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- The Forecaster
Forecaster Country will be well represented at Saturday’s boys’ and girls’ lacrosse state championships.
Both Scarborough teams earned a shot at a repeat championship with regional final victories Wednesday.
The Red Storm boys, the top seed in Western A, beat back No. 3 Thornton Academy, 8-3, to earn a date with Lewiston (13-1) Saturday at 10 a.m., at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
The top-ranked Scarborough girls also advanced with a 9-6 victory over No. 3 Kennebunk and will meet Brunswick (11-3) in the state game Saturday, at 12:30 p.m.
Cape Elizabeth’s boys and girls were also hoping to make it to the final day, but it wasn’t to be.
The boys’ team, the defending Class B champion and ranked second, was ousted in the regional final by No. 1 Falmouth, 11-9.
The girls, seeded third and upset winners over No. 2 Falmouth in the semifinals, had their title dreams denied by perennial powerhouse Waynflete, the No. 1 seed, 8-7, in the regional final.
Both South Portland squads saw their seasons end in gut-wrenching fashion last Wednesday in the Western A quarterfinals.
The fourth-ranked girls were up three goals late over No. 5 Thornton Academy, but the Golden Trojans tied the score with a fraction of a second remaining and went on to a 13-12 overtime victory.
The fourth-ranked boys then followed a similar script. They too led No. 5 Marshwood by three goals in the late going, but couldn’t hold on, watched the Hawks rally to tie, then fell in OT, 9-8.
Scarborough’s boys appeared to be a year away in 2010, but caught fire late and won the Class A title. This year, as the favorites, the Red Storm hasn’t disappointed, winning 11 of 12 regular season games to earn the No. 1 seed in Western A.
Scarborough got a bye into Saturday’s semifinals and had little trouble with No. 5 Marshwood, winning, 12-3, behind five goals from junior Jon Blaisdell. That sent the Red Storm to Wednesday’s regional final with Thornton Academy, a team Scarborough beat 10-0, at home on May 4.
Wednesday, the Red Storm shot to a 6-0 lead early and the Golden Trojans weren’t able to respond. Scarborough got three goals from Nate Hopkins, two goals and two assists from Blaisdell and moved on.
“It was a case of us being able to connect early,” said Red Storm coach Joe Hezlep. “Thornton made it tough on us the rest of the way. We got it done. Our goal was to earn the right to play Saturday.”
The Red Storm did not play Lewiston in the regular season. Back in 2006, Scarborough easily handled the Blue Devils, 14-2, to win its first Class A title. This time around, the task will be tougher.
“Lewiston is very athletic,” Hezlep said. “We want to play our game. We have to shoot better than we did today. That’s a point of emphasis. We have to play better than we did (against Thornton Academy).”
The Scarborough girls went undefeated en route to a championship in 2010, but were expected to come back to the pack this spring. While the Red Storm did fall once (at home to Class B powerhouse Yarmouth), they won the rest of their games to wind up 11-1, good for the No. 1 seed.
Scarborough got a bye into Saturday’s semifinals and got a mighty scare from No. 5 Thornton Academy, but held on for a 9-7 victory behind three goals from junior Laura Przybylowicz and late tallies from juniors Kelsey Howard and Mary Scott.
The Red Storm edged visiting Kennebunk, 12-11, on May 26. The Rams had won two of the prior three playoff encounters.
Wednesday, Howard scored three times, Scarborough took the lead early, didn’t look back and won, 9-6.
Looking ahead to Saturday, Scarborough and Brunswick squared off in the 2006 Class A Final, where the Red Storm sprung a 13-12 upset in triple-overtime. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season.
Cape Elizabeth’s boys peaked at the right time a year ago and got back to the pinnacle for the first time since 2005, but this season, losses at Falmouth and Lewiston relegated the Capers to the No. 2 seed in Western B with a 10-2 record.
Cape Elizabeth had a bye into Saturday’s semifinals and had no trouble with No.3 Greely, winning, 15-3, behind five goals from senior Teddy Smith. The Capers advanced to meet a Falmouth squad they split with in the regular season and one they eliminated from each of the past two regional finals.
This time, the Yachtsmen raced to a 6-1 lead at the half and even though Cape Elizabeth rallied valiantly in the fourth quarter, it still lost, 11-9, to wind up 11-3. Smith and sophomore Justin Cary scored three times each.
“We played really well in the second half and worked hard,” said Capers coach Ben Raymond. “We didn’t worry about being down. We talked about getting one goal at a time and working hard. We just didn’t have the start we wanted to. They had possession in the first half and those possessions resulted in goals. They did a great job. I definitely feel like we ran out of time.
