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.

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

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

Soccer: Unbeaten on the field and between the posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aces up as Belmont ups record to 4-2

That was close.

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

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

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

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

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

Up and running and winning

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

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

Boys’, Girls’ Soccer: Three Wins, Three Shutouts, All Good

Walt Whitman wrote in his collection “Leaves of Grass” of “the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!/ The brooding and blissful halcyon days!”

These are indeed the halcyon days for both of Belmont High School soccer teams. In the first three games of the new season, the teams are undefeated (3-0), scoring goals (the boys have tallied seven over that stretch while the girls are averaging a gaudy six per game) each win has been via the shutout.

And to the delight of the head coaches – the boys’ Brian Bisceglia-Kane and Paul Graham for the girls – the games has seen long stretches (sometimes the entire match) in which the Marauders have dominated possession with an aggressive brand of attacking soccer backed by a solid two-way midfield play.

In the latest pair of games, the girls’ have gone on the road to defeat Melrose, 3-0, on Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Stoneham, 6-0, on Thursday, Sept. 11. The boys’ have enjoyed their stay on Harris Field’s new turf rug with victories over Melrose, 2-0, on Tuesday and a 3-0 win over Stoneham on Thursday.

“I think the group is doing a great job staying focused on what we are trying to do,” said Bisceglia-Kane after Thursday’s game where the Marauders

scored three times in the final 20 minutes of the first half.

Senior Co-Captain Norman Kilauititu scored his second goal of the year – although his best play occurred in the second half when he nearly scored from a wide bicycle kick to the thrill of the assembled girls’ team in the stands – followed by Danny Rizzo‘s 18 meter rocket set up by a wonderful series of short passing and finally Alex Berets flew by a pair of Stoneham center backs to volley David Chen‘s pass into the side of the goal. The game was the third clean sheet for senior goalkeeper Peter Berens.

Yet Bisceglia-Kane, who is in his first year as the Marauder’s head coach, said he is not concerned with the score of the games.

“I really don’t determine success by winning; you can win a game when you don’t deserve it and lose a game when you do,” he said, but rather determine success based on the goals they set for themselves before the game.

“That is how players stay focused … and allows them to work out of situations when they are down in a game,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

For the Belmont Girls’, the attacking beat goes on as six different players scored in the first 16 minutes of their game at Stoneham as the Marauders made fast work breaking down the Spartans.

But it’s not the number of goals that has impressed Graham so far this season but in the variety they are scored. Scores are coming from set pieces (corner kicks), physical scrambles in front of the net and building up from the midfield.

“This is the first year where when I put our subs in we do not go down in quality. Everyone of these kids want to play,” said Graham.

Yet Graham, who is nearing his 300th victory, is not about to proclaim this team as anything other than “good, so far.”

“Let’s put this into prospectus; we still haven’t played the better [Middlesex League] teams,” said Graham, who believe that Arlington and Lexington “are the class of the league as of right now” followed closely by the Marauders and their arch rivals Winchester.

“We are way ahead of last year’s team but I try to be a realist. I will know much more when we meet Arlington (away on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 3:45 p.m.),” said Graham.

Rookie Coach Leads Belmont Boys’ Soccer Over Powerhouse Watertown

Brian Bisceglia-Kane is undefeated for his coaching career.

OK, he’s been in charge of Belmont High School Boys’ Soccer for just one game. But that contest was the season opener against two-time Div. 3 final-four participant Watertown High School in which Belmont took home a 2-0 victory.

Not bad for a rookie head coach.

“This was a good test of our play but then every game has its unique challenges,” said Bisceglia-Kane, who was Belmont’s JV coach for six years before moving up to the top spot this campaign.

“[Watertown] have many quality players; it was the first game of the season so we had a lot of nerves to start the game, and it was super hot (temperatures reached 90 degrees despite a 10 a.m. start time) so conditioning was a factor. Luckily those three things worked out for our team. Hopefully, we will keep progressing,” said Bisceglia-Kane, who played collegiately at Brandies.

Belmont’s victory Saturday, Sept. 6 at Victory Field, was constructed on top of the foundation of simply outworking their opponents – winning most of the contested ’50/50″ balls – and a willingness to emphasize team play over individual skills. While several Watertown players were adept in dribbling with possession – and enjoyed showing it – Belmont relied on the skills of each player on the field.

As commentators noted at the recent World Cup in Brazil while many teams were known for their superstars, Germany’s – the eventual winners – “star is their team.”

Saturday saw “Die Mannschaft” Belmont style.

“I just think we did the simple things right like possession of the ball and variations of passes,” said Bisceglia-Kane, who teaches third grade at the Butler Elementary School.

The first half was a back and forth affair with a few good scoring chance for both teams with Belmont’s senior goalkeeper Peter Berens making a one-hand save on a blistering dipping shot from Watertown’s Roman Davis.

“A couple of fixes at half time and I though we were more aggressive forcing them into mistakes,” Bisceglia-Kane said.

That push was rewarded when Belmont senior Danny Rizzo was fouled in the box in the 53rd minute with senior Charlie Frigo slotted the ball by Watertown’s goalkeeper Joe Keikian.

Belmont got its second score three minutes later after the Marauders took the play to the Red Raiders. After sophomore Marvyn Dorchin had battled to win procession deep in the Watertown end, the ball ended up off Luke Gallagher‘s boot which was parried into the air by Keikian. As the ball came down, Belmont’s senior forward Norman Kilavatitu out jumped a Red Raider and headed the ball over Keikian and into the net.

While he won his inaugural game of his coaching career, Bisceglia-Kane deferred any self-congratulation to praise his players.

“All the credit goes to them for the off season training for the hard work in the pre-season. They are probably the fittest group of guys I’ve seen in Belmont,” said Bisceglia-Kane.

Belmont’s next game is Tuesday, Sept. 9 against Melrose at 3:45 p.m.