Girls lacrosse tournament preview and picks

GIRLS LACROSSE

DIV. 1

Champion: No. 1 Central Catholic

Runner-Up: No. 2 Wellesley

Final Four: No. 1 Central Catholic, No. 2 Wellesley, No. 3 Lincoln-Sudbury, No. 5 Weymouth

Sleeper: No. 20 Peabody

Best First Round Matchup: No. 12 Braintree vs. No. 21 Wachusett

Potential Upset: No. 23 Bishop Feehan over No. 10 Acton-Boxboro

DIV. 2

Champion: No. 1 Notre Dame (Hingham)

Runner-Up: No. 7 Westwood

Final Four: No. 1 Notre Dame (Hingham), No. 3 Reading, No. 4 Hingham, No. 7 Westwood

Sleeper: No. 34 Amherst-Pelham

Best First-Round Matchup: No. 22 Mansfield

Potential Upset: No. 21 Woburn over No. 12 Scituate

DIV. 3

Champion: No. 1 Medfield

Runner-Up: No. 2 Newburyport

Final Four: No. 1 Medfield, No. 2 Newburyport, No. 3 Hanover, No. 5 Foxboro

Sleeper: No. 33 South Shore Voke

Best First Round Matchup: No. 24 Pembroke vs. No. 41 Chicopee

Potential Upset: No. 41 Chicopee over No. 24 Pembroke

DIV. 4

Champion: No. 2 Nantucket

Runner-Up: No. 4 Ipswich

Final Four: No. 1 Weston, No. 2 Nantucket, No. 3 Cohasset, No. 4 Ipswich

Sleeper: No. 33 Hoosac Valley

Best First-Round Matchup: No. 29 Advanced Math & Science vs. No. 36 Old Colony

Potential Upset: No. 22 Belchertown over No. 11 Nipmuc

 

Picture this. You have been fighting to gain relevance among your peers for years. Yet, there is always that one obstacle in your way. A rival or bully you simply cannot shake.

For most in the MIAA’s girls lacrosse field, that school was always Westwood, but thanks to a recent realignment, this is no longer the case. In essence, the Wolverines left their Div. 1 championship den vacant, open for a replacement. Their perennial place of residence has been raided, by none other than top-seeded Central Catholic, which has taken over as a juggernaut in the playoff field.

Now, do we see the Raiders coast to a title? Not Necessarily. Second-seeded Wellesley (16-4) remains focused, looking to honor a critical member with the passing of team parent Eric LaPlaca. The vocal personality might be gone, but it echoes around the school landmark.

Now, the team is looking to honor his memory, with a championship in mind.

The Div. 2 title should come down to a series of schools, with Notre Dame (Hingham) (17-1) being your top seed. Led by Jane Hilsabeck and Aubrey McMahon, the Panthers have returned to prevalence. The Cougars might even just be the state’s top-ranked program, leading with a rating of 14.6330.

Moving onto Div. 3, it should be easy to pick Boston College commit Kelly Blake and top-ranked Medfield to cruise to a state championship. However, the road is daunting, with opponents such as No. 2 Newburyport (16-2) and third-seeded Hanover (12-4) both causing problems. No. 5 Foxboro (12-6) and No. 6 Ashland (12-6) each remain threats, while St. John Paul II (12-6) sticks out.

The Div. 4 field gets a bit crazy. Do we see second-ranked Nantucket (20-0) continue its unbeaten run? Or do we see another team rise from the field? No. 3 Cohasset (14-3) could emerge. Sandwich is your fifth seed, with a record of 18-1.

 

 

 

 

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