By HockomockSports.com Staff
North Attleboro senior Connor Ruppert has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for April 18 through April 24. Ruppert is the 27th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2021-22 school year and the third of the spring season.
Ruppert has played a major role in North Attleboro’s strong start to the season, including the winning goal in a double overtime, non-league thriller against Silver Lake. In North’s games last week, he scored 13 goals and added six assists, and now has over 45 points on the year. The Rocketeers are 6-1 on the season, with the only loss coming against Franklin, have the early lead in the Davenport division, and won four games last week. Ruppert, a senior attacker, has been the team’s leading scorer through the opening stretch of the season.
“Connor has really taken on a leadership role for us this year,” said North Attleboro head coach Kevin Young. “Even though we’re playing him at attack this year, he’s probably our best short stick defender too. He’s been great with the younger guys on the roster and it’s been a ball to watch him take charge.”
North bounced back from its first loss of the season by going on the road and winning four straight. It started with an out-of-state trip to Bishop Hendricken and a 14-8 victory followed by a short trip to Attleboro and a 14-11 win on Tuesday. Two days later, North visited Silver Lake and pulled out the 17-16 win in two overtimes. Ruppert had four goals and two assists in the game and had the winner when he took a pass from Clayton Billingkoff, split a double team, and found the back of the net. The next day, North was back in Attleboro to face Bishop Feehan and scored another dramatic OT win. Ruppert led the way for the Rocketeers with five goals on the day.
The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2022 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview
2021 Record: 3-11
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Kevin Patton
Attleboro had some growing pains during the 2021 campaign, but has a good chunk of the roster back in the fold for 2022 and will try to take the next step forward as a program.
The Bombardiers will have a strong foundation on the defensive end of the field. Captain Fred Wheaton is back for another year to anchor the defense and he’s joined by fellow returners Bobby Sawyer and John Wheaton to give Attleboro a solid veteran nucleus to try and shut down some of the top offenses in the league. Attleboro also has sophomore Harry Wheaton back in net after gaining valuable experience in the cage in 2021.
Having last year’s top scorer in Carter Shelton back in the fold will give the Bombardiers a good start in the attack. Shelton scored 30 goals and had 15 assists, finishing 12th in the Hock in scoring. Captain Keigan Conley is also back to bolster the attack, coming off a 22 goal, 10 assist campaign a year ago. Freshman Nathan Conroy is also in the mix already in the attack.
Attleboro’s midfield will be anchored by captain Ryan Betts along with Chad Beaupin and Seth LaPlace. The Bombardiers also expect contributions from Cole McKenna, Patrick McAvoy, and Spencer Scherck.
“We have a lot of returning guys that picked up valuable varsity experience last season,” said Attleboro head coach Kevin Patton. “We are looking forward to a strong season in 2022.”
2021 Record: 14-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal
Coach: Ryan Quinn
Canton split its two games with Foxboro to win a share of the Davenport title in 2021, just the third league title in program history and were an overtime goal away from reaching the Div. 2 South final. The Bulldogs have a lot of experience in the attack and the midfield this season with the goal of putting in another challenge for the league crown and putting together another state tournament push.
The Bulldogs had a dynamic attack last spring and the league’s leading scorer Sam Carlino headlines a strong group this season as well. Junior Jeff Chaput joins Carlino in the attack and the midfield group is filled with experience from last season. Sophomore Brendan Tourgee, juniors AJ Thomas and Chris Hamilton, senior Eddie Gillis, and Charlie Vaughn will all give Canton playmaking at the middie position.
Defensively, Canton will definitely miss graduated goalie Dylan Coyne but the Bulldogs have a talented group of poles that should be tough to score against this season. Senior Sean Connolly will lead that defensive group alongside sophomores Luke Darling and Colin Blake.
