Sports: Lazenby’s Last-Second Goal Sends Belmont Boys’ Soccer to D2 North Semis

Senior midfielder Ben Lazenby‘s second goal of the game, coming “at the death” of regular time, gave Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer a dramatic 2-1 victory over hosts Chelsea High Saturday night, Nov. 8.

With less than 15 seconds remaining in the second half, senior forward Luke Gallagher delivered the free kick – senior midfielder Sami Belkadi was fouled 25 meters out – to the onrushing Lazenby who headed the ball behind the reach of Chelsea’s goalie Angel Figueroa.

“I knew that time was running out and that we would have only a couple more chances. I told [senior midfielder] Danny [Rizzo] this is my ball and go back post and maybe I’ll head it to you,” Lazenby told the Belmontonian and Belmont Marauders Media.

“I just made the run like I did the whole game and [senior forward] Luke [Gallagher] played a great ball. I was open and I finished,” said the co-captain who started the scoring in the first half with another header off a free kick.

See Lazenby’s post game interview and his two goals here, courtesy of the BMM.

The rousing win against a tenacious and skilled Red Devils propels the Marauders (15-3-2) into the Div. 2 North sectional semifinals against the number-one seed Concord- Carlisle Regional High School in Chelmsford on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.

The undefeated Patriots (17-0-1) is currently ranked second in the Boston Globe Top 20 Boys’ Soccer teams, having held the number one spot for most of the season. The team, led by Head Coach Ray Pavik, won the 2010 Div. 2 state championships and were state finalists the next year.

The last time the two teams met was in a first-round encounter in the 2012 sectionals where Concord-Carlisle came back from a two-goal, second half deficit to defeat the Marauders, 3-2, in overtime.

“We can only prepare our own team, we have no control how Concord-Carisle will play,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane. 

With a Concord-Carlisle assistant coach watching from the stands, Belmont – despite being without leading scorer senior midfielder Charlie Frigo – used its quickness and physical advantages to close down on the slow-starting Red Devils who attempted to catch the Marauders on the counter attack. In the few ventures into the Marauder area, Belmont’s back line, anchored by senior defender Amar Fernald, swept aside the challenge.

Lazenby’s first goal came from sophomore defender Edward Stafford‘s long ball off a free kick with 16 minutes remaining in the half. The team’s midfield quarterback out-jumped the scrum 10 meters from goal and looped a perfect header over the retreating Figueroa.

The second half saw Chelsea come out with a confident resolve in their game, stringing short passing with quick dribbling through the middle of the field showing a great deal of flair and creativity with the ball. Led by midfielder Wilbert Tejada – one of the most best players Belmont met this season – and Derilson DePina, Chelsea used its momentum to keep the majority of the action in the Marauders end of the field.

“They kind of dominated us in the second half,” said Lazenby.

“It’s always a challenge to meet a team that plays a style that we don’t see during the regular season so they took it to us in the second half,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

The Red Devils knotted up the score at one when Tejada placed a pass onto the feet of a streaking Carlos Cartagena who beat Belmont goalkeeper Peter Berens with 24 minutes left in the second half . 

With Belmont relying for long stretches on players such as senior forward Norman Kilavatitu due to injuries, “it got ragged out there,” said Bisceglia-Kane, who called a timeout 90 seconds after the Chelsea goal to speak to his on-field captains before talking to the team. 

Belmont was able to keep Chelsea from taking the lead by asserting “more pressure and working together as a team,” said Lazenby.

As the game entered the late stages, Belmont was able to exploit space down the right side – Belmont nearly scored with eight minutes remaining but a one-timer by Gallagher skipped over sophomore Daron Hamparian‘s left foot at the left post – where some tenacious work by Belkadi resulted in the foul that set up Lazenby’s heroics.

For Bisceglia-Kane, the game showed the players there is always a way back from adversity on the pitch.

“Their goal only tied it up so it wasn’t as if we went behind. But it showed that we have the ability to meet the challenge of being scored on and play our game.”

 

Sports: Football’s Be-Witches-ing Friday Night, Boys’ Soccer Saturday in Chelsea

One week removed from Halloween, Belmont High School football welcomes a coven of witches as Salem High School swoops to Harris Field tonight, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

Salem will be seeking to break into the win column having started the season 0-8, including being shutout in their last three games.

