Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/14/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Foxboro, 58 @ Attleboro, 62 – FinalAttleboro junior Justin Daniels hit a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with a career-high 15 points to help the Bombardiers edge visiting Foxboro. The teams were knotted at 28 at halftime and again at 44 heading into the fourth quarter where Attleboro was able to make just enough plays to get the win. Qualeem Charles (10 rebounds) scored half of his 12 points in the fourth quarter while Bryant Ciccio (14 points), Nick McMahon, and Tim Callahan all scored in the final frame. Foxboro senior Ryan Hughes scored a career-high 20 points while Brandon Borde added 16 points, including nine in the final quarter to keep the Warriors in the game.

Canton, 44 @ Mansfield, 81 – Final Mansfield’s TJ Guy, Matt Boen, and Sam Stevens each took a turn dominating a quarter as the Hornets cruised to a big win at home over visiting Canton. Guy scored nine of his 15 points in the opening quarter to help the hosts seize a 14-7 lead while Boen exploded for 12 of his 15 points in the second quarter to give Mansfield a 40-16 lead at the halftime break. Stevens took center stage in the third, netting 13 of his 14 points in the quarter as Mansfield extended its lead to 64-30. Canton junior Eric Mischler scored a team-high 21 points in the loss.

North Attleboro, 29 @ Franklin, 72 – FinalFranklin bounced back from its first loss in a big way, running away with a win against visiting North Attleboro. After a back-and-forth first quarter saw the Panthers take a 17-14 lead, Franklin’s defense clamped down and didn’t allow more than six points in a quarter the rest of the way. Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan scored a career-high 28 points, hitting on a three-pointer in each of the first three quarters while going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Chris Edgehill added 16 points in the win for Franklin while sophomore Brody Rosenberg netted a team-high nine points for North Attleboro.

Stoughton, 84 @ King Philip, 90 – Final (2OT)Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Milford, 58 @ Taunton, 59 – FinalTaunton junior Josh Lopes sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left in the game to push the Tigers’ lead to two possessions, securing a win over visiting Milford. The Tigers, who led 22-16 after a quarter, threatened to pull away in the second quarter when they pushed their lead to 10 but Milford’s Sean Murray came off the bench, took a pair of charges and scored six points to help the Hawks go into halftime down just one. Another even quarter had the teams tied at 44-44 heading into the fourth quarter. Taunton junior Tyler Stewart scored six of his team-high 17 points in the final quarter while sophomore Trent Santos hit a big three in the final quarter, finishing with 15 points. Limited to three points through three quarters, Lopes had a big bucket and the key free throws in the fourth to seal the win. Sophomore Tristan Herry added 11 points for the hosts. Milford junior Jordan Darling had a game-high 21 points while Ben Blanchard added 17 points for the Hawks.

Sharon, 46 @ Oliver Ames, 77 – FinalAfter jumping out to a 15-5 lead through a quarter of action, Oliver Ames scored 23 points in the second quarter to double its lead by halftime. Oliver Ames put the game away with a strong third, adding 21 more points to seize a 59-28 lead through 24 minutes of action. OA junior Amari Brown had a strong start, scoring seven of his team-high 18 points in the opening quarter and went 7-for-10 from the line to help the Tigers get the win. Senior Jay Spillane had nine points of his 13 points in the second quarter and Ryan Burkett finished with 10 points for OA, who had 10 players get in the scoring column. Aidan Kane recorded a team-high 12 points for Sharon.










Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 44 @ Foxboro, 65 – FinalThree players scored in double digits for the Warriors to pick up the win against Attleboro. Katelyn Mollica continued her strong season with a team-high 19 and Lizzy Davis added 13. Foxboro also got strong play in the paint from Shakirah Ketant, who scored 12 points in the win.

Mansfield, 56 @ Canton, 61 – FinalCanton led by six after the first quarter, eight at halftime, and by nine heading into the fourth quarter but was never able to pull away from the Hornets, who scored 20 points in the final eight minutes to keep within striking distance. Kiara Cerruti scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half, including nine in the fourth, to help the Bulldogs hold on. Sydney Gallery also scored 16 for Canton, all in the first half. Fay Gallery added 10 and Lilah Milton had eight points. Point guard Carly Fitzgerald scored seven points and Canton coach Jim Choquette praised her for a great all-around game, including her defense, rebounding, and care with the ball. Kayla Vine was the top scorer for Mansfield with 16 points. Ashley Santos chipped in with 11 and Brooke Berube finished with 10 points.

Franklin, 53 @ North Attleboro, 33 – FinalFranklin remained unbeaten with a road win at North Attleboro. The Panthers scored 24 points in the first quarter to get off to a perfect start, led by 18 at the half, and then held North to only three points in the third to put the game away. Ali Brigham was the game’s top scorer with 26 points and Olivia Quinn put up 13 for the Panthers. Franklin also used its advantage in the paint to dominate on the glass. On a rough shooting night for the Rocketeers, Regan Fein led the way with nine points and Amanda Kaiser added eight.

King Philip, 69 @ Stoughton, 39 – FinalKP built a 14-point lead at halftime and continued to pull away throughout the second half. Emma Glaser and Faith Roy paced the KP offense, each scoring 12 points, while Faye Veilleux added 10. Aliyah Wright was Stoughton’s top scorer with a game-high 16 points.

Taunton, 54 @ Milford, 40 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Oliver Ames, 48 @ Sharon, 17 – FinalOliver Ames shrugged off a slow start to build a 10-point lead at halftime and never looked back to earn a win on the road. The Tigers led just 5-4 after a quarter but pushed the advantage to 21-11 at halftime. OA’s defense continued to shine in the second half, holding the Eagles to just six points. Caroline Flynn led OA with 10 points while Tate Hadges added nine points.

Girls Hockey
Franklin, 4 vs. Westwood, 5 – FinalFranklin went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the state in Westwood but the Wolverines scored with less than a minute to go in the game to earn the win. The teams traded a pair of first period goals with Katelyn Brown and Libby Carter (from Lyndsey Atkinson and Amanda Lewandowski) but the Wolverines scored two straight in the second period to seize the lead. Carter scored in the final minute of the second to make it a one goal game and Lewandowski scored six minutes into the third period to bring the Panthers level. Westwood scored with 45 seconds to play to get the win.

