PORTLAND – The Windham boys’ soccer team seized an opportunity to test all facets of its game Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium against defending Western Class A champion Portland High.

Considering that it was Windham’s first meaningful game under new coach Colin Minte, the 3-2 victory amounted to an unqualified success.

“It’s exciting to get on the field for a real game,” said Minte, a former North Yarmouth Academy standout. “We’ve been doing a lot of preparation in the preseason, getting ready for this day. We had a tough time moving the ball around in the first half because Portland’s a good side. But we came out in the second half and really took control of the midfield and guys were working for each other and working hard and we created some good opportunities.”

The Bulldogs all but owned the opening half, scoring just six minutes in for a 1-0 lead. The play started when a point-blank shot by Guled Hussain-Ali was turned aside by Windham goalkeeper Dana King. The rebound went directly to Tony Yekeh, who drilled in the loose ball.

Despite some good offensive presence, Windham was held without a high-quality scoring chance until the later stages of the half when Mitch Hodge’s throw-in found Bryan Soucy in striking distance. But the shot went wide and the Eagles entered the second half down, 1-0.

The near-miss seemed to inject a measure of confidence in the Eagles, who scored three times in the first 16 minutes of the second half to grab a 3-1 advantage. Soucy tied the game nine minutes into the half when he finished off a nice outside rush as Marc Reynolds managed to get a step on the Bulldogs’ defense and sent a cross to the front of the goal. McGyver Poulin tipped the pass off the post and the subsequent carom was drilled to the back of the net by Soucy.

“We came out more fired up in the second half and we just found a rhythm,” Soucy said. “Our passing was much better in the second half.”

Less than a minute later Soucy found Robbie Lentine unmarked in front of the net for a nifty redirect that found its way past Bulldogs goalkeeper Barry Quinn for a 2-1 lead.

Robbie Hamilton completed the three-goal burst on a great individual effort. The senior forward used his body to block a defensive clear, quickly gained control of the ball and then maneuvered through the remaining defenders to create enough room to unleash a low shot that found the back of the net.

The Bulldogs pushed valiantly to get back in the game and rediscovered their offensive swagger midway through the second half. Tim Rovnak finally connected with seven minutes left in the half to make it 3-2.

“I just think that we were a little bit slow coming out of the box in the second half,” said longtime Bulldogs Coach Rocco Frenzelli. “They just came out and out-hustled us a little bit and were able to knock a couple of goals in. I liked the way we responded. We changed things up a little bit but the kids never quit.”