Tuesday’s high schools: Northampton boys soccer clinches postseason berth with win
Elliot Weiss of Northampton, right, moves the ball while defended by Brian Douglas of Longmeadow, center, Tuesday in Northampton. Reid Leveillee is in the background. Purchase photo reprints »
Jordan Maurer of Northampton, left, celebrates his goal with Elias Neijens during their 1-0 win against Longmeadow Tuesday in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »
Elias Neijens of Northampton boxes out Zach Lukas of Longmeadow Tuesday in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »
Jordan Maurer, of Northampton, left, kicks the game-winning goal in his team's 1-0 win against Longmeadow Tuesday in Northampton. Defending him, right, is Keegan Dudeck. Purchase photo reprints »
Elliot Weiss of Northampton, right, and Darby O'Connor of Longmeadow recover after jumping to head the ball Tuesday in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »
Casey Intrator of Northampton, right, defends Matt Draymore of Longmeadow Tuesday in Northampton. Elliot Weiss of Northampton is in the background. Purchase photo reprints »
Northampton senior Jordan Maurer made sure his last regular-season home game wouldn’t be the final contest of his high school career.
Maurer’s goal in the fifth minute Tuesday afternoon gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 win over Longmeadow and clinched the program’s first Western Massachusetts Division 1 Tournament berth in three years.
Northampton (7-7-4, 4-3-3 Churchill-Moriarty), which would have missed the playoffs with a tie or loss, tallied when leftback Jay Wright played a through-ball to a cutting and unmarked Maurer, who buried the shot.
Goalie Jack Haller (two saves) and the stingy defense in front of him hunkered down for the remainder of the game and kept the Lancers off the scoreboard.
The win capped an improbable late-season push by Northampton, which, thanks to inconsistent play and some bad luck in close games, started the season 2-6-3.
“We were with every team, we just weren’t winning games,” said coach Mike Soucy.
However, the Blue Devils went 5-1-1 in their final seven games and won their last three matches.
Over that time, Northampton has posted four shutouts, one three 1-0 games and outscored its opponents 10-3.
“It’s a deserving group of guys, we could have easily threw the towel in at any point,” Soucy said.
Belchertown 3, Central 0 — Christopher Riel scored twice in the second half as the Orioles (18-0, 12-0 Holley) completed a perfect regular season with a win in Springfield.
Alex DeSantis added a goal and an assist for Belchertown, who collected all of its goals in the second half.
The wind became a factor in the game, as it slowed the Orioles in the first half.
“We had a hard time establishing our passing game,” coach Tony Almeida said. “But we were able to open it up in the second half with the wind at our backs.”
Cam Messier added an assist and Zach Parsons made seven saves in the shutout.
The Orioles perfect season comes after their Western Massachusetts Division 2 title a year ago.
“These guys whole goal was to win our (Holley) Division and nothing other than that,” said Almeida, who acknowledged that the regular season and postseason are vastly different. “We basically see the regular season as part one and then we move on from ground zero in the tournament.”
The Orioles outscored their opponents 103-7 on the season and posted 12 shutouts.
They scored at least three goals in 15 games and are likely to be the top seed when the tournament pairings are released this afternoon at Granby High School.
Monson 2, Smith Academy 0 — Cam Woodward shined in net with 12 saves, but the Falcons (12-4-2) fell on the road.
After opening the season 11-1-2, Smith Academy has dropped three of its final four games heading into the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament.
Smith Academy 4, Greenfield 1 — The Falcons (16-2, 12-0 Franklin) opened up a 3-0 first half lead and finished off a perfect season in conference with the road win.
Ali Fitzgerald, Hannah Rickert and Anna Gellotte scored in the first half for Smith Academy, which outshot the Green Wave 21-2.
They scored their fourth goal in the second half on a Greenfield own goal.
Mia Ellis and Olivia Hanson chipped in an assist each, and Brooke Pashek made one save for the Falcons.
Agawam 2, Amherst Regional 1 — Hannah Viederman scored for the Hurricanes (4-10-4, 1-8-1 Kurty-Fielding) as they dropped their season finale at home.
Viederman’s goal came in the 25th minute on an assist from Angela Zhu to knot the score at one.
Becca Carkhuff (eight saves) and Sarah Grace Spurgin (one save) both saw time in net for Amherst.
It was the final game in the careers of Amherst seniors Zhu, Spurgin, Emma Biggs, Syry Mitchell, Lucy Salwen, Zoe Freedman-Coleman, Serena Ditkoff, Phoebe Scott and Jessalyn Pryciak.
Westfield 1, Northampton 0 — Maya Kerstetter made 11 saves, but the Blue Devils (14-2-2) fell at home in their regular season finale.
Ludlow 3, South Hadley 2 — The Tigers (10-8, 3-7 Central) dropped their regular season finale at home, 25-11, 14-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13.
Maddie Kelleher starred for South Hadley with 10 digs, seven blocks and five kills.
Sarah LaRochelle added nine blocks.