The Martha’s Vineyard girls soccer team is moving on to the second round of the playoffs after a gritty, physical 2-1 victory over Dighton-Rehoboth Friday at home.

In a thrilling match from start to finish, the Vineyarders outlasted the Falcons’ stifling defense that quickly shut down passing lanes and mucked up the Vineyard’s scoring opportunities.

Head coach Matt Malowski said Dighton-Rehoboth was a strong team that refused to be knocked off the ball. “They had size on us and they were disciplined in their position so they were tough to break down,” the head coach said.

But the Vineyarders held a clear advantage in their pace, and it yielded results 13 minutes into the first half when Reese Malowski flew up the field, displaying expert footwork to get around defenders and drew a hand-ball in the box to set up a penalty kick.

Elana Giordano stepped in to take the penalty and fired a rocket into the back left corner of the goal to put the Vineyard up 1-0.

Then, ten minutes into the second half, off a rare miscue that led to a turnover in the Vineyard’s defensive end, Lily Nees lined up a floating shot that sailed just above the leaping reach of Vineyard keeper Delilah Oliver to tie the score at one goal each.

Coach Malowski said at halftime he told his team to focus on their game plan, and take what the Falcons were giving them.

“They played with a high flat back really high on that line and they were giving us the whole central area,” he said. “The game plan was to play a quick ball in the middle, get it out to our wing and let the wing play a ball over the top.”

In using the Vineyard’s speed to go one-on-one with the Falcon’s center back, the girls exploited the space behind the opposing defense and Giordano capitalized. From a seemingly impossible angle on the right side of the net, the Junior forward shot a curving laser past the Falcon keeper with 14 minutes left to put the Vineyard up for good.

“I kinda just went for it,” Giordano said with a laugh after the game. “I knew it was a hard angle so I knew I had to hit the top of the goal.”

Additionally, senior captain Josie Welch and Freshman Emily Coogan kept the pressure on in the attacking end as time wound down and secured a Martha’s Vineyard victory.

“I’m just really proud of everyone and how far we’ve come. We’ve never really been in this position before and we’re so supportive of each other and it really shows and helps on the field,” Giordano said.

Coach Malowski said he was happy with the way his team stuck to their game plan and played for each other.

“It worked, that’s how Elana got that second goal,” he said. “She got the ball, got the defender on her back and it was just straight-up speed.”

Cana Courtney, the Vineyard girls assistant coach, said the girls did a great job sticking to their style of play and also noted the strength of both team’s keepers. Oliver finished with eight saves for Martha’s Vineyard.

“Their style of play was very different from ours,” Coach Courtney said. “They were just kicking and running so I think it took us a little to figure out their style and make sure we didn’t match it … in the second half we found our style and started to play the way we play.”

On Sunday, the girls are off to Hanover to take on the fourth-seeded Hawks in their toughest challenge yet. The game can be watched on a live stream from the veoLive app starting at 1 p.m., once the app is downloaded, follow “MVRHS Soccer” for notifications of when the game goes live.