Pietrzyk Brothers Power Taunton to Win Over Warriors

Tyler Pietrzyk
Tyler Pietrzyk (6) scored two goals and added two assists as Taunton rolled to a 7-0 win in its season opener. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FOXBORO, Mass. – Prior to the season, Taunton coach Kris Metea talked about how his team had taken its lumps over the past few years, but that the players who were overwhelmed as eighth graders had now spent a few years in the program and were physically ready to make their mark this season.

On Wednesday night, in the Tigers season opener at the Foxboro Sports Center, Taunton outmuscled and wore down Foxboro for a dominating 7-0 victory.

Taunton coach Kris Metea said, “It was nice to see the boys come out and it was a little bit of a slow start but in the second period they put it together.”

The Pietrzyk brothers combined for four goals and six points for the Tigers. Senior Tyler had two goals and two assists, while sophomore Trevor added a pair of goals, including the final goal with just 2:09 remaining.

“They work hard,” said Metea. “They embody what we believe in the program. They give everything they’ve got  and they bleed Tiger hockey. They bring a ton of energy and it shows.”

Tyler Pietrzyk scored the eventual game winner nearly five minutes into the game. On a rush up ice, Will Walsh drew a defenseman and laid a perfect pass into Pietrzyk’s path and he blasted a slap shot over the shoulder of Foxboro goalie John Cronin.

Taunton outshot the Warriors 10-4 and controlled the vast majority of the offensive zone time and puck possession, but could not extend the lead. Still it was only a one-goal lead and Foxboro nearly pulled it back with two breakaways in the final three minutes of the period but Paul Vey’s shot was stopped by Justin Chappell.

Cronin (22 saves) played his part in keeping the Tigers at bay, including a big double save stopping a Walsh breakaway and the rebound. Foxboro coach Jim Genovese said that Cronin will be crucial to keep the Warriors in games this season.

“He’s going to be our backbone this year, especially because we’ve got four freshmen defensemen,” Genovese explained. “He did all the right things in the off-season to improve.”

During the first intermission, the Tigers talked about turning the dominance into goals and that message was received loud and clear. Taunton had nine shots on goal in the opening four minutes of the second period and finally got a second when Zack Albert hit Pietrzyk on a perfect outlet pass and he beat Cronin top shelf.

“We told them as much as they were carrying the play there was another level they could still bring up,” said Metea. “We talked about our ‘D’ getting shots to the net and getting more pressure in front.”

“They amped it up to another level and did everything we asked for adjustments.”

The goal seemed to open the floodgates for the Tigers, who tacked on three more before the end of the period. Defenseman Nick Terry made it 3-0 on the power play when he collected a loose puck by the near side boards and skated across the crease before roofing his shot.

Six minutes later his blue line partner David Perry added another power play goal with a wrist shot through traffic. With 22.6 left in the second, Trevor Pietrzyk knocked in a loose puck after a scramble in front to make it 5-0.

The third period was sluggish from both teams, as the big lead and fatigue set in for both teams. Walsh got his second point of the night when he finished off a nice move with a wrist shot under the bar against Foxboro backup goalie Clay Leopold. Trevor Pietrzyk tacked on his second with a tap in off Jakob Robert’s second assist.

Foxboro had chances to get back into the game, but was 0-7 on the power play including a full 1:30 with a two-man advantage in the third period. The top attacking line of Tim Luciano, Jason Galanti and Vey with Peter Smith added on power plays struggled to put the puck on net.

“We just got to move our feet quicker on the power play and move the puck better,” said Genovese. “We’re forcing passes. We have to slow it down in that aspect, but we have to be moving.”

Metea knows that these penalties could cause problems over the course of the season. “We definitely stressed that penalties will kill us against good teams. We don’t want to give them power play opportunities.”

Taunton has higher expectations this season and this was a solid beginning for the Tigers, as they start what they hope will be a run to the playoffs.

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

Foxboro Knocked Out By Norwell in Double Overtime

Foxboro's Devante Teixeira rises up for a header in the second half against Norwell. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Foxboro’s Devante Teixeira rises up for a header in the second half against Norwell. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

QUINCY, Mass. – Foxboro scored with less than five minutes to play to force overtime but Norwell scored the golden goal in the 93rd minute to beat the Warriors 4-3 in the D3 South Semifinal on Wednesday night.

Trailing 3-2 in the late stages of the game, Foxboro used its 11th corner of the game to find the equalizer. Devante Teixeira whipped in a in-swinger with his left foot that Anthony Barreira got his lead to. The initial close range bid was blocked but the ball fell right to Barreira’s feet and he placed it in from close range in the 77th minute.

After a scoreless 10 minutes in the first overtime, the teams switched ends and less than three minutes into the second sudden death period, Norwell’s Jack Warendorf kept the play alive in the offensive end for the Clippers and found Jack Ochs, who split a pair of defenders and fired it into the back of the net for the winner.

“The first half, we gave up two goals and I think tactically we weren’t playing the right way,” Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino said. “In the second half we had the better of the play and we had chances. It was a great game, they’re a good team and we just came out on the wrong end of it.”

Foxboro weathered two early chances in the first two minutes for Norwell and was able to convert for the first goal of the game in the 13th minute. The Warriors nearly took the lead six minutes in when Teixeira’s header off Foxboro’s second corner hit the post. Norwell looked like they would take a lead in the 11th minute when a defensive miscommunication led to an open shot but defender Shawn McNamara positioned himself in the open net and blocked the shot on the goal line.

The Warriors capitalized on the momentum and found the back of the net just two minutes later. Sophomore Joe Morrison ripped a shot at the near post that was spilled out, Teixeira put the rebound off the post and Barreira finished it off.

The game was turned upside quickly as Norwell was able to respond quickly. As in most sports, but soccer more so, the five minute period following a goal is a key time. The Clippers tied the game less than two minutes later when Ochs dribbled from the right flank across the middle and unleashed a left footed shot that bounced once and found the far corner.

Norwell kept the pressure up and took the lead in the 17th minute when Connor Grant took advantage of a corner at the near post and tapped in a ball that eluded keeper Clay Leopold’s hands.

Foxboro came out the better team in the second half, thanks in large part to Franchino’s move of putting Barreira into the center of the pitch. The Clippers didn’t threaten at all in the first 10 minutes while Foxboro continued to push further up the field.

“The first half they’re midfield dominated,” Franchino said. “I put Barreira in there and he stepped huge and fought in the middle of the park and he gave us life. He got us back in this game singlehandedly because I thought we were getting outworked and out-hustled in the first half. I think in the second half Anthony stepped up big to get us back into the match.”

In the 44th mintue Foxboro nearly knotted the game when Teixeira touched the ball by his defender and ripped a shot on goal but a kick save denied the shot. Just six minutes later, Teixeira was once again able to touch by his mark and this time buried his chance to make it 2-2 in the 60th minute.

But once again, Norwell took advantage within five minutes. After a save from Leopold in the 62nd minute, the Clippers converted off a cross. Right back Tyler Studley served a cross right onto the six yard line and Harry Davis rose up and headed it home to get the lead back.

“It’s the first five minutes after you score and they got two goals then,” Franchino said. “It’s just mental lapses to let them back in it. Our guys kept fighting though and they’ve done that all year so I’m proud of them. It was just unfortunate we came out on the wrong end of it.”

That set up Barreira’s tying goal in the 77th minute before the teams went into overtime. Teixeira finished with an assist, a goal scored that originally tied the game at 2-2 and had a hand in setting up the first goal.

“That won’t be the last goal he scores, he’s got a bright future,” Franchino said of Barreira. “It was a pleasure to watch him play. and coach him and help him out a little bit if I did. He’s a good kid with a bright future. It’s just unfortunate that it ends tonight.”

Foxboro finishes the season 15-2-3 with a league-high 70 goals scored. The next highest team is Oliver Ames with 46 goals.

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

Cardoza Equalizer Gives OA Outright League Title

Nathaniel Cardoza
Nathaniel Cardoza (18) scored the equalizing goal in the final five minutes to tie Foxboro 2-2 and give OA the outright Davenport title. (Josh Perry/HokcomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FOXBORO, Mass. – It was the type of game that you would expect with the title on the line, between two rivals, and the top two teams in the Hockomock League. Breathless, end-to-end, physical, emotional, and with an edge that reminded everyone that the state tournament is right around the corner.

