Nauset-Monomoy Girls Suffer 2-1 Overtime Loss To Algonquin In Division 2 Quarterfinals

by Brad Joyal

The Nauset-Monomoy girls hockey team’s historic season ended in heartbreaking fashion.

After advancing to the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history, the fourth-seeded Warriors saw their season come to a close with a 2-1 overtime loss to fifth-seeded Algonquin in the Division 2 state quarterfinals on March 5 at The Bog in Kingston.

“Our mentality going into the game was pretty positive,” Nauset-Monomoy coach Zach Wells said. “We had seen some of their film and knew what they were going to do, but even being as prepared as we were as a team, you still need to show up right away and set the tone. I don’t think we got off on the best foot, so we kind of had to battle back after the first and second periods.”

After two scoreless periods, Algonquin built a 1-0 lead after sophomore Alex Cutler bested Nauset senior goaltender Olivia Avellar 1:41 into the third period. Nauset junior Carly Brand answered with a game-tying shorthanded breakaway goal with 4:48 remaining in regulation, though the Titans left victorious after senior Emily Johns netted the winning goal with 4:46 left in overtime.

Although Nauset-Monomoy had its sights set on reaching the state final at TD Garden, Wells said his players have plenty to be proud of.

“It was unbelievable,” he said of the season. “With playoffs and everything, we ended up 19-3-1, so there’s really nothing to hang our heads on. We made it to the Elite Eight for the first time.”

The loss is easier to stomach when considering that the future is bright for the program. The team will return all of its forwards next season, including Monomoy sophomore Gaby Bassett, who has already tallied 108 points in her career.

“We have another five girls that had over 20 points and a forward that had 30 points last year,” Wells said. “So our front end will definitely be a huge focus going into next year, and then we’ll try to take care of our defense a little more to make sure we’re taking care of our goalies.”

Replacing the production Avellar gave the program will be one question mark next season, as well as replacing the leadership that she provided alongside the team’s other two departing seniors, defenders Bella Roberts and Sienna Reeves.

“Those girls have been on the team for five years,” Wells said. “Sienna was a captain for two years, Olivia was a captain for two years and Bella was a captain this year. They kind of shaped the identity of the program, which I think is going to leave a huge impression on our girls. Those girls were competitors and on-ice and off-ice leaders.”

Although Wells said “it’s impossible” to replace Avellar, he said it helps to know that freshman Ava O’Connell and sophomore Norah Swanson will return between the pipes.

“We have a freshman who made the team this year, Ava, and then we’ll have Norah, who will be returning as a junior,” he said. “It’s really going to be about what their fall seasons look like and how they develop going into the season, but it’s nice to have two goalies. We’re not in a pinch trying to find an emergency goalie going into next year by any means. These two girls have been playing and they’ve played in some games here and there.”