday’s quarterfinal at home versus No. 5 Kennebunk (8-4). The teams didn’t meet this year.

South Portland wound up 5-7 and got the 11th and final seed. The Red Riots then lost at No. 6 Windham, 3-2, in the preliminary round Tuesday to wind up 5-8. South Portland won at first and second singles and went to three sets in both doubles matches, but fell just short.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth earned the No. 6 seed with a 7-5 record and played at No. 3 Greely (9-3) in the quarterfinals. In the regular season, the Capers lost twice to the Rangers, 4-1 and 3-2.

The playoffs continue Saturday with the semifinal round on the courts of the higher remaining seeds. The regional finals are Wednesday, June 6, at Bates College in Lewiston. The state finals are Saturday, June 9, at Colby College in Waterville.

Baseball

Scarborough’s baseball team entered the week in a four-team fight for the top spot in Western Class A.

Last week, the Red Storm was blanked at Windham, 4-0, then handled host Massabesic, 8-2. In the win, Sam Terry had three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, Greg Viola drove in a pair of runs and Conor McCann got the win with a five-inning relief stint. Scarborough (13-2 and third in the Heal Points standings at press time) closed at home versus Portland Wednesday night.

South Portland took a 5-10 mark and the No. 14 seed into Wednesday’s finale at Westbrook where a win would likely have moved the Red Riots into the top 11, which is the number of qualifiers in Western A. Last week, South Portland won 5-1 at Deering in nine innings and lost to visiting Marshwood, 11-3. In the victory, Matt DiBiase went 8.1 innings to earn the win, Nick Whitten had three hits, including the game-winning triple and Brendan Horton had a pair of hits.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 7-8 and 10th at the start of the week and will likely extend its streak of postseason appearances to 12 years. The Capers last week fell at home to Falmouth (4-2) and beat visiting Waynflete (17-1, in five innings). In the victory, Charlie Laprade threw a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts against his old team. Will LeBlond and Chris Robicheaw had multiple hits. Cape Elizabeth closed at Poland Wednesday.

The baseball playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday. The quarterfinals are June 7 and the semifinals June 9. All rounds will be held on the field of the highest remaining seed. The Western A Final is Tuesday, June 12 at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Western B Final is Wednesday, June 13, at St. Joe’s. The state finals are Saturday, June 16.

Softball

Scarborough’s softball team earned the No. 1 seed in Western Class A with a 16-0 record following wins last week over visiting Windham (15-0, in five innings) and at Westbrook (10-0). Against the Eagles, Erin Giles singled, homered and drove in four runs, Dominique Burnham threw four no-hit innings and had three hits, Grace Farnkoff and Mo Hannan also had three hits. Against the Blue Blazes, as the Red Storm extended its win streak to 25, Hannan had four hits, including two triples, drove in a pair and scored twice and also combined with Giles and Alyssa Williamson to hold Westbrook to two hits. 

South Portland is sizzling as well. The Red Riots won the final 13 games of the regular season, closing with wins over visiting Portland (22-2, in five innings) and at Windham (11-1) and Gorham (8-1) to wind up 14-2. Against the Bulldogs, Danica Gleason had four hits and four RBI. Erin Bogdanovich, Sam DiBiase, Laurine German, Libby Grant and Olivia Indorf each rapped out three hits. In the win over the Eagles, Bogdanovich hit a grand slam and threw a two-hitter, while German added four hits. Against the Rams, Bogdanovich got the win with a two-hitter, striking out nine, and broke the game open with a two-run triple and DiBiase, German and Grant all had multiple hits. South Portland (14-2) will either finish second or third in Western A.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth remains red-hot as well. The Capers extended their win streak to eight with recent wins over visiting Falmouth (4-1) and host Traip (11-1). Against the Yachtsmen, Anna Goldstein threw a five-hitter, Ali Johnson had three hits and Ashley Tinsman cracked a home run. Cape Elizabeth (12-3 and seventh in the Heals at press time) closed at Poland Wednesday.

