Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars.
Hockomock League MVP
Austin Kent, Franklin
Hockomock League All Stars
Ben O’Neill, Canton
Michael Pigeon, Canton
Austin Ryan, Foxboro
Brian Buckner, Foxboro
Jake Addeche, Foxboro
Eric Civetti, Franklin
Austin Kent, Franklin
Packie Watson, Franklin
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Sean Lockhart, Franklin
Steven Eaton, King Philip
Paul Macrina, King Philip
Billy Grant, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Connor Finerty, Mansfield
Dan McDonald, North Attleboro
Matt Gilson, Oliver Ames
Mark Bloom, Sharon
Brian Letourneau, Attleboro
Jake Ragusa, Canton
Bobby Kierce, Foxboro
Connor O’Rourke, Franklin
Sam Agricola, King Philip
Josh Schafer, Mansfield
Harrison Bliss, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Jake Aronson, Oliver Ames
Santiago Lopez, Taunton
FOXBORO, Mass. – With 2:38 remaining in the game, Canton senior attacker Ben O’Neil stepped into a shot that seemed destined for the bottom corner. He put his arms up to celebrate what he thought was the go-ahead goal, but then just as quickly dropped them when he realized that Foxboro goalie Jake Addeche had somehow stopped the ball on the line.
The game stayed tied and Foxboro transitioned into the attack. The ball swung around to Andrew Whalen who drove at the net and flicked a behind-the-back pass to sophomore Louis Piccolo with time and space. He fired a rising shot just over the stick of Canton goalie Chris Albert (10 saves) and under the bar.
Piccolo’s goal with 2:03 remaining, his third goal of the game, handed Foxboro a come from behind 5-4 victory at Sam Berns Community Field and command of the Davenport division at the midway point of the league season.
Each of the last three seasons, this match-up has produced games that have come down to the wire. Three years ago, Canton ended a long losing streak with an overtime win on its way to a league title and last year the Bulldogs won by two goals to help Sharon get to the top of the division.
Foxboro coach Matt Noone did not hide the importance of this game to his players. He explained, “I told them this could be the season today. You want to play for something and that’s what we’re playing for – the Hock.”
There is a lot of respect between the two programs and two coaches and the rivalry has turned into one of the most competitive in the Hockomock. Noone added, “We’re the same. It’s two small towns getting after it; it’s fun.”
Canton coach Bill Bendell saw his team lose a 4-2 lead in the second half, but he also stressed the importance of having this rivalry to prepare his team for making a run in the postseason.
“It’s just great for the league and great for us to play teams like this,” he said. “Sometimes it’s those bounces, those pipes, those one or two plays that can make the difference.”
Albert made four of his saves in the first quarter alone, as the Bulldogs struggled to mount a sustained attack. Foxboro was also off to a tough start with a number of shots sailing high or wide. But, with the clock winding down Trey Guerrini spun past his first marker, bounced off a second, and then spun a third time before beating the goalie from the edge of the crease at the buzzer.
Canton would take the lead in the second quarter by beating the Warriors in transition. Shaun Kirby scored the first of his two goals with a bouncing shot to the far post on a man-down situation to tie it at 1-1.
With 4:14 left in the quarter, Kirby would feed freshman Mike Shaw on the break to make it 2-1. The play started with Albert, who made a great save on the other end and then fired a perfect half-field outlet pass to the attackers.
Kirby extended the lead to two goals just 47 seconds into the second half with a rip to the bottom corner, but a two-minute locked in penalty to Jake Ragusa offered Foxboro the chance to get back in it.
Piccolo scored his first on a rip just under the bar 10 seconds into the EMO, but Canton would answer back 22 seconds later when Joe Mulkay spun middle and bounced a man-down goal past Addeche.
The game did not feature a lot of attacking play from either side, as the defensive units were mostly on top. Ragusa and Mike Pigeon were major factors for the Bulldogs, while Bobby Kierce and Brian Buckner continued to make plays for the Warriors.
“They were hurting us a little bit with their exchanges behind, so we went to a little bit of a zone and it seemed to help out a lot,” said Noone. “We were pressing early and they were killing us in transition, so we sat back, conceded the ride and figured lets have them beat us six-on-six.”
Piccolo would cut the lead to one with 5:32 left in the third with a shot on the run and then three minutes later, Foxboro completed the comeback when Guerrini dodged past his marker to set up Brendan Tully.
“In a game like this it’s really a playoff atmosphere but we fought hard the entire game…I think they just out-executed us,” said Bendell. “Things that we normally do well, they took us out of our comfort zone, and we didn’t execute things as well as we would’ve liked.”
Foxboro hit the post midway through the fourth quarter and Addeche (six saves) and Albert traded big stops to keep the game tied. Finally, with 2:03 remaining Piccolo found a seam and made no mistake with his shot.
“We called a timeout to call pressure defense down by a goal and we just didn’t execute it. We usually do,” said Bendell.
The Canton coach heaped praise on Albert for keeping the team in the game and having another big performance against Foxboro. He said, “Goalies feel like they’re responsible and I’m sure Albie feels that way too, but that’s not his fault. That was a beautiful shot. He had his hands free, we weren’t on his hands, but [Chris] played a great game.”
Noone called Piccolo a “goal-scoring machine.” The sophomore was coming off a career-high, 11-assist game against Milford on Wednesday, but Noone shook his head when asked if that game (a 25-1 win) had any positive impact on how his team played on Friday.
He said, “I don’t think we learned anything from that game to be honest…Feelings are hurt on both sides. We were running the clock the whole time; we’re not getting anything out of that.”
The Warriors (7-2, 5-0) have the edge in the Davenport at the moment, but have several tough games coming up in the league and Bendell knows that Canton (4-4, 2-4) has important games coming up to stay in the mix.
