Franklin Offense Stalls In State Semifinal Loss

Franklin girls lacrosse
Franklin celebrates a goal by Annie Walsh (1) that cut the North Andover lead to one in the second half. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Franklin defense was able to keep the Panthers in Monday evening’s Div. 1 state semifinal at Babson College’s MacDowell Field, holding North Andover to just eight goals (two of them empty net goals in the final minutes), but the offense faltered against the Scarlet Knights’ zone look.

“Not many teams play it,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe of the North Andover scheme. “We’re used to man-to-man and we’re successful against it. We knew that they played a backer, so I told them it’s nothing we haven’t seen but it was the unforced errors – throwing it into their sticks or their goalie intercepting.”

The Panthers were limited to just two goals in each half, their lowest scoring output of the season, and saw their season come to a close with an 8-4 loss.

“Our ‘D’ has carried our game all season and I think they did it again tonight,” said North Andover coach Meredith Prior. “Two goals per half, that’s pretty low in lacrosse and I think Lauren Hiller came up huge and that’s why she’s the best goalie in the state.”

In the first half, senior Dani Lonati was a match for Hiller, a University of Massachusetts commit, with eight of her 10 saves. After Julia Jette opened the scoring 29 seconds into the game off an assist by Kendall Reardon, Lonati stopped four shots, including two free positions, on the first North Andover possession.

She continued to dominate the Knights as the half wore on and Diana Griffin doubled Franklin’s lead with 15:02 before the break on an assist by Caroline Lounsbury. Unfortunately for Franklin that would be the last goal that it would score for the next 27 minutes of game time.

“Six goals against…I thought our defense was amazing,” said Igoe. “Especially in that first half, Dani Lonati was on fire and she really kept us in the game. I think our trouble was offensively just capitalizing and then unforced errors kind of hurt us in the end.”

North Andover scored twice before halftime to tie the game and then added two more in the opening eight minutes of the second half. Freshman Annie Walsh got one back for the Panthers when she bounced in a free position goal that cut the deficit to just one.

“With the backer you can’t really dodge, so you can’t just go because there’s someone on the ball and someone waiting to back up that person,” said Igoe. “So, you have to be patient and move the ball and I thought we did a much better job of that in the second half.”

Again, the Knights had the answer, scoring the next two goals before Emily Spath ended the run with a free position with 4:40 remaining. By that time, Igoe had already called Lonati off the field to get an extra defender on and the Knights would take advantage of the empty net to tack on two more goals.

“I’ve been in that place, exactly where Franklin was, the past two years where you’re going as hard as you can and it’s not a fun place to be and I’m glad we’re on the other side of it this season,” said Prior.

While disappointed in the loss, Igoe refused to let that be the final word on the Panthers and the season that they have had, which included the program’s second sectional title and another undefeated Hockomock League championship.

“I told them don’t let one game define you,” said Igoe. “At the beginning of the season, I wasn’t sure how it would go. In the first Needham game, someone asked how we were going to do and I said, I don’t know; we could get killed and then we tied them and from there this team won a sectional championship.

“They worked hard all season long and credit to the seniors for bringing us this far and I’m excited for the future.”

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

The 2016 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse All Stars & HMs

Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse All Stars.

Hockomock League MVP

Kenzie Pleshaw, Franklin

Hockomock League All Stars

Kayla Merritt, Attleboro
Mary Nee, Canton
Hallie Canfield, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Julia Jette, Franklin
Sam Jones, Franklin
Kenzie Pleshaw, Franklin
Kendall Reardon, Franklin
Emily Spath, Franklin
Abbey Buchanan, King Philip
Katie Crowther, King Philip
Jen Lacroix, King Philip
Caroline Maher, Mansfield
Hana Caster, North Attleboro
Brooke Ebert, North Attleboro
Erin Holley, North Attleboro
Mackenzie Rosenberg, North Attleboro
Erin Fitzgerald, Oliver Ames
Alex Rabb, Sharon
Sabrina Robbins, Sharon

Honorable Mentions

Hannah Lamothe, Attleboro
Casey Bradley, Canton
Melissa Lynch, Foxboro
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Olivia Dort, King Philip
Maire Foley, Mansfield
Morgan Smith, Milford
Alaina Mello, North Attleboro
Sophia Masciarelli, Oliver Ames
Anna Crosby, Sharon
Lorna Li, Taunton

Second Half Rally Lifts Franklin to D1 East Title

Franklin girls lacrosse
Kendall Reardon (5) celebrates at the final whistle, as Franklin held off Acton-Boxboro to win the Div. 1 East title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Prior to taking on Acton-Boxboro, Franklin gathered together to watch footage of the program’s only sectional title win. The players were inspired by the film of the dramatic victory over Concord-Carlisle, but those positive memories did not translate into a great start to Thursday’s Div. 1 East final at Pisini Field.

