Andrew Rent, the 2018 Varsity Maine Player of the Year, scored 16 goals and had nine assists in leading Gorham to the Class A South championship last fall.  Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

1. Gorham: The Rams have made three straight trips to the Class A South final (meeting Portland each time) and are the clear pick to lead the region again. Returning Varsity Maine Player of the Year and Boston University-bound Andrew Rent (16 goals, 9 assists) leads Coach Tim King’s talented, well-rounded team. Seniors Travis Matheson and Brady King head the defense. Junior Grant Nadeau, an all-SMAA choice last year, and returning starter Kyle Hamblen support Rent in the middle. Seniors Ryan Farr, Colby Christakis and Javin Stickney are also scoring threats, giving the Rams the edge in what should once again be a highly competitive region.

2. Yarmouth: The Clippers’ Class B South semifinal loss last season to Cape Elizabeth snapped streaks of four straight state titles and 45 games without a loss. Coach Mike Hagerty thinks this year’s team is better “at every position,” than that 13-1-1 team. Alejandro Coury, a three-year U.S. Soccer Development Academy player, boosts an already strong, veteran roster. Coury and senior forward Liam Ireland are top-notch passers. Senior forward John Clinton will benefit from their presence. Unsung Jason Lainey acts as the link between the backs and the attack. The defense returns intact, with senior center backs Aidan Hickey and John D’Appolonia, junior outside backs Will Dickinson and Evan VanLonkhuysen and senior goalie Isaac Owen.

3. Portland: If the Bulldogs, make it back to the Class A South final for a fourth straight season, few will be surprised. Veteran Coach Rocco “Rocky” Frenzilli has a deep roster and four talented captains to set a hard-working tone in each segment of the field. Alex Millones is a four-year starter in the midfield. Junior Anselmo Tela led the Bulldogs with 11 goals last year. Henry Flynn, a junior, returns as the keeper, and junior Max Cheever is a strong, heady player in the backfield with the skill to move the ball forward.

4. Waynflete: The Flyers’ schedule is daunting, with games against quality Class B teams Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Greely and York. So going unbeaten again (15-0-3 in 2018) is unlikely, but a repeat Class C state title is realistic. Eight starters (11 players overall) return, including Varsity Maine All-State goalie Luca Antonelli. Striker Askar Houssein (transfer to Deering) will be missed, but juniors Patrick Shaw and Joey Ansel-Mullen, and Joey Ansel-Mullen and senior captains Ian McClure-Chute and Oliver Burdick form an explosive, experienced midfield. The defense returns three starters: juniors Henry Millspaugh, Ben Adey and Aidan Kieffer.

Freeport won the Class B South championship last fall – their first regional title in 40 years. The Falcons should be contenders again despite losing 13 players to graduation. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

5. Freeport: The 2018 Class B South champs did graduate 13 seniors. But among the returners are Varsity Maine All-State midfielder and four-year player Jesse Bennell, senior outside midfielder Will Winter, talented junior midfielders Ethan Prescott and Cam Strong, and first-team all-WMC defender Sam LaRochelle. If first-time goalie Gabe Wagner, a senior and three-sport athlete, can handle the job between the posts, Freeport will again be a threat in Class B under its second-year coach, Bob Strong.

6. Marshwood: The Hawks reached the Class A South semifinals last year, going 10-5-2, and have enough returning talent to reach that level again. Senior Sam Fitzgerald and junior Aidan Knowles are the top returning scorers. Junior midfielder Malcolm Connell and senior central defender John McNally are also key returners. Marshwood gets the nod above Falmouth, South Portland, Scarborough (one returning starter) and the rest of a strong league because senior midfielder Owen Bynum returns after two seasons with Seacoast United’s development academy team.

7. Cape Elizabeth: The athletic Capers return several players from a team that shocked Yarmouth in the 2018 Class B South semifinals. Juniors Nick Clifford (midfielder), Archie McEvoy (forward) and Gavin Simopoulos (defense) lead the three segments of the field. Clifford was a second-team WMC pick, and McEvoy was second in scoring last year to graduated John O’Connor. Senior Andrew Carroll is a first-time starter in goal, and senior Jonas Moon will be a key midfielder. Cape can be a top-four team in B South.

8. Greely: The Rangers added senior midfielder Aidan Melville, who spent the last three years playing on MLS-affiliated U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams and is verbally committed to Providence College. Returning captain Chris Theodores (defense) and senior Silas Cunningham (forward) were both Maine Soccer Coaches Association regional all-star picks and are among the best player in the Class B South. Andrew Moore is a returning all-WMC pick in the midfield. With eight starters back, Greely will battle Freeport, Cape, and York for the top-four spots behind Yarmouth.

9. Falmouth: Coach Dave Halligan is tempering expectations because of three key, unplanned losses. Regional all-state forward Tom Fitzgerald (ACL tear in lacrosse), top midfielder Ben Greene (switched to cross country) and regional all-state goalie Alvaro Fuentes-Cantillina (moved back to native Spain) won’t be playing. Seniors Joe Dye (defense), Adrian Friedman (midfielder), Josh Lefevre (forward), and Jackson Quinn (goalkeeper) and the top returning scorer, junior forward Gus Ford, will lead a group that is mostly inexperienced at the varsity level.

10. South Portland: The question for the Red Riots is simple. Can they score enough goals to win? The last two seasons, they’ve allowed 11 goals total (eight in 2018) but have not gotten past the regional quarterfinal, losing in penalty kicks in consecutive years. Look for junior midfielder Damir Brkic, sophomore forward Alberto Kissaka, and the Perron brothers, senior Anthony and sophomore Joey, to find the net more often while Coach Bryan Hoy revamps his defense around strong senior center back Dillan Bolduc.

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