NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames is in the midst of the program’s best-ever season, finishing the regular season with 12 wins, but the Tigers were not content and went into Tuesday night’s Div. 2 South first round game with Old Rochester at Val Muscato Stadium looking to add another chapter to and already successful spring.
The Tigers turned to the youth on its midfield to keep the season alive. Sophomore Frankie Ireland scored five goals and classmate Shane Kilkelly added four more in their first playoff games, leading OA to a 14-10 victory and a spot in the quarterfinal.
“The advantage that I thought we had going in was athleticism,” said OA coach Ben Devlin. “We have some real fast middies that took advantage of their speed and took advantage of the situations.”
Ireland got the Tigers off to a strong start with four goals in the first half, including a hat trick in the second quarter, and Kilkelly stepped up with four goals of his own in the second half. The Bulldogs failed to contain either player one-on-one and OA took advantage of Old Rochester’s desire to press the attackers high up the field.
Devlin added, “Once they started going one-on-one and started to press us, the guys noticed that and they know they’re faster than a lot of those guys so they took advantage of their speed. We had a lot of guys who had big games.”
The sophomores added to the attacking prowess of senior Eric LeBlanc, who scored three goals and recorded three assists on Tuesday. The program’s first player to score 100 goals in his career drew a lot of attention from the visiting defense, but the Tigers showed that they can provide a balanced attack.
“We had seven different players with 20-plus goals this year,” Devlin explained. “It makes us tough to cover. You can’t just isolate a guy or two and take them away from us because, like today, Frankie steps up and has four goals early and they start concentrating on him and Shane has four goals.”
Ireland got the scoring started in the first quarter when he found himself all alone on the edge of the crease and Colin Bourne picked him out with a perfect pass. The lead was doubled two minutes later when sophomore Sam Stevens had his shot saved but another sophomore Sandro Masciarelli scooped the rebound and finished.
After scoring twice in the opening three minutes, the Tigers would fail to find the back of the net for the final nine minutes of the quarter. Masciarelli had a good chance in transition that was saved and LeBlanc saw a shot tipped onto the post by Old Rochester goalie Nathaniel King. The Bulldogs scored twice to tie the game after one.
A minute into the second Kilkelly received a pass from LeBlanc and ripped a lefty shot under the bar to give the Tigers back the lead. After a tying goal from the visitors, Ireland twice got free cutting across the middle and found the net with lefty shots to put OA ahead for good. After the Bulldogs cut the lead to one, Ireland scored for the fourth time with another shot on the run.
In the closing seconds of the half, Cullen Gallagher forced a turnover and scooped the ground ball. The junior long pole took off up field and fired a pass to freshman Remi Creighton, but the shot was off the post. On the restart, LeBlanc took it himself dodging from the ‘X’ and finishing to make it 7-4 at the break.
“None of those guys started a varsity game before this year so they’ve come a long way and they’re playing really well right now,” said Devlin of his defensive unit, which limited the Bulldogs chances in the first half with accurate checks and aggressive play in the passing lanes. Mark Vaspollo, Shane Murphy, Matt Saba, and Gallagher were consistently making plays on the defensive end.
OA broke the game open in the third quarter and it was Kilkelly that sparked the attack, scoring three times. The first goal was a rocket to the top corner and the second came off a one-on-one move where he left his marker behind and finished with a bouncing shot. The lead could have been much bigger if not for the play of King, who made 17 saves for the Bulldogs. In one sequence, he made a save on Bourne and then somehow recovered to stop Hunter Costello’s rebound effort and watch the follow-up from Spencer Kligman hit the post and stayed out.
Old Rochester scored on the break, but Kilkelly ensured the Bulldogs would not gain momentum with a spin move on the edge of the crease that freed his hands for his fourth goal of the night. LeBlanc again scored in the final minute of a quarter and made it 11-5 heading to the fourth.
Kilkelly started the final quarter by flicking a pass to Ireland, who went behind his back for his fifth and most impressive goal of the night. OA was inches from another when goalie Nick Gillis made a save and quick outlet to Jack Lang to start a counterattack. The ball was advanced to Creighton and then Owen Gallagher alone in front but King saved it and the rebound bounced off the bar.
Gallagher would get on the score sheet to make it 13-6, but the Bulldogs scored two in a row to stay alive. LeBlanc completed his hat trick from a narrow angle, squeezing the ball into the top corner to push the lead back to six. Old Rochester kept coming, scoring twice more to make it a nervy final couple minutes and provide a learning experience for the Tigers on how to close out a game.
“We want to close out a little stronger,” Devlin admitted. “We had a lead and got a little sloppy. The defense played real well today. These guys (Old Rochester) have some great shooters and good offensive players and they took a little advantage of some tired defenders at the end.”
The Tigers finished the game off and earned another win, ensuring success did not end with the regular season. Devlin said, “I told them earlier, it was the best regular season in program history but it doesn’t really matter if you come out and lay an egg in the first round of the playoffs and go home early. Our goal is not a great regular season, it’s not one tournament win; we think we can make a run.”
Oliver Ames (13-6) will travel to fourth-seed Plymouth South in the quarterfinal on Thursday afternoon.
CANTON, Mass. – In the opening game of the season for both teams, Canton held off a second half push from Oliver Ames to record a 12-6 win on Thursday afternoon.
The Bulldogs built a four-goal advantage over the first 24 minutes of action, taking a comfortably 7-3 lead into halftime. But Oliver Ames came out with renewed energy in the second half, scoring a pair of goals in the third while blanking Canton’s offense to make it a two-goal game (7-5) heading into the final frame.
But Canton responded well, scoring its first of four straight goals less than two minutes into the fourth to fend off the Tigers’ comeback effort.
“[OA] came out ready to go in the second half,” said Canton head coach Bill Bendell. “It’s the first game, which is part of it, but OA came out with grit in the second half and was ready to go. They took it to us in the third. Then we woke up a bit in the fourth, realized the game wasn’t over and went on to finish it. I’m really happy to come away with the win. We made our share of mistakes so we still have plenty to work on too.”
Canton started the contest strong, scoring the opening goal less than a minute in when junior Griffin Roach charged up the middle and ripped a shot into the back of the net just 55 seconds in.
The Bulldogs kept their foot on the pedal as junior Mike Shaw took advantage of an OA turnover and scored from in close after a nice shot fake, Roach took a handoff from classmate Matt Martin, changed direction to get past a defenseman and rifled one in, and Ryan Sullivan took a feed from Shaw before firing a low shot, giving Canton a 4-0 lead eight minutes into the game.
Oliver Ames picked up some momentum before the end of the quarter by getting on the board. Sophomore Shane Kilkelly dodged past a defender, faked a shot to draw the attention of two others and then slipped a pass right in front to classmate Hunter Costello for a goal in tight.
The Tigers capitalized on that momentum to begin the second quarter, cutting the deficit to two when senior Owen Gallagher used his speed to wrap around the goal and a bounce shot to make it 4-2 just 32 seconds into the frame.
Canton sophomore David Allen extended the advantage back to three when he scored from a tight angle with 6:40 to go in the first half, only for Kilkelly to answer just over 30 seconds later. Kilkelly backed his way towards goal and used a nice spin move to create space for his shot.
Roach had the answer for Canton, scoring back-to-back goals in under a three-minute space. Just a minute after Kilkelly’s strike, Roach rushed up the middle and fired a bounce shot that snuck just under the bar. The junior cashed in again up the middle, whipping a hard shot to make it 7-3 heading into halftime.
“He’s a stud,” Bendell said of Roach. “He’s a junior captain for us, he can go left or right hand, he gets back and plays defense. He’s just an all-around great player, he’s the hardest worker on the team…exactly what you want from a captain.”
OA got off to a strong start in the second half when senior Jack Lang put the Tigers on the board 38 seconds in, making it 7-4. That goal seemed to set the tone for the period as OA controlled for the majority of the 12 minutes.
But it wasn’t until the final two minutes that OA cashed in again. Sophomore Frankie Ireland made a nice hustle play at midfield to gain possession and then came sprinting into the zone. He found Costello in the middle, who instantly returned the pass on a give-and-go and Ireland tucked his shot from in close just under the bar at a tight angle it to make it 7-5.
“In the third quarter we started executing our offense,” said OA first-year head coach Ben Devlin. “We controlled the ball a little bit more, we worked it around, and we were running our offense the way its supposed to be run. In the fourth, we started to press a little. We were chasing the score. I think the kids thought the deficit was a little bit more than it was so they started to force a little bit. We started playing aggressive and they were able to beat it at times.
“Bill [Bendell]’s a smart coach, we know his offense can kill a lot of clock so we had to press. It all came down to execution…when we won ground balls, won faceoffs and ran our offense, we were right in the game.”
