Nauset-Monomoy Upends Sandwich Again As Magical Season Rolls On

by Brad Joyal

ORLEANS – The Nauset-Monomoy team’s historic season continues to reach new heights.

After earning the program’s first victory over Sandwich on Jan. 17, the Warriors co-op squad skated to another win over its rival by a 2-1 score on Saturday at Charles Moore Arena.

Nauset eighth-grader Maeve Kennally opened the scoring with an unassisted goal 3:56 into the second period. Just 1:19 later, Monomoy sophomore Gaby Bassett lit the lamp to extend the Warriors’ lead to 2-0.

Although Sandwich’s Casey Pestilli bested Nauset senior goaltender Olivia Avellar late in the second period, the Warriors hung on to complete their first season sweep of the Blue Knights in program history.

“We’ve been down in the early periods the past couple games, so it was huge for us to come out first and come out on top,” said Avellar, an Orleans resident.

The win extended Nauset-Monomoy’s unbeaten streak to 15 games, as the team posted a 14-0-1 record dating back to a 5-2 loss at Falmouth on Dec. 13. The Warriors’ only hiccup during that stretch was a 2-2 tie with Falmouth on Jan. 20 at Charles Moore Arena.

“Our whole motto for the year was staying the course no matter who we are playing,” Nauset-Monomoy coach Zach Wells said. “We’re really trying to build and build and get that playoff mentality. Today is more momentum for the girls.”

The team’s 15-game unbeaten streak was snapped Sunday when Nauset-Monomoy (15-2-1) suffered a 4-2 road loss to Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield, but the successful stretch will be a highlight from the best regular season in program history.

“We’ve definitely taken a leap this past year,” said senior defenseman Sienna Reeves, a Brewster resident. “It kind of started our sophomore year and then we’ve just leaped from there. The growth has been spectacular.”

Despite all of its success, Nauset-Monomoy isn’t taking its opponents lightly. With two regular season games remaining — at home against Martha’s Vineyard at 3 p.m. Saturday at Charles Moore Arena and on the road Feb. 21 against Bishop Feehan in Attleboro — the Warriors recognize they are going to get their opponents’ best effort the rest of the season.

“We had this conversation on Monday. There’s a difference between playing with confidence and being hungry to win,” Wells said. “Every team that plays you now is going to be hungry to beat you, so we had to shift our mentality a little bit to get that chip on our shoulder to really elevate our play to make sure that we don’t lose. Especially at home, because we’re going to have a couple home games in the playoffs. The whole idea is that we protect our barn.”

The team was ranked fourth in the Division 2 MIAA Power Rankings released Feb. 9 and should be among the top seeds when the state tournament bracket is released.

Regardless of who they play, the players are prepared to stick together.

“Whatever happens, whatever challenges we face, we’re going to do it as a team,” Avellar said. “I think that’s the biggest part — we’re always going to have team dinner and whatever happens, win, lose or draw, we’re going to stay close.”