Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip 2 – Final – King Philip senior Cole Breen completed his brace by scoring the game-winning goal in the 76th minute as the Warriors earned two points on Senior Night. Breen opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he tucked away a rebound chance after Evan McEvoy saw his shot smack off the crossbar. Attleboro sophomore Esvin Morales brought the visitors level in the 64th minute, scoring on a free kick from the top of the box. But Breen grabbed his second with under five minutes to play, finishing off a cross from Ajae Olsen. Aidan Lindmark made seven saves in net for KP.
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Foxboro senior Matt Angelini scored midway through the first quarter and that ended up holding up the rest of the way to give the Warriors a win on the road. Derek Axon had the shutout for Foxboro, making a pair of great saves in the second half to keep North off the board and preserve the win.
Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield scored just minutes into the second quarter and added an insurance tally with less than five minutes to play to earn a win over visiting Franklin. Tommy Lanzillo (from Ethan Scholes) scored on an indirect set piece on a shot from 25 yards out to put the hosts ahead in the 23rd minute. With just under five minutes to go, junior Matt Hyland sealed the win finishing off a flick from Colin True after the original service from Dan Rowe. Eric Sullivan and Jack Lansbury-Casey combined for the shutout, each making an outstanding save to preserve the shutout. Mansfield defender Evan Eames had a big stop to deny a goal in the second half as well.
Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 4 – Final
King Philip, 2 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Jordyn Collins got the slightest touch on an Aislinn Servaes cross from a corner and it was just enough to slip past the onrushing keeper for the game’s only goal. With the win, unbeaten Foxboro moved within one point of league-leading Canton.
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Carly Devine scored the game’s only goal to power Mansfield to a rivalry win, handing Franklin its first loss of the season. The goal came off a fourth quarter counter attack. Tarynn Smith’s first shot was saved by Rachel Welch but Devine followed up and knocked in the rebound for the game-winner, giving the Hornets the edge in an evenly-played match.
Sharon, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Wendy Wooden had a hat trick and Sofia Goclowski added a brace to lead the Eagles to their first win of the season. Cass Barbera recorded the clean sheet.
Mansfield, 233 @ Franklin, 235 – Final (6 cards) – The battle between the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex certainly lived up to the hype, tied through both four and five cards before the Hornets prevailed on the sixth card to clinch at least a share of the division title. Mansfield’s Brian See and Nate Morreale each shot a team-low round of 36 to pace the visitors while Ryan Dow and Jason See each shot 39 in the win. Joe Gormley added a 41 to force it to a sixth card where Ryan Doherty and Cian Goulet helped earn the win, each shooting a 42. For Franklin, Nolan Norton was the match medalist with an even par round of 35. Jack paterson and Pat Dolan each shot 38 for the Panthers, Brian Sandham chipped in with a 39 and Jack Hagerty shot a 41 for the hosts.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan has pleaded for his players to start shooting more when they have opportunities in the final third.
On Monday afternoon, the Hornets took heed of their coach’s request.
After scoring four goals in its opening four games, the Mansfield boys soccer team equaled that output as four different Hornets found the back of the net in a 4-0 win on the road over Attleboro in the HockomockSports Game of the Week.
The Hornets wasted little time, scoring a pair of goals in the first quarter to jump ahead early and then tacked on goals in each the third and fourth quarters to get their fourth win of the season.
“Our forwards are finally starting to shoot,” Sheridan said. “I think we had more shots today than we’ve had all season. We’ve got a couple of guys that are finally starting to get it. I’ve been screaming since we started to take more shots. We spend more time on shooting in practice and then we get to a game and we don’t take them. We took them today, I was happy with how we played today.”
Mansfield boys soccer
Mansfield scored a pair of signature goals, pushing numbers into the area and cashing in on loose chances in the area. But the Hornets also showed some versatility in their offense as junior Matt Hyland and senior Tommy Lanzillo scored on class shots from distance.
Just over five minutes into the contest, a clearance popped out to Mansfield senior Michael Jeans, who popped a service high back into the box. Attleboro’s keeper was unable to catch it cleanly and Mansfield junior Sagar Koul was exactly where he needed to be, following up the loose ball and roofing his touch just under the bar for a 1-0 lead.
And a minute later, Jackson Singer found Soucy, who got a touch to the ball before Lasbury-Casey and then followed up on the loose ball in the area but a slide from Ethan Scholes and a block from Jeans kept the ball out.
“We played very well, I like my defense, Evan [Eames] and [Michael] Caridi played phenomenal back there, especially in the second half,” Sheridan said. “Michael [Jeans] saved a bunch of balls back there. We finally got our three center midfielders [Lanzillo, Colin True, Sullivan] to start working together. They weren’t communicating enough. But now they’re talking, they know whos making a run up and who needs to drop back, moving side to side together. It’s basically what’s connected everything, us starting to communicate.”
Mansfield boys soccer
Mansfield’s pressure paid off just before the end of the first quarter. Sophomore Aidan Steele forced a giveaway, junior Dan Rowe quickly squared a pass to Hyland, who let the ball come across his body before blasting a shot from just over 30 yards out, catching the keeper off his line as it floated just under the bar.
“We were missing heart,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira. “Mansfield played their game which is boot, boot, boot and they capitalized on some of those. We weren’t disciplined enough to play our game which is touch. We had no offense today. [Our players] want to blame the ref for everything but we had two of the best in the league today so you can’t say it’s the ref. We just lost our cool and could never get going.
“They run at you and they create some crazy stuff. They play the long balls and there’s a bounce here or there and they capitalize on them. They played their game better than we played ours. But we see them in two days and hopefully, it will be a little bit different.”
The second quarter was mostly played between the two 18-yard lines, the best chance coming off the foot of Steele. Both Steele and Rowe pressured the Bombardier defense, resulting in a turnover and a low shot from Steele but Attleboro backup keeper Cody Abreu, who took over the middle of the period, handled the bounce well.
Mansfield added to its lead in the 49th minute, again capitalizing on numbers and high pressure in the area. Lanzillo whipped in a cross from the left wing and Hyland was there to meet it after making a near post run but his touch hit the post and stayed out. It bounced right to Grady Sullivan, who touched it over to Scholes for the finish and a 3-0 lead.
“For us, it’s important to attack in numbers,” Sheridan said. “And that’s why we can’t have anyone taking a play off. We need everyone to keep doing. We have the numbers to put different guys in. With the new rules with 20 minute quarters, I don’t expect to have to sub too often but I can if I have to. We want them to go really hard for 8-12 minutes and then we’ll get someone fresh in there.”
Attleboro looked to answer five minutes alter as Henriquez and Singer combined to create for the Bombardiers, the result a shot from Justin Lurssen but his bid was partially blocked and bounced harmlessly to Lasbury-Casey.
