Photo: Belmont High defender Micheal Ciano (#5) vs. Reading.
With records hovering in the .500 range – usually the minimum requirement for entry for postseason play – both Belmont High soccer teams in the final two weeks of the season need to grab as many points before them.
Boys’ Seeking Scoring Punch, Found It Against Wakefield
Belmont High Boys’ Soccer Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane knows exactly what his Marauders need to do to win games: Get that first goal.
“We’re still trying on working to start strong because every game that we’ve scored first we went on to win and when we don’t, we don’t win,” said Bisceglia-Kane as his team stands at 5-4-1 with the strength of the Middlesex League schedule waiting for the Marauders in the final six games of the season.
Not just scoring first but scoring has been a large millstone hanging around the team’s neck. Since a 3-0 defeat to Winchester on Soccer Night in Belmont and before its game with Wakefield, the Marauders scored a single goal in four games that included a pair of 1-0 defeats with a grand total of eight goals in the season.
“I always tell the guys though that the best teams that we play and the worst, as long as we are competing hard, it will be razor thin who’ll come out on top. We play in a highly competitive league where the margin from top to bottom is almost nothing,” he said, noting while last year state finalist Arlington outplayed Belmont earlier in the season, “we beat them 1-0. It’s just that close.”
Bisceglia-Kane said while he continues to tweak the lineup up front, he doesn’t see much weakness with his back line – led by Micheal Ciano and Noah Meyer Herron – or the midfield which he said is moving the ball well with combination passing and solo runs. It’s just finding the net that remains an issue.
“We continue to put ourselves in a good position [to score], it’s just getting more chances in front of the goal,” he said.
On Monday, Oct. 7 against Wakefield, the goal drought came to an end as Sr. Jon Brabo scored the hat trick with midfield stalwart Will Hoerle adding a single tally as the Marauders took it to a winning Warrior team, 4-0 at Harris Field.
Scoring first just past midway through the first half by Brabo unassisted, the Marauders would score 13 minutes into the second from Hoerle via Ali Noorouzi before putting the game to bed with a pair from Brabo a minute apart with 14 minutes left with the final score assisted by Gabe Ditommaso. Senior goalkeep Finbar Rhodes picked up his fourth clean sheet of the season.
It will be a hard row to hoe over the next week for the Marauders as they play three consecutive games on the road; first off to a struggling Burlington squad before meeting a pair of undefeated teams, Lexington and Winchester.
“I really think we have a good chance at the playoffs. This team has been really enjoyable to coach because they really put everything on the line.
Girls’ Soccer Seeking Consistency As Postseason Looms
It’s been a topsy turvy series of games for Belmont High Girls’ Soccer. After being outplayed by Arlington (2-0 loss), the Marauders squeaked by a rebuilding Woburn team, 1-0, before crushing Watertown, 7-0. So it would appear trip to a Newton North for a match on grass on a sunny, autumnal Saturday afternoon against a one-win squad would be just what Belmont would need to pad its record.
Au Contraire! Belmont would walk off the pitch after a lackluster effort carrying a 1-0 loss back to Belmont. The Marauders’ long time Head Coach Paul Graham was at a loss for words on what had just happened.
“I just don’t know,” he said.
So what chances did the Marauders have traveling to take on a rejuvenated Wakefield team that had not lost a home game in the season? How about a 2-1 victory thanks to a brace by jr. forward Kiki Christofori to push Belmont’s record to 6-4-1 with six matches remaining.
The Belmont Girls’ have an easier task to making the playoffs as they face a number of teams with weak records (Burlington) and which it has already beaten earlier (Reading and Woburn). The team will be relying on senior midfield general Marina Karalis and sophomore goalie Bridgette Martin to steady the team and provide the necessary leadership on the field.