“I think we definitely improved throughout the season. A lot of kids got better. We grew as a team. This group of seniors is outstanding. That’s what I feel worst about. It’s such a great group of quality kids, well respected in and out of school. They’ve been great role models for our underclassmen.”
Cape Elizabeth expects to bounce back in 2012.
“We have a great group coming back, we’ll work hard,” Raymond said.
The Cape Elizabeth girls had a stellar regular season, winning nine of 12 games and earned the No. 3 seed in Western B. The Capers went to No. 2 Falmouth in the semifinals, a team which had come from behind to beat them three times since the start of the 2010 season, including last year in the semis. This time, Cape Elizabeth turned the tables, erasing a 7-5 halftime deficit and going on to win, 14-12, behind four goals from sophomore Talley Perkins, three from senior Paris Bethel and draw circle dominance from sophomore Lauren Steidl.
“It feels awesome,” Steidl said. “It could have been an emotional day because of our past, but we wanted to leave it all on the field and play like we play. We had a chip on our shoulder, went out there and left it all on the field.”
“The monkey’s off our backs,” Capers coach Kurt Chapin said. “We’ve talked about that all week. Revenge, revenge, revenge. The girls have looked forward to this game and I’m happy for them. It’s been two years of frustration. At halftime, we talked about maybe that’s where we wanted to be, coming from behind. The kids played with more composure. (Falmouth’s) a good team, but we knew we could come out and score against these guys.”
Cape Elizabeth lost at home to regional final foe Waynflete in the regular season, 13-6, on May 17 and had dropped all five prior playoff encounters.
This time, the Capers held an early 4-1 and 5-2 lead, but couldn’t hold on. Despite two goals each from Darling, Perkins and Steidl and nine saves from freshman Abby McInerney (filling in for injured junior Elin Sonesson), the Flyers rallied and won, 8-7, ending Cape Elizabeth’s year at 10-4.
“It was a tough one,” said Capers coach Kurt Chapin. “We were there the whole way. We did exactly what we wanted to do in the first half, attacking their zone, but Waynflete made adjustments at halftime. They got some lucky bounces in the second half. I’m proud of my kids. It was a great run. We’re losing five starters, but this is a good experience to build off.”
South Portland’s girls posted their best season to date, 10-2, and wound up fourth in Western A. The Red Riots were hoping to advance to their first ever semifinal, but couldn’t hold on against Thornton Academy. South Portland got three goals each from seniors Victoria Brooking and Becca Roberts and junior Anh Nguyen, but the Golden Trojans tied the game with 0.3 seconds left and outscored the Red Riots, 2-1, in overtime to win, 13-12, ending South Portland’s year at 10-3.
“I think the girls got a little tired,” South Portland coach Bill Fenton said. “I think it was the heat and the competition was good. It was a 4-5 game. We expected (Thornton Academy) to be good. The kids played their hearts out. There’s not much separation between the teams. I thought we had it. We just made some mistakes. The girls all played a great game.
“We’ve come a long way from last year. It’s the first time in a long time (since 2004) we’ve hosted a playoff game. We sure had a great run. It’s a great group of girls to be with. I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anyone else in the league. They were awesome.”
The South Portland boys went 7-5 this season, despite some big-time graduation losses and untimely injuries. The fourth-seeded Red Riots hosted a No. 5 Marshwood team they had edged by a goal in the regular season. South Portland got three goals each from seniors Brian Cleary and Harrison Keithly, but the Hawks tied the game with 36.6 seconds to play, then won it 1:32 into sudden-victory OT, 9-8.
The Red Riots go home at 7-6.
“The bottom line is we only played one out of four quarters,” South Portland coach Tom Fiorini said. “We played the second quarter and when we played the second quarter, we dominated the game. The other three quarters, we played with them and they showed heart and did what they had to do to win the game. We made a lot of mental mistakes. Penalties, trying to run through guys instead of moving the ball and that hurt the team today. I don’t understand how we didn’t finish. The bottom line is we didn’t finish.”
South Portland loses 14 seniors, but will look to bounce back in 2012.
“Harrison, in my opinion, is one of the top five players in the state of Maine,” said Fiorini. “Losing him will be hard. I’ll miss that kid. I was thinking today, when they announced, ‘Goal by No. 4.” I’ve heard that for four years non-stop. It’ll be hard giving that up. With that said, I know I have some good teams coming up and I’m looking forward to it. I’m already looking forward to next season.”
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Jane Coffrin battles Falmouth’s Rachel Bauer for possession during the teams’ Western B semifinal round game Saturday. The Capers erupted in the second half and went on for a 14-12 victory.
Cape Elizabeth senior Anna Darling takes off downfield during Saturday’s win.