Boys Soccer: 2019 Davenport Division Preview

2019 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview
Milford’s Jordan Borges plays a ball forward against Canton in 2018. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview

Canton

2018 Record: 10-5-4
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Danny Erickson

There will be a lot of new faces on the pitch this season for the Canton Bulldogs. And because of that, the Bulldogs are going to rely heavily on the few returners they do have.

Longtime head coach Danny Erickson will lean on his three senior captains this year: Alejandro Correal, Cooper Ashcroft, and Colby Ciffolillo. Correal took over as the starting goalie last season and had a strong year for the Bulldogs, who came in second in the Davenport division. Beyond a strong season in net, Erickson also deployed Correal as a midfielder for portions of the game. Ashcroft and Ciffolillo provide a good amount of varsity experience and will be relied upon to be leaders both on and off the field.

“We will be a brand new looking team this fall after graduating so many impactful players,” Erickson said. “We are looking to be anchored by a veteran group of backs who will be tough to break down.”

Foxboro

2018 Record: 9-7-5
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Joe Franchino

Foxboro has been one of the most lethal offenses over the past couple of seasons, and while the offense looks to be an early strength for the Warriors, head coach Joe Franchino is hoping a well-balanced squad will be able to compete for a league title.

The Warriors have one of the most talented strikers in the league back in senior Dylan Barreira, who tied for the league lead in goals scored a year ago. He can score in a plethora of ways and will be a handful for opponents to deal with. Sophomore Matt Angelini, who picked up some valuable minutes a year ago, and junior Max Beigel will both see a lot of time alongside of Barreira in the attack. Senior Joe Cusack will pull the strings from the center of the pitch, Ronnie MacClellan returns to the six role, and PJ Frost is likely to factor into the midfield this season. Will Morrison and Tim Behn will be key pieces of the Warriors’ defense this season while there is a healthy competition for minutes in goal that involves senior Dylan Tierney, junior Nick Penders, and sophomore Derek Axon.

“The ultimate goal is to win a league title and compete for a state title, that’s how it is every year,” Franchino said. “We have a pretty solid team so it’s just a matter of who shows up on game day.”

Milford

2018 Record: 13-2-5 (Davenport Division Champions)
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Brian Edwards

Milford lost a good amount of talent from the squad that won the Davenport division crown a year ago, but the Scarlet Hawks still have plenty of skilled players ready to defend their title.

While replacing league MVP and HockomockSports Player of the Year Walisson de Oliveira will be a tall task, the Hawks have a lot of options to replicate that production. Senior Jordan Borges is one of the more experienced players in the league and will do a lot of the dirty work in the center of the pitch. Leo Coelho, a junior, gives head coach Brian Edwards a lot of flexibility and can impact the game in a variety of ways. Joao Vitor Neiva is a strong target forward that is looking to build on a successful junior campaign. Senior captains Dan Santos and Nuno Mestre are tasked with anchoring the Milford defense. Mestre is a four-year varsity player and will likely join in on the attack while Santos’ distribution out of the back will be an important part of Milford’s possession game.

“As always the goal is to improve every day and be competitive within a very challenging league,” Edwards said.




North Attleboro

2018 Record: 7-4-8
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Geoff Burgess

North Attleboro found a lot of success with a defense-first mentality in 2018. The Rocketeers are looking to replicate that same stingy defense while also improving their build-up play.

It didn’t take long for North Attleboro to establish its identity a year ago, defending first and then hitting on the counter-attack. Head coach Geoff Burgess will rely on some newcomers to fill holes on the defense and on experienced players when attacking. Senior goalie Kyle Briere had a breakout junior campaign and will be tasked with organizing the new faces on the defense. Senior captain James Sales controls the midfield for the Rocketeers and will look to distribute to the likes of Joey Coscarella, who will move up the field to a forward position, and senior Matt Mordini. Alex Pfeffer provides a lot of versatility and can be a dangerous weapon on the wings. Senior James Bush, one the most experienced players on defense for North Attleboro, will match up with some of the top strikers in the Hockomock League.

“Our hope is to continue to be dangerous on the counter-attack and improve our build-up play from the back to bolster our offense,” Burgess said. “This team has an opportunity to contend for a league title and possibly make a run in the tournament. We have a large senior class that has experience and great team morale. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch them play.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 2-9-7
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Bryan Kelly

Expectations are high at Sharon High this fall, and for good reason. The Eagles have talent returning all over the pitch and will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division crown.

Sharon is looking to its offense to lead the way this season. After a season filled with bad breaks and unlucky bounces, the Eagles are ready to not only make a push for the state tournament but challenge for a league title. Head coach Bryan Kelly has a lot of choices when it comes to his attacking group including senior Brian Higgins, senior Ben Nathan, junior Mason Benton, senior Bohazo Li, and Victor Schneider. Opponents are most familiar with Higgins and his ability to score but Nathan, Benton, Li, and Schneider have all impressed this preseason and give the Eagles a plethora of options. Michael Baur returns as one of the top center midfielders in the league and can take on defenders himself, but is also an excellent distributor. Bryce Nathan will also be a key piece in the Eagles’ midfield alongside tennis sensation Alberto Olivei, who is joining the program for the first time. Defensively, Isaiah Stessman is one of the most dynamic players in the Hock and will be supported by Brendan Arnold, Daniel Zagoran, Brandon Mauricio, and Reese Davis. Freshman Matt Baur takes over in net for the Eagles.

“We’re going to be a different team this year, a lot more offensive-minded,” Kelly said. “We are going to look to attack a lot this season and we have some good pieces to do so.”

Stoughton

2018 Record: 0-16-2
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jon Grant

Stoughton is looking to have a bounce-back year and new head coach Jon Grant is bringing a defense-first mentality to the Black Knights.

The Black Knights had the most goals allowed last season so the emphasize early on will be improving the defense. Senior captain Ted Lucas is a returning player and will be tasked with anchoring the back line for Stoughton. Lucas will get a lot of help from junior goalie Nolan Gerome. Gerome picked up some valuable minutes in net throughout the season. Grant will also rely on senior captains Jon Santos and Mason Eschleman to be important pieces on the defense. While both Santos and Eschleman will play in the midfield, the Black Knights are dedicated to getting numbers behind the ball to improve the defense. Santos and Eschleman will also help Stoughton transition into offense and start the attack.

“This team’s positive attitude and willingness to learn will be the keys to their success,” Grant said. “We have been focusing on the defensive side of the game for much of the preseason so far. Our goal is obvious…if we keep the ball out of the back of our net then we give ourselves a chance to win. Our ultimate goal is to get back to the tournament.”

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