Girls Soccer Postseason Capsules
Coach: John Ruyffelaert, 11th year
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.
Coach: Chris Mogavero, 13th year
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.
Coach: Brian Miller, second year
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.
Coach: Matt McCloghry, fifth year
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).
Coach: Nick Boorman, third year
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.
Coach: Steve Estelle, 23rd year
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.
Coach: Mike Dupont, sixth year
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.