Tough Start Too Much for Canton to Overcome in Final

Canton boys soccer
Zach Dowling looks to clear a ball in the second half of the Div. 2 state title game against West Springfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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LEOMINSTER, Mass. – The playoffs have been one long road trip for Canton (14-4-4), which has logged more than 700 miles this postseason, but the No. 21 seed had managed to overcome the logistical challenges and make an improbable run to its first-ever state title game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After a dramatic shootout win over the top seed in the semifinal, the Bulldogs carried momentum into Saturday afternoon’s Div. 2 championship game at Leominster’s Doyle Field, but a nervous start against 2013 state champ West Springfield proved too much to overcome. West Side scored twice in the first half and, despite a much better second 40 minutes from Canton, held on for a 2-0 victory.

“Hats off to West Springfield,” said Canton coach Danny Erickson. “I thought they played a great game today. They looked like they were composed from the starting whistle. I own the fact that we were a little nervous and the moment got us a little bit. That goes on the coach 100 percent. The kids were ready, which you can tell because once the game settled down I thought it was a really even game.”

Through the sting of Saturday’s defeat, Erickson was able to reflect on the remarkable run of four wins that got the Bulldogs to the final for the first time.

“Nothing but praise for the Canton Bulldogs,” he said. “I’m so proud of everything they did this year. What a run.”

The Terriers got off to a great start in the match. Just a little over a minute in, Garrett Daley cut in from the right side of the box and had a good look at goal, but his left-footed effort was tame and easily held by Canton keeper Giovanni Ruggeri.

Four minutes later, another nice move opened up the Canton defense, as Daley played the ball into center forward Lorcan Mitchell, who laid it off for Emery Sloat. Only pressure from Carson Eagles on his shoulder and Ruggeri being quick off his line prevented West Side from grabbing the early lead.

Midway through the half, West Springfield’s pressure and Canton’s hesitancy turned into the opening goal. A long throw from the left was allowed to bounce in the box. It was only partially cleared and Owen Hall pounced on the loose ball to knock it in, immediately racing to celebrate in front of the Canton fan section.

Canton finally fashioned a couple of half-chances from set pieces. Jake Mccabe, who has provided huge goals in both the quarterfinal and semifinal, had a 30-yard free kick saved, although it appeared to be going wide of the post. A few minutes later, Zach Dowling’s long free kick picked out McCabe in the box, but his header went over the bar.

With four minutes to go before the break, the lead was doubled. Another long throw, this time from Hall was directed to Daley, who rose up unchallenged on the edge of the six and flicked his header to the back post.

Erickson said, “They got two throw-in goals, which are goals and they deserved them, but once the game settled down I thought it was a really even game. We just didn’t execute early on in that half and I don’t think we were quite ready.”

The Bulldogs almost had an immediate reply, as Charlie McKinney, who hit the winning penalty in the shootout against East Longmeadow, made good progress down the left and skipped into the box, but his shot was charged down by the West Side back line.

Canton really needed an early goal in the second half to try and get back into the match. The Bulldogs came out of the intermission looking much more confident, with Zaza Franceour, Jacob Crugnale, and Erik Valdovinos providing energy up top and Dylan Baird, Caden Mirliani, and Brian Shea starting to win balls in the midfield.

The lynchpin for the Bulldogs this postseason has been McCabe and the Terriers made sure that he was well watched all match long.

Eight minutes after the break, McCabe’s corner was put into the mixer and West Side struggled to clear. The ball popped out to McKinney, who tried an overhead kick that the Terriers managed to block on the line. McCabe would wind up with a shot from a tight angle on the right but it was held by keeper Cathal Carney.

“We moved him around a little bit, but you’ve got to have him in dangerous places and only so many places to put him,” Erickson explained. “I was really proud of the way Jake played today. I thought the way we played in the second half and came out and competed really hard. We had the ball drop in the six and had we knocked that in then I think it would have been an interesting finish.”

While the game was more competitive in the second half, chances were harder to come by for both teams. Mitchell had a header just wide for West Side and then McCabe found a rare pocket of space 25 yards from goal and forced Carney into a save. The Terriers nearly put the game away in the 68th minute when Ruggeri came out to challenge Daley on the edge of the box, but the midfielder’s shot came back off the post.

Canton had one more chance to try and halve the deficit. In the 71st minute, McCabe had a free kick from about 20 yards and he forced Carney into a diving save down to his right. The rebound sat invitingly out in front of goal for a second but West Side was able to scramble it clear under pressure.

That could have made for a frantic finish, but West Side was able to see out the win and secure a second state title in the past nine years (the 2013 title was in Div. 1).

“When I looked at the remaining seeds, once we got to the final four, in all of soccer we were the only ones anywhere in that stratosphere,” Erickson said of his team making a run as the No. 21 seed. “Really proud of these guys stepping up when it was big time.

“Best memories I’ve had coaching and I’ve had a lot of good ones.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Division 1

#20 Milford, 1 @ #6 Lexington, 2 – Final (2OT)A short-handed Milford squad tied the game late in regulation but fell with just minutes left in double overtime. Trailing 1-0 and down to just 10 men after two yellows, Arthur Tome found the back of the net with two minutes to go, finishing off a pass from J’remy Chaves. Lexington scored off a clearance on a one-timer from just inside the box that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net.

#34 Attleboro, 0 @ #2 Needham, 2 – FinalAttleboro battled one of the top teams in the state from start to finish before falling in the final minutes. Needham scored twice in the final 10 minutes to play to get the win. Sophomore Tyler Rocchio had a strong game in net for the Bombardiers.

#26 Franklin, 1 @ #7 Framingham, 2 – Final

Division 2
#21 Canton, 3 @ #12 Woburn, 1 – FinalCanton overcame an early first half deficit, scoring three unanswered goals to earn the upset win on the road. The Bulldogs pulled level right around the midway point of the first half when Jake McCabe whipped in a free kick from the left sideline and Erik Valdovinos flicked a header to the far post to make it 1-1. The Bulldogs jumped ahead just over five minutes after a nice defensive win from Carson Eagles saw a long ball played out of the ball where McCabe flicked it on, sending Valdovinos in behind the defense. He raced into the box and slid it across to a wide open Jacob Crugnale for the tap in in the 27th minute. Valdovinos iced the game with his second goal, burying a loose ball in the area after an initial shot was blocked. Canton will play either #5 Agawam or #28 Ashland depending on the result of that game on Sunday.

#22 Shepherd Hill, 1 @ #11 Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this match.

Girls Soccer
Division 1

#29 Reading, 0 @ #2 Franklin, 1 – Final (OT)Freshman Kelly O’Connor popped up with a clutch header in the first overtime period to lift the Panthers to a win in their playoff opener. After a scoreless game that saw Franklin pick up its intensity in the second half and OT, Stella Regan played a ball into the box and O’Connor was there to head in the winner in her playoff debut. Franklin advances to host No. 13 Brookline on Tuesday.

#18 Westford Academy, 1 @ #15 King Philip, 2 – FinalIn a rematch of the 2017 state semifinal game, KP scored in the second half to pull out a win and advance to the Sweet Sixteen. KP will travel to No. 2 seed Bishop Feehan on Tuesday night, which is a rematch of a game from earlier this season that the Shamrocks won.

#27 Attleboro, 0 @ #6 Natick, 4 – FinalAttleboro battled against Bay State Conference power Natick, but was unable to extend its playoff run. Goalie Alexis Campbell and defender Olivia Calderone both had strong games for the Bombardiers to keep Natick at four goals. Attleboro coach Steve Santos was full of praise for his team, which was in the postseason for the first time in more than a decade. He said, “Our team battled and played their hearts out. Proud of fight.”

Division 2
#31 North Middlesex, 0 @ #2 Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this match.

#28 North Attleboro, 0 @ #5 Danvers, 1 – Final (PKs)North Attleboro gave the 5th-seeded Falcons of Danvers High all they could handle but ultimately fell in penalty kicks. Maddie Ferrin played amazing in goal for the Rocketeers while Summer Doherty marked the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year and All American Arianna Bezanson and held her scoreless. North nearly took the lead late in the first half but Brayden Rice’s shot hit the post and stayed out.

