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.