Unbeaten Belmont Field Hockey Enters Top 10 After Week Of Big Wins

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 net are a pair of keepers; veteran senior Molly Calkin and junior newbie Kendall Whalen, who have surrendered just single goal each.

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.

Unbeaten Belmont Field Hockey ‘Keepers Stand Tall In Tie With Ranked Lexington

Photo: (from left) Belmont’s Sajni Sheth-Voss, Emma Donahue, Kendall Whalen, Katie Guden and Meaghan Noone defending a penalty corner in Belmont’s 1-1 draw with Lexington.

With time running down in Saturday’s matinee against Lexington, Belmont High Field Hockey junior goalie Kendall Whalen was taken by surprise when what appeared to be a routine long clearing ball by a Minuteman defender turned out to be anything but ordinary.

Just before the ball was hit, a Lexington forward had drifted behind the Marauders’ defense. She took the clearance and had a clean breakaway with only Whalen between her and a go-ahead goal.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my god. It’s tied and I have to save this’,” Whalen said after the game.

Belmont’s Molly Dacey out battles a Lexington defender for the ball.

While only in her third game ever as a field hockey goalie, Whalen has a great deal of experience in net having come off an impressive 2019 lacrosse season keeping goal for Belmont, and one of the main reasons the Marauders nail down its first playoff appearance in seven years.

“[Lacrosse] really helped to understand where I need to be positioned and when to step up or when to hold back,” said Whalen.

So when the Minuteman player fired a low shot just to her left, Whalen had already reacted and got a boot on the ball to steer it wide of the net.

“I went for it, cut off her angle which rushed her shot which I cleared,” said Whalen who along with senior goalie Molly Calkin secured Belmont’s 1-1 “kiss your cousin” tie with the Minutemen (2-1-1) ranked 8th in the Boston Globe Top 20.

Belmont’s midfielder Mia Mueller.

The goaltending pairing – each plays a half in the games – has worked well for each, said Calkin a returning varsity player who stopped three inclose scoring changes with a new aggressive style.

“During practice, Kendall challenges me to play well and do stuff that I hadn’t done last year,” she said. “I think last year, I kind of lacked confidence that I should have had. This year, I’m taking a different approach and claim what’s mine in front of the net.”

Saturday’s game saw Belmont (2-0-1) never quite shifting its play into top gear as it showed against Stoneham and Melrose. For Belmont Head Coach Jessica Smith, the blame can be laid at the feet of the schedulers.

“Saturday games seems to take us all out of our routine. They don’t go to school, do their homework and prepare the same way. It’s like they’re not as focused as they are during the week,” said Smith.

After falling behind 1-0 on the first shot on Belmont’s net this season five minutes into the game, the Marauders slowly regained control of the offense thorugh the midfield led by senior co-captains Katie Guden and Emma Donahue while fellow senior Meaghan Noone who acted like a Hoover along the backline.

Belmont’s Katie Guden (14) shots towards Emma O’Donovan who redirected the ball into the net for the Marauders’ goal.

Belmont broke through with just under five minutes remaining in the opening half on a sweet combination of passes as sophomore Mia Mueller pushed the ball to Guden who sent a rocket towards junior Emma O’Donovan stationed in front of the goalie. O’Donovan redirected the airborne ball into the open left side of the net, scoring her fifth goal of the young season.

Belmont had its chances throughout the game including when a long strike outside the attacking circle hit the post and ricocheted towards a streaking O’Donovan who was just beaten out to the ball by the goalie. And it appeared that Belmont had scored a potential game winner with about six minutes remaining but an official did not allow play to continue after a minor infraction which the rules state but rather forced a restart nullifying what should have been O’Donovan’s second.

Ellie McLaughlin (16) and Emma O’Donovan bottle up Lexington all-star Katie Devine.

Belmont midfielders did a great job of bottling up Lexington’s star junior Katie Devine to prevent the league all-star from sending shots into the attacking zone while each of Belmont’s four sophomores – Molly Dacey, Ellie McLaughlin, Sajni Sheth-Voss and Mueller – played significant minutes with solid results.

“I’ll take a tie after the team played so poorly,” said Smith.

Belmont 2, Melrose 0

Earlier in the week, Belmont opened its home account with a solid 2-0 victory over Melrose on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

The scoring breakthrough came late in the first half off a penalty corner as McLaughlin gathered a rebound to the left of the goal and send a pass that snuck by to the right post where Noone stuffed the ball in. And fellow senior forward Nuritza Diarbakerly scored her first varsity goal with a tap in along the right post late in the second half.

