Scarborough High women’s soccer coach Mike Farley will be on the sidelines Tuesday in the Class A South championship game. But ask him about the game, and he starts to sound like a fan.
“Both teams are undefeated is a very rare thing for the final,” he said. “How not to be excited with two teams 14-0?”
Scarborough and Gorham will pit their perfect seasons – now 16-0 after a pair of playoff wins – against each other for a place in the Class A State Finals. The game will be one of the showpiece clashes two days full of regional championships.
Other women’s football regional finals on Tuesday include No. 1 Brunswick and No. 3 Camden Hills in A North, No. 2 Richmond and No. 1 North Yarmouth Academy in D South. On Wednesday, No. 2 Yarmouth and No. 5 York will face off in the B South final, with No. 5 Waynflete and No. 2 Maranacook in the C South.
In men’s football, Tuesday will feature No. 6 Windham and No. 1 Scarborough in A South, No. 4 Lewiston and No. 3 Brunswick in A North and No. 5 NYA and No. 2 Islesboro in D South. On Wednesday, rivals No. 3 Yarmouth and No. 1 Cape Elizabeth will meet in B South and No. 2 Mt. Abram and No. 1 Waynflete will play for the title in C South.
Wednesday’s field hockey regional finals will feature No. 6 Windham against No. 1 Cheverus in A South and No. 3 Freeport against No. 1 York in B South.
The state soccer and field hockey championships are scheduled for Saturday. All regional and national title matches will be played at neutral venues.
Many eyes will be on A South’s two undefeated women’s soccer teams, who, in a schedule rarity, did not meet during the regular season.
“It was the first time in 20 years that we didn’t face each other,” Gorham coach Jeanne Zarrilli said. “We were both disappointed not to see each other in the regular season, not necessarily for the win-loss tally, but for the competition. We like to play against each other.
The teams have more in common than their records. Both have been stingy defensively, as Scarborough have allowed three goals all season and Gorham has allowed four in their last 14 games. And both showcase the talent up front to test those stable defences.
“That kind of pressure you’re going to have in this game with the kind of attacking players in this game will be different,” Farley said. “It’s really about how the teams react to it. None of us have faced this consistently.
Roster composition is where the teams are different. Scarborough is well seasoned and experienced, Gorham is young.
“(Scarborough) comes in to play, and they don’t click easily,” Zarrilli said. “We’re starting five sophomores who this is their first playoff experience. … But they learned and stood the test. It’s an extremely competitive group.
In men’s soccer, Yarmouth (12-2-2) and Cape Elizabeth (15-0-1) will meet in a rematch of last year’s B South final, a 2-1 Clippers victory. The teams have met twice this season, tied 1-1 before the Capers secured a 3-0 victory – although the Clippers outscored them 11-10.
“This is the game we wanted to come back to,” said Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty, who has guided the Clippers to six of the last seven Class B titles. “We felt like this game (3-0 ) did not represent (things). We feel like we’re on par with Cape.
Capers coach Ben Raymond says the midfielder will be essential for his team.
“We have to protect the ball a bit more,” he said. “Thinking back to the two games we played, a lot of their opportunities came from our turnovers. You just need to be a bit more disciplined in midfield (that’s the key).
In field hockey, Windham (11-5) will try to continue its unexpected run against the overpowered Cheverus (16-0) in A. In Class B, Freeport (12-3-1), which has won 1o of its last 11 matches, will look to lead his hot streak to his first state finals since 2000.
To get there, however, the Falcons will need to beat a York team (15-1) who, prior to last year, had made seven consecutive B Finals and 10 of the last 11. Freeport were the only team to beat York this fall, which coach Marcia Wood said gave his team the confidence they needed.
“In the past, it was always an uphill battle trying to beat York,” she said. “Having that confidence that we can and that we know what we need to do to get there, doesn’t seem as daunting as it used to. We just needed that confidence boost.
York coach Barb Marois said the defeat may have helped her side too.
“In a way, it was just kind of a relief for them, because we’re the team that always has a target on our backs,” she said. “Sometimes that’s just what you need. … It was kind of a good way for us to reset and think about things we could do differently.