Nauset Field Hockey Expects Long Wait Before Tournament Begins

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: Field Hockey , Nauset Regional High School

A host of Nauset players celebrate  a goal by Abby Powers (11) during a 2-1 victory over Barnstable on Sept. 30. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

The regular season couldn’t have ended any better for the Nauset field hockey team.

After coming from behind to beat the combined Sturgis East/West squad 2-1 on Oct. 25, the Warriors blanked Carver 4-0 Oct. 27 and thumped Duxbury 5-0 on Saturday to finish the regular season with a three-game win streak.

“It was great,” Nauset coach Cheryl Poore said after the team finished 9-6-3.

“The combined Sturgis team has really brought their game up. We were a little surprised, and to have to fight from behind was a good experience. Carver is a tough team, especially to play on the road, and I was very impressed with that game. But then against Duxbury on Saturday, we just had our offense cranking.

“That was very pleasing — it was where we hoped to be at the end.”

The Warriors earned the No. 20 seed and will visit No. 13 Hopkinton (9-4-5) in the Division 2 state tournament Round of 32 (date/time TBA).

Although the competition will ramp up in the playoffs, it won’t be the only challenge Nauset will face. Poore said she expects the team won’t play its first state tournament game until sometime over the weekend, creating a long layoff after finishing the regular season strong.

“I can’t believe we have this long of gap,” she said. ‘We thought we’d be playing by Friday at the latest but now it’s really confusing. It looks like Sunday might be our first game, which could really work against a young team.”

Poore said that in addition to practicing, the Warriors will try to meet other top Cape and Islands League rivals this week.

“We’re going to get a scrimmage in against D-Y and we might look for a second scrimmage if it’s going to be that long of a week,” the coach said.

After receiving strong scoring production at the end of the regular season, Poore said one focus heading into the postseason will be continuing to improve in front of junior goalkeeper and captain Bella Roberts.

“We’ve developed a really strong offense and a strong midfield, but we’ve still got to strengthen the defense,” Poore said. “Bella is an outstanding and acrobatic goalie, but she’s working with a lot of people that she’s not worked with in the past. That’s where we’re coming along and where we’ll have to strengthen in the tournament.”

The extra preparation has allowed Poore and the Warriors to mix in new drills that she said will likely be included during next year’s preseason. With so many first-year varsity players on this year’s squad, the week of practice gives them an extra week of growth.

“We’re doing new drills and I explained to them that some of the drills we were doing would be used in tryouts next year and what the expectations would be now that they had a year's experience with us,” Poore said. “We are really expecting to bring our level up next year.”

Even though she’s excited for the upcoming state tournament, Poore did take a moment to look ahead at the future of the program, including the impact of Katelyn Oberlander and Kathryn Andreoli.

“I’m really excited about next year and the additions to our staff, Katelyn Olander doing JV and assisting me with Kat,” Poore said. “They’ve made a huge difference. We’ve worked our JV and varsity programs together. We like to say it’s one program with two teams and boy, that’s really going to make a difference for the future because all those younger kids that weren’t playing with me, it was the same as if they were because we ran practice the same every day.

“I’m really excited about building the program there and then eventually passing it down to these women who are strong coaches.”

Stay tuned to for tournament schedule updates.

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Twitter: @BradJoyal