A decisive shutout for the Vineyard boys that showcased an unsung defense and a bittersweet loss for the girls that capped a strong season were the benchmarks of the weekend as the early rounds of high school soccer playoffs got underway.

For the first time since he was sidelined by injury in September, Vineyard senior captain Ryan Koster returned to the pitch Sunday and led the boys team to a 4-0 win over Greater Lowell Tech in the first round of the playoffs.

Kaio DaSilva scored the third goal for the Vineyard. — Mark Alan Lovewell

On an uncharacteristically warm day, lashing southerly winds were a factor as the Gryphons struggled to advance the ball through the air and the Vineyard defense clamped down for their ninth shutout of the season.

The Vineyard boys, ranked 10th in MIAA division three, will next face seventh-ranked Dover-Sherbourne Wednesday on the road at 4 p.m.

On Sunday senior goalkeeper Matheus Rodriques only had to make a single save in the victory as Koster, Arthur DaSilva and his brother Kaio all scored for the Vineyard.

Arthur put the Vineyard on the board 15 minutes into the match after blazing down the field and beating a defender to the ball to gain possession. He then hammered a shot off the opposing keeper’s hands that rolled in for a score. Then with just over six minutes left in the first half, Koster drew a penalty kick and sneaked the ball on the ground past the Gryphon keeper to put the Vineyard up by two.

Five minutes into the second half, Kaio made it 3-0 after floating a shot up and over the keeper’s head that fell gently into the goal. Arthur sealed the win when he again used his speed to gain possession off a feed from Koster that allowed him to split the defender and oncoming goalie for a tap-in score.

Vineyard head coach John Walsh said his boys weren’t familiar with their adversaries before Sunday but knew they could be challenged on the defensive end. “We knew they were going to be good,” Coach Walsh said. “They won their league, they had been in a bunch of scrappy games.”

The coach said he expected the Gryphons to double team Kaio and Arthur, but the addition of Koster to the lineup added a new dimension.

Arthur DaSilva sealed the win for the Vineyard with a fourth goal. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“We knew we were going to have something that nobody else had seen yet this season in Ryan,” Coach Walsh said. “We’re now really three-pronged, which is cool, he’s just so good and makes us that much better.”

He said the defensemen on the Vineyard squad are the unsung heroes of the team.

“We’re hard to score on,” Coach Walsh said. “Matheus is that huge intimidating presence back there but Parker Bradlee is a next-level defender, Fellipe Aredes has been great and Teagan Meyers and Nate Story are very clean back there, we don’t make a lot of mistakes.”

For Koster, being back out on the field with his teammates after watching nearly all the season from the sidelines was a great feeling, he said.

“The boys have played well,” the senior captain said. “They haven’t given up much and I knew without me they’d be fine but It’s nice to play again, I just want to play as much as possible.”

He continued: “I think we’re all comfortable with each other. Everyone on our team can control the ball so you don’t see too much dribbling. Everyone knows to keep the ball, we need the ball to score and we know to keep it relaxed and tire the other team out. It just makes our game more fun and easier.”

The Wednesday game will be live-streamed on the veoLive app. Follow “MVRHS Soccer” on the app for notification of when the live stream begins.

Also Sunday, the Vineyard girls soccer team fell 2-1 to fourth-seeded Hanover on the road in the second round of their playoff bracket. Head coach Matt Malowski said his team played their hearts out. “Quite honestly they couldn’t have given anything more,” he said. “So proud of them.”

The Vineyarders scored their goal on a counterattack that began in their half of the field. Senior Ella Keene sent a pass to junior Elana Giordano who found freshman speedster Emily Coogan on a breakaway. Hanover’s goalie came off her line to meet Coogan and make the save but couldn’t secure the rebound which went straight to sophomore Talia Maccaferri who booted the ball into the corner of the net for the score.