FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro hasn’t conceded the opening goal in a game for a long time. In fact, the last time it happened was back in early September in the team’s last loss before it’s 17-game unbeaten streak.
Even though the Warriors allowed Cohasset to open the scoring very early on Tuesday evening, Foxboro was able to stretch it’s streak to 18 games in a row with a 2-1 overtime win over the Skippers.
Foxboro sophomore Lily Daly scored just under five minutes into the first 7-on-7 overtime to send the Warriors to their first every D2 South Sectional Final. The second-seeded Warriors will take on #13 Falmouth on Saturday at Taunton High School. The time is yet to be announced.
“I can’t even describe [the feeling],” said longtime Warrior head coach Melissa Bordieri. “I knew this would be a battle of a game. I knew they were a tough team and I knew [Cohasset] was fast but wow…they were actually faster than I thought they’d be. I think in the beginning it was kind of hard to adjust to that.”
Cohasset had a burst early in overtime, using its speed on a counter attack but Foxboro goalie Kelli McCarthy stepped up to make a big kick clearance. Down the other end in a three on three chance, sophomore Sophia DiCenso dropped a pass behind the Skippers’ defense, where Daly had slipped in behind.
Daly put the ball on the back of her stick and used a backhand shot to rip the ball into the back of the net for the winner.
“We had a feeling the goalie might go down, we had seen that on film some,” Bordieri said. “It couldn’t have worked out better for us. Sophia got the ball on the right at the top of the circle and sent it in. Lily’s forte is a reverse hit, like a lift. I was watching it and when I saw [the goalie] went down and saw Lily reverse, I just held my breath because I was waiting for that bang [of the ball against the net]. I couldn’t believe it.”
The Skippers came out flying to start the game, using their speed to dictate the pace of the game and put the pressure on the hosts. It took less than four minutes for Cohasset to find the back of the net. With the Warriors down a player due to a restart infringement, Katie Talacci tossed a shot into traffic in front and Olivia Coveney was in the right spot to tap in the opening goal.
“For the first time in two months we were scored on first. In the back of my mind I was thinking it could be a blessing in disguise. We just needed to settle down. Thankfully, they scored so early, there was so much hockey left to play that it kind leveled us a bit.”
From that goal on, the Warriors seemed much more comfortable. Neither side had a penalty corner for the entire fire half but Foxboro’s continued pressure played off in the 24th minute. Ally Curran whipped in a cross from the right side, finding Cat Luciano. Luciano unleashed a shot that was deflected. Emma Daly was in the perfect spot, finding the ball on the goal line and buried it to level the game 1-1.
It took until halfway through the second half for either side to earn a penalty corner but Foxboro finally got one in the 44th minute. Kelly Fisher ended up registering a shot on net but had her bid turned aside. Luciano had a chance five minutes later but the ball just skipped wide.
“They had breakaways but I felt like we had controlled the majority of the game play and definitely between the 25 yard lines,” Bordieri said. “They had some opportunities but they didn’t have a single corner. [Their only shot] was early in the game when we were a little jittery and nervous. I was really proud they didn’t hang their heads or get into a slump [after the Cohasset goal]. They came right back and we made some adjustments at halftime. I knew they could do it, I just kept saying play our game, stop being so reactive and just play our game.”
Foxboro had a man-up opportunity for the final 7:35 of regulation and continued to put pressure on the Skippers. With 6:30 to go, Meredith Cronin had her bid from straight away saved. Three minutes later, Cohasset broke out on a counter attack but Angela VandenBoom put an end to the break with strong stick work.
With just over 90 seconds to play, Emma Daly made a diving attempt to get a shot on goal that resulted in a penalty corner. After a clearance, the Warriors got the ball back into the attacking zone and Jackie Brion launched a ball through the area but no one on Foxboro could get a stick on it.
McCarthy’s kick clearance in overtime came just 30 seconds in, setting the tone for the Warriors. Foxboro had back to back penalty corners with the second eventually leading to the offensive possession that resulted in the game winning goal.
“We’ve practiced seven aside, we’ve practiced strokes in case we go to a stroke off, and we’ve practiced defensive corners too because you’re only allowed three back defensively on a corner,” Bordieri said. “There’s a lot of space in overtime. Lily’s job was to really get to that post and pepper the goalie. Whether she screened her or got a tip in. If Sophia had the shot, she could take it. Our goal was to take shots, we didn’t want to dribble in. Lily snuck in there perfectly and was able to reverse it in.”
Foxboro will take on Falmouth, who upset #4 Bishop Stang in the first round and then knocked out #16 Medway in the semifinals. The time of the game will likely be announced on Wednesday following the results from the D1 semis.
2015 Record: 10-8-2 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Lindsay Antunes
After a year off from the postseason, Attleboro made its way back to the postseason in 2015 and is looking to continue that trend in 2015. The Bombardiers are returning a handful of playoff experienced players and also have spots open for players to step into and make a name for themselves. Some of the experienced players will also shift positions to help voids left. Marissa Dias is back to anchor the defense again this year while three year varsity player Grace Mayer’s versatility has shined as she’s played all over the field. Sophomore Alexis Compton will get minutes at forward and could be a breakout player for the Bombardiers this year.
“I have returners who have filled deficits on the field by transitioning into new roles,” Attleboro head coach Lindsay Antunes said. “The players who are sliding into new positions are facing these challenges with eagerness. Their willingness and immense capability are a large part of the reason behind the changes being made. I have a great deal of confidence in this newly built team, and are certain that they are going to work hard to compete with the high level of competitiveness within this league.”
With a good amount of returning varsity players, Canton is hoping it can return to the top of the Hockomock League. It also helps that coach Chrissy O’Connor – who won a D2 State Championship with Canton in 2004 – is back at the helm. O’Connor coached for over a decade, capping her final year with an undefeated season. Senior Julia Ezepik is back to anchor the defense while Taylor Carrington returns in the cage with starting varsity experience. Juniors Maggie Wade and Andrea McNeil are also back and will be key pieces in Canton’s midfield this season. Senior Caroline Hagan will be an important piece of the attack as well.
“With a new coaching staff this season Canton is looking to continue its tradition of being a competitive force in the Hockomock League,” O’Connor said.
2015 Record: 10-6-3 2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Melissa Bordieri
Expectations are high once again in Foxboro this season. The Warriors have made the postseason for 14 straight years and are looking to extend it to 15 straight seasons this year. Foxboro has a large amount of returning starters and players that had varsity experience, which bodes well for another playoff berth. Things start with Foxboro’s offense as they bring back three forwards that can all score consistently. Sophomore Lily Daly, the team’s leading scorer and MVP last year, is back alongside seniors Meredith Cronin and Emma Daly. Foxboro’s midfield will also have some familiar faces, including Ally Curran and Caroline Wheatley. The Warriors will have a new goalie between the pipes this year as Kelly McCarthy takes over for Jill Delaney. After two years as the understudy, head coach Melissa Bordieri is confident in McCarthy to take over.
“I’m confident we can achieve a lot of things,” Bordieri said. “We’ve set our sights on winning the division. We always want to get back to the tournament. This is one of those years I strongly feel a lot of girls can contribute because of our depth.”
2015 Record: 16-3-2 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal Coach: Lisa Cropper
Franklin has six returning starters back and a total of 10 seniors, setting the Panthers up for another successful season. It’s a mix of all grades for the Panthers, with seniors and captains Caroline Lounsbury, Dana Lewandowski and Kayla Marshall leading the way. Lounsbury and Lewandowski will patrol the midfield along with sophomore Cassie Ronan. Marshall will be a key piece in the defense along with junior Kate Morse. Sophomore Annie Walsh, the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will lead a potent attack along with freshmen Maeve Ledwith and Erin Walsh.
