Fitzpatrick Nets Winner as Franklin Edges Mansfield

Franklin girls soccer
Sophomore Riley Fitzpatrick (11) scored on a Rachel Hogan cross eight minutes before halftime to hand Franklin a 1-0 win against Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – In a game of few scoring chances, it took only one moment of skill, only one defensive lapse, to decide a winner in Friday night’s match at Pisini Stadium.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The only goal of the game arrived with eight minutes before the break, as sophomore Riley Fitzpatrick showed a deft touch to tap in Rachel Hogan’s cross on the edge of the six-yard-box and lift Franklin to a 1-0 victory over rival Mansfield.

“She’s awfully good athletically,” Franklin coach Tom Geysen said of Fitzpatrick. “She played far more aggressively than she has at any other point in the season and that makes a big difference. If you can put pressure up front on their backs, somebody’s going to make a mistake.”

Most of the game was played in the middle of the pitch, as the two teams did a good job of cancelling each other out and limiting the ability for either to get into the final third. When the teams did get the ball forward, both defenses stood tall to clear their lines and keep both goalies largely untroubled.

“Neither team,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith about the lack of clear scoring chances. He did note that the overall play had improved from the teams’ first meeting, adding, “We were both chatting about how we’ve been developing and both teams were passing, moving. The soccer is much better and both teams have grown.”

It took 18 minutes for the first shot in anger. A clearance by Franklin left back Anna Balkus popped out to Katie Miller and the sophomore had a go from 20 yards that was held by Breanna Atwood. A couple minutes later, Tarynn Smith had another chance for Mansfield, but freshman defender Norah Anderson forced the forward wide and made it an easier stop for Atwood.

Franklin needed half an hour to register its first shot on goal. It just happened to also find the back of the net.

Hogan battled to win the ball back on the right side of the Mansfield penalty area and she needed only a sliver of space to fire a cross to the edge of the six. Fitzpatrick made a late run towards the back post, cut across her marker, and side-footed a shot past Mansfield keeper Olivia Salisbury.

Fitzpatrick created Franklin’s other scoring opportunity of the first half when she won the ball in midfield and got it forward to senior Carly Alston. She cut inside on her right foot and fired a shot that was straight at the keeper.

Things opened up slightly at the start of the second half, as the Hornets created a scoring chance just a minute after the break. Smith played Avery Hawthorne down the left channel but her shot to the near post was grabbed by Atwood.

Eleven minutes later, Hawthorne hustled to pressure Franklin defender Sabrina Addi, blocking a clearance and getting free in the box only for Balkus to come flying across and block the goal-bound shot.

Fitzpatrick continued to be a menace for the Panthers. She created space for a cross from the right side that picked out Sydney St. Marie at the back stick but her volley was blocked by Megan Krone.

“We’ve been having that problem all season,” said Geysen. “We get a minimum number of shots. You have to score goals and we don’t. We have to play good defense and keep working our butts off to stay in the game.”

He added, “We need to be able to pressure the ball and get to it quickly. Not having Stella [Regan] (who is out with a broken leg) in the middle is a real kick in the butt because she’s so good moving the ball.”

With six minutes remaining in the game, Maria Sevastos had a free kick right on the edge of the box. The Franklin wall struggled to get itself set and gave Sevastos a look at the corner, but the shot skidded just wide.

The Hornets finished with a flurry, looking for an important equalizer that would get them one point closer to a playoff spot, but the Panthers held out and nearly doubled the lead when St. Marie couldn’t get full purchase on a volley off an Alston cross.

“It’s not going to be easy,” said Smith about Mansfield’s chances of getting into the postseason. “We needed that [challenge]. We’re getting there. I love working with these kids, they’re great.”

Franklin (8-4-1, 7-4-1) will travel to Taunton on Tuesday, while Mansfield (5-5-4, 5-5-3) will begin its quest for four points from its remaining four games with a trip to Oliver Ames.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/16/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game.

Sharon, 4 @ Milford, 6 – FinalMilford built a 3-0 lead with a strong first half but had to survive a wild second half to earn a win over visiting Sharon. Junior Lucas Da Silva scored the first two goals of the game with Pedro Araujo and Jordan Borges earning assists. Borges then set up Araujo to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead at the break. Sharon’s Brian Higgins scored from Bryce Nathan to begin the second half, Nathan grabbed a goal of his own to make it 3-2. Araujo (from Leo Coelho) restored Milford’s two-goal lead only for Higgins to bring the Eagles back within one on James Zhang’s second assist. Coelho set up Da Silva for his hat trick and Araujo completed his hat trick on a pass from Joao Pedro Da Silva to make it 6-3. Nathan bagged his second of the game to get Sharon within two.

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalTaunton keeper Nolan Melo made save after save to keep the visiting Tigers in the game but Oliver Ames was able to solve him once, and that was enough for two points. “Their keeper was ridiculous, he was great,” said OA head coach John Barata. OA junior Matthew Nikiciuk scored in the 60th minute on a shot from outside of the area to put the hosts ahead. OA’s defense of Harry Ahearn, Matthew Nosalek, Jon Freeman, and Brady deVos played well in front of keeper Drew Nickla (sixth shutout).

Girls Soccer
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalFranklin keeper Breanna Atwood was terrific in net for the Panthers but King Philip scored a pair of first half goals to earn the win. Chloe Layne finished off a corner from Makayla Griffin in the 22nd minute to give the hosts the lead, and Avery Snead doubled the advantage four minutes later, heading in another corner from Griffin. Atwood made eight great saves to keep Franklin in the game. King Philip’s defense of Grace Lawler, Paige Varvarigos, and Griffin along with keeper Taylor Butler earned their 12th shutout of the season.

Boys Cross Country
Milford, 25 @ Canton, 35 – Final

Girls Cross Country
Milford, 25 @ Canton, 30 – Final

Golf
North Attleboro, 165 @ Canton, 149 – FinalCanton earned a win over North Attleboro to finish unbeaten in division action this season, going 10-0, and improving to 13-0 overall this season. The Bulldogs had a trio of golfers share match medalist honors with Chris Lavoie, Conor Hunter, and James O’Keeffe all finishing with a 37. Will Gefteas and Mike Leonetti each shot 38 in the win. North Attleboro’s Jake Gaskin had a team-low round of 38, Jillian Barend and Jared Bankert each shot 42, and Aidan Weir chipped in with a 43 for the Rocketeers.

Oliver Ames, 160 @ Mansfield, 149 – FinalMansfield picked up some momentum heading into the league championship meet, earning a win over Oliver Ames at home. Brian See fired an impressive three-under par round of 33 to earn match medalist honors. Ryan Dow added a 35, Jason See shot a 40, and Cian Goulet finished with a 41 for Mansfield.

Milford, 179 vs. Nipmuc, 188 – Final

Foxboro, 156 @ Milford, 179 – FinalFoxboro earned a win on the road to close out its division schedule, finishing 8-2. Noah Hicks led the way for the Warriors, firing a round of 37 to earn match medalist honors. Matt Lathrop added a 39 for Foxboro while Jack Rounds and Dylan Quinn each shot 40. Tyler Wetherbee and Wes Murdock each carded a 42 for the Hawks.

Taunton, 174 @ Stoughton, 181 – FinalTaunton earned a win on the road at Easton Country Club over host Stoughton. Kyle Robinson and Dillion Schofield led the way for the Tigers, each shooting 42 in the win. Stoughton’s Max Huminik was the match medalist with a 39.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/04/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
Mansfield, 15 @ King Philip, 13 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (M) Jack Moussette 33-yard pass to Danny Rapoza, Michael DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Crawford Cantave 1-yard rush, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 20-yard rush, Nick Marciano 2pt rush; (KP) Robert Jarest 16-yard pass to Alex Behling, Dylan Conti XP good.

Football
Attleboro, 21 @ Taunton, 3 – Final

Foxboro, 20 @ Canton, 26 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 33-yard pass to Gersom Rivera, Owen Lehane XP good; (F) Shayne Kerrigan 46-yard pass to Ryan Hughes, Tyler James XP good; (C) J. Hagan 1-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) O. Lehane 24-yard field goal; (F) S. Kerrigan 11-yard rush, T. James XP good; (C) O. Lehane 32-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 1-yard rush, 2-point conversion no good.
4th Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 6-yard rush, XP blocked.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalAttleboro and Sharon traded first half goals, splitting the two points in a draw on Friday night. Attleboro freshman Esvin Morales put the visitors ahead off an assist from Joey Soucy, putting the Bombardiers ahead in the 7th minute. But four minutes later, Sharon senior Brian Higgins brought the hosts level on an assist from James Zhang.

Franklin, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalFranklin netted a pair of first half goals, added an insurance strike in the second, and posted a shutout on the road at Foxboro. Junior Ethan Cain opened the scoring on an assist from senior Sam Stowell while sophomore Terry O’Neill put the Panthers up 2-0, converting a feed from senior Donny Tappin. Senior Jacob Cummings made it 3-0 with Cain grabbing the assist.

King Philip, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalSenior Owen Teixeira scored the lone goal of the game with just over three minutes left to help KP grab two points on the road. Teixeira took a pass from junior Anthony Zappala and rifled a shot from 25 yards out to put the Warriors ahead.

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Milford, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final

Canton, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final

Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalThe Panthers hit on a counterattack nine minutes into the game, Sydney St. Marie heading in a cross by Chloe Barca, to hand Foxboro its first defeat of the season. The Warriors pressured throughout the game, but the Panthers defense was excellent, according to head coach Tom Geysen, to keep Foxboro off the board. Anna Balkus had the job of marking Foxboro forward Jordyn Collins and she was helped in the first half by freshman Norah Anderson, who got across on the cover to clear away a chance with a sliding tackle. Breanna Atwood made 12 saves in goal to earn the clean sheet.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKing Philip got off to a strong start, netting four first half goals to earn a win at home over North Attleboro. Ally Stanton scored in the 4th minute off a feed from Makayla Griffin, and again in the 15th minute, converting a cross from Ava Tormey. Avery Snead (22nd minute) and Chloe Layne (26th minute) set one another up for goals. Snead added a strike in the second half in the 46th minute with Stanton getting the assist.

Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalMaria Sevastos and Abby Jean scored for the Hornets, while goalies Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined for three saves and the shutout. Stoughton goalie Brianna Buckley had a strong game in goal for the Black Knights.

Milford, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalAfter trading first half goals, Oliver Ames found the game-winner in the second half to earn two points against the Hawks at home. Senior Abby Hodges put the Tigers up in the first half while sophomore Camryn O’Connor scored the game-winner, finishing off a corner from senior Erin Holmberg.

Field Hockey
Stoughton, 2 vs. Brockton, 1 – FinalHaley Nelson and Morgan Lessa each scored to lead the Black Knights to a win at home over visiting Brockton.

Volleyball
Canton, 3 vs. Notre Dame Academy, 0 – FinalCanton earned a regular season sweep of NDA, winning 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 27-25) at home. Taylor Harris had a standout performance, hitting 0.487 while putting down 22 kills along with 11 digs. Claire Quinn added eight kills and 13 digs while Jackie Morrissey dished out 27 assists while recording three kills and nine digs for the Bulldogs.

Mansfield, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Brockton, 0 – FinalOliver Ames avenged its season-opening loss to the Boxers with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-20) sweep at home. Sarah Morley had a strong game with 10 digs and five aces, Allie Kemp added 25 assists, and Alison Barth added 27 digs. Caroline Flynn and Jordan Bosse paced the offense with 10 kills apiece.

Golf
Mansfield, 152 @ Attleboro, 169 – FinalMansfield picked up a win over Attleboro at Stone-E-Lea, clinching the Kelley-Rex division title outright. Ryan Dow was the match medalist with a low round of 35 while Ava Haggis, Brian See, and Joseph Gormley each shot 39 in the win.

Franklin, 170 @ Foxboro, 173 – FinalFranklin’s Jack Paterson was the match medalist, shooting a team-low round of 40 to pace the Panthers to a close win over Foxboro. Pat Dolan added a 41, Brian Sandham shot a 43, and Jake Blaney chipped in with a 46. Foxboro’s Matt Fossella (three pars) sank a birdie, finishing with a 41. Dylan Quinn (five pars) added a 43, Noah Hicks shot 44, and Jack Rounds finished with a 45 for the Warriors.

North Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:30

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/24/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalFoxboro senior Dylan Barreira and sophomore Matt Angelini each scored once to lead the hosts to a win over Stoughton. Nolan Gerome made 11 saves in net for the Black Knights.

Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames junior Kevin Louhis scored and had an assist to help the Tigers earn two points against visiting Mansfield. Louhis set up classmate Anthony DaCosta in the 30th minute to put the hosts ahead. Louhis then added an insurance goal in the 70th minute, running onto a through ball from Colin Milliken and finishing in alone on the keeper to make it 2-0. Anthony Salisbury had a strong game in net, making 18 saves.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Foxboro, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalFour different players scored for Foxboro as the Warriors picked up two points on the road. Jordyn Collins and Katelyn Mollica scored in the first half for Foxboro while Lizzy Davis and Kailee McCabe netted second half strikes. Jordan Carman, McCabe, and Mollica each had an assist in the win. Mackenzie Manning scored for Stoughton while Brianna Buckley had a strong game in net for the Black Knights.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalThe Panthers made their possession count in the second half with a pair of goals to seal a league win. Erin Quaile opened the scoring midway through the second half and Sydney St. Marie added the second from the spot inside the final 10 minutes. Taunton goalie Grace Pimenta kept the Tigers in the game with numerous saves. Breanna Atwood made four saves to keep a clean sheet.

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalOliver Ames scored once in each half to lead the Tigers to a win on the road. Sophomore Katie Gibson finished off a cross from classmate Lauren Sellmayer midway through the first half to put the visitors up 1-0. Erin Holmberg curled in a corner kick in the 54th minute to make it 2-0. Sophomore Emily Meyers made six saves in net to earn the win while sophomores Caroline Peper and Allison Evin had strong showings for OA.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 3 – FinalAn early penalty kick gave Milford the advantage and the Hawks made it count with a big division win. Ashleigh Starks converted from the spot to put the Hawks up 1-0, and Juliana France converted off a corner kick as Milford led 2-0 at the break. Freshman Dani Atherton added a goal in the second half while Carly Ferreira played well in net for Milford. Melissa McDermott, Abby Valdez, Caroline Ferrin, and Ari Rice all had strong games for the Rocketeers.




Field Hockey
Foxboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalAttleboro’s Madison Ellis scored on an assist from Sarah McMahon in the 39th minute.

Canton, 2 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalCanton junior Meghan LaBelle and sophomore Erin Lane each scored to help the Bulldogs pick up a win on the road at Mansfield. Alex Burnham scored for the Hornets.

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKing Philip sophomore Christina Gifun opened the scoring with seven minutes left in the first half and the Warriors scored four more in a win over visiting Stoughton. Junior Abby Nixon scored once and added two assists, while senior Raegan Simeone, junior Kayla O’Brien, and freshman Lauren Barriero each scored once. Senior Grace May earned the shutout for KP.

Milford, 0 @ Taunton, 4 – FinalTaunton had four different players find the back of the cage in a win at home over visiting Milford. Braeley MacDonald, Meaghan DeCouta, Alana Tavares, and Kat Robinson each scored for the Tigers while Jocelyn Pagliuca and Haylee Hartung played well in the win. Paige Reisman had 15 saves for Milford.

Volleyball
Foxboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalFoxboro rallied from a 2-1 deficit, winning the last two sets to grab its second straight 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 10-25, 25-12, 15-12) win. Kelsey Treweek (11 digs) had eight service points and three aces to help the visitors close out the fifth game. Maddie O’Brien added 19 assists, Pam Nelson had 13 digs, Shakirah Ketant put down seven kills, and Grace Boudreau finished with 17 service points (five aces) and 11 kills for the Warriors.

Canton, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalCanton rallied from a two-game deficit, winning three straight to steal a 3-2 (15-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-16, 15-9) decision on the road. Taylor Harris continued to dominate at the net with 18 kills along with three aces, Angie Elias added six blocks and six kills, and Jackie Morrissey dished out 31 assists to go with four kills. Mansfield’s Alina Nowakowski paced the Hornets with 10 kills, Olivia McGrath and Julia Kelly each added even kills, and Sam Sternburg grabbed 17 digs.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro picked up a win in the third set to keep the match going but Franklin finished off the win in the fourth set to grab a 3-1 (25-15, 25-11, 20-25, 25-17) victory on the road. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard had a great game for the Panthers, slamming down 18 kills while sophomore Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 32 assists in the win. Grace Munley had seven kills for North while Eliza Dion added eight digs.

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip defended home court with a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-2, 25-21) of the visiting Black Knights. Junior Emma Brooks continued to be a force at the service line, registering 13 aces to go along with 10 digs while Catherine Waldeck (13 kills) and Ali McNamara (four kills) paced the Warriors’ offense at the net.

Milford @ Taunton, 5:00

Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames took care of business with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-14) win at home, the team’s eighth straight win. Junior Sarah Morley had a strong showing for the Tigers with 10 digs and four aces, Allie Kemp registered 29 assists, and Jordan Bosse played well offensively with 13 kills and four aces.




Boys Cross Country
Attleboro, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 21 – FinalOliver Ames had four of the top five finishers in a win over visiting Attleboro. Junior Kyle Sarney took first place in 16:47.6 while Attleboro junior Nathan Seybert took second overall in 17:08.8.

Results: 1. Kyle Sarney, OA (16:47.6) 2. Nathan Seybert, Att (17:08.8) 3. Owen McMorrow, OA (17:19.3) 4. Rory McLaughlin, OA (17:26.1) 5. Owen Nipoti, OA (17:57.7) 6. Ethan Sylvia, Att (18:02.2) 7. Francis Wenner, Att (18:03.3) 8. Joey Looney, OA (18:10.3) 9. Neil Bowie, Att (18:18.7) 10. David Fiedorczyk, OA (18:38.7)

Canton @ Stoughton, 3:45

Foxboro, 43 @ Milford, 20 – FinalFoxboro’s Ryan Proulx won the race but Milford had the next seven runners cross the finish line to get the win as a team. Proulx won the race in 16:12 while senior Max Manor (16:31) was the Hawks’ top runner, taking second overall.

Results: 1. Ryan Proulx, Fox (16:12) 2. Max Manor, Mil (16:31) 3. Liam Bennett, Mil (17:46) 4. Samuel Vilt, Mil (17:57) 5. James Comisky, Mil (17:59) 6. Gabriel Pardo Cota, Mil (18:02) 7. Mark Butters, Mil (18:06) 8. Andres Alvzrez-Romero, Mil (18:23) 9. Nate Palter, Fox (18:28) 10. Gabe Soares, Mil (19:48)

Mansfield, 31 @ Franklin, 24 – FinalFranklin had the first two runners cross the finish line, and four of the top six, to pick up a win over visiting Mansfield. Senior Tyler Brogan won the race in 16:54 with junior Nicholas Calitri shortly behind for second place (16:59).

Results: 1. Tyler Brogan, Frank (16:54) 2. Nicholas Calitri, Frank (16:59) 5. Camden Harrington, Frank (17:37) 6. Declan Walmsley, Frank (17:56) 10. Clancy Golden, Frank (18:16).

King Philip @ Taunton, 3:45

Sharon, 19 @ North Attleboro, 40 – FinalSharon took five out of the top seven spots, and seven out of the top 10, to earn a win on the road at North Attleboro. Mark Starovoytov won the race in 17:02 for the Eagles while North Attleboro’s Daniel Nobrega took third overall as the Rocketeers’ top runner.

Results: 1. Mark Starovoytov, Shar (17:02) 2. Jordan Saks, Shar (17:05) 3. Daniel Nobrega, NA (17:15) 4. Bradley Weiss, Shar (17:18) 5. James Kong, Shar (17:19) 6. Chris Galligan, NA (17:32) 7. Siddharth Reddy, Shar (17:46) 8. Griffin Gouch, NA (18:12) 9. Jacob Dubin, Shar (18:15) 10. Michael Williams, Shar (18:21)

Girls Cross Country

Attleboro, 39 @ Oliver Ames, 21 – FinalOliver Ames juniors Meghan Reardon and Catherine O’Donnell were the first two finishers and the Tigers claimed six of the top eight spots in a win over Attleboro. Reardon won in 20:28.6 while O’Donnell was shortly behind at 20:36.7. Junior Kelly Neunendorf (21:01.7) took third overall.

Results: 1. Meghan Reardon, OA (20:28.6) 2. Catherine O’Donnell, OA (20:36.7) 3. Kelly Neunendorf, Att (21:01.7) 4. Kimberly Esteban, Att (21:24.1) 5. Julia Sarro, OA (22:36.0) 6. Ava Lerman, OA (23:35.9) 7. Kiersten Chan, OA (23:38.4) 8. Rachel Davis, OA (23:59.5) 9. Jazlyn Miller-Villanueva, Att (24:07.8) 10. Haley Braga, OA (24:13.9)

Canton @ Stoughton, 3:45

Foxboro, 28 @ Milford, 28 – FinalFoxboro and Milford split the points with 28 apiece but the Warriors earned the win via tiebreaker. Abby Hassman (19:41) won the race by over a minute while Jenn Yeomans took third for the Warriors. Milford’s Emma Lawrence took second overall at 20:51 while the Hawks took fourth through sixth.

Results: 1. Abby Hassman, Fox (19:41) 2. Emma Lawrence, Mil (20:51) 3. Jenn Yeomans, Fox (21:06) 4. Lexi Marcolini, Mil (21:27) 5. Kerry O’Connor, Mil (21:40) 6. Sara Comisky, Mil (21:59) 7. Emily Steele, Fox (22:35) 8. Isabel Hallal, Fox (22:48) 9. Anya Doherty, Fox (22:55) 10. Sophia Sougaris, Fox (23:15).

Mansfield, 37 @ Franklin, 21 – Final Mansfield had the first runner cross the line but Franklin had the next four to earn a win at home. Captains Sarah Giuliano and Sidney Hawkins took second and third, respectively for the Panthers while Caitlin Casey was fourth, Charlene Peng crossed fifth, and Lily Duffy was seventh overall. Mansfield’s Tessa Lancaster won the race in 20:38.

Results: 1. Tessa Lancaster, Mans (20:38) 2. Sarah Giuliano, Frank 3. Sidney Hawkins, Frank 4. Caitlin Casey, Frank 5. Charlene Peng, Frank 6. Emma Lamson, Mans (22:26) 7. Lily Duffy, Frank 8. Anne Riley, Mans (23:04) 10. Jess Alestock, Mans (23:26)

King Philip, 26 @ Taunton, 29 – FinalKing Philip’s Maya Evans and Ava Pisani finished first and second, respectively, to help the Warriors win a close race on the road. Nia Mainer-Smith was Taunton’s top runner, taking third overall.

Results: 1. Maya Evans, KP (20:29) 2. Ava Pisani, KP (21:45) 3. Nia Mainer-Smith, Taun (22:05) 4. Meg Sherwood, KP (22:13) 9. Abigail Simmons, KP (22:38) 10. Dayna Aubin, KP (23:02)

Sharon, 25 @ North Attleboro, 32 – FinalSharon swept the top three spots and added a key seventh place finish to earn a close win over North Attleboro. The Eagles’ Daphne Theiler (19:54), Juliana Dudziak, and Eliana Boxerman were the top three finishers while North’s Emily Manning clocked in at 21:05 to take fourth overall.

Results: 1. Daphne Theiler, Shar (19:54) 2. Juliana Dudziak, Shar (19:55) 3. Eliana Boxerman, Shar (19:59) 4. Emily Manning, NA (21:05) 5. Olivia Forbes, NA (21:06) 6. Melissa Sapini, NA (21:09) 7. Margaret Li, Shar (21:10) 8. Shruti Srinivasan, NA (21:18) 9. Catherine Hanewich, NA (22:06) 10. Natalie Kaiser, NA (22:38).

Golf
Attleboro, 180 @ Franklin, 161 – FinalFranklin’s Jack Paterson was the lone golfer to shoot under 40 in the match, earning medalist honors with a 38 to help the Panthers earn a win. Quinten Faro and Jack MacKinnon each shot a 40 while Pat Dolan added a round of 43. Jack Handy led Attleboro with a 43 while Brian Houle added a 45.

Mansfield, 150 @ Milford, 188 – FinalThe Hornets had a strong day on the links with five golfers finishing under 40 in a win over Milford. Brian See shot a one-over par round of 36 to earn medalist honors, Joseph Gormely added a 37, Ryan Dow finished with a 38, and Jason See and Nate Morreale each finished with a 39.

Stoughton, 209 @ Foxboro, 163 – FinalFoxboro’s Noah Hicks sank one birdie and had four pars on the day, finishing at 39 to earn match medalist honors and pace the Warriors to a win at home. Matt Lathrop and Jack Rounds each had four pars and finished at 41 while Matt Fossella (four pars) finished at 42. Patrick Smith led Stoughton with a 46.

Taunton, 194 vs. New Bedford, 203 – FinalTaunton’s Sean Bunker shot a team-low 45 to pace the Tigers to a win.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/12/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Soccer
Franklin, 1 @ Canton, 2 – FinalOlivia Rodman sealed the win for the Bulldogs with a shot into the top corner with only two minutes remaining in the game. Canton battled back after falling behind to an early Sabrina Addi free kick goal. Elisa Diletizia tied the game from the penalty spot with 12 minutes left in the first half. It was a back-and-forth game with both teams creating chances and both goalies busy. Canton’s Elyse Briderick made 15 stops and Franklin’s Breanna Atwood had 14. Franklin coach Tom Geysen rued his team’s missed opportunities and added, “I feel we are making improvements but there are things we need to do better to succeed.”

Mansfield, 2 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalTarryn Smith scored a pair of first half goals to earn the win for the visitors and give Mansfield coach Kevin Smith the 150th victory of his career. Kerrin Sears and Abby Oppenheim had the assists, as the Hornets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Sharon cut the lead in half before the break.

Golf
Canton, 149 @ Stoughton, 192 – FinalCanton’s Chris Lavoie shot a one-under round of 35 on the road at Easton Country Club to lead the Bulldogs past Stoughton. Conor Hunter also had a strong day with a round of 37, Mike Leonetti shot a 38, and Will Gefteas, Nate MacDonald, and James O’Keeffe all shot 39 for Canton. Stoughton sophomore Anthony Hearn had a low round of 42 for the Black Knights.

Foxboro, 167 @ Franklin, 155 – FinalFranklin senior Jake Blaney fired a career-low round of 36 to help the Panthers upend previously unbeaten Foxboro. Blaney shared medalist honors with junior Jack Paterson, who earned his third medalist honor just this week. Pat Dolan added a round of 40 and Nolan Norton chipped in with a 43 for Franklin.

Milford, 176 @ North Attleboro, 158 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Jillian Barend birdied on both the third and ninth holes, finishing with a two-over round of 37 to earn medalist honors in the Rocketeers’ win over Milford. Aidan Weir added a 39, Justin Strom carded a 40, and Sam Gallagher added a 42 for North. Milford’s Ed Madden had a team-low round of 42, Nick Wimette added a 43, and Jason Luchini shot 44 for the Hawks.

Oliver Ames, 165 @ Sharon, 174 – FinalOliver Ames picked up a win on the road the Cape Club of Sharon to improve to 3-2. Tate Hadges earned medalist honors for the Tigers, shooting a team-low round of 40 while Logan Domenico and Brad Powers both shot 41. Justin Shapiro also scored for OA with a 43. Sharon’s Andrew Glaser and Nathan Daley both fired a 41 while Eric Carter finished with a 44.

Layne Lifts King Philip Over Franklin With Early Goal

King Philip girls soccer Chloe Layne
King Philip’s Chloe Layne and Franklin’s Carissa Alers battle for possession in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The Franklin girls soccer team put on a nearly flawless defensive performance against visiting King Philip on Tuesday afternoon.

But the potent Warriors’ offense only needs one chance to punish teams.

Such was the case at Pisini Field as senior Chloe Layne scored inside the opening 10 minutes, the 100th point of her career, and the Warriors walked away with a hard-earned 1-0 decision over the Panthers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

While King Philip’s lone goal came early, the Warriors had chances throughout the game that were either thwarted by the Panthers’ defense or denied by senior goalie Bre Atwood.

“Defensively, [Franklin head coach Tom Geysen] always comes up with a good scheme, you just have to try and work and work and work until you break through,” said King Philip head coach Gary Pichel.

The Warriors started on the front foot, keeping possession as they built towards their goal. In the eighth minute, senior Avery Snead controlled a service and linked up with Layne. Layne first carried towards the end line but cut back inside and fired a left-footed blast that powered through defenders and into the back of the net. The assist was also the 100th point for Snead in her KP career.

“You can’t let Chloe get in that deep, and all she needs is a little space,” Pichel said. “She just knocks it in with a lot of firepower. I thought Franklin did a good job [defensively] on Chloe and Avery, they were all over them, made it very difficult to get decent shots off. But that’s what you expect, a close game against Franklin.”

Minutes later, Snead nearly doubled the lead. She took a pass from classmate Jenna Hitchen and rifled a one-timer from just inside the 18 but her low shot was wide as Franklin senior Sam Powderly applied pressure.

The Warriors best chance to add onto their advantage in the first half came in the 22nd minute. Junior Paige Varvarigos lofted a corner kick that Snead rose up to meet but her header flashed just wide at the near post.

Although Franklin defended for the majority of the half, it did have some breaks that turned into looks offensively. In the 20th minute, Carly Alston served a corner kick to the near post. Anna Balkus was the first to the bar, getting a touch that eluded the keeper but the ball was cleared in front of goal by the KP defense.

King Philip had two great chances to add onto the lead in the opening 10 minutes of the second half but Atwood came up big for the Panthers on both occasions. In the 45th minute, Snead blocked a clearance attempt but Atwood quickly closed down and turned away her shot.

Four minutes later, Makayla Griffin found Ally Stanton with a corner kick, and Stanton’s header looked destined for the back of the net before Atwood made a terrific diving save to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

“I thought their goalie made some really good stops, especially on that corner it looked like Ally Stanton had taken care of it, it was going right in, and she got there right in the nick of time,” Pichel said. “We knew coming in that, the trouble they had with Milford, you forget about it. It’s KP against Franklin and it’s always a dogfight.”

Franklin got strong defensive performances from Powderly, senior Sabrina Addi, junior Carissa Alers, junior Erin Quaile, and freshman Norah Anderson.

“You have Snead, Layne, and Stanton…that’s a lot of firepower,” Geysen said of the KP attack. “When you look at their scoring, goals and assists, it all goes through the three of them. So we just tried to make it a little bit harder, tried to be in their face, and when you have the opportunity, double team them.

“Just one chance, that’s all it takes. And that’s what happens when you don’t score.”

Anderson applied pressure so Snead couldn’t get off a clean one-timer in the 63rd minute. Less than a minute later, Jenny Montville blasted a shot from 25 yards out but Atwood handled it on the bounce. And in the 69th minute, Stanton’s cross found Montville but good defending from Addi prevented a serious chance.

Franklin had its best chance of the second half come in the 73rd minute on a near post corner kick but KP keeper Taylor Butler came off the line and disrupted the service.

“I told Taylor she did a fantastic job of coming out when she needed to and taking care of business,” Pichel said. “I thought Grace Lawler did a fantastic job on defense, picking up some of their runs. Jenny Montville and Ava Tormey, things changed drastically when I put those two in the middle. They really picked it up for us and gave us a lot of energy.

We’re a work in progress. Who’s going to step up, who’s going to be consistent…and you just do the best you can. We don’t think we’re fantastic but we’re more of a meat and potatoes type team, just keeping fighting.

Hitchen intercepted a clearance in the 76th minute to give the Warriors one final chance, but the near post service was knocked away by Atwood before Layne could get a touch.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Bre played extremely well in the second half after being a little passive in the first half,” Geysen said. “Same thing with Sabrina [Addi], she had a great second half. They were both better today and it worked well.

“We beat Milford but we didn’t play very well, they physically knocked us all over the place and took advantage of our lack of aggressiveness. We needed to be more physical and aggressive today, that was the goal for today. I don’t care what the score was, we needed to play better. And I was very proud that they did that today.”

King Philip girls soccer (3-0 overall, 2-0 Hockomock) is back in action on Friday with a trip to Milford. Franklin (1-1, 1-1) is on the road at Canton on Thursday afternoon.

Hockomock Girls Soccer: Players to Watch in 2019

2019 Hockomock Girls Soccer Players to Watch
Ashleigh Starks (23) of Milford and Olivia Rodman (10) of Canton are two of the girls soccer players to watch as the new season kicks off. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Breanna Atwood, Senior – Franklin

Franklin has had a good run with goalkeepers and that is continuing with Breanna Atwood. The senior netminder played all 18 games for the Panthers last season and has emerged as the top shot stopper in the league. A HockomockSports.com Best XI performer last season, Atwood recorded nine clean sheets and helped Franklin finish the season with a league-low 10 goals allowed. Tall and athletic, Atwood dominates the penalty area, which will be important this year as the Panthers have an almost completely new back line, and she is capable of getting to shots that other goalies in the league don’t. With the inexperienced defense in front of her, Atwood could be busier this year, but the Panthers will be confident that if opponents do get scoring chances that they have a goalie to make the necessary stops.

Jordyn Collins, Junior – Foxboro

The Warriors were the top scoring team in the league last season and junior forward Jordyn Collins was one of the main reasons why. She had a breakout year, putting together her speed and athleticism with clever footwork and clinical finishing to score a team-high 17 goals and five assists. A physical forward with a deft touch, Collins was able to hold the ball up and bring in the Foxboro midfield and if the defenders got close she would roll them and break free into space. Her volleyed goal off a corner in the playoffs against Medfield was the perfect example of her growth as one of the premier strikers in the Hock. Foxboro is still a relatively young team, but coming off the program’s first league crown since 1993 and with Collins continuing to lead the line expectations are high for a second straight title and an even deeper tournament run.

Abigail Hodges, Senior – Oliver Ames

Defense has long been a strength for the Tigers and this season will be no different with an experienced back line coming back and senior Abigail Hodges will be the leader of that group. A versatile player, who can play in the back line or move forward to play in the center of the pitch, Hodges is strong and confident on the ball and can match up physically with the league’s top attackers. Her experience in different positions has developed her ability to read opposition’s attacks and cut things out before they get dangerous. OA has a young roster overall and Hodges will be one of the experienced players that the Tigers will count on to guide the team up the Kelley-Rex standings and to another state tournament appearance.

Chloe Layne, Senior – King Philip

King Philip senior Chloe Layne has been one of the league’s most dynamic attackers for the past three seasons and is one part of the Hock’s top attacking unit. The University of Hartford-commit and 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year has unmatched skills on the ball, dancing through defenders whether she is lined up as a forward or dropped back into the midfield. Defenses are forced to back off when she has the ball because if they get too close then she can pull off a move to leave them in her wake. Layne scored 20 goals last season and assisted on 13 others, despite being moved from the front line back into the center of the pitch to act as a playmaker. She was third in the league in scoring, just one point behind teammate Avery Snead. This year, KP comes into the season with sky-high expectations and trying to stop Layne in the final third, whether creating chances for herself or her teammates, will be a difficult task even for the experienced defenses in the Hockomock.

Kailee McCabe, Sophomore – Foxboro

Lily Sykes was the first player (in any sport) to be on the first team of this site’s end of season awards for all four years. When she graduated, Foxboro was left with a big hole in the midfield, but sophomore Kailee McCabe stepped in last fall and the Warriors didn’t miss a beat. The reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year was a box-to-box threat, breaking up an opposing attack on one end and then driving forward to create an attack on the other. McCabe scored 12 goals and had five assists for the Davenport champions, showing off the physicality and the skill to control games in the Hockomock. Even though she was just a freshman, McCabe became the engine that spurred the Warriors to a first league title in 25 years. Her dominance in the center of the pitch opens up the field for her teammates and helped the Warriors have one of the top attacks in the league and enter the season as the favorites to make it two straight league titles.




Katie Miller, Sophomore – Mansfield

Mansfield comes into the season with 18 of the 24 players on its roster new to varsity and only one player with more than a single season of experience. The Hornets are going to rely on youth if they are going to win a fourth straight league title, but some of those younger players have already proven capable of playing at this level. Katie Miller had an impressive freshman campaign, trusted with marking some of the league’s top midfielders and proving to be a standout in an already loaded lineup. While she has the defensive skills to help cover the defense, Miller also has the skill on the ball to push the Hornets forward quickly and the ability to pick out the right pass to free a teammate. After a solid freshman season, Miller’s all-around development will be crucial to the Hornets continuing their run as one of the top programs in the league.

Olivia Rodman, Junior – Canton

Canton prides itself on a quick passing game and the ability to breakdown the opposition. Junior forward Olivia Rodman has been one of the keys to the Bulldogs’ success in the attack for the past two seasons. A forward who likes to drift out to the left wing, Rodman has impressive skill on the ball and close control when running at speed, which makes her a terror for fullbacks to have to try and mark. Able to cut inside on her right foot for a shot or take the ball down the wing to get off a cross to a teammate, particularly classmate Elisa Diletizia, Rodman has a number of ways of causing the defense problems. As a freshman, Rodman scored 14 goals assisted on seven others. While those numbers dipped a little last year, it shows the potential that she has to create scoring chances and she is poised for a bounce-back season to help the Bulldogs make a run at the Davenport title. Canton remains a relatively young roster, but Rodman now has the experience of two years facing the league’s top defenses and that could translate to a big season for the Providence College-commit.

Isabella Salviati, Junior – Attleboro

The Bombardiers have taken a big jump forward offensively in the past two years, going from single digits in goals scored to more than 20 in each of the last two seasons. The arrival of forward Isabella Salviati has certainly been part of that big leap in the attack. The junior scored 12 goals, half of the team’s overall total, and assisted on seven others, proving to be a vital component of everything that Attleboro did in the final third. Quick and unafraid of the physical play of league defenders, Salviati is capable of creating space for a shot or to pick out the cutting pass that will open up scoring chances for her teammates. Despite drawing most of the attention from opposing defenses, Salviati consistently put herself in position to score. As Attleboro continues to search for its first playoff appearance since making the move to the Hock, Salviati has developed into the top attacking option and the kind of offensive threat that will make the Bombardiers competitive with the league’s top teams and clear that state tournament hurdle.

Avery Snead, Senior – King Philip

A three-year standout, King Philip senior Avery Snead has been one of the league’s top players since the first moment she walked onto the pitch in Wrentham. The 2016 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and 2017 Player of the Year and reigning two-time MVP was dominant last season, scoring 20 goals and recording 14 assists (putting her one point in front of teammate Chloe Layne). She received All-New England honors for her season and the Providence College-commit looks ready for even more this fall. A towering figure on the pitch, Snead has one of the league’s most powerful and accurate shots and is just as much of a weapon in the air as with the ball at her feet. Snead has the quick feet to dribble around or through defenses and only needs a sliver of space to create a chance. She is also versatile, playing through the midfield or back in defense depending on the circumstances of the game and the opponent. The Warriors won the South title two seasons ago and this year’s group has the potential to match that accomplishment, thanks in part to having one of the league’s most dynamic talents leading the line.

Ashleigh Starks, Senior – Milford

Milford senior Ashleigh Starks is a player with all of the tools to succeed in the Hockomock and the versatility to succeed in multiple positions, which will be critical for the Hawks to push past being a team with potential and to challenge the top teams in the Davenport. Starks can play up top or drop back into the midfield and her combination with classmate Juliana France in the center of the pitch gives Milford back line protection and sparks counterattacks. She cuts an imposing figure in the midfield and is not afraid of mixing it up physically, making tackles and winning the ball back. Starks also showed a keen eye for a pass and the ability to find the little spaces to get the ball forward into the final third. Milford has been a team with promise and Starks is one of the players that second-year coach Lou Colabello will be hoping can take the Hawks to the next step and get them back in the playoff hunt.

Girls Soccer: 2019 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2019 Kelley-Rex Girls Soccer Preview
Last fall, Mansfield won the league title for a third straight season but the rest of the loaded Kelley-Rex division will be aiming to take down the Hornets this year. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Kelley-Rex Girls Soccer Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 6-11-1
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Steve Santos
The Bombardiers have made great improvements over the last couple of seasons, jumping from eight goals scored as a team to 26 and then 24 in 2017 and 2018, and now head coach Steve Santos is looking for Attleboro to take the next step and make its first state tournament appearance since joining the Hockomock League. With an experienced corps and several talented newcomers, Santos hopes this will be the year to get a taste of the postseason.

The attack has been led by junior forward Isabella Salviati, who had half of the team’s goals last year and assisted on seven other goals. The forward play flows through her, but the Bombardiers will be hoping to get more contributions from junior Briley Harnois, who had a breakout sophomore campaign, and from midfielder Jessica Gates, who has the vision to find the key pass that will spring one of the forwards. Also helping out through midfield and into the attack with be seniors Ashley Dame and Julia Reyes.

There is also experience in the heart of the Attleboro defense with senior Sophia Salviati paired with classmate Emily Antonik. Junior Vanessa Laguerre makes the move up from JV this season and will be slotted into the back line as well. Goalie has been a position of strength for the Bombardiers for several seasons but this year it is in flux as senior Ashley Macia is slated to be the starter, but she is also capable in defense and saw a lot of time as an outfield player last year. Freshman Alexis Campbell could eventually step in between the posts. Junior Riley Sullivan could contribute right away and is capable of playing multiple positions and sophomore Emily Khang adds another player with ball skills.

“We have a lot of returning players,” said Santos, “and I think we have more depth so we won’t have to rely on the starters for as many minutes. We have a lot of players who can contribute and fill in the pieces. The key this season will be being consistent for 80 minutes and keeping our pace for the whole game.”

Franklin

2018 Record: 10-3-5
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tom Geysen
Franklin lost only three games all of last season and had one of the league’s best defensive records, allowing only 10 goals in 18 games. That solidity in the defensive third will be hard to replicate, as the Panthers graduated three of last year’s back four, but there is also hope that the promising young attackers can take some of the pressure off by improving on the team’s 40 goals scored, which was seventh best in the Hock.

Senior Sabrina Addi is the lone returning defender for the Panthers, but she will get help from senior goalie Breanna Atwood to try and organize an inexperienced defense. Freshman Norah Anderson will jump into the center of the defense and looks ready for the physical challenge of Hock play. Senior Sam Powderly will drop back from midfield to help out as well.

Once the Panthers get the ball back, there are plenty of familiar faces to try and get goals. Senior Anna Balkus can play a number of different positions, including in the heart of midfield, the wing, or in the attack. Sophomore Stella Regan is coming off a breakout rookie season and adds even more pace to the center of the pitch, while senior Carly Alston is a solid performer on both sides of the ball. In the attack, juniors Erin Quaile and Sydney St. Marie are looking to make the leap to add more consistent scoring.

“I know the kids with experience won’t back down,” said Franklin coach Tom Geysen, “but I need to see how the younger kids will react to this level. I need to see if they can physically cope with playing where I need them to play.”

King Philip

2018 Record: 12-5-2
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Gary Pichel
When you bring back players the caliber of seniors Avery Snead and Chloe Layne, the expectations will be very high for the upcoming season. King Philip enters 2019 as the favorite to bring home a league title but also with the goal of matching the run that the Warriors made in 2017, when they won the South title in double overtime and reached the state semifinal.

Layne, the 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, and Snead, the 2017 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and two-time league MVP, have been among the league’s leading scorers each of the last three years and will make one more run at a league title. They are joined up top by senior Ally Stanton. The trio was one of the league’s most dynamic attacking groups, combining for 50 goals and 33 assists last season

Senior Jenna Hitchen and juniors Emma Glaser and Jenny Montville will also contribute to pushing the Warriors forward, while freshman Ella Pisani is a newcomer to watch in the attack. A lot of attention will (rightfully) be paid to KP’s attack, but its defense is also experienced. Seniors Makayla Griffin and Olivia Berry and junior Paige Varvarigos return to the back line with a combined eight years on varsity. Junior Taryn Greenberg and freshman Grace Lawler will also contribute in defense in front of junior goalie Taylor Butler.

“I am very excited about the prospects for our team this year,” said KP coach Gary Pichel. “That being said, we will remain laser-focused on not overlooking any team that we play. We will not look ahead but instead, will prepare for each team we have on our schedule with great intensity, one game at a time.




Mansfield

2018 Record: 15-3-4
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Kevin Smith
The Hornets have had an unprecedented level of success over the past three seasons, winning three straight Kelley-Rex division titles, and reaching last year’s Div. 1 South semifinal, but Mansfield enters the fall with an almost entirely new roster and having only one player on the team with more than one year of varsity experience.

Senior Erin Dooling is by far the most experienced player on the roster, but defender Maria Sevastos and midfielder Katie Miller both saw a lot of playing time as freshmen and impressed during their rookie campaigns. Senior midfielder Kerrin Sears and senior defender Megan Krone join Dooling as captains this season and will both need to provide leadership for a team with four freshmen on the roster.

Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said, “We are young and learning each day with an entire new starting lineup, four freshmen on the roster and 18 of 24 players new to the team. Erin is the lone player with more than one year of varsity experience while Maria and Katie earned a lot of minutes last year. All three will be leaned on to share their experience with the team.”

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 11-5-3
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Britt Sellmayer
Oliver Ames continues to turn out competitive teams ready to challenge the best teams in the league and put themselves in the state tournament picture. This fall will be no different, as the Tigers have six returning starters and 14 players who saw varsity action last year. While there is still a relative lack of experience, the Tigers remain a team with high expectations.

Defense has also been a strength of the program and this year is no different with seniors Olivia Carroll, Abigail Hodges, and Leah Johnson providing a strong backbone for the team and will be a unit that is hard to break down. Junior goalie Emma O’Donnell is dealing with a preseason injury, so sophomore Emily Meyers will get the start for the season opener. Seniors Erin Holmberg and Abby Evin will lead the forward line, but there were strong rookie seasons from Camryn O’Connor and Allison Evin that give confidence for additional help in the final third.

“For OA to return to the tournament we will need some of our less experienced players to step up,” said Oliver Ames coach Britt Sellmayer.

Taunton

2018 Record: 3-16
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Joe Rocha
Former Taunton boys soccer coach Joe Rocha takes over the girls program this fall and will continue a rebuilding effort to try and get the Tigers off the foot of the division standings, which is a difficult task in the loaded Kelley-Rex division. Rocha knows it will be a process with a relatively young roster and is looking for improvements over the course of the season.

Senior Grace Pimenta will be back in goal for the Tigers this season, after missing part of last year with an injury. Pimenta will add leadership to the defensive unit that features senior Emma Silvia and sophomore Isabella Anslow in the middle. Keeping things solid in the center will be the key and Taunton will hope that the forwards can stay active and put pressure on the opposing defenses. Seniors Paige Tolan, Allison Calderon, and Kerla Sylvestre, and juniors Emily O’Gara and Morgan Zakrewski will be counted on to step up and improve Taunton’s goal-scoring numbers (after scoring 16 goals as a team last season).

“We are a very young team and will have some growing pains,” Rocha said. “As a first-year coach, my players are learning a new system and once we all get on the same page, I feel that our play will improve.”

Panthers Clamp Down on Naps to Stay Unbeaten

Franklin girls basketball
Franklin sophomore Erin Quaile (20) helped lock down the Holy Name guards to earn a non-league win against a potential playoff opponent. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – Defense has been the story for Franklin through the opening few games of the season with the Panthers holding its first three opponents to only 30 points per game. Much of the attention is on junior center Ali Brigham (two blocks) and her ability (at 6-foot-3) to dominate the paint, but on Monday night against Holy Name (Worcester) it was the perimeter players who stood out.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Using a combination of players, including sophomore Erin Quaile, senior Shannon Gray, and junior Breanna Atwood, Franklin held Holy Name’s standout guards Jaini Edmonds and Grace O’Gara to just 15 points combined and the Naps to just 13 points as a team in the opening half of a 56-36 victory.

“That’s been a real focus for us to become a better defensive team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “Shooting comes and goes but defense translates every night. They brought a good challenge for us…both lefty guards, which makes it trickier too. We talked a lot about limiting their touches and really make them work for it. They didn’t get a lot of clean looks, which was our goal.”

Brigham was the star for the Panthers on offense, scoring a game-high 24 points, pulling down 15 rebounds, and dishing out four assists from the center of the press break and combining with junior Megan O’Connell (nine points) in the high post. She scored 17 of the team’s 26 points in the first half.

O’Gara scored her only basket of the night to tie the game at 5-5 in the first quarter but then Franklin rolled off eight of the next nine points to finish the quarter with a lead it would never relinquish. Bea Bondhus (eight points) knocked down three free throws to get the lead then Brigham knocked down a free throw line jumper and scored on a rebound.

The Naps scored to start the second but again Franklin put enough stops together to break the game open. O’Connell answered with a layup off a Brigham pass and, after four free throws, the duo switched roles for another easy basket. Brigham scored Franklin’s final nine points of the half, twice getting layups from offensive rebounds.

“She’s expanded her sphere of influence because in the middle of the press break we can use her and then on offense from the three-point line to the hoop and she does different things at different times in the games,” said Leighton about Brigham, who recently committed to George Washington.

In particular, Brigham’s success came from combining and switching positions with O’Connell from the free throw line to the post. Leighton said, “Megan has improved as much as anyone and using her with Ali in the post, you can’t double both of them and it’s really opened things up for her.”

Holy Name tried to put together a run in the third quarter with Edmonds finally getting a few shots to fall and Lilly Krysinski knocking down three jumpers to get the Naps as close as nine points (26-19). Quaile and Atwood knocked down back-to-back threes and then Brigham answered a Holy Name bucket by hitting the glass for a three-point play.

Leighton said, “We’ve been getting layups but we were able go further through the offense and get open looks and knocked down some threes.”

Franklin went into the fourth quarter leading by 11 and proceeded to bust the game wide open. Six different Panthers scored in the fourth, including four each for Brigham and O’Connell. Bondhus drilled a three followed by sophomore Elizabeth Wilson, who scored all five of her points in the fourth.

“I think our practices have really picked up,” Leighton said when asked about the team’s strength in depth. “They get after it and it’s made everyone better. Bre (Atwood) is a lockdown defender and she’s going against Bea in practice and that makes her better, Megan going against Ali, and I think it’s raised everybody’s games.”

It was a dominating performance from the Panthers (3-0), who will try to carry that over on Wednesday when they host Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.