(Ed. Note: For the complete Greely-Falmouth baseball and Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth, NYA-Yarmouth and Yarmouth-Scarborough boys’ lacrosse game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)
It’s almost playoff time in the Forecaster Country.
While outdoor track is already primed to kick off its postseason (please see story), the tennis regular season is over and baseball, softball and lacrosse will be done by next Wednesday.
Here’s a glimpse at what’s happened, where things stand and what’s left on the agenda:
Falmouth’s dominance of the local girls’ tennis world continued over the weekend. With the Yachtsmen about to finish another undefeated regular season and lock up the top seed for the upcoming playoffs and with three singles players still alive in the state tournament, it was Falmouth’s doubles players turn to shine in the Western Maine Conference championships, held at Falmouth Saturday.
Both Yachtsmen tandems, defending champions Steffi Rothweiler and Abby Payson and Katie Ryan and Marlena Lantos, reached the finals, where Rothweiler and Payson repeated with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph. Falmouth has now produced the doubles champions five years running and in each of the past six tournaments (the 2006 and 2007 tourneys were rained out).
Greely’s Marina Goding and Sarah Gooch won the consolation final, 8-4, over Cape Elizabeth’s Sarah Bosworth and Deedee Curran.
As a team, Falmouth improved to 11-0 with yet another 5-0 win, this one over defending Class C champion Waynflete Monday. The Yachtsmen looked to capped a fourth straight perfect regular season with a potential 73rd successive match win in the finale Tuesday against visiting York. Falmouth will be the top seed for the tournament. Yarmouth was 9-2 and second heading into Tuesday’s home finale versus North Yarmouth Academy. Greely improved to 8-3 and third after a 5-0 win at Freeport Monday. The Rangers closed Tuesday at home against Fryeburg. Freeport finished 2-10 with the loss to Greely. The Falcons were 14th in the Heals at press time and will fall short of the postseason. NYA entered the week winners of two straight, 5-0 over Old Orchard Beach and 3-2 against York, but sat 10th in Western C with a 3-7 mark (only the top nine teams qualify for the playoffs). The Panthers were at Yarmouth Tuesday and Lake Region Wednesday. NYA is hoping to extend its run of postseason appearances to 15 years.
On the boys’ side, Falmouth was second to Lincoln Academy in the Western B Heals with a 10-0 mark as of Tuesday morning after Monday’s 5-0 win over Fryeburg. Freeport is closing in on its first playoff berth since 2006. The Falcons were 4-7 and seventh in the region entering Wednesday’s finale versus York. Yarmouth finished 4-8 after a 3-0 loss at York. The Clippers were eighth in the Heals and are likely playoff-bound. Greely will fall short. The Rangers (1-10 and 11th) finished at home versus four-time defending Class C champion Waynflete Wednesday. In Western C, resurgent NYA will qualify for the first time since 2007. The Panthers (6-4 and ninth in the standings) closed at Falmouth Tuesday and Fryeburg Wednesday.
The postseason begins Tuesday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are May 31 and semifinals June 2. All of those matches will be hosted by the higher seeded teams. The regional finals are June 6 at Bates College in Lewiston. The state finals are June 9 at Colby College in Waterville.
The singles tournament resumes Friday with the Round of 48 prelims and Round of 32. Saturday is the Round of 16 and quarterfinals. The semifinals and championship matches will be held Monday at Colby. Local boys’ players Justin Brogan and Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth and Burke Paxton of NYA, along with females Annie Criscione, Analise Kump and Olivia Kump of Falmouth, Sarah Jordan of NYA and Hannah Potter and Lindsey Robinson of Yarmouth all remain in contention.
All four local varsity baseball teams are playoff-bound and all have produced their share of excitement in recent days.
Greely is back on top of the Western Class B Heal Points standings after a roller-coaster week.
The Rangers suffered their first loss since last year’s state final Thursday when they fell at Yarmouth, 4-3. An error and sacrifice fly from Luke Saffian gave Greely a 2-1 lead in the second, but the Clippers escaped a jam in the top of the fifth, thanks to two superb plays from second baseman Ryan Cody. In the bottom half, Cody tied the game with an RBI single and Cal Cooper walked with the bases loaded to put Yarmouth ahead, 3-2. Bryce Snyder, who drove in the Clippers first run back in the first inning, doubled in another in the sixth, making it 4-2, but the Rangers didn’t quit, pulling within 4-3 on Pete Stauber’s RBI single. Snyder was able to slam the door, however, and Yarmouth held on.