For the second time this year, Foxboro and Oliver Ames drew 2-2 thanks to a late goal. This time, at Ahern Middle School, it was Tigers sophomore midfielder Nathanial Cardoza that had the answer and his goal with five minutes remaining made OA outright Davenport champions.

“There’s all the hype going into it,” said OA coach John Barata. “We’re the two top teams, and I feel confident saying that…any night either one could have won.”

OA senior Chris Romero has now been part of three title-winning teams in his four seasons. Reflecting on the unbeaten run through the league this fall, he said, “It’s so amazing how a team can come together, right from the beginning and go through the whole entire season and just win it all.”

“It’s not one player; it’s the whole team.”

The Tigers jumped all over Foxboro and were very nearly 3-0 up in the opening 10 minutes thanks to a Romero hat trick.

Three minutes into the game, Max Bamford’s long throw found Thomas McCormick in the center of the box and his header smacked the bar only to fall directly to Romero, who nodded it home.

The senior had a goal waved away for offsides and then in the seventh minute another Bamford long throw was palmed away from the far post by Foxboro keeper Clay Leopold right into Romero, who knocked it across the line but was adjudged to have used his arm.

After nearly being down three, Foxboro came right back to level the match. Devante Teixeira continued his stellar senior season with an unassisted goal that gave OA keeper Jack Carroll no chance.

“We gave up a goal early and the kids fought back and got back into the game,” said Foxboro coach Joe Franchino. “It was a fun game to watch, fun game to be part of and I’m proud of my guys.”

The chances kept coming for both teams. Anthony Barreira had a shot from inside the 18 charged down after Joe Morrison created the opening with a run down the left channel. Then moments later Foxboro had to block a shot from Cam Vella inside the six after a good low cross by McCormick.

The end-to-end play continued into the final minutes of the half, with Vella setting up a chance for Keegan Nutt but his outside of the foot chance skimmed the post. Then Teixeira got onto the end of a perfectly-weighted chip by Morrison and chipped Carroll only to see Bamford somehow get back to the goal line and acrobatically clear it.

“Every team had chances,” said Barata. “It could have gone either way.”

Four minutes after the break and Foxboro had the crucial go-ahead goal. Teixeira dropped into the middle and was able to slide a pass into the path of Barreira clean through on goal. The junior forward calmly slotted his shot over Carroll and inside the post to make it 2-1.

“The three-headed monster up front,” said Franchino of Morrison, Teixeira, and Barreira. “They interchanged well tonight. They were active and I’m looking forward to the playoffs and watching them play together some more.”

Barreira nearly got his second just minutes later and again it was Teixeira that created it with a pinpoint cross, but the free header was blocked by a scrambling Max Ahearn. Teixeira then forced Carroll into a save when he hit a one-touch pass from Morrison first-time.

Foxboro was on top and controlling the game at that point and in the 56th minute got a little luck too. Nutt got free in the box, rounded Leopold and appeared to be tripped by the defender. The OA bench was incensed at the no-call and it added even more edge to the final 20 minutes of the game.

“I’m glad we had composure,” said Barata. He added, joking, “I think the coaches I had to worry about; I had to control them on the sideline.”

Vella nearly equalized in the 62nd minute when his header off a corner was inches over the bar. Two minutes later and Foxboro nearly increased its lead when Barreira smacked the bar with a 30-yard free kick curled in from the left.

“We were so close,” said Franchino. “It didn’t go our way tonight, but the boys didn’t give up and they kept battling, battling, battling, and that shows the character of this team.”

The game continued at 2-1 until the 74th minute when Cardoza stepped up. The ball bounced around in the Foxboro penalty area for a minute and fell to the sophomore on the edge of the box and he slid into his shot, looping it over the defense and Leopold and into the top corner.

Barata was proud of the resiliency he saw in the Tigers to stay in the game even as calls went against them.

“We had two goals taken away but we didn’t put our head down,” he said. “They scored…and we didn’t put our head down. That was very powerful to see the boys mature.”

When asked what it took to keep going forward, Romero insisted, “You just try to get over it.”