Volleyball
Division 1

#30 Taunton, 0 @ #3 North Andover, 3 – Final

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/22/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalAfter earning a corner kick, Billy Badger dropped a left-footed service into the area to the six-yard line to an open Cashel Stuger, who headed it to the far post and in for the lone goal of the game in the 13th minute.

Taunton, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalCanton scored a pair of goals in each half to knock Taunton from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Dogs built a 2-0 lead before the Tigers got on the board before halftime. Canton came out and tacked on two more in the second half to put the game away. Carson Eagles scored his first career goal while Jacob Crugnale, Caden Mirliani, and Dylan Baird also scored for the hosts.

Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro took the lead in the first half but Franklin leveled the match early in the second half and the two teams split the points. North struck first in the 12th minute as Patrick McDermott finished off a cross. Givany Carney sent in the pass and Connor Ward made a nice run to draw the defender and dummied it to free McDermott for an open look. Franklin pulled level less than two minutes into the second half when Will Krysak scored on a cross from Jack Moran.

King Philip, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – FinalKing Philip scored three second half goals to earn their second win of the season, handing Sharon its first loss at home in the process. Sharon took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break but the Warriors equalized and went ahead inside the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Eagles equalized shortly after but KP went back ahead with the eventual game-winner in the 62nd minute. Stephen Griffin scored the first two goals for the visitors, the first unassisted and the second off a feed from Tommy Lomuscio. Oliver Blackburn netted the winner with an assist from Josh Canning.

Mansfield, 6 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalMansfield found the back of the net three times in each have, rolling to another win this season. Junior Aidan Steele scored in each half to pace the Hornets’ offense, Danny Rowe and Liam Anastasia scored in the first half, and Matt Hyland added another in the second half. Senior Anthony Klimas scored his first career goal in the win. Jack Lasbury-Casey earned the shutout in net.

Milford, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalAfter trading goals twice, Oliver Ames found the game-winner at the death to pick up two points against Milford, snapping a three-game skid to the Hawks. The visitors opened the scoring on a goal from Nick Ribeiro (assisted by Arthur Tome) but OA responded a minute later on a goal from Hector Bucio (from Christian Haikal). This time it was the Tigers who took the lead, with Bucio setting up Joey Carney for the hosts’ first lead of the afternoon. But Milford had the answer in the form of an equalizer from senior Avi Seri (from classmate Christian Dinis). In the final minute, Haikal finished off a pass from Carney for the winner. Senior Mathias Taylor had a superb game in the midfield for OA while Jake Williams, Collin Lozano, Diego Rivera, and Antonio Fernandes played well in the back.










Girls Soccer
Foxboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalKailee McCabe put on a show to lead the Warriors to another impressive win, the team’s fifth in a row. McCabe, the league’s leading scorer, recorded all five of Foxboro’s goals, including the 50th of her career. She scored direct from a free kick and had a pair of “olimpicos” (goals direct from corner kicks). McCabe also scored one from a Jordan Carman assist and another off a pass from Kylie O’Keefe.

Canton, 5 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalEmily Calederon scored both goals for the Tigers.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalAnya Zub continued to be on fire in front of goal for the Panthers. After scoring four times on Monday, Zub added a brace to help Franklin beat North and stay a point back of KP in the Kelley-Rex standings. Riley Fitzpatrick opened the scoring off an assist from Avery Greco, who moved into a new position and had a strong game. Steph McKenna tied the game in the 48th minute for North, scoring off a Caroline Ferrin assist. Bridget Leo’s through ball to Fitzpatrick led to Franklin’s second goal, finished off by Zub. Fiztpatrick added her second assist, and third point of the afternoon, to set up Zub for the third Franklin goal that sealed the two points. Chloe Barca, Stella Regan, and Leo played well in midfield for the Panthers and Norah Anderson controlled the back line. North had other chances in the first half, with Charlotte Moynihan and Casey Butanowicz both striking the woodwork. Victoria Donnelley, Abby Pratt, and Lily Adams each had great games in the loss.