“We didn’t catch any breaks,” said Greely coach Derek Soule. “They made some big plays right when I thought we could have broken it open. I think a loss was good for this team because we were at the point where we were going through the motions.”
The Rangers didn’t have long to think about the loss as they went to Western C contender Waynflete Friday afternoon. There, Greely had no trouble, scoring seven times in both the second and third innings en route to a 17-0 five inning victory. Liam Maker homered and drove in six runs, but the story was freshman pitcher Will Bryant, who threw a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in his varsity debut.
“It was awesome to finally get up here and play with varsity,” said Bryant. “My fastball was working for me today and so was my curveball. I got a lot of support.”
“The guys got a little confidence back,” said Soule. “The big thing for me is I was looking for an opportunity to unveil Will Bryant in a varsity game. I knew he was capable of this. Any other year, he’s in my rotation. I had a lot of confidence in him.”
Greely then went to undefeated Falmouth Saturday for a pivotal showdown.
The Yachtsmen were coming off wins at Poland (7-0, behind Nick Spencer’s no-hitter) and Traip (11-1, in six innings, as Andrew Emple homered and Addison Foltmer earned the victory).
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead at Falmouth on a two-out, two-run bloop single by Saffian.
“I got underneath it a little bit, but it fell in,” Saffian said. “I thought it would go foul or get caught. I was pretty happy when I watched it bounce fair.”
In the bottom half, Emple just missed a home run, but his double scored Grayson Beressi, who had reached on an error. A spectacular catch by Greely shortstop Will McAdoo kept it a one-run game.
“That one liner, I forgot about everything and just made the catch,” McAdoo said. “I thought it was easily going over me. I got up and tried to catch it and fortunately, I made the catch.”
Mike Leeman kept it that way, going the distance while fanning 10 as the Rangers held on for the 2-1 triumph.
“It was really close, a really good game,” said Leeman. “I just tried to throw strikes and get outs. It was a nice day out and both teams were pumped up. We weren’t happy after (the Yarmouth) loss. We knew we had to come in here and show everyone we’re back.”
“Bottom line, we say all the time, pitching and defense will put us in a position to win every game, even against top teams in our league, which was the case today,” said Soule.
Greely improved to 12-1 Monday with an 8-0 home win over Wells (Jonah Normandeau threw a one-hitter over six innings, Stauber had three RBI and Bailey Train drove in a pair). The Rangers hosted York Wednesday, welcome Poland Friday and close the regular season at home versus Fryeburg Wednesday of next week.
Falmouth dropped to 11-1 and third behind Greely and Morse in Western B after the setback, in which Thomas Fortier consistently worked out of trouble and allowed just two hits, but the Yachtsmen literally lost by inches.
“That was one heck of a high school baseball game between two unbelievable teams,” Falmouth coach Kevin Winship said. “It was fun to be a part of. It was a pitcher’s duel. I told the guys you didn’t lose by a run, you lost by a foot. Nobody should be hanging their heads. Tip your hat to (Greely). They played a great game. The game lived up to what people talked about. We didn’t get it today. You don’t want to have a loss, but the way we played today just shows we’re a very good team in this league.”
The Yachtsmen were at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, host Yarmouth Friday, play at Freeport Saturday and close at home against Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday of next week.
Yarmouth is up to fourth in the region. The Clippers got two hits, two RBI and a save from Snyder in the win over Greely (Chester Jacobs got the victory).
“It was intensely entertaining and a huge win for our kids,” said Yarmouth coach Marc Halsted. “The fifth inning was the inning of Ryan Cody and Snyder was the story. It means we move up in the Heals. Greely and Falmouth are clearly the two best teams in the league and beating one of them gave our kids the shot of confidence they needed to focus on a good run toward the playoffs. We finished a tough stretch of Greely-Cape-Falmouth-Greely 2-2. Our kids are tough and maintained focus.”
Halsted admitted he was nervous about a letdown heading for Gray-New Gloucester Friday and sure enough, the Clippers couldn’t hold a 4-0 sixth inning lead and lost, 6-5, when the Patriots scored twice in the seventh. Snyder and Eamon Costello paced Yarmouth with two hits each. Monday, the Clippers improved to 8-5 with a 9-8 eight inning home victory over Cape Elizabeth. This time, Yarmouth rallied from an early 7-2 deficit, scoring twice in the seventh to force extra innings, then winning it on Thomas Sullivan’s single in the eighth. Snyder had three hits and three RBI and got the win in relief. Costello had four hits and scored four times. The Clippers were home with Freeport Wednesday, visit Falmouth Friday and close at home versus York Wednesday of next week.
