2018 HockomockSports Field Hockey Awards

Canton field hockey
Foxboro’s Sophia DiCenso tries to get past Canton’s Kaitlyn Goyetch in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

KP’s Reign in D1 South Ends Against the Raiders

King Philip field hockey
King Philip freshman Meghan MacDonald chases down a ball on the sideline in front of Somerset-Berkley’s Alex Millar. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – It has been a remarkable two-year run for King Philip. The Warriors have won back-to-back Kelley-Rex division titles in dominating fashion, leading the league in goals scored and fewest goals allowed both years, and won a Div. 1 South crown in 2018.

The quest to repeat as sectional champions came to an abrupt end on Thursday night in the semifinal at Taunton’s Tiger Aleixo Stadium, as the Warriors gave up three straight goals, including two in two minutes, against Somerset-Berkley and lost 3-1 in a rematch of last year’s South final.

“I think the girls were nervous coming in,” said Kim Meehan, who, along with Erin MacDonald, was one of King Philip’s two coaches this season. “There was so much hype around this game that we’ve tried to keep them focused on their game.”

There was plenty of excitement surrounding this matchup of two of the top programs in the state, and a little bit of controversy as well. The Raiders have two boys, Alex Millar and Lucas Crooks, in the starting lineup and there has been a debate raging about whether or not that is fair to other programs.

The question was put to the KP coaches after Millar scored the game-winning goal on Thursday and Crooks added the insurance goal that sealed the victory, but both wanted to focus on the play of their team and not on something that can’t be changed.

“I’m more concerned about the game,” said Meehan. MacDonald added, “We’ll talk about our team and the strategy. We don’t want to talk about the rest.”

It was an end-to-end game, played at a pace that few teams in the state would be able to match for a full 60 minutes. KP had an early chance to try and break the deadlock with Nicole Connor finding Alli Meehan off a corner and she quickly swung it to Katie Lindmark for a shot that was just wide of the post.

Somerset had a good look minutes later when Crook got in behind the KP defense off a pass from Megan Salsinha, but he couldn’t put his shot on target. Meehan again got going with a winding run through the defense and her shot into the middle was redirected just wide by freshman Meghan MacDonald.

Camryn Crook had a good look at goal in the 17th minute but pressure from KP defender Emma Izydorczak put her off enough that the shot went wide. Millar also went close with a powerful backhand shot off a corner.

Meehan drew a save with six minutes left in the first half and the rebound came to Connor but her effort hit the side of the goal. A minute later and the Raiders missed a golden opportunity when Salsinha stole the ball on the restart and broke free only to rifle a shot wide when clean through.

Lucas Crook had another good chance just after halftime when he stole the ball in the attacking zone, but Grace May came up with a big kick save. MacDonald nearly fashioned a good chance for KP when she took it off Millar’s stick and tried to hit Abby Nixon right in front, but again it went wide.

The breakthrough finally came in the 39th minute. Meehan picked out Claire Lawler on the left side of the goal. Lawler played it back to Meehan in space and she was able to draw a save our of Madison Ferrara. The rebound went right back across goal to the far post, where Lawler was ready for the tap in.

Rather than give KP a momentum boost, the goal seemed to spark the Raiders into life and Somerset-Berkley quickly turned the game on its head.

“I was a little surprised by that,” MacDonald admitted. “I thought scoring the goal would take us to the next level intensity-wise and I don’t know that it did.”

In the 45th minute, Camryn Crook forced May into a save and Millar drew another good save off the resulting corner but finally on the third try Salsinha managed to knock in a rebound and tie the game.

When asked about the play of May in goal, Meehan said, “She made a couple of great saves,” while MacDonald added, “She was like a super hero out there today.”

All the energy was with the Raiders and they quickly went back to work in the attacking half of the field, earning another corner. The ball was played out to Millar and he fired a shot into the mass of players in front of the goal. It took a deflection off a KP stick and looped into the top corner of the net for what turned out to be the game-winner.

KP tried to push and get back into the game, but the Warriors were struggling to create clear chances against the Somerset-Berkley defense. In the end, it was the Raiders that would add another goal. Lucas Crook drove across the crease onto his backhand and he fired a shot into the far corner.

“I’m super proud,” said Meehan. We have 10 athletes on the field who have given 100 percent all season long, six seniors, and they’ve just put in so much work. It wasn’t that we didn’t play well. We held our own.”

King Philip finishes the season at 18-2-1.

Second Half Surge Sends King Philip Into South Semis

King Philip field hockey
King Philip’s Alli Meehan brings the ball up against Barnstable in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip field hockey dominated the first half, applying a lot of pressure and keeping the ball in its attacking half, but the Warriors had no success finding the back of the net.

Despite five penalty corners and three shots on goal — and one that hit the post, and one just over the crossbar — King Philip’s offense was stymied by a compact Barnstable defense and went into the halftime break scoreless.

So King Philip co-head coaches Erin MacDonald and Kim Meehan decided to even up the numbers to start the second half, bringing up sophomore Abby Nixon from the midfield to be a fourth forward.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The change paid off as King Philip’s offense finally broke through off the stick of Nixon, and from there the third-seeded Warriors rolled to a 4-0 win over #11 Barnstable.

“We had to put another forward up top,” MacDonald said of the adjustment. “We took a midfielder and moved her up because we weren’t getting through all of the players they had inside the circle. Abby Nixon getting the first goal started the momentum, that one goal changed everything.”

King Philip’s best chances of the first half came in a five-minute span. In the eighth minute, senior Nicole Connor hit a hard shot through traffic but it bounced off the post and hit off a teammate’s foot to give possession to the Raiders.

And four minutes later, Connor found senior classmate Kate Lindmark on a corner and Lindmark lofted a shot over the defense but the ball bounced just over the crossbar and on top of the cage.

The Warriors continued the pressure in the second half, and the adjustment of Nixon up top paid off in the 42nd minute. King Philip peppered the Barnstable keeper with four shots in a shot, first off the stick of Alli Meehan, then from Nixon, again from Meehan, and the final one from Nixon into the back of the cage to make it 1-0.

“We needed more forwards, we had so many opportunities in the beginning but we weren’t scoring.” Kim Meehan said. “So we made some adjustments to get another player forward. It felt like we got the right mix on the field and then we scored.”

After going scoreless for just over 40 minutes, King Philip’s offense needed less than a minute to double its lead.

The Warriors quickly pushed the ball up field and earned a corner. Off the corner, the ball worked its way around to freshman Meghan MacDonald and she used a nice back hand shot to beat the keeper to make it 2-0 in the 43rd minute.

“When you have four forwards, it just changes the whole dynamic because you get more touches in the offensive end,” Kim Meehan said. “We’ve been playing with three forwards the whole season but we had to adjust to their line. They had everyone but one player back in the circle at times. It shows we’re doing something right on offense but we had to make an adjustment.”

The offense continued to click, converting another corner in the 50th minute. After Lindmark sent the ball into the circle, Alli Meehan and Connor executed a perfect give-and-go. Meehan found Connor, who dished it right back and Meehan smashed her shot in to make it 3-0.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With so many numbers back trying to stop KP’s offense, Barnstable’s best chance offensively was on the counter attack. One of the few chances they had going forward came in the 53rd minute. Barnstable’s forward came streaking up field but her counter bid was thwarted by Emma Izydorczak.

King Philip added one final tally in the 54th minute. The Warriors used its speed to get past the defense as Alli Meehan connected with Nixon right in front. But instead of shooting, Nixon used an extra pass to find Raegan Simeone all by herself in front of goal and the junior buried her chance to make it 4-0.

King Philip field hockey (18-1-1) advances to the D1 South Semifinal and will play #2 Somerset-Berkley (19-1) in a rematch of last year’s D1 South Final (KP won 1-0). The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 at Taunton High School.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/27/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Soccer
Stoughton, 0 @ Milford, 1 – FinalStoughton’s goalie Brianna Buckley had an outstanding game in net but the Hawks were able to earn two points at home. Milford’s Olivia Sullivan scored the game-winning goal while Hawks goalie Olivia Marshall made five saves in net. Stoughton head coach Tara Daniels said Olivia O’Neil, Nicole Weir, and Nikki Anderson all had strong games defensively for the Knights.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final

Mansfield, 2 @ Canton, 4 – FinalCanton’s Meghan LaBelle and Maggie Malloy each scored a pair of goals as the Bulldogs picked up their second win in as many days.

Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Franklin’s Victoria Quinn scored with under 10 minutes to play to give the Panthers a win on the road at North Attleboro. Quinn got her stick on a shot from Cassi Ronan to put the Panthers up 1-0 with eight minutes left. Christina Luccini made a save on a penalty stroke early in the second half to keep the game tied.

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 6 – FinalFour different Warriors had at least two points as King Philip recorded a big win over Stoughton. Alli Meehan had two goals and an assist while Claire Lawlor, Dana Truini, and Nicole Connor each scored once and had one helper. Meghan MacDonald also scored once while Kate Lindmark added an assist. KP co-head coach Kim Meehan added that Christina Gifun, Emma Izydorczak, and Sammy Robinson played well defensively for the Warriors.

Oliver Ames @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, 9/28.

Taunton, 2 @ Milford, 0 – FinalLauren Torres and Jillian Pagliuca each scored once as Taunton went on the road and earned a win over Milford. Emma Sheehan had the shutout in net for the Tigers while Alana Tavares, Skylar Rheaume, and Kathryn Robinson all played well for Taunton.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro won the third set to prevent the sweep but Foxboro came back and won the fourth set to clinch the win (25-17, 25-18, 15-25, 25-16). For Attleboro, Ana Leonardo had 16 assists, a dig, a kill, and a block while Chelsea Calcagni paced the Bombardiers’ offense with nine kills.

Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton edged out Mansfield by two points in the first set and went on to complete the sweep to beat Mansfield at home (25-23, 25-10, 25-28). Taylor Harris paced the Bulldogs’ offense with 11 kills, 11 digs, a pair of aces, and a block. Bailey Shea had a strong game at the net as well, registering two kills and a block. Nicole Brown added five kills, five aces, and 16 assists for Canton. For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had nine kills ad four blocks, Sam Sternberg added 14 digs, and Abby Sullivan finished with nine service points.

Franklin, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Taunton, 2 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Boys Cross Country
Stoughton, 40 @ Canton, 18 – Final

Top 10: 1. Kyle Downing (Can, 18:53) 2. Alex Maddestra (Can, 18:55) 3. C. Rahaman (Sto, 19:40) 4. Jack Hernon (Can, 19:43) 5. Chris Rota (Can, 20:27) 6. Elias Jabbour (Can, 20:44) 7. E. Connor (Sto, 20:49) 8. Ryan Carney (Can, 21:03) 9. M. Veliotis (Sto, 21:09) 10. M. Henriques (Sto, 21:16).

Milford, 21 @ Foxboro, 39 – FinalFoxboro’s Ryan Proulx took first place but Milford had the next four runners cross the finish line as the Hawks went on the road and earned a victory. Milford’s Max Manor, Gianni Panno, and Anthony DiStauro all crossed in a 20-second span for second, third, and fourth respectively.

Top 10: 1. Ryan Proulx (Fox, 16:15) 2. Max Manor (Mil, 17:37) 3. Gianni Panno (Mil, 17:46) 4. Anthony DiStauro (Mil, 17:54) 5. Brendan O’Shaughnessy (Mil, 18:45) 6. Trey Lawson (Fox, 18:21) 7. Chris Berthrong (Mil, 18:35) 8. Miguel Torres (Mil, 18:52) 9. Patrick Piscitelli (Fox, 19:13) 10. James Comisky (Mil, 19:25).

Franklin, 24 @ Mansfield, 31 – FinalThe top five runners finished within an 11-second span and the top 10 was all within a minute in a very exciting finish at Mansfield. Franklin junior Tyler Brogan crossed first, edging Mansfield’s Patrick Heavey by just two seconds. Franklin senior Mike Hagen and sophomore Nick Calitri took third and fourth overall while Mansfield’s Jason Windvogel rounded out the top five.

Top 10: 1. Tyler Brogan (Frank, 16:49) 2.Patrick Heavey (Mans, 16:51) 3. Mike Hagen (Frank, 16:52) 4. Nick Calitri (Frank, 16:56) 5. Jason Windvogel (Mans, 17:00) 6. Peter Sullivan (Mans, 17:08) 7. Dylan Kehoe (Frank, 17:11) 8. Mike Mullahy (Mans, 17:12) 9. Camden Harrington (Frank, 17:20) 10. Paxton Howard (Mans, 17:21).

Taunton, 46 @ King Philip, 15 – FinalKing Philip’s Mike Griffin was first overall, taking first in a time of 16:11 in the 3.07 mile course.

Girls Cross Country
Stoughton, 30 @ Canton, 26 – Final

Top 10: 1. Sydnee Hyacinthe (Sto) 2. Chloe Pennacchio (Can, 23:02) 3. R. Lally (Sto, 24:48) 4. Kayla Wong (Can, 25:03) 5. Jesse Hart (Can, 25:06) 6. J. Franey (Sto, 25:10) 7. Ally Chin (Can, 25:23) 8. Briana Gilchrist (Can, 25:28) 9. T. Billo (Sto, 25:39) 10. Erica Boone (Can, 26:02).

Milford, 39 @ Foxboro, 21 – FinalFoxboro’s trio of Lindsey Nelson, Lexi Quinn, and Abby Hassman took the first three spots, pacing the Warriors to a win over visiting Milford. Milford’s Lexi Marcolini and Sara Comiskey crossed together as the Hawks’ top placement.

Top 10: T1. Lindsey Nelson (Fox, 21:04) T1. Lexi Quinn (Fox, 21:04) T1. Abby Hassman (Fox, 21:04) T4. Lexi Marcolini (Mil, 22:06) T4. Sara Comiskey (Mil, 22:06) 6. Lilly Thibeault (Mil, 22:49) 7. Emily Steele (Fox, 23:29) 8. Jenn Yeomans (Fox, 23:34) 9. Jill Finn (Fox, 23:36) 10. Isabel Hallal (Fox, 23:42).

Franklin, 30 @ Mansfield, 25 – FinalMansfield junior Jessica Alestock and sophomore Emma Lamson finished strong over the 800 meters to earn seventh and eighth, respectively, clinching the win for the Hornets. Hornet sophomore Tessa Lancaster was first overall, jumping ahead early and never looked back. Julia Fenerty was the first Panther to finish, taking second overall.

Top 10: 1. Tessa Lancaster (Mans, 20:24) 2. Julia Fenerty (Frank, 20:30), 3. Maggie Riley (Mans, 20:33) 4. Sydney Hawkins (Frank, 21:05) 5. Kat Walbert (Frank, 21:08) 6. Brinly Meelia (Mans, 21:12) 7. Jessica Alestock (Mans, 21:55) 8. Emma Lamson (Mans, 22:06) 9. Brandi Osborne (Frank, 22:15) 10. Sarab Giuliano (Frank, 22:15).

Taunton @ King Philip, 3:45

Golf
Attleboro, 184 @ Franklin, 163 – FinalFranklin senior captain Matt D’Errico and sophomore Nolan Norton shared medalist honors, both shooting low-rounds of 39 to pace the Panthers past Attleboro. Jake Blaney chipped in with a 41 for Franklin while Ethan Johnson and Jack Handy led Attleboro, each shooting a 43.

Stoughton, 189 @ Foxboro, 169 – FinalFoxboro’s Noah Hicks earned medalist honors with a low-round of 41, leading the Warriors to a win over Stoughton. Charlie Baughan and Jon Dowling each shot 42 and Matt Hague had a 44 for the Warriors. Stoughton’s Max Huminik had a career-low round of 43 to lead the Black Knights.

King Philip, 184 @ Taunton, 187 – FinalKing Philip juniors Ray Mullin, Jack Hastry, Nate Ihley, and Kayla Shuberth all shoot 46 to lead the Warriors to a win against Taunton.

Milford, 173 @ North Attleboro, 161 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Marcus Costa and Matt Wanless led the Rocketeers, each shooting a 39 at the middle course of Heather Hill. Jillian Barend added a 40 and Brett Dusel carded a round of 43.

Hockomock Field Hockey: Players to Watch in 2018

2018 Field Hockey Players to Watch
Foxboro senior Lily Daly has been one of the league’s top scorers for each of the last three seasons and will be a player to watch this fall in the Hockomock. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Alex Compton, Senior – Attleboro

Attleboro has an experienced group coming back this season and the Bombardiers will be looking to move up the league standings and make a run at a state tournament berth. One of the players that will be leading the way for Attleboro is senior forward Alex Compton. She led the Bombardiers in assists last season, with nine, and added seven goals as well. With leading scorer Grace Mayer graduated, Compton will be the focal point of the Attleboro attack this season and has the potential for a big year. With strong stick skills and game awareness, Compton consistently finds herself in the right spots around the goal but also has great vision to bring her teammates into the game. If Compton fires in the goals, Attleboro could make a run at the postseason this fall.

Lily Daly, Senior – Foxboro

Foxboro has one of the top attacks in the league and Daly has been the leader of that offense for the past three years, helping the Warriors come within one game of back-to-back Davenport division titles and reach the Div. 2 South semifinal again. Daly was not only Foxboro’s top scorer last fall but also led the Hock with 40 points. She scored 26 goals and also had 14 assists in 2017 and is consistently one of the most dangerous players around the goal, using her strength and quick hands to finish plays in the circle and her game awareness means that she is always in the right place at the right time. Opposing defenses always have to keep track of Daly and she enters this season with the goal of getting the Warriors back to the top of the league and to the top of Div. 2 South.

Maggie Danehy, Senior – Mansfield

Mansfield is aiming for a return to the top of the league this season and Danehy is a key figure in the Hornets midfield, providing support on both ends of the field to drive the Hornets forward. Danehy is a relentless presence in the midfield, seemingly in the middle of everything that the Hornets are doing, from breaking up an opposing attack on one end and then pushing the ball forward on a counter attack. With her long strides and her long reach, Danehy is a tough player to get around in the middle of the field and she is able to burst past opposing defenders to create space in the attack. One of the team’s leaders, Danehy is hoping to get the Hornets, which handed King Philip its only two league losses last season, back to the top of the Kelley-Rex division for the first time in three years.

Sophia DiCenso, Senior – Foxboro

DiCenso is not only a standout on the lacrosse field, but has also been a major factor in Foxboro field hockey’s success over the past few seasons. She provided 18 goals and 12 assists last fall, keeping the Warriors in the hunt for a Davenport division title right up to the final game of the season and helped the Warriors get back to the Div. 2 South semifinal. Partnering in attack with Lily Daly, DiCenso is a creative player who can use her speed and stickhandling to break down opposing defenses, giving Foxboro one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. The University of Richmond lacrosse commit will be looking to bring home more silverware for the Warriors this fall to go along with the 2016 D2 South title.

Allie Howe, Senior – Stoughton

Stoughton is looking to bounce back after a seven-win season, and one of the players that the Black Knights will turn to is senior forward Allie Howe, who was the team’s second-leading scorer in 2017. Howe scored nine goals and had two assists last year, and with an injury to leading scorer Julia Russell that will keep her out for the season, Howe will have even more responsibility for the Stoughton offense this fall. Howe has the speed to beat defenders in transition and is clever in finding space in front of goal to finish off attacks. The Black Knights will be aiming for a return to the state tournament and Howe’s offensive production will be critical to a quick turnaround this season.

Emma Izydorczak, Senior – King Philip

While the 86 goals that King Philip scored last year will get a lot of attention, the Warriors title-winning season was also a product of a league-best defense that allowed only 13 goals in 23 games, including 14 shutouts. Izydorczak was one of the leaders of that stingy defensive unit and her experience and leadership will be a key to KP trying to repeat as league and South champions. Her ability to read the game and make quick decisions to break up attacks combined with good hands to time tackles helped keep the opposition at bay and limit the number of chances on the KP goal. She also seemed to always be in the right place when the opposing attack did get through, making a couple of important goal-line clearances in the playoffs. Izydorczak and the Warriors will have high expectations after a dominating 2017 and the defense could again be the key to KP’s success.

Maggie Malloy, Senior – Canton

After springing onto the stage two years ago as a novice to the sport of field hockey and becoming an instant scoring threat for the Bulldogs, Malloy has become one of the top forwards in the entire league and one of the reasons that Canton won the Davenport last season and nearly made it an all-Hock Div. 1 South final. Malloy led the Bulldogs with 27 goals and eight assists in 2017 and only an overtime loss to top seed Somerset-Berkeley kept Canton from reaching the sectional final to face fellow league champ King Philip. An aggressive player, who brings the energy, stickhandling, and physicality of ice hockey to the field, Malloy has increased her positional awareness and her all-around game to be a constant threat to any defense. Malloy’s nose for goal and tenacity will be counted on again this year in order for Canton to make a similar run as last fall.

Alli Meehan, Senior – King Philip

Unquestionably, King Philip was the league’s top team last fall, winning the Kelley-Rex division title as well as reaching the state semifinal, and Meehan was the team’s focal point on attack, leading the team with 40 points and more than 20 goals despite missing several games due to injury. With Meehan leading the attack, KP scored a league-best 86 goals. The Northeastern University-commit boasts great pace to make runs down either wing, but also the quickness with the ball on her stick to exploit even the smallest gaps in a defense. She is just as capable of pulling off a great finish on the run as picking out a defense-splitting pass that will set up a teammate in the crease and is someone that opposing defenses need to account for at all times. Meehan will be lead the KP attack again this fall and that puts the Warriors in a solid position to try and repeat last year’s dominant season.

Cassi Ronan, Senior – Franklin

Ronan was the key to Franklin’s resurgence from a difficult start to the 2017 season to taking second in the Kelley-Rex division and push eventual South (and league champion) King Philip to double overtime in the second round of the state tournament. Ronan, one of the top stickhandlers in the league, showcased her all-around game to get the Panthers back into the playoffs. She scored team highs in goals (20) and assists (10) and consistently created scoring chances for the Franklin attack, while also chipping in with defensive work in the midfield to limit counterattacks from the opposition. Ronan will be counted on again this fall, under a new coaching staff, to once again keep control of games for the Panthers and try to get Franklin back on top of the league.

Hannah Stryke, Sophomore – Oliver Ames

Just a sophomore, Stryke is one of the top scoring threats for Oliver Ames, as the Tigers battle for a return to the state tournament and to make a run up the league standings in the ultra-competitive Kelley-Rex division. Stryke was the team’s third-leading scorer last year, behind graduated seniors Liz Nuss and Sarah Stevens, scoring seven goals and assisting on four others. This year, much of the offense will flow through Stryke, who has already shown the stick-handling and awareness of a much more experienced forward. With the speed to take advantage of any space that a defense gives up, Stryke could be ready for a breakout season for the Tigers, who made the playoffs last season only to lose an overtime heartbreaker and have a new coach in Sharon Lawrence. Getting Stryke on the ball often will be a good way to create the offense the Tigers need.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/09/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalMansfield got off to a strong start with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, extended the lead with three runs in the fifth inning and tacked on one more in the sixth in a win over Attleboro. Tyler Dalton went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Hornets’ offense while Cullin Anastasia was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Kevin Dow struck out nine in five innings of work, allowing four hits and just two walks with no runs against to earn the win. Alvaro Espinel was 1-for-3 with an RBI while Matt Callahan (hit) scored Attleboro’s run.

Stoughton, 6 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalStoughton plated four runs with two outs in the top of the third to build a lead it never let go of. Robbie Seaman had a two-run single and Evan Gibb (2-for-4) followed with a two-run double for the Black Knights. George Currier went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Ruben Gonzalez had another strong day, getting the win on the mound (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, 5 K) and went 3-for-3 with a walk.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 11 – FinalMilford senior Aidan Wilde had three hits, the second one being the 100th of his career, to lead the Hawks to a big win over Canton. Wilde notched the milestone in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single into left field. Sophomore Luke Rosa earned his first career win, striking out three with just one run allowed in five innings of work.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 6 – FinalTaunton took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring three runs on five hits but Franklin tied the game with three runs off two hits in the top of the fifth. The Tigers responded right away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Medeiros got it done at the plate and on the mound for the Tigers. Offensively, he had two hits and an RBI. And on the mound, he earned the win, allowing just three hits while striking out 10 in a complete game effort. Jacob Crawford added two hits and two runs and Griffin Tomaszycki had a hit, two RBI, and a run scored for the Tigers.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalOliver Ames and King Philip each scored two runs in the first inning but the Tigers were able to beat the Warriors the rest of the way. OA tacked on two more runs in the top of the third, KP cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the third, but the Tigers added the insurance run in the sixth inning. Michael Friel (hit) reached bases three times, stole two bases, scored a run, had an RBI, and played outstanding defense at second base to pace OA to the win. Matt Muir (RBI, double) and Jack Erlich (run) each had two hits for the Tigers. OA’s Tom Parker earned the win with six innings of relief work, not allowing an earned run.

Sharon, 2 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro junior Ryan Warren roped a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game and help the Rocketeers beat upset-minded Sharon. Zach DeMattio got things started with a walk, and pinch runner Billy Drummond took second on a sac bunt from Jeff Gale (2-for-2, two runs). After Cohen reached on a drop third strike, Drummond advanced to third, and Cohen stole second. That’s when Warren delivered. Sharon held a 2-0 lead after an inning but North tied things in the third on DeMattio’s two-out, two-run single. Peter Cohen pitched 5.1 innings of relief to earn the way for the Rocketeers.

Softball
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 15 – Final (6 inn.)Attleboro exploded for 20 hits on the day, getting the game started on the right foot with seven runs in the first inning. Each Bombardier in the lineup had at least one hit led by MacKenzie Killough, who went 3-for-5 with two home runs. Freshman catcher Lora Woyton added a three-run home run, freshman Autumn O’Connell had three hits, Ashley Macia (two doubles) went 3-for-3 and Jordyn Lako was 4-for-5 for the Bombardiers. Jenna Gittle struck out five in six innings of work for Attleboro.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 13 – Final (6 inn.)Milford senior Kelley Reichert struck out 10 in a six-inning performance and Emily Piergustavo (3-for-4, four RBI) and Emily Hartman each belted a two-run home run as the Hawks won big at home. Kate Irwin (two runs), Jess Tomaso (double, two RBI), Antonia Bonina (two runs, RBI), and Maddy Bonvino (double, RBI) each had two hits on the day for Milford.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 10 – FinalFoxboro avenged a loss from earlier in the season to the Black Knights with a big win on its home field on Wednesday afternoon. Lexi Buckner went 3-for-4, including two doubles and a home run, and finished with six RBI to pace Foxboro’s offense. Morgan Sylvestre went 3-for-4, Kelli McCarthy added two hits and two RBI, and Hannah Davis knocked a run in Emma Rohan scattered five hits, walked one and struck out seven for Foxboro.

Taunton, 6 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalTaunton pushed across three runs in the first inning, added another in the second, and put the game out of reach with a pair in the fourth inning on the road at Franklin. Tigers freshman Kelsey White won her fourth game of the season, allowing just one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts (and no walks). Offensively, Alexa White and Liana Duarte (RBI) each had two hits while Jaime Brown (RBI) reached four times with three walks and a triple. Kya Enos, Hanna Aldrich, and McKenzie McAloon each knocked in a run for the Tigers. Franklin scored in the sixth inning when Ally Shea doubled and courtesy runner Molly Collins came around to score on a single from Tara Hartnett. Emily Valentino struck out four while Gabby Colace played a great game defensively for FHS.

King Philip, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip scored eight runs in the top of the third to create separation against the Tigers and never looked back. Destiny Goyco, Lilliana Rolfe, and Faith Turinese each collected three hits for the Warriors while Nicole Carter and Meghan Gorman each pitched in with two apiece. Turinese earned the win, allowing one run in seven innings of work. For OA, Katie Mills was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Mills was knocked in by Katie Abreu (2-for-3); Sarah Tetrault and Lexie Campbell also each had a hit for the Tigers.

North Attleboro, 14 @ Sharon, 2 – Final (5 Inn.)Olivia DesRoches pitched five innings and struck out four to pick up the win for the Rocketeers. Abby Gallagher had four hits and drove in a pair of runs for the North offense, which also got two hits apiece from Olivia Capobianco, Bella Erti (including a two-run homer), and Andrea Miceli. Stephanie Inglese hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Emily Pastore made a “highlight-reel grab” for North in the win.


Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 8 – FinalMilford scored four goals in each the second and third quarters, taking a shutout into the final frame against visiting Attleboro. Freshman Evan Hazard turned aside 15 shots while Andrew Gallagher and Ryan Hazard each scored three goals apiece for the Hawks.

Canton, 7 @ King Philip, 8 – Final (OT)Canton junior Mike Shaw scored in the final minute of the game to tie it and send it to overtime but the Warriors prevailed with the win. KP was able to hold off Canton’s extra-man opportunity to begin the overtime period before netting the winner. Canton sophomore Jack Connolly played great in goal with 12 saves while Dan Cohen (two goals) was one of six Bulldogs to score.

Foxboro, 7 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 17 – FinalSenior Johnny O’Glishen scored a pair of goals and added an assist to help the Panthers pick up a big win on Senior Night. Sophomore Ben Greco added a pair of goals, while sophomore Luc Sweeney and junior Patrick Morrison each had one goal and one assist each. Eric LeBlanc scored three goals for Oliver Ames.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Sharon, 7 – FinalSharon limited North Attleboro to just one goal in the first half, building a 4-1 advantage that it never let go of. The Rocketeers got within two late in the fourth quarter but the Eagles secured the win with a seventh goal with three minutes to go. A big reason for Sharon’s big defensive game was goalie Jonathan Greenberg, who turned away 18 shots in the in. Offensively, Chase Waxman had three goals for the Eagles, Kadin Nestler added two, and Spencer Hall and Dan Lilienfield each scored once. Senior Brett Litner collected four assists for the Eagles.

Stoughton, 7 @ Taunton, 5 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Milford, 6 @ Attleboro, 12 – FinalKyra Lyons paced the Bombardiers with seven goals and Kim White scored her first varsity goal in the win. Attleboro also got goals from Hannah Aspinwall, Emily Patton, Sydney DiLiddo, and Rylee Fontes. Head coach Kevin Patton called it a “total team effort.”

King Philip, 16 @ Canton, 5 – Final Seven different players scored goals for the Warriors in another big league win. Olivia Tormey and Caroline Klim each scored four goals for KP and Dana Truini scored twice and assisted on three other goals. Alli Meehan, Lauren Anderson, and Emma Izydorczak each scored once in the win, while Caroline Watson made eight saves in the KP goal. Leah McClellan and Maggie Connolly each scored twice for the Bulldogs and Kaitlyn Goyetch scored once. Connolly also had an assist. Vicki Revanche made 13 saves in the loss.

Mansfield, 5 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final

Franklin, 17 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalFranklin senior Nicole Houlihan and freshman Elizabeth Wilson each accounted for four points apiece as the Panthers rolled to a win on the road. Houlihan had two goals and two assists, Wilson finished with one goal and three assists, and sophomore Erin Walsh chipped in with three goals and three assists. FHS coach Kristin Igoe-Guarino said Annie Walsh and Hailey Toolin both played well in the midfield for the Panthers. Chloe Kilkelly scored twice for Oliver Ames while Olivia Piazza recorded three assists.

Sharon, 9 @ North Attleboro, 8 – FinalMaeve Barbera scored the game-winning goal, her second of the afternoon, for Sharon with 15 seconds left in the game to split the season series against North. Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain called this a “huge win” for the Eagles and said that the game was “very close and competitive the whole time.” She added that the Eagles defense created turnovers in big moments and that the transition was “really great.” Sabrina Robbins scored three goals and Emma Eberhardt had four goals and an assist. Jenna Goldstein had an assist and Rose Wald made five saves in the win. Mackenzie Rosenberg scored six goals in defeat for the Rocketeers.

Boys Tennis
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield went on . the road and picked up a sweep over Attleboro, winning all five matches in straight sets. Luke Nickerson didn’t lose a game at first singles, Luke Devine won 6-3, 6-1 at second singles, and Peter Lally emerged with a 6-3, 7-5 decision at third singles. The team of Sam Cavicchi and Nilay Pangrekar won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles, and Sam Schirmacher and Sam Donellan won by the same score at second doubles for the Hornets.

Milford, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalCanton picked up a pair of wins in singles and two more victories in doubles to beat visiting Milford. Dillon Anderson won 7-6, 6-0 at second singles and freshman Minh Duong took a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles for the Bulldogs. The team of Charlie Malloy and Aidas Jakubenas won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles and Justin Luk and Ethan Nguyen prevailed 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles for Canton. Milford’s BrenO’Shaughnessyessy rallied from a one-set deficit to win 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalStoughton freshman Waseem Sablon picked up a win in straight sets at first singles but the Black Knights fell on the road to the Warriors. Sablon won his match 6-3, 6-1.

Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin took a pair of wins from singles play and swept doubles in straight sets to get a win on the road at Taunton. Freshman Liam Marr won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and senior Tyler DiPalma prevailed 7-5, 6-2 at third singles. The team of Tony Calderone and Derek Wu won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while Saketh Saripalli and Shournik Sompally lost just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles for the Panthers.

King Philip, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalKing Philip’s Max Goreham and Riley Outlaw recorded their first career wins, taking a 6-0, 6-4 victory at second doubles in the Warriors sweep of OA. Jake Mager and Zak Ryan added a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles, Nick Putney (first singles) and Jack Cannon (second singles) didn’t lose a game, and Nick Ihley won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles for KP.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap of this match.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalThe Hornets swept doubles play and picked up two more wins in singles action, winning all four matches in straight sets against the visiting Bombardiers. Senior Sarah Doyle won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and junior Elizabeth Elsner notched a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles for the Hornets. The team of Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while Samantha Sternburg and Aryana Khosravani won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles for Mansfield. Attleboro’s Anna Nelson won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles.

Canton, 5 @ Milford, 0 – FinalCanton freshman Natalie Keppler emerged with a third set breaker to get the win, helping the Bulldogs finish off the sweep on the road. Keppler won 6-4, 2-6, 10-6 to get the win, classmate Rachel Kupferman won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, and Sarah Hernandez won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles for Canton. The team of Stelina Michaelidis and Caitlin Matthews earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles while Anjali Mandal and Jamie Cree teamed up to win 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalFoxboro’s three singles players combined to drop just three games total in a clean sweep over Stoughton. Sophia Prinos didn’t drop a game at first singles, Pamela Nelson won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles, and Kayla Prag earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. Julia Muise and Sarah Prag paired together for a 6-2, 6-4 victory at first doubles while Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender dropped just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Taunton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalTaunton won all five of its matches in straights, going on the road to get a sweep at Franklin. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Vanessa Rosa took a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca earned a 6-1, 6-2 decision at third singles. McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin notched a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier teamed together for a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalAfter dropping a first set tiebreak, Oliver Ames’ second doubles team of Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke rallied to win two straight sets and clinch the winning point for the Tigers. Groebe and Stryke won 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2 while OA’s first doubles team of Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu also recorded a comeback win, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Maura Kiernan also won in three set for OA, taking a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 decision at third singles. KP’s Erin Regnier won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles and Meghan Sepich prevailed 6-3, 6-0 at second singles.

Sharon, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalSharon won all five matches in straight sets to earn a sweep of North Attleboro on the road. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Lulu Yuan earned a 6-0, 6-3 decision at second singles, and EmilyWen prevailed 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Katie Merport and Sachi Bhasin notched a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein continued their strong season with a 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 vs. Millis, 0 – Final


King Philip Crowned Sectional Champs Behind Shutout

King Philip field hockey
King Philip field hockey celebrates in front of its goal following the win. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
TAUNTON, Mass. – With just under four minutes to play, top-seeded Somerset-Berkley ramped up its offensive pressure and had four consecutive penalty corners.

Holding a 1-0 lead, King Philip head coach Liz Hathaway thought about using her timeout to try and give her defensive group a breather to settle down. But instead of giving the Raiders a chance to draw something up, she put full trust in her defense and goalie.

All four of the corners were thwarted by KP’s defensive unit of Christina Hathaway, Carolin Klim, Emma Izydorczak, and Nicole Connor, along with senior goalie Abby Campbell.

The first corner had a shot from Somerset-Berkley defender Alex Millar blocked by a KP defender’s foot, giving the Raiders another chance. That ensuing corner found its way around the area but was blocked away at the near post by Campbell.

With just two minutes to go, the Raiders had another corner but once again KP’s defense stood tall and the Warriors walked away with a 1-0 win to win the D1 South Sectional title.

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“I was contemplating taking a timeout with two minutes left to get them to settle but I kind of wanted to get a big out to get some momentum and they ended up doing that,” Liz Hathaway said.

“I totally trust my team defense and my keeper. I knew in that situation, that they are prepared whatever came at us. They got a flurry of corners but I just believed in them and they got the job done. They knew what was at stake.”

