After Traveling to Nantucket, ME Girls Lax Travels to Final Four


Traveling to Nantucket is a fairly common occurrence in June -- the island off the south shore of Cape Cod is a vacation destination for many during warm weather months.

The Manchester Essex girls’ lacrosse team’s recent trip to the island was anything but a pleasure cruise, however.  The Hornets were in Nantucket for business, and they accomplished their goal while they were there.

Manchester Essex beat Nantucket, 10-4 in the Elite Eight of the MIAA Div. 4 tournament on June 11, propelling the team to a June 14 matchup with fellow Cape Ann League opponent Ipswich in the Final Four.  As a fellow Baker Division rival in the CAL, this will be the third time the teams meet in 2023, with the Tigers winning by a 7-6 score in Manchester on May 18, and prior to that by a 6-4 score on May 4.

“We know everything, and they do too,” Hornet coach Nan Gorton says when referring to the familiarity between the two teams.  “They have beaten us twice this season, so it is an understatement to just say they pose a challenge.  But we are ready.”

To get there, the Hornets played at the top of their game to pull out a win on the road against Nantucket.

“This was one of the best games of the season,” explains Gorton.  “Every single player had a role to play and did their job.  After a long travel day getting there, it was so impressive to see how amazing they played.  So much heart on the field.  One of the proudest moments of the year.”

The coach lauded her defense and goaltender’s efforts in the win.

“Oh, and my defense -- Charlotte Crocker, Teyah Flemming, Gabbi D’Andrea, Harper Brooks -- was unbeatable against Nantucket.  Great games by Abby, Kent, Mechi O’Neil, Paige Garlitz, Lucy O’Flynn, Sylvie McCavanagh. [Goaltender] Brigid [Carovillano had] 14 unbelievable saves, three in the final few minutes of the game.”

Manchester Essex was also firing on all cylinders with a win over Tahanto Regional on June 7 in the Sweet Sixteen.  Garlitz and O’Neal both had three goals while Kent, McCavanagh and O’Flynn scored two apiece in a dominant, 22-10 victory.

“We continue to play really well together, and our passing definitely improved,” says Gorton. “We are passing the ball faster and looking for the pass to goal, even if it is a thread-the-needle pass.”

All of which has brought the team to the precipice, beating Nantucket and moving on to the state semifinals.  After the win, Gorton was able to channel a bit of the vacation vibe so common when others make trips to the Cape and the Islands.

“It feels great, and the trip to Nantucket was icing on the cake,” says the coach.

nantucket, national register of historic places in nantucket county, massachusetts, the latin american xchange, los angeles international airport in popular culture, nantucket lightship basket museum, teyah flemming, lacrosse, manchester, sylvie mccavanagh, harper brooks, paige garlitz, brigid carovillano, baker division, cape ann league, nan gorton, charlotte crocker, hornet coach, gabbi