FOXBORO, Mass. – It appeared that the game had been won when Foxboro pulled ahead by five goals midway through the second half of Thursday night’s Div. 2 East quarterfinal, but after a furious comeback by Weston the Warriors found themselves in a tie game with just a minute on the clock and without star player Sophia DiCenso, who was with the U.S. U-19 national team for a training weekend.
Needing someone to step up and keep the season alive, Foxboro got the ball into the hands of junior Jaime Notarangelo. She delivered. Cutting across the front of goal, Notarangelo took a couple of bumps but managed to squeeze into space and fired a shot to the back post with 18 seconds on the clock, securing Foxboro a 15-14 win and a return to the East semifinal.
“We had individual meetings yesterday and when I spoke with Julia, when I spoke with Jaime, when I spoke with Lilly, it was just who’s going to fill that role?” said Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry. “We always focus on Soph and what she can do, but Jaime knows that it kind of has to go on her shoulders. That she’s next in line and Julia [Kelley’s] next in line. She went to ‘X,’ got the ball, and just went.”
Thursday was always going to be a tough matchup for Foxboro. Playing without DiCenso, the two-time league MVP, and fellow senior Caroline McGeary, the Warriors were also coming off a two-week break since the close of the regular season and that rust showed at the beginning when Weston ran out to a 3-0 lead.
“We were a little more focused on not having Soph and there were players who needed to step up, and I think they did, but having those two weeks showed big time,” Sherry explained. “Then I think we got a little complacent.”
After four minutes, Foxboro righted the ship, starting with a fast break goal. Abby Hassman picked out Lilly Vey in front to make it 3-1. Two minutes later, Meghan Curran assisted on a Hassman goal to get Foxboro within one and two minutes after that it was tied thanks to the first of five goals from Julia Kelley.
Kelley gave the Warriors their first lead a minute later, as she turned the corner on the left side of the cage and beat the Weston goalie. Notarangelo got the first of her four goals from a free position to make it five straight for the hosts before a Wildcats free position goal ended the run.
That goal did nothing to stop Foxboro’s momentum and the Warriors grabbed control of the game before halftime. Curran scooped a loose ball on the edge of the crease and scored her second to make it 6-4. Molly Murphy led another break, finding Kelley for her hat trick and then Kelley fed Vey for another goal to double up Weston, 8-4. Hassman hit a cutting Notarangelo and suddenly the Warriors had gone from down three to up five in the span of 15 minutes.
Weston scored twice before the break, sandwiched around Curran’s second of the half, to keep the score close, but it felt like the home team was on the brink of putting the game away.
Notarangelo got her third on a free position in the opening minute of the second half and Kelley spotted Murphy down the middle to give the Warriors their largest lead of the night at 12-6. Weston scored back-to-back goals to put the pressure on again and nearly had the lead down to just three by Foxboro goalie Sara Addeche (12 saves) made a big stop on a free position chance.
A couple minutes after that stop, Kelley tallied another goal to restore the five-point lead. After Weston got one back, Kelley went side-arm after going around the edge to make it 14-9 with 12:38 to play. There was a feeling around the field that Foxboro had done enough to advance. Weston didn’t share that feeling.
The Wildcats stormed back into the game, despite some controversy. Weston scored to get within four and appeared to have another one shortly after only to have the ref rule out the goal for a charge that took place after the shot was released. After some confusion and discussion, the goal remained off the board.
Four minutes later, the Wildcats got the goal to cut the lead to three with 5:57 to play. Less than a minute later, the lead was down to two. Three minutes later, the lead was down to one and things were starting to slip away for the Warriors, while the visiting bench got louder. With 1:03 on the clock, Caitlyn Tabors got free for the Wildcats and finished from in close to tie it.
Foxboro needed to win the draw to avoid the upset, a part of the game that would also have been helped by DiCenso’s presence, and the Warriors did just that, scrambling to chase down a loose ball in the defensive half of the field.
“We just wanted to keep it alive,” Sherry said about the draw with the game tied. “If we got it in her stick, obviously that’s ideal, but if we didn’t then just keep it on the ground and keep pushing it.”
With no timeouts left, Foxboro played it forward and patiently moved it around, until Notarangelo moved behind the cage to take over and win it.
Sherry said, “They wanted it. We had meetings and I’m looking for potentially two more weeks out of them to just grind. It’s going to get more fun.”
Foxboro (14-7) advances to face top seed Wayland in the semifinal on Tuesday at Weston High.
Attleboro is a relatively young program that is looking to build on a talented group of returning players, particularly in the attacking end of the field. New head coach Chrissy Quinn has a dynamic group of attackers that she is hoping will build on last season’s 113 goals, which was the second-lowest goals tally in the league.
The key player in the midfield and attack is senior Kyra Lyons, who accounted for nearly half of the team’s goals last spring despite drawing the attention of opposing defenders. Lyons will be joined by senior midfielder Rylee Fontes, a Worcester State-commit, who adds a secondary playmaker around the opponent’s goal. Junior attackers Sydney DiLiddo, Kelly Johnson, Rylee Turnes, and Ashley Piazza will get helped by sophomore Hannah Webster, Campbell Compton, and Isabella Salviati.
On the defensive side of the ball, seniors Sam Fasoldt and Sydney Viera will be the leaders of the back line, trying to protect sophomore Maggie Porreca and junior Dee Graham, who will both see time in goal this season. Juniors Julia Willis, C.J. Westwater, and Lynn McDonald will also be jumping into the defensive unit to add depth at the back for the Bombardiers.
2018 Record: 4-13 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Laurie Chabot
Like many of the teams in the Davenport division, Canton comes into the spring eyeing a return to the state tournament. The Bulldogs last made it in 2016 after finishing in a three-way tie for second behind Foxboro in the Davenport division. With a mix of new faces and experienced returning players, second-year coach Laurie Chabot is hopeful that this season with see Canton make a run up the standings.
Canton will have a lot of experience in the defensive unit even after graduating a few key pieces. Senior Molly Cummings will be the leader at the back and will be joined by classmate Devyn McGrann and freshman Sydney Gallery, whose twin sister Fay will jump into the midfield this season. Junior Alexa Maffeo and seniors Maggie Connolly and Leah McLellan will also be critical for the Bulldogs to take control of the middle of the field and transition from defense into attack. Communication at the back will be key. There are several new faces in the attacking unit but Chabot is already seeing that chemistry is building. She was pleased with results in the preseason and is hoping that confidence will carry over into the games that count.
“We are off to a great start this spring,” Chabot said. “This year we not only have a strong team with both skill and speed, but we have size on our side. The team is coming together, starting with a win against Norwood in our scrimmage. We have strong players in all areas it’s hard to pinpoint just one.”
2018 Record: 14-6 2018 Finish: Reached D2 East Quarterfinal Coach: Brittany Sherry
Expectations may be as high for this year’s Foxboro team as any under head coach Brittany Sherry because the Warriors have a roster filled with talent and experience (14 returning seniors). Foxboro will be looking to clinch an eighth straight league title but also will have its sights set on bringing home the program’s first sectional title as well. With the weapons at the Warriors disposal, there is the potential for plenty of silverware to come their way this spring.
It all starts with two-time reigning Hockomock League MVP (and reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year) Sophia DiCenso. The senior midfielder has spent the off-season playing with the youth national team and will be the cog on which the Warriors build their attacks. She is joined in the midfield by classmate Molly Murphy, who is closing in on 100 goals in her career, juniors Abby Hassman and Jamie Notarangelo and sophomore Ella Waryas, who each provide Foxboro with solid two-way play. In attack, seniors Meghan Curran and Caroline McGeary have consistently provided goals in big games and sophomore Lilly Vey is a newcomer to watch this spring. The loss of Alex Stamatos to injury will be tough on defense, but senior Carlie Stern will provide the leadership for an experienced group that includes seniors Mary Spillane and Jenna Stamatov and junior Grace Boudreau. Of course, if anyone gets through then University of Louisville-commit Sara Addeche will be waiting in goal.
“This year our main goal is to take it game by game,” Sherry said. “We’re putting whatever has happened these last few years, as far as previous wins/losses and playoffs go, and putting it in our past. We need to continue to work hard every day, play as a team and have fun while doing it. We all have a common goal and know what it’s going to take to get there.”
It is a sign of just how far the Franklin program has come that being knocked out in last season’s East semifinal could almost be considered a disappointment. After winning the East title in 2016 and 2017, the Panthers come into the spring with another roster loaded with talent and experience and a schedule loaded with the top teams in the state to prep for a deep tournament run as well as trying to make it eight straight league titles.
Senior Annie Walsh will be the focal point for the Panthers again this year and the player that the offense typically runs through. Her sister Erin, a junior attacker, is one of the best finishers in the league and gives Franklin a dynamic one-two punch on offense. Junior Kelsey MacCallum adds another talented attacker to the forward line, while senior Hailey Toolin adds versatility as either a midfielder or defender and junior Alex Field will be a key piece of a defensive unit that was by far the best in the Hock last season. Junior goalie Gianna Cameron is another reason for the Panthers having such a strong defensive record after two straight seasons on the HockomockSports.com First Team. The Panthers haven’t lost a league game since 2012 (more than 70 straight wins) and have added an exciting freshman class with loads of potential, including six players making the instant jump to varsity.
“We have a ton of versatility where a lot of different players can play all positions. I am excited about the athleticism and skill level of our team,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “We have a ton of players with high level stick work and IQ that are capable of scoring and feeding. I am looking forward to us becoming a team with a high powered offense!”
Under first-year head coach Kourtnie Wilder, King Philip built on the momentum of its run to the 2017 East semifinal to put together a 14-win season and finish comfortably in second place in the Kelley-Rex division. The Warriors took Franklin to triple-overtime, coming as close as anyone has in recent years to ending the Panthers’ long league win streak, and battled with Lincoln-Sudbury in the East quarterfinal. Now, KP is hoping to use that experience to make a run at ending Franklin’s dominance in the division.
The key for KP may be the attack, which returns a lot of goals from last season. Senior Caroline Klim is back and will be a player that opposing defenses will have to watch out for after leading the league with 73 goals last season, including nine against Sharon in the playoffs. Klim will be joined up top by classmate Dana Truini and junior Jessica Sullivan. Defensively, Wilder points to the team’s aggressiveness and communications as being the keys to building on a season in which the Warriors only allowed 153 goals, which was second-best in the Hock. Senior Victoria Tormey, a HockomockSports.com First Team defender last season and Boston University-commit, will be the leader at the back and will have classmate Caroline Watson back in goal behind her to make a formidable group for opponents to break down.
Wilder said, “We are excited for the season and have a great group of returners. This season will be competitive as we are playing some strong teams, but we are up for the challenge! We are looking to build off of our success from last season and continuing to work hard and improve each day at practice.”
2018 Record: 9-10 2018 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round Coach: Lauryn Wilkie
New coach Lauryn Wilkie takes over the program this spring, looking to push an experienced Mansfield roster up the league standings, challenge Franklin at the top of the division, and make another run at a state tournament berth. The Hornets will be counting on its 11 returning seniors to keep things heading in the right direction this spring.
Senior attacker Katie Garvin will lead the forward line again this season after being among the league’s top scorers in 2018. Seniors Lauren Whitman and Maggie Danehy bring verve, energy, and experience to the Mansfield midfield, covering on draw controls and the transition game. Seniors Emily Vigeant and Kylie Tryder will cover the back line just in front of senior goalie Katie McCarthy, all of whom have multiple years of experience on varsity and should be a strength of the team. There are some underclassmen who will contribute right away for the Hornets, including sophomore midfielders Annemarie McCoy, Abby Varricchione, and Grace Fernandez and sophomore defender Melissa Shanteler.
“We are coming back this year with a brand new coaching staff looking to make some changes to the program,” said Wilkie. “We are breaking down the sport back to the basics and building it back up. Once this team finds their groove, I expect big things.”
Milford has a number of players back and a new head coach, Nicole Serra, looking to make a quick turnaround from last season in which the Hawks won only twice overall. With an athletic group back, Serra is working on building chemistry and putting the players in position to take advantage of their speed in transition. After scoring a league-low 82 goals last season, the attack will be a primary area of focus this spring.
Seniors Emily Haley, Katie Drysdale, and Sophia Bucal will give the Hawks leadership on the field, with Bucal providing a vocal presence in the attack. Senior Briana Maietta will join Bucal up front and they will be helped by junior midfielders Annie Flanagan and Elena Bon Tempo, who add athleticism whether in the attack or tracking back to help out on defense. Junior Hannah Bangert will be the leader at the back, controlling the defensive zone, along with sophomores Katie Maietta, Jillian Michelson, and Eva Parson.
“I am hoping to see the team really push themselves to improve every day and treat each practice like a game,” said Serra. “We are working on improving our speed, adding to our repertoire of offensive plays, and beating our record from previous years. I am looking forward to a great season.”
While North Attleboro finished below .500 last season, the Rocketeers only missed a postseason berth by a single game, ending up one game behind Sharon and in third-place in the Davenport division. Second-year coach Colleen Carchedi, who came over from Sharon last spring, is counting on the team’s young core (and the new turf at Beaupre Field) to help North get back into the postseason hunt and even challenge Foxboro’s reign at the top of the division.
Senior attacker Alexa Sinacola and senior defender Lauren Pezzi will be leaders on either end of the field, but North also has a strong junior class that will be counted on to produce this season, especially after the graduation of perennial all-star Kenzi Rosenberg. Junior Katie Lindstrom will be the focus of attention in the midfield after committing to UMass Lowell in the off-season, but she will have help from classmates Kathryn Kayata, Regan Fein, Lily Cameron, and Lindsay Spratt. Junior Faith Graveline will step into goal to try and help Pezzi lock down the defense along with sophomore starters Camryn Gonrdell and Aimee Baiungo. Sophomore Maggie O’Brien will add a spark to the attack.
Carchedi said, “We are young, but we are fresh. We are full of potential and certainly have the ability to compete at a high level of lacrosse. It is going to be a great season for us. Having the turf will be crucial in creating success for the program. I am very excited for this season and the future looks bright.”
2018 Record: 8-12 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Nicole Lang
Oliver Ames continues to build the depth within its program to try and get that elusive berth in the state tournament. The Tigers have won eight games in each of the past three seasons, making the postseason in 2016 and narrowly missing out by two wins each of the last two years. This spring, OA will send out a relatively young squad that will look to get the Tigers over the hump and into the playoffs.