“I am really excited about this upcoming season,” said second-year coach Ryan Quinn. “Our student-athletes have been working hard to build on our success from last season, but are very aware that everything we achieve is based upon the work we put in this year, every day. We are led by a small, but strong senior class, and have depth across all four grades levels. This group is a very coachable group and we are very excited to begin”
2021 Record: 11-4
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central/East Quarterfinal
Coach: Matt Noone
After graduating just two seniors from last year’s team, Foxboro is back with a strong lineup that will look to reclaim the Davenport title that it shared with Canton in 2021. The Warriors will have depth up and down the field with the goal of not only returning to the top of the division but also being ready for a deep run in the statewide tournament.
Foxboro’s attack is all back from last season. The Warriors finished third in goals scored in the league in 2021 and a year’s worth of experience should make them even more dynamic. Junior Conor Noone was the league’s third-leading scorer last season and he will lead the line again alongside sophomore Lincoln Moore, coming off a breakout rookie campaign, and senior Jack Avery. Senior Tommy Sharkey was an all-star middie last season and he will be joined by junior Finn Stapleton and sophomore Tony Sulham, another player who made a strong varsity debut as a freshman.
Depth should be a strength for the Warriors, who return their second midfield group as well, including sophomores Sully Kenneally, Ryan Cotter, and Ian Foley. Foxboro’s defense is returning as a group too. Seniors Dylan Kerrigan and Ben Ricketts are the leaders at the back and will be joined by classmate Mark Jansen. Senior Matt Grace will start at LSM with sophomore Jack Sullivan backing him up. Sophomore Adam Addeche is back in goal, backed up by classmate Nate Urman, and freshman midfielder John Sacchetti and defender James Dee Gaffney are newcomers with potential.
“The Warriors graduated two seniors and return the core of their team,” said Foxboro coach Matt Noone. “Everyone is a year older with varsity experience which will help us in our 2022 push.”
2021 Record: 18-1
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final
Coach: Lou Verrochi
After reaching the program’s first sectional final in 2021, Franklin brings a typically strong lineup of experienced players who will be aiming to make a run in the new statewide tournament. The Panthers have loaded up their regular season schedule to prepare for the rigors of the tournament with state powers Medfield, Lincoln-Sudbury, and St. John’s Prep among the teams that Franklin will challenge itself against to be ready to shoot for silverware this spring.
Franklin’s attack scored more than 300 goals in 19 games last season and should be just as dynamic this year with junior All-American Luke Davis joined by classmate Jayden Consigli, who were both in the top five in scoring in the league in 2021. Junior Tyler Sacchetti will be the third member of the attacking crew. Sophomore Drew Hansen and Ed O’Brien and junior John Walshe will make up the first midfield. Junior Justin Alexander was one of the best face-off middies in the state last year and the Panthers will be counting on him to control possessions again this season.
Senior Kyle Palmieri will lead the defensive group, which should once again be a challenge for the opposition to score against. Junior Ben Harvey and senior Billy Gardner will also be key players at close defense. Sophomore goalie Matt Corvi will step into the cage this spring and has the potential to be a standout.
“Once again, we will have a very competitive team this spring with a very tough schedule,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi.
2021 Record: 9-5
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Hal Bean
With more than a dozen players back in the fold from last year, King Philip is looking to take another step forward after posting a 9-5 record last year.
The Warriors have key pieces in the lineup all over the field, starting with senior goalie James Boldy. Boldy had a great campaign a season ago and will be among the top goalies in the league this year. He will work with fellow senior captain Will Weiblen and senior Shaun Fitzpatrick as the anchors of the King Philip defense.
There is a strong core of midfielders back in the mix this year, starting with returning faceoff specialist Thomas Brewster. He will be joined by a very experienced group that features seniors Ben Riggs, Sean McCarthy, Andrew Longobardi, Nolan Feyler,
Brayden Thompson, John Campbell, and Ian Hill, along with sophomore standout Noah Minkwitz. Riggs (31 points last year) will be one of the most dangerous two-way players in the league but KP has a lot of depth in the position.
