The Nantucket Whalers Girls Soccer Team has finished their season with just four wins, ten losses and three ties, finding themselves in fifth place with a league that consists of six teams. They are highly looking to improve their numbers of wins, however, injuries have played a role in the team’s difficulty to win. Six girls including their two senior captains, Katherine Pittman and Caroline Richards were injured and unable to play for much of the season. Pittman’s injury being a contusion of the knee, she was out for a period of the closing season but eventually returned. Richards’ injury ultimately ended her season early after fracturing her ankle in three places during an away game against Monomoy.
“KP(Katherine Pittman) got hurt when she hyperextended her knee chasing the ball, just like I did last year. And then that combined with my injury, just through the team off,” said Richards.
Pittman agreed by expressing her opinion about the injuries by saying, “I think the girls did a really great job keeping it together, but it definitely is hard to lose players especially after you’ve already created a rhythm.”
Head Coach Phil Taylor spoke on behalf of the team about their two captains by calling them “the backbone of the team on and off the field” and that they “had been high performers for the best of three years of the program.”
Looking into the future, Taylor believes that “everything” needs to be improved when searching for a better record and hope for a playoff spot.
“Soccer is a dynamic, holistic game,” said Taylor, stating, “You have to engage it and think it. You truly get out what you put in. Believe in your potential ability and keep high standards. This includes a change in focus for the off season. Coming to pre season ready to compete with good basic skills and a good fitness base. This way it is easier to implement tactics and see through high pressure periods in games. Also allowing more time in practice for functional work. The ability to execute something in soccer often relies on your fitness, technique and decision making.”
However, Richards believes that she sees potential on the JV team.
“It’ll be hard, but if anyone can do it, it’s them,” Richards expressed.
At times, Pittman feels as if chemistry needed to be worked on between the team and the coaching staff.
“Sometimes the girls kind of got, puzzled,” she explained.
Taylor thinks that improving the execution between the defending and the attacking side, is what is needed to see a bright future for the team as they try to make playoffs.
“Errors or misses cost us often. Make it count and be assertive in all aspects of the game.”
“We were good this year, I genuinely believe that,” said Richards. “Our problem was putting away goals. We couldn’t do it. I think our team is very defense oriented, which is ok but that’s not what is going to win us games and I think in the future there needs to be more emphasis on that.”
There is hope for the team to improve on the few wins and potentially create a spot that fits perfectly for them in state tournament play.