Boys’ Soccer Remains Unbeaten As Girls’ Go 2-0 For The Week


It was rock’em sock’em soccer at Harris Field on Thursday night, Sept. 142 as Belmont High Boys’ Soccer literally battled it out with Melrose, coming away with a 1-0 victory to keep its record unblemished at 3-0-0.

Senior Jon Brabo scored on a header from a corner by junior Theo Kargere five minutes into the game to give all the Marauders’ needed this night that saw more penalty cards – one for Belmont, two to Melrose – than goals as the chippiness factor increased as the hour got late.

That was in mark contrast to the goal fest ore n the grass in Stoneham on Tuesday, Sept. 11 where the Marauders needed a Barbo hat trick to keep the Spartans at bay, 5-2.

Against Melrose, senior goalkeeper Finbar Rhodes garnered his second shutout of the campaign as he had little to do as Belmont kept the Red Raiders on the back foot for most of the evening event. When Melrose turned to a more physical style, Belmont was able to counter with a more skills-based approach

“I was just telling the guys, sometimes other teams will try to suck you into their style of play, and then you’re trying to work your way out of that. The guys showed a lot of composure; they are really disciplined on their own. They’re saying all the things that I would say anyway, prior to me saying it to them, so they know what’s going on,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane.

Belmont will see a big step up in competition as the Marauders host undefeated Lexington – ranked 5th in the Boston Globe Top 20 – on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Harris Field at 7:30 p.m.

Girls’ Soccer take two

After being shutout and shutdown in the season opener to Wilmington, Belmont High Girls’ Soccer are beginning to righting the ship with a pair of solid victories this past week.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, junior forward Kiki Christofori – who is better known for her two-point baskets – struck for a second-half brace as the Marauders defeated Melrose, 2-0. Christofori first strike was from nearly 20 meters from goal into the top of the goal with a second powered past the goalie.

Earlier in the week, Belmont got a late scare from a tough and talented Stoneham High team – a 13 win sectional semifinalist last year – to sneak out of Harris Field with a 5-3 win. Sabrina Salls scored a brace including the final goal – a blast from more than 15 meters out – to give Belmont some breathing space after the Spartans scored twice in a seven-minute stretch late in the match to cut Belmont’s lead to 4-3.

Ally Landry wound up the night with three points: a goal – an unassisted strike with five minutes left in the first half to give Belmont a 2-1 margin after 40 minutes – and two assists. Marina Karalis scored the game-winner with 15 minutes remaining in the match while Jenna Thomas opened the scoring and closed it with a goal and an assist.

Long-time Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham said while the two late Stoneham goals were a result of not clearing the ball quickly or efficiently, Belmont score three of their goals off of set plays, either corners or free kicks.

The Marauders travel to Lexington on Wednesday before celebrating Soccer Night in Belmont on Saturday against a familiar foe, 3rd ranked Winchester.

Belmont Fall Sports Starts With Solid Wins For Volleyball, Boys’ Soccer

Photo: Belmont High School Volleyball’s Mindee Lai attacking the net.

Belmont High athletics started the 2019 Fall Sports season on Thursday, Sept. 5 with a pair of solid home outings.

Volleyball Cage Wildcats In Straight Sets

In its season opening victory over Wilmington High, Belmont High’s Volleyball squad showed that it has just as much or even more talent on the court in 2019 than last year when it made its way to the Division 1 Central/East Sectional finals against eventual state champs Newton North.

Belmont swept the Wildcats 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-10) in the first game in the Wenner Field House that is adjacent to the construction site of the new Middle and High School.

“I’m really happy with the way they played,” said Belmont Head Coach Jennifer Couture, who led her team in the season opener less than two weeks after giving birth to her daughter.

Belmont’s Sam Lim setting for her teammates.

“I think that everybody just went all out and they weren’t afraid of making mistakes. There’s still stuff for us to work on like communication, but I think, overall, the team played really aggressive,” she said.

Where Belmont has gained from last year is the addition of a second setter. Senior setter Mindee Lai now has junior Sam Lim who can take over setting up attacks, allowing her to play outside and use her hitting skills.