While there is plenty of youth on the roster, OA has leadership from a core of experienced players, including senior midfielder Olivia Piazza, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team last year and is committed to Merrimack College. She scored 91 points last season and will be the engine at the heart of the OA midfield. Senior Maddie Kullen will be in goal this season for the Tigers and classmate Grace McCallum returns to lead the defensive unit.
OA will try to improve its defensive record and make strides up the league standings under second-year coach Nicole Lang, who said, “We have a young team this year but with a lot of determination to learn the game. We continue to work hard each day to continue to build a competitive team for this League. The girls are definitely excited for the season so we are looking forward to their hard work paying off.”
2018 Record: 11-8 2018 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round Coach: Shara Ginthwain
Sharon has made the playoffs each of the past three seasons and has gone 7-3 in league play for the past two years. It has been an unprecedented run of success for the program and the challenge for the Eagles is to keep that momentum going even with the loss of key players to graduation. Second-year coach Shara Ginthwain will hope that new players can step in and that the team’s chemistry and effort will allow Sharon to continue battling at the top of the Davenport division standings.
Senior midfielder Emma Eberhardt is the key to the Eagles staying on track. The Lehigh University-commit scored 69 goals last year, including five against KP in the playoffs, and has been one of the top playmakers in the league the past three seasons. Eberhardt’s normal running mate in midfield, Sabrina Robbins, is now playing at the University of Colorado, so it will be important for her to build a rapport with sophomore Jenna Goldstein, who had an impressive rookie campaign, and senior Maeve Barbera. Senior goalie Rose Wald will be back between the pipes and classmate Bridget McManus is back to guide the defensive unit after being a HockomockSports.com Second Team performer last spring. Sophomore Molly McAlevey is a newcomer in defense to keep an eye on.
“Based on tryouts, practices, and scrimmages early this season, I can already tell that this team has a lot of heart, a lot of grit, and does not give up,” said Ginthwain. “I think their mental toughness is going to be a big strength for us this year!”
Taunton has been on the verge of getting into the postseason in each of the past two seasons, missing out by just two wins last year, including a one-goal loss to Canton and a pair of non-league losses to New Bedford. With a young crew coming into this spring, the Tigers will be looking to improve their performance in the league (2-8 in the Hock in 2018) to push themselves into the postseason conversation.
The key for the Tigers is sophomore Alana Tavares. The three-year starter has been one of the league’s most dynamic attacking threats since jumping onto the varsity scene as an eighth grader and so much of the Taunton attack runs through her. Junior Kamryn Li is also back for the Tigers after scoring 23 goals last season. The only seniors on this year’s team are Emma Sheehan and Mabel Smith, but Taunton will have 10 sophomores, eight freshmen and an eighth-grader on this year’s roster, so the underclassmen are going to have roles to play right away this spring.
“We are a young group this year, but added some promising players to our roster,” said Taunton coach Kerry Northup. “We are excited to work with and grow the young talent we gained towards building us as a confident, strong competitor in the league.”
MANSFIELD, Mass. – It was a game of contrasting emotions for Foxboro (17-2-1). The Warriors went from euphoria, after scoring with 1:17 left in regulation to force overtime, to tears when Sunday night’s Div. 2 South quarterfinal against Cohasset at Mansfield’s Alumni Field ended in a remarkable shootout about an hour later.
Following a 2-2 tie in regulation and through two scoreless periods of 7-on-7 overtime, Cohasset edged out the Warriors 4-3 in a penalty shootout that featured several momentum shifts and several dips into the rule book.
Cohasset’s Jane Hansen, who scored both goals in regulation, missed the opening chance of the shootout when Foxboro goalie Julia Carangelo forced her to make an extra move and the ball hit her foot. Lily Daly, who scored the opening goal of the game and was dealing with a hand injury that she suffered in the first half, scored her penalty to put Foxboro ahead.
That was just the start of a crazy 20 minutes.
On Cohasset’s second shot, Carangelo forced Katherine Cunning wide and her shot smacked off the post, but the official ruled that while diving Carangelo had thrown her stick at the ball. This resulted in a penalty stroke (not a shootout-style attempt), which was dispatched by Emma Stephens. Sophia DiCenso regained the lead by taking contact from Cohasset goalie Caitlin Durkin and still finishing.
The shootout was 3-3 heading to Foxboro’s fourth shooter. Freshman Katherine Collins lost control as she got to Durkin and the goalie was able to clear it and keep the shootout tied heading into the fifth and final shooters. Stephens scored again on her penalty to get the lead.
Jamie Notarangelo was taken out by Durkin during her penalty attempt, which resulted in a penalty stroke opportunity. Foxboro turned to Daly, but her shot hit the inside of the post and stayed out.
“They didn’t give up,” Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri said of her team. “Going into a shootout is tough, it’s tough. I thought Julia did a great job…It’s just a sucky way to lose.”
The drama of this game started long before the shootout. Hansen’s second goal of the game put Cohasset into the lead and sent the Skippers bench into hysterics with 23 minutes left to play. The visitors held onto the lead and gave up very few scoring chances for the Warriors until the final 90 seconds.
Foxboro was up a player and drew a corner. Daly played the ball out top to Michaela Ames, who teed up DiCenso for a rip. The ball skidded into a crowd of players on the edge of the crease and Sophia Lowe redirected it inside the far post for a game-tying goal with just 1:17 on the clock.
“They’re so gritty,” said Bordieri. “They were fighting the entire time. We went into double overtime last time and listen you could see that they were weary but they were coming right back at it. They didn’t give up even one single time.”
In the overtime periods, Foxboro, which had advanced with a double overtime win in the first round, had a number of scoring chances to possibly win the game. Notarangelo tried to get on the end of one but it slid out of play, DiCenso picked out Daly on the break but the shot slid just wide, and then Daly again got open in the middle but Durkin stepped up to make the crucial save.
DiCenso nearly worked an opening in the second overtime, but her cross to Daly, who was wide open at the back post, was cut out by the Cohasset goalie. In the final minute, Meghan Currran was able to find Notarangelo but it was saved and then the Warriors were given a corner. On the set play, Daly sent a shot towards goal that hit a Cohasset player standing on the goal line in the chest.
Foxboro coaches were incensed when it was ruled dangerous play, despite the defender being behind the goalie, which would have meant a last-second penalty stroke.
“We couldn’t get the one touch,” Bordieri said. “We just needed to capitalize on our corners and today we didn’t. We had opportunities, balls going over the end line and opportunities we just didn’t finish and we typically do finish.”
After going to a second overtime before scoring against Falmouth in the opening round, Foxboro took only seven minutes to find the back of the net on Sunday. DiCenso fired in a backhand shot from straightaway that Daly was able to tip past the goalie for the early lead.
The first half was back-and-forth. Cohasset used its speed up top to create chances and both Caroline McGeary and Kristin Whalen were forced to stop breakaways. Whalen also cleared a shot off the line and Carangelo made two of her five saves. In the 19th minute, Cohasset tied it with a perfect give-and-go between Hansen and Maddie Donovan.
In the second half, Carangelo made a huge stop on a Hansen breakaway to keep the game level, but that only lasted two more minutes. Carangelo made another big diving save but the rebound went straight to Hansen and she made no mistake from close-range.
“They play a different type of field hockey than we do,” said Bordieri, “and I think it took us a little while to adjust to that, but I think towards the latter part of the second half we were able to adjust and move the ball on the outside.”
