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Boys Soccer Postseason Capsules

Division 1

AMHERST REGIONAL

Coach: Michael Rudd, first year

Record: 8-2-5

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Ludlow 2-1 in 2011 WMass semifinals

Seed/opponent: No. 2/Host No. 7 Sci-Tech (16-1) in the quarterfinals at a time and date to be announced

Leaders: Brandon Vazquez (eight goals, six assists), Eric Gooden (seven, four), defenders Jaimon Olmstead and Cody Baglow, goalkeeper Curtis Barnes (four shutouts)

Notable Results: Went 1-0-1 against East Longmeadow, Minnechaug and Northampton, beat Chicopee, went 0-1-1 against Ludlow.

Outlook: The Hurricanes ended the season playing terrific defense, having allowed just one goal in their final four games. They are 2-0-3 in their last five games and never allowed more than two goals in any game this season. Vazquez is one of the top players in the field and the team has plenty of tournament experience.

NORTHAMPTON

Coach: Mike Soucy, sixth year

Record: 7-7-4

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Ludlow 2-0 in 2009 WMass semifinals

Seed/opponent: No. 8/Play at No. 1 Ludlow (12-1-5) in the quarterfinals at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Elliot Weiss (six goals, one assist), Jonah Hahn (four, two), Casey Intrator (four, two), Jordan Maurer (three, three), goalie Jack Haller (eight shutouts)

Notable results: Defeated Lenox, went 1-0-1 against West Springfield, went 0-1-1 against Amherst, lost twice to Chicopee.

Outlook: The Blue Devils clawed their way into the postseason, going 5-1-1 in their final seven contests to reach .500 with a 1-0 victory over Longmeadow on senior day Monday. Weiss has been deadly on PKs and Haller has emerged as one of the area’s top keepers.

Other contenders: Ludlow has won 17 state championships all time, including the last two, and is always the heavy favorite this time of year. ... No. 3 West Springfield (9-2-7) and No. 4 Chicopee (10-5-3) were the top teams in the Churchill-Moriarty this season.

Division 2

BELCHERTOWN

Coach: Tony Almeida, 17th year

Record: 18-0

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Groton-Dunstable 1-0 in 2011 state semifinals

Seed/opponent: No. 2/Hosts the winner of a first-round game between No. 8 Southwick (7-7-4) and No. 9 Palmer (9-3-6) in the quarterfinals at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Alex DeSantis (18 goals, 15 assists), Chris Riel (17, nine), Nate Fournier (15, seven), Wesley Martins (10, six), defenders James Izaat, Jack Stinson, Mark Chmura, Zach Kuhn, goalkeeper Zach Parsons (12 shutouts)

Notable results: Beat South Hadley twice, Hampshire twice, Palmer, Monument Mountain

Outlook: The Orioles are the defending champions and enter the postseason undefeated having outscored their opponents 103-7. The midfield is as good as any in WMass in any division.

HAMPSHIRE REGIONAL

Coach: Dan Moynahan, 13th year

Record: 9-4-3

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Belchertown 3-2 in 2011 WMass quarterfinals

Seed/opponent: No. 6/Hosts No. 11 Hoosac Valley (9-5-2) in the first round at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Scott Labrie (six goals, three assists), Josh Fasoli (one, four), goalkeeper Ben Preston (eight shutouts)

Notable results: Beat Central twice, Hopkins, tied Palmer, went 0-1-1 against South Hadley and 0-2 against Belchertown.

Outlook: No one wanted to be lined up against the Raiders when the brackets came out, as they have turned their season around, going 8-1-2 in their final 11 games. Hampshire posted four straight shutouts to end the season and, after scoring just two goals in its first five games, scored 20 the rest of the way.

SOUTH HADLEY

Coach: Jij Mercer, 14th year

Record: 10-5-3

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Belchertown 2-1 (2OT) in 2011 WMass semifinals

Seed/opponent: No. 7/Hosts No. 10 Wahconah (6-7-4) in the first round at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Ryan Dickinson (20 goals, 11 assists), Nate Flachs (seven, six), Dante Bottaro (two, two), Mike Paleologopoulos (one, two)

Notable results: Beat Central twice, went 1-0-1 against Hampshire and 0-1-1 against Southwick, lost to Weest Springfield and fell twice to Belchertown

Outlook: The Tigers’ overall numbers (37 goals for, 21 against) are skewed by an 8-0 loss to Belchertown in their opener. Since that game, they’ve looked like the team that was one bounce from ousting the Orioles in the semis last year. Dickinson is dynamic and Paleologopoulos’ emergence has keyed the team’s strong season.

Other contenders: Former D-1 powerhouse Cathedral (No. 2, 7-5-5) drops down to D-2 and has played in the Smith Division all year. ... No. 3 Monument Mountain (13-2-2) and No. 4 Mount Greylock (14-3-1) have dominated in the Berkshires all season. ... No. 5 Monson (13-2-2) won the Schmid Division.

