Girls Lacrosse Season Comes To An End In State Quarterfinal

David Creed •

The Nantucket girls lacrosse team’s season came to an end on Saturday in the Div. 4 state quarterfinal. The Whalers, ranked #2 in the tournament, lost to the #7 seeded Norwell Clippers 13-11.

Norwell jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead after one quarter of play and in several instances throughout the game, appeared to have Nantucket on the ropes. But the Whalers never stopped playing and continued to battle – forcing the Clippers to play a full 48 minutes in order to advance.

"They didn't give up till the end. It's a special group. They all wanted it. I've never seen a team want it more,” Nantucket head coach Jami Lower said. “(Norwell) is a phenomenal program that we lost to last year by a lot. It's extremely well coached and you know, I just said to them in (the locker room) like four years ago we went to them for a playoff and we lost 19-0. So look how far they've come. They really, really, really care and it's a bummer the outcome didn't go our way (Saturday), but to no fault of theirs.”

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Photo by Chris Tran

The Whalers made it a 5-4 game midway through the second quarter. Goals by senior stars Bailey Lower and Emerson Pekarcik, as well as some stellar, timely stops by senior goalie Claire Misurelli had the Whalers within a goal of the Clippers, however Norwell went onto score four goals in less than four minutes to take an 8-4 lead into halftime.

After Norwell scored the first goal of the third quarter to make it 9-4, Pekarcik made it a 9-5 game with 9:29 to go in the third followed by a Lower goal 13 seconds later – prompting a Norwell timeout.

With 5:36 left in the third, Lower showed off her speed, athleticism, and skill that has her heading to Vanderbilt to join the Commodores Div. 1 program next year – racing coast to coast to make it a 9-7 game.

But Norwell once again stopped the bleeding and scored two goals to end the third and took an 11-7 lead into the final quarter of play. Pekarcik and Lower each scored to make it 11-9 with seven minutes left to play, but Norwell scored 90 seconds later to get their lead back to three.

Pekarcik quickly cut the deficit back to two 12 seconds after the Clipper’s goal, but Norwell made it 13-10 with 3:50 to go.

With the final seconds ticking off the clock, the final goal of the season for Nantucket, who ended the year with a 22-1 record, came from Pekarcik off a beautiful set up from Lower. A fitting end to the season but their high school careers.

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Bailey Lower. Photo by Chris Tran

Lower and Pekarcik both finished with five goals in this game and will go down as two of the most accomplished athletes to come through Nantucket High School. While Lower will be taking her talents to Vanderbilt, Pekarcik will be heading to High Point to join their Div. 1 program. Over the past three years, they led Nantucket to one state semifinal appearance and two state quarterfinal appearances.

But the senior core as a whole was special and helped take the program to another level. To go along with Pekarcik and Lower, Nantucket will graduate Claire Misurelli, Cydney Mosscrop, Brooke Damian, and Evy Stahl.

"I'm proud of them,” Jami Lower said. “I think they play with passion and they play for each other and they have spread that love down to the lower grades. I've never seen a team walk away with this many tears, which is obviously sad, but also just an indication of how much it means to them and how much they mean to each other, which is pretty cool.”

“They put this program on the map,” Lower added when discussing this year’s team and the senior players.

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Mayson Lower chasing down Norwell's goalie. Photo by Chris Tran
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