HARWICH – The Monomoy girls varsity soccer team played hard in the MIAA Div. 4 South quarterfinals against Hull Tuesday, but a well-placed corner kick gave the Pirates a 1-0 victory, bringing to an end the Sharks' 2018 season.
Back and forth play marked the start of the game, played on Monomoy's home field, before Hull maintained a fair amount of possession near the Monomoy net, but the visiting Pirates were unable to get past Josie Ganshaw for the entirety of the first half.
The Sharks came into the second half renewed, keeping play near the Hull net for a good stretch, firing off multiple shots that unfortunately for Monomoy went wide or were stopped by Hull goaltender Carly Donavan, though the home team gave it their best effort.
It took until the 21st minute of the second half for Hull to find the back of the net, with their lone goal coming on a corner kick that soared just out of Ganshaw's reach. Even after the Pirates scored, the Sharks kept up their intensity, maintaining focus and continuing to fight for possession until the final whistle.
Head coach Jenn Peterson was proud of her team's efforts, noting that when the Sharks faced the Pirates last year in the playoffs the outcome was much different, with Monomoy falling 5-0.
“It's always hard to lose a game, but I told them that it might be a loss today but I thought it was a win for the program,” said Peterson. “Last year we lost to them 5-0 and weren't even in the conversation. This year we were there and it could have gone either way. I'm super proud of the way we played.”
Peterson said there were many stellar performances in the game.
“Katie Ganshaw shut down that No. 10 player (Lauren Anastos) who was one of the leading scorers in program history, and she was amazing,” said Peterson. “Leah Nash on the defense was fantastic. There were so many I thought contributed.”
The Sharks proved a dominating force against Rising Tide in first round play on Nov. 4, with Kelsey Olson literally using her head to put her team on the scoreboard and ultimately give them the 1-0 victory that allowed them to advance to the quarterfinals.
Olson's goal came at 12:41 in the second half when she converted a corner kick from Abby Higgins. At that point the Sharks turned up their defense, working tirelessly to stop their opponents from scoring.
A late-game penalty kick had fans on the edges of their seats, but Monomoy goaltender Josie Ganshaw snagged it in the air before it went anywhere near the net. Seconds later, just after the ball was booted to the opposite end of the field, the whistle sounded, ending the game and sending the Sharks into celebration.
“We had a high seed, got to host the game, and got a win under our belts, which always feels good,” said Peterson. “I thought we had a lot of good individual efforts. We stayed organized, and we've been working a lot on putting pressure on the ball. I thought we did a really good job defensively of making sure there's always pressure and that someone's always on the ball quick, and making them play quicker than they wanted to. I thought they did a really good job of it.”
Peterson's list of shoutouts in the game was long.
“Josie was fantastic in goal, and I thought Hannah Slater and Lexie Hyora, freshmen, really held their own out there, and Abby Higgins coming out of the midfield today was phenomenal. And Kelsey putting that one in the back of the net.”
Ganshaw made eight saves in the shutout victory, which also saw strong play from Nash, Maddie Crossen, Maggie Dever, Abby Wallace, Dakota Hesse, and Katie Ganshaw. Monomoy wraps up its overall season with a record of 13-4-3.