Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Walisson de Oliveira, Milford
Hockomock League All Stars
Will Halben, Attleboro
Andre Menard, Attleboro
Griffin Roach, Canton
Paul Corcoran, Canton
Paolo Ruggeri, Canton
Nic Beigel, Foxboro
Dylan Barreira, Foxboro
Joe Cusack, Foxboro
Nitin Chaudhury, Franklin
Tim Duval, Franklin
Zac White, King Philip
Tony Bozza, King Philip
Luke Savoie, Mansfield
Ethan Brill-Cass, Mansfield
Sam Nugent, Mansfield
Walisson de Olivera, Milford
Joey Madden, Milford
Joao Boaventura, Milford
Joe Hilf, North Attleboro
Kyle Briere, North Attleboro
Colin Milliken, Oliver Ames
Haendel Louhis, Oliver Ames
Matthew Wang, Sharon
Ethan Kantor, Sharon
Carter Gerome, Stoughton
Brett Beaulieu, Taunton
Colin Levis, Attleboro
Simon Cruz, Canton
Shane VandenBoom, Foxboro
Sam Stowell, Franklin
Andrew Thompson, King Philip
Derek Meuth, Mansfield
James Sales, North Attleboro
Niko Byron, Oliver Ames
Michael Baur, Sharon
Fabio Ponce De Leon, Stoughton
Alec Nunes, Taunton
And in a flash, just when it looked like the Bombardiers had a chance to find a way in, North Attleboro delivered a knockout punch on the counter attack, scoring the lone goal of the game in the 79th minute to secure its fourth straight Leach and Garner Cup.
In the 34th addition of the rivalry game between Big Blue and Big Red, it was the hosts that had a lion’s share of possession, though not a tremendous amount of scoring chances.
It looked like they might have something going with an attacking free kick late in the game. The service came in from the right flank but North Attleboro junior goalie Kyle Briere came flying out to punch the ball free.
The Rocketeers quickly cleared the ball up field, where senior Joe Hilf did his job by holding the ball up right at midfield. That allowed North sophomore Matt Conley to come flying down the wing. Hilf played a ball in behind and Conley tracked it down. The sophomore delivered a hard cross to the far post where junior Alex Pfeffer connected on a one-timer. The shot bounced right off the ground and bounced over the outreach of Attleboro keeper Andre Mendard for the game-winning strike.
“When we started thinking about that situation was against Mansfield,” said North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess of the quick counter against opponents’ set pieces. “We knew when they go forward for set pieces, they push everyone but one defender up. And I think our chances with a 1-v-1 and if we get Matt Conley or one of the other guys on the outside running hard, not many teams are going to get enough numbers back in time. We hit Mansfield a couple of times with that exact situation so we started talking about using it more. Kyle knows when he comes out and catches a ball, find Joe and then everyone runs and we hit the counter.
“The first 10-15 minutes we played really well and moved the ball well but the first time we played them, we dropped hard and sat deep, and they ran out of ideas. They kept bombing it forward, we’d win the second ball and counter. And that’s how that game continued to go. It worked really well in the first game. This is what we’ve decided to play like because we’re pretty fast up front, Matt Conley on the outside is lightning, Joe Hilf is lightning. [Goalie] Kyle Briere is a stud back there, we trust him and we play out of his hands a lot. So we’ve bought into a defense first mentality so it’s just kind of what we expect now.”
While playing the counter is a dangerous weapon for the Rocketeers, it allows their opponents to mostly control the game. And that’s exactly what the Bombardiers did.
In the 18th minute, junior defender Josh Smith ventured into the offensive third and latched onto a cross from Colin Levis, but the difficult shot was wide. Six minutes later, the Bombardiers had their first bid on goal when Brady Holander placed a free kick from 30 yards out on frame but it was right at Briere.
While Attleboro controlled the play, North Attleboro nearly stole the lead right before half. On a corner from Joey Coscarella, a low service was dummied before Hilf ran onto it and delivered a hard shot on frame. Menard, who was going the other way, made a diving save back to his left and made a one-handed save to keep it out.
Hilf had another chance on the next corner but Menard pushed the header over the bar.
While Hilf had a pair of chances to find the back of the net, it was ultimately his hold up play late in the game that led to the game-winning, something that the senior has worked on to add to his game this year.
