Breaking good

MVRHS boys lax off to fast start, Trims Monomoy 15-9 for 3-0 record.

Vineyarder Owen Engler, No. 34, far right, waves his stick in celebration as the team cheers for their 16-9 win over Monomoy. — John Zarba

The undefeated Vineyarder boys varsity lacrosse team gears up for Falmouth Academy at home on Thursday, April 11, at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) at 3 pm, after more than a week layoff in their first season in Cape and Island League play.

Last Tuesday, the Vineyarders moved to 3-0 with a 15-9 win over a greatly improved Monomoy team that took an early 1-0 lead. The Vineyarders stormed back to take a 8-2 halftime lead before an early third-quarter three-minute Vineyarder penalty led to six Monomoy goals to pull even. The Vineyarders scored four times later in the third, and added three in the fourth quarter to put it away.

Ivan Shepherd scored five goals to lead a balanced Island attack, with Colby Zarba, Aiden Marek, and Hunter Meader also scoring. Senior goalie Max Smith turned away 15 Monomoy shots.

Coach Chris Greene likes what he’s seen in the early going that’s produced 42 goals thus far: “The balance is great. Every game it seems someone different is top scorer. Ten of the goals against Monomoy were assisted. That shows we’re moving the ball around, sharing it. The game is fun for the kids this year. They’re buying into our system and moving the ball around, looking for passing opportunities on the [defensive] weak side,” he said, noting that he’s got a group of hockey players on the squad. “We’ve incorporated some hockey lingo and strategy into our game,” he said.

“We started slowly against Monomoy, made some unforced errors that led to the first Monomoy goal, but the kids regrouped quickly and took control of faceoffs and ground balls [38] in the game,” Greene said.

Like every other MVRHS coach asked to compare the Cape and Island League with their former Eastern Athletic Conference foes, Greene takes nothing for granted. “Monomoy is a fairly new program, but their improvement was obvious. We’ve seen three teams so far. We don’t assume anything. We’ve heard rumblings that teams like Barnstable, Falmouth, Dennis-Yarmouth, and some others are thinking about joining the [Cape and Island League]. Who knows, we may end up with two divisions when it shakes out,” he said.

“Right now we’re thinking about Falmouth Academy on Thursday at 3 pm at our place … show up ready to go and play one game at a time is how we do it,” he said.