Mansfield added one more goal in the 64th minute. Lanzillo played a ball into the area that was cleared away but Lanzillo alertly tracked down the loose ball and put his laces through a bouncing ball that curled into the near post from 30 yards out.
Mansfield (4-1) will host the Bombardiers (0-3) in a rematch on Wednesday night at 6:45.
Milford, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – After a scoreless first 40 minutes of play, Milford found the back of the net twice to earn two points on the road. The Hawks scored once in the third quarter and once more in the fourth. Junior Avi Seri put Milford ahead on an assist from classmate Chris Tocci, and then a fourth quarter goal from Felipe Guerra (from Victor Botelho) made it 2-0.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of goals on both sides of halftime to earn a series sweep of visiting Foxboro. Kevin Louhis (from Dillon Cupples) opened the scoring for the Tigers, who had four players find the back of the net. Brady deVos doubled the lead before the break on a pass from Matthew Nikiciuk. Nikiciuk (from Anthony DaCosta) and Colin Milliken (penalty kick) scored in the second half for OA.
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – King Philip leveled the match just before halftime but Franklin came out and took the lead back with an early goal in the second half and held on to even the season series between the two rivals. Ben Moccia converted a feed from Tyler Powderly in the 26th minute to give the Panthers the lead but Tadhg Keller answered in the 35th minute on a long free kick to make it 1-1 at the break. Franklin’s Ethan Cain (from Charlie Amante) scored the game-winning goal in the 46th minute and the Panthers held on the rest of the way.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – For the second straight game, Mansfield scored the game-winning goal in the second half to earn two points against Taunton. Aiden Steele scored off a corner from Ethan Scholes for the lone goal of the game. Jack Lasbury-Casey earned his first shutout in his first career start. MHS coach Steve Sheridan said Colin True had an amazing day in the midfield and both Evan Eames and Michael Caridi played well defensively.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
Attleboro, 4 @ Milford, 5 – Final – After failing to find the back of the net in the first three games of the season, Milford edged a shootout against Attleboro to pick up its first win. Dani Atherton proved difficult to contain, scoring four goals for the Hawks, while Jillian Michelson added a goal and two assists. Briley Harnois had a goal and three assists for the Bombardiers, giving her six points in two games this season. Atherton got her first of the night four minutes into the game and added a second before halftime. Michelson also got one in the first half but Bethany Alves (first career goal) and Cassondra Stuger, both assisted by Harnois, kept Attleboro within one at the break. Atherton added two more in the third quarter, while Harnois got one, as Milford led 5-3 heading to the fourth. In the final quarter, Harnois set up Jamie Davies for her first varsity goal, but the Hawks held on to take the two points. Milford coach Lou Colabello called the win “a good morale boost” heading into next week’s games with King Philip.
Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Canton scored twice in the fourth quarter to pull out a win on the grass at Sharon, stay perfect on the season, and remain two points ahead of the pack in the Davenport division. Mekhala Costello, Olivia Rodman, and Gabriella Herivaux scored the goals for the Bulldogs. Sarai Costello had two assists and Emily McCabe had one helper. Sharon played well throughout, keeping Canton’s attack at bay for the bulk of the game. Wendy Wooden had the goal for the Eagles.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored twice in the first quarter and held off a late charge by the Warriors to earn a hard-fought win in the rain and stay perfect on the season. The Panthers wasted no time getting on the board, as Sydney St. Marie scored after 90 seconds. Eight minutes later, St. Marie set up Anya Zub to double the lead. The lead remained two goals until the fourth quarter. Ava Tormey got KP back within one as she knocked in a rebound, which was the first goal the Panthers have allowed this season.. The goal sparked the Warriors and they put the Panthers under pressure for the final 13 minutes, but Franklin’s defense held on for the win. Julia Bertone and Rachel Welch combined to make seven saves for Franklin, while KP keeper Emma Glaser made nine saves.
Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – The Hornets earned their first win of the season behind the first career goals for Amira Walcott and Olivia Homsi. Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined for a second clean sheet in as many days. Mansfield had plenty of chances, forcing Taunton goalie Isabella Anslow into 20 saves.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Steph McKenna and Emma Pratt continued their impressive weeks, each scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist, as the Rocketeers won for the second straight game and stayed unbeaten on the season. Coming off a hat trick on Wednesday, McKenna scored a pair of goals and assisted one, while Pratt scored one (her third of the week) and had an assist. Tess Collins added a goal and two assist for North, while Maggie O’Brien and Lily Adams scored their first varsity goals. Brayden Rice, Charlotte Moynihan, and Caroline Ferrin had assists.
Mansfield, 158 @ Oliver Ames, 155 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its biggest win of the season, knocking off a previously unbeaten shorthanded Mansfield squad. Senior Logan Domenico made a 15′ putt for a birdie on the 8th hole, finishing with a match-low score of 35. Senior Kosta Spiliakos, junior Jake Kaplan, and freshman David Rogers all shot 40 for the Tigers. For Mansfield, Ryan Dow and Joseph Gormley each had a team-low round of 39n while Cian Goulet and Nate Morreale each carded a 40.
2019 Record: 6-9-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
One more goal scored or one goal less allowed could have changed the entire outcome of the 2019 season for the Bombardiers, who suffered six one-goal losses and three draws. Now with more varsity experience under their belts, Attleboro is aiming to surprise some teams in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season.
Longtime head coach Peter Pereira is counting on that experience to translate into leadership on and off the field. Senior goalie Zackary Brown is back in net for the Bombardiers and is showing more confidence inside the area. Senior Joey Soucy is making the transition to defense and will play alongside classmates Jayden Lockhart and Andrew Fasoldt. Junior Cashel Stuger is also back in the mix defensively while seniors Henry Marini and Alejandro Jimenez could factor into the defensive unit as well.
Jackson Singer emerged as a strong option in the midfield in his first season with the Bombardiers and should be a big piece again this year. Singer will pair up with Hugo Henriquez to give Attleboro an experienced duo in the heart of the pitch. Seniors Ben Fasoldt, Emilio Amaya, and Tyler Sar will all be apart of the midfield while juniors Tom Russo and Emilio Ticas should see valuable minutes for the Bombardiers. Freshman Alex Vecchioli has shown a lot of versatility so far and could play in a variety of roles.
Up front, Attleboro will be relying on a combination of speed, tough, and work effort as they challenge opposing defenses. Depending on the pairing, Attleboro will be able to attack in a variety of ways. Seniors Justin Lurssen and Connor Paquin as well as juniors Liam Bischoff and Yianni Skordas will all see time in the attack. Sophomore Esvin Morales emerged as one of the top attacking threats a year ago and will be among the top finishers in the league.
