Although Tuesday’s boys’ lacrosse game between the Vineyarders and the Whalers from Nantucket had all the makings of a classic barn burner between two inter-Island rivals, the game in the end provided plenty of smoke but little fire.
After building a four-goal lead in the first quarter, the juggernaut Vineyarders won going away by a final score of 11-0. Coach John Stabile said he was pleasantly surprised at the ease of his team’s win over Nantucket, a perennial lacrosse power that had provided some of his team’s tougher battles in recent seasons.
“In my wildest dreams I thought we could win by maybe three or four goals,” the coach said humbly. “I never expected this.”
Whether coach Stabile was still playing possum after the big was unclear, but what is clear is that his team is on a roll. With Tuesday’s win, the Vineyarders boosted their record to 7-1, one of the best starts in the program’s history.
The Vineyarders did suffer their first loss this past week, to Barnstable. The Vineyarders were down only a goal at halftime before the Red Raiders ran off seven unanswered goals in the second half to win by a final score of 12-4.
Coach Stabile said the loss, though painful, may provide positives in the lonrun.
“It’s good to get a bad loss out of the way early,” he said. “We knew we weren’t going to go undefeated [all season], our schedule is too tough. Sometimes you can learn more from a loss than a [lopsided] win.”
But the Vineyarders were firing on all cylinders on Tuesday against Nantucket, lighting up the scoreboard seven minutes in when Duncan Meyst wrapped a shot around Whalers’ goalie Keith Clemens to make it 1-0. Less than a minute later, Matt Costello fired a rocket from 30 feet out to double the Vineyarders’ lead.
The scoring parade continued seconds later when Riley Dobel had an unassisted goal from about 20 feet, followed by a blistering goal from Kenny MacDonald as the first quarter came to a close.
Although there were still three quarters to play, the Vineyarders had set the tone of the game while also laying down the law. The Vineyarders held a 6-0 lead at the half en route to the 11-0 drubbing. The home team kept the ball in Whalers territory for most the game, and the Vineyarder defensemen and midfielders extinguished any and all scoring threats before they spread.
Every time Nantucket got the ball and streaked down the field, the Vineyarders’ backfield attacked the ball with ferocious fervor and usually forced a turnover.
“We hit them in the mouth early and they never really recovered,” coach Stabile said. “Going into this game I was a bit worried, but the players were confident once they took that field,” he said.
MacDonald led the Vineyarders with two goals and an assist; Michael O’Donoughue had a goal and three assists; Ben Rossi had a goal and an assist; Erik Dolliver had two goals; and Cody Chandler had a goal.
Because of school vacation, the Vineyarders will not play again until next Saturday, April 26 at 1 p.m. at home against Franklin.
The girls’ lacrosse team is also on a hot streak.
After dropping their first game of the season to Sandwich, the Vineyarders have reeled off a remarkable six wins in a row, including a thrilling comeback against Dartmouth at home Wednesday in which they scored three goals in the final eight minutes to seal a 9-8 win.
With the win, the Vineyarders’ record stands at 6-0 in the Maritime League and 6-1 overall. They now embark on a 12-day, five-match trip to England, and will not play a regular season game until the following week.
The Vineyarders started strong Wednesday when Jane Alexander scored on a crease roll two minutes in. Just minutes later, Sophie Lew found Laura Jernegan in front of the goal with a perfect pass to give the Vineyarders a 2-0 advantage. Dartmouth scored the next two goals to tie the game, but Hayley Pierce put the Vineyarders back on top when she took a perfect pass from Alexander and redirected it into the top left of the cage.
Dartmouth again bounced back with two goals; but Jernegan knotted the game at 4-4 with another assist from Lew. Dartmouth then buckled down on defense and scored three unanswered goals to put the Vineyarders down 7-4 with only eight minutes left in the game.
But coach Betsy Dripps said her team would not be denied on this day. “They were unbelievable . . . they never gave up,” she said.
Lew and Nica Sylvia each scored goals to mount the comeback, but Dartmouth then scored a goal to take back a two-goal lead. But Jernegan came up big again and scored with six minutes left on a pass from defenseman Alexa Fisher and then scored again minutes later on an unassisted breakaway to the score at 8-8.
With just over three minutes left, Alexander fired in a shot to give the Vineyarders a 9-8 advantage, which would turn out to be the winning goal. Although Dartmouth intercepted the ball and rushed towards the goal with two minutes left, goalie Zoe Fisher came up with a great save and set up a defensive stall to run out the clock.
