A High School Doubleheader Headlights Soccer Night In Belmont On Saturday, Oct. 2

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The Belmont High School Boys and Girls Varsity soccer teams will headline a doubleheader of top-notch soccer at the sixth annual Soccer Night in Belmont on Saturday, Oct. 2.

joined at the event by hundreds of younger players from Belmont 2nd Soccer and the Belmont Soccer Association, their coaches, and other members of the Belmont soccer community.

The games, to be played under the lights at Harris Field, will see the Marauders meet Middlesex League rivals Winchester: the Boys game at 4:30 pm followed by a Girls game at 6:30 pm. The teams will vie for the Phoenix Cup and the honor of having their team’s name engraved on it.  

Belmont youth soccer players will participate by parading out with players during the pre-game ceremonies, acting as ball-boys and ball-girls, and competing in mini-games on Harris Field during halftime of both games. Winchester Soccer Club youth soccer players will also participate in the pre-game ceremonies and other activities.

“This event showcases our varsity teams and recognizes the role of the Belmont Soccer Association in nurturing the talent that makes our high school teams year in and year out,” said event organizer John Carson. “We hope for a big crowd for a really fun night that builds bonds between our “little kid” players and “big kid” high school players, virtually all of whom came up through the Belmont youth program. In fact, one great highlight is always that our high school players wear wristbands during the game that match the color of their Belmont youth soccer team.”

Admission to Soccer Night in Belmont is free. Concessions including pizza, hot dogs, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase, provided by Parents of Music Students (POMS) so families can come for the games and feed the kids at the same time.

Soccer Night in Belmont is sponsored by the Belmont Soccer Association, Friends of Belmont Soccer (FOBS), and The Phoenix Landing.

Belmont High Soccer: Last Second Goals Give Boys’, Girls’ Opening Week Lift

Photo: Belmont High freshman Dana Lehr (second left) celebrates the tying goal she scored in the final two minutes of the match vs Wilmington.

There’s a phase used in British soccer commentary: “at the death” meaning at the last possible moment of a game. For both of Belmont High soccer teams in their opening week, points were salvaged “at the death” – one for a much needed tie and the other resulting in a ruckus victory.

Freshman rescues Girls’ soccer

Belmont High Girls’ soccer opened its 2021-22 Middlesex League account on Friday, Sept. 10, facing the prospect of a solid effort against visiting Wilmington High go to waste as the Marauders’ trailed late, 1-0, via a deflected shot early in the fourth quarter.

But leave it up to one of the youngest players on the pitch to pull a point out of her hat a la Bullwinkle J Moose as freshman midfielder Dana Lehr deftly slotted a pin-perfect pass from forward Paula Dullaghan from just inside the goal area with two minutes remaining to see the match end as a 1-1 stalemate.

“You can’t loss the first game!” explained Lehr.

Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham praised his center defender Sofia Hospodar as a steadying influence for a young back line taking on a physical opponent.

The Marauders were on the road Tuesday, Sept. 14 visiting Stoneham, a good all-around squad that uses its home ground – a rarely cut grass pitch that tilts at an angle between the goals – to great advantage. The end result was Belmont’s first loss, 2-1, as the Spartan’s speed allowed them to play the long-ball game and keep the Marauders bottled up.

“We were running backwards all game long,” said Graham. “It was so frustrating but they played better then we did.”

While Belmont had its chances, they could only breech the Stoneham goal once through junior Sabrina Salls.

Belmont is in action on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Harris Field against Melrose.

Boys’ grabs a late winner, everyone goes bonkers

After a big opening day 2-0 victory over host Wilmington on Friday, Sept. 10, the Belmont High Boys’ Soccer team hosted Freedom Division foe Stoneham at Harris Field on Tuesday, Sept. 14 and waited until the very last minute to snatch a 2-1 victory from the prospect of a tie.

For first year head coach Niman Kenkre the team’s three win start – Belmont secured a non-league 3-1 victory over Boston Latin which will impact any potential state tournament seeding – “has laid a marker for the season ahead.”

Against Stoneham, Marauder Lucas Alvarez Fernandez took hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s quote – “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take” – to heart when his middling attempt was terribly muffed by the Spartan goalie to give Belmont a 1-0 lead at the half. While Belmont held a slight edge over the Stoneham team – made up of taller and stouter players – in the first half, the Marauders saw themselves on the back boot as the game moved into the later part of the second half.

”We are not at the fitness level as I had hoped. We had players cramping … and others needed to be subbed out,” Kenkre said.

Stoneham’s quickness paid off near the mid point of the half as two quick one-time passes along the goal line left an opening in the front of the Marauder’s net for the tying goal.

Rather than settle for the point at home, Belmont committed to the attack down the wings searching for a clear shot at goal. As the scoreboard clock stopped at the 2 minute mark – when the officials keep the time on the field – Belmont’s Anthony Durkin drifted in-between three Spartan defenders at the top of the penalty box where Alvarez Fernandez found the forward with a pass from the left. A few steps to find a clear view and Durkin’s blast found the back of the net with little time left to play. The resulting bonkers celebration on and off the field – including an attempted pitch invasion (?!) from Marauder supporters – will be seen by the participants as obviously over the top for an early season league match on a Tuesday night.

“I can’t say enough about [Anthony],” said Kenkre. “He’s our star, he’s our senior leader. He came back from cramps and when he went back in, he suggested that he be put up as a striker. And I did that and it resulted in a brilliant goal. He was brilliant all game.”

Belmont is on the road Saturday, Sept. 18 to play Melrose.

Soccer Night In Belmont Returns Nov 7, Nov 11

Photo: Belmont girls in action

The Belmont High School Girls’ and Boys’ Varsity soccer teams will headline the 5th annual Soccer Night in Belmont matches on Saturday, Nov. 7 (Girls’) and Wednesday, Nov. 11 (Boys’), both games vs. Arlington High. A modified version event is planned this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the teams will still vie for the Phoenix Cup and the honor of having their team’s name engraved on it.

Normally, the varsity players are joined at the event by hundreds of younger players from the Belmont Soccer Association, their coaches, and thousands of other members of the Belmont soccer community.  This year, fans will not be permitted to enter Harris Field, but the community can watch live thanks to the Belmont Media Center on one of these Comcast channels: 8, 9, or 96 or Verizon channels: 28, 29, 30 or 2130. In addition, you can watch the live stream via www.belmontmedia.org.

The girls will take to the Harris Field to take on the Spy Ponders Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7 at 4 .p.m. The boys will face their Middlesex League rivals at 9 a.m. on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11.

“This event showcases our varsity teams and recognizes the role of Belmont Youth Soccer in nurturing the talent that makes up these teams year in and year out,” said event organizer and founder John Carson. “Despite the pandemic, we can all tune in to support our varsity teams on live television.”

In addition to the trophy, the Players of the Match will be awarded following each game, with each player receiving a new pair of cleats thanks to Puma, a longtime Soccer Night in Belmont supporter.

Soccer Night in Belmont is sponsored by the Belmont Soccer Association, Belmont Boosters, Parents of Music Students (POMS), Phoenix Landing, and Friends of Belmont Soccer (FOBS), with special thanks Belmont High Athletic Director Jim Davis.

Soccer: Girls’ Hang On For 3-2 Win In Season Opener; Boys’ Looking For Offense In Shutout Loss

Photo: Belmont High’s Katelyn Sawyer (9) and Grace Kane (3) in action against Lexington

Belmont High Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer squads got their respective seasons underway this past weekend.

Girls’: Belmont Hangs On To Secure Opener Victory

The Belmont High Marauders showed what a senior laden team can do best as it took maximum advantage of the opportunities given them to take home a 3-2 opening day victory against the host Lexington High Minutemen.

“I’m happy with the results because we lost twice of them last year. So that was a big one for us,” said of Belmont’s long time head coach Paul Graham.

The senior strike partnership of Kiki Christofori and Jenna Thomas joined sophomore midfielder Kiley Meringer with goals in the inaugural game of the shortened 10-game season.

Christofori scored midway though the first quarter off a hard shot that hit the Minuteman goalie’s shoulder and bounced in. Meringer lofted a floater that caught the goalie off her line and settled in at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter. Thomas slotted a shot that snuck into the net five minutes into the third to give Belmont a 3-0 lead.

It turned out that each goal was needed as the Minutemen grew stronger – they hit the crossbar twice in the game – as the game progressed led by its talented junior forward Kirsty Carnan who was a handful for the Marauders backline, a group that won Graham’s praise.

“I have to say my four defenders really played well, Graham said describing the workrate of sophomore Sabrina Spalls, senior Grace Kane – who moved from the midfield – and returning stalwarts junior Ally Landers and senior Ashley Green.

