Sports: Barn Doors Safe as Belmont Soccer Teams Lost Scoring Touch

Barn doors, fish in barrels and messengers were all safe this past week as Belmont High School soccer teams suddenly lost their ability to put shots into the back of the net.

On Thursday evening , Oct. 9, Belmont Boys’ soccer dominated stretches of their game against Wakefield High under the lights at Harris Field but couldn’t find the right combination of passes to break the Red Raider defense and were forced to split the difference with a nil-nil draw.

But despite the current goal-scoring drought – the Marauders put the ball between the posts only three times in the past five games posting a record of 2-2-1 during that time – Belmont Boys’ first-year head coach gave an upbeat observation after the tie.

“Sometimes you have to taper your expectations because we’re playing well,” said Brian Bisceglia-Kane, noting that the team has outplayed their two latest opponents by wide margins.

“They’re feeling down because they dominated the game but honestly, they created enough scoring opportunities and that’s our game plan. I wouldn’t do much different then what we just did,” he said.

Bisceglia-Kane said the solution to the team’s lack of scoring punch is “being more intuitive to where you should be.”

While the team has had plenty of scoring opportunities in the past five games, “we didn’t play the ball necessarily the way we practice. Then there is a lack of composure, feeling that urgency to score and then there is just having some luck.”

At the beginning of the season, the Marauders was winning games scoring three to four goals, “and we aren’t playing any differently now,” Bisceglia-Kane said. 

“The goals will come,” he said.

Earlier in the afternoon, Belmont Girls’ soccer also found trouble scoring, but unlike the boys’, Head Coach Paul Graham’s squad fell to hosts Wakefield, 4-1, in what Graham called “our poorest performance of the season.”

Like the Boys’, the Belmont Girls’ have scored three goals in the past five games, going 1-3-1 over the stretch.

“We didn’t win or go to the ball; we didn’t have the effort that we need to do win,” said Graham. Down 1-0, junior Kristin Gay took a pretty pass from sophomore forward Julia Cella and belt an 18 meter shot by the Red Raider goalkeeper, who Graham praised for making “three or four great saves that could have gotten us closer.”

Graham took time to point out the play of Alex Dionne and Lucia Guzikowski and the contribution of senior Maggie Shea in the nets for the final moments of the game. 

Sports: Blown Call Forces Belmont Girls’ Soccer Tie With Wilmington; See For Yourself

“Every picture tells a story,” wrote Anastasia Hollings. “But sometimes it’s hard to know what story is actually being told.”

But for the Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer team, a picture – two photographs, exactly – clearly shows what occurred at the crucial moment in their match with Wilmington High School on Wednesday night, Oct. 1, at Harris Field.

The resulting story was easy to tell; a home win was transformed into a tie all for the want of an obvious call.

Midway through the second half, with Belmont holding a 1-0 lead in a give-no-prisoners contest, the Wildcats were preparing for a free kick in the Marauders end. In the second before the kick was taken, the entire Belmont back line took several steps upfield in what appeared to be a successful use of the offsides trap, in which a player is an offside position if she is between the last defender and the opposing goal.

In two photographs taken by The Belmontonian, a pair of Wilmington players can be seen running towards Belmont’s goalkeeper Linda Herlihy – one five meters clear of Belmont’s back line – while a third is partially seen trying desperately to race back to be level with the last Marauder defender. The timing of the kick can be seen as the three Belmont players in a defensive “wall” had not yet jumped in an attempt to deflect the ball.

When the ball descended onto the feet of one of the two Wilmington players inside the box, Herlihy, the Belmont defenders and a few Wilmington players were waiting for the referee on the far side of the field to call the play dead.

Just one thing; there would be no whistle. To the referee, a Belmont player – he would later claim “21 or 20” was between the two Wildcat attackers and the goal. The two photographs fail to show such an infraction.

As a result, three Wilmington players were left in front of Herlihy with the ball. Yet the Wilmington player nearest the ball hesitated, looking quickly at the referee as the entire pitch were calling for offsides. In fact, a third Wildcat player ran over to the ball to take possession. When a shot finally came, Herlihy dove and got a hand on the ball heading to her right and palmed it just wide of the post and out of bounds.

But in the subsequent corner kick, a clever tip by a Wildcat player sent the ball low between Herlihy and the near post to tie the match at 1-1 at the 23 minutes mark.

None of the aforementioned events sat well with the Belmont players or Head Coach Paul Graham. The long-time leader would not discuss the apparent offsides play other then to say “we all saw what happened; the ref blew it big time.”

The controversial call – under MIAA rules, a game decision by a referee can not be reversed – placed a damper on Belmont’s overall outstanding play including a certain goal-of-the-year candidate from junior midfielder Katrina Rokosz  who placed a free kick cannon shot into the back of Wilmington’s net from 32 meters. The blast was only the fourth goal given up by Wilmington this season.

“[Rokosz] is getting better and better each game. She can really hit the ball,” said Graham, whose team reaches the midpoint of the season at 6-3-1.

Graham pointed out his back line defense, seniors Lucia Guzikowski and Elizabeth Ferrante and freshman Natalie Marcus-Bauer for praise; “they didn’t give up a lot of shots, just a few mistakes. When you hold a team like that scoreless, we did a great job.” In addition, the center halts, Alex Dionne and Ava Colasin “won a ton of 50/50 balls” which put Belmont on the right foot throughout the game.

While saying he’ll take the start the team has had this year, Graham also believes the team is round out for the final stretch with the chance of having a few players currently not playing back in the lineup.

“I see us being really solid come the playoffs,” he said.

Sports: Herlihy’s Heroics Leads Girls’ Soccer to Shutout Win

With seven minutes gone in the second half of Belmont High School’s Girls’ Soccer game with Woburn High at Harris Field on Monday, Sept. 22, a Belmont defender shanked an attempted clearance that flew backwards falling at the feet of a Tanner forward with no one between her and Marauder senior goalkeeper Linda Herlihy.

The player took four steps then hit a low, hard shot from 16 meters towards the open right side of the Belmont net. A goal would bring Woburn back from a 2-0 hole and provide a critical lift for the Tanners in the match.

But for the fifth time in the game – and not the last – Herlihy stood up to pressure, lunging to her left to block the drive and preserve the shutout.

“You just have to go for it, honestly,” Herlihy told the Belmontonian about the save. “Part of it’s luck. I just do what I can.”

“[Assistant Head] Coach [Stacie] Marino says you go for it fully or you stay off; you can’t hesitate. So I went full out and it worked,” said Herlihy.

In a career performance, Herlihy stonewalled six open shots, including two breakaway attempts, to earn her fourth clean sheet of the season and propel Belmont to the 2-0 victory over Woburn.

The win gives Belmont a 5-1-0 record, its only loss a 4-1 defeat to host Arlington at the beginning of the three game stretch.

“It was one of my best games but I had a lot of help from everyone else especially our defense. It’s nice since we’re all veterans in the back,” said Herlihy.

“There was a cast of thousands that were stars tonight,” said Paul Graham, Belmont’s longtime head coach.

“It started with [Herlihy], she was spectacular. Then there was the made-up midfield of [freshman] Emma Sass and [senior] Alexandra Dionne who went after the ball and were relentless,” said Graham.

For the second game, the play was particularly physical – Belmont earned a pair of yellow cards for rough actions – in which the opposing coach told Graham the game was won “because you muscled us off the ball.”

Belmont first goal was typical of the match’s hurly-burly nature as senior midfielder Sophia Eisenbach-Smith reached a long pass from Katrina Rokosz just ahead of Woburn goalkeeper Olivia Carbone. Rather than step aside or set up a pass, Eisenbach-Smith slammed the ball off Carbone, and saw it float into the back of the net within the final 7 minutes of the first half. 

Before the half ended, Herlihy would make a spectacular save off a sharp shot from her right as the ball hit the post and stayed out.

Belmont started fast in the second half, pressing Woburn which set up the Marauders’ second goal when Kristin Gay’s kick in the 36th minute was redirected off a Woburn defender past Carbone for an own-goal.

Then it was up to Herlihy to save the points for her team; coming out to stuff a breakaway on the left, parrying away a tight angle shot on the right, the aforementioned spectacular save and finally reaching back to save a certain goal off a shot from a Woburn corner kick in the final minutes. (see photo sequence of the save in the photo gallery below)

“What can you say,” said Graham. “Linda was great.”

 

Sports: Girls’ Soccer, Field Hockey Back to Their Winning Ways

After stumbles to solid teams in league play, Belmont High School’s Girls’ Soccer and Field Hockey got back on the right foot winning their latest contests against tough completion.

McCarthy’s hat trick paces Field Hockey over Arlington

All Kate McCarthy needs to do is keep her stick to the ground and the ball will find its way into the back of the field hockey goal.

“Having your stick down is really important when you’re a forward,” said the junior forward after scoring her first career hat trick in the final 10 minutes of Friday night’s game, Sept. 19, as the Marauders took the measure of Arlington High, 5-0, at Harris Field.

“I’ve scored before but it was good today,” she said.

“Today she showed me that she can touch the ball in front of the net and you need that in field hockey. A hat trick is spectacular, especially in field hockey,” said Belmont Head Coach Jessica Smith

It’s either feast or famine for Belmont (3-2); each of its victories have been via the shutout as the team scored at least five goals; each loss has been 4-0 affairs (although both were to a ranked team.)

After a disappointing loss earlier in the week to 11th-ranked Reading Memorial High School – “Don’t ask,” said Smith – Belmont needed a strong game to get back on their winning ways.

And a pair of veteran varsity players put Belmont out front and kept them there.

Senior midfield stalwart Susanna Noone put the Marauders’ in the lead in a game Belmont had most of the best chances when she scored seven minutes from the end of the first half with an unassisted bullet.

Her fellow senior goalkeeper Kate Saylor kept the SpyPonders at bay when she stopped three breakaways and several shots from the side of the goal.

“If she had let one go in, this is a much different game. It’s great to have a senior back there,” Smith said of Saylor.

For pure field hockey playing pleasure, sophomore standout Annemarie Habelow apparently heard Smith yelling that the team still had 30 seconds to score. She then dribbled by two Arlington midfielders, lost the ball, got it back, took a few steps inside the scoring zone then rocketed a shot passed the goalie with 13 second left in the half.

“Both (Noone and Habelow) are really distributing the ball better and not taking it all on themselves which makes them better players and everyone around them better,” said Smith.

With the game in the balance as Arlington began pushing players forward, McCarthy was in the right place – the right side of the net – and pounced on a loose ball and knocked it in at the 10 minute mark. It didn’t take long for the second – just 64 seconds – and the third came with 4 minutes left to complete her first career hat trick.

McCarthy acknowledged her teammates for getting the ball to her.

“There was really good passing in the midfield. They do a good job getting the ball to the goal,” said McCarthy.

Rough and tumble Saturday matinee as Girls’ Soccer gets by Medford

Harris Field resembled a rodeo arena Saturday afternoon,  as players from Belmont and Medford high school girls’ soccer teams kept falling to the ground as if thrown off a nasty buckin’ bronc. 

While the teams were playing soccer, it was on the physical side as each team challenged for the ball to gain even the slightest advantage.

In the end, Belmont’s tall midfield co-captain senior Lizzie Frick scored the brace to lead the Marauders by the visitors, 3-1, in the matinee.

“We were shaky today; our first touches were not good,” said Paul Graham, Belmont’s head coach after the game.

Frick scored her first goal before most in the crowd got to their seats, ripping in the shot by Medford’s goalkeeper Mary Donnelly after only 130 seconds.

It looked like it could be a run away as sophomore forward Julia Cella slotted in a rebound of a shot from Sophia Eisenbach-Smith that eluded Donnelly at the 34 minute mark in the first.

But Medford has improved as a team since last playing Belmont a year ago, using the speed of their wingers to sneak away for two clear breakaways only to be stopped by great positioning from Belmont senior goalkeeper Linda Herlihy.

But the Mustangs broke through on a wonderful dipping goal by Korey O’Rourke that beat Herlihy at the 26 minute mark.

Frick took her second goal in the 9th minute before the half after a Medford foul 25 meters from goal. Set piece specialist Katrina Rokosz lofted the ball into the box where Frick headed the ball past an on-rushing Donnelly.

The second half was as physical as Belmont has seen this year with knocks handed out for the rough but mostly fair “rough and tumble.” Yet the Marauders controlled the midfield and were not threatened in the final 40 minutes.

Sports: Boys’ Soccer In Tester; Girls’ Soccer, Field Hockey Hit Bumps

The competition level rises and with it changes to Belmont High School Athlete’s seemingly endless winning streaks.

Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer remains undefeated as they defeated a gritty Arlington High School team, 2-1, on Harris Field’s cushiony turf surface Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18.

After playing what Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane called his team’s “the best 15 minutes of soccer this season” to start the game, Belmont (5-0-0) were in a battle for the rest of the contest against the Spy Ponders (3-2-0).

“The guys are excited. While we try to taper expectations, this was a big game for us,” Bisceglia-Kane told the Belmontonian.

 

Belmont struck twice in the first 11 minutes on quick counter attacks. Just seven minutes in, midfield standout Charlie Frigo outran the Spy Pond back line to head in a bouncing ball from Luke Gallagher past Arlington goaltender Anthony Aggouras.

The Marauders doubled up the score at 11 minutes from Ben Lazenby‘s screamer 20 meters out – coming off an Andrew Eurdolian assist – beating Aggouras to the left post.

After settling down, Arlington took away the Marauders’ momentum by staying close to the ground with short, quick passes resulting in a pretty goal by sub Phineas Santello who dipped a shot over Belmont’s goaltender Peter Berens with five minutes remaining in the half. The goal ended Berens shutout streak to begin the season at 355 minutes.

Despite the lack of scoring in the second half, the match resembled a baseball pitching duel between two aces in which purists would enjoy how the teams attacked and countered their opponents. 

“People watching a game think poorly of a team that’s possessing the ball in their back half they think things are going wrong but that’s something we strive for,” said Bisceglia-Kane, saying it allows the team to work the ball up efficiently and create more scoring chances. 

Belmont also employed a diagonal long pass to quickly switch its attack from one side of the field to the other.

“We’ve been working on that with Gallagher doing it a lot. This game Matt Lawson and Ed Stafford began possessing the ball in the middle of the park then switching the field. Luckily, it paid dividends with one of our goals,” he said,

Five games in and Bisceglia-Kane sees a special characteristic evolving with a team-first mentality, a sort of Belmont Mannschaft.

“They take pride in the fact that they do it together. This team in particular is a group of players that sees themselves as team and not caring about individual statistics or personal achievements and that is one of their strengths,” he said.

Belmont Girls’ suffer first loss at Arlington

Belmont High School Girls’ Head Coach Paul Graham knew that Arlington High’s girls’ soccer team was good this year but did not know just how good.

It turns out the answer, to Graham and his team’s chagrin, is really good.

Belmont visited the Spy Ponders on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18, and was sent home with its first loss of the season, 4-1. Coincidentally, the Marauders’ record stands at 4-1-0.

“You have to give it to them, they’ve got some great players,” said Graham after the game.

Despite losing, Graham was pleased with his team’s effort, saying that Belmont took control of the field for most of the first half and despite the first goal of the game, continued to be Arlington’s equal until a second goal snuck in.

“You could then see the kid’s looking down at their feet,” said Graham.

Graham thought some of the team’s lack of scoring punch – it came into the game with 21 goals – was nerves, heading into a game with an undefeated opponent appeared to bring an air of caution to the team’s play.

“They went back to not shooting the ball,” said Graham.

Only when the game was at 4-0 did the team get its tally with Kristen Gay scoring off a Katrina Rokosz free kick.

Graham said he will not dwell on the loss, taking away only positives from it.

“I think we needed a game like this. Loss the nerves with this one,” said Graham.

Field Hockey falls to Rockets

One word of warning to Belmont High School’s Field Hockey team: stay away from ranked teams.

After falling to the Boston Globe’s number one team Watertown, 4-0, in its opener, Belmont traveled to number 13 Reading Memorial High School and came home with a 4-0 loss on Wednesday, Sept, 17.

Sports: Boys’, Girls’ Soccer Still Unbeaten, Volleyball Ace Spartans, Harriers Empty Watertown

A busy – and successful – two days for Belmont High School athletic teams:

Soccer: Unbeaten on the field and between the posts

Belmont High’s Boys’ and Girls’ soccer remain undefeated and not scored upon after tussles with Reading Memorial High School.

Not that Belmont Boys‘ Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane was all that pleased with his charge’s 3-0 victory over the Rockets in Reading Monday, Sept. 15. 

“We did not play very good in the first half,” said Bisceglia-Kane, whose team has advanced to 4-0-0 after scoring three goals for the third consecrative game. “We played better in the second half but we have areas of improvement.”

“Peter Berens was the man of the match as he was outstanding. He kept us in the match,” said Bisceglia-Kane of his senior goal keep.

Midfielders Nick Andrikidis, Charlie Frigo and Ben Lazenby scored for the  Marauders.

