Belchertown girls soccer shuts out Easthampton in Division 2
BELCHERTOWN — The Easthampton girls soccer team quickly learned what every opponent of Belchertown has this season — you can’t win without possessing the ball.
After a bit of a slow start, the Orioles put it into high gear toward the end of the first half and went on to a 7-0 victory in a Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament quarterfinal.
“We had a little rust to shake off, the field was a little rough, and Easthampton really packed it in on us,” Belchertown coach Chris Mogavero. “It was a tournament game, so the girls had some nerves. And they made it difficult for us for a while, but when we scored we loosened up a bit.”
The top-seeded Orioles (17-0-2) advanced to the semifinals to face No. 4 Mount Greylock (11-3-3), a winner over No. 5 Hoosac Valley in penalty kicks.
Despite an impressive performance from goalkeeper Alyssa Fugiel, No. 8 Easthampton saw its season end at 10-5-2. The Eagles were unable to put a single shot on either Sarah LaClair or Ashley Cavanaugh.
Belchertown was led by Breanne Moreau, who scored two goals and added an assist. Natalie Caney and Brittany Moreau each had a goal and an assist.
“They’re just bigger, faster, stronger than we are,” Easthampton coach Brian Miller said. “We just wanted to come in here and play our hardest and walk out with our heads held high. We knew full well what we were in for.”
Fugiel made 18 saves and kept the Eagles close in the first half, as the Orioles took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
“She’s our backbone, one of the best keeper in the area,” Miller said. “She kept us in every game all season.”
Sophomore Téa Spellacy provided a spark off the bench to put the Orioles on the board. With 25:24 left in the first half, the ball bounced around the box off a corner kick. Breanne Moreau passed to Spellacy for a 1-0 lead.
“It’s a great thing to have a bunch of players contribute,” Caney said. “Some of the younger players don’t see the field much, but this program has quality players all down our bench.”
About four minutes later, Spellacy fired a shot from the left side which Fugiel stopped but went right to Breanne Moreau, who fired it into the empty net.
“It’s great to see Téa have some success as a sophomore,” Mogavero said. “It took Téa a little while to get into things, but I think with a D2 or D3 schedule she probably scores 15 goals. She’s really talented, not really strong, but she’s just a sophomore.”
The Moreau sisters combined to make it 3-0 with just under two minutes remaining in the half. A scrum in the box ended when Brittany fed Breanne for the tally.
Caney, Jackie Soucia and Brittany Moreau scored within the first 11 minutes of the second half to make it 6-0. Abbey Norden later scored on a free kick from about 25 yards to close out the scoring.
Bryanna Veroneau and Christina Delude picked up an assist apiece.
“I’d say we have to work on our passes, our one-touches, moving without the ball,” Caney said. “We definitely have to play quicker. We were a little slow coming out (Tuesday). But if we can possess the ball like we did in this game, we should be fine.”
It was the final high school game for Easthampton seniors Molly Cabana, Becca Aubrey, Claire Douglass, Rachel Connell and Abby Edgin.
“Our program’s undergone a big transformation over the last couple years, now we expect to win,” Miller said. “We’re really proud of getting to the tournament. Our goal was to get a home game and win in the first round, and we accomplished that.”
Michael Wilkinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.