Strong start continues for local squads-Portland edition

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With teammate Eric Mukwa cheering him on, Portland’s Anselmo Tela scores a goal at Cheverus during the teams’ 2-2 tie last week.

Cheverus’ Sophia Pompeo splits a pair of Biddeford defenders during the Tigers’ 2-1 win last week.

Waynflete’s Anna Wildes runs at last week’s four-team cross country meet at Greely. The Flyers were third as a team and Wildes finished sixth individually.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Portland and Portland-Falmouth boys’ soccer, Cheverus-Gorham and Cheverus-Falmouth girls’ soccer and Cheverus-Biddeford field hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The games keep getting bigger and the results remain encouraging for local squads as the fall sports season rolls on.

Here’s a look back at the week that was and a glimpse at what’s to come:

Boys’ soccer

Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team is out to a 3-0-1 start. After opening with a 3-0 home victory over Traip Academy, the Flyers last week blanked visiting Sacopee Valley (3-0), settled for a 2-2 draw at Gray-New Gloucester, then edged visiting Greely, 1-0. Against the Hawks, Joey Ansel-Mullen, Oliver Burdick and Chris Register all scored. Aidan Kieffer and Ian McClure-Chute both tickled the twine in the tie, as Luca Antolini made six saves. In the win over the perennially strong Rangers, Diraige Dahia scored a first half goal and Antolini stopped four shots. Waynflete was home with St. Dom’s Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), goes to Cape Elizabeth Thursday and visits Traip Academy Tuesday of next week.

In Class A South, Cheverus beat host Bonny Eagle, 3-0, and tied visiting Portland, 2-2, last week and was 3-1-1 entering Tuesday’s game at Sanford. In the win, Jack Mullen, Michael Nason and James Shimansky all scored. Against the Bulldogs, Shimansky and Mullen scored early, but Portland rallied to forge the deadlock.

“Normally, I’d be pretty upset by losing a two-goal lead, but considering the circumstances today, I think the kids showed a lot of heart and character,” Stags coach Matt Andreasen said. “We had to preach our next-man-up mentality. The kids bought in and I’m proud of the effort of everybody.”

Cheverus is home with Westbrook Thursday and visits Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Portland settled for two ties last week, 0-0 at home versus Falmouth and 2-2 at Cheverus, then erupted for a 7-2 win at Windham Saturday to improve to 2-2-2. Against the Yachtsmen, the Bulldogs had a 7-4 edge in shots and a 7-6 advantage in corner kicks, but couldn’t find the net.

“It was a great game between two evenly matched teams,” said longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli. “I’m never satisfied without a ‘W,’ but if you have to have something, this is a good step.”

In the tie at Cheverus, Anselmo Tela and Keto Tchiputa scored to help erase a two-goal deficit.

“I’m proud of how we got it back together again and were able to be competitive and be positive,” said Frenzilli. “We’ve got to finish.”

In the win at the Eagles, Tchiputo led the way with three goals and Eric Mukwa, Gracien Mukwa, Sam Nkurunziza and Gabriel Panzo each scored once. The Bulldogs were home with Bonny Eagle Tuesday and go to Sanford Tuesday of next week.

Deering dropped its first two games, but improved to 3-2 after 1-0 wins last week at home over Massabesic in double overtime and at Noble. Evan Leonard scored to beat the Mustangs. Muntasir Ahmed had the goal against the Knights. The Rams hosted Kennebunk Monday, go to Windham Thursday and host Falmouth in a playoff rematch Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

Cheverus’ girls’ soccer team suffered its first loss, 1-0, to Gorham, last Monday, then bounced back and improved to 5-1 on the season after handling visiting Massabesic (9-1) and blanking host Falmouth (2-0). Against the Rams, the Stags weren’t able to take advantage of their few scoring chances.

“I told the girls we didn’t play a team ahead of us in the standings until late in the season last year, so to be able to play a team like Gorham this early will only help us,” said Cheverus coach Craig Roberts. “We’d like the Heal Points, but what we can learn outweighs the result.”

Against the Mustangs, Emma Gallant had two goals, while Sarah Cummings, Alex Hammond, Lauren Jordan, Mia Kratzer, Riley O’Mara and Grace Shimansky each scored once. In the win over the Yachtsmen, after a scoreless first half, Lily Paszyc scored off a corner kick, then set up Julia Kratzer to clinch it.

“It was tough because we knew we were controlling play, but after we settled down, we realized we had to up the intensity and then we were able to capitalize,” said Paszyc.

“I thought for some of our younger players, the Gorham game was too big for them.,” Roberts said. “We were hitting the ball without purpose. I talked today about compartmentalizing and I thought they did it well.”

Cheverus visits Westbrook Wednesday, hosts Thornton Academy Friday and plays at resurgent Bonny Eagle Wednesday of next week.

Deering fell to 1-4 after losing last week at Windham (1-0) and Gorham (2-0). Gianna Charest stopped 12 shots in the loss to the Eagles and made 10 saves against Gorham. The Rams host defending regional champion Scarborough Thursday, play host to Sanford Saturday and go to Massabesic Wednesday of next week.