Canton put an end to that momentum early in the fourth. Albert found Shaw cutting through traffic in front less than two minutes in to make it 8-5.
“We were better when we moved the ball and moved around,” Bendell said. “We did a ton of standing around on offense. We tried changing formations…the guy with the ball would end up just standing, or maybe he was moving but then everyone else was watching. I think that’s early stuff, but we talked about moving off the ball a little bit more in the second half. It got better as the game went on, and then in the fourth, they had to press us and that made us move more.
Roach (with 8:14 left), Albert (7:43) and sophomore James Murphy (5:49) scored in succession during the fourth to pull away from the Tigers. Costello added his second, again on an assist from Kilkelly with 2:35 left.
Albert completed his hat trick with just over a minute left to cap the scoring.
“Our guys were really amped up for the game, they knew they had a chance to win it,” Devlin said. “We knew if we executed, we could win. I was encouraged by our scrimmages, I thought we looked really good. But we just didn’t put it on the field today and execute at our best.”
Bendell also noted he felt that freshman TJ McCabe’s performance at the faceoff X was a big factor in helping the Bulldogs earn the win. Canton senior Charlie O’Connor, the team’s normal FOGO specialist, is out hurt and Bendell said McCabe filled in admirably.
“One of the things I thought we did well today was on faceoffs,” Bendell said. “With Charlie out hurt, TJ took them and he competed on every single one and that really gave us a chance.”
Oliver Ames (0-1, 0-1) will try to bounce back on Friday when it hosts Foxboro.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Kevin Koppy
After coming up just one game shy of the postseason, Attleboro is aiming to make the playoffs for the first time in program history in 2018.
The Bombardiers doubled their victory total from 2016 to 2017, going from four to eight in the win column. Attleboro returns 11 players from last year’s squad and has a total of 12 seniors on the team. Now in its fourth year, interest in the program is growing rapidly with 17 combined freshmen on either varsity or the JV roster.
There will be a lot of experience on the defensive end for Big Blue. Junior captain Trevor Koppy is back for his third year as the Bombardiers’ starting goalie. He turned away 306 shots last year with a 64% save percentage. In front of Koppy, senior captain Dan Perry is back to anchor the defensive unit which features all seniors.
“Dan is a physical defender that has excellent field awareness and leads by example,” said AHS head coach Kevin Koppy. “He’s constantly hustling and fighting hard for loose balls.”
Perry is joined by classmates Jim Nordberg and Chris Reynolds on close defense while Matt Potter will man LSM and Matt Jiminez brins an extra long pole presence to the defensive unit. Another returner is senior Kyle Henry, resuming his role as the team’s primary faceoff man. Henry had a successful 2017 season in that role and Big Blue will rely on him to spark the offense once again.
Seniors Jimmy Burke and Aidan McKenna, junior Cam Littig, and sophomore Thomas Shipman return to the midfield for Attleboro. Big Blue will have some new faces on the attack with seniors TJ Infante, Shane Joubert, and Aidan Downey leading the way. Freshman Mike Strachan and Matt Perry will also be involved in Attleboro’s attack.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs found themselves in an unfamiliar position at the end of last season: on the outside looking in for the postseason.
Canton is looking to get back into the postseason this year after coming up just one game shy of qualifying. The Bulldogs won three straight to give themselves a chance but fell just short on the road against Abington in the final game of the season.
Using that as motivation, look for the Bulldogs to be right back in the mix this season. Leading the way will be senior captains Kevin Albert, Charlie O’Connor, and Griffin Roach. All three patrolled the midfield last season but could see time in other spots depending on how the lineup comes together.
O’Connor will step in to handle faceoffs but could miss some time early along with defensemen Brian Ghostlaw and Brendan Albert. Until Canton gets back to 100%, it will rely on senior Gabe Galeotos, junior George Kent, and sophomores Nick Mackay and Jace Emma to provide protection in front of sophomore goalie Jack Connolly. Connolly had a superb freshman season in the cage for the Bulldogs and will try to build upon that his season.
Junior Mike Shaw is back for his third year on attack for Canton, providing experience and leadership up front. Juniors Matt Martin and Dan Cohen, along with sophomores Chris Lavoie and David Allen will also figure into the Bulldogs’ offense this season.”
“We have a great group of kids this year with a nice blend of experienced players and new faces,” said CHS head coach Bill Bendell.
2017 Record: 11-9 2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round Coach: Matt Noone
It’s safe to say Foxboro head coach Matt Noone is optimistic about the 2018 season.
The Warriors graduated just three players total and return their starting goalie, the entire defensive unit, and top three scorers from a season ago. Foxboro’s record was a bit deceiving based on how much talent they had, with five one-goal losses and two two-goal losses. The Warriors were dropped in the opening game of the playoffs by just one goal after holding a multi-goal lead in the second half.
With so much of the line up back, Noone is hoping to turn those close losses into wins.
“We’re going to be a better team than we were last year,” Noone said. “We have to play within our system, and do the simple things…if we do that, we will be very good and very tough to beat. If they don’t, we’ll be losing those one-goal games again.”
It all starts with defense in Foxboro with Jake Addeche returning in the cage for his third season. Addeche (185 saves) is one of the best goalies in the region and will have a very experienced defense in front of him. Senior Pat Kaveny and junior Pat Stapleton will anchor the defense, both with equipped with plenty of skill and experience, while sophomores Ronnie MacLellan and Matt Lathrop each already have a year of varsity experience under their belts.
Junior Brendan Tully (24 goals, 15 assists) will pace the Warriors in the midfield (“His lacrosse IQ is off the charts,” Noone notes). Tully can help transition Foxboro from defense to offense, and his ability to keep possession helps the Warriors control the tempo. Tully is complemented in the middle by seniors Louis Blake and Mike Collins while both Shayne Kerrigan and Bobby Yerardi will be in the mix as well.
Offensively, the Warriors look to be well-balanced with Louis Piccolo (25 goals, 13 assists) back this year along with senior Mike Moses (18 goals, 20 assists), junior Pete Conley (15 goals, 23 assists) and senior Andrew Whalen.
2017 Record: 16-5 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Lou Verrochi
Expectations are high for the 2018 season based on the talent the Franklin Panthers boast this year.
“We return a very good team,” said FHS head coach Lou Verrochi. “We have a very good and deep bench too, we’re looking forward to the season.”
The long list of returning talent starts with All-American and 2017 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Eric Civetti. Civetti (Rutgers commit) has been tormenting opposing defenses since his freshman year. He scored 70 goals and notched 24 assists as a sophomore, and then netted 79 goals and 21 assists last year, totaling 194 points between the two years. The Panthers will also boast senior Zach Alexander and freshman Matt Lazzaro on attack.
The midfield will be loaded with two talented lines available. Captains Kyle McEniry (10 goals, 21 assists) and Chase Tanner (29 goals, 10 assists) will be joined by the speedy Nitin Chaudhury (24 goals, 10 assists) on the Panthers first unit while Jake Davis, Johnny O’Glishen, and Owen Palmieri give Verrochi an incredibly talented second unit.
As if the midfield wasn’t loaded enough, the Panthers have 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jacob Alexander back to dominate the faceoff X. Alexander, who is committed to play at Bryant University, has dominated at the X for the past two years and really gives the Panthers an advantage in terms of getting possession. “He’s arguably the best FOGO in Mass,” Verrochi noted.
The defense will be anchored by junior Patrick Morrison (Rutgers commit) along with Trevor Raffin, Jack McGrath and Spencer Briggs. Sean Lazzaro will be our top LSM while the Panthers have plenty of talent as SSDM with Will Harvey, Ben Kolb, and Aaron Mollo in the mix. Backstopping the team in goal will be Colorado commit and captain Connor O’Rourke (169 saves, 64% save percentage).
2017 Record: 13-9 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals Coach: Hal Bean
The Warriors will be looking to replicate the success they had in the 2016 season again this year.
After finishing 9-2 in league play (second in the Kelley-Rex), the Warriors had an impressive postseason run, competing with top-seeded and eventual sectional champ BC High in the D1 South Quarterfinals.
A big reason why KP has had a lot of experience over the past four years is goalie Paul Macrina. Macrina is now manning the cage at Drexel University, so there are big shoes to fill in the cage this season for KP.
King Philip also has to find replacements for the production lost by LSM Zach D’Amico, attack Tim Watson (56 goals, 28 points – second in the Hockomock League), and defenseman Connor Khung – the first two selected to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team and Khung apart of the Second Team.
All is not lost though as the Warriors have junior Colin DeVellis back to spearhead the attack. DeVellis was fourth overall in the Hockomock League in points last season, scoring 22 goals and notching 36 assists (58 points). Another key piece will be senior Nate Minkwitz, who can make an impact on both ends of the field. Minkwitz had 13 goals and five assists last season and will aim to improve on that. Expect LSM Wesley Bishop and midfielder Aidan Bender to factor in this season as well.
2017 Record: 12-7 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Tim Frias
Mansfield returns a good amount of talent from last year’s playoff squad so the Hornets will certainly be looking to book a return trip as well as compete for a Kelley-Rex title.
The Hornets return one of the most dangerous attackmen in the area in senior Hunter Ferreira. Ferreira’s combination of size, speed, and strength – as well as finishing ability – make him a must-watch for opposing defenses. Most will dedicate two defensemen his way but Ferreira still finished fifth in the league in points with 34 goals and 19 assists. Ferreira will be joined by returners Aidan Sacco and Mike Reed, giving the Hornets an experienced three-headed monster on offense.
The midfield is also loaded with experience behind returning starters Joe Cox (19 goals, 14 assists) and Danny DeGirolamo (17 goals, 15 assists). Cox, who was named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team, muscles his way through opponents, while DeGirolamo can use his speed to cause problems. Haig Megerdichian, Brett Kessler, Connor Quirk, and Brad Grant will all see time in the midfield as well.
Tommy Donnelly will anchor the defensive unit but the Hornets will have some new faces in back. Dan Plugis and Chris Copponi will both see a lot of minutes for the Hornets in front of goalie Jack Munroe, who stepped in last season and impressed in the cage.
“Our strength this year will be at the midfield with lots of legs,” said MHS head coach Tim Frias. “We should be good in transition as well.”
2017 Record: 4-13 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jacob Scordato
Milford hasn’t had a ton of success overall since it joined the Hockomock League, but new head coach Jacob Scordato is hoping to change that going forward.
Scordato takes over a team that had just four wins a year ago and is the third coach in the past three years for the program.
“Our players are focused on making our program a successful one,” Scordato said. “Boys lacrosse in the Hockomock is known for being a tough league, and Milford lacrosse is going to be making a lot of noise from here on out.”
Although the Hawks don’t have an incredibly deep roster, the optimism stems from the experience returning on offense. UMass Boston commit and senior captain Andrew Gallagher (16 goals, 7 assists) will be a key weapon up front along with junior captains Ryan Hazard (41 goals, 10 assists) and Josh Ligor.
Scordato also expects junior newcomer Brendan White, who has had successful football and basketball seasons so far this school year, to make a big impact on offense for Milford. Defensively, Milford will rely on senior captain and midfielder Chase Blanchette.
2017 Record: 16-3 2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals Coach: Kevin Young
North Attleboro graduated a lot of talent from last year’s squad, so it’s no surprise head coach Kevin Young believes this season will be a big challenge for his young squad.
Although he expects it to be a challenge, the Rocketeers have built a strong program and will likely be in the mix for the division title with Foxboro. Big Red will be anchored by defenseman and captain Tom Lockavitch (Roger Williams commit) and senior LSM Max Fontes. Both Lockavitch and Fontes had tremendous junior seasons and were both honored by HockomockSports.com (first and second teams, respectively). Sophomores Brett Labonte and Will Yeomans will round out a strong defensive unit.
One of the biggest tasks will be filling the void left in goal with Hock MVP and long-time starter Dan MacDonald now graduated. The Rocketeers have three goalies in the mix with Young noting all are working hard to claim the starting spot. Junior Jack Puccio and sophomores Nate D’Amico and Jake McNeany will all be in the mix.
Captain Tommy Lindstrom (Springfield commit) will pace the offense with the help of sophomores Jack Connolly and Andy DeMattio. Faceoff specialist Jason McNeany (Cocker College commit) is also back and will be a key piece of the offense. Nick Ward, Damien Curtis, and Dan Conroy should carry the transition in the midfield with help from Ryan Rajotte and Matt McSweeney.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Devlin
Oliver Ames nearly made it two straight years in the postseason but came up just one game shy of qualifying in 2017. So the goal is simple for the Tigers in 2018: get back to the tournament.
The Tigers return their top six scorers from last season, and now with a year more experience under their belts, should be ready to take on some of the top defenses in the league.
Assistant coach Ben Devlin takes over the reigns of the program, and the familiarity should help make for a smooth transition. Senior captains Eric LeBlanc (30 goals, 13 assists) and Owen Gallagher will spearhead the attack while senior captain Jack Lang will make an impact on both ends of the field while also handling faceoff duties. Junior Colin Bourne and sophomores Sam Stevens and Shane Kilkelly give the Tigers varsity experience in the midfield. Sophomore Frankie Ireland and freshman Remi Creighton will also figure into the mix on offense.
Devlin will have holes to fill on the defensive end but its excited about the skill that the Tigers have. Shane Murphy, Cullen Gallagher, and Matt Saba will be relied upon to carry the defensive unit while Rory Madden will handle LSM duties after missing last season. Nick Gillis will take over for Sean Cosgrove in net after impressing at the JV level.
“We are a couple years into rebuilding this program, which is difficult while playing in such a tough conference against some of the best players and coaches in the state,” Devlin said. “We’re young and inexperienced, but talented on defense. All I can ask is for my kids to play to their capabilities. If we do that I think we can win enough games this season to reach our goal.”
2017 Record: 7-11 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jon Shocket
New head coach Jon Shocket is excited and optimistic that the 2018 season will be a successful one on the lacrosse field for the Sharon Eagles.
Shocket believes the Eagles have the lacrosse IQ and skill to get back to the postseason after missing out on qualification by two wins. A big reason for the optimism is the senior class.
“I have a really good senior group,” Shocket said. “If everyone buys into the system and trusts the process, this should be a fun season. This year, we have to make better decisions and move the ball around. It’s about working as a team instead of as individuals.”
The Eagles have experience at all positions on the field, starting with returning goalie Johnny Greenberg. Greenberg enters his third year as the starting goalie and will have good size in front of him. Both Sam Spencer and Coleman Loftus stand at 6’2 and look to be key pieces in the Eagles’ defensive unit.
In the midfield, Jimmy Fitzhenry, Chase Waxman, and Spencer Hall give the Eagles a well-balanced and experienced group. The three provide a combination of speed, strength, and skill that will help Sharon transition from defense to offense. Junior Matt Callan will handle faceoff duties while freshman LSM Tyler Freidman will be in the mix as well.
Senior Brett Litner brings a strong shot to the offense and will be tough to stop on the inside. Classmate Kadin Nestler gives the Eagles speed on the outside and makes the move from midfield to attack this year. Freshman Drew Litner rounds out the Eagles’ attacking unit.
2017 Record: 4-12 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Pat Healey
After winning four games in its inaugural season at the varsity level, Stoughton boys lacrosse is hoping to continue heading in the right direction this spring.
The Knights picked up wins over Milford twice, Taunton, and Norton and will look to be in competition with those squads again this year. Leading the blue collar group will be captains Justin Ly, Sean Doherty, and Danny Nakhili. Ly is a three-sport athlete that is willing to do the dirty work, Nakhili provides a lot of leadership in the midfield and uses his speed to give the offense a boost, and Doherty will handle the faceoff duties and provide an offensive punch.
Twins Nate and Alex Wilson bring skill to the long poles, Marty Barrett and Josh Cohen will be key pieces on defense, and Charlie Morgan, Luke Bainton, and Mike Tracey will all be in the mix offensively.
“I’m hoping for more wins,” said SHS head coach Pat Healey said in an interview with Stoughton Media Access. “Last year we got four under our belt which is great for a first-year program. We brought up a lot of freshmen this year from the youth program. But baby steps, this is a tough league so we’ll do as best as we can.
Now in its third year as a varsity program, Taunton is aiming to progress day by day to continue to build the program.
The Tigers went without a win last season but bring seven starters back with another year of success on their belts. Junior goalie Ryan Williams returns in cage to give the Tigers a familiar face on the defensive end. Williams has been manning the cage for Taunton since the team moved to a varsity schedule.
In front of Williams will be junior Justin Demoga, a captain, that handles close defense. Head coach Brendan Chambers noted Demoga is great with positioning, takes a great approach, and is willing to learn and improve every day. Chambers noted Demoga will be tasked with menacing opponents’ best attack throughout the season.
In the midfield, junior captain Dylan Nichols provides leadership and experience for the Tigers. Nichols has the speed to make an impact on both ends of the field and Chambers is hoping for some offensive production out of the junior. Nichols will be joined by senior Chris Kanabayashi who will contribute to the offense with his hard shot.
Junior Noah Kuczewski is making the jump from JV to varsity and will be one of the Tigers’ main pieces on attack. Chambers is also relying on junior captain Joel Delgado, who put a lot of time in during the offseason to improve, to be an important part of the offense.
“Our goal this year is to continue to build on what we did last year,” Chambers said. “We want to increase our lacrosse IQ and try to be more competitive in all our games. Ideally, we’ll win a couple games and get better every day.”