2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview
Canton junior Griffin Roach scored with 1:38 remaining in the first overtime to lift the Bulldogs to a dramatic victory over Scituate in 2018. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 5-13
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kevin Patton

The Bombardiers will boast a relatively young group in 2019 but are still ready to compete in a difficult Hockomock League.

With a total of 14 underclassmen – eight sophomores and six freshmen – there will certainly be learning curves and some ups and downs throughout the year, but those new faces are hungry to improve throughout the season.

Attleboro’s strong suit will be in net as Hockomock League All-Star Trevor Koppy, a captain for this year’s team, returns to the cage. Koppy is one of the most experienced netminders in the league and the Bombardiers will be relying on him for his play plus his leadership as a captain. Attleboro will also rely on the leadership on and off the field by junior captain Tom Shipman, who will be a key piece in the midfield.

Shipman will be joined by senior Zach Thomas and sophomores Michael Strachan and Aidan Diggin in the midfield. All four have plenty of varsity experience so Attleboro will certainly rely on them to guide the way as the younger players are incorporated into the lineup. Sophomore Matthew Perry returns up front while junior Jack Handy is back defensively.

The Bombardiers are hoping junior Bryson Friess and freshman Fred Wheaton will make an impact defensively while freshmen Keigan Conley and Jack Lamothe will bolster the attack. Freshman Ryan Betts will also be apart of the midfield unit this season.

We are a young team…but they’re all ready to contribute quality minutes,” said Attleboro coach Kevin Patton, who switched from the girl’s team to the boys this Spring. “With Trevor Koppy and Tommy Shipman, our captains, they are prepared to lead the team to the next level. I’m looking forward to the future of the program!”

Canton

2018 Record: 10-8
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Bill Bendell

After missing out on the playoffs in 2017, Canton put together a memorable 2018 campaign that ended in the D2 South Sectional Semifinals. The Bulldogs are looking to replicate that success and make another deep tournament run again this year.

And with a good amount of players back from last year’s squad, there is a lot of optimism that tournament run can happen. Senior Griffin Roach, a HockomockSports.com Second Team selection, will pace the offense again this year. Roach had 30 goals and 17 assists last year and his competitiveness is contagious to those around him. Roach will be joined by classmate Dan Cohen, a Hockomock League honorable mention selection. Cohen is a dangerous player, scoring 24 goals in the regular season last year.

David Allen, Chris Lavoie, Brendan Clifford, and Matt Martin are great athletes and capable scorers as well, while Tommy Vaughan will look to make an impact with his playmaking ability. On defense, the Bulldogs will turn to Brendan Albert and Nick Mackay, who head coach Bill Bendell called two of the most underrated players in the Hockomock League. Both possess a boatload of experience at the varsity level and will anchor the Bulldog defensive group. George Kent and James Murphy will also be apart of Canton’s defense while Shane Marshall, Sam Walsh, Jack Albert, and Carson Campbell will all see time and make key contributions this seasons, Bendell said.

Sophomore Dylan Coyne will take over in net for the Bulldogs and has had a strong preseason so far. Bendell believes Coyne is poised for a breakout year. Jeff Fitzgerald, Tommy Ghostlaw, and Mackay will all be in the running to handle faceoff duties.

“We are very excited about our offensive and defensive potential,” Bendell said. “Our varsity depth is not what we would like it to be at this point, but a few players have shown flashes of potential that make us think we will be much deeper come Memorial Day.”

Foxboro

2018 Record: 15-4
2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinal
Coach: Matt Noone

Foxboro will have a young squad with just five seniors this year but that doesn’t mean there will be a lack of experience from the defending Davenport division champions.

Senior Brendan Tully sets the example with his work ethic but is also one of the most dangerous players in the Hockomock League. A Providence College commit, Tully has tormented defenses for the past two seasons. He had 44 goals and 22 assists last year and will be one of Foxboro’s main weapons. Tully will be joined by Bobby Yerardi, who had over 40 points as a sophomore and has improved his game in the offseason. His ability to finish right or left makes life difficult for opponents.