It was a physical, competitive end to the game and the Warriors battled to the final seconds to force overtime, but unfortunately for the hosts couldn’t capitalize on overtime chances and were forced into the coin flip of a shootout.
Bordieri said, “This team stayed in it, they’re fighters, they’re gritty, and that’s what has gotten us this far this season.”
She added, “This is tough. It’s very, very tough. This team had more in it than quarterfinals, without a doubt, but you win some, you lose some.”
Attleboro is looking to bounce back from a five-win season in 2017 and make a push up the league standings by mixing experienced players with a talented group of underclassmen that could make instant contributions for the Bombardiers.
The midfield will be a strength for the Bombardiers this season with returning starters like senior Kyra Lyons and junior Anna Back. Up front, leading scorer Grace Mayer graduated but senior Alex Compton was second on the team in points and will be counted on to fire in the goals. Attleboro will be hoping for more consistency from the defensive group this season to cut down on the 76 goals it allowed last year and senior goalie Shealyn Harrison will help keep things organized.
Attleboro coach Lindsay Antunes said, “We are looking forward to this season, as we have a lot of strong returning players throughout each line. We are fortunate to be pairing these returners with a very skilled and unsuspecting younger class, who I am certain will be instrumental in making a positive difference on our team.”
Davenport division champion Canton went to overtime against top seed Somerset Berkeley in last year’s Div. 1 South semifinal and was a goal away from setting up an all-Hock final. The Bulldogs bring back a lot of talent from last year’s squad and will be hoping to make a run at back-to-back titles.
Senior forward Maggie Malloy will once again be the focal point up top after leading the Bulldogs with 27 goals and eight assists last fall. Malloy will be joined up top by sophomore Maria Femia. Junior Kaitlyn Goyetch, the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, is back in the midfield and she will get helped out by sophomore Meghan Labelle. Senior Katie Trerice will be the leader of the defense and sophomore Rose Malloy will jump in and contribute as well. Sophomore Riley O’Connor will take over in goal this fall.
Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor said, “We are looking forward to seeing the hard work and effort our players put in this pre-season pay off on the field.”
With 14 seniors on the roster this season, Foxboro has set its sights on regaining the Davenport division crown that it lost by just two points to Canton last year. Two years removed from winning the Div. 2 South title, the Warriors seem poised to make another deep tournament run with a team loaded with talent, depth, and experience.
Senior forward Lily Daly, the team’s leading scorer each of the past three seasons, will once again team up with classmate Sophia DiCenso to form one of the league’s most dynamic attacking units. Senior Molly Murphy and junior Jamie Notarangelo will add to an already formidable offense. Senior Meghan Curran will lead the midfield unit along with classmate Carly Stern and the defense will be guided by seniors Caroline McGeary and Kristin Whalen, while senior goalie Julia Carangelo.
After come narrowly short of the league title last season and reaching the sectional semifinal, expectations are typically sky high for one of the league’s perennial powers.
2017 Record: 10-8-2 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Michelle Hess
Michelle Hess returns to the Franklin bench this season after eight years away from the program and she inherits a team that has the talent to compete for a league title and expectations of being able to make a deep run in the state tournament as well.
Senior midfielder Cassi Ronan is the primary playmaker for the Panthers and was the team’s leading scorer last fall with 16 goals and eight assists. One of the league’s top players, Ronan will be the primary focus of the opposition, but senior Regan Paterson can take some of that pressure off and will chip in with goals from the forward position. Senior Emily Valentino and junior Maeve Ledwith will provide organization for the defensive unit and senior Christina Luccini will be back in goal to backstop the defense.
“We are looking to improve on last years record and would love to go further in the tournament,” said Hess.
2017 Record: 19-3-1 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 State Semifinal Coach: Kimberly Meehan and Erin MacDonald
King Philip had a dominating run through the 2017 season, winning the Kelley-Rex title while losing just two games in the Hock all season, and then claiming the Div. 1 South title for the first time. This year, KP has a new coaching staff, with Kimberly Meehan and Erin MacDonald taking over the reigns, and high expectations with an experienced and talented roster.
The Warriors return six seniors, who will be counted on to keep the team focused in its quest for a second straight title. Alli Meehan will be the primary attacking threat again this season. The Northeastern University-commit scored 40 points last regular season, despite missing a couple of games. Senior Claire Lawlor will be on the left wing to support the attack, and senior Nicole Conner will jump into the attack from her midfield position as well. Three-year starter Dana Truini will run the midfield for the Warriors, providing support on both ends of the field. Defensively, senior Emma Izydorczak, a St. Anselm-commit, will be the leader of the back line to keep things organized. Fellow senior Kate Lindmark will also help out for a defense that last year allowed only 13 goals in 23 games.
Expectations remain high for the program this season and the new coaches “anticipate a very successful season led by their powerful seniors.”
Mansfield reached the state tournament again last year and was the only team in the league to beat Kelley-Rex champion King Philip (twice, in fact), but the Hornets have their sights set on returning to the top of the league standings as they did in 2014 and 2015. With a balanced roster that has depth all over the field, the Hornets have a chance to unseat KP in the division.
The Hornets have 10 seniors and experience all over the field. The forward line will include seniors Lauren Clang, Tori Farrington, Alicia Hottleman, Brooke Downy and Hayleigh Crawford. The midfield unit will be led by seniors Maggie Danehy and Kelly Doherty, who showed her versatility last season in several positions. Senior goalie Kayla Hunter is also back to help keep the defense solid. Newcomers like sophomore forward Abby Varricchione and sophomore midfielder Stori Rounds will jump in and contribute as well.
“We have some speed, some strong and some finesse,” said Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhen. “Mansfield field hockey is a team of heart and hustle. As a team, we still have lots of work to do but are looking forward to the fun competition in the Hockomock League.”
New head coach Katie Blackburn will try to improve on Milford’s three wins from last season with a group that has a lot of experience, especially on the back line, and speedy forward line that will try to fire in the goals.
The defense is filled with upperclassmen with seniors Eliza Valente and Emily Haley anchoring the back line along with junior Paige Reisman. Juniors Bella Gonzalez and Kathryn Swineford will be key players in the midfield and sophomore Madison Carneiro is a player to watch in the Milford front line, which Blackburn said would include a number of players that have a variety of skill sets.
Blackburn added, “Each player is unique and it has been exciting to see them all learning how to play together. We have a lot of speed as well as ball handling skills that will help us move the ball up the field and into the attacking circle.”
2017 Record: 9-7-4 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Karen Folan
North Attleboro got back into the state tournament last fall, only to run into perennial power Walpole in the second round, and the Rocketeers have a deep roster to make another run this year and potentially challenge Canton and Foxboro at the top of the Davenport. The new turf at Beaupre Field should also help North utilize the team’s speed.
The Rocketeers have a ton of experience coming back this season, including seniors Abby Calistra, Julia Feid, Shaylee Maxcy, and Lizzie Frost, who will form a solid defensive corps in front of junior goalie Emma Strachan, who head coach Karen Folan said has improved her quickness in the off-season. Speedy midfielders Michelle Pothier and fellow junior Lindsay Robinson will join senior Jess Strachan, while senior Tara Nair and junior Faith Graveline will be up top.
Folan said, “We are looking forward to another year in the competitive Hockomock League. Our offense will start with our defense this season. We hope to use our cohesive ball movement to transition the ball quickly up the field and into the offensive circle to generate lots of shots on net.”
