Photo: The new record of 13 wins after the Marauders final regular season game.
The 2023 season has seen Belmont High Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams reach new heights having secured playoff berths and prepare for runs in their respective MIAA tournaments.
Girls’ Lucky 13
In its final game of the season on Thursday, May 25, the Girls’ set a program record 13 victories (against 5 losses) after defeating Arlington in a 17-13 slugfest.
The girls broke the previous record of 12 registered in 2011 and 2009. And the Marauders play has been heating up along with the summer weather. In its final 11 games in which they scored 158 goals or just over 14 per game, Belmont’s record was 9-2 with their two losses by single goals.
“We only only go up from here,” said first year Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “We still got a couple games left the season hopefully, because we’re going to make some noise in the tournament.”
“Making the playoffs is great for our seniors. We have ten of them,” he said. “The girls have done such a great job this year.”
The victory against the SpyPonders put a cap on an end-of-the-season five game winning streak. In a game that resembled a playoff contest, Belmont were in a scrap with Arlington with the hosts up 8-5 with seven minutes to play in the first half. It’s then Belmont’s captains on the field brought the Marauders back into the game. Senior midfield Stella Lesnik started the come back with a goal in the 14th minute, followed a minute later when senior attack Mary Mullan buried an eight meter penalty. Senior Layne Doherty took a pass from first-year mid Niamh Lesnik to score in the 17th minute with Mullan putting in her fourth of the half off an isolation with two minutes remaining in the half to tie the game at 9 at the break.
The Marauders showed their offensive prowess scoring four in four minutes early in the second half: Junior attack Carli Gaziano off a penalty, then the Marauders’ “Nickel and Dime” attack combo of Mullan and junior Tess Desantis scoring off the transition and from eight meters as Doherty finished off the goal burst with the Marauders leading 13-9. While the hosts narrowed the margin to two, Belmont’s defense led by junior goalie Julia Herlihy and senior defenders co-captain Nina Leveroni and senior Kiki Hovsepian put a halt to the comeback.
The Marauders are currently 27th in the final MIAA Division 1 Power Rankings. While its position should see them on the road for a first-round playoff match, there are eight to ten teams below the 32nd power ranking position – the tournament cut off – with records at or above .500 which makes them eligible for a play-in game, a match Belmont will host.
“[The squad is] really balanced and that’s what’s been great. It’s never one girl who’s just dominating the whole thing, it’s really been a team effort. And that’s what makes it so fun. And I’m glad we could celebrate and now we’re going to focus on the playoffs,” said O’Brien.
While Belmont High Boys Lacrosse is entering the Division 1 tournament with the offense stalling in the final two games, the squad’s 11-7 record marks a high for wins under the tenure of head coach Josh Streit and was one win away from tying the program’s record for victories with 12 set in 2009. As of Monday, Belmont is 26th in the MIAA Power Rankings, the second year running the Marauders have finished as an automatic qualifier for the playoffs.
“This group has really bought in to the program. They are a special group. They work really hard in the off season,” said Streit, pointing to senior co-captain Peter Grace and Peter Ausrotas in attack, the Pomer brothers, Matt and Mike, Mason Lemach-Bremen and Delan Doherty holding down the midfield. Senior defender Joe Gaziano anchors the long sticks with Joe Hanley and Collin Galloway in front of goalie Nate Moss.