Young, Athletic Field Hockey Team Ready To Prove Themselves

David Creed •

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Varsity field hockey head coach Dan Weber has liked what he has seen from his team during preseason practices. His team qualified for the state tournament last season but went 6-10-2 and were knocked out of the playoffs in the round of 32 by Lunenburg in a home game 2-0.

They will need to replace five players in their lineup, but Weber feels good about the talent returning.

“I think this is the most athletic team I have had,” Weber said. “We will see on the field hockey end how it works but in terms of straight athleticism, they are very, very athletic.”
Weber and his team traveled to the Cape for a “play day” where they faced Barnstable’s JV team, Bourne, St. John Paul II, and Martha’s Vineyard. They beat Barnstable 2-0 and Bourne 4-0 and tied SJP and Martha’s Vineyard.

“Their athleticism showed in the Barnstable play day,” Weber said. “We can run and move so if we can mix in some good field hockey tactics, I think we could be pretty dangerous this season.”

Sophomores Suz Peraner and Lily Remick will lead Nantucket’s attack along with senior Audrey Manning.

“Those three are really good players so I’m hoping they are ready to put some balls in the back of the net,” Weber said. “Caroline Allen in the midfield will be important for us too. She is super athletic and she could play forward if we needed her to, but we need her to play midfield. She is a great ball handler, fast, can play defense, I would expect her to get on the scoresheet a few times but just considering the position she plays it may not be as often as the other ones.”

Weber said sophomore centerman Maddie Lombardi has looked very good so far and will be one the leaders on this Whaler team.

“She is a centerman. She is the truest of a true centerman you can get,” he said. “She is a ball hawk defensively and is very good at getting the ball and moving it outside which is what we want to do, then come back in once we get to the offensive zone. She does that really well. She played awesome in that Martha’s Vineyard game. She can be a game-wrecker in the middle of the field there blowing up offensive possessions left and right, so I am hoping that translates to regular season games.”

Senior Abby Mason and sophomore Mayson Lower will lead the Whaler’s defense. Both have experience at the varsity level, with Mason being a four-year starter.

“If you saw Abby four years ago compared to now you wouldn’t even think it was the same kid,” Weber said. “She is so much more athletic, so much more in tune with her mechanics, and just being a leader. She is very reliable and always where she needs to be. I feel very safe with her back there. Then you have Mayson and she is very athletic too. She can move the ball, take the ball. We are pretty good back there. Aubrey Connors, a junior, is another player who will help us back there.”

Shelbi Harimon will replace long-time goalie Maclaine Willett in net. Harimon is a freshman but played for Nantucket’s JV team last season.

“Big time change at goalie. I don’t know a field hockey team without Maclaine Willett in goal,” Weber said. “It was Shelbi’s first year playing goalie last year. She was even better than Maclaine was at that age and Maclaine said it a couple times last season. She has a good mentality for a goalie. I am excited to see how she plays in real games, but she looked really good in the play day we had.”

The Whalers will open their regular season on Saturday, September 10 with a home game against the Falmouth Clippers. You can see the full schedule by clicking here.

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