Sports: Down Early, Girls’ Soccer Stun Wilmington as Allard’s Hat Trick Secures

Photo: It’s all tied up!

After conceding three goals in the first 15 minutes of its game against the three-time Middlesex League champions Wilmington High School, it felt like that it would be an early night for the Belmont High Girls’ Soccer.

“I told them to keep their heads up and just play their game,” said Belmont’s long-time head coach Paul Graham, Tuesday night, Sept. 13, against a team had had not lost a league match since 2013.

But even Graham was unprepared for what happened in the next 65 minutes.

Relying on one of the hottest players in the state and taking the game to the Wildcats, a relatively young Belmont squad erased the three-goal deficit to stun Wilmington, 3-3, in a tie hardly anyone saw coming.

“Stealing a point was huge and to do it coming back against that club, a ranked team when we were down three to nothing. This was a total team ‘win,'” said Graham, whose team lost to Wilmington, 5-1, last year.

The catalyst for Belmont was junior all-star Carey Allard who bagged the hat-trick to bring the Marauders (2-0-1) back from what appeared to be a certain home defeat.

“As soon as it happened, we all got a little down. But after halftime, we got our heads back in it and fought until we tied it,” said Allard who scored her first late in the first period with a running volley from a pass by junior midfielder Emma Sass and the second at the penalty spot.

The final goal, with just under 10 minutes remaining was, simply put, a mistake. Coming down the right side, Allard cut along the touch line and sent the ball over the Wildcat’s goalkeeper and into the far corner at the acutest of angles. 

“That was supposed to be a cross, but I hit it all wrong. I guess I got lucky,” said Allard who has tallied eight goals in three games.

For Graham, the tie was, in a sense, a team victory as players outhustled the competition from winning 50/50 balls to muscling Wilmington away from making a dangerous move towards the Marauders’ goal.

Placing juniors Emma Sass, Eliza Filler and sophomore Olivia Cella in the midfield in the later part of first and in the second halves proved problematic for the Wildcat playmakers “because while they’re not the biggest girls, they are fast and nipped at [Wilmington’s] heels if they are beaten.”

Graham said the game will be a bookmark for future games against the steel of the Middlesex League in coming days.

“We had them on their back heel by the end of the game,”said Graham, praising sophomore forward Ella Gagnon for attacking Wilmington’s defense which gave Allard the little bit of space she needed to work her magic. 

 

Sports: Allard Lead Belmont Girls’ To Late Win At Stoneham, Now 2-0

Photo: A happy Belmont team swarm Carey Allard after the junior scored the winning goal at Stoneham.

Give Carey Allard an inch … well, you know the rest.

Belmont wins.

The junior all-star forward used a moment of indecision by Stoneham defender Mari Avola who had dogged her successfully for 74 minutes, charging by her using track sprinter speed to break alone against Stoneham’s keeper. The Division 1 commit quickly slipped the ball into the left side of the netting to give Belmont a 1-0 win on a warm, humid Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10, keeping the Marauders’ perfect after its first two games.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, Belmont opened the season with a 5-1 win at Melrose with Allard scoring Belmont’s first four goals of the season.

For Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham, the team’s performance at Stoneham was “just good enough for us to win.”

“Something always happens on this field,” said Graham of the grass surface that is noticeably narrow.

“I’ve been 22-0, and I can only win 1-0 here. I don’t know what it is,” he said.

“Thank goodness we have Allard. She’s a difference maker,” he said.

But for much of the match, Allard could not shake her shadow Avola who played Belmont’s main scoring threat tight and physical including a yellow card Avola picked up with 10 minutes remaining in the game. While Belmont did have its chances – junior Emily Duffy breakaway in the second half was parried away as well as a post being hit – the team did not dominate the game as it did against Melrose.

Stoneham’s pressure put Belmont’s midfield and defense on the back heel for portions of the match especially in the second half, as Stoneham hit the crossbar and narrowly missed the post on a header midway through the half. The one shot the Spartans had within the box was stopped by senior goalkeeper Georgia Parsons who recorded her first clean sheet this season.

With both sides having chances in the final minutes, it was likely the first goal by either team would be the winner. After a threat by Stoneham was kicked downfield by sophomore forward Ella Gagnon, it was time for Allard to make her mark on the game.

“Ella played a great ball, and I saw that [Avola] was getting in front of me, so I just went with her and then cut her off,” said Allard, who lost her voice after the game.

Allard said her scoring prowess is due to her “teammates playing me great passes. I’m just the one who finishes them for goals.”

Allard will need to be at her best as Belmont meet ranked Wilmington at home on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m.

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Sports: Postseason Begins Thursday for Four Belmont High Teams

Photo: 

A quartet of Belmont High School teams will begin their postseasons within a few hours of each other on Thursday, Nov. 5 

Belmont Field Hockey will host Central Catholic of Lawrence in a first-round Div. 1 North Sectional match at 4 p.m. at Harris Field. Here is your chance to see the 4th-ranked Marauders (14-2) in action against the 13th-seeded Raiders (10-6-2).

Belmont Girls’ Soccer travels to the edge of Logan Airport to take on the 6th-ranked Jets of East Boston High School (11-3-2) in a first rounder in the Div. 2 North Sectionals at 3:30 p.m. The Marauders are ranked 10th with a record of 11-6-0. 

Girls’ Swimming and Diving are in Waltham at Bentley College to participate in the Middlesex League meet. The event at the school’s Dana Center gets started at 2:30 p.m.

Finally, Cheerleading will be off to Woburn for the Middlesex League meet that begins at 7 p.m.

Sports: Belmont Girls’ Soccer Jets Off to East Boston for Playoff Opener

Photo: Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer team.

The Belmont High Girls’ Soccer team will be heading to Eastie on Thursday, Nov. 5 to begin postseason play as the 10th-ranked Marauders visit the 7th-seeded Jets of East Boston High School in the first round of the MIAA Div. 2 North Sectionals.

Head coach Paul Graham’s team (11-6-0) will take on the Jets (11-3-2) which is coming off being upset by Latin Academy, 4-2, in the City League title game, the first time since 2010 East Boston has not been the champs.

The game will take place in the newly renovated East Boston Memorial Park adjacent to Logan Airport on Thursday. It is unknown at what time the game will be held.

If victorious, Belmont will meet the winner of the second-seed Marblehead High (15-2-1) and Melrose (7-9-2). A Melrose upset would result in a home game for Belmont on Monday, Nov. 9. A Marblehead win will result in a long, difficult drive to the home of the Magicians.

Sports: Graham Takes 300th Victory as Belmont Shuts Down Lexington, 1-0

Photo: Belmont High head coach Paul Graham and the team after the coach’s 300th victory.

The white polo shirt said it all.

“300 WINS

Belmont Girls’ Soccer”

It took a little longer than he had hoped, but, finally, Belmont High Girls’ Soccer head coach Paul Graham secured his 300th victory with a 1-0 shutout victory at Lexington on a brilliant fall Thursday afternoon, Sept. 24. 

Sophomore forward Carey Allard’s goal midway through the first half was all the Marauders (3-3-0) needed to break a three-game losing streak and hand Graham the landmark victory.

“I’m thrilled,” said Graham, who has held the helm since 1993.

“This is a big weight off my shoulders and … the girls’ shoulders. After the loss to Woburn, a few had tears in their eyes because they thought they let me down. I don’t want that,” said Graham.

When asked where he placed the accomplishment, Graham said he’s been lucky to have been “able to coach in Belmont, growing up in the town, living here all my life. To reach this success in my own hometown, it’s just great,” he said.

After the final whistle sounded, Graham received a congratulatory hug from his assistant, Stacey Marino, while the team headed across the field to return with each player holding a placard spelling out “300!” The Lexington team provided Graham the game ball and the Belmont team presented their coach the celebratory polo.

“This is what it’s all about,” said Graham as he followed his happy team off the field.

“This is why I coach and this is why I’ll continue to coach. Just to see the smiles on these kid’s face. It’s worth a million dollars,” he said. 

Just being able to coach in Belmont, growing up in the town, living here all my life. To reach this success in my own hometown, it’s just great. 

 

Sports: Girls’ Soccer Falls to Steel of League to Drop to .500

Photo: Belmont’s Emma Sass (10) and Kristen Gay (24) attempt to head the ball during the team’s match with Arlington. 

It was a learning experience for the young Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer team as they met the steel of the schedule, falling to the Middlesex League’s dominant teams this week.

The Marauders lost to host and defending Middlesex/Liberty champs Wilmington, 5-1, on Thursday, Sept. 17 before greeting Arlington High for a noon matinee at Harris Field on a hot Saturday, Sept. 19.

But home cooking did help Belmont (2-2) as they fell to Arlington, 3-1.  

While Belmont played well in spurts, it could not control the midfield against a physical SpyPonder crew who were able to string short combination passes through the heart of the field to put Belmont’s young back line (two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior) on the back foot.

Due to the pressure, the Marauder midfielders were required to help out which left Belmont’s forwards on their own to bring the ball upfield. 

“Our midfielders have to be more aggressive to the ball,” said Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham who remains a game away from his 300th victory. 

“For two games in a row, we lost the midfield and we can’t our attack right because we are on our heels when we need to go forward. When we did that, we had some great plays because we are pushing it where we should be going,” said Graham. 

Arlington scored in the first 10 minutes on a flukish shot by forward Mackenzie Roy that floated over Belmont goalie Georgia Parson into the net. 

Arlington was comfortable to keep the ball in the middle of the field while Belmont’s best offensive target was sophomore left wing Carrie Allard who was out sprinting the SpyPonder defenders. But Arlington alway appeared to have players coming back to help out at any semblance of a Marauder attack. 

Graham praised the play of sophomore defender Natalie Marcus-Bauer who he said was able to dictate the play in front of her, forcing the Arlington forwards to take shots and passes they didn’t want to. 

“She’s a leader back there,” Graham said. 

While Belmont started the second half with a couple of deep runs toward’s Arlington’s goal, it would be short lived as Arlington’s physical play – challenging each pass or run with a legal shove or bump – appeared to put the Marauders’ off its rhythm.

“That seemed to bother us,” said Graham.

With 10 minutes remaining, Arlington’s Anna Kohlberg scored an open net goal coming off the wing to tap in a pass from the corner. notched two goals for the Spy Ponders, and Anna Kohlberg had a goal and two assists. Roy would collect her brace five minutes later as a result of three rapid passes that allowed the forward to turn and shot from 15 meters. 

Belmont would end the shut out when a penalty was called in the box with a minute left and Julia Rifkin buried a penalty kick inside the right post beyond the goalie’s hands.

Belmont is at Woburn on Monday, Sept. 21. 

 

Old School Head Coach: Graham Closing In on 300th Win

Photo: Paul Graham, head coach of the Belmont High Girls’ Soccer team.

Two years ago, a representative of the Eastern Mass Soccer Coaches Association asked Paul Graham, the long-time head coach of Belmont High’s Girls’ Soccer program, just how many wins his teams had compiled in his nearly a quarter of a century at the helm of the Marauders.

Just one problem: Graham never thought to compile his wins record.

“People kept asking me how many wins I have, and I had no clue,” he said, just that it was a significant number since his teams had made the playoffs every year but one since he took over the position in 1993.

“I did know it was a lot,” Graham told the Belmontonian last week on Harris Field during a team practice.

After going through countless high school yearbooks, memorabilia and plaques, Graham discovered he was creeping towards a milestone: 300 victories.

While it’s taken a bit longer to reach that peak – Graham thought he would have crossed the line last year – Graham stands a single victory from the mark.

(Belmont host Arlington at noon, Saturday, Sept. 19) 

And while Graham can’t recall the very first win, in doing the research, Graham was flooded with memories of his three decades in charge. 

“I’d see a photo and say, ‘I remember his game and I remember this player.’ It was awesome,” he said.

“It was great to reminisce about kids like Linsey Nohl sand Sarah Hilgenberg from days way, way back,” rolling off names and families such as the O’Briens and Muzziolis that he coached for nearly a decade. 

“That’s what it’s all about.”

IMG_1764

Paul Graham’s first year coaching at Belmont High School in 1993.

A proud “townie,” Graham was born, raised and educated in Belmont (Belmont High, ’64) before heading to Norwich University (class of 1970 and in the school’s Hall of Fame as a goaltender and iii) and then teaching high school for five years in Milton, Vt.

He returned home after marrying his wife of 45 years, Patricia, and raised two boys – Timothy and Micheal – and two girls – Courtney and Katelyn – as Graham begin a career in the food services business. He is currently New England General Manager at Woburn-based Preferred Meal Systems New England, one of the largest suppliers of school meals in the region. 

