SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Scarborough Soccer Club added to the city’s weekend collection of state titles as the Under-13 boys’ team won their Champions Cup title Sunday afternoon in Yarmouth.
Play concluded in three age groups with Division 1 teams competing for Champions Cup crowns, and Division 2 squads vying in Classic Cup play.
The Scarborough boys blanked Yarmouth 3-0 in the Sunday afternoon final after shutting out Gorham 4-0 in the morning semifinals.
This followed the Scarborough High School boys’ and girls’ varsity squads winning their Class A state championships Saturday in Hampden.
Dennis Dobecki, coach of the U13 team, sees his team’s success as a potential prelude to carrying on the high school team’s success.
“Everyone knows we won the state championship as 12-year-olds, and we had a big target on our back this year going in,” said Dobecki. “I think that’s going to help them because when they go to the high school, everyone wants to take Scarborough down. And if they [the U13 players] keep improving like they have been, hopefully [Scarborough High] will stay on top for a while.”
Dobecki has coached most of this year’s players since they were 9 years old, so he’s familiar with their strengths.
“It’s balanced skill-wise and because of that balance, I was able to put very good players as backs, but I also have a couple prolific goal scorers as well,” said Dobecki. “Having all that talent makes this team very easy to coach.”
Scarborough went through the regular season unbeaten at 6-0, outscoring their opponents 45-3. They then advanced through the first two weekends of postseason play, which set up the final weekend.
“My three main attackers are Noah Stracqualursi, Brandon Wasser and Alex Dobecki [the coach’s son],” said Dobecki. “My back players, which have been real good, are Nick Anderson, Marc Manfra and Jerry Greenleaf. And I also have a great goalie in Chris Franklin.”
Goalkeeping was the biggest question mark in the postseason, but not because of any ability issues.
“It’s funny. You go in wondering how good he is because he hasn’t been tested very much,” said Dobecki, “but he made a couple really key saves in our semifinal game against Gorham. It was nice to have him back there when we needed it.”
Dobecki likes the team to play a fast-paced game because of the speed of a couple of his players, Stracqualursi and Noah Drapeau.
“We would be foolish not to utilize the speed that they have, so we really like to bring the ball to the outside and then bring it in [to the middle] because these 12-, 13-year-old boys are fearless. They love to put the head to the ball,” he said.
They even kept track of their successful headers.
“We had a little competition how many header goals we could score this year and everyone loves the opportunity to get that,” said Dobecki. “So we really developed good crossing skills and good finishing skills as a result of that.”
The speed was also evident in the final when Scarborough was up 2-0. Yarmouth was taking a corner kick and brought all of its players up to try to cut the lead, but Scarborough cleared it out.
“We let our speedster go. They had a guy on him for the first 10 or 15 yards, but Noah Stracqualursi kicked it into another gear and he literally had a breakaway the last 50 yards and put it away for the last goal,” said Dobecki, who was impressed.
“I’ve been coaching these kids for many, many years and never seen anything like that before. It was a testament to our team play to be smart enough to know to get it out to him and for him to finish it. It was nice all the way around.”
He expects to have most of them back next year as they try to make it three in a row.
“I’ve had the core of these players since they were 9 years old and it’s been a joy and pleasure coaching them,” he said.
The other Champions Cup winners were Gorham (U14 boys), Bronco Travel of Hampden (U14 girls), Portland Area Youth Soccer (U13 girls), Merrymeeting of Topsham (U12 boys) and Cape Elizabeth (U12 girls). The Classic Cup winners were Cape Elizabeth (U14 boys), Patriot of Gray-New Gloucester (U14 girls), Waterville (U13 boys), Capital Area of Augusta (U13 girls), Windham (U12 boys) and Marshwood (U12 girls).