HARWICH – Blame it on the wind? Whatever the weather on Nov. 2, it simply wasn't Monomoy's day as the girls varsity soccer team fell 1-0 to Sturgis West.
The Sharks seemed off as they faced the competitors on their home turf, with high winds whipping throughout most of the game. Though it took the Navigators until the third quarter to get past Monomoy goalkeeper Josie Ganshaw, a fair amount of game play was controlled by the visiting West team prior to their lone score.
Monomoy, meanwhile, seemed to struggle when it came to possession and passing, resulting in a number of turnovers. Were it not for Ganshaw and the stellar defense of Lexi Hyora and Hanna Slater, the score could have been far more lopsided.
In spite of the Sharks' overall play, which head coach Jenn Peterson said was frustrating, solid performances were put in by Grace Ventura, Kate Gabri, and Karah Deveau, who each had several scoring chances.
It was in the final 15 minutes of game play that Monomoy found its footing, but in spite of attempts made on goal by Ventura, Gabri, and Deveau, the Sharks were unable to capitalize. West, on the other hand, seemed to know that getting past Ganshaw would require a big move and sent the ball over her head and into the corner of the net midway through the third quarter.
The season has been a different one for the Sharks, who, not unlike other high school athletic teams across the state, have been playing with significantly altered rules, some of which make playing on instinct difficult. For example, players are no longer allowed to head the ball. Doing so results in a penalty kick for the opposing team. Other changes removed throw-ins and mandated that kicked-in balls must remain on the ground to count.
While most players have adjusted to the no-header rule, a West player was unable to avoid the move late in the game, resulting in a kick for Monomoy, which unfortunately for the Sharks was taken by the wind up and over the goal.
Peterson said she hoped that Tuesday's game against Sandwich would go better, and she praised Ganshaw for preventing further damage against West.
“Josie kept us in it,” Peterson said, adding that the final 15 minutes were much better than the rest of the game. “When we finally found our groove, we just couldn't find the back of the net but had several opportunities to tie the game.”
Monomoy wraps up its season this afternoon (Nov. 5) with an away game against Sturgis East with a 3:30 p.m. start.