2017 Record: 9-7-3 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round. Coach: Sharon Lawrence
Oliver Ames is coming off a strong regular season performance, tying for third place in the Kelley-Rex division with 18 points, but they had to go on the road to Taunton in the playoffs and lost an overtime heartbreaker. First-year coach Sharon Lawrence takes over this season and has a roster with 11 juniors and seniors to try and make another run at a postseason bid.
Senior Meghan Rockey is one of the players that the Tigers will turn to this year and she will try to control the middle of the field. Fellow senior Kayla Lozzi can step in at forward or midfield and scored 10 points (four goals and six assists) for OA last season, while senior Samantha Clapp adds a defensive presence whether in midfield or defense. Lawrence is also excited for the contributions from the younger players, including sophomore forward Hannah Stryke, who is the Tigers top returning scorer with seven goals and four assists as a freshman.
“As a first-year coach, my focus has been on learning and assessing our talent and athleticism to position our players as a team for optimal success,” Lawrence said. “We have returning starters as well as new young talent on both offense and defense, and look to be competitive this season.”
First-year head coach Ashley Courville is looking to build the program from the ground up, and she is counting on a large roster and a core of returning players to get Sharon moving in the right direction this season. With only one sophomore on the roster, experience shouldn’t be an issue for the Eagles as they turn things around.
The defense will be led seniors Varsha Poreddy and Rebecca Clayman. Junior Blaize Hanna will also be part of that group this fall. The midfield has seniors Georgia Cheney and Lauren Yaffe to help out in the attack and also chip in on the defensive side of things. Sophomore Lauren Prenaveau is another player to watch in the Eagles midfield. Up top, senior forward Elizabeth Romantz will be counted on to add to Sharon’s goal tally.
Courville said, “We have a large team this year with a handful of returning players giving the team consistency and determination. Our defense has added strength and depth, while our offense has added speed.”
2017 Record: 7-12-1 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Mark
Stoughton graduated 13 players from last year’s team and then lost leading scorer Julia Russell to a knee injury, but there is hope for the Black Knights to make a run at a state tournament spot as the inexperienced players gain valuable minutes at the varsity level.
Defense will be a strength for Stoughton this fall, with returning seniors Katie Widrow and Jeanna Girolamo adding stability and keeping things organized at the back. Sophomore Kayla Lobby will start in goal for the Black Knights. In the midfield, senior Jordan Lyons is a strong two-way player and she will be looking to get the ball forward to the sticks of seniors Allie Howe and Alanna McCormick, who will both be trying to make up for the production that was expected from Russell.
Stoughton coach Dan Mark is hopeful that his team can meet its potential. He said, “We will be inexperienced in many areas, but do have several players who played regularly last year.”
2017 Record: 11-8-1 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Liz Hathaway
Taunton had one of its best seasons in program history last year, winning 11 games and advancing in the playoffs for the first time by beating Oliver Ames in an overtime thriller. The Tigers will look to build on that success and compete with the top teams in the ultra-competitive Kelley-Rex division.
The Taunton midfield will be a strength this season, as it is filled with experienced players. Seniors Jillian Pagliuca, Lauren Torres, and Mabel Smith are all capable of making plays on both ends of the field and all read the game well to keep the Tigers moving in the right direction. Senior forward Ciera Bartel will be joined up front by last year’s playoff hero Alana Tavares. The sophomore forward scored the game-winner against OA and has the speed to cause defense lots of problems. The Tigers defense will be led by junior Kathryn Robinson and sophomore Jocelyn Pagliuca and if anyone gets through then senior goalie Emma Sheehan will be there to stop them.
Taunton coach Liz Hathaway said, “This team has come together and have a great on field bond that allows them to successfully execute plays and breakaways.”
MILFORD, Mass. – While it wasn’t a favorable position, it wasn’t an unfamiliar one. For the second time this season, Foxboro girls lacrosse trailed Walpole at halftime, but this time around it was just a two goal deficit.
Unfortunately for the second-seeded Warriors, the second half played out in familiar fashion. Foxboro rallied back from a five goal deficit to cut it to one, but couldn’t get over the hump, falling 12-10 to the top-seeded Rebels in the MIAA D2 East Sectional Final.
“We were hoping we’d have the push we needed to get ahead over the last 25 minutes,” said Foxboro head coach Brittany Sherry. “We’ve had games we were down and come back before so we’ve been in that situation. But it was just too much of a lead today. Our shot selection wasn’t great and we needed to take care of the ball better than we did.”
A highlight goal from Catherine Luciano tied the game at 3-3 with just over 12 minutes to play in the first half, but the Rebels rattled off three straight goals over a seven minute span. Luciano took a feed from Caroline McGeary to cut the deficit to two with just over a minute remaining and freshman goalie Sara Addeche had a big save with 10 seconds left in the half to keep it at 6-4.
But unlike in the first meeting when Foxboro completely shut Walpole out int eh second half, the Rebels went right to work on the offensive end in the second half. Emily Curtis put Walpole up three, 7-4, with a goal less than two minutes in but after an interception from Hallie Canfield, Foxboro responded with an 8-meter goal from Luciano.
The big difference in the game came in the next ten minutes as Walpole used lengthy possessions and finishes right in front to complete a 4-1 lead.
Back to back goals from Alison Foley in a two minute window put the Rebels up by four before Meghan Curran could get Foxboro back on the board on a restart two minutes later. After a four minute break between goals, Walpole cashed in on a long offensive spell with Curtis depositing one in.
A minute later, Foley tallied another and Walpole took a commanding 11-6 lead with 11 minutes to play.
“[Walpole] did great with manipulating our zone,” Sherry We tried to get our girls to be closer but Walpole has speed, size and they see the cutters and the open players very well.
“We were on a five or six game roll of taking care of the ball and not having silly turnovers but we see those Walpole uniforms and we seemed to panic. We practiced it but the turnovers were a killer.”
But just when it looked like that might be it the Hockomock League’s Davenport division champs, its offense came to life.
With just under nine minutes to go, Lauren Flahive scored on an 8-meter try with a bounce shot. Just over two minutes later, Mackenzie Cusack took a feed from Christina Rogers – who had made a nice defensive play at midfield – and tossed her shot over the shoulders of the Walpole keeper.
Foxboro’s defense came up with its biggest stop of the game after another lengthy Walpole possession. On the offensive end, Curran used her speed to blow around the Walpole defense and fired one in to make it 11-9.
After a draw win from Caroline Boudreau, the Foxboro offense went right back to work. Luciano continued her terrific performance, beating a defender one on one and going low to get the Warriors within one, 11-10, with 3:16 to play.
“We were driving more,” Sherry said of what changed during the comeback. “Luciano had a great game, I think she had four goals and it was because she was driving. Others just weren’t pulling the trigger on that and weren’t driving to the cage. It’s tough to put points on the board if you’re just passing it around instead of driving. We had our spurts at times and then other times, not so much.”
Walpole capitalized on a Foxboro turnover in the defensive end and scored with just under two minutes left and then took possession for the final minute, running the majority of the clock out until a very late break from Foxboro.
“This is the furthest we’ve gone and the kids have worked really hard to be here,” Sherry said. “And it wasn’t easy either. Wayland was tough the other day, and our schedule was set up all year to be tough. Next time, hopefully we get the result we wanted.”
