With news Monday from the Maine Principals’ Association that the cross country state championship meets, scheduled for later this week, have been cancelled (see below), the fall sports season has come to a close.

Field hockey and soccer were able to wrap up their seasons last week (with one final game held Tuesday of this week) and what a week it was.

Here’s a glimpse:

Cross country

Several Forecaster Country teams hoped for glory at the state championship meets later this week in Bangor (boys on Wednesday, girls on Saturday), but that won’t happen.

Monday afternoon, the Maine Principals’ Association sent out an email with the following announcement:

“It is with regret that the Maine Principals’ Association announces the cancellation of the 2020 State Cross Country Championships.  Please know that this was not a decision that was taken lightly, but one that the leadership at the MPA felt necessary to take based on a couple of major of concerns.

* The concern of bringing students together from all parts of Maine through state-wide travel as we are experiencing a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine.

* The new mask mandate for student-athletes to wear masks throughout the competition. Many cross country runners have not been acclimatized to wearing the mask while competing in a high stakes race since the mandate took place last Friday. This is a concern for the health and safety of the student-athletes.

We received a great deal of feedback from school administrators and coaches regarding this meet and all concerns were heard. We also know that there will be a great deal of disappointment from those scheduled to compete in this race.”

Local coaches were disappointed, but not necessarily caught off guard.

“I think it was the inevitable call,” said Jorma Kurry, who co-coaches Falmouth along with Danny Paul.“They couldn’t see a way to have it under the current guidelines.”

Falmouth’s Sofie Matson and Ben Greene were the favorites to win the Class A girls’ and boys’ races.

“Asking cross country runners to run in a mask is a cruel parody of running,” said David Dowling, the coach at Greely which had the top qualifying boys’ team in the Western Maine Conference Class B meet. “I can’t say I would have rather not run, but it would have been a strange sight. If they had a season to get used to it, that would have been different.”

Boys’ soccer

Bobby Strong of Freeport and Lucas Spiro of Brunswick battle for possession in the fog during Monday’s game won by the Dragons, 2-1. Eli Canfield / The Times Record

The news was happier from the pitch, as even though seasons didn’t always end in victory, they were completed.

Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the reigning Class A champion, fell from the undefeated ranks in zany and somewhat controversial style last Thursday at home against Gorham in a rematch of last year’s regional final.

The Yachtsmen took an early 1-0 lead on Mason Farr’s goal, but the Rams tied the game late in the first half. After neither team scored in the second half or a first five-minute overtime, Falmouth believed it prevailed when Charlie Adams scored at the horn of the second OT, but the goal was waved off and since the teams were competing in a four-team tournament, the game was settled by PKs, which Gorham won, 5-4, to claim victory, 2-1.

“What happened is we had chances and we didn’t put them away and you can’t let a good team like that stick around,” longtime Yachtsmen coach Dave Halligan said. “(The Rams) were motivated from last year, I’m sure.”

Falmouth (7-1-1) capped its season Tuesday at home versus Windham.

“We’ve had nine tough games,” Halligan said. “No easy games. Down the road, that will help us. This is part of a two-year process. The seniors did a great job focusing and treating it like a real season. I have to give them credit because some other programs treated it like an intramural season. They worked hard every day. We lose 10 seniors, seven starters. Some of them are three-year, four-year starters. Where they took this team from their freshman year, they took us back where I think we belong.”

Freeport finished 2-6-2 after losses at Waynflete (4-1) and Brunswick (2-1). Against the Flyers, the Falcons fell behind 3-0 at halftime and 4-0 early in the second half before getting on the board with 16 seconds remaining, when Alex Graver converted a penalty kick.

“(Waynflete’s) one of the best teams,” said Falcons coach Bob Strong. “Front to back, they’re so solid. We’re definitely banged up, but even with a healthy team, we would have struggled.”

Against the Dragons, Owen Howarth scored the goal and Colin Cronin made 13 saves.

Freeport only graduates three players and should right in the Class B South hunt in 2021.

“We take something away from each game with an eye on next year,” Strong said. “Every game is helpful for the younger players.”

Greely wound up 4-5-1 after closing with a 5-3 home loss to undefeated, two-time Class C champion Waynflete last Thursday. The Rangers erased a two-goal deficit and took a 3-2 lead on goals from Caleb Knox, Ryan Moore and Jonathon Piesik, but couldn’t hold on.

North Yarmouth Academy, the two-time reigning Class D South champion, finished its season Oct. 24 with a record of 5-3.

Defending Class B champion Yarmouth wrapped up Oct. 31 with a 7-2-1 mark.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, Falmouth finished up with a 1-0 win at Gorham last Thursday and a 3-0 home loss to Scarborough Monday to end with a record of 4-4-2. Lexi Bugbee scored on a PK against the Rams and goalkeeper Jordan Wolf made it hold up with six saves. Against the Red Storm, the Yachtsmen gave up three first half goals and couldn’t rally. Wolf made 13 saves.

“The first 20 minutes, (the Red Storm) were very, very good,” Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier said. “That’s probably the best I’ve seen them play and it was the worst we played. What we’ve been missing for four years is a girl who can score 15, 20 goals. They have that.

“In my opinion, we were very good all year. We played really well in every single game other than this one. Scarborough played phenomenal. Considering the schools we played against, everything went really, really well.”

Freeport settled for a 1-1 tie versus Brunswick, then edged visiting Waynflete, 1-0, last week to wind up 4-5-1. In the draw, Rachel Wall scored the final goal of her superb high school career. Kate Tracy scored in the victory, from Carly Intraversato.

Greely wound up 2-6-1 after a 2-1 loss at Waynflete last Wednesday. Elle Jowett scored the Rangers’ lone goal.

NYA, the two-time Class D champion, wrapped up its season Oct. 26 with a record of 6-2.

Yarmouth hoped to face two-time Class B champion Cape Elizabeth in its finale, but that game was cancelled. As a result, the Clippers finished the year 6-3.

“It would have been fun to have one more matchup, but we’re all thankful we got what we did,” said Yarmouth coach Andy Higgins. “There’s a lot for us to be positive about.”

Field hockey

Freeport’s Autumn Golding possesses the ball during the Falcons’ season-ending 4-2 win over Brunswick last week. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Freeport’s field hockey team doubled up visiting Brunswick, 4-2, last Thursday to go 9-1, another superb record for a squad led by a special group of 14 seniors. Ally Randall scored twice in her final game and Hannah Groves and Kyla Havey also rattled the cage.

“I really feel that it could have been our year,” said Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “As much as you’re happy that we were able to play, you’re so sad that you aren’t able to do something that you are building for this season. I just wish we could have played for something in the end.”

Falmouth wound up with a record of 4-3.

Greely finished 2-6 after having to cancel season-ending contests versus Yarmouth and St. Dom’s.

Yarmouth had its final game versus Greely cancelled and the Clippers wound up 5-4.

Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig and Times Record staff writer Eli Canfield contributed to this story.

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

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