GLOUCESTER — Gloucester head field hockey coach Lauren Riley labeled Monday’s Northeastern Conference tilt with Salem as a game that her team needed to win to regain its momentum.
Gloucester began the season with a resounding win over Revere but has recently fallen into a bit of a funk dropping its next three. A loss on Monday would have dug the team into a deeper hole at 1-4, but a win would put it right back into the thick of the state tournament race.
When the final horn sounded at New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium, Gloucester had polished off one of its best team efforts of the season, clicking in every facet of the game en route to a dominant 5-1 win.
“This wasn’t a must win in the sense of a state tournament qualifier or a conference championship game, but it was a game we needed to win to get our confidence and momentum back,” Riley said. “There’s a difference between playing as individuals and playing as a congealed team and we played as a team tonight. I was very happy with the effort all around.”
It truly was a total team effort for Gloucester (2-3), which controlled the contest territorially from start to finish. The team broke out in a big way offensively as five different players scored goals. Kayla Nasser, Sabrina Cottone and Hayley Davis each had a goal and two assists while senior captain Taylor Sargent had a goal and an assist.
Senior captain Jill MacDonald controlled the midfield from her new link position and chipped in on the dominant defensive effort. Fellow senior captain Julia Lamoureaux shored up the defense, and goalie Jordan Westling made some nice saves.
“The offense played fantastic together,” Riley said. “There was a lot of crossing the circle and they were thinking about what the next play was. The defense controlled the circle too, (Salem) didn’t spend too much time near the net.”