Spring sports season off to successful start

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Deering-Portland boys’ lacrosse and Waynflete-NYA girls’ lacrosse game stories, including photos and detailed box scores, as well as the complete Cheverus-Bonny Eagle baseball game story, with a detailed box score, please visit theforecaster.net)

The 2012 spring sports season has started and virtually every local club will have participated in at least one game or meet by the end of the week.

Here’s a glimpse at what you might have missed on the diamonds and lacrosse fields over the April vacation week (track and tennis began this week).

Baseball-Stags open title defense in style

Cheverus’ baseball team won a state title for the first time in 2011 and returns plenty of firepower, meaning the Stags will wear a bulls-eye all spring. That was reinforced in their opener Friday afternoon, at home versus Bonny Eagle.

Cheverus was able to win, 11-3, but it was anything but easy. Senior ace Louie DiStasio allowed 11 hits in his seven innings, but with the exception of a three-run fifth, managed to work out of every jam. Offensively, the Stags had 13 hits (from nine different players) and broke the game open with six runs in the sixth inning.

“It was a good first day,” said DiStasio, who had three hits, stole a base and scored two runs. “The team looked good. We just have to keep our energy up for a whole game. We let down for one inning, but we picked it back up.”

Cam Mullen and new catcher Chris Tinsman each had two hits. Drew Ferrick, Tyler Flaherty and Mullen all drove in a pair of runs and Brandyn Chretien came off the bench to drive in a run with a squeeze bunt and flash the leather (he made a great catch of a foul pop to end it).

“Coach put me in to play defense,” Chretien said. “That’s what I like to do. I like to help the team however I can. It was fun. It looked close. I just threw my glove out and got it. I was leaning over the fence. My feet were off the ground a little bit.”

It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” said Cheverus coach Mac McKew. “I think we weren’t totally engaged initially. I give Bonny Eagle credit. They battled. Brandyn made some super great plays at third base and executed the squeeze play to perfection. We hit the ball. I’m happy for the most part. We were aggressive.”

The Stags were at Windham Tuesday, visit Marshwood Thursday and host Noble Saturday.

“We’re making progress,” DiStasio said. “We have to keep the energy up and act like we have a target on our back.”

“It’s a tough week (coming up),” McKew said. “We’ll get a better sense where we’re at.”

Deering opened the Tim Eisenhart Era with a 7-1 home win over Massabesic. Nick DiBiase, the Rams’ lone returning starter, spun a three-hitter, fanning eight batters. Dominic Arris homered and Jared Bell doubled, tripled and drove in a pair of runs.

Deeirng was at Gorham Tuesday, hosts Thornton Academy Thursday and visits Westbrook Saturday.

Waynflete also began with a win, 21-2, in five innings, over visiting Greater Portland Christian School. Sophomore Joey Schnier earned the win and junior Luke Jeton had quite a day with the bat, doubling three times, tripling and driving in seven runs.

The Flyers were scheduled to host Old Orchard Beach Monday (that game was moved to Tuesday due to rain), play at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday and visit Old Orchard Beach Monday of next week.

Portland was the lone city team to drop its opener, 10-5, to visiting Sanford. Junior Nate Smart had three hits. The Bulldogs hosted Scarborough Tuesday, go to Noble Thursday and welcome Marshwood Saturday.

Boys’ lacrosse-Rams earn city bragging rights

Deering’s boys’ lacrosse team started the season 2-1, but the wins came over city rivals Cheverus and Portland, giving the Rams city bragging rights, for the regular season at least.

The Rams edged the Stags, 4-2, behind two goals from senior Matt Flaherty. After a 7-4 home loss to Marshwood (junior Rick Murray had a pair of goals), Deering hosted Portland Friday.

The Bulldogs opened with a 3-2 home loss to Thornton Academy (sophomore Mike Fuller and junior Max Pierter scored goals), then rallied to beat visiting Massabesic (behind four Pierter goals), but had no answer for Rams’ senior All-American Karl Rickett Friday.

Rickett won 14 of 18 faceoffs and despite being a defensive minded longstick middie, he scored four times to key a 9-5 victory. Senior Anthony Verville added three tallies for Deering.

“Freshman and sophomore year, (Portland) beat us like 20-0,” Rickett said.. “It’s been nice to reverse the momentum. They’re all my friends. I grew up with them so it’s fun to get some bragging rights.”

“It’s a huge deal,” first-year Deering coach Jon Dubois said. “It’s something I looked forward to since I got the job. We’ve beaten both the city schools and both Eastern A opponents we’ve played this year. Going forward, that bodes well for us with Heal Points. It’s nice to be on top of the city for a year at least.”

“Rickett’s a stud,” said Portland coach Eric Begonia. “He beat us in every aspect of the game. He’s an All-American and showed why.”

The Bulldogs were at Gorham Tuesday then begin a brutal stretch Monday when they host defending Class B state champion Falmouth.

After being as competitive as anyone between 2005 and 2011 (going 84-20 with three regional titles and one state championship in that span), Portland has found the going more challenging.

“It’s one period at a time for us,” Begonia said. “There are a lot of growing pains. Hopefully we’ll get better each day. It doesn’t get any easier. There won’t be any easy games for us this year. It’s a matter of working hard and seeing what comes of it.”

Deering is at Westbrook Wednesday and visits Bonny Eagle Saturday.

Then, the Rams have their litmus test when they visit Scarborough (May 2). They also have games remaining versus Falmouth, Greely, Thornton Academy and Kennebunk.

While there’s still work to do, Deering has to be viewed as a top threat once again.

“I feel like the boys are really working hard and we’re where we want to be,” Dubois said. “It’s one game at a time, one quarter at a time, one one-on-one matchup at a time. We’re looking forward. There are good teams on our schedule. We have a meaty schedule coming up. It’ll be tough to wade through, but if we focus and do what we need to do, we’ll have some team success.”

Cheverus (which got two goals from sophomore Jack Sutton in its opening loss to Deering) bounced back to win at Thornton Academy (5-2) and South Portland (5-4).

Spencer Amberson had two goals, Colie Walsh grabbed six ground balls and goalie Colm Pusey stopped 16 shots against the Golden Trojans. In the win over the Red Riots, Sutton scored three times, including the winner on a 30-yard rocket with 4:01 remaining. Brent Green and Cody O’Brien also had goals in the victory.

“We have a lot of things we need to work on, but in the past couple years, we’ve had some tough early games, so to win this one is a big moral boost,” said Stags coach Deke Andrew. “I thought (South Portland’s) defense was outstanding. I thought their offense was patient. They played well.”

Cheverus is home with Noble Wednesday and welcomes Waynflete Saturday.

Speaking of the Flyers, they were scheduled to open Monday at York, but that game was rescheduled due to rain to next Monday. Prior to going to Cheverus Saturday, Waynflete hosts Greely Wednesday.

Girls’ lacrosse-Flyers soar in opener

Waynflete’s storied girls’ lacrosse program has lost each of the past two seasons in the state final, but plans to get the job done this spring. The Flyers opened in style with a 15-5 home win over North Yarmouth Academy, as junior Sadie Cole had five goals, classmate Martha Veroneau four and sophomore Walker Foehl three.

“It’s really exciting for our first game,” said Cole. “I didn’t really know what to expect. Everyone meshed really well. We played so well. The new players and the players who didn’t get to play last year were so excited. The energy really showed.”

“We definitely wanted to keep the momentum going,” said Foehl. “I think we really surprised ourselves. We were all fired up for the first game and it showed. There are a lot of new people on the team and we meshed really well. We came in with a lot of heart.”

“It’s a good start,” added longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors. “I’m pleased. I didn’t know how we’d do. I saw more of a transition than I expected. That was exciting.”

The Flyers were scheduled to go to Wells Monday (the game was postponed to Thursday due to rain), host Yarmouth in a state final rematch Wednesday and travel to longtime rival Kennebunk Saturday.

Deering’s first game resulted in an 18-8 loss at Gorham. Nyalat Biliew and Cole Spike both scored three times. The Rams were home with Windham Monday and go to McAuley Saturday.

Cheverus, a regional finalist in 2011, was scheduled to open at Massabesic Monday. The Stags are home with McAuley Thursday and welcome NYA Saturday.

McAuley opened at two-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough Monday, visits Cheverus Thursday and hosts Deering Saturday.

Portland played its first game Monday at home against Biddeford. The Bulldogs, in their first year under coach Kait Johnson, opened with a flourish, racing to a 10-0 halftime lead en route to a 15-2 triumph. Senior Raechel Allen had four goals and junior Drew Barry had three goals, an assist, collected 16 ground balls and won 12 of 19 draws.

“We played pretty well,” Johnson said. “I’m pretty excited about it. A lot of the girls just got back from break, so we haven’t had the whole team together a lot, but I’m very proud of them. They did awesome. We focused on pushing the tempo of the game. The girls are working hard and it’s paying off. I can’t wait for the next game.”

After hosting perennial contender Kennebunk Thursday, the Bulldogs welcome Sanford Saturday.

Softball-City teams open with losses

Local softball teams struggled in the early going.

Cheverus fell at Sanford (8-3) and at home against Massabesic (7-3). Junior Staci Swallow had three hits against Sanford. Senior Frankie Pasquali had three RBI in the loss to the Mustangs. The Stags were scheduled to play at Deering Monday (the game was postponed to Tuesday due to rain). After hosting McAuley Wednesday, they go to Kennebunk Friday.

Deering began with a 16-1 (five inning) home loss to Westbrook and a 12-0 (six inning) setback at Marshwood. Johanna Koster hit a home run against the Blue Blazes for the Rams’ lone run to date. Deering hosted Cheverus Tuesday, visits Windham Wednesday and plays at Biddeford Monday of next week.

McAuley dropped its opener, 15-0 at Kennebunk. The Lions were scheduled to host Marshwood Monday, but the game was postponed to Thursday due to rain. McAuley visits Cheverus Wednesday and plays host to Windham Friday.

Portland had the misfortune of drawing defending state champion Scarborough in its opener. The Bulldogs lost to the visiting Red Storm, 19-2, in five innings. Portland was scheduled to play at Thornton Academy Monday. The Bulldogs host Noble Wednesday and visit Sanford Friday.

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

Sidebar Elements

Deering’s Rick Murray tries to get past Portland senior captain Anthony Bowden during the teams’ showdown Friday evening.

Deering seniors Karl Rickett (2) and Anthony Verville celebrate one of the Rams’ nine goals during Friday’s 9-5 home victory over Portland.

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