Graham kept his interest in sports, as a coach starting in 1976 in Belmont’s youth programs – helping bring soccer to town – as a referee and on the Recreation Commission.

Graham was assisting the boys’ program when the girls’ team position became available.

“After coaching boys for 23 years, I was getting burned out,” he said.

With his daughter Courtney on the team, Graham decided to take on the challenge of managing a talented, but subpar program with a total of seven victories in the previous three years.

“I was sick seeing that they weren’t more successful,” he said.

Graham recalled telling Belmont High School Principal Foster Wright that while he could not “promise wins, but I can promise you they will play as a team. The rest will come.”

That change came quickly. Thet first year, the team – with Nohl (who played at William & Mary) and Hilgenberg (an All-American at Wellesley College) – won 12 games and made the tournament, the first of a run of 19 consecutive seasons in the playoffs, three Middlesex League titles, twice named Eastern Mass. Coach of the Year and is in the Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.

Over that time, Graham and his girls have won eight Div. 2 North Sectionals, and subsequently lost each of their semifinal matches, never reaching a state finals.

“I’m 0 for 8, and that’s not good,” Graham said with a smile.

“Someday, it’ll come,” he said.

But if it doesn’t, the cap for Graham for nearly a quarter century of coaching is less the wins then the success his players have on the field and after they graduate.

“Yeah, it’s a great accomplishment, 300 wins, but like I told you, I’m here for the kids,” said Graham.

“I’ve had a ton of honors and thankful for that. But I can’t stress enough if I can help a child reach a goal than I’ve done my job. Wins are great, everything is easy when  you‘re winning, but I want to have some part of kids’ success while they’re attending Belmont High,” he said.

Sports: Playoff Schedule with Boys’ Soccer Monday; Volleyball, Girls’ Soccer Tuesday

Teams and individuals from Belmont High School will be competing in the next few weeks in post season and the playoffs.

• Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer gets their postseason underway with a home Div. 2 North sectional playoff game against North Andover High on Monday, Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Harris Field. The fifth-seeded Marauders (13-3-2) takes a stingy defense, led by senior goalkeeper Peter Berens, having given up just 10 goals in 18 games vs the 12-seed Scarlet Knights (11-7-0) from the Merrimack Valley Conference Large Division.

• Coming off a nail-biting win over a young Dracut High team Friday night, seventh-seed Belmont Volleyball (16-5) travels next door to take on the second-seed Arlington Catholic High (18-3) in the quarterfinals of the Div. 2 North sectionals on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. The Cougars are ranked 17th in the Boston Globe top 20.

• There is a score to be settled as Belmont Girls’ Soccer travels to Wilmington High for a Middlesex League clash in the first round of the Div. 2 North sectionals on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. This will be a chance for Belmont (8-5-5) to revenge a highly-controversial game played last month when, with the game 1-0 in Belmont’s advantage late in the match, a seemingly obvious offsides against Wilmington was not called leading to a goal that allowed Wilmington to stay undefeated in the regular season. There will be little motivation needed by long time Head Coach Paul Graham – who is looking for win 299 – who said after the game the girls “would love to have another go” at the Wildcats.

• With the first win in the books, Belmont High School Football will play their final three games at Harris Field, beginning this Friday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. against Salem High of Massachusetts.

• After winning the Middlesex League meet, Belmont Girls’ Swimming prepares for the North Sectionals and then a return to the Div. 2 championships where they will be one of the favorites. And Leah Brams will carry the colors at the EMass Sectional meet on Saturday, Nov. 8 in Wrentham and the All-State meet on Saturday, Nov. 15 in famous Franklin Park in Boston.

Sports: Boys’, Girls’ Soccer Await Playoff Fate

It’s now all about waiting for the Belmont High Boys’ and Girls’ teams as they prepare for their first round matches in the Div. 2 North sectional playoffs that begin this weekend.

Coming off emotional wins over Lexington High School last Tuesday, Oct. 21 – the boys’ defeating the ranked Minutemen, 3-2, while the girls’ defeated their hosts 1-0 – the teams took points in their final two games.

Girls’ missing scoring punch in final two draws

On a rare Saturday evening romp on Oct. 25, the Girls’ team celebrated Seniors Night at Harris Field with a hard-earned 1-1 draw with arch-rival Winchester. A wonderful shot 15 meters out from forward Kristen Gay screamed by the outstretched arms of Winchester goalkeeper Sofia Herron with three minutes remaining in the first half.

