FALMOUTH — A staunch defensive effort for the Portland boys’ soccer team meant that opportunities were few and far between for Falmouth on Tuesday night.

Yachstmen sophomore Thomas Fitzgerald made the most of the lone offensive opportunity Falmouth saw in overtime, driving a low liner from the top of the box into the bottom right corner of the net for a 1-0 victory.

“We thought we could get around to the outside and were looking to get the ball wide,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “Their defense is really solid down the middle of the field – it’s kind of like running into a brick wall. You can’t go through a brick wall. You have to go around it. So we tried to do that and we were able to get the ball wide and good things happened. Tommy made a nice move and a nice finish.”

The goal was set up on an entry pass from senior captain Ben Wuesthoff, who nearly scored a pair of goals in regulation before setting up the overtime winner. Fitzgerald slipped through uncovered before unleashing his left-footed blast into the net for the Yachtsmen (3-1).

“It was a well-placed shot,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli. “They just moved the ball quickly to one side, and he was able to cut back inside on our back. He had an opening, cut across the middle and was just able to beat Rowan (Daligan) on the weak side.”

Fitzgerald’s overtime heroics were only possible because of the dominant performance of another Falmouth underclassman. Freshman goalie Alvaro Fuentes-Cantillana turned in his third career shutout in four starts.

“He played a great game,” said Frenzilli. “Obviously, if you stop balls from going in, you’ve done your job. And that’s what the keeper is supposed to do. On both ends, it mostly went that way. He got a chance to make his saves and they were able to sneak one by us.”

Fuentes-Cantillana turned away an impressive 15 shots in the victory – including a flurry in the final minutes of regulation and a diving stop in overtime.

“We dodged some bullets and our keeper made a great save in overtime,” said Halligan. “He just stood out for us in preseason and has been working hard, and just taken over the position for us. He’s only given up two goals this year and both goals were on restarts. We just ask him to make the basic saves; the saves he’s supposed to make. Then we lean on the older guys in front of him to help out, but he helped them out tonight.”

The game, which was the first loss of the season for the Bulldogs (4-1), is one that Falmouth hopes pushes them toward continued success this season.

“It’s a good confidence builder for us because they are good team,” said Halligan.

“They’re one of the best, if not the best team in southern Maine. If we can play with them, and we’re really young overall, and get a little better each day then trying to be a lot by the end of the season, then maybe we can do something come tournament time.”

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