“You know they were very very strong, they’re tough to beat up,” said Graham who acknowledged senior Rachel November was a standout controlling the middle of the field.

Senior Abbie Moran kept a clean sheet in the first two quarters with a fine stop of a Carnan shot on her near side post. Junior Bridget Martin was busy for the entire second half giving up a Carnan goal in the final minute of the game to cut the margin of victory to one.

Belmont will host Lexington this Saturday, Oct. 11 at Harris Field at 4 p.m.

Boys’ Lacked Punch On The O Side Of The Ball Falling 2-0

While it was perfect fall weather to play a game – sunny in the upper 60s – it was a frustrating game for the Belmont High Boys Soccer as a lack of offense punch left the Marauders empty handed on the scoresheet falling to Lexington High Minutemen, 2-0, in the home and season opener on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Harris Field.

While Belmont’s midfielders and defenders kept the Minutemen at bay for the first two quarters, the Marauders – under new head coach Jean M Carlone Laforgue – couldn’t find the right combination of passes that would spring their forwards for clear shots.

Senior midfielder Ali Noorouzi had Belmont best chance when, in the second quarter, he ran onto a probing pass to the right of goal but couldn’t lift the ball over the on rushing goalie.

Noorouzi was Belmont’s Man of the Match whose work rate allowed the Marauders to hold the majority of possession in the first half. Senior center back Lars Gustav Bauerle controlled the turf in front of junior goalie Damon Reyes. Up front, senior forward Will Kivalatitu was the most threatening to the Minutemen backline.

Lexington where able to end the stalemate at 14:20 in the third through senior Lynn Jueppner from junior Eric Edmonds on a nice build up on the left wing. The same combination hit in the fourth as Jueppner got the brace from a strike in close between a pair of Belmont defenders at 14:26 in the fourth.

The remainder of the game saw Belmont attempting to find a way around a Lexington team packing the middle with little to show for their attempts.

Belmont visits Lexington at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Belmont Playing Modified Soccer, Field Hockey, XC This Fall; Volleyball, Swim, Football Move To ‘Floating’ Season

Photo: There will be a fall sports season at Belmont High School.

There will be Belmont High student/athletes playing this fall at Harris Field and on the links this fall as the athletic directors of the Middlesex League have approved their schools playing boys and girls soccer, field hockey, boys golf and boys and girls cross country, according to Belmont Schools Superintendent John Phelan who announced the decision at Wednesday, Sept. 2 School Committee marathon meeting.

But volleyball and swimming will be moving with football and competitive cheer to the newly created “floating” season that starts during the final weeks of February and ending in April.

School superintendents and athletic directors that represent Middlesex League schools approved a league-wide response to move forward with a fall season. It has been reported that Belmont will compete twice against teams in the league’s Liberty Division – Arlington, Winchester, Reading, Lexington, and Woburn – which will end for this year the annual competition against cross border rivals Watertown.

The decision by the Middlesex League comes as other athletic conferences such as the Mayflower and South Coast leagues on the South Shore and the nearby Northeastern Conference have canceled their fall schedule and moved it to the floating season, with the hope that the modifications would be suspended with changes in the severity of COVID-19.

While Belmont will be playing this fall, some of the sports will look quite different. Field hockey will now be played seven-against-seven – under normal conditions, there are 11 on each team – while penalty corners which are an important part of the game have been banned.

Soccer will see corner kicks and sideline throw-ins ended, reduced to free kicks that can not be sent into the goalie’s area. Defensive walls that help goalies to protect against free kicks have been suspended. But the most significant ban will be the end of heading the ball.

Cross country will likely be a timed event where each participant starts a certain length of time – usually 30 seconds – from the next runner.

Belmont High Girls’ Soccer Upsets Masco, 1-0; Heads To Beverly For Quarters Clash

Photo: Belmont High’s Kiki Christofori (#22, center) after scoring the only goal of the game vs. Masco.

On a cold Nov. 5, 2016, Marina Karalis, a freshman who was called up from the JV just weeks before, scored the winning penalty kick to give Belmont High Girls’ soccer an upset playoff victory over hosts Winchester.

Fast forward four years almost to the day, Karalis – now one of only a handful of seniors on a youthful team – came through once again as she assisted in a Kiki Christofori goal with just over 12 minutes to play to upset Masconomet Regional (the 7th seed with an 11-4-4 record), 1-0, to move on to the Division 2 North Sectional quarterfinals against second-seed Beverly High.

