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SCHOOLS: THE GLOBE'S FALL TOP 20S

Globe Top 20s: Tested twice in six days, Xaverian football showed its mettle in earning No. 1 ranking

With its victory over St. John's Prep in the MIAA Division 1 Super Bowl, the Xaverian football team made its ascent to the No. 1 spot in the final Globe Top 20 football poll.Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff

Pushed to the brink by its rival in back-to-back matchups just six days apart, the top-ranked Xaverian football team prevailed in one-score wins over St. John’s Prep twice to earn a share of the Catholic Conference crown, the school’s first Super Bowl win since 2015, and the No. 1 spot in the Globe’s final Top 20 poll. No. 2 King Philip finished off a 13-0 season with a dominant win over Marshfield in Division 2.

Milton overcame an early 14-0 deficit by scoring 42 straight points to defeat Bay State Conference rival Walpole in the D3 Super Bowl, earning the school’s first state title and becoming the first BSC team to win a Super Bowl since Walpole in 2008.

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With six senior captains leading the way for 42-year coach Jack Martinelli, Foxborough roared to a D5 Super Bowl title and finished 12-1 with a competitive loss to Hockomock rival KP, the only undefeated team in Eastern Mass.

After falling to Hanover to open the season, Duxbury rattled off 11 straight wins to earn a second straight D4 title, and avenge the program’s 2021 Super Bowl loss to Scituate.

Derek Almeida delivered a Super Bowl to a second program in eight years by steering Fairhaven to the D6 crown to follow up his 2016 title with Falmouth.

Boys’ soccer

In the 67th minute of the Division 1 final, Concord-Carlisle senior Brady Poor stood over a free kick, preparing to deliver the knockout punch. At the whistle, the All-American curled a left-footed bullet around the defensive wall and into the top left corner of the net, setting off a frenzied celebration at Walpole High.

Poor’s goal effectively clinched a 2-0 win over Needham and gave Concord-Carlisle its sixth state title since 2006, but the first as a D1 program. The undefeated Patriots, who trailed for nine minutes all fall, finish atop the Globe’s Top 20 boys’ soccer poll, followed by runner-up Needham.

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Brady Poor helped Concord-Carlisle vault to a victory in the MiAA Division 1 boys' soccer final and to the top of the Globe Top 20 final poll.Glenn Osmundson

Oliver Ames repeated in Division 2 thanks to senior standout Joey Carney, who raced past a pair of defenders and scored on a low shot four minutes into overtime to give the Tigers a 1-0 win over Wakefield. Norwell’s Joshua Kue delivered the decisive penalty kick in the Division 3 final, lifting the Clippers to a second state title in three years with a thrilling victory over Pembroke.

Lynnfield won its first state title, 1-0 over Monomoy, behind a goal by Dillon Reilly with 17 minutes in the Division 4 final. Westport joined C-C as the only undefeated teams this fall following a 1-0 shootout victory over Douglas in the Division 5 final.

Girls’ soccer

With a convincing 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Bishop Feehan in the Division 1 final, Natick claims the top spot in the final Globe poll.

All-American Kaitlyn LeBrun and junior Kendall Hacker anchored the defense and a strong attack, paced by sophomore Nicole Proia and junior midfielder Cassidy Moriarty, provided ample scoring. Division 1 powers Bishop Feehan and Hopkinton round out the top three. Norwell jumps into the top five, avenging its lone loss with a 1-0 triumph over Hanover in the Division 3 final. The Clipper D excelled all season en route to a sterling 23-1-1 mark.

Sydney Comeau kicked the winning shootout penalty kick for Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the Division 2 girls' soccer state semifinal against Masconomet that propelled the Cougars to the state title game.Ken McGagh for The Boston Globe

Notre Dame (Hingham) stood atop the Division 2 ladder as senior Sydney Comeau scored late to lift the Cougars to a 1-0 victory over Mansfield. Weston enters the poll for the first time this season after a strong postseason run.

