Man of the match Nico Cuba gets a leg up to stop Sandwich in the penalty shootout. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Split decision for Vineyard kickers
Veteran's Park hosted two travel soccer playoff thrillers, Sunday afternoon. Both first-round matches went the distance, plus 30 minutes of extra time.
The under-16 Vineyard girls lost to Dartmouth, 3-1, and the under-18 Vineyard boys prevailed 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 tie with Sandwich.
The Vineyard girls were the first to take the pitch and struggled in a tentative first half against Dartmouth.
The visitors came out more organized, more aggressive, and confident. Fifteen minutes in, Dartmouth had the lead and made it stand up into the dying minutes of regulation.
Antulio Neto sprints upfield, leaving Sandwich defenders in his wake.
With about two minutes left, M.V. started to find their way through a flexible Dartmouth formation that sometimes featured a sweeper with three defenders and at other times placed six players in midfield with two lonely defenders guarding a gulf of turf in the middle, just waiting for a Vineyard striker to fill the void.
Deep into three minutes of added time, the wait was over.
A Vineyard throw-in led to a flurry of activity around the Dartmouth box. M.V. players flooded the left side, drawing out the two Dartmouth defenders as Alexia Schroeder darted into the center to meet a well-timed cross from Erin Morris and tapped the ball into the net for the equalizer.
Two 15-minute extra time periods followed.
Neither side scored in the first. Dartmouth dominated the second with constant pressure and took the match with a world-class strike into the top right corner.
Vineyard keeper Katherine Spain reached it with her fingertips, but needed a fist. Two minutes later the visitors scored on a breakaway to seal the win.
Alexia Schroeder draws the Vineyard even with just seconds to spare.
U-18 boys win
The boys match was a battle of two heavyweights already assured of state tourney berths. Sandwich entered the match at 7-1-1, the Vineyard 8-0-1. The winner would play in the U-18 bracket at Amherst, while the loser would play in the more difficult U-19 field.
Antulio Neto gave the Vineyard the lead 25 minutes in with a seeing-eye shot through a maze of legs from ten yards out.
Sandwich responded in the second half, tying the match with ten minutes left.
M.V. regrouped for the first extra period and nearly took the lead in electrifying fashion when Adiles Goncalves missed the right post by inches, sliding in from nowhere to meet a perfect cross.
Sandwich had two great chances of their own in the second period. The first shot smacked off the crossbar and the second was thwarted by Vineyard keeper and man of the match Nico Cuba,
Penalties would decide it, then, and Sandwich must have felt confident with their all-state keeper.
But it was Cuba who stole the show, scoring once and making a spectacular, acrobatic save while diving to his right. Also scoring: Ben Post, Ryan Dwane, Cuba, and Antulio Neto.
"We have a team with a good chance to win [the state tournament]," coach Phil Dwane said. "I can't tell you how proud I am."
The Wildcats Jim Miller swats the winning single into center field.
In the first game of Tuesday's triple-header at Veterans Park, the Hurricanes blew away the Boilers in five innings, 18-1.
The new and improved Riptide showed their muscle in game two, scoring twice in the first, four times in the second, twice more in the third on Greg Belcher's two-run homer, a single run in the fifth inning and six in the top of the seventh. Nate Griggs's home run scored three.
The Treds never really threatened. They posted single runs in the first, fourth, fifth, and seventh. Their best inning was the third when Olsen Houghton hit a two-run homer.
Final score: Riptide 15, Treds 6.
The third game pitted the Wildcats against the Brewhas. The Brewers scored in the top of the first on Karl Kallinich's two-run homer. The Cats responded and then some, scoring nine in the bottom of the second and adding a tenth run in the fourth. The Brewhas added four in the fifth and seven more in the sixth, riding a bases-loaded home run by Dewey Green and taking a 13-10 lead - briefly. In the bottom of the sixth, Ryan Murtha cleared the fence, driving in three and tying the score.
The Brewhas went quietly in the top of the seventh. John Walsh singled and eventually scored on Jim Miller's "too hot to handle" drive.
Jeff Mercier filled the shortstop hole for John Van Putten.
Team W L
Hurricanes 3 0
Wildcats 3 0
Brewhas 2 1
Treds 2 1
Loose Canons 1 1
Riptide 1 2
Highlanders 0 2
Boilers 0 3
Last night it was Cannons vs. Riptide and Treds vs. Highlanders. Tonight the Highlanders take on the Cannons and the unbeaten Hurricanes and undefeated Wildcats play for the league lead at 8:30 pm.
Justine Shemeth belts a long single to left field in the fifth inning.
Two of the three women's softball games at Veterans Park, Tuesday, were shortened by the league's mercy rule. The Late Fees topped the Drillers, 16-3, in five innings and the Creamers did it to the Toppers, 17-3. Carolyn "Chick" Dowd homered for the Creamers in the four-run fourth inning.
The Honeys vs. Snappers game went the distance, but in the final analysis was a runaway win for the sweet ones, 15-4.
At the West Tisbury school field, the Swingers took on the Shady Ladies and outlasted them in a slugging match, 27-16. The score was tied at 16 after four innings.
Jeremy Alley-Tarter of Oak Bluffs outran the competition in the Junior Olympics 1,500-meter race at Fitchburg under the careful scrutiny of his father and coach, Richard Tarter.
Jeremy beats all
Ten-year-old Jeremy Alley-Tarter of Oak Bluffs won the 1,500-meter race at the New England Junior Olympics Track and Field Championship meet in the 10 to 12 age group at Fitchburg State College, Saturday, completing the distance in 5:10, making him the New England Junior Olympic champion, and qualifying him to compete in the regional meet in New York, Friday, June 29. The top three runners in the region will go on to the Nationals in California.
Jeremy is coached by his father, Richard Tarter, who did his distance running at Iona College.