Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Hockomock League All Stars
Trevor Koppy, Attleboro
Brendan Albert, Canton
Griffin Roach, Canton
Thomas Vaughan, Canton
Patrick Stapleton, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Will Davis, Franklin
Patrick Morrison, Franklin
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Nitin Chaudhury, Franklin
Benjamin Kolb, Franklin
Will Harvey, Franklin
Jake Davis, Franklin
Matthew Lazzaro, Franklin
Wes Bishop, King Philip
Chris Longobardi, King Philip
Colin DeVellis, King Philip
Aidan Sacco, Mansfield
Ryan Hazard, Milford
Brett Labonte, North Attleboro
Andy DeMattio, North Attleboro
Shane Murphy, Oliver Ames
Shane Kilkelly, Oliver Ames
CANTON, Mass. – Midway through the third quarter of Wednesday evening’s Div. 2 South quarterfinal at WWII Memorial Field, Canton was stuck in neutral. The Bulldogs were struggling to get and keep hold of the ball and trailed by seven against Plymouth South. After scoring only one goal in more than 30 minutes of game action, it felt like summer was about to begin for the hosts.
Goals can change games and the Bulldogs started clawing their way back. Four goals in the final 4:08 of the third, including two in the final 17 seconds, got Canton close and two more on a man-up to start the fourth made it a one-goal game with nine minutes left.
Unfortunately, putting together a comeback like that can wear a team out and the Bulldogs simply ran out of gas down the stretch, as the Panthers grabbed momentum back and closed out an 11-8 victory to reach the sectional semifinal.
“We have a good team and a lot of character,” Canton coach Bill Bendell said, “so I wasn’t surprised that we came back, but it’s still hard to do.”
Canton (12-8) fell behind early in the game, as the Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening two minutes. The Bulldogs cut the lead in half with 3:18 left in the quarter, catching the visitors in transition. Brendan Albert galloped forward after a turnover and he picked out Tommy Vaughan or a quick-release rip to make it 2-1.
The Bulldogs were struggling to break down the Plymouth South defense and get near the cage, settling for a number of outside shots that Panthers goalie Paul Hasenfus was able to corral.
In the second quarter, Plymouth South took control of the ball and the game. Canton struggled at the face-off ‘X’ and struggled to contain sophomore attacker Matt Smith, who scored twice and assisted on another in the second. When the Bulldogs did get a rare possession, they looked rushed and either took the first shot they got or rushed passes that led to turnovers.
“When we got the ball, we had players that wanted to go right to the cage and we actually need to give those guys a break on defense, so let’s possess,” Bendell explained. “That’s hard, especially in the emotions of the game.”
He added, “They jumped on us right away. They made some good plays early and their face-off kid was a beast. We couldn’t win a face-off early and we tried a lot of different things.”
Plymouth South scored five times in the quarter and it seemed like the pressure was unrelenting. That continued in the third, as the visitors kept the ball for long stretches and then added another goal with a little under six minutes to play in the quarter as Smith connected with Matt Daley.
It looked like the game was lost for Canton, but then a mistake by the Panthers at the back allowed the hosts to get one back. Griffin Roach was in the right place to take advantage of a loose ball right on the edge of the crease and he put it away. Three minutes later, Roach beat his marker with a spin to his right hand and fired a bullet into the top corner to make it 8-3.
The visitors were still comfortably ahead until a flurry at the end of the third. Dan Cohen picked the far corner on the run to the right, shooting across his body, to make it a four-goal game with 17 seconds on the clock. The Bulldogs got a rare possession on the face-off, as Nick Mackay scooped a ground ball and started a lightning-quick break, with the ball flowing through Andrew Canto to Vaughan for a goal just before the buzzer.
“I thought Dan Cohen’s goal was big,” said Belndell when asked about moments that sparked his team’s comeback. “That was a senior making a play, which was awesome.”
In the last second of the third, Plymouth South was hit with a three-minute, locked-in penalty. Canton came out for the fourth patiently working the ball around, but it was after a Panthers steal that the Bulldogs got a goal. A poor pass over the head of the goalie was picked off by Vaughan and he finished into the empty net.
Thirty seconds later, David Allen swung the pass around to Canto on the left side and he went five-hole from an acute angle to get the Bulldogs within one with 9:32 on the clock.
Although the Bulldogs scored twice with the man-up, Bendell admitted that they may have not taken full advantage of the opportunity. “You can’t say we didn’t capitalize, because we did,” he said, “but it would’ve been nice to just add on.”
After winning the face-off, the Panthers used up a couple of minutes before Smith got back on the score sheet whipping a shot into the corner while being hit. Three minutes later, Daley added another to get the visitors back up by three. Roach opened up space for another Vaughan rocket to make it 10-8, but the Panthers sealed the win with 1:55 left.
