While cross country and volleyball have crowned state champions (see stories), football and soccer produced a playoff week which has left several local squads still standing.

Here’s a recap of the week that was and a look at what remains:

Boys’ soccer

Freeport goalkeeper Gabe Wagner makes a save during last week’s 3-2, overtime win over Cape Elizabeth in the Class B South quarterfinals. The Falcons went on to lose to Yarmouth in the semifinals. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Falmouth, Greely, North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer teams all entertained championship dreams at press time.

In Class A South, Falmouth advanced to its first regional final since 2012 and its first since it began playing in Class A for the playoffs the following year. The Yachtsmen, ranked second in the region, handled No. 7 Kennebunk, 6-1, in the quarterfinals, then blanked No. 3 Scarborough, 2-0, in the semifinals. Against the Rams, Charlie Adams, Rion Dos Santos, Gus Ford, Emmet Frueh, Sam Gearan and Mason Quiet all scored.

“We have talented wingers,” said Gearan. “We just get them the ball.”

“We’re a young team and we’ve grown as the season has gone along,” said Falmouth coach Dave Halligan.


In the semifinals, Macklin Williams scored both goals.

“We’ve been competitive every year, but in this sport, sometimes you have to have a little bit of luck and lot of ability,” Halligan said. “We’ve elevated our game. Our kids showed their ability tonight.”

Falmouth (13-2-1) squared off with top-ranked Gorham (13-2-1), the defending regional champion, Tuesday afternoon in the Class A South Final in Biddeford (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The Yachtsmen edged the visiting Rams, 2-1, back on Sept. 14. The longtime powers have only met one previously in the playoffs, a 1-0 Gorham victory in the 2017 Class A South semifinals.

“They’re on a roll and we’re on a roll,” Halligan said. “It should be a good game.”

If Falmouth moves on to Saturday’s state final at 3 p.m., at Hampden Academy, it will either go up against either two-time defending champion Lewiston (14-1-1) or Brunswick (14-1-1). The Yachtsmen didn’t play either team in the regular season and have no playoff history with either potential foe.

In Class B South, the top two seeds made it through to the regional final Wednesday in Biddeford.


Top-ranked Yarmouth eliminated No. 8 Gray-New Gloucester, 4-0, in the quarterfinals, then blanked No. 4 Freeport, 2-0, in the semifinals to improve to 13-0-3. Against the Patriots, John Clinton, Steve Fulton, Aidan Hickey and Cam Merrill all had goals. In the win over the Falcons, in a game which featured multiple yellow and red cards, leading to the ejection of two Freeport players, Liam Ireland converted a first half penalty kick and Alejandro Coury added a late goal to put it away.

“I think we knew what we had to do,” Ireland said. “We had to keep our heads the entire game and I think we did that.”

“I think we really put an emphasis on putting ball pressure on their backs, so they couldn’t find an open through-ball to their forwards,” Coury said. “We were able to do that and that allowed our backs to drop quicker.”

“It was a terrific win and I’m really proud of my kids for keeping their composure,” added Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty.

The Falcons had advanced by virtue of a 3-2 double-overtime win over No. 5 Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals on Will Winter’s goal.

“I took a couple dribbles, passed a guy and honestly just shot it as hard as I could, hoping for the best,” said Winter.


Jesse Bennell and Ethan Prescott had scored earlier goals, but the Capers rallied to force overtime before Freeport saved its best for last. Against Yarmouth, the Falcons got five clutch saves from goalkeeper Gabe Wagner, but couldn’t generate any offense as their season ended at 9-4-3.

“It was a very frustrating night,” Freeport coach Bob Strong said. “We came into this game knowing the one thing we could control was our effort. The guys left it all on the field tonight and for that, I’m appreciative. The guys can walk off the field with their heads held high.”

Greely, the No. 3 seed in Class B South, handled No. 11 Fryeburg Academy, 3-0, in its quarterfinal (Aidan Melville had two goals and Chris Williams also scored), then edged No. 6 York, 1-0, in Saturday’s semifinal, on a second half goal from Melville, to reach the regional final for the first time since 2014.

