Classes started only yesterday at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, but the sports teams are well into the fall season, with a full week of play already under their belts.
“We’re up and running,” athletic director Mark McCarthy said on Wednesday. Mr. McCarthy begins his second year as AD, having overseen a successful 2010-2011 season that included four Eastern Athletics Conference championships (boys’ basketball, girls’ tennis, boys’ tennis and girls’ lacrosse).
“I think it’s going to be exciting [this season],” said Mr. McCarthy. “Our goal is to compete in the EAC; we have some good chances to do damage in the league.”
The first Vineyard home game of the season takes place today, as boys’ soccer takes on Dennis-Yarmouth at 3 p.m. The boys are led by senior captain Rafael Maciel and junior captain Jack Roberts. Damon Burke returns for his second year as head coach.
The boys played Nauset on Wednesday afternoon, falling 4-2 in the season opener. Freshman Gabriel D’Oliveira had an unassisted goal, while senior John Marcal scored on an assist from fellow senior Rodrigo Honorato.
Despite the loss, “our team looked very good,” said Coach Burke. “It’s a very strong D1 team in Nauset.”
“There are a lot of new faces this year,” he continued. “When they get more comfortable with each other, we’ll be able to put a little more pressure on teams.”
The girls played their season opener Thursday at Mashpee (scores unavailable at press time), after two scrimmages against North Quincy and Bellingham last week.
Richard Bennett takes over the reins as head coach, with assistant coach Curt Cetrulo returning. The JV squad will be coached by Heather Sharp, a former Fitchburg State player.
The team is captained by seniors Jessie Chandler, Madison Hughes, Hanna Persson and Sarah Williston. Three other seniors (Maggie Lindland, Aubrea McCormick and Courtney Mussell) are expected to see significant playing time this season; Coach Bennett anticipates overall growth in the program as a result.
“Because I can only carry so many on the varsity side, some players who are borderline varsity are going to be on JV, which strengthens the JV program,” he explained. “Certainly they’ll be ready for next year’s squad.
“We’re optimistic about improving on the last couple years of the program,” said Coach Bennett. “It’s going to be a learning process for me, too.”
The girls play their next game next Thursday at home against league rival Bishop Stang at 3 p.m.
Field hockey traveled to Scituate last weekend to compete in two days of tournament play, taking on Dighton-Rehoboth on Sunday and Marshfield on Monday.
The team was “a little fragile out there” in the first half of Sunday’s game, said head coach Lisa Knight, but came back and adjusted in the second half to outshoot D-R 11-4. In spite of the offensive strikes, however, only one shot got past a goalie, a D-R shot. The Vineyarders fell 1-0.
The offense picked up where it left off the next day against Marshfield, as captain Maggie Johnson scored within the first five minutes on an assist from fellow captain Meghan McHugh. The Johnson-McHugh duo knocked in a “perfectly executed” penalty corner not long after, putting the girls up 2-0. Marshfield managed to put in one answering goal, but the girls walked off with the win and a 1-1 record going into today’s away game at Dennis-Yarmouth.
“Kids were stepping up, and they carried a young team,” said Coach Knight (23 seniors have graduated from the squad in the past two years). “They were very vocal to each other, very supportive of each other.
“We’re feisty, we’re fiery, and they didn’t want to give up,” she continued.
The girls take on EAC rival Bishop Stang at home on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
The golf team gave the Vineyard its first win of the season with a 249-271 home win against Nauset last Friday. The team travels to Chatham on Monday before returning to their home course Wednesday and Thursday to play Cape Cod Tech and Coyle Cassidy, respectively.
Cross-Country and Football
Competing at home this weekend are the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams, who host the fifth annual Vineyard Invitational on Saturday.
The football team plays their season opener tonight at Old Rochester after scrimmaging against Brighton last weekend at home.
Look for full coverage of the 2011 team in next week’s edition of the Gazette.
This article has been updated to include girls’ lacrosse in the list of Vineyard teams to win the league title last year.