Leominster's boys' soccer team had the daunting task of facing an Amherst contingent peaking at the right time in tonight's Division 1 State semifinal. The Hurricanes knocked off five-time defending Western Mass. champion Ludlow in the Western Mass. championship game several days ago, winning on penalty kicks, 7-6. Meanwhile, Amherst entered the semifinal with three straight shutouts in the playoffs. The Hurricanes continued to click last night, controlling play for most of the contest while clamping down defensively from start to finish. The strong two-way effort enabled Amherst to gain a well-played 1-0 triumph before a large crowd at Nashoba Regional High School. Amherst (12-2-5) plays the winner of last night's Somerville-Needham game in the final tomorrow at Worcester State University at 7:30 p.m. The Blue Devils, who began the post-season with a .500 record, finished 9-6-7. Leominster advanced to the state semifinal this year after going 1-17 last season. "They brought more energy than us right away and were really impressive just moving the ball," Leominster coach Stephen McCaughey said. "We knew they had that good pace up front, but I thought their entire team played really well as a core unit for the whole game. They didn't let up, they didn't give us a lot of openings. And we weren't able to create a ton of chances."
Amherst-Pelham 1, Leominster 0
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at Amherst
Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 9:10 a.m.