New England Soccer Today

ASL: Vieira Leads Charge in Win for Western Mass

Photo credit: David Henry/

Photo credit: David Henry/

LUDLOW, Mass – Maxi Vieira scored twice to send Western Mass Pro Soccer to a convincing 2-0 win over the Rhode Island Oceaneers on Saturday at Lusitano Stadium.

Vieira struck in the 16th and 63rd minutes while goalkeeper Warren Gross collected his fourth straight clean sheet. With the win, the Lusitanos remain unbeaten (3-0-2, 9 points) on the season while the Oceaneers (1-2-0, 3 points) couldn’t continue the success seen in Friday’s win over the Evergreen Diplomats.

“I think it was the best game he’s ever played here,” Molinari said of Vieira’s performance. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence, and he’s doing very good.”

Vieira was active early and often, serving as the main conduit for the Lusitanos’ attack. So it wasn’t surprising that he’d notch the first goal of the game.

James Beeston sent an outswining corner toward the top of the box, where Vieira sent it through on a snap header to give the hosts the opener inside of 16 minutes.

The guests, for their part, knew that finding an equalizer wouldn’t be easy. After playing a high-tempo game against the Diplomats the night before, tired legs were clearly a factor for the Oceaneers.

“You don’t want to make excuses,” Oceaneers captain Wilder Arboleda said. “But some of the guys playing tonight went 60 and 70 minutes last night, too. So it was tough.”

Indeed, nothing came easy for Arboleda and his teammates, who were without coach Jasir Charris after he was sent off in Friday’s match. Though Arboleda, Andres Perdomo and Emerson Barros created chances, Western Mass was simply too much for the Oceaneers to handle. Goalkeeper Chris Moura was on high alert all evening, and was called upon to make 11 saves.

“They’re a team that plays hard, and likes to go hard on 50/50 balls,” Molinari said. “I think they’re really good.”
While the Oceaneers were able to keep the match close despite the circumstances, it was only a matter of time before the Lusitanos capitalize for second time.

After Anthony Bauman was called for handling inside the area, a penalty was awarded to the hosts. From the spot, Vieira sent Moura the wrong way to score his second goal of the evening in the 63rd minute.

The hosts continued to press for more in the latter stages. Substitute midfielder Eddie Bogle created a number of problems for the Oceaneers defense by using his speed and inventiveness to fire two shots that nearly found the back of the net.

All told, the Lusitanos fired 17 shots on Saturday, and collected eight corner kicks on a night in which a number of Molinari’s men were active going forward.

“You can see that when we attack, we have at least three or four guys pushing into the 18,” Molinari said. “We don’t have the guy who’s going to score (a lot) of goals. So we have to (attack) with different players.”

The Lusitanos return to action October 4 when they face the Philadelphia Fury. The Oceaneers will be back on the pitch on October 4 to face Mass United FC.

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