Photo: Belmont High midfielder Lola Rocci (quantity 4) in motion towards Lexington
There’s all the time a recreation all through the season a crew can level the place the whole thing comes in combination: protection, passing and scoring. For the Belmont High Field Hockey squad, that recreation got here on Friday, Sept. 30 when the Marauders’ outclassed a cast Lexington crew, 3-0, to earn its first blank sheet of the season and transfer ever nearer to a best playoff spot.
“This is a great confidence builder,” stated Belmont Head Coach Jess Smith after a recreation which her squad ruled all facets of the sport from profitable the 50/50 demanding situations to clogging up the passing lanes and combating pictures on Belmont keeper Julia Herilihy who earned the close out, the primary of 2 this week as Belmont held Burlington scoreless in a 2-0 victory Thursday, Oct. 6.
The crew was once particularly spectacular of their passing recreation each popping out from the line of defense and at the assault.
“They are learning where each other are on the field and they’re moving to the right places and staying wide. They are trusting each other and it’s really coming together. It’s the best I’ve seen them play,” stated Smith after the sport.
After an early season bump within the highway – that can occur combating 3 undefeated groups (Watertown, Winchester, Reading) over six days – Belmont High has reached mid-season on a five-game profitable streak. The 7-3 Marauders’ are lately ranked twelfth within the MIAA state Division 1 standings, its absolute best ever place within the energy rating technology and feature matched the collection of victories remaining season.
The Minutemen got here to Harris Field on Thursday, Sept. 30 using their very own spectacular wave, topping in the past unbeaten and best 20-ranked Winchester, 1-0, two days prior to. Led by means of sophomore Hannah Ward, the Minutemen tried to have their megastar midfielder dictate the center of the sector the usage of her stick talents and pace. But Belmont countered with tight man-on-man protection that hampered the Minutemen offense.
Belmont discovered luck at the proper wing with the Devin Kelleher/Carly Gaziano partnership clicking with passes that led to Lexington bother via out the fit. In the center of the pitch, freshman midfielder MacKenzie Clark confirmed her rising self belief in “quarterbacking” the offense within the heart with senior assault Mary Mullan her major goal.
It was once a stroke of creativity by means of Clark that broke open the scoring past due within the opening quarter. Finding herself heading instantly to the function, relatively than placing the ball at the flooring, Clark lifted it with a cushy turn shot top into the online with 90 seconds final within the quarter.
“MacKenzie is figuring out her role on our team and feeling more comfortable there. She’s playing a bigger part in every game with play,” stated Smith.
The 2nd quarter-hour was once all Marauders because the midfield and protection stored the Minutemen outdoor the assault zone whilst opening the sector for Belmont’s counters. The Marauders’ 2nd tally was once proper out of the educational box with Kelleher’s move deep at the proper aspect discovering Gaziano speeding in to influence the ball off the put up and into the online six mins into the quarter. Belmont wrapped up the scoring with Gaziano stroking a shot from a scrum out entrance with 2:44 left within the part.
For the overall half-hour, Belmont was once by no means challenged with the protection led by means of senior Alex Townsend retaining down the middle of the defensive pitch. Smith pointed to the play of midfielder Lola Rocci, “an offensive player who comes back on defense and makes great plays like connecting with Kelleher and Gaziano or make a great run with the ball,” stated Smith.
Rocci stated that with each and every recreation, the avid gamers have transform extra self-discipline in how they place themselves at the pitch.
“I think we have more awareness in the field. I feel like I know where Devin, MacKenzie and Mary are going to be when I have the ball or when they are looking to pass. And that is making us a better team,” she stated.