Freeport began the week 9-4 and seventh in the region after an 8-5 victory at Wells last Wednesday (Connor Dietrich had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run) and Friday’s 15-2 five inning romp at Lake Region (Luke LaMagna had two hits and three RBI, while Jared Knighton scored three times and James Purdy, Cole Harrison and Josh Weirich combined to hold the Lakers to four hits). The Falcons went to Yarmouth Wednesday, host Fryeburg Friday and Falmouth Saturday.
Greely’s softball team began the week second to Fryeburg in the Western B Heals (the teams close the regular season in Cumberland next Wednesday). In recent play, the Rangers defeated host Yarmouth (8-0), Sacopee (12-0, in five innings) and Falmouth (14-2, in five innings) and visiting Wells (15-1, in five innings) to extend their win streak to 11 games and improve to 12-1. Danielle Cimino threw a four-hitter and drove in two runs, while Edith Aromando and Mykaela Twitchell both homered against the Clippers. In the win over the Hawks, Cimino threw a no-hitter, while she also homered, as did Aromando and Miranda Moore. Cimino got the win and drove in a pair of runs, Lindsey Arsenault had four hits and Aromando three against the Yachtsmen. Cimino continued her onslaught against the Warriors, earning the win, while rapping three hits and driving in four runs. Moore had three hits and Elyse Dinan three RBI. Greely was home with York Wednesday, hosts Poland Friday, then has the Fryeburg showdown to finish up.
Falmouth is 11th in Western B at 8-6 and would make the playoffs if they started today (the top 12 teams qualify). The Yachtsmen were shut out at home by Fryeburg last Tuesday, 7-0, but bounced back to sweep a doubleheader versus Traip (22-2, in five innings, and 14-0, in five innings). Saturday, Falmouth was beaten by visiting Greely, 14-2, in five innings, but bounced back Monday with a 3-2 victory at Freeport. In the doubleheader win, Ashley Collins, Maddie Inlow and Elizabeth Walker all drove in three runs. Alli and Amanda Carver, along with Collins, had two RBI in the nightcap. Amanda Carver won the first game, Jade Bazinet got the win in the second. Carver also beat Freeport with a six-hitter and Elizabeth Walker had multiple hits. The Yachtsmen were at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and wrap up the regular season next Wednesday versus visiting Gray-New Gloucester.
Freeport is still in the hunt at 5-8 and 13th, but needs to finish strong. The Falcons lost at Wells, 6-4, last Wednesday (despite two hits from Danielle Perry), beat host Lake Region, 6-2, in eight innings Friday, then lost at home to Falmouth Monday, 3-2 (despite two hits from Leigh Wyman and a two-run double from Andrea Grant). Freeport was at Yarmouth Wednesday and finishes at home versus Fryeburg Friday. A win in that game would propel the Falcons into the postseason.
Yarmouth’s skid hit 10 games with recent losses to visiting Greely (8-0), at Cape Elizabeth (8-1) and Gray-New Gloucester (18-0, in five innings) and at home to Cape Elizabeth (9-2). Monica Austin and Kallie Hutchinson had multiple hits in the second loss to the Capers. The Clippers (2-11 and 16th in Western B) were home with Freeport Wednesday, visit Sacopee Friday and close next Wednesday at home with York.
Falmouth, North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth all enjoyed clutch victories last week.
The Yachtsmen, the defending Class B state champion, hosted rival Cape Elizabeth Wednesday in a game crucial for playoff positioning. Falmouth, seeking to avenge its lone loss of the regular season, shot to a 9-1 first half lead and appeared home free, but had to hold on for dear life in a 14-12 victory. Senior Mitch Tapley had five goals, including the 100th of his career, junior Charlie Fay also scored five times, senior Abyn Reabe-Gerwig won 17 of 28 faceoffs and senior Cam Bell made nine saves.
“We were stretching out the defense nicely and we were able to slip backdoor on them,” Fay said. “There were a lot of great feeds coming my way.”
