Crosstown rivals Deering and Portland don’t play each other nearly enough in boys’ soccer. Blame the schedule makers in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association, who have to put together the puzzle that is a 14-game regular season in a 17-team league.

“Portland’s actually the team we’ve played the least since I’ve been head coach, since 2011. There have been more years we have not played than played them,” said Deering Coach Joel Costigan.

So when the Rams and Bulldogs do meet, like they did Wednesday in the Class A South quarterfinals, they more than make up for lost time.

Jeannot Ndayishimiye’s goal with just over five minutes to play was the difference, giving No. 2 Deering a 3-2 win. The Rams (11-2-2) will face the winner of Wednesday night’s late game between No. 6 Windham and No. 3 Marshwood in the semifinals.

No. 7 Portland ends the season 10-6.

“You saw it was a good game, a close game. No matter what sport it is, as long as it’s Deering versus Portland, you know it’s going to be a good game,” said Ndayishimiye, “and today was a hell of a game.”


Ndayishimiye’s winner came off a turnover in the defensive end. Playing near midfield, Ndayishimiye saw the ball in open space and attacked it, taking control and beating his defender before drilling a shot into the left side of the net.

“I saw the ball. I saw it was my chance to take it, and I did it. I went to the ball, took him one-on-one and shot,” Ndayishimiye said. “I kind of knew where I was going to shoot it, but once I got there, once I kicked it, I thought I was going to miss.”

Ndayishimiye’s strike was the only goal of the second half. Each team held the lead in a back-and-forth first half.

Portland took a 1-0 lead 1:18 into the game when Brady Toher capitalized on a Deering turnover in its own end, firing his shot into the upper right corner.

Containing Toher’s speed was a challenge all game, Costigan said.

“Brady did a great job up top and really threw our backs off. We had trouble communicating all night. Brady’s a quick player. He’s making good runs. He’s hanging even with our center backs, and then he’s rolling off to balls over the top,” Costigan said.


Giving up the first goal has been a pattern all season for the Rams, Costigan said, and so has rallying from it. Costigan cited wins over Scarborough, Marshwood and Sanford as times his team overcame a slow start.

The guys have done a good job staying positive on the field. There’s some moments of chaos, but they make it work,” Costigan said.

The Rams got the equalizer with 25:41 left in the half when Ethan Fisher scored on a rebound that got away from Portland keeper Ben Littell.

Barely two minutes later, Deering took a 2-1 lead when Carlos Adriano-Muaco took a pass from the left and buried his shot.

Portland knotted the game again with 2:08 left in the first half when Oliver Hettenbach scored on a penalty kick.

“It’s a game we look forward to playing. I just told my players, I’m proud of each and every one of them for the effort they put forth. They left everything on the field,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli.

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