DENNIS — Senior Olivia Avellar needed just three goals to break the Nauset Regional High School single-season scoring record set by current boys coach John McCully in 1979. She scored four before halftime in the Warriors’ 8-0 drubbing of Dennis-Yarmouth Regional on Oct. 24.
“I’m super happy for her and the girls are all proud of her, too,” said first-year coach Evan Botting.
Avellar, who lives in Orleans, credits her current and former teammates for all the assists they’ve provided throughout her four years. “It’s a team effort,” she said. “This isn’t just my record, it’s their record, too.
“There are always goals you remember, certain special moments you have, like a first goal or a favorite goal,” Avellar said, “but the record hasn’t been on my mind until recently when everyone has been talking about it.” She felt the pressure, she said, “but I think it becomes more for me about what we’re accomplishing as a team.”
There was, for example, that standout goal against Martha’s Vineyard where she converted an acrobatic bicycle kick on a corner kick from fellow senior Caroline Kennard. It was a moment Avellar said she’s thought about all season.
The record-breaker, though, came when Avellar dribbled through the Dolphins’ defense before calmly dispatching a left-footed shot past the goalkeeper. It was a trademark move for the midfielder who has made defenses across the Cape look like they’re standing still.
When the ball is at her feet, Avellar can appear to glide across the grass. Her ability on and off the ball translated into interest from NCAA Division I teams and her eventual commitment to Boston University.
“Goal scorers feed off confidence,” said Botting. Avellar’s confidence-boosting record, he said, comes at a good time. “Going into the playoffs, it could be really huge if we can ride that momentum,” he said.
Avellar has won many honors. She’s the reigning Cape and Islands League MVP — and in position for a second straight award. And she was a Boston Globe All-Scholastic selection in 2022. She was on every “watch list” heading into the season and has lived up to those expectations, all with the goal of a state championship for Nauset driving her forward.
Avellar has been part of four straight Cape and Islands Atlantic Division championship teams. This year the Warriors eased into the title with an 11-1-0 league record, scoring 68 goals in the process and conceding just 11 goals. They have 10 clean sheets in 15 games and are unbeaten at home.
“That was the first thing that we thought of coming into this season: winning the league again,” said Avellar. “Each game we’ve come with a little more spark, a little more energy, and that’s what helps us get to these moments.”
Now with 91 goals across four years of varsity play, she’s close on the heels of McCully’s son James, who holds the school’s all-time scoring record with 97.
She thinks about that “a little bit,” she says. But for now, “It’s nice to have your name on something and know it will be there in the record books even if it gets beat — and I’m hoping it will.”