Sports: Field Hockey, Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ X-C Break In the Win Column At Season Midpoint

Photo: Belmont High’s Isabel Burger taking first at Reading.

The shortened 2020 fall sports season reached it midpoint as Belmont saw three of its teams – field hockey, girls’ cross country and boys’ soccer – all registered their first victories of the campaign.

Burger leads Girls’ Cross Country to first of the season victory

A strong showing by Belmont girls’ harriers’ three, four and five runners saw the Marauders notch its first win of the season, defeating host Reading Memorial, 22-35, on a cool and cloudy autumn noon time on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Belmont Head Coach Melissa Tkacs said after the chaos of the first race in Lexington – every Belmont runner with the exception one ran an extra mile – that “each runner is coming into their own. We had a really solid training week so the runners felt confident coming into [the race] and you could see that confidence come through.”

Leading Belmont (1-2) over the short-ish 2.5 mile course was the team’s senior stalwart Isabel Burger who took first in 16 minutes and 2 seconds followed by fellow senior Elizabeth Hoerle who placed third in 17:03.

Burger lived up to expectations – she finished first vs. Lexington and second in Winchester – running stride for stride with Reading’s Sophie Shanley over the first half of the race before pulling away and winning by 61 seconds.

Tkacs also praised the running of Tori Meringer, Tilly Hamer and Angie Zhao – again, all seniors – who secured the win finishing in 4th, 5th and 6th.

“In cross country, what’s important is not only how your top runners do but also how the pack performs. Today I think we had a tight pack and that supported the team and provided us having a successful race,” she said.

Next for the harriers is a trip to Arlington on Sat. Nov. 7.

Estrada’s brace lifts Marauders to victory

Two goals by junior striker Mateo Estrada and a clean sheet from junior goalkeeper Damon Reyes resulted in the Belmont High Boys’ Soccer (1-3-1) winning its first game of the season, 2-0, in action at Harris Field Saturday, Oct. 24.

Estrada opened his scoring account midway through the second quarter with an assist from senior co-captain Theo Kargere. He doubled his goal total just 32 seconds into the third quarter on a solo strike, giving first year Head Coach Jean Laforgue- Carlone his initial victory running the team.

Belmont will be at Reading at 10 a.m., Halloween, in the reverse fixture.

Field Hockey, behind Donahue’s hat trick, earns first win

Belmont High Field Hockey was thrown into the fire as the season began, having to face Middlesex League powerhouses Lexington and Winchester all the while having to learn a new game due to extensive rule changes – the most significant being the reduction of players on the field from 11 to 7 – on top of limited practice time.

While Belmont found itself on the wrong side of big score results, the team made steady progress adapting to a game that relies less on traditional skills of short passing and stickhandling and more long on the long ball and speedy counters.

“We are starting to gel after having such a hard start with so many new kids on the team and trying to figure out where they go. You have to rely on some of them because our starters can’t last out on the field because they are covering so much of the ground,” said Belmont’s long serving head coach Jess Smith.

Belmont demonstrated its newly found game with a 3-1 victory against host Reading on Saturday, Oct. 24 as forward Emma O’Donovan scored the hat trick with goals in the second and fourth quarters.

As for the offense, it all comes down to O’Donovan.

“We could talk all afternoon about number 24 [O’Donovan],” said Belmont’s long serving head coach Jess Smith. The senior co-captain demonstrated her outstanding stick handling in passing defenders leading to her second goal on the solo break four minutes into the fourth.

O’Donovan’s final goal came 83 seconds after the penultimate strike, coming off a long rebound that she took on the backhand – requiring her to hold her stick with the stick blade positioned downward – and one timed it back pass the goalie.

While O’Donovan took charge up front, the Marauders’ defense starts with senior goalie Kendall Whalen who had a busy day beating back several drives into the the attacking zone.

“I don’t know how many saves [Whalen] had but I remember a couple of two player breaks that she rushed out of the net and came up huge. That takes confidence,” said Smith.

Twins Olympia and Sophie Kalavantis anchored the backline as the senior co-captains while midfielders Ellie McLaughlin and Ally Donahue won Smith’s plaudits for doing the heavy work of rushing back to help out defensively but also contributing upfield in the attack. And junior attack Molly Dacey “is just non-stop with a ton of energy who works hard whenever she’s on the field.”

At 1-4-0, Belmont hosts Reading at Harris Field at 1:30 p.m. on Halloween.

Rest of sports:

Belmont High Girls’ Soccer had most of the shots and was putting on a display of combination passing that Head Coach Paul Graham described as “the best we’ve done all year.” But the Marauders lacked the finishing touch against host Reading on Oct. 24.

And Belmont would suffer the fate of good teams that allow their opponents to “stick around.” Scoreless midway through the fourth quarter, a tricky shot alluded the Belmont defense which gave Reading the lead. And while the Marauders had their chances late, they could not convert from a series of set pieces, falling to Reading, 1-0, as the Rockets earned its first win.

Belmont, 1-3-1, will next see Reading on Halloween at the ungodly hour of 9 a.m.

Sports: Girls’ XC Takes The Wrong Way Home; Golf Opems With The W; Field Hockey’s Hard Start

Photo: Belmont High’s Isabel Burger

It was looking like a promising start to the shortened season for Belmont High’s Girls’ Cross Country. Senior Isabel Burger surged in the final half mile to win going away the first dual meet against Lexington on a crisp Saturday morning Oct. 3.

Lexington’s first runner came by 15 seconds back. Lexington runners then came in third, fourth and fifth. “I know we had runners who were better than those runners,” said Belmont Head Coach Melissa Tkacs.

When each of Lexington’s seven runners in the first wave of the varsity race had crossed the finish line of the 3.1 mile race in Lexington’s Hastings Park with nary a Belmont Harrier insight, “I knew something was not right,” said Tkacs especially when the second Belmont runner across the lin started two-and-a-half minutes after the first wave.

Thankfully, about 12 minutes after their expected arrival time the team began appearing from the Bermuda Triangle known as the Lexington cross country course.

So what happened? It appears that the Belmont runners behind Burger where told to run a half mile loop not the one time as they were supposed to but two extra times resulting in the “Lost Six” logging 4.1 miles. The runners said that a course official kept sending them back on the loop.

Due to the incorrect instructions, the Minutemen took the meet, 20-41.

“The results won’t reflect what the girls are capable of,” said Tkacs. “They ran hard even though it was an extra mile and that a lot of extra running to do.”

“We’ll rally and do better at the next meet,” she said.

There has been conversations Belmont runners will return to the course to run and receive a time for the race.

Golf Hopes To Repeat Opening Win Against Always Tough Lexington

Belmont High’s golfers got off to a smart start in defense of its Middlesex League crown by defeating Arlington High’s SpyPonders, 41-31, at Winchester Country Club on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Head Coach Jeff Shea will lead his charges against visitors Lexington on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m.

Field Hockey Discovers The Old Ways Won’t Work

Belmont High Field Hockey has long been known as a team that used precise passing and pressuring defense to reach the post season 13 times in 14 years.

But under the new rules – reducing the numbers of players on each team from 11 to 7, no penalty corners and social distancing between players among others – its once strengths have diminished to a more wide open game that a single player can dominate.

Against Belmont in the season opener on Saturday, that one player was Lexington’s Maddie Devine. Last year’s Middlesex League co-MVP who will be heading to BU next year, Devine quarterbacked a quick team that found space all over the field playing a long ball game.

“We went into the game with an offensive mindset because we looked good in practice,” said head coach Jess Smith. But early in the game, Lexington was able to send midfielders into the offensive end, creating odd man breaks where two or three Minutemen would be defended by a single Belmont back line player.

“No matter how much you practice, it’s only in the game where you saw how important long passes and speed have become,” said Smith.

Needing to quickly adjust their game, Belmont would revert back to playing as if it was 11 players against 11 with a reliance on short connecting passes. “But that’s wasn’t going to work,” said Smith.

