Deering pulls away to beat Portland, earn bragging rights

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Deering junior Nick James (19) is congratulated by classmate Zach Harvey after scoring one of his four goals in Tuesday’s 18-9 win at Portland. 

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.


Deering 18 Portland 9

D- 2 4 6 6- 18
P- 1 2 2 4- 9

First quarter
4:23 D James (unassisted)
2:47 P Archand (unassisted)
10.0 D Tosi (unassisted) 

Second quarter 
6:44 D Contreras (Walter)
5:06 D James (Peterson) (MAN-UP)
3:54 D Harvey (James)
3:46 D Peterson (Walter)
1:24 P O’Brien (W. Herboldsheimer)
16.4 P Bryan (Archand) 

Third quarter
8:02 D James (unassisted)
4:45 D Contreras (Richards)
4:09 P O’Brien (unassisted) (MAN-UP)
3:31 P Bryan (Silva)
2:53 D James (unassisted)
2:42 D Peterson (Walter)
46.1 D Richards (unassisted)
1.9 D Sungubele (Richards) 

Fourth quarter
11:51 D Peterson (Walter)
10:53 P Shaw (unassisted)
8:25 D Harvey (Richards)
7:19 P Bryan (unassisted)
6:43 D Tosi (unassisted)
2:36 D Peterson (Walter) (MAN-UP) 
1:12 P Archand (O’Brien)
53.9 D Richards (unassisted)
22.7 D Walter (unassisted)
1.4 P Shaw (unassisted) 

D- James, Peterson 4, Contreras, Harvey, Richards, Tosi 2, Sungubele, Walter 1
P- Bryan 3, Archand, O’Brien, Shaw 2

D- Walter 5, Richards 3, James 1
P- Archand, W. Herboldsheimer, O’Brien, Silva 1

D- 12
P- 16

D- 21 
P- 18

D- 35
P- 31

Shots on cage
D- 25
P- 21

D (Nussinow) 12 
P (Flynn) 7

PORTLAND—Deering’s boys’ lacrosse team doesn’t need any extra motivation when the Portland Bulldogs are on the other side of the field, but when the Rams also have to wait 52 weeks to administer a dose of revenge for a loss to their fiercest rival, they’re awfully tough to stop.

Tuesday evening at Fitzpatrick Stadium, Deering never trailed and only got better as the game went along in the teams’ annual showdown.

The Rams went ahead to stay when senior Jacob Tosi scored with 10 seconds to go in the first quarter and Deering led by as many as five goals, 6-1, in the second quarter before Portland answered behind tallies from junior Reilly O’Brien and senior Wes Bryan to gain a little momentum heading into the half.

It didn’t last long, as the Rams got goals from juniors Nick James and Omar Contreras and after the Bulldogs answered on goals from O’Reilly and Bryant, Deering scored four times in the final 2:53 of the third quarter, as James, junior Jonah Peterson, senior Nate Richards and junior Bupalo Sungubele’s tallies made the score 12-5.

The Rams didn’t let up a bit in the fourth period, scoring six more times, and they went on to an 18-9 victory.

Deering got four goals apiece from James and Peterson and eight different players scored in all as the Rams improved to 3-1 and dropped Portland to 2-3 in the process.

“These guys have waited for this game since last year,” said Deering coach Jon Dubois. “It was really big for us to get this one back. They’re in our conference, so it’s a great way to stay on top of teams in our division and get (Heal Points).”

Renewing acquaintances

Deering and Portland always get up for the other, regardless of record.

Last spring, the Bulldogs won, 8-6, at the Rams to snap Deering’s six-game win streak in the series (see sidebar, below, for recent results). 

This season, both teams hope to be a factor in Class A North and both have shown promising glimpses early.

The Rams opened with a 20-9 win at Westbrook, then lost at home to Cheverus, 11-3, before downing visiting Maranacook/Winthrop, 12-2, in a crossover game Saturday.

The Bulldogs won their first two games, 16-3 over visiting Noble and 11-3 at Marshwood, then, after injuries took their toll, lost close home games to Windham (10-7) and Oak Hill (10-9).

Tuesday, on an evening where the starting temperature was 52 degrees and only went down from there and rain showed up intermittently, offense was at a premium early before Deering proved unstoppable.

It took 7 minutes, 37 seconds for the ice to be broken, as James scored his first goal, unassisted.

Portland drew even with 2:47 to play in the opening stanza, when junior Tristan Archand beat Rams senior goalie Tanner Nussinow, but with just 10 seconds to go in the first, Tosi scored unassisted, firing a shot past Bulldogs junior goalie T.J. Flynn, and the visitors were ahead for good.

Deering got some breathing room in the second quarter, as with 6:44 left, senior Chase Walter set up Contreras for the first of four goals in a three minute span.

With 5:06 remaining before halftime, playing man-up, the Rams made it 4-1, as Peterson fed James.

James got in on the assisting fun with 3:54 to go, setting up junior Zach Harvey, and eight seconds later, after winning the ensuing faceoff, Walter set up Peterson in transition for a 6-1 lead.

The end of the first half would belong to Portland, however, as with 1:24 remaining, O’Brien finished a feed from senior Will Herboldsheimer and with 16.4 seconds left, Archand set up Bryan for his first goal, cutting the deficit to a manageable 6-3 at the break.

In the first half, the Bulldogs won 7 of 11 faceoffs and had a 15-12 shots advantage, but trailed, thanks in part to seven Nussinow saves.

Any momentum Portland might have had disappeared in the third period where Deering matched its first half scoring production in just 12 minutes.

After Nussinow robbed freshman Miki Silva to preserve the three-goal lead, James scored unassisted with 8:02 left in the quarter and with 4:45 showing, senior Nate Richards set up Contreras for an 8-3 lead.