Meaghan. Noone (22) scores the opening goal against Melrose.

“We definitely needed another goal so we had to be more confident because we didn’t want this to end in a tie,” said Diarbakerly.

Belmont will be on the road Tuesday, Sept. 17, against the current Middlesex League leaders Winchester (4-0-0) ranked 6th by the Globe before hosting Reading on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Field.

Belmont Field Hockey Finds Its ‘O’ffense in ‘OD’ As Marauders Stone Spartans

Photo: Emma O’Donovan after scoring for Belmont High School.

In the past year, it seemed that Belmont High junior Emma O’Donovan had spent more time on crutches than on the ice or the turf.

Injured last fall, the Marauder forward on this season’s field hockey squad missed the last half of the field hockey and all of the girls’ ice hockey season where she was expected to be a key in Belmont’s first line offense.

And this fall season, O’Donovan was wearing a boot on her foot during preseason.

“I missed two and a half seasons and I just wanted to get out there and just run,” said O’Donovan after the season opener with Stoneham on Friday, Sept. 6.

Belmont senior co-capt. Katie Guden.

And she did more than run; she scored a hat trick in the first 20 minutes and finished with four goals as the Marauders took it to host Stoneham, 10-0.

While she isn’t fully fit just yet – O’Donovan said it was hard playing games without the long-distance running done in the preseason – she said it was really good to get back with a lot of teammates “and get the game like intensity back up.”

O’Donovan was one of seven Marauders to get their names on the scoresheet (including sophomores Molly Dacey and Ellie McLaughlin) as Belmont was one-step ahead of the Spartans, despite the game being played on grass, the only location remaining without a turf field.

It was Belmont’s senior captains and returning Middlesex League all-stars Meaghan Noone and Emma Donahue on defense and midfielder Katie Guden (one goal and several assists) that dominate play at all corners of the pitch.

Junior Kendall Whalen and senior Molly Calkin each took a half in net to share the clean sheet.

Belmont High’s Olympia Kalavantis (left) vs. Stoneham

Teammates Start GoFundMe Site To Remember Cleo

Photo: Cleo Theodoropulos (center) with her Belmont High School Field Hockey teammates before its playoff game against Masco in November 2018.

It’s something that teammates do for their fellow player; being there for them at the most difficult of times.

Cleo Athena Theodoropulos was a junior and a member of the Belmont High School Field Hockey, playing left side forward on the playoff squad this past fall. In less than a week, she was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder which a few days later resulted in a stroke that caused her sudden death on April 22.

“Cleo will always be remembered as a ray of light, a beautiful and positive person,” wrote varsity player Emma O’Donovan who along with nine other teammates set up a GoFundMe site to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where Cleo was being treated.

“Belmont Field Hockey will be raising money to benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and any donation will make an impact. Thank you in advance for your contribution and generosity. Anything is greatly appreciated. We will all miss Cleo dearly and will remember the incredible impact she made on each and every one of our lives,” reads the appeal.

The team posted on social media to everyone they knew. And a flood of donations began.

The team passed through its initial goal of $7,000 in a few hours and broke $10,000 in about a day. So they raised the mark to $12,000. As of Monday at 6 a.m. the campaign has raised $10,810 that will go to research and treatment of cancers and blood disorders that struck Cleo.

Belmont High Field Hockey Downs Concord Carlisle, 2-0, In Playoff’s First Round [VIDEO]

Photo: Senior co-captain Jordan Lettiere (left) scored both goals in Belmont’s victory over Concord.

Belmont High Field Hockey tallied early and late as the Marauders eased by Concord Carlisle Regional, 2-0, in first round action in the MIAA Division 1 North sectionals at Harris Field on Halloween.

Senior co-captain Jordan Lettiere scored the pair of goals as the 7th-seed Marauders’ defense and midfield dominated the run of the game as Belmont held advantages in shots, 19 to 4, and corners, nine to one, giving the 12th-ranked Patriots scant opportunities to even the score.

“I thought we played well,” said Belmont’s Head Coach Jessica Smith. “I think we used each other and passed well. We need to make those opportunities inside the [attack] circle into goals.” 

Playing inside forward, Lettiere netted her first on a backhand strike four minutes into the game – assisted by senior left forward Hana Power – then waited until the final 23 seconds to pocketed her second off a restart with the assist to junior center back Emma Donahue.

The victory sends the Marauders into the quarter-finals of the Division 1 North sectionals to battle it out against Masconomet Regional, ranked 2nd with a record of 16-1-2. The game is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in far-off Boxford but the forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms throughout the day. The rain is particularly problematic for the teams as Masco’s home field is a grass pitch.