Despite Somerset-Berkley having an 11-1 advantage in penalty corners in the second half alone, Campbell and the Warriors notched the shutout.

“We know we have to keep our composure, and we practice defending multiple corners in a row at practices,” Campbell said. “Coach trusts every single one of us, whether you’re on the sideline or on the field, she trusts us. I think it says a lot about this team and our chemistry. We’re always amping each other up to just clear the next one.”

After a start that featured little offense from either side, King Philip started to take control.

Sammy Robison took away a partial breakaway chance from Lucas Crook in the eighth minute, and Crook blasted a shot wide on the Raiders’ lone corner of the half.

“We just wanted to play Somerset-Berkley, the team,” Liz Hathaway said. “We wanted to avoid all the other stuff (Somerset-Berkley has two male players in the starting lineup) and just focus on our game. We didn’t really make any adjustments for them, we knew what to expect how they played, and we did it. We played great team defense.

Beyond that, the ball was mostly in KP’s attacking area. The first shot on goal came 18 minutes into the game when Christina Hathaway rifled a low shot that forced a big kick save from SB keeper Madison Ferrara.

KP had an 8-1 advantage on corners in the first half but only had two shots on target.

The Raiders had the first chance of the second half on a long shot from Camryn Crook but Campbell did well to come out and made a big kick clearance.

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King Philip turned that save into a counterattack flying up the field with some numbers. After slowing possession down in the offensive third, junior Alli Meehan ended up with the ball on her just outside the area. She used her speed to weave past a pair of defenders and release a shot on target.

The ball beat the goalie but was stopped by a defender’s stick just on the goal line, but the rebound popped right to Nicole Connor, who wasted little time depositing her shot into the cage.

“We knew we wanted to win in regulation and not going into 7-v-7 because from what I understand, they have two of the six field players who are faster and stronger. We didn’t want to get into that situation.

“That’s the game of field hockey, 1-0 never seems like enough but today it was.”

Connor’s goal came with just over 15 minutes to play. The Raiders earned over half of their 11 penalty corners after KP took the lead.

“It’s exciting to get the lead, but we treat it like its 0-0 because we don’t want to have a let up or a breakdown on defense,” Campbell said. “It’s a bit of a relief to get the lead but we know they’re going to come back that much harder at us so we have to be ready.”

King Philip field hockey (19-2-1) advances to the D1 State Semifinal to take on North sectional champion, Andover (20-0-1) on Tuesday, November 14th at Braintree High School at 5:00 PM.

“We’re just going to keep doing what we do and what works for us,” Liz Hathaway said. “We’ll do a little bit of scouting on the teams from the North. We’ll just keep playing our game, this is a loose team that knows how to turn it on at game time.”

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King Philip Edges Franklin In Double OT Thriller

King Philip field hockey
King Philip’s Liz Furfari tries to get around Franklin’s Regan Paterson in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – You couldn’t ask for much more out of a field hockey game between two rivals, and two of the top teams in the Hockomock League.

King Philip junior Dana Truini scored the game-winning goal just over halfway through double overtime to help the second-seeded Warriors edge #18 Franklin, 3-2, at Macktaz Field.

“It’s really tough [to play a team three times], that’s why I was worried about this,” said KP head coach Liz Hathaway. “I thought we had them when we scored in the first couple of minutes and I thought we were on a roll. Then they executed a great game plan. They force us to play a big ball game. Instead of working on possession and transfers, we kept trying to go big and they stepped up to intercept and go on the counter-attack. We did better with that in the second half.

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King Philip swept the regular season series, but the Panthers used all 30 minutes of each half to keep the game level.

First, it was scoring the tying goal to make it 1-0 with less than a minute to play in the first half.

And then in dramatic fashion, the Panthers knotted the scored at 2-2 with just 10.4 seconds to play in regulation, sending the game to overtime.

“I’m really proud of my kids, really proud of them,” said Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper. “The first two games in the regular season were close, the scores weren’t indicative how close the games were. And another close one today.

“A couple kids just played absolutely amazing. Amanda Lewandowski, a freshman, was all over the field, just fantastic. What can you say about Cassi? She played everywhere and everything, she was right on the whole time. And my goalie, [Christina Luccini], played a great game. They all did.”

After a scoreless first overtime period that featured end to end action, and scoring chances for both sides, the Warriors started to take control.

Franklin goalie Christina Luccini robbed Truini just two minutes into the second overtime period, making a point-blank save on a rebound chance.

Luccini came up big again just two minutes later, making a kick save on a chance from Liz Furfari inside the area. Thirty seconds later, Luccini turned away a big shot from Christina Hathaway.

KP finally beat Luccini on a cross just over seven minutes into double overtime, but Franklin defender Emily Valentino was in the right spot and kept Truini from getting a touch.

Before the Warriors put their sixth penalty corner into motion, Hathaway called a timeout, setting up a play.

Nicole Connor sent the corner to the stick of Furfari, who patiently waited before connecting a cross to the weak side where Truini buried it with a one-timer for the winner.

“I knew out seven on seven unit was really good because we just practiced it the other day in a scrimmage with Dover-Sherborn,” Hathaway said. “I knew if we could develop a three on two, or get some corners. Then I used the timeout so we could just calm down and execute the set play.

“The cross was set up to create a little scrum or tip to the weak side, and it worked out, and it was awesome.”

Franklin sent to game to overtime with a late corner. Cassi Ronan lifted a cross that fell into the area, and junior Regan Paterson pounced on the loose ball in the scrum and tied the game with 10.4 to play.

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The biggest stop of the game came in the final minutes of the first overtime period. A foot infraction was whistled against KP, and Franklin’s Victoria Quinn smartly hit the restart quickly, sending in junior Anni Walsh behind the defense.

But KP senior goalie Abby Campbell was quick off her line and came sliding out to make the stop.

Abby had some really smart goalkeeping decisions coming out and clearing over the sideline,” Hathaway said. “Kate Lindmark, Emma Izydorczak, Sammy Robison….they all played well, our defense was really strong.”

King Philip had a strong start to the contest, scoring on its first penalty corner of the game just over three minutes in. Furfari found Connor wide open in front of goal for an easy tap in a 1-0 lead.

