A playoff week of dramatic victories and heartbreaking defeats has left just four squads still standing at press time.

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


Scarborough’s Maddie Strouse goes up for a kill during the Class A state final last Friday. The Red Storm lost, 3-1, to repeat champion Falmouth. Carl D. Walsh / Portland Press Herald.

Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s volleyball teams reached the state final match last Friday evening at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, but neither squad was able to bring home a Gold Ball.

The Red Storm, ranked second in Class A, advanced by virtue of a thrilling five-set (26-28, 25-20, 25-10, 22-25, 15-11) home win over No. 3 Gorham in the state semifinals last Wednesday. Mayne Gwyer (28 assists) and Maddie Strouse (19 kills) led the way.

“The whole team just played together so well,” said Strouse. “We thrive under pressure. I couldn’t be happier.”

“It was great volleyball,” said Scarborough coach Kim Stoddard. “It was exhausting for me and I’m not the one running around on the court, but these kids are tough. They had to fight in the biggest game of our season.”


The Red Storm then met top-ranked, undefeated, defending champion Falmouth in the state match. Scarborough dropped the first two games, 20-25, 18-25, took the third set, 25-23, then lost the fourth, 19-25. Gwyer had 18 service points and 17 assists and Strouse and Gwen Dorsey each added a dozen kills as Scarborough ended up 14-3.

“Credit to Falmouth,” Stoddard said. “They really played well as a team. They served a little tougher than I expected. Our passers did a good job getting the ball up, but we couldn’t quite get the big hits. We were right where we wanted to be. This was our goal all season. We accomplished a lot.

Next year, we’ll still be really good. I might move some people around, but you’ll see Scarborough volleyball going deep again.”

Cape Elizabeth, meanwhile, the No. 3 seed in Class B, won its semifinal in three-sets at No. 2 Washington Academy, 25-19, 25-16, 25-12, to earn a rematch with No. 1 Yarmouth at states. The Capers hoped to avenge last year’s five-set loss, but this time went down to defeat in three games, 21-25, 18-25, 17-25, to finish the year 12-5. Setter Corina Page had 26 assists.

“I thought for sure we’d come in and give them a match, if not take the match,” Cape Elizabeth coach Sarah Boeckel said. “We couldn’t allow runs and we did a lot of things we said we weren’t going to do and they took advantage. Yarmouth just had everything going for them tonight. They deserved it. We got beaten by a better team. For what people thought would be a rebuilding year, I’ll take second best team in the state.”

Girls’ soccer

Scarborough freshman Ali Mokriski (4) is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the Red Storm’s 2-1 win over Cheverus in Tuesday’s Class A South Final. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald.

Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team punched its ticket to the state final yet again and Cape Elizabeth was one win from doing the same at press time.


The Red Storm, ranked third in Class A South, blanked No. 6 Falmouth, 1-0, in the quarterfinals and Friday, ousted No. 7 Noble, 3-1, in the semifinals. Freshman standout Ali Mokriski scored early in each half and Madison Blanche added a goal to put it away.

“We knew (Noble would) work hard no matter what,” Blanche said. “They’re a great team. We had to stay together and never let down.”

“The kids earned it today,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “Noble’s a good team. They kept us under pressure until the last whistle.”

Tuesday, the Red Storm traveled to Biddeford to meet top-ranked Cheverus in the Class A South Final. Scarborough lost, 1-0, at the Stags to end the regular season, but turned the tables, as Ashley Sabatino scored an early goal and Mokriski broke a tie with 20 minutes left as the Red Storm prevailed, 2-1.

“It’s amazing,” Mokriski said. “I never thought this would happen, but we earned it. I’m really excited for states.”

“We were doubted getting back here, but to get back here and win is amazing,” Sabatino said. “I think we used the first (Cheverus) game as motivation because we don’t lose often in the regular season. It was a tough loss, but we came back and won tonight. Cheverus has dangerous free kicks, but our defense held their own we held on.”


“I’m really happy for the girls,” Farley added. “That was a big win. A classic game between the two of us. A fun game to be a part of.”

The Red Storm (15-2) will meet two-time defending champion Camden Hills (17-0) in the state game Saturday at 5:30 p.m., at Hampden Academy. In 2017, the Windjammers held off Scarborough, 3-2, then last year, Camden Hills beat the Red Storm again, 1-0.

“It’s going to take a Herculean effort from us, to be honest,” Farley said. “We have to get after the ball and block shots. We have to put them under pressure. Last year, we defended the whole time. We have to figure out a way to push the other way. Maybe the best defense is a little bit of offense. It’s awesome to go to states again. I’m not ready for this to be over. We’ll give it a shot.”

Cape Elizabeth, the defending state champion and top seed in Class B South, blanked No. 9 Greely, 6-0, in the quarterfinals, then in Saturday’s semifinal round, shut out No. 4 Freeport, 4-0. Maggie Cochran had three goals and Laura Ryer also found the net.

The Capers (15-1) advanced to battle No. 2 Yarmouth (13-2-1) in Wednesday’s regional final round (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The teams split this season, with the Clippers winning at home, 2-1, Sept. 10 and the Capers prevailing, 4-1, at home Oct. 5. The teams have split four prior playoff encounters, with a 2-1 Cape Elizabeth victory in last year’s semifinals the most recent.

If the Capers move on to the state final for the second year in a row and fourth time in seven seasons, they will battle either Hermon (16-0) or Waterville (15-1) Saturday at 12:30 p.m., at Falmouth High School.