He said, “I didn’t know how I was going to like going from two games down to one…but it does add more meaning to this game. This is a big game. We’ll see if someone can upset them and I’m sure that Foxboro-Sharon and Canton-Sharon will be big games.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2015 Record: 11-7
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs have won two Davenport division titles in the last three years and will be looking for a third in 2016. With a beefed up non-league schedule, Canton will be looking to make a deep run in the D2 South tournament this season.
“I really like this team and I think we will be very difficult to beat once we figure things out,” head coach Bill Bendell said. “Our goal this year is to trust the process…ignore the scoreboard and instead focus on doing your job to the best of your ability and the wins will follow.”
Canton will be relying on an experienced defense this season. Senior Chris Albert returns to the cage while senior Jake Ragusa and junior LSM Michael Pigeon will anchor the backline. Senior Dan Nadeau, junior Jonathan Sutton and sophomore Gabe Galeotos all saw time on defense last season and will fit in nicely again this year.
On offense, Ben O’Neill – one of the best offensive players in Canton history – enters the season with 125 career points. He’s got a high lacrosse IQ and can battle through defenses to find the net. Shaun Kirby, Dan Dillon, Bobby Mullaney and Eddie McCabe will all chip in with O’Neill offensively.
2015 Record: 12-8
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Matt Noone
Foxboro graduated a handful of talented players last season but the biggest loss might be losing last year’s leading scorer Pat McCarthy to a knee injury this year. But with five seniors and plethora of youth, Warriors will look to try and claim their first Davenport title since 2011.
“You can’t replace Pat McCarthy, thankfully we still have his leadership, he will help the young guys,” Foxboro head coach Matt Noone said.
Connor McNamara and Brian Buckner are both entering their third year on varsity and will be relied upon heavily. McNamara is a factor at both sends of the field, Noone adding “He can carry us at times.” Buckner, a defenseman, possess great speed and positions himself well, Noone saying “His athleticism and IQ make him tough to beat on and off the ball.”
Foxboro will rely on Andrew Whalen, Louis Piccolo and James Silveria – all sophomores – on attack. McNamara will be complemented in the midfield by senior Austin Ryan and juniors Colin Spinney and Trey Guerrini. Noone called all three great athletes. Defensively, two year starters Tom Piccolo and Bobby Kierce will work alongside Buckner while sophomore Pat Kaveny has improved his game as well.
Expect sophomore Jake Addeche and junior Tyler Silveria to battle for the starting goalie job.
2015 Record: 2-17
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ralph Bono
Milford will be looking to try and improve after recording just two wins in the 2015 season. New head coach Ralph Bono will try to turn things around in his first year at the helm.
The Scarlet Hawks graduated their two top scorers from last season in Nick Mobilia (30 points) and Spencer Lawson (19 points) so there will be some questions to answer up front.
In midfield, junior Alex Salamone registered 10 points last season and had 12 grounds balls while sophomore Andrew Gallagher made an impact with nine points in his rookie campaign. Jack Boyle, Nick Lurie and Ian Bucal all factored into the scoring last year as well.
Defensively, Harrison Bliss led the Scarlet Hawks defensemen in grounds balls as a sophomore while Andrew Palaria and Riley Burns also saw time. In goal, Pietro Bon Tempo made 123 saves last year in 17 games played and should provide some experience in the back.
2016 Record: 6-10
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris DiGiacomo
After missing out on the playoffs last season, second year skipper Chris DiGiacomo will be relying on a large senior class to try to get back to the postseason.
“There is a lot of positive energy surrounding the program currently,” head coach Chris DiGiacomo said. “The boys have been working very hard, and we are very excited to get started.”
Senior attack Matt Gilson is back for his fourth year on varsity to pace the offense while senior Jake Aronson returns to man the goal for the Tigers. Senior captain middie Aidan Connly will be relied upon to take care of both ends of the field.
Connly will be joined by classmates Mike Sullivan, Jack Long, Connor Howe and Max Bamford so the Tigers will boast a very experienced midfield. On defense, senior Max Sheldon will anchor the backline in front of Aronson.
2015 Record: 10-9
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round
Coach: Peter DeSisto
The Eagles are looking to get back to the top of the Davenport mountain and are hoping former Canton player Peter DeSisto will lead them there in his first year at the helm.
“I am really excited for this season, we are a young team but the captains and upperclassmen have really set the tone for this season,” DeSisto said. “They’re showing the newer players what it takes to be successful at this level. We’ve set high expectations for ourselves, but we know that if we come together as a unit and work hard we are completely capable of reaching our goals.”
After coming up just short in the division race last year, Sharon has a strong returning core to try to win the division for the second time in three years. Senior captains Mark Bloom and Craig Titus will be the focus of the attack again this year while sophomore Jon Greenberg will be back in goal after a terrific freshman campaign in 2015.
UMass commit Josh Rotman will be paired with senior captain Matt Cancian in the midfield to provide a power 1-2 punch while sophomores Spencer Hall and Chase Waxman will also see a lot of time in the middle of the field. Sharon will have to fill some holes defensively but expect junior Jared Zunenshine and sophomore Zach Reingold to step in.
Today’s games are listed below.
King Philip, 36 @ Canton, 37 – Final
Taunton, 9 @ Foxboro, 72 – Final – Max Dorman, Levi Abbott, Matt Mullally, Bobby Kierce, Sean Smalley and Matt Curreri all won by pinfall for the Warriors. Taunton sophomore Nuno Camara (182) and senior Santiago Lopez (220) got wins for the Tigers.
Franklin, 60 @ Stoughton, 24 – Final
North Attleboro, 58 @ Sharon, 12 – Final