Gaby Bassett, Newcomer Carly Brand Help Warriors Open Their Season With A Win

by Brad Joyal
Nauset senior Sienna Reeves (11) celebrates with her teammates after scoring during the Nauset-Monomoy girls hockey team’s season-opening victory over Pope Francis on Sunday at Charles Moore Arena. BRAD JOYAL PHOTOS
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ORLEANS – Welcome to Cape Cod high school hockey, Carly Brand.

The first-year Nauset student made an immediate impact during her debut for the Nauset-Monomoy girls hockey team, as she netted a pair of goals – including the game-winning tally – to help the Warriors skate to a 5-3 victory over Pope Francis Prep on Sunday morning at Charles Moore Arena.

“It feels amazing,” said Brand, a junior at Nauset who transferred to the school from Worcester Academy after her family moved from Hopkinton to Brewster.

“I definitely loved having a team that supported me through it all. Having them cheer me on really helped and motivated me.”

Brand broke a 3-3 tie with 1:44 remaining when she put home a rebound off a shot by Monomoy sophomore Gaby Bassett, a Chatham resident.

“Gaby kind of shot it and the goalie didn’t really know where it was, so it was loose and I had the opportunity to poke it in,” said Brand, who tied the game at 1 when she scored her first goal 2:09 into the second period.

Bassett put the finishing touches on the victory with an empty-net goal with 16 seconds remaining. That served as a little redemption for Bassett, who was in the penalty box serving a penalty when Ivorie Arguin scored a power-play goal that gave Pope Francis a 3-2 lead with 2:40 remaining.

“I was happy to put it in the net,” said Bassett, who added a second-period goal. “Everyone went crazy, so that was good.”

Senior defenseman Sienna Reeves added a second-period goal for the Warriors, who received a strong performance from senior goaltender Olivia Avellar (39 saves).

“Olivia Avellar is one of the most mentally tough athletes,” Nauset-Monomoy coach Zach Wells said. “Not just hockey – soccer, whatever sport she plays … She could play tennis and dominate. She always shows up ready to play. I’m always confident that she’s going to do her job, which allows us to play a little more freely and score some goals.”

Wells said he was pleased with the way the team overcame two deficits against a Pope Francis team that has given the program trouble in recent years.

“It’s always tough seeing Pope Francis in the first game of the season,” the coach said. “We played them last year and were down 2-0 in the third period and the same thing, we ended up battling back and winning 3-2. It’s a very good team and it’s always a good test for the first game of the season to test yourself. Getting a win is a bonus.”

Sunday marked the first game that the team was wearing new uniforms. For the past several years, the co-op team open to girls from Nauset, Monomoy and Cape Cod Tech was known as the Cape Cod Furies and wore white, purple and black uniforms.

Although the team is still open to Cape Tech students, this year’s team only features girls from Nauset and Monomoy and will be known as the Nauset-Monomoy Warriors, with the uniforms showcasing black and yellow to represent Nauset, the host school for the program.

As the team sets its sights on another postseason run, Wells said he feels good about the group he’s got this winter.

“I’m very confident that we have the right players,” he said. “If the girls show up and they are ready to play for three periods, we’re going to be a very hard team to beat. We have a lot of depth, a lot of secondary pieces. From goalie to defense to forwards, we’re very solid.”