Antulio Neto leaps above the Whaler defense to head in the first goal. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Vineyarders complete Whaler sweep
The Martha's Vineyard boys varsity soccer team capped off a 16-2-2 regular season with a workman-like 2-0 victory over arch-rival Nantucket under the lights Monday night on Whaler turf.
MV swept the season series 2-0, winning 3-1 in their home opener in September.
More than 100 Vineyarders boarded the fast ferry, chartered by the Vineyard Soccer Boosters, for the one-hour journey to Nantucket.
The match itself was an intense, physical contest played on a beautiful, breezy evening in front of a passionate crowd of about 500.
David Campbell battles Nantucket's prolific scorer Caio Correa with help from Torbelly Assis.
Martha's Vineyard came in as the South Coast Conference champs, while the Whalers, none too shabby themselves at 13-2-1, were tops in the Lighthouse Conference.
MV head coach Bob Hammond and his squad couldn't have asked for more with the state tournament beckoning by week's end. What better preparation than playing a tough foe looking to avenge a defeat, in a hostile environment?
The Whalers stormed out of the gate in the opening ten minutes, but MV gave them little. Caio Correa, Eastern Massachusetts' leading scorer, and his partner on the attack, Philipe Bazilio, stoked the crowd with some darting runs down the flanks, but Adam Herman and the Vineyard defense soon adjusted to hold them in check. David Campbell was particularly effective at shadowing Correa in midfield.
The visitors initially were content to play on the counterattack, but after 20 minutes, MV started to come forward with increasingly dangerous results.
Nantucket countered with two shots that rolled just past the left post.
MV's Zach Sylvia blocks a blast from Philipe Bazilio late in the second half.
The big break for MV came in minute 28 after a tough Whaler tackle on Zach Sylvia drew a free kick from 20 yards out.
David Campbell stepped up and delivered a lethal blast that clanged off the crossbar into the path of Antulio Neto, who soared up and nailed a header into the top of the goal for a 1-0 Vineyard lead. Neto has 23 goals, 8 assists, and 31 points, good for third best in the SCC.
The Whalers were on their heels and MV pressed for more, trying to get the extra goal with the stiff wind at their backs.
They carried the slim lead to halftime, but did not wait long for the insurance marker. Six minutes into half two, Antulio Neto was hauled down in the box and awarded a penalty, which David Campbell calmly slotted in for the coup de grace.
The Whalers made some inspired runs, but the Vineyard clogged the midfield and played keep-away with their short passing game. Nantucket seemed to tire in the final ten minutes and never truly threatened Vineyard keeper Nick Cuba, who had five saves on the day and finished the regular season as the top keeper in the South Coast Conference with a .80 goals against average and nine clean sheets.
Purple pride was in full flower and unfazed by Whaler chants of "You wear purple."
As the final whistle blew, the jubilant Vineyarders mobbed one another at mid-field and saluted their joyful fans.
The MIAA tournament rankings and schedules will be released today, with the Vineyarders possibly getting the top seed and at least one home playoff match in the Divison 2 South region.
The junior varsity boys soccer team finished its season, Thursday, with a 6-0 thrashing of Wareham and an unbeaten 16-0-2 record.
It was Philip Dwane's first year as JV head coach and he told The Times that he couldn';t be more proud of the team. He credits much of the team's success to the Friends of Vineyard Soccer program.
A dominant JV team is propitious. Sixteen members of the successful varsity team will graduate.
Lady Whalers sunk
They saved their best to last.
The MVRHS varsity girls soccer team dominated play and defeated Nantucket in the season closer by the same score that they had defeated the lady Whalers in the season opener, 3-1.
Nantucket scored first when Mandy Cahill beat first half goalie Brittany Stone before the game was two minutes old. At the 26-minute mark, the Vineyarders knotted the count when Alexia Schroeder was sent in alone on the goalie by a long ball from midfield.
A minute and a half into the second period Rachel Schubert scored, lifting the ball over the keeper's head into the net just below the cross bar. Sixteen minutes later, Alaina Aristide converted a pass from Brittany Stone, icing the cake.
It was a total team effort, featuring lots of "one-touch" passing and a dogged determination to claim every loose ball.
Martha's Vineyard finished the season with a 7-11-2 record. Nantucket is 6-8-3. Neither qualified for post-season play but surely there must remain a gratifying sense of camaraderie and happy memories of friends united in pursuit of success.
It was senior appreciation day and those playing their final high school soccer games were recognized: Alaina Aristide, Alice Hopkins, Caetlyn Hutchinson, Sandy Paredes, Britany Stone, and Kelly Sylvia.
David Amabile scored from 11 yards out early in the second quarter.
Viking invasion repulsed
David Amabile and Josh Paulson took turns breaking tackles on lengthy runs, Friday, as the Islanders avenged last year's 13-7 loss to South Shore Tech with a 23-0 pasting of the Vikings. Combined, Amabile and Paulson ran for 166 yards on Dan McCarthy field. All told the Vineyard had 223 yards rushing.
The Vineyard's first scoring play was an 18-yard pass from Mike McCarthy to Matt Lucier in the end zone early in the first quarter.
Amabile scored on the third play of the second period, an 11-yard scamper. Zach Coutinho's PAT kicks made it 14-0.
Unable to move out from the shadow of their own goal posts, South Shore took refuge in a safety. Jayson Sullivan had the questionable honor of carrying the ball through the back of the Viking end zone.
Nina Butler and Bastille Lucier were chosen as the royal couple for homecoming.
South Shore threatened to score in the fourth quarter after recovering a Paulson fumble.
Beginning on their own 15, the Vikes moved to the Vineyard 13, but Terrell Johnson ended the threat by intercepting a pass.
Then it was the purple's turn to drive the length of the field. Seventeen plays later, Alan Fortes plunged across the goal line with less than two minutes left on the clock. Coutinho, perfect on the day, converted for the final 23-0 score.
It was the homecoming game when the king and queen, elected by the student body, were announced, crowned, and taken for a ride around the field. Two outstanding athletes were chosen: Bastille Lucier and Nina Butler.
Saturday, the Islanders are at Southeastern. Kick-off is at 1 pm.