(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Yarmouth and Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys’ soccer, Falmouth-Yarmouth, Greely-York and Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth girls’ soccer and Freeport-Greely field hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)
The first championships of the fall sports season will be handed out Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro when golf’s team champions are determined.
For everyone else, the regular season is dwindling and the games are more important than ever. Once again, a compelling week is in store.
Here’s a glimpse at what you might have missed and what’s to come:
Falmouth’s football team has met every challenge so far this fall and now can legitimately call itself the favorite in a stacked Southern Class B. Friday, the Yachtsmen put their undefeated record on the line against a perennial powerhouse, visiting Leavitt, and Falmouth found a way to stay perfect.
In the first-ever meeting between the teams, the Hornets took a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter before a Falmouth answered with a pair of touchdowns from senior standout Connor Aube, a 4-yard touchdown run and a 56-yard TD pass from Jack Bryant, for a 12-6 advantage. Leavitt then drove before the half for a touchdown and two-point conversion to take a 14-12 lead to the break.
Bryant hit his brother, Sean Bryant, for a 20-yard touchdown in the third period, capping a 13-play, 77-yard drive to put the Yachtsmen ahead to stay and after producing an interception, Aube provided some breathing room with 8:38 to go with an 11-yard scoring run.
“You’ve got to score on the takeaways,” Aube said. “It’s a momentum-builder.”
Aube added another interception and Sean Bryant had one more to ice it.
“Our goal-line D, I don’t even know how to describe it, to tell you the truth,” Aube said. “We all come together. The intensity is so high. Everybody loves to fight. The secondary played well, all clicking together. There was good communication all around. We knew what was going on. We prepared all week for it. We knew they had the deep ball and we took it away.”
Aube finished with 14 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns and caught one ball for 56 yards and another TD. Jack Bryant completed 10 of 16 passes for 131 yards and a pair of scores.
Falmouth (5-0 and first in the Class B South Crabtree Points standings) hosts 2-3 Morse Friday. Last year, the Yachtsmen beat the visiting Shipbuilders, 55-14.
“We’ve got to keep rolling,” Aube said. “We want to go 6-0 next week.”
Yarmouth was barely tested in its first four outings, but did the Clippers ever get a 48-minute battle from visiting Wells Friday. Cody Cook returned an interception 63 yards for a touchdown to put Yarmouth up early, 6-0, but the Warriors scored the next 15 points to put the Clippers in serious jeopardy. An Andrew Beatty 44-yard field goal got Yarmouth back within six heading to the fourth quarter, where quarterback John Thoma hit Noah Eckersley-Ray from 2-yards out and Beatty added the extra point with three minutes left for a 16-15 lead. The Clippers forced a Wells turnover and were able to run out the clock on their biggest victory to date this autumn.
Thoma completed 9 of 14 passes for a 101 yard and a TD. Cook rushed for 52 yards on 16 carries.
“The win meant a lot to us,” said Yarmouth coach Jason Veilleux. “We have always had close games against Wells in the past and came out on the losing side, so it was nice to be on the winning side this time. It proved to us that we can compete with the top teams in our conference. We also knew that it would have playoff implications, so we’ve had this game circled on our calendars since the end of last season.
“We didn’t play particularly well and we had a lot of mental mistakes, but it was the first time we were really challenged this season, so I think it will be something we will learn from. We know we have plenty of work to do if we want to be playing (in the state championship game) on November 21st. We enjoyed the win for the evening, but we went right back to work the next morning. Our kids know that we have more tough games ahead and we are looking forward to them.”
Yarmouth (second to Cape Elizabeth in the Class C South standings) has a test at 3-2 Spruce Mountain Friday. The teams didn’t play a year ago. The Clippers face Cape Elizabeth the following week.
Greely made it back-t0-back wins with a 27-7 victory at Morse and is now 2-3 on the year. The Rangers (sixth in Class B South) hosts 3-2 Leavitt Friday. The teams have no history.
Freeport dropped to 0-5 after losing at home, 34-7, to Fryeburg Academy. The Falcons (ninth in Class C South) visit 1-4 Mountain Valley Friday. Last year, Freeport beat Mountain Valley, 24-18, in a double overtime thriller.
Yarmouth and Falmouth’s boys’ soccer teams met Saturday night for the first of two times this autumn.
The defending Class B champion Clippers were coming off a 5-1 win at Cape Elizabeth, which served as a nice bounce-back from a loss at Waynflete four days prior. Yarmouth got two goals in 42-seconds from Henry Coolidge, then put it away in the second half behind goals from Matt Dostie, Gibson Harnett and Eric LaBrie.
“My teammates really helped me,” Coolidge said. “I couldn’t have done that on my own. I was just the final piece. They did all the buildup.”
