The Martha’s Vineyard United U18 Boys soccer team joined teams from throughout the northeast United States and Canada, as well as a few teams from Europe, in the 39th Needham Memorial Day Soccer Tournament over the weekend. United lost 2-0 in the final, after impressive performances throughout the tournament.
The Vineyard team played in the Faneuil Hall Group, the second most challenging of five U18 brackets. On Saturday, MV United defeated GPS-MA Central Elite 6-2, with goals from Yannick Gonsalves, Tim Roberts (two), and Jason Lages (three). In Sunday’s first game, MV United defeated Black Watch Burlington 5-0, with goals from Jason Lages (three), Noah Kleinhenz, and Yannick Gonsalves. In Sunday’s second game, MV United defeated FC New Hampshire Bolts 1-0, with the goal by Jason Lages.
The three wins in the preliminary round qualified MV United for the the semi-finals on Championship Monday as the No. 1 seed. MV United defeated No. 4 seed Academica FC Pride in the semifinal, 2-0, with goals from Jason Lages and Silas Berlin qualifying the team for the final for the second time in three years.
In the Faneuil Hall Group final, MV United lost to Fuller Hamlets SC 2-0. The Vineyard entered the game with two starters, Alex Gordon-Beck and Gabe Bellebuono, on the bench as a precaution related to injuries they received on Sunday. Coach Esteban Aranzabe said he was pleased with the team’s play throughout the tournament, including the final where the Vineyard held a higher percentage of ball possession and carried the attack though significant periods of time. However, MV couldn’t find the back of the net in spite of quality play from the entire team.