A pair of goals by senior Jack Mullen and a smothering defense allowed Cheverus to cruise to a 3-0 win over visiting Deering in an SMAA boys’ soccer game Thursday.

Cheverus (7-1-1) took the lead early, just under 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

“One of the points we made before the game was to come out hard, come out fast. That was a big point for me, to get these boys ready to go as soon as the ball kicked off,” said Andrew Rose, who filled in as the Cheverus coach while Matt Andreasen served a one-game suspension for an ejection in the Stags’ last game.

Back Owen Burke sent a crisp cross from the right corner of the offensive zone to Mullen in front. Mullen’s shot off his right foot found the top left corner of the net.

“We played Owen down the line, he looked up (at) me and Michael (Nason) running the box, and luckily the ball came to me. I concentrated on the ball and finished,” said Mullen.

Cheverus’ Owen Burke passes the ball in front of the goal while Deering’s Alex Rubin closes in.

Mullen scored again with just under five minutes remaining in the game to make it 3-0.

Deering (4-5) entered the game in 11th place in Class A South with the top 12 reaching the playoffs.

A win would have gone a long way in ensuring a spot for the Rams, but they do have an important home game Tuesday against 13th-ranked Bonny Eagle.

“I’m looking for everyone to show up at practice. I’m looking for them to show up on time. I’m looking for them to run through every drill (and) play as hard as they can every practice. I’m hoping that effort will translate into the game. I’m hoping that we can generate some positivity at practice too,” said Deering Coach Joel Costigan.

Deering’s Sekeriye Abdullahi goes up for a header against Cheverus.

Costigan used this game as a time to discipline players in hope that the message will straighten out issues the Rams have had this season.

“We benched most of our starters (in) the first half and the beginning of the second half because there were some discipline issues that have been continuing through the season, which have been hindering our success,” said Costigan.

“We’re trying to nip it in the bud before we get to the playoffs.”

Costigan is optimistic that some of the improved play he saw in the second half will carry over.

“After (Cheverus’) second goal I started allowing guys to come back in a little at a time, and there seemed to be a little more energy from those guys, wanting to make a statement,” said Costigan.

Cheverus wasted little time building on a 1-0 halftime lead when Michael Nason scored 33 seconds into the second half with Burke notching his second assist of the game.

Burke displayed his speed by bursting down the right sideline and delivering the pass from an almost identical spot as his first assist of the game. Burke hit Nason on the right side and Nason snuck his shot in on the short side.

“I told Owen that this was probably the best game I’ve seen him play,” said Rose, who was filling in as a head coach for the first time. “It feels good.

“We knew Deering was going to be a tough team. We knew they were athletic, they were going to be fast. We just knew we had to stay disciplined.”