Offensively, King Philip has Sean Crowther back in the fold, who was just one of six Hock players to reach the 40-goal mark on the season. He’s joined by Kip Bishop and Colin Lightbody, who both registered 19 points a year ago, as well as Colin Gillis and sophomore Donovan DeVellis.
“King Philip boys lacrosse expects to compete in every game and anticipates a productive season and playoff run,” said KP head coach Hal Bean “We all are looking forward to a fun season!”
2021 Record: 6-8
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias
With a handful of young faces fighting for spots in the lineup, Mansfield is hoping to pick up valuable experience early and make a late charge for a spot in the state tournament.
The Hornets do have some experience on the defensive side of the ball with Ryan DeGirolamo starting in the cage and senior captains Zander Holmes and Mark DiGirolamo patrolling the space in front of him. Mansfield has a handful of young poles that will be in the mix including Liam Barry, Patrick Gormley, Nolan Bordieri, and James DeGirolamo.
The group of upperclassmen will make up the majority of the field with senior Dash Munson joining a trio of talented juniors in Grady Sullivan, Drew Sacco, and Cody Gordon. The Hornets have a lot of young players looking to find spots in the midfield and lineup and general, and new names that could contribute early on include Aidan Steele, Jake Feinberg, and Liam Steele.
In the attack, senior Jack Roberts will be accompanied by a pair of sophomores in Tommy Smith and Andrew Burnham.
2021 Record: 2-11
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Austin Costa
Under the guidance of new head coach Austin Costa, the Scarlet Hawks are aiming to show improvement throughout the season and set the program on an upward trajectory.
There is a strong mix of veteran leadership and new faces eager to find a spot in the lineup for Costa and the Scarlet Hawks this season. Senior captain Eric Landry is set to be the leader on the defensive end, and his experience will be key as Milford tries to fend off some lethal offenses. Landry will be joined by Brian Goncalves and junior Nick Casilli, both returners for the Scarlet Hawks. Defensive experience will be key as the Hawks turn to Alex McGuire for his varsity debut in the cage.
Offensively, look for veterans Jacob Ligor and Eric Farrell to be major contributors for the Scarlet Hawks. Both have a good amount of experience playing at this level and know what it takes to compete in the Hockomock League. Other returners for Milford include Kyle Donelan, Shawn O’Donnell, and Ronn Swineford while freshmen Alex Maietta and Jayden Martins have impressed early on and could be key contributors right away.
2021 Record: 7-8
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central/East Quarterfinal
Coach: Kevin Young
North Attleboro finished in a tie for third in the Davenport division last year and had an impressive playoff win over Belmont before being beaten by sectional finalist Medfield. The Rocketeers only graduated two players from last season’s team, so Big Red comes into the spring with big expectations of competing for a first league title since 2017 and being a threat in the state tournament.
The North attack should be an area of strength this season with seniors Matt Antonetti, Connor Ruppert, and Clayton Billingkoff all back up top. Antonetti led the team with 57 points in 2021. Juniors Jack Regan and Luke Ward have both had strong preseasons, while freshmen Ethan Gustafson and Brady Brackner could be poised for breakout debuts. Senior Jared Vacher will do his best to get as many possessions as possible for the North attack by winning draws.
North’s defense has plenty of experience as well. Senior Max Hobbs, Anthony Ferro, and James Brennan will get plenty of help from sophomore Connor Rajotte and junior LSM Julian House. The Rocketeers can also count on two experienced goalies with senior Ethan McGrath and junior JT Gallagher both back in the cage this spring.
“We know the Hockomock will be strong this year,” said North coach Kevin Young. “I am excited to watch this group compete and grow as a team.”
2021 Record: 3-11
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Ben Devlin
Oliver Ames coach Ben Devlin stepped down after last season, but he was convinced to come back this spring to lead a young Tigers team. Twenty-four of the 34 players in the program this year are either freshmen or sophomores, so OA will be counting on younger players to step up across the field and Devlin is excited about the promise he sees during the preseason.
