MANSFIELD, Mass. – While it is only about a third of the way through the league campaign, Monday night’s meeting between unbeaten Mansfield and Franklin at Alumni Field was an opportunity for one of the Kelley-Rex’s perennial powers to grab a slim advantage at the top of the table.
It was a opportunity that the defending division champion Hornets would not pass up. Mansfield dominated large portions of the game, created the majority of the few scoring chances that either team managed, and came away with a 3-0 victory that puts it one game up on the Panthers and King Philip.
“We played very well,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith after the game. “It’s good to play like that against a really quality opponent.”
As expected from a meeting between these two programs, the game was combative and fast-paced, but neither team was able to find space for a shot against two well-organized defensive units (the top two defensive teams in the league).
The game changed in the 14th minute when senior Taylor Smith played a long ball out of the back that bounced past the Franklin center backs and into the path of Kerina Geminiani. The junior beat Franklin keeper Cat Robbins to the ball and touched it past her into the open net.
“There’s so much pressure on the defense,” said Franklin coach Tom Geysen, “and eventually someone is going to make a mistake and something bad is going to happen. Even if it’s not your fault, something is going to go wrong with all that pressure in the back.”
The first half was limited in offensive chances for either team. Stephanie Kemp had a shot easily saved by Robbins in the 25th minute, but it was one of only two saves that the keeper was forced into in the game. Meanwhile the Mansfield defense bottled up Franklin midfielder Molly Duncan and held the Panthers without an attempt on goal in the opening 40 minutes.
“We’re getting there,” said Smith about the defense, including Erin Daniel and Mikaela Maughn on the outside and Emily Vigeant and Taylor Smith in the middle. “There’s still a couple breakdowns here or there, lack of concentration, but we’re getting there.”
The defense also popped up with a goal for the Hornets. In the 38th minute, Vigeant lined up a 35-yard free kick. Her effort took a deflection off the end of the Panthers wall and bounced past the dive of Robbins for a 2-0 lead at half.
Smith admitted that goal was important for the Hornets heading into the break. He said, “It would’ve been weird to go in with that much possession, but again give Franklin credit. They really limited us, we didn’t have a lot of shots in the first half, and that’s a credit to their defense.”
Franklin made a change of system at halftime to try and give more of a challenge in the midfield. It seemed to work, as the Panthers got their first shot two minutes after the break when freshman Erin Quaile had her shot saved by Lauren Whitman.
Four minutes later, the Panthers nearly got back into the game. Jess Kroushl stole the ball in the midfield and showed off the speed that has made her a track standout to create a chance on the break. Her first effort was blocked and Duncan’s follow-up effort was also blocked by the retreating Mansfield defense.
“When they changed back to four in the middle,” Smith explained, “they overran us a little in the midfield and we had to make some adjustments and find the length in the corners. Once we did that, we could expand them and find space in the middle.”
With seven minutes left to play, the Hornets wrapped up the points. Smith played a long free kick into Allee Bezeau in the box and the senior forward flicked the ball across goal to the back post. Bryn Anderson ran onto it and calmly finished with one touch.
Kroushl gave the Panthers one more chance to ruin Mansfield’s clean sheet but her breakaway with two minutes remaining was stymied by a sliding Whitman, who managed to get a toe on the ball.
“They continued to fight hard,” Geysen said, “but we obviously need to make some changes because we didn’t generate much offense at all. We need to find ways to create some offense to take the pressure off the defense.”
Smith was happy to get the lead in the division, however slim it may be.
“Any kind of cushion gives you a little bit of breathing room,” he said, “but this league is so good…I think out of our last 10 games, seven are against above .500 teams. We might as well start the state tournament now, it’s that kind of quality.”
Mansfield (6-0) will get another top of the table test on Thursday when it plays host to second place King Philip. Franklin (5-1-1) will also be back in action on Thursday when the Panthers host Attleboro.
2016 Record: 2-15-1 2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Santos
Goal scoring has been the biggest issue for the Bombardiers in the past few seasons, including a league-low eight in 2016, but head coach Steve Santos is confident that this year’s squad has the speed and experience to take advantage of counter attacks and he expects Attleboro to create a lot more scoring chances this fall.