Baseball D2 South
#10 Oliver Ames, 5 @ #2 Dighton-Rehoboth, 2 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. The Tigers advance to the Div. 2 South semifinal to face #11 Westwood on Thursday at 7:00 at Rockland High.
Softball D1 South
#12 North Attleboro, 6 @ #4 Marshfield, 1 – Final – North Attleboro plated two runs in the first inning, one in the fifth and three more in the top of the sixth. Olivia Capobianco had three hits, three stolen abses and two RBI and Sam Courtemanche added two hits and an RBI. Meg Barlow and Andrea Miceli each added an RBI for Big Red. Bella Erti scattered five hits and didn’t issue any walks, striking out eight in the win. The Rocketeers advance to the Div. 1 South semifinal to face #1 Silver Lake on Thursday at 7:00 at Taunton High.
Boys Lacrosse D1 South
#9 King Philip, 3 @ #1 BC High, 6 – Final
Girls Lacrosse D1 East
#12 King Philip, 7 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final – Franklin built an 8-3 lead at halftime and never looked back in the D1 East Semifinal matchup with KP. Freshman Erin Walsh led the way with seven goals, Annie Walsh (eight draws) added four goals and Kendall Reardon found the back of net twice. Halle Atkinson and Grace McDermott each had three draw wins for Franklin. The Panthers advance to their third Div. 1 East Final in the past four years and will face #2 Concord-Carlisle on Friday at 7:00 at Milford High.
#3 Foxboro, 12 @ #2 Wayland, 11 – Final – Meghan Curran scored two goals and recorded seven assists to help the Warriors reach the first Div. 2 East Final in program history. Sophia DiCenso and Caroline McGeary each had hat tricks and Sarah Addeche made 15 saves for Foxboro, which will face #1 Walpole on Friday at 5:00 at Milford High.
Boys Tennis D2 South
#1 Sharon, 4 vs. #4 Bishop Feehan 1 – Final – The Eagles advance to the Div. 2 South final to face #3 Scituate on Friday at 3:00 at Rockland High.
2016 Record: 6-12 2016 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Kevin Patton
Attleboro is still a relatively young program but has taken strides to be competitive with the rest of the teams in the Hockomock and first-year head coach Kevin Patton is hopeful that the large number of players at tryouts is a sign that the Bombardiers are heading in the right direction.
One of the reasons for Attleboro’s confidence coming into the spring is the experienced players that will take the field, including senior Mish Logie, who is a four-year varsity midfielder. Joining Logie as a captain for this year’s team is goalie Hadley Porreca, who is in her second year in net.
In addition. juniors Emily Patton and Ali Wall return in attack, while classmates Kim White and Graycen Cassidy will keep things tight on the defensive side of the ball. Midfield depth will be provided by sophomores Kyra Lyons and Alex Compton, who are both coming off strong rookie seasons on varsity. Freshman Sydney DiLiddo will also have the chance to step in and contribute in midfield this season and junior Ashlyn Salisbury and sophomore Shea Harrison will see time on defense.
“We had our largest player turnout in the program’s history,” said Patton, “and we have girls that want to work hard and succeed. With only two seniors on this year’s team, I will be looking to certain underclassmen to take on added leadership roles. This will help us not only this year but going forward.”
2016 Record: 8-9 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Christine O’Connor
Canton won five of its final seven games last season to get back to .500 and qualify for the state tournament and the Bulldogs will be hoping to carry that momentum over to this spring with a roster that features nine seniors and eight juniors.
Some of the key returning players for Canton this season include senior attacker Mary Kent, senior defender Tessa Cudmore, and senior goalie Kathryn Doody, who form a solid spine for the Bulldogs to build on. Caroline Hagan, Rebecca Eckler, and Maria Mackie are among the other seniors that will be contributing for Canton.
One of the younger players to watch is sophomore attacker Leah McClellan, who is one of several players that helped the girls’ hockey team reach the state title game at the TD Garden. Another sophomore, Maggie Malloy, has already had strong seasons for the field hockey and ice hockey teams and will provide depth this spring.
“We look to gain strength as the season progresses,” said O’Connor. “We will look to the seniors for leadership and intensity in order to be competitive.”
Foxboro won its fifth straight Davenport division title last spring and returned to the Div. 2 South semifinal for the second straight season and expectations will be even higher this season for head coach Brittany Sherry, as the Warriors return 15 players to try and make it six league titles in a row.
Among the many experienced players coming back is an exciting core of sophomores that have made instant impacts, including the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Sophia DiCenso, who scored 65 goals and had 31 assists last year. Joining DiCenso up front will be classmates Caroline McGeary and Meghan Curran and juniors Jackie Brion and Catherine Luciano.
Defensively, senior Hallie Canfield will be back to anchor things and provide leadership. Junior Christina Rogers and sophomores Jenna Stamatov and Molly Murphy will also be back to limit opposing offenses. Freshman Sara Addeche will take over in goal and is another in a line of talented underclassmen that Sherry is excited to see develop over the course of the season.
“Our goals stay about the same every year, most importantly getting another round further!” Sherry said. “The last two years our season has ended in the semi finals but I’m hoping with the scheduling and tourney experience last year we will have the edge we need to get to the finals.”
2016 Record: 19-5 2016 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 State Semifinal Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino
Another spring and another league title for Franklin, which completed another perfect season in the Hockomock and then carried that success into the playoffs to win a second Div. 1 East title with a dramatic, one-goal victory over Acton-Boxboro. Even though they only return five players, the Panthers enter the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and with sights set on challenging for a state title.
There is experience coming back for the Panthers with seniors Grace McDermott and Dana Lewandowski coming back to control things on the defensive end, while former Underclassman of the Year Kendall Reardon and fellow senior Caroline Lounsbury will provide leadership in the attack.
Franklin always seems to have players ready to step in and, despite there being a youth movement on the varsity team, the Panthers have already started 2-0 with wins against Needham and Lincoln-Sudbury. Sophomore midfielder Annie Walsh and her freshman sister Erin have both gotten off to strong starts with sophomore Halle Atkinson helping out with a hat trick in the win over L-S as well.
“I am very excited for the 2017 season!” said Igoe Guarino. “Our freshmen and sophomores bring a lot of energy and competitiveness to practice and games, while our juniors and seniors bring the discipline and experience. The two combined could bring us very far again this year!”
King Philip surprised some last spring when the Warriors went on the road to beat Westford Academy in the first round of the Div. 1 East tournament and that experience could pay dividends as KP returns a number of key players with the intent making a run at earning a first league title since 2012.
Senior Angela Vellante is back and head coach Julie Boudreau called her the “quarterback” for the attacking unit. Vellante will be looking to feed junior Katie Crowther, who was the team’s and the league’s leading scorer as a sophomore with 111 points. Senior Meghan Wagner was a starter as a freshman and scored in every game but missed the last two years with an injury and is now back to make an impact on offense.
KP can also count on a strong sophomore class led by a core of midfielders: Caroline Klim, Alli Meehan, Victoria and Olivia Tormey, and Dana Truini. Also back is sophomore goalie Caroline Watson behind a defense of juniors Molly Mullins, Christina Hathaway and Izzy Agricola. Also making a return is assistant coach Mary Pasquantonio, Boudreau’s sister, who brings experience as a former KP player and will help the current crop of Warriors on draw controls.
“We have a deep bench with many sophomores and will be looking to run lines and sub regularly to keep everyone fresh,” said Boudreau. “Our theme for the season is ‘grit=hard work + passion’.”