The Warriors bring back junior Shayne Kerrigan for faceoffs. Kerrigan is one of the best in the area on the draw and puts Foxboro in good positions time after time; he will be a key piece in the midfield for the Warriors. Junior Pete Conley, Aiden Stapleton, and Charlie Baughan will make the up the attacking group for Foxboro this year.

Pat Stapleton is one of the most experienced players in the league as well as one of the top defensive players. He will anchor a defensive unit that has been one of the best in the region over the past couple of seasons. He will be joined by juniors Ronnie MacLellan and Will Morrison. All three players have the ability to move up to LSM when needed.

One question mark for the Warriors could be goalie, as Foxboro graduated Hockomock League MVP Jake Addeche. Head coach Matt Noone is confident in his options this season, with four players competing for the time in the cage. Freshman Matt Tully is beginning the season as the starter.

“I am really looking forward to this season as we are young but dangerous,” Noone said. “The best thing about this team is our depth, there is competition for every spot and they love to compete! What more can you ask for?”

Franklin

2018 Record: 16-4
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Lou Verrochi

Franklin has had a lot of success in recent years, and that trend looks like it will continue in 2019.

“The outlook for this season is very good,” said Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi. “It could be one of the best teams we’ve had at FHS.”

The reason for the high expectations is the amount of talent returning from last year’s Kelley-Rex team that reached the D1 South Quarterfinals. Although the Panthers graduated two-time All-American and two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Eric Civetti and starting goalie Connor O’Rourke, Franklin has experience and talent back at each position.

It all will start with senior Jacob Alexander, who has been arguably the best faceoff man in the entire state over the past couple of seasons. Alexander’s ability to consistently win draws gives Franklin a huge advantage and sets the offense in motion. Patrick Morrison, a second-team All-American selection last season, will anchor the defensive unit for the Panthers this year along with Will Harvey, who was one of the most underrated players last year. Will Davis, who saw time in net some last year, is set to take over in the cage and could be one of the top netminders in the league.

The Franklin midfield will consist of Nitin Chaudhury – one of the hardest working athletes in any sport – along with Owen Palmieri and Ben Kolb, who has really impressed in scrimmages during the preseason. Franklin’s attack could be among the most dangerous in the league this year with three legitimate options. Jake Davis (32 goals, 23 assists), Matt Lazzaro (30 points), and Ben Greco are all unselfish but can also finish.

King Philip

2018 Record: 9-10
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Hal Bean

King Philip is hoping that a good amount of returning experience from last year’s team will result in a successful season and possibly a run through the D1 South bracket.

The Warriors have one of the most experienced attackmen in the league in Colin DeVellis, who has been one of the best finishers in each of the last two years. He finished fourth overall in points his sophomore year (22 goals, 36 assists) and again his junior year (45 goals, 29 assists) and is the top returning scorer back from last year. His ability to finish in close makes life tough for opponents but he’s also able to find teammates when the defense focuses on him. Andrew Sajdak and Sam Mattson will also be key pieces on the attack and the three showed good chemistry in their first game this year.

Wes Bishop, who is committed to play at UMass Boston, is a great leader that will anchor the defensive unit. He has a lot of varsity experience and is the type of player that leads by example. Luke D’Amico is another experienced defender that will stand out for KP this year. Tyler Bartlett, Aiden Bender, Chris Longobardi, and Garrett Maxwell give coach Hal Bean a large group of experienced players.

Junior Andrew McKinney is back in goal after splitting time in the cage last season.

Mansfield

2018 Record: 9-9
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias

Mansfield has made the state tournament in each of the last four seasons and will be looking to make it five straight in 2019.

It all starts in the midfield with senior Aidan Sacco. Sacco, who played quarterback this past fall for the Hornet football team, is like the quarterback for the Hornet boys lacrosse team. A lot of the offense will run through Sacco because of his vision and ability to share the ball. He is also a key part of the Hornet defense. His ability to get back and track opponents while also causing turnovers and transitioning defense into offense will be key for Mansfield.

On offense, the Hornets have an experienced stick in the hands of Mike Reed, who will be relied on to lead the Hornets into the playoffs down the stretch. Connor Quirk will also be a key cog for Mansfield this year while Joe Plath, Sean Weber, and Will Nelson are going to be important pieces in the defensive unit.

The Hornets have a strong piece in Nico Holmes at the face-off X. Holmes picked up varsity experience at the position last year and he will look to give Mansfield extra possessions this year in their push for the state tournament.

Coleman O’Brien and Brian Rockwell are battling for the starting spot in the cage.

Milford

2018 Record: 6-11
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jacob Scordato

After increasing their win total from 2017 to 2018, the Scarlet Hawks will be looking to continue that trend in 2019.

With returning starters back in a lot of positions, second-year head coach Jacob Scordato is hopeful that Milford can make a run at a state tournament berth.

“Our Goal as a team is to make the playoffs, this program hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2012,” Scordato said. “But this group of extraordinary young men are highly motivated on achieving that goal.”

The Scarlet Hawks bring back their leading scorer in Brendan White, who had 45 points last season (31 goals, 14 assists). White is a strong, physical forward with a strong shot. His ability to finish through contact makes him one of the top attackmen in the league. In the midfield, junior captain Danny Farrell is back after a standout sophomore year. Farrell, an LSM, led the team last season with 64 ground balls.

Senior Ryan Pearl will anchor a defensive unit that is looking to improve on last season. Sophomore Evan Hazard had a standout freshman campaign between the pipes last year. He will be relied upon this season to help keep Milford in games as they make a push for the postseason.

North Attleboro

2018 Record: 15-5
2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Kevin Young

After coming close to the Davenport title a year ago, the Rocketeers are ready to make another run at the division title and as well as a deep playoff run.

While the Rocketeers graduated some top talent in the league such as midfielders Jason McNeany and Max Fontes, defenseman Tommy Lockavitch, and attack Tommy Lindstrom, North Attleboro has talent and experience in every position. Juniors Nate D’Amico and Jake McNeany are back after splitting time last season and will be competing for minutes again this season.

Defensively, the Rocketeers bring back three starters from a unit that allowed a league-low 95 goals last year. Junior Brett Labonte had a terrific season and will be joined by classmate Will Yeomans and sophomore Tyler Sarro. Head coach Kevin Young said the trio is tough, vocal, active, and play very well together. In the midfield, senior captains Nick Ward and Ryan Boyle will be key pieces. Ward will also see time at attack while Boyle will be a defensive minded midfielder.

“Nick is a very smart, sneaky threat with great IQ and stick skills,” said North Attleboro coach Kevin Young. “Ryan is just a grinder that all coaches appreciate.”

Junior Dan Conroy takes over as the main faceoff guy and will be joined by Ryan Rajotte, Damien Curtis, Nick Morse, Jack Puccio, Cam Cornetta, and Joe Milosh in the midfield.

The attack will be spearheaded by junior Andy DeMattio, last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. DeMattio had a tremendous season, scoring 52 goals and adding 22 assists for a team-high 74 points. “He should be fun to watch as he’s picked up some size and speed,” Young said. DeMattio will be joined by junior Jack Connolly and freshman Matt Antonetti.

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 14-7
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Ben Devlin

Coming off the best season in program history, Oliver Ames is aiming to have another successful year and hoping to replicate last year’s playoff push.

The Tigers reached the D2 South Sectional Semifinals last season and bring back five of the top seven scorers from a year ago. While the top two scorers — Eric LeBlanc and Owen Gallagher — and their 146 points graduated, there is a lot of optimism in the program because they have reloaded for this year.

