FOXBORO, Mass. – It wasn’t the wide open, free flowing game that some expected, but it was still a hard fought game between rivals Franklin and Mansfield that resulted in a tie that left both sides satisfied with a point.
The Panthers and Hornets were the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex division entering the contest, with Franklin holding a one point lead at the midway point of league play. After skating a 2-2 at Foxboro Sports Center, Franklin remains a point ahead in the division with three games left.
Franklin had a pair of one-goal leads in the game but Mansfield was able to respond each time, the game-tying goal coming early in the final period after the Hornets entered the frame facing a one-goal deficit.
“That’s a great point,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Balzarini. “We won the third period which is something that’s been a focus of ours all year. We want to win the third period so that’s definitely a great point, we’ll take it because a point is a point. The boys worked hard.”
Long time Franklin head coach Chris Spillane was fine with the point as well, considering the Panthers’ overall record and need of points.
“At this point in this season, points are points and we need points to qualify for the tournament,” Spillane said. “We have to focus on winning the league or getting second place. We circled this one because it’s the start of a tough stretch for us. We really wanted to come out and get two points, didn’t go our way. I thought we played pretty well but bad turnovers in our zone end up in the back of the net. It’s kind of been the story of our season so far. We had some chances, but we struggle scoring goals too. The effort is there but we have to pull it together.”
Both teams created chances in the opening period but only about half were shots on goal, a stat that the Panthers led 9-7 after 15 minutes.
An early Panther power play resulted in just one shot on goal, a wrist shot from junior Shane McCaffrey that was turned aside by Mansfield junior Sean McCafferty (34 saves). Mansfield senior Coleman O’Brien helped kill off the penalty with a head first dive to block a shot.
After the power play, Franklin’s CJ Spillane redirected a shot from Declan Lovett but McCafferty stood tall in net, and repeated that against Joe Lizotte and McCaffrey again in a minute span.
Mansfield nearly cashed in on a home run pass in the final minute when Brad Grant found Jack Garland as he entered the attacking zone but his backhand attempt was gobbled up by Franklin goalie Ryan Cameron (30 saves). Mansfield sophomore Matty Copponi had a partial break in the final seconds but saw his wrist shot go over the bar.
While there were fewer chances in the second period, there were more goals. The teams combined to score three goals inside of a three minute span during the second period.
Before the opening goal, Mansfield had the best chance of the game just minutes into the middle stanza. Grant hooked up with Garland again, this time on a pass off the sideboards, and Garland ripped a wrist shot that clanked off the cross bar and went out of play.
“It’s a big game, there were some nerves,” Balzarini said. “There were some guys probably holding the stick a little too tight, making passes they don’t usually make. But as the game progressed, I thought we got better.
“We knew that they were quick so I think our defense was a little hesitant to give up the neutral zone. I think in the third period, we made the adjustment…we had the forwards coming back hard and I think that was a difference.”
Just over six minutes into the middle period is when the visitors were able to break the scoreless tie. Franklin forced a turnover near the blue line and senior Scott Elliott took possession of the puck and darted toward goal. With the defenseman committed to him, Elliott dished the puck across the crease to classmate Dan Magazu for the one-timer and a 1-0 lead.
The lead lasted less than two minutes as the Hornets took advantage of their second power play of the game. Senior Jake Lund stepped into a hard slap shot just over the blue line and the puck found its way through traffic, with the help of O’Brien screening in front, and into the back of the net.
But before the Hornets could enjoy being level in the game, Franklin senior Joey Lizotte deposited the go-ahead goal just one minute later, with assists going to Zac Falvey and Cam Cassella.
“I don’t think it was as free flowing or as an open game as you’d expect sometimes,” Spillane said. “We don’t want to get into a shootout with anyone so we’re going to rely on our system. I think Mike was doing the same thing with his guys. I think it was both teams didn’t want to let the offensive guys control the game.”
Mansfield scored the tying goal with its first real chance of the third period. Garland forced a Franklin turnover right in front of goal and quickly unleashed a wrist shot under the bar from the slot to make it 2-2.
Both teams had chances over the final 10 minutes but couldn’t convert. Matt D’Errico ripped a shot for Franklin that was redirected by Magazu but McCafferty was in position for the stop. A minute later, Cassella whistled a shot that was tipped but again McCafferty tracked the puck and knocked it down.
The best chance fell to the stick of Lizotte, who used his speed to split a pair of Mansfield defenseman. He was able to get past both Hornets, faked forehand and went to his backhand but McCafferty tracked it the whole way and made a terrific sliding pad to preserve a point for the Hornets.
“Franklin is Franklin, they have their style of play,” Balzarini said. “But they have some fast forwards which I’m not used to seeing them with that much speed. Lizotte was the fastest kid on the ice by far.”
Franklin boys hockey (4-0-2 Hockomock, 5-4-4 overall) returns home for a big showdown with Davenport division leading and undefeated Canton for an 8:00 puck drop. Mansfield boys hockey (4-1-1, 10-2-1) will host King Philip the same night at Foxboro Sports Center at 6:00.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – For two periods, the Mansfield Hornets boys hockey team controlled the game, finally solving North Attleboro senior goalie Ryan Warren in the final seconds of the second period.
And after that, Mansfield turned to their own netminder, junior Sean McCafferty, to thwart a furious comeback attempt from the Rocketeers in the third period, resulting in a 2-0 decision for the visiting Hornets.
“That was a great game. North Attleboro is relentless, they really are, in all aspects of the game,” said Mansfield coach Michael Balzarini, who earned his 100th career win with the result. “[North Attleboro] got better period by period, they just kept coming and coming. But this was a team win, we played as a team tonight. And Sean McCafferty played out of his mind. His rebound control was great, he was phenomenal.”
Balzarini previous had successful stints at Dover-Sherborn and Milford before coming to Mansfield two seasons ago.
A dominant first period saw the Hornets skate to an 8-1 advantage on shots on goal, but no advantage on the scoreboard. While North Attleboro asserted itself more in the second frame, the Hornets still had the edge in play and shots (19-8).
Warren denied Mansfield sophomore Matty Copponi in the first period on a nice backhand attempt with a sprawling pad save. The senior goalie kept senior Jack Garland off the board six minutes into the second on a nice chance at the back post, made a terrific stop on a one-timer from senior Chris Copponi with 7:30 to go in the second, and then gobbled up a hard slap shot off the stick of junior Joseph Troiano.
It wasn’t until the 20th shot, with less than 10 seconds to go in the second period, that the Hornets struck.
North Attleboro had its first power play of the game with 2:43 left in the second period but couldn’t generate any serious scoring chances. Mansfield capitalized on the momentum gained from the kill and took the lead with 8.4 seconds left to go in the frame.
Chris Copponi got the play going, forcing a turnover in the attacking zone with a hit along the boards. The puck popped to senior Brad Grant and his blast was knocked over the net by Warren (26 saves). Garland was first to the puck, he connected with Matty Copponi, who quickly fed older brother Chris right in front for the goal.
“I thought we controlled the play for the most part but getting that goal was huge, with only nine seconds or so left, it was huge,” Balzarini said. “It helped put the momentum our way. We knew they would come out hard in the third period.”
For North Attleboro, it was a tough goal to swallow after just having a power play and an improved period over the first.
“The minute, minute and a half after a power play is so important and we have to tighten that up,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “It’s a crucial part of the game. After a power play and the end of a period, one of the most important times in a game. We just have to get better there.”
Despite giving up a late goal int he second, North Attleboro came out flying in the third period, putting 15 shots on frame. Just seconds into the period, the Rocketeers were testing McCafferty, who was clearly up for the challenge.
North senior Anthony Zamiello found senior Justin Moccia in the slot for an open wrist shot but McCafferty turned it away. The Rocketeers earned another power play and had a big chance off the stick of junior Jeff Baker but McCafferty knocked it down and stood tall on a pair of rebound chances.
Just after the power play expired, the Rocketeers had one of their best chances when Zammiello and senior Todd Robinson found themselves alone in front of the net, and a pass from the former to the latter led to a one-timer in close but McCafferty made an amazing stop to keep the puck out.
“He stepped up tonight — he was calm, he wasn’t frantic, he was in the zone the entire game,” Balzarini said of McCafferty. “Coming off of the loss against Canton, I thought he really elevated his game tonight.”
Mansfield couldn’t capitalize on a power play attempt with 9:16 to go, and was whistled for a trip with 5:46 to go to put the hosts back on the man-advantage. The Hornets were whistled for another penalty 44 seconds into the advantage, giving North a 5-on-3 for 1:17.
But one save for McCafferty and a terrific individual defensive play from senior Coleman O’Brien canceled the power play chance for the Rocketeers. With just under three minutes to go, North Attleboro sophomore Tyler Sarro made a nice read on a clearance attempt, intercepting the pass to go in alone on net but whistled his shot wide of frame.
Junior Dennis Morehouse had another big chance with a minute to go on a loose puck at the back post but he couldn’t get the puck past McCafferty (25 saves).
With just under a minute to go, North Attleboro had an attacking zone faceoff but Matty Copponi won it back to Troiano, who alertly flipped the puck out into the neutral zone and Chris Copponi won the foot race and tapped it into the empty net to go up 2-0 with 50.9 to go.
“We’re trying to get better starts,” McManama said. “When our guys are going and we’re forechecking hard, we’re a very good team. But we’re not seeing it for 45 minutes, we’re seeing it spurts. It’s something we know about but we’re working about.
“We have to be tougher in front of the net, we have to bear down. We’re still not going at 100 percent in front of the net, that’s how goals are scored. It doesn’t have to be pretty.”
Mansfield boys hockey (2-1 Hockomock, 8-2 overall) concludes its three-game road trip on Saturday when it travels to Aleixo Arena to take on Taunton at 2:00. North Attleboro (2-1 Hockomock, 4-5 overall) returns to action at the New England Sports Village on Saturday against King Philip at 4:30.
Mansfield, 2 vs. Shrewsbury, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.Mansfield outshot the Colonials 29-19 but the two-time defending D3 state champs (who moved to D1 this season) pulled out a one-goal victory at Rodman Arena. Jake Lund scored the game-tying goal in the first period, assisted by Austin Ricker and Brad Grant, but the Colonials scored twice in the second, including the eventual game-winner with a two-man advantage. With the goalie pulled and less than two minutes on the clock, Mansfield got back into the game when freshman Mark DeGirolamo knocked in a rebound of a shot by Matt Copponi, but Shrewsbury held on.
King Philip, 3 vs. Milton, 2 – Final – King Philip’s Conor Cooke scored the game-winning goal with 6:28 left in the third period to lift the Warriors to a win over the Wildcats. Paul McDonald had the assist on the game-winner. KP took a 1-0 lead in the first period off a power play goal from Ryan Fitzpatrick, assisted by Brendan Shandley. Kyle Gray scored unassisted in the second but Milton scored twice to make it a 2-2 game. James Lewis made 15 saves in net for KP.
Stoughton, 0 vs. Littleton, 12 – Final
Franklin, 3 @ Algonquin, 2 – Final – Amanda Lewandowski, Cassi Ronan, and Regan Paterson (game-winner) each scored goals for the unbeaten Panthers and Gabby Colace (14 saves) picked up the win in goal.
Mansfield, 7 @ Brockton, 1 – Final – Mansfield raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and added three more in the second on its way to a 7-1 victory over the Boxers. Senior Chris Copponi netted a hat trick and added an assist while Brad Grant and Coleman O’Brien each scored once and had two assists. Matt Copponi added three assists while Jake Lund and Braedon Copparini each tallied one goal apiece.
Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Pembroke, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Max Ward scored a hat trick to pace the Tigers to a win over visiting Pembroke. Senior Cullen Gallagher had five points, with one goal and four assists, sophomore Matt Nigro netted his first career goal, and junior Owen Connor made 19 saves in net for the win.
Stoughton, 1 @ Nauset, 7 – Final – Sean Doherty scored on an assist by Luke Bainton, and Thomas McCoy played well in goal but the Black Knights suffered a setback on the road to Nauset.
Taunton, 3 vs. Brookline, 4 – Final – Senior Owen Ross, senior Dylan Nichols, and freshman Loran Corcoran each scored once but the Tigers couldn’t overcome a 3-0 deficit to Brookline. Senior Andrew Carter had two assists for Taunton.
Franklin, 8 @ Bishop Stang, 5 – Final – Regan Paterson scored four times and Cassi Ronan scored a pair, as Franklin won a shootout in Fall River. Katelyn Brown and Amanda Lewandowski also scored for the Panthers.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Mackenzi Fraser scored twice as the Mansfield/Oliver Ames Warriors skated to a win over Stoughton. Freshman Jess Widdop had the shutout in between the pipes for MOA.
Foxboro @ Brockton, 7:00
King Philip vs. Middleboro, 7:00
Mansfield, 33 vs. St. John’s Prep, 36 – Final – Mansfield nearly orchestrated a big comeback but couldn’t overcome an early 18-0 deficit in a close match with St. John’s Prep. Jayden Curley (182) needed just 15 seconds to earn a pinfall victory for the Hornets, and Will Stratton (145), George Glaropoulos (170), and Shane Cremmen (220) all won by fall as well. Antonios Sevastos (120), CJ Glaropoulos (152), and Ciaran Connolly (160) each by by decision.
North Attleboro, 70 vs. Boston Latin, 6 – Final
Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – Final – Oliver Ames had six grapplers win by fall and two more by decision to pick up a win over neighboring Stoughton. Remi Creighton, Joey Savino, Braeden Kelley, Billy Tat, Jeremy Clark, and Dean Pacini each won by fall while Nick McGovern and Andrew Fraser emerged victorious by decision for the Tigers.
Sharon, 45 vs. Woonsocket (R.I.), 32 – Final – Sharon built a big lead early and fended off a comeback attempt from Woonsocket during the lighter weights to record the win. Sharon’s Kevin Simons (138), Tyler Cashton (152), Tyler Feedman (170), Philip Varvak (182), and Alex Bolt (195) all won by fall while Vinay Chinnam (126) and Huegens Pierre (145) won by decision for the Eagles.
