Vineyarder girls hockey team loses to Plymouth Panthers

Goalie Jackie Hegarty and Sally Caron defend the Vineyard goal. — Photo by Sam Moore

In a not-unexpected loss for a young team, the Martha’s Vineyard girls varsity hockey lost 5-0 to the Plymouth South Panthers (2-1) on Monday night at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena. Although they skated hard all night, the Islanders found themselves outmuscled and outmatched by Plymouth’s relentless offense, which scored five goals spread among four players. Monday’s game came after a 6-1 loss to Dennis-Yarmouth last Wednesday. The Vineyard record stands at 1-4.

“You know, it’s a rebuilding year for us, so we’re gonna struggle, and Plymouth’s a good team, so in a weird way, we’re happy with our performance,” head Coach John Fiorito said. “That’s one of the best teams. We’re gonna play a couple teams like them. They’re playing for a state championship. We’re not.”

The Vineyard’s odds of winning took their first blow five minutes into the first period, when Plymouth’s Mia Sacco and Kayla Donovan scored back-to-back goals. Keaghan Tierney steepened the deficit to 3-0, 14 minutes in.

“Unfortunately, there were a couple goals we wanted to have back in the first period, where it would have been a little more competitive,” said Coach Fiorito. The aggressive Plymouth offense kept the puck near the Vineyard net for most of the game, punctuated now and then by unsuccessful Vineyard sprints up the rink.

Plymouth’s Torrie Gray netted another puck midway through the second period, and Kayla Donovan capped off a hard day for Vineyard goalie Jackie Hegarty with another goal at the end of the third.

The Vineyard’s last home game was a 3-2 win against Nauset, a victory to hold on to as the Islanders face more experienced and ambitious teams going forward.

“We only have a handful of people back,” said Coach Fiorito, “but I thought we played hard, and we’re gonna build on playing hard. Truly, I think it’s getting better and better. We want to be better in January and February then we were in November and December, and I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Their next game is against Bishop Stang at 5 pm on Saturday, Jan. 2, at the arena.