“He’s been working really hard on that,” Burgess said. “He’s a player that prefers the flicks and touches to himself but we’ve been working hard on having him bring it down, let the other guys come forward and playing it. He does a nice job with his flicks to keep the offense honest but having him bring it down and let the offense run up, we can create some chances that way.”
In the 63rd minute, Attleboro’s Aidan Lancaster saw his low shot from atop the area roll wide. North nearly countered an Attleboro corner in the 70th minute when Hilf played Matt Mordini in behind the defense by Menard came charging off his line for the clearance.
Attleboro senior Will Halben had a bid saved by Briere in the 72nd minutes, and two minutes later Levis’ low shot off a corner kick went just wide of the post.
“That’s been our entire season,” said Attleboro coach Peter Pereira. “We’ve outplayed a lot of teams but we don’t have a true finisher. We had some shots but nothing too dangerous. This is like the sixth game where we’ve made one mistake, in this case not coming back to cover, and we lose. It’s tough because the kids were looking forward to this one. Second half I thought we were better, played some good soccer but they have a good defense, a good goalie…they hold on, hold on, and then they get the break at the end but that’s why you play 80 minutes.”
North Attleboro boys soccer (6-3-8 overall, 5-3-7 Hockomock) finishes the regular season at home against Sharon on Tuesday afternoon as it tries to improve its seeding for the D2 South bracket. Attleboro (5-9-3, 5-8-3) closes its season on Monday afternoon against New Bedford.
“We think we’ll be a tough out in the tournament,” Burgess said. “We don’t give up many goes and if we can counter and hit you once, it could be enough. It’s real important to know we can strike late. I was selling this style at the beginning of the year and now they’ve bought into. So now they have the confidence they can sit, play defense and then all they need is one chance and it can be a game-winner.”
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football
Attleboro, 35 @ Mansfield, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 7-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good; (A) Jason Weir 5-yard pass to Jacob Weatherford, Colby Briggs XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Aidan Sacco 26-yard pass to Khristian Connor, M. DeBolt XP good; (A) J. Weir 24-yard pass to Justin Daniels, C. Briggs XP good; (M) C. Gill 31-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) A. Sacco 11-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (A) J. Weir 1-yard rush, C. Briggs XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Gill 21-yard rush, XP blocked; (A) J. Weir 45-yard pass to Kevin Velazquez-Rivera, C. Briggs XP good; (A) Justin Cote 12-yard rush, C. Briggs XP good. (M) K. Connor 11-yard rush, A. Sacco 2-point pass to Vinnie Holmes.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 39 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 17-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 3-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (C) K. Fitzgerald 64-yard punt return, XP failed; (C) Johnny Hagan 27-yard pass to Gersom Rivera, XP failed; (C) G. Rivera 10-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (C) Cam Sanchez 20-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Milford, 42 @ Foxboro, 28 – Final
Franklin, 42 @ Taunton, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Nick Gordon 32-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, Parker Chevrant XP good; (F) N. Gordon 56-yard pass to R. Driscoll, P. Chevrant XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Owen Palmieri 1-yard rush, P. Chevrant XP good; (F) N. Gordon 45-yard pass to Jake Davis, P. Chevrant XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, Coby Adams XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) N. Gordon 15-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Chevrant XP good; (F) Sean Hofferty 4-yard rush, P. Chevrant XP good.
King Philip, 34 @ Oliver Ames, 15 – Final
1st Quarter: (OA) Nathan Cabral 5-yard rush, Remi Creighton XP good; (KP) Robbie Jarest 19-yard past to Sam Sessay, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 6-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 2-yard pass to David Morganelli, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) R. Halliday 8-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (OA) Darnele Ryan 1-yard rush, Dean Pacini 2pt rush good.
4th Quarter: (KP) R. Halliday 1-yard rush, 2pt failed.
Stoughton, 21 @ North Attleboro, 10 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (S) John Burke 1-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Tyler DeMattio 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 7-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (S) J. Burke 29-yard pass to Ajahn Rue, J. Cocchi XP good; (S) Christopher Ais 11-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Attleboro controlled the first half and took a 1-0 lead but Mansfield took over in the second half and found the equalizer. Colin Levis gave the visitors the lead in the 31st minute but Mansfield freshman Dylan Buchanan was crediting for the tying goal, with the Bombardiers have an own goal.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip scored inside the first and last five minutes of the match to earn two points at home and keep its postseason hopes alive. Senior captain Ian Zimmerman gave the hosts the lead in the third minute, finishing off a cross from classmate John Cullen. Cam Lawrence added the insurance tally in the 75th minute, scoring on a volley on an assist from Gavon Fox. Aidan Lindmark made four saves to record the shutout.
Milford @ Sharon – Postponed to Saturday, 10/20 at 6:00.
North Attleboro @ Stoughton – Postponed to Monday, 10/15 at 3:45.
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield’s Steph Kemp found the back of the net twice while Sydney Mulkern capped the scoring, leading the Hornets to a shutout win on the road. Bryn Anderson had two assists while Katy Garvin added one helper for the Hornets.
Foxboro, 1 @ Walpole, 0 – Final – Foxboro used an early second half goal and solid play from its defense and goalies to pick up a win on the road at Walpole and stay unbeaten on the season. Lizzy Davis had the lone goal, scoring an unassisted tally early in the second half.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – After a scoreless first half, Ally Stanton broke the deadlock midway through the second half off an Avery Snead assist. Erin Quaile equalized for Franklin just four minutes later off a Carly Alston assist. Breanna Atwood made nine saves and Taylor Butler made five saves for the Warriors, as both teams earned a point.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 8 – Final – Ashlyn Gaulin scored four times to help the Rocketeers clinch a spot in the state tournament. Kayla Pasquel had a pair of goals and an assist and Abi Slaney scored the first two goals of her career. Lily Cameron had a pair of assists, while Haley Ferrin, Emma Gaulin and Lydia Santos each had one assist in the win. Stoughton sophomore Ashley Camilo scored on an assist from Hannah Papagno.
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Cassie Probert and Juliana France each scored their third goals of the season for the Hawks to help the team earn its third win of the season. Olivia Marshall had the clean sheet for Milford, her third this fall, making seven saves in the win.
Attleboro, 4 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – In her third varsity game, freshman Emelia Westwater scored her first varsity goal, and then scored another as the Bombardiers netted a win on the road. Anna Beck and Emma Briggs also scored for Attleboro in the victory.
Canton, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan made seven saves in net to help the host Tigers earn a draw.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final Oliver Ames went on the road and picked up a 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-18, 25-11) over Bridgewater-Raynham to qualify for the state tournament. Sadie Homer had 29 digs for the Tigers, Jordan Bosse added 14 kills and three aces, and sophomore Sarah Morley had a balanced defensive game for the Tigers.
King Philip, 0 @ Walpole, 3 – Final – King Philip went on the road and fell to Walpole. Catherine Waldeck had five kills and two blocks and Shayla Weitzman added nine digs for the Warriors.
Sharon, 153 @ Attleboro, 179 – Final
King Philip, 172 @ Foxboro, 173 – Final
Franklin @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2018 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
2017 Record: 4-9-5
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Peter Pereira
Attleboro is aiming to use a strong nucleus of returning players to get back into the state tournament after a couple of years of being on the outside looking in.
“We are excited about the team and looking forward to doing well in the Hockomock, which is not an easy task since there is a lot of talent and good teams in the league,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira.
The Bombardiers bring back a seasoned group of defenders that will hopefully give them stability in the back. Colin Levis brings the most varsity experience to the group and will be joined by Connor Dunn, Josh Smith, and Nathan LaPlume. Senior transfer Aaron Flynn and classmates Jared Cooper and Alex Naughton give the Bombardiers a solid group of veterans in the back. Seniors Andre Menard and Tyler Biller are candidates for the starting goalie position.
Pereira has a lot of options to work with in the midfield, including senior Aidan Lancaster. Lancaster has experience playing defense as well so can provide an extra layer of defense when needed. Another familiar face back in midfield will be Michael Russo, who showed flashes of great skill during his sophomore season. Russo and Lancaster will be joined by Brady Holander, Hugo Henriquez, Kevin Raczkowski and Patrick Raczkowski.
There will be another familiar face up front as Will Halben returns as the feature striker. Halben has been Attleboro’s leading scorer the past two seasons and will be a major factor up front again this year. Eli Araujo, Joey Soucy, Justin Lurssen, and Guilherme Machado are expected to provide help up top as well.
2017 Record: 5-9-4
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Fran Bositis
After going through some growing pains throughout the 2017 season, the Panthers are looking to make it back to the state tournament.
It all starts with the Panthers’ three senior captains, who will be relied upon to help Franklin compete in a very talented Kelley-Rex division.
