Bellefeuille scores first varsity goal in his last regular season game

The fourth-year varsity player scored Lakeville North’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw against Farmington to close out the regular season

Ross Bellefeuille likes to cut things close. 

He had four years to score a varsity goal, but he waited to do so until the second half of his last regular season game.

The senior defenseman tallied his first goal in a 1-1 draw against Farmington at Lakeville North High School on Thursday. The Panthers finish the regular season 7-5-4 while the Tigers finish 4-9-4.

Even though Bellefeuille waited until the end of his fourth regular season to score, to him, it was worth the wait.

“It was amazing,” he said. “I was telling people earlier that I was going to get one today.”

He also told his teammate, Isaac Fennewald, exactly how he would score just before Olaf Morkeberg lined up for a free-kick. Bellefeuille said he knew Morkeburg’s shot would be a “rocket,” and figured it would pop back out. So, Bellefeuille told Fennewald he would crash the net and “hope for the best.”

Bellefeuille’s hopes became reality when he scored on Farmington, equalizing an earlier score from Tiger midfielder Isaac Kuehn, who scored in the first half.

Whether Bellefeuille is scoring an equalizer or stifling opposing offenses back on defense, he plays an important role in his team’s success.

“This is a different team if Ross isn’t playing,” Lakeville North coach Pete Tyma said. “We wouldn’t be in all of the games we are in without him.”

Part of the reason Bellefeuille hadn’t scored is because he is a defenseman, but a lack of successful forwards has forced other players to contribute to scoring.

“We have plenty of guys who are great with the soccer ball and shoot well in training, but we just don’t have that guy who is going to go up there who if he is within 25 yards, he is going to take a shot,” Tyma said.

Lakeville North showed its lack of a true finisher in the first half. It had scoring opportunities, and often pressured the Tiger net. But, the pressure and constant possession never turned into a score.

“We just have to figure out how to score goals,” Tyma said. “Everything else is in place.”

Bellefeuille is one of those pieces in place, not only for his defensive play, but also for the persona and leadership he brings to the team. Bellefeuille’s teammates selected him as captain as a junior in 2014. They selected him again in 2015.

Not saying much as a junior captain, Bellefeuille has become one of the most vocal people on the team, bringing a positive energy and persona to the field. Tyma described Bellefeuille as goofy, which gives the team perspective in serious moments.

“When it is getting intense, Kyle (Power) is doing the splits or Ross is doing some weird dance,” Tyma said. “Then we can step back and calm down because it is a game and we are having fun together.”

The Panthers hope to continue to have fun together come next week when section play begins. Tyma expects the Panthers to receive the No. 3 seed in the section, likely playing either Farmington or Rochester John Marshall on Tuesday.

If Lakeville North can’t find scoring help from forwards, it will need Bellefeuille to add to his lone goal of his varsity career.

But, Tyma wouldn’t be surprised to see the second-year captain come through for the Panthers if needed.

“His approach is always positive,” Tyma said. “He should be an all-state player this year.”