“We have a solid group of field players with some young scoring talent and some depth on the bench,” head coach Lisa Cropper said. “Losing two-time Hock All-Star Samantha Jones to graduation leaves a hole in goal to fill, but if our defense plays strong while our inexperienced goalies develop, we should be able to contend for the league title.”
2015 Record: 10-8-2 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Liz Hathaway
King Philip has a bounce back year in 2015 and is hoping to continue that success this season. The Warriors are returning key players all over the field while new players are likely to help fill some voids. Senior captain Caitlin Donahue will be one of the main pieces of the attack while senior captain and junior captain Monica Harvey and Christina Hathaway will anchor the defense. Hathaway will also see time in the midfield while Abby Campbell returns to the cage after a standout sophomore year. Sophomore Alli Meehan is back in the attack after a breakout rookie campaign in 2015.
“We are a young team with some good athletes to build around,” head coach Liz Hathaway said. “Key players have really put in a lot of work in the offseason and summer and are looking fundamentally sound, fast and strong.”
2015 Record: 20-2-0 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Theresa Nyhan
Mansfield took one of the most storied programs to the limit a year ago, forcing double overtime against Walpole in the D1 South Final. The Hornets are looking to continue that success in 2016. Mansfield will need to replace some key pieces if they hope to compete at the same level this year. Julia Todesco Caroline Maher graduated but the Hornets do have league all-stars Amalia Todesco and Caitlin Whitman are back this season. Todesco and fellow senior captain Jen McCabe will be key pieces of Mansfield’s defensive unit while Todesco will also see time in the midfield. Whitman will be a key cog in the Hornets’ midfield as well. Junior Emily Ierardo and senior Olivia Horn are two returners that should help bolster Manfield’s attack this year.
2015 Record: 3-11-3 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Kim Danish
The Scarlet Hawks are hoping senior leadership will help right the ship after just three wins a year ago. Milford has 13 seniors on the team, including some key experienced players in different parts of the field. Senior Emily Smith returns as the starting goalie again this year, which is already a good start for Milford. Senior captain Kaitlyn DeCapua will anchor the defense with her versatility, senior captain Tina Capone will bring speed to the midfield and senior captain Ali Atherton will relied upon to pace Milford’s offense. Shannon Cormier will also be a player to watch for the Scarlet Hawks this season.
“The 2016 Milford Hawks are persistent, determined, and resilient,” head coach Kim Danish said. “We have quickly come together as a team, and we are looking to battle through our Hock schedule.”
After missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro is looking to find its way back in 2016 and will try to do so by working from the back up. Senior captains Mary Kummer and Teresa Bagarella, who both have a lot of varsity experience, will anchor the back line. Senior Liz Morehouse takes over the starting job in the cage for North this season. Their defense will be the catalyst for the Rocketeers’ offense this season. seniors Kaleigh Cole and Jamie Cromidas, along with juniors Olivia Gedgaudas, Kaley Gorman, Emilie Pothier and Olivia Horricks will look to link up as the Rocketeers transition from defense to offense and go on the attack.
“We are a team that will get better with each game,” head coach Karen Folan said.
Oliver Ames has experienced a lot of success in recent seasons and the goal remains the same this year, despite a coaching change. Former Foxboro and Salve Regina standout Abby Tepper has taken over at the helm and Oliver Ames is now competing in the Kelley-Rex division. Senior captains Kendall Clifford and Katie Davenport will be the leaders for the Tigers this season. Clifford will anchor the midfield unit while Davenport will continue as a top defensive player in the Hockomock. Dimitra Efremidis will be a key part of Oliver Ames’ offense this season, with the ability to set up teammates and find the back of the net herself.
“I am very proud of the girls so far during preseason putting in extra work even outside of practice times,” Tepper said.
2015 Record: 0-16-0 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Vandette
The Eagles are hoping some added depth will lead to a turnaround season and a step in the right direction for the future. Sharon has three senior captains, Georgia Salvatore, Shafali Reddy and Michelle Lu, all of which are returning varsity players with experience. All three are defenders so Sharon is relying on a solid defensive foundation to lead the way in 2016. Lindsey Moses will be the starting goalie this season after seeing some minutes a year ago. Erica Dougherty and Stephanie Wasserman will be new options at forward this season alongside returning varsity player, Emily Locke.
