After shutting out a good Reading High team at home on Oct. 18, Belmont Field Hockey needed a single win from their final three games of the season to return to the Div. 2 North playoffs.
And with the Marauders visiting winless Woburn High which they easily defeated 2-1 at Harris Field earlier in the season, it was a solid bet that Belmont would be cheering through town on the bus from that game.
But in sports, there is a matches where the better team, coming off a win or a series of wins against a good teams will have a let down and lose to a mediocre side. They are called a "trap" games. And the Marauders was caught in one at the most opportune time.
Despite outshotting the Tanners by a 25 to 1 margin, (the final shot count was 50 by Belmont to a pair by Woburn), Belmont could not find the back of the goal box.
"They have a good goalie but, really, we just could not get the ball in for a goal. It was frustrating since we practice scoring all week long," said Belmont's Head Coach Jessica Smith, whose team last year played in an epic Div. II North final against arch-rival Watertown.
A tie against Woburn would have given Belmont a chance at the post season with a .500 record but a Tanner goal from nearly 18 yards away after a break away with three minutes in the game sent Belmont to a 1-0 defeat on Monday, Oct. 22 and trapping them into must win games against Div. 1 opponent and Middlesex League rival Lexington at home and defending Div. 1 state champions Andover.
And despite keeping the score close – with a goal by Catherine Moore with an assist from Kendal Brown – against the 10-win Minutemen, Belmont fell behind 3-1 against Lexington and lost, 5-1, on Seniors Night at Harris Field on Wednesday, Oct 24.
Needing an away win, the Marauders defense of Brown, Maddie Devine and goalie Katie Saylor played an outstanding game but a goal by Andover ended all chances for a post season berth as the team lost, 1-0, on Friday, Oct. 26.
The Division 2 Marauders finished the season with a 8-9-0 record while three of their final four opponents – Andover ranked 5th, Lexington 6th and Reading at 15th – will play in the Div. 1 North finals.