“The goals I’ve had this season have all come from the great work down the wings. All of them are team goals,” said Gay who has become Belmont’s scoring threat in the past two weeks with her aggressive nature and ball striking skills.

Paul Graham, who is currently at 298 wins in his career, said he placed freshman Emma Sass on Winchester’s star player, Alix Curtin, “and she came up huge. [Sass] shut her down.”

Graham continues to sing the praises of another freshman Natalie Marcus-Bauer who is taking up the important task of keeping speedy forwards from moving into the penalty box.

Belmont also received stellar work from senior goalkeeper Linda Herlihy who made solid saves throughout the night, including a reaching glove save off a shot that was heading into the far right corner.

“[Herlihy] is starting to play her best right before the playoffs,” said Graham.

Twice in the second half it appeared Belmont would score the critical second goal; sophomore forward Julia Cella‘s breakaway shot from eight meters out was parried away by Winchester substitute goalkeeper freshman Silvia Dowdel.

A rebound off Dowdel from a corner that freshman Carey Allard put into the net was ruled a no goal due to a Belmont player being in an offsides position.

It appeared that Belmont would walk away with both available points, but Winchester was fortunate that a quick counter pass into the Marauders penalty box came just as the Belmont back line began moving forward. Winchester’s Emily Price stayed on side and slipped the ball past a defenseless Herlihy.

Graham said he would like to see more scoring punch from his forwards but all-in-all, “we are in good shape heading into the playoffs.”

On Monday, Belmont traveled to Medford but could not get the same result as when the Mustangs came to Belmont, a Marauder win. The match ended in a scoreless draw. The girls’ record is 9-5-4.

Boys’ scoring and winning

The boys’ wrapping up the regular season with a 3-1 victory away at Winchester on Saturday, Oct. 25 and a 2-1 squeaker against Div. 3 Pentucket Regional at Harris Field on Monday, Oct. 28.

Rediscovering its scoring touch, the Marauders put a pair past the Winchester goalkeeper with forward Daron Hamporian driving the first one home 12 minutes into the game with Luke Gallagher netting the second at the half hour mark taking a pass from midfielder Norman Kilovutitu. Tokio Kobyashi finished the scoring with a breakaway blast with a dozen minutes to play.

On a glorious fall afternoon, Belmont hosted the emerald-clad Pentucket Regional High School squad to Harris Field. Monday became the breakout performance for sophomore Marvyn Dorchin to scored a brace in the first half.

Belmont’s back-up goalkeeper to senior standout Peter Berens, fan-favorite Dorchin – who spent his early years in France – has proven to be a skilled defender and recently a dangerous attacking midfielder. Monday, Dorchin became a Gallic goal scoring machine with his two within five minutes of each other late in the first.

Berens would not get his 12th shutout of the season as Pentucket’s Ian Sands punched one passed the ‘keep with 11 minutes remaining.

 

Sports: Boys’ Soccer Edge Ranked Lexington, 2-1; Girls’ Soccer Secures Playoff with Win

For Belmont High School Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane, Tuesday’s home game against Lexington High was an exciting one, but “it’s just a regular-season game.” 

But the match, played on Seniors Night at Harris Field, Oct. 21, should be placed in the “signature win” column as the Marauders struck twice early and once late to defeat the one-loss Minutemen – ranked 12th for the past two weeks in the Boston Globe poll – by a 3-2 scoreline.

The win ups the Marauders record to 11-3-2 with two games left in the season; away at Winchester on Saturday, Oct. 25 and a home game on Monday, Oct. 27 vs. non-league Pentucket.

“Under the lights, both teams wanted this and I was proud of their effort tonight. I really like how they came out with a lot of effort and athleticism against Lexington,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

“This was a good measuring stick for the playoffs. Lexington’s a [Division] 1 team and ranked and we weren’t so hopefully this helps their confidence,” he said.

After a celebration honoring the team’s seniors and before parents, family and a loud cheering section, Belmont came out like a whirlwind, out-muscled and outplayed the Minuteman which resulted in the best possible start. At the kickoff, Belmont drove the ball down the right side where leading scorer, Charlie Frigo, picked up the ball 18 meters out, pivoted that left a defenders looking and fired the ball past Minuteman’s Carter Hochman after a mere 36 seconds.

