FALMOUTH—The shot of Mason Quiet’s young life gave seasoned coach Dave Halligan a landmark victory Thursday evening.

Quiet, Falmouth’s senior captain and standout midfielder, produced the biggest play in a game full of them as the Navigators knocked visiting Deering from the ranks of the unbeaten.

But only after the Rams rallied twice late in regulation.

The contest began calmly enough as Falmouth got the jump in the 10th minute, as senior Finn Cameron set up senior Justin Mayo for a 1-0 lead.

The Navigators’ defense then managed to hold off the dynamic Deering attack until just over 11 minutes remained, when Carlos Adriano-Muaco finished in front.

Falmouth took momentum right back three minutes later, earning a penalty kick and with 8:03 to go, senior Ben Pausman converted to seemingly give the Navigators the victory.


But the Rams, who are never out of a game, responded again and with just 2:53 on the clock, junior Chandrel Mangele Laza finished to improbably send the contest to overtime.

And there, just 55 seconds in, Quiet took a 35-yard free kick and sent it sailing into the net and Falmouth had its biggest win of the season, 3-2.

The Navigators improved to 6-4-1, dropped Deering to 8-1-2 and in the process, Halligan, who has been synonymous with the Falmouth program for decades, earned his 500th career soccer coaching victory.

“This is what we dream of,” Quiet said. “Overtime, against one of the best teams in the league. (Deering) played unbelievable. We’d lost four games against very good teams and we knew if we wanted to be competitive in playoffs, we had to beat Deering. We knew coming in what we needed to do, we fought the whole game in and in overtime and the result came at the end. It was awesome.”

High drama

Deering entered the season pegged as a veteran squad with high expectations, while Falmouth was viewed as young but promising.


Both projections have proved true to date.

The Rams started with a 2-0 victory at Biddeford, then downed visiting Sanford (6-1), Windham (3-0) and reigning Class A champion Marshwood (2-1). After a 7-1 victory at Noble, Deering blanked visiting Bonny Eagle (3-0) and Thornton Academy (2-0) before settling for a 2-2 home draw versus rival Cheverus. After beating host Massabesic, 8-0, the Rams rallied in the waning seconds to forge a 1-1 home tie against Gorham Tuesday.

Falmouth’s season began with victories at Bonny Eagle (4-0), at home over Noble (8-0), at Sanford (4-2) and at home over Massabesic (11-0), then the Navigators lost four straight, 2-0 at home to Gorham, 3-0 at Thornton Academy, 2-0 at Scarborough and 3-1 at Windham. Falmouth then tied visiting Cheverus, 1-1, and got back on track with a 6-0 victory at Biddeford Tuesday.

The Navigators (or Yachtsmen, as they were known previously) had beaten the Rams every previous meeting: 2-1 in the 2017 regular season, 2-0 in the 2017 Class A South quarterfinals, 3-0 in 2018 and 3-0 in 2019. Last fall, the teams tied, 1-1, in Falmouth.

Thursday, on a pleasant early-October evening (62 degrees at kickoff), the teams put on a show for nearly 81 minutes before the game came to a stunning conclusion.

Deering senior Patricio Mowa is defended by Falmouth seniors Ben Pausman, left, and Finn Cameron during the Navigators’ 3-2 overtime win Thursday. Hoffer photos.

Falmouth came out strong and after sophomore Sam Yoon rang a shot off the crossbar, went on top with 30:58 left in the first half, as Cameron crossed the ball in front where Mayo headed it past Deering junior goalkeeper Adao Lufumbo-Mbenza for a 1-0 lead.


The dangerous Rams had their chances to answer, but Navigators’ freshman goalkeeper Caden Berry punched away a shot from Laza, Berry broke up a rush by senior Patricio Mowa at the last second and Berry dove to rob senior Jeannot Ndayishimiye.

Lufumbo-Mbenza did his job keeping the deficit at one goal, saving a Quiet shot, while Pausman was just wide on a long free kick.

Each team had three shots on frame in the first half and the contest would remain taut in the second.

And beyond.

With 37:43 remaining in regulation, the visitors nearly pulled even, but Berry dove to rob senior Adilson Vidal.

After Falmouth senior back Jackson Boyd broke up a rush from Adriano-Muaco in the box, Berry had to go sprawling to deny another shot from Vidal.


After a cross from senior Haytham Ramadan was collected by Berry, another Mowa rush was broken up.

The end of regulation then turned wild with three goals in the final 11-plus minutes.

The Rams tied it up with 11:12 on the clock, as Laza got around the defense, then centered the ball in front to Adriano-Muaco, who sent it home to make the score 1-1.

Falmouth wasn’t fazed, however, and with 8:03 left, got a break as an attacker was brought down in the box and a penalty kick was awarded.

