GORHAM — The Gorham High boys’ soccer team continues to handle every dose of adversity thrown its way.

The Rams, the top seed in Class A South, already were without injured standout Andrew Rent. And against fourth-seeded Portland, they lost Javin Stickney early in the game. Stickney injured his leg while scoring the game’s first goal, and Gorham went on to a 2-1 victory Saturday in a regional semifinal.

The Rams (13-2-1) also got a second-half goal from Travis Matheson and will play for the Class A South title Tuesday at Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field against Falmouth, a 2-0 winner over Scarborough.

“We feel pretty happy right now, based on losing our best player for the whole year, to get to this point,” said Gorham Coach Tim King.

The Rams took the lead in the eighth minute when Ryan Farr sent a beautiful cross into the box to Stickney, who got behind the defense. Stickney then beat Portland goalkeeper Henry Flynn to the ball flicked it into the net before they collided. Stickney had to be carted off the field.

“(Javin) scored the goal on the play, so that softened the blow a little bit, but I feel for him,” said King. “Hopefully he’ll be OK.”


Gorham wasn’t able to add to its lead before halftime, thanks to some clutch saves from Flynn. But with 21:55 remaining in the game, moments after Flynn was given a red card, Matheson took a feed from Sebastian Irish and beat backup Bulldogs keeper Max Brown for a 2-0 advantage.

“We had to solidify our lead,” Matheson said. “Sebastian hit me with a nice through ball, and I just put enough on it to get it in.”

Despite being down a man, Portland kept competing, and with 12:13 to go, Alex Millones served a ball into the box. When it landed untouched, Anselmo Tela banged it past Rams goalkeeper Romain Salvi (five saves).

Millones gave Gorham a few more anxious moments down the stretch, but the Rams cleared each opportunity and held on.

“We’ve learned how to persevere,” said Matheson. “It’s what we’ve done all season. Portland played hard and we just had to keep fighting.”

Gorham held a 13-6 shots advantage and a 6-5 edge in corners.

The Bulldogs (11-4-1) got six saves from Flynn and five from Brown.

“People get their money’s worth when we play (each other),” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli. “It was an excellent soccer game. Congrats to Gorham, they found a way. Credit to my kids, too. I couldn’t be more proud of their performance.

“We finished the season strong. We accomplished a lot. We’ll come back next year and look to keep this streak of good stuff going.”

Comments are not available on this story.