“You keep thinking we’re going to win this game. You’ve got to move on from that bad call and just keep fighting through. That’s what we did.”

Foxboro had one more chance before the end and it had the bench ready to race out onto the field. Teixeira played in a low cross to Barreira just a few yards from goal but again Ahearn was in the way to block and clear the loose ball.

At the final whistle, the Tigers stormed onto the field to celebrate. It was not a win over their rivals, but it was enough to deny them the title.

“We’re very passionate,” said Barata, “but I don’t think it was ugly in terms of being too physical. I think it was two good teams playing a good style and I think a tie was just.”

Franchino, in his first year with the Warriors, noted, “Obviously we wanted to get the win and get the title but I think the big picture now is the playoffs and making a deep run.”

He added, “It sucks, it hurts, but you have to move forward and learn from it.”

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

Foxboro Storms Back in Second Half At Stoughton

Devante Teixeira
Devante Teixeira scored the game-tying goal and created a host of chances as Foxboro came from behind to win. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

STOUGHTON, Mass. – The pitch was not in great shape, it was cold out, the wind was blowing, and facing an opponent that it had beaten by five goals in the first meeting, Foxboro came out sluggish to start the game against Stoughton on Friday afternoon.

Down by a goal at halftime, first-year coach Joe Franchino stood outside the team huddle and senior captain Robby Lowey led the team talk, imploring the Warriors to step it up in the second half.

The talk worked. Foxboro got into gear in the final 40 minutes and its three attackers, Devante Teixeira, Anthony Barreira, and Joe Morrison, each scored goals to give the Warriors a come from behind 3-1 win that keeps them in the Davenport title race with two league games remaining.

“We’re just trying to find a solution not a problem,” said Franchino about the discussion at halftime. “You can blame the pitch, you can blame a lot of things, but it’s all about finding a solution and getting the victory. The guys pulled it together.”

Stoughton took the lead just six minutes into the game. Noah Schulze, who had only minutes earlier flashed a header narrowly wide, stayed with a loose ball that bounced off of Foxboro keeper Clay Leopold and finished.

“It was a great goal by Noah Schulze,” said Stoughton coach Aaron Salter. “He got a little bit fortunate, but it was still a very good finish to keep battling and not stop.”

The best Foxboro chance of the first half fell to Morrison, but the sophomore midfielder was unlucky to see his shot ricochet off the post after a decisive through ball by freshman Nic Biegel.

Barreira also had two shots saved by Stoughton keeper Kyle Silverman at the half hour mark but overall it was a subdued first half from the Warriors. Teixeira in particular was limited in his touches and impact on the game with left back Jeremy Fishman keeping him under wraps with help from centerback Goddy Frombe.

“I thought first half we did a great job in terms of our shape, our organization, how we wanted to play, how we approached it,” said Salter.

He added, “Nick Comeau, his job was to man-mark Joe in the midfield and he did an awesome job. He was everywhere and he was our hardest working player out there.”

After the break, things changed drastically Teixeira, who had seemed frustrated in the opening 40 minutes, suddenly looked like the player that is leading the league in points. He terrorized he left side of the Stoughton defense and eight minutes after the break he equalized.

Morrison tried to get room on the edge of the box but the ball bounced into the path of Teixeira and he managed to flick it past two defenders and hit it first time into the bottom corner.

“In the first half we had him,” said Salter. “He was getting frustrated, he was getting wound up and in the end it was our undoing because it gave him the fire in the belly to go on and smash it into the net.”

Just a minute later, Teixeira was through again but was denied by Silverman. In the 52nd minute, he go to the byline and cut it back for Hussein Kafel but the sophomore’s shot struck the post and stayed out. Teixeira also had what appeared to be a second goal, but the officials waved it off because the shot had actually gone through the netting outside the post.

In the 69th minute, he forced a mistake and rounded the keeper only to have his chance cleared off the post by Frombe.

“He’s MVP all day long,” said Franchino. “Nobody’s had an answer for him all year. He’s a talented player and he’s carried us in the KP game and he started it off here…that’s what he does.”

Stoughton had a couple of chances in the second half. A long goal kick by Silverman picked out Josh Mitchell up front and his flicked header found Fabio Ponce De Leon but his close-range chance went wide. In the 64th minute, Mitchell sent a header wide from a corner.

