PORTLAND — The Waynflete boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will host Western Class C championship games today, but fans will have to go to Fitzpatrick Stadium to watch them play.

“Our parking can’t accommodate the kind of crowds those games will bring, and our fields are still wet,” Waynflete Athletic Director Ross Burdick said, explaining why both regional finals were moved from Fore River Fields on Hobart Street in Portland.

“It was going to be too wet to host so we figured the smart thing to do is move the games to Fitzpatrick Stadium and host a doubleheader,” Burdick said. “It’s still a home game for us right here in Portland, and having it on the turf, we won’t have to worry about field conditions.”

The change doesn’t seem to faze the players on either team.

“I think most of the people from school will come down because it’s only a five-minute drive,” said Mitch Newlin, a senior back. “The turf is a little bit different than our field, but that won’t be a factor because we’ve already played three or four games on turf this year and have been successful.”

“I’m personally a little nervous about the new location,” said Katherine Harwood, a senior sweeper, “but we have had some of our games on turf before so we know how to play (on it). It’s going to be a little difficult (because) it isn’t our real home field, but all of our fans will probably be there because it’s a quick ride (from school).”

It will be the Waynflete girls’ first appearance in the regional final since 2009, when they capped a string of four consecutive trips to the regional final with a state title.

“We’ve developed more as a team this year and things are clicking really well for us,” said Becky Smith, a senior midfielder and striker who recently scored her 50th career goal.

“We’ve come together in a way that makes us play well together, and I feel we’re a dangerous team.”
“We’ve been very close for the past two years and we haven’t been able to make it click,” said Maddy Agnew, a junior defender. “I feel we’re really clicking this year.”

In the Western Class C girls’ final, which starts at 3 p.m., No. 3 Waynflete (14-2) will meet No. 4 St. Dominic (13-3). They didn’t meet in the regular season.

In the semis, the Saints earned a 2-1 victory against top-ranked Dirigo, who beat them 2-0 in the regular season.

The Flyers pulled out a 1-0 win over seventh-seeded Old Orchard Beach, who was a 3-2 overtime winner over No. 2 Madison in the quarterfinals.

In the Western Class C boys’ final, which starts at 5:30 p.m., No. 2 Waynflete (12-1-3) will play No. 9 North Yarmouth Academy (9-6-2) in a rematch of last year’s regional final won by the Panthers.
The teams met twice in the regular season.

On Sept. 14, they played to a 1-1 tie on Waynflete’s home field. On Oct. 1, the Flyers pulled out a 2-1 victory on NYA’s turf field.

“Even though we won, we didn’t play to our full potential,” said Paul Runyambo, a junior who starts at center midfield for Waynflete. “They are tough. We have a lot of respect for them.”

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

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH