With just over two weeks to go in the regular season, field hockey teams are already starting to jockey for playoff position. And, based on what has gone on so far, everyone is anticipating a wild finish.

“It’s kind of fun, but kind of nerve-racking, too,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Kelly LaFountain. “But that’s high school sports. And that’s the fun of it.”

The Eagles are ranked fourth in Eastern Class A. They’re 4-5 and bolstered by a 1-0 win over second-ranked Edward Little. Mt. Ararat also has a 2-1 win over No. 6 Oxford Hills and a 3-0 win over No. 7 Brunswick.

But the Eagles are coming off a 3-0 loss to Brewer on Saturday and have No. 8 Lawrence, Cony and Brunswick left on their schedule.

“Those are all point-worthy games,” said LaFountain. “But we have to win the others, too.”

Mt. Ararat has been led by a trio of seniors: midfielders Amber Bowley and Ashley Charron and back Heather Bolduc. They help control the middle of the field, setting up both the offense and defense, and make life easier for junior goalie Raven Demasi.

LaFountain expects a tight race the rest of the way.

“It’s been kind of interesting to watch so far,” she said. “On any given day, there’s not a lot separating the teams, even though records may not show it. They’ve all been close games. It’s just a matter of who shows up.”

 

THE SCRAMBLE is also on in Western Class B. Top-ranked York is the clear leader, even after last week’s 1-0 loss to Wells.

The Warriors are battling with Greely for the second spot, both coming off upset losses last week that put Lake Region and Falmouth back into the playoff picture.

Just four days after beating York, Wells lost 3-0 to Lake Region. That win catapulted the Lakers into sixth place. Greely, which beat Wells 3-2 earlier this season, lost to Falmouth last Thursday, allowing the Yachtsmen to move into the ninth spot, just 0.8928 Heal points out of the playoffs.

“It’s really anybody’s game,” said Greely Coach Kristina Lane Prescott, taking a break from caring for her three-week old son, Kaleb Joshua. “I keep telling my girls, ‘Every ball counts, every game counts. The team that’s most dangerous is the underdog.’ “

Greely faces York at 4 p.m. Friday in Cumberland. The Rangers also play Wells at home in the season finale on Oct. 7.

“I’m positive, but nervous, too,” said Wells Coach Kristen Williams. “We’ve just got to do what we have to do to get us in the playoffs.”

Williams said her team learned a lesson in Saturday’s loss. She said she sensed on the ride to Naples that her team was not ready to play.

“We need to play hard against every team, not just the teams we need to win against,” she said.

Prescott said her team’s loss to Falmouth was tough, but not disappointing. “It was an unbelievable game,” she said. “It’s the rivalry. The kids get so fired up.”

 

THE TOP spot in Western Class A looks like it’s going to come down to the final game of the season on Oct. 9, when No. 1 Cheverus (7-1) plays at No. 2 Scarborough (7-0) at 5 p.m.

The defending Class A state champion Red Storm haven’t missed a beat, despite graduating 14 players. They have out-scored opponents 37-2. Only Portland and Massabesic have scored on them.

No. 6 Massabesic (5-3) has a big game today at home against No. 5 Thornton Academy (5-2-1). And don’t overlook No. 7 South Portland. After starting the season 0-4, the Riots have three consecutive victories, including a 2-0 decision over Cheverus.

 

SACOPEE VALLEY hoped to knock North Yarmouth Academy off the top perch in Western Class C. But NYA, the two-time defending regional champion, has outscored its opponents 69-6 and has beaten the Hawks twice, 3-1 and 4-0. NYA’s loss was to York, 2-1.

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]