NORTH EASTHAM – Nearly a month after the Monomoy girls varsity field hockey team dominated Nauset in a 4-1 victory, the teams were back at it. From the outset it was clear that Monomoy was looking for another win, but this time the Warriors put up a solid fight, with game play on Oct. 4 ending in a scoreless tie.
Monomoy nearly knocked the ball in several times during the late afternoon outing, the first when Caroline DiGiovanni hit a shot that bounced off the stick of the Warriors' Abby Stevens and, with a little help from Nauset goalkeeper Connor Boucher and his stellar reaching stop, soared above the box rather than in.
Nauset then regained possession, only to have the Sharks snag the ball away and once again take off in the direction of the goal, setting the tone of the back-and-forth game.
Near the 18-minute mark, the Warriors maneuvered the ball into Monomoy territory, putting the Shark defense on notice as Nikki Awalt, Jess Currie, Sarah Babb, and Holly Evans worked to stop Nauset's Emily Frazier, Tess Taloumis, and Kay McNamara from getting too close to the goal.
Although Monomoy had a number of shots on goal during the first half, two courtesy of Evans and teammate Carly Dimock, Nauset's defense proved more powerful in the second meeting of the teams than it was back in September, successfully thwarting every Shark shot.
Meanwhile, Nauset had more corners than Monomoy, but was unable to convert any of them into scores, with the majority of Nauset's shots on goal coming in the second half. Shark goalkeeper Caitlin Bouvier remained unfazed throughout, with help from her own solid defense.
The Sharks had one last chance in the game's final moments when presented with a corner, but a fierce defensive effort from the Warriors kept the ball from finding the back of the goal box, the buzzer sounding on a 0-0 final.
Monomoy head coach Jen Estes was disappointed that her team wasn't able to complete scoring opportunities, but pleased with their overall tenacity.
“We fought until the end,” said Estes. “We've fought every game until the end. That's kind of what's been different about this year than past years. They haven't given up. They showed that today. They came out with energy, they came out wanting it more, I think. We just couldn't finish in our opportunities.”
Estes said she felt there were times when her players made some poor choices inside the circle when it came to receiving the ball and shooting, but understood that the game was high intensity from start to finish.
“Obviously reverses don't always work, especially when defense is on you,” she said. “It's something we've been working on so it was frustrating to see that, but they're working hard and trying their best so I don't fault them for that.”
Estes had a long list of shoutouts following the game.
“Nikki as my center back, Caroline DiGiovanni; Carly had some beautiful passing combinations; Jessie Currie backed up the forward line beautifully; I think Lanie (Elena Fritsch) saw some great open passing lanes and was able to distribute the ball,” Estes said. “Just all around they worked really hard for each other, which was awesome to see. We came out to dominate, we came out with determination, we came out to give 100 percent and I think that all of them can 100 percent say that. It's unfortunate that we weren't able to put a goal in, but they didn't give up and I'm proud of them for that.”
Nauset head coach Cheryl Poore was also pleased with her team's efforts during the game.
“Our goal this year is just to get better every game because they haven't been to tournament in a long time ,” said Poore. “I think they did that today. We both had some really great opportunities and didn't score on them.”
Poore said she felt that the second game between the two teams showed more balanced competition.
“I think we matched up pretty equally,” she said. “It was really exciting. DiG's explosive. I've got two freshmen back there and I thought they handled her very well tonight. I think we're developing a stronger passing combination on both sides of the field with my forwards than they have. I was just thrilled. Our effort was there, both teams efforts were there, it was a hard fought game.”
Poore said that Boucher had a great game, as did McNamara, Frazier, Zoe Bates, and Sophie Christopher.
“And I was thrilled with my defense because they knew exactly what they had to do and did it,” Poore said.
Next up for the Sharks is a trip to Falmouth to face the Clippers tomorrow afternoon (Oct. 11) at 4 p.m., followed by another away game at Martha's Vineyard on Oct. 16 at 3 p.m., with their next home game set for Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. against D-Y.
Nauset, meanwhile, plays Falmouth on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m., D-Y on Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m., and returns home Oct. 22 to face Mashpee at 6 p.m.