The Panthers struggled to find the cage in the first half against the Colonials and went into halftime trailing 5-2. Franklin did not panic. The players huddled together, reminded of the tough games that they have played this season, and made a couple of small changes.

“We’ve been down 12-0 before at halftime, to Westwood, and I said that to them, so 5-2 was nothing,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe. “And it wasn’t anything dramatic going on, it was little things that we could fix. So, we didn’t get down on ourselves.”

The Panthers turned the game on its head with five straight goals after halftime and then held on to possession for the final four minutes of the game to pull out a 7-6 victory to claim the program’s second sectional title.

“It feels amazing, my senior year, our home turf…there’s no better feeling,” said senior midfielder Kenzie Pleshaw. The recently-named Hockomock League MVP scored three goals to lead the Panthers.

Pleshaw opened the scoring after six minutes of possession by the Panthers. A-B answered right back off the ensuing draw and then, five minutes of Franklin possession later, forced a turnover and scored in transition to take the lead.

After A-B scored its third, freshman Annie Walsh scooped a ground ball in the defensive zone and started a quick break that flowed through Julia Jette up to Emily Spath, who finished to make it 3-2. The momentum did not stick with the home team, as A-B closed the half with a pair of goals, while Franklin went 10 minutes without finding the back of the net.

“I think shooting, a little bit,” said Igoe about the problems of the first half. “I think once we pushed the fast break, which we wanted to do, and we got momentum we felt more confident.”

Pleshaw was asked what the team talked about at the break. She responded, “Just come out and play like it’s 0-0. This is our field and we don’t want to go home with a loss on our own turf. We just told the girls to come out and play with heart.”

The Panthers answered the call and it was Pleshaw that gave them the spark with a goal five minutes after the break. It was a patient possession and she took multiple opportunities to probe the A-B defense before dodging past her marker and finishing on the run.

Two minutes later, Franklin burst forward in transition and Kendall Reardon caught the A-B goalie out of position to feed Spath all alone in front of the cage to make it 5-4. Walsh won the ensuing draw control and then bounced in the game-tying goal from a free position.

A-B smacked the bar with a shot in transition, but that was a rare chance for the Colonials in the second half. Dani Lonati made four saves for the Panthers and the defense, led as always by Olivia Truenow, Sam Jones, and Dana Lewandowski, stymied A-B time and time again.

“We changed up the game plan a little bit; [Julia Neyland] was doing great for them and we marked her up a little tighter and…when the other team went to goal we just crashed, no swinging,” said Igoe.

Julia Jette gave the Panthers their first lead since it was 1-0 when she finished off a pass by Caroline Lounsbury from a free position. Pleshaw raced down straight off the draw and drove to the net to give Franklin a two-goal lead with her third of the game.

Caroline Maxwell scored off an eight-meter opportunity to cut the lead back to one with 9:02 remaining, but it would be the last goal of the game.

With 3:59 remaining, the Panthers grabbed possession in front of their bench and Igoe immediately called timeout. Franklin set up a plan for the final minutes that included attempting to score another goal but A-B goalie Brenna Keefe made two big saves.

Franklin kept possession both times and Igoe called another timeout with 1:30 to go and this time it was all about the stall. She explained, “I didn’t want to completely stall with four minutes left…but we took a couple shots and their goalie made excellent saves, so after that I’m just like she’s awesome why don’t we hold the ball?”

Pleshaw admitted there were “flashbacks” to last year and the semifinal against Lincoln-Sudbury where the Panthers turned the ball over in the final minute and the Warriors scored to tie the game and then eventually won in OT.

This time, Franklin held on, swinging the ball from side to side, and pulled out the victory to set off a celebration made even sweeter by the fact it was taking place on home turf.

“We just ran our hearts out and even though we were tired it didn’t matter,” said Pleshaw. “If you had the ball, you were going to run like you were in a marathon.

“We have eight seniors who want to go far and we didn’t want this to be our last game.”

Igoe added, “I think the girls really deserve it. You’ve really got to keep pushing through in the postseason and they really did that today. No matter what the situation was…it’s just an accumulation of the season.”

Franklin (19-4) will face North champion North Andover in the state semifinal at Babson College on Monday. The teams squared off in April with the Scarlet Knights pulling out a 9-8 win.

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

Battle Tested Panthers Return to D1 East Final

Franklin girls lacrosse
Kenzie Pleshaw (15) led the Franklin girls lacrosse team to its second D1 East final in three years with a win over Feehan. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – For the second time in three seasons, Franklin will be playing in the Div. 1 East final, following a 14-7 victory on Tuesday night against fifth seed Bishop Feehan at Pisini Field.

