A fortnight ago, Belmont High School Field Hockey Head Coach Jessica Smith had her doubts that her young team, then with a record of 4-5, could make another visit to the playoffs.
"It will be tough, we have to win so many games," said Smith in early October.
But in the past two weeks, Smith led her team to a 4-1 run including a 2-0 win over visiting Reading High School Thursday afternoon, Oct. 18, that has the Marauders one win away from returning to the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
"This was a huge win," said Smith after the game, praising forward Michele Hayner who had a goal and assisted on the second scored by Catherine Moore.
"Michelle continued to lead the play up the field. She took on three defenders to make the assist. She really rocked it," said Smith.
Hayner's goal with 22 minutes remaining in the game was set up by a pass from Haley Fay that skipped by a Reading defender and left Hayner open to slot the ball by Reading's goaltender Kayla Raineri.
Then it was up to goalkeeper Kate Sailor and her stellar defensive back line of Kendal Brown, Maddie Devine and Catherine Noone which shut down any serious scoring threat the Rockets attempted.
Then with 11 minutes to play, Moore pushed in the ball from a scrum from in front for the security goal.
"Katie (Sailor) made some great saves and (Devine) is a ball magnet. Every pass they tried she got to," said Smith.
Next up for Belmont is a visit Monday afternoon to Woburn to take on the winless Tanners.