A High School Doubleheader Headlights Soccer Night In Belmont On Saturday, Oct. 2

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The Belmont High School Boys and Girls Varsity soccer teams will headline a doubleheader of top-notch soccer at the sixth annual Soccer Night in Belmont on Saturday, Oct. 2.

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.

The games, to be played under the lights at Harris Field, will see the Marauders meet Middlesex League rivals Winchester: the Boys game at 4:30 pm followed by a Girls game at 6:30 pm. The teams will vie for the Phoenix Cup and the honor of having their team’s name engraved on it.  

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. Winchester 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 the Belmont Soccer Association in nurturing the talent that makes our high school teams year in and year out,” said event organizer John Carson. “We hope for a big crowd for 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 youth soccer team.”

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 the Belmont Soccer Association, Friends of Belmont Soccer (FOBS), and The Phoenix Landing.

Belmont High Soccer: Last Second Goals Give Boys’, Girls’ Opening Week Lift

Photo: Belmont High freshman Dana Lehr (second left) celebrates the tying goal she scored in the final two minutes of the match vs Wilmington.

There’s a phase used in British soccer commentary: “at the death” meaning at the last possible moment of a game. For both of Belmont High soccer teams in their opening week, points were salvaged “at the death” – one for a much needed tie and the other resulting in a ruckus victory.

Freshman rescues Girls’ soccer

Belmont High Girls’ soccer opened its 2021-22 Middlesex League account on Friday, Sept. 10, facing the prospect of a solid effort against visiting Wilmington High go to waste as the Marauders’ trailed late, 1-0, via a deflected shot early in the fourth quarter.

But leave it up to one of the youngest players on the pitch to pull a point out of her hat a la Bullwinkle J Moose as freshman midfielder Dana Lehr deftly slotted a pin-perfect pass from forward Paula Dullaghan from just inside the goal area with two minutes remaining to see the match end as a 1-1 stalemate.

“You can’t loss the first game!” explained Lehr.

Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham praised his center defender Sofia Hospodar as a steadying influence for a young back line taking on a physical opponent.

The Marauders were on the road Tuesday, Sept. 14 visiting Stoneham, a good all-around squad that uses its home ground – a rarely cut grass pitch that tilts at an angle between the goals – to great advantage. The end result was Belmont’s first loss, 2-1, as the Spartan’s speed allowed them to play the long-ball game and keep the Marauders bottled up.

“We were running backwards all game long,” said Graham. “It was so frustrating but they played better then we did.”

While Belmont had its chances, they could only breech the Stoneham goal once through junior Sabrina Salls.

Belmont is in action on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Harris Field against Melrose.

Boys’ grabs a late winner, everyone goes bonkers

After a big opening day 2-0 victory over host Wilmington on Friday, Sept. 10, the Belmont High Boys’ Soccer team hosted Freedom Division foe Stoneham at Harris Field on Tuesday, Sept. 14 and waited until the very last minute to snatch a 2-1 victory from the prospect of a tie.

For first year head coach Niman Kenkre the team’s three win start – Belmont secured a non-league 3-1 victory over Boston Latin which will impact any potential state tournament seeding – “has laid a marker for the season ahead.”

Against Stoneham, Marauder Lucas Alvarez Fernandez took hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s quote – “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take” – to heart when his middling attempt was terribly muffed by the Spartan goalie to give Belmont a 1-0 lead at the half. While Belmont held a slight edge over the Stoneham team – made up of taller and stouter players – in the first half, the Marauders saw themselves on the back boot as the game moved into the later part of the second half.

”We are not at the fitness level as I had hoped. We had players cramping … and others needed to be subbed out,” Kenkre said.

Stoneham’s quickness paid off near the mid point of the half as two quick one-time passes along the goal line left an opening in the front of the Marauder’s net for the tying goal.

Rather than settle for the point at home, Belmont committed to the attack down the wings searching for a clear shot at goal. As the scoreboard clock stopped at the 2 minute mark – when the officials keep the time on the field – Belmont’s Anthony Durkin drifted in-between three Spartan defenders at the top of the penalty box where Alvarez Fernandez found the forward with a pass from the left. A few steps to find a clear view and Durkin’s blast found the back of the net with little time left to play. The resulting bonkers celebration on and off the field – including an attempted pitch invasion (?!) from Marauder supporters – will be seen by the participants as obviously over the top for an early season league match on a Tuesday night.

“I can’t say enough about [Anthony],” said Kenkre. “He’s our star, he’s our senior leader. He came back from cramps and when he went back in, he suggested that he be put up as a striker. And I did that and it resulted in a brilliant goal. He was brilliant all game.”

