PLAYOFFS: ‘Nickel’ Desantis Hits 100 Goal Mark In Belmont Girls’ Play-In Win; Belmont Boys’ Tennis Sweep In First Rounder; Girls’ Tennis Exits

Photo: Belmont High attack junior Tess (the Nickel) Desantis reached 100 career goals against Milford High in the Marauders’ 17-6 victory.

On short notice due to graduation week events, three Belmont High teams found themselves battling the 90 degree-plus Thursday afternoon heat along with the

The Nickel Gets Her Century In Girls Lax Play-In Victory Over Milford

After the Dime (senior Mary Mullan) in Belmont’s Nickel and Dime attack partnership reached 100 career goals against Braintree, the wait began to see if junior Tess Desantis – the Nickel – would join her front line team mate and reach her own century of goals.

Late in Thursday’s dominating 17-6 victory over Milford High School (11-8) in Belmont’s (14-5) MIAA Division 1 play-in game held on the toasty Harris Field turf surface, Desantis took a pass from senior defender co-captain Nina Leveroni and reached triple digits with a bouncer by the goalie for Belmont’s 16th of the day.

Belmont High junior Tess Desantis (#5) scoring her 100 career goal in play-in game vs. Milford.

With both teams under the pressure to accommodate their senior players to attend graduation week events, the game was moved up to the first day tournaments games were to be played. And the game was played at its earliest available time at 4 p.m., with temperatures reaching 92 degrees F with no wind under cloudless skies.

“It was brutal,” said Belmont High Girls’ Lacrosse Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “We were feeling [the heat] by the second half.”

After junior goalie Julia Herlihy stopped a one-on-one on the first offense turn by the Scarlet Hawks, Belmont countered quickly with Desantis scoring from a pass from senior midfield co-captain Stella Lesnik. The Nickel scoring her second from an 8-meter penalty just 40 seconds later and the Marauders were on their way to its first playoff win since 2012.

Desantis and first year mid Niamh Lesnik shared top scoring honors with six points with five goals and an assist each. Junior attack Carli Gaziano contributed three goals and a pair of assists with sophomore attack Charlotte Mayall and first year attack midfield Sydney Mun each with a goal.

“Our leading scorer [Mullan] had one goal but we don’t just rely on one player [scoring]. Everyone stepped up from the senior and juniors to our freshmen,” said O’Brien, who praised the first line defense

Belmont will have just a few days to savor this win as they will travel nearly the entire length of the state to take on perennial powerhouse Longmeadow High (17-3) in a first round match on Monday, June 5. The Marauders will spend more than two hours on the bus to go against a team that has reached the Division 1 final four in every MIAA tournament in the past two decades (last year the Blue Devils were eliminated in the round of 16), finally winning the state title in 2015.

“We will need a lot of breaks on ground balls and on defense. We can’t be put off by the competition. We need to keep the game close so we have a chance at the end of the game,” said O’Brien.

Boys’ Tennis Sweeps Wakefield In First Round; Girls’ Drop 4-1 to CC

Eighth ranked Belmont High Boys’ Tennis began its playoffs with a stellar 5-0 sweep over Middlesex League rival Wakefield on Thursday, May 1 in the first round of the MIAA Division 2 tournament at the overheated Winn Brook courts. Number one singles senior Alek Karagozyan, second singles junior Charlie Osborn, and third sophomore Julian Wong led the team in the victory.

Belmont High’s Charlie Osborn mashing a return at a recent match

Next up for Belmont (12-6) will be hosting Marblehead (9th ranked at 16-3) in the Sweet 16 round on Monday, June 5, at 5 p.m. at Winn Brook. The Magicians swept Oliver Ames, 5-0, on Wednesday.

After missing the tournament last year, Belmont Girls’ Tennis return to the playoffs was a short one as the 17th-ranked Marauders lost to 16th rated Central Catholic, 4-1, at Lawrence High School on June 1.

Girls’ Lucky 13: With Double Digit Wins, Boys, Girls Lax Readies For Playoff Run

Photo: The new record of 13 wins after the Marauders final regular season game.

The 2023 season has seen Belmont High Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams reach new heights having secured playoff berths and prepare for runs in their respective MIAA tournaments.

Girls’ Lucky 13

In its final game of the season on Thursday, May 25, the Girls’ set a program record 13 victories (against 5 losses) after defeating Arlington in a 17-13 slugfest.

The girls broke the previous record of 12 registered in 2011 and 2009. And the Marauders play has been heating up along with the summer weather. In its final 11 games in which they scored 158 goals or just over 14 per game, Belmont’s record was 9-2 with their two losses by single goals.

“We only only go up from here,” said first year Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “We still got a couple games left the season hopefully, because we’re going to make some noise in the tournament.”

“Making the playoffs is great for our seniors. We have ten of them,” he said. “The girls have done such a great job this year.”

The victory against the SpyPonders put a cap on an end-of-the-season five game winning streak. In a game that resembled a playoff contest, Belmont were in a scrap with Arlington with the hosts up 8-5 with seven minutes to play in the first half. It’s then Belmont’s captains on the field brought the Marauders back into the game. Senior midfield Stella Lesnik started the come back with a goal in the 14th minute, followed a minute later when senior attack Mary Mullan buried an eight meter penalty. Senior Layne Doherty took a pass from first-year mid Niamh Lesnik to score in the 17th minute with Mullan putting in her fourth of the half off an isolation with two minutes remaining in the half to tie the game at 9 at the break.

The Marauders showed their offensive prowess scoring four in four minutes early in the second half: Junior attack Carli Gaziano off a penalty, then the Marauders’ “Nickel and Dime” attack combo of Mullan and junior Tess Desantis scoring off the transition and from eight meters as Doherty finished off the goal burst with the Marauders leading 13-9. While the hosts narrowed the margin to two, Belmont’s defense led by junior goalie Julia Herlihy and senior defenders co-captain Nina Leveroni and senior Kiki Hovsepian put a halt to the comeback.

The Marauders are currently 27th in the final MIAA Division 1 Power Rankings. While its position should see them on the road for a first-round playoff match, there are eight to ten teams below the 32nd power ranking position – the tournament cut off – with records at or above .500 which makes them eligible for a play-in game, a match Belmont will host.

“[The squad is] really balanced and that’s what’s been great. It’s never one girl who’s just dominating the whole thing, it’s really been a team effort. And that’s what makes it so fun. And I’m glad we could celebrate and now we’re going to focus on the playoffs,” said O’Brien.

Boys’ Lacrosse

While Belmont High Boys Lacrosse is entering the Division 1 tournament with the offense stalling in the final two games, the squad’s 11-7 record marks a high for wins under the tenure of head coach Josh Streit and was one win away from tying the program’s record for victories with 12 set in 2009. As of Monday, Belmont is 26th in the MIAA Power Rankings, the second year running the Marauders have finished as an automatic qualifier for the playoffs.

“This group has really bought in to the program. They are a special group. They work really hard in the off season,” said Streit, pointing to senior co-captain Peter Grace and Peter Ausrotas in attack, the Pomer brothers, Matt and Mike, Mason Lemach-Bremen and Delan Doherty holding down the midfield. Senior defender Joe Gaziano anchors the long sticks with Joe Hanley and Collin Galloway in front of goalie Nate Moss.

Mullan’s 100th Career Goal Leads Marauders’ Belmont Girls Lax Win Over ‘Ponders [VIDEO]

Photo: Belmont High’s senior co-captain Mary Mullan (right) and Tess Desantis – the Marauders’ Nickel and Dime attack – after the victory over Arlington in which Mullan scored her 100th career goal.

Belmont High School Senior Co-captain Mary Mullan scored her 100th career goal as the dime in the Marauders’ Nickel and Dime attack pair – Mullan wears number 10, and junior Tess Desantis, number 5 – scored eight of Belmont’s 16 goals in the team’s 16-7 victory against Arlington High School on Friday, May 12.

Marauders upped its record to 7-4 solidifying its hold on a playoff spot with seven game remaining in the season.

“It’s a good accomplishment to have,” said Mullan after the game. “It’s been really special playing with these girls.”

Mullan’s century mark came 10 minutes into the second half as the three-year starter had a hat trick in the first 25 minutes. Mullan tallied her 100 goals in just two-and-a-half seasons as her first year season 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19 and the 2021 campaign was cut in half

Belmont Head Coach Dan O’Brien said that on any other night, the game ball would have been handed to junior goalie Julia Herlihy who made 14 saves stifling any attempt by the SpyPonders to get back into the game.

Belmont High’s Julia Herlihy with one of her 14 saves vs. Arlington.

“[Herlihy] was lights out,” said O’Brien. “That’s the type of performance that’s going to carry us forward in the tournament.”

Belmont plays the first game of the annual Lacrosse Night in Belmont, as the Boys’ and Girls’ will host Waltham on Saturday, May 13.

Mix Of Vets, Rookies Power Belmont Girl’s Lax To Pair Of Season Opening Wins

Photo: Belmont senior attack Mary Mullan in action last year

A combination of veterans and rookies has provided the Belmont High School Girls’ Lacrosse squad with a winning start to the 2023 season. An opening 15-3 win at home against Stoneham coupled with a hard-fought 12-10 victory vs. undefeated Woburn has new Head Coach O’Brien praising his mix of talent

“We have a strong core of returning players, with 10 seniors, and are really excited about the underclassmen, with a number of sophomores hoping to contribute and four [first-year athletes] who will be contributing in the midfield,” said O’Brien.

A pair of senior captains are pacing Belmont in scoring, led by attack Mary Mullan with seven goals and an assist on two hat tricks over two games. Mid Layne Doherty has hit the back of the net five times, with four goals coming against the then-undefeated Tanners. Junior attacks Carli Gaziano (4 assists) and Tess Desantis (3 assists) are piling up the assists while scoring in both matches.

Joining the seniors making an impact in the scoring column is first-year midfielder Niamh Lesnik who has garnered two hat tricks in each game. But where Lesnik is making her presence felt is during draws where she controlled 20 of 24, which secured the Marauders’ second win. Sophomores Anna Santos (2 goals)in the midfield and attack Charlotte Mayall (1 goal, 1 assist).

The defensive line of Nina Leveroni, Kiki Hovsepian, Keira Healy, and Cat Gartland played solidly in front of Junior Goalie Julia Herlihy, who made 7 saves and 8 saves respectively.

Belmont will host Watertown on Wednesday, April 12. After Spring break, the Marauders will begin the tough Middlesex League part of their schedule welcoming powerhouse Winchester which has been averaging 17 goals in their five wins.

“Obviously, we are aware of how difficult the Middlesex League is, and especially the teams in the Liberty conference, but we are excited to challenge the likes of Winchester, Lexington, and Reading for the league,” said O’Brien.

Lacrosse Night In Belmont A Showcase For Youngsters And Varsity Alike

Photo: The present and the future of Belmont lacrosse ready to enter the pitch at Lacrosse Night in Belmont

Despite the record 86 degrees heat, the stands at Harris Field were packed Saturday afternoon, May 14, as families, parents and players came out for a night of cheering the town’s lacrosse players.

Dozens of the youngest boys and girls in the Belmont Youth Lacrosse joined the varsity players from Belmont High School during Lacrosse Night in Belmont, the annual event promoting the game and attracting new players and the larger community to the sport.

“They’re more fans in the stands that we’ve ever seen. And it’s a testament to all the people who were involved this year,” said Belmont High Boys’ Lacrosse Head Coach Josh Streit, one of the drivers of the event which emulates Soccer Night In Belmont held each October.

