PORTLAND — Deering came back from the brink of elimination Tuesday night to advance to the Eastern Class A boys’ lacrosse semifinals.

Rick Murray scored 1:36 into overtime to lift the third-seeded Rams to a 7-6 victory against sixth-ranked Portland in a quarterfinal at Memorial Field.

Matt Flaherty of Deering forced overtime when he scored his third goal of the game with 15.3 seconds left in regulation.

“We tried to keep cheating his way because he’ll pull the trigger,” Portland Coach Eric Begonia said. “There was a real slim margin, a window, and it was just the perfect shot.”

Portland never had the ball during the four-minute overtime.

“In overtime you’ve got to get possession,” Begonia said. “It’s very simple. You’ve got to have that one good offensive possession and they got it.”

The Rams, who will be home against seventh-seeded Lewiston in a semifinal Saturday, got that possession when Karl Rickett won the draw to start overtime.

“Against a zone (defense), it’s all about possessing the ball until you get the looks you want,” Deering Coach Jon Dubois said.

Deering got the look it wanted when Portland sagged to the right to defend against Flaherty. That opened up Murray for his shot from 15 yards to the left of goalie Ryan Jurgelevich.

“(Assistant coach) Adam (Rothbart) drew up that nice play for us and we executed it nicely,” Murray said.

“They switched up and put in a pretty good lefty shot,” Begonia said. “I saw it and tried to get our defense to adjust. We were so focused on the right-hand side where they tried to attack all game.”

The Rams, 9-4 winners over the Bulldogs a month ago, held a 3-2 halftime lead, but Portland (6-7) scored three goals in the third period to take a 5-3 lead.

Less than four minutes into the fourth, Anthony Verville and Flaherty scored to make it 5-5, but Max Pierter scored his fourth goal of the game with four minutes left to send Portland back into the lead.

Maintaining poise was a problem for both teams. Between them, they committed 48 turnovers.

“There were two great defenses on the field,” Begonia said. “They caused turnovers and we caused turnovers.”

The Rams (8-5) won 15 of 17 draws, primarily because of the work of Rickett.

Deering held a 41-23 edge in shots. Jurgelevich had 13 saves, and Nick Martin made eight for Deering.

Isaac Santerre scored two goals for Deering. Flaherty, Rickett, Brett Harmon and Bailey Koch each had an assist.

Joe Nielsen scored two goals and had an assist for Portland. Jurgelevich, Seamus Kilbride, Ben Allen, Ben Day and Brett O’Kelley each added an assist.


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH