Photo: Belmont High School Field Hockey.
This one hurts.
After dominating 18th-ranked Winchester for nearly three-quarters of the match, a monumental collapse by Belmont High allowed the host Sachems to score four unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes of the game to shock Belmont, 5-4, handing the 19th-ranked Marauders’ its first loss of the season on Monday, Sept. 28.
“I’m currently still trying to get over the loss,” said an emotional Belmont Head Coach Jessica Smith.
“Although we talked about not being complacent, our level of play dropped and Winchester took advantage of our lulls. Defensively we made a ton of errors,” said Smith, whose team now stands a half game behind Winchester for the lead of the
Demonstrating why it’s one of the highest scoring high school teams in Eastern Massachusetts, Belmont (6-1-0) raced to a 3-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of the game against one-loss (7-1-0) Winchester, its only defeat by five-time consecutive state champions Watertown.
Leading off the scoring was senior forward Katherine McCarthy from freshman standout, Morgan Chase, before junior AnnMarie Habelow showed why she is one of the best players in the state by scoring unassisted and then delivering the ball to McCarthy, who slammed home her brace.
Winchester finally got on the scoreboard at the 17-minute mark, but Chase returned the lead back to three two minutes later with an unassisted tally.
In the second half, Winchester pressed Belmont within the attacking circle and began winning penalty corner, which proved to be critical in the Sachems’ comeback. Sophomore goalie Christina MacLeod had 10 saves on a busy night.
Winchester senior Melissa Zavez led the charge back scoring with 12 minutes remaining from junior Julie Bockoff. Fellow senior Carla DiBiase brought the home team within a goal with 10 minutes remaining unassisted. Finally, senior Megan Drew tied the game up at the 55-minute mark and scored the winner with just three minutes remaining in the game. Three of the Sachems’ four second-half goals came from penalty corners.
“We gave up too many defensive corners and we were losing our players after the initial shot, said Smith.
“I’m just hoping that we learned a huge lesson from this loss. If we’re going to lose, it’s essential that we learn something from it. I’d rather [that] lesson happen now than in the tournament,” said Smith.
The team will host Burlington on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. and will greet Reading on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4:30 p.m., the second part of a Saturday matinee with Belmont High Girls’ Soccer.