CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- After finishing the 2012 season with an 8-8 record, Belmont Hill senior midfielder and faceoff specialist Austin Frank knew that his team had to come together and unite if they wanted to contend for the league title in 2013.
“This year the seniors on the team really stepped up and were really inclusive of the juniors, sophomores and the one freshman,” Frank said. “I think the team chemistry we built from game one all the way through today was the difference.”
On Friday afternoon, Belmont Hill (15-1) achieved their ultimate team goal as they defeated BB&N, 10-5, to secure the outright 2013 ISL boys’ lacrosse championship.
“It was a nice end to great year for these guys,” Belmont Hill coach Tim Sullivan said. “They worked hard from the very first day on March 2nd. They set goals, and the goal was to get better every single day. We had tremendous senior leadership.”
With a strong balance of teams at the top and in the middle of the ISL this season, it was going to take a special one- or two-loss season to win the ISL championship. Governor’s Academy had won at least a share of the ISL title four of the last five seasons and were in the mix again this year.
With one ISL loss on their resume, to Governor’s Academy, Belmont Hill needed the victory to sit alone at the top of the league. A loss would have given them a share of the title with Governor’s.
BB&N (4-12) would get on the board first to start the game as attack R.J. Caruso would find the back of the net with 7:36 on the clock in the first quarter.
Belmont Hill would answer back late in the quarter with two quick scores from attack Danny Seibel (3 goals, 2 assists) and middie A.J. Vazquez (1G) to give BH a 2-1 lead after one quarter of play.
Leading 4-2 at the half, Belmont Hill came out in the second half and applied the pressure as they dominated the possessions, scored six unanswered goals and extended the lead to 10-2 midway through the fourth quarter.
The all junior attack unit of Seibel, Joe Delaney (3G) and Kyle Parsons (2G) continued to show why are they one of the most dangerous units in New England as they controlled the ball and applied the pressure all afternoon.
Frank also continued his dominance at the faceoff X as he did not lose a draw on the day and helped BH dominate the possessions throughout the game.
“He has been absolutely unreal this entire year,” Sullivan said of his senior faceoff specialist. “You tend not to notice a faceoff guy and then all of a sudden we saw that he was winning 80 percent of them.”
Caruso would be a shining star for BB&N on the afternoon as the junior scored all five of his team’s goals with his explosive burst and quick release.
Team Unity: Belmont Hill senior defender Jack O’Hara was looking forward to finishing out his senior season with his friends and teammates when he suffered a torn ACL early in the lacrosse season.
After successful surgery, O’Hara was looking forward to supporting his team as they battled through the remainder of the season in a quest for the ISL title.
On Tuesday, O’Hara suffered a rare pulmonary embolism after experiencing chest pains while resting at his home. As an unfortunate result of a successful procedure to repair his knee, O’Hara experienced a potentially the dangerous embolism that occurs in less than one percent of patients that have the ACL surgery.
O’Hara was in the hospital for three days and was released on Friday, determined to be on the sidelines with his teammates as they played their final game together in their quest for the ISL title.
“He has been there for us every game and we have been there for him,” Frank said. “When he had his blood clot all the seniors and some of the other guys went to the hospital and spend some time with him. We could not have been happier to have Jack on the sidelines today with us and that he is alright.”