It wasn’t pretty at the end as Belmont and Smith suffered its worst defeat since Smith arrived in 2004, losing 8-0.

“We’ll have to work on our defense and learn to adjust. But we’re just not there just yet,” said Smith.

Belmont Playing Modified Soccer, Field Hockey, XC This Fall; Volleyball, Swim, Football Move To ‘Floating’ Season

Photo: There will be a fall sports season at Belmont High School.

There will be Belmont High student/athletes playing this fall at Harris Field and on the links this fall as the athletic directors of the Middlesex League have approved their schools playing boys and girls soccer, field hockey, boys golf and boys and girls cross country, according to Belmont Schools Superintendent John Phelan who announced the decision at Wednesday, Sept. 2 School Committee marathon meeting.

But volleyball and swimming will be moving with football and competitive cheer to the newly created “floating” season that starts during the final weeks of February and ending in April.

School superintendents and athletic directors that represent Middlesex League schools approved a league-wide response to move forward with a fall season. It has been reported that Belmont will compete twice against teams in the league’s Liberty Division – Arlington, Winchester, Reading, Lexington, and Woburn – which will end for this year the annual competition against cross border rivals Watertown.

The decision by the Middlesex League comes as other athletic conferences such as the Mayflower and South Coast leagues on the South Shore and the nearby Northeastern Conference have canceled their fall schedule and moved it to the floating season, with the hope that the modifications would be suspended with changes in the severity of COVID-19.

While Belmont will be playing this fall, some of the sports will look quite different. Field hockey will now be played seven-against-seven – under normal conditions, there are 11 on each team – while penalty corners which are an important part of the game have been banned.

Soccer will see corner kicks and sideline throw-ins ended, reduced to free kicks that can not be sent into the goalie’s area. Defensive walls that help goalies to protect against free kicks have been suspended. But the most significant ban will be the end of heading the ball.

Cross country will likely be a timed event where each participant starts a certain length of time – usually 30 seconds – from the next runner.

Sports: Brams Ties Record with Third Middlesex League Meet Title

Photo: Powering home, Belmont senior Leah Brams wins third Middlesex League Meet title.

Just past the mile mark in the 2.5-mile course, as the runners crest the steepest hill on the course, doubt entered Leah Brams head.

Running from the front in the Middlesex League Meet in Woburn on Monday, Nov. 2, the two-time champion of the race was caught by Melrose senior Elizabeth Hirsh and a Lexington runner, who began pushing the pace. 

“For a while in the race, I didn’t think I could hold them off because they were right up with me,” Brams said afterwards. 

“There were a couple of times when I was like, ‘I’m gonna stop. I’m OK with third’,” Brams said with a laugh.

“Then I said ‘I don’t want what happened last year’ – referring to her second place finish to Woburn’s   ‘I can do it’,” she said. 

And she did, taking a five-meter lead after two miles and stretching it out to more than 50 as the Belmont senior sprinted home in a personal best for the race of 14 minutes and 56 seconds on the Woburn Country Club course, followed by Hirsh and junior Tarvis Hintlian of Winchester.

Brams joins a select group of runners who have won the championship three times including Lexington’s Natasha Roetter (who ran for Duke), Diane Connolly of Woburn (who became a miler and relay specialist at BC) and Stoneham’s Kristen Seabury (a two-time All-American at Alabama and twice US Olympic Trials participant). 

Brams three crowns is one better than Belmont’s Marian Bihrle, who won twice in 1997-8, although Bihrle still holds the best time by a Belmont runner at the meet with a 14:50. 

It is unknown if any of the other women with three victories had finished second in the year they didn’t win. If not, Brams appears to be the most successful runner in Middlesex League Meet history, having lost only once in four years of dual meets.

Brams led Belmont to a solid second place in the team competition (behind powerhouse Lexington with 37 points) as the Marauders finished with 59 points, its best showing in 15 years.

