Vineyarders repel Spartans

Alex Clark was off to the races en route to a breakaway goal in the second half. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Alex Clark scored a natural hat trick in the second half to lead the Vineyard varsity field hockey team to a 4-2 Eastern Athletic Conference win Tuesday in Oak Bluffs over archrival Bishop Stang. The Vineyarders improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the EAC.

The Purple came out with good pressure from the opening whistle. Erin Hegarty put the hosts on the board at 19:11 by jamming in a rebound following a corner. The Spartans responded with sustained pressure for the rest of the half and tied the score 5:49 into the second.

Enter Alex Clark, who restored the Vineyard lead two minutes later by tapping in a rebound inside the right post and then adding some breathing room with a breakaway goal at 9:59. The Spartans were undaunted by the deficit and pressed the play for the next 15 minutes, culminating in a second goal with five minutes to play.

The match came to a gripping climax with Bishop Stang pressing for the equalizer and the Vineyarders trying to chew up some clock. With 11 seconds left and the Spartans bunched up in the Vineyard end, Alex Clark broke free at midfield, ran in alone and slapped in a perfect shot dead center from 10 yards out to settle the issue.

“We’ll take that,” Vineyard coach Lisa Knight said after the big win. “That was a pretty incredible game. Whenever you beat Bishop Stang it’s a great win. They came to play today, both teams, and we get a little nervous because some of the players out there are pretty young. I think that they had to remain composed and it worked out pretty well that way.”

The Vineyarders are back in action with home games September 19 at 3 pm against EAC foe West Bridgewater and Saturday at 11:30 am vs. Needham.

Bears blanked in home opener

Aubrey Ashmun and Alex Clark scored second half goals to lift Martha’s Vineyard to a 2-0 win Saturday in the home opener over the Ursuline Academy Lady Bears. The Vineyarders hemmed in the visitors from the start, firing 18 shots on the Ursuline goal, while the M.V. defense was rock solid all day.