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When the chips were all on the table, Finn Fox stepped up and delivered big Friday night for Belmont Hill (Mass.). 

The All-American Princeton commit and Laxachusetts five-star LSM delivered a punishing and perfectly-timed check to force a turnover in the final minutes to cement a 14-12 rivalry win with St. Sebastian’s (Mass.)

“This rivalry is amazing. You come to Belmont Hill to play in games like this,” said Fox afterwards. “We got up and then they got hot and went on that run to take the lead, but we stayed with it and made the plays we needed to make to come out with the win.”


Old Pals

The winner of Seb’s vs. Belmont has gone on to win the ISL regular season title each of the last four seasons (excluding 2020). That trend looks like its going to continue in 2024 with just two regular season games to play and the remainder of the ISL already possessing multiple defeats.

In 2023, Belmont Hill defeated Seb’s 8-5 at Boston University en route to a perfect 14-0 regular season. Unlike last season’s defensive stalemate, Friday’s rematch at Seb’s featured a whole lot of goals in what was a high intensity track meet from start to finish.

Belmont Hill Comes out Firing

To say Belmont Hill started strong would be the ultimate understatement as they hit on all of their first eight shots of the game. Four-star junior Linden Verville (Laxachusetts / Virginia) scored off the rip after he finished a feed in front from Dylan Casillo for an immediate 1-0 lead. The lead eventually grew to 4-0 thanks to Cal Peterson, Will Stewart (Villanova) and Ben DiBattista (Lafayette).

Back-to-back goals by Michael Quinn (Laxachusetts / Michigan) and Cormac Walsh (Laxachusetts / Bowdoin) appeared to weather the storm for the Arrows, but not for long. Drew Gannon scored a pole goal off the ensuing face-off for Belmont Hill and drew a locked in penalty in the process. Belmont made the most of the opportunity as Jack Schneider (Laxacshuetts / St. Lawrence), four-star junior Preston Evans (Laxachusetts / Virginia) and freshman John Lynch fired home goals to make it an 8-2 game.

McClements’ Save Spree Leads Seb’s Back

The good news for Seb’s after going down 8-2 was that eventually Belmont Hill was not going to be able to shoot a perfect 100 percent. Instead of letting the poor start get to him and spiral out of control, Chandler McClements bunkered down in goal for the Arrows and turned the tide.

The Laxachusetts four-star Penn commit turned away all seven shots Belmont put on him in the second quarter, and while McClements found his rhythm in goal – so too did the Seb’s offense. The Arrows overcame the six-goal deficit with a seven-goal run between the middle of the second quarter and the beginning of the third. Highlighting the run were a pair of Tyler Curry (Laxachusetts) goals along with a crease dive goal from John Stenberg (Laxachusetts / Dartmouth) to cap it. Seb’s suddenly led 9-8 with 8:16 to play in the third.

Been Here Before

On Friday, DiBattista and his teammates maintained that same mindset. Despite watching their six-goal lead evaporate, Belmont stayed composed and continued to pound away. It worked, as Belmont’s defense began to get the stops when they needed them most and James Mullowney (Laxachusetts) saved five of six shots throughout the final frame.

After the game entered the fourth quarter tied at 11, Mullowney robbed Curry on a grade-A look in front and fed a clear to Dylan Casillo. The sophomore burned up field and fired home a shot low to give Belmont back the lead for good. Lynch made it a two-goal lead moments later  by burying a feed from Evans on his backhand. Paul Armstrong (Laxachusetts / Holy Cross) brought Seb’s back within one, but Sean Horkan (Connecticut College) delivered a dagger with 1:59 to play with a rebound goal following a great initial save by McClements on DiBattista.

With Seb’s down to potentially its last chance in the final 1:30, Fox stripped his man and legged the clear himself to seal it. Winning defensive plays aren’t often pretty, but this one certainly was. Belmont came away with the 14-12 victory and now controls its own destiny for the No. 1 seed in the ISL playoffs as the league’s lone unbeaten.

Belmont Hill vs. St. Sebastian’s Standouts

Finn Fox ’24, LSM/defense, Belmont Hill (Mass.) / Laxachusetts – Princeton

Fox was exceptional in the clearing game, most notably recording a hockey assist when he found Evans who then fed Lynch at the crease for the the third goal of the game. Belmont Hill played a lot of stay-at-home defense, so Fox wasn’t in many positions to throw flashy checks. He finally got his opportunity in the final two minutes and made it count with a fantastic takeaway to win the game. He’s considered by many to be the best player in the state, and he bolstered that résumé Friday night.

Preston Evans ’25, attack, Belmont Hill (Mass.) / Laxachusetts – Virginia

Evans worked primarily as a facilitator and his stat line show just how effective he was with two goals and four assists. The tying goal in the third quarter was a thing of beauty, backing down his matchup and waiting for the right angle before jumping and firing home a perfect shot down low. Evans also made a heads up play early in the game – recognizing McClements was still well out of his case after pursuing a shot to the end line, Evans quickly restarted the play and fed DiBattista for a goal at the crease. He’s as versatile as they come and plays with an edge.

Louie Marobella ’26, LSM, Belmont Hill (Mass.) / Laxachusetts 

Marobella caused mayhem in the middle of the field. An offsides call 20 seconds after he scored negated a highlight reel takeaway, clear and goal late in the third quarter. He helped Belmont Hill take advantage of some unsettled situations and always found himself in the right areas to make plays. He’s been a big breakout star and holds massive future potential.

John Lynch ’27, midfield, Belmont Hill (Mass.)

Lynch was extremely crafty and his backhanded lefty finish in front late in the game turned out to be the game-winning goal. Seb’s vs. Belmont is a big boy game, so the fact that a freshman not only saw time, but produced a pair of goals in a winning effort, tells you all you need to know. He’s going to be the real deal.

Tedy Frisoli ’26, attack, St. Sebastian’s (Mass.) / Laxachusetts

The 324th* Frisoli to star at Seb’s, Frisoli’s athleticism was put on full display in this one. His tying goal at the tail end of the third quarter saw him leap into the air and twist his body in an awkward position before tucking the ball up and over Mullowney and into the cage. Along with scoring twice, Frisoli helped set up a pair of goals by Chris Merageas (Laxachusetts / Denver) as well as one to Curry. He’s the heart and soul of Seb’s offense and that’s saying something considering the talent the Arrows possess.

*Estimate. Might not be the exact number.