“Those two centers gives us a lot of options and lets us do a lot of different things we couldn’t last year,” Couture said.

Marauder Jenna Crowley sets up for a block.

Couture also pointed out senior libero Sophie Estok who came up with 12 digs and sophomore Megan Kornberg who “really stood out in her varsity debut. She played with a lot of confidence. Great passing great hitting.”

Boys’ Soccer Strikes Quick vs Wilmington

The Belmont High Boys’ Soccer got off to a fast start in the new season as they struck early in each half to defeat Wilmington, 2-0, in the season debut.

Senior Jon Brabo opened the scoring campaign with a strike eight minutes into the first half (assist from sophomore Mateo Estrada Donahue) while Will Kilavatitu entered the scoring column with a goal after only two and a half minutes into the second half (fellow junior Ali Noorouzi assisting) to give Belmont all the edge it needed as senior goalie Finbar Rhodes earned the clean sheet with five saves.

“This is a very likable group,” said Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane of his team that saw a good number of senior players graduate in June.

“It’s a youngis squad, but we have a mature group of juniors, which is why I think it works. They really matured a lot from sophomore into junior year,” he said.

It’s one game, but I think they showed what they’ve been working on moving the ball and we had a bunch of scoring chances in the game,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

Girls’ Soccer Trip To Wilmington Less Than Welcoming

A young Belmont High Girls’ Soccer squad surrendered a goal in each half to host Wilmington and were shutout in its season opener, 2-0. The Marauders get back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Harris Field vs. Stoneham.

Belmont Girls’ Soccer Rolls Over Salem In Playoff Opener

Photo: Belmont senior forward Morgan Krauss in action against Salem. (Credit: David Flanagan)

It was over before it started as 7th seed Belmont High Girls Soccer scored four goals in the first 20 minutes in its first-round Division 2 North Sectional game against an overwhelmed 11th ranked Salem High squad, defeating the Witches 11-0 on a blustery cold Saturday afternoon, Nov. 3.

After all was said and done, Belmont (11-4-2) was sparked by senior forward Ella Gagnon who had a five-point night with a hat trick and two assists. Gagnon’s linemates senior Morgan Krauss and junior Marina Karalis each had two goals and an assist. Salem (9-7-3) who play in the Northeastern South League, were just not in the same level of speed or skills as Belmont or likely most suburban schools with strong town programs that provides a constant supply of experienced players. 

It will be a quick turnover for Belmont as the Marauders is scheduled to play second seed and Middlesex League Liberty rivals Winchester (17-1-0) on Monday in Winchester at 4:30 p.m. Belmont has had its hands full with the League champion Sachems, falling 4-0 at Winchester and 5-1 at home.

“We have to worry about (Hannah) Curtin, that’s for sure,” said longtime Belmont head coach of Winchester’s star forward (who is also a champion indoor sprinter). “We’ll probably have to play her man-to-man but then we are playing much better than we have been even just a couple of weeks ago. When we played them here, we had our scoring chances and if we buried them, it would have been a different story.” 


Third Soccer Night In Belmont Set for Harris Field, Saturday, Sept 29

Photo: The procession to the field

The Belmont High School Boys and Girls Varsity soccer teams will headline the third annual Soccer Night in Belmont on Saturday, September 29, joined at the event by hundreds of younger players from Belmont 2nd Soccer and the Belmont Soccer Association, their coaches, and other members of the Belmont soccer community.

Soccer Night in Belmont will feature a doubleheader under the lights at Harris Field against Middlesex League rivals Arlington: a Boys’ game at 4:30 p.m. followed by a Girls’ game at 6:30 p.m. 

Belmont youth soccer players will participate by parading out with players during the pre-game ceremonies, acting as ball-boys and ball-girls, and competing in mini-games on Harris Field during halftime of both games. Arlington Soccer Club youth soccer players will also participate in the pre-game ceremonies and other activities.

“This event showcases our varsity teams and recognizes the role of Belmont 2nd Soccer and BSA in nurturing the talent that makes up these teams year in and year out,” said event organizer John Carson. 

