HARWICH – Shortly after the final whistle blew in the Oct. 14 scoreless tie between Monomoy and Mashpee girls varsity soccer, Monomoy head coach Jenn Peterson had strong words for her team.
“I think that was the best defensive game you've played all season,” she told the Sharks.
Indeed, the team has come a long way since their September loss to D-Y, showing strength and tenacity that the score didn't reflect.
“I thought that was one of the better games we've played all season,” Peterson said. “Defensively I thought we were very good. They have a really good attacking player who can score a lot of goals and we really shut her down. Lexie Hyora in the back and Leah Nash did a good job on her, with help from Hannah Slater.”
Peterson also dubbed eighth-grader Kenyatta “Kiki” Pigo-Cronin as a “dangerous” attacker who “gave [Mashpee] fits” with her efforts, which was backed up by the fact that Pigo-Cronin fought tirelessly for the ball whenever she was on the field.
As game play commenced on another damp and dreary Cape Cod afternoon, the Sharks worked to keep the ball in their possession, with Hyora, Slater, and Nash joined by Kelsey Olson, Grace Ventura, Alyssa Lyons, and Dakota Hesse in redirecting the ball away from the net, while goalkeeper Josie Ganshaw made seven saves during the outing.
Monomoy had many scoring chances, beginning in the first half around the 25-minute mark, and a number of corner kicks, but were unable to convert any into a score, though several well-placed shots did rebound off the crossbar.
Pigo-Cronin, Olson, and Kaitlyn Lyons were instrumental in keeping the ball in scoring territory, multiplying the Sharks' chances, though getting past Mashpee goalie Jayden Bryant proved difficult.
The Falcons threatened at the start of the second half, but the Shark defense was able to move the ball back to the opposite side of the field where Ventura nearly put it in the net, as did Melissa Velasquez following a corner, with Bryant scooping up the former and the latter shot going wide.
But Monomoy kept at it, with Nash adding several excellent kicks to the mix and Lucy Mawn proving a defensive force, while Kate Gabri, Rees Hart, and Madisun Crossen refused to shy away from a battle for possession.
The Sharks fought until that final whistle, with Pigo-Cronin the last to come close to a score in the last few minutes of game play as her teammates on the bench cheered wildly, but once again Bryant was quick on the save.
“All around, it was a good game,” said Peterson.
The tie came on the heels of a rained-out game against Falmouth Academy, and a 1-0 win against Sturgis East, with Pigo-Cronin netting the lone goal of the Oct. 8 game at the 26-minute mark, with her teammates keeping the Storm at Bay en route to a key victory.
Next up for the Sharks is a home game against Rising Tide tonight (Oct. 17) at 6 p.m., with another home game against Barnstable set for Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.