Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20
Hey, Arlington: Come on down! New No. 1 Arlington (8-1-2) becomes the fourth team in as many weeks to find itself at the top of the division. Call whatever is happening in the division this year what you want, but if it’s not parity, not sure what it is.
It was a solid week for the Spy Ponders. After battling Pope Francis to a 2-all tie, they took down previous poll leader Burlington in convincing fashion Saturday night, 5-2. The Middlesex League’s Liberty Division leader meets Stoneham in a league crossover Wednesday before taking on division rival Reading Saturday.
No. 2 Framingham (10-3-2) booked its post-season reservation with its 2-1 win against Walpole Saturday night. Which tournament the Flyers wind up in remains to be seen. The Bay State Carey leaders shut out Newton North earlier in the week, 5-0, and have a single game against division foe Wellesley on Wednesday.
No. 3 St. Mary’s (9-2-2) scuffled a bit, settling for three points in a three-game week. The Spartans tied Hingham on Monday, 1-1; were shut out by Winchester Wednesday, 3-0; and knocked off Newburyport Friday, 4-1. The Spartans face off against Catholic Central Large foe Bishop Fenwick on Wednesday, then travel for a non-league Sunday date at BC High.
No. 4 Xaverian (8-2-4) toppled MVC/DCL One opponents Central Catholic, 3-1, and Chelmsford, 3-1, before returning to Catholic Conference action and a 3-2 OT loss against Malden Catholic, which goes into the book as 2-2 a tie for MIAA qualification purposes. The Hawks stay in the league and on the road this week for dates at BC High Wednesday High and Catholic Memorial Saturday.
No. 5 BC High (8-3-2) picked up a key 4-1 Catholic Conference victory against Catholic Memorial Sunday afternoon. The Eagles edged Winchester, 3-2, but fell to Malden Catholic, 5-4, in OT. Again, it’s a point for MIAA tournament qualification. The Eagles have that league date with Xaverian Wednesday and Sunday’s visit from St. Mary’s in what amounts to an in-season round robin that will impact next week’s rankings.
It was a rugged week for No. 6 Burlington (10-3-0), which fell five spots and had its 10-game winning streak snapped, enduring losses to Malden Catholic, 3-1, and Arlington, 5-2. The Red Devils continue to lead the Middlesex League’s Freedom Division. They cross over to face ML Liberty opponent Belmont Wednesday, a Marauder team that has won three straight shutouts, then take on Freedom foe Wakefield Saturday.
No. 7 Pope Francis (7-3-2) snagged five of six points in a productive week. After tying Arlington on Monday, 2-2, the Cardinals took down St. John’s (S), 4-1, and Andover, 5-3. The Cards are off until next Saturday when fellow Independent Hingham treks to Springfield.
No. 8 St. John’s Prep (6-3-4) registered its most impressive win of the season with its 6-2 runaway from Austin Prep Saturday night. That wrapped up a four-point week for the Eagles, who had 1-1 ties against Reading and Catholic Memorial. Home dates with Malden Catholic (Wednesday) and St. Johns of Shrewsbury (Saturday) are on the docket this week.
No. 9 Catholic Memorial (6-4-5) secured that mid-week tie with SJP but couldn’t match B.C. High in that Sunday loss. The Knights – who had three straight 1-1 ties before Sunday’s loss – are off until Saturday’s visit by Xaverian.
No. 10 Hingham (7-4-2) accumulated three of four points with a 1-1 tie against St. Mary’s and 4-2 decision of St. Johns (S). The Harbormen face a three-game week with visits to Duxbury (Monday) and Pope Francis (Saturday) bracketing Wednesday’s home date with Reading.
No. 11 Austin Prep (7-5-2) picked up wins against St. John’s (S), 3-1, and Arlington Catholic, 5-0, before Saturday’s 6-2 loss to St. John’s Prep. The Cougars look to enhance their positioning in the Catholic Central Large this week at Lowell Catholic Wednesday and at home against Bishop Fenwick Saturday.
It was a big week for No. 12 Duxbury (7-2-3), which posted three shutouts – a scoreless tie against Marshfield in The Green Cup (Duxbury won in OT), followed by a 3-0 whitewash of Silver Lake and 6-0 decision against Quincy. Home games with Hingham (Monday) and Plymouth North (Saturday) sandwich Wednesday’s visit to Plymouth South.
Previously unranked No. 13 Malden Catholic (3-4-3), which is 2-0-3 in its last five, snapped up four points against Top 10 teams, tripping up Burlington, 3-1, and forging Catholic Conference ties with BC High, 4-4, and Xaverian, 2-2. The suddenly dangerous Lancers are on the road this week against St. John’s Prep (Wednesday) and Falmouth (Saturday).
No. 14 Shrewsbury (9-2-2) jumps two spots after extending its unbeaten streak to 7-0-1 with wins against Westwood and Norwell. The Colonials face Natick on Wednesday and Lowell Catholic Saturday.
No. 15 Braintree (8-3-1) holds firm after shutting out both Milton, 9-0, and Newton North, 3-0. The Bay State Herget Division leading Wamps are at home against Mansfield and Walpole this week.