The boys’ soccer team tied Woburn 2-2 Monday evening, in what was a hard fought and exciting game between two teams looking to establish themselves near the top of the crowded Middlesex League standings.
The visiting Tanners, now 3-1-3, took it to Belmont in the early going.
Just three minutes in, Woburn sweeper Bobby Campbell found teammate Gavin Wilson for a header on a set piece from about 35 yards out, and Wilson angled the ball inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
After Belmont’s Michael Chertkov scored after colliding with Woburn goalkeeper Andrew Deane just four minutes later, Woburn striker Valerio Silva used his speed to track down a ball and poke it past Belmont goalie Jeremy Lockett right before the half for a 2-1 lead at the break.
Woburn did gain the 2-1 advantage but also failed to capitalize on a number of prime opportunities, as Silva, Anthony Nguyen and Brendan Gilgun were all able to get behind Belmont’s last defender at one point or another. Silva shot wide twice, while Lockett made spectacular saves on Nguyen’s and Gilgun’s efforts.
“If you have opportunities, and you don’t take advantage of them, they come back to bite you later in the game,” said Woburn coach Paul Sands, whose team also had about a dozen corners in the first half.
Belmont, which moved to 2-1-4, came out like a different team in the second half.
“We played as a team,” Marauders coach Peter Guellnitz said. “We moved the ball, and we were unselfish.”
It took awhile, but Belmont’s better play eventually paid off, as Sam Brags knocked home a ball from teammate Matt Muckjian with nine minutes left on the clock. Brags’ goal was set up by a pass from midfielder James Cameron to Muckjian inside the box.
Belmont continued to apply pressure until the final whistle, as Sam Kerans, John Zavaro and Greg Guebenlian all had near misses.
With star sweeper Paul Connor sidelined with an ankle injury and starting outside back Simon Tacvorian also missing the contest, Guellnitz said he thought the rest of his defenders stepped up, especially Zavaro, who filled in for Tacvorian. David Sullivan and Daniel Martin switched off at sweeper, while Chris Rizzo played opposite Zavaro. In addition to Cameron, Christian Raymond was also very active in the midfield.
Belmont is back in action at 6 p.m. tonight at Burlington.