The Panthers beat Feehan for the second time this season (Franklin won 10-3 in the regular season meeting) and the experience of playing a regular season schedule loaded with tournament-caliber opponents, including many ranked in the top 10 in the state, is paying off, according to head coach Kristin Igoe.

“I definitely think strength of schedule is a big factor,” she explained. “We’ve been in games where we’re up, we’ve been crushed, and we’ve been close at half…we’ve had every situation and I think that helps in the tournament.”

The Panthers have faced the likes of Westwood, Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), and Needham, which are widely considered the top three programs in the state, as well as perennial Div. 1 powers like North Andover, Lincoln-Sudbury, and Andover.

With that experience under their belts, Franklin was ready to play a type of defense that Feehan coach Nancy Anderson-Semple admitted was on a different level of physicality than the Shamrocks had encountered in the regular season.

“They’re playing teams that are tougher than ours during the season, so they’re used to playing that way,” said Anderson-Semple. “A lot of our kids have bruises everywhere, hits to the head, all that kind of stuff; we’re not used to that physical type of play.

“They have a tougher schedule where I guess they’re allowed to do that, so that was a little bit of a shock to the girls.”

While the Panthers had success against the Shamrocks in the regular season, Igoe insisted her team was focused to take on Feehan on Tuesday.

She said, “Our biggest thing was don’t underestimate Bishop Feehan. Even though we beat them in the regular season, it doesn’t matter. It’s tournament; it’s a whole new slate.

Thanks to strong play on the draws from senior Mandy Semple, Feehan was able to hang with the Panthers early in the game. Freshman Annie Walsh opened the scoring on a drive to her right hand three minutes in but the Shamrocks quickly answered to tie it.

Kendall Reardon scored on a low, eight-meter shot to regain the lead and Kenzie Pleshaw, who was recently named the Hockomock League MVP, made it 3-1 with a sidearm shot on the run, undeterred by a bump on her way to goal. Semple got one back but Emily Spath came down 24 seconds later to make it 4-2.

“They have an excellent draw taker and that’s where their momentum was,” said Igoe. “They would constantly win draws, which wasn’t good for us, but if they scored our defense shut them down on the next one of Dani [Lonati} made a save. It was important to not them get on a run.”

The defensive unit for Franklin proved to be the difference in the first half with a strong ride that stymied the Shamrocks in transition and then a settled defense that took away cuts and passing lanes. Led by Sam Jones, Olivia Truenow, Grace McDermott, and Dana Lewandowski, among others, the Panthers would limit Feehan to just three goals in the opening half.

Meanwhile, the offense was clicking into gear. Caroline Lounsbury assisted on Spath’s goal and on the next goal by Julia Jette that capped off a transition started by Truenow’s outlet pass. After Semple scored her second, Lounsbury converted an eight-meter try for her first goal of the game.

Pleshaw capped the half with a pinpoint shot across her body into the top corner with three seconds on the clock to give Franklin an 8-3 lead at the break.

Feehan tried to turn things around in the second half and again the draw controls played their part as the Shamrocks won the first two and turned both into goals by Caroline Toomey. But, Walsh snagged the next draw control for the Panthers and then converted on a free position for her second of the night.

“You would never know that she was a freshman,” said Igoe of Walsh. “The way she ran up and down the midfield today, she played like a senior. She may not get credit for all the goals and assists but the ground balls, the draws, she caused turnovers, she didn’t give them second chances.”

Semple converted her hat trick but Feehan still could not put a run together, as the score stayed 9-6 or five minutes before Diana Griffin put one under the bar for the Panthers, which was followed by goals from Pleshaw and Reardon to build the lead to six.

Feehan scored to make it 12-7 with 5:20 remaining but before the ensuing draw, lightning was seen and the teams had to take a 45-minute break until the weather cleared. Walsh scored off an assist by Pleshaw and then played provider on Griffin’s second to let the Panthers close out the game in style.

It was not unexpected to see the Panthers, the top seed in the sectional, get back into the final, but a little bit of a surprise is that it will be Acton-Boxboro making the trip to Franklin on Thursday night, not No. 2 seed Lincoln-Sudbury.

When asked about A-B, Igoe remarked, “I know they beat a great Concord team and a great L-S team, so they must be good. They were losing a bunch and people kind of doubted them and they said, who cares. They must be good and we’re not going to underestimate them.”

The final is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m.

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

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/24/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalTyler McGovern threw a complete game with seven strikeouts to pick up the win for Attleboro, which qualifies the Bombardiers for the state tournament. Nate Tellier went 2-for-3 with a double and Robbie Araujo had the game-tying RBI with a triple and scored the eventual game-winning run.

