Windham High boys’ soccer coach Ben Schulz is rightfully proud of his team’s 13-1 record. But he knows the Eagles’ record, and their No. 1 seed, means little as they enter a stacked Class A South tournament that begins this week.

“Our 13-1 could have easily been 10-4 with how close these games are,” Schulz said. “This is going to be a great tournament. I really believe once you get to the quarterfinals, it’s anyone’s game.”

Class A South also features some of the best goal scorers in the state.

Sam Glicos of Windham, Zander Haskell for No. 2 Scarborough (12-2) and Mason Farr of No. 5 Falmouth (10-2-2) each have scored 17 goals this season.

“Those kids have to come up big in the tournament,” said Falmouth Coach David Halligan.

Asked if that puts extra pressure on the top scorers to produce, Halligan said, “Well, it comes with being a good player.”

No. 3 South Portland (9-2-3) closed its season 6-0-3 after a 1-0 loss to Scarborough in which Haskell scored late in the second half. The Red Riots have a double threat in Divin Mpinga (10 goals, 5 assists) and Joey Perron (8 and 4).

No. 4 Marshwood (11-2-1) has a five-game winning streak that includes handing Scarborough its first loss and beating No. 8 Portland, 4-1.

Marshwood looks to center midfielder Trevor Wozny (11 goals) to set the tone, and Wyatt Yager (12 goals) is a top finisher.

“The last couple of games, I felt we just found the back of the net,” said Marshwood Coach Ben Deschene. “Sometimes it really does just come down to that. You hate to reduce the game just to (scoring), but sometimes it’s just that simple.”

Not to be forgotten are quality teams in the No. 6-9 slots – Deering (9-4-1), Gorham (7-5-1), Portland (9-5) and Cheverus (5-7-2).

Gorham is the only team to beat Windham. On the final day of the regular season, Portland beat Falmouth 2-1 and Cheverus led Scarborough 2-0 before losing 3-2 in overtime.

It brings to mind the 2014 season, when Cheverus entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed with a 6-4-4 record and won five games to take the Class A state championship. It also seems inevitable that one or more games will be decided by penalty kicks, which are used if the game is tied after the two 15-minute sudden-victory overtimes.

“We started prepping in the preseason with penalty kicks,” said Schulz. “You hate to see a game, especially a playoff or state championship, come down to it, but every team needs to know who their first five (shooters) are going to be.”

The soccer tournaments are open to all teams this year. That means there are no first-round byes for the top four teams in A South, as is typically the case.

The state championships are Nov. 6, with the A and B games at Massabesic High in Waterboro and the C and D championships at Gehrig Johnson Field in Presque Isle.

CLASS A NORTH is still Lewiston’s domain, but there is a feeling that the Blue Devils (13-0-1), who won five of six North titles and three state championships from 2014-19, are more vulnerable than in recent years. That’s primarily because clubs like No. 2 Camden Hills (10-3-1) and No. 5 Brunswick (10-3-1), which tied Lewiston in the regular season, are talented teams.

Brunswick Coach Mark Roma said the key to upsetting Lewiston will be to cash in on opportunities. “That’s what we did when we tied them,” Roma said. “They’re not that good that you’re not going to get chances, so when you do, you need to take advantage of them.”

Brunswick hopes to have Iain Clendening back for the playoffs. He had eight goals before being injured in the Lewiston game. Luke Patterson has stepped into the sniper roll and produced, with three goals in the season finale against Mt. Ararat.

IN CLASS B SOUTH, Yarmouth remains the clear favorite. The Clippers are 12-0-2, coming off a 1-1 tie against Class C Waynflete. Yarmouth has won five of the past six state championships and has given up only four goals this season. Assuming no early upsets occur, either No. 4 Greely (9-3-2) or No. 5 Freeport (9-4-1) will meet Yarmouth in the regional semifinal. Freeport tied the Clippers in one of the teams’ two meetings, and Greely lost 2-1 and 2-0 to Yarmouth in its two meetings. Erskine (12-2-2) and Gardiner (10-3-1) enter as the second and third seeds. No. 6 Medomak Valley went 12-2.

IN CLASS C SOUTH, 2018 and 2019 state champion Waynflete (10-2-2) finished No. 2 in the Heal points behind Mt. Abram (12-0-2). No. 3 Lisbon (11-2, two narrow losses to Mt. Abram) and No. 4 Monmouth (10-2-2, two ties against Mt. Abram) are also strong. But no squad in Class C has played a schedule the equal of Waynflete, which lost to Freeport (2-1) and Cape Elizabeth (3-1) and tied Yarmouth and Greely (0-0).

North Yarmouth Academy (8-4-2), the No. 3 seed in Class D South, has a similar competition edge. The Panthers’ losses are to Waynflete (twice), Yarmouth and Class C sixth-seed Traip Academy. NYA beat Traip in a rematch. The Panthers have already beaten No. 2 Richmond twice, 1-0 and 5-0. Islesboro enters as the No. 1 seed with an 8-1 record.


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