The sun was shining and emotions were equally as bright at the girls varsity Senior Day game versus the Nantucket Whalers, where a strong Vineyard squad used precise passing and good teamwork to take a 16-3 win.
Purple and white balloons fluttered along the fence leading to the stands, as players continued the longtime Senior Day tradition of presenting bouquets of flowers to their loving parents.
After the ceremony concluded, the girls jumped right into action. Within five minutes of play, the Vineyarders scored three impressive goals, with senior Louise McDonald getting the starting point.
After McDonald’s goal, another senior, Addy Hayman, swooped in to rip a clean corner shot, with senior Sophie Combra not far behind to bring the Vineyard a three-point lead at the outset of the game.
The Whalers scored their first to put the board at 3-1, but another low shot by McDonald maintained the Vineyard’s momentum and put them back at a three-point lead.
At the half, the Vineyarders were up 11-1, with Hayman and McDonald already having scored three each.
After losing some momentum at the start of the half, the Whalers picked up another point. But the Vineyarders quickly regained their energy and went on to take another five points. Nantucket scored with two minutes left of playtime, then the Vineyard defense put the pressure on to maintain a final score of 16-3.
After the game, the girls met with their coaches for an emotional huddle, then headed to the fence to greet their joyous families and friends.
Senior Sally Caron said she has been playing lacrosse since fourth or fifth grade, and wrapping up her time on the MVRHS field almost doesn’t seem real. “It’s totally surreal … I am so passionate about this sport, and I’ve been playing it my whole life,” Caron said. “I will really miss my teammates and probably my coaches most of all; they make the experience really special.”
Caron will attend Fairfield University in Connecticut, and said she hopes to play club sports there as a multisport athlete.
Another graduating senior, Addy Hayman, said the dynamic she saw out on the field is a testament to how close the team is with one another. “We saw some really good passing, and just great teamwork,” Hayman said. “The intensity always picks up playing Nantucket, but we really played well together.”
Hayman won’t be saying goodbye to her lacrosse stick so soon, as she goes on to play at Middlebury College.
McDonald, also a senior, said leaving the field “almost doesn’t seem real.”
“Nantucket was very aggressive today, but we came out with a lot of energy, and gained momentum toward the end of the second half,” McDonald said. “It’s probably not going to hit me that I am leaving until much later.”
Junior Rose Herman said she is going to miss the seniors when they are gone, both for their playing abilities and their friendship. “I’m really sad they are leaving us, it’s been a very good team dynamic with so many strong players, but we are going to try and establish that same dynamic out on the field this year,” Herman said.