Before the rowdy fans could find their seats, Frigo netted his brace knocking in a cross from Sami Beluadi to give Belmont a 2-0 lead after only three-and-a-half minutes.

But you don’t get to 12 wins out of 14 games without being somewhat good playing the game and Lexington got its mojo going by winning the battle in the midfield by out running the Marauders to the ball and connecting on some sharp combination passing. Some slick passing in the box allowed Henry Troop to one-time the ball by Belmont goalkeeper Peter Berens with seven minutes to go in the first to leave the Minutemen trailing by one at the half.

Lexington would tie the game eight minutes into the second half as defender Alfred Joseph came up from the back to take a short pass from Lewis Mustoe and slipped the ball just under a diving Berens.

With blood in the water, the Minutemen continued its assault only to be thawed by Berens twice including a sliding block at the penalty spot.

At the 30 minute mark with a tie on the board, the game became a grind-it-out affair with much of the action taking place between the goal areas with few solid chances for either side.

Then, against the run of play, Belmont took the lead in the simplest of ways.

Senior forward Luke Gallagher outpaced the Lexington midfielder to take a long clearing pass down the right wing. He quickly passed the ball to the top of the box where a fast-closing Daron Hamparian controlled the ball and shot between the center and right backs and passing a flat-footed Hochman with 13 minutes remaining.

“Sometimes the team is so technically sound that they don’t play a little messier. That [goal] was just a vertical pass [Gallagher] won and passed to [Hamparian], a quick pass and a shot,” said Bisceglia-Kane. “Hopefully we can do this a little more because we tend to be a little too cute with the ball.”

With the exception of a pair of corner kicks which did not reach Berens, Belmont eased to the win.

“The proudest moment for me was when we were let up the lead but then responded,” said Bisceglia-Kane. 

“That’s what you will have to do. There will be moments in the regular season and, hopefully not, but most likely in the playoffs when you need to come back in a game,” he said.

“I always tell the guys they need to play for one another. If you are playing for yourself, you’re never going to be playing your hardest. But when you’re playing for each other that’s when you feel like you’re playing as a team,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

Girls’ soccer returns to playoffs with shutout over Minutemen

The members of the Belmont High Girls’ Soccer team were screaming their collective heads off as their bus passed by Harris Field as the boys’ soccer team was about to kick off with their match with Lexington.

The yelling fest – an ongoing tradition for Belmont’s girls’ squads – meant only one thing: the team had won their away match vs Lexington; and with it, a return to the post-season for the Marauders (9-5-2).

With a first-half goal by senior Sophia Eschenbach-Smith – her second important goal in three games – and the stellar work by the three back line defenders that helped goalkeeper Linda Herlihy to her seventh shutout in the 1-0 victory.

“It was a really good team win and we worked really hard,” said Eschenbach-Smith. “I hope we can keep up the momentum as we are now in the playoffs.”

Eschenbach-Smith scored Belmont’s lone goal in the Marauders’ 1-1 home tie against 15th ranked and league leader Arlington High a week earlier.

The win was payback for a 5-0 home loss to the Minutemen on Sept. 24.

“Today we came out with a real purpose. We needed the one point to get into the tournament. We talked a lot about that and the kids really worked hard and came out fired up,” said Paul Graham, the team’s long-time head coach, who missed last season’s playoffs after a two decade run.

“We played playoff soccer tonight,” said Graham, whose victory total now stands at 298.

Eschenbach Smith scored from a pass from Julia Cella after getting past a defender and burying a left foot shot 15 minutes into the game.

Then Graham allowed Herlihy and his back line to dictate the pace of the game.

“Our defense was tremendous,” said Graham, saying that freshman Natalie Marcus-Bauer, who now starts in the Marauders’ defense with senior leader center back Lucia Guzikowski and Elizabeth Ferrante, “who had her best game” and naming her the Player of the Match. 

With his two outside midfielders – Katrina Rokosz and Elizabeth Ferrante – coming back to cover the wide spaces, “we had five players taking on their two forwards.” When the Minutemen did have opportunities to score, Herlihy was there to crush those chances.

“I have to thank my defenders. They do a great job every game. If I get a shutout, it’s a team shutout,” said Herlihy.