The MVRHS boys soccer team, whose official season opener was washed out by last Saturday’s rain, began their 2019 campaign with a 2-0 shutout win over Falmouth in Cape and Islands League Atlantic Division play on Tuesday at the high school. Goals by Luidi DeOlivera in the first half and Sam Balbino in the second were the difference in this physical, defensive contest.
Despite having a ball-possession advantage in the first half, MV had no more luck than Falmouth in creating shots on goal. Fortunately, the Vineyarders converted one of their rare opportunities eight minutes into the game, and it was a beauty. On the play, senior tri-captain Morgan Estrella lofted a corner kick toward the goal that junior Luidi DeOlivera headed past Falmouth goalie Jack Richardson.
In the second half, the Clippers took their turn dominating play, but again, the hosts’ defense kept them at bay. “Our goalies were a big part of our team defense,” said Vineyard Coach John Walsh after the game, referring to senior Josh Sampaio and sophomore Hiaggo Goncalves, who split the goaltending duties. “They link our defense to our offense by helping control the ball in our own end before outletting it to the right person. Both our guys made smart decisions with the ball today.”
Midway through the second half, the hosts capitalized on another scoring chance. This time, junior Sam Balbino blasted home a perfect crossing pass from senior tri-captain Emanuel DaSilva. The 2-0 score held up the rest of the way to give the Vineyarders a well-earned season-opening win in front of a sizable home crowd.
The Vineyarders now hit the road for three games, beginning today against Atlantic Division rival Dennis-Yarmouth. Their next home game is Saturday, Sept. 21, against nonleague Concord-Carlisle.