Photo: Belmont’s Julia Cella carrying the ball vs Lexington.
Early in the season, Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham said getting the 2015 Girls’ Soccer team into the playoffs would be a “numbers game”; win the games against the smaller schools in the Freedom Division of the Middlesex League and surprise some of the “big” teams in the Liberty Division.
“We do that, the points will be there,” said the long-time coach who won his 300th victory earlier in the season.
Now, with just a handful of games to contest in the season, the Marauders have successfully executed Graham’s “math” plan as the team successfully qualified for the MIAA Division 2 North Sectionals after defeating Lexington, 2-0, on Thursday, Oct. 15.
This week, the team visited Winchester on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and beat its archrival, 3-1, in an important away game.
After last week’s win over the Minutemen, Graham said the victory “makes it 21 for 22” in number of postseason appearances to his years as head coach.
“We didn’t play our best, but our young defense came through for us,” he said, including defender Rachel Berets – the most senior member of the backline as a junior – who cleared a Lexington shot off the goal line just nine minutes into the game.
The Minutemen – which Belmont beat last month, 1-0, in Lexington – had the majority of the play and threatened to score throughout the first half including hitting a post and sending an open net shot over the crossbar.
But Belmont found its bearings in the second half, leading to two quick goals. Leading scorer Carrie Allard took a perfectly-weighted pass between the two center backs and slipped the ball by the Lexington keeper with 28 minutes remaining in the game.
Four minutes later, Kristin Gay snuck the ball into the net sitting on the right post.
Belmont’s Reagan Haight kept the clean sheet for her first shutout this season.
Graham praised the play of sophomore Eliza Filler, who recorded both assists coming off the bench.
“She was a spark plug out there,” said Graham.
On Monday, Belmont welcomed a starter’s return to form as junior forward Julia Cella broke her duck and scored her first goal of the season to lead the Marauders over the Sachems.
Belmont is currently 9-5-0 and faces Reading at Harris Field on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.