Masco defeated Reading, 3-0, Wednesday scoring its goals in the final 15 minuted of the first half. Belmont defeated the Rockets twice in Middlesex League play, 2-0 away and 3-1 at home.

In control for most of the game, Belmont used its speed and dribbling skill to bottle up the Patriots’ offense which relied on the long ball in an attempt to beat the Marauders’ press defense. When Concord entered the 25-meter mark from the Belmont goal, the Marauders’ backline – Donahue, senior Hayley Koenigsberg, and senior co-captain Mia Kaldenbough playing in front of senior goalie Molly Calkins – never gave the Concord forwards much room for an open shot on goal. 

Smith praised the play of junior sweeper/midfield Meaghan Noone, pointing to Noone’s breaking up a three-on-one Patriots breakaway with Belmont up by a goal.

“She came out of nowhere and was a superstar,” said Noone, noting her two-way play, several times taking an intercepted pass halfway down the field to spark the offense. 

“I had to get into the ‘zone’ … know who their best players were and step up,” said Noone. 

Belmont controlled the tricky left side of the pitch – which is difficult to play well as field hockey sticks are all “right-handed” – as junior midfield Kate Devitt and senior forward Hana Power found the pace to outrun defenders. 

Junior center midfield Katie Guden and her speedy compatriot Marissa Cecca caused fits for the Patriots as they used their quickness and stick skills to quickly transition the play to the offense. Up front, Belmont’s “go to” scoring duo – Lettiere (21 goals, 7 assists) and four-year starter co-captain Morgan Chase (14 goals, 9 assists) – generated many of shots in the game.

“I was hustling to the ball because I didn’t want our season to end,” said Lettiere. 

For Smith, the next match will be only the second time on grass this season for the Marauders. But she noted that Belmont has won in the postseason on “real” turf, recently vs. Danvers, and believes the slower surface will allow her forwards to catch up to the ball and provide more scoring opportunities. 

“The best players play best on the grass,” said Noone. 

“We’ll do fine,” added Lettiere.

Boo! Tournament Ready, Belmont Field Hockey Welcomes C-C On Halloween In 1st Round

Photo: Seniors on Seniors Night at Belmont High School.

Belmont Field Hockey is only thinking all treats and no rock as the 7th seeded Marauders host 10th ranked Concord Carlisle Regional on Halloween in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 North Sectionals.

The game will have an early start, 2:30 p.m., at Harris Field on Oct. 31.

The Patriots come to town with a 12-4-2 record as runners-up to Weston in the Dual County League, Small School division. Belmont finished the season at 12-4-0, second to Lexington in the Middlesex Liberty division race.

The postseason comes as Belmont has seeming rightened the ship after going through a stretch where the Marauders could not convert their good play into wins. It’s two Lexington league games were relatively even in all aspects except the final score as the Minutemen outpaced Belmont 7-1 over the two games. In its rematch against Winchester (having won the initial encounter, 3-0), Belmont arrived at an empty field and no one to be found. It turned out a scheduling change left Belmont waiting for two hours in the cold before losing 4-2 in a lackluster affair.

But coming down the stretch, it appeared the Marauders had rediscovered its earlier strong form starting the season on a seven-game winning streak that concluded with an outstanding effort against 10-time Division 2 state champs Watertown, outplaying the Raiders on the field (13 penalty corners to 1 and 8 shots to 2) but came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 score.

For longtime head coach Jess Smith, the final two games of the regular season saw an increase in scoring chances while a tweaking of her defense has solidified the backline.

“For the tournament, I wanted a home game and not play a Middlesex League team in the first round,” said Smith. “Playing someone new is helpful for the kid’s mindset because playing someone three times is a nightmare.” 

On Seniors Night, Oct. 24, Belmont concluded the sweep over a nine-win Reading team, handily defeating the Rockets, 3-1. Co-captain forward Morgan Chase scored along with fellow senior left wing Hana Power in the first half followed by junior midfield Katie Guden in the second. The Marauders dominated the middle of the field not allowing the Rockets to use its breakout speed on the counter-attack. Guden produced the play of the game when her “ankle breaker” NBA-style crossover move left a Rocket defender on the turf to the amusement of her teammates (and it must be said to the victim herself).

Reading has played Belmont and Concord Carlisle twice this season, losing 2-1 at Concord and tying the Patriots, 1-1, in the reverse fixture.

