HARWICH ─ It wasn't the way the Monomoy girls varsity soccer team wanted to cap their stellar 2017 season, but after giving it their all against their powerful Hull opponents, the Sharks came away with a 5-1 loss in the Div. 4 South quarterfinals
“They were good,” said Monomoy coach Jenn Peterson. “They were a good team. I don't think we played particularly well. We couldn't match their intensity and I think that's what it comes down to.”
Peterson said Hull's speed of play was a definite factor in the outcome of the game.
“They play in a really good league so they're used to playing quick and fast, and I think that was a big difference. Obviously, they had a couple of really skilled players, but overall it's matching intensity, playing quick, it's running free balls, balls in the air, and 50-50 balls that separated us.”
The Pirates took a 3-0 edge before the break on goals from Lauren Anastos and Hannah Duran, in spite of a tenacious effort by Monomoy's freshman goalie Josie Ganshaw, who came away with 14 saves in the outing.
Kelsey Olson had the solo goal for Monomoy on a nice cross from Abby Wallace minutes into the second half to prevent a shutout, but another pair of goal from the Pirates put the game out of reach for the Sharks.
Peterson was pleased with the efforts of both Ganshaw players, Katie on defense and Josie in goal, and Olson for her doggedness.
“I thought Katie Ganshaw in the back was tough and played great, and I thought Kelsey's goal was really nice,” Peterson said. “And Cesca (Barr) worked hard and played like she always does. I thought when we moved her into midfield she made a difference, winning balls and kind of changing the attitude of the midfield.”
Barr is one of four seniors, including Tori McCormack, Tara Barry, and Katie Dever, who will be graduating at the end of the current school year. They've been a tremendous asset to the team, Peterson said.
“They each bring something different,” Peterson said. “Trying to find someone with Francesca's intensity and her ability to organize and be vocal on the field will be hard because she was kind of that leader on the field that would make sure people were doing the right things.
“I think Tori and Tara brought a level of intensity to each game where they were kind of the ones that would run forever and throw their bodies around. They're going to be hard to replace in the middle of the field to win balls. And then Katie D. on the bench is the leader you always look to, like the team mom.”
The loss was especially tough after a season that saw the team play to an overall record of 13-3-2 that not only earned them the No. 1 seed in Div. 4 South, but also won them the Cape and Islands League Championship.
“It was a good season,” Peterson said. “They played well. You have to look at the big picture. Three years ago you wouldn't have thought we'd be the No. 1 seed.”
The season included big victories against Sturgis East and West, St. John Paul II, and Dennis-Yarmouth, as well as Nantucket, Mashpee, and Falmouth Academy.
Fortunately for the Sharks, the program has a strong base of rising stars ready to fill important roles going forward.
“We are losing some important seniors, but at the same time the cupboard's not bare,” said Peterson. “We have a good group of eighth and ninth graders who were able to play this year and see time,” making her optimistic about the future.
“Every year is different,” she said. “Last year I thought we'd lost our defense and this year I thought we had the best defense so far, so they can surprise you.”