The missed opportunities would hurt because Foxboro would take the lead in the 70th minute. Barreira collected the ball near midfield and dribbled at the heart of the Stoughton defense. The Black Knights hesitated and allowed Barreira to line up a shot that slipped inside the post from the edge of the box.

With only five minutes remaining, Morrison wrapped up the two points for Foxboro. He kept possession in the box despite being surrounded, created a foot of space, and smashed his shot into the roof of the net giving Silverman no chance.

“It’s good to see Joe get back on the scoresheet because he does so much in the middle of the park,” said Franchino. “You’re getting double teamed being a top player and then you get unlucky at times…he’s grinding it out.”

Salter did not believe that the final score indicated how his team had played but he added, “Those players show a moment of brilliance each and you’re going to get punished. There’s not much you can do, but I’m truly proud of my boys.”

The win moves Foxboro to within a point of league leading Oliver Ames, which plays on Saturday, with two games remaining. The Warriors will face Sharon on Tuesday.

Stoughton needs three points from its remaining two games to qualify for the postseason. The Black Knights will face Canton on Tuesday night.

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

Quick Strikes Give Foxboro Road Win at Mansfield

IMG_2044_2
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
MANSFIELD, Mass. – One minute, Mansfield held a 1-0 lead.
The next minute, Foxboro was suddenly in control with a 2-1 lead.
The Warriors scored twice in a one minute span in the first half and then added two more in the second to pick up a 4-2 win on the road.
Mansfield took a lead just over five minutes into the game. A free kick from junior Max Gurnon from his own half sailed over Foxboro’s backline. Junior James Chotkowski sprinted in and as it bounced up off the turf, got his head to ball, beating Foxboro goalie Clay Leopold. The ball was able to trickle over the line just before Foxboro’s defense could clear it out.
The lead would last just less than five minutes though. Sophomore Shawn McNamara looped in a service from the right side to the far post where Foxboro senior Devante Teixeira found himself all alone to put the ball into the net.
Less than a minute later, the Warriors found the back of the net again and took the lead for good. Teixeira raced past his man down the left flank and put in a low service that junior Anthony Barreira was able to tap in
“We’re human so we make mistakes,” Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino said of the opening goal. “So the thing was how we responded. We came back and scored two quick games. I told them at halftime we’re going to make mistakes just don’t make the same ones twice and the way they responded was phenomenal. They could very well have put their heads down but they responded real well.
“hat’s the character of this team. They didn’t let down, they just kept fighting and it paid off quickly. [Mansfield] is good, hardworking team and we were able to open them up and pass the ball and get some chances.”
Foxboro nearly extended its lead in the 18th minute when sophomore Joe Morrison saw his header from a corner go just over the bar. Mansfield almost leveled the match in 24th minute when Jared Miller put a cross through the middle but it was just out of the reach of Kevin Bouck.
It didn’t take long for Foxboro to tack on antoher goal to its lead when the teams came out for the second half. A perfectly weighted pass from Barreira put Teixeira in on the left side of the area and he went in on goal and finished his tight angle chance in the 47th minute.
With just under 10 minutes to play,Teixeira and Barreira hooked up once again. The Warriors’ had their corner cleared away but it went right back to Teixeira, who drove in a cross that was headed in by Barreira.
“We just try to open up and get some passing lanes,” Franchino said. “We’re a good passing team and we’ve got some talent. It looked like we frustrated them at the end. I thought overall we had the better of the play.
“I think if we can defend well as a team we’re going to be in a lot of games, I know we can score goals.”
Mansfield got on the board again with just over two minutes to play. Foxboro goalie Aaron Wentling was whistled for a foul while he had possession of the ball and Mansfield was awarded a penalty kick. Miller stepped up and calmly placed his low shot down the middle.
Foxboro’s four goals was the highest that the Hornets defense had allowed all season, having given up just four goals through its first 10 games.
The Warriors (8-1) will host King Philip on Thursday before traveling to Oliver Ames on Thursday in a key Davenport Division match. Mansfield (7-2-2) will try to get back into the win column with a trip to Sharon on Tuesday.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.