The Vineyard boys varsity soccer team bounced back from Saturday’s tough loss to Nauset with a 3-0 win over the Madison Park Cardinals of Boston, Monday afternoon at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
While the match was far from a display of the beautiful game, the Vineyarders were straightforwardly effective against a Division 1 opponent.
Senior Spencer Dario opened the scoring 15 minutes into the match, running between a pair of Cardinals defenders and slotting the ball home from the right post. Miles Albert picked up an assist.
A pair of sophomores scored goals 90 seconds apart to put the Vineyarders up by three. Seven minutes before halftime, Emmanuel Da Silva put the finishing touch on a slick cross from Moushe Oliveira at the left side of the box, tucking the ball neatly into the twine, just inside the left post. Mr. Oliveira then added some insurance with 5:38 left on the clock, taking a feed from Sam Bresnick, pivoting away from a Madison Park defender and calmly burying a shot from 10 yards out.
The second half unfolded with little drama. The Cardinals carried the possession for the first 15 minutes, with the Vineyarders content to protect their lead and mount the occasional counterattack. The hosts went on the front foot for a 10-minute stretch thereafter, earning three corner kicks. Gabe Bellebuono had the best shot at goal, striking a 20-yard free kick off the outside of the right post.
The Cardinals had one decent attempt down the stretch, but Vineyard keeper Joao Goncalves parried the well-struck shot away to his left to preserve his clean sheet.
“A win is a win,” Vineyard Coach Esteban Aranzabe said following the match. “Three different kids scored, and that’s important. Being a rebuilding year, it’s really, really important for these young players to play together and understand what we want, but they did all right.”
The Vineyarders lost 16 seniors to graduation from last year’s team, which finished 15-6 and reached the Division 3 South Sectional semifinals of the state tournament. Suffice it say, the current squad is a young, relatively green group.
“They’re a young team, but they are starting to understand how to work together, little by little, but this is the first time that they have played together, so it will take them a few more games to totally get it,” Coach Aranzabe said.
Seniors Joao Goncalves, Gabe Bellebuono, and Miles Jordi, along with sophomore Morgan Estrella, are the team captains. “Morgan is very responsible and he understands the game very well,” said the coach. “He is one of the best playmakers we have.”
The two Vineyard losses this season have come at the hands of the defending state Division 2 champion Nauset Warriors.
The Vineyarders won their home opener on Sept. 14, defeating Falmouth 2-0. Emmanuel Da Silva tapped in a Gabriel Nascimento cross late in the first half, and Mr. Nascimento put the match away by stuffing in a rebound late in the second. Joao Goncalves had a stellar game in net, and robbed the Clippers with a point-blank save with 10 minutes left to play.
With two matches left in a five-game homestand, the Vineyarders have a 2-2 record. The Eastern Athletic Conference schedule begins on Sept. 21 as the Coyle and Cassidy Warriors visit Dan McCarthy Field, with the kickoff set for 3 pm. MV concludes the homestand against John O’ Bryant of Boston on Saturday at 2:30 pm.