Nitin Chaudhury, Nick Barry, and Sam Stowell are all veteran players and will be joined by 10 other returners from last year’s team that got better as the season went on. The Panthers must replace talented goalie Freddie Beckmann but head coach Fran Bositis is expecting good things from junior Jack Rudolph because of his excellent athletic ability.
Chaudhury will once again be the engine of the team from the midfield position while Stowell is back for his third year in the heart of the Panthers’ defense. Jacob Cummings will be another weapon for Franklin in the midfield while senior Tim Duval and junior Donny Tappin return up top.
“As always we are looking forward to competing in the very competitive Hockomock League,” Bositis said.
2017 Record: 11-8-2
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Nick Gale
The Warriors have had back-to-back successful seasons and are looking to make it three straight, despite losing six experienced starters to graduation.
While King Philip certainly has some shoes to fill, head coach Nick Gale has a lot of options to work with and is aiming to make another appearance in the state tournament.
Senior captains Zac White, Tony Bozza, and John Cullen have all seen plenty of varsity minutes over the past couple of seasons and are ready to lead the 2018 Warriors. White and Cullen will be major factors in the midfield while Bozza gives the Warriors some pace up top. White and Cullen will be joined in the midfield by a trio of sophomores – Evan McEvoy, Camron Lawrence, and Ajae Olsen – all of whom saw some minutes as freshmen a year ago.
KP’s defense has been among the best in the league over the past two seasons but will need some new faces to step up to continue that trend this year. The Warriors do have some experience with senior Andrew Thompson and juniors Brian McCarthy and Wesley Orzell all expected to step up in the back for KP.
“We’re a much smaller team this year, but we haven’t lost our willingness to fight while defending,” Gale said. “Our focus will be on improving team defending and our ability to press intelligently. We have defenders returning with varsity experience and they’re committed to working together to ensure we’re organized and defending as a team.”
2017 Record: 10-3-6
2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Steve Sheridan
Although Mansfield graduated over a dozen seniors, and the majority of its starting lineup, the Hornets have a strong presence in the middle of the pitch and are looking to build off that to compete for the Kelley-Rex title.
The Hornets bring back EMass All Star Sam Nugent at center back and he’ll be joined by Ethan Brill-Cass, who had a bright sophomore season but missed all of last year due to injury. Mansfield’s defense will feature all seniors as Derek Meuth and Matt O’Donnell fill out the back four for the Hornets. Tony Salisbury and Cam Bovey are competing for the starting spot in goal.
Mansfield also has seniors Luke Savoie and Luke Devine back in the center of the pitch to patrol the midfield. Both Savoie and Devine were key pieces for last year’s Hornets team, which came within one point from earning a share of the league title with OA. One spot that Mansfield is looking for new faces is up top, but options include Colin Caridi, Owen Mullahy, and Raffi Marzella.
“Having to fill the loss of 14 seniors from last season is going to be challenging,” said MHS head coach Steve Sheridan. “We have a variety of guys on offense that I’ll be expecting big things from, time will tell who will step up.”
2017 Record: 15-3-4 (Kelley-Rex Champions)
2017 Finish: Reached D2 State Final
Coach: John Barata
It’s not often a team graduates its entire starting lineup and then some, but that’s the situation defending Kelley-Rex champions Oliver Ames finds itself in.
The Tigers lost a whopping 20 seniors to graduation and return just four players from last year’s roster so it there will be a completely new look for OA in 2018. But that doesn’t mean the standards will be any lower for the Tigers, who have made three state final appearances in the last four years.
“We have a completely new team and we are looking forward to working hard,” said OA head coach John Barata. “Our primary objective is to get better every day and try to compete in a very difficult and talented Hockomock League.”
OA’s defense was among the best in the entire state last season, allowing just 15 goals in 22 games played. Barata will be looking for Aaron MacDonald, Andrew Leite, Harry Ahearn, Matthew Nosalek, and Jon Freeman to step up and fill in the spots along the back line. Senior Jacob Lerman and sophomore Drew Nickla are battling for the starting spot in goal.
On the offensive side of the ball, Barata is looking for contributions from Colin Milliken, Anthony DaCosta, Matt Nikiciuk, Sean Flaherty, Niko Byron, Kevin Louhis and Haendal Louhis to carry to load.
2017 Record: 3-14-2
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Taylor Whitters
A solid nucleus returning from last season and more cohesiveness are two of the top reasons for optimism for the Taunton High boys soccer team.