Mansfield won its opening two games of the 2016 season, but the Hornets struggled during a difficult middle part of the spring and missed out on the state tournament. The Hornets showed flashes of potential during the year, including a close loss to perennial tournament team Hingham, and hopes are high that they can get back into the postseason this year.
Expectations are boosted by the return of a strong core of experience players. Senior Maire Foley will be a focal point of the Hornets attack this year, while classmate Maggie Dunn and junior Ann Maher will return in the midfield. Senior Jen McCabe will provide leadership in defense and sophomore Kaity Garvin will build off her rookie season in attack.
Among the new faces this spring are sophomore midfielders Maggie Danehy, who had a solid winter with the girls’ basketball team, and Lauren Whitman
“Our team really has been working together as a unit day one,” said head coach Alexis Kobey. “They came into the season ready to go and work on what they needed to work on to get better, from draw controls, ball movement, attack/defense they have been showing up everyday. They also really love playing with each other, working with each other, making each other better.”
2016 Record: 3-15 2016 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Tim Dowd
It has been a tough run for Milford since moving to the Hockomock League, but the Hawks bring back an experienced roster for first-year head coach Tim Dowd and he is hopeful that the program will continue to improve over the course of the season.
Dowd’s excitement for the new season is in part built on the leadership of his senior class, including captains Taylor Dube, Jill Burley, and Jordyn Lombardo, who Dowd said would all have “incredible seasons.” He praised all three for their competitive spirits and for pushing their teammates to improve.
Another senior, Brainna Croteau, will be in charge of the defensive unit and Dowd is counting on the development of a talented group of sophomores and juniors. Milford also has two freshmen, Hannah Bangert and Anne Flanagan, who will be on the varsity roster this season and who Dowd thinks will make an impact.
“I think one of our strengths is going to be teamwork and work ethic,” said Dowd. “We want to be a team that goes the extra mile for each other and constantly works to win battles on the field. We’re going to try to outwork other teams. We’re going to try to focus on the little things to hopefully make big improvements.”
2016 Record: 13-7 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 2 East Quarterfinal Coach: Mike Vitelli
Under first-year head coach Mike Vitelli (who had previously led King Philip to a Hockomock League title and a South final), North Attleboro made a jump into second place in the Kelley-Rex division and won 13 games, while reaching the playoffs for the first time. After a loss to eventual state champ Walpole, Vitelli has built up North’s schedule with perennial powers Notre Dame Academy, Natick, and Walpole to get the Rocketeers prepared for a tournament run.
North will clearly miss last year’s Player of the Year Hana Caster (who is now at UMass Lowell), the Rocketeers return a number of important players, including six of the team’s seven defenders. Seniors Samantha Taggart, Emily Schromm, Emma Cromidas, and Alaina Mello will provide an experienced defensive unit in front of junior goalie Kayla Moulin, who Vitelli believes will have a great season.
Up front, North will turn to junior Kenzie Rosenberg and senior Erin Holley, who had breakout seasons for the Rocketeers in 2016. Chloe Olsen, Julia Dakin, and Julia Tolfa will also be counted on to provide offense for North Attleboro, while Camille Pizzaro and freshman Katie Lindstrom will be newcomers to watch this spring.
“I really like the depth of our bench as well,” said Vitelli. “Lots of hybrid players who can play in many roles…Biggest question I’ve gotten this offseason has been ‘how can you replace Hana Caster?’ My response is we can’t. But that being said, I don’t think any player is replaceable…It just becomes an opportunity for other players to step in and make their mark.”
2016 Record: 8-11 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round Coach: Abby Tepper
Oliver Ames reached the postseason last year by finishing second in the Davenport division and will look to build on that in 2017 in the Tigers first season in the Kelley-Rex and first season under new head coach Abby Tepper, who is only one year removed from the end of a very successful college playing career at Salve Regina and a solid first season as coach of the OA field hockey program this fall.
Tepper inherits a roster with several key returning players that provide a foundation for the Tigers, who won the opening two games of the spring. Junior captain Sofia Masciarelli will be the main attacking cog for OA this season with senior Katie Davenport back in the heart of the defense and junior goalie Ari Waldorf will be back between the pipes.
Also back for OA and expected to make a step up into the starting lineup are senior captain Kendall Clifford in the midfield, junior Chloe Kilkelly in the attack, and sophomore midfielder Olivia Piazza.
“The girls have been working hard each day at practice to prepare for the tough schedule they will face,” said Tepper. They continually improve their skills and lacrosse IQ each day. I have been impressed with how the girls have pushed one another to get better and have committed themselves to the program.”
2016 Record: 10-9 2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round Coach: Colleen Carchedi
In her second season in charge, Sharon head coach Colleen Carchedi (née Manning) led the Eagles to their first ever playoff appearance. On their home grass, the Eagles put in a great performance to battle perennial playoff competitor Bishop Feehan and the experience has generated a lot of excitement in the program as the new season begins.
Sharon has five key players returning from last season, including leading scorer Alex Rabb and twin sister Sam, who is one of the team’s top defensive players. Senior Anna Crosby will be the motor in the midfield and junior midfielder Sabrina Robbins has verbally committed to the University of Colorado. Carchedi said of Robbins, “She is someone who always gets the job done and deserves more credit than she gets. She is reliable and hard working, never afraid to take a risk.”
Sophomore Emma Eberhardt is another player coming back that Carchedi believes will be able to take on a much larger role this spring. Eberhardt will add size in the midfield and, particularly, on draw controls. Carchedi said, “She is an all around stud athlete and is for sure a player to watch.” Sophomore Rose Wald is a newcomer that takes over in goal.
“I know we are going to be a really well balanced team,” Carchedi added, noting that the Eagles had six different goal scorers in the season opener against Milford. “I am so excited for the season and ready to hit the ground running after a big game against my old high school, KP.”
With a win against Norton on Monday, Taunton avenged a pair of losses to the Lancers from 2016 and is halfway to last year’s win total. The Tigers are still a young program at the varsity level and, as such, head coach Kerry Northup knows there will be a learning curve against Hockomock opponents, but she is also excited about the team’s potential.
The Tigers will turn to seniors Delaney Powell, Annie Tate, and Abbey Kingman to provide consistent offense this spring and all three had big games in the opener against Norton, combining for 12 of the team’s 17 goals. Powell led the way with six goals in the win and junior Lorna Li had 12 saves in another strong performance for the Tigers’ “confident” goalie.
Taunton also has plenty of youth that will be gaining valuable experience this spring, including three sophomores, a pair of freshmen, and three eighth graders. One of the eighth graders, Alana Tavares, made the most of her varsity debut on Monday, potting five goals against Norton and will be one of the newcomers to watch in the Hock this season.
“We have a solid group of girls this season,” said Northup. “Our strength players have a nice balance throughout the field from offense, mid, to defense. We are not a powerhouse team, but a team with passion, drive, and grit. These girls play to the end and don’t give up until that last whistle sounds.”
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry called Wednesday’s league meeting with King Philip a “must win” game, as the Warriors try to build their resume ahead of the state tournament seeding on Friday.
As it has all season long, Foxboro has turned to its underclassmen to provide the scoring punch and freshmen Sophia DiCenso and Caroline McGeary came through in the clutch. The duo combined for the final three goals of the game to halt a KP comeback and lift Foxboro to a 15-13 victory that split the season series.
