The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls varsity lacrosse team improved to 7-1 this season on Saturday, handily defeating the Nantucket Whalers (5-2) by a 19-10 score at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
Nine Vineyarders scored, led by Addy Hayman’s seven-goal game. Alexis Condon had five goals, and single-goal scorers were Audrey McCarron, Louise McDonald, Sophie Combra, Lily Pigott, Skyla Harthcock, Lollie Bezahler, and Abby Marchand. Evanna Quinn continued to shine in net with more than a dozen stops, including two back-to-back point-blank shots off the game-opening draw.
This was expected to be a tight one, and lived up to the billing in the early going. Nantucket controlled the draws early on, and used their speed to rush into the first arc area to take a 3-1 lead in the opening 10 minutes.
The Vineyarders took over the game at that point, scoring 11 unanswered goals over the next 12 minutes. Nantucket scored two late goals that were answered by the Vineyarders for a 14-5 halftime lead.
The Vineyarders went back to work in the second half, building a 19-7 advantage before dialing back their offense. Nantucket scored three late goals to cut the final margin to 19-10.
Saturday’s game indicates that this Vineyarder squad is built for playoff competition. It features athletic players throughout the lineup who work hard till the final horn. These Vineyarders are heady.
Nantucket is a solid, fast, aggressive bunch. They doubled and tripled-teamed Hayman, Marchand, and Condon, not just close to the net but also in midfield play.
The Vineyarders responded to that pressure by sharing the ball and carefully setting up opportunities, finding the cutters. Hayman had five assists, Condon and Pigott three each, on Saturday.
After the early Nantucket run, the Vineyarders controlled both the draws and time of possession, and won the battle of ground balls, which limited opportunities for Nantucket to use long runs that had served them well in the opening minutes of the game.
The Vineyarders face a stiff test on Tuesday when Bishop Feehan comes to Oak Bluffs with a 3 pm start. The Shamrocks beat the Vineyarders 14-4 in the season opener in Attleboro, and the Wednesday matchup will likely determine the Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) championship in the final year of play before MVRHS leaves for the restructured Cape and Island League in 2019.