Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Paul Betit firstname.lastname@example.org
The upcoming Western Class A, B and C boys’ soccer tournaments could be the most competitive in years.
D.J. Nicholas, North Yarmouth Academy junior: Scored three goals in a 4-3 win against Sacopee Valley. Scored two goals and had an assist in the unbeaten Panthers’ 3-0 win against Waynflete. Finished the regular season with 31 goals in 14 games to bring his career total to 68.
Kaleb Kent, Westbrook senior: Scored on a breakaway two minutes into overtime to lift the Blazes to a 2-1 win against Cheverus.
Brady Levesque, Cheverus sophomore: Scored three goals to lead the Stags to 5-3 win against Noble at North Berwick.
Max Watson, Yarmouth senior: Scored two goals in the Clippers’ 4-1 win against Greely.
AREA TOP FIVE
5. North Yarmouth Academy
Going in, once-beaten Scarborough appears to be the team to beat in the A tournament, while Yarmouth and North Yarmouth Academy carry unbeaten records into the regional B and C tournaments.
“All three of those tournaments are going to be really, really good,” Greely Coach Mike Andreasen said.
Tournament play starts Saturday with preliminary-round games and resumes next Wednesday with the regional quarterfinals.
Scarborough rolls into the Western A tournament on a 12-game win streak.
“As good as Scarborough is, Portland or Deering or Gorham or Cheverus could beat them,” Yarmouth Coach Mike Hagerty said.
During the first week of the regular season, Portland eked out a 1-0 win over the Red Storm. Later in the season, Scarborough pulled out a 1-0 win against Gorham and a 2-1 win over Deering.
“Scarborough always loses a game early, and everybody says, ‘What’s wrong with Scarborough?’” Andreasen said. “Then they win 11 or 12 in a row.”
Unbeaten Yarmouth appears to be the early favorite in the Western B tournament, but the Clippers are not going into the postseason with a completely unblemished record. Greely, York and Cape Elizabeth played them to ties during the season.
“Yarmouth is the favorite clearly, but even they had problems,” Andreasen said. “Anybody can beat anybody. What’s really tough about this tournament is you’ve got to beat three good teams.”
“There will not be an easy game like there used to be.” Hagerty said. “In the past, if you got a first-round bye, you could look forward to playing a team that wasn’t very good in the quarterfinals, but that’s not the case this year.”
The Clippers (11-0-3) had plenty of competition during the regular season.
“We’ve had three one-goal games and three ties,” Hagerty said. “We haven’t been the juggernaut that has been going through killing everybody.”
Ultimately, the most intriguing matchups could come in Western Class C, where the top three teams are unbeaten and have yet to face each other.
Top-seeded Maranacook (12-0-2) has outscored its opponents 52-3 playing a schedule made up of Class B teams from the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.
Second-seeded Hall-Dale (14-0-0) has outscored its opponents 54-5 playing in the Mountain Valley Conference.
Third-seeded North Yarmouth Academy (14-0-0) has outscored its opponents 63-11 playing a schedule made up of Class B and C teams from the Western Maine Conference.
YARMOUTH CLINCHED the Brady Cup with its 4-1 win against Greely last week.
“We had to win that game in order to win the cup,” Hagerty said. “This is the first time anyone has ever won it four years in a row, so it was a big deal for our seniors. They were really excited.”
For 11 seasons, the Brady Cup, named for Cape Elizabeth soccer player Kevin Brady who was killed in an auto accident, is an annual competition held during the regular season between boys’ soccer teams from Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth.
The Clippers went 4-0-2 in games against the other three teams.
GREELY WILL tune up for its first tournament game by scrimmaging against Edward Little of Auburn Thursday night at Hutchinson Field in Cumberland.
The Red Eddies are coached by Matt Andreasen, the son of the Greely Coach Mike Andreasen,
The scrimmage will come midway through the 12 days between the Rangers’ last regular season game and their regional quarterfinal.
“Except for a two-week break in August, some of these kids have been playing soccer since last June,” Mike Andreasen said. “If they forget how to play the game of soccer over a 12-day period, they’re probably not worthy anyway.”
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: