North Attleboro, 41 @ Bishop Feehan, 58 – Final – North Attleboro had a strong start to the fourth quarter to tie the game at 36-36 before Bishop Feehan rattled off three straight three-pointers and pulled away with the win at home. Junior George Ladd scored half of his 20 points in the third quarter to help get the Rocketeers back in the game, down 35-32 heading into the fourth.
Oliver Ames, 76 @ Southeastern, 40 – Final – Oliver Ames scored 20 or more points in each of the first three quarters, running away with a win over Southeastern. Senior Jay Spillane set the tone early with nine of his team-high 14 points coming in the opening quarter as OA built a 20-8 lead. Owen Friel scored all eight of his points in the second quarter for the Tigers, who led 42-20 at the halftime break. Ryan Burkett added seven of his 13 points in the third quarter. Amari Brown and Evan Craig each finished with 10 points for the Tigers.
Canton, 58 vs. New Bedford, 53 – Final – The Bulldogs had 15 assists as a team and had their best offensive game of the season to hold off New Bedford and end a four-game losing streak. Canton scored 17 in the first quarter to jump into a three-point lead and scored 35 in the first half, which was as many points as they scored in their entire last game. New Bedford closed to within one at the end of the third, but the Bulldogs clamped down defensively and held the Whalers to just seven points in the fourth to pull out the win. Kiara Cerruti scored 17 points to lead the Canton offense. Fay Gallery had nine points and seven assists and Sydney Gallery had nine points and 10 boards. Freshman Samya DaSilva set a new career-high with eight points in the win.
North Attleboro, 39 vs. Bishop Feehan, 50 – Final – North gave Feehan a scare on Sunday night. The Rocketeers led 13-5 after one quarter and held a 25-24 lead at halftime. The Shamrocks were able to grab the lead in the third quarter, but it remained a seven-point game heading into the final eight minutes. “The girls played so hard and under control entire first half,” North coach Nikki Correia said. “Our girls played great hard D right out of the jump and I don’t think they were expecting that. So proud of my girls, they continue to improve each game.” Amanda Kaiser scored 18 points for North, including 14 in the first half, and Eliza Dion added six.
Sharon, 45 @ Milford, 32 – Final – Ally Brown scored in double digits for the second straight game, finishing with a game-high 14 points to lead the Eagles to their first win of the season. Leah Fandel scored 12 points, Trinity Payne had eight, and Nicole Teven added seven for Sharon. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence’s 13 points. Carly Ferreira added seven and Jillian Michelson had six for the Hawks.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Dedham, 7 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 6 – Final – Mansfield/Oliver Ames scored three goals in each of the first two periods to skate away with a league win over Stoughton/Sharon. Megan O’Hara, Emma Pereira, and Sam Ledin scored in a four-minute span at the end of the first period to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead. Zofia Bangs got the Black Knights on the board early in the second but MOA responded with three straight goals. Kylie O’Keefe, Liz Healy, and Reese Pereira scored to push the lead to 6-1.
WALPOLE, Mass. – Goals are at a premium in league games this season and that remained the case when Mansfield/Oliver Ames hosted defending Hockomock champion Franklin at Rodman Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Amanda Lewandowski scored against the run of play in the second period and Gabby Colace made 25 stops to preserve a 1-0 victory for the Panthers in a game in which they were kept on the back foot for the first 30 minutes.
“Definitely a slow start, but we know that every Hockomock League game is going to be like this,” said Frankin coach Margie Burke. “We’re not going to put a lot of pucks on the net this year. We’re going to have to count on good defense and a few lucky breaks.”
The Warriors came flying out of the gates, taking advantage of their team speed to put Franklin on its heels and force the Panthers to defend for long stretches. After Maggie McCaffrey got an early chance on goal for Franklin, MOA started to step on the gas. Tess Luciano started it with a shot from the right circle and Alex Ledin let fly with a slap shot from the high slot that Colace stopped.
With four minutes remaining in the first Reese Pereira managed to get to the front of the net and get a tip from close range. The puck came back around to Ledin and she sent her shot from the slot just wide of the post.
Franklin had been forced back into a shell for much of the period, but did manage a late flurry of chances on the other end. Lewandowski was the catalyst as he forced Jessica Widdop (17 saves) into a stick save from a tight angle and after Gina Vignone threw one at net she forced a blocker stop while falling down.
“They really played well, they blocked shots, they kept their heads up, they didn’t panic against the boards when they were pressured by two players,” MOA coach Roy Bain said about his blue line corps. “I can’t be upset with the way that anyone in that locker room played.”
MOA held an 11-6 edge in shots after the first and the momentum continued following the short breather between periods. Ledin again got a good look at net that went off Colace’s blocker and straight into the air. Cameron cleared before Reese Pereira could get a stick on the loose puck.
“We had a lot of the zone time, we were breaking out as we want to, and their game plan became obvious early, which was to crash the ‘D’ and pinch on the wings,” said Bain. “The goaltender gave up a lot of rebounds but their defense is very responsible in front of their net and stopped us from getting a lot of follow-up chances.”
Libby Carter sent a warning to the Warriors when she got free on a defensive zone turnover only to have Widdop make a big pad save. The breakthrough came three minutes into the second. Vignone flipped a high pass towards goal. Lewandowski managed to bring it down right on the edge of the crease, kicking it to her stick and sliding it past Widdop’s pad for a 1-0 lead.
“That goal tonight, it was a kick, a drop, and a reach,” said Burke. “It was like a soccer or field hockey goal but not an ice hockey goal. I tell them all the time that ugly goals count the same as pretty goals and ugly wins count the same as pretty wins.”
There were more chances for the Warriors to try and even things up in the second, as MOA outshot the Panthers 10-4 in the period and had a four-minute power play, but Lily O’Brien’s shot from the right circle was an example of how Franklin kept the middle of the ice clear.
It was clear that Burke spent the second intermission emphasizing the need to get on the attack, as the third period was by far the best that Franklin played in the offensive zone.
Burke said, “Absolutely, we talked about how everything in the first two periods was a reach and a poke but no body. You have to reach in with your stick and then with your body. They got more physical for sure.”
Lewandowski continued to be a thorn in MOA’s side. She skated behind the net and fired a pass all the way out to Vignone at the point for a shot through traffic that Widdop saved, and then stopped the rebound effort as well. Freshman Shaw Downing had an effort from the blue line that Lewandowski managed to tip in front but Widdop again stayed tall to stop.
The Warriors kept pushing for an equalizing goal, but Franklin continued to hold them at bay. Colace came up with a huge glove save on a blast by Emma Pereira from the edge of the left circle. It was the last good look for the home team.
“It’s tough when you lose by a goal but you can’t be upset that you lost by a goal because every single person played their heart out,” Bain said. “We played great, they were just one goal better.”
Franklin (2-2-1) will face a battle against the first league champion, Canton, on Wednesday. Mansfield/Oliver Ames (3-4-1) will have a short turnaround to try and end its three-game losing streak when it hosts Stoughton on Sunday.
Foxboro, 47 vs. Needham, 44 – Final – Foxboro outscored Needham 16-5 in the second quarter to build a double digit lead, kept that advantage heading into the fourth but had to hold on for the win after being limited to just seven points in the fourth quarter. Six Warriors contributed the the 16-point second quarter with Kevin Gallagher (nine points) hitting a pair of threes and Brandon Borde (12 points), Donald Rogers (13 points), Dylan Barreira (seven points), Ryan Hughes, and Liam Devlin each scoring a bucket. Rogers scored the rest of his points all in the second half, including five of Foxboro’s seven in the fourth. The Warriors will take on host Westwood in the championship game of the Westwood Holiday Tournament on Monday at 7:00.
Franklin, 76 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 51 – Final – A close game through three quarters, Franklin dominated the fourth quarter to earn a convincing win in the Larry Fisher Championship game at Bridgewater-Raynham. Franklin led by two after one quarter, just one point at 29-28 at halftime, and took a 51-47 lead into the final frame but the Panthers’ defense limited the Trojans to just two field goals, four points total in the fourth to pull away for the win. Steven Karayan hit half of his six triples in the final quarter on his way to a career-high 20 points to earn tournament MVP honors while senior Brayden Sullivan added 14 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Jack Rudolph scored seven of his 13 points in the open quarter while Chris Edgehill scored all nine of his points in the second half. Franklin connected on 12 three-pointers in the game.
Oliver Ames, 69 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 77 – Final – Oliver Ames took a three-point into the fourth quarter but couldn’t overcome a spectacular performance from Cardinal Spellman senior Craig Faria. Faria scored 16 of his 40 points in the final quarter to carry the Cardinals to a win in the Muscato Holiday Tournament final. OA senior Ryan Burkett scored a career-high 23 points and was named to the all-tournament team while Amari Brown added 18 points and Owen Friel chipped in with 13 points for the Tigers.
Milford, 38 @ Dracut, 56 – Final – Milford led 25-23 at halftime of the Edmund Murphy Winter Classic final, but the hosts turned the tables with a strong second half. The Middies outscored Milford 33-13 after the break to win the tourney title. Emma Lawrence had a strong game for the Hawks, scoring 20 points in the loss.
Sharon, 30 vs. Holliston, 31 – Final – The Eagles came up just short in a non-league game against Holliston. Sharon trailed by five heading into the fourth quarter of a defensive battle. The Eagles scored the first five points of the fourth to tie the game at 28-28 with under three minutes remaining, but the Panthers were able to do enough to grab the win. Nicole Teven and Leah Fandel each scored eight points and Trinity Payne scored seven for the Eagles.
Franklin, 6 vs. Fairfield Prep, 4 – Final – After falling behind 2-0 in the opening period, Franklin found the net five times in the second period to skate to a win over Fairfield Prep. “Fairfield was very talented team, I’m proud of my boys for working the system and working hard,” said Franklin head coach Anthony Sarno. Conor O’Neil (from Sean Connelly and Tom Tasker) and Kyle Hedvig (from Will Sheehan and Declan Lovett) scored to knot the score at 2-2. CJ Jette (from Colin Hedvig and Joe LeBlanc) put the Panthers ahead and Tasker (from Lovett and Colin Hedvig) and Kyle Hedvig (from Lovett, his third assist) scored back-to-back goals to put the Panthers up 5-2. Dylan Marchand (from LeBlanc) tacked on an important third period goal.
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Burrillville (R.I.), 1 – Final (OT)
Canton, 3 vs. Westwood, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Lizzie Tassinari scored a power play goal with eight minutes left to play, lifting the Bulldogs to a win in a back-and-forth title game of the Pat Walsh Tournament. Olivia Maffeo scored twice for Canton, as the teams twice traded goals only seconds apart in the second period. After Westwood scored first, Maffeo blasted a shot under the bar to tie it and then she gave Canton the lead with a wrister from just inside the blue line only to have the Wolverines answer right back. Tassinari scored the winner with a shot from the right face-off circle that went through a screen and inside the far post.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 vs. Medway/Ashland, 3 – Final (SO) – Mansfield/Oliver Ames twice took a one-goal lead but settled for a tie against Medway. For holiday tournament purposes, the game went into a shootout where Medway earned the win but it registers as a tie for MIAA purposes. Alex Ledin (from Reese Pereira and Ella Waryas) put the Warriors up 1-0 in the first while Emma Pereira (from Emma Garland) gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage in the second.
Franklin, 133.40 @ Medway, 117.60 – Final
King Philip, 4 vs. Milton, 2 – Final – King Philip built a 3-0 lead in the second period and added an important fourth goal in the third period to skate past Milton and into the championship game of the Quincy Youth Arena Holiday Tournament. The Warriors scored first as Jack Coulter lit the lamp with assists from Conor Cooke and Rocco Bianculli for a 1-0 lead through 15 minutes. KP tacked on two more in the second with Joe Boselli scoring unassisted and Coulter netting his second, from Cooke. Milton got on the board to make it 3-1 heading to the third. Aidan Boulger scored on a feed from Noah Ray to give the Warriors a 4-1 lead. The Wildcats scored on a power play with the goalie pulled in the final minute. KP will play North Quincy in the final on Saturday.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Winthrop, 3 – Final – The Tigers took a one-goal deficit late into the game but Winthrop scored on a late penalty and added a third in the final minutes to get the win. Senior goalie Owen Connor played well in net for the Tigers while freshmen Sean McCarthy and Jack Perron had strong games.
Stoughton, 6 vs. Tri-County, 3 – Final – Stoughton/Brockton broke into the win column behind a six-goal outburst against Tri-County in the consolation game of the Bellingham Boosters Tournament. Junior Dante Massaro led the charge offensively, scoring a hat trick while junior Kyle Cruickshank scored twice and junior Ryan Flannery found the back of the net once. Junior goalie Ryan Spanno made 26 saves in net for the win.
Taunton, 2 @ Middleboro, 1 – Final – Taunton scored a pair of goals inside the final five minutes of the game to stun Middleboro with a come-from-behind victory. Camden Faria scored both goals for the Tigers, including the game-winner with just 16 seconds left to give Taunton two points. Brady Nichols recorded a pair of assists while Michael Albert and Connor McGrath each had one. Sean Bunker made 19 saves in net to earn the victory.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Walpole, 5 – Final – Mansfield/Oliver Ames needed less than a minute to open the scoring, eventually skating away with a 7-5 win in a high-scoring affair. Emma Pereira and Alex Ledin each scored a pair of goals to lead the way for the Warriors, who led 3-1 after one and 6-4 heading into the third. Ella Waryas, Tess Luciano, and Melissa Shanteler all scored once in the win while Emma Garland, Sam Ledin, and Reese Pereira each recorded a pair of assists.
WALPOLE, Mass. – With just eight games deciding the Hockomock League champion for girls hockey, every point is vital. And even more so when it’s two of the top teams in contention.
Canton girls hockey used a pair of second period goals and its fourth straight shutout of the season to earn an important 2-0 win over Mansfield/Oliver Ames in a good battle between two talented teams.
“That’s a great team, Roy [Bain] always does a fantastic job with them,” said Canton head coach Dennis Aldrich. “To mold three schools together, they always play us tough. I just can’t give him enough credit and his girls battled every single shift. It was a great win for us.”
After a scoreless back-and-forth first period that saw each team have extended spans of offense, the second period became the defining frame of the game.
It started with defense for the Dogs, who have yet to surrender through 12 periods of play this season. The Warriors killed the final six seconds of a penalty to start the period and junior Alex Ledin came out of the box at the perfect time as MOA broke up ice. Ledin took a feed into the offensive zone and unleashed a wicked slap shot that was turned away from Canton freshman goalie Carolyn Durand (15 saves).
The Warriors had another chance four minutes into the second when junior defenseman Emma Pereira pinched in to win a battle in the corner. After emerging with the puck, Pereira used a nice fake to find her way between two Bulldogs before firing a wrist shot from the right circle, but her hard shot whistled just wide.
The Bulldogs’ defense was under even more pressure after a hooking call put Mansfield/Oliver Ames on the power play with 10:51 to play in the second period. The Warriors’ best chance came when Pereira played a pass through the Canton defense to Ledin, but her backhanded attempt was knocked away by Durand.
“We have a lot of defensemen on this team right now with a lot of experience and a lot of talent, and I honestly believe that you could borderline say all five are all stars,” Aldrich said. “The composure that they show, that’s what we need to calm our freshman goalie down. They’ve allowed her to see shots, and the very few shots she hasn’t seen, she’s worked hard on her angles. And our forwards know who we are, they know they have to help out.”
After killing the penalty off, and thwarting the Warriors’ earlier chances, the Bulldogs picked up the momentum. A high clearance from freshman Olivia Maffeo deflected off the glass at the blue line, eluding an MOA defenseman. That led to an odd-man rush for Canton with junior Maria Femia carrying the puck into the zone with classmate Tess Khoury skating hard to the net.
With the one defenseman shadowing Khoury, Femia decided to take the shot herself and buried it glove side to give Canton a 1-0 lead with 8:30 left in the second.
“What made that play was Tess [Khoury] going hard to the net because the goalie had to respect that,” Aldrich said. “And then there was some space short side high. She didn’t get a point on it but she helped create it. Maria made the right choice too, she’s a smart enough kid to take that. That goalie [Jess Widdop, 24 saves] has improved a lot, she’s worked very hard and she played really well.”
After the goal, the Warriors came back down with a couple of good chances to try the contest. First, Ella Waryas found space and fired a nice shot that was equaled by a nice save from Durand. Two minutes later, Ledin put a shot through traffic that Durand somehow got an eye on and made a glove stop.
And after that, Waryas dropped a pass off for freshman Reese Pereira, but her bid of the short side was kept out by another stop.
With just under two minutes to play in the period, Maffeo picked up possession behind the net and took off up ice. Using her speed, Maffeo raced her way past a pair of Warriors into the attacking zone, skated out wide to her right and rifled a shot upstairs to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with 1:34 left in the second.
“That second goal was huge for us because, without it, they are just one bounce away,” Aldrich said. “I scouted them before this but they were really quick, they were much quicker on ice level. I was really impressed with their speed. If they get that next one, they have all the momentum so getting that second goal was huge. And Olivia is a special talent, that was big for us.”
Mansfield/Oliver Ames had an early power play chance in the third but couldn’t create a serious scoring chance. Melissa Shanteler connected with Waryas and Pereira for a chance midway through the third but Durand made a pad stop to maintain the lead.
With under two minutes to go, MOA tried to get the puck up ice with the goalie pulled but Maffeo intercepted the pass in the neutral zone and blasted a shot into the empty net to make it 3-0.
“We played very well,” said MOA head coach Roy Bain. “The lesson learned is that when you make mistakes against a good, well-coached team you pay. We paid for it with a couple of goals. We had to dig out a hole which is tough against that team. We had our chances, both goalies made great saves on both ends of the ice. But one or two talents will cost you against an elite team like Canton.
“I thought we had continuous pressure in the first period and they were able to stave off every chance we had, and that kind of staled our momentum a little bit. It’s tough to come out in the third, against a team like that, and try and build momentum when you’re down.”
Canton girls hockey (2-0 Hockomock, 4-0 overall) is back in action on Friday when it hosts Medfield at the Canton Ice House. Mansfield/Oliver Ames (1-1, 2-1) returns to Rodman Arena as the road team on Thursday against Walpole.
After missing time at the beginning of last season, Colace returned to solidify the goaltending position for the Panthers (after an admirable job filling in by Gianna Cornetta), helping to bring home the program’s first Hockomock League title. Colace finished the year with a 1.77 goals against average, which was second in the Hock, and stopped 91 percent of the shots that she faced. She made 242 saves and recorded a pair of shutouts for the Panthers, who went unbeaten (7-0-1) in the Hock and won 17 games overall. Athletic and quick, Colace covers a lot of ground in net and is capable of making highlight-reel stops, while rarely giving up soft goals. Her communication with the experienced defensive corps in front of her will also be crucial to Franklin’s attempt to repeat as Hock champs and make another run in the state tournament.
King Philip senior captain Cristina Coleman could be poised to have a breakout year between the pipes after a strong showing over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, Coleman made 96 saves with a 2.84 goals against average. In the time she played in net for KP last year, she made 77 saves while posting a 0.94 goals against average and an impressive 0.939 save percentage. After showing improvement over each of the past two seasons, look for Coleman to take the next step during her senior campaign. The Warriors are a relatively young group with just three seniors so they will lean on Coleman heavily to provide leadership both on and off the ice. She is able to cover a lot of ground with her quickness. She is also an aggressive goalie, challenging shooters, and athletic enough to pull off the tough saves. As the Warriors make a push to get back to the tournament, Coleman will be a key piece of the 2019-2020 Warriors.
As a freshman, Femia played a role in getting the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the state title game, but her expected breakout season as a sophomore didn’t really happen. She finished last year with two goals and nine assists, but Canton relied mostly on its top line for goal scoring and was unable to defend its league title. With 41 combined goals and 62 combined points gone with the graduation of Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick, Femia will be expected to take on a much bigger load of the scoring for Canton this season and her combination of speed and tenacity should make her tough for opposing defenses to contain. Whether on the forecheck or in the transition game, Femia can find ways to get behind defenders and has the vision to make the right pass. If Femia can make the jump this season and become a more consistent scorer, then the Bulldogs could be looking at a quick return to the top of the league standings.
Stoughton scored 26 goals last season and Lessa played a role in nearly half of those. The forward scored nine goals and assisted on three others, becoming the top attacking threat for a Black Knights program that is still in the developing stages. After an all-star season, Lessa is back to lead the way for Stoughton with the hopes of getting the team back on track after a winless 2018-19 and keep things moving in the right direction. Speedy with a decent shot on the move, she is able to create goals for herself but also gets her teammates headed to the right spots to create scoring chances. Without the numbers of some of the teams that it will be facing, Stoughton relies on hard work to compete for three periods and Lessa is one of the players that leads the way to keep the Black Knights in games.
Lewandowski was part of a dynamic first line for the Panthers last season, but she will be counted on even more this winter after the graduation of top scorers Regan Paterson and Cassie Ronan. She scored eight goals and added 10 assists from the wing, but those numbers could take a jump this year as she will be one of the team’s primary puck handlers and will be expected to play a role in power play and penalty kill situations as well. A strong player with the puck on her stick, Lewandowski won’t shy away from contact in the corners to keep the puck moving and has the extra burst of speed to find space in the transition game. While Franklin has an experienced defensive group coming back, Lewandowski will also be expected to start defending from the front and provide cover through the center of the ice. It is always difficult to repeat as league champion and Franklin will be hoping that Lewandowski can provide the scoring punch to get the Panthers back on top this winter.
It is not often that a player makes one of these lists without having played a minute of varsity action, but there has been a lot of talk this fall about Maffeo’s arrival on the team and her potential impact on an experienced Canton defensive unit. The Boston Jr. Eagles player has certainly impressed with her club team and she certainly has the family pedigree (sister Alexa is a senior defenseman on the team and brother Jackson was a two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in defense). A strong skater with a powerful shot, Maffeo could step right into the lineup and be a factor in all three zones, adding depth to the defense but also some more scoring punch from the blue line. Canton is looking to get back to the top of the league and to make a deep run in the postseason and Maffeo’s addition as part of what should be a strong freshman class could be an important catalyst for a big winter.
With just three seniors on the roster, the Warriors will be depending players from each grade to step up. Maxwell is in her third year with the program and is one of the most experienced players on the team. She found the back of the net seven times a year ago and recorded two helpers as well. She will be on King Philip’s top line along with senior newcomer Makenzie Shandley and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Since its the first year that the trio has skated on the same line for King Philip, it will be important to establish chemistry early on to try and lead the way for the Warrior offense. The Warriors ranked fourth in the Hockomock League last season in scoring but with Maxwell back along with two strong forwards on the first line, KP will have a dangerous attack as they make a push for the league title.
Pereira gave the Warriors a strong presence in all three zones last season, not only stepping up defensively to give Mansfield/Oliver Ames a physical force on one end of the ice but also chipping in offensively. Pereira scored five goals and assisted on eight others last year, showing off a powerful shot from the blue line and also the ability to skate through the opposition in the neutral zone. One of the league’s top defenders with the puck on her stick, Pereira will add much-needed experience to a team loaded with younger players. She also stepped up her game when facing some of the top teams in the league, helping Mansfield/Oliver Ames earn a tie against Canton and a one-goal loss against eventual Hock champion Franklin. The Warriors have aspirations of making another tournament appearance this season and Pereira’s ability to control play in all three zones will be a key to that success.
After graduating two of the league’s top scorers, the Bulldogs will need players to step up to take on more responsibility on the offensive end of the ice. One candidate for that is junior Lizzie Tassinari, who is the squad’s returning scorer. She found the back of the net five times last year and recorded 13 assists to finish with 18 points as just a sophomore. With plenty of varsity experience, Tassinari will be a leader among the team’s forwards. She can use her speed to beat opposing defenders but as evident by her 13 assists last year, she has the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. Her energy can be contagious and can give the Bulldogs a boost when needed.
Last winter, the Warriors needed someone to step between the pipes and take over as the new goalie. Widdop, who had only played as a forward and winger during her time on the ice, volunteered. She spent the preseason training and preparing for her new role and it more than paid off, as she put together a solid season in goal and gave Mansfield/Oliver Ames a strong presence to backstop the defense. Widdop had a 2.43 goals against average in her first season and recorded a pair of shutouts. She saved 88 percent of the shots that she faced last winter, making a league-high 407 saves. Her quickness and athleticism made her tough to beat, even as she was still learning the position. She came through with several impressive games against some of the league’s top teams, keeping the Warriors within one goal of league champ Franklin and earning a tie against Canton. If Mansfield/Oliver Ames wants to make a playoff run this season, Widdop’s development into a strong goaltender will be critical to the Warriors’ success.
2018-2019 Record: 12-6-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 First Round Coach: Dennis Aldrich
The Bulldogs will be using a mix of veterans and new faces as they try to get back on top of the Hockomock League. After winning the first league championship in 2018, the Bulldogs finished second last year but will be aiming to take back the title in 2020.
The strength of the team will be along the blue line with senior captains Alexa Maffeo and Meg Aldrich leading the way. Both have a ton of varsity experienced, including playing in a state championship game, and Canton will lean on them heavily for their leadership both on and off the ice. The defense will also feature sophomore Allie McCabe, who picked up valuable experience as a rookie a season ago. The defense will also get a boost from a pair of new faces with freshmen Olivia Maffeo and Maya Battista expected to be big time players for the Bulldogs.
Offensively, head coach Dennis Aldrich said he expects his side to be very quick and opportunistic in the attacking zone. Junior captain Maria Femia (two goals, nine assists), junior Lizzie Tassinari (five goals, 13 assists) and junior Ellie Rae Roberts (four goals, eight assists) are familiar with the system and have high expectations for the season. Sophomore Tess Khoury (six goals, five assists) returns after an impressive freshman senior. Freshman goalie Carolyn Durand has impressed early on with senior Vicky Revanche give the Dogs an experienced option in net.
“The early energy and closeness of this team has been remarkable,” Aldrich said. “I look for us to make some noise both in the Hockomock League and the state tournament this season.”
It’s been back-to-back very successful seasons for the Panthers, and head coach Margie Burke is looking for that success to continue in 2020. Franklin won 14 games two years ago, and then went unbeaten in Hockomock League last year and finished with 17 wins overall.
The defending Hockomock champs have a lot of experience back on the defensive end. Junior goalie Gabby Colace is back between the pipes for Franklin and will be one of the top netminders in the area. She posted a 0.905 save percentage in the regular season a year ago, allowing just 1.77 goals a game while making 242 saves. She will have some familiar faces in front of her with seniors Tina Pisano, Gina Vignone, and Gianna Cameron all back playing defense. Franklin was tough to score against last year and that will likely be the case again this year.
