SCARBOROUGH—In a game that oozed postseason intensity, the Scarborough and Portland boys’ soccer teams each demonstrated why they hope to play into November this season when they squared off in a midseason showdown Wednesday evening at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex.

And more than 80 minutes were needed to determine a winner.

After a scoreless first half which saw both squads hit the frame, the Red Storm opened the scoring with just over 30 minutes to go, when junior Will Fallona scored on a header.

The Bulldogs then pulled even with 23:17 left in regulation, when senior Cristo Vumpa buried a free kick from just outside the box.

Neither team could score from there and the contest went to overtime.

Where just two minutes in, junior Parker Killiard played the hero, scoring the decisive goal to give Scarborough a dramatic 2-1 victory.

The Red Storm won their sixth game without a setback this fall and in the process, dropped Portland to 4-3.

“Whenever we play Portland, it’s always intense like that,” said longtime Scarborough coach Mark Diaz. “It doesn’t matter where the teams stand in the league. They have a good team and it was a good battle.”

Top tier

Portland and Scarborough have been among the last teams standing in Class A South for many years and both believe they’ll go deep in the playoffs again this season.

The Bulldogs got off to an auspicious start with a 1-0 home win over Gorham, then lost at home to Cheverus (2-1) and at Windham (2-0). Portland turned things around with a 4-1 home victory over Biddeford, then downed host Thornton Aacdemy (3-0) and visiting Westbrook (7-0).

The Red Storm started by blanking visiting Deering (2-0). Scarborough then won at Biddeford (11-1), at home over Thornton Academy (2-0), at Westbrook (9-0) and Saturday at home over South Portland (1-0).

Prior to Wednesday, Scarborough had gone 15-6-2 all-time (including a 4-2 postseason mark) against Portland, even though the Bulldogs won the first two meetings (see below for previous results).

This time around, on a pleasant late-September evening (67 degrees at kickoff), the Red Storm managed to prevail again, but it didn’t come easily.

Portland came out strong, but off a corner kick, senior Carlos Braceras missed high with a header and a blast from sophomore Martin Kalala was just wide.

In the ninth minute, Scarborough nearly went on top, as sophomore Kilson Joao fed senior Evan Kelleher for a header which he sent off the back post.

Four minutes later, at the other end, the Bulldogs were robbed as well, as off a corner kick, Braceras sent a header off the underside of the crossbar and the rebound was cleared.

Late in the half, Portland junior Oliver Hettenbach had a free kick turned aside, junior Nick Paterniti was just wide with a header, sophomore Max Kierstead missed wide and in the final minute, a free kick by Red Storm junior standout Zander Haskell was headed out of harm’s way, sending the contest to the break still scoreless.

Scarborough junior Will Fallona keeps the ball away from Portland senior Paul Liwanga during the first half of the Red Storm’s 2-1 overtime victory Wednesday. Hoffer photos.

The offense arrived in the second half.

After junior Ashton Blanchette just missed for Scarborough and Kalala had a shot blocked for the Bulldogs, the Red Storm struck with 30:50 to play, as senior Nicholas Connolly sent a long ball into the box where Fallona got his head on it. Portland senior goalkeeper Jose Kiala was leaning the wrong way and he couldn’t get back to make the stop and the ball rolled into the net to put the hosts up, 1-0.

“We had momentum and we knew another (goal) was coming,” said Killiard.

“That was a beautiful goal by Will to get us going,” Diaz said.

After Kiala made a nice save on a Haskell header, then Haskell missed just wide, the Bulldogs answered.

With 23:17 remaining, it appeared the officials had called a hand ball in the box on Scarborough, giving Portland a penalty kick, but after a discussion and much to the Bulldogs’ chagrin, the play was ruled to have occurred just outside the box.

Regardless, the Bulldogs got a free kick in an optimal position and Vumpa, who makes a habit of drilling footballs through the upright on Friday nights, sent a rocket over the wall and to the right of diving Red Storm junior goalkeeper Nicholas Ouellette to level the score.

“Cristo hit a great ball over the top,” said longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli. “That was a great equalizer.”