“We hope to exceed last year’s crowd of more than 1,500, and it will be a really fun night that builds bonds between our ‘little kid’ players and ‘big kid’ high school players, virtually all of whom came up through the Belmont youth program.  In fact, one great highlight is always that our high school players wear wristbands during the game that match the color of their Belmont 2nd Soccer team,” said Carson.

Admission to Soccer Night in Belmont is free. Concessions including pizza, hot dogs, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase, provided by Parents of Music Students (POMS) so families can come for the games and feed the kids at the same time.

Soccer Night in Belmont is sponsored by Belmont 2nd Soccer, Belmont Soccer Association, Belmont Savings Bank, The Rising, Phoenix Landing, with special thanks to Friends of Belmont Soccer (FOBS) and Belmont Athletic Director Jim Davis.

Sports Quick Hits: Volleyball On A Streak; Girls’ Soccer Rebounds; Boys’ Soccer’s First Fall

Photo: Jane Mahon doing what she does best; control the net.

A brief snapshot of the latest in Belmont High sports.

Volleyball on Record Streak; Mahon Sets Second Career Mark

Belmont High Volleyball is on a record streak at the start to the 2018 season. The Marauders’ 3-0 win over Lexington (25-21, 25-18, 25-22) on Monday, Sept. 17, ups Belmont’s record to 5-0, the best start in the program’s history and ties the longest win streak which occurred in 2014. The squad will host 4-2 (4-1 in the league) Winchester at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21 at the Wenner Field House.

Senior co-captain Jane Mahon broke the team’s career blocking record in the Lexington match. This achievement goes along with her team kills career record, both which will increase with 14 games still remaining in the regular season.

Girls’ Soccer Rebounds Against Lexington, 5-0

After Saturday morning’s frustrating defeat to Woburn, losing 3-2 after leading 2-0 at the half, Belmont Girls’ Soccer (3-1-1) took out its frustrations on visiting Lexington, scoring five times against the Minutemen. Senior forward Ella Gagnon continues her hot scoring with a pair of goals and an assist with senior wing Morgan Krause and sophomore Jenna Thomas – scoring in consecutive games – rounding out the goals. Senior goalie Chloe Tingos earned the shutout. Middlesex Liberty leader Winchester (5-0-0), ranked 9th in the Boston Globe’s Top 20 poll, will host the Marauders’ on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 4 p.m.

First defeat for fast starting Boys’ Soccer

After a smart 4-0 run to start the season, the Belmont Boys’ Soccer team (4-1-0) took a trip to Lexington where its lack of offensive punch – 7 goals in those four games – came back to haunt them falling to the 4-1-0 Minutemen, 3-0, on Monday. Despite the loss, Belmont senior keeper Tomas Griffin was named a Player of the Week in the Globe, noting he “helped the eighth-ranked Marauders (4-1) record shutouts of Middlesex League rivals Stoneham and Woburn.” Another tough scrap to come on Thursday, Sept. 20, when the Boys greet Winchester (4-1-2) to the Harris at 4 p.m.

Belmont Girls’ Soccer Falls 1-0 To Woburn in Playoff Opener

Photo: Senior Carey Allard at the end of the game with Woburn.

Using a physical shutdown defense and capitalizing with a stylish goal on one of its two shots on net, Woburn High Girls’ Soccer upended favorites and hosts Belmont, 1-0, in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 North sectional playoffs held on a breezy, chilly Harris Field on Saturday, Nov. 4.

On a night which third-seed Belmont held a distinct advantage in the run of play, the Marauders frustrating lack of a finishing touch set it up for an early exit from the playoff picture at the hands of the sixth-ranked Tanners.

“We did everything but score,” said Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham after he spent 10 minutes addressing his emotional players on the field after the game.

“So many shots and passes inside the six [meter goal area] and none of them went in,” he said.

Belmont finishes its season at 14-3-0 while Woburn (13-5-1) continues its playoff run in the semi-finals against Middlesex League foe Winchester on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Both teams came into the game after disappointing performances; the Marauders suffered its worst defeat of the year, 4-1, at Winchester in the final game of the season while Woburn – which had led the Middlesex League race five games earlier – came to Harris Field on a 0-4-1 run without a goal during that streak.