Portland lost, 5-0, at Gorham last Wednesday, then improved to 2-3 Friday after a 2-1 home win over Kennebunk. Toni Stevenson scored both goals in the victory. The Bulldogs play at Windham Wednesday, travel to South Portland Saturday and host Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

Waynflete returned to action last Wednesday with a 2-1 home loss to Sacopee Valley, then gave new co-coaches Carrie Earls and George Sherry their first victory Friday, 4-1, at Old Orchard Beach. Kilee Sherry scored against the Hawks and in the victory, Sherry had three goals, Clara Sandberg also scored and goalie Jesse Connors stopped five shots. The 1-2 Flyers were at St. Dom’s Tuesday, host powerhouse Cape Elizabeth Thursday, visit Greely Saturday and welcome Traip Academy Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team has played its share of dramatic games in the early going. Last week, the Stags sandwiched 2-1 home losses to Biddeford and Gorham (in double overtime) around a come-from-behind 4-3 win at South Portland. Against the Tigers, a highlight reel goal from Lucia Pompeo put Cheverus on top, but Biddeford scored twice in the second half and held the Stags off at the end to stay unbeaten.

“I’m super-proud of these girls,” said Cheverus coach Sally Cloutier. “Biddeford’s a great team and I feel like my girls really stepped up.” 

In the win, after Pompeo scored in the first half, the Stags fell behind, 3-1, but in the final six minutes, goals from Pompeo, Haylee Hinkle and Bella Booth rallied Cheverus for an improbable victory. Sophia Pompeo scored in the loss to the Rams. Cheverus was at Falmouth Monday, welcomes Thornton Academy Wednesday, goes to Sanford Friday and plays host to Portland Tuesday of next week.

Portland fell to 0-4 with losses last week at Marshwood (6-3) and at home to Scarborough (2-1). Jaidyn Appel, Thao Le and Noelle Walker all scored against the Hawks. In the loss to the Red Storm, Le scored the goal and Jada McIlwain made 18 saves. The Bulldogs were home against Noble Monday, visit Bonny Eagle Wednesday, welcome Windham Friday and play at Deering Monday and at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Deering fell to 0-5 after losses last week at home to Thornton Academy (3-1) and at Sanford (3-0). 

Volleyball

Deering’s volleyball team continues to excel. The Rams last week improved to 4-1 and extended their win streak to four by sweeping host Marshwood (25-10, 25-17, 25-23) and edging visiting South Portland in a five-set (25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-8) thriller/playoff rematch. Rachel Pardi and Ava Spach both had nine kills and Catherine Balzano added six aces in the win over the Hawks. Against the Red Riots, Spach had 17 kills and 22 digs, Victoria Garand finished with 11 kills and Janelle-Marie Ridge added 17 digs. After hosting Windham Monday, Deering goes to Gorham Thursday, welcomes Mt. Desert Island Saturday and plays at Cheverus Tuesday of next week. 

Cheverus took a 2-3 mark into Tuesday’s match at South Portland following a four-set (17-25, 15-25, 25-20, 23-25) loss at Windham, a five-set (21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 8-15) home loss to Scarborough and a five-set (21-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-5) home victory over Marshwood last week. The Stags go to Thornton Academy Thursday and welcome Deering Tuesday of next week

Portland fell to 1-3 after last week’s straight set (15-25, 17-25, 10-25) loss at Gorham. After hosting Bonny Eagle Tuesday, the Bulldogs welcome Biddeford Thursday, visit Cape Elizabeth Saturday and host Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

Cheverus’ girls’ cross country team joined Biddeford and Westbrook at Massabesic last week and came in first. Mackenzie Turner was second individually, completing the five-kilometer course in 23 minutes, 10.22 seconds. The Stags boys’ team placed third. Will Herman (eighth, 19:07.34) was the top individual.

Deering joined Kennebunk and Marshwood at Scarborough. The Rams boys were second to the Red Storm, as Alec Troxell was second individually (17:17). Deering finished second at a regular season meet for the first time since Sept. 25, 2015, snapping a 38-meet win streak. The girls’ team, meanwhile, placed third. Sierra Aponte-Clarke finished fifth (20:59.90) individually.

Portland joined Falmouth and Thornton Academy at Sanford. The Bulldogs boys were second to the Yachtsmen, as Joe Harrington was third individually (18:03). The girls finished third and were led by Emeline Avignon (fifth, 22:40).

Waynflete joined Lake Region and York at Greely. The Flyers girls came in third. Anna Wildes was the top individual (sixth, 22:45). Waynflete’s boys finished fourth as a team. Henry Spritz was fourth individually in 18:05.

Friday, Cheverus joins Scarborough, Thornton Academy and Windham at Kennebunk, Deering runs with Falmouth and Westbrook at Bonny Eagle, Portland joins Gorham, Massabesic and South Portland at Biddeford and Waynflete runs with Old Orchard Beach, Poland and Sacopee at St. Dom’s.

Golf

Deering’s golf team, which features only four players, earned its second victory of the year last week, beating Portland, 8-5 (Nick McGonagle’s nine-hole round of 34 made him the medalist). The Rams also lost to defending Class A champion Scarborough (12-1) and Cheverus (8-5) last week and were 2-3 entering Tuesday’s match at home versus South Portland. Luke Hill had a team-best round of 40 versus the Red Storm and Bennett Berg shot a 36 in the loss to the Stags.

Cheverus took a 2-2 record into Tuesday’s home match versus Portland after downing Deering, 8-5, last week. Jeremy Baker (35) was the medalist. The Stags are at Scarborough Thursday.

Portland fell to 1-4 after losses last week to Deering (8-5) and Scarborough (13-0). Jacob Loranger had a team-best round of 38 versus the Rams. Jake Luce and Cooper Bay each shot a round of 40 in the loss to the Red Storm. The Bulldogs were at Cheverus Tuesday and host South Portland Thursday.

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

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