MVRHS sports wrap-up

The MVRHS girls soccer team earned their 12th win. — Courtesy Matthew Malowski

Swan song for Coach DeBettencourt, senior golfers

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Vineyarders competed at the MIAA Division III State Finals, held at The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley. It would be the final competition for Coach Doug DeBettencourt, retiring after this season, and his prolific corps of seniors. Out of the 13 best teams in Massachusetts, the Vineyarders finished spectacularly as runners-up, only five strokes behind champions Weston High School.

Senior tri-captain Richie Combra led the way for the Vineyarders, shooting par (72) over 18 holes. He had the second-best individual score among all competitors, and attributed his success to attacking the par 5s as well as hitting his two putts. Seniors Liam Marek (76, tied for fourth-best individually), Cam Napior (79), and Jake Glasgow (80) also scored for the Vineyarders. Senior tri-captains Ryan Harding and Nick BenDavid rounded out the squad Coach DeBettencourt brought. Overall, the players were thrilled to finish as well as they did. 

“It was a very exciting way to cap off the season,” Combra said. “It was a perfect last match of high school golf for us six seniors, and Coach D, who is retiring.”

Reflecting on this season, and his entire 20-year career as coach of MVRHS varsity golf, Coach DeBettencourt said he had an unimaginable final year. He’s enjoyed his tenure thoroughly, and feels extremely fortunate to finish his career with “the strongest” team he’s ever coached. For reference, this team scored roughly 20 strokes better in the state finals than his 2015 team, which also finished as runner-up. He stated, “I couldn’t be prouder and more impressed by the way they’ve played.” 


Girls soccer earns 12th win

This past week, the Vineyarders played Boston Latin Academy, Falmouth, and O’Bryant, winning two of three. Against Boston Latin last Wednesday, four different girls scored in an easygoing 6-0 win. Their rematch against Falmouth away proved to be more frustrating for the Vineyarders’ offense, ending in a 1-0 shutout loss. MVRHS beat the Clippers 2-0 a few weeks ago, but couldn’t find the back of the net this time around, despite having more than a dozen shots on goal in the second half alone. Coach Matt Malowski said, “It was a very disappointing game … MVRHS dominated the game.” He added, “[We] could not find the one that broke down the bus that Falmouth parked in front of their goal.”

The game against O’Bryant was also a rematch, taking place at home last Saturday. The Vineyarders won with less than a minute left, scoring on a header by senior Josie Welch off a cross by freshman Emily Coogan. Coach Malowski thinks that they could have easily won by a wider margin, but went into the match a little too overconfident, knowing that they beat O’Bryant 5-0 earlier in the season. The Vineyarders play their next, and final, regular season game against Nantucket at home on Saturday. This will be their senior game, and third rematch in a row. Heading into the playoffs with their most exciting team in years, these rematches provide the girls with key opportunities to reflect on their progress and hone their craft. Their record is 12-4-1.


Mindsets and mentalities for boys soccer

Boys soccer had three games this past week: at Nauset on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Falmouth at home on Thursday, and at North Reading on Saturday. Against Nauset, Coach John Walsh said the Vineyarders “played a little more at their level and not at ours … we didn’t really play our game.” MVRHS couldn’t get their patented passing game going, and turned the ball over in the defensive half too often. Nauset broke a 1-1 tie late in the game on a “suspicious” penalty kick, handing the Vineyarders their third loss on the season.

Looking to bounce back against Falmouth, a team they had defeated 3-1 back in September, the Vineyarders quickly went up 2-0 in the first half. In the second half, however, they lost focus and played sloppily, giving up a goal on a defensive turnover and then another on a penalty kick. In back-to-back games, the Vineyarders gave up leads to teams they had beaten earlier in the season. The Vineyarders redeemed themselves with some nice combinations on the offensive end, scoring three goals total in a 3-3 draw.

For the third straight game, the Vineyarders had a tough rematch in North Reading. This time, they started out sloppily, but turned it up in the second half. Going into halftime down 2-0, Coach Walsh’s team “had a conversation about their playstyle, and came out with a much better mindset.” They scored three consecutive goals in the next 40 minutes to take a 3-2 lead, capitalizing on North Reading’s spacious, long-ball passing game with their quick, short passing game to get through gaps and create chances. The Vineyarders’ next game is against Cardinal Spellman at home Friday afternoon. Their record is now 13-2-2 on the season. They are currently ranked 10th in MIAA’s Division III power ranking.


Field hockey has three close games in five days

Between Oct. 20 and 24, the Vineyarders had three away games, all decided by one goal or less. The first was a tie against St. John Paul II School, in which MVRHS dominated the attack, and attempted an impressive 16 penalty corners. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to convert, and finished the game scoreless. Next, the Vineyarders played Tahanto Regional High, ending in a tough 1-0 loss for MVRHS. Senior forward Andrea Morse “worked relentlessly to set up attacking chances,” according to Coach Becky Nutton, while junior goalie Reese McCracken had 12 saves for MV.

Finally, the Vineyarders had a thriller against Norwell, with all three goals (2-1) scored in the third quarter. Senior Vivi Hyland struck first for the Vineyarders, but Norwell responded with two goals of their own right after, despite a great defensive effort by goalie Reese McCracken and defender Jocelyn Baliunas. On the offensive end, Coach Nutton lauded sophomore Charlotte Scott and senior Alana Nevin, “who were really finding each other behind Norwell defensive lines.” Field hockey next plays on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Sturgis East. Then they will have their final home game on Saturday against Nantucket, where they will honor their eight seniors.


Three top 10 finishes for cross-country

On Saturday, the Vineyarders raced in the Dick Atkinson Invitational at Stanley Park in Westfield. For the fourth weekend in a row, junior Alexa Schroeder (fifth place out of 117), senior Daniel da Silva (third out of 157), and senior Daniel Serpa (sixth) were awarded medals. Serpa additionally achieved a one-second personal record, crossing the 5k finish line with a time of 16:22. Broden Vincent, Linus Munn, Jack Gallagher, and Caleb Guerrero also competed for the boys, while senior twins Wren and Eloise Christy rounded out the girls’ squad. Freshman Jack Gallagher lowered his personal record to 20:01, by a substantial margin of two minutes and 21 seconds. The MIAA Sectional Championships will be held two weekends from now at Stanley Park, so it was good for the Vineyarders to get some practice in on the course. The Vineyarders compete next in the Cape & Islands Championships on Friday.