Photo: White after Labor Day? For Belmont High Field Hockey, it’s très chic!
It’s said you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day. There is one exception; when the Belmont High School Field Hockey team introduced its new all-white home kit during its first two home games in the 2018 season. The sleek unis with Parisian blue lettering and a menacing Marauder (grrrr!) on the upper back is a hit with fans and fashionistas alike. très chic!
Yet, it’s unlikely this year’s sharp outfit had any impact on the play of the girls as Belmont cruised to a pair of victories last week, defeating a strong squad from Stoneham, 6-1, and Woburn, 11-1, to improve to 3-0-0, earning a 17th ranking in the latest Boston Globe Top 20 poll.
“They are showing a lot of great skills, and they’re so positive,” said long-time Head Coach Jess Smith, who said this is likely one of the strongest 10 field player teams she’s put out on the pitch.
Smith said so far in the season, the impressive play – outscoring opponents 25-2 in three games – has not been generated by just one or two players but is an all-around team effort as seen by the scoring chart where the distribution of goals and assists is widespread and deep.
Against a much improved undefeated Stoneham team (coming to Harris at 2-0-1 with an eye-catching 2-2 tie against Lexington on its resume), Belmont wasted little time getting on the board, as quicksilver center forward Marissa Cecca dented the backboard of the Spartan’s goal just 30 seconds into the game.
“I saw Katie [Guden] in the circle and called for it. I had a tight angle so I had to flip it by the keeper,” said Cecca.
Stoneham, led by senior midfield Paige Jordan, showed a growing level of talent over the past three years but Belmont’s midfield trio of senior co-captain Mia Kaldenbough, junior Katie Devitt and its leader junior Katie Guden frustrated the Spartan’s with their speed and stick handling skills as they quickly transitioned to Belmont’s front line headed by leading scorer senior co-captain Jordan Lettiere and her fellow co-captain four-year starter Morgan Chase.
Stoneham kept the deficit to one goal until the final 100 seconds of the first half when sub-Cleo Theodoropulos scored from Lettiere with 1:39 remaining that was followed by Lettiere’s unassisted score with 47 seconds left. Chase, junior central defender Emma Donahue, and sub sophomore forward Emma O’Donovan scored in the second half.
If there have been concerns they lie with penalty corners – a lot taken but a lack of results – and having its young goalkeepers –Molly Calkins and Morgan Moroney – get in-game action.
“We were nervous [at the start of the season] because we lost a lot of talented players. But we have been really good because we communicate very well and watch out for each other. We’re all committed to winning,” said Cecca.
While the Marauders has feasted on the Middlesex League so far, Belmont’s 11 will be tested against the two strongest squads in the division. On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Belmont travels to Lexington whose 2-1-1 record doesn’t tell its overall strength. Led by senior goalkeeper Abbie Ortyl who verbally committed to Merrimack College, the Minutemen is looking to break the five-year lock Belmont and Winchester have held on the top spot for the Liberty Division championship.
On the first day of summer, Friday, Sept. 21, Belmont hosts 2017 league champions, and #2 ranked Winchester to Harris Field. The Sachems, which squeaked by Lexington, 1-0, last Friday, will seek to avenge Belmont’s 1-1 tie at Winchester last season, the only blemish on the Sachems’ 17-0-1 undefeated regular season.