Photo: Seniors on Seniors Night at Belmont High School.
Belmont Field Hockey is only thinking all treats and no rock as the 7th seeded Marauders host 10th ranked Concord Carlisle Regional on Halloween in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 North Sectionals.
The game will have an early start, 2:30 p.m., at Harris Field on Oct. 31.
The Patriots come to town with a 12-4-2 record as runners-up to Weston in the Dual County League, Small School division. Belmont finished the season at 12-4-0, second to Lexington in the Middlesex Liberty division race.
The postseason comes as Belmont has seeming rightened the ship after going through a stretch where the Marauders could not convert their good play into wins. It’s two Lexington league games were relatively even in all aspects except the final score as the Minutemen outpaced Belmont 7-1 over the two games. In its rematch against Winchester (having won the initial encounter, 3-0), Belmont arrived at an empty field and no one to be found. It turned out a scheduling change left Belmont waiting for two hours in the cold before losing 4-2 in a lackluster affair.
But coming down the stretch, it appeared the Marauders had rediscovered its earlier strong form starting the season on a seven-game winning streak that concluded with an outstanding effort against 10-time Division 2 state champs Watertown, outplaying the Raiders on the field (13 penalty corners to 1 and 8 shots to 2) but came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 score.
For longtime head coach Jess Smith, the final two games of the regular season saw an increase in scoring chances while a tweaking of her defense has solidified the backline.
“For the tournament, I wanted a home game and not play a Middlesex League team in the first round,” said Smith. “Playing someone new is helpful for the kid’s mindset because playing someone three times is a nightmare.”
On Seniors Night, Oct. 24, Belmont concluded the sweep over a nine-win Reading team, handily defeating the Rockets, 3-1. Co-captain forward Morgan Chase scored along with fellow senior left wing Hana Power in the first half followed by junior midfield Katie Guden in the second. The Marauders dominated the middle of the field not allowing the Rockets to use its breakout speed on the counter-attack. Guden produced the play of the game when her “ankle breaker” NBA-style crossover move left a Rocket defender on the turf to the amusement of her teammates (and it must be said to the victim herself).
Reading has played Belmont and Concord Carlisle twice this season, losing 2-1 at Concord and tying the Patriots, 1-1, in the reverse fixture.
“I was really happy how they played against Reading. They were determined to return to how they were playing in the first part of the season,” she said. “They showed up and played the entire 60 minutes.”
Belmont traveled to Arlington for a late autumn last game to finish off the regular season, coming away with a 5-1 win where Smith was able to bring in bench players and switch around positions. Guden, Power, Lettiere (2) and senior right wing and Chase tallied in the game.
“They started the game out slow, but by the end, we could have scored a lot more than five goals. I think the kids are starting to feel that they are tournament ready,” said Smith.