The Tigers have players back all over the field and are hoping that the combination of experience and some fresh faces leads to a competitive season in a very competitive division. Junior Nolan Melo made a splash last season when he took over as starting keeper and looks to be one of the top players at that position in the league.
Senior Evan Melo will be tasked with anchoring the defense from his center back position while Taunton will look for some new faces to step alongside him. Colby Fernandes returns to his defensive midfield spot and Liam Crowley is back as the attacking midfielder in the middle to give the Tigers a nice steady presence up the center of the pitch.
Leading scorer Brett Beaulieu (nine goals, four assists) is back as the featured striker while Alec Nunes can either pair with Beaulieu up top or drop into the midfield when needed. Kyle Aubin is another returning midfield option for the Tigers.
“We have seven returning starters this season and a team with solid technical ability as well as great team chemistry and athleticism,” said Taunton head coach Taylor Whitters.
Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Michael Shannon, Mansfield
Hockomock League All Stars
Nathan Douglas, Attleboro
Colin Levis, Attleboro
Cordel Smith, Canton
Tyler Brogan, Franklin
Dylan Kehoe, Franklin
Aeden Angelone, King Philip
Michael Griffin, King Philip
Kevin Crawford, Mansfield
Jared DiLorenzo, Mansfield
Patrick Heavey, Mansfield
Nicholas Horn, Mansfield
Daniel Knight, Mansfield
Kevin McCree, Mansfield
Kalin Petrov, Mansfield
Collin Rice, Mansfield
Michael Shannon, Mansfield
Patrick Brogioli, Milford
Jack Kalil, Milford
Joseph Madden, Milford
Mario Bresko, North Attleboro
Omar Jasseh, North Attleboro
Tau Preacher, North Attleboro
Jonathan Shultz, North Attleboro
Matthew Tarantino, North Attleboro
Dylan Weir, North Attleboro
Jack MacAdam, Oliver Ames
Kalil Matier, Oliver Ames
Jason Windvogel, Oliver Ames
Christopher Gong, Sharon
Matthew McManus, Sharon
David Bell, Stoughton
Nicholas Joyce, Stoughton
David Peters, Stoughton
Jadin Bruneau, Taunton
Jacob DeAndrade, Taunton
Jahmeir Lewis, Taunton
Joe Manchester, Taunton
Owen O’Gara, Taunton
Alexander Boedeker, Attleboro
Colin Messinger, Canton
Ryan Proulx, Foxboro
Michael Hagen, Franklin
Josh Smith, King Philip
Greg Waters, Mansfield
Hugo Lopes, Milford
Sam Bullock, North Attleboro
Jack Mills, Oliver Ames
Jeffrey Thomas, Sharon
Ritchy Laguerre, Stoughton
Colin Quinlan, Taunton
MANSFIELD, Mass. – For the opening 15 minutes, the visiting Bombardiers controlled the play, dominating the midfield and pushing Mansfield back on its heels. In the 10th minute, Will Halben cut inside on his right foot and found space on the edge of the box. His shot beat Mansfield goalie Nick Ferraz, but not the post.
Five minutes later, Hornets senior midfielder Sam Hyland had the ball bounce to his foot inside the 18-yard-box and also saw his shot carom off the post, but the rebound went straight to classmate Sean Lanzillo and he buried his shot into the open net.
The opening goal changed the entire outlook of the game and propelled the Hornets to a 3-0 victory over Attleboro that moves Mansfield within three points of division-leading Oliver Ames with three games remaining in the regular season.
“Our first 15 minutes, I don’t think we played well at all,” admitted Mansfield coach Steve Sheridan. “We were lucky on that goal and that’s why I called a timeout after it to settle everybody down. After that first 15 minutes, I thought we played great. They were attacking us and we played good defense, it was a great game.”
Attleboro coach Peter Pereira said, “Us hitting the bar right away was tough. If he had gotten that then it would’ve been a totally different game. The first 20 minutes we ran and we denied them from playing so they couldn’t get going.”
Following Sheridan’s timeout, the Hornets settled into the game, started to possess the ball better, and played through the midfield. In the 28th minute, the hosts almost doubled the lead when Cullin Anastasia started a break with an outlet pass to Lanzillo, who then fed Hyland but the shot was saved by Nick Hasenfus. Seconds later Anastasia beat the offside trap but again Hasenfus made the stop.
