Worcester, MA (WGGB) — The Amherst Hurricanes overcame tremendous obstacles to play for the State Title, Friday night. They beat the two-time defending State Champion Ludlow Lions in the Western Mass final. Then, after knocking off Ludlow — a team that was Nationally ranked throughout most of the season — Amherst got past Leominster in the State Semifinals, in a 1-0 win, behind Brandon Vasquez’s 2nd half goal.
But Friday night, against Needham, the dream season came to an end. Needham beat the Hurricanes 1-0, Friday night, to win the State Championship. Amherst goalie Curtis Barnes made 9 saves on the night, to keep Amherst in the game. But Needham’s Mac Steeves made play after play, and led Needham to the win.
The lone goal of the game was a bizarre play. With under ten minutes to play, Steeves and Barnes both careened towards the ball. Twenty yards in front of Barnes’ goal, the two met, at virtually the same time, at the ball. Unfortunately for Amherst, Steeves got to the ball just a split-second sooner, and sent the ball over Barnes’ head, and into the goal. The Hurricanes’ goalie made nine saves on the night, and added another spectacular performance to his already sparkling playoff run. But the Steeves made just one more play than Barnes did, and that was the difference.
Amherst finishes the season 14-3-5, suffering their first loss since October 9th against Ludlow. Winners of their first-ever Western Mass Championship, the Hurricanes reached heights never before seen by this program.