Belmont (the 10th seed at 9-7-2) will meet the Panthers (2nd ranked at 15-2-1) at Beverly High on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.

“It’s so weird to think that I’m the senior on the team and not being yelled at [by seniors],” said a smiling Karalis after the game. “I remember having [seniors] as role models and now having to be that person. So I’m so proud of everyone working their butts off the whole game and glad that such hard work paid off.”

For Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham, Karalis’ leadership and play in the center of the field provided to be the difference in the game’s outcome.

“Marina was a general out there. It was tough because the field (Masco plays on an uneven grass pitch with a distinct slope) because the ball wasn’t coming to her true but she still dominated the entire midfield,” he said.

Belmont’s goal came from a quick turn of play as Karalis sent a deft pass to Christofori to the right of Masco’s netminder.

“I think somebody was kind of on the right side of me. It was in the heat of the moment that I took the shot and it went through the goalies’ legs,” said Christofori.

The match was a back and forth affair for nearly the entire game in which shots on goal were few as both teams appeared to struggle in the high grass pitch.

“It was like playing in the mud,” said Graham.

While Masco’s quickness was its main threat, it was countered by the outstanding play from Belmont’s backline of junior Ashley Green, senior Olivia Zarzycki and junior Katelyn Sawyer – that limited Masco to a mere three shots on goal for the game.

“[Green] was the boss back there, yelling and screaming and having everyone covered. And the rotation between her and [Sawyer] was unbelievable. Katelyn played her best game of the year today and it’s her birthday.”

Looking forward to the tourney, Graham believes the up and down season has made the current lineup resilient to whatever is thrown at them.

“We’re a tough out. We’ve played everyone tough this year be it Winchester (a 1-1 tie at home), Arlington, anyone. I honestly don’t think anyone really wants to play us because no one knows who we really are,” said Graham.

Asked what was the best part of winning the game, Karalis answered with the bravado of someone who doesn’t want the season to end.

“We’re practicing tomorrow.”

Boys’, Girls’ Soccer In Final Sprint For Preseason Placement

Photo: Belmont High defender Micheal Ciano (#5) vs. Reading.

With records hovering in the .500 range – usually the minimum requirement for entry for postseason play – both Belmont High soccer teams in the final two weeks of the season need to grab as many points before them.

Boys’ Seeking Scoring Punch, Found It Against Wakefield

Belmont High Boys’ Soccer Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane knows exactly what his Marauders need to do to win games: Get that first goal.

“We’re still trying on working to start strong because every game that we’ve scored first we went on to win and when we don’t, we don’t win,” said Bisceglia-Kane as his team stands at 5-4-1 with the strength of the Middlesex League schedule waiting for the Marauders in the final six games of the season.

Not just scoring first but scoring has been a large millstone hanging around the team’s neck. Since a 3-0 defeat to Winchester on Soccer Night in Belmont and before its game with Wakefield, the Marauders scored a single goal in four games that included a pair of 1-0 defeats with a grand total of eight goals in the season.

“I always tell the guys though that the best teams that we play and the worst, as long as we are competing hard, it will be razor thin who’ll come out on top. We play in a highly competitive league where the margin from top to bottom is almost nothing,” he said, noting while last year state finalist Arlington outplayed Belmont earlier in the season, “we beat them 1-0. It’s just that close.”

Bisceglia-Kane said while he continues to tweak the lineup up front, he doesn’t see much weakness with his back line – led by Micheal Ciano and Noah Meyer Herron – or the midfield which he said is moving the ball well with combination passing and solo runs. It’s just finding the net that remains an issue.

“We continue to put ourselves in a good position [to score], it’s just getting more chances in front of the goal,” he said.

On Monday, Oct. 7 against Wakefield, the goal drought came to an end as Sr. Jon Brabo scored the hat trick with midfield stalwart Will Hoerle adding a single tally as the Marauders took it to a winning Warrior team, 4-0 at Harris Field.

Scoring first just past midway through the first half by Brabo unassisted, the Marauders would score 13 minutes into the second from Hoerle via Ali Noorouzi before putting the game to bed with a pair from Brabo a minute apart with 14 minutes left with the final score assisted by Gabe Ditommaso. Senior goalkeep Finbar Rhodes picked up his fourth clean sheet of the season.

