Photo: Meri Power vs. Wakefield.
After a pair of victories last week, Belmont High Field Hockey play three games against the best the Middlesex League Liberty Division has to offer with a chance for a third consecutive division title … if they win the final five games of the season.
On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Belmont (10-1-1) will travel to Lexington to a game against the Minutemen (8-3-1) before coming back home to Harris Field on Friday, Oct. 20 for a clash with undefeated Winchester (12-0-1) whose only blemish is a 1-1 tie against the Marauders back in September. Lexington makes the return trip to Belmont on Monday, Oct. 23.
Last week saw Belmont host Wakefield on Columbus Day, Oct. 9, in a morning matinee and a struggling Woburn squad on Thursday, Oct. 12.
Wakefield, in the mix for a place in the postseason for the first time in recent history, came out fighting against Belmont. Falling behind 1-0 and 2-1, the Warriors struck back with two innovative penalty corners using give and go passing to find the goal. But four goals in the second half saw Belmont pull away with junior Mia Kaldenbaugh scoring the final tally.
“They were so much better than I expected from the last few times we played,” said Belmont Head Coach Jessica Smith. She credited her team’s penalty corners – scoring twice – with the win.
“They were not missing the pass out and really striking the ball hard to the net,” she said.
Many of Belmont’s bench players got into the game against winless Woburn who despite its record has the most reliable goalie in the league in senior Nora Newman. She kept Belmont at bay for the first half, allowing only three goals. But Belmont broke through with five more in the 8-0 home win. Junior forward Morgan Chase added to her top goals total with two more joined by junior Hannah Power with her own brace.
Looking towards the next three games, Smith was pleased with the team’s collective speed and passing “which was so much better. They are using each other so much more, and we are working on using the long ball drive.”
The team has taken to knocking the ball deep downfield after seeing their former teammate AnnMarie Habelow as her college team, the Louisville Cardinals, played Boston College in Newton.
“I’m trying to get them to take longer passes, but it didn’t seem to them like it was necessary until they actually watched another team do it,” said Smith.
“And now they saw that they were successful using it in our games and hopefully that helps them get used to it,” she said.