Girls’ hockey on historic run
This past week, the Vineyarders had three big wins against Falmouth away (Feb. 8), Nantucket at home (Feb. 11), and Boston Latin at home (Feb. 12). Coming off a victory in Barnstable that saw MVRHS beat the Red Hawks for the first time ever, the Vineyarders started their week by accomplishing the same feat against the Clippers on Wednesday.
In the first period against Falmouth, the Clippers dominated the puck, but senior goalkeeper Nellie Long “kept us in there,” said Coach Geoghan Coogan. Early in the second, though, the Vineyarders reclaimed the momentum when freshman forward Elle Mone stole the puck in center ice, skated around the oncoming defender, and scored on the break to make it 1-0 MVRHS. Later on in the period, senior captain Alana Nevin scored on a turnaround shot in front of net, and then again on a sweet solo goal that ended with a backhand shot under pressure.
At 3-0 going into the third, the pace somehow ramped up even more, and both teams exchanged serious attempts on goal. The Clippers scored twice, but MVRHS held on to win it 4-2 in thrilling fashion. Long made some amazing stops to stymie the comeback, including an unbelievable one-on-one save, and freshman Emily Coogan found Falmouth’s empty net in the final seconds. As the final buzzer sounded, the Vineyarders swiftly mobbed Long and celebrated another historic win. “This game marks a stark change in Vineyard women’s hockey,” commentator Joe Mikos stated. “They just shook things up, they did.”
Next up, the Vineyarders hosted the rival Whalers for their senior night, also debuting their new black and pink jerseys. “The day was emotionally charged,” stated Coach Coogan, and the girls responded to it, rattling off an awesome 9-0 win in front of their home crowd. Senior Alana Nevin scored a hat trick, while senior Julia Murray earned the Big Hat for Player of the Game for stepping up on defense. On the senior class as a whole, Coach Coogan stated that they’ve “taught us so much on and off the ice, and have been an absolute joy to be around.”
Finally, the Vineyarders played a tough Boston Latin Academy team, pulling through for a gritty 3-2 win. On the offensive end, junior assistant captain Savannah Meader scored twice, and Elle Mone added another. On defense, Long held it down in net, and junior Violet MacPhail earned the Big Hat.
Moving forward, MVRHS will play Scituate away on Feb. 18, and Norwood at home on Feb. 20, to cap off their regular season. With this week’s victories, the Vineyarders have officially qualified to compete in the state tournament for the first time in 10 years. They are currently ranked No. 15 in the Division II Power Rankings, and a top-16 finish will earn them a first-round home game. Their overall record is 11-5-2, and they are on a five-game winning streak.
MVRHS swimmers compete at Sectionals
The 2022–23 MIAA South Sectionals Swimming Championships took place this past weekend at the Sterling YMCA in Beverly. Six Vineyarders qualified to represent MVRHS: senior Christian Flanders, senior Nathan Cuthbert, junior Olympia Hall, junior Emmett Silva, junior Andy Carr, and sophomore Kaua DeAssis.
On the boys’ side, Flanders kicked things off by competing in the 50-yard freestyle (23.64 seconds; 23rd place) and 100-yard freestyle (53.26 seconds; 25th place). Feeling “a little under the weather” on Sunday, Flanders saved a little extra energy to go all-out for the 200-yard freestyle relay, alongside Cuthbert, Silva, and DeAssis … and they delivered. The four rebroke their own school record, finishing in 1:36.18, good for 13th place. “They really push the hardest during the relays,” stated Coach Jen Passafiume. “They take the team into their thoughts.”
In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Cuthbert, Carr, Silva, and DeAssis wrapped things up with a solid 3:43.61 performance, placing 18th. Meanwhile, on the girls’ side, Hall qualified to race in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle, finishing 22nd and 33rd overall against some tough competition. Coach Passafiume said it was “really impressive” for Hall to race in two events, especially considering how small the girls’ team is at MVRHS.
Next up will be the State Championships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Sunday, Feb. 19. Flanders will be swimming the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races again, and the boys’ 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams will swim those races.
Boys’ basketball moves to 17-1
On Monday, Feb. 13, the Vineyarders traveled to Abington for a rematch of their Jan. 16 thriller, in which the Vineyarders’ won 55-53 on a Nate Story buzzer beater. According to Coach Mike Joyce, his team “expected it to be tough,” but stretched out a lead in the second half, and settled in for a solid 68-53 win.
