Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20
What a week for No. 1 Arlington (13-1-3). When the Spy Ponders squared off with Hingham Sunday afternoon at Bentley University’s shiny new Bentley Arena, they were playing their fourth game in seven days while the Harbormen were facing off with a purpose for the first time in eight.
Advantage to the well rested Harbormen, right?
Arlington didn’t get the memo. After a sluggish first period, the Spy Ponders assumed control in the second and went on to a 3-0 win, capping a week that saw them also tie BC High, 2-2, while knocking off league foes Woburn and Lexington. They are at Winchester Wednesday and at Belmont Saturday.
That tie with Arlington was the lone action of the week for No. 2 BC High (10-3-3). The Eagles take on D2 Tewksbury Monday in what is an exclusionary game for the Redmen then head to Cape Cod for Saturday’s first round of the annual Buddy Ferreira Classic to face host Falmouth.
No. 3 Catholic Memorial (8-4-5) put itself in position for an outright Catholic Conference title with Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Malden Catholic. That bit of business will have to wait until the same teams meet again Feb. 17 with the Knights needing only a tie. They will be tested this week by St. Johns (S) Wednesday and Pope Francis Saturday.
By all accounts the joint was jumping at Loring Arena Saturday night but No. 4 Framingham (12-4-2) suffered its first Bay State Conference Carey Division loss against resurgent Natick, 1-0. The Flyers shut out Needham earlier in the week, 3-0. They travel to Top 10 foes Hingham on Wednesday and Xaverian on Saturday.
No. 5 Xaverian (10-4-4) turned in a strong week as it doubled up Marshfield, 4-2, then shut out St. Johns (S), 3-0. The Hawks step out of state Wednesday night against Bp. Hendricken (RI) and face off with Framingham in a possible Division 1A Tournament preview Saturday.
No. 6 Pope Francis (9-4-2) climbs following an impressive performance at its Pope Francis Invitational. The Cardinals turned back Delbarton (NJ), 4-1, Friday before blasting Bp. Hendricken, 9-0, in the title game Saturday. They are at Austin Prep Wednesday and home against CM Saturday.
No. 7 Hingham (9-5-3) must regroup from Sunday’s loss for a challenging three-game gauntlet this week – Monday at home against Franklin, Wednesday at home against Framingham and Saturday against Archbishop Williams at the Ferreira Classic.
Middlesex League Freedom Division champion No. 8 Burlington (12-3-3) sandwiched wins against Walpole, 5-0, and Stoneham, 4-1, around a 1-1 tie with Wilmington. The Red Devils host Barnstable in non-league action Wednesday and wrap up their league schedule at Melrose Saturday.
After rallying for a 4-4 mid-week tie with Andover, No. 9 St. John’s Prep (8-4-5) belted Newburyport Saturday, 10-2, in the annual Derek Hines Memorial Game between the schools, qualifying for post-season play in the process. The Eagles host Mount St. Charles (RI) Wednesday and visit Billerica Saturday.
No. 10 Austin Prep (9-5-3) is on the cusp of a Catholic Central Large title but takes a bit of a tumble following a 1-1 tie with Winchester in its only game. The Cougars have that home date with Pope Francis on Wednesday, then venture to Cape Cod for Saturday’s first day of the Ferreira Classic to face in-town rival Reading.
No. 11 Natick (12-2-3) continued its outstanding season under new coach and former Natick star Bill LaCouture Jr. with a pair of one-goal wins – 2-1 against Walpole Wednesday and 1-0 against Framingham Saturday. The Redhawks remain home against Wellesley Wednesday and Wayland Saturday.
No. 12 St. Mary’s (10-5-2) fell to Archbishop Williams, 4-1, before finally halting a 1-5-1 skid with Saturday’s 7-0 shutout of Lowell Catholic. The Spartans are home against Franklin Wednesday and complete their league schedule against old rival Bishop Fenwick on Saturday.
No. 13 Braintree (10-4-2) wrapped up the Bay State Conference Herget Division crown with its 4-1 win against Needham Saturday, offsetting a 5-2 loss to Wellesley earlier in the week. The Wamps remain at home this week to take on Weymouth Wednesday and Canton Saturday.
No. 14 Duxbury (11-4-3) closed the week with solid wins against Whitman-Hanson and Scituate but still tumbles two spots after a 3-1 loss to D3 North Quincy last Monday. The Green Dragons square off with Hanover Wednesday then meet Arlington Catholic in Saturday’s first round of the Ferreira Classic.
Independent No. 15 Shrewsbury (11-3-2) overwhelmed D3 Coyle & Cassidy Saturday in its lone game of the week, 9-0. The Colonials face Bishop Fenwick at home Wednesday and head to Mansfield Saturday.