Photo: Belmont High (from left) Sajni Sheth-Voss. Mia Mueller, goalie Julia Herlihy, Layne Doherty and Willa Samg defending a penalty corner.)
Despite the visit of a steady shower, Belmont High School Field Hockey’s opening night of the 2021 season would not be dampened as the Marauders prevailed over the Wilmington High Wildcats, 3-2, on the first game played on Harris Field this school year, Thursday, Sept. 9.
Molly Dacey scored the game winner midway through the fourth quarter off a penalty corner where senior co-captain Sajni Sheth-Voss passed to Layne Doherty who bounced the ball to Dacey who struck it mid-flight and by the Wildcat goalie.
Belmont’s grades 11s and 12s were playing as if was mid-season, pressuring the Wilmington midfield and defenders with their speed on the ball and combination passing.
“We definitely had possession of the ball more than [Wilmington], our passing looked good because they were really looking for each other,” said long-time head coach Jess Smith.
“They were fast out there,” said Smith. “I’m a big believer in fitness. I don’t sub that often when the team is on their game so I want them to have the energy to go for the entire game.”
Belmont was led by senior co-captain Ellie McLaughlin who, with Sheth-Voss, quarterbacked the team from the midfield while fellow senior Mia Mueller anchored the back line moving back from her usual forward position.
“I told [Mueller] that ‘after being a forward and in midfield, you see the field so well you can control the ball and bring it up to the front’,” said Smith, who compares her play with former Marauder Emma Donahue who is playing for Division 1 Merrimack College.
Mueller opened Belmont’s scoring account less than five minutes into the game with a cracker of a shot on a penalty corner. After seeing the game tied at 1 in the second quarter, Sheth-Voss gave the Marauders its second lead in the contest with what could be a contender for goal of the year as she intercepted a Wildcat clearing pass on the right side, sidestepped a pair of defenders and from along the goal line sprung a quick shot that somehow breached the goalie’s pad and into the net.
Belmont will take on Stoneham away on Monday, Sept. 13.