A minute after walking off the pitch with a 3-1 home victory over a strong Winchester team Monday, Sept. 29, there was a bit of complaining coming from the Belmont High School Field Hockey players.
The grumbling was not about rulings on the field or the actions of the Sachems during the match. The Marauders were grousing about how they had individually performed on Harris Field. They just weren’t playing to a new standard they were setting for themselves.
The complaining left Belmont’s Head Coach Jessica Smith mystified.
“You won the game! That’s all that should matter to you guys,” Smith told her team, currently 6-2-0 for the season with its only two losses to undefeated ranked opposition.
“They dominated the game but they didn’t feel that they did,” Smith told the Belmontonian.
Smith said the players are setting high-performance expectations in every game before them. Part of that comes from a superb performance just two days prior when the Marauders defeated Lexington, 4-2, to secure second place in the league.
“I think they have higher standards for themselves than I have for them, and I love that,” said Smith.
On Monday, Belmont played a strong midfield game led by senior co-captain Suzanne Noone who was tireless running the 70 yards between the attacking and defending striking circles and leading the team with take-away and shots on goal with eight.
“We were connecting a lot more of our passes at Lexington and finishing a lot of our goal chances which we didn’t here,” said Noone.
The Marauders could not have had a more advantageous start with junior forward Kerri Lynch – coming off her hat trick against Lexington – scoring on the first shot of the game at 27:50 off a smart pass from Noone.
Yet despite having several chances inside the circle, “we never seemed to have get the touches on the post where we usually score,” said Smith, who also said a sense of complacency creeped into the overall play “because the players just thought, ‘we’re gonna win’ and that’s what happens when you begin to win a lot.”
Winchester (4-5-0) plugged away for the second part of the first half and scored in close through junior Melissa Zavez.
The visiting Sachems took the game to the Marauders early in the second as the team relied on senior goalkeeper Kate Saylor and the Belmont back line until the offense perked up after five minutes. The Marauders open the field with nice passing and long runs to take control of the match.
Their efforts were reward midway through the second when Noone picked up a rebound off a slapshot from just inside the 15 meter circle to rocket in the goal at 17:50 with an assist going to Olivia Castagno.
“I got a nice hard shot off,” said Noone.
Five minutes later, Belmont finished the scoring with a Beth Young tally at the right post with Kate McCarthy providing the pass.
The Marauders enter their away game Wednesday, Oct. 1 against a strong Wilmington team (4-3-2 with a win against Lexington) with a four-game winning streak.
“I think we’re going to have a very strong rest of the season. The fact that we beat Lexington, one of the best teams in the league, is telling. We certainly are connecting passes so much better than we did last year,” said Noone.