The clock is ticking on the fall sports regular season, and in many cases, teams have already completed their schedule and are looking ahead to the postseason.

After a year with no playoffs, athletes, coaches and fans alike can’t wait to see champions crowned in the weeks to come, and based on what we’ve seen as the regular season winds down, the postseason will be palpitating.

Here’s a look at last week’s action and a glimpse at where local teams stand as it’s almost time for win-or-go-home games to be contested.

Boys’ soccer

Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team celebrates its 1-0 win at Scarborough last week. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the reigning Class A state champion, earned a pivotal 1-0 victory at Scarborough last Wednesday, as Mason Farr scored a late goal off a rebound and the Navigators got a dose of luck as well, as a pair of promising Red Storm shots hit the post.

“I saw the ball come up and my first instinct was to keep my composure, so I touched it, then half-volleyed it and hoped for the best,” Farr said, of his goal. “There were a lot of defenders there, but I got it through. It was a goal, that’s all that matters.”

“It was two good teams playing and the kids take a lot of pride on both sides,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan. “These are the games you want going into the tournament. That’s the way the game should be. We both had some chances and we got one. We’ve been on the other side of bad luck this year.”

Saturday, the Navigators settled for a scoreless home tie versus South Portland took a 10-1-2 mark in Tuesday’s regular season finale at Portland. Falmouth was ranked third in the Class A South Heal Points standings at press time.

In Class B, Yarmouth will be the top seed for the tournament once again. The Clippers improved to 12-0-1 last week by blanking visiting York (6-0) and host Greely (2-0). Against the Wildcats, Truman Peters and Owen Redfield each scored twice, while Steven Fulton and Adam McLaughlin added a goal apiece. In the win over the Rangers, McLaughlin set up Sutter Auger for a first half goal and Isaac Grondin scored in the second half as Yarmouth avoided losing in Cumberland for the first time since 2007.

“Greely’s a great team and it’s always a great atmosphere,” Grondin said. “Both sides bring the intensity. It’s an amazing environment. You should get up for every game, but it’s always special when we play Greely. They’re a great team and they work hard and we had to match that.”

“We work hard,” Auger said. “We take the mentality that it’s not really the surface we play on, it’s more the people who play on it. We’re a really resilient team. We’re willing to go anywhere and play anyone and just try to compete.”

“The kids come in here knowing how much it means and sometimes playing in a place like this sharpens your focus,” added longtime Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty, who won his 309th game with the program. “The kids get up for Greely. This is probably our biggest rival and they’re really good.”

The Clippers closed at home versus reigning Class C champion Waynflete Tuesday, then will look to win their sixth Class B title in the past seven years that a tournament was held.

“It starts with work ethic,” Grondin said. “We have to keep working hard in practice and in games and if we do that, the rest will fall into place. There are a lot of great teams, but we’re trying to do something special here.”

Greely was 9-3-1 after a 2-0 home win over Freeport and a 2-0 home loss to Yarmouth last week. In the victory, Owen Piesik and Gage Cooney scored the goals.

“We got the first goal (at Freeport earlier in the season) and lost, so when we got the first one here tonight, we knew we had to push a little more and get another one in because Freeport’s a solid team,” Cooney said.

“What we do every single night is play super hard and when we play hard, good things happen,” said longtime Greely coach Mike Andreasen. “I’ve had a lot of fun with this team.”

Against the Clippers, goalkeeper Luca Duina stopped six shots, but the Rangers couldn’t generate any offense.

“It’s the first time we gave up the first goal and the first time we’ve been down by two goals all year,” said Andreasen. “They were better than us tonight. You want to treat it like it’s not a monkey on your back, but Yarmouth’s just a good team.”

The Rangers finished at York Tuesday and will likely wind up second or third in Class B South (they were third at press time).

