After taking some lumps during their first two varsity seasons, a group of 10 seniors at Sacopee Valley are delivering some lumps of their own this season.

The Hawks are off to an 8-1-1 start, the best in the 10-year history of the soccer program.

“A lot of these seniors started playing in varsity games when they were freshmen,” Sacopee Valley Coach Kevin Murphy said. “They took their lumps when they were freshmen and sophomores. It’s toughened them. They’ve learned just what it takes, how hard they have to play.”

Sacopee Valley is virtually assured of making its fourth consecutive appearance in the Western Class C tournament.

With four games left in the regular season, the Hawks are ranked fourth in the region’s most recent Heal point standings behind three Mountain Valley Conference squads — St. Dom’s, Georges Valley and Dirigo.

“We’re a small school, and like a lot of small schools we have a lot of three-sports athletes,” Murphy said. “But we’ve got five or six girls who have devoted themselves to soccer. They play indoors and on premier teams.”

That senior group includes Emily Lane, a forward who has already scored a school-record 71 goals during her career, goalie Courtney Ross, center-halfback Maeve Downey and forward Kara Singleton.

The savvy Sacopee Valley squad also knows anything can happen once the tournament starts. Last fall, the Hawks went into the regional tournament as the eighth seed, and Lane scored five minutes into overtime to lift them to a 2-1 win against top-seeded St. Dom’s.

 

YARMOUTH WILL face a major challenge during the final two weeks of the regular season to remain the state’s lone unbeaten Class B team.

The Clippers, 10-0 and the top-ranked team in Western Class B, finish the regular season with games against Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, York and Greely.

“We’ve got four games against the four toughest teams on our schedule,” Yarmouth Coach Rich Smith said. “Those teams all need Heal points to improve their standing for the tournament, and the last three games are on the road.”

 

WITH TWO WEEKS left in the regular season, a battle involving as many as five teams is shaping up for the last spot in the Western Class A tournament.

Fourteen of the region’s 19 teams still have a legitimate shot at qualifying for at least the preliminary round of the regional tournament.

The top six teams in the region automatically qualify for the quarterfinal round. Teams ranked seven through 10 must play prelims, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals.

Marshwood, McAuley, Noble, South Portland and Westbrook are in contention for the 10th and final slot. It should make for an exciting finish to the regular season.

“The girls realize every game matters,” South Portland Coach Andy Pappas said.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]