The competition level rises and with it changes to Belmont High School Athlete’s seemingly endless winning streaks.
Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer remains undefeated as they defeated a gritty Arlington High School team, 2-1, on Harris Field’s cushiony turf surface Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18.
After playing what Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane called his team’s “the best 15 minutes of soccer this season” to start the game, Belmont (5-0-0) were in a battle for the rest of the contest against the Spy Ponders (3-2-0).
“The guys are excited. While we try to taper expectations, this was a big game for us,” Bisceglia-Kane told the Belmontonian.
Belmont struck twice in the first 11 minutes on quick counter attacks. Just seven minutes in, midfield standout Charlie Frigo outran the Spy Pond back line to head in a bouncing ball from Luke Gallagher past Arlington goaltender Anthony Aggouras.
The Marauders doubled up the score at 11 minutes from Ben Lazenby‘s screamer 20 meters out – coming off an Andrew Eurdolian assist – beating Aggouras to the left post.
After settling down, Arlington took away the Marauders’ momentum by staying close to the ground with short, quick passes resulting in a pretty goal by sub Phineas Santello who dipped a shot over Belmont’s goaltender Peter Berens with five minutes remaining in the half. The goal ended Berens shutout streak to begin the season at 355 minutes.
Despite the lack of scoring in the second half, the match resembled a baseball pitching duel between two aces in which purists would enjoy how the teams attacked and countered their opponents.
“People watching a game think poorly of a team that’s possessing the ball in their back half they think things are going wrong but that’s something we strive for,” said Bisceglia-Kane, saying it allows the team to work the ball up efficiently and create more scoring chances.
Belmont also employed a diagonal long pass to quickly switch its attack from one side of the field to the other.
“We’ve been working on that with Gallagher doing it a lot. This game Matt Lawson and Ed Stafford began possessing the ball in the middle of the park then switching the field. Luckily, it paid dividends with one of our goals,” he said,
Five games in and Bisceglia-Kane sees a special characteristic evolving with a team-first mentality, a sort of Belmont Mannschaft.
“They take pride in the fact that they do it together. This team in particular is a group of players that sees themselves as team and not caring about individual statistics or personal achievements and that is one of their strengths,” he said.
Belmont Girls’ suffer first loss at Arlington
Belmont High School Girls’ Head Coach Paul Graham knew that Arlington High’s girls’ soccer team was good this year but did not know just how good.
It turns out the answer, to Graham and his team’s chagrin, is really good.
Belmont visited the Spy Ponders on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18, and was sent home with its first loss of the season, 4-1. Coincidentally, the Marauders’ record stands at 4-1-0.
“You have to give it to them, they’ve got some great players,” said Graham after the game.
Despite losing, Graham was pleased with his team’s effort, saying that Belmont took control of the field for most of the first half and despite the first goal of the game, continued to be Arlington’s equal until a second goal snuck in.
“You could then see the kid’s looking down at their feet,” said Graham.
Graham thought some of the team’s lack of scoring punch – it came into the game with 21 goals – was nerves, heading into a game with an undefeated opponent appeared to bring an air of caution to the team’s play.
“They went back to not shooting the ball,” said Graham.
Only when the game was at 4-0 did the team get its tally with Kristen Gay scoring off a Katrina Rokosz free kick.
Graham said he will not dwell on the loss, taking away only positives from it.
“I think we needed a game like this. Loss the nerves with this one,” said Graham.
Field Hockey falls to Rockets
One word of warning to Belmont High School’s Field Hockey team: stay away from ranked teams.
After falling to the Boston Globe’s number one team Watertown, 4-0, in its opener, Belmont traveled to number 13 Reading Memorial High School and came home with a 4-0 loss on Wednesday, Sept, 17.