OA Slips Past Franklin With Late McCormick Header

OA boys soccer
Nathaniel Cardoza and the OA midfield took control in the second half, but the Tigers could not find a breakthrough until the final two minutes. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – The clock was winding down and Oliver Ames continued to press forward in search for a winning goal. After a number of missed opportunities, including free headers sent wide, shots from the edge of the box that were just outside the post, and chances kicked aside by the Franklin defense, the breakthrough finally came with just two minutes left to play.

The Panthers were unable to decisively clear the first ball in from a long throw on the near side of the field. The ball was won back by the OA midfield, which had taken over in the second half, and cycled out to the right to Jack Sheldon. He fired in a pinpoint cross to the back post where Thomas McCormick was all alone to nod the ball past Freddie Beckmann.

The late goal stood up as the winner on Tuesday evening. OA handed Franklin a 1-0 loss at Pisini Field to end Franklin’s unbeaten start while extending its own unbeaten run to 25 games stretching back to 2015.

“We did a lot of pressure in the second half and we kept winning the ball back,” said OA coach John Barata. “We have good players and we can play a bit. We’re learning and we’ll figure it out, but that’s why it’s important to get a good win like this.”

It was a result that could have been far more comfortable after a dominant performance by the Tigers in the second half. Nathaniel Cardoza, Mason Galbato, Cam Vella, and McCormick consistently won the ball back for OA and pushed the Tigers into the attack.

Franklin was pinned back for long stretches of the second half and but for consistent play by center backs Connor SanClemente and Alex Chitarra and holding midfielder Nitin Chaudhury and missed chances by the visitors kept the game tied.

“I think we gave them a little too much respect,” said Franklin coach Fran Bositis. “We were just a nightmare in terms of putting passes together and just controlling the ball…We defended well. Defending we couldn’t do much better, except at the end there.”

McCormick had a good chance one minute into the second half but his shot on the turn was saved by Beckmann at the near post. Three minutes later Vella had space but his shot went wide of the far post and he missed a second chance on a near post header off a throw. With 11 minutes to play, Matt Campbell had a back heel chance saved and McCormick flashed a header wide when left free inside the six-yard-box.

“Very nervous,” admitted Barata about the feeling in the second half, “because we just came off a game where we outshot a team like 25-5 and tied. And then you see them come down and they had two class act chances. All of a sudden we go from a good performance on one end and we could be losing.”

The misses could have led to a defeat for OA but for a miss by Franklin and junior goalie Jack Carroll.

Midway through the second half, Franklin could have taken the lead when James LeVie met a cross from Cam LeBlanc only to blaze it over the bar. With five minutes left, Franklin finally got out of its defensive third and won a free kick that Hatim Brahimi took quickly and forced Carroll into a save. The keeper could only parry it and the ball rolled to Kevin Hall, but Carroll recovered to block with his legs.

“That one save at the end…that’s the game,” said Barata. “We would be talking about how it was a good performance and unfortunately we lost 1-0.”

Bositis added, “We had some chances. We certainly didn’t control play like they did, but we had some chances that we probably…I mean we should have had a goal at the far post and that changes everything.”

Franklin looked much more dangerous in the first half with striker Farley Asmath causing problems as an outlet for the midfielders. Showing strength and speed, Asmath created openings for Brahimi to spring Hall but Carroll was able to save comfortably.

With 27 minutes gone, Asmath opened up the OA defense with a great turn in the box and he tried to pick the far corner only to have Carroll deny him with a kick save. At halftime, OA chose to push higher up the pitch and despite a switch from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 Franklin could not recover and get the ball up top.

“Second half we just had to play higher up the pitch and possess in the attacking third and try to bury them here because their one outlet, a very strong outlet, is No. 9 (Asmath),” said Barata. “Today it worked.”

Despite the loss, Bositis was still positive about the way the Panthers have started. He explained, “I’m very pleased with the start of the season. They’ve done very well. We’ll see if they have a short memory and we bounce back to be ready for Taunton on Thursday.”

Franklin (4-1) will travel to Taunton on Thursday, while Oliver Ames (3-0-1) will travel to King Philip on Friday afternoon.

Franklin Holds Off Foxboro To Grab Third Win

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FRANKLIN, Mass. – For the Franklin boys soccer team Friday night, defense was the name of the game, especially late at Pisini Field as the Panthers snuck by the Foxboro Warriors for a hard fought 2-1 win.

