Updated Oct. 2
After tying unbeaten Nauset 2-2 at home on Sept. 26, the Vineyarders met Brockton in a testy boys soccer tilt on a windy Saturday night under the lights at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
Coming into the contest, the Vineyarders had just one yellow card to their name through the previous seven matches, but on this night both teams played with unrelenting intensity in a match that was physical and chippy from the start.
Brockton picked up a pair of yellow cards on the night, but the referee handed out six to the Vineyarders, who exceeded the limit of five allowed in a match following an extended fracas in front of the home stands late in the second half. The match was called with 6:30 remaining as a forfeit for conduct. On the pitch, Brockton outscored the Vineyarders 2-0; in the record books, the forfeit tacked on a third goal.
“It got a little frantic, as it does sometimes in high school soccer, and we’ve got to learn how to be a little more calm, cool, and collected when the heat’s on. If we learn how to do that, we’ll be more successful,” Vineyard Coach John Walsh said.
After the match, to the players’ credit, the teams shook hands and followed up by posing for group photographs.
The match itself was a doozy. The Division 3 Vineyarders played Division 1 Brockton straight up throughout.
Christian Santos scored Brockton’s first goal by converting a penalty with nine minutes left in the first half, awarded after the Vineyarders were called for a handball in the box.
Mouché Oliveira nearly equalized early in the second half with a dipping shot that buzzed over the crossbar, but the Boxers got their second tally in the 61st minute following a short corner, with Kevin Barbosa heading in a perfect cross at short range.
“We were good in stretches,” Coach Walsh said. “I feel like neither team ever really got ahold of the game, or controlled it. Both teams had stretches of possession, but it wasn’t ever consistent. Our pressure broke down their possession pretty well, and we ended up just being just kind of impatient and rushing too much to get forward, and that allowed them to break us up a lot.”
“Our defense, again, was amazing today. Finn Monehan is quietly the most valuable guy on my team. Nothing ever happens from his side of the field, but if we could get better in transition, we’ll be more successful. [Brockton] is a humongous team, and we played them tough. It’s another game we could have won and didn’t.”
The Vineyarders (2-4-2 overall, 2-0-2 C&I) travel to Falmouth on Thursday for a Cape and Islands League Atlantic Division clash with the Clippers, and host Barnstable in another Atlantic match, Saturday night at 6 pm.
Updated to add results from Nauset game. — Ed.