Photo: Belmont High’s Anna Santos scores the Marauders’ second goal in their 4-0 shutout of Arlington
After a slow start to the 2022 season – a last-minute tie in the opener followed by two losses – the past week saw a dramatic turn around for Belmont High Girls’ Soccer team.
In its most recent games, the team secured a nice piece of silverware by winning the Phoenix Cup after beating Watertown, 4-1, at Soccer Night in Belmont. It followed that with a pair of road victories: 2-1 at Reading (goals from Lily Duffy and Bridget Gray) and a 4-0 thrashing of hosts Arlington on Saturday, Sept. 24.
“Our game plan was good today and the girls’ executed it really well,” said Belmont’s first year head coach Jemmy Cange. “It was a good effort from everyone.”
Under the lights, the Marauders faced a SpyPonders squad flouting a 3-1-0 record playing in front of their fans during the town’s Soccer Night in Arlington as Belmont bolstered its lineup with the return of veteran midfielders Lena Marinell and Sabrina Salls who started the season on the injured list.
It took exactly one minute for Belmont to race to the lead as Marauder’s freshman phenom Danika Zicha (six goals so far this season) did what she does best: outrace loads of defenders to the ball (a pass from Gray) and drilled the shot past the goalie.
Belmont doubled their advantage midway though the opening half as Anna Santos rounded the goalie and buried the ball from a tight angle. Belmont’s third resemble something you’d see on Saturday morning Premier League highlights as Marinell drew defenders to the right side of the box before sending a picture perfect pass onto the feet of an on-rushing Lily Hovsepian who slotted the ball into the open net.
Senior goalies Yuval Golani and Kate Grimble combined for the clean sheet, the first of the year, which they shared with the Marauders’ back three of senior Kiki Hovsepian with juniors Hannah Glavin and Lucy Kabrhel who were four along the back when Gray dropped in support.
“They were a wall back there,” said Cange.
A standout Saturday was sophomore Lucy Hynds who was a disruptive presence for the SpyPonder midfield with her physical demeanor.
“I always try to be really aggressive when I can, because I find that even when I don’t win the ball one of my teammates will when I play that way,” said Hynds who noted the team has been working hard to improve since the opener. “We’re really putting in the work and now we are getting the results.”
Belmont set the tone defensively in the second half as Arlington was reduced to taking long-range chances at goal. The match’s final score came from Zicha who rocketed a 20-meter shot from the left of the box that rested into the far right corner of the net.
Belmont will host the 3-1-2 Woburn squad on Tuesday, Sept 27 at 6:30 p.m. before welcoming Lexington at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 29.