MVRHS field hockey season preview

The 2017 MVRHS varsity field hockey team displays its new banner, a gift from Scituate High School. Missing from the photo is injured senior co-captain Genny Kent. — Lucia Hayman

The 2017 season started with a shock for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) field hockey team.

Prior to the opening scrimmage with Sciutate on Monday morning in Oak Bluffs, the team learned that senior co-captain Genny Kent had been in an accident and suffered a fractured neck. Most fortunately, Ms. Kent is OK and recovering. “I guess when you wake up in the morning and you know that she’s moving and that she’s OK, you feel a whole lot better,” Coach Lisa Knight said. “The team rallied and played hard for her, weren’t distracted, and focused on what they had to do. They surpassed what I thought that they could do today.”

Lily Ahearn clears the ball out of trouble, away from a Scituate forward and Vineyard goalie Amelia Simmons, during the JV scrimmage on Monday. MV’s Chloe Hoyt is at right.

Taking the field with their teammate in their hearts, the Vineyard varsity played superbly, outscoring the Lady Sailors 2-1. Allyse Guyther scored a pretty goal, assisted by Abby Marchand, and Lily Pigott set up Addy Hayman for the the second score. Senior goalie Becca Lima had an outstanding game in net.

In a fine gesture of sportsmanship, Scituate High School presented the Vineyarders with a new team banner, with “Vineyard Field Hockey” displayed in purple and white letters across a black background.

The Vineyarders finished 11-6-2 and earned a state-tourney berth in 2016. This season, they will field a fast, talented squad, though with just 19 players on the varsity, depth may be a factor.

“I think we’re in for a great run,” Coach Knight said. “The girls are motivated, they’re excited, and there’s a lot of talent out there. A lot of the girls have been working off-season to get prepared for this.”

Genny Kent, Audrey McCarron, and Lily Pigott are the senior co-captains. The Vineyarders have a host of talented juniors in Abby Marchand, Addy Hayman, Allyse Guyther, Sally Caron, Meghan Sonia, and Hailey Meader. Mackenzie Condon is another standout junior, currently injured, whom Coach Knight would love to have back in the lineup. Skyla Harthcock is a promising sophomore.

The JV team has nearly 40 players in tow, and 24 freshman are in the ranks. The younger players, especially, benefited from participating in the prestigious All-American Field Hockey camp, held earlier this summer at MVRHS.

Varsity Coach Lisa Knight will be on the sidelines for her 18th season, and Beth O’ Connor is the assistant coach. Kaylea Moore is back for a fifth season coaching the JVs, with another former player, Kendall Robinson, assisting.

The Vineyarders start off their final season in the Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) with three league games on the road. The first home game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, vs. Plymouth South at 4 pm.

Next season, MVRHS will compete in a revamped version of the Cape and Islands League.