As the month of October winds down, the short and sweet 2020 fall season is nearing the finish line as well.

Local cross country runners and field hockey and soccer players still have meets and games to look forward to, but not very many.

The limited action has been enjoyable to date and it’s safe to say there are some highlights still to come.

Here’s a glimpse:

Boys’ soccer

Freeport’s Bobby Strong battles for the ball with Steven Fulton of Yarmouth during the Clippers’ 1-0 victory last week. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Defending Class A boys’ soccer champion Falmouth and reigning Class B champion Yarmouth were gearing up for another showdown Tuesday evening in Yarmouth (the Yachtsmen won the first meeting this fall, 1-0, in Falmouth earlier this month).

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The Yachtsmen improved to 4-0-1 on the season last Thursday with a 3-0 victory at Brunswick. The win, which was longtime coach Dave Halligan’s 400th with the program, featured a rocket of a goal from Gus Ford to get the scoring started. Falmouth sought a season sweep over Yarmouth Tuesday, something which last happened in 2016. After hosting Greely Friday, the Yachtsmen close the year at home versus Brunswick Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth, meanwhile, improved to 4-1 with its third consecutive victory, 1-0, at Freeport last Thursday. The Clippers beat the Falcons in a playoff rematch, but it sure wasn’t easy. Yarmouth got a first half goal in transition, as Reed Bouton set up Gabe Collins, then the Clippers’ defense, led by senior captain Evan Van Lonkhuysen, had to fend off nine Freeport corner kick opportunities, including one in the waning seconds, to close it out.

“I saw an opening and I kept running,” Collins said, of his goal. “I knew (Reed) would cross it, so I cut in front of the defender and I tapped it in. I was just trying to get a foot on it and I made some nice contact. It’s great to get a goal.”

“Corner kicks and dead balls are something we work on in practice a lot,” Van Lonkhuysen said. “We’re able to deal with them pretty easily because we know what to expect and I think we just trust our players to win the ball.”

“Fans or not, Freeport games are always interesting,” added longtime Clippers coach Mike Hagerty, who has never lost to the Falcons in his 24 years with Yarmouth. “We get their best effort every time. They worked really hard and they had a lot of chances on set pieces. They played direct and we got turned around too often. They played hard. Give them credit.”

After hosting Falmouth, Yarmouth welcomes North Yarmouth Academy Thursday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story) and Freeport Saturday. The Clippers finish the season with games at home versus Mt. Ararat and at Greely.

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Freeport fell to 1-2 with its 1-0 home loss to Yarmouth last week, but turned heads in the process.

“I was really proud of our effort,” Falcons coach Bob Strong said. “I thought we played well enough to win tonight. It was frustrating, but the important thing is we’re earning the corners. They’ll come. Yarmouth was aggressive to get clearances. The last one, I thought we had a chance to knock it in. It’s just unfortunate (Yarmouth) had the one breakaway, but overall, I thought our defense was solid from front to back.”

Freeport went to Mt. Ararat Tuesday, visits Greely Thursday, plays at Yarmouth Saturday, then hosts Greely and Gray-New Gloucester next week before closing Nov. 4 at Brunswick.

Greely evened its record at 2-2-1 Saturday with a 5-2 home victory over Cape Elizabeth. Ethan Njitoh and Chris Williams scored two goals apiece and the Rangers erased an early two-goal deficit. Greely welcomes Freeport Thursday, plays at Falmouth Friday, goes to Freeport Tuesday of next week and closes at home against Yarmouth on Oct. 31.

Two-time Class D South champion NYA took a four-game win streak and a 4-1 record into Tuesday’s game at St. Dom’s. After going to Yarmouth Thursday, the Panthers visit two-time Class C champion Waynflete Saturday, then close at Richmond Oct. 29.

Girls’ soccer

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On the girls’ side, two-time Class D state champion NYA improved to 4-1 after a 4-0 home victory over Gray-New Gloucester last week. Natalie Farrell and Jazzy Huntsman scored two goals apiece. The Panthers hope to extend their win streak to four games when they go across town to meet Yarmouth Wednesday (see press herald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). NYA is at Waynflete Friday and closes the regular season Monday at home versus Sacopee Valley.

Falmouth tied visiting Brunswick, 1-1, then downed visiting Yarmouth, 2-0, last week to improve to 3-1-1. Lexi Bugbee scored from Elise Gearan in the tie and Bugbee and Gearan scored the goals in the win over the Clippers, giving the Yachtsmen their first season sweep of Yarmouth since 2007. Falmouth plays at Greely Friday, goes to Brunswick next Tuesday, then closes the season at home against Scarborough Oct. 29.

