Belmont soccer teams peaking at right time

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Belmont senior Sarah Chase runs onto the ball in the visiting Raiders' 1-0 loss to Prospect Mountain on Friday in Alton. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 17, 2016
ALTON For the first time in nearly a full month, the Belmont High School girls' soccer team suffered a defeat on Friday.

The red-hot Red Raiders saw their unbeaten streak snapped after a 4-0-2 run, falling on the road to Prospect Mountain, 1-0, in a Division III contest.

Belmont, which entered this final week of the regular season with a 8-4-2 overall mark, stood at just 4-3 following a loss to Raymond on Sept. 21. But the Raiders rolled from there, ripping off victories against Derryfield, Berlin, Gilford and White Mountains, and ties against Gilford and Campbell (12-1-1 record).

In the team's loss to Prospect however, Belmont allowed just its second goal in its last seven games early in the first half. Just four minutes into the game, a long ball was sent into the box. Belmont goalkeeper Mariah Watson got to the ball but it managed to come loose, allowing PM's Tessa Carter to put it in for a 1-0 lead.

Watson made a couple big saves moving forward, cutting off a couple of PM crosses and passes in the zone. The Timberwolves controlled play in the first half, but the Belmont defensive effort along with Watson kept it a 1-0 deficit at intermission.

Watson made a good save while colliding with Carter on an early scoring bid in the second half, and Belmont used that momentum to generate scoring chances from there. Chloe Sottak had a shot go just wide, while a good bid from senior Kelsey Scott was stopped.

Scott had a few more chances on the PM net that were thwarted, while Emma Chase also had a bid late that just went over the net. Katie Gagnon nearly connected with Sottak on a run late, but PM held tough and ultimately secured the 1-0 win.

The boys' team came up with perhaps their best win of the 2016 season on Friday, as a road trip to perennial power Hopkinton yielded a 2-1 overtime win to put Belmont at 10-3-1 overall entering the final week of the season and games against Inter-Lakes and Raymond.

In the win against Hopkinton (11-3), Tyler Fleming scored in regulation for the Raiders, and the two teams played to a 1-1 score after 80 minutes, forcing overtime. In the extra session, it was senior Cole Contigiani who came through with arguably his team's biggest goal of the season. Contigiani tallied the game-winner, lifting the Raiders to a 2-1 win that put them at double digit wins for the season.

Belmont looks to lock up a top eight seed and potentially a top four seed with the D-III tournament slated to begin next week.

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