“It was fun,” Bell said. “The first game stunk, but we were pumped up and ready to go on our own turf. We always like playing Cape. It’s one of the biggest rivalries in Maine. It was a lot higher scoring than I thought.”
Afterwards, it was hard to discern which team won and which lost.
“We came out with good intensity at the beginning and we should have kept that intensity the whole game, but we thought we already had the game in the bag,” Tapley said. “I knew we’d win the game. The team wasn’t going to let them come back and win the game. That would have been absolutely terrible.”
“I think we just lost focus,” Falmouth coach Mike LeBel said. “We got tired in the second half. They dictated what happened and got us back on our heels. They beat us in transition. We didn’t play smart lacrosse.”
The Yachtsmen slid back into first place in the Western B Heals with an 8-1 record. Falmouth was at York Tuesday, goes to Yarmouth Friday and wraps up the regular season Wednesday of next week against visiting NYA.
Greely has the inside track for the No. 3 spot in Western B. Last week, the Rangers rolled at Freeport, 16-2, and lost at Deering, 8-6. Greely (6-4) is home against Waynflete Friday and closes at home with York Wednesday.
In Eastern B, Yarmouth had an up-and-down week, but is all but guaranteed at least one home playoff game, while NYA is keeping pace.
Last Wednesday, the Panthers hosted the Clippers and beat their crosstown on their home turf for the first time since 2008, 8-6. NYA trailed most of the way, but exploded for three goals in a 31-second span early the fourth period to take control. Senior Forrest Milburn (who scored three times) tied the game after collecting a loose ball with 10:57 remaining. He then put his team ahead to stay some 21 seconds later and the hosts got some breathing room with 10:26 to go as a shot from sophomore Austin Kidder appeared headed over the goal, but somehow, it deflected off the outstretched stick of junior Aidan McLaughlin into the net.
“It feels pretty good to get that weight off our shoulders,” Milburn said. “The first half, the first quarter especially, our offense struggled to get off to a good start. We threw it away and didn’t really possess the ball. Usually our offense struggles to put the ball in the net, but we did a pretty good job.”
“For our own psyche, it puts us back in the hunt, where we want to be,” said NYA interim head coach Peter Gerrity, who replaced Chris Carpentier after Carpentier resigned for personal reasons. “Leading into playoffs, this is one we needed for our confidence.”
The Panthers improved to 5-4 and fourth in the Eastern B Heals Friday with a 3-1 win at Thornton Academy. After playing at Freeport Wednesday, NYA hosts Cape Elizabeth Friday and finishes at Falmouth Wednesday of next week.
“Homefield is what we want for as long as we can have it,” Gerrity said. “We need a couple more wins to do that.”
In the loss, Yarmouth got three goals from senior Sam Torres, but went just 2-of-11 man-up.
“Our guys really struggled today,” Clippers first-year coach David Pearl said. “We work hard on man-up and pride ourselves on that in practice. Guys were ball-watching today. We talk all the time about working harder off-ball than on-ball. We didn’t play as a team today. Hats off to NYA. They contested us. They’re a good team. They should be proud of what they did. They’re a talented team. We didn’t overlook them. We just didn’t play as well as we should have.”
Yarmouth quickly put that loss in the rearview mirror Friday when they became the first team in over a calendar year to beat two-time reigning Class A champion Scarborough.
The visiting Clippers shot to a quick 3-0 lead behind two Torres goals and another from senior Anders Overhaug, but the Red Storm managed to tie the game at 5-5 and 6-6. Then, with 1:48 remaining, Yarmouth had a man-up opportunity again and senior Bart Gallagher delivered a gorgeous pass through traffic to junior Ethan Cyr, whose tally with 44 seconds left proved to be the difference and the Clippers held on to win, 7-6. Torres had three goals, four teammates had one and senior goalie Alex Kurtz made nine clutch saves.
“It was one heck of a game,” Kurtz said. “It’s exciting. We came in and took it to them. We came out ready to play.”
“We’ve worked a lot on man-up in practice,” said Torres. “We just want to move the ball and be patient. Our midfield is so strong, quick and athletic. We can dodge and get good looks every time, but it’s about being patient and getting better looks. Our composure was huge for us.”
“We needed this win badly,” added Pearl. “It’s been a growing year for us and I think we grew up tonight. We possessed the ball and worked hard. We looked nervous at times, but we loosened up. I’m proud of them. We found a way to win. It’s big for Heal Points and psyche. Our team’s had to grow up really quickly. This was helpful.”