Boys Swimming
Attleboro, 91 @ Oliver Ames, 74 – Final

Results:
200 Medley Relay: 1. Oliver Ames (Nick Farley, Ben Turner, Anthony Carraggi, Ryan Moore) – 1:57.72 | 2. Attleboro (Robert Winkler, Anthony Burns, Aaron Dumont, Zack Moore) – 2:24.61 | 3. Attleboro (Aiden Moore, Ninad Bartakke, Brady Dumont, Aidrinn Nottage) – 2:52.44
200 Free: 1. Colton Mangion, Att – 2:18.03 | 2. Dylan Nisbet, Att – 2:20.76 | 3. Cormac Ganshirt, OA – 2:21.21
200 IM: 1. Ben Turner, OA – 2:14.41 | 2. Damien Geltrade, Att – 2:41.66 | 3. Zack Dorrance, Att – 3:08.79
50 Free: 1. Anthony Carraggi, OA – 23.59 | 2. Brett Wortham, Att – 27.40 | 3. Nick Farley, OA – 27.72
100 Fly: 1. Ben Turner, OA – 58.75 | 2. Alex Harrop, Att – 1:05.13 | 3. Zack Dorrance, Att – 1:28.88
100 Free: 1. Anthony Carraggi, OA – 52.06 | 2. Matt Marcil, Att – 55.28 | 3. Evan Foltz, OA – 58.91
500 Free: 1. Colton Mangion, Att – 6:33.81 | 2. Cormac Ganshirt, OA – 6:40:38 | 3. Robert Winkler, Att – 7:22.76
200 Free Relay: 1. Attleboro (Matt Marcil, Zack Dorrance, Dylan Nisbet, Brett Wortham) – 1:44.30 | 2. Oliver Ames (Alex Priajinski, Evan Foltz, Nick Farley, Cormac Ganshirt) – 1:51.81 | 3. Attleboro (Colton Mangion, Brandon Sanford, Zack Moore, Alex Harrop) – 1:23.31
100 Back: 1. Matt Marcil, Att – 1:04.84 | 2. Naaman Wheeler, OA – 1:23.00 | 3. Andrew Greaves, Att – 1:23.31
100 Breast: 1. Evan Foltz, OA – 1:16.31 | 2. Anthony Burns, Att – 1:37.72 | 3. Ninad Burtakke, Att – 1:47.69
400 Free Relay: 1. Oliver Ames (Anthony Carraggi, Evan Foltz, Ryan Moore, Ben Turner) – 3:48.31 | 2. Attleboro (Alex Harrop, Zack Dorrance, Damien Geltrude, Colton Mangion) – 4:14.66 | 3. Attleboro (Dylan Nisbet, Andrew Greaves, Justin Wennerberg, Robert Winkler) – 4:36.24

Girls Swimming
Attleboro, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 90 – Final

Results:
200 Medley Relay: 3. Attleboro – 2:22.13
200 Free: 4. Ally Cronin, Att | 5. Olivia Mastandrea, Att
200 IM: 3. Shanis Tolliver, Att | 5. Lily Schuerger, Att
50 Free: 2. Jackie Lynch-Bartek, Att – 27:09 (sectional qualifier) | 4. Brenna O’Connell, Att
100 Fly: 3. Lily Schuerger, Att | 5. Victoria Greaves, Att
100 Free: 1. Ella Lynch-Bartek, Att – 59.76 | 5. Brenna O’Connell, Att
500 Free: 3. Faith Morrison, Att | 5. Jenna Torres, Att
200 Free Relay: 2. Attleboro (Ella Lynch-Bartek, Brenna O’Connell, Rachel Priestley, Jackie Lynch-Bartek)
100 Back: 1. Ella Lynch-Bartek, Att – 1:09.72 | 2. Olivia Mastandrea, Att | 3. Ally Cronin, Att
100 Breast: 1. Jackie Lynch-Bartek, Att – 1:13.03 | 2. Faith Morrison, Att | 3. Rachel Priestley, Att
400 Free: 1. Attleboro (Ella Lynch-Bartek, Brenna O’Connell, Faith Morrison, Jackie Lynch-Bartek) – 4:18.81 | 2. Attleboro (Ally Cronin, Shanise Tolliver, Jenna Torres, Rena Danho)

Girls Gymnastics
Mansfield @ Sharon, 7:30

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/08/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Oliver Ames, 52 @ Foxboro, 66 – FinalTied after a quarter and separated by just a point at halftime, Foxboro created a little separation in the third and used a 22-point fourth quarter to completely pull away from visiting Oliver Ames. Senior Donald Rogers scored 16 of his career-high 24 points after the break, including nine points in the third quarter that helped the Warriors turn a 26-25 halftime lead into a 44-39 advantage. Both Rogers and Brandon Borde (18 points) connected on three-pointers in the fourth quarter while senior Ryan Hughes scored six of his eight points in the final frame. Junior Kevin Gallagher added 15 points for the Warriors. Junior Amari Brown had a team-high 18 points for the Tigers while Jay Spillane added 12 points.

Mansfield, 72 @ Milford, 41 – FinalMansfield closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run and never looked back, securing a win on the road over Milford. The Hawks cut the deficit down to two (21-19) midway through the second quarter before Mansfield pushed the lead to double digits, up 35-25 at the halftime break. The advantage remained the same until the Hornets went on their run in the final four minutes of the third to take a 51-33 lead into the fourth quarter. Senior Sam Stevens led the charge with 26 points and five rebounds while junior TJ Guy had a strong all-around showing with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.




Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final

Canton, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.Foxboro and Oliver Ames traded goals between the first two periods before the Warriors scored three straight in the final period to get the win. Kirk Leach put the hosts up in the first before Hunter Costello answered midway through the second for OA to make it 1-1 heading into the third. Foxboro sophomore Jack Watts scored less than a minute into the third period to give the Warriors the lead. Espen Reager made a handful of saves late to protect the lead while both Watts and Leach tacked on empty net goals in the final minute.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 6 – FinalFor nearly two periods, Taunton goalie Sean Bunker thwarted every shot that Franklin put his way. But the Panthers finally broke through with just over two minutes to go in the second and went on to score five more in the third to grab a win over the Tigers. Conor O’Neil put the hosts ahead with Sean Connelly and JT Dwyer recording assists as Franklin led 1-0 through 30 minutes. Kyle Hedvig tacked on a pair of third period goals while Declan Lovett (unassisted), Shea Hurley, and Andrew Demerchant also scored for the Panthers. Colin Hedvig added two assists while Lovett and Dylan Marchand also had helpers. Bunker finished with over 40 saves for Taunton.

