An unspeakable tragedy and subsequent manhunt stole the state’s attention put high school sports on the back burner last week and as a result, the fall sports playoffs took a short hiatus.

As the quarterfinal round of the field hockey and boys’ and girls’ soccer tournaments were coming to an end last Wednesday, word came from Lewiston of a mass shooting incident which ultimately took 18 lives. For the next 48 hours, everything was on hold due to a manhunt for the gunman, Robert Card, who was eventually found after dying by suicide.

Contests scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Monday of this week were postponed.

Maine Principals’ Association Executive Director Mike Burnham said it decided it was important for schools to connect with their students and check on them mentally and socially before resuming playoffs.

“We’ve never been through this,” Burnham said. “We’ve not had one school say to us we should be playing this weekend. Schools across the state are dealing with this. It’s truly impacted everyone.”

While hearts remained heavy, games returned Tuesday.


Here’s an overview of just who’s left in the postseason picture, who they play and what remains on the schedule:

Cross country

The cross country state meet was originally scheduled to be held Saturday in Belfast, but was rescheduled for this coming Saturday at the same location.

The Class C girls’ meet will be held at 12:20 p.m. and the Class C boys follow at 1 p.m. The Class A girls’ race starts at 1:40 p.m. The Class A boys’ meet begins at 2:20 p.m.


Deering was the last volleyball team standing and the fourth-ranked Rams’ memorable season ended last Wednesday with a four-set (25-23, 16-25, 17-25, 14-25) loss at top-seeded Gorham in the Class A state semifinals. Deering finished 12-4, the second-best mark in program history (the 2017 squad wound up 14-2).


“We accomplished so much as a team,” said Rams coach Nika Francois. “We’ve developed and honed in on many different skills as a team and everyone was committed to not only improving individually but also as a team as well. I’m proud of this year’s team for getting to the state semis and we couldn’t have done it without all their hard work, commitment, and grit. We’re graduating 10 seniors, so next year will be a rebuilding year, but we’ll get there again with hard work and dedication.”

Field hockey

Lucy Johnson and her Cheverus teammates celebrate after Johnson set a new state record with her 112th career goal in last week’s quarterfinal round victory over Massabesic. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Cheverus’ field hockey team passed its quarterfinal round test last Wednesday and in the process, Stags junior standout Lucy Johnson set a new state record. The top-ranked Stags welcomed No. 8 Massabesic and couldn’t score in the first half, but in the third period, Lillian Magda and Sydney Brunelle scored to put Cheverus in front. Then, with 6:45 to play, Johnson scored the 112th goal of her illustrious career to put it away and in doing so, set a new state record.

“There was definitely a lot of pressure, but I knew my teammates and I would get it done,” Johnson said. “I had to fight to get (the record) today. I was definitely getting a little frustrated and I knew I needed to keep my composure because if they had a girl on me, I knew a teammate would be open and it was easier to pass the ball around.

“I was going to try to go on my reverse, but I was pressured on my weak side, so I just spun and shot it. I was very happy and excited when it went in. I never really thought about it too much until my parents brought it up to me and told me I had a chance to break the record this year. That was a definitely a goal to reach this season. I’m proud of myself and it was a great celebration.”

“I just told her to take a minute,” said  Stags coach Theresa Arsenault. “Massabesic put a great defender on her the entire game. Lucy just perseveres mentally. That’s been her biggest growth this year. She just took that second and she was ready to go and brought a lot of energy to boost us at the end. Her athleticism is at another level, but the time, commitment and effort she puts in elevates her above anyone else.”


Cheverus (15-0) hosted No. 4 Scarborough (9-6) in the semifinals Tuesday afternoon (see our website for game story).

The Stags twice beat Scarborough this season, 7-1 Sept. 11 on the road, and 5-1 Oct. 3 at home. Cheverus was just 2-3 all-time versus the Red Storm in the playoffs, but captured the most recent encounter, 2-1, in the 2021 regional final.

“I think playing at home is an advantage because most teams we play are turf teams,” Johnson said. “Playing on grass is an advantage. We just have to play our game and not let anyone get in our heads.”

“We’ll keep building on what we’ve been doing,” Arsenault said. “We just have to keep working hard every day.”

If Cheverus moves on to the Class A South Final for the third year in a row, it will meet either No. 2 Gorham (14-1) or No. 3 Biddeford (11-4) Thursday at a time to be announced at Fryeburg Academy.

The Class A state game is Saturday at Lewiston High School.


