Deering junior Chandrel Mangele Laza is defended by Falmouth junior Finn Cameron during the teams’ 1-1 tie Monday night. Hoffer photo.

FALMOUTH—Late in the first half of Monday night’s game at Falmouth, Deering’s boys’ soccer team was at a crossroads.

Coming off a decisive loss to Gorham Saturday, the Rams found themselves behind the Navigators due to senior Charlie Adams’ penalty kick goal and against a powerful foe, on the road, they could have rolled over.

But instead, Deering turned its season around with a valiant effort and earned a result against Falmouth for the first time.

With 25:36 to play, junior Patricio Mowa scored a dazzling goal to tie it and from there, neither team could find the net as the Rams and Navigators went on to a 1-1 draw.

Deering is now 3-2-1 on the season while Falmouth suffered its first blemish and is now 4-0-1.

“We bounced back really well,” said Rams coach Joel Costigan. “I’m very happy with how the guys played today. I think it’s the best soccer we’ve played all season. This was a great step forward and I hope it continues.”

Promising start

Coming into play Monday, Falmouth had won all four prior countable meetings.

In 2017, the then-Yachtsmen prevailed in the regular season, 2-1, at home, then won again, 2-0 in a Class A South quarterfinal played in a downpour in Falmouth. In 2018, again in the rain, Falmouth rolled at Deering, 3-0, Two years ago, in Portland, Falmouth prevailed, 3-0, en route to the state title.

The teams didn’t play during a COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.

The newly-named Navigators started fast in 2021, blanking visiting Sanford (6-0) and Massabesic (7-0), winning a close game at Gorham (2-1) and holding off visiting Kennebunk (1-0).

Deering started with a 2-0 loss at Scarborough, then defeated host Noble (3-1), visiting Kennebunk (7-1) and visiting Marshwood (2-1) before falling Saturday at home to Gorham, 4-1.

“Against Marshwood, we played really well and had a glimpse of what we can be, but then we had some outside distractions,” Costigan said. “We’re trying to put things together.”

Monday, on a clear, but fall-like evening (the temperature was 61 degrees and dropping at kickoff), Falmouth got a break in the first half, but couldn’t close out the Rams.

Deering hinted that it came to play in the second minute, when junior Jeannot Ndayishimiye sent a low shot on goal that Navigators senior goalkeeper Sean MacDonald had to save.

After Mowa sent a free kick into the box only to have it headed out, Falmouth managed its first shot, as freshman back Griffin Parr sent a long ball into the box where junior Mason Quiet one-timed it on goal, only to have Rams senior keeper George McDonnell make the save.

In the 14th minute, Mowa showed everyone how dangerous he can be as he ripped a blast from 35 yards out that forced MacDonald to leap and tip out for a corner kick.

In the 26th minute, the Navigators threatened to take the lead, as Quiet served in a corner kick and senior Mason Farr got his head on it, but McDonnell tipped it out for a corner.

Finally, with 9:21 remaining before halftime, a Falmouth forward was taken down in the box and a penalty kick was awarded.

Adams did the honors and blasted the ball past a helpless McDonnell to break the ice.

Deering was down on the canvas, but would rise up.

Last in the first half, Falmouth had chances to extend its lead, but a Quiet shot was headed out of harm’s way by junior back Haytham Ramadan and Adams set up Farr for a shot which McDonnell saved.

In the first 40 minutes, the Navigators had a 6-2 edge in shots on frame and took six corner kicks, but thanks in part to five saves from McDonnell, the Rams were still very much in the game.

“We just missed on some chances early and the longer (Deering) stayed in the game, the more confidence they played with,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan.

The Navigators earned a corner kick just seconds into the second half and junior Ben Pausman got his head on Quiet’s serve, but McDonnell made the save.

At the other end, junior Adilson Vidal got the ball to senior David Kita for a good look, but MacDonald made the stop.

With 31:13 to play, Mowa served a perfect ball off a free kick which rolled right through the box, but there was no one there to bang it home.

Then, with 25:36 left in regulation, after MacDonald broke up a long feed from Mowa to sophomore Nick Simon Mboumba, the ball caromed back out to Mowa and with MacDonald way out of the goal, Mowa wound up and ripped a 35-yard rocket into the net to tie the score.

“Patricio is amazing,” Costigan said. “Every goal he’s scored this year has been spectacular. He’s a very talented player.”

“(Mowa’s) scored two or three goals like that this year,” said Halligan. “We talked about him at the beginning, that he’s dangerous from anywhere.”

Falmouth hoped to answer, but McDonnell tipped out a shot from Farr.

With 11:25 remaining, Deering looked to go on top, but a shot from Mboumba was saved.

Down the stretch in regulation, McDonnell broke up a feed from Farr to Adams, Rams junior Saker Al Akash sent a shot high, Vidal had a shot saved by MacDonald and Ndayishimye had a shot blocked.

The contest would go to overtime, which consists of two, five-minute, sudden victory sessions.

In the first OT, Mowa found Mboumba on a free kick, but Mboumba’s header sailed wide.

Then, Adams had a great chance to end it, as he took a pass from Quiet and got behind a defender, but he rushed his shot and missed high.

In the final seconds, Ramadan broke up an Adams rush to send the game to the second and final overtime.

There, McDonnell punched away a Falmouth corner kick and a late Mowa free kick was cleared from harm’s way.

Neither team threatened again and the contest ended, 1-1.

“I’m most proud of how we bounced back,” Costigan said. “When we played Gorham and they scored their first goal, the guys put their heads down and no one wanted to play. Giving up a PK stinks, obviously. We could have let that end our night, but the guys played 100 percent the entire time.

“We’re a good team, but we’re young,”  Halligan said. “We’re small and they wore us down a little bit. I can’t fault the effort. The things we had problems with we can solve. ”

Falmouth finished with a 9-6 edge in shots, got five saves from MacDonald and took nine corner kicks to Deering’s four.

McDonnell saved eight shots for the Rams.

Cheverus awaits

Deering is back in action Wednesday when it goes to Cheverus.

“We hope the momentum carries over to Cheverus,” Costigan said. “We can play with anybody. We’re figuring stuff out.”

Falmouth plays at Bonny Eagle Wednesday, then hosts Cheverus Saturday.

“Good players and good teams make adjustments,” Halligan said. “I’m pleased where we are right now. The league is very even. You look at the scores and everyone is beating everyone. It’s one of those years where there isn’t one team head and shoulders above the others. We’re going to have a lot of one-goal games.”

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

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