It will be a hard row to hoe over the next week for the Marauders as they play three consecutive games on the road; first off to a struggling Burlington squad before meeting a pair of undefeated teams, Lexington and Winchester.

“I really think we have a good chance at the playoffs. This team has been really enjoyable to coach because they really put everything on the line.

Girls’ Soccer Seeking Consistency As Postseason Looms

It’s been a topsy turvy series of games for Belmont High Girls’ Soccer. After being outplayed by Arlington (2-0 loss), the Marauders squeaked by a rebuilding Woburn team, 1-0, before crushing Watertown, 7-0. So it would appear trip to a Newton North for a match on grass on a sunny, autumnal Saturday afternoon against a one-win squad would be just what Belmont would need to pad its record.

Au Contraire! Belmont would walk off the pitch after a lackluster effort carrying a 1-0 loss back to Belmont. The Marauders’ long time Head Coach Paul Graham was at a loss for words on what had just happened.

Belmont High’s Kiki Christofori (#22) vs. Newton North

“I just don’t know,” he said.

So what chances did the Marauders have traveling to take on a rejuvenated Wakefield team that had not lost a home game in the season? How about a 2-1 victory thanks to a brace by jr. forward Kiki Christofori to push Belmont’s record to 6-4-1 with six matches remaining.

The Belmont Girls’ have an easier task to making the playoffs as they face a number of teams with weak records (Burlington) and which it has already beaten earlier (Reading and Woburn). The team will be relying on senior midfield general Marina Karalis and sophomore goalie Bridgette Martin to steady the team and provide the necessary leadership on the field.

Boys’ Soccer Remains Unbeaten As Girls’ Go 2-0 For The Week

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It was rock’em sock’em soccer at Harris Field on Thursday night, Sept. 142 as Belmont High Boys’ Soccer literally battled it out with Melrose, coming away with a 1-0 victory to keep its record unblemished at 3-0-0.

Senior Jon Brabo scored on a header from a corner by junior Theo Kargere five minutes into the game to give all the Marauders’ needed this night that saw more penalty cards – one for Belmont, two to Melrose – than goals as the chippiness factor increased as the hour got late.

That was in mark contrast to the goal fest ore n the grass in Stoneham on Tuesday, Sept. 11 where the Marauders needed a Barbo hat trick to keep the Spartans at bay, 5-2.

Against Melrose, senior goalkeeper Finbar Rhodes garnered his second shutout of the campaign as he had little to do as Belmont kept the Red Raiders on the back foot for most of the evening event. When Melrose turned to a more physical style, Belmont was able to counter with a more skills-based approach

“I was just telling the guys, sometimes other teams will try to suck you into their style of play, and then you’re trying to work your way out of that. The guys showed a lot of composure; they are really disciplined on their own. They’re saying all the things that I would say anyway, prior to me saying it to them, so they know what’s going on,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane.

Belmont will see a big step up in competition as the Marauders host undefeated Lexington – ranked 5th in the Boston Globe Top 20 – on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Harris Field at 7:30 p.m.

Girls’ Soccer take two

After being shutout and shutdown in the season opener to Wilmington, Belmont High Girls’ Soccer are beginning to righting the ship with a pair of solid victories this past week.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, junior forward Kiki Christofori – who is better known for her two-point baskets – struck for a second-half brace as the Marauders defeated Melrose, 2-0. Christofori first strike was from nearly 20 meters from goal into the top of the goal with a second powered past the goalie.

Earlier in the week, Belmont got a late scare from a tough and talented Stoneham High team – a 13 win sectional semifinalist last year – to sneak out of Harris Field with a 5-3 win. Sabrina Salls scored a brace including the final goal – a blast from more than 15 meters out – to give Belmont some breathing space after the Spartans scored twice in a seven-minute stretch late in the match to cut Belmont’s lead to 4-3.

Ally Landry wound up the night with three points: a goal – an unassisted strike with five minutes left in the first half to give Belmont a 2-1 margin after 40 minutes – and two assists. Marina Karalis scored the game-winner with 15 minutes remaining in the match while Jenna Thomas opened the scoring and closed it with a goal and an assist.

Long-time Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham said while the two late Stoneham goals were a result of not clearing the ball quickly or efficiently, Belmont score three of their goals off of set plays, either corners or free kicks.

