HARWICH – The Monomoy boys soccer team’s unbeaten streak was in jeopardy of being snapped Thursday afternoon when the Sharks hosted the Rising Tide Herons.
After giving up a goal in the first half, the Sharks ramped up their pressure in the offensive zone during the final 40 minutes of play. The increased pressure paid dividends with 5:30 remaining, as senior captain Troy Olson netted Monomoy’s lone goal to even the score.
In the end, the Sharks and Herons played to a 1-1 tie, keeping Monomoy’s unbeaten mark intact as the team moved to 2-0-3 on the season.
“I think we showed some good character coming back and getting the draw,” Monomoy coach Keith Clark said. “They were well organized defensively. I felt we were the better team on the day — possession, both time of possession and territorial — we just didn’t really take that and convert it into chances. We didn’t get that many quality chances, although we had more than enough to win the game today.”
While Olson provides the Sharks’ offensive attack with a mix of talent and breakaway speed, the senior has hardly been the only reason behind the team’s early-season success. Clark said freshman Ryan Laramee — who assisted on Olson’s goal — leads the team with five goals thus far.
“He’s been key for us regardless of whether he scores,” Clark said of Laramee.
The coach also credited senior Wes Ulrich and junior Colin Moore, both of whom share captain duties with Olson. Moore is a midfielder, while Ulrich has been a leader for the Sharks’ backline.
Helping Ulrich defend the Sharks’ goal has been freshman Finn Hyora.
“Those two guys have been playing very well,” Clark said about Ulrich and Hyora. “They are very tough to get through.”
Ask Olson what the key has been to the team’s success through five games, and the Dennis resident will point to the team’s passing strength.
“We’ve been good at passing,” he said. “We just have to work on our first touches a little more, but we’ve done really well.”
Olson’s equalizer came on a pass from Laramee that snuck past Rising Tide’s senior goalkeeper Aidan Williams and snuck into the Herons’ box.
Olson was able to chase it down and launch it into the empty net, tying the game while making yet another memory with Laramee in the process.
“He’s been doing really well this year and me and him have just connected really well,” Olson said. “It was a beautiful pass for him and it went past the goalkeeper and I was like, ‘Well, I’ve got it.’ I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss or else I would’ve looked foolish.”
In goal, senior Cam Terry handed the goalkeeping duties for the Sharks in the first half, while junior Nate Andreasson took over for the second. Terry was in net when Rising Tide scored off a free kick by senior Sam Flynn that freshman Declan Rivera fielded and buried inside Monomoy’s 18-yard box.
Andreasson’s half of play was highlighted by a diving stop in the final minutes that Clark described as a “game-saving save.”
Even in a tie, it’s easy to see how much talent Monomoy possesses. After the team captured the Cape and Islands League’s Lighthouse Division title last fall, this year’s group looks primed for another postseason run.
According to Clark, it helps that the Sharks have a combination of talent and experience because they are often able to dictate the pace of the game, one aspect of the team’s approach the coach said has been key to Monomoy’s success.
“We’ve been resilient,” Clark said. “There’s a nice mix of technical and athletic players, so it’s been a nice blend of guys. We’re really dangerous with the ball, so teams have to adjust to us. There will be other opponents that we have to adjust to, but I think we’ve been playing well enough so that teams have to adjust.”
When asked about his goals for the remainder of his senior season, Olson thought back to last year’s league title — which he clinched with the game-winning goal.
“Might as well do it again,” the senior said with a smile.
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org.