Falmouth senior Ben Pausman prepares to send a penalty kick into the goal for a 2-1 lead.

Pausman did the honors and he fired a low shot with his left foot past a diving Lufumbo-Mbenza for a 2-1 advantage.

But Deering wasn’t finished yet.


With 2:53 to go, off a Mowa free kick from the side of the box, Laza managed to sky and send a header off Berry’s hands and in to make it a brand new ball game again.

“We had to stay in front of them,” Halligan said. “They’re too good and too strong to get into a long kicking game with them because they’d win those balls. If we had possession, they couldn’t use their skill. We played so well and were so disciplined throughout the game, but there were two moments that lacked discipline and that was the two times they scored.”

Neither team got another look in regulation and the contest went to “sudden victory” overtime.

Where Falmouth quickly, and finally, put it away.

The Rams got the first shot in the first five-minute session, but Ramadan’s shot was easily denied by Berry.

Then, at the other end, a foul was called on Deering and Quiet lined up a free kick from about 35 yards out.


With 4:05 on the clock, Quiet’s strike was noisy indeed, soaring over the wall and under the crossbar to the right of a helpless Lufumbo-Mbenza.

“I stepped up to the ball, I looked at Coach and he said, ‘Put it on frame,'” Quiet said. “He knew what to do. I trusted my abilities and put it on frame. It was one of those balls I knew was going in.”

“That was a beautiful strike,” Halligan said. “That’s what senior captains do. I couldn’t tell if it was going in, but I was hoping.”

At 8:18 p.m., the Navigators celebrated their palpitating 3-2 victory.

Somewhere under this pile of humanity, Falmouth senior Mason Quiet feels the full weight of his teammates’ gratitude after scoring the game-winner.

“It’s a great win,” Halligan said. “We’re coming along. The younger guys are learning. Lessons we learned at the end of this game will make us better going forward. When you win by eight or nine goals or lose by three or four goals, you don’t learn. You need games like this.”

Berry made six saves for the Navigators, who had three corner kicks to the Rams’ one.


The big 5-0-0

Falmouth players and coaches celebrate with Dave Halligan after his 500th victory. Photo courtesy Rob Sullivan.

Halligan won 79 games in his first stint as head coach at Cape Elizabeth from 1979-86. He returned to Falmouth, his alma mater, for the 1987 season and has now won 421 games there, as well as a dozen state championships (two in Class C, nine in Class B and one in Class A).

“We knew coming in that Coach was nearing 500 wins, so we wanted to do this for him,” Quiet said. “It shows how good of a coach he is and how good of a program he’s created. I’m so glad we were able to be a part of this.”

Halligan tried to deflect praise to his players after the landmark win.

“This is special because these guys have been struggling,” Halligan said. “I didn’t want anyone to know about (500) because it’s about them, not about me. It’s their win tonight. I didn’t score a single goal. We’ve always stressed team-first and the rest takes care of itself. We’ve got a good program. The coaching staff. The youth program. People are excited about soccer here. We’ve had ups and downs, but we strive to have more ups than downs.”

Back to Earth


Deering had an 8-5 edge in shots on frame and Lufumbo-Mbenza made a couple saves, but the Rams’ undefeated run has come to a close.

“We need to work on being more disciplined,” said Deering coach Joel Costigan. “We can’t let up silly fouls. We have to stick to the game plan. When we do what we’re prepared to do, we execute well. We were able to put two goals in the net, but we made some mistakes and that’s the result. Falmouth has discipline and structure to be successful every year. We’ve never beaten them. They’re a good team that is going to get results and people should be worried about them in the playoffs.”


Deering (currently seeded fourth in the Class A South Heal Points standings) looks to right its ship at Kennebunk Saturday, then the Rams go to Westbrook Wednesday before closing with a pivotal showdown at currently top-ranked Scarborough Oct. 18.

“Homefield (advantage) would be great,” Costigan said. “Scarborough will be a big test. They’re very disciplined. They’ve been doing what they’ve been doing for years and they do it really, really well. We still have some things we need to work on. We’re a good team. This is the most talented team I’ve coached in my time here.”

Falmouth (ranked ninth in Class A South) is back in action Wednesday of next week at home versus Portland. The Navigators then host Marshwood in a playoff rematch before closing at Kennebunk.

“This proves to ourselves we can play in the state championship game on November 5th and that’s our goal,” said Quiet. “We’re starting to peak now and that’s what we want to see.”

“We need to get a little better each day,” Halligan said. “There’s no magic, no secrets, we just have to go out and work. We’d rather have these types of games going into the tournament. I think anybody can win this year. There’s a lot of good teams, but I’m pleased with where we are. We can compete.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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