Belmont is on the road Saturday, Sept. 18 to play Melrose.

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.

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.

Semis Bound Again: Belmont Boys’ Soccer Takes Down Arlington, Marblehead To Meet Winchester Wednesday

Photo: Senior Jon Brabo after scoring his second goal against Marblehead.

The 7th ranked Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer squad (12-4-2) will meet Middlesex League rivals and 6th ranked Winchester (12-3-5) one more time this season as the Marauders reach the MIAA Division 2 North semifinals for the third time in six years.

The game will be played on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. at Manning Field in Lynn. Forecasts call for temperatures in the upper 20s with winds around 10 mph so bundle up.

Poetic Justice: Belmont Opens Playoffs Beating SpyPonders In PK Thriller

With the game on the line, Belmont High’s senior goalkeeper Finbar Rhodes was in the zone.

With the opening game of the Division 2 North sectionals against neighboring Arlington High to be decided by penalty kicks, Rhodes got his gloves on four of the five shots, stopping two including Arlington’s fifth attempt giving the Marauders a 3-3 (4-3) victory on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Those watching the action likely wondered if Rhodes had some intuitive understanding of where the SpyPonders would be placing the ball.

Well, he sorta did.

Going back a year ago, it was Belmont on the short end of a penalty kick decision, 0-0 (4-2), against Arlington which went on to the Division 2 state finals. It turns out that Belmont’s coaches reviewed the video of the game and discovered that many of the same players who took those penalty kicks were on the current team.

They took that information and wrote on a stripe of athletic tape the Arlington player’s number and where they took the penalty kick a year ago. For example, “7 L” told Rhodes number 7 would likely kick the ball to his left.

On Wednesday, each SpyPonder on the tape went where the tape said he would.

“It’s a big advantage to know where [your opponent] is going,” said Rhodes with a smile after the game.

“Poetic justice,” said a Marauder on hearing the story.

In a thriller of a game that contrasted Belmont’s patient passing with Arlington’s physicality, the Marauders played some of its most comprehensive soccer for the season as they held the majority of the ball throughout the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second.

Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane gave all the credit to the players who were able to adapt to changes in positions and tactics to create the current winning lineup.

“It’s the guys and who they are, all the work that they put into the season and the composure and trust they have with each other. They kind of just have meshed together at the end of the season,” said Belmont’s Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane.

“It’s just a good group of people that work well together,” he said.

It was the perfect start to the game for Belmont when senior co-captain Jon Brabo bundled in a bungled save attempt at the two and half minute mark. But the Marauders were brought back to earth when Arlington’s slotted in a rebound off Rhodes 40 seconds after the Marauders’ goal.

While the SpyPonders looked to grind down the Marauders, Belmont countered by forcing Arlington to chase the ball with a collection of short passes and constant movement from the midfield and forwards.

Belmont’s second tally came 10 minutes from the half when senior Theo DiTommaso hit a bullet from 25 meters that eluded Arlington’s goalie and settled in the left end of the goal.

It appeared Belmont had all but iced the game eight minutes into the second half when Belmont’s midfielders put together a three-pass combination ending with junior Theo Kargere sending a brilliant feathered pass onto a rushing Brabo who one-timed the ball into the net.

“We have been really connecting on those situations. It really comes down to our coaches who said [goals] will happen playing this type of game,” said Brabo.

But Arlington would not be deterred, scoring just 90 seconds later to keep the game close. The final 20 minutes saw the SpyPonders’ pressure and speed take the game from the Marauders scoring on a shot that eluded Rhodes with 18 minutes remaining in the second half.

Belmont would thwart a number of challenges by Arlington late in regular time to take the game into a pair of 10 minute overtimes. Despite returning to its game and dominating the extra time, the Marauders could not find the final touch on two near goals to end it in sudden death.

It was up to Rhodes and Belmont’s snipers to win it for the Marauders with Rhodes and his piece of tape giving the home team an immediate advantage turning back the first penalty. It was four to three Belmont in the fifth stanza when Rhodes dove to his left even before Arlington’s players sent the ball that way to parry it away.

“It’s great to redeem myself for those three [goals] that got by me,” said Rhodes.

“They’re just focused and there’s a lot of intrinsic motivation,” said Bisceglia-Kane. “It starts with the captains. Brabo and Spencer Price have unique traits and all do certain things really well like obviously Jon and Arista is more vocal. Spencer’s tends to be more quiet but when he speaks up man everybody, he has the room.”

“They just make my life a lot easier,” he said.

Brabo’s Brace the Marauders by the Magicians

With Marblehead’s upset of Lynn Classical, Marauders hosted the Magicians on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Harris Field, with Brabo ready to show his magic hadn’t worn off from the playoff encounter.

Brabo started his scoring with a hammer of a shot from 15 meters out that beat Marblehead’s goalie short side 10 minutes into the game. The senior co-captain registered his second goal 15 minutes into the second half off a corner, stretching his head over the defender’s shoulder and slotting the ball back across the goalmouth and into the net.

“Obviously I owe it all to my teammates. They put me in the position where I just have to do the last part which is finishing,” said Brabo.

Belmont’s combination passing allowed the Marauders to both keep possession and move the ball into the Magicians’ end of the pitch. This game Belmont’s back line stood up to the few Marblehead forays at Rhodes’ net.

Wednesday will be the season’s rubber match with Winchester, first losing 3-0 at home on Soccer Night at Belmont while winning away, 2-0, three weeks ago.

“We always respect Winchester. It’s a really good team in our league and they’re well coached. We’re excited with what we have and obviously we known them really well,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

“It feels great playing them again,” said Brabo.

“After that devastating loss on Soccer Night, we had a chip on our shoulder and that showed when we beat them at their house. This is the deciding game, there’s a lot riding on it. As a senior, I’m going to put my heart out there but I’m sure everyone’s gonna do the same because it’s such a huge game,” said Brabo.

Boys’, Girls’ Soccer In Final Sprint For Preseason Placement

Photo: Belmont High defender Micheal Ciano (#5) vs. Reading.

With records hovering in the .500 range – usually the minimum requirement for entry for postseason play – both Belmont High soccer teams in the final two weeks of the season need to grab as many points before them.

Boys’ Seeking Scoring Punch, Found It Against Wakefield

Belmont High Boys’ Soccer Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane knows exactly what his Marauders need to do to win games: Get that first goal.

“We’re still trying on working to start strong because every game that we’ve scored first we went on to win and when we don’t, we don’t win,” said Bisceglia-Kane as his team stands at 5-4-1 with the strength of the Middlesex League schedule waiting for the Marauders in the final six games of the season.

Not just scoring first but scoring has been a large millstone hanging around the team’s neck. Since a 3-0 defeat to Winchester on Soccer Night in Belmont and before its game with Wakefield, the Marauders scored a single goal in four games that included a pair of 1-0 defeats with a grand total of eight goals in the season.

“I always tell the guys though that the best teams that we play and the worst, as long as we are competing hard, it will be razor thin who’ll come out on top. We play in a highly competitive league where the margin from top to bottom is almost nothing,” he said, noting while last year state finalist Arlington outplayed Belmont earlier in the season, “we beat them 1-0. It’s just that close.”

Bisceglia-Kane said while he continues to tweak the lineup up front, he doesn’t see much weakness with his back line – led by Micheal Ciano and Noah Meyer Herron – or the midfield which he said is moving the ball well with combination passing and solo runs. It’s just finding the net that remains an issue.

“We continue to put ourselves in a good position [to score], it’s just getting more chances in front of the goal,” he said.

On Monday, Oct. 7 against Wakefield, the goal drought came to an end as Sr. Jon Brabo scored the hat trick with midfield stalwart Will Hoerle adding a single tally as the Marauders took it to a winning Warrior team, 4-0 at Harris Field.

Scoring first just past midway through the first half by Brabo unassisted, the Marauders would score 13 minutes into the second from Hoerle via Ali Noorouzi before putting the game to bed with a pair from Brabo a minute apart with 14 minutes left with the final score assisted by Gabe Ditommaso. Senior goalkeep Finbar Rhodes picked up his fourth clean sheet of the season.

It will be a hard row to hoe over the next week for the Marauders as they play three consecutive games on the road; first off to a struggling Burlington squad before meeting a pair of undefeated teams, Lexington and Winchester.

“I really think we have a good chance at the playoffs. This team has been really enjoyable to coach because they really put everything on the line.

Girls’ Soccer Seeking Consistency As Postseason Looms

It’s been a topsy turvy series of games for Belmont High Girls’ Soccer. After being outplayed by Arlington (2-0 loss), the Marauders squeaked by a rebuilding Woburn team, 1-0, before crushing Watertown, 7-0. So it would appear trip to a Newton North for a match on grass on a sunny, autumnal Saturday afternoon against a one-win squad would be just what Belmont would need to pad its record.

Au Contraire! Belmont would walk off the pitch after a lackluster effort carrying a 1-0 loss back to Belmont. The Marauders’ long time Head Coach Paul Graham was at a loss for words on what had just happened.