“A man-up early, we had the right plan but we weren’t all on the same page,” said Bendell about the things that put the Bulldogs in the hole that they nearly climbed out of. “They shut down Tommy, which is something we talked about and practiced but didn’t execute and those type of little things ended up hurting us late.”
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin entered the postseason with just two losses (both in double overtime) and with its highest-ever seed (No. 2). The Panthers rolled through a perfect league campaign, going 10-0 in the Hockomock, while compiling both the league’s best attack and its stingiest defense.
So, all the pressure was definitely on the Panthers when they opened up the state tournament at Pisini Stadium on Tuesday night against division rival Mansfield. The Hornets were playing with house money, having won the final three games of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs and having lost to Franklin by 20 goals a month ago.
When Jake DiSangro scored with just under six minutes left to go in the opening quarter, cutting the Franklin lead to 2-1, the Hornets bench exploded and there was a fleeting moment where an upset seemed possible.
But, the Panthers responded with two goals in 29 seconds and rattled off seven straight goals to close out the quarter with a 9-1 lead. Franklin never looked back, going up by 14 at halftime, and, despite Mansfield scoring the game’s final five goals, comfortably advancing to the second round with a 19-8 victory.
The combination of junior attackers Jake Davis and Ben Greco and sophomore Matt Lazzaro proved especially potent again for the Panthers on Tuesday. Greco and Lazzaro are cousins and Verrochi said they refer to Davis as “the third cousin.” That familiarity was on display as they combined for 16 of the team’s 19 goals and added 11 assists as well.
“They’ve been playing together since they were young kids,” Verrochi said of his attacking trio. “They just really respect one another and they just do a real nice job moving the ball. It’s just fun to watch when they’re on.”
Davis got things going just about a minute into the game with a rip from the left side under the bar. Ninety seconds later, Greco found Lazzaro cutting through the middle and he went behind-the-back to double the early lead. DiSangro answered four minutes later with Mansfield’s first, managing to beat Franklin goalie Will Davis with a shot while being knocked to the ground.
That goal seemed to spring Franklin to life.
Jacob Alexander, the newly-selected league MVP, won the ensuing face-off and quickly got the ball to Greco, who fed Lazzaro for a goal. Mansfield’s momentum lasted all of eight seconds. Twenty-one seconds after that Greco to Lazzaro made it 4-1.
Lazzaro (seven goals and three assists) hit a cutting Davis (seven goals and two assists) not once, but twice to add to the advantage. Greco (two goals and six assists) took one himself, squeezing past the Mansfield defense and beating goalie Joe Plath (11 saves) from a tight angle. Owen Kielty took a hit but still got a lot on a shot from distance to make it 8-1 and then Nitin Chaudhury wound up in traffic for a ninth just before the end of the quarter.
“We tried to slow them down,” said Mansfield coach Tim Frias. “We implemented a zone a little bit to slow down the high-powered offense but they’re good. They’re No. 2 for a reason.”
Despite Mansfield’s switch to a zone defense, Franklin figured out ways to manufacture space and the ball movement continued to open up scoring chances.
“The kids solved the zone pretty well,” said Verrochi. “They were ball watching and we were fortunate to get some good, open looks. Ben Greco, he’s been doing it all year, our fast breaks, our unsettled situations, the kids just move the ball. This is probably the best ball movement from any team we’ve had.”
The Hornets started the second man-down, but managed to end the Panthers scoring run. Connor Quirk beat two Panthers on the far side trying to clear after a timeout and then he raced all the way on goal before tucking it away.
Chaudhury found Davis with his hands free for a rocket into the corner to get the hosts going again. Davis added a side-arm effort off a turnover and then assisted on Lazzaro’s fourth. With just under five minutes left in the half, Patrick Morrison scooped a ground ball in his defensive third and raced forward on the break to find Greco alone in front for his second. Eleven seconds later, Greco to Lazzaro worked again to make it 14-2.
Lazzaro scored his sixth and Tim Kolb got his first to put the Panthers up by 14 heading into the break. Nico Holmes won the face-off to start the third and powered towards goal, flicking a pass to Brady Kessler for the goal to make it 16-3. Davis added two more and Lazzaro one to push the lead to 19-3, Franklin’s largest of the game.
The Hornets didn’t stop at that point and they pushed to win the final 16 minutes of the game. Aidan Sacco got it started with a goal with 3:57 left in the third and, after a Holmes face-off win, Mansfield got a goal from Brian Rockwell.
Mansfield (8-9) would shut out Franklin in the fourth. Holmes got a goal straight from the face-off to start the quarter, Sacco assisted on a goal by Thomas Norton, and Holmes (two goals and two assists) completed his four-point night with a rocket from long-range.
“That’s all you can ask out of a team is play with pride,” said Frias. “In the second half it was the little things that you hope you take away and can build on that. Hopefully we will.”
Franklin (17-2) advances to take on No. 7 seed Natick on Thursday night.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – For stretches of Tuesday evening’s D2 South first-round contest, the fourth-seeded Oliver Ames boys lacrosse team dominated and looked like a team poised to make another run through the sectional.
But unfortunately for the hosts, there more even more moments when the Tigers switched off and a talented Scituate team — far better than their 8-10 record and deceiving 13 seed — took advantage and ended up with a 16-11 upset to put an end to Oliver Ames’ historic season.
There were times, like the majority of the second quarter, which OA controlled the game. The Tigers scored five times in the second frame and erased an early deficit to snatch the momentum. And again in the fourth quarter when Oliver Ames scored twice in less than 30 seconds to spark a comeback attempt.
But there were also stretches in which the Tigers looked like a different team. Like the first quarter, in which Oliver Ames was held scoreless for 12 minutes and had just two shots on target as the visitors raced out to a multi-goal lead. And again to start the second half when Scituate scored three straight goals over the span of five minutes and kept Oliver Ames’ offensive possessions to a minimum.
“I think we had a lot of mental mistakes,” said Oliver Ames head coach Ben Devlin. “Going into the tournament, [Scituate] was one of the teams I didn’t want to see in the first round, I don’t know how they are a 13 seed. I knew we’d have a tough game. When we play well, we can beat anyone but we have moments with mental mistakes and we don’t play well enough. We make up for some of it with effort because they don’t quit, they keep battling. But it was just too many moments where we’d get momentum and give it right back.”
The Sailors certainly didn’t look like underdogs coming out of the gate. After Frankie Ireland caused a turnover on the visitors’ first offensive possession, Scituate was successful on its next three chances. Scituate scored with 9:54 to go to open the scoring, doubled the lead two minutes later, and added a third just over a minute after that to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The lead could have been more if not for a big save from junior goalie Nick Gillis (eight saves).
On the other end, the Tigers struggled to get things going and went into the first break down by three. That quickly changed in the second as Oliver Ames looked like a new team to begin the next quarter.
Scituate extended the lead to 4-0 early on but from there on out, it was all Tigers. Junior Shane Kilkelly, the program’s all-time leading scorer, added to his total with a heroic like effort, leaping across the face of goal to deposit a shot from in close to get OA on the board. The goal also drew a penalty and OA capitalized as Kilkelly scored again 18 seconds later to make it 4-2.
Senior defenseman Shane Murphy came up with a big interception to give the Tigers the ball back and that led to a goal from Sandro Masciarelli after a nice feed from Sam Stevens from behind the net. Kilkelly raced past a trio of defenders two minutes later and blasted a shot in to make it 4-4, his 100th career goal.
OA took its first and only lead of the game when Kilkelly was left open on the far side and rifled in a shot with 2:20 to go. Scituate responded less than a minute later to tie the game, 5-5, heading into half.
After dominating the second quarter, the Tigers had a slow start to the third. Scituate scored in transition with 10:24 left, added another a minute after winning the faceoff, and made it 8-5 on a nice leaping finish from Pat DeMatteo.
Ireland stopped the Sailors’ run, scoring himself right after winning the faceoff and the Tigers got possession back after the strike, but a turnover led to a goal in transition for Scituate, who scored two more to make it 11-6.
“We’ve had that problem a lot this year and we’ve tried a whole bunch of different things to try and address it,” Devlin said. “We’ve changed our pregame routine, we’ve changed our halftime routine…but there are times where they aren’t as focused to start games or to start a half. It’s definitely something to figure out because against a good team, it’s going to hurt you. You dig yourself a hole that’s tough to dig out of it.”
Kilkelly got the Tigers out of the funk, faking a spin to the right before coming back to his left and finishing. And a minute later, on a man-up chance, Kilkelly faked a shot that opened up some space and he blasted another shot into the back of the net to make it 11-8. But before the final buzzer, Ray O’Brien snuck a shot in to give Scituate a 12-8 advantage after 36 minutes.
Oliver Ames cut the deficit to three on two occasions, and got within two once in the final frame but couldn’t get it any closer than that. Masciarelli scored early after a nifty bounce pass from sophomore Remi Creighton and 27 seconds later, Stevens bounced his attempt in to make it 12-10.
Scituate’s Drew Rowe came back with a goal on the other end to push the lead to 13-10. The Tigers had three chances to cut into the lead but couldn’t get anything to go as the Sailors switched into a zone defense. First, Stevens had a rocket turned away from Scituate keeper Garrett McKinnon (10 saves). Colin Bourne whistled a shot just wide minutes later and McKinnon came up with a point-blank save on Hunter Costello in front.
“The zone is kind of meant to give up outside shots and that kid is a heck of a goalie,” Devlin said. “If you have a good goalie and force a lot of outside shots, you’re going to make a lot of saves. We didn’t use our zone, I thought we had a better matchup with man. We’ve seen the zone plenty of times, we’ve practiced against it but it usually takes us a couple of minutes and they put it in at the perfect time, late in the game to slow us down.”
The teams traded goals with Bourne scoring on a feed from Ireland with 3:59 to go to make it 14-11. But with Scituate on offense, the Tigers’ defense was forced to be aggressive and the visitors tacked on two more to pull away with the win.
“We lose a couple really good seniors, Shane Murphy and Matt Saba on defense, Cullen Gallagher and Colin Bourne in the midfield, have all been huge contributors for us over the past four years,” Devlin said. “And there’s a lot of leadership there too. We do have a great group coming back too, I think we’re in good shape.”
Oliver Ames boys lacrosse finishes the season at 14-5.
The eighth-seeded Warriors had a handful of chances to either take the lead, tie the game, or move within striking distance throughout Monday afternoon’s D1 South First Round contest with ninth-seeded Marshfield.
But some self-inflicted mistakes along with timely saves from Rams goalie Gus Kastrud resulted in an 8-6 loss to put a close to King Philip’s season.
“Every time it seemed like we would get some traction like we did to start the second half, then boom they would come right back on us, and pretty quickly too,” said King Philip head coach Hal Bean. “We were just fighting the whole game trying to come from behind.”
Marshfield scored first before senior Colin DeVellis beat his man and finished off the iron while being checked to knot the game at 1-1. The Rams added two more goals before the end of the first, the second coming on a two-man up opportunity.
KP scored on the opening possession of the second when Chris Longobardi won the draw and went down and scored on his own, just 16 seconds into the second quarter to make it 3-2. But the Warriors didn’t register a shot on target for the rest of the frame.
The Warriors’ defense, spearheaded by senior Wes Bishop, held its own and kept the Rams without a shot on goal for the first 10 minutes of the frame. A King Philip turnover with just over three minutes left led to a lengthy offensive possession for the visitors, and finally their first shot which was turned away by KP goalie Andrew McKinney (five saves).
But the Rams kept possession and continued to work the ball around before Gino Luciani was able to sneak a bounce shot across the line to give Marshfield a 4-2 lead at the half.
After only scoring two goals in the opening 24 minutes, the Warriors had a terrific start to the second half. Longobardi battled to win the opening draw and bullied his way past a defender before firing a rocket into the back of the net 22 seconds in while earning a penalty.
On the ensuing man-up chance, Andrew Sajdak ripped a low shot from straight away that tied the game at 4-4 just 1:18 into the period.
Marshfield had a response though when Michael Iafrato found some space and tucked a close shot in to regain the lead for the visitors.
King Philip looked poised to go on a man-up opportunity with 3:38 left in the period and a chance to knot the score, but the Warriors took a penalty after the whistle and had to play 5-on-5 instead of with an advantage. And since KP’s penalty was called second, the Rams got possession of the ball and took advantage, scoring less than a minute later to make it 6-4, which lasted until the end of the period.
A late penalty on Marshfield in the third allowed KP to start the fourth with possession and the Warriors elected to get the ball in the stick of sophomore Sam Mattson. Mattson unleashed his trademark rocket shot that bounced over the goal line to bring KP within one, down 6-5.
The Warriors won the ensuing faceoff and had another chance on goal but Robbie Tartaglia’s shot was somehow kept out by a huge save from Kastrud to preserve the lead.
“Their goalie had some really timely saves,” Bean said. “He was really spot on, which is what we saw of him coming in, but that he had that save on Robbie Tartaglia bounce shot where he stuck out his toe and then caught it with the top of his foot. He stood on his head and that’s what you have to do in the playoffs.
Marshfield pushed the lead to 8-5 with a man-up goal with 8:38 to go but KP had the chance to respond right away from Longobardi come away with the win on the faceoff. However, an errant pass cut the possession short before KP could get a shot off.
After trading possessions, KP junior Kevin Riggs worked his way between a pair of Marshfield defenders and used a nice finish to make it 8-6. KP won the ensuing faceoff with a chance to make it a one-goal game, but once again a self-inflicted turnover cost the Warriors a chance at a comeback.
The Rams went on to kill the final three minutes on the offensive end.
“They knew that we drive through the X a lot with Colin DeVellis, I mean 112 points who wouldn’t utilize someone as talented as him…and Andrew Sajdak is phenomenal too,” Bean said. “Their D poles really neutralized them for the most part. I look at the opportunities we had and some of them we were more compressed and normally we are more open, which helped them with their slides. I don’t want to take anything away from [Marshfield] but I think if we performed a little bit better, we would have had some better opportunities.”
King Philip boys lacrosse finishes the season at 14-5.