Coming into the game, Franklin coach Fran Bositis knew that Foxboro would be a tough team to beat and tailored his game plan accordingly.

“We felt that for us to be successful, we needed to win all the 50-50 balls, reduce the time in space they had to play with the ball, and not only win the 50-50 balls, but to win the second and third balls, and I think we did a good job of that,” Bositis said.

Early on in the game, Franklin — namely senior forward Farley Asmath — produced numerous scoring chances only for Foxboro goalie Bobby Harrison to make a save keep the game scoreless.

On the other side, the Warriors had their fair share of opportunities as well, but Franklin’s defensive unit, led by senior backs Connor SanClemente and Alex Chitarra, along with junior goalie Freddie Beckmann stepped up to deny any Foxboro scoring chance.

Late in the first half, Franklin broke through. In the 30th minute, Cam LeBlanc saved the ball from going out of bounds on the endline and crossed it over to a wide open Kevin Hall who headed in the first goal of the game and his third of the young season

Bositis was happy with the way his offense kept at Foxboro despite getting denied early, saying, “We kept looking at it, and I’m pleased with what they did and how they played, and I’m certainly pleased about the final result.”

In the 44th minute, Foxboro’s early second half scoring opportunity was thwarted when Anthony Barreira’s cross was intercepted by Beckmann. For the next twenty minutes, neither team could break through.

Finally, in the 60th minute, Asmath found junior midfielder Connor O’Rourke open in the front of the net for a header, but quick reflexes from Harrison kept the score at 1-0. Just two minutes later, Foxboro’s Brady Gardner’s shot was saved by a diving Beckmann, who used all of his 6’4 frame to deny Gardner.

In the 66th minute, Asmath again set the table, this time for Hall who put one past the Foxboro keeper to give Franklin a 2-0 lead.

Down 2-0, Foxboro got more and more aggressive on the offensive end, and Barriera’s perfectly placed shot in the 73rd minute found the corner of the net to cut Franklin’s lead in half.

In the final 10 minutes it was the defense again that reigned supreme, as Franklin forced Foxboro into taking tough shots to try to tie the game up.

“I think the defense did a nice job stepping up, and we needed them to step up,” Bositis said. “I think Connor SanClemente and Alex Chitarra, and really all of the back five played well, and especially at the end there they really stepped up.”

Franklin boys soccer (3-0, 3-0), will try to remain unbeaten when they face Oliver Ames, another unbeaten side, on Tuesday. Foxboro (0-2-1, 0-2-1) will look for its first win when they return home on Tuesday against Sharon.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/12/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Junior Matt Campbell scored his second goal of the season, putting Oliver Ames in the lead 20 minutes into the game. Senior Thomas McCormick iced the game for the Tigers, finding the back of the net in the final minutes of the match. Junior Cam Vella assisted on both of the goals while Jack Carroll earned the shutout.

Franklin, 2 @ Xaverian, 1 – Final Franklin rallied from a one goal deficit with a pair of second half goals to earn the win. Farley Asmath scored off an assist from Cam LeBlanc to tie the game while Kevin Hall scored the game winner for the Panthers.

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final Francesca Calabraro scored four goals for the Tigers. Julia Roy had the other goal for Oliver Ames. Alex Rabb scored the opening goal of the game for the Eagles, who trailed 2-1 at halftime.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final

King Philip, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – The Warriors of Foxboro gave the Warriors of King Philip a big test but KP emerged with a 25-19, 26-24, 28-26 win, one head coach Kristen Geuss described as “hard earned.” Sydney Phillips led KP’s attack with 13 kills while Emma Lopez chipped in six kills.

Franklin, 1 @ Milford, 3 – FinalMilford won 29-27, 25-15, 21-25, 25-13. Kelley Reichert led the Hawks with 11 kills and Ally Zagami had seven kills and 17 digs in the win.

Taunton @ North Attleboro, 4:45

Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 5:00

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Attleboro scored once in the first half and once in the second half, while keeping the Black Knights off the board until the final minutes of the game to get the win. Kate LeBlanc put the Bombardiers in front with an unassisted goal in the first half. LeBlanc doubled Attleboro’s lead in the second half on assists from Eliza Sabilla and Ally Pierce. Jackie Evangelista scored her first varsity goal for Stoughton.

Mansfield, 1 @ Canton, 0 – Final Caitlin Whitman had the lone goal of the game for the Hornets, scoring an unassisted tally midway through the second half.

King Philip, 1 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – King Philip followed the game plan they set in place and executed across the field in a big 1-0 league win over Foxboro. Caitlin Donahue scored the lone goal of the game off of an assist from Liz Furfari.

Franklin, 5 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Senior Alex Sullivan and senior Brayden Downing found the back of the cage in the first half as the Panthers built a 2-0 lead by halftime. Junior Kate Morse had a pair of goals off of corners with assists coming from Maddie Hinkley (her second) and Cassi Ronan. Caroline Lounsbury capped the scoring off an assist from freshman Maeve Ledwith. Senior Sam Hertzberg made a pair of saves, including one on a breakaway, to earn her first win. Shannon Cormier scored Milford’s goal in the game.

Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Taunton’s defense had a strong showing but couldn’t convert on the offensive end as North Attleboro picked up the win. Taunton received strong performances from Katie Van Zandt, Annie Tate, Liana Duarte, Bre Conlon, Jillian Pagliuca and Kya Enos.

Oliver Ames, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames continued to roll to start the season with a big win on the road. Sarah Stevens and Dimitra Efremidis each netted a pair of goals for the Tigers with Kendall Clifford, Rachel Stryke and Shannon Cahill each scoring once. Kayla Lozzi had two assists in the win while Liz Nuss and Efremidis each had one helper.

Golf
Oliver Ames, 148 @ Stoughton, 181 – Oliver Ames picked up its second win of the season, defeating Stoughton at Easton Country Club. Brady Allbritton led the Tigers with a 36 while Nick Lombardi and Eric LeBlanc each shot 37, and Mark Bissonette and Matt Kelley each carded a round of 38. Stoughton’s Brendan Campbell shot a 43.

King Philip, 157 @ North Attleboro, 144 – Final – North Attleboro senior Robbie Congdon shot a one under par 34 at Heather Hills to lead the Red Rocketeers, who moved to 3-0 on the season.

Milford, 175 @ Foxboro, 182 – FinalRyan Tomaso shot 37 to lead Milford, while Matt Tierney lead Foxboro with a 41

Taunton, 175 @ Attleboro, 170 – Final – The Attleboro Bombardiers picked up their first win of the season in their home opener at Highland Country Club. Ethan Johnson led Attleboro, shooting a 40 while Kyle DelSignore and Corey McKenna each registered a round of 42. Taunton’s Mike Volkmann was the match medalist, shooting a 39.

Cross Country
North Attleboro @ Canton, 3:45

Thursday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/05/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
D1 South
#12 King Philip, 1 @ #5 Mansfield, 2 – Final – Senior Jake Staples scored with just over 10 minutes left off a Max Gurnon free kick to lift the Hornets. Kevin Bouck scored in the first half for Mansfield to make it 1-0 while Mike Rowe leveled the game shortly into the second half. Mansfield advances to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #4 Needham on Sunday, 11/8 with a time yet to be announced. 

#7 Franklin, 5 vs. #10 Marshfield, 0 – Final – Austin Kent hooked up with Nick Parent twice in the first half, as Parent finished off a pair of corner kicks to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead at the break, Kevin Hall made it 3-0 off an assist from goalie Henri Guilmette, Kent made it 4-0 off an assist from Cam LeBlanc and Farley Asmath made it 5-0 off an assist from Brian Czuba. Franklin advances to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #2 Brockton on Saturday, 11/7 at 6:00. 
Girls Soccer
D1 South
#11 North Attleboro, 3 @ #6 Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Hana Caster scored a hat trick for the Rocketeers to lead North to a come from behind victory in the Div. 1 South opening round game. OA took the lead twice on a Jess Robarge goal from a corner and a Delaney Benton penalty, but both times Caster scored to equalize. She scored the winner with seven minutes remaining. North will face the winner of Franklin and Walpole.
D2 South
#14 Foxboro, 0 @ #3 Canton, 2 – Final – Tessa Cudmore scored less than a minute in and Hannah Link added a second midway through the second half to lift Canton. The Bulldogs advance to the D2 South Quarterfinals and will host #6 Medfield (11-4-4) on Saturday, 11/7 at 4:00. 
Field Hockey
D2 South
#12 Foxboro, 0 @ #5 Monomoy, 1 – Final
Volleyball
D1 Central West
#6 Franklin, 3 vs. #11 Wachusett, 2 – Final – Franklin rallied from a 2-1 deficit, winning a marathon fourth set and then pulling out a win in the fifth set to get the 18-25, 25-21, 13-25, 30-28, 15-13 win. Head coach Kate Horsmann said Erin Skidmore had clutch serving down the stretch in the vital fourth set, finishing with a pair of aces and eight blocks. Dayna McCue had 46 serve receives, 25 digs and six aces and Beth Neal had 13 assists, six kills and six aces. Franklin advances to the D1 Central West Quarterfinals and will travel to #3 Natick (14-2) on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 3:00. 
D1 South
#7 Taunton, 3 vs. #10 Plymouth South, 0 – Final – Taunton advances to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #2 Mansfield (14-5) on Monday, 11/9. The game is currently scheduled for 7:00. 

