What a difference a half makes. For the first 40 minutes Tuesday afternoon at Dan McCarthy Field in the Eastern Athletic Conference opener against Somerset Berkley, the Vineyard boys varsity soccer team struggled to reach even midfield, let alone the goal. By the end of the match, however, the Vineyarders had erupted for five goals in 30 minutes to rout the Raiders, 5-0.
“The difference was getting sucked into playing kick and run the way a lot of other teams play or trying to establish possession which builds us into our space, which allows us to attack the way that we plan and good things happen,” Vineyard coach Damon Burke said. “It was definitely a tale of two halves. Now we just have to look to open the game that way from the first minute.”
Jason Lages got the ball rolling nine minutes into the second half with a rocket into the top of the onion bag from 15 yards out. Ten minutes later, the Vineyarders doubled their lead on a double header from Lages to freshman Nevin Wallis, who netted his first varsity goal. Lages had his second goal 120 ticks later after taking a pass from Alex GordonBeck, running down the right flank and scoring low to the right post from the edge of the box. Ben Poole made the count 4-0 with 10 minutes to play, polishing off an 80-yard run by coolly slotting the ball into the bottom right corner from 10 yards out. The rout was complete 7 minutes from time as Noah Kleinhenz swept in from the right flank, feeding Wallis at the left post, who bounced a shot off the chest of teammate Colin Cameron, who was credited with the goal.
With the win in the books, the match ended on a regrettable note. As the teams were shaking hands, Martha’s Vineyard coach Damon Burke overheard an offensive comment directed toward a Vineyard player.
“My players, to their credit, kept their cool and let the adults handle it,” coach Burke said. “The referees, I think, really made a mistake by not carding him, but I’ll be talking with the AD about it because there is no place for racism in high school sports. There’s really no place for it anywhere.”
The Purple host Dennis-Yarmouth September 19 at 3 pm and Whitinsville Christian School Saturday at 3 pm. The Vineyard jayvees also were victorious Tuesday, beating the Raiders, 4-1.