Boys’ soccer

Cape Elizabeth’s Killian Lathrop handles the ball during last week’s 3-2, double-overtime loss at Freeport in the Class B South semifinals. Eric Maxim / Times Record.

The boys’ soccer season has come to an end in Forecaster Country after Cape Elizabeth lost in the quarterfinals and Scarborough was ousted in the semifinals last week.

The Capers, ranked fifth in Class B South, gave No. 4 Freeport all it could handle in a rematch of last year’s regional final (which the Falcons’ won, 3-2). This time, Cape Elizabeth fell behind, 2-0, but came back and tied it up behind goals from Nick Clifford and Jonas Moon, but late in the second-overtime, Freeport scored to win, 3-2, ending the Capers’ season at 7-7-1.

“We worked hard enough and we played well enough to win the game,” Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond said. “It just didn’t bounce our way at the end there. The kids did great work, not just tonight, but all season long. To have it kind of end that way is not great.”

Scarborough, meanwhile, finished third in Class A South and advanced with a 1-0 quarterfinal round victory over No. 6 Marshwood on a goal from Jared Glidden. The Red Storm went on to face No. 2 Falmouth in Saturday’s semifinals and lost, 2-0, to finish 10-3-3.


Cape Elizabeth’s Nick Laughlin makes a tackle of a Freeport ball carrier during last Friday’s 42-41, double-overtime loss to the Falcons in the Class C South quarterfinals. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

South Portland’s football team produced its biggest victory in years last Friday, while Cape Elizabeth lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals and Scarborough wrapped up the regular season with a scintillating contest against defending champion Thornton Academy.

The Red Riots, coming off a 6-2 regular season, their best in eight years, finished fifth in Class B South and went to No. 4 Biddeford for the quarterfinals last Wednesday. After falling behind, 6-0, after one period, South Portland tied it on an 8-yard run from standout senior quarterback Anthony Poole, then took a 14-6 lead on a 48-yard TD pass from Poole to Connor Dobson and a Poole two-point conversion run. The Tigers pulled back within 14-12 at halftime, but a 10-yard Poole score run in the third quarter stretched the lead to 21-12. Biddeford drew back within two early in the final stanza, but the Red Riots put it away behind a 65-yard scoring pass from Poole to Tyler Small and Poole TD runs of 25- and 22-yards to prevail, 41-19.


Poole finished with 22 carries for 178 yards and four touchdowns and 3-of-5 passing for 183 yards and two scores. Keenan Jones added 177 yards on 17 carries.

“(Poole) is an amazing playmaker for our team and I’m just glad to be able to help out,” Jones said.

“They’re all focusing on (Poole) and then we have little 21 (Jones) in the backfield and his legs don’t stop,” lineman Caleb Viola said. “We stayed resilient. We did our job, pursued and swarmed the ball.”

“Biddeford is very aggressive and we had to throw the ball to back them up a little bit,” South Portland first-year coach Aaron Filieo added.

The Red Riots (7-2) now have the daunting task of winning at top-ranked Marshwood (8-1), the defending state champion, Friday night in the semifinals (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The teams didn’t meet this year. South Portland is 2-0 all-time versus the Hawks in the playoffs, but those matchups came last century (a 41-3 victory in the 1996 Western A Final and a 30-13 win in the 1997 Western A semifinals).

Scarborough finished up its regular season with a 7-2 mark following last Friday’s 28-27 overtime home loss to defending Class A champion Thornton Academy. After a scoreless first quarter, the Red Storm took a 7-0 lead on quarterback Chase Cleary’s 1-yard touchdown run. After the Golden Trojans tied it, Jarett Flaker broke free for a 70-yard TD scamper to put Scarborough back on top. The Red Storm led, 14-13, going into the third period, where Cleary connected with Dominic Spina for a 19-yard score, but Thornton Academy tied it late and the game went to overtime. There, the Golden Trojans scored on their first possession and Scarborough answered on a 1-yard Cleary touchdown run, but the Red Storm went for the two-point conversion and the win and Cleary was stopped short.


Scarborough will be the No. 3 seed for the Class A state playoffs and hosts No. 6 Bangor (4-5) in the quarterfinals Friday night. The Red Storm handled the host Rams, 42-7, back on Sept. 20. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class C South, Cape Elizabeth, ranked fourth, hosted No. 5 Freeport in an instant classic quarterfinal which needed two overtime periods to decide. A 20-yard Gannon Stewart to Nick Laughlin touchdown pass put the Capers up, 7-0, after one quarter. The Falcons rallied to lead, 14-7, at halftime, but Matt Laughlin’s 3-yard TD run tied the score in the third period. Freeport went back on top, 21-14, heading for the fourth quarter, but there, Stewart hit Nick Laughlin for a 32-yard score and Colin Campbell’s 16-yard TD run put Cape Elizabeth on the brink of victory. The Falcons rallied to tie it late, however, and forced overtime. There, Stewart hit Matt Laughlin with a 10-yard touchdown pass to again give the Capers a chance to advance, but again, Freeport tied the score. Then, in the second OT, the Falcons scored a touchdown on their possession and after Stewart (16-of-25, 180 yards, three scores) hit Nick Laughlin with a 6-yard TD pass, Cape Elizabeth went for two-points and the win, but was denied and the Capers’ campaign ended at 5-4 with an agonizing 42-41 double-overtime setback.

“I looked at my starters and they wanted to win the football game,” Cape Elizabeth first-year coach Sean Green said. “I said let’s go do it. It didn’t happen, but I couldn’t be more proud of these boys. They played their hearts out all year long.”

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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