Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
79°
Cloudy
Hi 84° | Lo 68°

Girls Soccer Postseason Capsules

Division 1

NORTHAMPTON

Coach: John Ruyffelaert, 11th year

Record: 14-2-2

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Minnechaug 2-1 (OT) in 2011 WMass Division 1 quarterfinals

Seed/Opponent: No. 4/Hosts No. 5 Pittsfield (11-1-3) in quarterfinals at date and time to be announced

Leaders: Molly King (10 goals, five assists), Charlotte Maurer (nine, six), Leah Tompkins (nine, five), Lauren McGrath (eight, three), Maya Kerstetter (10 shutouts)

Notable results: Swept Southwick and Chicopee; split with Westfield; tied Monson and Wahconah; lost to Westfield and East Longmeadow

Outlook: The Blue Devils enter the tournament after winning their first outright league title in program history. They are balanced in every area of the field. Kerstetter is one of the better goalies in the area, and could be the key to Hamp having a chance in any tournament game. The defense in front of her is experienced and solid, allowing just under one goal per game. King, Maurer, Tompkins and McGrath represent a balanced offense. Hamp went 2-2 during the regular season against teams in the D1 field.

Other contenders: No. 1 seed and defending champion East Longmeadow (15-1-1) is the favorite to repeat, but No. 3 Minnechaug (9-5-4) will have something to say about that. The Falcons always seem to find a way into the final. No. 2 West Springfield (10-4-4) and No. 6 Ludlow (9-9) may also be heard from.

Division 2

BELCHERTOWN

Coach: Chris Mogavero, 13th year

Record: 16-0-2

Last Tournament Appearance: 2011 western Massachusetts champions; lost to Auburn 1-0 in 2011 state semifinal

Seed/Opponent: No. 1/Hosts winner of No. 8 Easthampton (9-4-2) and No. 9 Athol (9-4-5) in quarterfinals at a date and time to be announced

Leaders: Breanne Moreau (24 goals, 12 assists), Natalie Caney (18, 17), Jackie Soucia (15, 10), Brittany Moreau (13, 11), defender Abbey Norden

Notable results: Swept Westfield and Chicopee Comp; beat Minnechaug, Ludlow, West Springfield, Wahconah; tied East Longmeadow

Outlook: The Orioles are among the top two teams in western Massachusetts in any division, and the case can be made that they’re the best. The Moreau sisters jumpstart the attack, while Caney and Soucia are premier finishers. Although the ball is rarely in their defensive end, the back line is very solid as well. LaClair split time in goal much of the season with Ashley Cavanaugh, but LaClair will get the nod. If Belchertown isn’t holding the trophy next Saturday, it will be an upset.

EASTHAMPTON

Coach: Brian Miller, second year

Record: 9-4-2

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Mount Greylock 1-0 in 2011 WMass Division 2 first round

Seed/Opponent: No. 8/Hosts No. 9 Athol (9-4-5) in first round at a date and time to be announced

Leaders: Claire Douglass (seven goals, seven assists), Abby Edgin (three, three), defenders Becca Aubrey and Rachel Connell, keeper Alyssa Fugiel (94 saves, eight shutouts)

Notable results: Beat Athol and Smith Academy; went 1-0-1 against Holyoke Catholic; split with Gateway; tied Granby; lost to Wahconah

Outlook: In a preview of their first-round matchup, Easthampton beat Athol 2-0 at home on Sept. 26. The Eagles only had one player reach double figures in points, so they will need to ride a nearly impenetrable defense to make a run. Easthampton allowed just 11 goals in 15 games. Eight of those tallies came in their four losses.

Other contenders: No. 2 Monson (16-0-2) brings a high-powered attack to the field in every game, and should reach the final ... No. 3 Southwick (10-3-5) finished second to Division 1 Northampton in the Central League ... No. 7 Wahconah (8-6-3) is a yearly fixture in the semifinals.

