Sometimes, practice really does pay off. Especially when you have the skill to pull off a difficult shot.

With his team trailing by a goal midway through the second half, Deering senior Patricio Mowa drilled a low 35-yard shot from the right wing off a set play to score the tying goal against defending Class A state champion Marshwood, propelling the Rams to a 2-1 win.

“We have been practicing a lot and Coach (Joel Costigan) told us do it this way and we followed the steps, listened to him. That was kind of the practice,” Mowa said.

Off a free kick, Adilson Vidal directed the ball through the legs of teammate Ethan Fisher to Mowa, who’s shot changed the tenor of the game. Up to that point, the Hawks had the edge in possession, opportunities and composure.

Suddenly, though, the Rams (4-0) were swarming the Marshwood end. That pressure paid off in the winning goal with 7:44 to play.

Saker Al Akash started the play when he alertly reversed the field with a long left-to-right pass to Mowa. For most of the game, Marshwood’s defense had been focused on staying in front of Vidal when he gained possession. This time, Vidal, a senior captain, found unmarked space in the middle of the field and Mowa delivered the ball to him right on time. Vidal wasted no time sending a shot toward the left corner that Marshwood keeper Andrew Perry (seven saves) had no chance of stopping.


“Last year was kind of the same thing when we played (Marshwood),” Mowa said. “We were down 1-0 after the first half and we turned the page.”

A year ago, Marshwood recovered from a loss to Deering and went on to win the state championship. Deering was the victim of a first-round upset in the playoffs.

“We have a lot of seniors. A lot of chemistry. It’s the same group we had last year, but they’ve done a lot of work in the offseason,” said Deering Coach Joel Costigan.

Marshwood (3-1) showed it can again be a factor in the competitive Class A ranks. After graduating its entire midfield and three of four starting defenders, the Hawks held their own in both areas of the field against Deering, a physical and fast team. Marshwood was led by center midfielders James Melino and Milo Clauson and backs Jason Singer, Ronan Casey and Michael Burbank.

“I actually thought it was the best that we had played all season, really,” said Marshwood Coach Ben Deschene. “You hate to be happy in a loss, but I’m happy with the growth that we had today.”

Singer put the Hawks ahead when he headed in a corner kick from Melino at 29:12 of the first half.

Moments later, Marshwood striker Wyatt Yager was denied on a doorstep shot by Deering goalkeeper Adao Lufumbo-Mbenza, who made eight saves. Battling against Deering’s tough defenders, Celda Mouckala and Alberto Lucas-Bayata, and working tirelessly, Yager had several near-miss chances, including one when the game was tied 1-1 that barely slid wide of the goal.

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