Franklin Edged By BC High In Tournament Opener

Franklin boys soccer
Franklin’s Tim Duval makes a move past BC High’s Brendan Kennedy in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Timing is everything, especially in the playoffs.

Unfortunately for the seventh-seeded Franklin boys soccer team, it was the 10th-seeded BC High Eagles that were on the right end of things.

The Eagles scored a goal in the final seconds of the first half to level the match, and then just minutes after Franklin had a golden chance, BC High scored the go-ahead goal and earned a 2-1 decision on the road at Pisini Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It was frustrating but we had our chances to score too, and it was frustrating that we didn’t finish there. I think in the end, probably the better team won, they were bigger and more athletic than we were. But I thought our kids played really hard and gave it their best shot. I’m really happy with the team and the season. They really turned it around the second half of the season, which I hope will give the returning players motivation to build off of next year.”

While BC High came out with all the energy, it was Franklin that struck first, opening the scoring just over 15 minutes into the contest.

In just their second foray into the attacking third, the Panthers cashed in. Junior Lucas Moura collected a clearance attempt and alertly played the ball in behind a pair of defenders. Senior Ethan Bowenmade the run onto the ball, getting a touch to the ball just as the BC High keeper came sliding out. The keeper got a piece of the shot but not enough as Bowen’s touch found the back of the net and gave Franklin a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.

After the Eagles had controlled the game, the goal from the Panthers seemed to instill some confidence and the game equaled out in terms of possession and chances as halftime approached.

In fact, best chance over the next 20 minutes belonged to the host Panthers. In the 29th minute, senior Nick Barry switched the field of play with a nice cross to an open Tim Duval but his shot from atop the area went over the bar.

Just as it looked liked the Panthers would take a lead into the halftime break, the Eagles leveled the match. Off a corner kick in the final minute, BC High had its initial bid parried away by junior keeper Jack Rudolph but the rebound fell to the feet of Eagles’ senior Luke Reid and he buried the loose ball to knot the score.

“There’s no question, our goal clearly changed things,” Bositis said of his team getting confidence from the first goal. “There’s no doubt we played with more confidence after that. But giving up the goal right before halftime, that was the killer for me. Giving up a goal with 30 seconds in the half, that’s a big momentum swing.”

While BC High gained some momentum at the break, the Panthers quickly reasserted themselves in the game, having their best three chances of the second half in the first 20 minutes of the frame.

In the 45th minute, Duval found junior Donny Tappin and his first touch put him through a pair of defenders but his off balance bid was over the bar.

Two minutes alter, the Panthers continued to apply the pressure as Barry ripped a hard cross that forced a diving save in the area from the keeper to prevent the ball from finding a recipient.

And then in the 58th minute, Franklin had its best chance to take the lead back. Duval battled his way past a defender on a long ball from Nitin Chaudhury to get into the area. He beat another defender and cut past the oncoming keeper to have a look at the net but his bid with the outside of his foot rolled wide of the frame.

The Panthers found themselves on the end of an unlucky call just minutes later after the ref in front of the play allowed the play to continue, but the official on the opposite side of the field called Franklin for a foul.

The Eagles sent the free kick into the area and a scrum ensued before Anatoliy Berezyuk got the final touch on it for a 2-1 lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin boys soccer made a push in the final minutes, pushing all players forward in search of services from junior Sam Stowell, but the Panthers couldn’t create a chance on target.

The Panthers finish the season 10-7-2.

“Our goal was to get into the tournament,” Bositis said. “I wasn’t sure how many games we’d win but I was very happy for them to get 10 wins. The first half of the season didn’t go as we expected, I thought we’d be a bit better. But at the halfway point, they turned it around and went 7-1-1 down the stretch, they had some really good games. And they worked their butts off tonight too.”

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/19/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
North Attleboro, 14 @ Canton, 10 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 4-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) Gersom Rivera 5-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) O. Lehane 34-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Brendan McHugh 54-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Football
Attleboro, 24 @ Franklin, 31 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Nick Gordon 2-yard rush, Parker Chevront XP good; (A) Justin Cote 83-yard kick return, Colby Briggs XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) Jason Weir 1-yard rush, C. Briggs XP good; (F) P. Chevront 31-yard field goal; (A) C. Briggs 35-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (A) J. Weir 10-yard pass to Ethan Cameron, C. Briggs XP good; (F) N. Gordon 55-yard pass to Marcus Quintina, P. Chevront XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) N. Gordon 11-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Chevront XP good; (F) N. Gordon 52-yard pass to J. Nally, P. Chevront XP good.

Foxboro, 17 @ Sharon, 8 – Final

Taunton, 7 @ King Philip, 24 – Final

Mansfield, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 8- Final
1st Quarter: (M) Michael DeBolt 5-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) V. Holmes 7-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 12-yard pass to Khristian Conner, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) V. Holmes 6-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (OA) Nathan Cabral 5-yard rush, Cam Perron conversion pass to Darnele Ryan.
4th Quarter: (M) Conner Smith 23-yard pass to Shane Downey, Aridan Archambault 2-point rush good.

Milford, 18 @ Stoughton, 15 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (S) John Burke 26-yard pass to Alex Iverson, Josh Cocchi XP good; (M) Colby Pires 1-yard pass to Shapel Feaster, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Pires 16-yard pass to Brendan White, 2-pt conversion no good; (S) Christopher Ais 12-yard rush, J. Burke conversion pass to Malachi Green-Hightower; (M) Ryan Pearl 1-yard rush, XP no good.

Boys Soccer
King Philip, 0 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 2 @ Foxboro, 6 – FinalStoughton scored a pair of first half goals but Foxboro had four straight unanswered goals to pick up a win on the road. The Black Knights opened the scoring in the 16th minute but headed into halftime down 3-2, after being tied 2-2 late in the half. Foxboro added three more goals in the second half. Joe Cusack had four assists and Shane VandenBoom added a pair of goals and an assist to pace the Warriors. Dylan Barreira, Ronnie MacLellan, and Max Beigel all scored once while Nic Beigel had an assists. Stoughton freshman Dante Eschleman scored on a free kick to put the Knights up 1-0. Senior Carter Gerome also scored his first career goal for the Black Knights, assisted by Ryan Reis.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin built a 1-0 lead at half, doubled that advantage in the second half, and walked away with a 3-1 decision to qualify for the state tournament. Nick Barry opened the scoring on an assist from Donny Tappin to give the Panthers a lead by halftime. Tim Duval and Lucas Moura scored second half goals for Franklin.

Mansfield, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Mansfield senior Ethan Brill-Cass scored game-winner in the 78th minute to give the Hornets a win and at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. After a long throw from Dylan Buchanan, Oliver Ames’ clearance was knocked down by a partial block from a Mansfield player. Brill-Cass latched onto the loose ball and placed it into the far corner for the winner.

Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalBoth teams had chances to find the back of the net but didn’t convert as North, Milford settled for their second draw of the season. Kyle Briere made three saves for the Rocketeers while Tiago Carvalho and Lucas Da Silva had strong games for the Hawks.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 6 @ King Philip, 0 – FinalKP broke the game open with five goals in the second half. Avery Snead scored a hat trick and had an assist for the Warriors. Snead opened the scoring off an assist by Chloe Layne in the first half. Snead doubled the lead with a penalty kick in the second half and then assisted on a Layne goal. Ally Stanton made it 4-0 from Layne and then Layne assisted on Snead’s third. Layne wrapped up the scoring with her second goal (and fourth point) off an assist by Molly MacDonald.

Foxboro, 8 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalJordyn Collins had two goals and two assists for the unbeaten Warriors, who maintain their lead at the top of the Davenport division. Mackenzi Fraser had two goals and an assist, Kailee McCabe had a pair of goals, Aislinn Serveas scored her first goal of the season (assisted by Katie Huether), and Lizzy Davis chipped in with a goal as well.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalAnna Balkus scored twice and Calen Frongillo had a pair of assists to lift Franklin to a big win to keep pace with league-leading Mansfield. Sydney St. Marie and Bridgette Ginley also scored goals for the Panthers. Hailey Toolin and Kaylee DeSimone each had assists. Franklin goalie Breanna Atwood made three saves for the clean sheet.

North Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 1 – FinalJuliana France opened the scoring for Milford, but Kayla Pasquel answered with a 20-yard strike to tie the game at 1-1. In the second half, Alex Moulson scored off a pass from Lydia Santos for what turned out to be the game-winner and Ashlyn Gaulin, who assisted on North’s first goal, scored off a Pasquel assist to seal the two points. With a goal and assist on Friday, Gaulin moved into third on North’s career scoring list with 82 points.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalBryn Anderson scored a pair of goals to keep Mansfield in first place in the division. Maria Sevastos and Kerina Geminiani also scored goals for the Hornets, while Katie Garvin, Steph Kemp, and Kaylee Smith all recorded assists in the win. Allison Evin scored for Oliver Ames.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 4 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – FinalAlex Compton and Anna Beck each scored twice for the Bombardiers against their cross-town rivals, while Shea Harrison made 14 stops to earn the shutout.

Sharon, 0 vs. Norwell, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 3 vs. Brockton, 2 – FinalStoughton broke a tie game inside the final five minutes of the game to earn a win over the Boxers. Alanna McCormick scored the game winner with 4:40 left, while Haley Nelson scored Stoughton’s first two goals.

Taunton, 3 vs. New Bedford, 0 – FinalTaunton took a 1-0 lead into halftime and then scored two late goals to secure the win over visiting New Bedford. Cierra Bartel, Caitlin Connors, and Kennedy Thielker each scored once for the Tigers.

Volleyball
King Philip, 0 @ Needham, 3 – FinalKing Philip suffered a 3-0 (18-25, 15-25, 16-25) setback on the road at Needham. Kristen Masse led the offense with eight kills while Nicole Coughlan had seven kills for the Warriors. Shayla Weitzman finished with 10 digs.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMansfield overcame a 2-1 deficit, winning the final two sets to prevail 3-2 (3-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-21, 15-12) in a non-league win over North Attleboro. “It was a great team effort by the whole team,” said Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden. Abby Sullivan has 18 service points with half of those coming in the fifth set to help the Hornets each the win. Greenly Kelly added 12 kills and four blocks, Olivia McGrath had 11 kills, had Katie Dardinski finished with 15 service points and five digs for Mansfield. For North Attleboro, Brooke Street had a great defensive game while Grace Munley had a strong game at the net with four blocks.

Milford, 3 @ Nipmuc, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 3 @ Brockton, 2 – FinalIn one of the tightest matches of the season, Stoughton avenged a five-set loss to the Boxers from earlier in the season with a 3-2 (26-24, 27-25, 23-25, 17-25, 16-14) win on the road. Molly Turner led the Stoughton offense with 18 kills while Delaney Nagel added 14. Amaya Morris recorded nine blocks and Mia Bennett was strong on defense with 38 digs.

Taunton, 3 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 2 – Final

Golf
Franklin, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 150 – FinalIn the final dual match of the season, Oliver Ames knocked off Franklin to earn a share of the Kelley-Rex title with the Panthers. Nolan Donze led the way with a 35, both Liam Barry and Justin Shapiro fired rounds of 38, and Thomas Walsh chipped in with a 39.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/02/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin senior Tim Duval set up the Panthers’ first goal and then scored the goal that proved to be the game-winner in a rain-shortened game against Foxboro. Duval set up Donny Tappin inside the opening two minutes to give the hosts an early advantage. Foxboro leveled the game in the 21st minute when Joe Cusack connected with Dylan Barreira. Franklin went ahead again in the 43rd minute when Duval brought down a service from Sam Stowell and buried from inside the area. The game was called for lightning in the 47th minute despite multiple efforts to restart.

Girls Soccer
Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final

Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin 1 – FinalFoxboro took the lead midway through the first half but Franklin struck early in the second half to earn a draw at home in what both coaches said was a hard fought game from both sides. Warriors freshman Kailee McCabe scored an unassisted goal to put Foxboro ahead. But just 90 seconds into the second half, Hailey Toolin leveled the match on an assist from junior Sabrina Addi. Franklin junior Breanna Atwood made nine saves.

Boys Cross Country
Attleboro, 46 @ King Philip, 17 – Final

Canton, 44 @ Sharon, 18 – FinalSharon’s Alex Starovoytov won his third straight dual meet to help the Eagles improve to 3-0 on the season. The Eagles finished with eight of the top 10 runners with Jared Osofsky taking second, Jacob Dubin finishing fourth, and Kanishka Sethi rounding out the top five. Canton’s Kyle Downing was the top finisher for the Bulldogs, taking third overall.

Top 10: 1. Alex Starovoytov (Sha, 15:30) 2. Jared Osofsky (Sha, 15:54) 3. Kyle Downing (Can, 16:10) 4. Jacob Dubin (Sha, 16:11) 5. Kanishka Sethi (Sha, 16:13) 6. Bradley Weiss (Sha, 16:14) 7. Jordan Saks (Sha, 16:16) 8. Alex Maddestra (Can, 16:23) 9. Nathan Stockton (Sha, 16:27) 10. Mark Starovoytov (Sha, 16:36).

Foxboro, 15 @ Stoughton, 48 – FinalFoxboro swept the first five finishes on its way to a big win on the road at Stoughton. Ryan Proulx took first in the race followed by Trey Lawson, Paxton Downs, Nate Palter, and Patrick Piscitelli.

Top 10: 1. Ryan Proulx (Fox. 18:34) 2. Trey Lawson (Fox, 19:17) 3. Paxton Downs (Fox, 19:37) 4. Nate Palter (Fox, 19:46) 5. Patrick Piscitelli (Fox, 20:07) 7. Sam Pollack (Fox, 20:22) 8. Tyler Comeau (Fox, 20:30).

Taunton @ Franklin, 3:45

Oliver Ames, 29 @ Mansfield, 26 – FinalOliver Ames had three of the top five finishers but Mansfield had five of the top eight to earn a close win over the Tigers. Mansfield’s Jason Windvogel took first overall while Michael Mullahy earned fourth to pace the Hornets. Zane Reservitz was OA’s top runner, taking second overall, with Rory McLaughlin following three seconds later for the Tigers.

Top 10: 1. Jason Windvogel (Mans, 16:53) 2. Zane Reservitz (OA, 16:56) 3. Rory McLaughlin (OA, 16:59) 4. Michael Mullahy (Mans, 17:01) 5. Nathan Reservitz (OA, 17:04) 6. Patrick Heavey (Mans, 17:08) 7. Paxton Howard (Mans, 17:14) 8. Cullen Lancaster (Mans, 17:18) 9. Kyle Sarney (OA, 17:23) 10. Owen Nipoti (OA, 17:32).

Bishop Feehan, 43 @ Mansfield – 16 – Final

Oliver Ames, 19 vs. Bishop Feehan, 40 – – Final

North Attleboro, 37 @ Milford, 22 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Liam Monahan took first in the race but the Hawks had the next three runners cross the finish line, leading the Hawks to a win. Max Manor, Gianni Panno, and Brendan O’Shaugnessy were the top three runners for the Hawks, taking second, third, and fourth in a span of 11 seconds.

Top 10: 1. Liam Monahan (NA, 16:52) 2. Max Manor (Mil, 16:58) 3. Gianni Panno (Mil, 17:08) 4. Brendan O’Shaugnessy (Mil, 17:09) 5. Julian Dixon (NA, 17:17) 6. Chris Berthrong (Mil, 17:29) 7. Anthony Distauro (Mil, 17:38) 8. Miguel Torres (Mil, 18:39) 9. Skyler Poirier (NA, 18:15) 10. Gabe Padro Cota (Mil, 18:19).

Girls Cross Country
Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:45

Canton, 46 @ Sharon, 17 – FinalSharon improved to 2-1 on the season after taking the top three spots in the race against visiting Canton. Eliana Boxerman, Daphne Theiler, and Juliana Dudziak took first, second, and third, respectively, while Canton’s Chloe Pennacchio was fourth overall.

Top 10: 1. Eliana Boxerman (Sha, 19:31) 2. Daphne Theiler (Sha, 19:32) 3. Juliana Dudziak (Sha, 19:33) 4. Chloe Pennacchio (Can, 20:02) 5. Margaret Li (Sha, 20:37) 6. Catherine Griffin (Sha, 20:47) 7. Kavya Anbarasu (Sha, 20:57) 8. Ariella Levy (Sha, 21:07) 9. Berta Faktorovich (Sha, 21:09) 10 Sophie Lisle (Sha, 21:15).

Foxboro, 17 @ Stoughton, 43 – FinalFoxboro’s trio of Lexi Quinn, Abby Hassman, and Lindsey Nelson continued to impress, crossing the finish line in that order to lead the Warriors to a big win over Stoughton. The Warriors had a strong showing, taking eight of the top 10 spots in the race.

Top 10: 1. Lexi Quinn (Fox, 21:18) 2. Abby Hassman (Fox, 21:18) 3. Lindsey Nelson (Fox, 21:23) 5. Emily Steele (Fox, 23:57) 6. Jenn Yeomans (Fox, 24:02) 8. Jill Finn (Fox, 24:19) 9. Isabel Hallal (Fox, 24:29) 10. Amy Conley (Fox, 25:24).

Taunton @ Franklin, 3:45

Oliver Ames, 38 @ Mansfield, 21 – FinalMansfield sophomore Tessa Lancaster and senior Maggie Riley took first and second, respectively, in a tri-meet that also featured Bishop Feehan. Oliver Ames’ Meghan Reardon and Catherine O’Donnell were the first two Tigers to cross the finish line, taking third and fourth overall.

Top 10: 1. Tessa Lancaster (Mans, 20:14) 2. Margaret Riley (Mans, 20:21) 3. Meghan Reardon (OA, 20:43) 4. Catherine O’Donnell (OA, 20:44) 5. Jessica Alestock (Mans, 21:29) 6. Brinly Meelia (Mans, 21:36).

Bishop Feehan, 26 @ Mansfield, 31 – Final

Oliver Ames, 36 vs. Bishop Feehan, 25 – Final

North Attleboro @ Milford, 3:45

Golf
Foxboro, 166 @ Stoughton, 167 – FinalFoxboro freshman Matt Fosella earned medalist honors, shooting a 40 at Easton Country Club to help the Warriors slip by Stoughton. Jack Watts, Noah Hicks, and Jonathan Dowling all shot 42 for Foxboro. Josh Hough led Stoughton with a 41 while Luke Bainton, Jake Curtis, and Kyle Stone each carded a 42 for the Knights.

Mansfield, 167 @ King Philip, 166 – Final

North Attleboro, 156 @ Canton, 154 – FinalCanton’s Chris Lavoie and Thomas Singleton earned co-medalist honors, each shooting a 37 to lead the Bulldogs to a two-stroke win over the visiting Rocketeers. Tommy Dimock, Mike Gobbi, and Mike Leonetti each shot 40 for Canton. North Attleboro’s Marcus Costa and Matt Wanless each carded rounds of 38 to pace Big Red while Jillian Barend, Pat Roberts, and Aidan Weir all finished at 40.

Pair of Set Piece Goals Lift Franklin Over King Philip

Franklin boys soccer
Franklin senior Nitin Chaudhury makes a move on the sideline during the first half of Franklin’s 2-0 win over KP. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – In a game that featured hectic action in the midfield and few chances from open play, Franklin got a huge double save and a pair of goals from set pieces to beat King Philip 2-0 in the mist on Wednesday night at Pisini Field, earning the Panthers their first two points in the league this season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It was a good win,” said Franklin coach Fran Bositis. “I have a tremendous respect for (KP coach) Nick Gale. I think his teams are always well-coached, they play hard, play good soccer, and it’s been a while since we beat KP (since Oct. 2015), so it was a really good win for us.”

Not surprisingly, the game started with the ball largely confined to the midfield area. It took nearly 15 minutes before either team would fashion a shot on goal and it was the Warriors who had the first good chance.

Senior Anthony Bozza dropped deep into the space in front of the Franklin back line and played an inch-perfect through ball to John Cullen. Franklin goalie Jack Rudolph was quick off his line to cut down the angle and was able to block Cullen’s first chipped shot and then also get a hand to keep out the rebound.

“Tony brought it from a wide area in and John made a nice backside run and we got him in,” said Gale. “Everybody says that the first goal probably changes the game, so John maybe could’ve changed the game if he had scored that.”

A minute later, KP had another go from the edge of the area with a low drive by junior Matthew Clarke, but Rudolph was able to get behind it and make the save.

Franklin took its time getting into the game but soon was closing down all over the pitch, compressing the space and not giving KP much time on the ball, particularly outside backs Kevin Flynn and Matt Szczepanowski. The pressure eventually paid dividends when the Panthers earned a corner with a half hour gone in the match.

Junior Donny Tappin played a cross into the center of the box and freshman defender Terry O’Neill nodded the ball down into the turf and over sprawling KP keeper Nick Beltramini. It was O’Neill’s second goal in as many games and he has already shown his worth on the defensive side too, forming a solid partnership with junior Sam Stowell.

“He definitely doesn’t play like a freshman,” said Bositis of O’Neill, who also scored Franklin’s goal in the loss to Milford last time out. “He’s just very steady.”

The Panthers added a second goal 12 minutes into the second half. A free kick from just inside the KP half by Stowell angled towards the edge of the box. Beltramini came a long way to get the ball, but senior Nick Barry rose highest and was able to get his head to the pass just before the keeper was able to punch. The brave flicked header doubled the Franklin lead, but Barry took a blow from the keeper in the process and was unable to return to the game.

“We’re going to have to be more disciplined giving up throws or set pieces deep in our own end,” Gale said about the defending on set pieces. “We’re going to have to do a better job recognizing where we are on the field and giving up fouls deeper in their end, not ours.”

Beltramini kept the Warriors in the game down the stretch as Lucas Moura tested him with a one-timer following a turnover and another free kick was headed down by Jacob Cummings into the path of Sam Molloy, who forced a diving save from the KP keeper.

The Warriors were struggling to create scoring opportunities for most of the second half. While the ball flowed through midfield, particularly through the feet of Zac White, the ball did not get to the forwards very often.

“I ask my guys to be courageous in trying to play our style and really dissect defensive structures,” Gale explained. “I really want them to see the game in a different way, but at the same time we find that we’re over-patient. Then you’re not really creating any chemistry up top, whether playing the ball in behind or into the strikers, so we struggled doing that for most of the game.”

KP did create a couple of chances late in the game to try and cut into the deficit. Sophomore Evan McEvoy fired a shot from long distance that drew a save from Rudoplph and then had another go from outside the box with two minutes to play, but it was also saved.

While content with the win, Bositis admitted that there is still a lot for the Panthers to work on. He said, “We’re still very much a work in progress, but I feel like everyone in the league feels the same way. We’ve missed a lot of practice time or its been cut short…because of the weather. We had a good game tonight.”

Franklin (2-1-0, 1-1-0) will travel to Canton on Friday night, while King Philip (1-2-0, 1-1-0) will be on the road to face Milford.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Boys Soccer: 2018 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2018 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
Taunton’s Colby Fernandes and Franklin’ Nitin Chaudhury battle for possession last season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview

Attleboro

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.

Franklin

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.

King Philip

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.”

Mansfield

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.”

Oliver Ames

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.

Taunton

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.

Panthers Prevail With Road Win At Taunton

Franklin boys soccer
Taunton’s Alec Nunes dribbles past Franklin’s Andrew DiLeo in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
TAUNTON, Mass. – If you needed any proof that the final score doesn’t always reflect how the game was played, look no further than Franklin’s 2-0 win on the road at Taunton.

Despite playing arguably its best game of the season, and creating nearly a dozen good scoring chances, Taunton couldn’t find a way to find the back of the net.

And Franklin, who was on the defensive for a solid hour of the game, weathered the storm and push from the Tigers, evened the play over the final 20 minutes of the game and netted both of its goals in that same span.

“We were very fortunate,” said Franklin head coach Fran Bositis. “We should have down maybe four goals at halftime. They outplayed us in the first half completely.

“I thought that Taunton was controlling the game. Then all of a sudden it just changed. I’ll give my guys credit for staying with it.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After a free kick chance early for the Panthers, it was all Taunton for the next 35-plus minutes.

In the fourth minute, sophomore Alec Nunes split his way between two Panthers defenders before centering a pass to junior Evan Melo. Melo had a go from outside the area but his bid was comfortably saved by Franklin keeper Freddie Beckmann on the bounce.

Just seven minutes later, Taunton senior Jake DeAndrade played junior Brett Beaulieu down the wing. Junior Kyle Aubin was on the end of the cross but his shot went just wide.

Taunton center back Derek DeSantis plays a long ball over the top in the 18th minute with Beaulieu tracking down and sending a cross to the far post. Senior Liam Crowley had his shot blocked with the rebound falling to Aubin, but his low shot was pushed aside on a diving save from Beckmann.

Nunes had a bid in the 31st minute when Beaulieu centered a pass on the turf, and Nunes latched onto it at the top of the area but his hard shot skidded wide at the far post. Two minutes later, Beaulieu found Melo but his header at the back stick was wide as well.

Franklin had one chance in the final minute of the half when Nitin Chaudhury and Liam Kapples combined at midfield with the result springing Kapples free. However, DeAndrade did well to track back and his slide tackle blocked Kapples’ bid inside the area.

The Panthers also had the first chance of the second half but Andrew DiLeo’s shot was tipped wide by Taunton keeper Nolan Melo for a corner.

Taunton kept the pressure up to after that chance but still couldn’t find the back of the net. Nunes sprayed a pass wide to Crowley, who whipped a cross to the far post but Beaulieu’s effort to center the ball again was smothered by Beckmann.

Two minutes later, Nunes found Crowley again, who linked up with Aubin in the middle, but his bid went wide as he was pressured heavily by Franklin’s center backs. Inside the same minute, junior Liam Crowley stepped into a shot from atop the area, but it was wide.

In the 49th minute, Nunes’ free kick went right at Beckmann, and in the 53rd minute, Nunes’ corner was headed by Daeshawn Duffie but Aubin’s half-volley attempt just looped over Beckmann and the bar.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

DeAndrade, pushed up to an attacking spot, found his classmate Crowley on the left side but his chance from a touch angle went wide at the near post.

“I felt like we were outplaying them for about a good hour, and especially in the first half,” said THS head coach Taylor Whitters. “We just didn’t finish, and that’s how you win games. You have to finish.

“It’s a growing pain for us. We have an awesome team, they have a positive attitude, they are hard working. But they just have to believe. That’s the next step, it’s the confidence piece. Just believing they can do it.”

Once the hour mark struck, the Panthers seemed to settle in and their pressure helped create chances. While the majority of play took place in Taunton’s attacking third up until this point, Franklin’s pressure suddenly made it a challenge for the Tigers’ defense to get out of its own defensive third.

In the 61st minute, Jacob Cummings played Chaudhury wide and he found Tim Duval inside the area, but his point black shot was knocked down Melo and eventually cleared.

Franklin finally broke through in the 68th minute on the counter-attack. Kapples sprayed a pass wide for sophomore Donny Tappin. Tappin cut back inside the area to create some space before placing a shot on target. It was nearly stopped by a Taunton defender but found its way into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

A minute before the Panthers officially made it 2-0, Franklin had a golden chance denied by Melo. Beckmann launched a long punt that bounced over the defender with Tappin running onto it, but his shot was turned away by the Taunton keeper.

However, a minute later, a blocked clearance went looped right to Chaudhury at the back post, and he headed his shot just over the line before Taunton’s defense could clear it.

“Believe me, we’re very happy with the win,” Bositis said. “I’m happy they were able to stay with it and find a way to get it done. It’s a real good thing for the underclassman too, and we have a lot of them.”

Taunton had one final chance in the 77th minute when Beaulieu connected with Crowley on the left wing, but his bid at the near post was tipped over by Beckmann.

“We’ve been competing a lot more this season, and we’re giving some teams a run for their money…but if you can’t finish…you know, goals win games, simple as that,” Whitters said.

Franklin boys soccer (5-7-3 overall, 5-6-2 Hockomock) will try to continue to keep its postseason hopes alive when it travels to Mansfield on Thursday. Taunton (2-11-2, 1-10-2) will look to bounce back when it hits the road to visit King Philip on the same day.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/06/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Attleboro, 44 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 11-yard rush, C. Furtado pass to Nathan Barboza 2-point conversion.
2nd Quarter: (A) Justin Cote 23-yard rush, C. Furtado 2-point conversion rush; (A) C. Furtado 41-yard pass to J. Cote, C. Furtado 2-point conversion rush; (A) Joseph Llanos 12-yard rush, Tyler Evans XP good; (A) Elvin Sam 74-yard punt return, T. Evans XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (A) Dante Williams 3-yard rush, Conversion no good.

Canton, 0 @ Stoughton, 12 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (S) Alex Sjoquist 28-yard rush, XP missed.
3rd Quarter: (S) A. Sjoquist 36-yard rush, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Foxboro, 13 @ North Attleboro, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 14-yard pass to Jake Addeche, Russell Neale XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 7-yard pass to Nick Raneri, Geoff Wilson XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 36-yard pass to Brendan McHugh, G. Wilson XP good; (F) D. Hassett 13-yard pass to Jack O’Donnell, XP blocked.

King Philip, 17 @ Franklin, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Shane Frommer 1-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 55-yard pass to Sean Leonard, Matt Zucco XP good; (F) J. Noviello 1-yard rush, M. Zucco XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 31-yard pass to Tom Madden, C. Baker XP good; (KP) C. Baker 18-yard field goal.

Taunton, 19 @ Mansfield, 37 – Final
1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 70-yard rush, XP blocked; (M) Danny DeGirolamo 6-yard rush, XP missed.
2nd Quarter: (M) Mike DeBolt 34-yard field goal; (T) N. Leonard 10-yard pass to Collin Hunter, John Teixeira XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) N. Leonard 10-yard pass to Jahmeir Lewis, XP blocked; (M) Damani Scott 10-yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) D. Scott 20-yard pass to H. Ferreira, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 3-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 31-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 3 – FinalMilford head coach Brian Edwards made a tactical change, moving Walisson de Oliveira up the pitch into a striker’s role and the sophomore responded with his first career hat trick. De Oliveira opened the scoring in the 10th minute on a feed from Anthony Salvador. The Hawks doubled the lead in the 60th minute when de Oliveira converted a chance from Joey Madden. The sophomore capped his scoring with a shot from nearly 30-yards out in the 75th minute. Edwards added that Filipe Da Silva also played a great game up top for the Scarlet Hawks.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalOliver Ames set the tone early, scoring inside the first minutes, to take two points on the road at Foxboro. Matt Alvarado took a feed from Cam Vella to put the visitors ahead. Foxboro’s Shane VandenBoom tied the game 10 minutes later but OA went back ahead in the 23rd minute when Alvarado set up Mason Galbato. Jack Sheldon netted an olimpico – directly off a corner kick – in the 50th minute to give the Tigers a two-goal cushion.

Franklin, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalFranklin sophomore Donny Tappin factored into both of the Panthers’ goals, helping take two points on the road at Stoughton. Tappin opened the scoring on a feed from classmate Jacob Cummings and then set up senior Will Conley for the Panthers’ second tally.

King Philip, 2 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalJust two minutes after Sharon equalized the game, King Philip netted the game-winner to take two points on the road. Senior Tyler Mann opened the scoring in the 66th minute, netting a shot from outside the area to put the Warriors up 1-0. Sharon’s Spencer Hall leveled the match in the 73rd minute but Thomas Lugten found the winner for KP off a cross from Zac White in the 75th minute.

Mansfield, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Gabe Pinhancos scored the lone goal of the game just under five minutes into the second half to give the Rocketeers a berth in the MIAA state tournament. Ryan Pasquel played a low service on a corner, which was dummied by Zach Matracia. Pinhancos then latched onto the ball inside the area to beat the keeper.

Girls Soccer
Milford, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalJuliana France scored the goal for the Hawks to earn a point on the road.

Canton @ Taunton, 3:45

Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalJackie Mills scored a hat trick for the Tigers, while Sofia Masciarelli, Anna Tempestoso and Abby Reardon had assists for OA. Mackenzie Fraser scored the lone goal for the Warriors.

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalMiranda Smith got the Franklin offense going with a pair of goals, while Anna Balkus added a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Halle Atkinson and Olivia Dellorco also scored in the win and Molly Duncan, Erin Quaile, and Calen Frongillo had assists. According to Stoughton coach Tara Daniels, Victoria Fallon had a “strong game” and showed off “her versatility and leadership as a center back.”

Sharon, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalChloe Layne scored a brace and recorded an assist and Ally Stanton had a goal and an assist for the Warriors. Layne opened the scoring in the eighth minute off an assist by Hanna Balunos and then assisted on a goal by Avery Snead four minutes later. In the 55th minute, Layne scored her second on an assist by Stanton and then Stanton wrapped up the win with a 20-yard strike to the far post assisted by Abby Baker.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalAshlyn Gaulin opened the scoring for North Attleboro off a first half corner, but Emily Vigeant equalized with a 30-yard free kick in the second half to send both defending league champs home with a point apiece. “It was a great game,” said North head coach Bill Wallace. Wallace added that Rachel LaBonte and Sam Hawkins “played incredible in the back” for the Rocketeers while Haley Guertin had a strong two-way game. Mansfield coach Kevin Smith added that both defenses “played fantastic.”

Field Hockey
Canton, 1 @ Norwood, 2 – Final

King Philip, 1 vs. Algonquin, 1 – FinalKing Philip’s Alli Meehan scored the lone goal for the Warriors, converting an assist from Liz Furfari.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Taunton, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first two games, Canton earned two straight wins to get the 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-11, 25-19) win over Taunton. Rose Hazam had a strong all-around game with eight kills, six aces and 13 digs for the Bulldogs while Hannah Jerrier added 11 kills. Nicole Brown (four kills) paced the offense with 21 assists while Megan McDonough, Sofia Connor and Julia Minichiello had strong performances defensively for Canton.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalThe Tigers picked up a sweep (25-14, 25-18, 25-16) on the road to grab the team’s fifth win of the season – all coming in the last six games. Sophomore Ally Kemp led OA with 25 assists, junior Sadie Homer added 13 digs, and senior Kayla Raymond finished with seven kills and a pair of blocks. OAHS head coach Chelsea Cunningham added that junior Caitlin Cavanaugh played a great game on the outside.

Franklin, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalAfter falling 25-27 in the first set, Stoughton’s Molly Turner started the second game with 10 service points, including four aces, and the Black Knights never looked back in rattling off three straight wins. Seniors Jordan Motley, Val Whalen and Vicky Ramos combined for over 30 kills for Stoughton. Lauren Lockhart led Franklin with eight kills while Meaghan Maguire (three blocks) added seven kills and Maggie Doyle (five blocks) had six kills. Lauren Bissanti finished with seven digs and three aces for the Panthers.

Mansfield, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro was pushed to the limit for the first two games, but prevailed with wins in both and went on the complete the 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-16) sweep of Mansfield. Anna Caristi recorded a team-high 11 kills for the Rocketeers while Kezie De La Cruz had 10 kills, three aces and two blocks. Meg Hill led Mansfield with 13 kills, Julia Harrison added six kills and 10 digs and Jolie O’Neil had 10 digs and 11 service points for the Hornets.

King Philip, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalKing Philip picked up a sweep on the road, leaving Sharon with a 25-12, 25-15, 25-13 win to improved to 11-1. Sydney Phillips had eight kills, four digs, three aces and 10 service points, Michaela Palumbo added five kills and Julianne Rando finished with seven digs and eight service points, including an ace. Both Elise Pereira (six digs, two aces, eight service points) and Rachael Veilleux (nine service points, five aces) had strong serving performances for KP.

Golf
Attleboro, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 145 – FinalOliver Ames improved to 8-0 with a win over visiting Attleboro in a Kelley-Rex showdown. Ryan McGarry earned match medalist honors, carding a low-round of 35. Nolan Donze (36), Thomas Walsh (37) and Mark Bissonette (37) also had strong days for the Tigers. Corey McKenna led Attleboro with a team-low round of 37.

Taunton, 188 @ King Philip, 176 – Final

North Attleboro, 173 @ Franklin, 169 – Final

Boys Soccer: 2017 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
Oliver Ames’ Cam Vella (left) and King Philip’s Mike Rowe are back for their senior seasons. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview

Attleboro

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.

Franklin

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.”

King Philip

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.

Mansfield

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.

Oliver Ames

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.”

Taunton

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.”