CARVER – Even after her Warriors earned a 2-0 victory over Carver to improve to 3-0 on the season, Nauset Regional High School field hockey coach Cheryl Poore was hardly satisfied.
“We were awfully messy out there,” said Poore. “We weren’t carrying the ball and we weren’t making smart passes.”
The coach then smiled.
“Sorry,” she said. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”
It’s that never-content outlook that has the Warriors off to a undefeated start three games into their season.
Even more impressive, however, is the fact the team has yet to allow a goal.
Nauset opened its season with a 3-0 victory over Carver on Sept. 8 and earned a 4-0 win at Martha’s Vineyard two days later before traveling to Carver for Monday’s rematch with the Crusaders.
The Warriors have been able to experience their success despite the fact the team lost a lot of talent from last year’s squad, which finished 7-3-1 during a campaign limited to Cape and Islands League play due to COVID-19.
“It’s a great group of girls,” said senior Lauren Knight, an Orleans resident. “Going into this season, there were only six returning players and last year we didn’t take anyone new, so we all knew it was going to be a challenge this year. We’ve really become a family and everybody has stepped up to play their part and do what we need them to.”
Knight has been a key contributor. She scored a goal Monday and also tallied an assist on Nauset’s first goal, which was credited to Abby Powers, the lone freshman on this year’s team.
“It was kind of unexpected. I wasn’t expecting to score,” Powers said of her first high school goal. “It took me a second to realize that it happened, and then I was just really excited.”
The play materialized after Knight drove to Carver’s net. Once the Crusaders’ defense – including goalie Ali Perry – collapsed on Knight in the defensive zone, the senior sent it over to the post where Powers awaited and tapped it in for an easy goal.
“I saw that the goalie was down and I knew I had a step on her,” said Knight. “I pulled right and just missed the goal wide and Abby was there in the perfect spot.”
The senior said she was happy to see the team’s only freshman find the back of the net.
“It’s awesome,” continued Knight. “I remember my first goal — it was also an away game — and I’ll never forget it. So that was cool to watch her do it.”
Powers, a Barnstable resident, said that despite being the youngest player on the team, she has felt comfortable with her new Warriors teammates.
“I don’t have that many people my age on the team, but everybody has been really nice,” she said.
Despite only scoring two goals, Nauset dominated play Monday. The visitors held a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal, as its sophomore goalie Bella Roberts was hardly tested — a theme through the first few games of the season.
In its first three games, the team also received an offensive boost from senior Zoe Bates – who did not play Monday – and strong efforts from senior Julia Weiner and junior Amelia Stevens, who Poore praised for their play on defense and at midfield, respectively.
Poore and the Warriors are expecting the competition to ramp up this week when they begin league play. The coach is looking forward to the team’s road test at Falmouth at 11 a.m. Saturday, a game she said will give Nauset a much better idea of where it stands.
“We haven’t hit the league yet and that’s going to tell us a lot,” the coach said. “Falmouth is the league opener and that will be good for us to see where we are.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BradJoyal