Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20
Well, it took a month but No. 1 Arlington (10-1-2) finally broke the streak of a different team appearing at the top of the HNIB News Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20 each week. The Spy Ponders sailed past Stoneham, 5-0, then shut out rival Reading, 3-0, in a key Middlesex Liberty Division contest Saturday night.
Where the Spy Ponders stand next week will hinge on the results of an insanely busy four-game schedule: Monday at Woburn, Wednesday’s showdown vs. BC High, Friday vs. Lexington and Sunday vs. Hingham (at Bentley). They will need to lean heavily on their defense that has allowed a division low 16 goals.
No. 2 BC High (10-3-2) climbs three spots after a productive week. The Eagles doubled up Catholic Conference foe Xaverian, 4-2, and held off a strong push by St. Mary’s in a non-league test Sunday, 2-0. With their Catholic Conference schedule complete, the Eagles can either share or win an outright title, or finish second, but do not control their destiny. They face off with Arlington Wednesday at Ed Burns Arena (4:10 pm).
No. 3 Framingham (11-3-2) turned back Wellesley in its only action of the week, 1-0. The Flyers take on Needham Wednesday at Loring, then head to Natick Saturday for a clash between the Bay State Carey’s top two teams.
No. 4 Catholic Memorial (7-4-5) is this week’s big mover, jumping up five spots after taking down Xaverian Saturday, 5-2. With two games in hand, the Knights control their own destiny in the Catholic Conference race. They are home against Malden Catholic Wednesday in their only action this week.
Independent No. 5 Hingham (9-4-3) put together perhaps its best week of season, bracketing Wednesday’s 2-2 tie against Reading with Saturday’s impressive 2-1 roadie at Pope Francis and Monday’s 4-0 whitewash of long-time rival Duxbury. The Harbormen are off until Sunday’s showcase date with Arlington at Bentley (2).
No. 6 Xaverian (8-4-4) slides a couple of spots after losses to league foes BCHigh and CM. It’s non-league games the rest of the way for the Hawks, who meet Marshfield at home Wednesday and travel to St. John’s (S) Saturday.
Catholic Central Large leader No. 7 Austin Prep (9-5-2) climbs four slots this week. The Cougars toppled Lowell Catholic and Bishop Fenwick this week to complete their league slate but will have to wait for the remainder of the schedule to play out to determine if the title is theirs. Monday’s game at Winchester is their only action in a light week.
No. 8 Burlington (10-3-2) skated to ties with Belmont and Wakefield. It’s a busy week for the Red Devils, who head south for Monday’s non-leaguer against Walpole before returning to Middlesex League action at Wilmington Wednesday and against Stoneham Saturday.
No. 9 Pope Francis (7-4-2) suffered that rare home loss to Hingham Saturday in their only action. The Cardinals host their annual Pope Francis Invitational this weekend, hosting Delbarton (NJ) in Friday night’s semifinal round. The consolation and championship games are set for Saturday.
Despite Sunday’s strong showing against BC High, it was a rugged week for No. 10 St. Mary’s (9-4-2) which lost to Catholic Central Large foe Bishop Fenwick for the first time in 25 games (24-0-1), 3-1. The Spartans aim to halt a 1-4-1 skid Wednesday at Archbishop Williams and Saturday at Lowell Catholic.
No. 11 St. John’s Prep (7-4-4) split games, knocking off Malden Catholic, 2-1, and losing to St. John’s (S), 2-1. The Eagles go public this week, at Andover Wednesday and home against Newburyport in Saturday’s annual Derek Hines Memorial Game.
No. 12 Duxbury (9-3-3) rebounded from its loss to Hingham to knock off both Plymouth South and North in the Patriot League. The Green Dragons sandwich home games against North Quincy Monday and Scituate Saturday around Wednesday’s visit to Whitman-Hanson.
No. 13 Malden Catholic (4-5-3) lost to St. John’s Prep, 2-1, and upended Falmouth, 5-3. The Lancers spend the week on the road – at Bp. Guertin (NH) Monday, at CM Wednesday, and at Melrose Saturday.
No. 14 Natick (10-2-3) edged Shrewsbury and shut out Newton North, 4-0. The resurgent Redhawks visit Walpole Wednesday and face off with Framingham Saturday.
No. 15 Braintree (9-3-2) defeated Mansfield and settled for a tie with Walpole to clinch a post-season berth.. Wellesley and Needham are on the docket this week.