“The loss to Waynflete was a shock, but it’s great to bounce back,” Dostie said.
“As good as our offense was tonight, I thought our defenders and how they played, especially in the second half, was key,” said Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty. “Cape’s a tough team to play because they come right at you. Our scores have been misleading this year. There have been games that have been close for a long time. This game was close.”
Falmouth had tied host Greely, 0-0, Thursday, in a game delayed 24 hours by bad weather.
Saturday, Yarmouth had the better of the possession and chances, but couldn’t break through until Matthew Beatty scored on a rebound off a corner kick with 24:38 remaining in regulation.
“The ball just dropped in front of me and I put it in the goal,” Beatty said. “I wanted it. I was hungry.”
The Clippers preserved the lead with 2:41 to play when goalkeeper Cal Owen made the save of his life, diving to deny Nigel Dunn’s free kick.
“As they were running up, I remembered what (goalie coach Dale) Wing had told me in practice that if it’s a kick on the right side, take a step left and I did and I think that was the difference,” Owen said. “My wall did a good job setting up and covering the net. I wasn’t able to see until the last second, but one of my defenders actually got a shoulder on it, which made my job easier.”
Yarmouth defender Conor O’Donnell headed out the ensuing corner kick and the Clippers held on to prevail, 1-0.
“It’s massive for us Heal Points-wise and morale-wise,” said O’Donnell. “There’s no one we want to beat as much as Falmouth. The atmosphere was incredible tonight. They came to play, we came to play. It was a fun game.”
“It’s still as good as it gets,” said Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty, of the rivalry. “We’ve talked about this game for awhile. We know we only play them twice and we understand how good Falmouth is. They’re one of the best teams in Class A. They can put you under pressure quickly. It was a hard game. A little more physical than I thought it would be, but in a Falmouth-Yarmouth game, anything can happen.”
Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan treated the loss as a positive for his team.
“(Yarmouth) brings out the best in you,” Halligan said. “You make mistakes and have to pay. Both teams knew that. We were trying to keep it close and have a chance to win at the end. We did that, but they’re an excellent team. Last year, we had our way with them here. We knew that wouldn’t happen this year.”
The Clippers (8-1 and second to Maranacook in the Class B South Heal Points standings) went to York Tuesday, pay a visit to Kennebunk Thursday and return home Tuesday of next week to face Gray-New Gloucester in a playoff rematch.
Falmouth (6-2-1 and second to Thornton Academy in Class A South) was at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, hosts York Thursday and goes to Freeport Tuesday of next week.
Greely settled for a scoreless home tie versus Falmouth, then won, 3-0, at York, behind Jacob Nason’s three goals to improve to 4-3-2 and fifth in Class B South. The Rangers were home with Kennebunk Tuesday, host Cape Elizabeth Saturday and visit Lake Region Tuesday of next week.
Freeport enjoyed a 5-0 home win over Lake Region last Tuesday, as Evan McKittrick, Bryce Schmidt, Nate Smail, Josh Spaulding and Chandler Wyman all scored. The Falcons fell to 2-6-1 and 11th in Class B South after a 1-0 loss at North Yarmouth Friday. Freeport was at Poland Tuesday, hosts Traip Academy Friday and welcomes Falmouth Tuesday of next week.
NYA suffered a 2-1 loss at Sacopee Valley in a playoff rematch last Tuesday despite a goal from Thomas Pitts. The Panthers improved to 6-3 and fourth in Class C South Friday with a 1-0 home win over Freeport, which allowed them to capture the McDougal Cup, which honors late Freeport goalie and NYA coach Sean McDougal. Pitts had the goal. NYA hosts Lake Region Thursday, visits rival Waynflete Saturday and plays at Richmond Tuesday.
On the girls’ side, Greely stayed undefeated and atop the Class B South Heal Points standings after blanking visiting York, 2-0, Friday. Caroline Swaney had an early goal and Anna DeWolfe added a second tally. The Rangers’ defense and goalkeeper Maddie Cyr (seven saves) did the rest.
“Other than Cape, we knew this was going to be one of our biggest games,” Swaney said. “Getting a goal early really pumped up the team.”
“We just mesh well together,” said Cyr. “We love each other. We’re best friends. We know we can trust each other.”
“I’m very surprised to be 8-0,” added Greely coach Josh Muscadin. “It’s a good win. We played pretty well. I’m happy with how we moved the ball. We had several chances and finished a couple. Every game we play is a learning experience for the girls. Every team is going to be different.”
The Rangers were at Kennebunk Tuesday, play at Cape Elizabeth Friday, host Falmouth in a makeup game Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome Lake Region Tuesday of next week.
Yarmouth suffered a 2-1 loss at Cape Elizabeth last Tuesday. The Clippers fell behind, 2-0, got a goal from Katie Clemmer, then had some great looks to pull even, but couldn’t quite convert.