“You can’t sustain it that long, it’s just too much running,” said Pereira about his team’s drop off after the midway point of the half. “You go a goal down and your energy level disappears.”
In the 29th minute, Mansfield got another break on a deflection. Luke Devine’s run was cut off by Attleboro center backs Aidan Lancaster and Colin Levis, but the ball bounced out to Lanzillo who hit a perfect, first time shot from 19 yards that curled over Hasenfus for a 2-0 lead.
“He curled it in,” said Sheridan with a laugh. “That was nice, I can’t wait to watch it.”
In the second half, Mansfield pressed its advantage and created a series of chances. Lanzillo’s cross from the right wing was headed on target by Anastasia but saved by Attleboro back-up keeper Andre Menard and two minutes later another low cross into the middle to Hyland was cut out by a sliding Levis.
In the 55th minute, central defender Sam Nugent slid a pass to spring Lanzillo down the touchline, but his cross was just behind Hyland in the middle. That turned out to be a warning for the Attleboro defense, as just a minute later Lanzillo played in Anastasia on the right and he picked out Hyland with a low cross that was side-footed in.
Pereira said, “We work hard and even after that we continued to work hard. We can play touch, but it gets into your head. Losing breeds losing and winning breads winning, we’re not confident.”
It could have been more for the Hornets. Jared Gabrilowitz cut in from the left side and had his right-footed shot saved by Menard at full stretch. From the ensuing corner, Michael Russo was forced to clear a shot off the line.
“We should’ve had more goals but…we can’t finish,” said Sheridan. ”To have that many opportunities, especially in that second half, and we’ve got to finish them.”
Attleboro struggled to sustain a consistent attack. Russo had a shot saved early in the second half and David Medeiros had an 18-yard shot comfortably saved by Ferraz (four saves).
The best chance for the Bombardiers came in the 70th minute, as Russo got forward down the left wing and sent an inch-perfect cross to Halben at the back post only to see the shot come back off the crossbar.
“The good news is this is a two-year project,” said Pereira about his young roster. “The starting lineup is back. Now we’re going to have some fun, work hard, get better as individuals and if they do that then we’ll be a better team.”
For Sheridan, it was a positive to see his team get on the score sheet multiple times, especially with the playoffs right around the corner. He joked, “Oh yeah, it was nice. I liked it. I would like to score more than three goals a game but we’re stubborn and we like to make it hard on ourselves.”
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
2016 Record: 8-6-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Peter Pereira
Even though Attleboro graduated some key pieces, the Bombardiers have a lot of experienced and talented players back for the 2017 season. The biggest challenge will be replacing center backs Harry Lancaster (Best XI selection) and Tyler Treichler (Second XI selection) in the heart of the defense.
Juniors Colin Levis and Aidan Lancaster are both back on the defensive line after gaining plenty of experience a season ago. They’ll look to work with Brandon Lewis and Connor Dunn to solidify the back four in front senior goalie Nick Hasenfus (2016 Best XI selection). In the midfield, Zach White is back and will be relied upon as one of the team’s top playmakers once healthy. He’ll have the help of Brady Holander, Nathan LaPlume, Devin Andre, Eli Araujo and Keith Thompson.
After breaking out as one of the league’s bright young stars a season ago, Will Halben is back to lead the attack alongside sophomores Mike Russo and David Medeiros.
“We are hoping to do a bit better than last year with a bit more depth,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira.
2016 Record: 6-9-3
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Fran Bositis
It looks like there is a chance of growing pains in the forecast for the 2017 Panthers. After graduating over a dozen seniors from last year’s team, there will be some inexperience in the lineup for Fran Bositis.
Senior Freddie Beckmann returns as the team’s starting goalie to give the defensive end some familiarity, but it will be a brand new back four in front of him. Sophomore Sam Stowell saw some minutes a year ago and will anchor the defense alongside senior Andrew DiLeo. Senior Connor O’Rourke, who also played some last year, will man the outside along with junior Sam Malloy.
In the midfield, Nitin Chaudhury will take over as the holding mid in the center of the pitch but could also move around depending on need. He’ll have the help of sophomores Jacob Cummings and Donny Tappin. Up front, there are mainutes up for grabs with junior Tim Duval in the running to likely grab one of the spots.
“We’re going to be young and inexperienced,” Bositis said. “We have a handful of seniors back but a youth movement is happening. But overall, the kids are really working hard and have great attitudes. We’re looking for improvement each day.”
2016 Record: 17-2-2 (Kelley-Rex Division Champion)
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Nick Gale
It will be hard to top the historic season the Warriors had a year ago, winning the division title and allowing just eight goals all season. But Nick Gale and his squad are focused on 2017, not last Fall.
Even though 2016 Best XI selections Cam Mullin and Colby Koch, and Second XI selections Ryan Coulter and Eli O’Neill all graduated, the Warriors still return some of the top talent in the league this year. Tyler Mann, the 2016 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, is just one of many talented players back for Gale. Senior Connor Mullins will be a key piece in the midfield, senior Larsen Keys started all of last year on the back line and senior Mike Rowe is a dangerous player inside the 18. Thomas Lugten, Anthony Bozza and Zac White are all back as well after playing plenty of minutes last year.
Junior Nick Beltramini and sophomore Tristan Stephani are battling for minutes in goal.
“Our focus continues to be on developing players and improving our team,” Gale said. “We understand that opposing teams will be after us, but we won’t take our attention away from training, competing, and focusing on the smaller details that will help us continue to move forward. The league will be good, and we know we will need to be as well.
2016 Record: 11-5-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Steve Sheridan
Mansfield will be relying on a mix of experience and new faces in an effort to get back to the postseason for another year. The Hornets have the challenge of trying to fill the shoes of two-time Best XI selection Max Gurnon, and as well as the void left by the injury to Ethan Brill-Cass, a two year varsity starter.
However, with Sean Lanzillo, Nick Hyland, Sam Hyland and Harry Braidt back, the Hornets have a solid core to work on. Lanzillo’s speed makes him one of the toughest marks in the league while Sam Hyland emerged as a top midfielder last season. Nick Hyland and Braidt will be back to anchor the back line. Head coach Steve Sheridan expects junior Sam Nugent to step in and make an impact early on defensively, as well as junior midfield Luke Savoie on the offensive end.
Senior Nick Ferraz is battling with sophomore Anthony Salisbury for the starting position in net.
“I’m hoping some of the younger guys can step up on offense, and with the departure of Max along with the injury to Ethan and graduation of Jed in goal, our defense is going to have some new faces,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan.
2016 Record: 10-5-3
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: John Barata
Oliver Ames returns plenty of talent and will be looking to challenge King Philip for supremacy in the Kelley-Rex division. Two-time HockomockSports.com Best XI selection Nathaniel Cardoza is back to anchor the Tigers from the middle of the field. His ability to play defense, as well as get forward, gives OA a boost.
Other returning starters back this year include Matt Campbell, Matt Alvarado, Cam Vella, Mason Galbato and Jack Sheldon. Mike Braga and Chris Lawrence bring experience to the back line in front keeper Jack Carroll, who is in his third year in net.
With the graduation of three-year starter Thomas McCormick, the Tigers have a void to fill at the striker position. Senior James Gillespie saw time last year off the bench and proved a capable option up top while Alvarado also showed his ability to finish. Senior Brandin Osborne transferred in from Coyle and will also be an attacking option for OA. Nick Bloumbas, Sean Flaherty and Niko Byron will all likely see time off this season as well.
“We are looking to build a solid team that will play well in a very competitive environment,” OA head coach John Barata said. “We know that to succeed we will need to play our best soccer everyday. The boys are working hard – we need to turn our effort into results. I feel confident that we will find our way and make an effort to qualify for the MIAA State tourney.”
2016 Record: 1-16-2
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Taylor Whitters
Taunton brings back eight starters from last year’s team and head coach Taylor Whitters is hoping that experience will translate into an improved season in 2017. On top of of those eight starters, the Tigers will have Marc deSousa back in net after a missing his junior season battling cancer.
Senior Liam Crowley is back again with more experience to anchor the back line along with junior Kyle Aubin. DaeShawn Duffie and Hasan Farahat both return to give the Tigers a solid duo in the middle of the pitch while junior Liam Crowley also adds experience to the midfield. Jake DeAndrade, Brett Beaulieu and Alec Nunes are also back in the mix this year as well.
The Tigers got a boost from their rival as Ian Soderbom traded his Warrior blue and gold in from Coyle for Tiger black and orange. Soderbom will be a key piece on defense while Francois Hennaux, an exchange student from Belgium, will add depth to Taunton’s offense.
“Our team is already looking stronger and better,” said Whitters. “They say the tougher the set back the stronger the comeback. We are going to be one of those teams.”