The Vineyard varsity field hockey team dusted themselves off after losing an Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) title showdown with Bishop Stang at home last Thursday and won two games on the road to clinch a berth in the MIAA State Division 2 tournament.
The Vineyarders (9-3, 4-2 EAC) earned their place in the postseason with a 2-0 win over the Maynard High School Tigers on Tuesday afternoon. Abby Marchand put MV on the board with an unassisted goal, and Allyse Guyther set up Abby Marchand for the insurance goal to seal the win.
Saturday in Milford, the Vineyarders blanked the Scarlet Hawks, 3-0. Addy Hayman tallied twice, and Mackenzie Condon had a goal and an assist. Abby Marchand and Sally Caron added an assist apiece. The two shutouts by the Vineyard road warriors helped ease the sting of losing to Stang in the EAC title tilt last Thursday.
The teams were deadlocked at halftime, but the Spartans scored midway through the second half and added two goals late in the game to pull away for a 4-1 win and clinch their second league crown in the past three seasons.
“It was a great game,” Vineyard coach Lisa Knight said. “They played stellar. It was two teams fighting for first place, and that’s what you want…It was back and forth, it could have gone either way. We had our opportunities, and they had theirs. Unfortunately, they capitalized on them and scored a couple of quick goals.”
The Spartans jumped on top early as Carly Sherman put in a rebound off of a corner just 4:40 into the game. Despite the early setback, the Vineyarders held their own for the rest of the half and tied the game five minutes before halftime. Lily Pigott won the ball at the top of the circle and passed to Addy Hayman, who shot the ball into the crease. As the Vineyarders charged toward the Spartans goal, Mackenzie Condon jammed the ball into the net, inside the left post.
Stang held the territorial edge for much of the second half and broke through the Vineyard defense with 15:48 left on the clock after Madison Halstead scored off of a free hit. Seven minutes later, Halstead deflected a Bailee Clements blast from the edge of the circle high into the netting to give the Spartans a 3-1 lead. With the Vineyarders pushing players forward on the attack, Bailee Clements scored with 37 seconds remaining to shut the door.
“I’m proud of them, they played great,” Coach Knight said of her team. “They [Bishop Stang] are a good club. It’s not like we lost to a bad team. “I told them they can be sad for the next day, then they better come back to practice with smiles on their faces because we’ve got some work to do.”
The Vineyarders play at Dennis-Yarmouth on Oct. 19, then return home to play Falmouth on Friday at 3 pm and Nantucket on Sunday at 12:30 pm.