While goal scoring is a focus of the preseason work, it is at the back that Attleboro boasts the most experience with the entire back line returning. Senior Jordyn Forte is the leader at the back, using her “good soccer IQ,” according to Santos, to keep things calm and making the right plays. She is joined in the defense by fellow seniors Morgan Laplume and Graycen Cassidy. In goal, Madison Brown returns to give Attleboro a solid presence to control the penalty box.
Turning that defense into attack will be the responsibility of senior midfielder Julia Hayes, who will be a key player in the center of the pitch. Junior Ashley Lauzier and senior Kara Thornton will be hoping to take advantage of the opportunities that are created. Santos is also excited about the youth coming into the program with three freshman on the varsity roster to start, including Riley Harnois, who will help out in the attack.
“We have a little more speed this year,” said Santos, “and we’ve been generating a little more in the transition. This year I can rest [the starters], bring people off the bench and the pace doesn’t drop off. They’re great kids, they work hard, and they fight for the team every day.”
2015 Record: 10-3-5 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Tom Geysen
After six straight league titles, Franklin had an atypical season in 2016. The Panthers only lost three times all season, but drew five times, struggling to find consistent goal scoring that would turn a tie into a win. Franklin only allowed nine goals, but only scored 36, which was 20 goals fewer than league champ Mansfield. This year, head coach Tom Geysen is working on a new formation to get the best out of his attacking options with the goal of returning to the top of the league standings.
The Panthers return leading scorer Miranda Smith and the senior takes advantage of her size to create scoring opportunities in the box. Junior Halle Atkinson is back for her third year on the varsity and gives Franklin speed on the wings and is an accurate crosser of the ball to give Smith plenty of chances. Molly Duncan and Ellie Teixeira are also back and will give the Panthers a consistent presence in the center of midfield, while Emily Mastaj is another option on the wing.
The key to Franklin’s defense this season will be senior goalie Cat Robbins. Stepping in between the posts last year, Robbins turned in an impressive year and quickly became one of the top goalies in the league. This year, there will be several new faces and younger players that will be counted on to step up on the defensive side of the ball, including senior Molly O’Reilly and juniors Grace Gallo and Madison Stewart.
Geysen noted that there are several underclassmen that could step in during the season to add to the Panthers’ depth. He added, “We need to find the right mix. If we can patch things together and they can gain experience over the course of the season I’m confident that we will get better.”
2016 Record: 12-8-2 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Gary Pichel
It was a great turnaround for King Philip from 2015 to 2016. The Warriors were snakebitten by injuries the year before, losing almost an entire starting 11 many of them to long-term injuries, but last year a large and talented freshman class stepped in to supplement the players who were back healthy helping the program jump from just two wins to 12 last fall.
Expectations are even higher for the Warriors this year, as that freshman group gained a year of experience playing in the Hock. The sophomores are led by Avery Snead, last year’s Underclassman of the Year, who excelled up front or in the midfield and sealed the team’s playoff victory over Mansfield with an overtime headed winner. Chloe Layne showed off silky skills and finishing ability in the box and Olivia Berry stepped right into the heart of the defense and showed that she belonged.
It is not all about the underclassmen. Senior Emma Corcoran is back for another year at the heart of the defense and as the primary dead ball specialist, being named an Eastern Mass. All-Star in 2016. Senior Emma Durant has grown into the role of starting keeper and was a solid and steady presence between the posts last season. Senior Julian Massarone is a three-year varsity player and will be one of the primary playmakers in the center of the pitch.
“Overall, we made great strides in improving our game last year,” said KP coach Gary Pichel. “We want to continue to become more advanced in all three phases of our game. Last year, we turned a corner. This year, we want to move full speed ahead and compete hard against all of our opponents in the Hock!”
2016 Record: 14-1-4 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Kevin Smith
Mansfield is coming off the program’s best ever season. The Hornets set records for wins, points, goals scored and claimed their first ever league title, finishing the regular season unbeaten. An overtime loss in the first round of the playoffs to league rival KP was a tough finish to 2016 and trying to replace the production of HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Hannah Reiter will be a challenge, but the Hornets return a ton of talent to make a run at another title.