“We have a good group of seniors and hope that this experience will pay off,” Pereira said. “We believe we will have a more competitive, more mature, and more balanced team.”
2019 Record: 4-12-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Danny Erickson
The Bulldogs were very young during the 2019 season with just a half dozen seniors on the squad, but that meant plenty of young players were able to gain valuable on-field experience at the varsity level. Now the Bulldogs will be looking to contend in a very competitive Davenport division in the shortened 2020 season.
The defense will be the backbone of the team this season as the Bulldogs have a lot of experience at the centerback position. Senior captain Matt Giglio is back for his third year with the squad after being a key piece in each of the previous two years. He will be joined in the middle of the defense by Will Keefe, who anchored the Dogs’ backline last year and earned All-Hockomock honors.
Junior Dylan Baird had a breakout sophomore season and will be one of the main pieces in the midfield. After a down season for Canton on the offensive end as a whole last year, Baird’s presence in the midfield will help create opportunities going forward. Up front, the Bulldogs are counting on senior Colton Marliani to be a go-to scoring threat.
Canton already suffered a big blow as senior captain TJ McCabe, who has been with the squad since he was a freshman, will miss the season due to injury. On the flip side, the Bulldogs are getting a boost with the addition of Abdul Barrie. Barrie played in the youth leagues in Canton but will make his CHS debut this fall and could make a big impact for the Dogs.
“I think the rule modifications will challenge us all equally,” said longtime Canton head coach Danny Erickson. “But after a week or so of training, to me, it’s still soccer.”
2019 Record: 7-8-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Ambrosio
The Warriors had a sour taste in their mouth at the end of last season, losing the last game of the year to miss out on the playoffs. While Foxboro won’t have the chance to get back to the postseason this year, the Davenport division title is certainly in reach.
Foxboro graduated a couple of stalwarts (Joe Cusack, Dylan Barreira, Will Morrison) that were important pieces of the squad in each of the last couple of seasons, but there are plenty of experienced players back from last year’s seven-win squad plus a handful of new faces anxious to make their mark. Seniors Max Beigel and PJ Frost will give the Warriors plenty of leadership and experience, especially in the midfield and attacking third. Foxboro will look to play quick, using the counterattack to hit on the break.
After giving up nearly two goals a game a season ago, the Warriors are aiming to tighten up the back as they navigate through a very competitive Davenport division. First-year head coach Dan Ambrosio is also counting on new players like John Hollis and Ryan Flaherty to make an impact during the shortened season.
“We are a tight-knit group who like to have fun playing the game and look forward to representing our school and town,” Ambrosio said.
2019 Record: 9-7-4 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Fran Bositis
With returning players in most areas of the pitch and a trio of top midfielders in the Hockomock League, the Panthers should be in the mix for the Kelley-Rex title, although it could be one of the most competitive seasons since the league split into two.
With just 10 games and all six teams in the Kelley-Rex possible contenders, there is little margin for error. The Panthers will be put to the test right away as they take on Milford, who won the Davenport two years in a row and went to the D2 State Final last season, in the opening week. But longtime head coach Fran Bositis has plenty of talent on his roster to try and make a push for the division title. It all starts in the midfield with a trio of returning starters in Ethan Cain, Tyler Powderly, and last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Terry O’Neill.
All three bring something different to the table which will make Franklin’s midfield among the most dynamic in the league. Powderly’s speed on the wings will give defenses fits while Cain will bring plenty of creativity as the Panthers push forward. O’Neill won’t be able to dominate in the air like he did a season ago thanks to the new modifications that ban headers, but the junior is also such a calming presence with the ball at his feet and will help Franklin keep possession. Ben Moccia, who started in the midfield a season ago, is moving up top to the number 9 spot, while Charlie Amante, Ryan Witt, Jack Moran, and Kevin Proenca will also see time in the attack.
The Panthers have some new faces in the defensive unit. Will Fox is the lone returning starter and has impressed in the early stages of the season. Sam George, Robbin Tappin, and Karl Gruseck will all factor into the Panthers’ defense while Aidan Griffith, Nelson Martinez, and Connor Scagliarini will be options for Bositis to play either defense or in the midfield. Newcomers Trey Lovell and Rex Cinelli could see valuable minutes right away. Former Panther standout goalie Freddie Backmann, who is without a season at Regis College, is mentoring Luc Boudreau, this year’s starting keeper for Franklin.
“I think that we have a very good group of athletes (soccer players) who have worked real hard in preparation for this season,” Bositis said. “I know that they are all excited to be playing and that they are looking forward to competing against the other Kelley-Rex teams and putting themselves in a position to challenge for a league championship.”
2019 Record: 8-5-6 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mike O’Neill
King Philip was the surprise team of the 2019 season, overcoming a large amount of inexperience to take third in the Kelley-Rex and qualify for the state tournament. While the Warriors won’t sneak up on anyone this season, the skill and experience they return should put them in the mix for the division title.
Second-year head coach Mike O’Neill has strong players in all areas of the pitch, starting with senior captain Evan McEvoy. A four-year player with the program, McEvoy is coming off a breakout season in 2019 and will be among the top midfielders in the league. He will control the pace for the Warriors from the center of the pitch, working with fellow captain Alex Leon, who will use his speed to patrol the wings and get in behind the defense. Both Caleb Waxman and Stephen Griffin made an impact last season and should see expanded roles in the shortened 2020 season. Sophomore Matt Crago is a new face that could make a splash in his first year.
The Warriors should have one of the top defenses in the league again this season. Senior captain Aidan Lindmark is back in goal and his distribution skills will factor in heavily to how KP plays out of the back. Jeremy White had a strong 2019 season at center back and will bolster the Warriors’ backline when he returns from injury. In the meantime, four-year player Ajae Olsen, who is normally patrolling the wing or up top, will have his versatility on display as he slides into the centerback spot.
“Our players and coaches are thankful that we are at the point where we can have a season,” O’Neill said. “So much work and sacrifice have gone into getting the Hockomock League schools to this moment. I’m looking forward to some excellent and competitive soccer. I expect every game to be extremely competitive – there are no easy games in the Hock. Five wins may win the division.”
2019 Record: 6-7-5 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Sheridan
With just 10 games scheduled for the season, every game – from the first to the last – is going to be important. No one understands that more than the 2020 Hornets, who came up just short of the state tournament last year. After a slow start, Mansfield became one of the toughest teams to beat down the stretch, finishing on an eight-game unbeaten streak that featured an upset of division champion Oliver Ames but came just one point shy of postseason play.
With the postseason not in the picture for this year, the focus shifts on the division title. The Hornets are hoping to carry the momentum from the end of last season into this year. Mansfield will have a mix of veterans and inexperience in its defensive unit. Senior captain Evan Eames will be the centerpiece of the group alongside classmate Michael Jeans, who missed all of last season due to injury. Sophomores Grady Sullivan and Nate Kablik round out the Hornets’ back four while senior captain Eric Sullivan will take over starting in goal.