DiCenso led the way with six goals and three assists, all of which came on goals by McGeary, who finished with five, including the eventual game-winner with 5:51 left in the game.
“They’ve been playing together for so long, probably since sixth grade, and they just feed off each other,” said Sherry about the freshmen duo. “They play really well together and they know where each other are going.”
At the start of the game, it looked as though KP was going to be able to pull away a win similar to the first meeting (a 15-8 win at Macktaz Field). The visitors had a 3-1 lead with Katie Crowther, Abigail Buchanan, and Jen Lacroix all getting on the board and with KP winning each of the first five draw controls.
Foxboro made a change in the circle with Caroline Boudreau and Hallie Canfield taking the draws against Lacroix and the home team would win 10 of the next 11 draws to take control of the half.
“I put Hallie [Canfield] on the draw and different people around it,” Sherry explained. “Ultimately, we were losing to a 50-50 ball…so people in the circle needed to get it in their sticks and transition and not panic and stay poised.”
Junior Ally Curran spun and scored to cut the KP lead to one and then McGeary scored back-to-back goals both off DiCenso assists to put Foxboro ahead 4-3 and complete her hat trick. Foxboro extended the lead with another freshman, Lily Feeney, scoring a pair, the second on a great catch in traffic on a pass by classmate Megan Curran.
KP called a timeout to regroup and Lacroix gave the Warriors a boost by scooping a ground ball in the defensive zone and racing the length of the field for a goal. With 27 seconds left in the half, Lacroix repeated that trick, this time from half, to keep KP in it before the break.
“Jen is probably all-around our best player,” said KP coach Julie Boudreau. “For a middie who runs up and down the field, who is super tired, but still has the stick work when she gets down into attack and can score. We’ll definitely miss her and those are big shoes to fill.”
KP scrambled in a goal that cut the lead to 6-5 but again Foxboro had a response. DiCenso scored with a sidearm shot on a free position, sophomore Catherine Luciano added another, and DiCenso drove to push the lead to four.
“The momentum was definitely going back and forth,” said Boudreau. “I think we were rushing it a little on attack, getting a little frantic, but I was happy with how we played today going into tournament.”
With Foxboro leading 10-7 at the break, Luciano scored to make the lead four, but only a minute later Crowther got one back with a low angle shot and then 33 seconds after that Francesca Tonelli bounced in an eight-meter shot that made it a two-goal game.
McGeary temporarily halted the comeback with a drive, but Lacroix scored her third of the game while KP was up a player. After Buchanan cut the lead to one, KP got an important boost from an unlikely source. Dana Truini scored a pair of goals to give KP its first lead since early in the first half.
“I pulled her up from JV a couple games ago because she was doing great on the draws and ground balls,” said Boudreau. “We need a spark on the field, so I think different people have been being that for us.”
Sherry started feeling like the game was slipping away and starting to resemble the first meeting, so she called timeout to settle her team down.
“Once we called timeout, we caught our breath and I told them that we can’t be putting them on the line,” she explained. “We needed to limit our fouls and we need to win the draw and we need to hit the net.”
Sherry added, “I like for them to feel the pressure and see if they can figure it out but sometimes a timeout is necessary to give them a little head check.”
The timeout worked wonders as DiCenso scored with another free position to tie the game at 13-13 and a little more than a minute later she fed McGeary on a cut into the middle to put Foxboro back in front. With 3:08 left, DiCenso dodged past her marker and fired in a goal that put the game away.
Sherry said, “It was a must win for us. I love the game that we had, putting the pressure on us and we had to perform.
“If we want home field advantage or possibly a bye then we needed to win. It was huge that we did.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Nine minutes into the second half, the game had seemed over. Freshman Sophia DiCenso beat the Ashland goalie under the bar and Foxboro held an 8-2 lead as the Clockers were forced to take a timeout.
But the Warriors only won four draw controls in the game and ever girls’ lacrosse coach will tell you that whoever wins the draws wins the game. The Clockers turned the game on its head with four goals in the next nine minutes to cut the lead to two and set up a frantic few minutes for Foxboro’s young attack.
With Ashland double-teaming the ball at every opportunity, Foxboro looked nervous and a little hesitant, until DiCenso picked out sophomore midfielder Catherine Luciano cutting through the middle for the goal that calmed everyone down and allowed the Warriors to hold on for a 9-6 victory.
“We panicked,” admitted Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry. “I think at that point I had three or four freshmen out there in attack, so we’re young and they need to realize get the ball moving and avoid the double, don’t let it come to you.
“Once that goal happened, we were like okay we can break it.”
DiCenso was once again Foxboro’s key player. The freshman has stepped right into the lineup for the defending league champions and she scored five goals and had that clutch assist in the closing minutes to lead the Warriors.
“She’s obviously our go-to,” said Sherry about DiCenso. “She gets it done on both ends of the field. When she’s on then everyone is on and she’s also a great feeder – she sees the open people and she gets it to them and she gets the ball moving.”
DiCenso got the scoring started three minutes into the game with a shot on the run and then added a second a few minutes later off a free position. She then forced a turnover on the ride and fed it to Ally Curran who ran straight to goal and scored with a backhanded shot.
Freshman Caroline McGeary had an overhand finish to make it 4-0 with 11:30 left in the half and Foxboro seemed to be cruising despite not having won any of the first five draws. The Warriors defense had been stalwart through the opening half, allowing only a few chances for the Clockers.
Defenders Annie McGeary and Hallie Canfield were aided by good pressure from DiCenso and Luciano and fellow midfielders Lauren Flahive and Mackenzie Cusack.
Sherry said, “We were struggling [on draws] and that’s when they were getting their opportunity and thankfully Ashland wasn’t able to capitalize on their offensive possessions but yeah defense kept us in the game in the first half.”
After Ashland got on the board, DiCenso cut through the middle and scored her third of the day. Melissa Lynch (five saves) came up with a big stop on an eight-meter chance and with only two seconds left in the half Curran scored on her eight-meter chance to make it 6-1.
Ashland started the second half with a goal, but Foxboro answered back quickly to regain the momentum. DiCenso scored on an assist by Luciano before Lily Feeney had a goal disallowed for a player in the crease. The Clockers then had a goal taken off the board because of an illegal stick and DiCenso scored her fifth to make it 8-2 with 15:52 left.
Sherry said of the way her team played the opening 40 minutes, “Coming out and getting the shots on net; defense came out strong with sticks up and putting the pressure on them to make the right move; our transition looked the best it’s probably been since the start of the season.”
She added, “I think we played about 35 minutes today, so we need to get to 50.”
The Clockers scored twice from eight meters and once in transition to cut the lead down to three. With 6:07 left and Ashland’s defense scrambling to pressure whoever touched the ball, the visitors tacked on another with a good passing sequence to make it 8-6 and force Foxboro into a timeout.
“We kind of got complacent with our possessions,” Sherry explained, “and we didn’t have that urgency any more. The draws – if you win the draws, then you win the game and thankfully we kept possession longer in attack but they had the momentum going forward for sure.”
Curran nearly got her hat trick with a bouncing shot that clipped off the post and the Warriors started to settle down. Nerves were noticeably calmed when DiCenso flicked a pass over an onrushing double team to a wide open Luciano and the sophomore finished from close-range.
Foxboro (8-2, 5-0) was able to run out the clock and preserve its third straight win. The Warriors will travel to Attleboro on Wednesday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.