Belmont (1-7) is coming off its first victory in two seasons with its victory over Medford, 35-20, on Halloween.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, Belmont’s Boys’ Soccer team will be traveling down Route 16 for a quarterfinal match with hosts Chelsea High School in playoff action in the MIAA Div. 2 North Sectionals. The fifth-seed Marauders (14-3-2) got by North Andover, 1-0, while the fourth-seed Red Devils (15-3-1) defeated Lynn Classical, 1-0, in overtime.

The game kicks off at 4 p.m.

Sports: Boys’ Soccer Wins Playoff Opener, Heads Off to Chelsea Saturday

Winning ugly, as the saying goes, is still winning.

And Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer learned that lesson Monday, Nov. 3 after the Marauders defeated North Andover High Scarlett Knights, 1-0, in the first round of the Div. 2 North Sectional finals.

“We got away from a lot of things we were doing well at the end of the season,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane.

“It was not the best we’ve played because we were nervous because they know this is a game they should have,” said Bisceglia-Kane, saying the team performs better as an underdog than when it is expected to win easily.

“It was ugly, but a really entertaining game to watch,” he said.

The victory sends the Marauders on a trip to 4th-seed Chelsea High School (15-3-1) on Saturday, Nov. 8 to meet the Commonwealth League Upper Division Champions at 4 p.m.

Belmont (14-3-2) got the only goal it needed with 12 minutes remaining in the first half when substitute junior forward/midfielder Trevor Kelly made an outside run and sliced a shot 15 meters from the left of the box that curved into the back of the right side the goal.

For many Marauders on the field, the match with the 12-seed Scarlet Knights was a rematch of last year’s quarterfinals when North Andover scored in the first 30 seconds and kept the lead for the entire match to win 1-0.

While North Andover was able to move the ball into the Marauders end with short passes through the middle, Belmont’s midfielders, led by center midfielder and senior co-captain Ben Lazenby, stepped into passing lanes and use their physical approach to win the 50/50 challenges.

“I was just trying to play hard and communicate and work together as a team,” said Lazenby, who assisted on the goal.

“I was trying to get headers but really it was just playing non-stop,” he said.

Belmont’s goalkeeper Peter Berens took home another clean sheet with big senior defender Matt Lawson stepping up to win headers and break-up at least two semi-breakaways in the second half.

It got hairy for Belmont 28 minutes into the final half when a goal-bound shot off a Berens save was cleared twice from the goal mouth by Lawson and senior Amar Fernald to secure the shutout.

Belmont now has a lengthy wait until its quarterfinal with the Red Devils.

Senior captain Wilbert Tejada leads Chelsea as its playmaker who sets up the team’s two leading scorers, Carlos Cartagena and Derilson DePina.

While Belmont knows little or nothing of Chelsea’s game, Lazenby said the team will not dwell on that issue.

“When you play a new team, you don’t know what to expect, you don’t know what team they’re going to be,” said Lazenby.

“That’s why we have to focus on our game. We can’t control our opponent, we can only control our own game and I think where we are strong in a lot of areas,” he said.

Sports: Playoff Schedule with Boys’ Soccer Monday; Volleyball, Girls’ Soccer Tuesday

Teams and individuals from Belmont High School will be competing in the next few weeks in post season and the playoffs.

• Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer gets their postseason underway with a home Div. 2 North sectional playoff game against North Andover High on Monday, Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Harris Field. The fifth-seeded Marauders (13-3-2) takes a stingy defense, led by senior goalkeeper Peter Berens, having given up just 10 goals in 18 games vs the 12-seed Scarlet Knights (11-7-0) from the Merrimack Valley Conference Large Division.

• Coming off a nail-biting win over a young Dracut High team Friday night, seventh-seed Belmont Volleyball (16-5) travels next door to take on the second-seed Arlington Catholic High (18-3) in the quarterfinals of the Div. 2 North sectionals on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. The Cougars are ranked 17th in the Boston Globe top 20.

• There is a score to be settled as Belmont Girls’ Soccer travels to Wilmington High for a Middlesex League clash in the first round of the Div. 2 North sectionals on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. This will be a chance for Belmont (8-5-5) to revenge a highly-controversial game played last month when, with the game 1-0 in Belmont’s advantage late in the match, a seemingly obvious offsides against Wilmington was not called leading to a goal that allowed Wilmington to stay undefeated in the regular season. There will be little motivation needed by long time Head Coach Paul Graham – who is looking for win 299 – who said after the game the girls “would love to have another go” at the Wildcats.

