Four cross country runners qualify for state finals
Last Sunday, the Vineyarders raced at the MIAA Division 2C Championships in Westfield. The Vineyarders were familiar with the 5K course at Stanley Park, running there a few weeks prior during the Dick Atkinson Invitational. This time around, however, the course was a little more “chewed up,” said Coach Joe Schroeder, and the stakes were much higher. For seniors Daniel da Silva, Daniel Serpa, Linus Munn, and Adrienne Christy, they were potentially running their final races of their high school careers, unless they qualified for the state finals next week.
On the boys’ side, da Silva and Serpa led the way for the Vineyarders, crossing the finish line back-to-back with times of 16:27 and 16:27.4. Munn finished at the 18:43 mark, good for a personal season record. Underclassmen Broden Vincent and Jack Gallagher put out great efforts as well, pushing the Vineyarders just four points shy of qualifying for states as a team. Considering the small size of the team, Coach Schroeder and his squad was pretty satisfied with their performance, despite barely missing the threshold for qualification. Fortunately, da Silva and Serpa were able to qualify individually, considering their fourth and fifth place finishes overall.
On the girls’ side, Christy and junior Alexa Schroeder were the only runners for MVRHS. Without the minimum number of girls to run as a team, Christy and Schroeder would have to rely on themselves to extend their seasons. This was no problem for the pair of star runners however, as they would end up medaling, as usual, and qualifying for states as individual competitors.
Looking back on the regular season, Coach Schroeder said that he’s going to miss this 2022 team. “They always went into races with their heads held high, and relished opportunities to race against great competition,” he said. The MIAA Division II finals will be held at Fort Devens on Saturday; the same site as the Baystate Invitational back on October 8. Schroeder and his four best runners will leave for Fort Devens on Friday so that they can have a travel-free morning on race day.
Round of 16 goes back and forth for boys soccer
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the No. 10 Vineyarders traveled to Dover-Sherborn High School to play the No. 7 Raiders in the MIAA Division III round of 16. Despite being lower ranked and on enemy grounds, the Vineyarders would be playing on turf, where they thrive. Furthermore, the Vineyarders had beaten their sole mutual opponent of the season, the Norwell Clippers, while Dover-Sherborn had only managed to tie them.
The first key action of the game came off a breakaway attack by MVRHS senior Arthur DaSilva, who just barely missed scoring the first goal of the game. Then, Dover-Sherborn retaliated by creating a turnover in the Vineyarders’ half off a whiffed clear, and converting the opportunity. As the first half continued, the game slowed down, and neither team really came that close to scoring. But right before halftime, the Vineyarders took their turn to score on a busted play, with Arthur redeeming himself as he forced the ball away from two Raiders defenders, beat the goalie to the ball with his speed, and made the easy shot.
Going into halftime, the Vineyarders had the momentum and looked like the better team overall. And just minutes after the second half whistle went off, Arthur’s twin brother Kaio added to the MVRHS lead. For his second “classic Kaio goal” in two games, DaSilva started on the left wing, used his dribbling skills to beat a couple defenders, and then bested the goalie. Up 2-1, the Vineyarders were on the brink of qualifying for the state quarterfinals; but the game was far from over.
With roughly a half hour to save their season, the Raiders regrouped. Starting by calling timeout, they subbed off a couple defenders, and switched to a more aggressive high press. For a while, the Vineyarders were able to cushion and contain Dover-Sherborn’s attacks, until they finally conceded a goal with 10 minutes to go, making it 2-2. After tying the game, Dover-Sherborn decided to ease off the gas, and the game opened up. Neither team had to prioritize one style of play, and the match transitioned into a balanced, back-and-forth battle for the win before the final whistle. In a frenzy of action, both keepers made a couple miraculous saves, Ryan Koster had a penalty kick unbelievably called off, and the game went into overtime.
In overtime, the rules dictated that the game be played under sudden death criteria; the future of the Vineyarders’ playoff run would be determined by a race to score a golden goal. The Vineyarders definitely still had gas in the tank, and were playing well, but eight minutes into overtime, Dover-Sherborn sent the Vineyarders packing. Coach John Walsh said, “It was completely a nailbiter.” He explained that he couldn’t have asked anything more of his players. “My guys did exactly what I wanted them to do… we were the better team for most of the game,” he said.
This offseason, the Vineyarders will part ways with seven seniors: the DaSilva triplets, captain Ryan Koster, Lucas Cacique, Teagan Myers, and goalkeeper Matheus Rodrigues. For Coach Walsh, it will be hard to see them go. “They figured out what they’re doing as players, citizens, and leaders. Throughout the season, they stamped out adversity; they are so good at solving the puzzle other teams present.” For some, like Koster and Myers, Walsh has been coaching them since they were really little, alongside his daughter CJ. But even without their presence, his seniors will still have left a lasting impact on the team’s work ethic and grit. “They put in so much time and effort… I’m super appreciative of that,” said Walsh.