“We’d like to get another shot at (Yarmouth), but we have things we need to work on,” Andreasen said. “I think we’re one of the top teams behind them, maybe the top team behind them, but we’re still behind them. We have to put Yarmouth out of our minds for now. There’s a lot of soccer to come. We can still win 10 games this year and coming in to the year, that might be a little more than I’d thought.”

Freeport was 8-4-1 and fifth in Class B South entering Tuesday’s home finale versus Cape Elizabeth. Last week, the Falcons lost at Greely (2-0) and won at Poland (4-0). Goalkeeper Colin Cronin stopped eight shots against the Rangers, but Freeport couldn’t score.

“The storyline for us this year is not getting enough opportunities and ultimately not scoring goals,” said Freeport coach Bob Strong. “I think both goals were defensive mistakes, but Greely brought it all night long. They’re lightning-fast and it was unrelenting pressure. They’re a very good team.”

In Class D South, reigning regional champion North Yarmouth Academy finished the regular season 8-4-2 following a 2-1 win at Sacopee Valley. a 4-0 home victory over St. Dom’s last week and a 2-1 win at Traip Academy Monday. The Panthers were third in the Heals at press time and will host at least one tournament game.

The boys’ soccer playoffs commence with play-in games Thursday. The Round of 16 is Friday and Saturday and the quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. All of those games will be held on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ soccer

Greely’s Shaylee O’Grady takes a shot during Monday’s loss to York. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Falmouth was 11-1-1 and second to Windham in the Class A South Heals after a 3-0 victory at South Portland last week. Abby Ford, Elise Gearan and Avery Quinn all scored goals, while Jordan Wolf made four saves. The Navigators closed the regular season at home versus Portland Tuesday.

In Class B South, Yarmouth was second in the standings to two-time reigning state champion Cape Elizabeth at 11-1-1 following a 1-0 victory at York and a 5-1 home win over Greely last week. Macy Gilroy scored the lone goal at the Wildcats. In the win over the Rangers, freshman Taylor Oranellas and Katelyn D’Appolonia both scored twice, while Ava Feeley added a goal. The Clippers finished the regular season at Wells Tuesday.

Freeport improved to 7-6 and seventh in the region after wins last week over visiting Greely (2-1) and at Poland (4-2). Emily Olsen and Ellie Whittier scored against the Rangers. In the win over the Knights, Luci Bourgeois had two goals and Olsen and Rosie Panenka added one apiece. The Falcons finished with a huge test at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

Greely finished its regular season at 6-6-2 after losses at Freeport (2-1) and Yarmouth (5-1) last week and Monday’s 2-1 overtime home loss to visiting York. Ally Martin scored against the Clippers. In the loss to the Wildcats, Kerry Roberts had the goal, but the Rangers failed to take advantage of other opportunities and dropped a heartbreaker.

“We had great chances and we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities all over the field,” said Greely first-year coach Rachel Williams. “It’s so frustrating. If we can’t capitalize on the good chances we have, we won’t win games.”

The Rangers were ranked eighth in Class B South at press time.

“We’re very excited for the postseason,” Williams said. “I think there are five teams that could be state champions and I know we’re one of them.”

Two-time defending Class D state champion NYA will be the top seed for the Class D South tournament. Last week, the Panthers improved to 12-0-1 after blanking visiting Waynflete (5-0) and Sacopee Valley (10-0). In the win over the Flyers, Anna Belleau, Angel Huntsman, Jazzy Huntsman, Kailyn McIntyre and Emily Robbins all scored. Against the Hawks, Jazzy Huntsman, McIntyre and Hayden Wienckowski all had two goals; while Belleau, Robbins, Maggie Holt and Lila Jackson added one each. The Panthers closed at Traip Academy Tuesday, then the road to the regional title will go through Lewis Field.

The girls’ soccer playoffs commence with play-in games Thursday. The Round of 16 is Friday and Saturday and the quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. All of those games will be held on the fields of the higher seeds.

Field hockey

NYA/Waynflete goalie Elliana Howerton-Lynch kicks the ball away during last week’s victory at previously undefeated St. Dom’s. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

The North Yarmouth Academy/Waynflete co-op field hockey team finished the regular season 10-4 and extended its win streak to seven games after victories last week at home over Sacopee Valley (5-0), at previously undefeated St. Dom’s (1-0) and at Wells (4-1), and a 2-1 win at Traip Academy Monday. Against the Hawks, Emilia McKenney scored three goals and Emma Bowden and Emily Kalinich added one apiece. In the win over the Saints, Greta Tod scored the lone goal in the third quarter, from Kalinich, and goalie Elliana Howerton-Lynch made 19 saves.

“Basically, my teammate Emily dribbled it far past the defenders and she put it right toward the post and I just hit in,” Tod said.

“Yes, I was (under siege),” Howerton-Lynch said. “We’ve been practicing really hard and we’ve worked on our communication a lot and everything fell into place. We just trusted each other and trusted ourselves and it went our way.”

“Greta did an amazing job keeping the momentum going forward because it was really a team effort from the back of the field all the way up,” NYA/Waynflete coach Annika King added. “Elly did amazing in cage. She was eager for every single ball. She was confident in every move she was making. She trusted her instincts and she was flawless in there today.”

NYA/Waynflete will be the No. 3 seed for the upcoming Class C South tournament.

In Class A South, Falmouth will likely be the No. 5 seed after closing with home wins over Bonny Eagle (3-0) and South Portland (7-0) to wind up 9-4, its best mark since 2018. Against the Scots, Chloe Bush, Charlize Kelly and Anna Turgeon had the goals. In the win over the Red Riots, Bush scored three goals and added two assists, Mallory Roy finished with two goals and Kelly and Turgeon also rattled the cage.

In Class B South, Yarmouth finished 8-4-2 and will be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed for the tournament.

Freeport is peaking at the right time, closing with wins in five of its final six games, including victories last week over visiting Fryeburg Academy (3-2) and at Lake Region (1-0, in double-overtime), to wind up 7-7. Against the Raiders, Kyla Havey scored twice, including once on a penalty stroke, and Ava Gervais also rattled the cage while Vicki Balla stopped eight shots. Liv Christensen had the only goal against the Lakers. The Falcons were sixth in the region at press time and will likely host a preliminary round contest.

Greely dropped a 4-0 decision at York last week, then improved to 4-9 Monday with a 2-0 win at Wells. The Rangers (ninth in Class B South at press time) closed at home versus Cape Elizabeth Tuesday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story).

The field hockey playoffs start Friday and Saturday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Those games will be contested on the fields of the higher seeds.

Volleyball

Yarmouth’s volleyball team capped the first 14-0 season in program history with a 3-0 win at Windham last week and Monday’s 3-0 victory at Falmouth. The Clippers, who won the 2018 and 2019 titles, will be the top seed for the Class B state tournament.

Greely finished 9-5 with 3-0 wins last week at Westbrook and Wells. The Rangers were sixth in Class B at press time.

In Class A, Falmouth, the two-time reigning state champion, lost at home to Scarborough in straight sets (17-25, 12-25, 14-25), snapped a seven-match skid with a 3-1 (26-24, 26-24, 22-25, 25-13) home victory over Thornton Academy, then finished 5-9 after Monday’s 3-0 home setback to Yarmouth. In the win, Mackenzie Nichols had 14 digs, 10 kills and seven aces, Emily Charest finished with 37 assists and 21 digs and Bella Joyner added 19 digs. The Navigators were seventh in the Heals at press time.

In Class C, NYA wound up 3-11 after 3-0 home losses last week to Lake Region and Westbrook. The Panthers were ranked eighth at press time.

The play-in round for the volleyball postseason will be held Thursday. The Round of 16 is Friday and Saturday, and the quarterfinals are Monday and Tuesday of next week. All of those matches will be held on the courts of the higher seeds.

Football

Freeport’s Jordan Knighton gains yardage during the Falcons’ loss at Winthrop Monday. Rich Abrahamson / Morning Sentinel

Last weekend saw the final regular season game for eight-man teams and the penultimate contest for Class B and D squads.

Falmouth/Greely finished at 3-3 after a 16-13 home win over Brewer last Friday. Cooper Bush threw a pair of touchdowns to produce an early 16-0 lead and the squad held on late. Falmouth/Greely was supposed to go to Brunswick for the regular season finale Friday, but that game was canceled in the wake of Brunswick’s hazing scandal.

Freeport traveled to Winthrop for a key Class D contest last Friday night, but just 20 minutes before kickoff, a car accident in the area knocked out power to Maxwell Field.

“(My immediate feelings are) shock, a little bit of amusement, just because I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Falcons coach Paul St. Pierre. “It’s a little disappointing, but considering we’ve had a game canceled due to COVID, it’s just one of those years, man. Who knows, maybe next week we’ll get canceled because of a blizzard. Who knows? I don’t know what’s coming next.”

The contest was finally played Monday afternoon, where Freeport lost, 40-14, to drop to 4-2 on the season. The Falcons fell behind, 21-0, got a 10-yard touchdown rush at the horn to end the first half from Jared Knighton, then, after going down, 27-7, got a 1-yard TD run from Aidan Heath, but that’s as close as they would get.

“It’s not the result we wanted, not the result we expected,” St. Pierre said. “We’re going to watch film, we’re going to learn every single mistake we made, and we’re going to correct it. We will see these guys again. That is our goal. We have a lot to work on on both sides of the ball, but I can tell you, I always get better from my losses, not from my wins. We’re going to get better from this.”

Freeport was scheduled to close at home versus Oak Hill Friday, but due to a quarantine situation at Oak Hill, that contest has been pushed back to Monday of next week.

Yarmouth finished its regular season 1-6 after a wild 58-46 loss at Dirigo. The Clippers were awaiting word of their playoff fate at press time.

Cross country

Maine Coast Waldorf’s Louis Walker runs to victory in the Division II portion of last weekend’s Western Maine Conference championship meet. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

Freeport, Greely, Maine Coast Waldorf, NYA and Yarmouth all took part in the Western Maine Conference championship meet last weekend in Standish.

The boys’ Division I standings were topped by York, with Freeport second, Yarmouth fourth and Greely fifth. The top local individual was Freeport’s Henry Horne, who was third in Division I with a time of 17 minutes, 35 seconds. The Clippers were paced by Aksel Yeo (12th, 19:09). The Rangers were led by Thomas Leggat-Barr (16th, 19:15).

In Division II, MCW came in first, while NYA was fifth. Louis Walker of MCW was the top individual in 17:51. The Panthers were led by James Tourigny (10th, 19:42).

On the girls’ side, York was also first in Division I, with Yarmouth placing runner-up, Greely coming in fourth and Freeport finishing fifth. Individually, the Rangers produced third-place finisher Annie Reynolds (20:37), the Clippers were led by Madeleine Jones (eighth, 22:36) and the Falcons were paced by Jillian Wight (12th, 23:06).

In Division II, won by Waynflete, MCW was fourth and produced the top individual, Nora Goldberg-Courtney (22:13). NYA didn’t score as a team. Liv Urbanek had the 19th best time, 26:38.

Saturday, at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland, the regional championships will be held. The MCW and NYA girls kick things off in Class C South at 11 a.m. The Class C South boys’ race starts at 11:40 a.m. Falmouth’s girls compete in the Class A South girls’ meet at 12:20 p.m. The Class A South boys’ race starts at 1 p.m. The Freeport, Greely and Yarmouth girls take part in the Class B South race at 1:40 p.m. The boys’ run at 2:20 p.m.

Kennebec Journal staff writers Drew Bonifant and Dave Dyer and Sun Journal staff writer Tony Blasi contributed to this story.

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

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