Across-townline rivals came to Belmont Tuesday, April 10, and in each case, Belmont teams continued their undefeated starts to the season as Girls' Lacrosse survived a late-game letdown to beat Arlington while the Marauders continue their best ever start to the season with a league win over Watertown.
Lax stalls for third win
Belmont head coach Jessica Smith had "a-win-is-a-win" grin after Belmont's Girls' Lacrosse team survived a second-half dip in performance and a stellar defensive stance from Arlington High School to pull out a 14-12 victory over the Spy Ponders (3-1-0) by playing keep-away for the final four minutes of the game.
"They showed the veteran team they are by playing the stall so well," said Smith, as the Marauders refused to attack the goal but kept possession of the ball after Arlington scored with 3:54 remaining in the game, having gone on a 5-1 run over eight minutes.
After winning the midfield face-off, Belmont offensive players ran by double team attempts and passed to open teammates for the remainder of the game.
After dominating the first half, leading 10-5 after the first half, Belmont, using their superior height and speed to their advantage, scored twice in the first minute with senior Izzy Goldstein and junior Katie Leinbach (each with three goals) to lead 12-5.
But the seven goal lead "got to their heads and we lost our momentum" said Smith as Arlington's defense stepped up especially from goaltender Carolyn Woodin who made several stops with her stick to give her team a chance to rally.
"(Woodin) was big. She kept us in the game," said Arlington Head Coach Kim Visco. "But you have to give the defensive (backs) like Teresa DeMore and Eliza Brush a lot of the credit for playing tight to their players."
On the offensive side, Arlington's scoring threat Mary Grace Cronin (4 goals) hit the back of the net twice in four minutes to cut the lead to 13-9 before Belmont's scoring star, senior Caroline McCarthy, flung a bounce shot by Woodin at 9:55 remaining for her fourth goal to go along with three assists.
That would be the Marauders final goal as Arlington had a number of possessions. But Belmont's defense, led by senior Becca Moore, swiped a number of balls away from Arlington in midfield to limit the Spy Ponders to a limited number of chances.
Arlington's Jaclyn Grenier (2 goals) and Megnon Weisman (4 goals) scored with seven and four minutes left in the game but that would be the end of the scoring.
First year coach Visco said she was proud of the fight back in the second half, "but we have to play a complete game to compete."
Smith said her team will be tested at league powerhouse Winchester Friday which is also undefeated and has been averaging 16 goals and yielding half of that total.
"And we'll be down three starts because of school trips," said Smith with a knowing smile.
Softball keeps rolling, stops Watertown
They took it down to the last inning but Belmont Softball was able to extend their unbeaten run to four with a 6-5 win over Middlesex League rival Watertown, 6-5, as senior catcher Larisa Chapa hit a walk-off single to score the winning run in the bottom of the 7th inning.
The win also preserved starting pitcher and co-captain Erin Reilly unbeaten record, now at 4-0, as the senior recorded 10 strikeouts against the Red Raiders.
The two teams seesawed back and forth for 6 innings, with the Red Raiders going in the lead 5-4 in the top of the seventh.
Belmont’s junior shortstop Daphne Assimakopoulos (two RBIs) started the comeback by doubling to start the bottom of the inning. Jodi Carter drove a single into center field, scoring Assimakopoulos and tying the game at five. Then it was up to Chapa who blooped a single into short center field which scored the senior third baseman home to win the game.
The Marauders set up the rally in the fifth inning as Stacey Brandt tripled and scored on Assimakopoulos’ home run.