The 2015 Hockomock Boys Soccer All Stars & HMs

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Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Devante Teixeira, Foxboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Zach Rodrigues, Attleboro
Harry Lancaster, Attleboro
Patrick Hession, Canton
Devante Teixeira, Foxboro
Anthony Barreira, Foxboro
Joe Morrison, Foxboro
Rob Lowey, Foxboro
Nick Parent, Franklin
Henri Guilmette, Franklin
Dan Geraci, Franklin
Joseph Kellett, King Philip
Cameron Mullins, King Philip
Tyler Mann, King Philip
Maxwell Gurnon, Mansfield
Christopher Elsner, Mansfield
Mike Da Silva, Milford
Matt Coscarella, North Attleboro
Chris Romero, Oliver Ames
Keegan Nutt, Oliver Ames
Nathaniel Cardoza, Oliver Ames
Thomas McCormick, Oliver Ames
Andrew Filipkowski, Sharon
Noah Kurland, Sharon
Fabio Ponce de Leon, Stoughton
Goddy Fombe, Stoughton
Austin Botelho, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Junior Coca, Attleboro
Sammy Papakonstantino, Canton
AJ Bubencik, Foxboro
Hatim Brahimi, Franklin
Brandon Zioldowski, King Philip
Michael Kirejczyk, Mansfield
Justin Borges, Milford
Gabe Pinhancos, North Attleboro
Jack Carroll, Oliver Ames
James Dunlea, Sharon
Tyler Melo, Stoughton
Derek Pereira, Taunton

The 2015 Hockomock Boys Soccer All Stars & HMs

IMG_2044_2
Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Devante Teixeira, Foxboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Zach Rodrigues, Attleboro
Harry Lancaster, Attleboro
Patrick Hession, Canton
Devante Teixeira, Foxboro
Anthony Barreira, Foxboro
Joe Morrison, Foxboro
Rob Lowey, Foxboro
Nick Parent, Franklin
Henri Guilmette, Franklin
Dan Geraci, Franklin
Joseph Kellett, King Philip
Cameron Mullins, King Philip
Tyler Mann, King Philip
Maxwell Gurnon, Mansfield
Christopher Elsner, Mansfield
Mike Da Silva, Milford
Matt Coscarella, North Attleboro
Chris Romero, Oliver Ames
Keegan Nutt, Oliver Ames
Nathaniel Cardoza, Oliver Ames
Thomas McCormick, Oliver Ames
Andrew Filipkowski, Sharon
Noah Kurland, Sharon
Fabio Ponce de Leon, Stoughton
Goddy Fombe, Stoughton
Austin Botelho, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Junior Coca, Attleboro
Sammy Papakonstantino, Canton
AJ Bubencik, Foxboro
Hatim Brahimi, Franklin
Brandon Zioldowski, King Philip
Michael Kirejczyk, Mansfield
Justin Borges, Milford
Gabe Pinhancos, North Attleboro
Jack Carroll, Oliver Ames
James Dunlea, Sharon
Tyler Melo, Stoughton
Derek Pereira, Taunton

Needham Bounces Mansfield With Shutout Win

Mansfield's Charlie Rogers makes a pass in the second half against Needham at Memorial Field. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Mansfield’s Charlie Rogers makes a pass in the second half against Needham at Memorial Field. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

NEEDHAM, Mass. – Trailing by a goal, Mansfield was finally getting some attacking pressure as the second half began.

James Chotkowski laid the ball off to Sean Lanzillo near midfield and the sophomore was able to dribble across the width of the field, eventually laying it off to senior Charlie Rogers. Rogers took a touch into the area and unleashed a shot that forced Needham goalie Simon Shulman into a diving save.

But two minutes later on the other end, a blocked shot fell to the feet of Cormac Lynch-Collier and he placed his shot perfectly at the far post to make punctuate Needham’s 2-0 win over Mansfield.

“We were carrying the play in the beginning of the second half,” Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan said. “We had that great exchange and then they scored and it took the wind out of our sails. We fought them until the end though. We just weren’t shooting. You can’t win if you don’t score and we just didn’t shoot enough.”