Canton, 6 @ Fairhaven, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 2 – Final (10 inn.) – Milford’s Alex Macek and Stoughton’s Nico Parmeggiani went back and forth in a true pitcher’s duel, neither bending to send the game into extra innings. Macek allowed one earned run in seven innings of work, striking out six with four hits allowed. Parmeggiani allowed just one run in six-plus innings of work, striking out three. Tylor Renaud came on in relief for the Scarlet Hawks, tossing three scoreless innings of one hit baseball to get the win. Renaud then came through with the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 10th, knocking in sophomore Aidan Wilde (walk, stolen base) with a two out single into the gap in right center.

Softball
Oliver Ames, 8 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final OA’s Missy Krim went 2-4 with two runs scored, Jamie Gottwald was 2-3 with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored, Katie Pursley was 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored, Caroline Mahoney was 3-4 with two RBI and Dalene Gomes squeezed in a run and hit in a run on a sacrifice hit to short, finishing with two RBI on the day.

Canton, 8 @ Watertown, 1 – Final

Canton, 8 @ Watertown, 3 – Final

Franklin, 3 vs. Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final – Franklin’s Clara DeCarvalho went 2-3 with an RBI while Olivia Haba, Rachel Cousineau and Julia Arms all played outstanding defensively in the outfield.

Mansfield, 3 vs. Holliston, 8 – Final – Mansfield’s Rachel Carafa knocked in two runs on one hit and Megan Letendre went 2-3. Mady Bendanillo, Maddie Letendre and Sarah Bradley each had one hit for the Hornets.

Stoughton, 3 @ Milford, 10 – FinalMilford’s Kelley Reichert struck out four in six innings of work to get the win. Jess Tomaso went 2-3 with a two-run home run and a double, Emily Piergustavo had a two-run double, Kate Irwin went 3-4 with three RBI and Maddy Bonvino was 2-3 with a double and two RBI. Jordan Lyons led the Black Knights with three hits. Alecia Quinones had an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Shannon Flaherty had an RBI single for Stoughton.

Boys Lacrosse
Franklin, 19 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Franklin posted an undefeated league record for the season straight season.

Girls Lacrosse
Franklin, 5 @ Westwood, 15 – Final Kendall Reardon and Kenzie Pleshaw each scored two goals for the Panthers and Emily Spath scored one.

Mansfield, 12 vs. Medway, 14 – Final

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final

Girls Tennis
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames got the sweep without dropping a game on the road. Riley Spillane won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, Jackie Sulkala won 6-1, 6-2 at second singles and Sarah Leger won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles. The team of Lark Warner and Valeria Tueme won 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles and Claudia Ferrara and Rachel Stryke won 6-3, 6-1 at second doubles.

Milford, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Milford’s Allie Collins won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Kate Rosenblatt won 6-2, 6-2 at second singles and Jess McIntire won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles. The team of Julie Rabinowitcz and Megan Cafarella won at first doubles and the team of Brianna Capone and Kayla Thongpul won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/11/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Taunton, 8 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final Taunton senior Charles Hearrold III earned the win on the mound, tossing five innings with just one earned run, three hits and two walks allowed. Hearrold III also paced the Tigers at the plate with a pair of hits and a pair of RBI. Luke Figueira and Matt Machado each had a pair of hits for the Tigers as well. Max Bowden knocked in a pair of runs and sophomore Joe Manchester had one RBI.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Canton, 8 – Final – Senior Griffin Jerrier stole the show on the mound for Canton, striking out nine in a complete game effort, scattering six hits and only allowing two earned runs. Mike McMahon (double, RBI) and Joe Bires (run) both had a pair of hits for Canton while Jim Jenkins and Sean Doyle each knocked in a pair of runs for the Bulldogs. For Oliver Ames, sophomore Matt Muir had two hits.

Milford, 5 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – Foxboro’s Jesse Galanti connected for a two run single, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning and the Warriors were able to hold on. Nick Wright picked up his third save of the season, pitching a scoreless top half of the seventh inning. Andrew Block tossed six innings for the win for Foxboro. Aaron Wentling pitched in with a team-best three hits while Darren Kelly and Wright each had two hits for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 12 – Final – The Panthers’ offense roared to life with all nine players in the lineup getting either a hit or scoring a run. Nick Santucci and Ryan Hodgkins each had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI for Franklin while Josh Macchi knocked in four runs and had a double. Jake Lyons, Mike Skaza, Jason Ulrickson and Alex Bissanti each had an RBI for Franklin as well. Ulrickson got the win on the mound for Franklin, tossing six innings with just two hits allowing and four strikeouts. Classmate Matt Foley closed the game with a scoreless seventh inning.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Jack DiCenso tossed a complete game shutout for the Warriors, scattering five hits while striking out six in the win. King Philip scored both of its runs in the first inning. After Kyle Guenthner walked, junior Will Weir plated him with an RBI double. Weir then came around to score on a single from DiCenso.

Sharon, 2 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final – Nico Parmeggiani threw a complete game for Stoughton, scattering five hits with only one walk and seven strikeouts to earn the win. Stoughton broke the tie game open with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Sharon sophomore Max Tarlin had his second straight strong start for the Eagles, going 5 2/3 with five strikeouts and two earned runs, while allowing just two hits. Junior catcher Jake Marglous had a two RBI single for the Eagles.

Softball
Attleboro, 0 @ Taunton, 9 – Final – Aimee Kistner (four innings, win) and Courtney Fisher (three innings) combined to throw a four-hit shutout and totaled 12 strikeouts in the win. Kya Enos had two hits, including a two-run home run while Jordan Wade had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI, Meghan Navarro had a triple and two RBI and Liana Duarte had a pair of hits for the Tigers.

Canton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames freshman pitcher Kayla Georgeu only allowed three hits, striking out four in a complete game effort. Missy Krim went 2-3 with a pair of runs scored and had one stolen base, Jamie Gottwald was 2-2 with an RBI and a run scored, Victoria Ziner was 2-3 with a pair of RBI and Katie Pursley (1-2) knocked in a pair of runs for the Tigers and also scored a run. Also for the Tigers, Katie Mills (1-1) knocked in Jordyn Leite (1-1, double).

Mansfield, 2 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Mansfield senior pitcher Maddie Letendre kept the Panthers at bay, allowing just four hits while striking out seven. Freshman Megan Letendre paced the offense with three hits while junior Liz Mackin socked a pair of hits. Mady Bendanillo (RBI) and Amanda Giambanco each had a hit for the Hornets. Mansfield cashed in for both of their runs in the fifth inning with Bendanillo single knocking in Megan Letendre and Maddie Letendre knocking in Bendanillo.

King Philip, 6 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – After having just one hit through five innings, North Attleboro rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game. But King Philip sophomore Elise Pereira’s solo home run to lead off the seventh inning proved to be the difference. Kali Magane came in and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to preserve the win for the Warriors. After KP scored two runs in both the second and fifth innings, North Attleboro used a grand slam from Kaylea Sherman to tie the game in the sixth. Christa Wagner, Pereira, Magane, Brooke Taute and Meghan Gorman all had two hits for KP. Mycala Moody and Gina Miceli each had a pair of hits for the Rocketeers.

Stoughton, 5 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Stoughton’s Shannon Flaherty tossed a complete game without surrendering an earned run. Flaherty also struck out nine while issuing three walks. Jeni D’Andrea, Gina Caraffa, Karly Estramera, Sam Tullis and Flaherty each had hits for the Black Knights.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames senior attack Matt Gilson scored four goals and sophomore attack Eric LeBlanc added a pair of goals for the Tigers.

Canton, 14 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Jack Dillon, Matt Mackay and Dan Cohen all scored their first career goals in the win for the Panthers. Dylan Cunningham had a pair of saves in a shutout fourth quarter in the cage. Canton head coach Bill Bendell said DJ Trerice played well at midfield and both Brian Albert and George Kent played great defense.

Foxboro, 3 @ Franklin, 11 – Final Click here for a full recap.

King Philip, 11 @ Sharon, 9 – Final – King Philip overcame from a four goal deficit at halftime and a three minute locked in penalty to start the fourth quarter to beat the Eagles. Sharon held a 3-0 lead after a quarter and a 5-1 lead at the break. Sharon led 7-5 going into the final quarter but an illegal stick forced KP into a man down situation for three minutes locked in. KP senior Steven Eaton kept the Warriors rolling, setting up a pair of man-down goals for KP to tie the game less than halfway through the final quarter. Junior Tim Watson scored one of his three goals with just 2:51 left to put KP up 10-8. After KP pulled within one, Eaton iced the game with a goal with 15 seconds left. Watson finished with three goals and four assists while Sam Agricola found the back of the net four times. Harry Fallon scored twice and had one assist, Anthony Truini scored once and Michael Curtin had one assist for KP. Junior goalie Paul Macrina notched 13 of his 21 saves in the second half for KP.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 11 – Final – Mansfield senior defenseman Josh Schafer set the tone early for the Hornets, going coast to coast and finding the back of the net for the first goal of the game and Mansfield held a 4-1 lead at the halftime break. The Hornets continued the attack with a 7-3 second half. Ryan Smith scored three goals and had an assist and Jon Reed found the back of the net twice for Mansfield. Connor Finerty, Billy Grant (two assists), Jarrett Saunders, Hunter Ferreira (assist) and Sam O’Connell each scored once for Mansfield.