Division 3

SMITH ACADEMY

Coach: Matt McCloghry, fifth year

Record: 16-2

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Hopkins Academy 3-2 in 2011 WMass Division 3 quarterfinals

Seed/Opponent: No. 2/Hosts winner of No. 7 St. Mary (9-8-1) and No. 10 Pathfinder (8-7-2) in quarterfinals at a date and time to be announced

Leaders: Cassidy Snyder (17 goals, eight assists), defender Nicole Gay (nine, four), Hannah Rickert (eight, four), Olivia Hanson (three, nine), keeper Brooke Pashek (10 shutouts)

Notable results: Swept Athol; beat Holyoke Catholic; lost to Gateway and Easthampton

Outlook: In just their second season in the Franklin League, the Falcons had a perfect league record. They enter the tourney a very confident team, and will truly represent a difficult matchup for any team they face. Snyder is one of the best scorers in the area, and this season has improved her ability to set up teammates. McCloghry has eight different players with at least eight points. Their defense is as stingy (12 goals allowed) as the offense is powerful (64 goals).

GRANBY

Coach: Nick Boorman, third year

Record: 16-0-1

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Lenox 1-0 in 2011 WMass Division 3 final

Seed/Opponent: No. 4/Hosts No. 5 Lee (7-7-3) in a quarterfinal at a date and time to be announced

Leaders: Brooke Labrie (14 goals, six assists), Rachel Mick (11, four), Kiley Baran (seven, nine), defenders Noelle Menard, Alex White and Alexis Ouellette, keeper Brittany Hauschild (12 shutouts)

Notable results: Swept Gateway and Holyoke Catholic; beat Lenox, Sabis, Athol and Palmer; went 1-0-1 against Easthampton

Outlook: Despite being one of three undefeated teams in western Massachusetts and the only team in the D3 field without a loss, the Rams were given the No. 4 seed. But the Rams overall experience and body of work this season makes them as much of a favorite as anyone. They don’t have a discernible weakness anywhere on the field. Hauschild played very well in her first season in goal, but this will be her first tournament experience.

GATEWAY REGIONAL

Coach: Steve Estelle, 23rd year

Record: 10-4-2

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Granby 3-0 in 2011 WMass Division 3 semifinals

Seed/Opponent: No. 6/Hosts No. 11 Holyoke Catholic (7-7-4) in first round at a date and time to be announced

Leaders: Chelsi Derrig (seven goals, six assists), Jamie Pease (seven, four), Kendall Rooney (five, six), keeper Brooke Fairman (nine shutouts)

Notable results: Beat Smith Academy; split with Easthampton and Holyoke Catholic; tied Athol; lost to Palmer; swept by Granby

Outlook: The Gators overcame an 0-3-1 stretch in the first half of October to go 3-0-1 over their final three games of the regular season. With Estelle’s always strong defense and a highly experienced keeper in Fairman, the Gators are a threat to beat anybody. Pease and Derrig will need to provide much of the offense. Other than a pair of 1-0 losses to Granby, Gateway didn’t lose to another D3 team.

HOLYOKE CATHOLIC

Coach: Mike Dupont, sixth year

Record: 7-7-4

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Hopkins 1-0 (PKs) in 2004 WMass Division 3 quarterfinals

Seed/Opponent: No. 11/Plays at No. 6 Gateway Regional (10-4-2) in first round at a date and time to be announced

Leaders: Gillian Cassidy-Payson (seven goals, five assists), Lexi Neffinger (four, three), Danielle Easton (four, three), defender Kate Gingras, keeper Katie Klejna (nine shutouts)

Notable results: Split with Gateway; went 0-1-1 against Easthampton; lost to Smith Academy and Athol; swept by Granby

Outlook: The Gaels put together a great run to earn their first playoff appearance in eight years. Their first round game against Gateway will be a rematch of a scoreless draw last Friday that put Catholic into the tournament. One area of concern is that they went 1-5-4 against Pioneer League foes. With Granby and Gateway among the teams in the field, Catholic will need to improve on that. But with Klejna and a stingy defense, the Gaels should hang with anybody.

Other contenders: Defending champion and No. 1 Lenox (11-4-2) was awarded the top spot despite losing at home to Granby 1-0 on Oct. 24. A rematch in the western Mass. final would be highly entertaining and nerveracking for both teams ... No. 3 McCann Tech (16-1-1) represents a high-powered attack that dominated the Tri-County.

Related

Unbeaten Belchertown, Granby seek girls soccer titles

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Only three girls soccer teams enter the western Massachusetts tournament with undefeated records. Two of the three are local squads — one was awarded the top seed and is used to winning the sectional crown, the other is seeking to reach that pinnacle for the first time. In Division 2, two-time defending champion Belchertown (16-0-2) comes into the postseason as … 0

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.