#9 North Attleboro, 3 @ #8 Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – Final – After dropping the first set, North rallied for three straight. The Rocketeers advance to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #1 Barnstable (18-1) on a date and time to be announced. 
D2 South
#11 Stoughton, 0 @ #6 Cardinal Spellman, 3 – Final – Stoughton bowed out of the postseason with a 23-25, 19-25, 10-25 loss. Bridgette Whalen had 20 digs, 15 service receptions, five kills, eight service points and two blocks, Bianca DeSousa had 12 digs and 16 assists and Valerie Whalen finished with eight digs, six kills and six service points.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/05/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
D1 South
#12 King Philip, 1 @ #5 Mansfield, 2 – Final – Senior Jake Staples scored with just over 10 minutes left off a Max Gurnon free kick to lift the Hornets. Kevin Bouck scored in the first half for Mansfield to make it 1-0 while Mike Rowe leveled the game shortly into the second half. Mansfield advances to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #4 Needham on Sunday, 11/8 with a time yet to be announced. 

#7 Franklin, 5 vs. #10 Marshfield, 0 – Final – Austin Kent hooked up with Nick Parent twice in the first half, as Parent finished off a pair of corner kicks to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead at the break, Kevin Hall made it 3-0 off an assist from goalie Henri Guilmette, Kent made it 4-0 off an assist from Cam LeBlanc and Farley Asmath made it 5-0 off an assist from Brian Czuba. Franklin advances to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #2 Brockton on Saturday, 11/7 at 6:00. 
Girls Soccer
D1 South
#11 North Attleboro, 3 @ #6 Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Hana Caster scored a hat trick for the Rocketeers to lead North to a come from behind victory in the Div. 1 South opening round game. OA took the lead twice on a Jess Robarge goal from a corner and a Delaney Benton penalty, but both times Caster scored to equalize. She scored the winner with seven minutes remaining. North will face the winner of Franklin and Walpole.
D2 South
#14 Foxboro, 0 @ #3 Canton, 2 – Final – Tessa Cudmore scored less than a minute in and Hannah Link added a second midway through the second half to lift Canton. The Bulldogs advance to the D2 South Quarterfinals and will host #6 Medfield (11-4-4) on Saturday, 11/7 at 4:00. 
Field Hockey
D2 South
#12 Foxboro, 0 @ #5 Monomoy, 1 – Final
Volleyball
D1 Central West
#6 Franklin, 3 vs. #11 Wachusett, 2 – Final – Franklin rallied from a 2-1 deficit, winning a marathon fourth set and then pulling out a win in the fifth set to get the 18-25, 25-21, 13-25, 30-28, 15-13 win. Head coach Kate Horsmann said Erin Skidmore had clutch serving down the stretch in the vital fourth set, finishing with a pair of aces and eight blocks. Dayna McCue had 46 serve receives, 25 digs and six aces and Beth Neal had 13 assists, six kills and six aces. Franklin advances to the D1 Central West Quarterfinals and will travel to #3 Natick (14-2) on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 3:00. 
D1 South
#7 Taunton, 3 vs. #10 Plymouth South, 0 – Final – Taunton advances to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #2 Mansfield (14-5) on Monday, 11/9. The game is currently scheduled for 7:00. 

#9 North Attleboro, 3 @ #8 Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – Final – After dropping the first set, North rallied for three straight. The Rocketeers advance to the D1 South Quarterfinals and will travel to #1 Barnstable (18-1) on a date and time to be announced. 
D2 South
#11 Stoughton, 0 @ #6 Cardinal Spellman, 3 – Final – Stoughton bowed out of the postseason with a 23-25, 19-25, 10-25 loss. Bridgette Whalen had 20 digs, 15 service receptions, five kills, eight service points and two blocks, Bianca DeSousa had 12 digs and 16 assists and Valerie Whalen finished with eight digs, six kills and six service points.