The Bulldogs had the momentum and nearly took the lead three minutes later, but senior Ben Horrisberger’s shot was just wide.

Each team had chances down the stretch.

Paterniti had a shot which landed atop the net and Horrisberger and Paterniti had shots saved by Ouellette, while Haskell was robbed by Kiala and Haskell, Connolly and junior Jack Moreau were off-target for the Red Storm.

The game would go to overtime, where teams play two five-minute sessions to determine a winner and if no one scores, the game results in a tie.

It would take just under two minutes for Scarborough to end it.

With 3:01 to play in the first OT, the ball squirted out to Killiard, who one-timed a blast that Kiala couldn’t stop and at 8:48 p.m., the Red Storm had a 2-1 victory and the celebration began.

Scarborough’s boys’ soccer team mobs junior Parker Killiard after Killiard’s overtime game-winning goal. 

“It feels amazing,” Killiard said. “Will set me up with a bicycle kick and I just had to wind up and send it through the goalie’s hands. I saw the ball coming to me, knew it was my time to shine and I just wound up and put my head down and hit it well. I knew it was in.

“We just outworked them. They’re a great team and they worked hard, but we left everything out on the field. We had to keep our heads up and keep pushing through. We love a challenge. It’s just more fun to have a hard game.”

“Parker got to that back post and he just smoked it,” Diaz said. “It was a very good shot. All three of the goals today were good goals. I’m proud of my guys for how they responded. We were confident going into overtime because we felt like we played well the last 15, 20 minutes. We tried to stay with the same formula and it ended up working out for us.”

Scarborough finished with a 9-6 edge in shots and got five saves from Ouellette.

Portland had a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks and got seven saves from Kiala, but fell in agonizing fashion.

“It was a great game,” Frenzilli said. “I’m proud of the kids and I feel for them. Credit to Scarborough. They have some talented kids. We had our chances and they had theirs and they finished and got the job done. I thought it was an evenly played game all around and we wound up on the short end of it. We played hard.

“If we can come away from here with something, I thought we played a very competitive game against a very competitive team and unfortunately, they just hit a good shot. We didn’t know what to expect coming in and we handled everything we needed to handle.”

Two of many

Portland and Scarborough are two of several top teams in Class A South this season and each will look to improve their playoff standing in the weeks to come.

The Bulldogs are home against South Portland Friday, then are idle until Oct. 2, when they go to Sanford.

“We’re on to South Portland and that will be another tough game,” Frenzilli said. “We’ll see what happens.”

The Red Storm visit Sanford Friday, then play at Massabesic Wednesday of next week.

“We have to keep working as a team, stay positive and keep hustling,” Killiard said.

“I just like how we’ve responded,’ Diaz said. “I’m really proud. We have a long way to go. Not many easy games. There will be more nights like this ahead. It’s good to know we can handle this type of situation.”

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

Previous Scarborough-Portland meetings

2019
Scarborough 2 @ Portland 1

2018
@ Portland 6 Scarborough 1

2017
@ Scarborough 1 Portland 0
Class A South quarterfinal
@ Portland 1 Scarborough 0

2016
@ Portland 2 Scarborough 1

2015
@ Scarborough 1 Portland 1 (tie)

2014
Scarborough 1 @ Portland 0

2013
Portland 1 @ Scarborough 0
Western A Final
@ Scarborough 4 Portland 0

2012
Scarborough 6 @ Portland 1
Western A quarterfinals
@ Scarborough 3 Portland 0 

2011
@ Scarborough 0 Portland 0 (tie)

2010
Scarborough 3 @ Portland 1 

2009
@ Scarborough 3 Portland 0
Western A semifinals
@ Scarborough 7 Portland 2

2008
Scarborough 5 @ Portland 2

2007
@ Scarborough 5 Portland 0

2006
Scarborough 4 @ Portland 0

2005
@ Scarborough 3 Portland 0

2004
Scarborough 5 @ Portland 2

2003
Portland 3 @ Scarborough 1
Western A semifinals
@ Scarborough 3 Portland 2 (3 OT)

2002
Western A prelim
@ Portland 2 Scarborough 0

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