The Vineyard varsity field hockey team hosted the Nantucket Whalers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon that was warm for the fans, but hot for the players trying to run up and down the field for 60 minutes. The Vineyarders dominated their island rivals from the start, but didn’t hit their stride until the second half in a 4-0 win.
Skyla Harthcock scored from a corner 5:11 into the game, to put the hosts ahead to stay, but the Vineyarders could not add to their lead before the halftime break, despite having a lopsided share of the possession, corners, and shots.
“We had a little talk at halftime about the heart and the desire to beat Nantucket, because we were kind of casual at first, and juiced it up in the second half with good, solid passing, beautiful, unselfish assists on the goals, and we got a lot of playing time for a lot of players today, which is good because it was hot out there,” Vineyard Coach Lisa Knight said.
The Vineyarders came out flying in the second half. Addy Hayman had the first scoring chance, charging 30 yards to the goal on a breakaway, but Nantucket’s Corinne Maier stopped the threat with a well-timed sweep check in front of the crease. Moments later, the Vineyarders had a two-on-none in front of Whalers goalie Sami Trattel, but the ensuing shot missed by inches, wide right.
Six minutes in, the relentless Vineyard attack broke through as Hailey Meader slapped a shot into the bottom right corner of the cage from 10 yards out to put MV up 2-0.
The hosts continued to pour on the pressure. With 8:33 left on the clock, Addy Hayman jammed the ball through a maze of players in the crease for a 3-0 Vineyard lead. Abby Marchand and Hailey Meader picked up assists.
Less than a minute later, the Vineyarders put the finishing touches on the win with the prettiest goal of the match. Addy Hayman, who had repeatedly tormented the Whaler defense with runs down the left flank, did so again, rushing in from midfield and placing a perfect cross to Abby Marchand for a tap-in at the right post. Hailey Meader picked up another assist on the play to earn her third point of the afternoon.
The Vineyarders (10-4-1) have already clinched a berth in the state tournament with three games remaining in the regular season, but the win over the Whalers helps toward earning a higher seed and a home playoff date.
“It’s always nice to beat Nantucket, especially at home and especially on this beautiful, hot day, so we’ll take it,” Coach Knight said. “I’m really pleased and very proud.”
The Vineyarders travel to Plymouth South on Thursday and Dighton-Rehoboth Friday, before closing out the regular season with a senior-day home game against Nauset on Saturday at 11 am.