The softball playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday. The quarterfinals are June 7 and the semifinals June 9. All rounds will be held on the field of the highest remaining seed. The Western A Final will be contested Tuesday, June 12 at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Western B Final is Wednesday, June 13, also at St. Joe’s. The state finals are Saturday, June 16.

Boys’ lacrosse

Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team, the two-time defending Class A champion, will be the top seed for the upcoming Western A playoffs.

The Red Storm enjoyed an 11-4 home victory over Marshwood last Wednesday, thanks to four goals from Jon Blaisdell and three apiece from Ryan Pallotta and John Wheeler. David Pearson made 18 saves. Scarborough (10-1) closed at home versus Thornton Academy Wednesday.

South Portland wound up 4-8. Last week, the Red Riots sandwiched losses at Kennebunk (8-5) and at home to Massabesic (12-8) around a 15-4 home victory over Biddeford. Thomas Leddy scored three times in the loss to the Rams and had five goals in the victory. Mike Salvatore added three goals against the Tigers. South Portland will be the seventh and final seed in Western A.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth will likely finish second to defending state champion Falmouth. Last Friday, the Capers improved to 10-1 with a 10-4 victory at North Yarmouth Academy. Cape Elizabeth had seven different goal scorers, led by junior Alex Bornick with three.

“We had maybe three good quarters today,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “For parts of three quarters, we played very well. Defensively, we played really well. Offensively. we took advantage of some mismatches early and some transition later.”

The Capers closed at home versus Yarmouth Wednesday. They’re ready for a playoff push.

“We’ll be conditioning a lot,” said senior Brian Brett. “We have our minds set on a state championship. We know we have to go through good teams. We have to focus on ourselves. We’re pretty comfortable with (playing at Falmouth). Their field is similar to ours. We’ll have a lot of fans go over there. We’ll definitely be ready.”

“The end of the schedule has been nice,” Raymond said. “We’ve had quality games, which is good. Playing these competitive games at the end will definitely help us out.”

The boys’ lacrosse playoffs begin Wednesday with the quarterfinal round. The semifinals are Saturday, June 9 and the regional finals will be contested Wednesday, June 13. Each of those rounds are hosted by the highest remaining seeds. The state championship games are Saturday, June 16, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Class B begins at 12:30 p.m. Class A starts at 5:30 p.m.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, all three teams are playoff bound with the biggest story coming from Cape Elizabeth.

The Capers capped their first undefeated regular season in a decade Tuesday night with a palpitating 15-14 win at Falmouth.

Cape Elizabeth (which rolled over visiting York, 15-6, last Thursday behind eight goals from Talley Perkins) never trailed at the Yachtsmen, but had to hold on for dear life in the final moments as Falmouth cut a 15-9 deficit to a single goal. The hosts almost tied it when a free position shot hit the post and Capers goalie Elin Sonesson made one final save to preserve the win.

“I saved it, but I wasn’t really sure,” Sonesson said. “It was at my feet. Someone told me it was there.”

Perkins had five goals and Lauren Steidl added three with two assists.

“It’s all about momentum and who has it,” Steidl said. “When another team gets momentum, we get collected and stay calm and do what we can to slow that momentum down and turn it back our way. When we got (the ball) in the offensive zone, we wanted to get good looks and turn it into goals.”

“Our passes were straight on and we had great ball movement,” Perkins said. “We were where we needed to be to get the ball down to the goal from defense to offense. We had fast breaks and we got the draws, which was awesome.”

“This is what we worked for all season, to come out and play these kinds of games,” added Capers first-year coach Jeff Perkins. “We talked about this as being game one of the playoffs. That we had four games to go. If we want to win a state championship, we had to win four games starting with tonight. I think that’s how we played. We talked today on the bus that this was the time to finish something that had never happened to Cape Elizabeth before. We had to go out and finish this game. We knew what the goal was. We went and did it and got homefield advantage.

“What a phenomenal lacrosse game. It was hard to watch at the end, but it was a great game. Falmouth did exactly what I thought they’d do. We talked about them starting slow sometimes then they come back strong. That’s exactly what they did. We were hanging on for dear life. It was two great teams. I don’t what more you can expect from a game like that. A one-goal game. Down to the last couple seconds. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Capers matched the 2002 team with a 12-0 record, but based on the strength of their schedule and their performance against top foes, it’s safe to say that this team has no peer in program annals.