On the offensive end, senior small forward Tobey Roberts led the way with 18 points, while senior center Matheus Rodrigues, senior guard Cam Napior, and junior forward Josh Lake each put up double-digit points as well. Coach Joyce said, “Tobey had a career night; he was everywhere.” On the other end, he and Napior teamed up to keep the Abington offense in check. “Tobey ran the floor, and played really hard defense … Napior was a one-man wrecking crew defensively.”
Next week, the MVRHS (No. 13 in the MIAA Division III Power Rankings) will participate in a tough two-day tournament in Apponequet, where they will face off against Bishop Stang, and then the winner or loser of Apponequet versus Wareham, depending on how they play. Bishop Stang and Apponequet are both ranked in the top 20 in Division III, while Wareham is ranked No. 2 in Division IV.
Coach Joyce is glad the Vineyarders have a chance to play against these playoff-caliber teams to wrap up their regular season, saying, “It’s good for them to see what it takes” to win these games. Riding a 14-game winning streak, he added, the Vineyarders have refrained from becoming overconfident about their season, or on the contrary, nervous that their streak will end: “They’re good at focusing on the game at hand.”
Boys’ hockey falls to Nauset
On Saturday, Feb. 11, the Vineyarders traveled to Nauset to take on the No. 3-ranked Warriors. Throughout the 45 minutes, the Vineyarders worked hard and did a good job of moving the puck, but crucial mistakes early on ultimately spelled their demise.
Starting in the first period, MVRHS committed a penalty, and Nauset converted on the ensuing power play, putting themselves ahead 1-0. Shaking off the early goal, the Vineyarders went back to business, and created some nice attacking chances, but failed to find the net. Going into the second period, the game continued to feel like a back-and-forth deadlock, until the Vineyarders turned the puck over in front of their net, and the Warriors made them pay. Down 2-0, MVRHS sacrificed a degree of defensive coordination trying to tie the game up, and conceded two more goals to lose 4-0.
Reflecting on the loss, Coach Matt Mincone stated, “We played a decent game, just found ourselves trying to catch up to the play; we need to elevate our game as the competition gets stronger … [We are making] simple mistakes which are being corrected.” Next up, the Vineyarders have their toughest test to date in Sandwich (13-3-1) away. The Vineyarders are currently 11-5, and ranked No. 8 in the MIAA Division IV Power Rankings.
Girls’ basketball takes one, drops two
This week, the Vineyarders had three away games: Sturgis West on Feb. 8, Bourne on Feb. 10, and Abington on Feb. 13. Against Sturgis West, the Vineyarders cruised to a 39-14 win over the Navigators, sweeping the season series. In the first quarter, sophomore Delilah Oliver went off for 13 points, and senior captain Maria Andrade scored eight. With a comfortable lead, Coach Melissa Braillard was able to give her bench players and even a couple of JV players some significant minutes to finish out the game.
Against Bourne, the Vineyarders played an intense game in a tough atmosphere. According to Coach Braillard, “The crowd was really loud … the game was very high-energy.” The Vineyarders responded well, though, and played a close game through all four quarters. She explained that her players have done a fantastic job of playing their best in these scenarios. Andrade finished with a huge double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds), while Oliver had nine points and three blocks in the 54-38 loss.
Finally, the Vineyarders traveled to Abington to play the Green Wave for the first match of a co-ed doubleheader. MVRHS started out strong, doing a great job of breaking Abington’s press, and settling into their offense en route to taking a first-quarter lead. Unfortunately, though, the Vineyarders lost the lead in the second, and weren’t able to reclaim it before the final buzzer. Andrade (20 points, seven rebounds) and Oliver (nine points, 13 rebounds) each had another great game, while senior captain Josie Welch tacked on eight points of her own. According to Coach Braillard, the Vineyarders are really close to taking another big leap, once they start combining their improved ability to break the press with their ability to shoot the ball. “They should be super-proud of where they’ve come,” she said.
On Wednesday, the Vineyarders have their biggest game of the season in Monomoy away, after our print deadline. With a win, MVRHS would become co-champs of the Cape & Islands Lighthouse Division.