It was a strong defensive effort on the original effort but the bounce fell right to Lynch-Collier and his shot left Kirejczyk no shot.

“That seemed to deflate them,” Needham coach Jimmy Odierna said. “If you’re only up 1-0, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against or how much you’re controlling the game. If they get one opportunity they can tie it up and it’s a whole new ball game. That was probably our frustration from the beginning is that we weren’t finishing our opportunities. Their keeper did a great job, their back line did a great job.”

The Rockets had control of the game from the get go and nearly took the lead in the 25th minute. Needham’s Donnie Igo was able to get a touch to the ball before Mansfield keeper Michael Kirejczyk could get to it and centered a pass to Jeremy Stern but his shot was blocked by Chris Elsner.

Just three minutes later, the Rockets did find the back of the net from seemingly nowhere. After large spells of possessions, the Rockets earned this throw after a poor clearance. Igo launched a throw into the area and Michael Aksman rose above his man and tucked his header into the corner for a one goal lead heading into the break.

The Hornets were able to really limit the Rockets, who have only lost a pair of games this season, in the first half. Elsner along with Max Gurnon were a formidable duo in the center and didn’t allow Igo — arguably one of the top scorers on one of the top teams in the state — to get much going at all. Igo scored four goals in the first round in a win over BC High.

“They doubled up our star up top and that really took him out of the game and made us work for our goals differently,” Ordierna said. “I think that helped us posses the ball a little more. When they had to be a little more offensive, they took it to us. They’re athletic, they’re fast. They’re very dangerous on their set pieces and they had some opportunities we were able to stop and that was the difference.

“To be honest we haven’t seen it much, which is evident from his goal scoring,” Ordierna said of the marking on Igo. “This is the first team that wisely did that and I expect it here on out. It was a well coached decision from them.”

One set piece that was stopped came in the 56th minute. Elsner ripped a free kick from 35 yards out that was targeted for the right upper 90 but Shulman lept up and got a hand to it, forcing it to hit the bar and go over the net.

Kirejczyk came up with a big save when Igo did finally get his first year shot on goal, taking a feed from Stern and taking a shot from inside the area but the low bid was saved. Sophomore Harry Braidt also had a sliding stop after a long cross looked to be deflected on target.

“A lot of the 50-50 balls we were able to get to,” Sheridan said. But they controlled the second [balls]. One thing they did really well was getting the ball away from pressure. Doesn’t matter where on the field, they get it away from pressure to a man on their team. They did it really, really well, they are a very good team.

“Overall we played well, we just didn’t control the middle of the field as much as I would have wanted. We did it to a point but not enough.”

Mansfield, the Kelley-Rex champs, finish 13-3-3 overall with its first league title since 2006.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Staples’ Late Tally Lifts Mansfield Over King Philip

Mansfield's Jared Miller and King Philip's Joe Kellett battle for possession in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Mansfield’s Jared Miller and King Philip’s Joe Kellett battle for possession in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

MANSFIELD, Mass. – Mansfield junior Kevin Bouck picked a pretty good time to score his first goal of the season, giving the Hornets the lead with less than a minute to play in the first half.

Senior Jake Staples picked an even better time for his.

Staples got on the end of a long free kick from junior Max Gurnon, lunging in the area to get his head to the ball and find the back of the net to break a tie game with just over 10 minutes to play.

The goal would hold up over the final minutes and Mansfield picked up a 2-1 win over King Philip in the Second Round of the D1 South tournament.

“All three games that we’ve played have been anyone’s match,” Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan said. “There’s been a total of five goals in the three games, it’s always a hard fought game. They’re great. [Joe] Kellett to me is one of the best players around, he’s unbelievable. I can’t say enough about him or Cam [Mullins], they’re both great players.”

After a delay for continuation, the referee whistled KP for a high kick just before midfield. Gurnon hit a line drive ball right over the top of the defense and Staples sprinted in right behind and headed the ball in for the game winner.

“We’re not used to having someone like Staples do a diving header but you know, it was a beautiful goal,” Sheridan said. “We’re a deep team…certain guys in certain games. Staples was playing great in the first half and I put him back in in the second half and he scores that great game winning goal. Kevin only played the last eight minutes in the first half and scored the goal. He came off the bench cold too.”

It was a battle throughout the first half, and really throughout the entire game. King Philip sophomore Larsen Keys had the first chance of the game, taking a cross from junior Colby Koch but his shot went just wide at the far post.

In the 14th minute, Tyler Mann ripped in a cross that was dropped by Mansfield goalie Michael Kirejczyk but he was able to get a touch to the loose ball and it was cleared away.

Mansfield’s first chance came in the 19th minute as Jareme DiLirenzo muscled his way through KP’s defense and unleashed a shot from a tight angle but Brandon Ziolkowski was in position at the near post.

The Warriors dominated possession over the final 10 minutes of the first half, stringing together at least a spell of over a dozen passes before a cross was collected by Kirejczyk,

The Hornets first tally came from seemingly nothing as Sean Lanzillo blocked a clearance and quickly fed Charlie Rogers in. Rogers raced to the end line and then centered a cross back where Bouck easily buried it into the back of the net with less than a minute to play in the first half.

It didn’t take long for the Warriors to level the game in the second half, knotting the game at one less than four minutes in. Senior captain Joe Kellett came away with a steal at midfield, took a touch before sending Mann down the left flank. Mann did well with his hold up play, allowing Kellett to come on an overlapping run and he laid it off. Kellett took possession, raced towards the end line and hit a perfect low cross back across the middle and sophomore Mike Rowe slotted it into the corner of the net.

Midway through the second half, the Warriors thought they had earned a penalty kick. Mann took control in his own half and raced nearly 60 yards before being taken down from behind right on the edge of the area. The ref originally seemed to point to the spot for a PK but instead it was placed at the 20 yard line. Kellett’s ensuing free kick was unable to elude the wall and was cleared.

Staples’ goal came with just over 10 minutes to play and neither side was able to register a scoring chance in the remaining time, despite five long throw in opportunities for KP.

“A loss is always a sour taste in your mouth but when you have two good teams that battle it out, and that was one hell of a goal on that second one from Mansfield, it’s kind of hard to walk away and say you didn’t try to earn it,’ King Philip head coach Nick Gale said. “The kids left it all out there. It was a well deserved win on their part. Out of the three games we’ve played them, that was probably the best they’ve played.

“Our objective was to play good soccer and be the better soccer team. That’s the way we’ve been training and the philosophy we’ve followed. We wanted to beat them playing good soccer and I think we came up short. But we worked hard on it.”

KP finishes the season 8-8-3 overall. Mansfield is now 13-3-3 and will advance to the Quarterfinals of the D1 South tournament and will travel to #4 Needham on Sunday. The time is still to be announced.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Staples' Late Tally Lifts Mansfield Over King Philip

Mansfield's Jared Miller and King Philip's Joe Kellett battle for possession in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Mansfield’s Jared Miller and King Philip’s Joe Kellett battle for possession in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

MANSFIELD, Mass. – Mansfield junior Kevin Bouck picked a pretty good time to score his first goal of the season, giving the Hornets the lead with less than a minute to play in the first half.

Senior Jake Staples picked an even better time for his.

Staples got on the end of a long free kick from junior Max Gurnon, lunging in the area to get his head to the ball and find the back of the net to break a tie game with just over 10 minutes to play.

The goal would hold up over the final minutes and Mansfield picked up a 2-1 win over King Philip in the Second Round of the D1 South tournament.

“All three games that we’ve played have been anyone’s match,” Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan said. “There’s been a total of five goals in the three games, it’s always a hard fought game. They’re great. [Joe] Kellett to me is one of the best players around, he’s unbelievable. I can’t say enough about him or Cam [Mullins], they’re both great players.”

After a delay for continuation, the referee whistled KP for a high kick just before midfield. Gurnon hit a line drive ball right over the top of the defense and Staples sprinted in right behind and headed the ball in for the game winner.