Taunton, 4 vs. New Bedford, 9 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Oliver Ames @ Attleboro, 5:00

Milford, 3 @ Canton, 17 – Final – Mary Nee found the back of the net four times for the Bulldogs.

Franklin, 13 @ Foxboro, 8 – Final – Franklin senior goalie Dani Lonati made 11 saves to hold off the Davenport division leading Warriors. Franklin’s Julia Jette scored three goals and had two assists while Kendall Reardon had two goals and three assists and Emily Spath found the back of the net three times.

Sharon @ King Philip, 6:00

Mansfield, 10 @ North Attleboro, 19 – Final – Hana Caster led the Rocketeers with five goals and five assists, while sophomore Mackenzie Rosenberg added six goals for North. Brooke Ebert played well in goal, according to North coach Mike Vitelli.

Taunton, 5 @ New Bedford, 8 – Final – Taunton goalie Lorna Li made 20 saves in the cage for the Tigers but the Whalers were able to get the close win. Abbey Kingman scored twice and Kayla Phillips, Lindsay Sneyd and Riana Winslow each scored once for Taunton while Annie Tate had an assist.

Boys Tennis
Taunton, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – The Tigers got a pair of wins in singles play and clinched the win with a win at first doubles. Freshman Brett Beaulieu won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles for Taunton and Mike Briggs picked up a 6-0, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Connor Briggs and Charlie Fiske won 6-0, 3-6, 6-0 at first doubles for the Tigers. Attleboro’s Timothy Vermilyea won 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles and the team of Shaun Gordon and Gaashaan Yusuf won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles for the Bombardiers.

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final

Milford @ Foxboro, 3:45

Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Franklin got a clean sweep at doubles and freshman Dan Barrow won at third singles to secure a win for the Panthers. Junior James Johnston and senior Tom Mancini won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles and sophomores Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles for the Panthers while Barrow won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles.

North Attleboro, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip’s Cole Ginter won at first singles, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-4 and the team of Justin Rohan and Marco DiStefano won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.

Sharon, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Sharon freshman Danujan Thirumavalavan picked up a 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, sophomore Andre Olivei won 6-1, 6-1 at second dingles and senior Andrew Tarnoff swept 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Sophomore Russell Rapaport and freshman Max Brody teamed up for a 6-0, 6-2 win at first doubles for the Eagles and junior Sharov Mikhail and senior Jing Huang won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Tigers, who won in straight sets in each match. Jordan Paglica won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Olivia Sweeney won 6-1, 6-4 at second singles and Kelsey Hebert won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles for the Tigers. The team of Ashleigh Eason and Emily Moor won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles for Taunton and Caroline Hebert and Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.

Canton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Canton got wins at first and second singles as well as first doubles to get the win. Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie picked up their third win in as many days, notching a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles. Carly Scanlon won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles and Skyler Jabbour won via forfeit (injury) at second singles. OA’s Sarah Leger won 6-3, 7-6 at third singles and Rachel Stryke and Claudia Ferrera won 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles.

Foxboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final

Mansfield, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Mansfield swept both doubles matches and got a win from sophomore Sarah Doyle at third singles to edge the Panthers. Doyle won 6-0, 6-3 at third singles while Cathryn Heavey and Chloe Peters won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles. The team of freshmen Tessa Garufi and Elizabeth Elsner took a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win at second doubles to help clinch the win for the Hornets. Franklin’s Anna Humphreys won 7-6, 7-6 at first singles and junior Anja Deric won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles for the Panthers.

King Philip, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final

Stoughton @ Sharon, 3:45

Boys Volleyball
Milford @ Millis 6:00
Taunton @ North Quincy 4:00

Top Ranked Notre Dame Wins Big at Franklin

Franklin girls lacrosse
Franklin struggled to contain the NDA attack on Monday night, falling to the top ranked Cougars 15-4. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – It just snowballed for the home team. An early yellow card, a quick goal, the pressure ratcheted up and next thing that Franklin knew it was trailing Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), the top ranked team in the state, 7-0 midway through the first half.

It proved to be a deficit too deep to recover from and NDA rolled to a 15-4 victory on Monday night at Pisini Field and showed that the Panthers still have some work to do to compete with the very best in the state.

“Just their speed and their skill shocked us a little in the beginning and we kind of dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t get out of,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe. “I saw flashes of us being great, but we just didn’t have the ball enough.”

Reflecting on the result, Igoe said, “They very talented and very well-coached and I just told my team at the end, you should want to be like them.”

Franklin defender Sam Jones picked up a yellow card for a foul just 1:12 into the game. The controversial call put NDA up a player and the Cougars took advantage. Freshman Madison Ahern scored the first of her four goals to put the visitors in front.

Senior Morgan Caron followed with the first two of her four goals on the night and Igoe was forced to call a timeout with the Panthers down 3-0 after seven minutes.

