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MIAA RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Belmont sweeps Division 1 state rugby titles in dominant fashion; Weymouth boys claim Division 2

The Belmont boys won their fourth MIAA rugby title.Brandon Chase

MILTON — Belmont senior Erik Rosenmeier says the boys’ rugby team’s motto is, “Don’t run through the wall. Run over it.”

On Saturday at Curry College, Belmont was the wall.

The Marauders held defending state champion BC High scoreless in the second half to win, 20-7, and take the Division 1 state title back from the Eagles. Belmont (7-1) last won in 2019; the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was just sheer determination,” Rosenmeier said. “We just really wanted that trophy and we knew that if they got into the try zone that it wouldn’t be ours. So we managed to make every tackle. They turned the ball over a few times, we punted it out. And [we did] that over and over again.”

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Belmont’s relentless pressure in the red zone left BC High (6-3) flustered throughout the second half. The Eagles had multiple scoring opportunities, but could not break through for another try.

“We spend a lot of time on defense. There’s nothing more important than our defensive structure and our shape, and putting the boys under pressure in training. And that showed today,” Belmont coach Greg Bruce said.

Belmont took the field minutes after its girls program won its fourth state title in as many seasons, and Asa Rosenmeier opened the scoring with a try, followed by a conversion kick from Erik. BC High responded with a try from Jack McNicholl and a conversion from James Flaherty, but Belmont scored the final 13 points of the half — eight of which came from the right foot of Erik Rosenmeier.

Senior Viktor Insanic scored Belmont’s other try.

“That’s scoreboard pressure. We talk about that all the time,” Bruce said. “If there are opportunities to put pressure on the other team, you want to do that, and they were able to do that.”

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Weymouth raised the MIAA Division 2 trophy to the sky after its 48-28 victory over Hanover in Milton.Brandon Chase

Division 2 State

Weymouth 48, Hanover 28 — Mike Mastrocola had the memory of Weymouth’s lone regular-season loss to Hanover fresh in his mind entering Saturday’s final at Curry College

“It was a short week. We didn’t play our best game,” said Mastrocola of the 31-19 defeat in mid-May. “But we came back and we smoked them here.”

It was Weymouth’s lone blemish this season. Exactly one month to the date, the top seeds avenged it, with junior Mastrocola leading with three tries. Senior Jaheem Ridore had two.

Saturday’s victory was an emotional one for the Wildcats (7-1) and coach Ryan Casey, who founded the program. Weymouth had previously lost to Hanover (7-3) in the 2018 and 2019 state tournaments.

“I’ve got to be honest, I’m surprised I’m not crying right now,” Casey said. “I don’t even have words at this point. I graduated from Weymouth. I’m so proud of them.”

Hanover held just one lead the entire match, 14-12, after a try with approximately 14 minutes remaining in the first half. Weymouth responded with 19 unanswered points to gain a double-digit lead it never relinquished.

Even though Weymouth had many first-year players on its squad, Ridore attributed the victory to athleticism.

“A lot of our players, we just have natural ability,” said Ridore, a senior and first-year player whose older brother plays rugby at American International College. “Some of us play football, and other sports like hockey. It’s things like that ability that help us.”

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It was a banner day for the Weymouth rugby team at Curry College Saturday afternoon.Brandon Chase
The Belmont girls' rugby team celebrated the program's fourth straight championship, but first since 2019, Saturday afternoon in Milton.Brandon Chase

Girls

Division 1 State

Belmont 34, Lincoln-Sudbury 0 — Junior Val Detheux’s 45-yard run for a try in the second half of the girls’ rugby state final was a microcosm of the Marauders’ high-powered offense. As soon as the Marauders can find open space on the field, they take advantage of it.

But that didn’t happen immediately at Curry College. Top-seeded Belmont scored 29 second-half points as its offense found its stride in a shutout of No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury (4-2).

Belmont has won the last four state championships dating back to 2017. There were no state title games in 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic) and 2021, when teams elected to play 7-on-7 instead of the standard 15-on-15.

“Every time, it’s really hard,” Belmont coach Kate McCabe said of winning another state title. “I just want so many girls in Massachusetts to have the experience of stepping on the field and knowing that they are playing a full-out contact sport where they are dominating, where they are strong, where they’re recognized for their athleticism.”

Detheux and sophomore Mia Taylor each had two tries. Belmont defeated L-S, 39-26, in its opening match on April 14.

“They played more of a wide offense today, and I think we got really surprised by that, and we needed the first half to adjust,” Detheux said. “It all came together in the second half.”

Including the postseason, Belmont (6-0) outscored its opponents, 234-33, an average of 39 points per game. The Marauders recorded shutouts in four of their final five contests.

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“In the second half, we were able to settle down, play our pattern, really work what we know, and some of that space opened up for us,” McCabe said.