The game was tightly played on both sides without much offensive rhythm or flow as Woburn kept its eye on Belmont’s senior forward Carey Allard who is a favorite to be named league MVP. On the other side, the Tanners found it hard to break the Marauders steady backline of senior co-captain Natalie Marcus-Bauer, junior Megan Tan, and senior Emily Duffy. 

But it was Woburn who took advantage of an opening midway through the first half. The Tanner’s Kelsey Long took a diagonal pass from a teammate and before the Marauders could switch defenders hit an open right foot shot 20 meters out that curled past Marauder goalkeeper Chloe Tingos into the left corner of the net.

Belmont nearly got the goal right back when a corner kick was headed by junior Ella Gagnon that scrapped by the right post by Tanner goalkeeper Kelsey Qualey.

But for most of the next hour, the Tanners relied on its strength by playing with five defenders in front of its net while placing a single player up front. Belmont did come close on several occasions especially early in the second half when senior Morgan Krauss and midfielder co-captain Emma Sass each sent balls through the penalty area that somehow did not find a teammate to close the deal. 

And while co-captain senior Courtney Gray and Allard were able to work well down the left side, they were ultimately met by three and then four Woburn players who cut off the passing lanes and push them outside the penalty area. 

As the final whistle blew, the Marauders were left to watch as Woburn rushed the field to celebrate the upset.

“It’s a great group of kids. I told them this [season] is something they will never forget,” said Graham.

“Belmont is still one of the best teams in the state, I don’t care what anyone says. But you have to score to win,” Graham said as he walked off the pitch. 

Allard Breaks Century Mark As Belmont Girls’ Soccer Downs Rockets, 3-0

Photo: Carey Allard of Belmont.

In her first varsity game as a freshman four years ago, Belmont High senior co-captain Carey Allard scored five goals including the game’s first four in an eight-minute stretch in the first half  and added an assist in the Marauders’ 10-0 blitz of arch-rival Watertown High School.

“She’s going to have some career if she can keep that up,” said Head Coach Paul Graham back in September 2014.

Just how good Allard would be since that hot summer morning was answered on a muggy and damp Tuesday evening, Oct. 24, when the four-year starter broke the career century point mark scoring a brace against visiting Reading High on Seniors Night as Belmont downed the Rockets, 3-0.

The two goals gave the co-captain 101 points with two games remaining in the season and upping her goals this season to 18 with seven assists.

Allard is the first Marauder to reach 100 points since Michelle (Sheehan) Henry accomplished that goal in 2006. Henry is currently in her second year as the varsity assistant coach with Graham. 

The record-breaker came midway through the second half with Belmont leading 1-0. Playing on her off side near the right sideline, Allard cut with the ball 20 meters from goal and hit a pinpoint shot into the left side of the net. 

Allard – who will be playing defense for Division 1 University of North Caroline Wilmington next fall – finished the scoring burying a penalty kick after she was pushed from behind inside the penalty area with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. 

While Tuesday’s game was the final home game of the season, Belmont’s 13-1-0 record will likely see it playing a pair of home playoff games in the Division 2 North Sectional tournament. And likely more points into Allard’s high school point tally. 

Girls’ Soccer: Merrily They Roll Along; Boys’ Find Its Scoring Touch

Photo: Courtney Gray scoring for Belmont.

For Belmont High Girls’ Soccer, the past week saw the undefeated/untied Marauders secure a playoff spot with half the season still to come while the Boys’ regained its scoring punch after a mid-season stumble

Girls’ Achieve Playoffs, Await Home and Home vs. One Loss Woburn

The Broadway composer and lyrist Stephen Sondheim titled one of his lesser-known musicals “Merrily We Roll Along.” While that book is about three friends over the years, one could steal the title and use it to describe the Belmont High Girls soccer team this season as they happily run the table. After a 4-0 victory at Wakefield on a rainy Columbus Day, the team had secured a perfect record at 10-0-0 as well as a playoff place in the Division 2 North Sectionals. 

Just before he left for an annual trip to an employers conference in Chicago, longtime Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham said he would not discount making the tournament this early in the season.