Senior midfielder Wyatt Fritchman and junior attacker Ben Reardon will be the leaders on offense. Fritchman was second on the team in scoring last year and Reardon went on a run of nine goals in the final three games of his sophomore season. Senior Wes Tower is back to run things in the midfield and sophomores Ryan Jaco and Alex McAndrew have the potential to find the back of the net.
On the other end of the field, senior Cam Tower has been converted to LSM this season. The other poles will be led by junior Jake Manthous, who also was in charge of the face-offs last year, and sophomore Landon Grothe. Junior Noah Isleib returns in goal to keep things organized on defense and sophomore Ethan St. Jean will be his backup.
“Despite being much younger, we are looking to improve on last year’s results and continue building the program,” said Devlin. “We expect to have some growing pains early in the season, but look to improve as the younger players get experience and develop their game during the season. It’s never easy to rebuild in a talented league like the Hock. There aren’t any easy games as every team is talented and well-coached…but we are setting our sights on winning enough games to reach the postseason.”
2021 Record: 9-6
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Jon Shocket
Sharon has a solid core back from last year’s nine-win team but without any juniors on the squad, there will be a lot of young players in the lineup with most getting their first taste of varsity lacrosse.
With over a half dozen seniors on the roster, head coach Jon Shocket will lean heavily on their veteran leadership and experience as the new players get integrated into the lineup and acclimated with the speed of the high school game. The senior trio of Ben Shocket, Brady Daylor, and Ryan Zunenshine are this year’s captains.
The other seniors on the team include Jace Nestler, Matt Mahoney, James Lillenfeld, and Chance Hanah, and all four will be vital as the Eagles make a push for the postseason. There are four freshmen already in the lineup including Matt Powers in net, Jordan Burke at attack, and Zach Bernstein and Ben Goldberg at defense. Sophomores Gabe Korn, Ryan Brown, Jacob Kaufman, and Ronin Widland will also be in the mix for the Eagles.
“I hope to get a lot of growth from our team as we get more experience,” Shocket said.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
Players are listed alphabetically
Matt Antonetti, Senior – North Attleboro
North Attleboro finished last year at .500 in the league and with a positive goal-differential after an impressive win over Belmont in the state tournament. With an experienced crew coming back, North will hope to make even more noise in the postseason this year. Antonetti is one of those returning players and the attacker that North will be looking to deliver the necessary goals to put in a challenge for the division title. As a junior, Antonetti led Big Red with 37 goals, 20 assists, and 57 points. He has great control of the ball when it is on his stick and is patient, waiting out the right moment to take advantage of an opening. Antonetti has a strong, accurate shot from distance and a quick first step to open up a shooting lane. As evidenced by his 20 assists last year, he is also a willing passer, setting up his teammates in good shooting spots around the cage. North will be hoping that Antonetti keeps its offense firing this season and that the spring will end in another playoff run.
Sam Carlino, Senior – Canton
Carlino was one of the main reasons that Canton earned a share of the Davenport title last season, just its third title in program history, as he totaled a league-leading 88 points in just 16 games. His strength around the cage and his ability to finish under pressure made him difficult to contain, but he also had the vision to pull in his teammates and create scoring opportunities for the rest of the Bulldogs’ talented attackers. Carlino scored 48 goals (second in the Hock) and led the league with 40 assists, coming through with important points in the win at Foxboro that sealed a piece of the title. Carlino’s attacking creativity will be important this spring, as the Bulldogs want to not only defend a Davenport title but also make a playoff push, and he is one of several players that will benefit from having a full season of varsity experience to call on.
Jayden Consigli, Junior – Franklin
Franklin scored 302 goals in 19 games last season, far and away the highest-scoring team in the Hockomock (by more than 100 goals), and Consigli was an important cog in the heart of that dynamic attack. In his first season for the Panthers, he scored 45 goals (one of three Franklin players to top 40 goals last year) and had 27 assists. He was third on the team and fifth in the Hock with 72 points. Quick and agile, Consigli is tough to stay in front of whether he has the ball or is making cuts off it. His movement and his ability to find open spaces created problems for opposing defenses, who couldn’t just focus on wherever the ball was located. A talented finisher, Consigli was also a strong passer, picking out teammates on the run to create scoring chances from a variety of spots. After reaching the South final last spring, Franklin is looking to make a big splash in the first statewide tournament and Consigli’s attacking threat will be a critical piece of the Panthers’ success.
