Coaches of boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams from throughout the state expect competition during the regional tournaments to be especially keen this year.

Of course, some regional tournaments will be more wide open than others.

In Eastern Class A, any of the region’s top four boys’ teams seem capable of advancing to the state final, which will be played June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

“It’s wide open, really,” Deering Coach Bob Rothbart said. “It could come down to a hot goaltender. That’s what I think it’s going to come down to.”

Second-seeded Deering has a first-round bye and will play in a regional semifinal Saturday against the winner of today’s game between Mt. Ararat and Messalonskee.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Lewiston Coach Bill Bodwell. “I don’t think anybody really knows who is going to come out of the Class A East, whereas some of the other divisions certainly have favorites.”

The top-seeded Blue Devils, the defending regional champions, will play the winner of Wednesday’s Brunswick-Portland game Saturday in a regional semifinal.

Regional tournament play starts today when No. 6 Mt. Ararat travels to Oakland to play No. 3 Messalonskee in an Eastern Class A game. On Wednesday, 10 more quarterfinals are scheduled. All eight regional lacrosse semifinals for boys and girls will be played Saturday.

The Eastern Class A girls’ tournament appears to be extremely competitive. Brunswick is that regionals’ top-seeded team, but three of the other five teams in that regional proved during the regular season they could play with the Dragons.

“We’re not anywhere near as dominant as we have been in the past,” Brunswick Coach Beth Caputi said. “As opposed to years in the past, where we felt we could run the table, I don’t feel that at all this year.”

In the Western Class A boys’ and girls’ tournaments, defending state championship teams from Scarborough seem to have the inside track.

“Scarborough has beaten everybody in the region, and they’ve beaten everybody fairly soundly, too,” Kennebunk boys’ coach Vinnie LoBello said.

Scarborough, the top seeded team, is 11-1. Only Falmouth, the top-seeded team in Western Class B, has beaten the Red Storm this season, running away with a 13-3 win April 30. On May 9, Scarborough rolled to a 9-1 win against Kennebunk, No. 2 in the regional tournament. Kennebunk reeled off seven wins after that lopsided loss.

“We’ve improved, I would think, but I’m sure they have, too,” LoBello said. “My goal is always to get better every day and peak in June, and that’s what we’ve tried to focus on.”

The Scarborough girls also haven’t lost a game to a Class A team this season. The lone blemish on the Red Storm’s record came April 30 when Yarmouth, Eastern Class B’s top seed, handed them a 16-11 loss.

“Squeaking past a team during the regular season is one thing, but the playoffs are a whole other story,” Scarborough Coach Marcia Wood said. “It’s one (loss) and you’re done, and trying to beat a team twice in a season is never easy.”

In the Western Class B boys’ tournament, top-seeded Falmouth and second-seeded Cape Elizabeth, which both drew first-round byes, look like the teams to beat. They split two games during the regular season.

“When us and Falmouth are both playing our best, we’re going to be hard for anybody to beat,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said.

Falmouth is the top-rated team on the computer rankings compiled by LaxPower, a website that posts state, regional and national rankings for high school and college teams.

In the Eastern Class B boys’ tournament, top-seeded St. Dominic, the lone unbeaten team in the state, appears capable of advancing to its first lacrosse state final.

In the Western Class B girls’ tournament, it looks look like Waynflete (10-2) may be ready to advance to the state final for the eighth time in nine years. During the regular season, the Flyers beat each of the other three teams in the regional tournament.

In the Eastern Class B girls’ tournament, top-seeded Yarmouth (11-1) seems to have the inside track. During the regular season, the Clippers, the state’s top-ranked team in LaxPower’s rankings, lost one of their two games against Waynflete.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH