Madia Bellebuono scored from Ella Keene’s cross seven minutes into the second half, lifting the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls soccer team to a 1-1 tie with the Rising Tide Herons, Thursday afternoon at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
The Vineyarders (1-3-1) followed up a stellar showing in an 8-2 win over Coyle and Cassidy on Tuesday with another fine performance against the Herons.
Peyton Joyce gave the Herons a 1-0 lead eight minutes before halftime, but the Vineyarders corrected a bad habit of spotting the opposition a goal right out of the gate.
“We can win those games,” Vineyard Coach Rocco Bellebuono said. “We started the game pretty good. We talked about how we were running into this common theme of getting scored on in the first three, four, or five minutes of the first half. We addressed that, which is good. We were on for about 15 or 20 minutes in the first half, then [Rising Tide] started to put the foot on the gas a little bit, and we kind of sat back, and that’s when they got their goal. Then energy was a little bit down, so when they came off at halftime, we talked about how to manage that.”
The Vineyarders came out of the halftime break rejuvenated, and raised their game.
“I think, in the second half, we saw some improvement, definitely more effort, a little more fight and heart, responsibility,” Bellebuono said. “We got a goal to tie it up, and then held onto the tie, which is great.”
On the tying goal, Ella Keene broke free up the right flank and crossed to Madia Bellebuono, who applied the sure finish. “That’s the stuff we’ve been working on in training, so it’s great to see it come out in the game,” Bellebuono said.
Left back Julia Dostal and right back Aubrey Holmes had an outstanding match, and Ruby Reimann came up huge in the Vineyard goal, especially with 10:50 left on the clock after she robbed Lily Goldmann at the right post, following a surgical through ball from Priscilla Martinelli.
With offense the primary focus in practice, Coach Bellebuono was pleasantly surprised by his team’s defensive prowess. “It’s really been all about attack,” he said. “To see them playing the way that they are just from what they have picked up as we’ve gone through the season so far is just outstanding. The fact that we haven’t spent a ton of time on defensive tactics and organization, and they’re in the right place at the right time, and supporting each other the way they need to, is pretty amazing.”
The Vineyarders play on the home pitch twice in the next five days, hosting Bedford in a nonleague match on Saturday at 10 am, and Sandwich, in a Cape and Islands League Atlantic Division clash, Tuesday at 3 pm.