Senior captain Tommy Lanzillo will run the show from the center of the pitch, helping the Hornets transition from defense to offense. Lanzillo is strong with the ball at his feet and will help distribute as the Hornets hit on the counter. Senior Colin True and juniors Matt Hyland and Dan Rowe will join Lanzillo in the Hornets’ midfield. Junior Dylan Buchanan is back for his third year with the squad and will play up top alongside Aiden Steele.
2019 Record: 18-1-2 2019 Finish: D2 State Finalists Coach: Antonio Pinta
Milford arrives in the Kelley-Rex division with a huge target on its back. Coming off back-to-back Davenport division titles and a trip to the D2 State Final a season ago, the Hawks enter their new division as the favorite. But game in and game out, Milford can expect to get everyone’s best.
First-year head coach Antonio Pinto might be new to the varsity position but has been with the program during this successful run as an assistant and JV coach. It will all start with the reigning HockomockSports Player of the Year and Hockomock League MVP Leo Coelho, who can play just about any position on the pitch at a high level. If there is a need to shut down a high-powered offense, you might see Coelho playing defense. Or if the Hawks need a boost offensively, he can just as easily move up front and provide creativity in the final third.
The Hawks are far from a one-trick pony with both Lucas Da Silva (eight goals, seven assists) and Joao Pedro Da Silva (six goals, three assists) back in the mix this season. Replacing the Hockomock’s leading scorer in Pedro Araujo (25 goals, 11 assists) will be tough but we saw the Hawks do just that when Araujo took over for former HockomockSports Player of the Year Wallison de Oliveira.
Defensively, the Hawks will be strong up the middle. Junior Kevin Gomes returns to start in goal for the Hawks after getting valuable experience there during last year’s season and deep playoff run. And junior Chris Tocci is back in the heart of the defense at centerback after a breakout sophomore campaign. While the new regulations will certainly challenge the Hawks defensively with heading and slide tackling banned, Milford should have a big advantage offensively because of their strong possession skills.
“I’m very excited to be out there with the guys this season,” Pinto said. “We are ready to play no matter what the rules and conditions are! We’re ecstatic to have a season.”
2019 Record: 9-7-4 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Geoff Burgess
The Rocketeers and head coach Geoff Burgess have found a recipe for success over the past couple of seasons and will be looking to replicate that again this year. Defense always comes first for the Rocketeers, who allowed just 0.68 goals per game last year. While every team is being forced to make changes because of the new modifications due to COVID-19, the Rocketeers might be affected more than most with heading, slide tackles, and shoulder-to-shoulder challenges banned.
But the Rocketeers have adjusted during the preseason and will be relying on defense and goalkeeping once again this season. Replacing two-time HockomockSports Best XI selection Kyle Briere in net won’t be easy but the North Attleboro is turning to junior David Floyd, who is one of the most athletic players on the team this season according to Burgess. The Rocketeers also boast one of the best centerback combinations in the league with seniors Justin Silva and Donovan Carter back in the fold this year. With a season of experience playing together, it will be tough for teams to find ways to get by the defense anchored by that duo.
While defense remains a top priority for the Big Red, that doesn’t mean North isn’t a dangerous team in the attacking third. As they’ve shown over the past two seasons, speed can kill. Relying on the counterattack and set pieces for the majority of their offensive chances, North brings back senior forward Matt Conley (one goal, five assists) to try and beat defenses with his speed and skill. Junior Connor Ward will have a lot to say about the pace the Rocketeers play at as he orchestrates the team from the center of the pitch.
“With an abbreviated season and a large senior class, we hope to challenge OA for the league title,” Burgess said. “This will obviously be a huge challenge but our defense will be tough to breakdown and you can’t lose if the other team does not score.”
2019 Record: 15-4-0 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal Coach: John Barata
Oliver Ames has reached the D2 State Final three times since 2014 and with a large group of experienced and skilled players back from last year’s team that went 15-4, another trip to the finals might have been in the cards for 2020. But with postseason canceled due to COVID-19, the Tigers are looking to make as big of an impact as they can.
After a four-year stint in the Kelley-Rex, one that included a pair of division titles (2017 and 2019), the Tigers are back in the Davenport division where they won five titles in the first six years after the Hockomock split. OA brings back nine players that either started or saw a good amount of minutes on the pitch last year, highlighted by HockomockSports Best XI selections Colin Milliken, Brady deVos, and Kevin Louhis. Milliken will help the Tigers transition from defense to offense from his center mid spot, Louhis will be a go-to option on the offensive end, and deVos is back to anchor the defense for the second straight season.
The Tigers will have plenty of options to go along with Milliken (10 goals, 14 assists) and Louhis (4 goals, 9 assists) in the attacking third. Jimmy Keane (six goals, one assist) bolsters the midfield while Anthony DaCosta (six goals, one assist) has improved each of the past two seasons and will be a handful for opposing defenses. Senior Matthew Nikiciuk really emerged as a force in the middle of the pitch last season and will be a big part of the offense, especially through set pieces. Both Mathias Taylor and Dillon Cupples burst onto the scene a year ago and will be in the mix as the Tigers push forward.
Senior goalie Drew Nickla returns in net after a strong year in 2019. The Tigers graduated the most from the defensive unit so the early challenge will be developing chemistry quickly in the backline. Head coach John Barata is also looking for Ben Cohen, Michael Haikal, and Hector Bucio as viable options for the Tigers while sophomore Jake Williams and freshmen Ryan Linhares, Joey Carney, and Diego Rivera are new faces to keep an eye out for.
“We are looking forward to competing this fall and enjoying the opportunity to grow as people and players,” Barata said. “This is a unique situation for a very unique group of players and we are going to make the best of it and play the best soccer we can. These young men are fantastic and we are going to have a great time this season regardless of the on field results…but we hope to have a few of those too!”
2019 Record: 6-7-5 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Scott Nathan
The Eagles enter the 2020 campaign with a chip on their shoulder, coming up just one point shy of the state tournament a year ago. While Sharon can’t make up for that with a tournament appearance this year with the playoffs canceled due to COVID-19, the Eagles can certainly make some noise while challenging for the Davenport division title.
Sharon said goodbye to a handful of experienced veterans including Michael Baur, Brian Higgins, and Isaiah Stessman, but first-year head coach Scott Nathan has a group of proven players plus a bunch of news faces eager to make their mark. Senior captain Bryce Nathan and junior captain James Zhang will lead the way both on and off the pitch this year as the Eagles compete for the Davenport crown.