“We’re not used to having someone like Staples do a diving header but you know, it was a beautiful goal,” Sheridan said. “We’re a deep team…certain guys in certain games. Staples was playing great in the first half and I put him back in in the second half and he scores that great game winning goal. Kevin only played the last eight minutes in the first half and scored the goal. He came off the bench cold too.”

It was a battle throughout the first half, and really throughout the entire game. King Philip sophomore Larsen Keys had the first chance of the game, taking a cross from junior Colby Koch but his shot went just wide at the far post.

In the 14th minute, Tyler Mann ripped in a cross that was dropped by Mansfield goalie Michael Kirejczyk but he was able to get a touch to the loose ball and it was cleared away.

Mansfield’s first chance came in the 19th minute as Jareme DiLirenzo muscled his way through KP’s defense and unleashed a shot from a tight angle but Brandon Ziolkowski was in position at the near post.

The Warriors dominated possession over the final 10 minutes of the first half, stringing together at least a spell of over a dozen passes before a cross was collected by Kirejczyk,

The Hornets first tally came from seemingly nothing as Sean Lanzillo blocked a clearance and quickly fed Charlie Rogers in. Rogers raced to the end line and then centered a cross back where Bouck easily buried it into the back of the net with less than a minute to play in the first half.

It didn’t take long for the Warriors to level the game in the second half, knotting the game at one less than four minutes in. Senior captain Joe Kellett came away with a steal at midfield, took a touch before sending Mann down the left flank. Mann did well with his hold up play, allowing Kellett to come on an overlapping run and he laid it off. Kellett took possession, raced towards the end line and hit a perfect low cross back across the middle and sophomore Mike Rowe slotted it into the corner of the net.

Midway through the second half, the Warriors thought they had earned a penalty kick. Mann took control in his own half and raced nearly 60 yards before being taken down from behind right on the edge of the area. The ref originally seemed to point to the spot for a PK but instead it was placed at the 20 yard line. Kellett’s ensuing free kick was unable to elude the wall and was cleared.

Staples’ goal came with just over 10 minutes to play and neither side was able to register a scoring chance in the remaining time, despite five long throw in opportunities for KP.

“A loss is always a sour taste in your mouth but when you have two good teams that battle it out, and that was one hell of a goal on that second one from Mansfield, it’s kind of hard to walk away and say you didn’t try to earn it,’ King Philip head coach Nick Gale said. “The kids left it all out there. It was a well deserved win on their part. Out of the three games we’ve played them, that was probably the best they’ve played.

“Our objective was to play good soccer and be the better soccer team. That’s the way we’ve been training and the philosophy we’ve followed. We wanted to beat them playing good soccer and I think we came up short. But we worked hard on it.”

KP finishes the season 8-8-3 overall. Mansfield is now 13-3-3 and will advance to the Quarterfinals of the D1 South tournament and will travel to #4 Needham on Sunday. The time is still to be announced.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Tuesday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/27/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Attleboro scored first 13 minutes into the game but a penalty kick from Jared Miller three minutes before the break leveled the game. Senior Chris Elsner scored his first career goal, heading home a corner from Brad Eames and Miller added the insurance goal four minutes off an assist from Jareme DiLorenzo. Michael Kirejczyk made eight saves in net as the Hornets clinched at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title.

Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Stoughton freshman Fabio Ponce De Leon scored his eighth goal of the season off of what head coach Aaron Salter called a great pass from Winston Kessah. Salter said Goddy Frombe was fantastic at the back and Kyle Silverman was solid for the whole game.

Foxboro, 4 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Joe Morrison, Devante Teixeira and Anthony Barreira each scored a goal inside the first eight minutes as the Warriors jumped out to an early lead. Jake Goloboy brought the Eagles back within two in the 14th minute and scored again in the 51st minute to make it a one goal game. But Teixeira netted his second in the 62nd minute for the insurance goal.

Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Nick Parent scored in the second half off an assist from Aaron Frongillo for the lone goal of the game.