Luke Davis, Junior – Franklin
The Panthers were unstoppable at times last season, as they racked up 302 goals as a team. Davis was one of the main reasons why. He scored a league-high 56 goals last year and added 27 assists. He was second in the Hock with 83 points. Continuing the family legacy at Franklin (Jake is at UMass Lowell and Will at St. Anselm), Davis has the strength to hold off defenders, making it very difficult to dislodge the ball once he gets it, and has a strong, accurate shot that he can unleash from a standstill or on the move. With his quick release, Davis keeps goalies on their toes because he is capable of picking the top corner from just about any angle. One of the most creative finishers in the league, he scored in a variety of ways, from distance and around the cage, and came up with big goals during Franklin’s run to the South final. With the statewide tournament kicking off this season, Davis will be counted on to again provide the firepower to keep the Panthers competing with the state’s best.
Brady Daylor, Senior – Sharon
Daylor, a senior midfielder, is one of several returning players that Sharon will be leaning on to try and make a return to the state tournament and challenge for the Davenport crown in what promises to be a very congested title race. A creative attacker who can find the back of the net with a variety of arm angles and coming in from either side of the cage, Daylor is Sharon’s top returning scorer with 38 goals and 13 assists as a junior. He uses his size well to get a step on his marker and his reach to find shooting space when it looks like he is covered. A quick release and accurate shot make Daylor a tough mark, especially when Sharon can get into its transition game. The Eagles will want to be up among the league leaders at the end of the spring and Daylor’s development into a go-to scorer will be a key component of any title challenge.
Noah Isleib, Junior – Oliver Ames
Oliver Ames will be a relatively inexperienced team this spring, but with Isleib in goal, the Tigers at least have a familiar face between the cage that they know can be relied upon under the challenge of league play. Isleib is a quick, aggressive, athletic goalie, who has great reflexes and is willing to step out and close the distance on attackers around the crease. A vocal leader, even with just one year of varsity experience, he will keep his defense aware of the threats and the coverages. He is also a solid passer, getting the Tigers out of the defensive end with good outlets that can spring a quick transition. Last year, Isleib made 136 saves and stopped more than 56 percent of the shots he faced. He may be busy again this year with a young group in front of him, but he doesn’t back down from that challenge and Isleib’s shot-stopping will be a key for the Tigers, as they make a playoff push.
Lincoln Moore, Sophomore – Foxboro
Despite being just a freshman last season, Moore showed the physicality to be one of the top attackers in the Hock. At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Moore has the build of a linebacker, which he showed on the gridiron in the fall, and he uses that to power his way past defenders and create shooting space around the cage. He scored 39 goals and recorded 16 assists in his debut season and helped Foxboro secure a share of the league title. Quick and athletic, Moore has a powerful shot and can pick his spots while on the move. After an impressive rookie campaign, Moore seems poised to be one of the league’s top attacking threats this year and could play a major role in Foxboro being able to make a run not only at the Davenport crown but also in the state tournament.
Conor Noone, Junior – Foxboro
Noone had spent plenty of time around the Foxboro program. The son of head coach Matt Noone, he was a regular on the sidelines for years but last spring was his first opportunity to pull on the Foxboro jersey and he made an instant impact. Noone was third in the league in points and helped the Warriors earn a share of the Davenport title, beating Canton in the final game of the season to share the crown. He scored 41 goals and had 37 assists last season. Showing off an array of moves around the cage, Noone was capable of shooting from nearly any spot and with a variety of arm angles to make it impossible to know what was coming next. Strong and quick, Noone is tough to mark when he has the ball in his stick, keeping control even under intense pressure. Foxboro will once again be among the favorites for a league title and Noone’s development as a playmaker and his growing varsity experience will be an important factor in the Warriors making a tournament run.
