The nearly 100 fans of Belmont Girls' Soccer who survived weekday Boston rush hour traffic to travel 30 miles to Braintree began chanting "We love you seniors" with about a minute remaining in what would be the end of a season for the Marauders and the end of a career for six seniors.
While playing competitively the entire game, a controversial goal in the first 10 minutes and a quick strike a few minutes later was just too high a hole for Belmont High School Girls' Soccer to climb out of as the Marauders fell to Medfield High School for the second time in three season, losing 5-1 in the Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 finals held at Braintree High School Wednesday, Nov. 14.For up-to-the-minute news on this and other stories follow Belmont Patch on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our free email newsletter. Spam-free!
"We just never could come back from that," said long-time Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham of the non-call.
Just before the 10 minute mark, a shot from Medfield's junior forward Cami McCurdy – one of only two underclassmen on a Medfield 11 that has 16 seniors –was saved at the top of the 18-meter box by Belmont's standout goalkeeper Maria-Alice Menatas.
But before Menatas could bring the ball into her body, McCurdy kicked the ball out of the keeper's hands, at which time the play should have been called dead.
Even McCurdy looked back at the referee waiting for a whistle. But none came and McCurdy dribbled the ball into the open net.
Taking advantage of the opening, Medfield scored a second less than four minutes later as Katelyn Murray got the first goal of her hat trick by streaking into space between two Belmont defenders to intercept a long shot from outside and shot the ball by Menatas.
Graham then put senior captain Julia Russo up from midfield to forward and gritty sophomore Lucia Guzikowski to midfield from her normal left back position to bring more pace to the Marauder attack. And for the final 10 minutes of the first half, Belmont put pressure on the Warriors inside their half of the field.
After going down 3-0 early five minutes into the second, Belmont scored when Russo grabbed a throw in from senior defender Olivia Lyons and streaked down the right side to pass in front of the Warrior goalkeeper Mimi Borkan where senior Charlotte Alexander, hobbled all night with a injured ankle yet refused to be kept out of the squad, drove into the scrum and scored 12 minutes into the second half.
But Medfield scored once again just one minute later and Borkan saving a Russo penalty kick put an end to any realistic chance for a comeback.
After the team heard from Graham, who congradulated them for beating the odds that had Belmont not even making the playoffs yet coming away as Sectional champs, the coach praised the seniors – Russo, Menatas, Lyons, Alexander, Corrine Ognibene and Alexandra Cellucci – who he said were all captains for a team filled with juniors and sophomores.
"They led us all year. They're why we got here," said Graham.