Nauset Girls Soccer Focused On Next Test After Defending League Title

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Soccer

The Nauset girls soccer team is hopeful it will make a deep run this postseason. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

NORTH EASTHAM – Around this time a year ago, the Nauset girls soccer team lost a golden opportunity. The Warriors had captured the Cape and Islands League title and appeared primed for a deep postseason run.

However, it wasn’t even an option.

After missing out on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association postseason tournament a year ago due to COVID-19 cancelling the entire year’s slate of state tournaments, Nauset is finally ready to return to the Division 2 state tournament after steamrolling to a 15-3 overall record and capturing a second consecutive league title.

“We believe that we can make a run in this tournament,” Nauset coach Tom Pollert said after Monday’s practice. “We know that we just have to look at it as one game — we’re not looking at the championship or the semis, we’re looking at the first game, but they do believe that we can make a run.”

The Warriors outscored opponents 72-12 this year thanks in part to a talented trio as capable of finding the back of the net as any players in Eastern Mass. Pollert said midfielder Olivia Avellar, a sophomore, and forwards Emma Easley, a junior, and Caroline Kennard, a sophomore, have anchored the offense.

“They’re our big three,” the coach said. “Between the three of them they have 46 goals.”

The team also benefitted from the return of Sam Schiffenhaus, a midfielder who began her high school career at Nauset, then moved to California before returning for her senior season this fall.

“She’s been tremendous,” Pollert said. “We didn’t even know she was coming in. She’s had 10 goals and is really the engine for us in the midfield.”

As good as Nauset’s offense is, the team is hardly one dimensional. It also boasts a strong defensive core led by senior defenders Kate Kennard, Faye Lindberg and Mimi Bois, who play in front of the team’s senior goalkeeper, Brady Deschamps.

“Faye and I really work well together, and then we have Mimi and Georgie [Orlandella] on the outsides,” said Kate Kennard, a Chatham resident who plays center back alongside Lindberg. “Faye and I are really confident in them and how they can play.”

There’s a sense of familiarity among the team’s nine seniors that stems from years of playing youth and club soccer together before joining forces at Nauset.

“A lot of the girls I’ve been playing with since we were in elementary school, so we’ve just been playing together and playing the same style,” said Bois, a Provincetown resident. “A lot of the girls were on the same club team, so we’ve been coached the same way to pass and work together. Everyone is really close and really supportive of each other, on and off the field.”

After capturing a second consecutive regular-season Cape and Islands League title, the girls are eager to play for a state title — a goal they have shared since before they joined the Warriors.

“The seniors and I have been dreaming of this since before freshman year, honestly,” said Lindberg, a Wellfleet resident. “It’s been our goal for that long because we’ve all played with each other for such a long time. This is what it has been leading up to, so we’re super, super excited.”

Pollert said he expects Nauset to open the state tournament Thursday and then play again Saturday if the team is able to win its opening game.

Email Brad Joyal at Twitter: @BradJoyal