Yarmouth took a 7-3 mark and the No. 3 ranking in Eastern B into its home finale Friday versus Falmouth. The Clippers close at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday.
“We want to play the best teams in the state,” said Pearl. “We plan on winning those games. When this group of guys steps on to the field, our confidence grows every day. We’re looking forward to a hard week to get ready for Falmouth.”
Freeport sat ninth in Eastern B with a 2-7 mark at the beginning of the week (only eight teams make the playoffs). The Falcons lost at home to Greely (16-2) and at Wells (7-6) last week. After hosting NYA Wednesday, Freeport is home with York Saturday and closes at home versus Waynflete next Wednesday.
Falmouth’s girls’ team finds itself in a hotly-contested three-way battle for the top spot in the Western Class B Heals and homefield advantage for the playoffs. Coming off easy wins last week at home against York (19-8) and at Wells (24-6), the Yachtsmen had a great opportunity to earn an abundance of Heal Points when they played at reigning regional champion Waynflete Tuesday afternoon (please see theforecaster.net for full game story). Against the Wildcats, Vanessa Audet and Megan Fortier both scored four times, while Angela Mallis and Geneva Waite had three goals apiece. Audet and Sabrina Smithwick both had five goals in the win over the Warriors. Falmouth (third behind Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete entering the week) was hoping to beat the Flyers for the first time ever. The Yachtsmen host NYA Thursday and close with another pivotal test against Cape Elizabeth in a playoff rematch Tuesday of next week.
Greely has come to life of late and has locked up a playoff berth. The Rangers sandwiched home victories over Wells (12-3) and NYA (13-5) around a 9-8 loss to York last week. Etta Copenhagen and Paige Tuller both had three goals and Julia Mitiguy and Audrey Parolin each scored twice against the Warriors. In the loss, Parolin had five goals. Against the Panthers, Mitiguy scored four times, while Parolin had three and Meg Finlay two. Greely (4-6 and fifth in Western B) goes to Fryeburg Friday and closes at Freeport Tuesday.
In Eastern B, Yarmouth is on top of the Heals and has evened its win-loss record. After starting 5-0, the Clippers have won five straight, culminated by a 17-2 home romp over Fryeburg and a 14-9 victory at York last week. Against the Raiders, Ricki Pierce and Julie Kameisha had three goals each and Grace O’Donnell added a pair. Pierce had four goals, while Maddy Wood and Jeanna Lowery had three each in the win over the Wildcats. Yarmouth hosted Waynflete in its home finale Wednesday night (please see theforecaster.net for game story) and closes at NYA next Wednesday.
The Panthers are still seeking their first win. NYA gave Waynflete a scare for a half last Tuesday, but lost, 16-7. Olivia Madore scored four times. Friday, NYA fell to 0-9 and seventh in Eastern B with a 13-5 loss at Greely, despite two goals each from Katie Cawley and Katherine Millett. The Panthers (0-9 and tied for seventh) hoped to get in the win column Tuesday when they hosted Fryeburg. After going to Falmouth Thursday, NYA hosts Yarmouth in the finale next Wednesday. A win in either of the final two games could get the Panthers into the playoffs.
Freeport began the week 4-5 and third behind Yarmouth and Morse in the Heals. The Falcons lost at Cape Elizabeth (19-8) and at home to Waynflete (13-10) last week. Jess Hench, Alex Mitch and Mia Thomas all had two goals against the Capers. Hench and Jocelyn Davee both scored three times, while Mitch had a pair of goals against the Flyers. Freeport was home with York Tuesday, goes to Wells Thursday and closes Tuesday of next week at home versus Greely.
Falmouth’s girls’ tennis team produced all four finalists in the Western Maine Conference doubles championships last weekend. (From left) Katie Ryan, Marlena Lantos, Abby Payson and Steffi Rothweiler all competed with Payson and Rothweiler repeating as champions with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Ryan and Lantos.
Falmouth senior Mitch Tapley turns the corner on a Cape Elizabeth defender during the teams’ showdown last week. Tapley scored five goals, including the 100th of his career, and the Yachtsmen held on for a 14-12 win.
Yarmouth senior goalie Alex Kurtz and sophomore Thomas Lord celebrate a goal during the Clippers’ 7-6 upset win at two-time defending Class A champion Scarborough Friday night.