Everything appeared in place for a good season for Head Coach Peter Guellnitz's Belmont High School Boys' Soccer team in 2012.
The team that reached the second round of last year's playoffs – only to loss to archrival Winchester by a single goal – was returning six seniors and playing 10 juniors, many with varsity experience. The moral was good, the team was ready for its away opening game with Watertown ... but.
"I sort of knew that the team was just not ready," said Guellnitz. "They have it everywhere but they didn't have it here," he said, tapping to his heart. "And it showed."
Under the lights on the new turf field of Victory Field, a big and strong Red Raider team decisively beat the Marauders, 4-0, Wednesday, Sept. 5.
"They worked out during the off-season and they came prepared for the season," said an excited Watertown Head Coach Frank Cacia.
And this game was lost in the first quarter of the game when Watertown blitzed Belmont with muscular runs and better decisions on the field, opening lanes to Belmont sophomore goalie Robbie Montanaro.
The Red Raiders scored three times in a nine-minute stretch, beginning with forward Rafeal DeSouza at the 17th minute followed by a brace from substitute Varham Sadaryan at the 24th and 29th minute. It could have been worse if Watertown had put in a penalty kick it was awarded.
Watertown ended the first half with eight quality shots to Belmont's one.
"We didn't come out for the first quarter. Where we were ..." said Guellnitz, not answering the question.
The Marauders came out for the second with a better game plan and greater intensity, coming close to scoring on several occasions; the best being from junior forward Kingston Lockwood who dribbled to an opening at the top of the box and shot towards the right corner of the goal only to be stopped on a great left-handed stop from Watertown's goalie Greg Koutroukas who earned the shutout.
The pattern of the game was illustrated in the final goal where Watertown's impressive number 10, Vardan Yaghiyan, raced down a 50/50 ball in space in front of Stafford, muscled out the Belmont defender and flicked the ball over Stafford while falling off-balanced in the air.
After the game, Guellnitz stressed this his team that this was only one game in a long season, one which Belmont will have to opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
"I hope this is a wake-up call for the players," he said. "This could be a good game, especially this early in the season, to begin a turn around."