Bryce Nathan is one of the most versatile players in the league, playing anywhere from defense to striker during his tenure with the Eagles. Zhang, fresh off an impressive sophomore campaign, is very confident with the ball at his feet and does a nice job distributing from the center of the pitch. Sophomore Matthew Baur is back in goal after getting a varsity season under his belt. Rhys Davis and Brandon Mauricio highlight a list of returners defensively while Coby Jacobson, Samid Khandaker, Adam Landstein, Aaron Livshin, and Daniel Zagoren are all back with varsity experience as well.
The Eagles will focus on a sound defense first before transitioning into offense. Patience will be key this year as Sharon looks to make the most of each opportunity as they push forward. Brady Daylor, Malachi Diaz, Adam Eastman, Daniel Fishman, Amjad Kordab, Jack Landstein, Rohan Prakash, Elliot Pototsky Nicholas Rincon, Aaron Tamkin, Jeffrey Xiang, and Tony Yang are new to the varsity level and will be looking to make an impact on the pitch for the Eagles in 2020.
“The game will be different…for players, coaches, referees, and fans,” Scott Nathan said. “I am just happy for the boys that they have the opportunity to play the game they love!”
2019 Record: 3-13-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jon Grant
With a year of experience under coach Jon Grant, the Black Knights are aiming to have a bounce back year and compete with the top teams in the Davenport division.
There were plenty of bumps in the road during the 2019 season but Stoughton certainly showed some bright spots, including wins over Mansfield and Canton. Now the Black Knights will try to compete in each game and string some results together. Captain Nolan Gerome returns in goal for Stoughton and is among the best keepers in the league. Opposing head coaches have raved about saves Gerome has made over the past couple of seasons and he will be the anchor of the Black Knights’ defensive unit.
Playing in front of Gerome will be senior captain Ryan Sears and junior Owen Roddy, who both played valuable minutes last year. With a good amount of experience and skill in the back, Stoughton is hoping defense will be a cornerstone for the 2020 season. Grant is looking for Rhuan Carvalho to be a top playmaker for the Black Knights, distributing from the center of the pitch to create some offensive chances.
“Our goal for this year to improve on last season,” Grant said. “This year the players came in to the short season fairly well conditioned and with a great attitude. All the players are so grateful to have this opportunity to be back out on the field. This will definitely help us in this short season.”
2019 Record: 2-9-7 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
It’s easy to look at Taunton’s record from a season ago and make assumptions, but upon further review, the Tigers were in just about every game they played. Five of the nine losses were decided by just one goal and the Tigers had a league-high seven draws; one goal either way and the Tigers were that close to a spot in the tournament. It goes to show how competitive the league was and how important each goal is.
With a strong nucleus of players back from last year’s squad, the playoffs wouldn’t have been such a far reach for Taunton this season. But with the postseason not in play, the Tigers will shift focus on being a darkhorse in the Kelley-Rex division title hunt. The new modifications will make it tough for all teams when it comes to defending, but it will also benefit something that Taunton has plenty of: speed. The Tigers plan on utilizing their pace on both ends of the pitch, getting behind the defense on one end while using their speed defensively to fend off opposing offenses.
Taunton will be strong up the middle with senior Travis Nunes back in the heart of the pitch and sophomore Riley Rebello back to anchor the defense. Senior Hunter Cabral will give the Tigers flexibility by playing in both the midfield and up front. Head coach Taylor Whitters is looking for sophomores Joseph Renquinha Jr., Aidden Fitting, Quincy Jones-Sylvia, Jonathan Trinh, and Nathan Keenan to all be in the mix this season.
“Despite everything that has occurred in recent months, we have one of the most versatile and technically sound teams that Taunton High School Boys Soccer has seen in a long time,” Whitters said. “This group of young men have the number one factor in the success of any team: chemistry. They have the willingness to play for the team, not for themselves. I feel with their talents, abilities, and desire to work together as a unit, we will be a team to watch in our division this season.”
King Philip, 28 @ Taunton, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Robert Jarest 29-yard rush, XP failed; (KP) R. Jarest 43-yard pass to Brian Wassersug, R. Jarest 2pt pass to Alex Behling.
2nd Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 12-yard pass to A. Behling, XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 17-yard pass to Drew Danson, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Trent Santos 2-yard pass to Nigel Choate, Collin Knorr XP good.
4th Quarter: (T) Bretton Heggs 2-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Mansfield, 36 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 62-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good; (OA) Nathan Cabral 3-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 12-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) M. DeBolt 8-yard rush, M DeBolt XP good; (M) Jack Moussette 61-yard pass to Danny Rapoza, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Nick Marciano 37-yard rush, N. Marciano 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames and Attleboro traded goals inside the first 20 minutes but the Tigers scored five unanswered to pick up the win. Junior Anthony DaCosta converted a feed from sophomore Mathias Taylor in the 18th minute before the hosts knotted the score two minutes later. OA jumped back ahead when junior Colin Milliken set up classmate Kevin Louhis in the 33rd minute. Taylor made it 3-1 in the 38th minute on a feed from junior Jimmy Keane. The Tigers scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half to pull away. Keane, Milliken and Nicholas Farley each scored with Milliken, Louhis and Dillon Cupples recording assists. Matthew Nikiciuk, Ben Cohen, Harry Ahearn, Matt Nosalek, Jon Freeman all played terrific for OA.
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Colby Ciffolillo, Caden Mirliani, and Jake McCabe scored to help the Bulldogs pick up a win over visiting Stoughton.
Milford, 6 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Milford scored three goals in each half to secure a big win on the road at Foxboro. Senior Pedro Araujo scored four goals in the win to break the program’s single season point record, with 32 points so far this season. Araujo opened the scoring halfway through the first half on an assist from Nuno Mestre, and then grabbed his second eight minutes later on a penalty kick. Joao Pedro Da Silva made it 3-0 with Araujo recording the assist. Jordan Borges set up Araujo for his third goal with a beautiful through ball just a minute into the second half. Araujo grabbed his fourth in the 50th minute with Da Silva notching the assist. David Desa scored the final goal with Eduardo Castro getting the assist. Kevin Gomes had the shutout in net while both Borges and freshman Nick Ribeiro had strong showings in the midfield.
Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield freshman Aiden Steele scored a goal and had an assist to help the Hornets knock off Franklin to keep their postseason hopes alive. Steele set up Colin True in the 55th minute for the opener, and then scored his first career goal in the 68th minute off a corner from sophomore Matt Hyland. Mansfield coach Steve Sheridan said his defense played great, adding Peter Oldow and Colin Caridi had phenomenal games in the midfield.