Belmont High’s Kiki Christofori (#22) vs. Newton North

“I just don’t know,” he said.

So what chances did the Marauders have traveling to take on a rejuvenated Wakefield team that had not lost a home game in the season? How about a 2-1 victory thanks to a brace by jr. forward Kiki Christofori to push Belmont’s record to 6-4-1 with six matches remaining.

The Belmont Girls’ have an easier task to making the playoffs as they face a number of teams with weak records (Burlington) and which it has already beaten earlier (Reading and Woburn). The team will be relying on senior midfield general Marina Karalis and sophomore goalie Bridgette Martin to steady the team and provide the necessary leadership on the field.

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.

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 Boys’ Soccer Meets Playoff Arch-Rival Concord In Semis After Dispatching Billerica, Winchester

Photo: Belmont junior Alex Rokosz goes up for a loose ball vs. Billerica. 

There is one thing about the upcoming Division 2 North Sectional semifinal matchup between Belmont and Concord-Carlisle Regional that spectators can already count on.

It will be entertaining. 

The game scheduled for Friday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. at Woburn High School have enough back stories to fill a book, the first being the Patriots’ sense of vengeance to what the Marauders did to Concord who last year was favorited for the D2 state championship. In the opening round sectional match, Belmont shocked Concord, 2-1, in overtime to knock the one-loss Patriots out of the tourney.

And if revenge is best served cold, Concord can take to heart that Friday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s.

But then, one would have a hint that Friday’s game will be a must-see collision as the teams have a history of playoff clashes.

In 2014, the teams met in the Sectional semifinals when the Patriots came away with a solid 1-0 victory on its way to the Eastern Mass title. And in 2012, the two squads came together in another first rounder where the overmatched Marauders held a 2-0 lead over their hosts late only to fall 3-2 in overtime in a game where bad manners between participants were on display.

And with both teams having something of a history of playing with a chip on their shoulders, it’s expected for the match to mirror the spirited nature of a “Classico,” with the necessary number of stiff challenges and frantic pleas to the referees typical in post-season elimination games between good teams.

The teams arrive at the semis in good form. Belmont is on an eight-game winning streak while Concord Carlisle lost to one team (Acton/Boxborough, twice) this season. And each has two playoff wins under their belts; the Patriots bumped off number-one seed North Andover, 4-1, on Tuesday after defeating Central Catholic, 3-1, in its opener on Saturday. 

Belmont began its postseason with a strong 2-1 win over league rival Winchester on Friday and a convincing 4-0 thumping of Billerica Tuesday.

“This is where we expected to be after two very good wins,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane, who lead the team to an 11-3-2 regular season mark and the fifth-seed in the sectionals.

Belmont secured the opening win through a second-half penalty goal by senior forward Jake Carson after senior Andrew Karalis gave Belmont the first half lead.

Tuesday’s game was somewhat of a mismatch as the Marauders were able to combine precise passing with speed down the wings to launch dangerous attacks that Billerica’s back line had difficulty handling.

“We came out the same way as we do every game which speaks for how hard we are working to beat a playoff team like that,” said senior goalkeeper and co-captain Nate “The Professor” Espelin. 

But it was Belmont’s last line of defense that provided the offensive spark that resulted in the Marauders’ first tally. Espelin launched a 60-meter goal kick that bounced past a pair of Indian defenders onto the feet of speeding junior midfielder Seamus Dullaghan who put the breakaway by Billerica goalie Kyle Canario at the 19-minute mark.

Before the Belmont fans had time to sit down, the Marauders struck again at 20 minutes as Karalis headed a Laurent Brabo free kick by Canario.

Belmont could’ve piled on the goals if not of a series of outstanding saves by Canario. But the Marauders struck one last time in the half at 36 minutes as sophomore Ross Taylor quick-footed a Karalis pass into the net. 

Billerica had its chances early in the second half including an indirect freekick inside the penalty box after a less than professorial play by Espelin. Yet a lack of execution on the kick and during the game doomed the Indians. Espelin would end the night with his second assist of the game as another bullet of a goal kick founding senior co-captain Brabo who slotted the insurance goal into the back of the net. 

The game had its moments of chippiness that unfortunately devolved into a few particularly nasty challenges – a pair of yellow cards were held aloft by the refs – with the archetypical chirping that accompanies the boys’ game.

“Disappointed how the game finished. We lost mental fortitude at the end of the game, and we need to discuss that,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

“Everyone on the team has a little bit of an attitude and can be a problem at times. But obviously in the playoffs having the confidence that we can win every game is important,” said Espelin.

“But as I always say, motivation doesn’t win games. Hard work and doing the right things does,” he said.