• With the first win in the books, Belmont High School Football will play their final three games at Harris Field, beginning this Friday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. against Salem High of Massachusetts.

• After winning the Middlesex League meet, Belmont Girls’ Swimming prepares for the North Sectionals and then a return to the Div. 2 championships where they will be one of the favorites. And Leah Brams will carry the colors at the EMass Sectional meet on Saturday, Nov. 8 in Wrentham and the All-State meet on Saturday, Nov. 15 in famous Franklin Park in Boston.

Sports: Boys’, Girls’ Soccer Await Playoff Fate

It’s now all about waiting for the Belmont High Boys’ and Girls’ teams as they prepare for their first round matches in the Div. 2 North sectional playoffs that begin this weekend.

Coming off emotional wins over Lexington High School last Tuesday, Oct. 21 – the boys’ defeating the ranked Minutemen, 3-2, while the girls’ defeated their hosts 1-0 – the teams took points in their final two games.

Girls’ missing scoring punch in final two draws

On a rare Saturday evening romp on Oct. 25, the Girls’ team celebrated Seniors Night at Harris Field with a hard-earned 1-1 draw with arch-rival Winchester. A wonderful shot 15 meters out from forward Kristen Gay screamed by the outstretched arms of Winchester goalkeeper Sofia Herron with three minutes remaining in the first half.

“The goals I’ve had this season have all come from the great work down the wings. All of them are team goals,” said Gay who has become Belmont’s scoring threat in the past two weeks with her aggressive nature and ball striking skills.

Paul Graham, who is currently at 298 wins in his career, said he placed freshman Emma Sass on Winchester’s star player, Alix Curtin, “and she came up huge. [Sass] shut her down.”

Graham continues to sing the praises of another freshman Natalie Marcus-Bauer who is taking up the important task of keeping speedy forwards from moving into the penalty box.

Belmont also received stellar work from senior goalkeeper Linda Herlihy who made solid saves throughout the night, including a reaching glove save off a shot that was heading into the far right corner.

“[Herlihy] is starting to play her best right before the playoffs,” said Graham.

Twice in the second half it appeared Belmont would score the critical second goal; sophomore forward Julia Cella‘s breakaway shot from eight meters out was parried away by Winchester substitute goalkeeper freshman Silvia Dowdel.

A rebound off Dowdel from a corner that freshman Carey Allard put into the net was ruled a no goal due to a Belmont player being in an offsides position.

It appeared that Belmont would walk away with both available points, but Winchester was fortunate that a quick counter pass into the Marauders penalty box came just as the Belmont back line began moving forward. Winchester’s Emily Price stayed on side and slipped the ball past a defenseless Herlihy.

Graham said he would like to see more scoring punch from his forwards but all-in-all, “we are in good shape heading into the playoffs.”

On Monday, Belmont traveled to Medford but could not get the same result as when the Mustangs came to Belmont, a Marauder win. The match ended in a scoreless draw. The girls’ record is 9-5-4.

Boys’ scoring and winning

The boys’ wrapping up the regular season with a 3-1 victory away at Winchester on Saturday, Oct. 25 and a 2-1 squeaker against Div. 3 Pentucket Regional at Harris Field on Monday, Oct. 28.

Rediscovering its scoring touch, the Marauders put a pair past the Winchester goalkeeper with forward Daron Hamporian driving the first one home 12 minutes into the game with Luke Gallagher netting the second at the half hour mark taking a pass from midfielder Norman Kilovutitu. Tokio Kobyashi finished the scoring with a breakaway blast with a dozen minutes to play.

On a glorious fall afternoon, Belmont hosted the emerald-clad Pentucket Regional High School squad to Harris Field. Monday became the breakout performance for sophomore Marvyn Dorchin to scored a brace in the first half.

Belmont’s back-up goalkeeper to senior standout Peter Berens, fan-favorite Dorchin – who spent his early years in France – has proven to be a skilled defender and recently a dangerous attacking midfielder. Monday, Dorchin became a Gallic goal scoring machine with his two within five minutes of each other late in the first.