“We did get close at the end and had some good opportunities,” said Yarmouth coach Rich Smith. “They took advantage of their opportunities. They’re really good at being opportunistic. When they get chances, they finish. They’re a very good team.”
Saturday, Yarmouth settled for a 1-1 home tie versus Falmouth. After controlling play much of the game, the Clippers fell behind with 12:35 to play, but 27 seconds later, Katie Clemmer headed home Gretchen Barbera’s cross and no one scored from there.
“I’m really proud of the girls to not get down after playing a great game, then all of sudden, giving one up,” said Yarmouth coach Rich Smith. “It was nice we responded right away.”
The Clippers (4-4-1 and 12th in Class B South) were home with York Tuesday, welcome Kennebunk Thursday and visit Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday of next week.
Falmouth got a goal from Tyler Spence to tie Yarmouth in its first game in eight days.
“I’m happy we got a result,” said Yachtsmen coach Andrew Pelletier. “We’ve got some injuries. Girls stepped in and played well. There were long periods of time we had four freshmen on the field and they battled.”
Falmouth (4-2-2 and third in Class A South) was home against Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, visits York Thursday, plays a makeup game at Greely Monday and visits Freeport Tuesday of next week.
Freeport suffered a 5-0 loss at Lake Region last Tuesday to fall to 2-6-1 and 14th in Class B South (only 12 teams make the playoffs). After going to Traip Academy Friday, the Falcons play at Falmouth Tuesday.
NYA fell to 1-9 and 12th in Class C South after losses last week to visiting Sacopee Valley (3-0) and host Freeport (6-0). The Panthers go to Lake Region Thursday, host Waynflete Saturday and welcome Old Orchard Beach Tuesday.
Yarmouth’s field hockey team fell from the unbeaten ranks last Thursday after losing at home to defending Class B champion York, 1-0, despite a valiant team effort and 13 saves from senior goalie Tori Messina.
“It was a good game,” Messina said. “I don’t want any of my teammates to have their heads down after tonight. Tonight tested us a lot. We proved ourselves. We know they’re an amazing team, but we love being the underdog. It’s an amazing feeling to just go for it with nothing to lose. It was fun to play them.”
“We wanted someone to challenge us,” said Clippers coach Mandy Lewis. “We knew that would be coming from York. The girls came out excited. We just couldn’t convert today.”
The Clippers (9-1-1 and second in the Class B South Heal Points standings) went to Poland Tuesday, host Falmouth Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and close the regular season at Traip Academy Tuesday of next week.
Greely was 4-7 and 10th in Class B South (10 teams make the playoffs) after a 2-0 loss at Freeport and a 7-0 home victory over MCW, the McAuley/Waynflete co-op team. The Rangers mustered just one shot in the loss.
“I don’t know what it was,” said Greely coach Becki Belmore. “We came in feeling confident. I think we had one shot. We just couldn’t get any rhythm going today. No momentum. You can’t get the ball if you don’t move to it.”
In the win, seven different players scored, as Charlotte Benoit, Alyssa Coyne, Mollie McDonald, Ella Novick, Hannah Rose, Danita Storey and Mariah Wilcox all rattled the cage.
The Rangers were home against Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, go to Kennebunk Thursday and close at home versus NYA Saturday.
Freeport was 4-7 and eighth in Class B South after a 2-0 home win over Greely and a 4-1 home loss to Falmouth. Against the Rangers, Chloe Davidson scored early and Emily Randall scored late (both on penalty corners).
“It helped to have the lead,” Davidson said. “Normally, when the other team scores first, we get deflated and don’t play our best.”
“It was very difficult to hold that lead,” Randall said. “They have some players who are very aggressive and have good stick skills. This puts us closer to playoffs.”
“I’m hoping the girls see that this is the team I thought we could be in the preseason,” added Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “We can scare someone when we put it all together.”
The Falcons were at Fryeburg Academy Tuesday, visit Traip Academy Friday and close at Wells Tuesday of next week.
Falmouth won, 4-1, at Freeport Saturday, then fell to 7-5 Monday after a 3-1 loss at Kennebunk. Sydney Bell scored the goal in the defeat. The Yachtsmen (seventh in Class A South) visit Yarmouth Friday and close at home against Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.
NYA won its fourth game in a row, 5-0, over visiting Wells Thursday to improve to 7-4. Keeley Bartolini and Amber Rose both had two goals, while MacKenzie Sangster also rattled the cage. The Panthers (fourth in Class C South) hosted Cape Elizabeth Wednesday, play at Greely Saturday and close at home versus McAuley/Waynflete Wednesday of next week.
The top volleyball teams continue to feast on each other, making it impossible to handicap just who is the favorite.
