Underclassmen are shaking up the girls hockey panorama this season with the loss of some big contributors to graduation in the new Globe girls hockey Top 20.
The change has shifted the focus to several eighth and ninth graders who are altering the platform for girls hockey. Recently, Acton-Boxboro eighth grade goalie Cali Loblundo shutout No. 2 Hingham, 1-0, to bump up A-B to the top four and shift last year’s Division 1 champion down from the No. 1 spot, replaced by Woburn.
Woburn (6-0) is going to be tough to beat with 33 goals scored so far this season, boosted by the return of leading scorer Kayla Smith. They've edged a number of Top 20 teams like St. Mary’s and Middlesex League rivals Lexington and Arlington too.
No. 5 Arlington Catholic (7-0) is another undefeated strong contender who has taken out powerhouses Fontbonne and Lexington with senior forward Natalie Flynn leading the team with eight goals and two assists.
Although No. 6 Lexington suffered a loss to Woburn, the Minutemen were the first to end Woburn’s shutout streak with goals from Danielle Delgreco and Emily Wilson.
Most of the movement in the rankings will come from the bottom 10. With all the loaded talent in the top 10, Norwood shifted to down to No. 11, still ahead of St. Mary’s and Braintree who have two losses apiece.
Barnstable has emerged as a top challenger at No. 7 after defeating No. 14 Sandwich with one of the state’s top goalies, Megan O’Connell, and No. 15 Winthrop/Lynn who left a big footprint last season.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.