ORLEANS – The Cape Cod Furies girls hockey team trailed for nearly all 45 minutes of their postseason game.
The eighth-seeded Furies suffered a 1-0 loss to 25th-seeded Reading on Saturday in the opening round of the Division 1 state tournament after senior Maddie Rzepka scored the Rockets’ lone goal just 39 seconds into the contest.
The Furies created plenty of scoring chances in the remaining 44:21 of action, though Reading goaltender Alex Herbert, an eighth-grader, made 28 saves to secure the shutout for the Rockets, who advanced to meet No. 9 Haverhill in the Round of 16.
“It is what it is,” first-year Furies coach Connor Brickley said after the loss. “We ran into a tough goalie that made some saves. They got a goal early and hung on and we didn’t put the puck in the net. You’re not going to win if you don’t score a goal, you know?”
The Furies, a co-op program hosted by Nauset that is also open to girls from Cape Cod Tech and Monomoy, finished their season with a 13-5-3 record. Although it wasn’t the ending the team had hoped for, Brickley said there was plenty to celebrate about this year’s team.
“The group did great this year. They were a lot of fun to coach,” Brickley said. “We threw a lot of new things at them all year and they embraced it. I think they surprised a lot of people — friends and family — and I think they surprised themselves a little bit. Playoffs are one game, win or go home, and anything can happen. As far as the season as a whole, they did a great job.”
Even in defeat, the seniors were able to recognize just how much this year’s team accomplished. Charlotte Manganaro, a senior defenseman from Eastham, said it felt good to see the program make such significant strides during her career and noted “it’s definitely a good feeling to leave it like this.”
“We had such a great season,” Manganaro said. “This is the best record the Furies had going into the playoffs. It’s only the second time that we’ve made it to the playoffs in the history of the team, so it’s just a great feeling to even make it this far.”
Another senior defenseman, Julia Weiner, a Harwich resident, agreed that the team can head into the offseason with its heads held high.
“It’s pretty unfortunate overall, but I think that we went out pretty well,” Weiner said. “We played hard and that’s all you can ask for.”
Weiner added that she’s excited to see how the team fares next year and said the program is going to win a state title at some point.
The quest for that achievement will begin next winter when the Furies reconvene. The team will certainly miss Weiner and Manganaro at the blue line, as well as seniors Eve Abboud and Kaelyn Mayo up front at forward.
Even in their absence, though, Brickley said there’s a bright future around the program.
“Obviously we’re going to be missing our key seniors and it’s upsetting that I only had the chance to coach them for one year,” he said. “But there’s a lot of bright things ahead — a lot of our forwards, especially, are really young, so we feel we have a lot of room to grow.”
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com.