Depth Has Been Key For Talented Nauset Girls Soccer Team

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Soccer , Nauset High School

Nauset senior Emma Easley, left, looks to dribble around Monomoy sophomore Lucy Bates during Saturday’s game in Harwich. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

HARWICH – Prior to the start of the season, Nauset girls soccer coach Tom Pollert preached intensity. The Warriors coach wanted the girls to ramp up their effort in hopes of establishing a culture predicated on never letting up.

That attitude has paid dividends, as the team has outscored opponents 14-5 while posting a 5-1-1 record through seven games.

“The first seven games we really focused on being competitive, really picking up our competitive edge and playing full tilt for the whole game,” Pollert said Saturday. “We think we’ve got it accomplished and we’re not really having that conversation anymore, now we’re starting to have conversations about patterns and attacking.”

The result was clear Saturday when Nauset pulled away from Monomoy (4-3) for a 5-0 victory in Harwich.

It wasn’t a matter of one player carrying the way; five different Warriors — senior Sophie McIsaac, juniors Oliva Avellar, Caroline Kennard and Sammy McIsaac and sophomore Ellie Stewart — each tallied a goal in the win.

“For us to have five different girls score… we had actually been working on finishing all week in practice, so it was nice to see that happen,” Pollert said. “When the younger girls score, their confidence level goes up and their play improves, which is great.”

Pollert said the team’s two returning All-State players, Kennard and Avellar, have turned in strong performances throughout the first couple weeks of the season, though he was quick to praise the team’s defensive efforts.

Sophomore Pepper Escher has served as the team’s final line of defense at goalkeeper, while senior Sophia Easley and juniors Tess Williams, Mackenzie Still, Georgie Orlandella have anchored the backline.

“We’re getting great play out of our back four and our goalkeeper Pepper is doing phenomenal,” Pollert said. “I think we’ve given up five goals in seven games and two of them have been penalty kicks, so our back four have been great.”

As much as the defense has helped keep other teams off the scoreboard, Nauset’s early-season success wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the offense manufacturing goals.

The team opened with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Bridgewater-Raynham before the team played Pembroke to a 1-1 tie. A 2-0 win over Martha’s Vineyard and a 1-0 defeat of Sandwich followed suit before Nauset suffered its only defeat, a 2-0 loss to Newtown South, on Sept. 17.

Nauset rebounded from that loss to earn a 3-1 win at Plymouth South before taking care of business at Monomoy. Pollert said it was the competitive approach that helped his team survive that opening stretch of top opponents.

“In those first games, the competitive edge really carried us through against some of those strong teams that we played,” he said. “Hopefully that can carry us onto the next steps.”

Although Monomoy was held scoreless against Nauset, the Sharks received a strong performance from their sophomore goalkeeper Maya Flaherty, who made nine saves while also breaking up or knocking away numerous Nauset passes or crossing attempts.

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal