We know you get better by playing the best.
The Vineyarder boys soccer team may have gotten a lot better in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Concord-Carlisle’s Patriots. The Division 2 Pats currently atop the crazy-good Dual County (Large) League, are ranked, are you ready, ninth in the state (first in Division 2 North), and 370th in the country by the MaxPreps national rating service.
C-C went to 5-0-1 with Saturday’s win. The Vineyarders slipped to 2-3, but remain 2-0 in the Cape and Islands Atlantic Division.
It was apparent by halftime that the Division 3 Vineyarders were giving D2 C-C all they wanted, and more at times, on a hot sunny afternoon. “We aren’t in their league, but we can play in their league,” John Walsh, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) coach, said with a serious pun after the game.
In fact, after going down 1-0 midway through the first half, then 2-0 in the first 10 minutes of the second, the Vineyarders created better scoring chances than C-C did. Now, the Vineyarders didn’t dominate by any means, but neither did the Pats.
Both teams had periods during which they controlled play. C-C had more because they have waves of players at a high talent level. A quarter of Vineyarders worked the right side of the field all afternoon with give and go’s and short lead passes creating opportunities for Luidi De Oliveira, Diogo Goncalves, Guilherme Faria, and Emanuel DaSilva.
It was good to see the hardworking DaSilva have the best Vineyarder chance of the day late in the second half. He was in front, battling two defenders and the keeper, but DaSilva’s shot was partially blocked and rolled just wide of the empty left corner.
Mainstays Morgan Estrella and keeper Josh Sampaio hobbled off late in the second half. Noah Garcia manned the pipes flawlessly in relief. Coach Walsh reported Estrella with an ankle twist, and Sampaio’s charley horse should be fine this week.
The Vineyarders have lost three times to schools in higher divisions, including a match at D1 Brockton on Sept. 14 and last Wednesday at D2 Whitman-Hanson.
Tuesday afternoon they fought back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 draw at Sandwich High School against the Blue Knights. Senior Ian Amodio, a new transfer from Duxbury High School, scored the first Vineyard goal in the 61st minute, shaking the ball loose from a Sandwich defender and beating keeper Jonathan Dyer.
The Vineyarders scored the equalizer two minutes later from a set piece near midfield. Adam Knight served the ball over the line of Sandwich defenders to Mouche Oliveria, who headed the ball past the keeper.
“That goal was gratifying, because it was the focus of the second half of our practice the day before,” Coach Walsh said. “We ironed out the kinks a little bit so we could make it look good in the game.”
The Vineyarders pressed for the go-ahead goal to no avail. The visitors hit the crossbar, and keeper Dyer robbed Morgan Estrella on a well-hit penalty kick, low to the right corner.
Ralph Stewart contributed to this report.