Oliver Ames will be young on the attack with junior Sandro Masciarelli and sophomore Remi Creighton, but there is still experience in the position. Masciarelli had 25 goals last year while Creighton will see more minutes this year. The strength of the program will be in the midfield with the likes of senior captain Colin Bourne (30 goals), junior Shane Kilkelly (32 goals), junior Sam Stevens (23 goals), and junior Frankie Ireland (29 goals). That group was a big reason for OA’s memorable season last year and now have a year of experience playing together under their belts.

Defensively the Tigers are looking for senior captains Shane Murphy and Matt Saba to lead the way. Both players were apart of the defensive unit last year and have been a big reason for the program’s improvement over the past couple of seasons. Senior LSM Cullen Gallagher will be a key defensive midfielder while junior Tyler Campbell will likely factor into the Tiger defense this year. Junior Nick Gillis returns as the starting goalie while senior Steve Heino is an experienced backup.

“Our goal is to keep improving each day and keep building on last year’s success,” said OA head coach Ben Devlin. “The kids have bought into the program and are excited and enthusiastic about the season. We don’t expect anyone or two players to replace the production we graduated, but if all our returners can progress like they did last year, we should be in the mix for a tourney berth.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 12-7
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Jon Shocket

Sharon has a strong mix of returners and new faces and is hoping that combination will result in a return trip to the state tournament.

The Eagles will have an experienced defensive group with all three starting defensemen back this year, and all three are seniors. Sam Spencer, Coleman Loftus, and Ronin McCabe are back to give the Eagles a formidable defensive group. Having an experienced defensive in front of new goalie, sophomore Adam Rabb, will help as the season gets underway.

Sophomore Drew Litner is back after a terrific freshman year. Litner can score but he is one of the most unselfish players in the league and does a terrific job finding teammates on the move. He was among the league leaders in assists last year, dishing out 28 helpers. Litner will be joined by senior Brandon Buckman and freshman Zack Waxman in the attacking group.

The midfield will also have a good amount of experience with seniors Daniel Lillenfeld and Mitchell Director leading the way. Nick Stamm and Rowan Barnes have impressed this preseason and should be apart of the group as well. Junior Max Posner could be poised for a breakout year while sophomore Cobe Jacobson and freshmen Brady Daylor and Jace Nestler will be in the mix too.

Returning LSM Tyler Freedman is back after a terrific rookie campaign and could be a top player for the Eagles while there are high hopes for freshman faceoff specialist Ben Shocket, who could be an X-factor for the Eagles.

Stoughton

2018 Record: 1-15
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Pat Healey

The Black Knights enter their third season as a varsity program and are looking to continue to grow as a program in a difficult league.

After being inexperienced last year, the Black Knights are hoping the lessons learned from last year will pay off this year. It starts with the four captains: Sean Doherty, Luke Bainton, Alex Wilson, and Nate Wilson. Doherty and Bainton will do a little bit of everything for the Black Knights and will be two of the top options offensively. Alex Wilson and Nate Wilson will anchor the defensive unit, bringing plenty of lacrosse experience to that group.

Stoughton is also looking for a big season out of junior Foster McLeod. McLeod has shown in the past the ability to beat defenders and create opportunities for others. Sophomores Max Huminik and Mike McLaughlin will also see increased roles after impressing during their rookie seasons in 2018.

Sophomore Thomas Ratcliffe, a Hockomock League honorable mention last year, returns in the cage and gives the Black Knights a steady presence between the pipes. Sophomore Marty Barrett returns as a long pole and will be a key piece of the Knights’ defense.

King Philip Defense Locks Down to Grind Out Win

King Philip boys lacrosse
King Philip senior goalie Paul Macrina makes one of his 11 saves in the Warriors’ first round win over Natick. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


NATICK, Mass. – As the final seconds of the second quarter wound down in Thursday evening’s Div. 1 South first round matchup at Natick’s Memorial Field, King Philip was tied with the hosts at just a single goal apiece. The Warriors had not only been unable to score in the quarter but had gone nearly the full 12 minutes of the second while registering a single shot attempt.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Another defensive stand won the ball back for KP with 11 seconds on the clock. The ball moved quickly to Zach D’Amico and the senior LSM fired a strike from more than 50 yards away to the stick of classmate Tim Watson, who was camped out on the edge of the Natick crease.

Watson fired from a tight angle and scored the go-ahead goal just two seconds before the whistle. It was a lead that KP would not relinquish.

“We make a 50-yard pass with two seconds left and he didn’t even have a really good angle and we score, but then a guy throws a ball five yards in front of net and we drop it,” joked first-year KP coach Jamie Stefanini. “These guys are going to give me a heart attack.”

Sophomore Colin DeVellis scored a pair of goals and added an assist, while Watson scored once and assisted on two others, but it was the lock down defense of the Warriors and the play of senior goalie Paul Macrina (11 saves) that led KP to a 6-3 victory and a possible meeting with top seed BC High.

“Our defense is our backbone. They come in and they play hard,” said Stefanini of a defensive corps led by D’Amico, Conor Khung, and Michael Curtin with Macrina smothering the few chances that the Redhawks managed to create.

“They all play hard and if you saw in the game [Natick] didn’t get good shots,” Stefanini continued. “They were always far away, guys pushing them out…and they weren’t coming close to scoring.”

The defensive effort started right from the opening face-off, as KP went man-down twice inside the opening two minutes. On Natick’s first possession, senior midfielder John DeLuca picked off a pass, setting the tone for the type of defense KP would play all game.

While the defense was shutting down the Redhawks, the offense was struggling to find a rhythm and keep control of the ball. A turnover on an outlet pass created the first goal of the game for the hosts when Chris Burnes got free in transition to make it 1-0.

KP would answer back five minutes later. DeVellis created space for himself on the left side and saw his shot ricochet off the crossbar. The Warriors got the ball right back and the sophomore attackers got a second chance and made no mistake with a rip just inches under the bar.

In the second quarter, KP forced one save from Natick goalie John Carr, but then watched almost every offensive possession end in a turnover. Things were just not clicking on that end of the field until D’Amico stepped in with his pinpoint outlet to Watson.

“Guys are getting open and we’re throwing the ball over their head or we’re making the throw and we’re dropping it,” said Stefanini. “We need to clean that up.”

He added, “These kids want it. They want it bad. It’s up to us as coaches and players to correct these things. We need to catch it and finish.”

KP spent almost the entire halftime on the field taking shots and trying to find that groove on offense and it seemed to work. The Warriors added a third within the first minute of the second half when DeVellis picked out Aiden Bender with a inch-perfect skip pass.

DeLuca struck the post with another good KP chance midway through the quarter but then Natick finally found space to get a goal back. Macrina made two close-range saves but the Redhawks continued to snag the rebound and keep the pressure up. Finally, Billy Tinney was able to squeeze a shot past the Drexel-bound Macrina and the post to make it 3-2.

In the final second of the third, KP appeared to score again. Watson flicked a pass across the Natick defense to Ben Palmer and the senior midfielder leapt and finished but the clock read all zeroes. After a quick conversation, the officials ruled the goal was good and KP went into the fourth up by two.

Macrina came through with a point-blank save on Burnes and, after another save two minutes later, he also spearheaded a quick break that was finished off by DeVellis with a nifty move on the edge of the crease for a 5-2 lead.

The game was far from over as Burnes scored his second of the game with 2:21 remaining to cut the lead to two. Natick won the ensuing possession and caught KP’s defense flat-footed with Burnes racing in untouched for a golden scoring opportunity only for Macrina to read the bounce and make another great stop that sealed the win.

“That was a nice save,” Stefanini said. “He’s so passionate and so motivated about the game and this team. He’s not just a good goalie, but he’s also a great leader and he’s always trying to inspire his teammates. You see it when he plays.”

Nathan Minkwitz added an empty net goal in the final minute to give KP the three-goal advantage, but Stefanini admitted that the Warriors will have to take it up a notch against the top seeded Eagles in the likely second round matchup.

He said, “Their first couple goals were dropped balls by us and now we have an unsettled situation in their favor, especially if we’re looking at playing the No. 1 seed.

They’re going to take advantage and be much better on offense. If we play defense the way we can, we can play with anybody, but the offense needs to be more consistent.”

King Philip (13-8) awaits the winner of BC High and Newton South at a time and date to be determined.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/02/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to 5/3 at 4:15
Franklin @ Milford – Postponed to 5/3 at 4:15
King Philip @ Stoughton – Postponed to 5/5 at 3:30
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to 5/3 at 4:00
North Attleboro @ Foxboro – Postponed to TBD
Taunton @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD

Softball
Canton @ Attleboro – Postponed to 5/3 at 4:00
Foxboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD
Milford @ Franklin – Postponed to 5/3 at 4:30
Stoughton @ King Philip – Postponed to 5/5 at 3:30
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield – Postponed to 5/3 at 4:00
Sharon @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro @ Norton, 3:30

Canton, 12 @ Braintree, 6 – Final – Canton raced out to a 6-1 lead and never looked back in a non-league contest at Braintree. Ben O’Neill scored four goals, including his 100th career goal, passing former Bulldog Pat Ward to become the third highest scorer in program history (103 goals, 49 assists). Shaun Kirby netted a hat trick and had an assist, Dan Dillon scored twice and Mike Shaw, Ryan Lodge and Charlie O’Connor each scored once for Canton.

Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 20 – Final– The Warriors had 13 different players find the back of the net in the big win. Sam Agricola scored all five of his goals in the first quarter while Harry Fallon had one goal and five assists in the same frame. Zach D’Amico and Evan Megura each scored twice for KP while freshmen Aiden Bender and Tyler Bartlett scored their first career goals. Taunton’s Andrew Wellington scored the lone goal for the Tigers.

Mansfield, 16 @ Norwood, 10 – Final

North Attleboro, 4 @ Hopkinton, 12 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 17 @ Norton, 5 – Final

Mansfield, 6 @ Canton, 9 – Final – Canton’s Kathryn Doody made 12 saves in net for the Bulldogs and freshman Leah McClellan netted a hat trick to pace the offense.

Foxboro, 9 vs. Ashland, 6 – FinalClick here for a recap from the game.

King Philip, 19 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Bre Conlon and Abby Kingman each scored goals for Taunton and Kingman also had an assist.

Sharon, 12 vs. Ursuline Academy, 11 – Final

Boys Tennis
Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to 5/10 at 3:45
North Attleboro @ Foxboro – Postponed to TBD
Franklin @ Milford – Postponed to 5/5 at 3:30
King Philip @ Stoughton – Postponed to 5/3 at 3:30
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to 5/10 at 3:30
Taunton @ Sharon – Postponed to 5/3 at 3:45

Girls Tennis
Canton @ Attleboro – Postponed to 5/10 at 3:45
Foxboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD
Milford @ Franklin – Postponed to 5/5 at 3:30
Stoughton @ King Philip – Postponed to 5/3 at 3:30
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield – Postponed to 5/10 at 3:30
Sharon @ Taunton – Postponed to 5/3 at 3:45

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 3 vs. Brockton, 2 – Final – Taunton was just a point away from getting swept by the Boxers, trailing 24-20 in the third game after losing the first two games. But the Tigers clawed back with a 6-0 run to clinch the third game and went on to win the final two to get the win (20-25, 17-25, 26-24, 25-16, 15-10). Taunton received a great all around effort from David Perry, Malik Charles, Lance Law, Lens Esquil, and Collin Hunter. Head coach Toby Chaperon credited Nate Grant for stepping up at setter after Ricardo DaFonseca departed with an injury. Chaperon also noted that Dawid Fusiecki and Jason Khang were solid on defense.