King Philip, 9 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Sophomore Tyler Mann scored a first half hat trick and one assist for the Warriors, who jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the break. Joe Kellett had three assists and one goal, Will Weir and Larsen Keys each had a goal and an assists, Nick Cannella had a pair of assists and Thomas Lugten netted a pair of goals. Mike Rowe also had a goal for KP. Austin Botelho scored off an assist from Derek Pereira for Taunton.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with the win. Thomas McCormick had a pair of assists, setting up Keegan Nutt and Jack Sheldon, and scored once himself. Chris Romero picked up an assist on McCormick’s goal.
Girls Soccer
Mansfield, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Emma Goulet scored twice and Jackie Carchedi had a pair of assists to lead the Hornets. Melissa Reef and Rebecca Bornstein also scored for Mansfield. Paige Medeiros scored the lone goal for Attleboro.

Canton, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Sharon @ Foxboro, 3:30
North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Alexis Stowell scored the goal for the Panthers off an assist from Emily Mastaj. Hana Caster scored from a Shannon Kingsley corner 12 minutes into the game. It was the first goal that Franklin has allowed this season. 

Taunton, 4 @ King Philip, 2 – Final

Milford, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final –  Jacqueline Mills scored a brace and Francesca Calabraro added a third for OA. Delaney Benton, Erin Fitzgerald, and Sam Bamford had the assists for the Tigers and Regan Benton and Bethany Dunk shared the shutout. Milford coach Jay Mastaj noted that Gabby O’Neil and Brianna Braza played well for the Hawks.
Volleyball
Taunton, 3 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final

Hornets Beat Franklin, Seize Control of Kelley-Rex

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

Taking Stock of the Hock: Boys Soccer 2015

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Who is the current soccer Player of the Year?
Lanigan:
Foxboro senior Devante Teixeira is off to a great start this season and has been arguably the toughest player to stop. Playing out wide, Teixeira has shown he can straight beat defenders and get to the line for a service or he can cut into the area and create an opportunity that way. He has been the beneficiary of some great work from teammates Anthony Barreira and Joe Morrison, among others, but he has made the most of his opportunities. His mix of speed, skill and vision make him very hard to stop.
Perry: The Foxboro trio of Devante Teixeira, Joe Morrison, and Anthony Barreira deserve recognition as do Brad Eames and Max Gurnon for the solidity of Kelley-Rex leaders Mansfield, but if I had to pick a Player of the Year right now it would be Oliver Ames senior Chris Romero. He isn’t a flashy player with tons of goals, but he is fourth in the league in points with 12 (six goals and six assists), while playing multiple roles for the Tigers from dropping into midfield, playing out on the wing, protecting the back four as a defensive mid and even playing sweeper to protect leads late. Nathanial Cardoza and Keegan Nutt have both had Player of the Year caliber seasons too, but Romero is a coach on the field and the leader of the best team in the Hock.
Who is the soccer Underclassman of the Year?
Lanigan: Sometimes it can be hard to justify a player’s worth if there aren’t stats to back it up, but there’s no question about how good Oliver Ames sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza has been this year. Playing in a center mid role, Cardoza have been a catalyst in the Tigers’ defense as well as the offense. Head coach John Barata has the ability to drop Cardoza a little deeper when OA gets a lead, which pads an already tough defense. Between Cardoza and sophomore midfielders Cam Vella, Matt Campbell and Mason Galbato, the future of OA’s midfield looks very good.
Perry: At the end of last year, I made the case that Joe Morrison deserved mention for the Player of the Year as a freshman and since he came back from an injury a couple games into this season Morrison has just continued his upward trajectory. Morrison is the fulcrum for a Foxboro attack and was sorely missed in Foxboro’s one loss this season. With Morrison in the midfield, the Warriors always have an outlet and someone who can be patient with the ball even under duress, which allows Devante Teixeira and Anthony Barreira to play higher up the pitch and push opposing defenses back with their pace. His ability to break a defense down, makes Foxboro the most dangerous offensive team in the Hock.
What has been the biggest surprise this season?
Lanigan: We had a feeling Foxboro, OA and Mansfield would all have good seasons and so far that is holding up. Meanwhile, the defending four time Kelley-Rex champs Franklin are sitting in a good spot with an 8-3 record. The three losses came in the first five games of the season and two of them to the current division leaders (Mansfield & OA). Unsurprisingly Austin Kent has one of the top players in the league while players like David Stowell, Brian Czuba, Farley Asmath and Kevin Hall have all stepped up to make plays at the right time. Despite graduating 16 seniors last year, the Panthers could be in play for a fifth straight division title.
Perry: Attleboro goalie Tyler Stowe is not a soccer player by trade. He’s much better known for being the ace of the Bombardiers pitching staff during baseball season. But after a real struggle in his opening game of the year against Foxboro, Stowe has emerged as a solid replacement for graduated keeper Jason Ross. Stowe may not be a Best XI choice this year, but it has been one position for Attleboro that started as a question mark and has turned into a strength. Stowe has three clean sheets and has only allowed four goals in 6-1/2 games behind an inexperienced Attleboro back line.
HockomockSports.com Midseason Best XI
Lanigan:

