The third time was the charm for the MV United 2000 (Under-19) Division 1 boys against Nantucket.
The teams battled twice during the South Coast Soccer League regular season. On April 28 at Veterans Park, Nantucket scored a late equalizer to secure a 1-1 draw. Three weeks later, Nantucket took all three points with a 1-0 win on home soil.
Sunday, in Sandwich, the teams met on a neutral pitch for the league championship with a berth in the prestigious Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) on the line. When it mattered most, United got the job done, and shut out Nantucket, 3-0.
The game started off exactly as the previous two; back and forth with physical play. Neither team had quality scoring chances in the first 15 minutes. As the half wore on, the Vineyard started to take control of the match and produce some scoring opportunities with better ball movement and more effective communication.
Just before halftime, Moushe Oliveira took the ball up the flank and placed a perfect cross to JoJo Bonneau, who wasted little time converting the pass to give MV a 1-0 lead.
Feeding off the momentum, the Vineyard continued their fine play in the second half and doubled their lead. Tim Wallis made a slick move during a United rush upfield and fed Morgan Estrella, who took one touch and fired the ball past the Nantucket keeper.
With time ticking away, Nantucket earned some scoring bids and hit the crossbar, but could not beat Vineyard keeper Joshua Sampaio. Moushe Oliveira soon scored the third Vineyard goal to put the match away and send United to Lancaster for the MTOC, which begins on June 28 at the Fields at Progin Park.
The tournament is a grueling test. MVU will play one match on Friday afternoon and two more on Saturday, with hopes of qualifying for the playoffs on Sunday.