Defending Class B champion Yarmouth (which moved up to Class A this year) took Scarborough to the limit last Tuesday before dropping an agonizing 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 13-15) decision. Rachel Chillé had 11 kills and six aces, Alison Clark finished with 10 kills, Liz Clark had 28 assists and Andrea St. Pierre added 12 digs. Thursday, the Clippers improved to 7-2 and sixth in the Class A Heal Points standings with a 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-16) win at Gorham. Alison Clark had 11 kills and Heather Clark and Chillé added eight kills apiece. Yarmouth was home with Kennebunk Tuesday, visits Falmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net) and plays at Biddeford Tuesday of next week.
Perennial powerhouse Greely had its six-match win streak snapped last Tuesday by visiting defending Class A champion Cape Elizabeth, 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-25). Thursday, the Rangers improved to 7-3 and fourth in Class A with a 3-1 (25-16, 24-26, 25-20, 25-18) home win over Falmouth. Greely was at Scarborough Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for match story), hosts Gorham Thursday and visits Cony Tuesday of next week.
Falmouth lost, 3-1 (16-25, 26-24, 20-25, 18-25), at Greely Thursday, then improved to 7-3 and fifth in Class A after a 3-1 victory at Mt. Desert Island Saturday. After hosting Biddeford Tuesday, the Yachtsmen welcome Yarmouth Thursday and go to Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.
NYA beat Lake Region, 3-1 (25-7, 25-18, 14-25, 25-16), last Tuesday, then improved to 7-5 after weekend wins at Jonesport-Beals (3-0), Sumner (3-1) and Bucksport (3-1). Against the Lakers, Jordan Ackerman had seven aces and seven digs, Amelia Demetropoulos had eight aces, Zelda Clegg had nine aces and five assists and Suzanna Butterfield finished with eight kills. The Panthers (sixth in Class B) play at Wells Thursday.
Local cross country runners descended upon Belfast for the Festival of Champions Saturday.
In the boys’ meet, Falmouth was third behind Scarborough and Cumberland, R.I. Jeremiah Sands (ninth, 16 minutes, 29.90 seconds), Sean Soucy (12th, 16:47.95) and Ben Wyman (20th, 17:04.56) were all top 20 scorers. Maine Coast Waldorf School placed 45th, with Tucker Pierce (19th, 16:57.70) leading the way. NYA didn’t score, but Brennan Flatt had the 211th-best time (19:09.70).
In the girls’ race, won by LaSalle Academy of Rhode Island, Falmouth placed fifth, MCW was 34th. The Yachtsmen were led by Mira Wyman (27th, 19:50.85). MCW’s top finsher was Olivia Skillings (78th, 21:13.47). NYA’s Megan Alberding had the 111th-best time (21:41.50).
Freeport stayed closer to home and joined Fryeburg Academy and Old Orchard Beach at Poland. The boys were first, as Henry Jaques was the top individual (17:21) and Erik Brobst was second, 14 seconds behind. Alex Les came in third (18:20). In the girls’ meet, the Falcons came in first as Lily Johnston was the fastest individual (20:59).
The regular season concludes this weekend. NYA hosts Freeport, Greely, Fryeburg Academy and Lake Region, Falmouth and MCW join Gray-New Gloucester and Poland at Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth (with Kennebunk and Waynflete) runs at Sacopee Valley.
The Southwestern Maine Activities Association and Western Maine Conference golf qualifiers were held Monday.
In the SMAA, Greely (which tied Thornton Academy for the best team score, 307) and Falmouth (which had a score of 333 and beat Gorham in a tiebreaker for the final spot) qualified.
In the WMC, NYA was the Class C champion and qualified yet again. Freeport and Yarmouth fell short.
The state team match is Saturday in Vassalboro. The top individuals will vie for championships the following Saturday, Oct. 17, also in Vassalboro.
Greely’s golf team finished a perfect 10-0 after closing with with victories over Thornton Academy (8-5), Gorham (9-4) and Windham (9.5-3.5).
Freeport got its first win in its finale, 6-3, over Sacopee Valley to wind up 1-9.
Sun Journal staff writer Kalle Oakes contributed to this story.
Falmouth senior Jack Engelberger heads the ball away from Yarmouth senior Jon Groothoff during the teams’ hard-fought showdown Saturday night. The Clippers got a goal with 24:38 to play and prevailed, 1-0, over their ancient rival.
Greely sophomore Caroline Swaney leaps to avoid York freshman Peyton Nickerson and play the ball during the Rangers’ 2-0 win Friday afternoon. Greely improved to 8-0.
Freeport junior Bailey Coffin tries to no avail to knock the ball past prone Greely goalie Lizzie Brown during the Falcons’ 2-0 win last week.