Warriors stifled by Belmont on Columbus Day

Oct 9, 2018 by

Summers hat-trick leads to 3-2 win over Woburn

JOHN SUMMERS weaves through a couple of Belmont defenders. Summers scored a hat trick against Woburn on Friday to lead the Warriors to a 3-2 road win over the Tanners. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

Published in the October 9, 2018 edition.

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

WAKEFIELD — It was more of brunch than a matinee on Columbus Day when the WMHS boys’ soccer team hosted Belmont at the Galvin’s Walton Field at 10 a.m.

The Warriors and Marauders shook off the morning cobwebs and played a tough, physical match that was even through the first 40 minutes before Belmont’s physicality wore down the Warriors, leading to a 3-0 win for the road team.

“Belmont is bigger, stronger, more physical. It’s normal to start wearing down against a team like that,” said Wakefield head coach Ilir Ujkaj.

Warrior goalie Zach Fiore had plenty of highlights in the first half to keep the game scoreless. He followed a diving stop on a cross with a sliding kick to break up an odd-man rush at the top of the box with about 16 minutes left in the half.

Wakefield didn’t have much possession in the first, but the forwards including Anthony Pellegrino and John Summers were working hard to create chances and forced a couple of corner kicks.

Fiore stopped one more breakaway during stoppage time with yet another slide and later hung on to a long shot to help keep the sheet clean heading into the break.

“We had a couple of opportunities in the first half,” said Ujkaj. “If we nailed one down it could have changed the outcome of the game.”

Belmont was buzzing from the onset of the second half. They were winning most 50/50 balls and forcing each Wakefield player to defend for long stretches. The Marauders eventually broke through 10 minutes into the second half on a perfectly executed three-man tic-tac-toe play.

Belmont put the next one in about five minutes later, gaining complete control.

While the Warriors continued to stand up for themselves and fight to the end, Belmont was too strong in this one, scoring on a cross with 13 minutes left to account for the 3-0 score.

The loss came after Wakefield picked up one of their biggest wins of the season: a 3-2 road win over Woburn on Friday.

The Warriors jumped on the back of John Summers for this one, as the junior striker buried three goals for an impressive hat trick to give Wakefield their third win of the season.

Summers’ goals were assisted by Anthony Pellegrino, John Benoit and Brian Smith.

The game was tied 2-2 at halftime, setting up some second half heroics from both Summers and the Wakefield defense led by captain Aidan Cusack.

The Belmont game was the last of a three-game stretch against Middlesex Liberty Division foes. Wakefield will return to league play against Freedom opponents starting on Thursday at the Galvin when they host Burlington. The Warriors beat the Red Devils 1-0 on Sept. 29 and are looking for a repeat of that performance during a game that could have playoff implications.

“Burlington will be a big league game,” said Ujkaj. “We need that one to get back on track.”

Wakefield travels to Watertown next Tuesday and hosts Wilmington on Oct. 18.

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