PORTLAND — Elliot Maker scored two goals a little more than three minutes apart late in the first half to lead No. 6 Cheverus to a 3-1 upset of No. 3 Portland on Wednesday night in a Western Class A boys’ soccer quarterfinal at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The victory came about a year after the Bulldogs rolled to a 6-0 win to knock the Stags out of the regional tournament.

“We’re a very senior-led team, and (the seniors) really wanted to win this game and they came here with a purpose,” Cheverus Coach Bill LeBlanc said. “We got handled by Portland here last year, and the kids were ready to play.”

Nearly a month ago, Tim Rovnak scored his third goal of the game in overtime to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-2 win against Cheverus in an SMAA game.

“We just came out with a lot more intensity,” said Maker, a senior who has scored 27 goals this season.

“The first time we played them we came out really slow. We’ve made some changes in the (back line), so we weren’t set then. Now, we’re fundamentally set, and we came out ready to play, came out firing.”

The Stags, who will play at No. 2 Windham in a regional semifinal Saturday, played with a lot of confidence during the first half.

“I thought they were a step faster than we were in the first half,” Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli said.

“Credit to Cheverus. They took advantage of their chances and tightened up defensively. They played a game deserving of a win. They played very, very well.”

After beating two defenders to Tyler Friedman’s long lead pass, Maker opened the scoring in the 33rd minute by sending a blast past goalie Chip Weber as he came off his line to defend.

With less than three minutes left in the first half, Maker took the ball away from a defender and lofted a shot from inside the penalty area into the right side of the goal to make it 2-0.

“It was the only times I really got loose,” said Maker.  “The second (goal) was sort of a break down. I stole it from a defender. The first one, we just played the ball really well. We got good ball movement, got (the defense) mixed up and finally got it to our feet.”

The Bulldogs (10-3-2) were finally able to exert some offensive pressure in the second half.

“In the first half we didn’t get any scoring chances at all,” Frenzilli said. “In the second half, we had some scoring chances early, and if we had finished one or two of those it would have made the difference.”

Cheverus (12-3-1) put the game out of reach when Alexander Hoglund scored his fifth goal of the season with less than five minutes left.

Seven seconds later, Rovnak put in his 15th goal of the season.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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