Berens would not get his 12th shutout of the season as Pentucket’s Ian Sands punched one passed the ‘keep with 11 minutes remaining.

 

Sports: Boys’ Soccer Edge Ranked Lexington, 2-1; Girls’ Soccer Secures Playoff with Win

For Belmont High School Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane, Tuesday’s home game against Lexington High was an exciting one, but “it’s just a regular-season game.” 

But the match, played on Seniors Night at Harris Field, Oct. 21, should be placed in the “signature win” column as the Marauders struck twice early and once late to defeat the one-loss Minutemen – ranked 12th for the past two weeks in the Boston Globe poll – by a 3-2 scoreline.

The win ups the Marauders record to 11-3-2 with two games left in the season; away at Winchester on Saturday, Oct. 25 and a home game on Monday, Oct. 27 vs. non-league Pentucket.

“Under the lights, both teams wanted this and I was proud of their effort tonight. I really like how they came out with a lot of effort and athleticism against Lexington,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

“This was a good measuring stick for the playoffs. Lexington’s a [Division] 1 team and ranked and we weren’t so hopefully this helps their confidence,” he said.

After a celebration honoring the team’s seniors and before parents, family and a loud cheering section, Belmont came out like a whirlwind, out-muscled and outplayed the Minuteman which resulted in the best possible start. At the kickoff, Belmont drove the ball down the right side where leading scorer, Charlie Frigo, picked up the ball 18 meters out, pivoted that left a defenders looking and fired the ball past Minuteman’s Carter Hochman after a mere 36 seconds.

Before the rowdy fans could find their seats, Frigo netted his brace knocking in a cross from Sami Beluadi to give Belmont a 2-0 lead after only three-and-a-half minutes.

But you don’t get to 12 wins out of 14 games without being somewhat good playing the game and Lexington got its mojo going by winning the battle in the midfield by out running the Marauders to the ball and connecting on some sharp combination passing. Some slick passing in the box allowed Henry Troop to one-time the ball by Belmont goalkeeper Peter Berens with seven minutes to go in the first to leave the Minutemen trailing by one at the half.

Lexington would tie the game eight minutes into the second half as defender Alfred Joseph came up from the back to take a short pass from Lewis Mustoe and slipped the ball just under a diving Berens.

With blood in the water, the Minutemen continued its assault only to be thawed by Berens twice including a sliding block at the penalty spot.

At the 30 minute mark with a tie on the board, the game became a grind-it-out affair with much of the action taking place between the goal areas with few solid chances for either side.

Then, against the run of play, Belmont took the lead in the simplest of ways.

Senior forward Luke Gallagher outpaced the Lexington midfielder to take a long clearing pass down the right wing. He quickly passed the ball to the top of the box where a fast-closing Daron Hamparian controlled the ball and shot between the center and right backs and passing a flat-footed Hochman with 13 minutes remaining.

“Sometimes the team is so technically sound that they don’t play a little messier. That [goal] was just a vertical pass [Gallagher] won and passed to [Hamparian], a quick pass and a shot,” said Bisceglia-Kane. “Hopefully we can do this a little more because we tend to be a little too cute with the ball.”

With the exception of a pair of corner kicks which did not reach Berens, Belmont eased to the win.

“The proudest moment for me was when we were let up the lead but then responded,” said Bisceglia-Kane. 

“That’s what you will have to do. There will be moments in the regular season and, hopefully not, but most likely in the playoffs when you need to come back in a game,” he said.

“I always tell the guys they need to play for one another. If you are playing for yourself, you’re never going to be playing your hardest. But when you’re playing for each other that’s when you feel like you’re playing as a team,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

Girls’ soccer returns to playoffs with shutout over Minutemen

The members of the Belmont High Girls’ Soccer team were screaming their collective heads off as their bus passed by Harris Field as the boys’ soccer team was about to kick off with their match with Lexington.

The yelling fest – an ongoing tradition for Belmont’s girls’ squads – meant only one thing: the team had won their away match vs Lexington; and with it, a return to the post-season for the Marauders (9-5-2).

With a first-half goal by senior Sophia Eschenbach-Smith – her second important goal in three games – and the stellar work by the three back line defenders that helped goalkeeper Linda Herlihy to her seventh shutout in the 1-0 victory.