“They’re so good that you have to capitalize when you get a chance,” she explained, “and from there put pressure on. We could never really put the pressure on them; they were always putting the pressure on us.”

NDA star Charlotte Allard tacked on a pair of goals and then another freshman, Kelsey Kenney, scored a pair before Franklin could get on the board.

Caroline Lounsbury finally found the back of the net for the Panthers off an Emily Spath assist and then Spath made it 7-2 with a sidearm finish. The momentum was short-lived, as Ahern came right back with a pair of goals, slicing through the heart of the Franklin defense.

Franklin’s transition game, generally a strong suit for the Panthers, was being swallowed up by NDA’s aggressive defense and its ability to send multiple players to the ball on the ride. With 5:40 left in the half, the Panthers finally broke free thanks to a good run by Grace MacCallum, who split a few defenders before passing to Kendall Reardon who hit Julia Jette for the goal.

When Dani Lonati made her seventh save of the first half to stuff an Allard chance, Franklin had another break that could have cut the lead to just five with a few minutes to go before the break, but Jette saw her shot saved by freshman Caroline Cooper.

“We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities like when our goalie came up with saves or we came up with the draw,” said Igoe. “We have to be able to finish…and then we were one-and-done and they were off to the races.”

Lonati would make eight saves on the night and Igoe praised her senior goalie for another big game against a strong opponent. Unfortunately, Igoe noted that Lonati’s saves could only do so much when the Panthers could not get the ball into the attack.

“Dani played awesome,” Igoe said. “She kept us in the game, but then we couldn’t clear; we couldn’t get the ball up. So, then they just get it right back and we have to play defense for another five minutes.

“We’ve got to be able to clear it and give our offense the ball.”

In the second half, Franklin appeared to have forced a turnover, but a late foul was called against Kenzie Pleshaw that gave NDA back possession. On the whistle, Allard fired a pass across the face of goal to a wide open Kenney for her third goal of the game.

That sparked another big NDA run of five straight goals that ended any thought of a potential comeback by Franklin.

When asked about the importance of not settling for the lead, NDA coach Meredith Frank responded, “Franklin’s a fantastic team. They have a lot of fast, athletic players, so we couldn’t ever rest or ever think they weren’t going to come back hungry and make plays.

“So, You have to keep that edge and keep that fight and that hunger.”

Spath scored her second goal of the game with 5:41 remaining, skipping her shot off Cooper’s stick and under the bar, but Caron scored her fourth with three minutes left to wrap up the scoring and a dominant performance by the Cougars.

Franklin (12-3) will try to rebound when it travels to Foxboro for a battle of league leaders on Wednesday. NDA will get another Hockomock League opponent on Friday when North Attleboro pays a visit to Hingham.

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

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/03/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to TBD
North Attleboro @ Foxboro – Postponed to TBD
Franklin @ Milford – Postponed to TBD
King Philip vs. North Quincy – Postponed to 5/12 at 3:30
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to 5/13 at 3:30

Softball
Foxboro, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final (9 inn.) – Kaylea Sherman knocked in Mycala Moody with a two out RBI in the bottom of the ninth inning for the win. Moody finished with three hits and Sherman and Jordan Sharpe each had a pair of hits. Amelia Murphy got the win, tossing a complete game with just one earned run allowed, striking out five.

Canton @ Attleboro – Postponed to TBD
Milford @ Franklin – Postponed to TBD
King Philip @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield – Postponed to 5/14 at 10:00AM

Boys Lacrosse
Sharon, 8 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final
Taunton, 3 @ Norton, 13 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Franklin, 10 @ Lincoln-Sudbury, 9 – Final – The teams combined for 19 goals but Franklin head coach Kristin Igoe said goalie Dani Lonati was the difference, making 11 saves in net. Freshman Annie Walsh won a crucial late draw and the Panthers were able to run out the rest of clock. Kendall Reardon scored an empty net goal with a minute left to put Franklin up 10-8 before L-S cut it to one off the next draw. Kenzie Pleshaw led Franklin with four goals and Emily Spath netted three goals.

Taunton, 7 @ Norton, 11 – Final – Hannah Moniz was the top scorer for Taunton with two goals and an assist. Kayla Philips added a pair of goals and Abbey Kingman had a goal and an assist. Layne Kingman and Bre Conlon also had goals for the Tigers and Lorna Li made 15 saves.