The Marauders travel to Lexington on Wednesday before celebrating Soccer Night in Belmont on Saturday against a familiar foe, 3rd ranked Winchester.

Belmont Fall Sports Starts With Solid Wins For Volleyball, Boys’ Soccer

Photo: Belmont High School Volleyball’s Mindee Lai attacking the net.

Belmont High athletics started the 2019 Fall Sports season on Thursday, Sept. 5 with a pair of solid home outings.

Volleyball Cage Wildcats In Straight Sets

In its season opening victory over Wilmington High, Belmont High’s Volleyball squad showed that it has just as much or even more talent on the court in 2019 than last year when it made its way to the Division 1 Central/East Sectional finals against eventual state champs Newton North.

Belmont swept the Wildcats 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-10) in the first game in the Wenner Field House that is adjacent to the construction site of the new Middle and High School.

“I’m really happy with the way they played,” said Belmont Head Coach Jennifer Couture, who led her team in the season opener less than two weeks after giving birth to her daughter.

Belmont’s Sam Lim setting for her teammates.

“I think that everybody just went all out and they weren’t afraid of making mistakes. There’s still stuff for us to work on like communication, but I think, overall, the team played really aggressive,” she said.

Where Belmont has gained from last year is the addition of a second setter. Senior setter Mindee Lai now has junior Sam Lim who can take over setting up attacks, allowing her to play outside and use her hitting skills.

“Those two centers gives us a lot of options and lets us do a lot of different things we couldn’t last year,” Couture said.

Marauder Jenna Crowley sets up for a block.

Couture also pointed out senior libero Sophie Estok who came up with 12 digs and sophomore Megan Kornberg who “really stood out in her varsity debut. She played with a lot of confidence. Great passing great hitting.”

Boys’ Soccer Strikes Quick vs Wilmington

The Belmont High Boys’ Soccer got off to a fast start in the new season as they struck early in each half to defeat Wilmington, 2-0, in the season debut.

Senior Jon Brabo opened the scoring campaign with a strike eight minutes into the first half (assist from sophomore Mateo Estrada Donahue) while Will Kilavatitu entered the scoring column with a goal after only two and a half minutes into the second half (fellow junior Ali Noorouzi assisting) to give Belmont all the edge it needed as senior goalie Finbar Rhodes earned the clean sheet with five saves.

“This is a very likable group,” said Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane of his team that saw a good number of senior players graduate in June.

“It’s a youngis squad, but we have a mature group of juniors, which is why I think it works. They really matured a lot from sophomore into junior year,” he said.

It’s one game, but I think they showed what they’ve been working on moving the ball and we had a bunch of scoring chances in the game,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

Girls’ Soccer Trip To Wilmington Less Than Welcoming

A young Belmont High Girls’ Soccer squad surrendered a goal in each half to host Wilmington and were shutout in its season opener, 2-0. The Marauders get back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Harris Field vs. Stoneham.

Belmont Girls’ Soccer Rolls Over Salem In Playoff Opener

Photo: Belmont senior forward Morgan Krauss in action against Salem. (Credit: David Flanagan)

It was over before it started as 7th seed Belmont High Girls Soccer scored four goals in the first 20 minutes in its first-round Division 2 North Sectional game against an overwhelmed 11th ranked Salem High squad, defeating the Witches 11-0 on a blustery cold Saturday afternoon, Nov. 3.

After all was said and done, Belmont (11-4-2) was sparked by senior forward Ella Gagnon who had a five-point night with a hat trick and two assists. Gagnon’s linemates senior Morgan Krauss and junior Marina Karalis each had two goals and an assist. Salem (9-7-3) who play in the Northeastern South League, were just not in the same level of speed or skills as Belmont or likely most suburban schools with strong town programs that provides a constant supply of experienced players. 

It will be a quick turnover for Belmont as the Marauders is scheduled to play second seed and Middlesex League Liberty rivals Winchester (17-1-0) on Monday in Winchester at 4:30 p.m. Belmont has had its hands full with the League champion Sachems, falling 4-0 at Winchester and 5-1 at home.

“We have to worry about (Hannah) Curtin, that’s for sure,” said longtime Belmont head coach of Winchester’s star forward (who is also a champion indoor sprinter). “We’ll probably have to play her man-to-man but then we are playing much better than we have been even just a couple of weeks ago. When we played them here, we had our scoring chances and if we buried them, it would have been a different story.”