“It was a really good team win and we worked really hard,” said Eschenbach-Smith. “I hope we can keep up the momentum as we are now in the playoffs.”

Eschenbach-Smith scored Belmont’s lone goal in the Marauders’ 1-1 home tie against 15th ranked and league leader Arlington High a week earlier.

The win was payback for a 5-0 home loss to the Minutemen on Sept. 24.

“Today we came out with a real purpose. We needed the one point to get into the tournament. We talked a lot about that and the kids really worked hard and came out fired up,” said Paul Graham, the team’s long-time head coach, who missed last season’s playoffs after a two decade run.

“We played playoff soccer tonight,” said Graham, whose victory total now stands at 298.

Eschenbach Smith scored from a pass from Julia Cella after getting past a defender and burying a left foot shot 15 minutes into the game.

Then Graham allowed Herlihy and his back line to dictate the pace of the game.

“Our defense was tremendous,” said Graham, saying that freshman Natalie Marcus-Bauer, who now starts in the Marauders’ defense with senior leader center back Lucia Guzikowski and Elizabeth Ferrante, “who had her best game” and naming her the Player of the Match. 

With his two outside midfielders – Katrina Rokosz and Elizabeth Ferrante – coming back to cover the wide spaces, “we had five players taking on their two forwards.” When the Minutemen did have opportunities to score, Herlihy was there to crush those chances.

“I have to thank my defenders. They do a great job every game. If I get a shutout, it’s a team shutout,” said Herlihy.

Sports: Barn Doors Safe as Belmont Soccer Teams Lost Scoring Touch

Barn doors, fish in barrels and messengers were all safe this past week as Belmont High School soccer teams suddenly lost their ability to put shots into the back of the net.

On Thursday evening , Oct. 9, Belmont Boys’ soccer dominated stretches of their game against Wakefield High under the lights at Harris Field but couldn’t find the right combination of passes to break the Red Raider defense and were forced to split the difference with a nil-nil draw.

But despite the current goal-scoring drought – the Marauders put the ball between the posts only three times in the past five games posting a record of 2-2-1 during that time – Belmont Boys’ first-year head coach gave an upbeat observation after the tie.

“Sometimes you have to taper your expectations because we’re playing well,” said Brian Bisceglia-Kane, noting that the team has outplayed their two latest opponents by wide margins.

“They’re feeling down because they dominated the game but honestly, they created enough scoring opportunities and that’s our game plan. I wouldn’t do much different then what we just did,” he said.

Bisceglia-Kane said the solution to the team’s lack of scoring punch is “being more intuitive to where you should be.”

While the team has had plenty of scoring opportunities in the past five games, “we didn’t play the ball necessarily the way we practice. Then there is a lack of composure, feeling that urgency to score and then there is just having some luck.”

At the beginning of the season, the Marauders was winning games scoring three to four goals, “and we aren’t playing any differently now,” Bisceglia-Kane said. 

“The goals will come,” he said.

Earlier in the afternoon, Belmont Girls’ soccer also found trouble scoring, but unlike the boys’, Head Coach Paul Graham’s squad fell to hosts Wakefield, 4-1, in what Graham called “our poorest performance of the season.”

Like the Boys’, the Belmont Girls’ have scored three goals in the past five games, going 1-3-1 over the stretch.

“We didn’t win or go to the ball; we didn’t have the effort that we need to do win,” said Graham. Down 1-0, junior Kristin Gay took a pretty pass from sophomore forward Julia Cella and belt an 18 meter shot by the Red Raider goalkeeper, who Graham praised for making “three or four great saves that could have gotten us closer.”

Graham took time to point out the play of Alex Dionne and Lucia Guzikowski and the contribution of senior Maggie Shea in the nets for the final moments of the game. 

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’ Soccer Back to Winning Ways with Somerville Victory

Second half goals from seniors Nick Frigo and Ben Lazenby put Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer team back in the win column as the Marauders defeated Somerville High School, 2-0, in an early morning matinee Saturday, Sept. 28.

Belmont’s goals – coming five minutes apart mid-way in the second half – gave the Marauders the edge in an entertaining contest in which the Highlanders’ quick counter offense was matched with Belmont’s ball control and midfield play.

