The Campus Report: Recap of Fall 2015

North Attleboro's Alex Jette (7) had a career year for Brown. (Photo: Brown Athletics)
North Attleboro’s Alex Jette (7) had a career year for Brown. (Photo: Brown Athletics)

Below is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail RyanLanigan@HockomockSports.com.
By Josh Schafer, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

Football

The New England Football Conference First Team Defense had a Hockomock flavor this year. Craig Anderson of Franklin led Endicott’s defensive line this year and earned all NEFC First Team honors. Anderson found the quarterback nine times this year along with 44 total tackles. He was also named to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-America Division III football first team with a 3.86 GPA as a criminal justice major.
Oliver Ames alum Dean Soucie led Western New England’s defense in his final season with the Golden Bears, totaling 83 tackles en route to a NEFC Conference Championship and was named to the NEFC First Team Defense. In just his second season with the Bison, Brett McEvoy of King Philip led the Nichols college defense with 96 tackles and two interceptions en route to an NEFC First Team selection.
Several former Hockomock athletes contributed to Bridgewater State’s success this season. The Williamson brothers of Oliver Ames were a dynamic duo once again as Carlton Williamson rushed for over 800 yards averaging 5.2 yards per carry while brother Cameron Williamson shined at the safety position with 37 tackles and 2 interceptions. Senior wideout Michael Viola of King Philip played a major role in the passing game, totaling 35 receptions for 550 yards and six touchdowns this season for the Bears.
Alex Jette of North Attleboro had a standout year for Brown University this season as a wideout and return specialist. Earning All-Ivy League honors, Jette was tops in the league with 136.60 yards per game. Jette led the Bears in receptions with 68 grabs for 928 yards and four touchdowns.
The Castleton State Spartans were led this year by senior Quarterback George Busharis who totaled 2,183 passing yards along with 14 TDs while boasting a 62.6% completion percentage.
The MASCAC also had a lot of Hockomock influence on its conference awards. Stoughton’s Joe Wilder, an offensive lineman for Framingham State, was named to the MASCAC First Team along with Taunton’s Asante Easter. Easter, a standout for Fitchburg Stated, finished off his football career for the Falcons contributing 44 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.
Senior defensive lineman Anthony LaRose of Canton led the UMass Dartmouth defensive line this season with 45 tackles, including seven sacks. He was named to the MASCAC Second Team Defense.
Fitchburg State’s Ty Spencer (Foxboro) shined in his senior season with the Falcons and was named to the MASCAC Second Team Offense. . Spencer caught 55 balls for 688 yards and six TDs. For his career, Spencer finished with the program’s all time marks in receptions (163), receiving yards (2,270) and touchdown catches (21) and was named the  70th annual Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award winner for Division III for his athletic and academic (3.89 GPA) accomplishments.
Brandon Alves of Stoughton finished up a strong career in Springfield this season with 14 tackles including a sack and a forced fumble.
A pair of former Hockomock standouts were honored with All-Northeast 10 honors for the 2015 season. North Attleboro’s Eric Beckwith and King Philip grad Sam McDonald, both members of the Bentley football team, were named to the All-NE-10 second team. Beckwith, who was also on the second team last season, was an anchor on the offensive line for the Falcons. He started in eight games and had 10 appearances at guard. McDonald had a conference-high seven takeaways with five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. It’s the third straight year that the junior led the Falcons in takeaways. North Attleboro’s Paul Norris was selected to the CoSIDA Division II Academic All-America team. Norris is the sixth Academic All-America in Bentley football and just the third first-team selection after earning a 3.60 grade point average as a finance major with minors in both Spanish and natural and applied sciences.
Paul McCarthy of North Attleboro finished his last season at Trinity College with 30 tackles to go along with five interceptions. The former Rocketeer was named to the NESCAC All-Conference First Team Defense.
Mansfield graduates Dylan Finerty and Aurian Dawkins both had strong seasons for Worcester State this fall. Finerty notched 27 tackles while Dawkins had 35 tackles to go along with one interception.
A Hockomock trio dominated the passing game this season at WPI. Quarterback Dan Eckler of Stoughton threw for 2045 yards and 15 TDs with help from his top two targets, Franklin’s Brandon Eccher and Stoughton’s Marcus Middleton. Eccher led the charge with 41 receptions for 644 yards and seven touchdowns including a 96 yard catch and run against Worcester State. Middleton also contributed heavily as Eckler’s other go to target compiling 27 catches for 305 yards and two touchdowns.