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Girls’ volleyball

“I’d have to say those are the two best teams in the state,” said a proud Barnstable coach Tom Turco after his squad was denied, 16-14, in the deciding fifth set of the Division 1 final against two-time champion Newton North.

The Red Hawks he coached were not flawless, but they were the only team to defeat North, and they came within points of the title. And top-ranked Newton North is followed by runner-up Barnstable in the Globe’s final Top 20 poll.

The Hockomock League had a mighty tournament, with Canton making the Division 2 final, Franklin slotting into the D1 final four as a No. 10 seed, Attleboro taking down No. 4 Shrewsbury on the road in D1, and Oliver Ames reaching the quarters of D2, falling to eventual champion Westborough. Division 3 champion Weston looked strong in its first championship victory. Wakefield not only earned its first D3 quarterfinal appearance, but the program’s first semifinal as well, and Ipswich was crowned three-peat champion of Division 4.

Field hockey

Denied in back-to-back Division 1 finals, 1-0, by Andover, Walpole finally broke through, connecting first on a late first-quarter strike from Izzy Adams and made the lone goal stand up to knock off the Golden Warriors, 1-0, in the final at WPI and finish off a 22-1 season. The Porkers’ only defeat was a late September loss to Division 4 juggernaut Uxbridge. The body of work earns Walpole the No. 1 ranking with a slight edge over three-time defending Division 3 champ Watertown, which extended its unbeaten streak to 75 games with a thrilling 4-3 win over Newburyport in the final.

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Walpole High’s Katie Colleran (left) and Kerin Birch (right) carry the MIAA championship trophy to their fans after defeating Andover High, 1-0, in the MIAA Division 1 field hockey state finals.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

It’s 21 state titles now for Watertown, and 13 for Walpole.

No. 3 Reading rode an overtime win over Norwood in the Division 2 championship game for the No. 3 spot.

Boys’ cross-country

After entering the season as a heavy favorite to repeat as state champion, Brookline finishes the year atop the poll.

The Warriors capped an unbeaten regular season with a dominant 54-point Division 1 state title — the best team score at the meet since 2007. Newton South complete one of its best seasons with a second-place finish at the D1 meet, led by senior Ilan Sherman-Kadish’s fifth-place finish.

Westford Academy's Paul Bergeron scores style points as he closes in on the finish line of his victory in the Division 1 boys' race at the MIAA Meet of Champions.Andrew Burke-Stevenson for The Boston Globe

Both No. 3 BC High and No. 5 Westford Academy faced similar fates: At the All-State meet, Westford’s Paul Bergeronand Jack Graffeo finished first and third, respectively, and BC High’s Chris Larnard and John Wilson finished second and fourth However, both teams had their fifth-scoring runner place outside the meet’s top 80 finishers, leaving them short of Brookline.

Girls’ cross-country

With an unbeaten regular season and emphatic 84-point team victory at the Division 1 All-State meet, Oliver Ames finishes the season No. 1. The Tigers were led by star senior Katie Sobieraj, who finished second at the state meet, and all five scorers were among the race’s top 35 finishers.

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Oliver Ames's Katie Sobieraj crosses the finish line in second at the MIAA's Meet of Champions Division 1 girls race.Andrew Burke-Stevenson/Andrew Burke-Stevenson for The Boston Globe

Second-ranked Arlington is a shining example of depth and consistency: The Spy Ponders’ five scorers each placed between 25-45 at All-States, leading to a second-place team effort. Wellesley is No. 3. The Raiders had no finishers inside the top 10 at All-States, and star junior Charlotte Tuxbury missed the postseason races. No. 4 Cambridge was led by a standout junior campaign for Aoife Shovlin, who repeated as the individual state champion in a dominant 23-second victory at All-States.

Matt Doherty, Cam Kerry, Matty Wasserman, AJ Traub, and Julia Yohe contributed.

Boston Globe Today: Sports | December 1, 2023
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