Sharon, 1 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalAfter falling behind by a goal inside the opening five minutes, KP scored five in a row to get the win, remain perfect in league play, and stay in first place in the division. Olivia Soby opened the scoring for the Eagles, ripping a 30-yard shot just under the bar. Ten minutes later, Dani Lomuscio took a pass from Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn and found the back of the net from 25 yards. Ella Pisani also scored from distance to put the Warriors ahead before the break. Midway through the second half, Sarah Harper doubled the KP lead off an assist from Rihanna Mason. Rachel DeFlaminis was then played through on goal by Pisani and made it 4-1. Delia Mahoney wrapped up the scoring with eight minutes to play, finishing a corner kick from Danielle Gresham. Sofia Goclowski and Amber Marcus-Blank both played well for Sharon.

Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalThe Hornets ended a two-game losing streak with a shutout of Stoughton. Tarynn Smith scored twice and assisted on another to power the Mansfield offense. Abby Jean and Olivia Homsi each had a goal and an assist. Avery Hawthorne added a goal and freshman Gabby Smith scored her first career goal. Olivia Salisbury and Caitlyn Zajac combined for one save and the clean sheet. Morgan Cook had her best game of the season for the Black Knights, passing the ball well and taking on defenders to create scoring chances. Emma Tran was close to getting on the board for Stoughton, but her shot came back off the inside of the post. Sophia Issa played well at both defensive mid and left back.

Oliver Ames, 7 @ Milford, 1 – FinalCamryn O’Connor had a hat trick and an assist to lead the Tigers on the road and keep them unbeaten on the season. Halle Kandar, Lucinda Li Cotter (two assists), Jenna Gilman, and Carly Gibson also scored for OA. Dani Atherton had the lone goal for the Hawks.




Golf
Attleboro, 167 @ Mansfield, 153 – FinalMansfield earned its seventh win in nine tries, defending its home course against the visiting Bombardiers. Cian Goulet fired a medalist round of 37, Ryan Doherty and Cody Nieratko both shot a 38, and Hunter Tang came in with a 40 for the Hornets.

Franklin, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 139 – FinalOA senior Jo Jo Gaultier birdied the first two holes and added another on seven while sophomore Sean Kearns also had three birdies as the Tigers had one of the best performances by any team this season in a win at Pine Oaks over visiting Franklin. Kearns had birdies on two, five, and eight while Gaultier’s third birdie of the day came on seven. Both finished with a two-under 32 to share medalist honors. Senior Carter Allbritton added a 37 and classmate Jake Kaplan shot a 38. Sophomore Anthony Lampasona had a low-round of 39 for the Panthers.

Taunton, 196 @ Sharon, 173 – FinalSharon picked up its second win at home in as many days, this time knocking off Taunton at The Cape Club of Sharon. Nathan Daley led the way for the Eagles with a medalist round of 38, Rosie Leonard added a 43, Owen Kevorkian chipped in with a 45, and Eric Carter finished with a 47. Nathan Fernandes led Taunton with a 47.

Canton, 148 @ Stoughton, 179 – FinalAll four of Canton’s scorers came in under 40 for the day as the Bulldogs earned their fifth win of the season. Will Gefteas took his turn as the match medalist for the visitors, carding a low round of 35. Conor Hunter added a 37 in the win while Mekhala Costello and Mike Leonetti both came in at 38. Anthony Hern led Stoughton with a 41 while Pat Smith fired a 43.

Oliver Ames Opens With Impressive Win At Canton

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames senior Clide Neau heads in the opening goal in the 4th minute against Canton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 CANTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames boys soccer has been the class of the Hockomock League for the past decade and last year’s large senior class added to that tradition with another division title.

After graduating over a dozen players and nearly the entire starting lineup, it looked like the Tigers’ grasp of division supremacy might be at risk.

But as Oliver Ames showed in its season opener on the road at Canton, the Tigers aren’t quite ready to give up their spot at the top.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Tigers jumped all over the Bulldogs from the opening whistle, scoring less than five minutes in and adding two more in the second half to secure an impressive 3-0 result.

“I think the guys were really ready to play on Thursday and then we got canceled so there was definitely some anticipation, some build up going into tonight,” said Oliver Ames head coach John Barata. “It’s no longer about the previous teams, these are the guys are taking it pretty seriously. I thought we caught Canton early, maybe a little bit surprised at how we played. I don’t think we’ll surprise them next time but I’ll take any points this year anywhere we can get them.”

