Martha’s Vineyard high school soccer players facing discipline after shoving referee

NORWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - Two high school soccer players from Martha’s Vineyard are facing discipline after shoving a referee during a playoff game last week, officials said.

Norwell High School faced off against Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in a tournament game that Norwell won in the final minutes on a penalty kick.

“I was proud of the way the students handled it handed it, it’s a good win for us,” said Norwell School Superintendent Matthew Keegan. “It’s just unfortunate the game didn’t end as spirited as it was played.”

As the game ended, officials say two Martha’s Vineyard students pushed a referee on the field.

“When the clock ran down to zero, one of the Martha’s VIneyard players walked up behind the official and put his hands on his back and a second player ran up and put his hands on the official,” said Matt DeNapoli, vice president of the South Referee Boar. “You can’t put your hands on an official, high school sports is an extension of the classroom.”

The referee, a 10-year veteran, is OK but shaken by what happened.

“The official in question is a top-notch guy,” DeNapoli added. “He’s out there because he loves the game.”

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Principal Sara Dingledy released a statement that read in part: “Attacking a ref, verbally or physically, is uncalled for. It was a terrible way to end an amazing game, and it took the focus off the class and grit our team played with over the previous 90 minutes.”

The fate of the players will be decided by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

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