“We made a lot of progress last year and I feel like we are picking up right where we left off,” head coach Andrea Vandette said. “This years squad is a lot bigger than last year and that depth on the bench is much appreciated.”
2015 Record: 10-8-3 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Dan Mark
Stoughton has been on the rise over the last three seasons and after an appearance in the D1 South tournament, the Black Knights will look to continue the upward trajectory in 2016. Reigning Hockomock League MVP and Northeastern-commit Angela Connelly is back to control the midfield for the Black Knights. Olivia Schlehuber and Mia Russell are both returning starters at the forward position, which bodes well for Stoughton’s attack. Kayla Oliviera, Kelly Corrigan and Kelly Joyce all saw plenty of playing time last season and will be important pieces in the midfield this season. Senior Meghan McSweeney and sophomore Gianna Barbosa will battle for the starting job in the cage.
“We are looking forward to a good season with a mix of veteran and new players,” head coach Dan Mark said.
2015 Record: 1-15-2 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Elizabeth Hathaway
After finding the win column just one year ago, Taunton is looking to make a big step forward in 2016. The Tigers, playing in the incredibly competitive Kelley-Rex division, will have some experience to rely on in some parts of the field but will be looking to youth in others. Senior’s Katie Van Zandt and Bre Conlon will be key pieces on defense for the Tigers this season. Junior’s Kya Enos and Liana Duarte are returners that will pace Taunton’s offense this season. Both proved to be key pieces of the attack a season ago. Taunton will rely on youth in the middle of the field as sophomores Jillian Pagliuca and Lauren Torres will both play important roles at midfield.
“We are a young team, hoping to use speed and space to our advantage in offensive play,” head coach Liz Hathaway said.
Players to Watch
Players are listed alphabetically
Abby Campbell, King Philip – The class of 2016 included a lot of the top goalies in the league. However, Campbell emerged as one of the top netminders during her sophomore year and could be the top goalie in league in 2016.
Kendall Clifford, Oliver Ames – The Tigers have had a strong run as of late and will need another strong season to compete in the Kelley-Rex. Clifford’s presence in the midfield will be key for the Tigers as she helps the team transition from defense to offense.
Angela Connolly, Stoughton – The reigning Hockomock League MVP is back after helping Stoughton to the playoffs last year. She scored 11 goals and added 15 assists and will be a true double threat for the Black Knights this year.
Lily Daly, Foxboro – It’s rare that a freshman leads a team and scoring but that’s exactly what Daly did a year ago, being named team MVP. With forwards Meredith Cronin and Emma Daly back as well, Foxboro should have a potent attack.
Mary Kummer/Teresa Bagarella, North Attleboro – The Rocketeers should have a strong defense this season with senior captains Mary Kummer and Teresa Bagarella. The duo has a lot of experience and that bodes well for North Attleboro this season.
Dana Lewandowski, Franklin – The senior captain midfielder has a large presence on the field for the Panthers. Lewandowski controls the midfield, has the ability to get forward and score and can set up teammates at the same time.
Grace Mayer, Attleboro – Attleboro made a trip to the postseason in 2015 and Mayer’s 11 goals and three assists were a big reason. The Bombardiers will have a lot of competition in the Kelley-Rex but Mayer will be a top offensive producer again this year.
Jen McCabe, Mansfield – The Hornets had a historic run to the sectional final and the offense got a lot of attention but the back line was rock solid throughout the year. McCabe was one of the center pieces to that defense and is back as a senior captain this year.
Annie Walsh, Franklin – The defending HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year is back after a breakout rookie season. Walsh will be looking to produce numbers (nine goals and seven assists) like she did a season ago.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry called Wednesday’s league meeting with King Philip a “must win” game, as the Warriors try to build their resume ahead of the state tournament seeding on Friday.