Cheverus senior standout Lily Johnson, Lucy Johnson’s older sister, was recently named a finalist for the Miss Maine Field Hockey award, given to the state’s best senior. Johnson is a finalist along with Skowhegan’s Layla Conway and Laney Leblanc.

In Class C South, No. 8 Waynflete completed its return to stand-alone varsity status with an 8-0 loss at top=seeded Spruce Mountain last Wednesday to wind up 5-8. Goalie Mya Clark made 24 saves.

Boys’ soccer

Portland’s Paulo Joao reacts after beating Scarborough with a goal in the second overtime in last week’s Class A South quarterfinal. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Deering, Portland and Waynflete’s boys’ soccer teams were still in the championship hunt at press time.

The Rams, ranked third in Class A South, rallied to survive No. 6 Kennebunk, 2-1, in double-overtime, in last Wednesday’s quarterfinals. After trailing much of the way, Deering drew even on a goal from Abrahim Abdullahi (assisted by Dan Dimandya) with 13 minutes to go in regulation. The Rams then advanced when  Chandrel Mangele-Laza’s scored with 7:06 left in the second overtime. The winning sequence began with a run through the center of the field by Nick Simon Mboumba, who directed a pass to his left to Nathan Dimandaya, who sent a touch pass onto Mangele-Laza.

“I wasn’t expecting it. I saw Nathan, my teammate, and I should make a run, and I made a run and he passed it to me and I shoot it. Oh, I scored,” said Mangele-Laza, who drilled a shot into the far side. “We worked so hard and I’m proud of my teammates.”


Deering improved to 10-3-2 and advanced to host No. 7 Falmouth (10-4-2) in the semifinals Thursday at 5 p.m. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in the regular season opener Aug. 31. Falmouth won the lone prior playoff meeting, 2-0, in the 2017 quarterfinals. The Rams have never beaten the Navigators at any point and hope to do so to advance to their first regional final since 1999.

“It’s time to make some history,” Deering coach Joel Costigan said.

Portland, the No. 4 seed in Class A South, also had to go to a second overtime before advancing, edging No. 5 Scarborough, 1-0, at Fitzpatrick Stadium last Wednesday. The Bulldogs had an abundance of Grade-A scoring chances throughout, but were frustrated by Red Storm goalkeeper Seamus Corry before Paulo Joao scored on a rebound of an Isaac Rodrigues-Nkanza shot in the second OT to win it.

“It was a good feeling,” said Joao. “I don’t have words. I’m so happy. I don’t know how to explain it. I knew we could not lose this game.”

“I just tried as hard as I could knowing it could be my last game,” said senior captain Max Kierstead. “It was in the back of my head, but I just tried to forget it. We were all gassed but we knew what we had to do. We had to have energy and discipline and stay composed.”

“I’m so happy for our players,” added longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli. “They gave everything they had. All week, we talked about energy, matching (Scarborough’s), trying to get as much as we could out of what we had. That first overtime, I looked at our midfield and it slowed down a little bit, but we were fortunate.”


The Bulldogs (12-2-1) advanced to face top-ranked Windham (14-0-1) Thursday at 5 p.m. The teams didn’t meet this season. Portland has dropped two of three prior playoff encounters, including two years ago, when the Eagles prevailed, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.

“We have to keep practicing hard,” Joao said. “It won’t be an easy game. We’ll have to make decisions and go for it.”

“After a great season, I want to show what we can do,” said Kierstead. “They don’t know what we’re like. I’m excited to just press as hard as we can. We feel good about our chances.”

“It will be a very interesting game,” Frenzilli added. “We’re using house money now. We’ll go up there and see what happens. We’ll give it all we can.”

The Class A South Final is now Tuesday of next week in Kennebunk. If Deering and Portland each advance, it will mark the teams’ second meeting this fall. The Rams prevailed, 3-1, at home Oct. 12. Deering is 2-1 all-time versus the Bulldogs in the playoffs, with a 3-2 victory in last year’s quarterfinals the most recent encounter.

The Class A state final will be contested Saturday, Nov. 11 at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.


In Class C South, Waynflete, the four-time reigning state champion, ranked fourth, blanked No. 5 Lisbon, 3-0, in its quarterfinal last Wednesday. The Flyers got goals from Spencer Kline, Nestor Verdi and Jacob Woodman. Waynflete (8-5-2) plays at top-ranked Mt. Abram (15-0) in the semifinals Friday at 5 p.m. The teams didn’t play this year. The Fleyrs have won all six prior playoff meetings with last year’s 3-0 victory in the regional final the most recent.

