HARWICH ─ Not only were the two seniors on Monomoy's field hockey team celebrated on Monday night, but when the Sharks triumphed against Sturgis West 9-0, the duo and their teammates all celebrated together the team's being crowned Cape and Islands League champs for the second straight season.
“It's incredible, especially for the second year in a row,” said senior captain Emma Mawn. “Our team's been through a lot this season [and] has had to be pretty resilient. We've had a lot of changes thrown our way and we didn't break.”
They did not break and put their hearts into the Oct. 23 game in which Mawn and teammate Aoife Daly each netted two goals for their team, with additional scores coming from Holly Evans, Caraline LaBelle, and Amy Hinesley.
Mawn sent in the game's first goal to put the Sharks out in front, giving them an early lead from which they never looked back. From then on the match became nearly a whole-team effort that saw game play from the majority of the bench, and even saw senior defender Livia Graham try her hand on offense in the game's second half.
“It was really hard,” she said, joking with teammates that she'd run more in those 10 minutes than during the entire season. “I didn't expect it to be that hard.”
Thanks to strong play from Ali Barrett, Caroline Howard, Jess Currie, Caroline DiGiovanni, and defenders Sarah Babb, Nicole Awalt, and Graham prior to her change of post, the Sharks were able to take a 5-0 lead into the break, netting four more goals in a strong second half.
Meanwhile, eighth-grade goaltender Evelyn Sheeran was stellar in goal, making five saves in the shutout.
“I'm very proud that we held it together and were very resilient considering all the odds against us,” said Graham following the game. “I'm really proud that we worked hard and won this game. It was a really good game with good energy.”
Prior to the match both Mawn and Graham were feted in a sweet ceremony unique to the sport to which they've been devoted. Teammates formed an archway of crossed sticks for the duo to walk beneath, accompanied by juniors Daly and Caroline Howard. Though more than a few tears were shed, nothing could diminish the energy of Monomoy's game play.
After the win it was a time of celebratory photos and reflections on special careers.
“The hardest part [of leaving] is going to be the girls,” said Mawn about the impending end of high school field hockey. “We've been playing with these kids for a long time and have made a lot memories with them.”
Those memories include the team's first Cape and Islands League championship won last year after the program changed leagues, and numerous trips to the postseason.
For Graham, like Mawn, the connection with her teammates goes beyond the sport of field hockey.
“I'm an only child so I feel like they're all my sisters and it's going to be really hard not to see them next year,” she said. “And all the traditions we've kept through the years, I'm going to miss those a lot.”
The Sharks have a pair of remaining games, back-to-back matches against Notre Dame, the first on the road today (Oct. 26), and the last tomorrow (Oct. 27) beginning at 4 p.m. on the turf at Monomoy.
“It's been a wild last ride,” said Mawn. “It's going to be hard to say goodbye for sure.”