Taunton, 3 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip and Taunton traded goals back and forth throughout 80 minutes, with the hosts finding the equalizer in the final five minutes to earn a draw. The visitors opened the scoring in the 12th minute when junior Travis Nunes converted a pass from classmate Kevin Monteiro. Cam Lawrence (from Colin Wesley) tied the game for KP in the 23rd minute, and KP took its first lead when Alex Leon scored off an assist from Tadhg Keller in the 32nd minute. Taunton’s Hunter Cabral knotted things up five minutes later with Khalil Ba picking up the assist. Taunton went back ahead in the 55th minute when Cabral netted his second, assisted by Paiva. Lawrence brought the hosts level once again, this time finishing a pass from Owen Teixeira in the 76th minute.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – North Attleboro keeper Kyle Briere and Sharon goalie Matthew Baur both played well, each earning a shutout as the Rocketeers and Eagles split the points.
Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Erin Holmberg scored four goals to pace the hosts to a big win at home. Caroline Peper also scored in the while while Allison Evin had two assists. Lauren Sellmayer and Jenna Gilman each had one helper for the Tigers. Attleboro freshman Emily Dunlea scored her first career goal for the Bombardiers.
King Philip, 9 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – King Philip senior Chloe Layne scored twice in the first half and added two assists as the Warriors built a 4-0 lead by the break and never looked back. Layne finished with four assists while Avery Snead had four goals and one assist in the win. Maeve Lawlor, Ella Pisani, and Jenny Montville also scored while Taylor Butler had the shutout in goal.
Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Sharon’s Cass Barbera and North Attleboro’s Regan Fein posted shutouts as the Eagles and Rocketeers took a point each. Lydia Hershey, Colette Petit, and Lily Adams all played well for North Attleboro.
Milford, 2 vs. Bellingham, 1 – Final – Milford defended home turf with a 2-1 win over Bellingham. Kat Swineford scored once and added an assist for the Hawks, setting up a goal from Olyvia Whyte.
Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames took care of business on Friday evening, sweeping visiting Attleboro, 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-14). Junior Sarah Morley shined at the service line with 12 aces and a total of 24 service points. Allie Kemp added 19 assists, Alison Barth notched 20 digs, and Ryley McNeeley chipped in with five kills and five assists.
King Philip, 3 @ Walpole, 0 – Final – King Philip earned a regular season sweep over non-league foe Walpole picking up a 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-15) sweep. The Warriors had a strong showing from the service line as Emma Brooks had 20 service points with three aces and Lily Carlow added eight service points (three aces) and four digs. Nicole Coughlan (12 kills) and Catherine Waldeck (10 kills) pace KP’s offense at the net.
Milford, 2 vs. Nipmuc, 3 – Final
Canton, 160 @ Mansfield, 155 – Final – In a battle of division champions, Mansfield earned bragging rights with a close win over Canton at Norton Country Club. Mansfield juniors Brian See and Joseph Gormley shared match medalist honors to lead the way, finishing at 38 for the day. See had birdies on both the sixth and seventh holes. Junior Ryan Dow added a 39 and junior Nate Morreale finished with a 40 for the Hornets. Canton’s James O’Keeffe had a team-low round of 39, Chris Lavoie and Mike Leonetti each shot 40, and Owen Donovan finished at 41.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Points are at a premium at this point in the season, and both Attleboro and Mansfield earned a hard fought one in a 1-1 draw on Wednesday afternoon.
With both teams still hoping to make a late push for the state tournament, the teams split the points after trading a pair of second half goals.
The point keeps Mansfield’s (2-7-4) playoff hopes alive but they don’t have any breathing room the rest of the way. The Hornets have to win their final five games but have three straight home games to start out, hosting Franklin on Friday.
Attleboro (3-6-2) has a little bit more flexibility, but not that much room for error. The Bombardiers have to pick up 10 points with seven games left on their schedule in order to qualify for the D1 South tournament.
“We’ll take any points here,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira. “We’re taking it one game at a time. We were supposed to get two points today but we’ll take the one and move onto the next game. It’s not an easy league, everyone is a top team.”
The hosts took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes and nearly found the game-winner in the final moments but a shot rang off the post and stayed out.
Mansfield had control for the opening 40 minutes but had nothing to show for it. The Hornets pulled level eight minutes after Attleboro’s opener but couldn’t tack on a second over the final 20 minutes.
“We have to win out to make the tournament, and we’re going to do it, that ball hit the post at the end,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan. “That was a sign right there.
“We were all over them in the first half but this has been the story of the season [not scoring]. We have to find somebody that wants to score goals. The effort is there, we played hard, we just have to convert.”
Despite not finding the back of the net in the first half, Mansfield had plenty of chances. The Hornets put two shots on Attleboro keeper Zackary Brown in the opening three minutes, including a take from junior Colin True from 25-yards out.
Attleboro’s first chance of the half came in the 6th minute on a free kick from just under 30 yards out. Senior Nathan LaPlume curled a shot over the wall, trying to tuck a shot inside the near post but his bid was wide.
The Bombardiers’ other serious chance came off the foot of senior Joshua Smith, who latched onto a loose ball from distance and ripped a low shot, but his chance was right at Mansfield keeper Anthony Salisbury, who handled the chance.
Mansfield’s Cam Eddy got on the end of a corner kick in the 22nd minute but saw his header go over the bar. Sophomore Matt Hyland whipped in a corner four minutes later but Brown did well to intercept and quickly handled the loose ball.
A final chance in the first half came on a delivery from junior Evan Eames, who put a free kick into the mixer but Graham Wells’ bid was handled and the teams entered halftime scoreless.
“We’re a touch team and those long balls kind of kills that momentum and it’s tough to bring the ball down and start it all over again, and they keep coming at you,” Pereira said.
“Mansfield was a little bit more hungry than we were today, they won a lot of the balls. We waited too long to start pushing. The last 15 minutes was mostly us. We let them into the game and they were on us in the first half. Their confidence builds and they start believing they can beat you.”
A long throw from Smith set the Bombardiers up for the opening strike in the 48th minute. His throw was partially cleared but only as far as LaPlume at the top of the area. The senior didn’t get all of his half volley bid and the ball fell right to the feet of sophomore Emilio Ticos, who quickly fired an open look into the back of the net.
Mansfield found the equalizer on its first real chance of the second half. The Hornets went with a set play on a corner kick, having at least a half a dozen players come crashing into the area from outside the area. Dan Rowe’s in-swinger was met by Eddy, who sprinted in, jumped, and smashed a header into the back of the net.
“That was a beautiful goal, it was nice to come back,” Sheridan said. “It was a play we brought back from last year, we just brought it back a couple of days ago. That was [assistant coach] Tommy [Giannouloudis], that was his creation and he suggested bringing it back, and it worked.”
The game was mostly played between the 18-yard boxes for the next 20 minutes before some final fireworks in the final five minutes.
Attleboro’s Joey Soucy connected with Hugo Henriquez on a cheeky chip, and Henriquez chested the ball down before firing a shot that forced Salisbury into a save in the 75th minute.
Mansfield tried to hit on the counter right after but Smith did a nice job of shielding Sagar Koul to allow Brown to come off his line and scoop up the pass.
In the 78th minute, Eddy was the first to a long throw from sophomore Dylan Buchanan but this time his header flashed wide.
Attleboro was inches away from the winner in the final minute. Smith linked up with Soucy, who took a couple of touches towards the end line before firing a low cross. Junior Emilio Amaya met the service with a one-timer to the far post but the shot hit the post and stayed out. The Bombardiers believed there was a hand ball in the area before the clearance but there was no whistle.
“We had it go off the post and it went off the kids’ hand but neither ref saw it, unfortunately,” Pereira said. “The last 15 minutes was us but we needed to start 15 minutes before that. But it’s been tough, it’s been a tough season.”
Attleboro boys soccer is back in action on Friday when it hosts division-leading Oliver Ames. Mansfield will try to keep its tournament hopes alive when it hosts Franklin on the same day.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – North Attleboro scored once in the 10th minute and added two more goals in the second half to pick up a win over rival Attleboro. Matt Mordini finished off a cross from James Sales to give the visitors the lead in the first half. In the second, Sales buried a chance after a failed clearance after a cross from James Bush to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute. Mordini grabbed his second in the 61st minute off a feed from Alex Pfeffer. Kyle Briere earned his third shutout of the season.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames earned its fifth straight win to start the season, posting a 2-0 win on the road at Foxboro. Kevin Louhis scored and had an assist in the win. Anthony DaCosta scored the other goal for OA while Colin Milliken grabbed his fifth assist of the year. Drew Nickla earned his fourth shutout of the year.
Mansfield, 1 @ Milford, 4 – Final – After a scoreless first half, Milford exploded for four goals in the second half to earn a win over visiting Mansfield. Pedro Araujo put the Hawks ahead with a penalty kick in the 50th minute but Mansfield’s Colin True headed in a service from Colin Caridi minutes later to bring the Hornets level. Araujo grabbed his second after being playing in by Lucas Da Silva. Da Silva then scored a pair of his own, both from Araujo, as the Hawks pulled away for the win.
Taunton, 1 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon scored a pair of second half goals to pull away from visiting Taunton for the win. The Eagles went ahead in the 6th minute on a goal from Brian Higgins (from Andrew Jacobson) but Taunton knotted the score with a penalty kick from Alec Nunes in the 37th minute. Sharon jumped back ahead in the 55th minute when Michael Baur converted a penalty kick, and Jacobson linked up with Higgins again in the 73rd minute for an insurance tally.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Attleboro took the lead on a first half goal by Meghan Panzer, but Olivia Wills scored for the second time this week to earn a point for the Rocketeers. Abi Slaney assisted on North’s goal. Attleboro nearly grabbed a late winner with a quick break but Summer Doherty made a big play to cut out the chance. Lydia Hershey, Jordan Sullivan, and Lily Cameron all played well in the North back line. Regan Fein made seven saves for North, while Attleboro keeper Ashley Macia made six stops.
Canton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip senior Chloe Layne registered three points to become the program’s all-time point leader, breaking a 21-year old record. Layne had a goal and two assists, scoring the game-winner in the 15th minute. Layne also set up Jenny Montville as KP opened the scoring 30 seconds into the game. Ally Stanton (assists) scored on a feed from Jenna Hitchen in the 50th minute, and Layne set up Kiera Lindmark for a strike in the 71st minute. KP coach Gary Pichel credited his back line with having a strong game, with freshman Grace Lawler have a particularly strong showing.
Stoughton, 1 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – Franklin took control of the game early on, jumping out to a 4-1 lead by halftime, and never looked back. Carly Alston led the way for the Panthers with two goals and two assists, while Anna Balkus added a goal and two assists. Sydney St. Marie and Anna Grasso added goals for Franklin and Erin Quaile had an assist. Brianna Buckley had a big day in goal for the Black Knights with 16 saves. Freshman Shayla Ford scored for Stoughton with an assist from Ashley Camilo.
Milford, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Kerrin Sears scored the opening goal for Mansfield in the first half, assisted by Bella Lennon, but Ashleigh Starks equalized for the Hawks from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Sharon, 1 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – After trading first half goals, Taunton’s Emily O’Gara netted the game-winner in the 55th minute to give the Tigers the win over visiting Sharon. Taunton opened the scoring in the 17th minute as senior Paige Tolan finished off a corner kick from Emily Calderon. Sharon drew level in the 30th minute when Olivia Soby found the back of the net with a shot from outside the box. O’Gara picked out the top corner with a rocket in the 55th minute on an assist from Tolan. Junior Hannah McEntee made seven saves to earn the win while seniors Emma Silvia and Allison Calderon had strong games defensively for the Tigers.
Franklin, 152 @ Attleboro, 159 – Final
King Philip, 150 @ Stoughton, 196 – Final – King Philip’s Kayla Schuberth had a terrific day on the links, carding a two-under round of 34 to lead the Warriors past Stoughton. Nate Ihley added an even par 36, Mike Matheson shot a 39, and Jack Hastry chipped in with a 41 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 171 @ Foxboro, 175 – Final – Mansfield earned a close win on the road at Foxboro to stay unbeaten on the season. Nate Morreale led the Hornets with a low-round of 40 while Joseph Gormley added a 41, Jason See shot a 43, and Ryan Dow finished with a 47 for Mansfield.
Milford, 166 @ Canton, 149 – Final – Canton’s Chris Lavoie, Will Gefteas, and Conor Hunter shared medalist honors on the day, each shooting a 37 to help the Bulldogs win in their home opener. Mike Leonetti, Thomas Singleton, and Owen Donovan all shot 38 for the Bulldogs. Tyler Wetherbee led Milford with a low-round of 39.
North Attleboro, 179 @ Sharon, 165 – Final – Sharon defended its home course, knocking off visiting North Attleboro at the Cape Club of Sharon. Ethan Skelly earned match medalist honors for the Eagles, shooting a match-low round of 38, with Andrew Glaser adding a round of 40. Eric Carter (43) and Nathan Daley (44) also scored for Sharon. Jake Gaskin had a team-low round of 41 for the Rocketeers.
Oliver Ames, 170 @ Taunton, 187 – Final – Tate Hadges led the way for the Tigers on the road, carding a round of 39 to earn medalist honors in Oliver Ames’ win. Brad Powers added a 41 in the win.
2018 Record: 5-10-3 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
The Bombardiers have put last year’s season in the rearview mirror and are aiming to get back to the state tournament in 2019.
Attleboro will rely on its eight returners from last year’s squad plus a good amount of new faces to try and make a push for the playoffs. Senior captains Mike Russo, Nathan LaPlume, and Josh Smith will provide leadership both on and off of the field for the Bombardiers. All three have a good amount of varsity experience with LaPlume and Smith tasked with anchoring the Bombardiers’ defensive unit. Both started a season ago so the defense should be a strength to start the season. Russo started in the midfield a year ago and will be in charge of leading that unit. Attleboro will have to fill the shoes left by leading scorer Will Halben (seven goals, five assists) but there is a strong group of forwards that includes Joey Soucy, Justin Lurssen, and Hugo Henriquez — all of whom have varsity experience — that is ready to pace the offense. Patrick Raczkowski and Kevin Raczkowski should give Attleboro help defensively, junior Jackson Singer bolted academy and should give the Bombardiers a boost in the midfield while junior Zackary Brown takes over in goal.
“I am looking to get some leadership and good play from my tri-captains and I’m hoping for a better season [than last year],” said longtime head coach Peter Pereira. “The team’s attitude has been great and we are working hard.”
2018 Record: 10-7-2 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Fran Bositis
Franklin was one of the hottest teams in the league over the second half of the season last year and the Panthers are hoping to carry that momentum into 2019.
When the calendar turned to October, the Panthers finished the regular season 7-1-1. Longtime head coach Fran Bositis has the pieces to continue that success to begin this year and contend for a league title. A strong suit for the 2019 squad will be the defensive unit, featuring returning keeper Jack Rudolph and center backs Sam Stowell and Jacob Cummings. Anytime a team returns two center backs and its keeper, especially a unit that allowed just three goals in its final nine regular seasons, it’s a big positive. Matt Szczepanowski and Trevor O’Neill, both seniors, will factor in defensively as well. Sophomore Terry O’Neill anchors the midfield from the center of the pitch after a successful freshman campaign while the addition of junior Ethan Cain should give Franklin one of the top midfielder duos, and sophomore Tyler Powderly will likely play in a variety of roles. The challenge for Franklin this season will be finding a consistent offense but there is experience up top with Donny Tappin and Lucas Moura back.
“I think we have the potential to be pretty good, but it all comes one game at a time,” Bositis said. “I think if we can score some goals consistently, we can be pretty dangerous this year.”
2018 Record: 4-12-2 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mike O’Neill
King Philip begins a new chapter in program history as Mike O’Neill takes over after Nick Gale stepped down following a successful stint with the Warriors.
O’Neill will be looking to help the Warriors bounce back from a four-win season, the first time the squad missed the state tournament in over a decade. King Philip graduated nearly a dozen seniors from last year’s squad but have some key players back in key positions. Senior captain Brian McCarthy has a lot of varsity experience and O’Neill will lean on him to organize the midfield. Senior captains Wes Orzell and Matt Clarke anchor the back line and will be tasked with helping the Warriors keep possession by playing out of the back. Behind the defense, senior Grant Orzell and junior Aidan Lindmark are both strong options in goal. Juniors Evan McEvoy and Camron Lawrence both begin their third season on varsity and are poised to have big years at midfield.
“The team is eager to get started, the seniors want to make their mark after a tough season last year, and the juniors and sophomores are hungry to prove themselves,” O’Neill said. “We will need to stay organized and committed to team defending if we are going to be able to compete in the difficult Hockomock League.”
2018 Record: 13-3-5 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Steve Sheridan
The Hornets have won two division titles in the past four years and took second place in the other two seasons, so it’s safe to assume Mansfield will be in the mix once again this year.
In that span of success, Mansfield has been one of the best defensive teams year in and year out, average under a goal against in each of those seasons, including just 0.67 goals against in 2018. The big challenge this season will be replicating that stingy defense because the Hornets graduated their entire back four. The good news is that Mansfield has Anthony Salisbury back in net after he set the program record for shutouts while Cam Bovey serves as the backup keeper, though he is pushing for minutes this season. The strength of the 2019 squad will be in the midfield where senior captains Peter Oldow and Colin Caridi will be. Both have a good amount of varsity experience and will be joined by fellow returners Robbie Healey, Raffi Marzella, Tommy Lanzillo, Colin True, and Evan Eames. Sophomore Dylan Buchanan made a strong impression during his freshman season and will be joined up front by senior Owen Mullahy, who also picked up some valuable minutes a year ago.
“Our biggest question will be, ‘Who’s going to take over our defense that graduated?”, said head coach Steve Sheridan. “That is what I’m trying to figure out and hopefully it will iron itself out during the preseason.”
2018 Record: 8-4-5 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: John Barata
A lot of people learned last year what we already knew: Under head coach John Barata, Oliver Ames doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. The Tigers had to replace their entire starting lineup last season but still had a shot at the division title heading into the final week.
Oliver Ames has a healthy amount of returning players that either started or saw valuable minutes at the varsity level last year starting with seniors Jon Freeman and Matthew Nosalek, who will be key pieces along the back line for the Tigers. Senior Harry Ahearn is another experienced player that will factor in defensively, senior Josh LaBrosse could see time in the midfield or defense, and seniors Nick Farley and Andrew Hanna could get minutes up top. OA has a strong junior class that learned a lot during last season. Colin Milliken, last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year, will organize the Tigers from the midfield while Anthony DaCosta, Kevin Louhis, and Jimmy Keane are all strong attacking options. Drew Nickla will take over as the starting keeper this year.
“It is too early to tell what we will look like but I’m looking forward to a great season with the boys,” Barata said. “We are excited for the opportunity to compete this season in the Hock. There are lots of talented teams coming back, from the defending champions to the schools with new coaches ready to make a mark. It’s going to be one of the toughest seasons in my tenure and we hope to be competitive.”
2018 Record: 3-12-4 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
While the record might not reflect it, it felt like Taunton took a step in the right direction last year, and the Tigers are expecting to take another one this season.
One area of improvement that head coach Taylor Whitters is excited about is the defensive group. The Tigers had the most goals allowed in the Kelley-Rex division but have a reinforced back line ready to fend off the top offenses the Hockomock League has to offer. Senior Colton Medeiros, who had a terrific freshman year before missing time to academy and injury, will anchor the defense in the middle alongside freshman Riley Rebelo. Khalil Ba, a transfer in from Tolman, gives Taunton an outside back that can join in on the attack, while Nolan Melo returns as the starting keeper. Alec Nunes and Colby Fernandes are two dynamic, experienced players that can play both in the midfield or up front. Junior Travis Nunes returns from injury and classmate Hunter Cabral is a versatile player that will play in various roles.
“We have a lot of versatility this year, we’re going to be able to move guys around based on each game,” Whitters said. “No one is locked into a position, we’re going to take it game by game this season.”