Photo: Carey Allard on the ball
Three Belmont High School fall sports team opened their 2017 seasons on Thursday, Sept. 7 with impressive shut out victories on the opening day of their campaigns.
Girls Soccer: Belmont 6, Burlington 0
This is a warning for teams in the Middlesex League; don’t get Belmont’s Carey Allard angry. She’ll just score more goals.
That’s what an undermanned Burlington High squad discovered when they attempted to cover and mark the All-Star left forward a bit too aggressively. After being her ankles clipped and body pushed off the ball during the early moments of the first half, the Marauders’ Division 1-commit (she’s heading to UNC-Wilmington next fall) was determined to answer the physical play by punishing the defense.
With Belmont already dominating the game leading 2-0, Allard put her distinctive stamp on the game by scoring a true hat-trick within a 16-minute span, to put the match out of reach by the half.
“[Allard’s] going to score,” said Paul Graham, who has coached the team for the past quarter century.
“When she shoots from the outside like that, there’s no goalie is going to stop her.”
Allard wasn’t finished, scoring her best for last, driving by three defenders and sidestepping a fourth before placing a sharp shot deftly just inside the right post to give Belmont a 6-0 opening day win over Burlington.
“I thought all 23 players played well,” said Graham, using everyone on the bench in the home opener.
He pointed to midfield co-captain Emma Sass’ mastery of the middle of the pitch leading to Belmont controlling the game. “She’s just so strong, controls the ball well and sees the field so well,” said Graham.
Belmont wasted no time showing its dominance scoring at the one minute mark with senior co-captain Courtney Gray spinning and dropping a shot over the head of the Burlington goaltender and into the net. Ten minutes later, Morgan Krauss doubled the lead with a shot from the right side of the goal.
Graham also praised his back three of juniors Meagan Tan and Emily Dexter and senior Natalie Marcus-Bauer. “They played superior. They dominated when they got the ball and passed it around,” said Graham.
The true test of Belmont’s potential will come when it goes toe-to-toe with the power teams in the Middlesex League. One of those is Wilmington which the Marauders will battle away from home on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.
Field Hockey: Belmont 9, Burlington 0
Six Marauders scored as Coach Jessica Smith’s field hockey squad opened the flood gates against host Burlington as Belmont seeks its third consecutive Middlesex Liberty Division title.
“It was a great team effort,” said Smtih, who used each of the 21 players on her roster.
Leading Belmont offensively was sophomore Katie Guden and junior Morgan Chase who ended the night with three points with two goals and an assist, joining Hana Powers who also pocketed a pair. Co-capt. Senior Bridget Gardiner also had three points with a goal and two assists while her fellow captain senior Alexa Sabatino had a goal and an assist. Jordan Lettiere completed the scoring with her first strike of the campaign.
“It was really fun to watch this young team in action. The passing and shots on net were fabulous,” said Smith.
“[Katie] Guden was fantastic. She is a force when moving the ball and her passes were outstanding. Gardiner also played a fabulous game. The midfield, in general, was very involved both defensively and offensively. They including Lillie Devitt were key in all transitions,” said Smith.
While Belmont lost two Division 1 College players – midfield/sweeper AnnMarie Habelow (Louisville) and defender Julia Chase (UNH) – and a three-year starter on defense (Molly Goldberg) to graduation, it appears Smith has found a solid back row with Meri Hana and Johanna Crowley as fullbacks and sweeper Emma Donahue (niece of Watertown legionary head coach Eileen Donahue) playing in front of veteran goaltender Chrissy MacLeod.
Boys Soccer: Belmont 3, Burlington 0
Marauder senior goalkeeper Nate Espelin stopped a penalty and earned the 3-0 shutout as Belmont High’s Boys Soccer started the 2017 season beating host Burlington on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 7.
Leading 2-0 ten minutes into the second half, a tripping foul by Belmont’s Kostas Tingos within the penalty area gave the Red Devils the opportunity to half the lead with plenty of time still to play. But like a good poker player, Espelin saw a big time “tell” from the Burlington player as he approached the ball sitting at the 11-meter mark.
“He pointed to the left side of the net like he was going to kick it there. But I guessed that’s where he wanted me to go, so I moved to the right,” said Espelin, who preserved the two goal margin.
During the match, it held the majority of possession and momentum, Belmont – ranked 15th in the Boston Globe pre-season Top 20 poll – jumped into the lead when junior midfielder Seamus Dullaghan tucked in a rebound of a Jake Carson shot with eight minutes left in the first half.
The Marauders doubled its advantage when Andrew Karalis converted a penalty kick four minutes into the second half.
Belmont final score belongs to the highlight reel as Carson scored from beyond 30 meters on a direct free kick midway through the final frame.
Belmont will play its home opener on Friday, Sept. 8 at 3:45 p.m. against Wilmington.