Juniors Melissa Reef (an Eastern Mass. All-Star last season) and Bryn Anderson will be back in the midfield this fall, breaking up opponents’ attacks and pushing Mansfield into the attack. Their ability to cover a lot of ground in the center of the pitch and pick out the right pass to start the transition will be key. Classmate Stephanie Kemp will be back at the top of the attack, after scoring nine goals as a sophomore. Junior Emily Vigeant will lead an experienced defensive unit and also gives the Hornets a dangerous weapon from set pieces.
Mansfield coach Kevin Smith likes has a lot of players that he can call on this season. In the attack, Kemp will be joined by Sydney Mulkern, Allee Bezeau, Amanda Mangano, Cassidy MacMahon, and Emma Oldow. Defensively, the Hornets will turn to Mikaela Maughn, Kerina Geminiani, Erin Daniel and goalkeeper Lauren Whitman.
Smith said, “We will be hoping to spread out the offense amongst multiple attackers and relying on the experience of 13 juniors and three seniors who were on varsity last year to fill the roles of the five starters who graduated.”
Last fall, Oliver Ames made the switch from the Davenport to the Kelley-Rex division, but it had little effect on the success of the program. The Tigers shared the league title with Mansfield, the fourth title in a row for OA and seventh since 2007. That run of success may be tough to keep going this year, as the Tigers graduated 10 seniors and are battling injuries to start 2017.
Losing players like Francesca Calabraro (who was injured midway through last season) and Kiana Lozzi is tough enough, but the Tigers lost almost an entire starting 11. To make matters worse, the strong central defensive pairing of Emily Freeman (knee) and Zoe Chazan (academy) are both missing to start the season. Senior goalie Regan Benton is back and will give the Tigers one of the best goalies in the league and in Eastern Mass. to backstop the rebuilt defense.
Offensively, the Tigers have been known for pace and strength, particularly on set pieces, and this year will count on three senior to try and provide consistent scoring opportunities. The pacy group of Abby Reardon, Jackie Mills, Annabella Walsh will be the primary focus of the attack. There will be a lot of new faces on the pitch this season, trying to keep the legacy of OA success going for another fall.
“We have quite a few players who had limited minutes last year,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer, “but they practiced against some good players every day. If we can stay healthy I feel confident.”
It has been a roller coaster ride for the Tigers over the past few seasons under head coach Edith Dixon. In 2015, Taunton reached the postseason for the first time in program history and made it count by beating Wellesley on the road in the opening round and gave top seed Bishop Feehan a tough game in the second round. But, after losing a number of players to graduation, Taunton won only three games last season and are looking to bounce back behind a young roster in 2017.
The key for the Tigers is senior Samantha Tichelaar, who is coming off a league all-star and HockomockSports.com Best XI season, and gives Taunton speed, control, and leadership either as a forward or dropping deep into the midfield. Her versatility opens opportunities for her teammates. Classmate Kayla Felix will be the leader at the back for the Tigers, adding aggressiveness to the defense from her sweeper position.
Numbers are good for the program overall and Dixon expects that the younger players, including a strong crop of freshman and even eighth graders could make an impact on the varsity as the season goes along. She said that many of the younger players are “ahead of their age performance-wise.”
Dixon added, “Some of our younger players are going to step up and change how we play, but our upperclassman and seniors will remain the core of our team. I believe that their leadership and team-first mentality will push us to do well this year and set the program up for long-term success as the underclassmen mature.”
MANSFIELD, Mass. – It looked as though Sunday evening’s playoff game was over in the final seconds of regulation. With the clock stopped at 2:00 and everyone waiting for the official’s whistle, Emma Oldow got free on the right side and sent in a curling cross just past the dive of King Philip goalie Emma Durant and onto the foot of Amanda Mangano at the back post.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, the sophomore forward had strayed just offsides and the celebrations of the home fans were cut short. Six minutes into the first overtime period and there was another celebration, this time from the traveling supporters behind the benches at Alumni Field.
Emma Corcoran’s deep corner to the back post was met by freshman Avery Snead, who nodded it back across the net and inside the far corner for a ‘golden goal’. The Warriors had pulled the upset over their league rivals, avenged two losses in the regular season, and ended the Hornets unbeaten season in the first round of the tournament.
“We practice all week on these corners and setting up the girls,” said KP coach Gary Pichel after his team’s 2-1 victory. “[Avery] came through with a huge one, just a huge one! It looked like it was going to go too deep and she was right where she needed to be.
He added with a laugh, “I thought I was going to have a stroke out there or something.”
Pichel was asked about his team talk before the overtime period and how he got the Warriors to refocus after being so close to having the season end on Mangano’s disallowed goal. He responded, “I didn’t even focus on that, didn’t even talk about it. I just told them what we needed to do for this overtime period.”
Mansfield coach Kevin Smith could only shake his head after the game. He had said before the game started that KP had improved over the course of the season and was a very dangerous opponent to have in the first round. He was proved right.
“We had a lot of chances,” he said. “Their goalie made some great saves, we missed a couple outside the post, Corcoran was great in their defense…it was a great game.”
The Warriors struck first in the 14th minute. Rachel Hogan got to a loose ball on the right corner of the penalty area and was brought down when she got a step on her defender. Corcoran stepped up and calmly dispatched the penalty into the top corner, leaving Mansfield goalie Emily Gaumond with no chance.
After falling behind, Mansfield was spurred into the attack and had several chances for the equalizer before the break. Stephanie Kemp had the first good chance when she ran onto a ball behind the defense from Hannah Reiter but Durant was off her line quickly to smother. Oldow saw a shot sail just wide of the post and then Kemp again got in behind the defense but her effort missed the corner by inches.
“Our seniors are such good leaders,” said Smith about the conversation down 1-0 at halftime. “They said, guys we’re yelling at each other and we don’t need to, we’re fine. I didn’t need to talk, they took care of it. They’ve set a leadership culture that they’re relaxed out there.”
In the 53rd minute, the Hornets evened the score with a golazo from sophomore defender Emily Vigeant. After a foul 40 yards from goal, Vigeant put her laces into the free kick and hit a laser just under the crossbar and past a helpless Durant to make it 1-1.
With the scores level, KP took a timeout to regroup and with the impetus on them to score again suddenly found their footing in the second half. Snead had the best chance after good footwork opened space for a shot that curled just wide. Maddie Smith created another chance with a steal in midfield and Chloe Layne’s one-touch pass freed Hogan but her shot was dragged wide.
Smith played a big role for the Warriors on Sunday, as she was tasked with marking Reiter, the Quinnipiac University-commit who was voted the league’s MVP this week. Pichel said, “She was questioning whether she could be more of a part of the offense but I told her it’s really critical to mark Hannah because she’s the field general out there.”
With six minutes left to play, Oldow sent in an angled cross that Durant stopped in the far corner but could not handle cleanly. The loose ball was prodded into the side netting by Allee Bezeau. Six minutes later, Mangano had her chance only to be denied by the whistle.
Smith said, “They bent and didn’t break until the free kick and we couldn’t find that toe poke in.”
In overtime, Snead rose highest. The freshman has been KP’s leading scorer this season and no goal has been bigger than the one she scored on Sunday.
“I told them that we could be the team that beat them,” said Pichel. “I told them they’d have to play the game of their lives and they’d have to give 150 percent…and they did. I’m so proud of them.
“It’s a culmination in the second half of the season of us gaining confidence, believing in what we can do as a team.”
While the season has come to a close for the Hornets (14-1-4), Smith reflected on what has been by almost every measure the best fall in the 29-year history of the program.
“Regular season undefeated, first league title ever, set records for goals scored…we’ve set almost every record in school history this year,” he said. “I’m proud of them for all that they’ve accomplished and it stinks that I don’t get to practice with them any more.”
King Philip (12-7-2) will get the chance to avenge two more regular season losses on Wednesday afternoon with a trip to another league rival, Oliver Ames.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final– Ahijah Joseph gave Attleboro the lead with an 18th minute goal, an advantage the Bombardiers took into the halftime break. Franklin senior Hatim Brahimi found the equalizer in the 69th minute to level the scoring.
Canton, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Canton sophomore Paolo Ruggeri scored in the final minutes of the came to complete the Bulldogs’ comeback. Foxboro’s Anthony Barreira and Jeff Melo scored goals in the first half as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead into halftime. But Canton senior Ben Waterhouse cut into the lead with a goal in the 52nd minute and sophomore Paul Corcoran tied the game in the 55th minute. Ruggeri was able to convert with under two minutes to play for the game winner.
King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Sophomore Tony Bozza netted his first career goal in the opening minutes of the contest off an assist from Thomas Lugten and Lugten doubled the lead before the halfway mark of the first half to lead King Philip. Bozza used a one time finish off a pass from Lugten to put KP up 1-0 in the 2nd minute. Lugten then took a flick from Colby Koch and tucked his chance into the net from inside the area. KP head coach Nick Gale said his back four of Jack Bush, Cam Mullins, Ryan Coulter and Larsen Keys had a strong defensive game in front of goalie Eli O’Neill, who had a strong game against Mansfield’s set pieces.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Pedro Sampaio netted a pair of second half goals to lead the Scarlet Hawks to their second straight win. Sampaio converted a penalty kick to put Milford up 1-0 and then carried possession across the edge of the area before firing in his second of the game.
Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Joe Cerqueira and Nathaniel Cardoza each scored in the first half for Oliver Ames. James Gillespie assisted on Cerqueira’s goal and Chris Lawrence set up Cardoza’s goal.
Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 4 – Final– Sharon cashed in on a pair of corner kicks to build a 2-0 lead at halftime and converted on a free kick for a 3-0 advantage early in the second half. Andrew Reyes Jones opened the scoring, converting a corner from Michael Baur. Jeffrey Gao doubled the lead, finishing off another corner from Baur. Ben Stamm headed home a free kick from Ian Camilli to make it 3-0. Stoughton responded with a pair of goals with sophomore Fabio Ponce De Leon finishing a lofted pass from Tyler Melo coming first and Jordan Asnes finishing a cross from Goddy Fombe to make it 3-2. Camilli iced the game with his second point of the game with a strike from just outside the area to cap the scoring.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Miranda Smith scored twice and assisted on the third goal for the Panthers. Jess Kroushl added a goal and an assist and Emily Mastaj had an assist for Franklin.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final
Mansfield, 5 @ King Philip, 1 – Final– Emma Oldow scored once and had two assists, Allee Bezeau netted a pair of goals and Emma Goulet and Steph Kemp each scored once and had an assist in Mansfield’s win. Avery Snead scored for King Philip.
Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Milford converted a corner kick to pick up a tie on the road at North Attleboro. Nicole Dahlgren scored off of Maddie Boyle’s corner for the Scarlet Hawks. Milford head coach Jay Mastaj praised the two-way play of Ashleigh Starks and Maggie Boyle.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Anna Tempestoso, Kiana Lozzi and Abby Reardon were the goal scorers for OA and Zoe Chazon added two assists for the Tigers. Samantha Tichelaar scored for Taunton.
Sharon, 11 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Sharon’s Alex Rabb registered her third hat trick of the season to lead the Eagles while Ally Filipkowski, Jessie Tarnoff and Amanda Klayman each scored two goals apiece. Ally Steinberg and Maxine Gordon each scored once for Sharon.
Mansfield, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Mansfield picked up a 25-16, 20-25, 28-26, 25-19 win on the road at Oliver Ames. Olivia Broyles had nine blocks and four kills for the Hornets while Chloe Peters added 20 service points and Jess Haradon and Jacey Anderson combined for 20 digs. Oliver Ames’ Bridget McCarthy had 27 assists and five aces and Maya Fetcho added 11 kills.
Milford, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Sharon junior Jess Allan led the Eagles’ offense with nine kills and Cori Jermyn added seven kills.
Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Maggie Malloy accounted for all of the scoring in the game, scoring a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Jaclyn Brion scored the lone goal of the game with eight minutes remaining to earn Foxboro’s fifth straight victory.
Sharon, 181 @ Stoughton, 192 – Final – Max Avratin was the match medalist, shooting a low-round of 44 to lead Sharon. Cam Doherty and Zach Gay led Stoughton, both shooting a round of 47.
Taunton, 191 @ Milford, 154 – Final – Three Milford golfers broke 40 on the day to pace the Scarlet Hawks to the win. Ryan Tomaso carded a low round of 35 while Anthony Arcudi shot 38 and Tylor Renaud carded a round of 39.
Canton, 153 @ North Attleboro, 149 – Final– Four different golfers shot under 40 for the Rocketeers to edge Canton in a key Davenport division showdown. Robbie Congdon shot a 36, David Colasanti shot a 37 and Dylan Kane and Tyler Sinacola both shot 38 in the win. Canton’s Matt Minichiello was the match medalist, carding a low round of 35.
Cross Country Boys
Sharon, 22 @ Canton, 33 – Final
Franklin, 2 @ Milford, 0 – Final– Farley Asmath scored both goals for the Panthers, with both coming in the second half. Asmath’s first strike in the 56th minute came off an assist from Hatim Brahimi. Asmath then earned a penalty in the final minutes and converted in the 78th minute for his second goal. Fred Beckmann earned the shutout in net.
Mansfield, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final– Mansfield scored a goal two minutes into the game and one in the final minute of the game to clip the Eagles. James Chotkowski scored early off a service from Max Gurnon but Sharon tied it before half. Mansfield opened the second half when James Cooney headed in a cross from Chotkowski three minutes into the second half but Sharon tied the game with just over three minutes to go. But Mansfield had an answer as Gurnon scored the game winner a minute later on cross from Jackson Murphy. Mansfield goalie Jed Tolbert made 10 saves in net for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 1 vs. Norwood, 0 – Final – The Black Knights used a late second half goal to edge Norwood and earn their first win of the season. Matheus Santos took a feed from Jordan Asnes and beat Norwood’s goalie from the top of the area for his first career goal. Head coach Aaron Salter said goalie Matt Gallagher played excellent and deserved the clean sheet.
Sharon, 1 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield had five different goal scorers on Wednesday. Allee Bezeau, Stephanie Kemp, Emma Goulet, Cassidy McMahon, and Hannah Reiter all scored for the Hornets. Emily Vigeant and Emma Oldow each had two assists for Mansfield.
Sharon, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Sharon won 25-18, 25-22, 25-14. Cori Jermyn and Jess Allan led the Eagles with five kills apiece and Natalie Kane had four blocks.
Canton, 1 @ King Philip, 3 – Final– Canton took the first game but King Philip came back to claim the next three and the win (18-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-21). Sydney Phillips led KP with 12 kills and nine service points while Emma Lopez also paced the offense with 11 kills. Carly Adams had a strong serving day with 16 service points, including three aces while Liv Balduf added 10 service points. Amanda Loewen had 12 digs to lead KP defensively. Canton’s Hannah Jerrier, Nicole Poole (22 asissts) and Erika Lum each had six kills for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Erin Skidmore led the Panthers with 11 kills and added three aces. Lauren McGrath had nine aces and 15 assists for Franklin, while Meaghan Maguire chipped in with seven kills and a block.
Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – The Hornets won in straight sets, beating Stoughton 25-17, 25-15, 25-22. Julia Harrison had six kills and seven service points, Chloe Peters had 29 assists and seven service points and Anna Kemp and Jolie O’Neil each had nine service points.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final– Oliver Ames got the sweep, winning 25-16, 25-11, 25-18 over North Attleboro. Kayla Raymond led OA with nine kills, five total blocks and three aces. Other standout players include: Senior setter Bridget McCarthy played strong with four aces and 22 assists.
Milford, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Attleboro, 10 – Final – Grace Mayer found the back of the net four times in Attleboro’s big win.
Canton, 1 @ King Philip, 2 – Final– Canton took the lead in the first half with Andrea McNeil converting off a corner but KP rallied for a pair of second half goals to get the win. Liz Furfari tied the game at the 23 minute mark off an assist from Nicole Connor. The Warriors found the winner with just three minutes left when Alli Meehan scored off a penalty corner from Christina Hathaway.
Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Caroline Lounsbury scored the opening goal with 17:55 left in the first half off an assist by Cassi Ronan and it turned out to be the game-winner for Franklin. Brayden Downing scored two minutes later on an assist from Annie Walsh and then Walsh made it 3-0 early in the second half off an assist by Maeve Ledwith. Christina Lucini earned the shutout in goal with three saves.
Stoughton, 1 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield had five different goal scorers in the win.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final– Oliver Ames’ offense kept knocking on the door but North Attleboro goalie Liz Morehouse wouldn’t break, notching 14 saves in an impressive performance. “OA had a variety of pressure on the net…flicks, drives aerials and she stopped them all,” North head coach Karen Folan said. Katherine Munley also had a big defensive stop late in the game for North Attleboro. Katie Davenport and Katie Vamosi anchored Oliver Ames’ defensive effort while Dimitra Efremidis and Kendall Clifford played well in the midfield for OA according to coach Abby Tepper, who also noted the strong game by Morehouse.
Milford, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – Final
Attleboro, 184 @ Franklin, 159 – Final – The Panthers got an even par 35 from captain Bryan Woelfel and a 40 from Eric Civetti. Attleboro was led by Corey McKenna, who shot a 42.
Taunton, 174 @ Oliver Ames, 149 – Final – Brady Allbritton led the Tigers with a round of 35, while Ryan McGarry shot a 36, Thomas Walsh shot a 37, and Tate Hadges shot a 41 for OA. Taunton got a 38 from Mike Volkman and a 42 from Jake Crawford.
Sharon, 169 @ Canton, 152 – Final – Canton’s Matt Minichiello shot a medalist round of 37 to lead the Bulldogs. Jack Goyetch and Joey Vaughan each shot 38s and Pat Duggan and Jackson Maffeo each shot 39s for Canton. Sharon was led by Corey Carter’s 41, while Max Avertin and Max Brody shot 42s for the Eagles.
Milford, 170 @ North Attleboro, 162 – Final – Robbie Congdon was the low scorer for North at Heather Hill with a round of 37.
2015 Record: 6-12-0 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Santos
The Bombardiers won six games last year, including an upset of rival North Attleboro in the annual Blue-Red Game near the end of the season. Head coach Steve Santos is hoping that the momentum will carry over for his relatively inexperienced group this fall. The Bombardiers return 10 players from last year’s roster but not all were regular contributors. “They need to play simple and play quick,” said Santos, who mentioned that the program is developing with three freshmen seeing time in scrimmages.
The loss of Paige Medeiros to graduation leaves a big hole to be filled, especially with her set piece prowess, but Attleboro will turn to senior attacking midfielders Rebekah Entwhistle and Chloe Vieira to produce the killer pass and set up scoring opportunities. Up front, Hannah Meier will be counted on to finish those chances and give Attleboro the scoring punch it needs.
Defensively, Attleboro can count on junior goalie Maddie Brown, who is coming off a stellar sophomore season, and the center back pairing of Jordyn Forte and Morgan Laplume, who Santos said had a “high soccer IQ”. It is a junior-heavy roster, but one still in need of seasoning. Santos explained, “They’re great kids and hard workers. They just need some experience under their belts.”
2015 Record: 17-1-2 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Tom Geysen
The Class of 2016 won a state title, two Div. 1 South titles, went to three straight South finals, and won the Kelley-Rex division four times. That is quite a legacy for the program and, while he has a number of new faces to try and incorporate into the lineup, head coach Tom Geysen is confident that this year’s Panthers will be team to contend with by the end of the season.
One reason for optimism is the combination of sophomore Halle Atkinson and junior Jess Krouschl up front (once Kroushl comes back from a niggling injury). Both players saw time in the attack last season and showed the potential to be a strong pairing with one as the forward or playing as the wings. The forwards will be helped by energetic midfielders Molly Duncan and Ellie Teixeira, two more players who saw plenty of playing time down the stretch in 2015.
Defensively, Franklin returns one half of its back four. Nadia Havens will continue as an outside back, while Abby Gibson, who stepped in to have a strong season on the outside last fall, will move in as one of the centerbacks. Junior Kat Robbins will take over from Dani Lonati between the pipes.
Geysen said, “We’re thin and we’re green…It’s a work in progress. But, by the end of the season I think we’ll give people a test.”
2015 Record: 2-16-0 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Gary Pichel
The Warriors did not just have an injury or two to deal with in 2015, but almost entire starting 11 ended up with injuries that left King Philip head coach Gary Pichel scrambling to fill roster spots with players from the JV and freshman teams. As 2016 begins, many of the key players are back and healthy and the Warriors are hoping to spring a surprise on the Kelley-Rex.
Junior defender Emma Corcoran (“the heart and soul” of the defense, according to Pichel) has been a rock in the middle of the back line and will have a lot more help with seniors Sarah Fleck (ACL) and Katherine Turner (ankle) back after missing all but one game last year. Corinne Palumbo and Julia Massarone will also chip in from the midfield and will be counted on turning defense into attack quickly.
Up front, Rachel Hogan returns after leading KP in scoring for the past several seasons and she will be joined by fellow senior Maddie Smith, who is back from a quad injury. The seniors will be paired with talented freshman Chloe Layne, who is already drawing rave reviews. Pichel said, “We had a very tough season last year but will look to rebound with a new look and a new strategy to improve our chances in a very competitive Hockomock League.”
2015 Record: 12-6-2 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Kevin Smith
The Hornets are only bringing back three players who started regularly last season and that includes two goalkeepers. Senior Emily Gaumond started the season in net but missed the final month with a concussion, which meant that then freshman Lauren Whitman had to step in between the pipes. The only returning outfield player is senior Hannah Reiter. The Quinnipiac University-commit, who comes into the season as a contender for Player of the Year, was a standout in central defense, midfield, and up front last year.
While Mansfield does not return a lot of starters, there is plenty of experience on the roster. Head coach Kevin Smith utilizes a large roster and makes sure that a majority of the players get time on the field. Senior forward Emma Goulet and senior defender Emily Sullivan will be the captains and each has multiple seasons on varsity. Sophomore Stephanie Kemp and junior Allee Bezeau will be counted on to provide scoring punch and sophomore Melissa Reef will be taking a bigger role in the midfield this year.
With five freshmen and three sophomores playing “significant” minutes last year, Smith is confident that Mansfield will be able to challenge for the Kelley-Rex title. He said, “So even though we are very young we do have some players with some experience under their belts.”
2015 Record: 14-3-2 (Davenport Division Champions) 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Britt Sellmayer
The Tigers have won the Davenport division each of the past three years and will now set their sights on claiming the Kelley-Rex title at the first opportunity. Head coach Britt Sellmayer has a squad capable of claiming the crown and with the potential to make a deep tournament run as well. With seven returning starters, including four league all-stars, and 10 seniors, the Tigers have the most experienced roster in the Kelley-Rex and arguably the deepest.
It starts with reigning Hockomock MVP Francesca Calabraro. The senior scored 24 goals last season and has been talked about as a potential All-American in the preseason. With Calabraro moving between a midfield and a forward role, it opens up space on the wings for the speedy Jackie Mills, who chipped in with nine goals last year and could be ready for a breakout junior season. Seniors Dana Lowney and Jess Robarge will also provide midfield support for the Tigers.
Defensively, OA has a strong core of returning players. Sophomore Zoe Chazan stepped in as a rookie and turned into one of the league’s top central defenders and her partnership with junior Emily Freeman will be a tough one for teams to break down. Behind the back line, OA has three solid goaltenders led by junior Regan Benton. Sellmayer said, “[We’re] looking forward to the challenge of playing in the large Hock.”
2015 Record: 9-9-3 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Edith Dixon
The Tigers made history last season, becoming the first team in the program’s history to win a playoff game, knocking off Wellesley on the road. That Taunton team was filled with upperclassmen but head coach Edith Dixon wants the program to keep moving forward and believes that there are players ready to step up and take over.
One of the players leading the way for Taunton is senior captain Emily O’Brien, who Dixon credits with setting the tone at practice. The Tiger will turn to junior Sam Tichelaar for offensive production as the three-year starter is healthy after an injury-plagued sophomore campaign and is ready to be the “driving force” in the Taunton midfield. Senior Livi Sweeney will be the forward for Tichelaar to connect with up top.
Defensively, the Tigers will miss goalie Kayla Wentworth, who is now playing at Iona, but junior Kayla Felix will lead the defensive corps and help make Taunton tough to beat. Dixon said, “Last season was a great step forward for the program, but we’re not satisfied with making the tournament just once. Our upperclassmen want to get back there again and they’re being pushed every day in practice by some very talented eighth and ninth graders.”