Photo: Belmont High Forward Mary Mullan scoring her second and the team’s fifth against Stoneham in the Marauders’ 6-1 win.
Under a brilliant late summer afternoon, Belmont High’s Field Hockey squad got off an equally bright start to the 2022 season with a dominating performance against Stoneham, 7-1, at Harris Field on Thursday, Sept. 7.
The team would follow up with an away win, 3-1, at Melrose, on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
“Great way to begin the season especially how our offense looks. They really worked hard, always tooking to take the shot,” said Jess Smith, who is now in her 19th year at the helm of the Marauders.
Forwards Mary Mullins and Carly Gaziano each earned a brace joining Alex Townsend, Lola Rocci (2 assists) and MacKenzie Clark on the scoresheet with freshman center midfield Clark accepting the role of “quarterback” in directing the Marauder attack.
“MacKenzie’s amazing. She’s very unselfish, and sometimes she passes too much. I’d wish he’d be a bit more selfish in the attack,” said Smith.
Belmont broke open the scoring in the final five minute in the first quarter with three goals starting with Gaziano scoring with a push shot in close.
“It was really fun passing and connecting with my teammates,” said Gaziano.
In Melrose, left wing Gaziano found the back of the net two more times in the first and third quarter, surrounding Devin Kelleher‘s first of the season in the first quarter. Smith noted the performance of Tess Desantis in the midfield controling the ball while getting two assists.
While Belmont has had the run of play for its first games, that may not be the rule when the Marauders “welcome” the reigning Division 3 state champions Watertown which comes to Harris Field under the Friday Night Lights on Sept. 16. A week ago, Belmont’s neighbor defeated the Boston Globe’s preseason number one team, Andover, 2-1, in what has been called the “Battle of the Giants.”
Smith said her chief task is to have her team focus on what they have control over, being athletic in disrupting Watertown’s relentless attack and protecting goalie Julia Herlihy.
“It’s Watertown so it’s going to be tough,” said Smith.