The surprise of the meet was Belmont junior Sara Naumann, who ran a hard solo run behind the lead pack and cruised into 4th in 15:31.1. Freshman Audrey Christo took 15th (16:11.3) followed closely by seniors Meredith Hughes (16:17.3) and Sophia Klimasmith (16:23.9) in 18th and 21st place. 

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While not scoring, Belmont’s Camilla Carere (16:55.8) and Emma Chambers (17:05.2) ran impressive times, placing 30th and 38th.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the girls this entire season and especially today. They really turned up today, all of them,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Dunn.

“This was great for the team because we haven’t been this good since the 1990s,” said Brams. 

The boys placed 9th with 245 points, led by sophomore Calvin Perkins in 31st, senior Mike Ferrante in 40th, sophomore Zack Tseng 44th, Ian Bowe 61st and junior Wilder Manion coming in 70th. 

Looking to the future, Belmont’s Eleanor Amer finished second in the girls’ freshman 1.75-mile race, and Kai Takayama finished 23rd among the boys’ freshmen.

For Brams and the girls, next up will by the Eastern Massachusetts meet next week and then the state championships a week later.

Then Brams will make a quick transition from the spikes to the skis as she heads for the US Senior Nationals in cross country skiing as an under-18 participant. 

“I love skiing, and I’ll see where it takes me,” she said. 

Sports: Brams Finishes Home Career Undefeated as Girls’ X-C Goes 6-1

Photo: Senior Leah Brams finishing first, again, on her home course. 

She has been a familiar figure along Belmont’s Clay Pit Pond course during the cross country season over the past four years: the quick leg turnover and powerful stride of the harrier with the French braid who was always in front of the pack during the girls’ varsity race.

Since the day she stepped on the starter’s line as a freshman, Belmont High’s Leah Brams has been untouchable running the 3.1-mile (five kilometers) course, only rarely being tested by girls who tried – but never succeeded – to run her down in the tree-lined allée leading to the finish line. 

Brams ended her remarkable running career Monday going undefeated on her home course, and finishing first in the season’s final dual meet against Watertown on Tuesday, Oct. 26. 

Brams isn’t one to think nostalgically about the venue.

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“It’s more of relief that I never have to run around the Pond again,” said Brams after the race, although saying later that it will be “kinda sad.” 

And while the senior was seeking to go out in style with a new course record, she just missed out on her goal finishing a solo run essentially in 19 minutes and 2 seconds, just four seconds from tying her PR.

Oh well, said Brams, she’ll just have to set her personal record at the Middlesex League meet on Monday, an event who won twice – as a freshman and sophomore – while finishing second last year.

In her four years, Brams has only lost one dual meet, in Woburn last year.

And this year’s league meet will see Belmont challenge Lexington – the only team to beat the Marauders in their 6-1 regular season – to earn the team’s first overall title in 15 years. 

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“I think we can beat them. We didn’t have our best times when they came here,” said Brams.

The Watertown meet saw Belmont flex its muscles, winning 17-44, taking the first four places and 10 of the top dozen. 

Following Brams was junior (and Washington State transplant) Sara Naumann (2nd, 19:50), freshman Audrey Christo (3rd, 20:10), seniors Sophia Klimasmith (4th, 20:28) Meredith Hughes (7th, 21:10), sophomore Camilla Carere (8th, 21:25), freshman Eleanor Amer (9th21:26), and seniors Emma Chambers (10th, 21:32), Carly Tymm (11th, 22:21) and Diana Benea (12th, 22:39).

Sports: Bram the Bright Spot as Marauder Harriers Fall to Minutemen

Photo: Coming home. 

There were two powerhouses running the Clay Pit Pond cross country course Tuesday, Oct. 6: the cross country teams from Lexington High School and Belmont senior Leah Bram.

It was going to be a mighty high mountain to climb for Belmont High’s harriers to scale past the Minutemen, which has become a juggernaut program. While the boys’ fell by a convincing 15-46, the girls’ ate into Lexington’s score line, dropping a 21-34 decision against the Minutemen’s top varsity lineup (last season Lexington ran a largely second-string team against the Marauders).