Friday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/23/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Football
Attleboro, 35 @ Franklin, 0 – Final
First Quarter: (A) Brendan Nunes 12 yard rush, Elijah Lewis XP; (A) B. Nunes 9 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
Second Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 38 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
Third Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 11 yard rush, E. Lewis XP; (A) Cam Furtado 8 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
Fourth Quarter: No scoring.

Foxboro, 42 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final

King Philip, 47 @ Taunton, 22 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Sean Garrity 10 yard rush, XP missed; (KP) John DeLuca 9 yard pass to Cory Lombardo, J. DeLuca 2pt rush.
2nd Quarter: (KP) J. DeLuca 24 yard pass to Mike Mello, XP missed; (KP) J. DeLuca 3 yard rush. Zach Boari XP; (KP) Gio Fernandez 5 yard rush, Z. Boari XP; (T) Collin Hunter 6 yard pass to Tanner Costa, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 18 yard pass to M. Mello, XP missed; (T) C. Hunter 47 yard pass to T. Costa, Jason DeRosa 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 1 yard rush, Z. Boari XP; (T) C. Hunter 1 yard rush, Lazare Joseph 2pt rush.
North Attleboro, 14 @ Mansfield, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 4 yard pass to Bobby Mylod, Connor Flynn XP.
2nd Quarter: (M) Diogo DeSousa 23 yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (M) Anthony DeGirolamo 12 yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, D. DeSousa XP; (NA) Nick Morrison 39 yard rush, C. Flynn XP.
4th Quarter: (M) D. DeSousa 27 yard field goal.
Boys Soccer
Canton, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Canton went up first but Milford scored three second half goals to get the win. Marcello Panno, Zach Browne and Matt Fornaciari scored for the Scarlet Hawks while Justin Borges had a pair of assists.

Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Noah Schulze gave Stoughton the lead with a goal six minutes into the game. The lead stood until the second half when Devante Teixeira, Anthony Barreira, and Joe Morrison all scored for the Warriors.

Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – David Stowell put Franklin ahead in the first half off an assist from Wes Kozil. Brian Czuba got his first goal before the break off an assist from Cam LeBlanc. Taunton pulled within one in the second half off a free kick from Austin Botelho but Czuba added an insurance goal off an assist from Hatim Brahimi. 

North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield’s defense set the school record with its 10th shutout this season. Michael Kirejczyk made six saves for his ninth shutout of the season, which ties a school record. Cullin Anastasia and Jack Reilly scored for the Hornets while Reilly and Brenden Sullivan each had an assist. 
Girls Soccer
Canton, 4 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Riley Duserick, Hannah Link, Sarah MacQuarrie and Hayley Mulford each found the back of the net for Canton. Tessa Cudmore had a pair of assists in the win and Shannon Foley had one assist.

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Shaina Abbott scored a pair of goals and Katherine Luciano and Riley Collins each scored once for the Warriors. Emerson Sprague scored for the Black Knights. 

Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – Hana Caster scored off a corner kick from Grace Guertin with just four minutes left to life the Rocketeers. North held a 3-0 lead at the break as Guertin factored into all four goals for Big Red. Guertin was fouled in the area in the 12th minute and Shannon Kingsley buried the penalty kick. Guertin then set up Leah Jette in the 21st minute and then linked up with Kingsley in the 31st minute to build a 3-0 lead at half. Hannah Reiter scored a pair of goals in the second half for Mansfield and Katie Bongarzone scored once to tie the game at three.

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Kiana Lozzi scored a pair of goals, Delaney Benton and Francesca Calabraro each netted one goal and Jackie Mills had two assists for Oliver Ames.
Volleyball
King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final – King Philip dropped the first two sets but rallied back to get the win at home, 20-25, 12-25, 25-12, 25-21, 15-12. Seniors Josie Rowean and Gwen Uyrus shined on senior night with 21 and 12 kills respectively while senior Molly Citarell and Micaela Murray anchored the defense for the Warriors. 
Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – The Black Knights and Eagles played in their annual Dig for a Cure match and raised over $3,200 for cancer research according to SMAC’s Jeffrey Pickette. Stoughton picked up a 25-16, 25-19, 25-15 sweep on the road. Bridgette Whalen led the Black Knights with nine blocks, six kills, 15 digs and four aces, Bianca DeSousa had 11 digs, nine service points, five kills and four aces and Ava Siegel added 13 service points, five kills and two aces.
Field Hockey
Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Caroline Lounsbury scored the game winning goal with 44 seconds left off assists from Taylor Reutlinger and Kenzi Pleshaw to lift the Panthers. Taunton held a 1-0 lead at halftime but Diana Griffin knotted the game just three minutes into the second half off assists from Cassi Ronan and Reutlinger. Annie Walsh put Franklin ahead at 2-1. Abbey Kingman scored both of Taunton’s goals. 