“It was one of our goals, so it’s important to recognize it. Sometimes you don’t make it so you should celebrate it,” he said after defeating an undermanned Watertown team, 7-0, before capping the week at Wakefield where junior forward Ella Gagnon tucked in a brace, each goal assisted by senior forward and co-captain Carey Allard who scored three times against Watertown.

After three consecutive shutouts where Belmont dominated play, the Marauders will have its hands full at the end of the week as they meet one-loss Woburn High School in a rare home and home matchup. The opener will be played on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Woburn and the return fixture is on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 14, at 5 p.m. at Harris Field. 

After Stumble, Boys Re-establish Scoring Touch 

After scoring one of the program’s most significant victories in recent years by defeating Winchester 2-0 back in September, the Boys’ Soccer team suddenly couldn’t find its way to the back of its opponent’s net. 

A 2-1 shock home loss to then-winless Reading matched with a 1-0 heartbreaker to top-ranked Arlington coupled with an uninspiring 1-1 tie against Melrose left the Marauders dog paddling with a 4-3-2 record.

But “with a few adjustments to our lineup” by Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane, the Marauders have reestablished its attacking. 

Senior captain Jake Carson, who is now playing as a true center forward, scored the lone goal in the final minutes to give the Marauders a much needed 1-0 victory over hosts Watertown on Friday, Oct. 6. Then braces by Carson and junior Seamus Dullaghan along with a solo goal from junior Jorge Mejia saw Belmont break out for a comfortable 5-0 victory over Wakefield to up its record to 6-3-2, putting it on the verge of a return to the postseason. 

“We are playing some of our stronger players for long stretches, and that has worked well. The last couple of games we have started to gain momentum, and we are about to play the teams we have already played before (in the Liberty division of the Middlesex League),” said Bisceglia-Kane.

After a home game against Woburn at the end of the week, Belmont will be on the road for the next three games against two teams above them in the league standings, leaders Arlington and Winchester. 

“We feel confident that we’ll be in every game that they play in. We have to score earlier, so the other team doesn’t feel that they are competitive despite us outplaying them,” he said. 

Sports: Allard’s Wonder Goal Gives Unbeaten Belmont 3-2 Win Over Winchester

Photo: Carey Allard celebrates the winning goal vs. Winchester.

When Winchester forward Anna Carazza’s centering “pass” dropped into Belmont’s net with 12 minutes remaining in Saturday’s exciting battle of the unbeaten between Belmont and Winchester, it appeared the game’s momentum was about to turn in the Sachems’ favor.

But as Winchester – ranked 7th in the Boston Globe’s top 20 poll – celebrated, 60 meters down the pitch Belmont’s Carey Allard was preparing to enter the match, a substitution no one had expected.

Six days earlier, the four-year varsity starter suffered a high ankle sprain against Lexington ending up wearing a medical boot and on crutches. By game day, Allard was able to warm up with her teammates but told Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham she wasn’t fit enough to start against Winchester.

For 70 minutes, Allard sat on the Marauders bench, watching with more than 800 fans on “Soccer Night in Belmont.’

Then with 10 minutes to go, Graham approached his All-Star captain with a question.

“[Graham] asked if I thought I could play the final 10 minutes and I said, ‘Why not?'” Allard told the Belmontonian after the game. 

A Division 1 commit heading to the University of North Carolina – Wilmington next fall, Allard has been the Sachem’s nemesis over the past four years including scoring a long-range stunner in last year’s first-round playoff game that ended in Belmont’s upset victory. With that in mind, Winchester junior Hannah Markham was assigned the task of playing Allard with a tight man-to-man coverage. After eight minutes, Allard had a few brief touches and nothing more.

Winchester’s focus on Allard opened the field to allow other Marauders the opportunity to attack the goal. Sophomore Marina Karalis came close to scoring twice 20 seconds apart; once striking the ball over the crossbar and barely missing the right post. 

As the field clock fast approached the final two minutes and Winchester moving up the pitch, freshman forward Grace Kane – who took Allard’s place in the starting lineup – stepped in front of a pass and fed the senior co-captain who was nearly 25 meters to the left of Winchester’s goal.

One touch, a half turn, and Allard looked at Winchester’s net.

