The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) boys varsity soccer team performed 90 minutes of surgery on the Cape Cod Tech Crusaders Tuesday night, scoring three goals in the first half and five in the second half enroute to an 8-0 win.
The victory in the home opener, combined with a 5-1 win over St. John Paul II last week, puts the Vineyarders at 2-0 on the season and in the Cape and Islands League, the Vineyarders’ new home after nearly a decade in the Eastern Athletic Conference.
Five players scored, with sophomore Luidi De Oliveira leading the charge with a second-half hat trick. Junior Emanuel Silva had a pair of second-half goals. Matheus Brito, Sam Balbino, and Tim Wallis gave the Vineyarders a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Silva, freshman Lucas Reis, and Goncalves each had two assists. MVRHS goalkeepers Gabriel Brito (first half) and Hiaggo Goncalves (second half) had one save each, including a sparkler by Goncalves to preserve the shutout with 2:22 left. The Crusaders are 1-1 on the season, beating Sturgis West 5-1 last week.
The Vineyarders outplayed the Crusaders in every phase of the game, winning 90 percent of contested balls, earning 15 corner kicks, and using their signature short passing game and disciplined, positional play to control the ball for extended periods of time.
The Vineyarders were committed to using their wings on both sidelines to advance deep into the offensive zone, while the Crusaders massed in the middle on both sides of the ball, aiding the Vineyarders’ offensive dominance.
This is a young bunch — several freshman start — and their ball-handling skills and aggressive defensive marking clearly outmatched the Crusaders on Tuesday. Judging by play in the second half, Crusader head coach Ivan Popov’s halftime speech was heavy on the need for aggression, and two Vineyarders were briefly stretched out on the field after kamikaze Crusader hits. But the Vineyarders can play tough as well, and the rough stuff settled down midway through the second half.
The display on Tuesday made Island hearts leap for the Vineyarders’ chances in the C&I this season. But Nantucket and Monomoy, along with Falmouth and Cape Cod Academies, are in the league as well, and they will test the Vineyarders as the season wears on.
The Vineyarders will test the mettle of Sturgis East on Thursday at 4 pm in an away game.