Stoughton, 3 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final – Courtney Campbell, Mia Russell and Ashley Chipman scored for Stoughton, who qualified for the state tournament with the win. 

Hornets Beat Franklin, Seize Control of Kelley-Rex

By Lance Reynolds, HockomockSports.com Contributor
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Charlie Rogers’ goal in the fifth minute of Monday night’s Kelley-Rex clash between Mansfield and Franklin sure was a welcome sight for the struggling Hornet offense.
In the previous two games against Sharon and King Philip, Mansfield was held off the scoreboard so the Hornets knew a fast start was going to be needed against the Panthers.
Senior captain Jared Miller launched a 20 yard shot off of the crossbar and Rogers was in the right place at the right time as he was able to recover the ball and put it into the back of the net giving Mansfield a quick 1-0 lead.
“We talk all the time about following up each other’s shots and that’s what (Rogers) did,” Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan said.  “Jared took his shot, went off the crossbar, and Charlie was going right in and he was right there.”
Just two minutes into the second half, Miller recorded his second assist when he found senior Jack Reilly open from 15 yards out.  Reilly gathered the pass and rifled the shot to the far post of the goal giving the Hornets comfort room with a 2-0 lead.
“He’s (Miller) just coming back from a knee injury and I wasn’t sure if he was going to play before the game but he ended up playing a heck of a game,” Sheridan said of Miller’s performance. “I think he was more determined than ever for this game.  He was prepared for this game.”
Mansfield had several chances to increase their lead to three but the Franklin defense had other ideas.  In the 56th minute, Jareme DiLorenzo broke away from the pesky Panther defense and found Sean Lanzillo.  After a couple dribbles, Lanzillo fed Chris Elsner near the goal and Elsner took a chance at goal but Franklin goalie Henri Guilmette came up with the save.  Two minutes later in the 58th minute, Max Gurnon’s free kick went off the bar forcing a corner.  Elsner took the corner finding Miller but Guilmette dove to the right to stop the ball from going in.
From there, Franklin dominated possession time and gave Mansfield a scare.  Cam LeBlanc pulled the Panthers within a goal in the 61st minute.  LeBlanc came away with the ball after a scrum with the Hornet defense and shot it near the right post.
A minute later, Franklin had an opportunity to tie the score at two but Kevin Hall’s shot went just right of the net.  In the 67th minute, Patrick Kapples found LeBlanc on a cross but the ball, again, went right of the net.
The last real scoring threat came in the 78th minute.  After a Wesley Kozil throw-in resulted in a scrum in the box, Hatim Brahimi came away with the ball and took another chance at goal.  This time, however, the ball was over the bar.
“I knew that they were going to come out in the second half.  Tonight’s battle we were both tied for first place and whoever comes out of this game controls their own destiny for the rest of year with three games left.  I knew they were going to come out and thank God that Jack got that one goal right off the bat to give us a two goal cushion,” Sheridan said. “They pressed us and I went with five midfielders after we scored that goal just to try to control the midfield and that’s what it was, it was an extra defender in the midfield.”
Leading the Mansfield defense was senior captain Chris Elsner.  Whenever the Panthers got near striking distance, it seemed as though Elsner was always finding a way to break up the scrums and give the ball back to the Hornets with clearances.  In addition to his tenacious defense, Elsner had several attacking throw-ins but the Hornets weren’t able to make the most of them.
“That’s what his job is – to control the midfield and help us move up when he can and his big throws have been key,” Sheridan said of Elsner. “We’ve scored a lot off of his throws but unfortunately we didn’t get any today.  His defense has been rock solid and we can’t ask for anything more from him.”
The win clinches the Hornets a spot in the tournament as well as giving them the sole lead for first place in the Kelley-Rex.
“It feels great.  We’ve finally got enough points, we qualified for the tournament and hopefully we can hold (Franklin) off for the league.  I feel really good about the tournament,” Sheridan said. “I said that was our number one goal was to just qualify for the tournament.  If we can get our offense going, I like our chances.”
Mansfield (8-3-2) hosts North Attleboro on Friday while Franklin (8-5) travels to Xaverian for a non-league game on Wednesday.