Taunton, 27 @ Keefe Tech, 51 – Final – Ben Mandeville (113), Xavier Sandoval (120), Jackson Mandeville (138, pin), Christian Balmain (152, 10-5 decision), and Candido Santos (160, pin) picked up wins for Taunton but the Tigers suffered a loss on the road to Keefe Tech.
Attleboro, 4 vs. Old Rochester, 0 – Final
Canton, 5 vs. Plymouth North, 0 – Final
King Philip, 4 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – After a scoreless first period, King Philip scored twice in the final five minutes of the second period to gain control of the game. Joe Boselli put KP up 1-0 on an unassisted goal with 4:33 to play in the middle period and Chris Daniels made it 2-0, converting a pass from Rocco Bianculli on the power play with 2:19 to go to make it 2-0. Ryan Fitzpatrick made it 3-0 on a feed from Brendan Shandley, who made it 4-0 with an empty net goal. The Warriors went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, including a five minute major in the third. James Lewis made 23 saves and posted his second straight shutout.
Mansfield, 5 vs. Winthrop, 2 – Final – Mansfield built a two-goal lead in the first period and never relinquished it for a win over Winthrop. Five different players found the back of the net for Mansfield, who went a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Brian Grant (from Jake Lund) and Chris Copponi (power play from Matt Copponi and Brad Grant) put the Hornets ahead after one period and Brad Grant (Matt Copponi) made it 3-0 before Winthrop got on the board. Coleman O’Brien (Matt Copponi, Austin Ricker) and Lund (empty net goal) scored in the third period. Junior Sean McCafferty made 28 saves for the win in net.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – All of the scoring game in the opening 15 minutes, Oliver Ames gaining a 3-2 edge through the first period and holding onto it for the next half hour. Oliver Ames junior Hunter Costello scored the first two goals for the Tigers and then set up freshman Bryan Kearns for his first career goal, which turned out to be the game-winner. Senior Cullen Gallagher added two assists and junior Owen Connor made 20 saves in net. Anthony Zammiello and Jeff Baker scored for the Rocketeers.
Marlboro Tournament (Canton), 9:30 – Canton had seven wrestlings earn fourth place or better and scored 135.5 points as a team to take fourth place at the Marlboro Early Bird Tournament. Eddie Marinilli was the 145 champion, earning three pins on the day including in the finals in just 39 seconds. Harry Carter (132) and Jack Turano (113) each earned second place finishes, Derrell Brown (220) took third, and Cole Murphy (170) and Zach Peters (106) finished fourth overall for the Bulldogs.
Mike Melish Duals (Foxboro, Sharon) – Both Foxboro and Sharon each won three matches at the Mike Melish duals, with the Warriors going 3-0 and the Eagles posting a 3-1 mark. Foxboro opened the day with a 54-11 win over Scituate, highlighted by 10 pins including the first varsity falls for Sean Bubencik and Cam Prescott. The Warriors beat Bridgewater-Raynham, 47-18, with TJ Whitehouse, Tom Cullen, and Aaron Kaplan all earning pins, and . then closed the day with a 55-12 victory over Bristol-Plymouth/Coyle & Cassidy. Adam Lanctot earned his 100th career win in the final match. Sharon picked up wins over Northbridge (63-12), Nauset (71-12) and Bristol-Plymouth/Coyle & Cassidy (1-0, forfeit) and lost to Plymouth South (65-12).
Lawrence Quad (Franklin) – Franklin started the day with a pair of setbacks, falling to Lawrence and Salem (NH). The Panthers dropped match to Lawrence (40-30) and Salem (37-37, criteria). Franklin finished strong by picking up a win over St. John’s Prep (36-29). Jake Carlucci, Jordan Carlucci and Caleb MacLean each went undefeated on the day.
Milford Tournament (Milford, King Philip), 10:00
Mansfield Quad (Mansfield) – Mansfield swept the competition at its own quad, going 3-0 with three big wins. The Hornets knocked off Barnstable (64-17), Braintree (49-24), and Brockton (58-18) to improve to 7-0 on the season.
North Attleboro Quad (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro hosted its second quad meet of the season, suffering three losses on the day. The Rocketeers suffered close losses to Norton (44-33) and Chariho (39-33) as well as Hope (44-21). Michael Burns (145, one pin), Liam Rizk (195, two pins), and Mateusz Kudra (285, one pin) all went 3-0 on the day for the Rocketeers.
Marshfield Quad (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames had a terrific day at the Marshfield Super Quad, posting a 4-0-1 record. The Tigers posted wins over Duxbury (60-24), Pembroke (52-19), Whitman-Hanson (60-18), and Tollgate (45-34) while finishing level with host Marshfield (40-40). John Dobbin, Billy Tat, and Dean Pacini each posted perfect 5-0 records on the day while Nick McGovern and Andrew Fraser were both undefeated at 4-0.
BC High Quad (Stoughton) – Stoughton went 1-1-1 on the day at the BC High Quad. The Black Knights beat Weymouth (48-24), tied the hosts BC High (36-36) and suffered a loss to Hingham (42-30).
Sandwich Tournament (Taunton) – Taunton had a tournament-best four individual champions and had seven grapplers finish fourth or better. The Tigers had 154 points to take third overall in the tournament. Candido Santos (180), Christian Balmain (152, named Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament), Devin Wilson (220), and Woudanly Danger (285) each won their brackets, Taunton tying Sandwich with four champions. James Collins (106) and Mason Frank (285) took third and Wansley Perceval (120) was fourth overall.
Sharon 100.7 @ Franklin, 134.7 – Final – Franklin’s Mia Lizotte and Sadie Rondeau took first and second overall in the All Around to pace the Panthers to a season-opening win over Sharon. Lizotte scored a 35.95 to take first with Rondeau right behind in second with a 33.10. Franklin freshman Kate Rudolph had a memorable debut, scoring in three events – bars (8.1), beam (8.25), and floor (8.55) – for the Panthers.
Boys Indoor Track
Stoughton, 79 vs. Foxboro, 20 – Final – The Black Knights took first place in 10 events, including both relays, on its way to a big win over Foxboro. Winners for Stoughton included Jeff Grier (55M dash, 6.93), Clayton Rahaman (300M, 38.37), Colin Rahaman (1000M, 2:55.53), Robert Currier (2 Mile, 11:48.32), David Peters (55M hurdles, 7.70) and long jump, 20-03.25), Mark Edge (shot put, 40-01.00), and Jaden Falaise (high jump, 6-02.00). Foxboro’s Will Regan won the 600M (1:27.68) and Ryan Proulx (4:49.29) and Trey Lawson (5:02.47) took first and second, respectively, in the 1 Mile for the Warriors.
Attleboro, 39 vs. Franklin, 61 – Final – Franklin won a total of nine events, including both relays, and took first and second in four of those events. The Panthers had the top two finishes in each the 600M (Daniel Barrow [1:30.52] and Michael Hagen), the 1000M (Camden Harrington [2:51.98] and Nicholas Calitri), the 1 Mile (Tyler Brogan [4:40.69] and Dylan Kehoe) and the 2 Mile (Brogan [10:05.23] and Calitri). Other individual winners for Franklin included Liam Pek (300M, 38.19), Jared Cain (high jump, 5-08.00), and Andrew Faught (long jump, 19-08.00). Attleboro swept the 55M dash, with Colin Levis taking first (6.90) followed by Dante Williams and Henry Boateng. David Cataloni (55M hurdles, 8.26) and Ethan Crosby (39-04.00) also won for Attleboro.
Sharon, 50 vs. Milford, 50 – Final – Milford earned its second straight tie to start the season, finishing level at 50-50 with Sharon. Sharon won seven events while Milford took first in five events. Sharon’s Chris Gong (55M dash, 6.71 and long jump, 20-05.00), Alexander Starovoytov (1 Mile, 4:49.13 and 2 Mile, 10:07.60), and Patrick McManus (55M hurdles, 8.47 and high jump, 5-10.00) were double winners for the Eagles. Milford’s Hugo Lopes (300M, 37.73), Ryan Kelley (600M, 1:30.38), Joey Madden (1000M, 2:43.80), and Josh Ligor (shot put, 37-07.50) won events for the Hawks.
North Attleboro, 66 vs. Canton, 34 – Final – The Rocketeers won nine of 10 individual events, including a sweep of the high jump, to pick up a victory over Canton. Owen Nassaney (6-02.00), Omar Jasseh, and Nick Taylor took the top three spots in the high jump. Other winners for North included Jasseh (55M dash, 6.92 and long jump, 21-01.00), Liam Monahan (600M, 1:28.90 and 2 Mile, 10:33.84), Jack Clarke (1000M, 2:55.07), Skyler Poirier (1 Mile, 4:52.42), Nick Taylor (55M hurdles, 9.31), and Emmett Ruote (shot put, 38-00.50). Canton’s Jonathan Cherry won the 300M (38.61) while Junior Sainvil took second in the long jump (20-02.50) and the 55M dash (6.98).
Mansfield, 87 vs. King Philip, 13 – Final – Mansfield swept five events to roll to a big win over King Philip. The Hornets wept the 55M dash (Greg Waters [6.95], Aidan Sacco, Joe Cappelletti), the 300M (Dan Knight [38.55], Tyler King, Jack Rivard), the 1000M (Mike Mullahy [2:50.77], Peter Sullivan, Peter Oldow), high jump (Andrew Williams [5-10.00], Ethan Thevenot, Jake Wall) and the long jump (Sacco [19-01.00], Williams, Thevenot). Mansfield freshman Dylan Buchanan earned his first victory in the 55M hurdles (9.31), senior Paxton Howard ran a personal best 10:12 in the 2 Mile, and Colbey Eason had a meet-best shot put toss of 50-00.00. King Philip’s Joshua Smith (600M, 1:31.30), Michael Norberg (2 Mile, 10:13.48), Alexander Hagen (55M hurdles, 9.45), and Terrell Jacobs-Baston (shot put, 47-06.25) each had second place finishes.
Taunton, 47 vs. Oliver Ames, 53 – Final – Oliver Ames and Taunton split first place in all 12 events but it was OA that took seven second place finishes to get the close win. Sean Flaherty (1:30.29) and Ryan Petrillo took first and second in the 600M, Rory McLaughlin (4:44.13) and Nate Reservitz were the top two finishers in the 1 Mile, and Aaron MacDonald (19-11.25) and Chukwubuikem Akanegbu were the top two jumpers in the long jump. Flaherty also won the 55M hurdles (8.97) while Kyle Sarney won the 2 Mile (10:25.05) for OA. Taunton’s Dylan Kullas (55M dash, 7.08), Sebastien Celestin (300M, 37.66), Cameron Parker (1000M, 2:51.42), Mark Brown (shot put, 43-04.00), and Steven Westgate (high jump, 5-10.00) all had first place finishes.
Girls Indoor Track
Stoughton, 54 vs. Foxboro, 46 – Final – Stoughton won both relays and a total of eight events, including a sweep in the 55M dash, to pick up a close win over Foxboro. Junior Chinazo Odunze (7.83), senior Gabriela Diaz, and senior Karly Estremera took first, second, and third, respectively, to sweep the 55M dash for Stoughton. Diaz won the 300M (46.17), Rebecca Lally earned first in the 600M (1:49.51), Cintia Khouzami won the 55M hurdles (9.51), Molly Tuner was the winner of the high jump (4-08.00), and Odunze earned second win with a 14-08.00 leap in the long jump. For Foxboro, Lexi Quinn was a triple winner, taking first in the 1000M (3:24.44), 1 Mile (6:11.95), and the 2 Mile (12:42.15) while junior Grace Groves won the shot put (26-07.00).
Attleboro, 36 vs. Franklin, 64 – Final – Franklin showed its depth, taking at least two of the top three spots in all individual events by one to earn a victory over Attleboro. Jillian Fenerty (300M, 45.86), Samantha Powderly (600M, 1:48.44), Julia Fenerty (1000M, 3:18.54), Daniella Pierre (55M hurdles, 9.37), and Dreya Martin (high jump, 4-10.00) each had individual wins for Franklin. Attleboro’s Kelly Neuendorf and Abisola Olaogun were two-time winners, wih Neuendorf taking first in both the 1 Mile (5:39.04) and the 2 Mile (12:36.36) and Olaogun crossing first in the 55M dash (7.82) and winning the long jump (14-10.00). Tianna McDonald (shot put, 28-06.50) also had a win for the Bombardiers.
Sharon, 60 vs. Milford, 40 – Final – Milford won three events and swept relays, but Sharon earned first place finishes in seven individual events to earn the win. Jada Johnson was a triple winner for Sharon, taking first in the 55M hurdles (8.84), the high jump (5-08.0), and the long jump (17-05.00) while Daphne Theiler won both the 1 Mile (6:00.83) and the 2 Mile (13:01.27). Elliana Hershman (1000M, 3:26.07) and Claudia Sevi (shot put, 29-02.00) rounded out the winners for Sharon. Milford’s Sarah Flanagan (55M dash, 7.61), Kerry O’Connor (300M, 42.64), and Bella Gonzalez (600M, 1:49.57) won for Milford.
North Attleboro, 73 vs. Canton, 26 – Final – North Attleboro swept the 600M and 55M hurdles and took first in a total of eight individual events to earn a win over the Bulldogs. Sophomore Tess Collins clocked in at 1:42.51 to win the 6O0M with Sam Hawkins and Allison Carter taking second and third, respectively. In the 55M hurdles, Ari Preacher (9.23) took first with Sabrina Hauer and Cassidy Becker right behind. Stephanie Hawkins (1000M, 3:19.47), Marta Botelho (1 Mile, 6:29.71), Catherine Hanewich (2 Mile, 13:01.54), Julia Mechlinski (shot put, 33-03.25), Air Preacher (high jump, 4-08.00) and Celine Ibrahim (long jump, 15-10.25) also won events for North. Canton’s Nicole Brown was a double winner, taking first in both the 55M dash (7.59) and the 300M (43.85).
Mansfield, 68 vs. King Philip, 32 – Final – Mansfield won 10 of the 12 events and swept the 1000M race to earn a win over King Philip. Sophomore Grace Fernandez took first in the 1000M in 3:21.52 with freshman Katherine Miller and junior Jessica Alestock taking second and third, respectively. Amanda Mangano was a triple winner for the Hornets, taking first in the 55M dash (7.63), high jump (5-00.00), and long jump (16-05.25). Other winners for Mansfield included Alexis Kiyanda (300M, 45.37), Bryn Anderson (600M, 1:48.03), Tessa Lancaster (1 Mile, 5:34.55), and Margaret Riley (2 Mile, 12:04.56). King Philip’s Sarah Vigevani won the shot put (29-08.50) and the Warriors swept the 55M hurdles (Abigail Dunne [9.48], Victoria Priestley, Milan Simmons).
Taunton, 69 vs. Oliver Ames, 31 – Final – Taunton junior Kerla Sylvestre won a pair of events and the Tigers swept a pair of events to earn a victory over Oliver Ames. Sylvestre was first in the 55M dash (8.05) followed by teammates Marissa Desir and Morgan Zakrezewski, and then won the 300M (44.53). Taunton also swept the 1 Mile with senior Maggie Sullivan (5:45.93) taking first and Kailey Melito-Santos and Olivia Weber finishing second and third, respectively. Other winners for Taunton included Melito-Santos (2 Mile, 12:48.20), Olivia Dias (600M, 1:44.60), Nia Mainer-Smith (1000M, 3:22.36), Victoria Gravel (55M hurdles, 9.23), and Annabella Chavez (shot put, 28-11.00). OA’s Gabrielle McLaughlin was a double winner, taking first in the high jump (4-10.00) and the long jump (14-11.75)
2017-2018 Record: 9-10-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round. Coach: Mark Homer
After a two year drought of postseason hockey, the Bombardiers made it to the playoffs last year and are aiming to make it two years in a row. The Bombardiers only had three seniors on the roster last season, so the majority of the squad is back, plus a familiar face is back in the fold this season.
One of the three seniors that graduated was Jake Parker, who led the Bombardiers in scoring last season with 26 goals and eight assists. But Attleboro is slated to return its next three scorers in senior Cam Littig (12 goals, 14 assists for 26 points), junior Ryan Morry (11 goals, 15 assists for 26 points) and senior Kyle McCabe (three goals, 10 assists for 13 points).
Another positive is that the Bombardiers have some experience in goal. Both senior Evan Andrews (13.66 games played) and junior Derrik Rivet (6.33 games) are set to return. Having an experienced goalie is a huge positive but having a strong backup helps even more. Andrews had 270 saves last season with a 0.882 save percentage while Rivet turned away 144 shots and had a 0.842 save percentage. In front of goal, McCabe, Sam Flynn, and Matt Viveiros will be joined by Liam McDonough, Kyle Miniati, and Zach Pierce as members of the defensive unit.
While Littig and Morry will try to replicate their success from a season ago, one name that could help bolster the offense is senior Sam Larkin. Larkin played his freshman year and had seven goals and seven assists before switching over to juniors. His experience should give Attleboro a boost during the season.
“We have had some additions to our team this year that has created a little more depth that had been absent in previous years,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We are working on maintaining a better consistency in our play. We are still in our tryout mode and hoping to find the right mix to make us more competitive this season, especially in our league games.”
2017-2018 Record: 17-3-4 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal. Coach: Brian Shuman
Canton comes into every year with high expectations and the Bulldogs will be favorites to bring home a ninth straight Davenport division title and 11th Hockomock League title in the past 12 seasons. While the league campaign is a priority, the Bulldogs will also be comparing themselves to the top teams in Div. 2 and hoping this will be the year to break through in the South sectional and get back to the TD Garden for the first time since 2010.
After a dominant winter, the top scoring line is back in full for Canton. Senior Ryan Nolte, the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, and junior Johnny Hagan, the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will draw most of the plaudits but junior Timmy Kelleher gives the Bulldogs strong play on the other wing as well. That line combined for 69 points last season (27 apiece for Hagan and Nolte) and will be one of the league’s best going into this year. Canton also has juniors Tommy Ghostlaw and Chris Lavoie back to add scoring punch to the second line.
At the blue line, juniors Owen Lehane and Jack Connolly will both be expected to eat up a lot of minutes after strong sophomore seasons, and the Bulldogs will be looking for other players to step up and fill in defensively. After consistently strong goaltending from Quinn Gibbs over the past few seasons, Canton will turn to senior Mike Staffiere, who has been a backup the past two years and is drawing great reviews for his play during the preseason.
“Overall, we have a lot of experience returning up front at the forward position, but that’s true for a lot of teams in our league and in our division,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “The real question will be how much these players improved from last year, which we won’t know for sure until the games get going.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-9-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round. Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro is coming off the best season in program history, as the Warriors won 10 games and qualified for the state tournament without relying on the Sullivan Rule. Now, the Warriors come back this season hoping to build on that season and make another run at the state tournament behind an offense that, according to coach Mark Cedorchuk, is as deep as it has ever been.
Junior Ronnie MacLellan and sophomore Kirk Leach are two of the forwards to keep an eye on this season for the Warriors after the duo combined for 15 goals and 32 points last season. Also up front will be senior Tanner Kennedy and juniors Sebastian Ricketts and Josh Bertumen, who combined for 10 goals last year and are looking to continue their development to add depth to the attack.
Senior Brendan Tully will lead the defensive effort but is also the team’s leading scorer. The blue line standout scored 18 goals and had 19 assists and is going to be a major factor in all three zones as well as a leader on the penalty kill and power play. He will be joined on the blue line by junior Kyle McGinnis, while junior Espen Reager will be between the pipes this year.
“Even though we had a successful season last year, best in team history,” Cedorchuk said, “our players are not satisfied, they are hungry to improve on that.”
2017-2018 Record: 12-6-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Chris Spillane
Franklin started well last winter, reaching the final of the prestigious Mount St. Charles tournament and taking a point off Malden Catholic for the first time, but the Panthers couldn’t carry the momentum throughout the season and were knocked out in the first round of the tournament. As usual, Franklin graduated a lot of players, but also return a strong corps of experienced players to take on arguably the program’s toughest regular season schedule, which is loaded with some of the state’s top teams.
The Panthers return 11 seniors for this season, including eight forwards, but also have a group of eight sophomores that are jumping up from the JV to contribute on varsity this season. The forward line has plenty of experience and should be able to fire in the goals this year. Seniors Joey Lizotte, Zac Falvey, Scott Elliott, Dan Magazu, and C.J. Spillane will all be able to jump into the top scoring lines after playing major roles last year.
Defensively, the top five defensemen will be juniors Tom Tasker (who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last year) and Colin Hedvig and seniors Cam Casella, Matt D’Errico, and Evan Forbes. Three sophomores will also see time on the blue line for the Panthers this season. After graduating three senior goaltenders, the job is open to senior Ryan Cameron and junior Ray Ivers, who are both making the jump from JV.
“Our hope is that team speed will drive the offense and that our returning defense will have the experience to make sound decisions in our end,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The boys are looking forward to the upcoming season. I see the Hockomock as an extremely competitive league this year. We will also challenge our boys with a high-end non-league schedule.”
2017-2018 Record: 8-12-1 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip brings 11 players back from last year’s squad and is hoping a tough schedule will result in a battle-tested team ready for the D1 South Tournament at the end of February. It starts with the seniors for the Warriors with four of them back, plus a transfer.
There will be a lot of experience in the top line for KP, as well as its first defensive pair and between the pipes. Captain Ryan Fitzpatrick (10 points) had a strong season last year and will be trying to replicate that this year. Fitzpatrick is joined by assistant captain Luke D’Amico (13 points) as wingers while senior transfer Brendan Shandley steps in at center to give the Warriors a formidable line to work with. Juniors Chris Daniels (13 points), Joe Boselli (11 points), and Jack Coulter (10 points) are all back after successful sophomore seasons and should provide KP with good depth.
On the blueline, veteran Garrett Maxwell is the lone senior back from last year so he will be relied on for leadership. He is one of the strongest players in the league and plays in all situations for KP, including the power play plus the penalty kill. There will be some other familiar faces on defense for KP with junior Kyle Gray (seven points) and sophomore Rocco Bianculli (eight points) both back with varsity experience.
Senior James Lewis takes over in the crease as the starting netminder for the Warriors. Lewis saw action in three games last season, including a pair of wins and shutouts. While new to the starting position, Lewis has plenty of experience and that bodes well for the Warriors. Jesper Makudera and Nate Ihley will be pushing for minutes in net as well.
“I expect the team to have some good chemistry and get off to a good start,” said King Philip head coach Paul Carlow. “Practice has been good, and we have good leadership this year with a strong core. The Hockomock League is always competitive, the Kelley-Rex is a strong division, and we have a tough non-league schedule too, so we want to challenge ourselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 9-7-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Mike Balzarini
The Hornets have a strong core of players back this season, along with the addition of a couple of new faces, and head coach Mike Balzarini is hoping that combination will result in success this season.
Experience will be a strong suit for Mansfield as five of its top six forwards played significant minutes last year. Chris Copponi (12 points) and Matt Copponi (16 points) will be on the wings around center Coleman O’Brien for one line while Jake Lund (eight points) and Kevin Bellanger are returners on another line. The sixth forward will be center Jack Garland, who played juniors last year but is back in the fold for the Hornets this year. Ben Ierardo, Cam Page, and Braedon Copparini will be in the mix for minutes as well.
Defensively, while there are certainly some holes to fill, Balzarini has some talent to rely on the blue line. Two-time HockomockSports.com selections Mike Arnold and Tyler Oakley graduated so there is a little bit of a void, but Austin Ricker has stepped on early on to anchor the Hornet defensive unit. Ricker is joined by Brad Grant, who played for the Hornets previously before switching to juniors. Nick Levine and Joe Troiano gained valuable experience last year, and Jack Gormley and Brian Grant should be in the mix as well.
Mansfield also has experience in the goalie position with junior Sean McCafferty back between the pipes after having a breakout sophomore campaign. McCafferty was one of the top goalies in the league last year, earning HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman honors. He had 377 saves and a 92 save percentage, which bodes well for the Hornets this year.
“We obviously want to pick up where we left off after making the playoffs the last two years,” Balzarini said. “With the returning players plus new additions, I think we’re a little bit deeper and we know what we need to do to be competitive and make sure we’re playing well at the end of the season.”
2017-2018 Record: 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Ben McManama
Defense will be key for the Rocketeers during the 2018-2019 season. With a handful of returners back on the blue line as well as veteran goalie Ryan Warren, North Attleboro boasts a talented defensive unit.
Senior captain Brendan McHugh will anchor the defensive group alongside juniors Jeff Baker and Will Yeomans. All three are very experienced players that put defense first. They can all get involved in the offense as well. Warren has shined between the pipes each of the last three seasons, earning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year as a freshman and was a HockomockSports Third Team selection last season. Warren is pushed in practice each day as Chris Ulrich and Nick Digiacomo push for time.
Offensively, North Attleboro only lost two forwards from last year’s group, but those two players (Drew Wissler, Jason McNeany) combined for nearly half of the Rocketeers’ 76 goals a season ago. So this year, Big Red will need forwards to step up and contribute. Captain Anthony Zammiello scored 13 goals last year and will look to continue his success this season. Todd Robinson, Justin Moccia, Dennis Morehouse, Jake Ebert, and Jack Connolly are all candidates to have big years for the Rocketeers.
“We are a very big and physical team that works hard,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “We will need to stay out of the box to have success this year. Defense and depth will be the strength of our team. We will also need three lines that can score. I am very optimistic on the season because it is obvious that all our players put a ton of work in during the offseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Sean Bertoni
Speed has been the strength of the Tigers since Sean Bertoni took over the team and Oliver Ames will be relying on that speed and aggressiveness to try and challenge Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex division and to make a run in the state tournament. With a few players coming back from juniors to join with an experienced group, OA has high hopes of pushing the Panthers for the league title.
Senior forward Brett Williams will be the key player in the attack, coming off a season in which he scored 21 goals and recorded 15 assists and was named to the HockomockSports.com First Team. Williams will have plenty of help up front from senior Colin Bourne, who is one of the fastest skaters in the league and had 13 points last season. Senior forward Cullen Gallagher will also give the offense a boost, as he comes back to the program after a year in juniors.
Senior Matt McCormack was one of the league’s top defensemen last year and his steadying presence on the blue line will be critical to OA improving on that end of the ice, after giving up 54 goals as a team last year. Senior James Beatty is back after a year in juniors and should be a big boost to the blue line. Junior Owen Connor is back in net and looking to build off last season’s efforts.
“We are a team that will rely heavily on our team speed,” Bertoni said. “Our aggressive style of defense will lead to a successful offense. We will have to establish our forecheck to be effective. Our transition game will be a strength for us this year, creating turnovers and getting on the attack.”
2017-2018 Record: 1-20-1 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Dan Mark
Overall, the Stoughton Black Knights will be on the young side but they have a veteran first line that will lead the way.
The Knights will be looking to improve on last year’s record, while possibly trying to surprise some teams along the way. Leading the way offensively will be senior Sean Doherty. Doherty was Stoughton’s second-leading scorer last year behind Brendan Campbell (graduated). Doherty was second on the Black Knights with 12 goals and added 11 assists and will be relied upon to be a key piece of the offense this season. Joining Doherty on the first line will be senior Luke Bainton, who brings a lot of varsity experience to the table. Bainton will look to improve on last year after recording seven points (four goals, three assists).
Senior Josh Hough will anchor the blue line for the Black Knights. In his fourth year on varsity, Hough has logged a lot of minutes on the ice over the past couple of seasons and will be one of the most experienced defensemen in the league. Hough is able to create on the offensive end as well, scoring a pair of goals last year along with seven assists. Senior Thomas McCoy is set to return in goal after getting experience between the pipes a season ago.
2017-2018 Record: 12-10-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal. Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has been a program on the rise for the past few seasons and last year the Tigers took another big step forward by making a push to the Div. 2 South semifinal. That unexpected tournament run as the No. 13 seed, which included wins over No. 4 Old Rochester and No. 5 Nauset, has boosted the team’s confidence heading into a new year in which all but four players are back.
Scoring has not been a problem for the Tigers in recent seasons. Last year, Taunton scored a league-best 98 goals, five more than Davenport champ Canton, and senior forward Cam Sneyd (30 points) and junior Mike Albert (32 points) both eclipsed the 30-point mark. Senior Jack Patneaude added 15 points last year and he is poised for a big year along with classmates Jaden Weyant, Owen Ross, and Nick Vandermeel.
The defense is almost completely returned from last year, led by senior Andrew Carter, who was solid in the defensive zone but also chipped in with 20 points. Senior Brady Nichols and sophomore Dylan Nichols are also back for the Tigers. Junior Sean Bunker returns in net after a solid performance in the tournament run and he will be backed up by classmate Andrew Gomes, who has shown that he is a capable replacement when needed.
“The players have embraced the enjoyment of the journey, the process, and working hard to get better every day,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “They have the potential to continue their accomplishment of new heights. They will be fun to coach, and watch grow throughout the season.”
Attleboro, 44 vs. Cumberland, 24 – Final – Attleboro bounced back from last night’s loss with a strong defensive performance to earn its first win of the season. Mackenzie Roberts had 11 points to lead the Bombardiers, Liv McCall scored nine, and Jordyn Lako had eight points and 11 rebounds. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley added that senior Dom Garnes gave the Bombardiers great defense off the bench.
Canton, 7 vs. Plymouth South, 2 – Final – Canton senior Ryan Nolte scored a hat trick and junior Chris Lavoie found the back of the net twice as Canton opened its season with a win over Plymouth South. The Bulldogs will play Plymouth North in the final of the Jim Gormley Cup on Saturday at 4:00 at Gallo.
Foxboro, 6 vs. Tri-County, 0 – Final
Mansfield, 4 vs. Walpole, 1 – Final – Mansfield built a 2-0 lead after the first period, extended it to 3-1 in the second, and added an insurance goal in the third to pick up its second win of the season. The Hornets had four different goal scorers with Matt Copponi, Brad Grant, Jack Garland, and Ben Ierardo each lighting the lamp. Copponi, Grant, and Austin Ricker each had assists. The Hornets cashed in twice on the power play and went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Stoughton, 1 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 5 – Final – Carter Gerome scored the lone goal in the Black Knights’ season-opener.
Canton, 4 vs. Plymouth South, 0 – Final – Maggie Malloy scored a pair of goals and added an assist as Canton improved to 2-0 on the season. Ava Pacitti made 11 saves in net to earn the shutout.
Franklin, 4 vs. Medway, 3 – Final – Cassi Ronan scored a pair of goals and Regan Paterson and Libby Carter each tallied once to lift the Panthers to a season-opening win.
King Philip, 1 vs. Walpole, 4 – Final
Stoughton, 2 vs. Scituate, 11 – Final
Canton, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 31 – Final – Remi Creighton, Nick McGovern, Billy Tat, Andrew Fraser, and Dean Pacini all earned wins for Oliver Ames but the Tigers suffered a setback to Canton.
Foxboro, 41 vs. Dedham, 33 – Final
Franklin, 49 vs. Tri-County, 19 – Final
North Attleboro, 27 @ Mansfield, 45 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this match. – Mansfield showed off its strength, experience, and versatility in the middle weights to earn a non-league win against North Attleboro. The Hornets led 33-0 after starting the meet at 120 pounds. Antonios Sevastos earned a 10-3 win to start the Hornets off with four points and Andy Triantafilopoulos followed with a 17-2 win at 126. Steven Chase earned a pin at 132 and Stefan Steyn won 2-0 at 138. Will Stratton won at 145 and CJ and George Glaropoulos each followed with pins. Montrell Jackson got North’s first team points with a pin, coming back from 6-1 down in the first and 8-6 down in the third to make it 33-6. Jayden Curley answered back with a pin at 182, but North won three straight matches to cut into the lead. Liam Rizk won at 195 and then John Kummer (220), Mateusz Kudra (285), and Tanner Ferguson (106) had back-to-back-to-back pins. Max Farley closed the meet for the Hornets with a pin at 113.
Sharon, 69 @ Taunton, 12 – Final – The Eagles had 10 wrestlers win by pinfall to earn a win over Taunton. Adam Landstein (106), Ben Shocket (113), Amit Levin (120), Vinay Chinnam (126), Aaron Cashton (132), Kevin Simons (138), Tyler Cashton (145), Andrew Ableman (160), Jon Wald (182), and Alex Bolt (195) each earned a victory by fall for Sharon. Taunton’s Corey Abelard (220) and Mason Frank (285) each win by pinfall in under a minute.
Canton, 81 @ King Philip, 88 – Final – King Philip captains Tyler Stringfellow and Colby Vieira both had strong performances in the first meet of the season for the Warriors. Stringfellow won the 50 free while Vieira took first in the 100 fly and 10 backstroke. Cameron Stringfellow, John Dionis, and Dean Whyte added first place finishes, while Jackson Klein and Andrew Pham were consistent point scorers as well.
North Attleboro, 69 @ Oliver Ames, 93 – Final
Canton, 89 @ King Philip, 79 – Final – King Philip’s Megan Campbell, Jess Sullivan, Cate Digiacomo, and Morgan Sachleben put forth a strong effort with first places finishes for the Warriors.
FRANKLIN, Mass. It’s tough to rank players in terms of importance on the field, but there is certainly no doubting the value in Franklin junior face off specialist Jacob Alexander.
Alexander’s second half dominance at the face off X translated into a big half for the fourth-seeded Panthers, resulting in a 13-7 win #13 Mansfield.
The two Kelley-Rex division rivals were knotted 4-4 at halftime but Franklin dominated time of possession and scoring chances thanks in part to Alexander’s continued success at the ‘X.’ Those possessions and chances resulted in an 8-0 run over the third and fourth quarters.
“It all starts with Jacob, he’s such a key component to our success,” said Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi. “What can you say? He’s winning 86% of his face offs, he’s such a tough draw for any team. He’s so talented, and for a kid his size, he’s got good wheels, he can really play. He’s got great ground ball skills, great dodge skills…he could be an effective first line middie really.”
Mansfield had a strong start, racing out to a 3-1 lead after a quarter of play. But Franklin scored back-to-back goals within a minute span to tie the game. Franklin took its first lead at 4-3 but Mansfield tied it shortly before half.
“We were right in it but Alexander in the face off X, getting them all of those possessions really hurt,” said Mansfield head coach Tim Frias. “[Freshman] Nico [Holmes] is holding his own and he’s done really well but Alexander is a seasoned vet and it shows. I think in that third quarter we had two offensive possessions compared to the first half where it was a lot more back and forth. Franklin did a great job of possessing and making the most of their opportunities.”
Mansfield’s Danny DiGirolamo opened the scoring three minutes into the game and the Hornets nearly doubled it two minutes later but Franklin goalie Connor O’Rourke (12 saves) made a terrific one-on-one save. That save turned into transition for Franklin and senior Eric Civetti buried his shot on the other end to tie it.
The Hornets didn’t flinch though and capitalized on a transition chance of their own when senior Hunter Ferreira came racing down and buried a shot despite being double teamed. Mansfield survived a man-up opportunity from Franklin and drew a penalty in the process.
During the man-up chance, Ferreira went behind the net and then connected on a pass to Brad Grant right in front, who put the Hornets up 3-1 with just over a minute left in the quarter.
Franklin freshman Matt Lazzaro got things going for the Panthers in the second quarter, charging in from a tight angle before bouncing out in front and ripping a shot in. Lazzaro drew a penalty in the process and the Panthers cashed in less than a minute later when Civetti came from behind the net and found just enough space to sneak a shot in to tie the game.
The Panthers capitalized on the momentum and took the lead just over a minute later. Civetti backed his way down and found the slightest of angles to slip his shot inside the post for a 4-3 lead. Mansfield tied the game with three minutes left in the half when Ferreira found Connor Quirk right in front for the tying tally.
Not only did Alexander change the game with his face off wins in the second half, he set the tone early with a goal less than a minute into the second half.
After winning the opening face off, Mansfield nearly forced a turnover but Alexander scooped up the loose ball. He was able to spin between two defenders and fired a bound shot in to put Franklin up 5-4 just 18 seconds into the third quarter.
Mansfield almost had the tying goal in transition but O’Rourke came up with another one-on-one save to preserve the lead. From there, it was all Franklin.
“Connor really came up big for us a couple of times in big moments,” Verrochi said. “If [Mansfield] gets those goals where he came up with brilliant saves, it’s a different game. He made a huge save when it was 3-1 too and if it gets to 4-1, you never know.”
Just 30 seconds after O’Rourke’s save, Franklin cashed in when Chase Tanner ripped a hard shot that bounced just before the goal line and in. Out of a timeout, junior Patrick Morrison found a cutting Ben Greco in front for a 7-4 lead.
With just 12 seconds left in the third, Civetti again worked his way from behind the net in front and found the top corner with his shot for an 8-4 advantage heading into the final quarter.
“I think the offense settled down,” Verrochi said of the second half. “Everything was a little tight in the first half. Once they settled down and looked for good possessions, things started to go our way. We stopped throwing the ball away which we did a couple of times which is uncharacteristic. But it’s a playoff game, emotions are high, but we settled down in the second half. The long possessions helped us and defensively we extended them a bit.”
Alexander continued to win at the X and Franklin’s offense continued to manufacture goals. Lazzaro converted on a breakaway after the Panthers forced turnover near midfield. Mansfield goalie Jack Munroe (13 saves) made a nice stop on a shot but Jonathan O’Glishen cleaned up the rebound for a 10-4 lead.
Sophomore Owen Palmieri made it 11-4 with a goal midway through the quarter and Civetti netted his fifth just a minute later for a 12-4 lead, capping the Panthers’ 8-0 run that started in the third quarter.
Mansfield’s Michael Reed snapped the scoreless drought with a nice individual effort with 4:23 to go. It marked the Hornets’ first goal since the 3:15 mark of the second quarter.
“We felt like we needed to extend on them so we did and I think it kind of took them out of the comfort zone that they were in during the first half,” Verrochi said. “We started to cause some turnovers and did better on the ground balls. We got some nice breaks and some nice finishes from Eric and Matty Lazzaro.”
Tanner answered for Franklin on a nice feed from Kyle McEniry to cap Franklin’s scoring. Joe Cox and DiGirolamo scored in the final two minutes for the Hornets.
Franklin boys lacrosse (16-3) advances to the D1 South quarterfinal round to take on #5 Xaverian (15-4), who beat Marshfield 11-4 in the first round. The game is scheduled for Saturday but a time has yet to be determined. Mansfield finishes the season at 9-9.
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.”
Franklin, 0 @ Catholic Memorial, 15 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Wellesley, 4 – Final
Mansfield, 5 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – Junior Kevin Dow allowed just two runs in five innings of work, striking out five to lead the Hornets to their sixth straight win. Senior Matt Farragher (3-for-4, run) delivered the biggest hit of the game, knocking in three runs with a bases clearing double in the third inning.
Taunton, 3 vs. New Bedford, 2 – Final (9 inn.) – Taunton sophomore Jack Moynihan drove in the game-winning to hand the Tigers a walk-off win over New Bedford. Moynihan launched a double to bring in senior Matt Machado for the game-winning run. Machado and Tyler Medeiros each knocked in a run in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead before New Bedford tied the game with two runs in the sixth. Danny Keogh earned the win, tossing three scoreless innings in relief with just one hit allowed, no walks and two strikeouts. Owen O’Gara went six innings, striking out five with two earned runs allowed on one hit.
Stoughton, 10 @ Brockton, 0 – Final – Alessandra Loffredo was a single shy of the cycle for the Black Knights who totaled 11 hits on the day. Gina Carafa tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out five to get the win. Megan Eosco drove in the winning run with a first inning double and Jordan Lyons and Bri Ferrandiz each had a pair of hits for Stoughton.
Mansfield, 6 vs. Barnstable, 11 – Final – Mansfield trailed by just two at halftime, down 5-3 to the Red Raiders but couldn’t rally. Cullen Murphy led the Hornets’ offense with five points, scoring twice with three assists. Sam O’Connell, Joe Cox and Brad Grant each scored once and had an assist and Danny DeGirolamo scored once. Tommy Donnelly had a strong defensive performance in front of goalie Sean Powers (19 saves).
Sharon @ Milford, 3:45
Milford, 11 @ Attleboro, 10 – Final
North Attleboro vs. Notre Dame Academy, 4:00
Oliver Ames, 13 vs. Norton, 3 – Final – Eight different players found the back of the net as Oliver Ames cruised to a non-league win at home over Norton. Olivia Piazza led the charge with four goals while Sarah Stevens and Sofia Masciarelli each netted a pair of goals.
Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Brockton, 5 – Final
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Brockton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up a non-league win on the road, sweeping neighboring Brockton. Sarah Leger won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles, Claudia Ferrara won 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 12-10 at second singles and Maura Kiernan notched a 6-3, 6-3 win at third singles. OA had two strong performances in doubles, with Tori Wyman and Tate Hadges earning a 6-0, 6-3 win at first doubles and Kristin Bloumbas and Olivia Groebe prevailing 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles.
Taunton, 3 @ Durfee, 2 – Final – Taunton rallied from a two-game deficit to beat Durfee in five (16-25, 23-25, 29-27, 25-21, 15-9). Gage Kingman had a big day for the Tigers with 11 digs, nine kills and one ace and Mike Fernandez had seven kills and four blocks. THS coach Toby Chaperon said Jason Khang and Alex Tavares both provided the Tigers with a spark.