The Rangers (10-2-4) lost, 4-0, at Yarmouth Sept. 14 and the teams played to a 1-1 draw Oct. 12 in Cumberland. The Clippers and Rangers split six prior playoff meetings, with Yarmouth’s 3-2 overtime victory in the 2016 Class B South semifinals the most recent.

The Greely-Yarmouth winner will get the winner of the Caribou (14-0-2)-Mt. Desert Island (12-2-2) Class B North Final in the state game Saturday at 10 a.m., at Falmouth High School.

Neither the Clippers or Rangers have any history with either school.


Defending champion NYA also made a run to the regional final despite holding the No. 7 seed in Class D South. The Panthers blanked No. 10 Vinalhaven, 10-0, in the preliminary round, then last week, upset second-ranked Greenville, 2-1, in overtime in the quarterfinals and ousted No. 3 Pine Tree Academy, 5-0, in the semifinals.

NYA (8-7-2) moved on to face top-ranked Richmond (12-2-1) in Wednesday’s regional final in Lewiston. The teams split during the regular season, with the Panthers losing at home, 2-0, Sept. 19 and winning, 1-0, at Richmond Oct. 1. The Bobcats won three of four prior playoff meetings, but the most recent came way back in the 1986 Western C semifinals (a 2-1 overtime victory for NYA).

If the Panthers move on to the state final Saturday at 10 a.m., at Hampden Academy, they’ll face either Penobscot Valley (16-0) or Central Aroostook (13-0-3). NYA has never played Central Aroostook in the playoffs, but is 2-1 versus Penobscot Valley, with last year’s 3-1 victory in the state final the most recent.

Girls’ soccer

A pair of girls’ soccer squads, defending Class D champion NYA and Yarmouth, also remained in the title hunt at press time.

The Panthers, seeded first in Class D South, downed No. 8 Piscataquis, 9-0, in the quarterfinals, then had to go to overtime before surviving No. 5 Greenville, 2-1, in the semifinals. In the first victory, Jasmine Huntsman, Serena Mower and Naomi Reischman all had two goals, while Eliza Chace, Angel Huntsman and Michala Wallace also scored. Natalie Farrell had both goals, including the winner, versus the Lakers.

NYA (13-2-1) moved on to face No. 2 Richmond (12-3) in Wednesday’s regional final in Lewiston. The Panthers blanked the Bobcats twice this year, 1-0, Sept. 18 in Richmond and 5-0 Oct. 1 in Yarmouth. NYA also beat Richmond, 1-0, in last year’s regional final, in the teams’ only prior playoff encounter.


In Class B South, Yarmouth, the No. 2 seed, will battle top-ranked, defending state champion Cape Elizabeth (15-1) in the regional final Wednesday evening in Biddeford (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The Clippers improved to 13-2-1 after blanking No. 7 York (2-0) in the quarterfinals and sixth-ranked Medomak Valley (2-0) in the semifinals. Kaitlyn D’Appolonia and Ehryn Groothoff had the goals versus the Wildcats. In the semifinals, Hannah Dwyer and Ava Feeley each scored.

Yarmouth split two meetings with Cape Elizabeth this fall, winning at home, 2-1, Sept. 10 and falling on the road, 4-1, Oct. 5. The teams have split four prior playoff encounters, with a 2-1 Capers’ victory in last year’s semifinals the most recent.

Falmouth, Freeport and Greely weren’t as fortunate.

In Class A South, the Yachtsmen, ranked sixth, survived No. 11 Thornton Academy, 1-0, in the preliminary round, then lost, 1-0, at No. 3 Scarborough, the two-time defending regional champion, in the quarterfinals to finish 9-4-3.

“We were all over them,” said Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier. “I couldn’t have been happier with our performance. I think Scarborough is one of the most complete teams in the area and I thought we went toe-for-toe. The game could have gone either way.”

In Class B South, fourth-seeded Freeport defeated No. 5 Lincoln Academy, 4-0, in the quarterfinals, then was ousted by top-seeded Cape Elizabeth, 4-0, in Saturday’s semifinal round to wind up 11-4-1. In the victory, Catriona Gould scored three times. Goalkeeper Leah Rusiecki made 10 saves in the setback.