OA took the opening kickoff and dumped a long ball into the attacking third, getting bodies forward to pin Canton back. It worked as the Bulldogs were unable to build out of the back and OA took control of the possession and the game.

Sophomores Ryan Linhares and Joey Carney combined to get forward before the latter sent a low cross into the area but senior Clide Neau’s cheeky chip went just over the bar in the 2nd minute.










A minute later, Linhares drove a corner to the far post where freshman Casey Milliken was located but his header hit off the top of the crossbar and stayed out.

The Tigers finally broke through in the fourth minute when Linhares carried down the right sideline before sliding a low cross into the area. The ball was deflected up and Neau was in the right spot, looping a header over the keeper and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

“We had that conversation about the butterflies and the nerves yesterday,” Barata said, noting the Tigers had five underclassmen in the starting lineup. “They were almost overexcited yesterday in training, our shots were off, our passes weren’t crisp. As you saw, we’re going to try and play a little bit whereas people probably thought we’d be a bit more direct and back it in with a new team. But we can’t hide it anymore.”

Canton worked its way into the attacking third in the 11th minute and a blocked shot fell to senior Jacob Crugnale at the far post but a difficult shot on the bounce was turned aside by OA keeper Sasha Priajinski.

Oliver Ames boys soccer

OA came back down the other way and had a pair of chances just off the mark. First, Milliken set up Linhares on the right side for a bid that was off, and four minutes later, Milliken combined with Neau before taking a shot from distance that went over the bar.

The Bulldogs had their best chance of the opening half came in the 30th minute as senior Erik Valdovinos used his speed to get down the right sideline before getting a cross into the middle where Jake McCabe nodded a header down but Priajinski was well-positioned to make the stop. Canton had another crack at it in the 36th minute of a free kick just outside the box but McCabe’s curling shot was over the bar.




Just before half, Canton utilized its timeout to save time on a dangerous set-piece. McCabe was the first to it at the near post, getting a piece before the rebound fell to junior Carson Eagles, who had his half volley bid go high.

After some early back-and-forth action to start the second half, OA won a corner and cashed in. Milliken played a ball right to the penalty spot where senior Mathias Taylor rose up to meet it, smashing a header into the corner for a 2-0 advantage.

Seven minutes later, OA earned a free kick just over midfield. It was played into the box but Milliken was taken down off the ball to give the Tigers a penalty. Taylor stepped up and used power to get his shot past the keeper for a 3-0 lead in the 60th minute.

“What I really liked, once we got a couple of minutes into the game it felt like we were back, we were comfortable, we were knocking the ball around,” Barata said. “The senior leadership has been great. I know it’s early but Mathias is obviously one of the premier players in the region, Michael Haikal is coming back from an injury, [Collin] Lozano has great senior leadership, Sasha jumping into goal…all the way down, the seniors helped us calm down. And then the underclassman looked comfortable out there too. But this job just got started, there’s a lot of soccer to play but hopefully we keep getting better. They’ve set a high bar for themselves.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Canton’s best chance of the second half came just a minute later on a free kick from distance but McCabe’s bit on target was parried aside by Priajinski.

“We had to be very conscious about conceding to them in the second half,” Barata said. “At halftime, we talked quickly about how I thought they did well in the first half and I was impressed with the level of intensity but we had to keep it up, I told them we can’t let them in. Canton came out strong in the second but we settled again and once we got the second goal, we felt more comfortable.”

Oliver Ames boys soccer (1-0 Hockomock, 1-0 overall) is on the road again on Friday when they travel to take on Franklin. Canton (1-1-0, 1-1-1) will have its first road league game of the season when it heads to Milford.

First Half Goal Just Enough for KP at Canton

King Philip Boys Soccer
KP defender Matthew Clarke (15) and the rest of the Warriors back line kept Canton off the board to secure a 1-0 road win. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – The field seemed to be tilted towards the far end zone all night. In the first half of Thursday night’s game at WWII Veterans Memorial Field, King Philip threatened with every attack, creating a number of chances, and putting Canton on the back foot. After the break, the hosts turned the game around and suddenly had the Warriors on their heels.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

When you’re on top in the game, you have to find the back of the net. KP managed it once, junior Tadhg Keller tapping in a rebound in the 14th minute, and that turned out to be just about enough, as the back line held up against the Canton pressure and held on for a 1-0 win.