Monday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/28/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
Franklin, 4 vs. Xaverian, 0 – Final Hatim Brahimi scored the opener for the Panthers and also added the final goal. Brahimi’s first goal was set up by David Stowell, who also scored a first half goal for Franklin off an assist from Austin Kent. Kent then found the back of the net in the second off off an assist from junior Cam LeBlanc. Henri Guilmette had the shutout in net for the Panthers. 
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final
Girls Soccer
Franklin, 5 vs. Dartmouth, 0 – Final – Emily Spath scored a pair of goals for the Panthers and Victoria Stowell had three assists in the non-league victory.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – Six different players registered a point for the Rocketeers, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and never looked back. Hana Caster opened the scoring off an assists from Felicity Monfils. Shannon Kingsley then doubled the lead off an assist from Grace Guertin and Haley Guertin made it three off Caster’s pass. Grace Guertin scored a fourth goal in the second half off an assist from Lauren Dowd. Freshman Emma Noreck made her varsity debut and combined with Kiersten Bixby for the shutout in net. 
Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip picked up a 25-12, 25-7, 25-12 sweep at home over Attleboro. Carly Adams had 12 service points in game alone to give the Warriors an early jump and Gwen Uyrus had 10 service points in game three, totaling seven aces for the match, to help the Warriors close. Head coach Kristen Geuss said Angela Vellante had strong defensive game.

Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Canton swept the Scarlet Hawks 25-13, 25-13, 25-15. Elizabeth Hamilton led the Bulldogs with 13 kills and also had a strong game on defense. Head coach Pat Cawley said Olivia Devoe sparked the defense and “made many great plays.” Cawley also said Erika Lum and Kehla Minkin played well on defense and Rye Verille and Emma Murphy both blocked well. 

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Stoughton notched a 25-22, 25-20, 29-31, 25-23 win over division rival Foxboro. Stoughton junior Christina Gelin had 12 assists, 10 digs and eight service points and sophomore Valerie Whalen added 13 kills, five blocks, nine service points and four aces.
Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – The Panthers won 25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 15-25, 15-5. Aubrie Kutil led Franklin with 12 kills and Hannah Chace had seven. Elizabeth Neal led the team with 18 assists and Dayna McCue had 37 digs. Emily Moor led the Tigers with 16 kills and Tatum Speicher had 32 assists, two kills and seven digs. Libero Molly Sullivan had 13 digs and Alyssa Gibson added six kills for Taunton.

Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – The Hornets picked up a sweep but all three games were close, with Mansfield winning 25-22, 25-22, 29-27. Cathryn Heavey led the way with 39 assists while Meg Hill had 11 kills and Jess Haradon had 11 digs. 
Field Hockey
Foxboro, 4 @ Bellingham, 0 – Final

Canton, 0 @ Norwood, 2 – Final
Mansfield, 5 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final – Caroline Maher netted a pair of goals to lead the Hornets to a non-league win. Emily Ierardo, Caitlin Whitman and Olivia Horn each scored once for Mansfield. 
Milford, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Hannah Friend and Carly Cidado each scored in the first half to put the Tigers ahead while senior goalie Cassie Gavin made eight saves to prevent a Scarlet Hawks comeback. Elena DelloRusso scored 10 minutes into the second half for Milford.
Taunton, 1 vs. New Bedford, 4 – Final
Golf
Mansfield, 171 @ Foxboro, 191 – Final – Mansfield senior David Craig carded a 40. Foxboro’s Tim Luciano shot a 43.

Oliver Ames, 154 @ Sharon, 168 – Final – The Tigers became the first team to punch their ticket to the state tournament with the win. Brian Lambert carded a match low 36 while Ryan McGarry and Mark Bissonette each shot 39 and Eric LeBlanc shot a 40.

Franklin, 164 @ Attleboro, 169 – Final

Kent Helps Panthers Roar Past Foxboro

Austin Kent Kevin Hall
Austin Kent (2) scored a penalty and assisted on Kevin Hall’s (6) goal, as the Panthers defeated Foxboro 2-0 on Friday afternoon. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Click HERE for photo gallery from the game.

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FOXBORO, Mass. – Franklin scored with the last touch of the first half and again just three minutes after the break to get its first win of the season. The Panthers defeated Foxboro 2-0 at Sam Berns Community Field in a battle of last year’s league champions.