“I was really happy how they played against Reading. They were determined to return to how they were playing in the first part of the season,” she said. “They showed up and played the entire 60 minutes.” 

Belmont traveled to Arlington for a late autumn last game to finish off the regular season, coming away with a 5-1 win where Smith was able to bring in bench players and switch around positions. Guden, Power, Lettiere (2) and senior right wing and Chase tallied in the game. 

“They started the game out slow, but by the end, we could have scored a lot more than five goals. I think the kids are starting to feel that they are tournament ready,” said Smith.

Girls Tourney Bound: Soccer, Field Hockey, Volleyball Earn Tickets To Postseason [VIDEO]

Photo: Belmont High Girls Soccer, pictured below are securing another trip to the Division 2 North playoffs.

It was quite a week for three of Belmont High girls’ fall season teams as each secured playoff spots in the coming state MIAA tournament.

Within a few minutes of each other on Monday, Oct. 8, Girls’ Soccer and Field Hockey punched their tickets to the postseason while Volleyball completed its task on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

After a pair of losses – a heartbreaker, 3-2, at Woburn after leading 2-0 at the half and a 4-0 rout at Winchester – left the team at 2-2-1 early in the season, Girls’ Soccer has rattled off five straight wins including a 3-1 home victory on Columbus Day to see its season extended. While not raking up the goals, the Marauders have been efficient in their games, using senior center forward Ella Gagnon as the cornerstone of the offense with speedsters senior Morgan Krauss and youngster Jenna Thomas (a pair of hat-tricks for the sophomore) creating opportunities on the wings. 

Since clinching the playoffs, Belmont took its revenge on Woburn, defeating the Tanners, 2-1, on Wednesday, Oct. 10 to extend its winning streak to seven and currently in second place in the Middlesex Liberty division with a 9-2-1 record. They will take on Lexington on Tuesday, Oct. 16 before meeting up with league leader Winchester at home on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Field Hockey came into its annual match with perennial Division 2 state champions Watertown on a seven-game winning streak. The night game on Oct. held at Belmont’s Harris Field saw the Marauders come out and controlled the match, dominating possession, especially in the second half, ending the game with 11 shots on goal and a 13 to 1 margin in penalty corners. The one area they didn’t hold an advantage over Watertown was on the scoreboard as the Raiders tallied on both of their two shots of the game in a two-minute stretch in the final five minutes of the first half, defeating the disappointed hosts, 2-0.

To make the playoffs, Belmont had to take a trip to an improving Wakefield High team and came away with a solid 2-0 win with senior co-captain Jordan Lettiere scoring both times to continue her hot stick at the inner forward position.

After reaching the playoffs, Belmont traveled Wednesday, Oct. 10 to the environs of Lexington to battle it out with a very good Minuteman squad. Starting at 6:30 p.m. (on a school night!) on a field – situated on the border of a mosquito-infested swamp – apparently illuminated by mood lights as no one could see the ball. In an evenly fought battle, Lexington took advantage of the not so common “man” advantage when the refs called Belmont’s junior Emma Donahue, the team’s top defender, for a push then sent off junior Katie Guden, the squad’s leader, for not respecting the five-meter space when the ball is restarted. And the Minutemen scored both times as Belmont’s best players were sitting by the scorer’s desk, winning 2-0, as the Marauders had to contend with the odd custom in Lexington of allowing dogs to wander along the sidelines.

Belmont, which defeated Woburn, 8-0, on Friday, Oct. 12 will have its rematch with Lexington on Wednesday, Oct. 17 with the winner in control to capture the Middlesex League Liberty title. This game played during the day, sans the threat of malaria and without mutts on the field. 

After just making the playoffs last year, Volleyball’s goal this year was a return act. And Belmont got there, but even faster than they thought, reaching its 10th win in just 12 games as the Marauders swept Wayland, 3-0, in an out-of-league match on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Led by kill specialist Jane Mahon (who is leading the Middlesex League) , and a pair of three year junior starters; setter Mindee Lai and libero Sophia Estok, Belmont was pushed in each of the three sets including having an 11-0 service run against them in the third to fall behind 21-20. But good digging and returning from the back line as well as a few unforced errors on the part of the Warriors allowed the Marauders to take the win.

After defeating Woburn on Friday, Oct. 12, Belmont, at 11-2,. will host Lexington on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Belmont Field Hockey Hosts Watertown In Battle Of Top Ten Undefeated Teams Thursday 6 PM

Photo: Belmont team captains, (left) Mia Kaldenbough, Morgan Chase and Jordan Lettiere (that’s one of the Smith kids in front) prepare for Thursday night’s clash with Watertown.