“They had a lot of momentum,” said KP coach Mike O’Neill about the pressure his team faced to preserve the lead in the second half. “I’m really happy. It’s a character win, these guys really grinded it out. It was close, it was touch-and-go for a while, but I’m proud of how my boys stuck to it.”

Canton had the game’s first shot on target, but it would end up being the only save that KP starting keeper Aidan Lindmark had to make in the first half, as the Bulldogs struggled to manufacture consistent offense in the opening 40 minutes.

KP grabbed control by exploiting the edges of the Canton defense. Junior Alex Leon had a bright start down the left and he slipped a pass into the channel for Andrew Robinson to have a shot just six minutes into the game. Five minutes later, Leon quickly turned on his defender and had a go from inside the box but hit the side netting.

In the 14th minute, KP got a free kick opportunity from about 25 yards out. Sophomore Caleb Casseta-Waxman curled a shot that seemed destined for the back of the net only for Canton keeper Alejandro Correal to fly across and get a fingertip to it and put it off the bar. The rebound fell to Keller, who took a touch to settle it before slamming the ball into the goal.

“I thought we played a relatively complete game today,” said Canton coach Danny Erickson, “but soccer comes down to moments and we fell asleep admiring our goalkeeper’s save. They didn’t fall asleep and they buried a rebound and that’s what happens.”

Just a minute later, the lead was very nearly doubled. This time KP attacked down the right. Wesley Orzell and Owen Teixeira played a one-two to get Orzell into space and he burst past the defender on the end line. The senior looked up and slid a pass to Casseta-Waxman, who was unmarked in the six-yard-box. Only a heroic intervention by freshman Carson Eagles kept the goalbound shot from hitting the back of the net.

The chances kept coming for the visitors. Evan McEvoy teed up Teixeira in the right channel and his shot flashed into the side netting, confusing some in the crowd, on the KP bench, and the scorekeeper who all thought it had gone into the top corner.

Stephen Griffin managed to hold possession against several Canton defenders and he set up McEvoy for a 20-yard strike that Correal held for one of his five first-half saves. A long cross from right back Matthew Clarke picked out Keller for a free header with just minutes to go before halftime, but the shot was easily grabbed by Correal.

Whatever was said at halftime seemed to work for the Bulldogs. Canton came out of the break inspired and instantly started to put pressure on the KP defense.

“I’d love to take massive credit for an inspirational halftime speech,” Erickson joked, “but I thought we were showing signs of really good stuff in the first half and we focused on those things. Honestly, they started winning some battles and feeling good about themselves and that results in good things.”

Just three minutes into the second half, Dylan Baird had a shot from a long way out that new KP keeper Grant Orzell had to collect at the second attempt, just in front of Jacob Crugnale. Five minutes later, Crugnale had a go from distance that took a touch off a KP boot before going over the bar. From the resulting corner, Colby Cifolillo rose highest but his goal-bound header was deflected wide of the post.

“We’re still a team that’s struggling to create chances and finish and that’s something that we’re going back to the drawing board to keep working on,” Erickson said.

Midway through the second half, freshman Jorge Sanchez set up Crugnale for a one-time hit but Orzell was able to get behind it. TJ McCabe had several shots from the edge of the box that the defense had to charge down. Despite the chances they were able to create, the Bulldogs just couldn’t find a way through and the KP back three of Clarke, Jordan Hoyle, and Jeremy White held firm.

“They are the core of this team and they are the rock, the wall we build, and we really rely on them,” said O’Neil of his defense. “In addition to be excellent defenders, they’re really skilled, composed, and they know what they’re doing.”

KP had a couple of chances on the break to try and put the game away. The best chance came for Anthony Zappala, but his curling effort from distance was collected by Canton back-up goalie Giovanni Ruggeri.

King Philip (3-1-2, 2-1-2) will get nearly a week off before traveling to division rival Attleboro on Wednesday. Canton (1-3-2, 1-3-1) will try to end its three-game losing streak when it hosts Sharon on Monday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.