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Final Regular Season Mass. D1 Boys Top 20: Central Catholic closes the regular season on top

Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Poll

1Central Catholic12110
2B.C. High21541
3Pope Francis31633
4St. John's Prep41334
9Austin Prep91371
10St. John's (S)81363
11St. Mary's101264
16Catholic Memorial19884
18Malden Catholic16893

Regular-season tournament titles were won and some compelling non-league match-ups lived up to expectations. However, aside from Andover’s big jump into the Top 10, the final week of the regular season did little to shake up our poll.

No. 1 Central Catholic completed what was essentially a wire-to-wire run at the top – we ranked them second in our pre-season poll – and capped a rare 20-win regular season in the process. The Raiders completed their MVC/DCL championship run by defeating Westford Academy, then claimed The Cardinal Classic with wins against Pope Francis and Malden Catholic. Anchored by their junior goalie Matt Pasquale (9 SOs), Central yielded a division-low 14 goals and owned a division best plus-79 differential.

Catholic Conference kingpin No. 2 BC High overcame a slow start to the season – the Eagles were actually 1-3-1 at one point — to win 14 of their final 15. They rolled over Austin Prep, 5-0, and Reading, 9-1, this week en route to their third consecutive Buddy Ferreira Classic championship. The Eagles ranked third in the division in goals allowed (23) and that offense that produced just six goals in the first five games scored at a five goals per game clip over the final 15.

No. 3 Pope Francis once again led the division in scoring with 101 goals. Two of their three losses were 3-1 defeats at the hands of Central Catholic – in the semifinal of the Peter Frates Classic in December and in the semifinal of their own tournament this week. The Catholic West champions closed the season with a win against No. 11 St. Mary’s in the Cardinal Classic semifinal.

No. 4 St. John’s Prep just wins. It may not always be flashy, but the Eagles grind it out and usually find a way. Five one-goal victories – including three against Top 10 teams in this poll – point to that. They finished with a romp past D2 in-town rival Danvers and a less-than-satisfying tie against Braintree.

No. 5 Hingham defeated Duxbury and Archbishop Williams at the Ferreira Classic. Standing at 2-2-2 through their first six games, the Independent Harbormen finished strong, registering a number of high-profile wins. They are sound defensively, backboned by senior goalie Robbie Kornack (8 SOs).

No. 6 Burlington, the Middlesex League Freedom Division champion, claimed The Cahoon Cup championship with wins against Chelmsford and Framingham. The Red Devils ranked second in the division with 19 wins and own a plus-46 differential.

No. 7 Andover fashioned a massive final week, jumping eight spots in the poll. The Golden Warriors took down Top 10 foes Arlington and St. John’s of Shrewsbury and captured The Newburyport Bank Classic Bresnahan Division title by shutting out Cape Ann League champion No. 16 Newburyport.

Middlesex League Freedom Division champion No. 8 Arlington rebounded from that 2-0 loss to Andover with a 4-0 shutout of Woburn. The Spy Ponders are looking to defend their 1A championship.

After losing to BCH, Catholic Central Large champion No. 9 Austin Prep finished with a flourish at the Ferreira Classic, routing No. 18 Falmouth. The Cougars’ top five offense averaged a tick under four goals per game.

No. 10 St. John’s of Shrewsbury rebounded from its 3-1 loss to Andover to win its consolation game at the NBC. The Pioneers faltered with a 3-3-0 finish but all of the losses were to teams ranked ahead of them in this poll.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle joined the HNIB team in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. An award-winning veteran editor/writer of 35 years experience in the print and digital mediums, he has conceptualized, edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and their websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple NEPA and NEAP awards during his tenure as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and is a 2017 inductee into the Newburyport High School Wall of Fame. The Newburyport, MA native resides with his family in Epping, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40.
Kevin Doyle
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