Frigo – who missed Belmont’s best chance in the first half by kicking an open shot from 15 meters – scored on a soft shot to the near left side of   after a series of passes that found Belmont’s leading scorer alone in front. Lazenby scored on a header from a corner.

The win puts Belmont record at 7-1-0 as the Marauders come off their first loss of the year, a 2-1 defeat to the hands of hosts Lexington on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Next up for the Marauders will be arch-rival Winchester (4-1-1) on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

 

Sports: Boys’ Soccer In Tester; Girls’ Soccer, Field Hockey Hit Bumps

The competition level rises and with it changes to Belmont High School Athlete’s seemingly endless winning streaks.

Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer remains undefeated as they defeated a gritty Arlington High School team, 2-1, on Harris Field’s cushiony turf surface Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18.

After playing what Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane called his team’s “the best 15 minutes of soccer this season” to start the game, Belmont (5-0-0) were in a battle for the rest of the contest against the Spy Ponders (3-2-0).

“The guys are excited. While we try to taper expectations, this was a big game for us,” Bisceglia-Kane told the Belmontonian.

 

Belmont struck twice in the first 11 minutes on quick counter attacks. Just seven minutes in, midfield standout Charlie Frigo outran the Spy Pond back line to head in a bouncing ball from Luke Gallagher past Arlington goaltender Anthony Aggouras.

The Marauders doubled up the score at 11 minutes from Ben Lazenby‘s screamer 20 meters out – coming off an Andrew Eurdolian assist – beating Aggouras to the left post.

After settling down, Arlington took away the Marauders’ momentum by staying close to the ground with short, quick passes resulting in a pretty goal by sub Phineas Santello who dipped a shot over Belmont’s goaltender Peter Berens with five minutes remaining in the half. The goal ended Berens shutout streak to begin the season at 355 minutes.

Despite the lack of scoring in the second half, the match resembled a baseball pitching duel between two aces in which purists would enjoy how the teams attacked and countered their opponents. 

“People watching a game think poorly of a team that’s possessing the ball in their back half they think things are going wrong but that’s something we strive for,” said Bisceglia-Kane, saying it allows the team to work the ball up efficiently and create more scoring chances. 

Belmont also employed a diagonal long pass to quickly switch its attack from one side of the field to the other.

“We’ve been working on that with Gallagher doing it a lot. This game Matt Lawson and Ed Stafford began possessing the ball in the middle of the park then switching the field. Luckily, it paid dividends with one of our goals,” he said,

Five games in and Bisceglia-Kane sees a special characteristic evolving with a team-first mentality, a sort of Belmont Mannschaft.

“They take pride in the fact that they do it together. This team in particular is a group of players that sees themselves as team and not caring about individual statistics or personal achievements and that is one of their strengths,” he said.

Belmont Girls’ suffer first loss at Arlington

Belmont High School Girls’ Head Coach Paul Graham knew that Arlington High’s girls’ soccer team was good this year but did not know just how good.

It turns out the answer, to Graham and his team’s chagrin, is really good.

Belmont visited the Spy Ponders on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18, and was sent home with its first loss of the season, 4-1. Coincidentally, the Marauders’ record stands at 4-1-0.

“You have to give it to them, they’ve got some great players,” said Graham after the game.

Despite losing, Graham was pleased with his team’s effort, saying that Belmont took control of the field for most of the first half and despite the first goal of the game, continued to be Arlington’s equal until a second goal snuck in.

“You could then see the kid’s looking down at their feet,” said Graham.

Graham thought some of the team’s lack of scoring punch – it came into the game with 21 goals – was nerves, heading into a game with an undefeated opponent appeared to bring an air of caution to the team’s play.

“They went back to not shooting the ball,” said Graham.

Only when the game was at 4-0 did the team get its tally with Kristen Gay scoring off a Katrina Rokosz free kick.

Graham said he will not dwell on the loss, taking away only positives from it.

“I think we needed a game like this. Loss the nerves with this one,” said Graham.

Field Hockey falls to Rockets

One word of warning to Belmont High School’s Field Hockey team: stay away from ranked teams.

After falling to the Boston Globe’s number one team Watertown, 4-0, in its opener, Belmont traveled to number 13 Reading Memorial High School and came home with a 4-0 loss on Wednesday, Sept, 17.