The young athletes and the high school players marched out to the center of the pitch to sing the national anthem along with the Chenery Middle School chorus. At half time of both games, the youngsters got their chance to shine with a 10-minute exhibition

“It was so great to see the smiles on the kids. These partnerships with the youth and building both high school and the youth program was so important to having successful programs,” said Streit, as the youth players came off the pitch looking forward to free Moozy’s ice cream and the T-shirt toss.

Boys’ double up Arlington, 12-6, as Marauders seek a playoff fixture

Everything clicked for Belmont Boys’ Lacrosse as the Marauders doubled up Arlington, 12-6, in the early game of the Lacrosse Night In Belmont doubleheader.

While the team played the most complete game this year against North Reading and its best game was versus Burlington, the Arlington was “kind of a bigger win for us,” said Streit. “This was great because offensively we were doing the things that we preach at practice and we were running our offense all game long” which produced some of the best goals this year, he said, particularly a blast into the low corner of net from junior mid Quinn Leary at “the end of high tempo, high end offense that we’re capable of doing.”

The highlight of the match was the breakout performance from junior mid/attack Jack Murphy who as an injury replacement with a single tally this season, scored four goals and an assist. ”He was in the right place and knowing the offense and the offense looking for him because he was getting to the spot.”

After struggling to get out of the gate this season, the Boys’ have reached .500 with a dominating 17-2 performance vs Somerville only to drop a notch losing to host Lexington, 19-13, on Thursday, May 19. Belmont starts the week with a record of 7-8-0 with a MIAA Power Rating of 32nd, the final automatic playoff position in Division 1.

Girls’ at .500 after 19-13 loss to SpyPonders

The Belmont Girls’ found themselves in a physical game with the SpyPonders who had the size and heft to play that game and upending the Marauders 19-12. Despite the outcome, the team put up double digit in goals against a very good defensive team.

The Marauders got out of the box quickly to build a 2-0 lead in the first four minutes. But the physical SpyPonders benefiting from the refs decision to “let them play” muscled their way to a 7-2 lead midway in the first half before junior mid Stella Lesknik scored while falling from a push in the back. Belmont cut the lead to three with a pair of goals – courtesy sophomore mid/attack Tess DeSantis and junior mid Layne Doherty in the final 3:16 to leave the field down 9-6.

But Arlington came out strong with the first four goals in the first five minutes of the second half off of winning each of the face-off draws in the half before junior attack Mary Mullan got Belmont back on the scorer’s sheet six minutes in.

Marauders’ Head Coach Rebecca Reed said winning will come with ”winning draws and ground balls. The draw controls a lot. You win the draw you typically win the game.”

“We simply needed possession because we have a better set offense than most teams,” she said.

Belmont’s Mullan was the game’s high scorer with five goals including the Marauder’s final three goals, the last two scored with 27 seconds and a single second remaining on the clock.

“We tried to spread out our offense on cuts and try to make an open lane which is crucial so you’re not getting doubled (by defenders). It really is trying to get to the net the best way possible,” she said.

Since lacrosse night, Belmont found themselves on the wrong side in consecutive high scoring games against Lexington and the return fixture with Arlington.

Belmont Girls’ Lax ‘Ride The Wave’ To Playoffs, First Time Since 2012

Photo: Belmont High Girls’ Lacrosse seniors: (from left) Kelsey Hanley, Julia Casey, Marissa Cecca (co-capt.), Breah Healey, Lindsey Gaziano (co-capt.), Mia Kaldenbaugh (co-capt.).

Belmont High Girls’ Lacrosse Head Coach Katy Ananian said one of the top goals of her third season in charge of the Marauders was a return to the MIAA Division 2 East sectional tournament which has eluded the program for the past seven years.

“They deserve [the playoffs] this year,” said Ananian of her young team with seven sophomores and a freshman on varsity. “They really earned it.”

Anaian and the team can now check that box as the Marauders secured their place in the postseason for the first time since 2012 with a convincing 19-9 victory over hosts Stoneham on Thursday, May 23.