King Philip, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – FinalJoe Boselli scored twice and Jesper Makudera made 24 saves as KP earned a tough non-league road shutout. Boselli opened the scoring in the second period off of an assist from Nolan Feyler. In the third, Conor Cooke (assisted by Aidan Boulger) doubled the lead and then Boselli sealed with the win with an unassisted goal.

Girls Hockey
Franklin, 2 @ Canton, 2 – FinalFranklin opened the scoring in the second period and took a 1-0 lead into the third period but had to score with less than four minutes to go to salvage a tie. Franklin’s Amanda Lewandowski scored with just under two minutes left in the second period on an assist from Lyndsey Atkinson. But Canton’s Tess Khoury (from Maria Femia and Lizzie Tassinari) scored 14 seconds into the third period to tie the game. The Bulldogs took their first lead with 6:40 to go when Ellie Roberts finished off a pass from Caroline Tourgee but Atkinson scored the tying goal with 3:12 to go with Jordan Dwyer getting the assist.

King Philip, 10 vs. Shawsheen Tech, 0 – FinalKing Philip’s Jen Daniels and Makenzie Shandley each scored a pair of goals as the Warriors skated to a big win over Shawsheen. Sydney O’Shea (three assists), Nicole Brady, Averi Maxwell, Olivia Donovan, Ally Donovan, and Sammy Robison each scored once while Cristina Coleman and Mallory Johnston combined for the shutout.




Wrestling
Canton, 30 @ Sharon, 49 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this meet. The Eagles recorded seven pins as a team, continuing their impressive dual meet record this season and opening league play with a win. Adam Landstein (106), David Gilman (120), Ammit Levin (126), and Vennai Chinnen (132) each recorded pins as Sharon jumped out to a 24-6 lead. Zach Peters the lone Canton points with a pin at 113 pounds. Aaron Cashton added a 10-0 win at 138, Max Pozner recorded a pin right as the first period buzzer sounded, and Kirit Gossetty added three more with a 6-1 win to push the lead to 37-6. Eddie Marinilli had a first period pin at 160 but Sharon answered with a first period pin by Tyler Freedman. Cillian Collins got six points for the Bulldogs, but again the Eagles responded with a pin, this time by Rhamsez Thevenin at 195. Derrell Brown earned a shock pin at 220. Trailing 5-2, Brown suddenly caught his opponent and managed to get a pin with just four seconds remaining. Ryan Richards closed the match with another pin for Canton.

Franklin, 53 @ Oliver Ames, 19 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this meet. Franklin took control of the dual meet in the middleweight matches and then closed it out with strong matches in the heavyweights, opening league play with a convincing win. OA was fired up in the first match when Nathan Lipski won by fall at 106, but the Panthers got those six points right back with a pin for Dillon Cashin at 113. Drew Difilipio was able to hold on for a 5-2 win at 120, but Remi Creighton tied the meet for OA with an 8-2 win at 126. Jake Carlucci (132) and Nelson Malone traded pins to keep the score tied, 15-15, but then the Panthers took over. Alex Fracassa had a second period tech fall to earn five points followed by back-to-back pins from Ken Sauer and Dominic Sackley. Liam Cogavin battled to win 9-4 at 170, although Onye Nwadiugwu dominated the third period of the match, and Dylan Nawn got a pin at 182. Max Anderson grabbed four points for the Tigers at 195, but Matt Walker (220) and Matt Leofanti (285) closed out the meet with pins for the Panthers.

King Philip, 41 @ Taunton, 33 – FinalFour Warriors earned wins by pinfall and another by tech fall to help King Philip earn a win on the road at Taunton. Sam DeBaggis (120), Jackson Kelley (138), Cole Ricci (160), and Hunter Hastings (220) each won by fall for KP while Shawn Conniff (195) won by tech fall up 17-2. Noah Riedel (145, 6-2) and Lucas Morreale (170, 5-3) won by decision for KP. Taunton’s James Collins (106), Brandon Mendes (113), and Xavier Sandoval (126) win via pinfall while Peter Ye (182) earned a 2-0 decision.

Lewandowski Lifts Franklin Past Mansfield/OA

Franklin girls hockey
Franklin goalie Gabby Colace made 25 saves to record a shutout against Mansfield/Oliver Ames. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


WALPOLE, Mass. – Goals are at a premium in league games this season and that remained the case when Mansfield/Oliver Ames hosted defending Hockomock champion Franklin at Rodman Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Amanda Lewandowski scored against the run of play in the second period and Gabby Colace made 25 stops to preserve a 1-0 victory for the Panthers in a game in which they were kept on the back foot for the first 30 minutes.

“Definitely a slow start, but we know that every Hockomock League game is going to be like this,” said Frankin coach Margie Burke. “We’re not going to put a lot of pucks on the net this year. We’re going to have to count on good defense and a few lucky breaks.”

The Warriors came flying out of the gates, taking advantage of their team speed to put Franklin on its heels and force the Panthers to defend for long stretches. After Maggie McCaffrey got an early chance on goal for Franklin, MOA started to step on the gas. Tess Luciano started it with a shot from the right circle and Alex Ledin let fly with a slap shot from the high slot that Colace stopped.

With four minutes remaining in the first Reese Pereira managed to get to the front of the net and get a tip from close range. The puck came back around to Ledin and she sent her shot from the slot just wide of the post.

Franklin had been forced back into a shell for much of the period, but did manage a late flurry of chances on the other end. Lewandowski was the catalyst as he forced Jessica Widdop (17 saves) into a stick save from a tight angle and after Gina Vignone threw one at net she forced a blocker stop while falling down.

The hosts were relying on their defensemen to create offensive chances, with Emma Pereira, Julia Muttart, Megan O’Hara, and Melissa Shanteler all getting looks from the point. Vignone and Gianna Cameron led the Franklin defense in trying to clear out any rebounds from the crease.

“They really played well, they blocked shots, they kept their heads up, they didn’t panic against the boards when they were pressured by two players,” MOA coach Roy Bain said about his blue line corps. “I can’t be upset with the way that anyone in that locker room played.”

MOA held an 11-6 edge in shots after the first and the momentum continued following the short breather between periods. Ledin again got a good look at net that went off Colace’s blocker and straight into the air. Cameron cleared before Reese Pereira could get a stick on the loose puck.

“We had a lot of the zone time, we were breaking out as we want to, and their game plan became obvious early, which was to crash the ‘D’ and pinch on the wings,” said Bain. “The goaltender gave up a lot of rebounds but their defense is very responsible in front of their net and stopped us from getting a lot of follow-up chances.”

Libby Carter sent a warning to the Warriors when she got free on a defensive zone turnover only to have Widdop make a big pad save. The breakthrough came three minutes into the second. Vignone flipped a high pass towards goal. Lewandowski managed to bring it down right on the edge of the crease, kicking it to her stick and sliding it past Widdop’s pad for a 1-0 lead.

“That goal tonight, it was a kick, a drop, and a reach,” said Burke. “It was like a soccer or field hockey goal but not an ice hockey goal. I tell them all the time that ugly goals count the same as pretty goals and ugly wins count the same as pretty wins.”

There were more chances for the Warriors to try and even things up in the second, as MOA outshot the Panthers 10-4 in the period and had a four-minute power play, but Lily O’Brien’s shot from the right circle was an example of how Franklin kept the middle of the ice clear.

It was clear that Burke spent the second intermission emphasizing the need to get on the attack, as the third period was by far the best that Franklin played in the offensive zone.

Burke said, “Absolutely, we talked about how everything in the first two periods was a reach and a poke but no body. You have to reach in with your stick and then with your body. They got more physical for sure.”

Lewandowski continued to be a thorn in MOA’s side. She skated behind the net and fired a pass all the way out to Vignone at the point for a shot through traffic that Widdop saved, and then stopped the rebound effort as well. Freshman Shaw Downing had an effort from the blue line that Lewandowski managed to tip in front but Widdop again stayed tall to stop.

The Warriors kept pushing for an equalizing goal, but Franklin continued to hold them at bay. Colace came up with a huge glove save on a blast by Emma Pereira from the edge of the left circle. It was the last good look for the home team.

“It’s tough when you lose by a goal but you can’t be upset that you lost by a goal because every single person played their heart out,” Bain said. “We played great, they were just one goal better.”

Franklin (2-2-1) will face a battle against the first league champion, Canton, on Wednesday. Mansfield/Oliver Ames (3-4-1) will have a short turnaround to try and end its three-game losing streak when it hosts Stoughton on Sunday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/21/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Taunton, 83 vs. Bishop Stang, 57 – FinalTaunton scored 23 points in each of the first three quarters, building a double-digit advantage through eight minutes and never looked back in a win over Bishop Stang. Sophomore Trent Santos sank four three-pointers on his way to a career-high 18 points, one of five Tigers to reach double figures and one of eight on the team to score. Sophomore Faisal Mass scored in all four quarters, netting nine of his career-high 15 points in the third quarter. Josh Lopes (14 points), Nigel Choate (career-high 12 points), and Tyler Stewart (10 points) all finished in double-figures for Taunton, who improved to 2-2 overall.

Boys Hockey
Stoughton, 0 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Canton, 3 vs. Masconomet, 1 – Final

Franklin, 1 @ Pope Francis, 6 – Final

King Philip, 2 @ Archbishop Williams, 0 – FinalKing Philip scored a pair of third period goals, used a stellar defensive performance, and Jesper Makudera shined in net in a win over Archies. Makudera made 27 saves for the Warriors and played outstanding according to KP head coach Paul Carlow. Carlow also noted the strong performance of the Warrior defense, highlighting senior Kyle Gray, who played a ton of minutes to anchor the blue line group. Junior Rocco Bianculli scored 45 seconds into the third on an assist from Joe Boselli to give the visitors the lead. Aidan Boulger doubled the lead at 9:58 on an assist from Gray.

Mansfield, 2 vs. Winthrop, 2 – FinalMansfield had a first period lead but needed to find the back of the net in the third to earn a come-from-behind tie against Winthrop. Seniors Chris Jenkins and Jake Lund scored for the Hornets.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Bishop Feehan, 4 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Matt McSweeney scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, and goalie Nick Digiacomo had a strong game in between the pipes to help the Rocketeers beat their rivals. North had a 1-0 lead five minutes into the first on a goal from the blue line by Jake McNeany, but the Shamrocks scored two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead after one period. In the second, North scored four times to jump in front. Will Yeomans tied the game with a power play goal. After Jake Gruber had his shot sneak inside the post to put North in front, Feehan tied it just 12 seconds later. McSweeney scored twice about a minute apart to put North ahead for good. Feehan got one back in the third, but the North penalty kill was impressive and the Rocketeeers held on for the win.

Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Beverly, 1 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Barnstable, 8 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 3 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Franklin, 3 vs. Austin Prep, 3 – FinalFranklin scored with 10:26 left in the third period to earn a tie with Austin Prep, last year’s D1 State Finalists. The Panthers scored twice in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Gianna Cameron (assisted by Amanda Lewandowski and Lyndsey Atkinson) and then going back in front 2-1 just over a minute later on a goal from Atkinson (assisted by Libby Carter and Tina Pisano). Sophomore Emma Hunt had the assist on the game-tying goal while Gabby Colace made 32 saves in net to help the Panthers earn the point.

King Philip, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Wrestling
Marlboro Tournament (Canton) – The Bulldogs sent a pair of wrestlers to the final round of the Marlboro Early Bird tournament, earning one individual championship and a ninth place finish overall with 73 points. Sophomore Zack Peters earned his first tournament win, taking first in the 113 bracket. Peters won his first three matches via pinfall before taking the final match 4-2 over the second seed. Eddie Marinilli added a second place finish in the 160 bracket while Yuril Leskiv took fourth overall at 106.

Melish Duals – Sharon took first place and went 4-0 in the Mike Melish Memorial Duals, beating hosts Foxboro 40-27 in the final match of the day. The Eagles also earned wins over Northbridge (57-12), Boston Latin (61-6), and Plymouth South (31-30). Five Sharon wrestlers – Adam Landstein, David Gelman, Kirit Gosetty, Tyler Freedman, Rhamsez Thevenin – went undefeated on the day.

Franklin @ St. John’s Prep Quad – The Panthers picked up three wins in the quad meet. Franklin beat Lawrence 54-24, Salem (N.H.) 60-21, and then edged out the home team St. John’s Prep 37-34 in the final match.

Brockton Quad (Mansfield), 10:00AM

North Attleboro Quad – North Attleboro picked up a win over Chariho (RI) but suffered setbacks to both Norton and Hope (RI) in the Rocketeers’ first quad of the season. Big Red earned a 51-25 win over Chariho before falling to the Lancers and Hope by identical 42-30 wins. The Rocketeers were close to a win over powerhouse Norton before the Lancers picked up back-to-back pins for an 18-point swing and the win. North’s Mike Edmonds (170), Montrel Jackson (182), and Keysun Wise (220) each went 3-0 on the day with a pair of pins.

Marshfield Super-Quad – Oliver Ames went 4-0 in Marshfield, beating the hosts 54-24, Pembroke 54-24, Scituate 42-18, and Toll Gate (R.I.) 54-18. Jaden Ricci, Onye Nwadiugwu, Stavros Constantinou, and Nelson Malone all went 4-0 on the day and Max Anderson went 3-0 for the Tigers.

Milford Tournament (Milford, King Philip), 10:00

Stoughton Quad, 10:00

Taunton Early Bird (Taunton) – Taunton’s Christian Balmain claimed the tournament title at 152, helping the Tigers take third overall at the Sandwich Early Bird. Balmain needs just 27 seconds to get his first win via pinfall, and then advanced to the finals with a pinfall victory in the semifinals. In the final, Balmain had a takedown in each of the first two rounds to build a lead, and then secured the 7-2 decision with a late takedown in the third. Taunton’s James Collins (106) and Nico Sallaway (170) each had second play finishes while Luke Fraga (113), Brandon Mendes (120), Xavier Sandoval (126), and Ethan Harris (160) finished third overall.

Girls Gymnastics
Attleboro @ King Philip, 5:30

Shandley, Coleman Help King Philip Skate Past Franklin

King Philip girls hockey Jen Daniels
King Philip’s Jen Daniels watches after releasing a wrist shot in the second period against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Ken Assad has plenty of good memories inside on the ice inside of Pirelli Veterans Arena just next to the campus of Franklin High.

Now he can add his first career win as a high school hockey coach to that list.

A state champion as a player in 1983 and a state champion as an assistant coach in 2016 with the Franklin boys hockey team, Assad traded in his Panther baby blue for the King Philip green and gold this season, taking over the helm of the Warriors girls hockey program.

In the second game of the season, Assad guided the Warriors to a 2-1 win over the Panthers for his first career victory.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“The girls earned it, they came in and played above our expectations today coming off a tough loss to Mansfield,” Assad said, adding he couldn’t have asked for anything better than getting his first win at Pirelli. “We didn’t come out flying in that game, and they got three goals on us in the second period. So to see them play the way they played today, it was fantastic.”

“That’s what we’re looking for. They’re always practicing hard, they are listening to the coaches, and that showed out there. We want them to go hard the entire game and that’s what they did tonight.”

King Philip took the lead just a couple of minutes into the game only for the Panthers to find the equalizer late in the first period. Franklin had a big chance to break the game open with a five-minute power play, but the Warriors killed it and changed the game.

KP senior Makenzie Shandley opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest for her first goal. After winning possession at the blue line, Shandley fired a shot that was originally saved but the rebound came right back and she fired a shot past the goalie.

While it looked like a goal, and the players’ reactions dictated the same, there was no whistle and the game carried on. After nearly 30 seconds of play, the refs got together on the next stoppage to confer. The decision ended up being a goal for Shandley and a 1-0 lead with just under 12 minutes to play in the first.

Despite taking the lead, the ice tilted in favor of Franklin for the rest of the period. The Panthers peppered the net with 11 shots, including a nice chance set up by freshman Lyndsey Aktinson, finding classmate Molly Hurley for a one-timer but her shot was denied by a stick save from KP senior Cristina Coleman (26 saves).

The Panthers couldn’t take advantage of a power play just before the midway point of the period, and then had a pair of chances inside a minute denied. Gina Vignone fired a shot that was loose in front with both Libby Carter and Ryan Sullivan digging in before Coleman covered. Less than a minute later, Coleman came up with a nice save on a strong shot from Franklin senior Gianna Cameron.

Franklin’s pressure finally paid off with just over four minutes to go in the frame. Senior Tina Pisano skated through a pair of stick checks, briefly losing control before settling the puck back on her stick and she roofed a shot from straight away to make it 1-1.

The first chance of the second period fell to the stick of KP junior Jen Daniels. After blocking a shot in the defensive zone, Daniels skated the puck across both blue lines before firing a wrist shot that was turned away by Franklin junior Gabby Colace (20 saves).

The Panthers went on the man-advantage for five minutes after a major with 8:37 to go in the period. Franklin put a handful of shots on net, including a big chance on a pass across the crease but Coleman denied the chance. King Philip’s Sydney O’Shea came up with a nice play on a stick check to thwart a breakaway chance as well.

A minute after killing the penalty, the Warriors went on the power play themselves after an interference call on the Panthers. KP didn’t waste much time to cash in with O’Shea firing a shot from the slot that was blocked wide. Shandley was first to the loose puck, and after calmly collecting it, buried a tight angle chance into the open net for a 2-1 lead.

“It took three lines to kill that penalty, and that third line (Nicole Brady, Olivia Donovan, Katarina Precobb) was unbelievable during it,” Assad said. “They just go out there, they hunt the puck down, and they clear it out and you can’t ask for anything more than that. To be able to kill that major was huge for us. And then we’ve been practicing our power play, and the girls are like sponges because they pick it right up. We got that shot in the slot that we wanted.”

King Philip nearly put the game away early in the third period when O’Shea and Shandley nearly linked up but Vignone stepped in to deny the connection. Seconds later, the Warriors had a big clank off the crossbar and stay out.

Atkinson found junior Amanda Lewandowski but her deflection was gobbled up in front by Coleman. Donovan had a breakaway chance for KP but again Vignone intervened.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin was on the verge of a good chance with just over three minutes to go with Lewandowski and Atkinson skating in the offensive zone but Daniels made a nice hustle play to prevent a chance on goal.

“Coming off the Mansfield/Oliver Ames games, we really wanted to take away loose pucks in front of the crease,” Assad said. “We really focused on that and they did a great job with it tonight. [Mansfield] scored three of their four goals on scrums in front so we really worked hard getting our sticks on the puck and it really showed today. And [Coleman] was just fantastic. She made some key saves for us, she had a huge one during that power play.”

Franklin (1-1, 1-1) will try to bounce back on the same day when it hosts Austin Prep.

Girls Hockey: Ten Players to Watch in 2019-2020

2019-2020 Girls Hockey Players to Watch
Franklin junior goalie Gabby Colace is back after an impressive sophomore season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Gabby Colace, Junior – Franklin

After missing time at the beginning of last season, Colace returned to solidify the goaltending position for the Panthers (after an admirable job filling in by Gianna Cornetta), helping to bring home the program’s first Hockomock League title. Colace finished the year with a 1.77 goals against average, which was second in the Hock, and stopped 91 percent of the shots that she faced. She made 242 saves and recorded a pair of shutouts for the Panthers, who went unbeaten (7-0-1) in the Hock and won 17 games overall. Athletic and quick, Colace covers a lot of ground in net and is capable of making highlight-reel stops, while rarely giving up soft goals. Her communication with the experienced defensive corps in front of her will also be crucial to Franklin’s attempt to repeat as Hock champs and make another run in the state tournament.

Cristina Coleman, Senior – King Philip

King Philip senior captain Cristina Coleman could be poised to have a breakout year between the pipes after a strong showing over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, Coleman made 96 saves with a 2.84 goals against average. In the time she played in net for KP last year, she made 77 saves while posting a 0.94 goals against average and an impressive 0.939 save percentage. After showing improvement over each of the past two seasons, look for Coleman to take the next step during her senior campaign. The Warriors are a relatively young group with just three seniors so they will lean on Coleman heavily to provide leadership both on and off the ice. She is able to cover a lot of ground with her quickness. She is also an aggressive goalie, challenging shooters, and athletic enough to pull off the tough saves. As the Warriors make a push to get back to the tournament, Coleman will be a key piece of the 2019-2020 Warriors.

Maria Femia, Junior – Canton

As a freshman, Femia played a role in getting the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the state title game, but her expected breakout season as a sophomore didn’t really happen. She finished last year with two goals and nine assists, but Canton relied mostly on its top line for goal scoring and was unable to defend its league title. With 41 combined goals and 62 combined points gone with the graduation of Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick, Femia will be expected to take on a much bigger load of the scoring for Canton this season and her combination of speed and tenacity should make her tough for opposing defenses to contain. Whether on the forecheck or in the transition game, Femia can find ways to get behind defenders and has the vision to make the right pass. If Femia can make the jump this season and become a more consistent scorer, then the Bulldogs could be looking at a quick return to the top of the league standings.




Morgan Lessa, Junior – Stoughton

Stoughton scored 26 goals last season and Lessa played a role in nearly half of those. The forward scored nine goals and assisted on three others, becoming the top attacking threat for a Black Knights program that is still in the developing stages. After an all-star season, Lessa is back to lead the way for Stoughton with the hopes of getting the team back on track after a winless 2018-19 and keep things moving in the right direction. Speedy with a decent shot on the move, she is able to create goals for herself but also gets her teammates headed to the right spots to create scoring chances. Without the numbers of some of the teams that it will be facing, Stoughton relies on hard work to compete for three periods and Lessa is one of the players that leads the way to keep the Black Knights in games.

Amanda Lewandowski, Junior – Franklin

Lewandowski was part of a dynamic first line for the Panthers last season, but she will be counted on even more this winter after the graduation of top scorers Regan Paterson and Cassie Ronan. She scored eight goals and added 10 assists from the wing, but those numbers could take a jump this year as she will be one of the team’s primary puck handlers and will be expected to play a role in power play and penalty kill situations as well. A strong player with the puck on her stick, Lewandowski won’t shy away from contact in the corners to keep the puck moving and has the extra burst of speed to find space in the transition game. While Franklin has an experienced defensive group coming back, Lewandowski will also be expected to start defending from the front and provide cover through the center of the ice. It is always difficult to repeat as league champion and Franklin will be hoping that Lewandowski can provide the scoring punch to get the Panthers back on top this winter.

Olivia Maffeo, Freshman – Canton

It is not often that a player makes one of these lists without having played a minute of varsity action, but there has been a lot of talk this fall about Maffeo’s arrival on the team and her potential impact on an experienced Canton defensive unit. The Boston Jr. Eagles player has certainly impressed with her club team and she certainly has the family pedigree (sister Alexa is a senior defenseman on the team and brother Jackson was a two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in defense). A strong skater with a powerful shot, Maffeo could step right into the lineup and be a factor in all three zones, adding depth to the defense but also some more scoring punch from the blue line. Canton is looking to get back to the top of the league and to make a deep run in the postseason and Maffeo’s addition as part of what should be a strong freshman class could be an important catalyst for a big winter.

Avari Maxwell, Junior – King Philip

With just three seniors on the roster, the Warriors will be depending players from each grade to step up. Maxwell is in her third year with the program and is one of the most experienced players on the team. She found the back of the net seven times a year ago and recorded two helpers as well. She will be on King Philip’s top line along with senior newcomer Makenzie Shandley and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Since its the first year that the trio has skated on the same line for King Philip, it will be important to establish chemistry early on to try and lead the way for the Warrior offense. The Warriors ranked fourth in the Hockomock League last season in scoring but with Maxwell back along with two strong forwards on the first line, KP will have a dangerous attack as they make a push for the league title.

Emma Pereira, Junior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames

Pereira gave the Warriors a strong presence in all three zones last season, not only stepping up defensively to give Mansfield/Oliver Ames a physical force on one end of the ice but also chipping in offensively. Pereira scored five goals and assisted on eight others last year, showing off a powerful shot from the blue line and also the ability to skate through the opposition in the neutral zone. One of the league’s top defenders with the puck on her stick, Pereira will add much-needed experience to a team loaded with younger players. She also stepped up her game when facing some of the top teams in the league, helping Mansfield/Oliver Ames earn a tie against Canton and a one-goal loss against eventual Hock champion Franklin. The Warriors have aspirations of making another tournament appearance this season and Pereira’s ability to control play in all three zones will be a key to that success.




Lizzie Tassinari, Junior – Canton

After graduating two of the league’s top scorers, the Bulldogs will need players to step up to take on more responsibility on the offensive end of the ice. One candidate for that is junior Lizzie Tassinari, who is the squad’s returning scorer. She found the back of the net five times last year and recorded 13 assists to finish with 18 points as just a sophomore. With plenty of varsity experience, Tassinari will be a leader among the team’s forwards. She can use her speed to beat opposing defenders but as evident by her 13 assists last year, she has the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. Her energy can be contagious and can give the Bulldogs a boost when needed.

Jessica Widdop, Sophomore – Mansfield/Oliver Ames

Last winter, the Warriors needed someone to step between the pipes and take over as the new goalie. Widdop, who had only played as a forward and winger during her time on the ice, volunteered. She spent the preseason training and preparing for her new role and it more than paid off, as she put together a solid season in goal and gave Mansfield/Oliver Ames a strong presence to backstop the defense. Widdop had a 2.43 goals against average in her first season and recorded a pair of shutouts. She saved 88 percent of the shots that she faced last winter, making a league-high 407 saves. Her quickness and athleticism made her tough to beat, even as she was still learning the position. She came through with several impressive games against some of the league’s top teams, keeping the Warriors within one goal of league champ Franklin and earning a tie against Canton. If Mansfield/Oliver Ames wants to make a playoff run this season, Widdop’s development into a strong goaltender will be critical to the Warriors’ success.

2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Franklin girls hockey
MOA’s Emma Pereira (left) and Franklin’s Gina Vignone battle for possession at the blue line last season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Canton

2018-2019 Record: 12-6-5
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 First Round
Coach: Dennis Aldrich

The Bulldogs will be using a mix of veterans and new faces as they try to get back on top of the Hockomock League. After winning the first league championship in 2018, the Bulldogs finished second last year but will be aiming to take back the title in 2020.

The strength of the team will be along the blue line with senior captains Alexa Maffeo and Meg Aldrich leading the way. Both have a ton of varsity experienced, including playing in a state championship game, and Canton will lean on them heavily for their leadership both on and off the ice. The defense will also feature sophomore Allie McCabe, who picked up valuable experience as a rookie a season ago. The defense will also get a boost from a pair of new faces with freshmen Olivia Maffeo and Maya Battista expected to be big time players for the Bulldogs.

Offensively, head coach Dennis Aldrich said he expects his side to be very quick and opportunistic in the attacking zone. Junior captain Maria Femia (two goals, nine assists), junior Lizzie Tassinari (five goals, 13 assists) and junior Ellie Rae Roberts (four goals, eight assists) are familiar with the system and have high expectations for the season. Sophomore Tess Khoury (six goals, five assists) returns after an impressive freshman senior. Freshman goalie Carolyn Durand has impressed early on with senior Vicky Revanche give the Dogs an experienced option in net.

“The early energy and closeness of this team has been remarkable,” Aldrich said. “I look for us to make some noise both in the Hockomock League and the state tournament this season.”

Franklin

2018-2019 Record: 17-3-2
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Quarterfinals
Coach: Margie Burke

It’s been back-to-back very successful seasons for the Panthers, and head coach Margie Burke is looking for that success to continue in 2020. Franklin won 14 games two years ago, and then went unbeaten in Hockomock League last year and finished with 17 wins overall.

The defending Hockomock champs have a lot of experience back on the defensive end. Junior goalie Gabby Colace is back between the pipes for Franklin and will be one of the top netminders in the area. She posted a 0.905 save percentage in the regular season a year ago, allowing just 1.77 goals a game while making 242 saves. She will have some familiar faces in front of her with seniors Tina Pisano, Gina Vignone, and Gianna Cameron all back playing defense. Franklin was tough to score against last year and that will likely be the case again this year.

The biggest question mark offensively will be trying to replace the production of Regan Paterson and Cassi Ronan, who were two of the top three point producers in the entire league last year. But Franklin has a good cast of players ready for expanded roles this year. Juniors Libby Carter (five goals, three assists), Amanda Lewandowski (eight goals, 10 assists), Katelyn Brown (five goals, three assists), and Maddy Dolan, give the Panthers plenty of options on the attacking end. The Panthers will be looking to get some production out of the eight underclassmen on the roster as well.

“We are looking forward to building on the successes of last year and to be competitive in a very strong Hockomock League,” Burke said.

King Philip

2018-2019 Record: 4-13-2
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ken Assad

After helping the Franklin boys team for over a decade, Ken Assad has traded in his Panther blue for the green and gold of King Philip, taking over the helm of the girls’ hockey program. Coming off a four-win season, Assad and his staff are very optimistic about the upcoming season.

The Warriors only have three seniors on the roster, so they will need contributions from every player on the roster to compete for a Hockomock League title and try to get back into the state tournament. Although it’s a small senior class, all three are important pieces to the team and are spread out on the ice. Makenzie Shandley is a newcomer to the program but will be leaned on to guide the offense on the first line. She is joined by returning forwards Avari Maxwell (seven goals, two assists) and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Assad is hoping to have a deep offense with Jennifer Daniels, Olivia Donovan, Sydney O’Shea, Katarina Precobb, and Meg Sherwood all in the mix to get plenty of ice time.

Defensively, the Warriors are going to lean on senior captain Sami Robison. Fresh off a terrific field hockey season, Robison will be the veteran leader of the blue line unit for the Warriors. Junior Gabriela Trujillo should see an expanded role this year and will be an important part of the defensive unit. Junior Libby Curran, sophomore Ally Donovan, and freshman Maggie Griffin and Brielle Hearon are also apart of the KP defense. In goal, senior captain Cristina Coleman and freshman Mallory Johnston will push one another for time in between the pipes.

“Being a young team is great for the future of this program which is exciting,” Assad said. “We are always optimistic for a good start and to compete at a high level and I know the chemistry we have and the great leadership the girls will come out giving their best.”

Mansfield/Oliver Ames

2018-2019 Record: 9-9-3
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Preliminary Round
Coach: Roy Bain

The Mansfield/Oliver Ames/Foxboro girls hockey team is relying on a mix of youth and veterans to push for a return to the state tournament in 2020. Although there are just two seniors on the squad, there is still a handful of experienced players that have played in plenty of contests at the varsity level.

Senior Liz Healy, junior Emma Pereira, and junior Melissa Shanteler will lead the way for the Warriors this season. Healy will be a leader on the offensive end while both Pereira and Shanteler will provide MOA with talent and leadership on the blue line. Joining that junior duo on the blue line will be classmate Megan O’Hara and sophomore Julia Muttart. The Warriors added some depth to the defensive unit with the addition of freshmen Brooklynn Levins and Maya Manganaro. Behind that talented group of defensemen will be sophomore goalie Jess Widdop, who had a terrific freshman year and earned team MVP honors.

On the offensive end of the ice, the Warriors return the speedy line of junior Alex Ledin (six goals, three assists), sophomore Sam Ledin (three goals, six assists), and sophomore Kylie O’Keefe, all representing Foxboro. Healy will be joined by Tessa Luciano and Emma Garland on another line while OA freshman Reese Pereira will be working with Foxboro’s Ella Waryas and Mansfield’s Lily O’Brien, giving the Warriors a lot of depth offensively. MOA is also looking for contributions from Elle Weinstein, Pam Nelson, Maeve O’Keefe, Erin DiCenzo, Cataline Kipp, Ciera Doherty, Ava Adams, and Mya Waryas.

“With a team comprised of two seniors, ten juniors, nine sophomores, and four freshmen, the program can look forward to continued consistency and success for the next few seasons,” said MOA head coach Roy Bain. “This team should compete against the talent-rich and always tight Hockomock League race.”

Stoughton

2018-2019 Record: 0-20-0
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Rich Grasso

After a down year, the Black Knights are looking to getting back on track as they team up with Sharon High for the second straight season.

Stoughton boasts skill at each position with junior Morgan Lessa back for her third year with the program, junior Haley Nelson returns to anchor the defense, and senior Brianna Buckley gives the Black Knights plenty of experience between the pipes. Stoughton will need contributions from everyone on the roster with four seniors, four juniors, six sophomores, and four freshmen.

Lessa is among the league’s top players at forward, scoring nine goals and adding three assists last year. Senior Abbey Kashian is one of the team’s three captains and will provide leadership on the offensive end. Look for Sharon junior Sam Sherman, another captain on the team, to fill in both offensively and defensively depending on the team’s needs. Seniors Carly Lader and Hannah Duff will provide depth on the attack this season.

Nelson, who logs a ton of minutes, will be the leader of the defensive unit. Sophomore Zofia Bangs and Sharon junior Jillian Parker are going to be key pieces on both ends of the ice this season for Stoughton. Freshman Ava Buckley has impressed early on this preseason and could give the blue line a big boost.

2019 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars

Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Anna Beck, Attleboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Anna Beck, Attleboro
Campell Compton, Attleboro
Riley O’Connor, Canton
Kaitlyn Goyetch, Canton
Maria Femia, Canton
Meghan LaBelle, Canton
Jaime Notarangelo, Foxboro
Ella Waryas, Foxboro
Shannon Egan, Foxboro
Amanda Lewandowski, Franklin
Olivia Rondeau, Franklin
Maeve Ledwith, Franklin
Stephanie Bell, Franklin
Makenzie Manning, King Philip
Sammy Robison, King Philip
Grace Doyle, Mansfield
Abby Varricchione, Mansfield
Kat Swineford, Milford
Lindsay Robinson, North Attleboro
Emma Strachan, North Attleboro
Cassie Gennis, Oliver Ames
Ellie Waters, Oliver Ames
Georgia Costello, Oliver Ames
Haley Nelson, Stoughton
Alana Tavares, Taunton
Kathryn Robinson, Taunton

Franklin Rallies to Win Physical Battle With Braintree

Franklin field hockey
Franklin forward Olivia Rondeau runs past a Braintree defender during the D1 South opener at Beaver St. Field. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – It certainly felt like the playoffs at Beaver St. Field on Saturday afternoon, and not just because of the cold. There was a fiery atmosphere at Franklin’s postseason opener against Braintree and the intensity, physicality, and aggression of the action on the field surpassed anything that the Panthers had faced in the regular season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It took until the second half, but Franklin came to grips with that physicality and, thanks to a pair of goals within a minute of each other and a last minute goal line clearance, the Panthers were able to rally from a goal down to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory.

“That’s the most physical game we’ve had all year,” said a relieved Franklin coach Michelle Hess after the final whistle.

The Wamps came storming out of the gates and took control from the opening whistle, putting the Panthers back on their heels with a fast-paced transition game and a direct style. Franklin goalie Neilee Hess was forced into a save inside the first two minutes and the Panthers found themselves pinned back in the defensive half.

Braintree nearly scored in the third minute after a massive scramble in the crease, but the officials waved off a goal due to an infringement. Another cross came in seconds later but skipped right through the crease. In the fifth minute, the pressure paid off as the Wamps scored from a corner, Delia Lee getting the final touch to a cross.

Despite being the home team and the higher seed, Franklin looked nervous in the opening minutes and took a while to settle down. That was helped in the 13th minute by winning a corner, which was played out to Amanda Lewandowski, who set up a shot for Molly Collins. Olivia Rondeau was stationed at the post and was able to turn the shot in to make it 1-1.

The physicality was non-stop and freshman Kaitlyn Carney got tangled up with Lee in the midfield and was given a card for a trip. The Wamps took advantage of the extra player and regained the lead before the break with Lee getting the finishing touch from in close, flicking the shot past Hess (seven saves).

It could have been worse for the Panthers shortly after halftime when Allyson DeCoste and then Lee were denied at point-blank range by Hess in the Franklin goal.

Instead of being two behind, Franklin stayed within striking distance and started to find seams in the visitors’ back line. Lewandowski made a long run from inside her own half, but had a shot from outside the circle skid just wide of the post. Two minutes later, Rondeau found space on the right but back-to-back crosses were cut out by the Braintree defense.

“We noticed that they were trapping us on the left, pressuring us to go to the lefthand side of the field,” Hess explained. “We talked at halftime that since they’re doing that to us let’s switch the field more and start playing on the right and let’s using the middle a little bit. We also said they only have one girl back so let’s use some long balls since we have speed and at least get it into their half of the field.”

Finally, in the 49th minute, Franklin found itself level again, and again it was a well-executed corner that led to the goal. The ball was passed from up top to the end line and then sent across the crease, which led to a scrum on the goal line. Senior defender Maeve Ledwith was in the right place to get the telling touch.

“It picked up our momentum,” said Hess. “It recharged them. We work really hard on our corners, so it was great to see them execute and hit it at the right time.”

Before the teams had a chance to process that the game was tied, the Panthers were in front. A quick transition caught out the Braintree defenders and Stephanie Bell was able to redirect a shot up over the goalie’s blocker to make it 3-2.

Emotions were being frayed on both sides as the game’s intensity ratcheted up another notch for the final 10 minutes. The Wamps had a goal ruled out when a shot from beyond the circle went through a crowd of bodies untouched. Rondeau then set up Bell for a big chance but the shot went just wide.

With three minutes left in the game, Braintree had one final chance. DeCoste, who was mostly well-marshaled by Kate O’Rourke, got free and sent a shot towards the back post. Hess had been forced to cover the near post. so the goal was gaping but Collins hustled back to cover and swept the shot off the line.

At the final whistle, the Franklin players swarmed their goalie and celebrated a win that will get them ready for the challenges yet to come in the playoffs.

Hess noted, “Usually in the tournament you’re going to face a Walpole, who’s also another physical, aggressive team, or Somerset-Berkley, who has the boys, so yeah I definitely think this momentum and this excitement is going to let us continue to ride the wave and keep going.”

Franklin (15-2-2) will travel to No. 4 seed Westwood on Monday afternoon for the D1 South quarterfinal.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.