It was a busy week of travel and league competition for the Vineyarders, as everyone except the girls’ soccer team suited up to play this past week. The cross-country team went off to the EAC league meet at Borderlands state park on Friday as both boys and girls placed third overall respectively, while the boys’ soccer team defeated Bishop Stang in a controversial league meet on Monday. The Vineyard football team handily defeated Coyle and Cassidy High School on Saturday, and the girls’ field hockey team faced off against an undefeated Somerset Berkley team in a tough and hard-fought contest on Saturday that ultimately saw the Vineyarders come out on top.

All were fantastic games to watch as a fan of the Vineyard, but all took place on the road.

The week started off well when both girls’ and boys’ cross-country teams put out very good showings at the EAC league meet on Friday. For the boys, strong runs by Patrick Best, Aivaras Gedvilas and captain Nate D’Angelo propelled the team to third place overall in the meet, which saw Somerset Berkley come out on top. “It was amazing the level of talent that was there,” said Nate D’Angelo, who came off one of his best times of the season. “I knew our league was a strong one, but it was a real eye-opener to see that all the schools no matter how they placed had some pretty incredible runners,” he continued. “It wasn’t just one school that dominated the day, everyone was talented and everyone ran extremely well.”

The girls' team also placed third on the day and got three great times out of Pearl Vercruysse, Julia Neville and Sabrina Reppert. The regular season for the cross-country runners has ended and now it is up to the select few to represent well in the MIAA upcoming meets. Lists of racers and race times will be posted in next week’s article.

The girls’ soccer team was lucky and earned a week off, but was due to play Dennis-Yarmouth on Wednesday (too late for press time this week). The boys’ soccer team did not have it so easy as they faced off against a gritty Bishop Stang team on the road in North Dartmouth on Monday. The Vineyard saw another tremendous showing from Jason Lages, who recently broke the single-season scoring record, as he scored two goals that ultimately decided the game 2-0. Yannick Gonsalves assisted the first and Alex GordonBeck assisted the second. Matt Stone had yet another strong day in net with his eleventh shutout of the season. The fireworks came after the game as Vineyard coach Esteban Aranzabe received a red card for disputing another red card received by Jason Lages earlier in the game. The call was controversial as the MIAA has counted the game as a loss for the Vineyard. “We all have our bad moments, and Jason had a bad moment,” said teammate Brandon Dwane.

“Coach didn’t yell, he didn’t scream, He calmly asked about the call, and why the referee decided to act the way he did I don’t know, but it counts as a forfeit for us,” said goalkeeper Matt Stone.

Jason Lages didn’t care to comment on the issue. The decision means Lages will have to sit out the last regular season game Wednesday against Dennis-Yarmouth at home, and the first game of the playoffs.

The football team won a hard-fought contest on Saturday with a final score of 21-7 at Coyle and Cassidy High School in Taunton. The Vineyard offense finally got its groove back with another stellar performance from Jacob Cardoza, who scored all three touchdowns for the Vineyard. The first score was a school record 85-yard pass from Mike Mussel in the first quarter; another pass from Mussel came in the second, this time from a mere 30 yards out. The final score came in the third quarter as Cardoza scampered for 60 yards and another score. He finished the day with 220 all-purpose yards to add to his three scores. The defense held their own again as Ben Clark and Austin Chandler had 12 tackles apiece. Coach Donald Herman said about the game: “I think our coaching staff did a really nice job of getting the info on Coyle to our players and our players executed well.”

Never satisfied, Coach Herman also said: “We still need to establish a consistent running game and our special teams play needs to step up a level.” The Vineyarders missed the playoffs this season and will be facing Bourne again on Halloween night on Friday at 6 p.m. at Dan McCarthy field. The defense will have a hole in it as starting outside linebacker Jack Slayton will be out with a knee injury.

Finally, the highlight of the week belongs to the field hockey team as they knocked off undefeated Somerset Berkley in Somerset to spoil their senior day on Saturday. The final score read 2-0 as Belle Dinning and Lee Hayman each scored one goal to complete the rout. The Vineyarders’ energy on the sidelines as well as in the game could be felt throughout the entire contest. “We played really well together and acted like a team,” said co-captain Olivia Ogden. “Communication was excellent and everyone was screaming on and off the field.” The Vineyarders are off to the first round of the MIAA playoffs next week Keep reading next week for more updates on the MIAA playoffs, scores, and schedules throughout Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School sports.