Senior co-captain Marissa Cecca

The victory gave Belmont its ninth victory (along with eight losses) of the season that has been as streaky – it opened the season with five victories followed by a four and then three-game losing streaks – as it is successful.

“I tell them that we can’t take our foot off the gas for the rest of the season. Every single thing matters whether it’s at practice when they’re picking up a ground ball, it’s going to affect us in the long run,” said Ananian after a victory against Quincy.

The victory allowed the Marauders to forego a “win or go home” scenario in the last game of the season at Newton North where Ananian will match wits with her sister, Abby Ananian, the Tigers’ head coach.

With the exception of a few games against the best teams in the league, Belmont has battled in each contest, led by a strong defensive crew made up of seniors Mia Kaldenbaugh (a co-captain) and Leah Gaziano along with sophomore Ashley Green. The team is backstopped by another sophomore goalkeeper Kendall Whalen, who is becoming a steady shot blocker in net.

Speedster senior co-captain Marissa Cecca is one of the quarterbacks of the Marauders’ attack paired with sophomore Ainsley Conroy. Up front, 10th grader Jordan Coppolo and junior Sarah Looney are joined by junior all-star and three-year starter Caroline Findlay who once again is Belmont’s leading scorer. Against Quincy, Findlay tallied her 200th goal of the season, only the fourth Marauder to achieve that mark.

Junior Caroline Findlay with the game ball.

Already committed to attend and play for NCAA Division III powerhouse Franklin and Marshall (which reached the semifinals this year), Findlay said her scoring prowess is a “crazy thing” as she will be a defender in the college game. “But I think I’ve grown so much playing attack.”

Reaching the milestone “is something I’ve been working towards since freshman year but I couldn’t have done it without my coach and teammates constantly pushing me to get better,” said Finlay.

Belmont Girls’ Lax Ride The Wave To Thrilling OT Win In Season Opener

Photo: Belmont’s Jordan Coppolo (#4) scoring the winning goal in OT vs Billerica.

As the team was heading out onto the Harris Field turf for sudden death overtime, Belmont High Girls’ Head Coach Kathryn Anaian called out to them: “Ride the wave!” 

Anaian was speaking about the momentum the team created in the second half of its game against Billerica Memorial High School in the season opener on March 28. After trailing 11-7 at the half, the Marauders’ held Billerica to just a pair of goals while scoring six second-half tallies that resulted in the extra frame.

“[Junior midfielder Carolyn] Findlay made a great comment at halftime. Let’s get the momentum, let’s fire everyone up and ride that wave. And we actually did it,” said Anaian. 

Riding high on that crest was a pair of sophomores who were critical in the unfolding contest. After tying the game with a little more than a minute to play in the game, goalie Kendall Whalen produced a stellar one-on-one save with 8 seconds to play, one of seven she registered in the game to keep the game squared at 13.

It would come down to Belmont’s most dangerous attack forward Jordan Coppolo (4 goals) to make the play of the game after receiving a pass from Marauder All-Star Findlay (6 goals, 2 assists). Rushing into the slot, Coppolo would gather the ball between four Billerica defenders and score on a shot high in the net to secure an exciting come-from-behind victory.

“We needed this first win as a [starting] point and we got it,” said Anaian. “If this is our starting point, I’m happy.”

Belmont came out strong to open the game, scoring three times in the first five minutes by dominating ground balls and faceoffs. While the defense was playing an aggressive style against Billerica’s attackers, the Marauders found themselves behind 11-5 before two late goals from Findlay and Coppolo allowed for some hope of a comeback at the half.

“We have a ton to work on but I can’t coach heart and I can’t coach work ethic. And I have a team where everyone is all in. And for that reason alone, we will be successful,” said Anaian.

Former Star Now Coach Has Girls’ Lax Playing Beautiful Music

Photo: Head Coach Katy Ananian with her Belmont team.

Katy Ananian. Remember her? 

