A night of offensive power followed by a day of defensive exploits led the Vineyard girls varsity hockey team to a championship title as they defeated Scituate and Quincy/North Quincy in the 14th annual Nan Rheault Tournament this weekend.

The Vineyard has hosted the four-team tournament since its inception, but has never won. The girls last made it to the championship game five years ago.

“One of the things that I’ve said all year is that...experience is going to carry us,” head coach John Fiorito said after the Vineyard earned a 1-0 win over Quincy/North Quincy on Sunday. “We wanted to really, all year, take advantage of that, and we did.”

There are seven seniors on the team, and four have played on varsity since their freshmen year. Junior goalie Jackie Hegarty is in her second year in net.

Julia Levesque scored the Vineyard's first goal of the tournament during Saturday's game against Scituate. — Ivy Ashe

On Saturday night, the team took on rival Scituate, a squad that has knocked the Vineyard out of the tournament for the past three years. The Vineyard came out blazing, notching five goals in the first period alone. Sophomore Julia Levesque drew first blood less than two minutes in, with senior Erin Hegarty earning the assist. Junior Belle Dinning and senior Aubrey Ashmun also found the net, and senior Sydney Davies capped off the period with back-to-back goals.

The Sailors tried to recover in the second, and narrowed the scoring gap with a goal of their own. But Ashmun made off with the puck as the clock ticked down to score on a breakaway with seconds left in the period, making the game 6-1. Senior Olivia Ogden and sophomore Kylie Hatt both scored in the third. Senior Katrina Lakis notched her first-ever varsity goal to close out the Vineyard scoring. Scituate had two goals to make the final score 9-3.

“The score doesn’t indicate that that’s a pretty decent team,” Coach Fiorito said. One of their players is a member of the 100-point club, and “every year it’s a good game.”

During Saturday’s championship match against Quincy/North Quincy, a former league opponent, the Vineyard was nervous but confident.

“We wanted to seize the moment, we wanted to not let nerves get to us, and we came out and scored a goal two and a half minutes into the game,” Coach Fiorito said.

Senior Kiara Vought initiated a behind-the-net play in the first period, setting up Dinning for a tip to Davies, who was waiting in the slot. Davies buried the shot in the back of the net.

But the goal was the only one the Vineyard would get for the remainder of the game, although they outshot their opponents 26-15.

“We had so many chances to make it 2-0,” Coach Fiorito said. “Their goalie played well. You start gripping the stick a little tighter when the puck’s not going in, you think you need that second goal, and they hung in there.”

Jackie Hegarty at goalie was up to the challenge of preserving the lead en route to her third shutout of the season.

“We knew there was probably going to be one big moment when she needed to come up big, and she did,” Coach Fiorito said. Sister Erin Hegarty and co-defender Olivia Ogden also turned in standout performances against the Red Raiders. Though she did not score, Ashmun “had a heck of game,” Coach Fiorito said. “She did all of the little things.”

All seven seniors got a shift on the ice in the final game. The team gave their championship plaque to assistant coach Andre Bonnell, who has worked with the girls’ hockey program since its founding in 1998. The Nan Rheault Tournament began in 2002.

“He’s been there for every one of them,” Coach Fiorito said.