Photography by David Creed
The Whaler boys lacrosse team knew coming into the state tournament that they were a better team than their 9-9 record indicated at the end of the regular season. They played a difficult schedule that head coach Sam Aloisi was hoping would prepare them for postseason play.
The #8 Whalers defeated the #9 Littleton Tigers 15-5 Friday afternoon. Nantucket has now outscored their opponents 31-7 in their two postseason games. They were led by sophomore attacker Cole Chambers (five goals and three assists) and sophomore midfielder Jack Halik (three goals and three assists).
“We said after the last game (against Bellingham) that it wasn’t the best defense we have played all year but if we continue to play that way, it wouldn’t matter and they played that way again today against a much better team and got a similar result,” Aloisi said.
Each side scored two goals to begin the game. It appeared it would be a back and forth affair, which can be expected in an #8 v. #9 matchup. It was 4-2 after one quarter, but the Whalers were moving the ball well.
Chambers and Halik began the second quarter with one goal each in the first 40 seconds to give Nantucket a 6-2 lead and what felt like an enormous momentum boost. One of the keys to Nantucket’s win was once again senior midfielder Cole Evens in the faceoff dot. He allowed Nantucket to dominate possession for most of the game.
When the Tigers did get possession, they were met by Nantucket’s stingy defense led by sophomores Griffin Starr and Hunter Strojny and senior Justin Zadroga. Aloisi said he has been very impressed with junior longstick midfielder Luke Stringer.
“He has been awesome for us and was again today,” Aloisi said. “He has been a big part of our defense and goes unnoticed mostly but he has been doing all the little things right.”
The Whalers went into halftime up 8-3, and the game was never in much doubt from that point on. The Tigers had some burst to begin the third quarter, but Nantucket senior goalie George Boucher made three high-quality stops in the first four minutes of the quarter to fend off that Littleton push. Boucher had 10 saves total on the day.
The Whalers scored three goals in the third and four goals in the final quarter to win the game 15-5. Along with Halik and Chambers, the other Nantucket goal scorers included sophomore attacker Colby O’Keefe (two goals), senior attackers Hudson Perry and Cosmo Tedeschi (one each), senior midfielders Makai Bodden and Justin Bloise (one each), and junior midfielder Sean Murphy (one).
Aloisi believes his team can play with anyone when they play with this kind of chemistry on the offensive and defensive ends of the field. The Whalers will be playing the #1 ranked Sandwich Blue Knights on Tuesday, June 14, at 5 p.m. Sandwich beat Nantucket 14-3 in Sandwich on May 3 and 12-7 on Nantucket on May 19.
“It is little things,” Aloisi said. “So much is about momentum so if we can get on a little run over there anything can happen.”