FALMOUTH — With scoring opportunities few and far between for both teams, Gorham striker Kyle King made sure he cashed in on one of the few chances he had to score Saturday night.

With less than 12 minutes to play, King pushed the ball inside the left post to lift third-seeded Gorham to a 1-0 win against No. 2 Falmouth in a Class A South boys’ soccer semifinal.

The Rams, the defending regional champions, will host No. 4 Portland in the regional final Wednesday.

“I was just making a hard run at the back post and it was a great ball by Andrew Rent,” King said. “It just took a lucky hop (past) a defender and I just (kicked) it. The goalie put his hand up, but I just went by the side of him.”

King’s goal brought a dramatic end to a very evenly played match.

“This had the feeling of a state match, honestly,” King said.

Last fall, Bangor pulled out a 2-1 win over Gorham in the state final at Fitzpatrick Stadium. That game was decided by penalty kicks, and King was glad Saturday night’s game ended before it got to that point.

“We knew we had played 80 minutes or more, and luckily we got the goal before the end of regulation and didn’t have to play any more,” he said.

Gorham Coach Tim King, Kyle’s father, credited the defense with providing the keys to victory.

“You always start with your defense and build from the back, and tonight we were great in the back,” he said. “Our outside backs, Cooper Lyons and Garrett Higgins, were phenomenal, which was great because (Falmouth) is so dangerous down the wings and we took that away for the most part. Aaron Farr was sweeping everything up, and (goalie) Trevor Gray was there when we needed him to be there.”

Gray made six saves while posting his 11th shutout of the season. The Rams (13-2-1) have allowed just five goals.

“There were not a lot of shots but there were dangerous situations, and you have to be on top of them,” Tim King said.

Neither team had many scoring opportunities in first half.

Falmouth was credited with two shots on net, but both came on direct kicks from 50 yards or beyond and Gray handled them easily.

Each team was awarded one corner kick during the first 40 minutes, but both attempts were quickly cleared out of the box by the defense.

During the seventh minute, King did get a foot on the ball inside the penalty area but his shot went just wide of the left post.

About 10 minutes later, Falmouth striker Nate Arrants got off a shot from among a cluster of players just beneath the bubble, but it went just wide of the left post.

With less than six minutes left in the first half, Gorham’s Sam Burghardt fought off two Falmouth defenders to get control of a long through ball, but he lined his attempt off the crossbar.

“We played them earlier in the year and they got us 1-0, but it was an evenly matched game, and tonight it was the same thing – two teams going at it hard,” King said. “It was just one play that we made and they didn’t.”

“We had our chances,” Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan said. “If we were dominated, then I would say that Gorham is just better than us, but we had our chances. Both teams left it all out on the field.”

Freshman goalie Alvaro Fuentes-Cantillana made four saves for the Yachtsmen (13-3).

filed under: