Zekariya Shaib scored the only goal Portland would need to defeat Marshwood 1-0 in an SMAA boys’ soccer game Thursday at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The game remained scoreless until the final 14 minutes, when Shaib launched a shot from 25 yards that dipped under the crossbar into the back of Marshwood’s net.

“I thought it was that type of game where it went back and forth,” Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli said.

“It was going to hinge on one team getting a break and getting the ball through.”

Portland (4-1) controlled possession for most of the game, outshooting Marshwood, 18-6. But Marshwood’s defense kept the Bulldogs scoreless until late in the second half .

Goalkeeper Sam Leathe fell to the ground while punching a Portland shot out of the box.

Unfortunately for Marshwood (2-2), Shaib was there to capitalize on the open goal.

“The goalkeeper punched at the ball and the ball came out,” Shaib recalled, “and I just shot.”

Marshwood Coach Ben Deschene credited Leathe, a senior, with keeping the Hawks in the game.

“Like normal, he’s solid. He can keep us in games even if we’re not playing where we should be,” Deschene said of Leathe. “He was talking and communicating better today, and I thought that made our defense play better.”

Leathe notched eight saves. Rowan Daligan had four for Portland.

“Their goalkeeper is the real deal,” Frenzilli said of Leathe. “Zekariya just hit a rocket from up top that dipped under the bar and in. It took something like that to beat him.”

Portland also nearly scored 16 minutes into the game when Emmanuel Yugu’s shot from 20 yards out bounced off the crossbar.

The Hawks stepped it up in the second half and created several opportunities, one in the final three minutes.

Turner Goodenough of Marshwood took one too many touches on a breakaway and fired the ball out of bounds into the side of Portland’s goal.

That was as close as the Hawks would get to taking the game to overtime.

“We need to work on generating more scoring opportunities, but I felt like we got better as the game wore on,” Deschene said. “Portland is good – they’re physical and athletic. We’re just looking to move on.”

Portland and Marshwood have had similar results this season. Both have beaten Cheverus and Windham, and lost to Thornton.

“Both teams had chances,” Frenzilli said. “Ben’s players always come prepared. They’re always ready to play, and they played very well.

“It ended up being decided by a shot that a kid made.”