When she was in middle school, Lana Djuranovic watched her older sister, Una, play for the Scarborough High girls’ soccer team in the playoffs, and she couldn’t wait to join her on the pitch as the Red Storm made a postseason run.

The pandemic delayed Djuranovic’s dream a year, but now it’s here, with the Maine high school girls’ soccer playoffs beginning this week.

“Being a sophomore, but not getting a freshman year, I’m really excited. It’s going to be a lot of pressure, but I think having my sister, who is my best friend, will really help me,” said Djuranovic after scoring the lone goal in Scarborough’s 1-0 win over Cheverus in the regular-season finale Tuesday.

Players around the state are eager for a tournament this season, after a 2020 in which no soccer champions were crowned. Regional finals are set for Nov. 2 for Class C and D, and Nov. 3 for Class A and B. All state championship games are scheduled for Nov. 6, with Class A and B at Massabesic High School in Waterboro and Class C and D at Gehrig Johnson Field in Presque Isle.

Class A South arguably has the deepest field, with five teams with at least 10 wins in a 14-game season. At 14-0, Windham is the top seed, followed by No. 2 Falmouth (12-1-1), No. 3 Gorham (10-1-3), No. 4 Scarborough (12-1-1) and No. 5 Thornton Academy (10-4). A potential semifinal between Windham and Scarborough would be the first meeting between the two this season.

“We’re excited to finish in first place, but know anything can happen come tournament time. We know Falmouth, Gorham, Scarborough and Cheverus (No. 6 at 9-5) all have many talented players,” Windham Coach Deb Lebel said. “I think it’s going to come down to who can put together a complete game; which team has been able to maintain great team chemistry, unselfish play and had the fewest mistakes.”

Scarborough closed the season with consecutive games against Falmouth (a loss), Gorham (a tie) and Cheverus (a win). That was the tough stretch the Red Storm wanted heading into the playoffs.

“I think these last three games really gave us a feel for what they playoffs will be like, and in that sense, I think it’s really going to be good for us,” said Scarborough Coach Mike Farley. “We’re not scared of anybody. We’ll go out and play the way we play and see what happens.”

Camden Hills (12-2), which won four consecutive Class A state championships, enters the Class A North tournament as the No. 2 seed and will challenge for the regional title along with No. 1 Bangor (14-0) and No. 3 Brunswick (12-2).

Yarmouth’s Macy Gilroy and Cape Elizabeth’s Claire McDonald battle for possession of the ball during an Oct. 5 game. Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth split a pair of regular-season games, and Yarmouth has not lost since falling to the Capers in the season opener. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

IN CLASS B SOUTH, top-seeded Cape Elizabeth (13-1) and No. 2 Yarmouth (12-1-1) were separated by just over a point in the final Heal point standings. Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth split a pair of regular-season games, and Yarmouth has not lost since falling to the Capers in the season opener.

Yarmouth Coach Andrew Higgins said there’s no guarantee the teams will meet for a third time in the regional championship game, pointing at other good teams in the bracket, including Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference teams Medomak Valley (12-2) and Erskine Academy (10-3-1).

“There’s been a lot of talk, are we on a collision course with Cape? That’s four games away. There’s a lot of things that have to happen, and it’s a league that’s loaded with teams from top to bottom. It’d be fun to think that way, but that’s discrediting a lot of good teams out there we all have to be careful of,” Higgins said.

Since losing 3-2 to Yarmouth on Oct. 5, Cape Elizabeth closed the regular season with four consecutive shutouts. The Capers have allowed just five goals.

IN CLASS C SOUTH, five of the top six seeds are teams from the Mountain Valley Conference or KVAC. The lone Western Maine Conference team in that mix is No. 4 Traip Academy (9-5). The lone loss for No. 1 Hall-Dale (11-1) came to No. 2 Oak Hill (12-0), which beat the Bulldogs 1-0 on Oct. 11 in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

North Yarmouth Academy (13-0-1) is the clear favorite in Class D South. The Panthers’ tie came against Class B Yarmouth, and NYA outscored opponents 83-4 in the regular season.

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