“In past years, we’ve had little groups, but this year, we’re literally one big happy family,” said Talley Perkins. “We connect. We all love and trust each other. We’re one big group. It’s the best way to play lacrosse. You can’t play lacrosse any other way.”

The Capers have a bye into the semifinals and will host either Greely or York. Cape Elizabeth last hosted a semifinal in 1998.

“Our egos are most likely very big right now, so we have to stay realistic and keep working hard in practice, stay focused,” Sonesson said. “There are still good teams out there.”

“I don’t think we’ve every had homefield advantage,” Talley Perkins said. “We’re always the third or fourth seed.  This year it takes us to a new level. We’ll do our best to go all the way.”

“Homefield’s a big advantage,” added coach Perkins. “We’re excited. Now, we have to keep playing. We haven’t won anything yet. We need to keep playing like we’ve been playing, keep practicing and learning and keep going. I don’t know if there’s a formula. It’s really keep focused, keep playing and play Cape Elizabeth lacrosse.”

In Western A, two-time defending state champion Scarborough finished 11-1 and first in the Heals after victories at Kennebunk (9-8) and at home over Windham (16-10). Against the Rams, with 6:50 remaining, Kelsey Howard scored to put Scarborough on top to stay. A goal by Laura Przybylowicz with just under four minutes left gave the Red Storm some breathing room and after the Rams pulled within one with a minute to go, Przybylowicz won a pivotal draw to Howard and Scarborough was able to run out the clock. Howard led the way with three goals, while Przybylowicz, Mary Scott and Maggie Smith each added a pair.

“When they caught up, it gave us the fire to fight back and gave us something to work for, to not let them get ahead of us,” Howard said.

“We know everyone will bring their ‘A’ game when they play us and (Kennebunk’s) a huge rival,” added Scarborough coach Marcia Wood. “Every goal they scored fueled us even more. I’m very proud of how we didn’t get frazzled and played our game. It was impressive.”

Against Windham, Przybylowicz had four goals, while Scott finished with three.

Next up is an opportunity for the Red Storm to go for a three-peat.

“We love big games at the end of the year and playoffs,” said defender Sarah Martens. “We focus on these games. We’re driven to win. We have to clean up the passes a little bit in the midfield and focus on possession. Other than that, I think we’re looking really strong.”

“It’s always nice to play at home in the playoffs,” Howard said. “We just need to keep playing like this. I know we can do it. If we keep it up, that’s how we’ll win a championship. We’re so driven. Having been (champions) two years, we want to go back for a third year. We’re excited.”

“We have a quarterfinal this year,” added Wood. “It’s nice to not have a week-and-a-half off. I don’t care where we play as long as it’s on turf. I hate these grass fields. It makes a difference. We’re playing well. We have a lot of threats. Our seniors are on a mission, which is nice. There’s 12 of them. They better be on a mission.”

South Portland produced another excellent season, finishing 8-4 after a 6-5 loss at Portland and a 10-7 home win over Bonny Eagle to close the year. Anh Nguyen had four goals including the go-ahead tally against the Scots. The Red Riots will be fifth in Western A for the playoffs and will likely to go to Kennebunk for the quarterfinals.

The girls’ lacrosse playoffs begin Wednesday with the quarterfinal round. The semifinals are Saturday, June 9 and the regional finals will be contested Wednesday, June 13. Each of those rounds are hosted by the highest remaining seeds. The state championship games are Saturday, June 16, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Class B begins at 10 a.m. Class A starts at 3 p.m.

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

Sidebar Elements


South Portland’s Matt DiBiase delivers a pitch during last week’s 5-1 nine inning win at Deering.

Cape Elizabeth’s Ali Johnson takes a swing during last week’s 4-1 win over Falmouth.

Scarborough’s Mary Scott fires a shot through four Kennebunk defenders during the Red Storm’s 9-8 win last week.

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