Sanford’s Josiah Dube chases down Portland’s Pedra Fonseca in the first half on Tuesday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

Sanford’s Josiah Dube chases down Portland’s Pedra Fonseca in the first half on Tuesday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

PORTLAND — The Portland boys soccer team shutout the visiting Sanford Spartans 3-0 at Fitzpatrick Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Bulldogs set the tone early, and dominated the time of possession throughout the first half.

Portland would get it’s first goal just 2:28 into play, when Tahn Tiparos sent a header into the net on a pass from the sideline. The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 2-0 late in the half when Zekariya Shaib worked through a scum to send the ball into the lower right corner of the net.

Sanford’s Matt McLeod battles with Portland’s Jonathan Mukwa for possession in the second half on Tuesday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

Sanford’s Matt McLeod battles with Portland’s Jonathan Mukwa for possession in the second half on Tuesday. ALEX SPONSELLER/ Journal Tribune

The Spartans gained some momentum in the second half and won the possession battle early on. However, the Bulldogs defense held off the Sanford attack and regained the momentum as the period wore on.

Sanford coach Tim Fecteau felt that Portland may have taken its foot off the gas in the second half once it earned some breathing room.

“I don’t think anything stood out as far as adjustments. I think (Portland) may have just not come out with as much pressure, came out relaxed, kind of gave us more time with the ball,” said Fecteau. “Typically when they get ahead that opens the floodgates and they think they can score at any time so I was surprised to see them let up a little bit and give us a chance. It was a little bit of a surprise to me for sure.”

Portland’s final goal came with just 22 seconds remaining when Alex Millones scored from distance, as the ball one-hopped over Sanford’s goaltender and into the net.

The Spartans struggled to establish a rhythm against the Bulldogs’ defense, and Fecteau believed that Portland’s strengths created an unfavorable matchup against a smaller Sanford squad.

“Our game is the possession game — not the kick and run,” said Fecteau. “We don’t have the size, we have the speed but we don’t have the size, so its hard to compete with those big defenders in the back, settle down and get our strikes.”

Portland improves to 7-1 on the year to extend its win streak to three games and hold on to third place in the Class A South.

Sanford falls to 3-6, and holds on to the final seed in the playoff picture. The Spartans hope to get healthy as they enter the second half of the year and closer to the postseason.

“(We need to get) healthy … we’re hurting,” said Fecteau.

Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: