Player of the Week: Brigid Earley, Franklin Lacrosse

Brigid Earley
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Franklin junior Brigid Earley has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for June 27 through July 5. Earley is the 29th and final player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2020-21 school year and ninth in the spring season.

Earley came through with some of her biggest moments of the season last week, helping the Panthers see off Chelmsford to reach their first state title game and then nearly coming back to beat perennial power Westwood in the final. Earley, who had not played goalie for Franklin before this season (she played attack as a freshman on JV), allowed less than five goals per game this spring.

“This is her first year playing goalie and look where she brought us,” said Franklin head coach Kristin Igoe Guarino after the state final. “She’s incredible and she made some huge saves on some Div. I shooters and kept us in the game. I’m really proud of her. She learned quick and she led us to the state finals.”

In the state semifinal against Chelmsford, Earley made four saves, including a point-blank stop early in the second quarter the prevented the Lions from tying the game. Franklin proceeded to go on a 5-1 run to take control. Earley saved the best for last, coming up with her most impressive performance of the season on the biggest stage.

She made 10 saves in the game against Westwood, consistently making big stops at big moments to keep the Panthers within touching distance of the nine-time champs. Earley was called into action a lot in the opening half, as the Wolverines ramped up the pressure, but she made saves with her stick, her legs, and her mask to keep Westwood out. She came up with a big stop that kept momentum for the Panthers in the third and then somehow got enough of a shot to send it off the post, which started a break that got Franklin back within one. With the game tied in the fourth, she came up with three big stops from close range that kept the Panthers even going into the closing seconds.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Brigid Earley
Brigid Earley The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Brigid Earley The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Franklin Battles Back But Falls to Westwood in Final

Franklin seniors Sydney Hawkins, Ali Socci, and Katie Jones and coach Kristin Igoe-Guarino with the MIAA D1 State Finalist trophy. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FRANKLIN, Mass. – As it had for almost all of Thursday night’s Div. 1 state championship game at a packed Pisini Stadium, the Franklin defense came through with another stop when it needed it most, forcing a turnover in a tie game with the clock racing to the final horn. Overtime seemed inevitable.

The Panthers tried to clear from behind the cage, but a slip in the pouring rain and a loose ball in front of an empty goal proved decisive. It was a moment that seemed to happen in slow motion.

Westwood sophomore Ava Connaughton scooped the ground ball and, while falling, found the back of the open goal with just 12.2 seconds on the clock. The Wolverines won the ensuing draw to secure a 6-5 victory and their ninth state championship. Franklin went toe-to-toe with the most successful program in state history, but came up just short in its first state title game appearance.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I’m so proud of this group,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “We’ve been in that situation before and for them to battle back against a really, really good Westwood team was amazing. I thought our ‘D’ was amazing, Brigid, they just made one more play than us on the offensive end. It happens, but I’m really proud of the girls, they played amazing.”

In the opening minutes of the game, it didn’t look like a dramatic finish would be in the cards. Franklin looked nervous, making uncharacteristic turnovers and being tentative in front of goal. Kaitlyn Carney had the first chance of the game from the opening draw, but was denied on a dodge from the left side by Westwood goalie Anya Holland.

The Wolverines started strongly and took a quick 2-0 lead inside the opening 2-1/2 minutes. Ashley Mackin, Westwood’s star and a Johns Hopkins-commit, played provider, feeding first Lindsey Diomede and then Connaughton for goals.

Franklin’s defense, led by Sydney Hawkins, Anna Grasso, and Ali Socci, was soaking up endless pressure in the first, as the Wolverines seemed to have the ball for the vast majority of the opening quarter. The Panthers also got a big boost from junior goalie Brigid Earley (10 saves), who made a big kick save to deny a point-blank chance and then took one off the mask from Kella McGrail.

“This is her first year playing goalie and look where she brought us,” Igoe Guarino said of Earley, who started as a freshman attacker on JV and volunteered to step in between the posts to fill a need this season. “She’s incredible and she made some huge saves on some Div. I shooters and kept us in the game. I’m really proud of her. She learned quick and she led us to the state finals.”

Three minutes into the second, Westwood added a third and looked like it might be able to break the game open. Mackin was again the provider, finding Kate Deehan on the cut through the middle. After Earley made another big stop to deny Lillian Hancock after a free run through the heart of the defense, Mackin got her first of the night on a sidearm snipe.

Franklin needed to find something positive on the offensive side of the ball. After several missed opportunities from eight meters, Kate O’Rourke found a crucial breakthrough on a free position with 4:43 left in the half. The Panthers went into the break down 4-1, but still hanging in and still with a shot at the title.

The hosts picked up a big early goal in the third to build momentum. Stella Regan picked out Carney cutting through the middle and her lefty finish found the top corner.

Mackin got her fourth assist of the night, this time setting up Jane Gaffney in front to restore the three-goal lead, but the Panthers looked like they had more life than the opening half.

Earley helped out again, getting enough of a Mackin rip from distance to send the ball just over the bar. Three minutes later, Regan was able to drive into the middle from the right side and finish over the top of Holland to make it 5-3.

With the clock winding down in the third, Earley got a piece of yet another shot, which caromed out to Kenzie Baker. She snagged the ground ball, got it to Regan, who moved it on to Carney at midfield. The sophomore instantly attacked, splitting a pair of defenders, racing 50 yards, and then firing into the top far corner with just 17.4 to go.

It was a stunning goal at the perfect moment to send the Panthers into the fourth with all the momentum and ramp up the energy in the crowd. It was also the moment that the heavens opened and it started pouring.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter, the comeback was complete. Carney played provider this time, driving towards the cage from the right side and seeing Jamie Tanner at the back post. Tanner was able to make a nice catch in traffic, spun, and finished over Holland to tie the game at 5-5.

Westwood had its chances to go back in front, but Earley continued to play at another level. Mackin fed Deehan in front but Earley stayed tall to make the stop, then she denied Diomede from close range, and took one off the midriff after Mackin got open in the middle. Baker had the best chance down the stretch for Franklin, but Holland (four saves) came up with a big stop.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the end, it took an unlucky bounce to separate the two teams. Franklin (18-1), which is only seven years removed from its first sectional title, showed just how far it has come as a program. The Panthers wanted to show that a title game appearance was no fluke and that they were on the same level as the best in the state.

“I’m just so proud for all the alumni who set the culture standards before and brought us inch-by-inch,” said Igoe Guarino. “We have a great youth program, the girls work incredibly hard not just in season but out of season, and I think they just left a legacy no matter the outcome of this game.

“For years to come, this is the standard for Franklin lacrosse,” she continued. “We lost to the best in the state by one, we’ll be back.”

Franklin Beats Chelmsford, Heads to First State Final

Franklin’s Kate O’Rourke scores a goal on a low shot in the final minute of the third quarter to restore a two-goal lead. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FRANKLIN, Mass. – As the clock ran down under six minutes to play, Franklin held a three-goal lead in Tuesday night’s Div. 1 state semifinal at Pisini Stadium and the Panthers held possession. Before they could advance up the field, the officials stopped the game. Lightning in the distance caused a delay that stretched to nearly an hour.

When play resumed, 5:25 was all that stood between Franklin and a spot in its first ever state title game. After the Panthers ran a minute off the clock, Chelmsford forced a turnover and converted it into a goal on the other end. Now it was only a two-goal game. Another chance a minute later went inches wide of the post and Stella Regan chased it down behind the cage to win possession.

Franklin had the ball and 3:33 on the clock. The Panthers showed great patience and vision to keep the ball moving in the attacking half of the field, running down the clock despite Chelmsford pressuring every pass. Franklin held on for the 11-9 win, handing Chelmsford its only loss of the season and ending a long wait to play for a state title.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s awesome,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “I think it’s been a long time coming. I think this group has worked extremely hard and they deserve it. They’re all in, so we’re really excited for Thursday.”

This spring, Igoe Guarino’s alma mater Boston College also ended a long wait for its first national title, with Franklin’s Annie and Erin Walsh on the roster, and the former Eagles star is hoping that mojo can carry over to the Panthers as well.

“I kind of feel like Boston College,” she said. “They went to the national title three times and they won it on the fourth, so maybe we can do the same.”

The hosts came roaring out of the gates, winning four of five draws in the opening quarter and quickly jumping out to an early lead with three goals in less than two minutes.

Kenzie Baker won the opening draw of the game, got the ball upfield to Kaitlyn Carney, who then fed Katie Jones in the middle for a goal after just 13 seconds. Exactly a minute later, up a player, Kate O’Rourke was able to score from eight meters to double the lead. Twenty-four seconds after that, Regan picked out Katie Peterson cutting through the middle to make it 3-0.

Chelmsford answered 30 seconds later with a side-arm finish by Sofia D’Agostino, but things settled down after that frenetic start. Franklin almost added one midway through the first, but Jackie O’Neil’s free position shot was saved. Peterson kept possession, but Carney had a goal waved off for being in the crease. The Lions also had a chance from eight meters but Brigid Earley (four saves) made the stop.

The Lions cut the lead to one early in the second and had a good look to tie it but Earley robbed Leah Green from point-blank range. Baker restored a two-goal cushion when her pass to Jones cutting across goal eluded everyone, including the goalie.

After the lead was cut back to one, Franklin went on a run to grab control of the game. Right from the draw, O’Rourke found O’Neil for a goal. Regan then spotted Jamie Tanner, who went with an overhand finish to beat Chelmsford goalie Morgan Wright (seven saves). O’Rourke and Baker each added free position goals to give Franklin its largest lead of the game.

Chelmsford got one back but trailed 8-4 at the break. Maybe it was a momentum boost because in the third quarter the visitors rallied.

The Lions scored three straight goals to get the lead down to just one. With 3:04 left in the third, O’Rourke again drove right at the goalie on an eight-meter try, going low to get a crucial goal. In the closing seconds, Franklin called timeout to set up a play. Peterson swung the ball to Baker, who moved it on to Jones. The pass into the middle was high, but Carney made a great catch and was able to finish in one motion to make it 10-7 with just 2.1 left in the quarter.

“That’s a theme,” Igoe Guarino said about teams coming back in the third quarter against the Panthers in the postseason. “There’s ups and downs of every game and we survive. We have players who can make big plays to help turn it around like Kaitlyn grabbing it and putting it in. I think we’re used to ups and downs and teams go on runs it’s just who can outlast.”

Earley came through with a big stop on Kate Krueger two minutes into the fourth, but multiple efforts to clear went array and the Lions capitalized. Julia Pitts got Krueger the ball on the edge of the crease and this time she didn’t miss.

The score stayed the same until just under seven minutes to play. Regan was able to get the ball to Peterson in space. She drove towards the cage and with the goalie aggressively chasing passes had a lot of space to shoot at. Peterson made no mistake and put the hosts up 11-8.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Even lightning delays couldn’t slow down Franklin (18-0), which will now host South champion Westwood on Thursday night. Not only is this a chance to make history by winning a state title, but also to earn a rare win against a program with a long history of being one of the best teams in the state.

“Beat the best right?” said Igoe Guarino, who also battled the Wolverines in the state semifinals while winning two state titles as a player at Framingham. “Westwood is just a powerhouse, but we’ll be ready. We know they’re fast and like to double and they have some really good players.

“We’re definitely going to have to play better than we did today. I think our team has yet to play a complete game, so maybe they’re saving it for the end.”

Franklin Back On Top, Wins First East Title Since 2017

Franklin girls lacrosse
Franklin celebrates at the final whistle. The Panthers beat Concord-Carlisle to secure their first East title since 2017. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin found itself down 4-2 after one quarter in Friday afternoon’s Div. 1 East final at Pisini Stadium against Concord-Carlisle. It was the first time this season that the Panthers had trailed after a quarter, but it didn’t take them long to get back into a more familiar position.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With six of the next seven goals, Franklin turned the game around in the second quarter, grabbing a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. The Panthers limited Concord-Carlisle to just two goals in the second half and held on for a 12-9 victory, avenging semifinal losses to the Patriots in each of the last two seasons and winning the program’s first East title since 2017 (also against Concord-Carlisle).

“Just cause we were down didn’t mean we want to force,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “We knew we’d get our looks and I think their patience, their going for the right things, anyone can step up, that’s the whole thing, if anyone can score then you don’t need to force anything because there are always going to be options.”

Franklin senior defender Sydney Hawkins added, “We know every single girl on this team is capable of making that game-winning play and that’s what is going to take us all the way.”

It was the Patriots who seemed to have the edge early in the game. Concord-Carlisle won four of the first five draws and was able to get into the heart of the Franklin defense, drawing free position opportunities. Audrey Mirak opened the scoring from eight meters just a minute into the game.

Franklin answered back 45 seconds later when Kate O’Rourke dodged from the top of the crease, side-stepping her defender to get a good shooting angle. The Patriots came right back with two goals, one from Mirak from eight meters and the second from a Becca Dibble shot to the corner.

O’Rourke saw a free position chance get saved and Brigid Earley (five saves) was able to deny Sarah Creamer on the other end. With 5:29 left in the first, Katie Jones made a nice pass to the cutting Jackie O’Neil to cut the lead to one.

Concord-Carlisle came storming back. Earley made two huge saves, blocking Lily Hudner’s free position and then getting a piece of Dibble’s shot. The Patriots regained a two-goal lead with 2:21 left in the first, as Dibble squeezed a shot inside the post from a tight angle.

After struggling on the draw early, Igoe Guarino made a change, putting Stella Regan on the spot with O’Neil, Katie Peterson, Kenzie Baker, Jamie Tanner, and others charging after the ball on the wings. It seemed to work, as Franklin took control of the draws in the second quarter and grabbed momentum as well.

Igoe Guarino said, “We made a big adjustment on the draws, which I think was a big turning point. I said to them, whoever wins the draws is going to win the game. They’re just such gritty players and if you tell them they need to win this draw, then they’ll win it.”

O’Neil got her second goal of the game with a bouncing shot from a free position 90 seconds into the second quarter. Following a yellow card to the Patriots, Franklin took advantage of the extra player, as Kaitlyn Carney bullied her way to the cage to tie the game.

Dibble continued her strong game, scoring again to put the visitors on top, but Franklin got two goals in a minute to go ahead for the first time. Peterson got the first with a lefty shot on the run, bouncing it past the goalie. Tanner then put the Panthers in front, going with a high finish from eight meters.

Carney was a playmaker from behind the cage, as she picked out Peterson cutting down the middle for a 7-5 lead. After seeing her initial shot saved, Carney scooped the rebound and then hit Peterson again cutting through the heart of the Concord-Carlisle defense. Audrey Marik scored back-to-back goals to get back within one, but Carney got a crucial free position goal seconds before the break to make it 9-7 at halftime.

Things got much tighter in the second half. The Franklin defense, led by Ali Socci, Anna Grasso, and Hawkins, was able to contain the Patriots much better, limiting their chances to get the ball on goal.

“We were sending to the top dodge every time and that seemed to work really well and it was also just communication and all being on the same page,” Hawkins, an MIT-commit, explained. “That’s the great thing about defense is we all get to talk together out there and to really move as a unit.”

Franklin was creating fewer chances as well, as the Panthers started to focus on patience and possession. Carney had a chance early in the third only to be called for being in the crease and having a goal taken away. The Panthers pushed the lead to three with a pretty give-and-go goal. Regan passed to O’Neil on the edge of the crease and she gave it right back to Regan cutting down the middle for the finish.

The visitors were not going to go quietly. Mirak added another free position goal with 3:04 left in the quarter and Concord-Carlisle had another chance from eight meters right at the end of the third but the clock ran out before the teams could get lined up, which proved to be a critical missed opportunity.

O’Rourke had a good look a minute into the fourth, but it was saved. A minute later, Creamer scored from eight meters to make it a 10-9 game. O’Neil, who had little impact in the semifinal, picked the bottom corner from a free position for her third goal of the game, putting Franklin up two.

“Whoever is out there, it could be anybody’s night and they all have each other’s backs, which is awesome,” said Igoe Guarino. “It could be every single person on any given day, which is so powerful to have. You can’t face guard, you can’t do a game plan because everyone’s a threat.”

Off the ensuing draw, the Patriots had a break but Earley came up with a huge stop. The Franklin defense was making plays, collapsing quickly, and coming up with all the ground balls. With 4:52 to go, O’Rourke had another chance, this time finding the corner for her second goal, which put Franklin in control up by three goals.

With the lead and with an extra player after a yellow card, Igoe Guarino urged her team to ignore the goal and just hold the ball to run out the clock as the excitement built on the home sidelines.

“I feel like this has been a long time coming and the fact that it was C-C just makes it that many times greater,” said Hawkins. “They’ve got us the last two times, but I have a really good feeling about this team. I’m super excited.”

Franklin (17-0) will face the winner of the North sectional (No. 1 Masconomet or No. 2 Chelmsford) in the state semifinal on Tuesday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin Shows Patience to Beat L-S and Reach Final

Franklin Girls Lacrosse
Franklin celebrates a first half goal in the D1 East semifinal against Lincoln-Sudbury. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – After outscoring opponents 279-44 during the regular season, Franklin was used to running away with games, scoring early and often, and being largely untroubled as the clock was rapidly winding down. Things are a little tougher when the playoffs roll around.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Panthers were reminded of how hard it is to close out a state tournament game when Acton-Boxboro made things interesting with a fourth quarter comeback in the first round.

It was a lesson well learned, as Franklin showed much better control of the ball throughout Wednesday afternoon’s Div. 1 East semifinal with rival Lincoln-Sudbury at Pisini Stadium, pulling out a 10-7 win and booking a spot in the sectional final.

“We watched that on film and watched our impatience and our poor decision-making and I was kind of tough with them on that, even though we won, so they could learn for this game,” Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino said about her team learning from the previous round.

“They learned so much in one day. I thought we dominated possession, made good decisions. A lot of credit to my sophomores, who it’s their first year playing and they were able to pick that up.”

Franklin demonstrated its willingness to work for the best shot right from the opening draw. After forcing a turnover, Franklin started to work the ball around, making sure everyone had a touch, and forcing the L-S defense to move from side to side.

It took almost five minutes, but that ball and player movement paid off with the opening goal. Katie Peterson picked out a cutting Kaitlyn Carney in the middle of the defense and the sophomore bounced a shot up under the bar to make it 1-0.

Two minutes later, it was Stella Regan that provided the assist from behind the goal to Carney sitting out in front for a quick finish. Less than a minute later and it was Carney free again in the middle, taking a pass from Peterson, twisting her body to get square to goal, and completing her hat trick for a 3-0 lead.

It could’ve been four, but Katie Jones saw her point-blank effort denied by L-S goalie Catrina Tobin (six saves).

Franklin’s offense can be patient because any one of the seven players up front can provide the finish. Kenzie Baker got into the act with a dodge from the right side and a lefty finish that made it 4-0 in the second quarter. After Katherine Wolin got one back from an eight-meter shot, Peterson fed Jones for a sidearm finish and a 5-1 edge.

“It doesn’t matter what middie line, we have four attackers that play and then we have kids who can come off the bench and play too,” Jones explained. “We’re seven people who trust each other and play for each other and it’s definitely something that separates us from other teams.”

Carney added her fourth of the game with a high finish on a cut from the left. L-S star Sophia Brindisi, who was denied twice in the second on good saves by Franklin goalie Brigid Earley (four saves), finally got on the board with a bounced finish, but the Panthers answered back in the closing seconds of the half when Regan’s pass to Carney took a deflection and wrong-footed the goalie.

“Any seven who are in are threats, whether it’s feeding, scoring, and that balance has helped us so much,” Igoe Guarino said. “We’re not relying on one or two people who can be shut down. I thought the L-S back row was excellent and they really forced us to use all our weapons.”

Leading 7-2 at the break, Igoe Guarino emphasized that the Panthers still had 25 minutes of work to do before they could start thinking about the final. It was good advice considering the history of epic games with L-S that always seem to go right down to the final whistle.

The Warriors were down but certainly not out and put together a comeback in the third. Tobin started the quarter by saving a Baker free position effort, giving her teammates a little boost of energy. Brindisi scored a free position goal and then circled all the way around the goal before finding the back of the net with a sidearm shot. Two goals in 39 seconds cut the Franklin lead to just three.

Kate O’Rourke had a good look from an angle but Tobin kicked it aside and Carney tried to add another goal but it was stopped by a combination of defenders and the L-S goalie. The Warriors got one more in the final second of the third, as Wolin assisted on Nicola Donlan’s strike to make it 7-5 heading to the final quarter.

With an early free position goal, Baker restored a little momentum to the home side, although Brindisi wasted little time responding with her fourth goal of the night to make it 8-6. Two minutes later, O’Rourke found Jamie Tanner open on the far side and she went with a low-angle shot through the five-hole.

Tobin and Earley traded big saves to keep it a three-goal game with time starting to wind down. Wolin was able to score a free position goal with 2:08 to play. L-S won the ensuing draw and had a chance to get back within one. The Franklin defense came through with a big turnover, Tanner getting in the mix to scoop the crucial ground ball.

“Jamie Tanner is an animal,” said Igoe Guarino. “She does whatever you ask and she’s not super-flashy, but ground balls, draws, face-guarding, any little, gritty role she will do and she’ll put 100 percent of herself into it. She was clutch today for sure.”

The Panthers were able to use up the final 1:49 off the clock and Baker completed her hat trick, firing into the empty net as the horn sounded.

Franklin (16-0) will now host No. 7 seed Concord-Carlisle on Friday afternoon in the D1 East final. This will be the fourth straight season that the teams have met in the playoffs, with the Patriots knocking Franklin out at the semifinal round each of the last two years and the Panthers beating C-C in the East final in 2017.

Jones saw action against Concord-Carlisle as a freshman, but a knee injury limited her to a cameo appearance in the 2019 semifinal. Now, as a senior, she is relishing the chance to be back out on the field at least one more time.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” she said. “I think it’s a little bit of a revenge game but I think we’re all just excited and we’re really grateful to be out here. I mean, after you lose a season, and I lost two with an ACL, you don’t take anything for granted.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/21/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
D1 South

#16 Durfee, 1 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final (5 Inn.)Franklin exploded for 12 runs in the fourth innning, turning a two-run game into a blowout against visiting Durfee. The Panthers built a 3-1 lead over the first three innings but the offense was nearly unstoppable in the fourth, recording nine hits and three walks to put the game out of reach. Junior Chris Goode (double, run, three RBI), sophomore Ryan Gerety (double, three runs, two RBI) and freshman Henry DiGiorgio (three runs, RBI) all smacked three hits to lead the way for the Franklin offense. CJ Jette added two hits and two runs, Jack Marino drove in two runs and scored twice, Jake Fitzibbons hit a double, had a walk and drove in two runs, Nate Cooke reached twice with an RBI, and Ben Jarosz had a hit, two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Jacob Jette earned the win on the mound, allowing one run on three hits and a walk in four innings of work while striking out six. Franklin will host #8 Norwood on Wednesday at 7:00PM.

#10 Walpole, 4 @ #7 Taunton, 6 – Final (8 Inn.)Taunton senior Danny MacDougall launched a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth as the Tigers survived a scare from visiting Walpole. The Timberwolves got off to a strong start with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning but Taunton was quick to respond, plating four runs in the bottom of the first. Ty Cali, Dawson Bryce, and Danny MacDougall all singled to load the bases and sophomore Ryan MacDougall cleared them with a three-run triple to put the hosts ahead. A wild pitch allowed Ryan MacDougall to score to make it 4-2. Walpole cut the deficit to one with a run in the top of the second and then tied the game with a single in the top of the seventh. Bryce managed a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth to keep the inning alive and Danny MacDougall launched his third home run of the year to win it. Conor Quinlan shined in relief for the Tigers, taking over to start the third inning. Quinlan allowed just one run on five hits, striking out eighth to get the win. Taunton will travel to #2 seed Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday at 4:00.

#12 Mansfield, 0 @ #5 Wellesley, 1 – FinalMansfield went pitch-for-pitch with Wellesley but couldn’t push across a run, falling 1-0 on the road to the Raiders. Aaron Blinn allowed just one run on three hits without issuing a walk, striking out nine in five innings of work. James Gilleran struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief. Mansfield was limited to just two hits between two Wellesley pitchers, putting on five baserunners via walk but couldn’t get a run home.

#22 Attleboro, 4 @ #6 Braintree, 14 – Final

#14 King Philip, 3 @ #3 Xaverian, 8 – Final

D2 South
#9 Oliver Ames, 11 @ #8 North Attleboro, 12 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Gavin Wells singled up the middle with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Rocketeers a walk-off win over Oliver Ames in an epic back-and-forth battle at Community Field. Oliver Ames jumped ahead with five runs in the first two innings and a two-run home run from Jake Waxman helped push the Tigers’ lead to 7-4 in the top of the fifth innings. The Rocketeers responded with six runs in the bottom half as Christian Bates smacked a two-run double to tie the game and Derek Maceda put North ahead with a two-run double for a 9-7 advantage. Wells added an RBI single in the sixth to make it a three-run game and Dennis Colleran launched a solo home run to make it 11-7 going into the last inning. Down to their final three outs, the Tigers rallied to tie the game as Nate Fulford blasted a three-run home run to make it 11-11. Jared Penta led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and stole second. North loaded the bases with no outs after an intentional walk and Wells brought in the game-winner with a base hit. Penta and Wells each had three hits for the Rocketeers while Colleran and Tyler Bannon each had two hits. For OA, Will Whiteside went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs while Jadon Ricci (two RBI, two runs), Waxman, and Patrick Finnerty (run, RBI) each had two hits. North Attleboro will travel to #1 seed Nauset on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00PM.

#11 Canton, 0 @ #5 Plymouth South, 4 – FinalPlymouth South scored twice in each of the first two innings and that was all the offense the Panthers needed to knock off visiting Canton. The Bulldogs were limited to just three hits total with Nate Hewitt recording a pair of them, including a double. Matt Quan also reached base twice with one hit and one walk.










Softball
D1 South

#16 Stoughton, 0 @ #1 Taunton, 17 – Final (5 Inn.)Taunton opened its playoffs with an offensive explosion. The Tigers had 17 hits as a team, including three homers, and rolled to a big win. McKenzie McAloon led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, four runs scored, and five RBI. Hayley Krockta went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI and bashed a home run. Angie Lynch (2-for-4) added a homer, drove in two, and scored twice, while Tayah DaCosta had Taunton’s third homer, part of a 3-for-4 day where she drove in three and scored two runs. Kelsey White dominated in the circle, allowing only one hit and striking out 11 over five innings. Nicole Baker had the lone hit for the Black Knights. Taunton hosts Walpole on Wednesday in the quarterfinal.

#13 Milton, 3 @ #4 King Philip, 6 – FinalKing Philip overcame an early three-run deficit to fend off an upset big from Milton. An infield single, a bunt single, and a home run in the top of the first gave the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead but KP scored in four straight innings between the third and the sixth to get the lead for good. Paige Berdos got the hosts on the board in the third inning, leading off with a single, stealing a base and scoring on a sac fly from Charlotte Raymond. Patience at the plate helped the Warriors bring two more runs in during the fourth inning to tie the game. Maddie Paschke walked, Ava Kelly singled, and Taylor Regan walked to load the bases before Jordan Bennett drew a walk to bring a run in. Berdos was then hit by a pitch to bring in another run to make it 3-3. In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Sarah Cullen smacked a two-run home run to put KP ahead for the first time and the Warriors added a key insurance run in the sixth when Raymond drove in Berdos with a single. Bennett settled in nicely after the first inning, allowing just one base runner after the third inning which was a walk in fifth that was erased on a double play. King Philip will host #5 seed Plymouth North on Wednesday at 6:30 at the Plainville Athletic League complex.

#18 Mansfield, 5 @ #2 Natick, 4 – Final (8 Inn.)Mansfield pulled off the upset of the tournament so far, going on the road and beating the number-two seed in extra innings. Natick came from behind to tied the game in the seventh and force extras, but Jill Koppy led off the top of the eighth with a triple and she came in to score the game-winning run on a two-out single from Ashlyn Conley. Natick had a 2-0 lead after four innings, but the Hornets responded with a four-run fifth. Ashlyn Conley singled to start the rally and Nicole Kobasa followed with a hit of her own. Alanna Conley drove them both in with a single. After an error moved Conley to third, she was brought home on a bunt by Olivia DeTrolio that led to another defensive mistake. Callie Lake bunted and heads up base running from DeTrolio turned it into Mansfield’s fourth run. Mansfield will travel to Silver Lake in the D1 South quarterfinal.

#14 Attleboro, 3 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final

#11 Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 @ #6 North Attleboro, 2 – Final (9 Inn.)North faced extra innings for the second playoff game in a row, but the Rocketeers couldn’t find a way past the defending South champions. The Rocketeers got off to a great start with a run in the first. Mandi Hanewich doubled and was bunted to third by Emily Nardelli. Zoey McDonough drove in the go-ahead run with a single. North doubled its lead in the fourth. Ally Levine reached on an error and pinch runner Emma Hanwell scored on a Shaelyn Burns double. B-R tied the game in the fifth with a two-run inning. The game stayed tied until the top of the ninth when a solo homer put the Trojans in front. McDonough allowed only one earned run and struck out seven in the loss. North also flashed the leather, with two double plays, one initiated by Belle Clarkin and the other started by Kelly Colleran.

D2 South
#12 Foxboro, 18 @ #5 Diman, 6 – FinalThe top three in the lineup drove in 13 combined runs and the Warriors rolled to a win in Fall River. Foxboro scored 10 runs in the first four innings and scored at least once in every inning but the sixth. Leadoff hitter Peyton Feldman set the table for Foxboro, as she went 3-for-3 with three walks, but she also added punch with a double, a triple, three runs scored, and five RBI. Emma Callahan had a pair of hits and drove in four and Morgan Sylvestre went 2-for-5 with four RBI. Jillian Slattery continued her strong playoffs with two hits, three runs scored, and two RBI from the nine-hole. Fiona Dunn scored four times and Nicole Theriault scored three times for the Warriors. Callahan had seven strikeouts and got better as the game went on, retiring the final 11 hitters that she faced to pick up her second postseason win. Foxboro will travel to Notre Dame Academy in the D2 South quarterfinal.

#22 Canton, 6 @ #6 Plymouth South, 18 – FinalCanton cut an 8-0 deficit to just three in the fourth inning, but Plymouth South scored eight times over the fifth and sixth innings to seal the win and a place in the quarterfinal. Brogan O’Leary sparked the fourth inning rally with a single and Taylor Reynolds and Olivia Mackwell both drove in runs. Amanda Vrabel had the big hit, a two-RBI triple. Reynolds added another RBI in the fifth.




Boys Lacrosse
D1 South

#16 Mansfield, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 16 – FinalFranklin’s Justin Alexander only lost one faceoff as the Panthers rolled to their third win over Mansfield this season, this one in the state tournament. Sophomore Luke Davis led the attack with three goals and six assists, Matt Lazzaro added three goals and four assists and Jayden Consigli netted five goals in the win. Owen Kielty added a pair of goals and Joe Consigli notched a goal and four assists. Franklin will host #9 seed Wellesley on Wednesday at 6:30.

#10 King Philip, 2 @ #7 Duxbury, 16 – Final

D2 South
#8 Nauset, 11 @ #1 Canton, 15 – Final

D2 Central/East
#8 North Attleboro, 3 @ #1 Medfield, 16 – Final
#7 Walpole, 12 @ #2 Foxboro, 9 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
D1 East

#9 Acton-Boxboro, 10 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – FinalFranklin jumped ahead of Acton-Boxboro early and never surrendered the lead to advance to the next round. The Panthers took a 5-1 lead after the first quarter and pushed the advantgae to 11-1 by halftime. Franklin held a 13-4 advantage going into the final quarter where A-B pumped in some goals to tighten the score. Katie Jones scored three goals and had two assists while Katie Peterson accounted for a pair of goals and a pair of assists in the win. Jamie Tanner played well on defense and in the midfield, notching six draw controls and three caused turnovers. Brigid Earley made eight saves in the win for Franklin, who will host #5 seed Lincoln-Sudbury on Wednesday at 4:00.

#7 Concord-Carlisle, 21 @ #2 King Philip, 4 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.

D2 East
#7 Bedford, 12 @ #2 Foxboro, 11 – Final




Boys Tennis
D1 South

#8 Needham, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin took wins at first and second singles but lost both doubles matches and third singles, falling to Needham to end the season. Senior Liam Marr emerged from a battle at first singles with a 6-4, 4-6, 14-12 win while Vayshnav Malhotra recorded a 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 win at second singles for the Panthers.

#11 Plymouth North, 0 @ #3 Sharon, 5 – FinalSharon won all five matches in straight sets to get past Plymouth North and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. Freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, junior Ruemon Bhattacharyya added a 6-4, 6-3 win at second singles, and junior Max Chen battled to a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles. Sharon’s first doubles team of freshmen Matthew Lally and Alex Budoraclev won in straight sets while the Eagles also were victorious at second doubles. Sharon will travel to #2 seed Brookline on Wednesday at 3:00 at Waldstein Park.

D2 South
#5 Bishop Feehan, 3 @ #4 Canton, 2 – Final

Girls Tennis
D1 South

#8 Sharon, 2 @ #1 King Philip, 3 – Final

D2 South
#8 Monomoy, 2 @ #1 Foxboro, 3 – FinalFoxboro dropped a total of four games between its three singles matches and that was enough to take down Monomoy and advance. Athena Li rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win at first singles, Pam Nelson continued her hot streak with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking at second singles, and Sarah Prag clinched the win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles. Foxboro will host the winner of #4 seed Martha’s Vineyard and #5 seed Medfield on Thursday.

Wrestling
D2 South

#3 Hingham, 33 @ #2 North Attleboro, 45 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Central

#10 King Philip, 1 @ #2 Milford, 3 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/11/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Canton, 6 @ Foxboro, 7 – FinalFoxboro used a trio of walks, a sacrifice bunt, and an infield hit to walk off with a win over Canton in a see-saw battle. Canton scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead but the Warriors answered by pushing three runs across in the bottom half. The Bulldogs scored again in the top of the seventh to knot the score but Cam Prescott and Jack Watts drew back-to-back walks, Ryan LeClair bunted everyone forward a base, Sean O’Leary walked to load the bases and an infield hit from Tom Marcucella brought the game-winning run. Marcucella and junior Mike LaVita (RBI) each had two hits in the win while Prescott, Mike O’Toole, and Dylan Quinn each drove in a run. Quinn also earned the win in relief, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk, striking out one. Nate Hewit (home run) and Matt Chafin (RBI) each had two hits for Canton while Steven Burbank, Andrew Butler, and Zach Peters each were responsible for bringing a run home.

Milford, 1 @ Taunton, 4 – FinalTaunton senior Matthew Ferrara delivered a big performance on the mound for the Tigers, helping the hosts secure their 10th win of the season. Ferrara tossed a complete game with only one run allowed on four hits and three walks, striking out four to give Taunton a win over visiting Milford. Offensively, sophomore Ryan MacDougall reached base four times, recording a pair of hits and walks to go along with an RBI and a run scored while Colby DeCouta added a hit and an RBI in the win.

Softball
Foxboro, 5 @ Canton, 1 – Final

Stoughton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalOliver Ames had its four-run lead evaporate but rallied to take the lead right back and earned a season split with the visiting Black Knights. The Tigers had a great start, pushing across four runs in the first four innings but Stoughton struck for four runs in the top of the fifth to knot the score at 4-4. OA responded with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on a key insurance run in the sixth. Taylor Lake knocked in a pair of runs for the hosts while Katie Melendy and Katherine Farley (double) also had an RBI in the win. Maddie Homer (1-for-3) scored a pair of runs, Grace Simone (double) had a pair of hits and scored once, and Emma Varella had the other run for OA. Varella pitched 4.1 innings with just two hits allowed while Melendy tossed 2.2 innings in relief.










Boys Lacrosse
Franklin, 17 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final

Foxboro, 11 @ Canton, 6 – Final

Milford @ Mansfield, 5:00

Sharon @ North Attleboro, 3:45

Stoughton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – FinalOliver Ames senior Remi Creighton notched the 100th point of his career to help the Tigers take down visiting Stoughton in the regular season finale for both squads. Creighton scored two goals and added two assists to hit the milestone while junior Wyatt Fritchman added two goals and an assist and sophomore Ben Reardon recorded a hat trick.

King Philip, 13 vs. Medway, 14 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 20 – FinalFranklin celebrated its seniors with a big win at home, finishing the regular season at a perfect 14-0. Seniors Katie Jones scored four goals and had three assists in the win, Ali Socci netted a pair of goals and assists, and Sydney Hawkins tacked on a goal. Brigid Earley scored her first career goal in the win.

Canton, 6 @ Foxboro, 21 – Final

North Attleboro, 15 @ Sharon, 11 – Final

Mansfield @ Milford, 4:30

Taunton, 4 @ King Philip, 20 – FinalKing Philip had 11 different plays find the back of the net as the Warriors celebrated Senior Night in style. Senior Peyton Mellman paced the offense with three goals while classmate Caroline Pasquantino found the back of the net once in the win. Senior Maddie Crowley earned the win in net, making three saves.




Boys Tennis
King Philip, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalKing Philip won all five matches in straight sets to earn its seventh straight victory of the season, finishing the year at 8-6. Nick Putney (first singles), Jon Cohen (third singles), and the team of Connor Sachleben and Adam Gousie (second doubles) all recored wins at 6-0, 6-0 for the Warriors. The first doubles team of Diego Nieto and Jackson Hom notched a 6-1, 6-0 win while Brady Jannell (second singles) took home a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles.

Mansfield vs. West Bridgewater, 3:15

Stoughton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalStoughton earned its second straight 4-1 win over Oliver Ames to sweep the season series against the neighboring Tigers. Stoughton senior Waseem Sablon completed an undefeated season, taking a 6-0, 6-0 decision at first singles to move to 14-0. Sophomore Rayan Sablon added a 6-3, 7-5 win at second singles, the team of senior Jonah Hochberg and freshman Evan Khang rallied for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles, and the team of senior Nikhil Khond and sophomore Jake Berry recorded a 6-3, 6-0 win at second doubles. OA freshman Nick Westerbeke grabbed a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalSharon earned its second 4-1 win over North Attleboro this week and finished a perfect 10-0 against division foes, finishing the year as Davenport champions. Freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles while junior Max Chen secured a 6-1, 6-1 victory at third singles. Sharon swept doubles action with sophomore Rithvik Neti and freshman Matthew Lally earning a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while junior Mitch Weiss teamed with freshman Alex Budovalcev for a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final

Mansfield, 4 @ West Bridgewater, 0 – Final

Canton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalFoxboro completed its undefeated regular season with its second sweep of Canton this week. For the second time this week, both Pam Nelson (second singles) and Sarah Prag (third singles) rolled to 6-0, 6-0 wins while freshman Athena Li battled to a 6-4, 6-3 win at first singles. Maggie McAuliffe partnered with Abby Costa to earn a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while Foxboro’s second doubles squad of Juliana Preston and Alyssa Cloherty picked up a 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 win for the Warriors.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalStoughton used a sweep in singles action to get its second win over Oliver Ames this week, earning a season sweep of the Tigers. Ally Lada earned a straight set win at first singles, 6-0, 6-1, Lena Allie added a 6-4, 6-2 win at second singles, and Brooke Bulger bounced back with a 6-2, 6-3 win at third singles for the Black Knights. The team of Nadia Prokopiuk and Emilia Lada added a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles for Stoughton. Oliver Ames’ first double team of Grace Houser and Kate McLaughlan earned a 6-0, 6-3 win for the Tigers.

Attleboro, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalA day after falling to Attleboro, the Panthers flipped the script and defended home court with a 3-2 win of their own. Franklin swept singles action to pick up its three points in the victory. Junior Vedika Vinayak battled to a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win at first singles, junior Sarah Schiavo added a 6-2, 6-4 win at second singles, and junior Jessica Pingeton earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. Attleboro took both doubles matches with juniors Saharla Yusuf and Tina Lam earned a 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 decision at first doubles, and the team of freshmen Maddie Fuscaldo and Kyra Johnson grabbed a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles.




Wrestling
Franklin, 40 @ Oliver Ames, 15 – Final
North Attleboro, 37 @ Foxboro, 36 – Final
Sharon @ Milford, 7:00

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 3 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – FinalTaunton bounced back from its first loss of the season with a dominating 3-0 sweep (25-7, 25-13, 25-23) on the road over Dighton-Rehoboth. Colin MacDougall had five kills and three blocks, Mattia Casagrande added four kills, and four aces, Daniel Medina recorded 17 assists in the win, and Travis Nunes finished with six digs. Tyler Stewart had 15 kills and three blocks in the win.

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Only teams that responded to HockomockSports.com with information regarding their team and the upcoming season are listed in this year’s preview.

Attleboro

2019 Record: 3-16
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Chrissy Quinn

A program that is still developing, Attleboro will be looking for its first league win since 2018 when things get started this spring and the Bombardiers are looking to combine returning players with exciting newcomers to compete with the teams in the Kelley-Rex.

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

Senior Hannah Webster and Isabella Salviati are the most experienced attackers on the roster and the Bombardiers will hope that the addition of sophomore Jordan Mooney and freshman Molly Moore will add a different dimension to the offense. Mooney and Moore have already scored half the team’s goals this season. Defensively, senior Carlie Jamieson and juniors Avery Vieira and Ally Haigh are the returning players who give Attleboro a good foundation. Sophomore Ella Stromfors is a newcomer that will give Attleboro depth in defense. Senior Maggie Porecca is back between the pipes this spring and has been busy in the early going with 35 saves in the opening three games.

“We have a lot of potential that we need to work hard to build on this season,” said Attleboro coach Chrissy Quinn. “It is very important that we set our own goals as a team, rather than worry so much about the score at the end of the game. The most important thing is that we continue to stay healthy, remain positive, and celebrate small victories!”

Canton

2019 Record: 5-11
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Dani Aquino

Canton struggled in 2019, missing out on the postseason, but it was a season of transition with a lot of young players getting their first taste of varsity action. Although they’ve had to wait two years to use that experience, those players are now the core of a Bulldogs team that is looking to make a push up the standings under first-year head coach Dani Aquino.

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

Junior midfielder Allie McCabe is a leader on both ends of the field and will be a key part of Canton’s transition game. Junior Tess Khoury will step into a bigger role in the defensive unit with sophomore Erin Beatty making her debut as the starting goalie. Juniors Fay (attack) and Sydney Gallery (defense) will also play more prominent roles this spring with sophomore Emily McCabe stepping in to add energy in the midfield. Senior Kayla Albert is a versatile attacker, who can take advantage of her size to give defenders issues near the cage, and junior Carly Fitzgerald can create scoring chances with her athleticism and tenacity. Sophomore Ella Yeaton and freshman Devan Spinale are exciting additions to the midfield, adding extra speed and creativity in the attack.

“Our outlook this season is to be competitive,” said Aquino. “I want to put up a fight for those crossover Kelly-Rex teams that we play, while taking away necessary lessons and walk off the field better than we walked on. My focus as a coach with this program to conquer the basics and ‘Master the things we can control.’”




Foxboro

2019 Record: 16-8
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Semifinal
Coach: Kathleen McCullough

The defending Div. 2 East champions have a lot of new faces, including on the bench where former Medfield coach Kathleen McCullough has taken over from (new Mansfield coach) Brittany Sherry, but the expectations don’t change for a program that has dominated the Davenport division, winning the league title in each of the past eight seasons. While the Warriors get to know each other and their new coach, they will still be looking to keep the run of title going this season.

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

Foxboro is going to lean on several returning players who had key roles in winning the program’s first sectional title two years ago. Senior midfielder Ella Waryas can control things on both ends of the field and senior attacker Lilly Vey had a breakout sophomore season and is the team’s top returning scorer. Junior Kate Collins joins Vey and Waryas as captains this season and can play as either a midfielder or defender. The Warriors are reloading with a strong sophomore class as well. There are seven sophomores on the roster this season (and also four freshmen), including Paige Curran, Mia Dinunzio, Jenny Gallagher, Maddie Maher, Dylan Rappoli, Grace Riley, and Mya Waryas.

“We are going in with a clean slate and looking at each team as a new team and opportunity to grow and learn,” said McCullough. “We will focus on our game and daily improvement. I look forward to working with this group and having a great season.”

Franklin

2019 Record: 20-3
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East Semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino

It may have been two years since Franklin last took the field, but the Panthers will have a lot of familiar names on the roster this season and the same set of expectations. Franklin has not lost a league game since 2012 and won the last eight Kelley-Rex division titles (sharing the title with King Philip in 2012). Heading into this spring, even with only three seniors on the roster, the Panthers will be favorites to bring home the league crown yet again.

After missing a lot of 2019 with an injury, senior Katie Jones is ready to lead the attack, while classmate Sydney Hawkins will be the leader in the defensive zone. Junior midfielders Kenzie Baker, Kate O’Rourke, Jackie O’Neil, and Stella Regan were all part of an impressive freshman group that stepped right into the lineup two years ago and are part of a dynamic group that could score a lot of goals this season. Newcomers include sophomores Kaitlyn Carney, Katie Peterson, Lindsay Atkinson, and Jamie Tanner, who just add to the abundance of attacking and midfield options that Franklin boasts. Junior Brigid Earley has taken over in goal and impressed with her athleticism.

“Once we start meshing, I think we will be a very strong team,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igo Guarino. “Offensively, any group of seven players who is in has the potential to be a threat, either as a dodger, feeder or cutter. This group is very dynamic in their stick skill and game sense. Defensively, we are athletic and have some solid leadership.”

King Philip

2019 Record: 12-8
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Kourtnie Wilder

King Philip is the last team other than Franklin to win a Kelley-Rex division title and the Warriors enter this spring hoping to end the seven-year reign for the Panthers. After two years off, KP returns an experienced group, especially on the defensive side, as it gets ready to challenge for a league championship.

Seniors Peyton Mellman and Caroline Pasquantonio will provide leadership for the Warriors this season and will be counting on a strong junior class to live up to the potential it showed in 2019. Julia Marsden, Lily Brown, Haley Izydorczak, and Colleen Crowther all saw ample playing time as freshmen and will now be expected to take the step up to be regular contributors. Head coach Kourtnie Wilder is hoping that the experience in the defensive end will make the Warriors tough to score against and has three goalies vying for the starting role. On offense, Wilder thinks the Warriors will be “crafty and aggressive.”

Wilder said, “We are excited to be back out on the field and finally playing together again. We have a great group of hard-working student-athletes that are dedicated and eager to get the season started.”

Mansfield

2019 Record: 11-8
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round
Coach: Brittany Sherry

Former Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry will finally get her first season on the sideline at Mansfield and will be getting her first chance to work with a Hornets roster that saw a lot of turnover from two years ago. A couple of exciting newcomers and experience along the back line have Sherry confident that the Hornets can get back to the level that saw them win 11 games in 2019.

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

The defensive side will be bolstered by senior Melissa Shanteler, who adds aggression to the back line. Juniors Gabriella Geminiani, Grace Bertolino, and Kayla Doherty will provide depth in defense, while sophomore Caitlin Zajac will get the start in goal in her first varsity season. Seniors Grace Danehy and AnnMarie McCoy provide size on the draws and versatility in the attack. A couple of newcomers will give Mansfield an added boost of playmaking, as sophomore attacker Ava Adam and freshman midfielder Lola Varrichione have the potential to create a lot of goals this spring.

“We’re definitely rusty but the girls are putting in the work to get back to where they were two years ago,” said Sherry.




Milford

2019 Record: 6-12
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Nicole Culhane

Milford is making the move to the Kelley-Rex division this spring and the Hawks will be hoping that its returning players will be up to the challenge of a new season. There were positive signs in the opening game of the spring, as the Hawks were right in the game with Sharon.

Defense has the potential to be a strength for the Hawks this year with an experienced and athletic group coming back from the 2019 season. Seniors Jillian Michelson, Eva Parsons, and Katie Maietta will lead the team from the back and push the team into the transition as well. Junior midfielder Aislinn Bennett got playing time as a freshman two years ago and now she is looking to step into a bigger role on both ends of the field. Sophomore midfielders Emily Croteau and Carly Haley are newcomers to the varsity roster and will give an added boost of energy and creativity in the attack.

“Our team is growing stronger and stronger every day and it is a truly wonderful thing to witness as their coach,” said Milford coach Nicole Culhane. “I have so much faith in them and I know they are capable of surprising themselves with how much they can accomplish.”

Oliver Ames

2019 Record: 5-13
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Gen Rogan

Oliver Ames is making the move to the Davenport division this season and will be looking to jump right into the mix and be competitive with the top teams. The Tigers will hope to make a leap under first-year head coach Gen Rogan, who is very familiar with the league and the competition having been an all-star at Foxboro.

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

The Tigers enter the season with nine seniors and six juniors on the roster, so experience shouldn’t be an issue. Seniors Emilee Nuss and Liliana Lozano will be the leaders on the defensive end, locking the opposition down in front of senior Emma O’Donnell or junior Jess Widdop, two vocal and quick goalies that OA can count on. Senior Emma Pereira will patrol the midfield, helping out on the defensive side and then pushing the Tigers forward into the attack. Freshman Taylor McAndrew is a newcomer who could make an instant impact this spring and provide a scoring boost. Versatility and balance will be important as Rogan is hoping that a lot of players will be able to chip in and add to the OA attack.

“I think this season will be a good test to our ability to stay tough and fight through some hard battles,” Rogan said. “We play in a very competitive league, but I have no doubt that this team is up to the challenge and will be exciting to watch this season.”

Sharon

2019 Record: 12-9
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round
Coach: Shara Ginthwain

Sharon has developed into a program that consistently gets into playoff contention, battling for the second spot in the Davenport division and looking to take the next step to put pressure on perennial league power Foxboro. The Eagles will a few seasoned veterans coming back this spring, but also a lot of newcomers and building that connection on the field will be a key early in this shortened season.

Senior Jenna Goldstein has been a standout in each of her first two seasons on varsity and will have a much bigger role this year, as the team’s primary playmaker. Senior Cass Barbera will lead the attacking unit and her combination with Goldstein will be a key to Sharon’s offensive output. Junior Athena Merck and freshman Anna Hertzel are newcomers that will add a different dimension to the attack. Senior Molly McAlevey is moving into the midfield this season to provide extra speed and athleticism. At the back, seniors Abby Hoffman, Amelia Scappaticci, and Carly Romanow give Sharon an experienced defensive unit in front of new goalie sophomore Tess Letendre.

“We are so excited to have the opportunity to play together this season,” said Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain. “We really look forward to developing team chemistry as the season progresses, as this is the first time many of these girls have played together at this level.”

Taunton

2019 Record: 8-9
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Kerry Northup

Taunton was on the brink of a playoff spot in 2019, coming up just one win shy of qualifying for the postseason and have several players returning, especially in the midfield, to compete with the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division.

Senior Alana Tavares is the centerpiece of the Taunton midfield. The reigning league MVP and HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year has put up big numbers in her first three seasons and the Marist-commit will be counted on to produce a lot of offense again this spring. Senior Anastasia Lajoie joins Tavares in the midfield. Committed to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Lajoie is another dynamic attacker who gives the Tigers a lot of energy at both ends of the field. Other seniors returning this season include Madison Vigliotti, Rosemary McGrath, Rebecca Berry, and Tori DaRosa. Junior Emily Gannon is back in goal and will be a vocal presence on the defensive side of the ball.

“We are very excited to be back out on the lacrosse field,” said Taunton coach Kerry Northup. “However successful we are with our record this year, we are just happy to be able to get out there again and play the game we love.”

2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

Franklin Beats KP to Take Home First Hock Cup Title

Franklin volleyball
The Franklin volleyball team poses for a picture after beating King Philip in the Hockomock Cup Final. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – After splitting two regular season matchups and sharing the Kelley-Rex division title for the second year in a row, it was fitting that the final game of the volleyball season would see Franklin and King Philip battle it out, not just for the bragging rights, or to win the season series, but also to being home the first Hockomock Cup title.

After jumping in front by winning the opening two sets, Franklin was nearly forced to a decisive fifth set but the Panthers rallied in the fourth, winning six of the final seven points, capped off by a cross-court spike by senior Ally Bonnet-Eymard that snuck inside the line, to seal a 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21) victory.

“The girls never took a single day for granted,” said Franklin coach Samantha Elliott. “They have been 100 percent committed to play, so for them this wasn’t just the first Hock Cup, this was their championship and they’ve been working that way all season.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP coach Kristen Geuss was proud of her team’s fight back after a rough opening set and the way the Warriors fought throughout a final that everyone was grateful to see happen.

“I think we played very well,” she said. “To have the opportunity to even play an extra week in this whole thing, it gave us more games and let the girls come out and have fun for another week. We had a great season and they’re a great bunch of girls.”

Franklin took control of the opening set right from the first point. In a reverse of Wednesday’s semifinal against Canton, KP struggled out of the gate and the Panthers put together a 9-0 run to break things open and take a 19-6 lead.

Emma Chase (10 kills) had a block and then a kill on back-to-back points, Bonnet-Eymard (game-high 22 kills) fired a shot past the dive of KP libero Emma Brooks, Taylor Lacerda (seven kills) fired an ace, and then Bonnet-Eymard ended the run with a hit right on the line.

KP tried to build some momentum heading to the second. Giovanna Fruci and Sami Shore each had kills before Bonnet-Eymard picked the corner with an accurate swing. Nicole Coughlan and Ahunna James both got on the board as well with good hits, but the final swing hit the net and Franklin took the quick 1-0 lead.

“I had the confidence that we could come back,” said Geuss. “We have in the past. I thought we could dig deep and we did. The second and third games were much better obviously than the first and I thought they played really well.”

The Warriors did seem to carry some energy over into the second set and a Lily Carlow ace and a block and a kill by James put the visitors up 11-5. Brooks had a point from the back row and James added another of her five kills in the set to keep the lead at five points, but Franklin’s depth along the front line started to pay dividends.

Grace Lacerda, Chase, and Taylor Lacerda recorded three straight points and an angled Chase drive got Franklin back level. After the Panthers took the lead, Coughlan had two straight kills, including one at the end of a long rally that put KP back in front 19-18. Bonnet-Eymard answered with a pinpoint tip and a blast off the blocker.

“That’s the best thing about us, it’s not just Ally,” Elliott said. “Ally is a force to be reckoned with but it’s always every other girl on my team. (Setter) Cailyn [Mackintosh] has the ability to give it to anyone because people watch Ally so if you can give it to someone else it’s going to work out in your favor.”

“She has worked so hard to be as accurate and consistent and connect with every single one of our hitters that we wouldn’t be where we are without her drive and her leadership,” Elliott said about Mackintosh, who finished with 49 assists.

With Franklin up 23-21, Bonnet-Eymard again found space down the line off the dive of Carlow and a shot into the net had the Panthers just a set away from the win.

The last time these teams met, it went to five sets before KP pulled out the win. So, Franklin knew there was still work to be done. The Panthers jumped out to a 14-11 lead in the fourth following a Mackintosh push that eluded the KP defense.

KP responded with four straight points to get in front. With the score tied again at 17-17, KP managed to string together a few points. Fruci started it with a spike and then Coughlan was able to follow with back-to-back points. The senior, who managed to score from both outside positions as well as the middle, had eight kills in the third set alone.

“Nicole makes everything look easy, and it’s not,” Geuss said about Coughlan. “I don’t know how she does it but she makes everything look easy. She will be missed.”

After Bonnet-Eymard got one back for Franklin, Coughlan added two more kills. With the score 24-21, James, just a sophomore, showed off her skills on the outside with a powerful angled drive that secured a fourth set.

The fourth was back-and-forth with neither team able to build larger than a four-point lead. Coughlan and James continued to find any gap in the Franklin defense and the KP back row continued to keep almost every play alive, forcing the Panthers into long rallies.

KP looked like it might be on its way to a decisive fifth set when it rattled off five straight points and took a 12-8 lead. Bonnet-Eymard had the answer with back-to-back kills, the second smashed off the KP block and out. A kill from Lindsey Tarantola tied things up and then an ace by Meghan Linkkila put Franklin in front 13-12.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Shore got KP back within one at 17-16 but Chase came right back with a hit from the middle. James had a pair of kills, including one right off the line to put the Warriors up 19-18, then Carlow’s tough serve got away from the Panthers. Chase and Bonnet-Eymard came right back with kills and tied the set at 20-20.

After a Franklin point, James blasted another kill that tied the game at 21-21, but King Philip (11-2) had an uncharacteristic defensive lapse to put Franklin in front to stay. Brigid Earley followed with a big block, a shot went wide, and then Bonnet-Eymard lined up one last swing, angled across the court into an open spot, handing Franklin (12-1) the win and the cup.

“We knew that the first set was not normal, that we were going to have to work hard for every single point because KP is a fantastic team,” Elliott explained. “Just telling the girls to believe in themselves and to forget what this is and to have fun for their last game to play with each other that they’d be okay, and they were.”

Franklin Finishes Strong To Complete Sweep Of KP

Franklin volleyball Cailyn Mackintosh
Franklin junior Cailyn Mackintosh sets the ball in the second set against King Philip. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FRANKLIN, Mass. – For the past seven seasons, the road to the Kelley-Rex division title has gone through either Franklin or Wrentham, and sometimes both.

With an abbreviated season on tap this year, those head-to-head matchups take on extra importance as the Panthers and Warriors of King Philip stand as the favorites for the division crown again this year.

Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball

Round one of the home-and-home series between the two went to Franklin, who came through in key moments down the stretch in all three sets to earn a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-22) sweep of the visiting Warriors.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It comes down to trust, trusting yourself, trusting who you’re on the court with, and trusting all of your teammates,” said first-year Franklin head coach Samantha Elliott. “It’s not a one-person sport, a one-person game…I think they showed a lot of teamwork closing those sets out. We can’t just rely on one person, we have to play our game as a team.”

Franklin battled through adversity during all three sets, the match playing out closer than the 3-0 score would indicate. In both the first and second sets Franklin saw their sizable advantage shrink down in the closing moments of each set. And in the third, the Panthers played from behind for the most part.

Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball

But when push came to shove, Franklin made the key plays in the key moments. The Panthers fended off KP in the first set by winning the final four points and then repeated that in the second set. After coming back in the third set, the game was tied until Franklin won three straight points to clinch the match.

“They were obviously the better team today,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss, now in her sixth year at the helm of the Warriors. “We kind of hurt ourselves in some ways and we have to work on some things, having to have some practices with the whole team will definitely help. We haven’t had the whole team for one practice yet but that’s no excuse, we have to fix our mistakes.”










Franklin looked on its way to a comfortable win the first set, extending its lead to 19-12 behind a nice tip kill from freshman Taylor Lacerda (seven kills), a tip and block from junior Brigid Earley (six kills), and a nice line shot from senior Ally Bonnet-Eymard (12 kills). But KP had a renewed energy coming out of a timeout, sparked by a block from senior Paige Kannally, a perfectly placed pass over the net from senior Emma Brooks, a good serve from sophomore Ahunna James, and a kill from senior Giovanna Fruci off a nice set from Lauren Peterson that made it 21-18.

Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball

James added an ace after a Franklin timeout that made it a two-point game but Lacerda landed a big kill, and three straight strong serves from Maia Pilof, including an ace, sealed the 25-19 win.

“King Philip has a great defense and it showed our girls how hard they need to work in order to rally and finish off games,” Elliott said. “And it was good to see them battle tonight and see that they can do it.

“It was a great test for our defense too, they kept us on our toes. We had to switch some things up because both [James] and [Coughlan] were fantastic, definitely players we had to watch out for and try to take away the lanes because they were able to take advantage with some good swings.”

Franklin carried that momentum into the second set as the Panthers won the first seven points, getting a kill from Lacerda, another from senior Emma Chase (four kills, three blocks) on a quick set in the middle, a perfectly weighted tip from Earley, and an ace from junior Cailyn Mackintosh (25 assists).

The Panthers kept that lead for the majority of the set, pushing the advantage to double digits, 16-6, on a kill from Lacerda, but similar to the first set the Warriors made a run to make things interesting. Kills from Fruci and Nicole Coughlan started the run and the Warriors used their momentum to force the Panthers into some errors.

Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball

A nice swing from the back row from Lily Carloww got KP within three, 20-17, forcing a home timeout. Earley landed a nice kill from the right side and back-to-back KP hitting errors forced a Warrior timeout. KP couldn’t return the ball on back-to-back plays and Bonnet-Eymard finished the set off with an ace.




While Bonnet-Eymard led the Panthers in kills, Franklin’s ability to attack from each spot at the net during multiple rotations helped keep the Warrior defense off-balance. Mackintosh, who is in her second year starting at setter, did a nice job spreading the ball around to get swings from the outside, the middle, and the right side.

“We have 100% full faith in Cailyn to make the right decision,” Elliott said. “She’s been a rock on this team for the past two years, only a junior, she makes great decisions. She trusts everyone on the court too and I think that’s important when it comes to setting and spreading it around. She’s just a junior but it feels like she’s been playing forever.

“And everyone knows who Ally is, she’s such a weapon for us on offense so it’s really important for us to kind of spread things out and keep the defense off-balance, we don’t want the defense to get comfortable, start cheating that way. We have a lot of talent so it makes sense for us to spread it out.”

After falling behind in each of the first two sets, KP had a better start to the third game but Franklin kept pace with the Warriors. The game was tied six times and had seven lead changes in the first 20 points, the teams split 10-10 at that point.

Fruci registered a kill off the block, Coughlan slammed down a kill, and a Franklin net error gave the Warriors a 13-10 lead but Franklin responded with a 6-1 surge with Lacerda, Chase, and Bonnet-Eymard each registering a kill to put the hosts back ahead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The teams went back-and-forth again, tied at 17, 19, 20, 21, and 22. A hitting error gave Franklin the lead, the Panthers earned a point after a nice swing from Bonnet-Eymard from the back row, and the Panthers clinched the win after another hitting error from the visitors.

“We have to work on our serve receive a little bit more and that just starts everything, it all goes from there,” Guess said. “I think we were a little bit not ready for today, we weren’t prepared for today. It’s a big game against [Franklin] so hopefully Saturday we’ll be ready and not make as many mistakes that we did today.”

Franklin volleyball (3-0) returns to action on Saturday when they hit the road to Wrentham to take on the Warriors in a rematch at 1:00.

Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball