Boys Soccer: 2015 Davenport Division Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Canton

2014 Record: 9-7-2
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D2 South First Round
Coach: Danny Erickson
The Bulldogs punched a ticket to the postseason for the 9th straight year and 2014 and with a good crop of returning and experienced players, a 10th straight trip is in the cards. Seniors Pat Hession and Joey Basile both have a good amount of experience and were key contributors to last year’s squad.
Although the Bulldogs will have the fill the void left with Hockomock League MVP Damian Kozak graduated, coach Danny Erickson seems to always have his team playing at a high level. Junior Sam Papakonstantino emerged as a strong threat last year and sophomore Jake Verille had a breakout rookie season and could become a top target for the Bulldogs.
Erickson said he hopes to keep possession better in 2015 and aim to pressure high to force mistakes from opponents. Sophomore Ben Waterhouse is someone who would be a big player this season while freshmen Griffin Roach and Paul Corcoran could make an impact in their first season.

Foxboro

2014 Record: 15-5-1
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D3 South Semifinal
Coach: Joe Franchino
With only two starters from last year’s Davenport Division winning team gone, the Warriors are in good position to repeat and make a deep playoff push.
Foxboro has a new coach in Joe Franchino, who made 162 appearances for the New England Revolution, but don’t expect a lot to change with the Warriors. The 2014 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Joe Morrison is back to control the midfield and has the chance of being the best player in the league this year.
“I’ve inherited a great squad and they have worked really hard so far,” Franchino said. “They are making it difficult for me to pick a starting squad.”
The entire back four is back with Jeff Melo and Rob Lowey anchoring the middle while two-time Hockomock League All Star Devante Teixeira and his speed and skill will make it very hard for opponents to handle both him and Morrison. Franchino expects that they will get everyone’s best effort this year but with so much returning talent and a couple new faces, the Warriors are in good shape.

Milford

2014 Record: 5-11-2
2014 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Jim Asam
The Scarlet Hawks started off last season by going undefeated in the first four games but only earned two more wins the rest of the way. With a strong group of seniors set for this season, Milford will look to get back in the playoff picture.
Mike Da Silva returns for his fourth year patrolling Milford’s net and two-time captain Justin Borges, who is one of the more versatile players in the league, will be a player team’s will have to worry about coming forward from the midfield. On defense, senior Luis Goncalves is back to help and try limit the opportunities from opposing offenses.
Milford will also get Sttarley Flores back after missing the entire 2014 season with an injury while seniors Matt Fornaciari and John Martins and junior Marcelo Panno will all play vital roles for coach Jim Asam.

Oliver Ames

2014 Record: 13-6-2
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D2 State Finals
Coach: John Barata
After reaching the D2 State Finals in 2014, the Tigers have plenty of returning talent back for this season. Chris Romero is one of the more tenured players in the league and is also one of the most versatile while fellow captain senior Keegan Nutt showed just how skilled he was last season in his first year.
“We are hoping to get into the MIAA tourney and we expect every game to be an all out battle,” head coach John Barata said. “We hope to compete well and get better everyday.”
Another experienced player back this season is junior Thomas McCormick, who has seen varsity time since his freshman year, as well as seniors Max Bamford, Jared Mallers and Max Ahearn. Sophomores Nathaniel Cardoza, Cam Vella, Matt Campbell and Jack Sheldon all saw a good amount of time as freshmen, with Cardoza emerging as one of OA’s best players. Although Foxboro is the favorite for the Davenport, the Tigers will likely be in the mix right until the end.

Sharon

2014 Record: 7-8-4
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Bryan Kelly
After just two wins two years ago, the Eagles made it to the playoffs in coach Bryan Kelly’s first year in charge. With a good amount of returning talent, the Eagles will have a chance to compete for the Davenport title.
“This year we have a wealth of experience in all positions and returning players will be a major contributing factor,” head coach Bryan Kelly said. “We are a team that doesn’t have just one star but rather has 23 guys that will sub a lot and not lose skill in any position. This year will be an exciting year for Sharon soccer.”
The Eagles are hoping to improve their offense as they struggled to find consistency when it came to finding the back of the net. Senior captain Daniel Bender is back after missing all of last year and his presence in the center of the midfield could be a huge boost. Senior James Dunlea will also big a factor in the midfield and senior Sam Weidig will anchor the defense in the middle. HockomockSports.com Second Team goalie Andrew Filipkowski is back for his senior year while fellow varsity returnees Lucas Allaria and Mark Bloom will look to add some scoring punch. Kelly is hoping their speed will help give opponents fits while juniors Jake Teven, Ian Camilli and Shalin Patel are all new faces that could make a big impact.

Stoughton

2014 Record: 11-8-1
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D2 South First Round
Coach: Aaron Salter
Over the past couple of seasons, the Black Knights have been headed in the right direction with the team making the playoffs last year for the first time in a decade. Aaron Salter takes over the program this year and will look to continue the push.
Salter will have a lot of experienced weapons back this season to continue the program’s upward trend. Goalie Kyle Silverman is back and Josh Mitchell, Will Peoples and Goddy Frombe will be key pieces in the middle of the field. All three have a lot of varsity minutes and their experience could be vital for Stoughton. Loubensky Lucas, who had an injury plagued sophomore year, will look to return back to the form he had during his freshman year (five goals). Another player to keep an eye on is Noah Schulze, who played a little bit of everything last year and could take on a much bigger role this year.
The Davenport is full of talent and might be one of the most competitive years since the split happened, but the Black Knights have enough talent that they won’t get lost in the mix.

Boys Soccer: Players to Watch in 2015

Joe Kellett
Despite missing some time last season, KP’s Joe Kellett was able to record 12 assists in 2014. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff
Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Daniel Bender, Senior – Sharon
Two years ago, Bender emerged as one of the top underclassmen in the league with a terrific 2013 season. After a serious knee injury sidelined him all of last season, Bender is back and has the potential for a huge senior season in 2015. With the ball at his feet, Bender showed off tremendous poise for just a sophomore and seemingly knew exactly when and where to play the ball. He’s not just good going forward either as he can really clog up the middle of the pitch to prevent opponents from getting forward. With Foxboro and OA two of the early season favorites for the Davenport crown, Sharon is certainly a darkhorse and could ride the skill of Bender to a possible run at the division title.
Justin Borges, Senior – Milford
The Scarlet Hawks are fortunate to be bringing back two captains in Justin Borges and Mike Da Silva, both of which have substantial varsity experience under their belts. Borges has experience all over the field and should literally captain the ship for Milford from the midfield this season. His speed is something that defenses always have to worry about but Borges can also be very dangerous with the ball at his feet. His decision making will be vital in getting the offense going for the Scarlet Hawks in 2015. With some solid pieces around, Borges will have the ability to become a top player in the league.
Max Gurnon, Junior – Mansfield
Sometimes these lists can be overloaded with just the players who end up with a ton of points but defenders deserve their share of recognition too – and Max Gurnon is one of the best returning ones this season. It’s not often a sophomore can step into backline and fit in right away like Gurnon did last season. He’s got great size and a great knack for timing his challenges right. Constantly going against some of the most dangerous scorers, Gurnon seemed to always be up for the challenge. Gurnon also has shown he knows what to do with the ball at his feet. Defenders can often panic and rely on a quick clearance but Gurnon’s soccer IQ is high and helps keep possession for the Hornets.
Joe Kellett, Senior – King Philip
Kellett is just one of two players on the last that was also on our Watch List heading into last season.The 2013 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year followed up his strong sophomore campaign with another great year during his junior season. Now a senior, Kellett has notched 20 assists over the past year and will add to that this year. He’s one of the best midfielders in the league and one of the best players with ball at his feet. First year head coach Nick Gale gets more than just a set up guy in Kellett, who has shown he can find the back of the net too.
Austin Kent, Senior – Franklin
The Panthers graduated a ton of talent (16 seniors), with nearly its entire starting lineup gone. One name that is back is senior Austin Kent. Kent has been making plays since his sophomore year and it’s likely Kent will be one of Franklin’s top threats this year. Kent has shown over the past two years his ability to find the back of the net, which will be key in the battle for the Kelley-Rex division title, which is very much up for grabs this year. It’s typical for a Franklin team to have a balanced scoring attack but expect Kent to be a key part of the Panthers’ success in 2015
Joey Morrison, Sophomore – Foxboro
There haven’t been many players who have made an impact in their freshman season like Morrison did last year. The 2014 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year didn’t look much like a freshman last season with the polished skills he displayed from the very first game. It was no secret how talented Morrison was and despite opponents’ best efforts to game plan against him defensively, he was still able to make play after play. After scoring over a dozen goals in his rookie season, and with only two starters graduated from last year’s squad, it looks like it could be a promising year for Morrison, first year coach Joe Franchino and the Warriors.
Keegan Nutt, Senior – Oliver Ames
One of the biggest surprises of the 2014 season the was emergence of Keegan Nutt. After transferring in from Washington, Nutt made an instant impact for the Tigers during his junior campaign. It was clear to see from very early on in the season that Nutt was very intelligent with the ball at the feet and was constantly looking for the best possible scenario next. His servers became a nightmare for opposing defenses and his ability to find the back of the net was a huge part of why head coach John Barata and OA were able to make a run to the D2 State Finals.
Zach Rodrigues, Senior – Attleboro
The Bombardiers graduated a lot of production and talent with the Class of 2014 but that’s okay because Peter Pereira has plenty of talent coming back, including senior Zach Rodrigues. Rodrigues tallied five goals last season and added a pair of assists and will be counted on to really direct the team in 2015. With the ability to play almost anywhere in the middle, whether it be midfield or pushed up higher, Rodrigues – who is a team captain this year – will help the Bombardiers be able to implement their style against opponents.
Chris Romero, Senior – Oliver Ames
When it comes to versatility, OA senior Chris Romero is among the most versatile that the Hockomock League has seen in recent history. Whether it be anchoring the Tigers’ back line or jumping up in the attack to add an extra threat, Romero not only does, but he’s very good at doing both. For a team like OA, who is willing to change up strategy depending on situations and games, a versatile player like Romero is key. It’s likely that we’ll see Romero build upon his double-digit point output that he produced last year as a junior.
Devante Teixeira, Senior – Foxboro
Along with KP’s Joe Kellett, Teixeira is the only other player who was on last year’s version of this list. Following a breakout sophomore campaign in 2013, Teixeira once again delivered for the Warriors in 2014 and was named an Eastern Mass All Star. Teixeira has arguably the best left foot in the league and his ability to create space is nearly second to none in the league. He requires constant attention on the wing, which is a problem for defenses that have to focus on sophomore Joe Morrison and all of the other weapons Foxboro has.