Ben Riggs, Senior – King Philip
King Philip’s goal every year is to try and unseat Franklin from its perch atop the Kelley-Rex and Riggs will be one of the returning players that the Warriors hope can provide the goals necessary to make the jump to the top of the standings. A strong, physical midfielder, Riggs can score in a variety of ways and never shies away from contact as he makes his move toward the goal. He is also a playmaker, creating openings for teammates and picking out the right pass in KP’s patient sets. He finished 2021 with 15 goals and 16 assists. Riggs also defends from the front, using his speed and good stick work to slow teams down in transition and help out on the defensive end when called upon. The Warriors will be aiming for a return to the top of the Kelley-Rex and for a good position in the state tournament and Riggs will be counted on to be a leader in the midfield to make those goals happen.
Drew Sacco, Junior – Mansfield
Mansfield would love to make some noise in the Kelley-Rex before switching divisions next year and Sacco’s skills in the midfield give the Hornets some confidence that they can take a step up the standings. A strong, quick player, Sacco is tough to slow down once he gets going in transition and his physicality allows him to cause defenders problems around the cage. A good finisher with a strong shot, Sacco gives Mansfield a dynamic outlet in the attack and his work rate means that the Hornets can count on his defending from the front. With a year of varsity lacrosse under his belt, Sacco will be hoping to take his game to the next level this spring and get the Hornets into the mix in the statewide tournament.
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Matt Lazzaro, Franklin
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Freddy Wheaton, Attleboro
Mark DeGirolamo, Mansfield
Matt Lazzaro, Franklin
Luke Davis, Franklin
Joe Consigli, Franklin
Zach Harvey, Franklin
Jack Maguire, Franklin
Evan Hazard, Milford
Sam Mattson, King Philip
Paul McDonald, King Philip
Davenport Division MVP
Dylan Coyne, Canton
Davenport Division All Stars
Jack Albert, Canton
Sam Carlino, Canton
Dylan Coyne, Canton
Conor Noone, Foxboro
Dylan Kerrigan, Foxboro
Tommy Sharkey, Foxboro
Matt Antonetti, North Attleboro
Tyler Sarro, North Attleboro
Remi Creighton, Oliver Ames
Drew Litner, Sharon
Ben Shocket, Sharon
Mike McLaughlin, Stoughton
Harry Wheaton, Attleboro
Jeff Fitzpatrick, Canton
Nick Penders, Foxboro
Owen Kielty, Franklin
Sean Crowther, King Philip
Zander Holmes, Mansfield
Tyler Small, Milford
Connor Ruppert, North Attleboro
Noah Isleib, Oliver Ames
Brady Daylor, Sharon
Iago Bonfim, Stoughton
FRANKLIN, Mass. – In the semifinal win over Hingham, Franklin (18-1) struggled with uncharacteristic turnovers early in the game, but once the Panthers found the back of the net and grabbed the lead they established a rhythm on offense and never looked back.
In Sunday night’s Div. 1 South final against defending champ BC High, Franklin had another slow start but this time never looked comfortable on either end of the field. The Eagles clinched a fourth sectional title in the last five seasons, handing the Panthers a 14-9 loss in their first final appearance. It was Franklin’s only loss this season.
“It was a great year,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “We ran into a better team, at least tonight they were better. Hats off to them, they were bigger, faster, stronger, and in so many different areas they played great. Our kids battled.”
He added, “We didn’t handle the pressure real well. They pressed out on us and I don’t think we handled it as well as we could have, but I have nothing but good things to say about this group. They were unbelievable.”
Franklin’s Justin Alexander won the opening five face-offs of the game, but the Panthers struggled to connect passes together and the Eagles took advantage of turnovers to take an early lead. Will Emsing opened the scoring in transition and Emmett Martin doubled the lead with a shot on the run. Louis Timmins added a man-up goal to push the lead to 3-0 after eight minutes.
