Falmouth junior Gus Ford skies for a header in front of Deering senior goalie Max Morrione during the Yachtsmen’s 3-0 victory Thursday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette photos. More photos below.

PORTLAND—Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team continues to fly under radar.

And win games.

Thursday evening at Memorial Field, the Yachtsmen were frustrated early after missing a penalty kick, but in the 14th minute, sophomore Charlie Adams scored and they were on their way.

With 12:09 remaining in the first half, junior Sam Gearin, who missed the PK earlier, finished for a 2-0 advantage.

With Falmouth’s defense stymieing Deering’s attack, the Yachtsmen ended all doubt with 18:53 to go, as sophomore Mason Farr finished, and Falmouth went on to a 3-0 victory.

The Yachtsmen pitched their third shutout of the year, stayed undefeated all-time versus the Rams and improved to 4-0-1 on the season, dropping Deering to 1-3-1 in the process.

“We want to get better each day,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan, who won his 385th game with the program. “That’s our goal. If we do, the wins will take care of themselves.”

All Falmouth

Coming into play Thursday, Falmouth had won all three prior countable meetings.

In 2017, the Yachtsmen prevailed in the regular season, 2-1, at home on Nate Arrants’ late penalty kick, then won again, 2-0 in a Class A South quarterfinal played in a downpour.

Last fall, again in the rain, Falmouth rolled at Deering, 3-0, as Nik Hester scored twice and Ford also tickled the twine.

Both teams have shown promise so far in 2019.

The Yachtsmen opened with wins at Sanford (1-0), at home over Massabesic (6-0) and at home over defending regional champion Gorham (2-1) before erasing a two-goal deficit and settling for a 2-2 draw at home versus Kennebunk Tuesday.

“We should have won that game,” Gearin said. “We had about five chances after tying it up.”

The Rams, meanwhile, tied visiting Scarborough, 1-1, then beat visiting Noble, 5-0, to start, then lost at Kennebunk (3-0) and Marshwood (2-1).

Thursday, on a pleasant evening (62 degrees at the start), Deering hoped to beat Falmouth for the first time, but the Yachtsmen weren’t to be denied.

The first good chance came in the eighth minute, when junior Gus Ford got his head on a corner kick, but Rams senior goalkeeper Max Morrione made the save.

Seconds later, after a Deering foul in the box, Falmouth earned a penalty kick and Gearin did the honors, but he sent his bid high and it rang off the crossbar. Ford tried to head home the rebound, but sent it just wide and the game remained scoreless.

“I was going for the bottom left corner and I just hit it high and it it the crossbar,” Gearin said. “I was just angry. I wanted another shot. It made me work harder.”

The visitors broke through with 26:42 remaining in the half, as after a failed clear, Adams pounced on the ball, went one-on-one with Morrione, then finished for the only goal Falmouth would need, giving Gearin a measure of relief in the process.

“If we were tied, 0-0, going into half, I don’t know what I have would have done,” Gearin said.

Things got even better for Gearin with 12:09 left in the half, as he collected a deflected ball and fired a shot to Morrione’s right that the keeper dove for, but couldn’t stop and the Yachtsmen had a 2-0 advantage.

“It went in to Charlie, he settled it and it bounced right to me and I volleyed it in the left side of the goal,” said Gearin. “That felt good.”

“Sam’s a veteran player,” Halligan said. “We talk about moving on to the next play and you can see how he played throughout the course of the game. He was the glue in the middle of the field.”

Late in the half, Deering had its best chance to get on the board, but Falmouth senior goalkeeper Jackson Quinn robbed junior Mick Fennessey in front and Fennessey’s rebound attempt went wide.

In the first 40 minutes, the Yachtsmen had a 4-2 edge in shots on frame.

They then controlled play in the second half and tacked on another goal to put it away.

After Morrione denied a header from Gearin and saved a header from Farr, Falmouth broke through again with 18:53 on the clock.

This time, the goal resulted in a pretty feed from junior Willie Parker on to the foot of Farr, who sent the ball past Morrione and into the net for a 3-0 advantage.

“We work on ball movement every single day,” Halligan said. “When we play with fewer touches we’re a better team.”

The Rams had one last look, but Quinn beat senior Khalid Shati to the ball and the Yachtsmen went on to the victory.

Falmouth finished with an 11-4 edge in shots on frame as its defense gave Deering fits.

“We’re good in the air and everyone on defense is fast,” said Gearin. “We don’t give up many chances.”

“We have some good athletes and our defense has always been our bread and butter,” Halligan said. “It’s a new defense and the guys are getting used to each other. (Junior) Cole Fairfield did a great job in the middle. We’ve had to pull (senior) Joe Dye, one of our captains, back on defense and he’s embraced that role for us. A couple forwards from last year are playing defense and doing it for the team.”

Quinn saved all four shots he saw and Falmouth had a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Morrione made eight saves for the Rams.

“We have moments of really good soccer, but we have to work on our toughness and our patience,” said Deering coach Joel Costigan. “The last few games we’ve played, we’ve had moments of dominating soccer. Tonight, we moved the ball well and made good runs, but they weren’t fruitful because we become impatient or play too fast or play down the middle. It comes down to playing the entire game.”

Steady improvement

The Rams hope to bounce back Saturday when they face the daunting task of going to Gorham. A home tilt versus rival Cheverus looms Tuesday of next week.

“We’ll get better as the season progresses,” Costigan said. “We’re getting good tests. We’re in the meat of our schedule. Hopefully we can turn it around. We want to work on continuing our positivity. I want to bring the team closer and keep moving forward.”

Falmouth looks to keep its good times rolling and aims to stay unbeaten Tuesday when Bonny Eagle pays a visit.

“We’re playing better every game, moving the ball faster,” Gearin said. “We outwork our opponents. We’ll keep working hard in practice.”

“We have some guys out and when we get them back, we’ll be better, but we’re developing depth,” Halligan said. “We can still get better finishing, but I’d be more concerned if we weren’t getting chances. We are getting chances and that’s something we can work on in practice.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Falmouth sophomore Charlie Adams fights for the ball with Deering junior Muntasir Ahmed.

Falmouth junior Gus Ford battles for the ball with Deering junior Jesse Tidd.

Falmouth senior Adrian Friedman heads the ball.

Deering junior Mick Fennessy tries to keep the ball from Falmouth senior Adrian Friedman.

Falmouth junior Willie Parker and Deering junior Francis Matonga chase down a loose ball.

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