The first two games of the 2014 seasons has been like night and day for the Belmont High School Field Hockey team.
It was like night when the Marauders visited defending state champions (and undefeated for more than four years) Watertown High in the season opener last Friday as the Red Raiders kept the Marauders in the dark on how to break down the four-time consecutive state champs, losing 4-0..
On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the light was back on for Belmont as they celebrated playing on their newly-renovated turf field for the first time with a convincing 7-0 drubbing of Melrose High on a cool night, Sept. 10.
Where Belmont was sputtering at times against Watertown, the team – and especially the offense – was playing with all cylinders running as six players scored and everyone played.
“Things that we have been hoping would occur actually did,” said Head Coach Jessica Smith.
“I was looking for Suzanne [Noone] and Annemarie [Habelow] to work well together and they did,” said Smith pointing to the most impressive goal of the night when the senior midfielder Noone fed the high-scoring sophomore Habelow a picture perfect pass into the attacking circle that the talented 10th grader buried in the back of the net from distance.
“I’m picturing that play many times this season,” joked Smith.
Yet Smith said the win was impressive because everyone played with “a real drive” after the first-game loss.
And that determination led to a battery of goals from a slew of players. Habelow scored twice with fellow starters Noone, Kerri Lynch and Julia Chase picking up one each while subs Jacqueline Hill and Kate McCarthy each got their first goals of the season.
Senior goalkeeper Kate Saylor shared the clean sheet with backup Nicole Crowley who kicked out a breakaway attempt late in the game to preserve the shutout.
With the midfield, led by varsity veteran Noone, communicating and working together better and the defense, backstopped by Lauren Noonan and Emma Pejko, being more assertive and confidence, the team “is showing they can compete.”
“But there are a lot of teams between Watertown and Melrose in talent so I want to see how we handle teams in the middle of the group,” said Smith.