GK – Michael Kirejczyk, Mansfield
D – Josh Mitchell, Stoughton
D – Chris Elsner, Mansfield
D – Cam Mullins, King Philip
M – Nathaniel Cardoza, Oliver Ames
M – Joey Morrison, Foxboro
M – Keegan Nutt, Oliver Ames
M – Austin Kent, Franklin
M – Joe Kellett, King Philip
F – Chris Romero, Oliver Ames
F – Devante Teixeira, Foxboro
Perry:
G – Michael Kirejczyk, Mansfield
D – Max Gurnon, Mansfield
D – Cam Mullins, King Philip
D – Dan Geraci, Franklin
M – Nathaniel Cardoza, Oliver Ames
M – Keegan Nutt, Oliver Ames
M – Joe Morrison, Foxboro
M – Chris Romero, Oliver Ames
M – Austin Kent, Franklin
F – Anthony Barreira, Foxboro
F – Devante Teixeira, Foxboro
At this point, which team will be going the furthest in the tournament?
Lanigan:
I think there are a couple of teams that have a good chance at making runs in the tournament this year. With Franklin, Mansfield and KP in D1, Oliver Ames and Stoughton in D2 and Foxboro in D3, we could see a run from all three divisions. When it comes to the question though, I think Oliver Ames has a good chance of getting back to where they were last year. Don’t be surprised if Foxboro gets further than they did last year and one of the D1 teams makes a run in a talented D1 South field.
Perry: I want to go out on a limb, but in the end the team I think will go the furthest in the tournament is the same team that went the furthest last year – Oliver Ames. The Tigers will have to run a gauntlet in Div. 2 with the usual suspects, including a very good Nauset team, but they are playing like a team that can make another run to the state final. With only one goal allowed this season, OA has the strength in defense and particularly in the midfield to battle just about any team in the state. The Tigers have arguably the most complete starting XI in the league. Maybe we could see a rematch of last year’s final with Concord-Carlisle?
What is your bold prediction for the rest of the season?
Lanigan:
I’m going to say that it either be Foxboro scoring 60 goals this season or Oliver Ames allowing six or less goals in the regular season. They might seem like random numbers but the Warriors have 32 goals just over halfway through and I think they can keep that face up in the remaining games. OA has only allowed one goal so far through nine games, and the sun played a big role. I picked six because that’s how many Franklin’s defense allowed last season, which was super impressive. They don’t exactly work together because the two teams have to play each other twice still so we’ll see.
Perry: My bold prediction for the rest of the season is that we end up seeing the same division champions as last year. Franklin is currently only a point behind Mansfield and the Panthers are picking up steam as the season wears on and the new players (which are numerous) get more experience. Franklin has given up only one goal since it lost to Mansfield and the rematch looms large on Oct. 19. OA has been dominant all season, but is only two points better than Foxboro at this stage with two meetings remaining. Don’t be surprised if that final game of the season at Ahern turns into a title decider just as it did last year and the Warriors sneak back into first.

