Photo: The present and the future of Belmont lacrosse ready to enter the pitch at Lacrosse Night in Belmont
Despite the record 86 degrees heat, the stands at Harris Field were packed Saturday afternoon, May 14, as families, parents and players came out for a night of cheering the town’s lacrosse players.
Dozens of the youngest boys and girls in the Belmont Youth Lacrosse joined the varsity players from Belmont High School during Lacrosse Night in Belmont, the annual event promoting the game and attracting new players and the larger community to the sport.
“They’re more fans in the stands that we’ve ever seen. And it’s a testament to all the people who were involved this year,” said Belmont High Boys’ Lacrosse Head Coach Josh Streit, one of the drivers of the event which emulates Soccer Night In Belmont held each October.
The young athletes and the high school players marched out to the center of the pitch to sing the national anthem along with the Chenery Middle School chorus. At half time of both games, the youngsters got their chance to shine with a 10-minute exhibition
“It was so great to see the smiles on the kids. These partnerships with the youth and building both high school and the youth program was so important to having successful programs,” said Streit, as the youth players came off the pitch looking forward to free Moozy’s ice cream and the T-shirt toss.
Boys’ double up Arlington, 12-6, as Marauders seek a playoff fixture
Everything clicked for Belmont Boys’ Lacrosse as the Marauders doubled up Arlington, 12-6, in the early game of the Lacrosse Night In Belmont doubleheader.
While the team played the most complete game this year against North Reading and its best game was versus Burlington, the Arlington was “kind of a bigger win for us,” said Streit. “This was great because offensively we were doing the things that we preach at practice and we were running our offense all game long” which produced some of the best goals this year, he said, particularly a blast into the low corner of net from junior mid Quinn Leary at “the end of high tempo, high end offense that we’re capable of doing.”
The highlight of the match was the breakout performance from junior mid/attack Jack Murphy who as an injury replacement with a single tally this season, scored four goals and an assist. ”He was in the right place and knowing the offense and the offense looking for him because he was getting to the spot.”
After struggling to get out of the gate this season, the Boys’ have reached .500 with a dominating 17-2 performance vs Somerville only to drop a notch losing to host Lexington, 19-13, on Thursday, May 19. Belmont starts the week with a record of 7-8-0 with a MIAA Power Rating of 32nd, the final automatic playoff position in Division 1.
Girls’ at .500 after 19-13 loss to SpyPonders
The Belmont Girls’ found themselves in a physical game with the SpyPonders who had the size and heft to play that game and upending the Marauders 19-12. Despite the outcome, the team put up double digit in goals against a very good defensive team.
The Marauders got out of the box quickly to build a 2-0 lead in the first four minutes. But the physical SpyPonders benefiting from the refs decision to “let them play” muscled their way to a 7-2 lead midway in the first half before junior mid Stella Lesknik scored while falling from a push in the back. Belmont cut the lead to three with a pair of goals – courtesy sophomore mid/attack Tess DeSantis and junior mid Layne Doherty in the final 3:16 to leave the field down 9-6.
But Arlington came out strong with the first four goals in the first five minutes of the second half off of winning each of the face-off draws in the half before junior attack Mary Mullan got Belmont back on the scorer’s sheet six minutes in.
Marauders’ Head Coach Rebecca Reed said winning will come with ”winning draws and ground balls. The draw controls a lot. You win the draw you typically win the game.”
“We simply needed possession because we have a better set offense than most teams,” she said.
Belmont’s Mullan was the game’s high scorer with five goals including the Marauder’s final three goals, the last two scored with 27 seconds and a single second remaining on the clock.
“We tried to spread out our offense on cuts and try to make an open lane which is crucial so you’re not getting doubled (by defenders). It really is trying to get to the net the best way possible,” she said.
Since lacrosse night, Belmont found themselves on the wrong side in consecutive high scoring games against Lexington and the return fixture with Arlington.