WMass Boys Soccer: Defending champ Belchertown lands No. 3 seed in Division 3

  • Zachary Lajeunesse, left, of Belchertown, and Brady McDonald, of Northampton, jostle for the ball, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 at Northampton High School.

Staff Writer
Published: 11/1/2019 8:33:47 PM
Modified: 11/1/2019 8:33:31 PM

CHICOPEE — The best case scenario played out for the Belchertown boys soccer team during the Western Massachusetts Soccer Tournament seeding meeting.

The defending-champion Orioles (8-4-6) are the No. 3 seed in Division 3 behind No. 1 Mount Greylock (13-2-1) and No. 2 Pope Francis (13-3-2).

“I knew it would be close with (No. 4) Wahconah, but I thought our strength of schedule would be enough to lift us over them,” Belchertown coach Zach Siano said. “We have all these ties, but at the end of the day we’re a team with only four losses with a murderers row schedule.”

The top four seeds received a bye to the quarterfinals, which will be played Nov. 7-9. The Orioles will host the winner of No. 6 Mahar (13-2-3) and No. 11 Athol (7-7-4). They play at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Belchertown tied 1-1 at Mahar in early October and didn’t face Athol.

“We caught them the day after we played Ludlow, it was kind of a trap game,” Siano said. “They’re certainly a team that could surprise a lot of people.”

No. 5 Hampshire Regional (8-4-4) just missed a bye and will host No. 12 Franklin Tech (9-7-2) at a time and place to be determined. Preliminary rounds are scheduled for Nov. 3-5.

No. 8 Easthampton and No. 9 South Hadley just faced off for a Schmid League title, and the Eagles (9-5-3) and Tigers (9-5-4) will have a rematch in the opening round at a time and place to be determined. The winner draws the top-seeded Mounties at 6 p.m., Thursday in Adams.

Division 1

Where Amherst Regional was seeded was inconsequential to Hurricanes coach Michael Rudd.

“I’m fine, seedings are not important. I think we’re prepared to play anybody,” Rudd said. “Seedings just don’t matter.”

Amherst is No. 3 behind fellow Smith League rivals No. 1 Longmeadow (16-0-1) and No. 2 Ludlow (11-4-3). The Hurricanes were the only squad to take a point off the Lancers this season. Amherst has a bye to the quarterfinals, where it’ll face No. 6 East Longmeadow (9-6-3). The Hurricanes beat the Spartans 3-0 in early October.

“We’re playing well. We’re playing some of our best soccer at the moment,” Rudd said.

Amherst is 2-0-1 in its last three games, defeating Ludlow during that stretch.

“We’ve figured out a system that works for who we are,” Rudd said. “The chemistry’s been good. We’re ready.”

Division 4

Gateway Regional earned a bye to the quarterfinals with the fourth seed. The Gators (10-7-1) will host No. 5 Monson (7-8-3) at 6 p.m. Thursday. Gateway did not face the Mustangs this season.

No. 6 Smith Academy (9-5-4) will host No. 11 Smith Vocational (10-6-2) at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first round. The winner of that game travels to No. 3 Westfield Tech for the quarterfinals at a time and date to be determined.

No. 7 Hopkins Academy (6-10-2), which qualified after scoring a late penalty in the season finale, hosts No. 10 Hampden Charter at 2 p.m. Monday. No. 2 Lenox (8-8) will host the winner of that game in the quarterfinals.

Mount Everett earned the top seed at 9-6-2.

All division semifinals are schedule for Nov. 12 and 13 at predetermined sites: Central, Holyoke, Wahconah, Chicopee Comp and Agawam.

The Western Massachusetts finals will be Nov. 16 and 17 at Central.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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