The Waynflete boys’ soccer team had to dig out of an early hole, then contend with some anxious moments late to hold on and beat Portland 2-1 on Monday afternoon. 

In the first regular-season meeting between the two teams, two-time Class C state champion Waynflete tied the game on a goal by Ben Adey in the first half, then won it on a goal by Gabe Gavino Ferrer with 23 minutes left. The Flyers improved to 5-0.

“As I told the kids, this is a great team win and a great program win,” said longtime Waynflete coach Brandon Salway. “We certainly respect Portland and what they’ve done over the years. They have a lot of talent and dangerous players.” 

The Bulldogs came out sizzling and took a 1-0 lead when Gracien Mukwa sent a cross to the far post where Steve Matanga was waiting to tap in past Waynflete goalkeeper Ben Talpey.

The Flyers responded with 19:20 left in the first half when Joey Ansel-Mullin got the ball to Adey, who made a nice move to elude a defender. He then fired a low shot by the dive of Bulldogs keeper Henry Flynn.

“I think our bench had a huge role in helping us get our energy,” said Gavino Ferrer. “Getting that tying goal before halftime was important for confidence.” 

Intensity picked up in the second half, as did fouls, and with 27:29 remaining in regulation, the Flyers were playing a man down for the duration after Patrick Shaw received a red card. 

Instead of sitting back, however, Waynflete was able to continue to attack and took the lead with 23:05 to go. Gavino Ferrer found himself in an optimal spot, as a deflection from a corner kick came to him up top. Gavino Ferrer then fired a low shot that Flynn couldn’t stop. 

“I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Gavino Ferrer. “I was trying to keep the ball on frame. It felt good coming off my foot.” 

From there, the Flyers needed a couple of breaks and got two. 

First, after Talpey couldn’t handle a shot, Portland’s Cameron Derrig appeared primed to bury the rebound, but Waynflete back Harry Millspaugh swept it off the line at the last second. 

“When I saw Ben was out of position, I knew I had to back him up,” Millspaugh said. “That was pretty nerve-racking.” 

Then, with 6:53 to play, after a Waynflete defender slipped, Bulldogs senior Gabriel Panzo barely missed a shot that rolled just wide of the far post. 

Talpey (seven saves) made one final sprawling stop on a long shot at the horn and the Flyers held on. 

Flynn made seven saves for the Bulldogs (3-2).

“It’s a game of inches and I’ve said that forever,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli. “I’m happy with the effort. When the energy was there, we got the most out of it. When we got a little complacent and laid back a little bit, (Waynflete) turned up the heat.”


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