Photo: Katie Guden turns to the attack.
Belmont High Field Hockey has been making news this past week.
After traveling to Winchester a week ago Monday and beating, 2-1, a squad ranked in the state and New England then continuing its unbeaten streak with shutout victories over Reading (3-0), Winchester (6-0) and Arlington (3-0), the Marauders (6-0-1) have secured a place in the rarified air on the Boston Globe’s Top 20 poll coming from outside the rankings to land at number 9.
Not bad for a team that was overlooked when the season began by apparently everyone who follows field hockey in the region.
But it shouldn’t have been that difficult to see the Marauders is a team you ignored at your peril. Belmont returned three Middlesex League All-Stars – co-captains Katie Guden, Emma Donahue and Meaghan Noone, each committed to Division 1 college programs – who have dominated the midfield and defensive ends whether going forward and protecting the net. And in
The surprise this season has been the youngsters on the team, a quartet of sophomores in Molly Dacey, Ellie McLaughlin, Sajni Sheth-Voss and Mia Mueller who have become mainstays on the first 11 with McLaughlin becoming a scoring threat.
Add to that one of the leading scorers in the league in junior Emma O’Donovan along with juniors Olympia and Sophie Kalavantis and Ally Donahue in midfield roles and a bench in which each player can be slotted seamlessly into several positions on the field. All this gives head coach Jessica Smith a team that will do some damage in the D1North sectionals.
During a Saturday matinee match with Wilmington, O’Donovan scored four times while McLaughlin marshaled a pair while the defense allowed only two shots on goal.
Belmont is already looking towards the annual rivalry match with powerhouse Watertown. Last season, Belmont outplayed the Raiders (12 shots to 3, four times the number of penalty corners) yet came away empty handed losing 2-0.