The Vineyard boys soccer team fell 3-2 in an overtime heartbreaker against Dover-Sherborn on the road Wednesday, ending their season in the second round of the playoffs.

Head coach John Walsh said the Vineyarders were successful in creating multiple scoring opportunities throughout the game but just couldn’t convert enough of them to secure the win. He also credited the Raider defense with forcing miscues and stifling the Vineyard attack.

The Raiders notched the first goal of the game but the Vineyard fought back after being down 1-0 at halftime. Arthur DaSilva evened the score after darting around two larger defenders to gain possession of a bouncing ball that he popped up and over the Raider keeper’s head and into the goal.

“(Arthur) had no business winning any of those balls because all three of their guys were taller than him by a foot but his presence and his speed forced them to make mistakes,” Coach Walsh said. “Almost nobody else can make that happen except for him, his defensive pressure is so high he causes guys to make mistakes and his speed then punishes those mistakes.”

Then, at about the midpoint of the second half, Arthur’s brother Kaio gave MV the lead after beating the Raider defense to the ball and slashing a shot around the keeper and into the net.

But Dover-Sherborn responded with their own offensive push and knotted the score at two all with just under ten minutes left in regulation.

In overtime, where the golden goal rule is in effect, Coach Walsh said both teams worked hard to stretch the field, searching for opportunities to win. The head coach gave enormous credit to the play of senior goalie Matheus Rodriques, who kept the Vineyard in the game with clutch saves.

“Matheus Rodriques had a huge game,” Coach Walsh said. “In the second half he had giant saves after Kaio and Ryan Koster had pushed up to score and couldn’t get back when the other team countered quickly. He saved a breakaway and a couple of shots from inside the box where most mortal goalies don’t make that play.”

The Vineyard almost had a chance to win the match on a penalty kick after one of the linesmen flagged a Raider in the box. However, the center referee overruled the foul and in turn, gave Dover-Sherborn a free kick. No explanation was given on why the call was overturned.

With two minutes left in the first overtime, a bouncing ball in the Vineyard end found a Raider attacker at the right place and the right time to catch Rodriques in proverbial Nomans Land. “He made a really nice shot,” Coach Walsh said. “He turned and whacked it and it just tucked in right underneath the bar.”

Coach Walsh has been a coach for this group of seniors since their days as mini-kickers. He said it’s hard to come to grips with no longer leading them on the pitch. But it makes it easier that he can now play alongside them.

“They play with me now, which is great and I’m going to love that, but the camaraderie and closeness of this group has been really special,” he said. “Their ability on the field made the games really fun to watch but their development as young men makes coaching very pleasurable. They make it easy, they know how to act, they know how to behave, their parents have done a wonderful job making them into great humans and people. I’m excited to see them going forward, I’m just upset I don’t get to see it every day.”