As it has all season long, Foxboro has turned to its underclassmen to provide the scoring punch and freshmen Sophia DiCenso and Caroline McGeary came through in the clutch. The duo combined for the final three goals of the game to halt a KP comeback and lift Foxboro to a 15-13 victory that split the season series.
DiCenso led the way with six goals and three assists, all of which came on goals by McGeary, who finished with five, including the eventual game-winner with 5:51 left in the game.
“They’ve been playing together for so long, probably since sixth grade, and they just feed off each other,” said Sherry about the freshmen duo. “They play really well together and they know where each other are going.”
At the start of the game, it looked as though KP was going to be able to pull away a win similar to the first meeting (a 15-8 win at Macktaz Field). The visitors had a 3-1 lead with Katie Crowther, Abigail Buchanan, and Jen Lacroix all getting on the board and with KP winning each of the first five draw controls.
Foxboro made a change in the circle with Caroline Boudreau and Hallie Canfield taking the draws against Lacroix and the home team would win 10 of the next 11 draws to take control of the half.
“I put Hallie [Canfield] on the draw and different people around it,” Sherry explained. “Ultimately, we were losing to a 50-50 ball…so people in the circle needed to get it in their sticks and transition and not panic and stay poised.”
Junior Ally Curran spun and scored to cut the KP lead to one and then McGeary scored back-to-back goals both off DiCenso assists to put Foxboro ahead 4-3 and complete her hat trick. Foxboro extended the lead with another freshman, Lily Feeney, scoring a pair, the second on a great catch in traffic on a pass by classmate Megan Curran.
KP called a timeout to regroup and Lacroix gave the Warriors a boost by scooping a ground ball in the defensive zone and racing the length of the field for a goal. With 27 seconds left in the half, Lacroix repeated that trick, this time from half, to keep KP in it before the break.
“Jen is probably all-around our best player,” said KP coach Julie Boudreau. “For a middie who runs up and down the field, who is super tired, but still has the stick work when she gets down into attack and can score. We’ll definitely miss her and those are big shoes to fill.”
KP scrambled in a goal that cut the lead to 6-5 but again Foxboro had a response. DiCenso scored with a sidearm shot on a free position, sophomore Catherine Luciano added another, and DiCenso drove to push the lead to four.
“The momentum was definitely going back and forth,” said Boudreau. “I think we were rushing it a little on attack, getting a little frantic, but I was happy with how we played today going into tournament.”
With Foxboro leading 10-7 at the break, Luciano scored to make the lead four, but only a minute later Crowther got one back with a low angle shot and then 33 seconds after that Francesca Tonelli bounced in an eight-meter shot that made it a two-goal game.
McGeary temporarily halted the comeback with a drive, but Lacroix scored her third of the game while KP was up a player. After Buchanan cut the lead to one, KP got an important boost from an unlikely source. Dana Truini scored a pair of goals to give KP its first lead since early in the first half.
“I pulled her up from JV a couple games ago because she was doing great on the draws and ground balls,” said Boudreau. “We need a spark on the field, so I think different people have been being that for us.”
Sherry started feeling like the game was slipping away and starting to resemble the first meeting, so she called timeout to settle her team down.
“Once we called timeout, we caught our breath and I told them that we can’t be putting them on the line,” she explained. “We needed to limit our fouls and we need to win the draw and we need to hit the net.”
Sherry added, “I like for them to feel the pressure and see if they can figure it out but sometimes a timeout is necessary to give them a little head check.”
The timeout worked wonders as DiCenso scored with another free position to tie the game at 13-13 and a little more than a minute later she fed McGeary on a cut into the middle to put Foxboro back in front. With 3:08 left, DiCenso dodged past her marker and fired in a goal that put the game away.
Sherry said, “It was a must win for us. I love the game that we had, putting the pressure on us and we had to perform.
“If we want home field advantage or possibly a bye then we needed to win. It was huge that we did.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Nine minutes into the second half, the game had seemed over. Freshman Sophia DiCenso beat the Ashland goalie under the bar and Foxboro held an 8-2 lead as the Clockers were forced to take a timeout.
But the Warriors only won four draw controls in the game and ever girls’ lacrosse coach will tell you that whoever wins the draws wins the game. The Clockers turned the game on its head with four goals in the next nine minutes to cut the lead to two and set up a frantic few minutes for Foxboro’s young attack.
With Ashland double-teaming the ball at every opportunity, Foxboro looked nervous and a little hesitant, until DiCenso picked out sophomore midfielder Catherine Luciano cutting through the middle for the goal that calmed everyone down and allowed the Warriors to hold on for a 9-6 victory.
“We panicked,” admitted Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry. “I think at that point I had three or four freshmen out there in attack, so we’re young and they need to realize get the ball moving and avoid the double, don’t let it come to you.
“Once that goal happened, we were like okay we can break it.”
DiCenso was once again Foxboro’s key player. The freshman has stepped right into the lineup for the defending league champions and she scored five goals and had that clutch assist in the closing minutes to lead the Warriors.
“She’s obviously our go-to,” said Sherry about DiCenso. “She gets it done on both ends of the field. When she’s on then everyone is on and she’s also a great feeder – she sees the open people and she gets it to them and she gets the ball moving.”
DiCenso got the scoring started three minutes into the game with a shot on the run and then added a second a few minutes later off a free position. She then forced a turnover on the ride and fed it to Ally Curran who ran straight to goal and scored with a backhanded shot.
Freshman Caroline McGeary had an overhand finish to make it 4-0 with 11:30 left in the half and Foxboro seemed to be cruising despite not having won any of the first five draws. The Warriors defense had been stalwart through the opening half, allowing only a few chances for the Clockers.
Defenders Annie McGeary and Hallie Canfield were aided by good pressure from DiCenso and Luciano and fellow midfielders Lauren Flahive and Mackenzie Cusack.
Sherry said, “We were struggling [on draws] and that’s when they were getting their opportunity and thankfully Ashland wasn’t able to capitalize on their offensive possessions but yeah defense kept us in the game in the first half.”
After Ashland got on the board, DiCenso cut through the middle and scored her third of the day. Melissa Lynch (five saves) came up with a big stop on an eight-meter chance and with only two seconds left in the half Curran scored on her eight-meter chance to make it 6-1.
Ashland started the second half with a goal, but Foxboro answered back quickly to regain the momentum. DiCenso scored on an assist by Luciano before Lily Feeney had a goal disallowed for a player in the crease. The Clockers then had a goal taken off the board because of an illegal stick and DiCenso scored her fifth to make it 8-2 with 15:52 left.
Sherry said of the way her team played the opening 40 minutes, “Coming out and getting the shots on net; defense came out strong with sticks up and putting the pressure on them to make the right move; our transition looked the best it’s probably been since the start of the season.”
She added, “I think we played about 35 minutes today, so we need to get to 50.”
The Clockers scored twice from eight meters and once in transition to cut the lead down to three. With 6:07 left and Ashland’s defense scrambling to pressure whoever touched the ball, the visitors tacked on another with a good passing sequence to make it 8-6 and force Foxboro into a timeout.
“We kind of got complacent with our possessions,” Sherry explained, “and we didn’t have that urgency any more. The draws – if you win the draws, then you win the game and thankfully we kept possession longer in attack but they had the momentum going forward for sure.”
Curran nearly got her hat trick with a bouncing shot that clipped off the post and the Warriors started to settle down. Nerves were noticeably calmed when DiCenso flicked a pass over an onrushing double team to a wide open Luciano and the sophomore finished from close-range.
Foxboro (8-2, 5-0) was able to run out the clock and preserve its third straight win. The Warriors will travel to Attleboro on Wednesday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
2015 Record: 7-12
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round
Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
There is a new coaching staff for the Canton girls’ lacrosse this season and first-year head coach Chrissy O’Connor is looking forward to surprising a few people with a strong spring.
Seniors Casey Bradley (attack) and Olivia Devoe (midfield) will be the team leaders and the keys to the Bulldogs making a charge at Foxboro for the league title. Sophomore midfielder Molly Colburn and freshman Leah McClellan will be newcomers to watch this year as well.
O’Connor said, “I think the league will be surprised with Canton’s tenacity this season.They are a confident and smart group of athletes who have handled having a new coaching staff extremely well.This should be an exciting season for Canton lacrosse.”
At the end of last year’s Div. 2 East semifinal, Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry was emotional about losing the crop of seniors that had joined the program the same year she began. That group had won four straight league titles and gone further than any other team in program history. But when Sherry was asked about the future, she was confident in the talent coming back and believed that her fifth season could be another title-winning spring.
Senior Melissa Lynch was a standout in goal last year and will be back between the pipes and will have a strong defensive core in front of her including junior Hallie Canfield and senior Annie McGeary. Offensively, Foxboro will be looking for continued development from junior Lauren Flahive and sophomore Catherine Luciano, who will both be asked to fill in for senior Chloe Hurley, who begins the season with an injury.
Young players helped Foxboro on its run to the semifinal and freshman Sophia Dicenso is the next in line to try and make an instant impact for the Warriors. Juniors Ally Curran and Molly Farrell could also be poised for breakout seasons.
All eyes are on the matchup with Franklin in May, as the two teams have won their respective divisions each of the past four years, but Foxboro also has Hingham, Medfield, and Walpole on its schedule as it sets its sights on another tournament run.
Milford comes into the new season with a young roster after losing eight seniors from last year’s squad and head coach Jason Gelmini is hoping that the many underclassmen who saw playing time in 2015 will be ready to step into bigger roles in 2016.
The Hawks will be led by senior midfielders Morgan Smith and Julie Dam and senior defender Erin Fleming and Gelmini is counting on his captains to provide leadership. In addition, the Hawks will lean on junior defender Brainna Croteau, junior goalie Hannah Cairney, junior middie Jillian Burley, and junior attackers Taylor Dube and Jordyn Lombardo.
Gelmini said, “We definitely have a young team this year, so our goals are to get better each game and compete each time we step on the field.”
2015 Record: 10-9
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East preliminary round
Coach: Craig Gardner
Oliver Ames is coming off a strong season in which the Tigers reached the Div. 1 East sectional before falling to Bishop Feehan in the opening round. This year, OA has a lot of returning players who experienced what a playoff run was like and head coach Craig Gardner is counting on that experience to pay dividends this spring.
The Tiger will be led by a strong senior class, including midfielder Erin Fitzgerald and defenders Cassie Gavin and Sarah Lewis. Senior attackers Abby Duvall and Sam Lang will help Fitzgerald provide attacking power while senior midfielder Carly Cidado and junior defender Katie Davenport will help lock things down at the back.
Gardner also noted a few young players that could be impact players this season, including sophomores Sofia Masciarelli, Chloe Kilkelly, and Ariana Waldorf and junior Kendall Clifford. Freshman defender Olivia Piazza will also be a newcomer to watch this season.
“We have a very strong and focused group of experienced upperclassmen athletes, coupled with some strong developing underclassmen athletes,” said Gardner. “The team has great chemistry, which I hope translates into a competitive season for us.”
Sharon had a program best record of 7-10 last season under first-year coach Colleen Manning, who is expecting the Eagles to take an even bigger leap this year by making the postseason for the first time.
Sharon only has three seniors (Alex Miller, Alexa Levitt, and Heather Seggelin), but plenty of young talent including “top shooter” Alex Rabb, attacker Anna Crosby, and defender Samantha Rabb (all juniors).
Sophomore Sabrina Robbins is drawing attention from colleges and will be a force for the Eagles on draw controls, while freshman Lydia Chase will add a new face to the Sharon defense.