HOLLISTON – After a stellar 2019 season, the Monomoy girls field hockey team's ride has come to an end with a 3-2 loss to Holliston in the MIAA Div. 2 South first round on Nov. 1.
“They really wanted to win today and it was disappointing,” said head coach Jennifer Estes. “The score does not reflect their effort.”
Indeed, Monomoy kicked off the game with an early possession in what became a battle for control of the ball as the Sharks worked hard to beat the Panthers onto the scoreboard. Unfortunately for Monomoy, Holliston struck first, putting a ball in net at 17:32 in the first half to take a 1-0 lead.
Caroline DiGiovanni evened the score a little more than five minutes later, capitalizing on an excellent corner led by Sarah Babb, with DiGiovanni's shot rolling perfectly into the left corner of the Holliston cage.
But the Panthers weren't easily stopped and the home team again took the lead, then extended it, even as the Sharks kept up their intensity on both offense and defense courtesy of Ali Barrett, Nikki Awalt, Holly Evans, and Babb, who played her heart out in the match.
Then, with just 39 seconds left in the game, DiGiovanni deflected a ball high, allowing Jane Howard to redirect it into the net for a score that set the dedicated Monomoy fans in the stands cheering.
Estes said she felt every player on the field gave 110 percent.
“I am so proud of this team,” she said. “They play with heart and it's clear they support each other on and off the field. Their team cohesiveness is what has made us so successful and I am grateful to my captains for establishing this closeness before the season even began.”
Team captain Holly Evans said she was especially grateful for her teammates, thanking them and her coaches for their efforts during the past five seasons.
“You always dream about your senior year and all you want to do, and I'm glad we accomplished what we said we would back in June,” Evans said. “This team is full of my best friends and family. I love them all and can't imagine life without them, but I know they'll kill it next year. Our biggest thing has been not giving up, and I can safely say today continued that. We gave it our all.”
Sarah Babb also expressed pride in her team.
“I just want to say how proud I am of the team,” she said. “We have worked so hard all season long, and couldn't have asked for a better last season.”
“Overall, it was an outstanding game,” said Estes. “It is frustrating to finish the season with a loss but I know in my heart this team gave it their all and I am proud of what they were able to accomplish this season.”