Again, the Bulldogs cut the deficit to three, as O’Reilly scored man-up with 4:09 to go and 38 seconds later, Silva set up Bryan to make it 8-5.

The Rams would control play the rest of the frame, however, and soon managed to open it up for good.

With 2:53 left in the third, James ripped a shot through the defense and past Flynn to restore order.

Eleven seconds later, again on transition after a faceoff win, Walter set up Peterson to make it 10-5.

In the final minute, Deering added two more goals, as with 46.1 seconds left, Richards scored unassisted and with just 1.9 seconds on the clock, Richards set up Sungubele for a commanding 12-5 advantage.

The fourth period was devoid of drama, but featured plenty of offense.

Just nine seconds in, again on a rush after a faceoff win, Walter set up Peterson to make it 13-5.

The Bulldogs got a goal back with 10:53 to play, as junior Sam Shaw scored unassisted, but with 8:25 showing, Richards fed junior Harvey for a 14-6 lead.

After Shaw scored unassisted with 7:19 left, Tosi countered unassisted 36 seconds later.

With 2:36 remaining, Walter again set up Peterson, this time man-up, for a 16-7 lead.

Archand scored (from O’Brien) with 1:12 left, but 19 seconds later, Richards countered, unassisted.

With 22.7 seconds to play, Walter finally got in the scoring column, unassisted, for Deering’s final tally and with 1.4 seconds to go, Shaw scored unassisted to bring the curtain down on the Rams’ 18-9 triumph.

“It feels good,” said James. “It’s always fun to play city teams, especially when you know a lot of guys. It’s a great feeling to get a win against them. We went six years undefeated against Portland, so last year was a heartbreaker. Offensively, everyone was throwing the ball well. We did what we need to do. Dodges were good. Passes were good. Everyone finished their shots. At halftime, we talked about it being our game and not letting it go.”

“We talked about keeping our emotions in check and doing what we do,” Dubois said. “We knew this game will be emotional. We knew if we stayed calm, we’d get man-up and take advantage.”

James and Peterson paced the offense with four goals apiece. Contreras, Harvey, Richards and Tosi all tickled the twine twice and Sungubele and Walter had one goal each.

Walter had a game-high five assists, while Richards added three and James one.

“We didn’t get nearly as many shots as we wanted in the first quarter,” Dubois said. “We had to work our schemes the right way. It’s not just about going out there and throwing the ball at the net. We talked about what they were doing and we cleaned it up. We ran our offense the right way. The kids found the open guy. A lot of assists and pretty goals. We have a lot of kids who work hard and they love to get their piece of the pie. We love it as coaches too.”

Nussinow made a dozen saves and Deering had a 35-31 shots advantage (25-21 on cage) and overcame 21 turnovers.

Portland got three goals from Bryan and two goals apiece from Archand, O’Brien and Shaw.

Archand, Herboldsheimer, O’Brien and Silva had assists.

Flynn, filling in for the injured Aaron Hoekstra, made seven saves.

The Bulldogs won 16 of 28 faceoffs, but turned the ball over 18 times.

“We made a couple mistakes early in the second half, got in the penalty box, and they capitalized every time,” lamented Portland coach Mike DiFusco. “We got in a bigger hole and we kept trying to climb out of it, but they kept putting the ball in the back of the net. It was too little, too late.”

The Bulldogs have been hindered by injury this spring.

“Our starting goalie broke his collarbone,” DiFusco said. “He’s an important part of the unit. You lose guys every year, but you don’t picture losing your goalie. Our second goalie has stepped up best he can. (Senior) Alex Frank has a broken bone. (Junior) Kevin Moore has a concussion.”

No easier

Portland’s road only gets tougher, as it goes to defending Class A champion Scarborough Thursday, then next week, visits Thornton Academy.

“We have a big game Thursday,” said DiFusco. “The rest of the way will be a dogfight for sure. We’ll keep the guys fighting.”

Deering, meanwhile, faces the same two teams, in a different order, as the Golden Trojans come to Memorial Field Friday and Scarborough pays a visit Tuesday of next week.

“I have a good feeling about this team,” James said. “We have a good group of guys. A great group of seniors. Good young talent. We still need to work on our transition game. Getting back on defense. Other than that, I think we’re looking good.”

“We’re excited for it,” Dubois said. “It’s the first time we’ve been 3-1 since (2012). We have a lot of momentum. The kids are really high right now. TA and Scarborough are both big dogs. We pulled one over on TA last year. They know that, so we’ll see.”

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

Portland junior Reilly O’Brien shoots as Deering freshman Jason Pichette defends.

Deering senior Jacob Tosi fires a shot on goal. Tosi scored twice in the victory.

Deering junior Zach Harvey can’t stop the shot of Portland junior Tristan Archand.

Deering freshman Ben Brown defends Portland junior Reilly O’Brien.

Deering junior Jonah Peterson, who scored four times, gets a shove from Portland sophomore Max Valmond.

Deering senior Nate Richards races up the sideline as Portland sophomore Nicolas Leavitt defends.

Recent Deering-Portland results

Portland 8 @ Deering 6 

Deering 11 @ Portland 5 

@ Deering 15 Portland 14 

Deering 10 @ Portland 3 

@ Deering 9 Portland 5
Western A quarterfinals
@ Deering 7 Portland 6 (OT)

@ Deering 8 Portland 4

@ Portland 16 Deering 1

@ Portland 19 Deering 0

@ Portland 9 Deering 8
Western A semifinals
@ Portland 16 Deering 9

Portland 9 @ Deering 5
Western A semifinals
@ Portland 8 Deering 6

@ Portland 15 Deering 4
West Region semifinals
@ Portland 6 Deering 4

@ Deering 8 Portland 5

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.