Mass. Girls D1 Top 10
The first in-season HNIB News Massachusetts Girls D1 Top 10 shows some movement from our pre-season rankings. In the early-going, it looks like there may be more parity this winter, as there have been several close games already, and a bunch of ties.
One of those ties involved the top two teams in the pre-season Top 10, who squared off on opening night. St. Mary’s and Austin Prep played to a 3-3 standoff (the Cougars did score a goal in the new five-minute OT period introduced this year and utilized by some, but not all, leagues). This week, the Spartans will jump ahead of AP, just barely, for the #1 spot as the Cougars were tied again, this time 3-3 by Franklin, on Saturday, while STM beat Matignon (3-1).
Austin Prep (1-0-2), which also beat Wellesley, 1-0, is off this week. St. Mary’s (1-0-1) doesn’t play until a Saturday date with Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading.
A lot was expected of #3 Braintree (3-0-0) heading into the season and the Wamps have not disappointed, going 3-0 to start the year including shutout wins over league foes Brookline (6-0) and Milton (5-0) and a solid 5-3 win Saturday over Duxbury. Braintree has a busy week, playing in the Michael Giordano Christmas Classic, where they face Andover, Thursday and Friday, and see Hingham on Saturday.
#4 Arlington (3-0-0) has started fast. The Spy Ponders also own a win over Duxbury (4-2) and have pocketed league wins over Watertown (9-1) and Wakefield (4-0). They have the week off, not playing until a December 30th date with St. Mary’s in the Catholic Central/Middlesex Challenge.
Longmeadow (2-0-0) jumps to #5 after a solid 3-2 season-opening win over Shrewsbury and a win over Auburn. The Lancers, who have a lot of depth, will take on Leominster (Monday) before a huge clash with #6 Methuen/Tewksbury (0-0-2) on Saturday.
The Red Rangers have played a pair of ties so far with Lincoln-Sudbury (1-1) and #7 Andover (3-3, the Warriors did net an OT goal after squandering a two-goal, third period lead).
The M/T game Saturday was the first of the season for Andover, who now readies for Braintree on Thursday at Boston Latin’s Michael Giordano Christmas Classic.
#8 Hingham (3-0-0) had a successful trip to Vermont to open the season, knocking off a pair of that state’s top teams in BFA St. Albans and Essex. The Harborwomen also downed Scituate on Saturday. They take on Weymouth Tuesday morning before awaiting Braintree on Saturday.
The only newcomer this week is #9 Needham (3-0-0). The Rockets have been very impressive in the early going with convincing league wins over Natick (3-0), Walpole (6-1) and Milton (6-0). They will have their hands full with Wellesley on Monday.
Although they have started 0-2, Duxbury is #10, with both losses coming to highly-ranked teams. The Dragons look to get into the win column with games this week against King Philip (Monday), Scituate (Friday) and Notre Dame Hingham (Saturday).
TEAMS TO WATCH: Boston Latin (3-0-0), HPNA (2-0-1), Woburn (2-0-1), Shrewsbury (2-1-0)