It’s a match of the unbeaten – if not unblemished – records. A pair of Top Ten squads meeting on the field hockey pitch.

It’s Belmont vs Watertown tonight, Thursday, Oct. 4; cross-town archrivals clashing at the mid-point of the season. The game takes place at 6 p.m. at Harris Field. Admission is free. 

It is the first time the teams – which has faced the other for decades – are undefeated during a regular season game. It has been a while since the Marauders have gotten the better of the Raiders as Belmont has not defeated Watertown since the 1990s.

It is a game between two pedigree programs; Watertown dominating the Division 2 state championships winning ten consecutive titles and Belmont a perennial playoff team. This season Watertown (6-0-1) is ranked 5th in the Boston Globe’s Top 20 with Belmont (7-0-0) at number 9 MAX Field Hockey, a website that follows the sport nationally, ranks Belmont 20th in New England and Watertown at 6th.

Coming into the game, Watertown needed a late goal from Olivia Lampasona to salvage a 1-1 home tie against a strong Lexington squad Tuesday. After falling behind early, Belmont defeated hosts Melrose, 6-2, Tuesday with senior co-captain Jordan Lettiere scoring four times.

It could be a high scoring affair with Belmont scoring 44 goals and Watertown putting in 32 balls over their first seven games. And it will be a family affair Thursday as Watertown’s longtime head coach Eileen Donahue will be facing her niece, junior Emma, who anchors Belmont’s backline.

In Match Of Unbeatens, Belmont High Field Hockey Sprints Past Winchester, 3-0

Photo: Puppy pile for Belmont’s second goal with sophomore Emma O’Donovan taking the prize.

In an early season matchup of the creme of the Middlesex League Liberty crop, Belmont High Field Hockey provided Friday afternoon that team speed is dangerous for opponents as the Marauders ran past defending league champions Winchester High, 3-0.

“It’s all the 400s [meter] runs I make them do,” said Belmont Head Coach Jess Smith as her team, ranked 15th in the Boston Globe Top 20 poll, remains undefeated at 4-0-0 while Winchester, ranked 6th in the Globe poll, drops to 2-1-0.

“We knew we were good but to beat someone like [Winchester, which last year made the Division 1 North finals] makes it’s not just talking. The win makes it ‘legit,'” said Smith.

Senior co-captain and wing Morgan Chase, junior midfield Katie Guden and sophomore forward Emma O’Donovan scored in the first half as the Marauders kept the majority of possession for most of the first 30 minutes.

For Smith, the victory was a combination of her player’s quickness and their commitment to ball movement.

“I think our speed is killer,” she said. “We have athletic kids, we are super aggressive all over the field, and our passing is extremely good,” said Smith. “No one can run faster than a ball so if we can keep passing it up the field that quickly, we’re gonna get into the [scoring] circle faster than their backs.”

The Marauders’ team up-tempo pace showed as it took away passing lanes in the middle of the field. Belmont also took the majority of 50/50 balls as well as stealing the ball on man-to-man clashes with Belmont’s senior forward and co-captain Jordan Lettiere, the prime suspect in many of those heists. 

Along the back line, junior Meaghan Noone effectively shut down Winchester’s right side attacks. Junior Emma Donahue was once again a significant presence in the middle as sophomore Hayley Koenigsberg kept Winchester’s outstanding senior forward Claire Moloney-Kolenberg in check off the left wing in the battle of the great German/Dutch surnames.

“You just have to get psyched up, getting really low to stop their good girl. And I’m thinking about trying to get it back up to the midfielders,” said Noone. 

Quarterbacking the midfield, three-year varsity starter Guden’s stellar stick handling skills allowed Belmont to keep the pressure on Winchester’s midfield and backs.

“My game plan just get it in the [scoring] circle early, play as aggressive as I want to play, and look to pass it because it’s not a one-person game,” said Guden.

Junior Molly Calkins earned the solo shut out in her first varsity start as the Marauders’ goalkeeper.

“I was so nervous when [Smith] said I was going to start, I said ‘Oh no!’ But once we got onto the field, we all just worked together and communicated really well,” said Calkins who stopped four shots.

Smith and the team face a crowded week of games, four in five days, with an away game Tuesday at an excellent Lexington team the highlight. But for now, Smith is reluctant to change anything about the squad.

“We have this great lineup, the players work really well together, they’re confident and their speedy. That’s how we are going to approach every game, with confidence and speed,” she said.

With Top Teams On The Horizon, Belmont Field Hockey Rolls At Home

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.