Division 3

GATEWAY REGIONAL

Coach: Tim Gamble, 14th year

Record: 9-4-4

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Lenox 4-0 in 2011 WMass semifinals

Seed/opponent: No. 8/Hosts No. 9 St. Joseph’s (10-7) in the first round at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Curtis Dowers (six goals, four assists), Calvin Dowers (six, two), Zach Mackechnie (five, one), goalie Mike Arel (11 shutouts)

Notable results: Beat Turners Falls, went 1-0-1 against Holyoke Catholic, went 1-1 against Smith Academy and Pioneer, went 0-1-1 against Hopkins Academy, lost to Granby, tied Palmer

Outlook: The Gators have been excellent on defense all season, especially down the stretch, having allowed eight goals overall and just two in their final seven games.

GRANBY

Coach: Todd Dorman, 10th year

Record: 7-6-5

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Lenox 1-0 in 2010 WMass semifinals

Seed/opponent: No. 13/Plays at No. 4 Smith Academy (12-4-2) in the first round at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Harrison Lussier (four goals, two assists), Andrew Strycharz (three, one)

Notable results: Went 1-0-1 against Greenfield, tied Holyoke Catholic twice, lost twice to Hopkins Academy, lost to Smith Academy

Outlook: The Rams won two of their last three games to qualify for the postseason. The offense has been hit-or-miss at times, but the defense has been up to the task against some of the better attackers in the league. Lussier has three goals and an assist in the final three games.

HOLYOKE CATHOLIC

Coach: Tom Stelzer, first year

Record: 7-6-4

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Gateway 2-1 in 2011 WMass quarterfinals

Seed/opponent: No. 12/Plays at No. 5 Turners Falls (13-3-1) in the first round at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Trevor Lewicki (18 goals, 10 assists), John O’Hara (eight, five), Joe McCoy (four, one), Colin Neffinger (three, two), goalie Tom Heavren (six shutouts)

Notable results: Tied Granby twice, went 0-1-1 against Smith Academy and Gateway Regional, lost twice to Hopkins Academy, lost to Turners Falls

Outlook: The Gaels will certainly be battle tested after a schedule that included six games against Hopkins, Smith and Gateway. Lewicki can take over games and score in bunches.

HOPKINS ACADEMY

Coach: Justin Campbell, 10th year

Record: 14-1-3

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Lenox 2-1 in 2011 WMass finals

Seed/opponent: No. 2/Hosts the winner of a first-round game between No. 7 St. Mary’s (7-6-4) and No. 10 Lee (6-7-3) in the quarterfinals at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Tyler Szymkowicz (21 goals, 13 assists), Paul Delamy (11, six), Evan Delaney (11, five), Brennan Mitrolka (five, six), defender Sean Quill and goalkeeper Ben Pitta (15 shutouts)

Notable results: Beat Smith Academy twice, Granby and Holyoke Catholic twice, went 1-0-1 against Gateway, lost to Hampshire Regional

Outlook: Szymkowicz is a 100-point scorer who can turn innocent-seeming plays into goal-scoring chances. Delaney and Delamy are dymanic players as well, while Quill is one of the best defenders in the field. Golden Hawks look to get another shot at the finals.

SMITH ACADEMY

Coach: Jason Duncan, sixth year

Record: 13-3-2

Last Tournament Appearance: Lost to Mount Everett 2-1 (PKs) in 2011 WMass quarterfinals

Seed/opponent: No. 4/Hosts No. 13 Granby (7-6-5) in the first round at a time and date to be announced.

Leaders: Derek McMahon (14 goals, four assists), Mat Sulda (seven, five), Nat Hanson (seven, four), defender Seaver Rickert and goalkeeper Cam Woodward (10 shutouts)

Notable results: Beat Granby, went 1-0-1 against Holyoke Catholic, split with Gateway, lost twice to Hopkins

Outlook: The Falcons were cruising to a 11-1-2 record before hitting a speed bump to end the season with three losses in their final four games. McMahon’s emergence as a legitimate goal-scorer has been key to their success, along with the program’s always terrific defense, which is anchored by Rickert, one of the best in the area.

Other contenders: No. 1 Lenox (6-6-5) is the two-time defending champion and plays the toughest schedule in the field. ... No. 5 Turners Falls (13-3-1) dominated the McGrath North, while No. 6 Sabis (8-7-2) played a heavily D-2 schedule out of the Schmid.

Related

Undefeated Belchertown earns top seed in boys tournament

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tony Almeida and the Belchertown boys soccer team have seen firsthand how little an undefeated record and top seed mean come tournament time. After all, the Orioles have knocked off top seed Mount Greylock in each of the past three Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournaments, including the last two against undefeated Mountie squads. “Seedings to me mean absolutely nothing,” Almeida …

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