If there’s one thing Coach John Walsh’s boys haven’t done all season, it’s back down from a challenge. Whether that challenge came in the form of facing opponents in higher divisions, playing matches on consecutive days or rallying from behind to pull out a victory, all season long, Vineyard soccer’s heart and grit have shown through.

After defeating Seekonk 2-1 in the preliminary playoff round Sunday afternoon in Seekonk, on Tuesday, the squad was tested once again when they traveled to Norwell to face off against the undefeated and top-seeded Clippers.

Against Seekonk in the prelims over the weekend, the Vineyarders played a solid game on both sides of the ball and rallied behind Diogo Goncalves, who netted both the Vineyard’s goals in route to victory. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, amid a rain-drenched afternoon in Norwell, the boys season came to a close amid controversy and heartbreak. After nearly two full halves of hard-fought, dead-even soccer, the boys season came to an end when Norwell was awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of the match. The Clippers converted, dodging overtime and a potential shootout, and emerged victorious over the Vineyarders by a 1-0 margin.

Field hockey too met a similar fate as boys soccer. After upsetting the 12th seeded Carver Crusaders last Wednesday in the preliminary playoff round, led by goals from senior Meghan Zeilinger and junior Ava BenDavid, the 21st seeded Vineyarders faced a tall task in facing off against the fifth-seeded South Shore League champion Cohasset Skippers.

The Skippers’ offense proved to be too strong a force for the Vineyard to corral, as they powered to a 5-0 victory. Senior Skyla Harthcock finished the year as the second most prolific scorer within the Cape and Islands League, finding the back of the net seven times while adding three assists on the season. Senior Jenaleigh Griffin finished three places back from her teammate in the same category, with two goals and three assists this season.

Saturday night, Coach Don Herman’s boys returned to battle for the first time since the Island Cup. The Vineyarders hit the turf against St. John Paul II under the lights of Mass Maritime’s Clean Harbors Stadium which overlooks the Cape Cod Canal and shut out the Lions 37-0, earning their fifth win of the season.

Sophomore running back Antone Moreis once again lead the charge to victory, scoring the games first three touchdowns on runs of 4, 44 and 21 yards. He finished the night with 179 rushing yards on 11 carries. Jayden Coyle, Hunter Meader and Oscar Shepherd all also rumbled into the endzone for touchdowns on an efficient night in the red zone for the Vineyarders.

On defense, safety Braden Sayles nabbed two interceptions, bolstering an already productive year for the ball-hawking junior. Oscar Shepherd and Josh Pinto led the team with four unassisted tackles, Shepherd also snagged a pick and Pinto recovered a fumble. Freshmen middle linebacker Christian Turner also recovered a fumble, capping a dominant performance on defense by the Vineyard.

Next up the Vineyarders play what will potentially be their final home game of the season Friday night at Dan McCarthy Field against Mashpee. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

On Saturday the cross country team traveled to Wrentham for the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Invitational. Peter Burke finished third in the boys Division Two junior-senior race, running the 3.1-mile race in 16:13.05. Among the girls junior-senior race Anna Goodwin was the fifth-fastest Cape and Islands league runner, finishing at 22:50.59.

Isaac Richards finished 13th in the boys junior-senior race with a time of 16:53.47. Vito Aiello and Kieran Karabees also finished within the top 40 participants. Jonathan Norton finished sixth in the boys sophomore race with a time of 17:45.3.

This Saturday the cross country squad will travel back to Wrentham to run the same course for the Eastern Mass Division Two Finals. Last year, at the same site, both the boys and girls teams’ performance earned them a spot for the all-state meet, with the girls taking gold in the Eastern Mass finals for the first time in the program’s history.