Soccer, football playoffs heat up

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With the cross country, field hockey and volleyball state championships out of the way (see stories), soccer is ready to crown its champions this coming weekend and the football playoffs are underway.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ soccer

The state’s boys’ soccer gold standard, Scarborough, took part in its 10th regional final in 12 seasons Wednesday when it welcomed Cinderella Cheverus in the Western A Final. 

The Red Storm, the top seed in the region, dispatched No. 8 Marshwood, 2-0, in the quarterfinals (Wyatt Bridgham and Matt Caron had the goals), then got a battle from fourth-ranked Deering in the semifinals Saturday, but advanced, 3-1. After digging an early 1-0 hole, Scarborough got goals from Garrett King, Sam Ware (on a penalty kick) and Ian Corey (on a direct kick from midfield).

The Red Storm beat the seventh-ranked Stags (who eliminated No. 10 Portland, then upset second-ranked Falmouth and edged sixth-ranked South Portland in PKs to advance), 2-0, at home Sept. 20. The teams had no playoff history.

If Scarborough made it to the state game for the third year in a row and eighth time since 2003, it would battle either Lewiston (15-0-1) or Brunswick (12-2-2) in the Class A state final Saturday at 3 p.m., at Hampden Academy.

South Portland almost joined the Red Storm in the regional final, but its best season in a quarter-century ended with an agonizing semifinal round loss.

After blanking 11th-ranked Kennebunk (4-0) in the preliminary round and upsetting third-ranked Gorham (2-0) in the quarterfinals, the Red Riots hosted a semifinal for the first time since 1989 Saturday and took a 1-0 lead over No. 7 Cheverus on a first half goal from Ahmed Suja. The Stags tied the score in the second half, then after 30 minutes of scoreless overtime, made all five of their penalty kick opportunities, while South Portland only converted four and the Red Riots season ended at 10-5-2 with the 2-1 (5-4 PK) loss.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth, the No. 3 seed, advanced with a 2-1 home win over No. 6 York in the quarterfinals, but Saturday, the Capers couldn’t tickle the twine and lost at second-ranked Greely, the defending state champion, 1-0, to finish 9-5-2.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School, the No. 4 seed, ousted fifth-ranked Chop Point, 5-0, in the quarterfinals, but Friday, in the semifinals, the Lions lost at No. 1 Richmond, 8-2, to finish 12-3-1. Ethan Spaulding scored both goals.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth and perennial Class A powerhouse Scarborough were still alive at press time.

The Capers took the No. 3 seed into the Western B playoffs and dominated sixth-ranked Morse, 6-1, in the quarterfinals, behind three goals apiece from Kathryn Clark and Mariah Deschino. Saturday, in the semifinals at second-ranked Yarmouth, in the first ever playoff meeting between the programs, Cape Elizabeth survived, 1-0, on a late Deschino goal.

The Capers advanced to meet rival Greely in the Western B Final Wednesday for the second year in a row. The Rangers won both regular season encounters: 3-0 at Cape Elizabeth Sept. 23 and 2-1, in double overtime, Oct. 10 in Cumberland. Greely had won 10 of the previous 17 postseason meetings, although the Capers were victorious last fall, 4-2.

If Cape Elizabeth advanced to the Class B Final Saturday at 12:30 p.m., it would either have a rematch versus Waterville (16-0) or battle Hermon (15-1).

In Western A, second -ranked Scarborough welcomed No. 7 Falmouth for the quarterfinals last Wednesday and behind three goals from Katherine Kirk, beat the Yachtsmen in the first ever countable meeting between the longtime powers, 6-0. Sarah Barr, Maddie Chen and Ashley Perriello also tickled the twine. In Saturday’s semifinals, the Red Storm ousted third-ranked Marshwood, 4-1, avenging their lone regular season loss in the process. Chen and Sam Sparda both scored twice. 

Scarborough (14-1-1) earned the right to visit top-seeded Windham (15-0-1) in Wednesday’s Western A Final. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Windham Oct. 15. The Eagles eliminated the Red Storm in last year’s semifinals in penalty kicks.

The Scarborough -Windham winner battles either Edward Little (12-1-3) or Mt. Ararat (10-4-2) in Saturday’s Class A Final at 5:30 p.m. at Hampden Academy. 

Football

On the gridiron, Scarborough was the lone survivor on quarterfinal weekend.

The fourth-seeded Red Storm continued their amazing resurgence from an 0-4 start by holding off No. 5 Sanford, 42-35, in a Western A quarterfinal. The contest was tight throughout, but Scarborough held on to reach the semifinals Saturday, where it faces the daunting task of going to top-ranked Thornton Academy (7-1). On Sept. 19, the Red Storm (5-4) lost at home to the Golden Trojans, 54-0.

South Portland, the third seed in Western A, was upset by No. 6 Biddeford, 34-20. The Red Riots, who won at the Tigers, 42-28, Sept. 17, trailed the whole game and couldn’t quite catch up as they finished 5-4. Biddeford led 6-0 after one quarter, extended its lead to 13-0 and after a Matt Stearns TD run for the Red Riots, made it 20-6 at halftime. Stearns scored in the third period, but again, the Tigers opened it up. After a third Stearns TD run cut the deficit to 27-20, Biddeford got one more score to put it away.

In Western C, Cape Elizabeth, the No. 4 seed, hosted fifth-ranked Yarmouth. The Capers won at the Clippers, 31-28, Oct. 10 and beat them, 27-14, in last year’s quarterfinals, but Yarmouth turned the tables this time around. Nate Weare scored on a first quarter run to put Cape Elizabeth up, 6-0, but the Clippers took a 14-6 lead to the half. The Capers answered in the fourth quarter with another Weare TD run, but the two-point conversion failed and Cape Elizabeth wasn’t able to win it at the end this time and finished 6-3 after a 14-12 loss.

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

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Cape Elizabeth sophomore Peyton Weatherbie breaks a tackle during the Capers’ 14-12 loss to Yarmouth last weekend in the Western C quarterfinals.

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