Leading Belmont’s Girls’ was its steady star Brams, who has always finished first racing the Clay Pit Pond course and has only lost once in a Middlesex League duel meet in her four varsity seasons (last season to Woburn’s Gina D’Addario who is currently running at defending Division 3 national champions John Hopkins). Brams held a 20 second lead with a little over a mile remaining and finished in 19 minutes and 7.6 seconds, a season’s best and just outside her course record of 18:58.

Second for the Marauders and sixth overall was junior (a recent transplant from Washington state) Sara Naumann who split Lexington’s middle runners with a strong 20:23, followed by senior leader Sophia Klimasmith who set her season’s best of 20:50 in eighth place. Rounding out the varsity race, senior Meredith Hughes (9th, 231.01), final varsity scorer freshman Audrey Christo (10th, 21.03), frosh Eleanor Amer (12th, 22:02) and seniors Brett Koslowsky (13th, 22:04), Emma Chambers (14th, 22:16), Madison Kelts (16th, 22:45) and Carly Tymm (18th, 22:50).

On the boys side of the ledger, freshman Zach Tseng led the Marauders in 6th in 17:18. The rest of the varsity scorers were sophmore Calvin Perkins (8th, 17:37), senior Mike Ferrante (9th, 17:46), junior Manion Wilder (11th, 18:10) and senior Ian Bowe (12th, 18:17).

Sports: Fall Season Ends with a Bang on the Gridiron, Park and Pool

It’s only appropriate with the return of frost to town that the fall athletic season is wrapping up. For Belmont, it does so with a bang as Belmont teams and individuals will be seeking glory on this final weekend.

Belmont High School Football will be in search of something they have not accomplished in years; a winning streak. A victory over visiting Belmont Latin – the game gets underway tonight, Friday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at Harris Field – will give three wins in a row and give the Marauders a 3-7 record going into the traditional Thanksgiving Day game against Watertown High.

• Junior Leah Brams will be competing in her third consecutive Division 1 All-State Cross Country meet, held this year in historic Franklin Park in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. With temperatures not expected to break freezing, Brams will have, at least, a physiological advantage over the other runners: while they retreat indoors for the winter track season, Brams takes to the trails as one of the region’s most accomplished youth Nordic skiers.

• Just by past times posted this season, it is likely to be a big night for Belmont High School’s Girls’ Swimming and Diving Team Sunday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool as the Marauders seek to take the Div. 2 State Championship title. Belmont’s junior star Jessie Blake-West will be seeking to gain National High School All-American status in her favorite event, the 100-yard butterfly, and is the favorite to win state titles in the 200 individual medley and as a member of the 200 medley relay. With a great quartet of breaststroke swimmers, junior diver Thea Kelsey and young members who are getting faster with each meet, Head Coach Ev Crosscup could be heading for a dip into the pool at the end of the meet.

 

Belmont’s Brams Takes 6th in Eastern Div. 3 X-C Championships, Girls’ Place 9th

Belmont High School junior Leah Brams finished in sixth place at the Div. 3 Eastern Massachusetts championships held Saturday, Nov. 8 in Wrentham, matching her placement from a year ago.

Brams 18 minute, 54.9 seconds over the five-kilometer (3.1 mile) course earned her a third consecutive trip to the Div. 1 state finals being held this year at historic Franklin Park in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 15.  Junior Samantha Coletti of Whitman-Hanson Regional won the race in 18:18.7.

This year’s meet also saw the girls’ team earn a top-ten ranking for the first time in more than 15 years as the Marauders finished an impressive 9th with 264 points, bettering their 333 points and 13th place finish last year.

Belmont’s juniors Sophia Klimasmith and Meredith Hughes barely missed the 30th place cutoff to join Brams at the state championships as the pair finished in 34th (20:09) and 38th (20:16) respectively. They would have had to beat 20:00.9 which the 30th finisher achieved to have qualified.

