Nauset Boys Soccer Returning To Health As State Tournament Approaches

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Soccer

Nauset boys soccer players congratulate senior Nate Watring (18) after he scored against Monomoy on Sept. 17. BRAD JOYAL FILE PHOTO

NORTH EASTHAM – After playing shorthanded for much of the fall, the Nauset boys soccer team is finally feeling whole just in time for the state tournament.

Sunday’s 5-0 victory over Nantucket demonstrated just how dominant the team can be when it is playing with a full roster, as the team improved to 12-2-1 after senior captain Nate Watring recorded a hat trick and goalkeeper Chase Lemieux, another senior, pitched a shutout.

“I don’t know if we’re hitting our stride, but we’re the healthiest that we’ve been,” Nauset coach John McCully said. “It was the first time we had everyone back.”

McCully said the team felt “just a little more complete” in the win over the Whalers. In addition to Lemieux, who was sidelined for an extended period due to injury, the team had also been without senior Arlo Haughton-Lawless and junior Marc Anthony at different points of the year.

"The big issue was our goalkeeper, Chase, was out for six weeks and now he's back," McCully said. "We're stronger in that area and Arlo gives us more creativity around the goal as well. We had lost Marc Anthony, our holding center midfielder -- he gives us some more ball-moving ability and some stability in the midfield, even though his replacement Devin Farrell has played very well."

The engine leading the Warriors continues to be Watring, one of the best scoring threats in the Bay State. He’s maintained his scoring prowess this fall, netting 26 goals and adding 13 assists.

"He's been consistently great every game," McCully said. "He has scored in every game except one. He's been a real consistent threat even though he has two or three guys all over him. That's one good thing about getting Arlo back, they can't gain u; on Nate, even though he's been really consistent."

Although the Warriors won’t learn where they are seeded in the Division 2 state tournament until after their regular-season finale against Dennis-Yarmouth on Halloween, it looks as though the team will be a lower seed despite its record.

Nauset was ranked No. 27 in Division 2 in the latest MIAA power rankings released Oct 21. The seedings are determined by a power ratings system based on a teams’ average margin of victory and their opponents’ ratings.

McCully said he’s not “overly upset” about Nauset receiving a low seed despite only having two losses. 

"It is what it is," he said. "The seeding has a lot to do with our league, our league just isn't very good. That's the bottom line. Even the nonleague -- Bridgewater-Raynham has one win, Cardinal Spellman, who was No. 4 in Division 3 last year, they've got one win. And then new Bedford isn't having a great year." 

Rather than worry about its seeding, Nauset is going to worry about what is ahead. The team’s biggest test in finishing the regular season will come Saturday when it hosts undefeated Pembroke — the top-ranked team in Division 3 — at noon in North Eastham.

"The focus is to keep getting better," McCully said. "Every game is a challenge for us, so every game will show us something that we have to work on. It might be our defensive restarts, it might be our possession, it might be finishing around the goal. We still think our best soccer is ahead of us."