SCARBOROUGH—Poise and unselfishness, combined with an abundance of talent, have turned the Portland boys’ soccer team into a powerhouse this fall.

And Tuesday evening at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex, all of the Bulldogs’ brilliance was on display in a rare victory at a longtime nemesis.

Portland took a 1-0 lead over host Scarborough in the 18th minute, when junior Francisco Samuel finished.

After the Bulldogs preserved the advantage early in the second half when senior goalkeeper Calvin Hale made his biggest save of the night, Portland pulled away, as senior captain Martin Kalala-Wasukundi scored with 30 minutes to play, then junior captain Ronan Mas buried a free kick with 4 minutes to go to produce a 3-0 victory.

The Bulldogs won their seventh game in a row, improved to 7-0-1 on the season, beat the Red Storm for the first time in five years and in the process, dropped Scarborough to 3-3-1.

“I knew this would be a benchmark for us against a very, very good Scarborough team,” said longtime Portland coach Rocco Frenzilli, after his 288th career victory. “I’m just happy how the kids responded. They did a great job. We’ve focused on poise and being able to find each other in a good position to give us the best possible chance to do something positive. The guys have done that.”


Chasing Windham

With Windham considered by many to be the favorite in Class A South, Portland is right at the Eagles’ level, while Scarborough is among a large group of strong contenders just a step or two behind.

The Bulldogs started with a 1-1 home draw against Gorham, then defeated host Marshwood (3-0), host Noble (4-0), visiting Falmouth (2-0), host Sanford (4-0), visiting Thornton Academy (6-0) and visiting Westbrook (5-0).

“We had one practice before our first game and we walked on to the field not sure how it was going to be, but immediately, the chemistry was great,” Mas said.

The Red Storm, meanwhile, started with a 0-0 draw at South Portland, then beat visiting Bonny Eagle (5-0), before losing at home to Windham (3-1). Scarborough then fell at Kennebunk (1-0), before righting the ship and beating visiting Sanford (7-0) and host Marshwood (5-1).

Last year, in the season opener, host Scarborough prevailed, 1-0.


Entering the game, the Red Storm had gone 17-6-2 all-time (including a 4-2 postseason mark) against Portland, even though the Bulldogs won the first two meetings (see below for previous results).

Tuesday, the home team hoped to continue its dominance, but instead, Portland snapped a three-game skid in the series and won in Scarborough for the first time in a decade.

The Bulldogs threatened in the second minute, but senior captain Max Kierstead headed Mas’ free kick just wide.

The Red Storm then looked to strike first, but junior Cooper Mallar headed senior Kilson Joao’s pass just wide with Hale out of the goal, then Joao missed just wide after a nice move.

After Portland junior Isaac Rodrigues-Nkanza had a rush broken up by Scarborough sophomore Christopher Coburn, Red Storm junior goalkeeper Seamus Corry saved a shot from Kalala-Wasukundi.

But with 22:18 to go in the first half, the Bulldogs got the jump, as sophomore Baptista Muanda played the ball into the box and Samuel ran on to it just before Corry could get there and he tapped it past the keeper and in for a 1-0 lead.


“Baptista’s pop over the top was a nice, subtle pass,” Frenzilli said. “Just enough weight to get it over and give Francisco a chance. That was a big confidence boost.”

Late in the half, Kierstead missed just wide, Kalala-Wasukundi shot high and Rodrigues-Nkanza barely missed and at the other end, a long free kick from Scarborough senior Dillon Macleod was just high as well, keeping the score 1-0 at the break.

The Red Storm didn’t have a shot on frame in the first half, but that changed quickly in the second half, as three minutes in, senior Sebastian Furr launched a rocket that appeared ticketed for the upper 90, but Hale jumped and barely tipped it over the crossbar to set up a corner kick which Portland cleared.

“That kid hit a great ball that was dipping under the bar and if (Calvin) didn’t get his hand on it, that would have been a difference-maker,” Frenzilli said. “(Goalie coach) Taylor (Mannix) told him to stay engaged in the game because you can’t fall asleep against a good team like Scarborough.”

After Red Storm junior Matthew Booth was wide in the box off a failed clear and Mas and Kalala-Wasukundi were each off target, the Bulldogs got some breathing room.

With 30:10 to play, the ball deflected to Kalala-Wasukundi to Corry’s right and he ripped a low shot that the keeper got a hand on but couldn’t keep out of the goal.


“The second goal was very important,” said Kalala-Wasukundi. “The ball came to me. I had one touch, then I finished it. I got kind of lucky.”

“Martin’s poised and he has great vision,” Frenzilli said. “He’s in control all the time. With Batista and (junior) Felisberto (Mamuisi) there, the three of them, it’s a really nice midfield combination to watch. The front line guys love it too because they have an opportunity to make runs and get balls.”

“That wasn’t a great goal,” lamented longtime Scarborough coach Mark Diaz. “In a game like this, you can’t have that. It hurt.”

The Red Storm didn’t threaten again and after Corry saved a shot from Kalala-Wasukundi, senior Luis Ordonez-Franco missed wide and Corry had to dive to save a bid from Rodrigues-Nkanza after a nice move, a foul outside the box led the third goal.

With 4 minutes to play, Mas lined up a free kick from about 25 yards out and sailed his shot just over the defensive wall and past Corry before he could react.

“I was looking where the goalie was and where the wall was,” Mas said. “I was practicing just for that over the weekend and knew I couldn’t mess it up. I knew what I wanted to do and I got it. It was up and toward the right, where the goalie wasn’t.”


Down the stretch, Corry dove to rob Kierstead, then Rodrigues-Nkanza missed just high, but Portland was able to close out and celebrate its 3-0 victory.

“It means a lot to us,” said Mas. “It’s a good sign for our season. We came in here knowing we haven’t won here in a long time and that it would be a hard game. We came out strong and got the result we wanted.”

“We’ve been working hard to prove we’re one of the best teams in the South,” Kalala-Wasukundi said. “Other teams want to beat us and we want to beat them. I hoped to be this good, but I didn’t know we could be this good.”

“I wanted to think it was possible back in August, but I wasn’t sure,” Frenzilli added.

The Bulldogs had a 7-2 advantage in shots on frame, got two saves from Hale and took six corner kicks to Scarborough’s four.

Portland has now pitched seven straight shutouts and hasn’t surrendered a goal in 610 minutes, 57 seconds of game action.


“Our fullbacks stopped their 1-v-1s,” Mas said. “The center-backs talked with the fullbacks and helped clean it up. It was just about communicating.”

“Our backs are solid and worked hard together to keep the slate clean,” Frenzilli said. “That’s our hope every game. We don’t want to give anything up.”

The Red Storm got four saves from Corry, but couldn’t generate many good chances on offense.

“Portland’s good in the middle,” said Diaz. “They move the ball well and they have a lot of pace. I think we did a pretty job defending them. They made the plays and we didn’t. I don’t have a problem putting Portland and Windham near the top. They’ve earned it. I don’t know if the distance is as great as people think.”

Second half challenges

Scarborough looks to bounce back Thursday at home versus Falmouth. After going to Deering Saturday, the Red Storm are at Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.


“This was a learning experience,” Diaz said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction. We’re defending better. We have a couple guys out and they’ll be back soon.”

Portland is home versus Kennebunk Saturday, then plays at Biddeford Tuesday of next week.

“Everyone knows how we should play and we’re working toward that common goal and not individually,” Mas said. “We need to work on being more direct in the attacking third. If we know what we want to do and we do it, that’s how we’ll score more goals. We’re just trying to stay humble.”

“We just work hard for the next game,” Kalala-Wasukundi said. “It’s all about focus during practice and the desire to beat every team. Our defense is very good. Our midfield is very good. Our attack is very good. We just have to keep improving.”

“We need to keep getting better,” Frenzilli added. “We’ll keep climbing the ladder. We respect all and fear none. That’s our mantra. We won’t get ahead of ourselves. These guys will stay grounded. Ronan and Martin and Max will do that and it makes our job easier. It’s a special team. Not that my other teams haven’t been, but this one is just fun.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

Previous Scarborough-Portland meetings

@ Scarborough 1 Portland 0


@ Scarborough 2 Portland 1 (OT)

Scarborough 2 @ Portland 1

@ Portland 6 Scarborough 1

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

@ Portland 2 Scarborough 1

@ Scarborough 1 Portland 1 (tie)


Scarborough 1 @ Portland 0

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

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

@ Scarborough 0 Portland 0 (tie)

Scarborough 3 @ Portland 1 

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


Scarborough 5 @ Portland 2

@ Scarborough 5 Portland 0

Scarborough 4 @ Portland 0

@ Scarborough 3 Portland 0

Scarborough 5 @ Portland 2

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

Western A prelim
@ Portland 2 Scarborough 0

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