PORTLAND — In a game that featured talented upperclassmen all over the field, it was a first-year player who made the biggest play in another memorable Portland-Deering boys’ soccer showdown Saturday at Memorial Field.

Portland freshman Ford Myers made his first major contribution to the program by setting up senior striker Anselmo Tela for the decisive goal with 16 minutes to play, and Portland outlasted its longtime rival, 2-1.

The victory was the second this fall for the Bulldogs (4-2) over the Rams (4-3).

“I’m so happy for Ford,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli. “He’s been playing JV and swinging (up to varsity). That was such a nice touch to Anselmo. I’m so happy to see a freshman set up a senior.”

Portland won the first meeting between the teams earlier this month, 1-0, on an improbably wind-aided goal by goalkeeper Henry Flynn. The Bulldogs started the scoring in the seventh minute on another somewhat fluky goal. As Ben Horrisberger ran after a ball in the box. When he got to the ball, a Deering defender and goalie Sam Spach collided, and Horrisberger managed to get enough on the ball to send it slowly rolling into the net.

The Rams only generated two shots on goal in the first half, but came out strong in the second half and tied it with 30:24 remaining. Adilson Vidal got the ball in the middle, about 30 yards out, settled it, then fired a shot that a diving Flynn couldn’t reach.

“We refocused at halftime,” said Deering Coach Joel Costigan. “That’s been a theme for us so far this year. The soccer started to get better near the end of the game. Doing it for 80 minutes is the challenge for us.”

But just when it appeared the Rams had the momentum, Myers lofted a perfect pass to Tela, who deked a defender, and with Spach leaning toward the right post, turned and sent a low shot into the lower left corner for a 2-1 lead.

“I knew (Anselmo) wanted it, so I gave him a quick chip and watched him do his thing,” Myers said. “I just wanted to get an assist. It was amazing. I love to play Deering. My brother played at Deering. I live near here and I’m used to playing (at Memorial Field).”

“I saw Ford with the ball and we made eye contact,” Tela said. “I didn’t rush because I told myself I’d be more calm this game. I saw everybody was going to the right, even the goalie, and I knew I had to put it back on the left.”

Deering had one last look to tie it, but Patricio Mowa shot wide and Portland was able to celebrate a victory.

“It was a great one,” Frenzilli said. “Hats off to Deering. They never gave up. The midfield battle was great today. That’s where it’s won or lost. We were fortunate enough to get a couple balls out wide and took advantage.”

Spach made seven saves for the Rams, while Flynn made four saves for the Bulldogs.

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