Freshman Camilla Carere finished her first championship in 85th (21:42) followed by junior Emma Chambers (101st, 22:25) and junior Carly Tymm (22:36).

Belmont’s high ranking was achieved with one of its varsity runners, sophomore Elisabeth Silletto, out with an injury and a team made up entirely of underclassmen, one of only a handful of squads racing Saturday which could make that claim.

On the boys side, the team finished 19th in the Div. 3 section with 492 points, led by senior Ari Silverfine who raced home in 30th in 17:17, as he prepares for the indoor and outdoor track season in his speciality, the 800 meters. Following Silverfine was fellow senior Charles Smith in 80th (17:55), sophomore Wilder Manion (107th, 18:25), junior Mike Ferrante (124th, 18:41), Ian Bowe (151st, 19:30), Noah Miller-Medzon (159th, 20:02) and Connor Quinn (161st in 20:07).

Sports: Juniors Lead Girl Harriers to 3-1; Dreary Tuesday for Boys’ Soccer

Belmont High School Junior Sophie Klimasmith wants nothing better than to see the Girls’ Cross County team that she’s a member head to a division or even state championship meet at the end of the season.

But Klimasmith’s most immediate athletic challenge comes down to a single number: 20.

The Marauder co-captain is seeking to transverse Belmont’s Clay Pit Pond course in less than 20 minutes.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, the 11th grader came close to breaking “20” over the five kilometer (3.1 mile) multi-loop course.

“I set my PR with a 20 [minute] 10 [second time]. So that’s my big goal,” Klimasmith told the Belmontonian after finishing a strong second in the duel meet against Arlington High School which Belmont won, 18-39, by taking five of the first six spots ran on a cool, wet afternoon, perfect weather for running cross country.

The win leaves Belmont with a sterling 3-1 record with only a one point loss to perennial powerhouse Reading Memorial High School its only blemish.

“The team is very strong this year,” said Klimasmith, pointing to its strong junior class leading the way both on the course and within the team. Belmont’s key is co-captain Leah Brams, who has yet to loss a race in the Middlesex League, winning a pair of league crowns and finishing among the top runners in two previous state finals.

“She’s the fast one,” said Klimasmith of Brams, who cruised in Tuesday’s race coming home in 19:35. “She sets a very high standard but that’s good because it’s something to aim for.”

Klimasmith has taken over the role of the consistent strong “second” – the runner who can challenge the opponent’s best and bring home a “low” number (cross country is scored where first place earns “one” point, second “two” points and so on) for the team.

Following behind Klimasmith the entire season has been fellow 11th graders Meredith Hughes (4th in 20:54) and Carly Tymm (5th, 22:23). The surprise this year has been freshman Camilla Carere who usually rounds out Belmont’s top five (6th on Tuesday in 22:30). Snagging 10th and 11th were junior Madison Kells and freshman Seneca Hart (22:55 and 23:01)

“We are building a much stronger core. It would be great if our top ten runners were closer together but we have a few injuries including [sophomore] Elizabeth Stiletto who was very strong last year,” said Klimasmith.

Head coach Brian Dunn said the team “will be challenged by Woburn and Lexington in the regular season but we feel that we will have a much better result in the league championship where we’d like to give Reading a much stronger challenge.”

Klimasmith said cross country is one sport that doesn’t cut anyone who wants to be on the team.

“And that’s nice because you’re not based on how many goals you scored. It’s just your choice to be there. And our team reflects that because the faster runners don’t just hang out together. We feel like a real team,” she said.

Over on the boys’ side, Belmont senior Ari Silverfine is running with the league best this season, which on Tuesday meant staying with Arlington’s Andrew Peterson until the final home stretch as the Marauders were on the long end of a 18-37 defeat to the Spyponders.

Boys’ Soccer falls to pumped up Winchester

Simply put, the visiting Sachems of Winchester outplayed the host Marauders in a mostly one-sided affair on Tuesday night, Sept. 30 at Harris Field.

