As spring sports kick into gear, the Nantucket Lady Whalers Lacrosse Team is looking young but determined under the leadership of senior captains Alexa Aloisi and Paige Albertson. The girls achieved a record of 10-2 in the Cape and Islands League and 10-6 overall last year. The Lady Whalers also had some playoff success, defeating the Monomoy Sharks 14-8, before losing to Norwell 17-2 in a quarterfinal matchup.
The girls look to capitalize on the momentum created by last year’s squad. Even though the team has lost former seniors Emma Pierce, Katherine Pittman, Natalie Gammons, Nina Wilson, Sarah Daume, Sydney Strate, Luci Bresette, and Christianna Roggeveen, the squad still anticipates a great season. Though the team is captained by two seniors, leadership can be found in the more than ten juniors who all have some experience under their belt.
Martha’s Vineyard has just entered the Cape and Islands League. This will be a test for the Lady Whalers this season along with the defending Cape and Islands League Champions, Falmouth Academy. Regarding tough opponents for the team this year, Athletic Director Chris Maury stated, “Saint John Paul II is another tough league team that we will play home and away. Barnstable is a Division I school that we are scheduled to play home and away as a non-league opponent.”
Captains Albertson and Aloisi are excited to lead the combined JV and varsity team of 45 players into gameplay. Aloisi commented that although the girls have lost a lot of experience, “We have a lot of young talent which is exciting.” Aloisi also remarked, “The team graduated a lot of seniors, and this year there are only a few seniors on the team, so there is a totally different dynamic.” With the large change in the starting lineup and rotation, the girls will have to adapt quickly. Captain Albertson also commented on the upcoming season saying, “The team looks good. We are pretty young with only two seniors, but I am confident we will be successful.” The leadership demonstrated in both captains will instill confidence among the young crew for this season. Junior Luly Day also excitedly mentioned, “Just short of 50 girls signed up for lacrosse this year which is awesome because it shows there is interest in the sport and passion for it!”
The program also has a new coaching staff which is made up of Varsity head coach Jami Lower and JV head coach Leslianne Brannigan. Aloisi and Albertson both commented on what a great job both coaches were doing with a new scene of players. Lower highlighted the strengths of the squad, stating, “It is great to see how our players have passion, dedication, are willing to learn and overall have love for the sport and are working every day to move and connect as a team.” Lower also commented on the areas the girls will need to gain maturity and experience with, “We are a team that has not seen a lot of playing time together. We will most likely take some time to come together to become the team we know we can be.” Lower seems to have confidence in the team’s ability to work hard and dedicate themselves even if they still need to work out some kinks. Coach Brannigan, also the new AP United States History teacher, made similar comments to Lower, “We have excellent leadership from the senior class in our captains Paige and Alexa; to that end couldn’t ask for more.” Brannigan attributes all of the credit to coach Lower “for the depth and talent the youth program is producing.”
Although the Lady Whalers will have to adapt and make some changes to the rotation this year, all of the players seem really excited for the adjustments and hope to make another playoff run.
By Luke Mackay