Emmanuel Da Silva and Gabriel Nascimento scored goals late in each half and Joao Goncalves came up big in net as the Martha’s Vineyard boys varsity soccer team defeated the Falmouth Clippers, 2-0, in the home opener Thursday afternoon at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
With the win over their neighbors from across Vineyard Sound, the Vineyarders improved to 1-1.
The first half featured long stretches of midfield pinball and few scoring opportunities. Falmouth had most of the possession in the first half-hour, with the Vineyarders booting high clearances and playing long balls over the middle.
With 10 minutes left before the halftime break, Vineyarder Miles Albert had the best chance for either side, skillfully weaving his way through two defenders and firing a shot over the bar from 15 yards out.
The Vineyarders got on the board with 2:48 left on the clock after Gabriel Nascimento ran down the right flank and placed a cross to Emmanuel Da Silva, who calmly tapped the ball inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.
The momentum carried into the second half as the Vineyarders began to string together some short passes and put Falmouth on the defensive with runs down the flanks.
The Vineyard pressure held up until the final 20 minutes, when the Clippers stepped up the attack in search of an equalizer.
Falmouth came within inches of tying the match with nine minutes to play. Following a goalmouth scramble, Vineyard keeper Joao Goncalves saved the day by diving to his right at full extension to rob Matt Haley’s sure rebound at the left post. The Vineyard senior was outstanding in net throughout.
In the final two minutes, the Vineyarders did a superb job of controlling the ball and killing the clock. Following a short corner and several seconds of pressure, Gabriel Nascimento put the match away by stuffing in a rebound.
Next up in the five-game homestand is a rematch with Nauset, the defending state Division 2 champions, Saturday at 1:15 pm. The Warriors defeated M.V., 3-1, in the season opener on Sept. 7. The Vineyarders host Madison Park of Boston on Monday at 3 pm.