By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Kaitlyn Carney, Sophomore – Franklin
Last season, Franklin poured in the goals on its way to a league title, scoring 30 more than any other team in the Hock, but the Panthers were also a tough team to break down and Kaitlyn Carney’s presence in the midfield was a reason why. As a freshman, Carney gave Franklin a physical presence and an edge in the middle of the field, stepping right in and not backing down against more experienced opponents. Last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year popped up with 14 goals and eight assists and showed off plenty of skill with the ball on her stick but she was also able to break up attacks and cover a lot of ground to prevent quick transitions. Carney’s impressive performances in both attack and defense were a critical component of Franklin’s success last year and as she continues to develop the Panthers know they have a dominating presence in the heart of the team as they try to make it two straight titles.
Campbell Compton, Senior – Attleboro
Attleboro entered last fall with a lot of hype and the Bombardiers largely lived up to it, making the playoffs for the first time in four seasons and adding a road win in the tournament. With the graduation of league MVP Anna Beck, senior Campbell Compton could be the person to step into a bigger role this year and keep Attleboro on track. The defensive-minded midfielder provided cover for the back line and showed a keen eye for a pass to spring the Attleboro attack. Compton scored once last season, but also had seven assists and frequently transitioned the team out of its defensive zone with a well-placed hit upfield. Compton’s strength and reading of the game prevents the opposition from quick breaks that could catch out the Bombardiers defense and keep opponents to the outside, away from goal. While Attleboro looks for someone to replace the scoring of last year’s MVP, Compton’s defensive skills and understanding of the game will be crucial to challenging the top teams in the Kelley-Rex.
Maria Femia, Senior – Canton
Canton held off Foxboro by the slimmest of margins to win the Davenport title last season and the Bulldogs will be hoping a lineup filled with experience can outlast the Warriors again this fall. One of the keys to Canton’s success was the development of Maria Femia into one of the most dynamic playmakers in the Hock. Femia scored five goals last year but also recorded a league-high 22 assists, finishing overall as the fourth-leading scorer in the Hock. She was hard to stop with the ball on her stick, weaving her way through opposing defenses to create spaces for her teammates to get close to the goal and finish off her passes. Femia has the rare gift to take on multiple players and keep possession, which allows her teammates to worry more about filling lanes and getting into the right spots. She is also active defensively, chasing the ball down in the attacking half and willing to race back and help her defenders and prevent a counter attack. Femia has turned into one of the league’s top creators and that scoring prowess will be important for the Bulldogs to try and make it three league titles in the last four seasons.
Amanda Lewandowski, Senior – Franklin
Franklin scored 91 goals last season and came within two ties of running the table in league play. The Panthers will expect to be just as potent this fall with Amanda Lewandowski back to knock in the goals. The St. Anselm-commit was second in the Hock in 2020 with 30 points, scoring 20 goals and recording 10 assists. Tenacious in winning the ball back high up the field, Lewandowski can turn opponent turnovers into immediate scoring opportunities. She has the vision to pick out a pass for teammates or can drive at the defense with her stick-handling and strength on the ball. Lewandowski also has an eye for a deflection in front, always appearing to be in the right place to knock a teammate’s shot or pass on goal. Franklin will be looking for a second straight league title and Lewandowski’s prolific scoring touch is one of the reasons they remain the team to beat in the Kelley-Rex.
Abby Nixon, Senior – King Philip
It was a new-look attack for King Philip last season and the Warriors seemed to get better as the season rolled along and players became more comfortable with new roles. One of the players that stepped up and produced all year for KP was Abby Nixon. The senior forward led the team with nine goals and six assists last fall, providing KP with a consistent outlet on either wing. The speedy forward was always a threat to run at opposing defenses and her ability to produce scoring opportunities from the left side gave the Warriors a different look to the attack. A clever player with the ball on her stick, Nixon could just as quickly turn a defender to create a shooting chance, as find a space to slip passes across to teammates. Her playmaking ability was one of the factors in KP edging Mansfield into second place in the Kelley-Rex. This year, with a little more experience in the system, the Warrriors will be looking to try and unseat Franklin and make a push for the league title, with Nixon’s development as a creator being a key.
Riley O’Connor, Senior – Canton
Offense almost always gets the glory, but one of the reasons that Canton finished as the top team in the Davenport division last season was that the Bulldogs only allowed 16 goals all year. Riley O’Connor became one of the league’s top shot stoppers and was the backstop for that stingy defensive unit. She finished with a goal against average of just 0.85 and recorded 11 shutouts in 19 games. In her second year between the pipes, O’Connor made 145 saves and was a vocal presence in the defensive half of the field, moving her defenders around and giving them confidence that she was back there ready to make the stop. Quick, with great instincts, and not afraid to get into the mix in front of goal, O’Connor limits the chances for attackers to get a stick on crosses and gives them little to aim at when they line up a shot. Canton will try to make it three titles in four years and O’Connor’s presence at the back gives the Bulldogs a good foundation to build another strong season.
Alana Tavares, Senior – Taunton
It feels like Taunton has been counting on Alana Tavares for a very long time. The fifth-year varsity player has been providing big goals since she was an eighth grader and has played multiple positions for the Tigers, stepping up wherever they need her to play. Tavares has dropped back into the midfield or played up top as a forward and, no matter where she has played, continues to produce scoring chances. Last year, she scored eight goals and had five assists, accounting for more than half of her team’s 22 goals. Tavares has the speed and stick skill to keep defenders on their heels and can also pick the right pass to spring a quick counter attack or set up a teammate right in front of goal. Her quickness also helps the Tigers defend from the front, not giving teams time on the ball to find a pass that might lead to a chance, one of the reasons that Taunton only allowed 30 goals last year. Now one of the veterans in the program, Tavares will be expected to lead by example this year and keep firing in the goals to let the Tigers compete with the top teams in the Kelley-Rex.
Abby Varricchione, Senior – Mansfield
Mansfield surprised some people by making a run to the Div. 1 South quarterfinal last year, upsetting No. 2 seed New Bedford along the way, but the Hornets proved to be a thorn in the side of a lot of good teams and will be hoping that experience leads to a title challenge this fall. Abby Varricchione is a good place for Mansfield to start, as her speed and her ability to defend from the front can cause havoc and lead to a number of scoring chances, both for herself and for her teammates. After scoring 11 goals and recording nine assists last season, Varricchione is now up to 30 tallies for her career. Her value to the team extends beyond the stat sheet. Varricchione is tenacious in chasing the ball and trying to pin the opposition in its defensive zone. She sets the tone for the rest of the team, pressuring the ball from sideline to sideline and preventing quick transitions that might catch out the Mansfield defense. The Hornets want to take over Franklin’s spot at the top of the league standings and Varricchione’s effort and skill, along with an experienced group around her, has the potential to cause more problems for opposing teams this season.
Ella Waryas, Senior – Foxboro
Foxboro finished just two points behind Canton in last year’s league title race and the Warriors are hoping this season the attack can find the back of the net a few more times to try and get back on top in the division. Ella Waryas will be one of the keys to unlocking the opposition defenses and turning ties into wins this season. The senior midfielder provides energy in the center, covering for the defense and quickly turning defense into attack. Able to carry the ball up the field or pick the right pass to the forwards, Waryas is a versatile player and one that the Warriors count on to control the pace of play. Strong on the ball and a strong reader of the game, she seems to find the spaces where she can be dangerous or that will create openings for teammates. Waryas scored three goals and had four assists last year and she will be expected to continue her growth as a leader and take on more responsibility as Foxboro tries to regain its perch on top of the league.
Maggie Woods, Senior – Oliver Ames
Oliver Ames has moved to the Davenport division this season and the Tigers will want to make an instant impact and make it a three-team race for the league title. Maggie Woods will be a key player for OA to try and push Canton and Foxboro. The do-it-all midfielder helped OA make a late-season run and reach the tournament in 2019 and her ability to break up attacks and provide cover for the defense was instrumental. Woods is also talented on the ball, picking out the right passes to the forwards and wings, getting OA out of its defensive zone and into quick transitions. She had five assists last year, which doubled her career total, and showed her development as an attacking threat. Her constant running ad her speed allowed her to make an impact all over the field, popping up to make big plays at both offensive and defensive corners. As OA look to a new challenge in the Davenport, the Tigers know that they have Woods providing a constant presence in the midfield, making things difficult for opponents and setting the tone for her teammates.