“I honestly said, ‘This is my chance,'” said Allard

The ball flew heading for the right top corner then curving inside the far post by Winchester’s senior goalkeeper Silvia Dowdell. 3-2 Belmont.

Allard’s wonder goal in the final two minutes put the exclamation mark on what was an early season classic pitting two undefeated teams playing at their best before a packed Harris Field in the opener of Belmont’s annual soccer celebration.

“Allard is a threat anytime she’s in that range,” said Graham, who saw his team improve to 5-0-0, tied with undefeated Woburn at the top of the Middlesex League Liberty division. The only blemish to the game’s result; despite defeating a top ten team and recording a perfect record, the Marauders have yet to break the Globe’s Top 20 poll. 

It was a game that saw each team take control of the field, lead changes and physical plays with girls ending up on the turf throughout the contest. 

Winchester had the better of Belmont early on, with their collective speed and quickness putting a damp on Belmont’s plans to set a more controlled pace to the game.

Winchester opened the scoring on a deep cross from finding a streaking senior captain Shelley Blumsack beating Belmont’s defender to put the ball into the upper net.

Winchester’s lead could have been two or three times what they had but for decisive defensive work by the backline anchored by senior captain Natalie Marcus-Bauer who made two sliding tackles deep in the penalty box on solo runs by Winchester wingers.

“I was just focused on containing [any challenge] and forcing them out to the side,” she said, knowing she could rely on the other defenders including juniors Megan Tan and Emily Dexter, while 

Belmont tied the score 18 minutes into the first half on two consecutive free kicks, the second at the edge of the box after a Winchester push. Senior midfielder and co-captain Emma Sass curling shot hit the right post then came out for an onrushing senior forward Morgan Krauss – who was named the player of the match by members of the Soccer Night in Belmont – who headed the rebound inside the left frame.

After going into the half tied at one, Krauss doubled Belmont’s advantage midway through the second half, taking in a Kane pass and rifling it by Dowdell.

But ever so slightly, Winchester found a half step advantage and began pressing resulting in Carazza’s goal. 

For Graham, the victory was a culmunation of switching this alignment – starting with a 3-4-3 and ending with a 4-4-2 and the knowledge that he could put in most of the players on the bench without a drop off in performance. 

“I used 17 players including two freshmen and a number of seniors who don’t start and they all played well. That’s a luxury to have,’ said Graham.

Girls’, Boys’ Soccer Meet Top 10 Winchester Saturday After Scrappy Week

Photo: Belmont against Leington.

It will an early test of just how good both Belmont High School soccer teams are in 2017 as the Girls’ and Boys’ soccer programs take on league-leading and top 10 Winchester sides on Saturday, Sept. 23  during the annual Soccer Night in Belmont festivities.

Both teams are coming off a week of scrappy games which concluded with the girls’ facing the challenge of possibly playing without its acknowledged leader and star player as it takes its undefeated record up against fellow unbeaten Winchester.

In the match at Lexington on Monday, Sept. 18, which Belmont won 3-1 to up its record to 4-0-0, senior captain Carey Allard suffered an ankle injury late in the game against the Minutemen. In a match which Lexington had tightly marked the Division 1 commit (UNC-Wilmington), the Marauder star came up lame after a collision. As of Friday, Allard’s availability to participate in the contest will be a game-time decision. 

At Lexington, Belmont led 2-0 at the half from a 20-yard blast from Ella Gagnon into the top right corner with an assist from Allard followed 15 minutes later by a left-footed volley into the side netting by Courtney Gray. Belmont added a late goal on an Emma Sass corner kick to the head of Marina Karalis. Natalie Marcus-Bauer anchored the defense and ran down several Lexington breakaways. 

For the Boys’ the previous games showed the teams continued defensive promise if not its scoring punch. In a shocker, the boys’ lost to host and then-winless Woburn, 1-0 on Friday, Sept. 2, before battling back against Lexington to take a 1-1 tie at home. After falling behind after 11 minutes, Belmont took control of the game both on offense and defense. With five minutes remaining in half, a long throw-in from Mich Pomer found Marauder’s Seamus Dullagham who fired a low shot into the net. 

The tie puts Belmont’s record at 3-1-1 as they prepare to take on 4-1-1 Sachems on Saturday.