Unlike former Belmont High sports stars whose playing careers were so long ago they played on grass and action photographs are in black and white, it was less than a decade Ananian – along with her talented sister Abby who played Division 1 lacrosse at St. Joseph’s  – nearly singlehandedly made Marauder girls’ lacrosse into an annual playoff contender, a League All-Star and Boston Globe All-Scholastic goaltender whose unorthodox style stonewalled opponents securing victories for a then young program.

Well, she’s back on the Harris Field sidelines this spring, now as a first-year head coach in the hope of rekindling a team that has spent four years out of the Division North sectional tournament. So far, so good as the Marauders entered the week-long Spring Recess break at 3-0, 2-0 in Middlesex League play.

For Katy, a 2011 Belmont High graduate, leading the Marauders is where she always wanted to be.

“When I was playing for Belmont, in my mind I was thinking “I want to coach Belmont one day,’ and that’s a true statement,” said Ananian, who regularly flashes a big smile she had during her playing days.

“There were moments when I took a step back and said ‘I love this program, I love this town. There’s a lot of pride here. So as soon as I saw that there might be an opening, I was like I have to jump on it,” she said after the team’s 18-7 win vs. Wilmington last week. 

It’s a good transition for Ananian having been an assistant coach at Wheelock College in 2016, a year after finishing an outstanding college playing career.

As a four-year varsity starter in goal at Wheaton College in Norton, Ananian led her team to an ECAC title as a freshman and an appearance in the NCAA Division 3 Championships her junior year after winning the NEWMAC tourney.

Having played the sport in college and with recent coaching experience, “so this was the perfect opportunity to take this program forward,” Ananian said.

Belmont’s Athletic Director Jim Davis said Ananian had all the qualities he was looking for in a new coach “who can jumpstart the sport.” 

“She’s enthusiastic with a real knowledge of the game. It’s a great fit,” he said.

What Ananian brings to the program is an approach to playing that incorporates the mindset and physical play of the college game to the high school stage. 

“Katy, who is fresh out of college, brings this modern way to play lacrosse to Belmont,” said senior captain AnnMarie Habelow. “She is bringing so many new ideas here that she’s flipping the program around right from the start.” 

“My big thing is teamwork,” said Ananian who said she last year she attended a few Belmont games where she saw a great deal of individual talent “but it didn’t come together.” 

“My philosophy also includes a ton of team bonding. If they like each other on and off the field, we will play better.” she said, noting that the team’s chemistry on the pitch is “fantastic.” 

And she gave the players a unique music analogy on playing as units on the field, that playing defense is like classical music while being on offense is hard rock. 

“They looked at me like I was a crazy person. But then I heard a couple of them say, ‘classical,’ ‘heavy metal’ and it really makes sense when you put it together,” she said.

Defense is “pretty, very mechanical and you have to communicate in a calm way. While offense is you want to attack, be loud and go hard at the goal.” 

While the season has just begun, the start has been encouraging as Belmont has outscored the opposition by double figures in each of the first three games. Against Wilmington, Belmont took an early ten goal lead only to see it reduced to seven before goals by Habelow and Sophie Pollock stemmed the tide.

Ananian is realistic about games to come against more accomplished, experienced teams in the Middlesex League, five which made the postseason last year.

“I told them that not every game is going to come easy for us. We need to take advantage of opportunities where we can play as a team and pass the ball around and come up with ‘pretty’ plays that will beat these strong defenses,” said Ananian. 

But Ananian remains confident that her first campaign will be a success. 

“My idea for this season was a clean slate. I didn’t want to pay attention to anything that happened last season. I see us going wherever our teamwork can take us,” said noted.

“As long as we want it as a collective team, I could see us competing with the Readings and the Winchesters,” she said.

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Sports: Trey Butler Breaks School LAX Career Scoring Mark

Photo: Trey Butler and his teammates after Butler broke the school’s scoring record

It took four years to accomplish but finally on a wet, cold Saturday afternoon, Belmont High School’s senior Richard “Trey” Butler became the top career points scorer in Boys’ Lacrosse when he racked up his 267th point – an assist – in a 12-5 loss to Brookline.

“I wish we could have competed better today, but it’s pretty awesome,” said Butler after the game which saw Belmont’s record slide to 5-7.

Known for his work rate and a deadly shot from mid-distance, Butler said he could not have accomplished his goal without the work of his teammates “who really stepped up this year.”

“Other teams know that I’m a dodger [an offensive player who drives to the opponent’s goal with the ball while evading and passing defenders] so this year I’ve been making more assists,” he said.

“I think he’s the hardest working player on the team, and that’s a testament to his tirelessness,” said Head Coach Josh Streit, who said Butler is the first player he coached who has started varsity in every game of his four years in the program.

“[Butler] is truly an outlier,” said Streit, referring to the book written by Malcolm Gladwell. “He puts in hundreds of hours of practice in the fall and winter so that he can be the elite player.”  

Sports: Girls’ Lacrosse Loss Goalie and Game to Lexington

Photo: Belmont’s Anastasia MacEwen Meg Higgins (19) defend the goal in the second half.

Belmont High School’s Girls’ Lacrosse three-year starting goalie Anastasia MacEwen was a rock in net against a slick, fast Lexington High offense. The senior kept the Minutemen at bay early in Wednesday’s home match, April 13, as Belmont’s offense was struggling losing ground balls and being checked off the ball.

On shot after shot, MacEwen stopped balls with the net of her crosse, the crosse’s shaft, her legs, body, glove and even two off her mask as the Marauders rebounded from a deficit to tie the game early in the second half behind the senior netminder’s stellar play.

But in the future, MacEwen might want to limit the number of times she uses her head making the save as the second one off her noggin saw the veteran goalie coming out of the game. (MacEwen was able to walk off the field and was on the sidelines for the rest of the match.) 

With its backstop on the bench, the team went into a bit of a defensive shell in front of substitute goalie junior Ciara Murphy, which allowed the Minutemen a bit more opportunities which the speedy Lexington forwards took advantage to sneak off Harris Field with a 13-10 win over Belmont.

“The girls played very well today,” said Head Coach Aimee Doherty.

“We played a hard game from start to finish and we really stepped up compared to our last two games in getting control of the draw. We are working on protecting the ball because we are forcing it at times and causing turnovers that have led to goals,” she said.

(Wednesday’s loss was sandwiched between an 18-1 drubbing of Stoneham and a road win Friday against Wilmington to bring Belmont’s record to 2-2.).

MacEwen was the standout in the first 25 minutes half, limiting Lexington to “only” three goals as Belmont’s offense was not yet in sync, losing plenty of ground balls and being kept from the front of Lexington’s net.

Attacking wing Julia Martin (1 goal) put Belmont on the scoreboard from a Serena Nally (4 assists) helper after nine minutes. Then in quick succession, strikes by attack Kate McCarthy (3 goals, 1 assist) and Sophie Pollack (3 goals, 2 assists) was culminated by a goal from a cutting McCarthy from a sweet pass from Pollack gave Belmont a 4-3 lead with nine minutes to play in the half.

But Lexington plotted a pair in before the half to lead 6-4. The second half saw Belmont starting on the front foot with junior attack wing AnneMarie Habelow (2 goals, 1 assist) spinning through her defender to score at the 21-minute mark, followed 13 seconds later by McCarthy to tie the game up at six. It was during the flurry of play that saw the Minutemen score the go-ahead goal with 18 minutes remaining during which McEwan was hit by the ball. 

Habelow’s second goal off a penalty start knotted the game at seven just 20 seconds later. And while defensive wing Leah Brams and defender Maija Kubasek disrupted the Minuteman offense, Lexington did keep the pressure on Belmont, which could only close the game to one goal three times – Erin Looney strike (8-9) and two from Pollack (9-10 and 10-11).

Doherty said staying above the .500 mark and be a playoff team “is absolutely doable” with 12 returning players and six seniors. 

“From the first day, they really clicked on and off the field,” she said.

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