Men’s Soccer

Scott Levy of Canton finished up a successful career with the Bentley Falcons this Fall as he earned NE-10 All-League honors and earned a spot on the first team for the second time in his four year career. Levy tied for the team lead in assists with six and also added added goals this season. In his four years Levy started 52 games for the Falcons contributing 46 points with 19 goals and eight assists.
North Attleboro junior midfielder Josh Ocel led the Brandeis Judges into the third round of the NCAA tournament after being named to the UAA Conference First Team. Ocel was selected as a second team All-American leading his squad with four goals and 10 assists, combining for 18 points on the season. Josh Ocel follows his brother Sam Ocel (2013) who was selected as a third team All American. Josh and Sam Ocel are just the second sibling pair in all of Brandies athletics to both get All American recognition.
David MacKinnon of Oliver Ames started 16 games in net for the Hartford Hawks this season. MacKinnon earned a spot on the America East All Academic Team for the third time in his career. MacKinnon had a 1.19 goals against average, including three shutouts and has a 3.93 GPA as an accounting major.
Foxboro alum Sawyer Fleck concluded with Bridgewater State by helping the Bears win the MASCAC Championship game. The Bears qualified for the NCAA tournament but were knocked out by MIT. Fleck played in 20 games and had six assists.
Senior captain Taylor Sjoberg of Mansfield finished up a successful career at Mass Maritime this season. Sjoberg was a rock in the backline for the Bucs over his four years, starting every game this season, and also attributed two goals and an assist in his time as a Buccaneer.
Chris Murray of Canton shined in his final season with WPI this fall. Murray tallied seven goals and 18 points which were both tops on the squad. Murray earned a spot on the NEWMAC All Second Team through his efforts this season.
Former North Attleboro player Justin Freitas broke the Dean College record for goals (24) in a season and for points in a season (58) and was named to an NJCAA DI Third Team All American.

Women’s Soccer

Kristi Kirshe of Franklin led Williams College in scoring this season as the team won the Division III National Title. Kirshe finished the year with 33 points (12 goals and 9 assists) earning second team All-Region.
After transferring to Boston College, Lauren Berman of Canton had an impressive first campaign with the Eagles. Berman finished fourth on the team in scoring with three goals and four assists.
Mikayla Williams of Stoughton played her last games on the back line for Coastal Carolina this Fall..Williams has been a consistent player for the Chanticleers logging over a 1000 minutes a season for the past three seasons and also contributing two goals and four assists.
Another former Black Knight had a standout year at Massasoit. Shelby Sprague was named an NJCAA Second Team All American after scoring 25 goals and picking up 54 total points. Sprague was the first Warrior to get All American since 1991.
Junior forward Victoria Floeck of Taunton led the charge up front this year for the Fitchburg State Falcons. Floeck had two goals and three assists totaling to seven points on the season putting atop the Falcons scoring sheet.
With 27 points (11 goals and five assists) senior Alicia Macomber of Stoughton was electrifying for Worcester State in her final season. Macomber was named the MASCAC Player of the Year for the second straight year after another strong season.

Field Hockey

Senior Abigail Tepper of Foxboro will be missed in a big way next fall. Tepper led the team with 68 points (30 goals, 8 assists). Her outstanding senior campaign landed her on the First Team All-Region squad and was named Player of the Year for the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
Franklin’s Allison Burke had a solid year between the posts for UMass Dartmouth this Fall. She finished the year with 1.62 GAA including two shutouts.
Mansfield’s Janet Maher helped lead the back line for Bridgewater State this year. In her only her second season as a Bear, she was named to the Little East Conference All-Second Team.
Earning a spot on the Coaches Association All New England East Region All-Star Team Katie Notarangelo of Foxboro led the midfield for MIT this past season. Notarangelo also contributed two goals and an assist this season.
Sammy Rondeau of Franklin proved consistent this season for Simmons College as she averaged just over a point a game for the Sharks. Rondeau finished the year with 23 points (nine goals, five assists).
Fellow Panther alumni Elizabeth Alie found her stride this fall at Saint Anselm College. Alie led the backline for the Hawks as the team boasted their boasted GAA in program history. Alie earned NE-10 All Conference First Team honors along with second team All-American honors.

Volleyball

It was a banner year for Babson volleyball and Franklin graduate Alicia Wilde played a vital role. Wilde had 273 kills, third on the team, for the Beavers who tied the program record for wins in a season. Playing for coach Eric Neely (brother of current Franklin boys basketball coach CJ Neely), Wilde finished her career with 944 kills and 569 digs.
Former North Attleboro star Kelsey Weymouth concluded a strong four-year career for Stonehill. The two-time Hockomock League MVP finished her career with 707 kills (224 coming her senior year) and 839 digs.
It was another year of Hockomock alums playing a big role for WPI volleyball. King Philip graduate Melissa Daigle was second on the team in kills with 250 (just one kill behind the team-leader) while also adding 148 digs. Franklin’s Shay Feeley was the team leader in assists with 441 and added 166 digs and 12 kills while Oliver Ames’ Caroline Meyer had 42 assists.

The Campus Report: Former Teammates Face Off

Framingham State's Joe Wilder and Westfield State's Pat Raeke, friends and former Stoughton teammates, went head to head this weekend. (Courtesy photo)
Framingham State’s Joe Wilder and Westfield State’s Pat Raeke, friends and former Stoughton teammates, went head to head this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Below is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail RyanLanigan@HockomockSports.com.

Football

It was a matchup of friends and former teammates over the weekend as Framingham State’s Joey Wilder and Westfield State’s Pat Raeke started on opposite sides of the ball. Both members of the Class of 2014 at Stoughton High, Wilder starts at left tackle on the Rams’ offensive line and Raeke starts as a defensive tackle for Owls. Raeke was able to record his second sack of the season but it was Wilder and Framingham that walked away with a 35-7 win for their fifth victory of the year.
King Philip graduate and current Bentley junior Sam McDonald was tabbed as the Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week. McDonald had two interceptions in the victory, along with four tackles. His first pick set up a go-ahead touchdown for the Falcons in the second quarter and his second locked up the win with 17 seconds left. McDonald now has 12 career interceptions, which is the most for any NCAA D2 junior in the national and is ninth in program history.
One week ago, Bridgewater State’s Carlton Williamson won the MASCAC Play of the Week for his kick return for a touchdown. Now his 35 yard touchdown run is in the running again this week. The OA alum had 20 carries for 94 yards while KP alum Michael Viola hauled in one pass for 28 yards. Meanwhile, Cameron Williamson had four tackles, including one for a loss, and an interception and 34 yard return. Canton’s Anthony LaRose was strong for UMass Dartmouth in the loss with eight tackles, a pair of tackles and three total tackles for loss while Mansfield David Collins also had eight tackles.
North Attleboro grad Alex Jette continued his stellar start to his sophomore season with one of his best performances in his career. In Brown’s 25-24 win over Holy Cross, Jette hauled in 16 passes (ninth most in program history for a single game) for 216 yards. He ranks fourth nationally in the FCS in receptions per game (8.5) and eighth in in receiving yards per game (111.5). Jette was named the Brown Student-Athlete of the Week.
Castleton’s George Busharis had an efficient day under center, going 19-26 for 184 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 34-14 win over Mount Ida. The former Mansfield standout tossed a 20 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Fellow Mansfield alum James Comer had seven tackles for Mount Idea with one going for a loss of three yards.
Foxboro’s Tyler Spancer had a team-high five catches for Fitchburg State over the weekend while Taunton’s Asante Eater notched nine tackles and had a fumble recovery and an interception and return of 63 yards. Mansfield graduate Aurian Dawkins had three tackles in the loss for Worcester State.
WPI football bounced back from its lone two losses of the season with a close win over Union this weekend. Unsurprisingly, it was a pair of Hockomock alums that guided the way on offense. Stoughton graduate Dan Eckler was 17-33 with 155 yards, rushed for 95 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown and threw for two touchdowns. Both of Eckler’s touchdown passes went to Franklin graduate Brandon Eccher, who hauled in seven catches for 80 yards. Eckler also linked up with former high school teammate Marcus Middleton, who had three catches for 40 yards.

Boys Soccer

Canton grad Scott Levy scored his third goal of the season in the 25th minute of Bentley’s 2-1 victory over Southern Connecticut on Tuesday. He also had a pair of assists on Saturday in the Falcons’ 2-1 win against Le Moyne. Bentley has won three in a row and Levy is second on the team with three goals and tied for first on the team with four assists and 10 points.

Josh Ocel of North Attleboro, a junior midfielder at Brandeis, was named the University Athletic Association Player of the Week for men’s soccer last week. Ocel recorded his second career two-assist game in a 2-1 win against Case Western Reserve (both off corner kicks). His seven assists this season are tied for first in the UAA and in the top 40 across Div. III. He leads the Judges (10-1-1) in scoring and his assist against Mass. Maritime moved him into the school’s top 25 all-time.

Attleboro’s Dominik Machado notched his second goal of the season for Providence College in a 3-0 win over No. 24 Xavier, which was the first Big East win and first win over a ranked opponent this season for the Friars (5-4-1).

Girls Soccer

A trio of former Stoughton players are leading Massasoit women’s soccer towards a New England Championship game appearance. Shelby Sprague scored a pair of goals on Monday in an 8-0 win against Monroe College JV and her former teammates Courtney Wagner added a pair of assists and Emily Morgan made her ninth start in 10 games played in the Massasoit defense. Massasoit is poised for a return to the title game to face Holyoke Community College.

Another former Stoughton player, Alicia Macomber, scored a goal in Worcester State’s 3-0 win over MCLA on Saturday. Macomber, the reigning conference player of the year, also scored in a 2-1 overtime loss to Keene State three days earlier. She is tied for the team lead with five goals and leads the Lancers with 11 points.

Canton grad Kim McNally scored her first career goal for Sacred Heart in a 3-2 loss to Robert Morris last Friday. McNally hit a first time shot off a corner kick into the top corner to tie the game at 2-2. A sophomore defender, McNally has played in all 13 games this season and started 11.

Sharon grad Meg James has started all 13 games in defense for the University of Vermont, making it 48 straight starts for the former Eagle. James was named to the America East Honor Roll last year and has helped the Catamounts to a 6-5-2 start and 3-1-1 in the league, which is the program’s best start in the America East since 2001.

Volleyball

Alicia Wilde recorded 14 kills to lead Babson to a five-set win over Emerson on Tuesday. The Beavers rallied from two sets down to get the win, which was the 100th for head coach Eric Neely (brother to Franklin boys’ basketball coach C.J. Neely). On Saturday, Wilde had nine kills and three blocks as the Beavers beat Colby-Sawyer in four sets. She is second on the team with 164 kills on the season.

Julia Murphy led UMass Boston with 10 kills and .474 hitting percentage in a three-set win over Southern Maine. The former Canton player added 12 kills and three blocks in a win against Plymouth State. The junior middle hitter is second on the team with 145 kills and leads with 25 blocks.

Melissa Daigle was named the NEWMAC Volleyball Player of the Week, becoming the first WPI player to earn that honor since 2010. Daigle totaled 59 kills in a 4-0 week for the Engineers, including a five-set win over Babson. The sophomore from King Philip had highs of 18 kills against Babson and 17 against Smith and added 20 digs and six blocks this week. Daigle is second on the team with 175 kills to help WPI to a 15-5 record.

Freshman Chidera Nwankwo recorded 19 kills on Tuesday with a program-best .760 hitting percentage to help Suffolk University beat Pine Manor in four sets, The middle hitter from Canton recorded the most kills by a Suffolk player in more than two years. Nwankwo is the team-leader with 122 kills this season.

Field hockey

Salve Regina field hockey tied a program record with its eighth straight win on Tuesday, The Seahawks are led by former Foxboro player Abby Tepper, who scored her 20th goal of the season in Tuesday’s win against Bridgewater State. That breaks the program’s single-season record for goals, which Tepper set last season when she totaled 19. Lindsey Venuto, also of Foxboro, added a goal for the Seahwaks, her sixth of the season. On Monday, Tepper was also named the CCC Offensive Player of the Week for the third straight week. She scored four goals and had two assist in a pair of conference wins and became Salve Regina’s all-time leading scorer in a shutout of Western New England. She is third in the country in Div. III for goals per game at 1.58.

Another former Warrior scored her second goal of the season for MIT to help the Engineers to a 5-0 win over Clark University. Sophomore Katie Notarangelo had her one-timer from a corner deflected by a defender’s stick into the back of the net for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Madeline Hoffman of Mansfield scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime to lead Fitchburg State to a 3-2 win at Framingham State. The junior hit a one-timer off a corner to give the Falcons the win. Hoffman is tied for second on the team with four goals this season.

The UMass Dartmouth field hockey team has won its last two games and several former Hockomock players have contributed. Sophomore goalie Allison Burke of Franklin made one big save to preserve a 2-1 win over Westfield State and two saves in the shutout of Framingham State. In the 6-0 win over the Rams, junior Katelin Morrissey (Taunton) and Allie Kane (Attleboro) each scored goals. Morrissey also led the team with five shots in the game.

Golf

Chestnut Hill College golf won the Griffin Invitational for the second time in as many years on Tuesday, Canton alum Sam Riemer shared the lead with the low round of 70. The sophomore was one of the reasons that Chestnut Hill pulled out a 16-stroke win. Riemer shot a 159 over two days of the Revolutionary Collegiate Classic, including an eagle in the final round. Chestnut Hill came from behind to win the tournament by six strokes.

Oliver Ames grad Nick Carter shot a season low 71 on Saturday to help St. Anselm golf take 10th place in the Saint Rose Shootout in Albany, N.Y. The sophomore matched the low round of the season for the Hawks.

Stoughton Alum Becomes Star at Worcester State

Alicia Macomber
Worcester State senior Alicia Macomber comes into this season as the reigning MASCAC Player of the Year. (Courtesy of Worcester State Athletics)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

Last fall, Stoughton alum Alicia Macomber had a season for the ages. The junior striker set a Worcester State record with 18 goals and led the Lancers to a 14-4-1 record, including a perfect 7-0 in the MASCAC. Macomber added a pair of goals in the overtime win against Bridegwater State in the conference tournament semifinal and the lone goal in the final against Westfield State.

Her remarkable season was recognized by the league, as she was named MASCAC Tournament MVP, MASCAC First Team, and the MASCAC Player of the Year.

It was a long way from the high school player who was recruited to Worcester State to run track, from the freshman who was moved to outside midfielder rather than her natural striker position, and from the player who spent two seasons sharing time on the pitch without claiming a regular role.

“I worked out and ran every day for three months and went to the gym, played soccer all summer,” explained Macomber, who enters the season as the program’s fourth leading scorer with 31 career goals. 

She added, “I came in very, very prepared for knowing that I was playing a different position… Last year was me having to step up and play striker and score the goals for the team.”

Macomber did not start off the 2014 season with visions of winning the Player of the Year, especially after she failed to find the back of the net in the opening two games. But, in game three against Rhode Island College, she netted a hat trick in a 9-0 win. She would go on to score two next time out against WPI and one in each of the two that followed.

“There was a progression of games where I was scoring more and more,” she reflected. “I had to have the confidence knowing that I was one of the players that the team was counting on to score. So, once it started hitting the back of the net I knew that I had to keep doing it.”

As the season wore on and the goals continued to pour in, Macomber was regularly honored by the league with its Player of the Week awards. “At one point I got three in a row,” she said, “and I remember thinking that maybe I could win Player of the Year.”

“I always wanted that title.”

On the day that the awards were to be handed out, Macomber sat in front of her computer in her room hitting refresh for most of the day in hope that her name would pop up on the screen. She laughed and added, “Then I saw the headline. I was in my room, it was a great feeling.”

When asked if she thought coming into college that she would win Player of the Year awards, Macomber replied that it was “beyond” anything she could have imagined. She had set the Stoughton High 55-meter hurdles record and was expected to run track at Worcester State until she convinced soccer coach Kevin Cumberbatch to watch a few of her club games with Mass Premier and a few of her performances for the Black Knights.

It was a reverse of the typical recruiting situation but it worked for Macomber who impressed the coaching staff enough that she took her turn on the pitch rather than the track when she arrived in Worcester.

One part of her dream was fulfilled, but there were still frustrations when she joined the program. As a freshman, Macomber was pushed into a new role on the right side of midfield and she struggled to understand her new responsibilities. Her sophomore season was similar as she split time with a starting senior.

“That’s what I’ve always played,” said Macomber, “so when I started out at outside mid it was very different for me because I had never played that position. I feel more at home as the striker up top.”

Given the chance last fall to make the forward position her own, Macomber jumped in with both feet. She prepared all summer in the gym and on the field, but she also developed physically and became, in her words, a more “mature” player.

She explained, “I feel like it’s all about maturity. My body has matured and it’s very different coming from high school soccer to college soccer is a big leap. It’s a lot more physical and it’s a lot more challenging, fast-paced.”

“It was finally good to achieve everything that I wanted to in one season.”

The Lancers also had an experienced core of six seniors, including Attleboro alum Margo Clifford, who dominated the midfield and helped create the chances that Macomber put away.

This year presents new challenges for the senior captain. Not only is she expected to repeat her 2014 season and contend again for MASCAC Player of the Year, while being hounded by the opposition defense, but she is also expected to be the leader of the young Lancers on and off the field.

“Coming in this season I feel like there are people looking at me to lead the team and basically repeat what I did last year,” she said. “If I don’t achieve what i did last year then it will be a little bit of a downer for me.”

When asked if she was feeling any pressure from those expectations, Macomber admitted, “Oh yeah. It’s a lot.”

“It’s a lot of pressure because we have nine freshman on the team this year. They’re looking at what i did and wanting me to repeat it. It’s a different role; I’m not just playing now I have to be a role model.”

Few star players can provide as much advice to young teammates about the need to keep working hard and to take their chances when presented.

“I tell them that if they are working hard, coach will know and he will play you,” said Macomber. “I tell them not to get down on themselves if they’re not playing as much as they want to because they’re going to get their chance to show coach what they can do.”

“They look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them the first two years I didn’t start.”

After Worcester State opened the season with a defeat to Wheaton, the Lancers bounced back with a comfortable win at RIC, with Macomber picking up an assist, and then she scored her first of the season to provide the win at MIT.

She is also looking to finish her degree in Criminal Justice with the goal of attending law school in two years. Her experiences on the pitch have given her confidence that she can face what the future holds whether it’s the opposition for the rest of the season or life after college.

“I’ve grown up a lot,” Macomber said. “I think that I’ve done the work I needed to in order to come that far. There’s nothing stopping me from going farther than I expect.”

Worcester State is currently 2-1-1 and will face crosstown rival WPI on Tuesday.