Caroline Monahan’s career at Lauralton Hall is only at the midway point but the junior already has 33 career goals for the Crusaders.
Ask Monahan to remember any of the specifics of how she scored and she may be hard-pressed to come up with the details.
“I don’t remember my goals. It’s weird,” Monahan said. “If my dad doesn’t go to the game and asks, ‘How did it go?’ I don’t remember. You have to have a short memory. If you score a great goal, you might be too confident and miss the next one.”
Monahan scored in her very first game as a freshman, in fact, scored the game’s only goal in beating defending Class L champion Guilford.
That was the Crusaders’ first game in the Southern Connecticut Conference, moving over from the South-West Conference. Lauralton won the SCC Quinnipiac Division championship each of its first two years in the league and advanced to the SCC tournament final last season.
“Lauralton Hall the past few years has had a pretty strong program,” coach Nicole Andreesen said. “For any freshman to come into a program can be intimidating. She took it pretty well.”
Sure, the 5-foot-7 Monahan, a 16-year-old Fairfield resident, has missed her share of scoring opportunities. Opponents have become pretty familiar with the forward.
But that short memory, the ability to turn the page and not dwell on the miss, proves a heckuva lot more beneficial.
“That’s harder, to have short memory when bad things happen,” Monahan said. “Everyone has been there. You miss a breakaway, you need to have a short memory or you will think bad things the whole game. I’ve had so many I should have finished and I (was thinking bad things). That shouldn’t be the case. I need to forget about the ones I just missed and remember to put the next one in the back of the net.”
Peter Trenchard has been on both sides of it. He was Lauralton’s coach for Monahan’s first season, then moved to West Haven last year and lost twice to the Crusaders.
“She’s a very hard worker and very dedicated,” Trenchard said. “She’s a good player who doesn’t want to rest on her laurels. She always is looking get better. How do you mark a player that good? I knew her very, very well. I know her strengths and weaknesses but coaching against her, there’s almost no way to shut her down.”
Shelton found a way to keep Monahan off the scoreboard in the SCC tournament final last November. The Gaelettes had multiple defenders on her anytime she touched the ball.
Lauralton managed to stay tied at 2. Monahan was the only Crusader to make a penalty kick.
“The older I get, the competition gets harder and stronger,” Monahan said. “It’s good for me to have that competition, I know it will be like for however long I keep playing.”
Two games later, Farmington eliminated Lauralton Hall 4-0 in the second round of the Class L state tournament. That result has led Andreesen to focus a lot more on defense during the preseason.
Andreesen can do that knowing that both senior Christy Russo and Molly Rotondo (eight assists in 2015) are up top to help take the pressure off of Monahan. “She won’t have to carry the load. Do I expect her to hit the net more than last year? Absolutely.”
Monahan is a pretty well-rounded individual. She is a member of both the National Honors Society and National Spanish Honors Society and is in the school’s Spanish and Environmental clubs. She is also an honors student, likes to paint and is seriously considering participating in indoor track this winter.
And whether it comes during this season, next season or on her premier team, CFC United, colleges will begin to take a serious look at Monahan.
“She’s much more confident in her decision-making. She does things on the field that you can’t teach. You see that happening a lot faster now because the confidence is there,” Andreesen said.
And how far does Monahan think the Crusaders will do this year with an experienced team returning?
“I feel like if we give it our all, that should be good enough,” Monahan said. “However far we go, if we play our best, we shouldn’t be disappointed with the result, even as hard as losses are.”