Canton, Mansfield Battle to Scoreless Draw At Gillette

Mansfield's Jack Reilly and Canton's Matas Leveckis go up for a header in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Mansfield’s Jack Reilly and Canton’s Matas Leveckis go up for a header in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FOXBORO, Mass. – They are always worth one point but in the game of soccer, there are good ties and there are bad ties.
Canton and Mansfield battled for 80 minutes but neither side could find the back of the net in a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
So what this a good or bad draw? Depends on who you ask.
“I thought it was a fine result for us,” Canton head coach Danny Erickson said. “We really wanted to win that game. We thought we had them on their heels for most of the second half, at least the last 20-25 minutes. They’re a very good team, they’re tough and strong. They dominated quite a bit of the play in the first half, I thought we played quite poorly in the first half and couldn’t put anything together. I think we settled down in the second half, withstood a pretty good attack from them in the first 10 minutes of the second half and once we got one chance, we loosened up and I thought we played great.
“So was it a good tie or a bad tie? I’m sure the first place team in the Kelley-Rex thinks it was a bad tie. I don’t think it was a good tie for us, but it was a fair result tonight. We got better tonight and we got better as the game went on and we’re hoping that will continue.”
Mansfield, who was coming off its first loss of the season, was unable to find the back of the net for the second consecutive game.
“A tie,” Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan said when asked if it was good or bad. “I wouldn’t take anything away from that program but we expected to win so I’ll classify it as not a good tie.
“We just couldn’t finish. It’s been our problem all year. We may be 7-1-2 but we can’t finish and that’s not going to be good in the tournament.”
The Hornets controlled the majority of the first half but couldn’t cash in, despite a good chance in the first five minutes and then two more in the final five minutes of the opening half.
Mansfield senior Jack Reilly gained possession in the center of the pitch shortly over midfield and was able to carry the ball into the attacking third. Reilly then played a through ball that senior Charlie Rogers ran onto in the area and fired a one time shot but Canton goalie Abe Garber was off his line and blocked the shot wide.
Mansfield had a handful of corners and long throw ins, which is what they have used to create a lot of their chances so far this year, but Canton’s back line and Garber dealt with all of them.
In the 37th minute, Mansfield’s Chris Elsner served in a cross to the near post that James Chotkowski got on the end of but his touch went wide. In the final minute of the half, senior Jared Miller used a clever chip to get past a defender and into the area and slid a pass across to Sean Lanzillo, but Canton defender Paolo Ruggeri was able to get there first and push the attempt wide.
“I was very proud of how was defended all night long,” Erickson said. “I thought the whole 80 minutes we defended well and we defended restarts well. Physically we aren’t what they are so it was a big challenge. I thought we had to defend a lot less when we started to play a bit more.”
Mansfield nearly cashed in the 63rd mintue after a long throw from Max Gurnon bounced around in the area before sophomore Nick Hyland placed a shot on goal but Garber was in good position for the save.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” Erickson said. “We played poorly in the first half. I would guess they had 15 corners tonight which is an insanely high tonight and we stood strong on everyone of them. Our goalkeeper Abe Garber deserves a good tip of the hat tonight, it was his first career shutout. Certainly a good place to get it. We would have loved to get a goal and we thought we had three really good chances in the last 10-15 minutes and we were hoping to win that game.”
The final 15 minutes belonged to the Bulldogs. A shot in the 75th minute that would have likely tested Mansfield goalie Michael Kirejczyk at the bottom corner was blocked by a defense. In the 77th minute, sophomore Jake Verille took the ball down the left sideline and whipped in a cross but it was just out of the rest of freshman Paul Corcoran at the far post.
Although Mansfield was unable to score, the backline of Elsner, Gurnon, Hyland, Harry Braidt along with Kirejczyk notched the team’s seventh shutout of the season in 10 games played. After surrendering four goals in the team’s appearance at Gillette last season against Foxboro, it was a better showing in 2015.
“It was nice to have a clean sheet,” Sheridan said. “Last year, we were way too hyped and they scored a couple goals in the first few minutes. This time it was more like a business meeting, we were calm defensively the whole game we just couldn’t get our offense going.”
Canton (3-5-2, 3-4-2) will look to conclude what has been a strong week with another good result on Friday with a trip to Franklin. Mansfield (7-1-2, 7-1-1) will look to get back in the win column on Saturday when they host Foxboro on Saturday afternoon.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.