If Waynflete springs an upset and returns to the Class C South Final, it will take on No. 2 Traip Academy (11-3-1) or No. 6 Winthrop (5-10) Wednesday of next week in Lewiston.

The Class C state game is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

Girls’ soccer

Cheverus’ Annie Vigue of Cheverus prepares to shoot during last week’s Class A South quarterfinal at Thornton Academy. Vigue played the hero in a 3-2 overtime win. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Cheverus, the No. 5 seed in Class A South, blanked No. 12 Marshwood, 3-0, in its preliminary round playoff test, then upset fourth-seeded Thornton Academy, 3-2, in an overtime thriller last Tuesday to improve to 11-3-2. Against the Golden Trojans, the Stags fell behind early, but rallied to go on top behind goals from Finley Brown and Olivia Vigue, but Thornton Academy drew even with just over a minute to play in regulation, forcing overtime.

There, with 9:04 left in OT, Annie Vigue converted a feed from Rachel LaSalle and ended it.


“I’m making sure I stay composed, picking a corner, making sure I don’t over hit it over the net,” Vigue said.

“Tonight I thought we played our best soccer of the year,” longtime Cheverus coach Craig Roberts said. “We showed some resilience. If you drop all the self doubt, drop all the fear and just play free, play without fear, then you’re not going to have any regrets. So that’s kind of been our mantra: No fear, no regrets.”

The Stags advanced to take on top-ranked, reigning state champion Scarborough (14-1) Thursday at 6 p.m., in Scarborough. Cheverus lost, 3-0, at the Red Storm on Sept. 20. The Stags have lost all seven previous playoff matchups against Scarborough, with last year’s 2-1 setback in the semifinals the most recent.

If the Stags spring another upset and reach the Class A South Final, they’ll battle either No. 2 Gorham (12-1-2) or No. 3 Windham (11-3-1) next Tuesday in Kennebunk.

The Class A state final is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

In Class C South, Waynflete, the No. 3 seed, eliminated No. 6 Traip Academy, 4-1, in last Tuesday’s quarterfinals, as Lucy Hart scored three first half goals, then added one more in the second half to put it away.


“This team means so much to me and this school means so much to me,” said Hart, one of the most prolific scorers in program history. “I knew this could have been the last time I played on this field and that’s why I put so much out there.”

“Lucy moved well and found the back of the net four times, what more can you ask for?” said Carrie Earls, who co-coaches the Flyers with George Sherry. “I’ve watched her do it all since she was eight-years-old. She’s just gotten better and it’s been a pleasure to watch.”

Waynflete (10-5) goes to No. 2 Maranacook (14-0-1) Thursday at 6 p.m. in the semifinals. The teams don’t play in the regular season. The Flyers dropped both prior playoff encounters, with last year’s 2-0 regional final loss the most recent.

“We have to keep working hard during practice,” Hart said. “We’re super-excited.”

“They’ll play a lot of kick-and-run,” said Earls, of Maranacook. “They won’t look to possess a lot, but they work really hard. They’re very physical and they want it. They battle for everything. We’ll look to get a little revenge this year. We just have to stay organized, cut down the mistakes in the back and I think we’ll be alright.”

If the Flyers reach the regional final for the second year in a row, they’ll meet either No. 1 North Yarmouth Academy (10-1-3), the four-time reigning Class D champion which moved up this fall, or No. 4 Hall-Dale (11-4) next Wednesday in Lewiston.

The Class C state game is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.



Portland’s undefeated football team had a weekend off for the third time this season. The Bulldogs (7-0) finally got to host rival South Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge” Tuesday evening (see our website for game story). Portland was ranked first in the Class A South Crabtree Points standings and looked to secure the top seed for the upcoming playoffs with a victory.

In Class B South, Deering, which went 4-4 in the regular season and earned the No. 5 seed in Class B, went to No. 4 Westbrook (3-5) Tuesday for the quarterfinals. The Rams lost at home to the Blue Blazes, 29-12, in the regular season finale Oct. 20. The teams had no playoff history.

In Class C South, Cheverus, after a 6-2 regular season, earned a bye into the semifinal round and will go to No. 2 Fryeburg Academy (7-1) Friday at 7 p.m. The Stags lost at home, 27-7, to the Raiders back on Sept. 30. The teams have no playoff history.

Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig and Travis Lazarczyk contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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