In their first real test of the season, Belmont Girls‘ Soccer waited until the final minutes of both halves to score, beating the Rockets, 2-0, on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at Harris Field.

“We were a little flat especially in the second half but I am proud how they played together. This was a real team victory,” said Paul Graham, Belmont’s long-time head coach.

Much of the credit for the tightness of the game rested on Rocket senior goal keeper Meghan O’Brien who was a rock in net, making two brilliant saves including a diving stretch to palm the ball off the line off a header by Belmont’s Alex Dionne midway in the first.

Belmont broke through when freshman scoring machine Carey Allard slide the ball into the net after a scramble out front with three minutes left in the first.

The Rockets played with renewed spirit in the second and took the majority of the play against Belmont. It was the Marauders back three, led by senior center back Lucia Guzikowski, that pressured Readings forwards into erred shots. 

When they got through, senior goalkeeper Linda Herlihy made two outstanding stops on her right post.

The final goal came within the final two minutes off of Belmont’s favorite corner kick. Junior Katrina Rokosz, who just came off the bench, struck the free kick which was headed by midfield star Lizzie Frick finding a poaching junior forward Kristin Gay who roofed the ball past O’Brien. 

Next up for the Marauders will be a clash of undefeated against hosts Arlington High School on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Aces up as Belmont ups record to 4-2

That was close.

“Wow, we nearly blew that,” said Belmont High Volleyball Head Coach Jen Couture after her team was sent into extra points in a fourth set after dominating the Spartans in the initial two sets.

“We were working on some new set ups that included a new setter and libero. And they were doing well until they got frustrated when they lost a few points,” said Couture, seeing the team drop the third set, 20-25.

And Couture’s team was nearly stretched to a fifth set when, after leading 24-20, they dropped four points to see the score tied, 24-24. But a service ace and a Stoneham mistake in setting a return saw Belmont take their fourth match of the young season, 3-1 (25-11, 25-11, 20-25, 26-24).

It was a special afternoon for junior Kabita Das as she broke the team’s record for aces in a game with 11. In addition, Alex Davis made numerous plays out front, helped by the team’s new setter, junior Faye Regan. 

“We are seeing a lot of great hitting and that’s what we wanted at the start of the season,” said Couture.

Up and running and winning

Belmont’s harriers took a quick trip to Watertown and easily put second victories in their column as both the Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country teams won going away. Both teams won 19-42 with the Marauders taking first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth places.

Next up for the squads will be at powerhouse Reading Memorial next week.

Boys’, Girls’ Soccer: Three Wins, Three Shutouts, All Good

Walt Whitman wrote in his collection “Leaves of Grass” of “the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!/ The brooding and blissful halcyon days!”

These are indeed the halcyon days for both of Belmont High School soccer teams. In the first three games of the new season, the teams are undefeated (3-0), scoring goals (the boys have tallied seven over that stretch while the girls are averaging a gaudy six per game) each win has been via the shutout.

And to the delight of the head coaches – the boys’ Brian Bisceglia-Kane and Paul Graham for the girls – the games has seen long stretches (sometimes the entire match) in which the Marauders have dominated possession with an aggressive brand of attacking soccer backed by a solid two-way midfield play.

In the latest pair of games, the girls’ have gone on the road to defeat Melrose, 3-0, on Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Stoneham, 6-0, on Thursday, Sept. 11. The boys’ have enjoyed their stay on Harris Field’s new turf rug with victories over Melrose, 2-0, on Tuesday and a 3-0 win over Stoneham on Thursday.

“I think the group is doing a great job staying focused on what we are trying to do,” said Bisceglia-Kane after Thursday’s game where the Marauders

scored three times in the final 20 minutes of the first half.

Senior Co-Captain Norman Kilauititu scored his second goal of the year – although his best play occurred in the second half when he nearly scored from a wide bicycle kick to the thrill of the assembled girls’ team in the stands – followed by Danny Rizzo‘s 18 meter rocket set up by a wonderful series of short passing and finally Alex Berets flew by a pair of Stoneham center backs to volley David Chen‘s pass into the side of the goal. The game was the third clean sheet for senior goalkeeper Peter Berens.

Yet Bisceglia-Kane, who is in his first year as the Marauder’s head coach, said he is not concerned with the score of the games.

“I really don’t determine success by winning; you can win a game when you don’t deserve it and lose a game when you do,” he said, but rather determine success based on the goals they set for themselves before the game.

“That is how players stay focused … and allows them to work out of situations when they are down in a game,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

For the Belmont Girls’, the attacking beat goes on as six different players scored in the first 16 minutes of their game at Stoneham as the Marauders made fast work breaking down the Spartans.

But it’s not the number of goals that has impressed Graham so far this season but in the variety they are scored. Scores are coming from set pieces (corner kicks), physical scrambles in front of the net and building up from the midfield.

“This is the first year where when I put our subs in we do not go down in quality. Everyone of these kids want to play,” said Graham.

Yet Graham, who is nearing his 300th victory, is not about to proclaim this team as anything other than “good, so far.”

“Let’s put this into prospectus; we still haven’t played the better [Middlesex League] teams,” said Graham, who believe that Arlington and Lexington “are the class of the league as of right now” followed closely by the Marauders and their arch rivals Winchester.

“We are way ahead of last year’s team but I try to be a realist. I will know much more when we meet Arlington (away on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 3:45 p.m.),” said Graham.

Frosh Scores Five as Belmont Girls’ Soccer Blitz Watertown in Opener

Wasn’t it once when high school freshmen were nervous types that were pretty much hopeless during the first week of school?

Someone from Watertown should have told Belmont High School’s Carey Allard that observation before the Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer season opener on Saturday morning, Sept. 6 as the 9th grader scored five goals (including the game’s first four in an eight minute stretch in the first half) and added an assist in the Marauders’ 10-0 blitz of arch-rival Watertown High School.

In the past two years, entering Belmont High School freshmen has made big impressions on their sports: in 2012 cross country’s Leah Brams and swimmer Jessie Blake-West while last year Annemarie Habelow in field hockey, Jalyn Hinton in basketball (who has since transferred to The Governors Academy) and Julia Cella on the track left their marks.

And it was a (hot) day to remember for the lanky frosh. While some will explain the score away as occurring against an inexperienced and undermanned Watertown squad – the visitors suited 13 players to 21 by Belmont – Allard proved quickly that she had a nose for the ball, scoring from the wing, in close, on the break and at the end of a pass.

Allard’s willingness to take a shot was the reason long-time Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham to select Allard as one of three freshmen on the varsity squad.

“[Allard] has got the speed to get to the ball, and that’s important,” said Graham in the pre-season.

While the headlines of the first game will be Allard’s to savor, the contest also unveiled a varsity that gained markedly in skill and poise over the past season, one which the Marauders miss the playoffs for the first time in 20 years and just a year after winning the Div. 2 North sectionals in 2012.

“I think the whole team is playing better,” said Graham, who is nine wins away from reaching 300 victories. “I’m very pleased today.”

With a back line anchored by senior Lucia Guzikowski and the midfield captained by fellow senior Lizzy Frick – two of the 11 12th graders on the team – the Marauders played effectively both a quick passing inside game in addition to laying the ball off to speedy wingers.

“Frick and [sophomore] Ava [Colasin] are doing a great job in the middle and getting the ball up the field.

In addition, Graham’s wish for more scoring opportunities this season has been answered as four Marauders other than Allard scored –Guzikowski, Flick, senior midfielder Alex Dionne and junior forward Kristin Gay.

“We’re crashing the goal something that we didn’t do last year. We got a goal on a scramble in front and from the corner. It’s encouraging,” said Graham.

Next game is Tuesday, Sept. 9 at Melrose, which lost to Winchester, 3-1, in its first game.

 

New Turf Gets First Game Use With Girls’ Soccer Tussle

Paul Graham was in fine voice on Tuesday, Aug. 26, as his latest edition of the Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer took to Harris Field for the season’s first scrimmage against Westford Academy.

“We can’t do that!” said Graham to the Belmont defenders who scurried back into position as assistant coach Stacie Marino took note of the performance of the myriad of freshmen on the field as a handful of fans and family took shelter under umbrellas. 

The scrimmage was also the first game-like action to take place on the field’s newly installed Turf, part of the $850,000 renovation of the track and the surface of the field that took place over the summer.

Most of the players commented on the thick padding that slowed down the ball, a condition that Belmont High Athletic Director Jim Davis said will lessen as the field settles as games are played.

As for the scrimmage, the “friendly” ended 1-1 as Sophia Eisenbach-Smith scored while goalie Linda Herlihy stopped three breakaways late in the game.