Campbell made saves on Ronan in the 9th minute and then turned aside a chance from Walsh after she beat two defenders in the 13th minute.

Franklin continued its pressure, having the better of play after KP took the lead. Finally, with just 50 seconds left, Ronan used a looping shot off a corner that hit off a KP stick and in to make it 1-1 heading into the half.

Both teams had chances throughout the second half, with KP having the edge in play. Ronan’s hard shot through traffic was denied by Campbell in the 34th minute; Hathaway had a bid turned aside by Luccini in the 47th minute; and Luccini blocked a tough angle bid from Raegan Simeone in the 54th minute.

But KP earned a corner shortly after Simeone’s shot and took advantage. Connor connected with Furfari, who passed along to Hathaway straightaway from goal. Franklin’s defense nearly sniffed it out, just missing an interception on the pass, and Hathaway ripped a low bouncing shot that found the back of the cage for a 2-1 lead with 6:12 to play.

King Philip field hockey (16-2-1) advances to the next round of the D1 South tournament and will host #7 Needham. The game is currently scheduled for Monday, November 6th at 3:45.

Franklin finishes the season at 10-8-2, and the end of the year also marks the end of Cropper’s tenure as head coach. Cropper spent a total of 14 years with the program, the last eight as head coach. She was hired as head coach at Dean College earlier this Fall.

“The program gets great numbers, we started to get better athletes too,” Cropper said, giving credit to her assistant coaches, including former head coach Michelle Hess, and former assistant Kevin Cronin. “And the feeder program with Ryan Jette really helped a lot. So all those people I have to thank, and they deserve credit for the success of the program, it’s not just me. I like to think that I hopefully inspired the kids. “

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Hornets Upset KP to Book Spot in State Tournament

Mansfield field hockey
The Hornets clinched a spot in the state tournament by sweeping the season series with league champion KP on solid goaltending by Kayla Hunter (39) and a goal from Maggie Danehy (36).

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MANSFIELD, Mass. – Mansfield came into Monday night’s game at Alumni Field needing two more points to qualify for the state tournament. The Hornets were celebrating senior night, trying to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Franklin last time out and looking to sweep the season series against league champion King Philip.

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It was never going to be an easy task, even with the Warriors missing leading scorer Alli Meehan, but the Hornets rose to the task behind impressive goaltending from Kayla Hunter and a goal from Maggie Danehy to beat KP 1-0 and clinch a spot in the playoffs.

“It’s just how everything falls into place,” said Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhan. “We’re coming off an embarrassing loss where we did not play well. It was senior parent night, it was a night game, and we had to qualify for tournament, so all of those things kind of channeled into this.”

She added, “Without a doubt the two best games we played this year were the ones against King Philip. King Philip is an excellent team and tonight they brought out the best in us.”

KP had the first clear chance in the game when Liz Furfari fired a cross from the right side that skidded through the crease but neither Claire Lawler or Reagan Simeone could get the necessary touch to put it away.

The next 10 minutes were completely dominated by the Hornets, who kept the Warriors pinned back in their defensive half and racked up a 7-to-1 edge in corners in the opening half. In one stretch, Abby Campbell had to use the blocker to deny a shot off a corner and then seconds later Emma Izydorczak needed to clear a shot off the line to keep it scoreless.

The Warriors did have a couple of chances in the closing 11 minutes of the half when Katie Lindmark’s pass was tipped just wide by Furfari and then Hunter made a close range stop on Lawler. Danehy had a long-range effort turned aside by Campbell.

Hunter was called upon numerous times in the second half as the league champions pressed for the go-ahead goal. Christina Hathaway saw her blast kicked aside and then moments later Furfari had a shot that was cleared off the line by a defender.

The Mansfield defense was put under pressure but the combination of Julia Burnham, Brittany Larm, and Nicole Berluti kept the Warriors at bay with help from Danehy and Ann Maher in the midfield.

“When our goalie made the first save and then followed it up with a second one then I thought we’re in it,” said Nyhan. “We’ve played so many games where we applied pressure and the other team goes down and scores one and we get deflated but this was just…was the best game we’ve played.”

In the 48th minute, Danehy nabbed the opening goal as she raced the length of the field to get the slightest of touches to a long distance rip by Danny Radev. The ball eluded the leg of Campbell and just beat the stretch of Izydorczak to cross the line.

“She never gives up on the ball,” said Nyhan of Danehy, who seemingly covered every inch of the field. “She is relentless. She is without a doubt our most tenacious player.”

KP coach Liz Hathaway admitted that her team was trying to play away from Danehy, who was breaking up a number of attacks. Hathaway said, “She was outstanding, so we were trying to get the ball out to the right side and send in crosses from there and get players in front.”

The strategy was working for the Warriors with Furfari setting up Simeone only to have the tip go just wide and then having her own shot kicked away by Hunter. The Mansfield goalie was also forced into a solid save by Caroline Klim, teed up by Hathaway off a corner.

Nyhan said, “Huge saves. I’m so happy for her. She worked super hard in practice yesterday. We made some defensive adjustments to help her see the ball and it’s just a confidence builder for her.”

“I thought we played well,” said Liz Hathaway. “I thought we had more shots and more corners and had a lot of pressure at the end. Their goalie played great.”

As the clock wound down to zero, the Hornets all stormed the field and surrounded Hunter in goal, a clear sign of how important this game was to Mansfield.

“Not qualifying was becoming a real pressure,” Nyhan explained. “Kids were playing with their shoulders up around their ears, super tight and I think playing KP where you’re the underdog anyway, they were just like, whatever let’s go for it. Hopefully we can maintain this intensity and this level of play.”

It was only the second loss of the season for the Warriors and Hathaway said, “I guess they have our number this year.” When asked if this might be a reminder to the players of the type of intensity that is coming when the playoffs start next week, she replied, “I think it can be. We’ll have a tough practice tomorrow to get ready for Franklin.”

Hathway added, “When I have 80-90 minutes of intense practice, the girls really enjoy that and it gets them going. We’ll work to be ready for Franklin on Wednesday and try to get a win to build confidence heading into the tournament.”

Mansfield (7-5-4, 7-4-4) will travel to Oliver Ames on Wednesday before hosting Foxboro in a non-league game on Friday to close out the regular season. King Philip (14-2-1, 13-2-0) will travel to Franklin on Wednesday to close out its regular season.

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