Friday, December 6, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Press Herald
PORTLAND - Billy Farrell's goal in the fifth round of penalty kicks was enough to lift fifth-seeded Deering to a 2-1 victory against 12th-ranked Cheverus in a Western Class A boys' soccer prelim Friday night at Deering High's Memorial Field.
Farrell salted away the victory after a Cheverus penalty kick was blasted wide of the goal.
"I had a lot of nerves knowing that my goal could end their season and keep ours going," said Farrell about the goal that allowed the Rams to win the penalty-kicks portion of the game, 4-3.
"We practiced penalty kicks (Thursday) in practice and I went top left every time. I did that again tonight and it went in. I couldn't believe it."
The win allowed the Rams (9-3-3) to advance to the quarterfinals Wednesday at fourth-seeded Kennebunk (9-2-3).
Both Deering and Cheverus engineered some good chances in the first half that either went wide or were turned aside by the goalkeeper.
Cheverus (7-7-1) came up with one of its best chances with eight minutes left in the half when Jimmy Campbell sent a solid shot on goal. Goalkeeper Anthony Russo had a good read on the ball and dove toward the post to tip it wide.
Deering scored the only goal of the opening half when Farrell took a pass from Stephen Ochen and made a run deep into the Cheverus end.
He sent the ball to the front of the goal and the cross seemed to fool the Cheverus keeper, who looked as if he thought the ball was going to go wide.
Instead it found the back of the net and the Rams held a 1-0 lead.
"I was mainly just looking to put it through the middle and it took a weird skip off my foot," said Farrell.
"(The keeper) bobbled the ball and then it just went right through into the corner of the net. I was lucky but it was great."
The Stags applied consistent pressure to open the second half and create a handful of chances to tie it. The first came 71/2 minutes into the half when Cheverus was awarded a free kick from about 25 yards. MacKenzie Hogland took the shot that forced the keeper to make a diving save to maintain the lead.
Seven minutes later the Stags were rewarded for their persistent play. Joe Smith pounced on a loose ball in the penalty box and blasted a shot home to make it 1-1.
"It was an unfortunate result for us considering I thought we had 70 percent of the play and way more chances," said Cheverus Coach Bill LeBlanc.
"It's no fun going to PKs but at some point the game's got to end and it was not a good ending for us."