Boys Tennis
Oliver Ames @ Franklin – Postponed to TBD
King Philip @ Stoughton – Postponed to 5/10 at 3:30
Milford @ Medway – Postponed to TBD
Taunton @ Sharon – Postponed to 5/17 at 3:45

Girls Tennis
Franklin @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBD
Stoughton @ King Philip – Postponed to 5/10 at 3:30
Milford vs. Medway – Postponed to TBD
Sharon @ Taunton – Postponed to 5/17 at 3:45

Boys Outdoor Track
Stoughton, 89 @ Canton, 47 – Final
Foxboro @ Milford 4:00
Franklin, 47 @ Taunton, 89 – Final
North Attleboro @ King Philip 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track
Stoughton, 40 @ Canton, 96 – Final
Foxboro @ Milford 4:00
Franklin @ Taunton 3:45
North Attleboro, 84 @ King Philip, 52 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Milford @ Nipmuc 4:00

Pleshaw Fires Franklin to Comeback Win

Franklin girls lacrosse
Kenzie Pleshaw (15) scored five goals and the Panthers rallied from an early deficit to beat Concord-Carlisle. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – On Thursday evening, the Franklin girls’ lacrosse team began a run of five straight games against teams ranked among the top 25 in the state with the visit of Div. 1 Central/East rival Concord-Carlisle, which won the sectional title last spring.

After losing a second half lead against Needham in the season opener and eventually falling in overtime, this was an opportunity for the Panthers to pick up a marquee win early in the season and build momentum for a difficult portion of the schedule.

It did not start well. The Patriots jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first half, but senior midfielder Kenzie Pleshaw took over with four goals before the break and five in the game to spark a Franklin comeback that turned into a comfortable 13-7 victory.

“I think their speed kind of took us by surprise at the beginning,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe. “They were just charging right down, blowing by us. Once we kind of settled in a little bit and saw their strengths, our defense did a great job slowing it down and we figured out how to play against them.”

“From there we just played as a team.”

The Patriots, behind star senior Hannah Dudley, dominated the draw controls at the start of the game. Concord-Carlisle won the first six draws as they built an early lead and goalie Abby Flynn made three of her six first half saves to keep Franklin off the board.

The game changed when the Panthers switched things up in the middle. Sophomore Grace MacCallum was moved in and took the draws against Dudley. From that point on Franklin won five of the last seven draws in the first half and nine of the next 13 overall.

Concord-Carlisle coach Paul Morrison said, “I think their momentum came when they switched up on the draw. She did an excellent job, I think she won four or five in a row, and their possessions were excellent. They barely dropped the ball.”

Julia Jette, who reached the 100-goal plateau on Wednesday, scored to cut the Patriots lead to 4-2 and then 23 seconds later, after the Panthers won the draw control, Pleshaw notched her first goal and just like that Franklin was down by one.

Junior Kendall Reardon tied the game, but the Patriots answered back with 8:19 to play in the first half. Three minutes later, Pleshaw shook off her defender with a spin move and finished over the top of Flynn to tie it again. Two minutes later, she completed her hat trick with a shot on the run. With 1:39 left in the half, she made it 7-5 with a shot cutting across the middle.

Igoe said of Pleshaw, “Kenzie is fearless, she can use both hands, she’s an awesome dodger, but she’s just so competitive and has that drive for goal. Those three goals were really important and gave us a kind of cushion.”

The momentum did not waver after the break. Emily Spath stole a clearance and fed Jette for a goal four minutes after the break and then four minutes later Pleshaw earned a free position and finished it. When the Panthers added another on a quick transition between Reardon, Spath, and finished off by Diana Griffin, the visitors were forced to take a timeout.

In the huddle Igoe reminded the Panthers of the lead that they held against Needham in the season opener and how important it was to keep pushing to extend the advantage.

“We just kept playing hard,” said Igoe. “We got some saves when we needed to, got some ground balls when we needed to, so they were never able to go on a run to get momentum.”

A couple minutes after the timeout, Reardon got her second goal of the game, capping a 7-0 run that gave the Panthers a six-goal lead.

After the patriots ended the run, Spath added her second goal on a free position. Griffin would also get her second of the game to answer another Patriots goal with 2:25 to play.

The offense was clicking but it was the defense that turned the tables on the Patriots. Senior Sam Jones controlled the defense, as the Panthers closed off the middle of the field, and classmate Dani Lonati came through with eight saves, including a couple down the stretch that kept the Patriots from changing momentum.

Igoe said of Jones, “You can hear her on the sidelines, sending doubles and coming up with knock downs and ground balls. I’m really proud of our defense and how they figured them out and were able to crash on their top dodgers and slow them down.”

It was the perfect way to start this tough stretch for the Panthers (4-1), but Igoe wanted to make sure that her team was not getting carried away with a trip to North Andover looming on Saturday.

“We have a good stretch of games coming up and we’re going to kind of take it one-by-one,” she said. “I told them this is exciting, have fun with this win, but tomorrow we have stuff we have to work on. We’re happy, but we’re not satisfied.”

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