The 2-0 final score was somewhat deceiving as Winchester had several clear cut goal-scoring opportunities – including hitting the crossbar – denied by Belmont’s senior goalkeeper Peter Berens including a pair of shots from within the goal box.

 

Belmont could never find a rhythm to their offense as Winchester’s speed along the front line and midfield prevented the Marauders from switching the field of play moving forward. Belmont’s defense was under siege for most of the match.

At one point in the second half with his team pressuring the hosts, the Winchester head coach called out “Pour it on, Black.” (referring to the color of the team’s away uniform). And they did.

Sports: Boys’, Girls’ Soccer Still Unbeaten, Volleyball Ace Spartans, Harriers Empty Watertown

A busy – and successful – two days for Belmont High School athletic teams:

Soccer: Unbeaten on the field and between the posts

Belmont High’s Boys’ and Girls’ soccer remain undefeated and not scored upon after tussles with Reading Memorial High School.

Not that Belmont Boys‘ Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane was all that pleased with his charge’s 3-0 victory over the Rockets in Reading Monday, Sept. 15. 

“We did not play very good in the first half,” said Bisceglia-Kane, whose team has advanced to 4-0-0 after scoring three goals for the third consecrative game. “We played better in the second half but we have areas of improvement.”

“Peter Berens was the man of the match as he was outstanding. He kept us in the match,” said Bisceglia-Kane of his senior goal keep.

Midfielders Nick Andrikidis, Charlie Frigo and Ben Lazenby scored for the  Marauders.

In their first real test of the season, Belmont Girls‘ Soccer waited until the final minutes of both halves to score, beating the Rockets, 2-0, on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at Harris Field.

“We were a little flat especially in the second half but I am proud how they played together. This was a real team victory,” said Paul Graham, Belmont’s long-time head coach.

Much of the credit for the tightness of the game rested on Rocket senior goal keeper Meghan O’Brien who was a rock in net, making two brilliant saves including a diving stretch to palm the ball off the line off a header by Belmont’s Alex Dionne midway in the first.

Belmont broke through when freshman scoring machine Carey Allard slide the ball into the net after a scramble out front with three minutes left in the first.

The Rockets played with renewed spirit in the second and took the majority of the play against Belmont. It was the Marauders back three, led by senior center back Lucia Guzikowski, that pressured Readings forwards into erred shots. 

When they got through, senior goalkeeper Linda Herlihy made two outstanding stops on her right post.

The final goal came within the final two minutes off of Belmont’s favorite corner kick. Junior Katrina Rokosz, who just came off the bench, struck the free kick which was headed by midfield star Lizzie Frick finding a poaching junior forward Kristin Gay who roofed the ball past O’Brien. 

Next up for the Marauders will be a clash of undefeated against hosts Arlington High School on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Aces up as Belmont ups record to 4-2

That was close.

“Wow, we nearly blew that,” said Belmont High Volleyball Head Coach Jen Couture after her team was sent into extra points in a fourth set after dominating the Spartans in the initial two sets.

“We were working on some new set ups that included a new setter and libero. And they were doing well until they got frustrated when they lost a few points,” said Couture, seeing the team drop the third set, 20-25.

And Couture’s team was nearly stretched to a fifth set when, after leading 24-20, they dropped four points to see the score tied, 24-24. But a service ace and a Stoneham mistake in setting a return saw Belmont take their fourth match of the young season, 3-1 (25-11, 25-11, 20-25, 26-24).

It was a special afternoon for junior Kabita Das as she broke the team’s record for aces in a game with 11. In addition, Alex Davis made numerous plays out front, helped by the team’s new setter, junior Faye Regan. 

“We are seeing a lot of great hitting and that’s what we wanted at the start of the season,” said Couture.

Up and running and winning

Belmont’s harriers took a quick trip to Watertown and easily put second victories in their column as both the Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country teams won going away. Both teams won 19-42 with the Marauders taking first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth places.

Next up for the squads will be at powerhouse Reading Memorial next week.