Greely, ranked ninth in Class B South, had no trouble with No. 8 Morse in the preliminary round, advancing, 7-1, but last Tuesday in the quarterfinals, the Rangers fell, 6-0, at top-ranked Cape Elizabeth to finish 7-8-1. Goalkeeper Elise Ekowicki made 14 saves.


Freeport’s Adam Ulrickson celebrates a touchdown in overtime during the Falcons’ scintillating 42-41 double-OT victory at Cape Elizabeth in Friday’s Class C South quarterfinals. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

On the gridiron, Freeport extended its season last weekend, while the Falmouth/Greely co-op squad and Yarmouth’s eight-man team were each ousted.

The Falcons, ranked fifth in Class C South, earned arguably the biggest victory in program history Friday night at No. 4 Cape Elizabeth, in unquestionably the most dramatic game in program history, a 42-41 victory in the quarterfinals.

The game began quietly enough, with the Capers leading, 7-0, after one quarter and Freeport going up, 14-7, at halftime, thanks to a 12-yard touchdown run from Anthony Panciocco and a 1-yard TD run from Caden Benedict. After Cape Elizabeth got a touchdown, but missed the extra point, early in the third period, a 2-yard Benedict scoring run made it 21-13 Falcons heading for the fourth quarter, where all kinds of excitement broke loose.

First, the Capers drew even on a touchdown pass and two-point conversion, then they took a 28-21 lead. Freeport rallied to tie it with 29 seconds left on a Panciocco 1-yard run and a Gabe Wagner extra point and sent the game to overtime.

In the first OT, Cape Elizabeth scored on its possession, meaning the Falcons had to answer to extend their season and they did so with a 9-yard scoring pass from Panciocco to Benedict and a Wagner PAT.


Freeport got the ball first in the second overtime and a 1-yard run from Adam Ulrickson and Wagner’s extra point put the Falcons on top by seven. The Capers scored on their possession, but were stopped on a two-point conversion rush by Treyvon Murhammer and Tony Casale and Freeport held on to prevail, 42-41, and improved to 7-1.

“That was just a roller-coaster ride the whole game,” said Benedict. “That was just a great ending to a great game.”

“They’re a very good team over there, very well-coached,” said Falcons’ coach Paul St. Pierre. “We’re very lucky to get out of here with a win.”

Freeport goes to top-ranked Leavitt (9-0) Friday for a Class C South semifinal. The teams didn’t play this fall and have no playoff history.

Falmouth/Greely, ranked sixth in Class B North, was ousted in its quarterfinal by third-seeded Lawrence, 34-8. The Yachtsmen fell behind, 14-0, after one quarter and 21-0 at halftime. After the Bulldogs scored again in the third period, Nick Mancini ran for a 1-yard touchdown and hit Brady Douglas with a two-point conversion pass, but Lawrence added one final score in the fourth period to end Falmouth/Greely’s season at 3-6.

Yarmouth, the No. 3 seed in the eight-man large division, couldn’t slow down second-ranked Mt. Ararat in its divisional semifinal and lost, 52-20, to end the year 4-5. After falling behind, 8-0, early, the Clippers got a 1-yard touchdown run from Sam Mason and a 71-yard TD scamper from Jack McGrath to take a short-lived lead, but the Eagles went back on top to stay, 24-12, at halftime. A McGrath 32-yard scoring run got Yarmouth back in it early in the second half, but Mt. Ararat scored the game’s final 28 points to put it away.


“It was a big step up from the last time we played these guys,” said McGrath (20 carries, 189 yards, two TDs), alluding to a 44-8 regular season loss to the Eagles. “Not everything worked out, but it was a good way to end the season.”

“This was an immense success,” said Clippers’ coach Jim Hartman. “The last five, six weeks, these kids have played great football and they’ve learned how to practice.”

Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig, Glenn Jordan, Mike Lowe and Kevin Thomas contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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