(VIDEO) No. 2 Belmont Hill Shines Under the Friday Night Lights

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By Nate Weitzer @nweitzer7

CAMBRIDGE – As soon as the sun went down at Danehy Park in Cambridge on Friday night, No. 2 Belmont Hill lit up the night.

Belmont Hill started fast and never let up on the way to a 15-8 victory over Independent School League rival No. 4 Rivers.

Belmont Hill (10-2, 10-1 ISL) scratched out a few early goals that were somewhat fortunate to beat Rivers goalie Ben Churchill, but there was nothing lucky about their approach over the final three quarters.

Juniors Jake Haase and Brian Antonelli spearheaded a versatile attack, displaying tremendous patience and vision, while Weston native Joe Goguen and Winchester’s Pete Tamasi both netted hat tricks for the Hillers.

 Jake Haase – Belmont Hill – photo by Ryan Kilian

“We wanted to make sure we were using six guys on offense at all times against a team like Rivers that runs a great zone with an even better goalie back there,” said Belmont Hill coach Tim Sullivan. “You can’t mistakes with the ball. You have to make sure every pass is perfect and we worked on that for two weeks ahead of this game.”

Down 9-3 at the half, Rivers (12-3, 9-2) simply could not muster the firepower to counter Belmont Hill, as star attack Matt Paul was shadowed all night and the Red Wings struggled to maintain possession.

The Princeton-bound Churchill made 17 saves with incredibly quick reactions, but he fended off a barrage of shots and fantastic looks from Belmont Hill’s balanced and unselfish attack.

Belmont Hill received standout efforts from their entire team defense, led by close defenders Max Fields, Cole Nagahama and Brett Willis. Goalie Danny Hincks (10 Saves) continued to make big plays in net, denying the Red Wings numerous opportunities to get back into the game.

“We run rides and clears every day in practice,” said Sullivan. “Any time there’s a chance to win possession you need to maximize those opportunities to wind up on top against Rivers or any team in first place.”

St. Sebastian’s, Rivers, Belmont Hill and Governor’s Academy entered the night tied atop the ISL, with one loss each. Stay tuned for the other premier ISL match-up on Saturday, as Governor’s and St. Sebastian’s face off at Harvard Stadium, in a contest with major implications.

“Every team is outstanding and every game counts the same,” Sullivan said about playing in the ISL. “It takes a real special effort to make sure that you end up where you want to end up at the end of the year.”

Standout performer

The offense carried the night, but long pole Max Fields was integral in Belmont Hill’s solid defensive performance. The Wellesley native, and “Player of the Candidate” was great in the clearing game, matching up defensively. using his athleticism in the transition game, which allowed fellow pole Zack Shpilner to net a goal a pretty goal.

 

Offensive Statistics

Belmont Hill

Brian Antoneilli – 2 Goals, 5 assists

Jake Haase – 1 Goal, 4 assists

Christian O’Neill – 2 Goals, 1 assist

Joe Goguen – 3 goals, 1 assist

Pete Tamasi – 3 goals

John Sommers – 1 Goal, 1 assist

Will Stonestreet – 1 Goal, 1 assist

Zack Shpilner – 1 Goal, 1 assist

Brodie Rayment – 1 Goal

 

Rivers

Charlie Lawrence – 2 Goals, 1 assist

Peter Burnes –  2 Goals

Matt Paul – 1 Goal

Tony Andreozzi –  1 Goal, 1 assist

Trevor Ballantyne –  1 Goal, 1 assist

Tommy Benjes – 1 Goal

Chris Bucking – 1 Assist

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS:

 

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