“It was an unbelievable end of the game, and a huge win for the home team,” coach Dripps said. “We are playing like a team and are on a roll.”
Track and Field
Strong starts (and finishes) for coach Joe Schroeder’s track teams have become so commonplace during the spring sports season you can set your watch by it, and this year is no exception as both teams are off to a 3-0 start.
On Monday, both the girls and boys teams defeated Sandwich at home, although the girls’ win was by no means a sure thing. Although they won 10 out of the 15 contested events, they needed a win in the 4-by-100 relay to seal the team victory by a final tally of 68-67.
“It’s not uncommon for track meets to go down to a close finish, but it was unusual that we knew we needed to win [the 4-by-100 relay] at the end to seal the win. It was a dramatic win,” coach Schroeder said.
Kim Carlomagno came up huge, winning both the triple and long jump events while anchoring the pivotal 4-by-100 relay. She got the stick with the relay team behind by about five meters and quickly made up the deficit to seal the win.
Coach Schroeder also credited junior Emma Lee Iversen for winning her three events: an eclectic mix of shot put, discus and 100-meter high hurdles.
“Some of the girls like Kim and Emma Lee came up huge on Monday, which was so important because we were a little short on athletes; we had a few girls hurt and a few away on trips,” the coach said.
The boys, on the other hand, had a cushier 84-52 win.
Senior Jaron Chaplin paced the Vineyarders by winning the long jump and the high hurdles, while Mark Reppert won the high jump and 800-meter dash. Ben Williams notched points in all of his events, winning the triple jump, coming in second in the mile run and third in the long jump. Doug Asselin won the 300-meter low hurdles and the 400-meter dash.
Coach Schroeder said he was again blessed with talented boys’ and girls’ teams, and had high expectations for the season.
“The girls’ team is made up more of seasoned veterans and upperclassmen, but the boys’ team is no less talented,” he said. “I think both [the boys and girls] have set the bar pretty high this year, like they do every year. We are lucky to get these groups of athletes year in and year out that are extremely dedicated to their training and practice.”
The softball team had an up-and-down week, trouncing Upper Cape on Monday by a final of 21-2 before losing a tight game against Bourne by a final score of 8-6 on Tuesday. Their record now stands at 2-6 on the season.
Starting pitcher Caroline Davey was dominant against Upper Cape, fanning 11 batters while giving up only a single hit. Lauren Williston, Cayla Morris, Taylor Perrotta and Julie Perry each had multiple hits to lead the Vineyarder attack.
The Vineyarders battled hard against Bourne on Tuesday, storming back from a two-run deficit to tie the game in the third inning. But they were dealt a blow when Holly Robsinson, the starting third baseman and number-two hitter, was involved in collision and was taken off the field on a stretcher. The team never seemed to recover, and the Canalmen plated four runs in the fifth inning to put the game away.
The injury is only the latest in a series that has marred the young season. Sophomore Katie Hines, who was slated to be the starting shortstop, suffered a stress fracture and is not expected to return until next week at the earliest.
Coach Josh Burgoyne said injuries have forced some players to play out of position, which puts an additional strain on a young team that fields seven sophomores and two freshman.
“I’m not big on excuses, but I can say we are looking forward to getting healthy,” the coach said.
Coach Burgoyne said the team has two great pitchers at the top of the rotation in Davey and Martha Scheffer around which the team can build.
“Although this is a young team that will only get better in the years to come, we do not consider this a rebuilding year . . . this is a team that can win now,” he said.
The baseball team lost two games and earned a rare tie this past week, as their record fell to an unusual 3-4-1.
The Vineyarders started off with a storybook comeback against Wareham last Thursday when Tad Gold struck a seventh-inning home run to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh at 5-5.
Pitcher Ben Ciciora was effective in relief, allowing just one run and striking out four over five innings, which helped keep the game knotted at five through the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. The game was eventually called so that Wareham could catch their scheduled 7:30 p.m. ferry.
The Vineyarders then lost to Dighton-Rehoboth on Monday by a final of 7-1.
The Vineyarders suffered their worst loss of the season at home against Bourne on Tuesday, losing by final of 16-6, although the game was not nearly as one-sided as the final score indicated. After falling behind 6-0 early, the Vineyarders rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fourth and three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make things close before the Canalmen blew the game open.
Coach Gary Simmons said the Vineyarder baseball team all season has been defined by a never-say-die spirit.
“Deficits of two runs, four runs, six runs — it doesn’t seem to faze them,” the coach said. “They keep coming back and rallying. This is a loose bunch of kids who love to play the game . . . they never think they are entirely out of a game.”