When North Yarmouth Academy beat the Cape Elizabeth boys last Wednesday, then stopped defending Class A champion Scarborough on Saturday, some were calling the victories upsets.
Beating Cape, yes, call it an upset, said NYA Coach Peter Gerrity. But beating Scarborough felt more like an overdue outcome.
“We always felt after playing Scarborough to one-goal games the past two years that if we put together a complete game we could win that one,” said Gerrity, a 2005 NYA grad in his first full season as varsity coach.
“Since we last beat them in 2007, every Cape game has felt like we’ve been the underdog.”
Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said NYA’s 9-6 win was understandable, as are a number of other outcomes where traditional powers have lost. Two-time Class B champ Falmouth is 1-2, losing its second one-goal game Monday to Cape, 11-10 in overtime.
“Some of it has to do with the amount of kids who graduated and teams adjusting to new roles. The Falmouth coach (Mike Lebel) told me he returned one starter,” Raymond said.
“Teams like Falmouth and us have big holes to fill. Other teams like Yarmouth and NYA, they were real young last year and now they’re more experienced, and that’s going to help them early on.”
Gerrity has about the same number of seniors this season (eight compared to seven) but they are loaded toward the offensive end.
“That’s helped us to maintain possession and to convert possession into scores much better than we have in the past,” Gerrity said.
NYA did have one gaping opening in its starting lineup when two-year starting goalie Weston Nolan transferred to Brewster Academy.
“We didn’t know who our goalie was going to be until January or February,” Gerrity said.
Former midfielder D.J. Nicholas accepted the challenge. Gerrity said in both of last week’s wins, Nicholas made above-average saves against top snipers.
“He’s sort of turning from a kid with quick hands and good reactions into a goalie,” Gerrity said.
The early-season surprises and the closeness of games indicate that the top Class B teams all have tough schedules.
“Absolutely that’s a good thing,” Raymond said. “We would rather have 12 one-goal games and lose them all than 12 blowout wins.”
NYA also has scheduled a number of scrimmages against prep school teams such as Gould, Hebron and Berwick academies.
“Some years if we’re having a weaker year, it can be discouraging, but we know come playoff time we’re prepared to make a deep run just because we’ve played the best teams there are,” Gerrity said.
THE ON-PAPER upsets extended to girls’ lacrosse. On Saturday the Yarmouth girls edged three-time defending Class A champ Scarborough, 8-7. Yarmouth had lost its first two games to Class B powers Waynflete (17-5) and Falmouth (16-7).
“It was a big win for us,” Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said. “We needed it.”
It doesn’t get any easier this week for the Clippers. On tap are a second game against Falmouth on Wednesday night and a contest against crosstown rival North Yarmouth Academy.
Like her male counterparts, Holt appreciates Yarmouth’s extremely tough schedule.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “Our younger players are really growing into their roles.”
TWO TEAMS meeting expectations face off tonight. The Waynflete girls are at Cape Elizabeth in a rematch of Waynflete’s 2012 triple-overtime victory in the Western Maine final.
Cape Elizabeth is 3-0 with a 44-16 scoring advantage. Waynflete was 3-0 and had outscored opponents 46-8 entering Tuesday’s game at Fryeburg Academy.
On Saturday, Waynflete beat a Kennebunk team expected to challenge in Class A, dominating every facet in a 15-1 rout.
“This is the kind of game that reminds me how lucky I am to be playing with this particular group of athletes,” four-year starting goalie Katherine Torrey said.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at email@example.com