Massachusetts Boys D1 Top 20
And on and on it goes. Chaos has characterized this most unusual of seasons and it continued last week. Three previously unbeaten teams lost for the first time, two of them against high-end lower division opponents.
Additionally, 14 teams moved one way or another from last week’s ranking, including three that return to the rankings for the first time in several weeks. Been that kind of season.
Independent No. 1 Pope Francis (7-0-0) had an empty week and will have not played a meaningful minute in almost two weeks before they close the book on their campaign with a scheduled home-and-home set against Shrewsbury. The Cardinals have ceded just seven goals all season.
No. 2 Archbishop Williams (10-0-3) of the Catholic Central Large moved up one slot after sweeping the season series from St. Mary’s in a wild 6-4 affair. The Bishops will now host Bishop Feehan Tuesday in a Catholic Central League Cup semifinal matchup.
After suffering its first loss of the season against Belmont, No. 4 Woburn (7-1-1) of the Middlesex Liberty rallied to beat Winchester, 4-3, at the final buzzer Saturday, Those two tangle again Monday.
No. 5 BC High (5-4-0) of the Catholic Conference moves up a spot. Following a three-game losing streak, capped by a 4-2 loss to St. John’s Prep to start its week, the Eagles rebounded with wins over St. John’s of Shrewsbury (3-1) and Malden Catholic (3-0) to climb back above .500.
No. 6 Catholic Memorial (5-4-1), the Catholic Conference champion, put together a strong week by taking 3-of-4 points from St. John’s Prep – 3-0 win and 2-2 tie – and edging Xaverian on Sunday, 2-1.
Before that loss to CM Sunday, No. 7 Xaverian (5-3-2) extended its winning streak to five games with two wins against St. John’s of Shrewsbury (1-0 and 3-1) and another against Malden Catholic, 3-1. Despite Sunday’s loss, the Hawks won their first Catholic Conference regular season crown since 1968.
No. 8 Austin Prep (8-2-3) had its only game postponed and will finish their season having lost just two games, to Pope Francis and Archbishop Williams.
No. 9 Braintree (7-0-2) of the Bay State Herget climbed a spot after sweeping two games from Walpole, 3-1 and 4-3.
No. 11 Belmont (5-2-2) of the Middlesex Liberty dealt Woburn its first loss, 3-1 before being shut out by Arlington, 4-0.
No. 12 Winchester (4-2-2) of the Middlesex Liberty knocked off Lexington, 4-2, before that excruciating 4-3 loss to Woburn as time expired.
No. 13 St. John’s Prep (2-3-3) of the Catholic Conference had its best week, starting with that upset of BC High. After a 3-0 loss to CM, the Eagles regrouped for a 2-2 tie with CM in the annual Derek Hines Memorial Game, followed by Sunday’s 1-0 shutout of St. John’s (S).
No. 14 St. John’s of Shrewsbury’s (5-5-0) season completely hit the skids in a four-loss week in the rugged Catholic Conference. The Pioneers scored only two goals in back-to-back losses to Xaverian (1-0 and 3-1), a 3-1 defeat at the hands of BC High, and Sunday’s loss to SJP.
No. 15 Newburyport (8-1-1) missed a shot at an outright Cape Ann League title with a 3-1 loss to D2 power Triton but earned a share of the crown with Saturday’s win at North Reading. The Clippers drew a bye into the semifinals of this week’s Cape Ann League Tournament.
No. 16 Franklin (10-2-1) of the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex Division; No. 17 Central Catholic (6-1-1) of the Merrimack Valley Conference; No. 18 St. Mary’s (4-5-3) of the Catholic Central Large; No. 19 Arlington (4-4-1) of the Middlesex Liberty, and No. 20 Falmouth (7-2-1) of the Cape & Islands Atlantic round out this week’s rankings.