Letendre Shines And Deveau Delivers As Monomoy Girls Lacrosse Advances

by Brad Joyal

HARWICH – It’s not easy to settle into a game when you know it could be your last.

Although the 14th-seeded Monomoy girls lacrosse team found itself trading goals during the first quarter of Friday’s Division 4 state tournament first-round matchup against No. 19 Tyngsborough, the Sharks managed to gain some separation after scoring six goals in the second frame.

With a comfortable lead secured, Monomoy never looked back. The Sharks cruised to a 10-6 victory over the Tigers behind strong performances by seniors Karah Deveau (5 goals), Susannah Brown (2 goals) and Victoria Letendre (12 saves).

“We came out a little nervous, which has been a problem for us a little bit this year,” Monomoy coach Brendan Purcell said. “The girls have done a really good job of proving that we’ve been here before. They settled themselves down and got into the game and then we were able to turn it on from there.”

It was a historic performance by Deveau, who helped spark Monomoy’s second-quarter rally with three goals in the frame. Her first tally was the 200th goal of her career, as she brought her total to 204 after finding the back of the net four more times.

“Karah is a great leader, especially on the field,” Purcell said. “Being able to separate it and give the girls that breathing room, enough for them to settle down and take control of the game, was really helpful.”

In addition to Brown’s two goals, senior Ileana Babes-Deel and sophomores Abrielle Long and Tessa Grozicki also added goals for the Sharks (12-7), who advanced to the Round of 16 against third-seeded Cohasset on Wednesday.

As strong as Monomoy’s offense was, the victory wouldn’t have been possible without Letendre’s strong play in goal. The senior was locked in from the opening faceoff, and she made big save after big save to help keep the Sharks’ lead intact.

Letendre said the key to her strong performance was not letting the nerves creep into her mind.

“When I get nervous is when I mess up, so I just keep my head in the game the best I can and just focus on the ball,” said the goalie from Harwich.

Purcell said Letendre has “been a rock” for the Sharks ever since he joined the program.

“Today she came up in a huge way and she proved how good of a player she is,” the coach said. “It was really great to see her come out and show up for the team and prove that she’s that rock and she’s amazing.”

Although Monomoy will face a major test against Cohasset in the second round, the players were glad to take care of business and advance after defending their home turf in their final home game of the season.

“No matter what, it was going to be our last home game,” said Brown, a Harwich resident. “I was just working really hard to make sure it wasn’t my last game period. Knowing that in the back of my mind, it really gave me that extra fire and extra fight. I think it fueled all the seniors.”