“I know Foxboro is shorthanded, missing two quality players, but they’re still a really good team, so it was a big win for us,” said Franklin coach Fran Bositis, referencing the absent duo of midfielder Joe Morrison and defender Jeff Melo, who will be out for the season after an off-field injury.

Even without Morrison patrolling the center of the pitch, Foxboro started the game on the attack, mostly through the left-side and senior attacker Devante Teixeira, who was fresh off a four-goal game against Attleboro in Foxboro’s season-opening win.

Teixeira started brightly forcing Franklin keeper Henri Guilmette into a save at his near post after beating the right back with pace. The resulting corner was nearly headed in for an own goal but slipped just wide. A minute later, Teixeira drew a foul in a dangerous position, but was unable to direct Anthony Barreira’s free kick on target from close-range.

“He is…he’s just really dangerous and so is [Barreira],” said Bositis. “They’re just really tough an we’re fortunate to keep them off the scoresheet today.”

After those early chances, Teixeira faded with the combination of right backs Matt Piorier and Wesley Kozil keeping him mostly quiet with help from covering center backs Pat Kapples and Dan Geraci.

Bositis explained, “We just told the kids to keep him in front of you and don’t dive in because he’s so quick that if you go for the ball and he gets by you…forget it. We just tried to contain and delay and I thought they did a pretty good job.”

While the Panthers, defense kept the Foxboro attack quiet, the Panthers midfielders started to push the Warriors back. Substitute Farley Asmath came in and created the first big chance with a cross from the left that just missed the head of Cam LeBlanc.

Senior Austin Kent, the lone returning starter back from last season, almost opened the scoring with a shot from outside the box that slipped wide of the post and then his corner nearly found Nick Parent but Foxboro keeper Clay Leopold cut it out.

With the clock stopped at 2:00, Kent again found space in behind the fullback, this time on the right side, and he sent in a perfect cross that was met Kevin Hall on the edge of the six-yard-box. Immediately after the ball found the back of the net, the officials signaled for halftime.

Foxboro coach, and former New England Revolution player, Joe Franchino made a few adjustments at halftime to try and alter the pattern of play, including moving Barreira back into the midfield and moving Sean Millhollan up top as the striker. Unfortunately, those change had barely been put in place before Franklin had double the lead.

Left back Shawn McNamara attempted to stop a cross coming in from the left but in the process the ball ricocheted off his arm, giving Franklin a chance from the spot. Kent stepped up and made no mistake, sending Leopold the wrong way and making it 2-0.

“It is what it is but you’ve got to grind it out,” said Franchino about the difficulty of giving up goals on either side of halftime.

“I told the guys that they got to look at themselves in the mirror and see if you did everything you possibly could today and my gut feeling is that the guys had an off day.”

Bositis admitted that the second goal eased the players’ nerves and added confidence tin a bounce back performance from the season opening loss to Oliver Ames.

He said, “You’ve got a little bit of leeway. You can play with a little more comfort; you feel like there’s a little more margin for error.”

In the 61st minute, Piorier cleared a header off the post and started a Franklin counter that raced through LeBlanc to Hatim Brahimi and just past the toe of Hall at the far post. Three minutes later, Hall had a another chance from a LeBlanc cut back but blazed his shot over the bar.

Teixeira finally got back into the game in the 69th minute but his right-footed shot after a good run was right at Guilmette, who was then forced to punch away a long free kick by Barreira. Millhollan almost cut the lead in half after good buildup play by Teixeira and Barreira, but his shot from inside the box was also saved by Guilmette.

As the clock wound down, Foxboro was running out of ideas on how to get back into it and afterwards Franchino admitted that Franklin was the deserved winner.

“We just got outplayed today, they just beat us to every ball,” he said. “It’s a reality check. The quality of players that we have is there but if we don’t put in the work then we’re going to get beat.”

Franklin lost 16 players from last year’s Kelley-Rex Division champions and he saw a lot of growth from his relatively new roster.

“I thought we won a lot of 50-50 balls today,” said Bositis. “Nick Parent kind of set the tone on that and everyone else just kind of joined in. We talked about it yesterday and once their confidence started to build, they started to play some good soccer.

Franklin will look to keep momentum when it hosts Sharon on Wednesday. Foxboro may welcome Joe Morrison back for its next game at Taunton on Tuesday.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.