FALMOUTH—Mikey Christman had himself quite a half and as a result, his Falmouth Navigators earned themselves a win in a Class A South preliminary round boys’ soccer contest against visiting Westbrook Friday evening.

The seventh-ranked Navigators went on top to stay when Christman got behind the Blue Blazes’ defense and scored in the eighth minute.

Christman struck again in the 26th minute, then completed his natural hat trick with 1:17 remaining to give Falmouth a commanding 3-0 advantage.

Tenth-seeded Westbrook made things interesting in the second half when junior Paddy Walsh scored, but the Navigators didn’t let the Blue Blazes get any closer before junior Evan Mayo put it away with just over two minutes to go to close out a 4-1 victory.

Falmouth improved to 9-4-2, ended Westbrook’s season at 7-7-1 and will travel to No. 2 Gorham (12-1-1) in the quarterfinal round Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

“This means a lot,” said Christman. “We knew Westbrook’s a team that was being slept on. They put up a good fight. We didn’t take them lightly.”


Starting fast

Not much was expected of either squad this season, but both won more often than they lost.

Falmouth steadily came of age and posted a winning record for the 24th straight season and earned a home playoff game in the process.

Westbrook started 3-2-1, battled throughout and three victories in its final four outings punched its playoff ticket.

The teams didn’t meet this fall and had never before squared off in the postseason.

Friday, on a foggy but dry evening (57 degrees), the Navigators relied on their top finisher to produce a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.


Falmouth sophomore Hayden Davis keeps the ball inbounds in front of Westbrook senior Jonilson Gomes, left, and senior Rodolphe Matonga during the Navigators’ 4-1 victory Friday night. Hoffer photos.

Falmouth threatened early but a cross from freshman Simon Wissink was snared by Blue Blazes junior goalkeeper Jason McCarthy.

The visitors then nearly went on top in the sixth minute, when Walsh ripped a rocket with his left foot that appeared bound for the net, but Navigators sophomore keeper Caden Berry dove to knock the ball out for a corner kick, which resulted in a header from senior Rodolphe Matonga that was just off target.

Falmouth then struck in transition to go on top for good with 32:31 left in the first half, as Mayo played a long ball ahead to Christman, who got behind the defense, then beat McCarthy.

“Once we adjusted to their off-sides trap, we were able to connect passes and score goals,” Christman said. “I knew we had a speed advantage up top, so if we played balls at the right weight, I’d most likely be first to get to it. Once I get it I’m confident I can beat the goalie.”

After Berry denied Walsh to preserve the lead, the Navigators got some breathing room with 14:14 on the clock, as again Christman took a long pass, this time from senior Alex Findlay, before finishing.

“(Mikey’s) paid his dues the last few years and now it’s his time,” said longtime Falmouth coach Dave Halligan.


Christman’s final goal came in the box, off a pass from junior Sam Yoon, as he had to elude a defender, then finish with his left foot for a 3-0 advantage.

“It was really all Sam,” said Christman. “He passed me the ball and I had one guy to beat and I cut in and put it in the bottom left corner.”

The Navigators weren’t home free, however, as Westbrook did its best to rally in the second half.

Westbrook senior Jonilson Gomes tries to get past Falmouth senior Elijah St. Louis.

After junior Marcelin Kobenan missed just wide, senior Hamza Nabi missed wide.

Then, with 30:30 remaining, off a cross from Gomes, Walsh one-timed the ball past Berry, just inside the near post, cutting the deficit to 3-1.

“Paddy played his heart out not only tonight, but the entire season,” said Westbrook coach Vince Aceto. “He’s the number one reason why we played in the postseason this year.”


The Blue Blazes hoped to draw even closer and make things really interesting, but Berry saved a long free kick from Nabi, made saves on shots from Gomes and sophomore Ithiel Mulumba, then twice denied Walsh.

Falmouth put it away with 2:22 left, as Wissink crossed the ball to Mayo, who found the net.

The Navigators ran out the clock from there and celebrated their 4-1 victory.

Falmouth sophomore goalkeeper Caden Berry celebrates at the final horn.

“We knew Westbrook had nothing to lose in the second half,” said Christman. “We knew they’d come out hard. We kept it solid in the back and got one more in the end. I have a lot of faith in our defense. When they communicate, they play really well together.”

“We knew they’d come out high pressure in the second half,” Halligan said. “They got a little physical with us. They scored that goal, but we settled back in. It’s a young team. We wanted to make the tournament and gain experience. We did that and we’re playing well right now. We might not have the best players, but we’re playing well as a team.”

Falmouth out-shot Westbrook, 12-11, and got 10 saves from Berry.


The Blue Blazes had a 4-3 edge in corner kicks and got eight saves from McCarthy.

“Falmouth’s a storied program with terrific players, well coached, so it was tough to come back,” lamented Aceto. “I thought things were tilting in our direction, but then they beat us on a counter-attack and that sank our ship. It’s so difficult to get out of the first round because to me, this is the best conference in the state.

“We had a good year. This will sting for a couple days, but all in all, it was a wonderful year. Our program is solid with 65 kids. We’re where we need to build from. The guys coming back should be extremely hungry and motivated.”

A big step up

Falmouth dropped a 4-1 decision at Gorham back on Sept. 5. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with Falmouth’s 2-1 victory in the 2019 Class A South Final the most recent.

The Navigators will be decided underdogs Wednesday, but don’t be surprised if they give the Rams fits.

“Gorham’s got everything to lose and we have nothing to lose,” Christman said. “We’re a completely different team now then last time, so we’re hoping for the best.”

“We’ll do what we can to try and be successful,” Halligan said. “(Gorham’s) a big, strong, veteran team that’s had a great season, but we’ll show up and compete. The pressure’s all on them.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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