Yarmouth blanked visiting Freeport, 2-0, last Thursday, then fell to 2-3 Saturday after a 2-0 setback at Falmouth. In the win, the Clippers got goals from Ava Feeley and Grace Lestage. Yarmouth hosts NYA Wednesday, is at Freeport Saturday, then closes next week with home games against Mt. Ararat, Cape Elizabeth and Greely.

Greely dropped to 1-3 Saturday after an 8-0 setback at Cape Elizabeth, in a game which saw Capers’ standout Maggie Cochran score six goals.

“You have to hand it (Cape),” Rangers coach Josh Muscadin said. “They’re definitely better than we are. They didn’t panic and they moved the ball. We’ll learn from this. I think today what was different (than the first time we played them) was the turf, versus grass. We train and play on grass the majority of the time. They play here on the turf a lot. By the time we got accustomed to how the ball rolls, it was the second half.”

Greely is back in action Thursday at Freeport. The Rangers also host Falmouth Friday, then close with a home game against Freeport and a trip to Yarmouth.

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“I want to allow the freshmen to get their feet wet,” said Muscadin. “Cape won’t win every year, so we have to be ready.”

Freeport fell to 1-2 after last week’s 2-0 loss at Yarmouth. The Falcons went to Mt. Ararat Tuesday, host Greely Thursday, welcome Yarmouth Saturday, then have games at Greely and Gray-New Gloucester before closing the season Nov. 4 at home versus Brunswick.

Field hockey

Freeport’s field hockey team improved to 5-1 and extended its win streak to five after recent home victories over Mt. Ararat (2-0) and Greely (2-1). Amelia Farrin and Ally Randall scored the goals against the Eagles. In the win over the Rangers, Autumn Golding scored the go-ahead goal on a penalty stroke and Aynslie Decker also rattled the cage. The Falcons welcome Yarmouth Wednesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), play at Cape Elizabeth Friday and at Gray-New Gloucester Monday of next week, then close Oct. 28 at home versus Brunswick.

Greely suffered its first loss under new coach Burgess LePage, 1-0, to visiting Mt. Ararat last Wednesday. The Rangers gave up a breakaway goal in the third quarter and couldn’t answer.

“We’re playing out of our class and we wanted to win,” said LePage. “The girls are bummed about it, but they are super-proud of how they played.

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“It’s a very different year. We’ve really focused on mental health and happiness permeating everything. We try to remind everybody that we’re lucky to be here and to have fun. We don’t want to lose, but we’re enjoying every moment we’re out here.”

Greely fell to 2-2 Monday after a 2-1 setback at Freeport. Delia Knox scored the goal and Savanna Harvey stopped 13 shots. The Rangers hosted Scarborough Tuesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), then play games at Cheverus Saturday, at home against Yarmouth Monday of next week, at Yarmouth Oct. 28 and at Scarborough Oct. 30.

Yarmouth enjoyed a 5-0 win at Gray-New Gloucester last week. Ari Rustad scored twice and Abby Hill and Winnie Leahy each had a goal and an assist. The Clippers hosted Gray-New Gloucester in a makeup game Monday and prevailed, 6-0, behind a hat trick from Hannah Swift to improve to 4-2. Yarmouth goes to Freeport Wednesday, visits Greely Monday and closes Wednesday of next week at home versus Greely.

Falmouth fell to 2-3 after a 1-0 home loss to Gorham last week. The Yachtsmen looked to snap their three-game skid Tuesday at Portland/Deering. Falmouth hosts Westbrook Thursday, then closes next Wednesday at Morse.

Cross country

Falmouth’s Sofie Matson runs to a first-place individual finish during last week’s rainy meet versus South Portland. The Yachtsmen were first as a team. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

In cross country action last week, Falmouth swept a meet against South Portland, as Sofie Matson won the girls’ race in 18 minutes, 31 seconds and Ben Greene was tops in the boys’ meet (16:51).

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Freeport hosted Yarmouth. The Clippers narrowly won the boys’ meet, as Freeport’s Martin Horne was first individually (17:44.86) and Yarmouth’s Harrison Pendleton (18:20.01) came in second. In the girls’ race, the Falcons won by a point, as Yarmouth’s Maddie Marston was first individually (20:48.10) and Freeport’s Jillian Wight came in second (21:01.40).

NYA and Maine Coast Waldorf ran at Lake Region. MCW won the boys’ meet, as John Miles Muenten was first individually (17:16.60). NYA’s Chris Hamblett came in third (18:04.80). In the girls’ meet, also won by MCW, Olivia Reynolds led her team to victory with a first-place individual time of 20:17.70. NYA’s Emma Collins was sixth (23:43.20).

The Maine Principals’ Association announced last week that cross country won’t have regional championships this year, but there will be a state meet.

States will be held in Belfast at the Troy Howard Middle School, with the boys’ meets for Classes A, B and C on Nov. 11. The girls will  race Nov. 14.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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