It took the Panthers almost nine minutes to create a good scoring chance, but once Luke Davis got his hands free on the run he was able to pick the bottom corner. About 30 seconds later, Davis got his second of the game, spinning his defender on the edge of the crease and squeezing a shot through the five-hole while falling.
A minute later Jack Maguire (11 saves) made a big stop, but Franklin turned it over in the clear and Vin Horton came right down and scored to make it 4-2. Another turnover handed the Eagles one more chance before the end of the quarter and this time it was Tim Rogers spinning back on his marker and firing into the corner.
The visitors had all the momentum and that carried over to the second quarter. Inside the first minute, Owen Porter became the sixth Eagle to find the back of the net with a lefty shot on the bounce.
Needing a spark, Franklin was able to again turn to Davis. The sophomore attacker received a pass from senior Matt Lazzaro and rifled a shot under the bar and just 40 seconds, after Joe Consigli was taken down driving towards the cage, Davis scooped the loose ball and finished from close range.
“It’s awesome to see Luke and Jayden, they have a ton of talent and the future is wicked bright for those two,” Lazzaro said about his fellow attackers. They’re just hard-working kids. Can’t wait to see what they do in the future.” Two years ago, Lazzaro was the young guy in an attacking three with Jake Davis and Ben Greco and he got a different perspective from being the veteran this season. He explained, “To see those two take charge and take command on the offensive end is cool.”
For the second time in the game, Franklin was able to hit with two quick goals and looked like it might be able to get back in it, but those were just flashes of the Panthers’ attacking ability and BC High quickly responded. Timmins got his second of the day, then Carter Rice and LSM James Carroll scored before halftime to build a 9-4 lead.
The Panthers really needed to get the first goal of the second half to try and start a rally, but it was Horton that found the bottom corner to extend the lead to six. Joe Consigli set up his brother Jayden for a good look from the edge of the crease only to be denied by Jamie Horton (12 saves).
Franklin was pressing and saw another turnover end a spell of possession, but Davis hustled back to force a turnover on the clear. He then turned and pushed forward into the attack, setting up Jayden Consigli for a goal.
Lazzaro was getting more space to get touches than he had in the previous two rounds, but the Eagles were making sure to throw multiple defenders at him every time he got the ball. With four minutes left in the third, he showed what makes him an All-American when he threw a fake that left the players on the field (and even some of the people of the sidelines) wondering where the ball ended up. Turns out it was still in his stick and he ripped a shot past Horton.
Rice answered with a spin and overhand finish and Horton came up with a big stop after Lazzaro sprung Ravin Chaudhury, who also took a big hit when he got to the edge of the crease. Franklin was able to get back within four, as Lazzaro went low-angle with a rip just a second before the horn.
“He’s been the man for four years now,” Verrochi said of Lazzaro. “He’s just an exceptional kid too. No one works harder than him, absolutely no one. You swear that the ball has eyes when he shoots sometimes from the angle that he shoots at and finishes. Everybody says, it was lucky, but it wasn’t, that was hours of preparation.”
Trailing 11-7, Franklin was still hanging around and still felt like it had a chance at winning a first South title, but the Panthers needed to be the next team on the board. Instead, BC High showed its championship pedigree by scoring three straight goals and opening the biggest lead of the game.
Lazzaro still had time for an addition to his lengthy highlight reel, as he got up from being knocked down and fired a shot from a seemingly impossible angle into the corner. Franklin added another in transition, Tim Walsh getting the ball up to Jayden Consigli for a close-range finish.
“The four captains did a great job in the offseason getting the kids to workouts and stuff and they were just committed,” Verrochi said. “They thought that this was going to be an exceptional year. They worked really hard.”
When asked about going further than any other Franklin team, Lazzaro, a Penn State-commit, replied, “It definitely shows how hard we worked as a team. It just shows off how hard we work and how great of a coaching staff we have and I’m just lucky to be part of a great program.”