The biggest question mark offensively will be trying to replace the production of Regan Paterson and Cassi Ronan, who were two of the top three point producers in the entire league last year. But Franklin has a good cast of players ready for expanded roles this year. Juniors Libby Carter (five goals, three assists), Amanda Lewandowski (eight goals, 10 assists), Katelyn Brown (five goals, three assists), and Maddy Dolan, give the Panthers plenty of options on the attacking end. The Panthers will be looking to get some production out of the eight underclassmen on the roster as well.
“We are looking forward to building on the successes of last year and to be competitive in a very strong Hockomock League,” Burke said.
2018-2019 Record: 4-13-2 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ken Assad
After helping the Franklin boys team for over a decade, Ken Assad has traded in his Panther blue for the green and gold of King Philip, taking over the helm of the girls’ hockey program. Coming off a four-win season, Assad and his staff are very optimistic about the upcoming season.
The Warriors only have three seniors on the roster, so they will need contributions from every player on the roster to compete for a Hockomock League title and try to get back into the state tournament. Although it’s a small senior class, all three are important pieces to the team and are spread out on the ice. Makenzie Shandley is a newcomer to the program but will be leaned on to guide the offense on the first line. She is joined by returning forwards Avari Maxwell (seven goals, two assists) and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Assad is hoping to have a deep offense with Jennifer Daniels, Olivia Donovan, Sydney O’Shea, Katarina Precobb, and Meg Sherwood all in the mix to get plenty of ice time.
Defensively, the Warriors are going to lean on senior captain Sami Robison. Fresh off a terrific field hockey season, Robison will be the veteran leader of the blue line unit for the Warriors. Junior Gabriela Trujillo should see an expanded role this year and will be an important part of the defensive unit. Junior Libby Curran, sophomore Ally Donovan, and freshman Maggie Griffin and Brielle Hearon are also apart of the KP defense. In goal, senior captain Cristina Coleman and freshman Mallory Johnston will push one another for time in between the pipes.
“Being a young team is great for the future of this program which is exciting,” Assad said. “We are always optimistic for a good start and to compete at a high level and I know the chemistry we have and the great leadership the girls will come out giving their best.”
The Mansfield/Oliver Ames/Foxboro girls hockey team is relying on a mix of youth and veterans to push for a return to the state tournament in 2020. Although there are just two seniors on the squad, there is still a handful of experienced players that have played in plenty of contests at the varsity level.
Senior Liz Healy, junior Emma Pereira, and junior Melissa Shanteler will lead the way for the Warriors this season. Healy will be a leader on the offensive end while both Pereira and Shanteler will provide MOA with talent and leadership on the blue line. Joining that junior duo on the blue line will be classmate Megan O’Hara and sophomore Julia Muttart. The Warriors added some depth to the defensive unit with the addition of freshmen Brooklynn Levins and Maya Manganaro. Behind that talented group of defensemen will be sophomore goalie Jess Widdop, who had a terrific freshman year and earned team MVP honors.
On the offensive end of the ice, the Warriors return the speedy line of junior Alex Ledin (six goals, three assists), sophomore Sam Ledin (three goals, six assists), and sophomore Kylie O’Keefe, all representing Foxboro. Healy will be joined by Tessa Luciano and Emma Garland on another line while OA freshman Reese Pereira will be working with Foxboro’s Ella Waryas and Mansfield’s Lily O’Brien, giving the Warriors a lot of depth offensively. MOA is also looking for contributions from Elle Weinstein, Pam Nelson, Maeve O’Keefe, Erin DiCenzo, Cataline Kipp, Ciera Doherty, Ava Adams, and Mya Waryas.
“With a team comprised of two seniors, ten juniors, nine sophomores, and four freshmen, the program can look forward to continued consistency and success for the next few seasons,” said MOA head coach Roy Bain. “This team should compete against the talent-rich and always tight Hockomock League race.”
After a down year, the Black Knights are looking to getting back on track as they team up with Sharon High for the second straight season.
Stoughton boasts skill at each position with junior Morgan Lessa back for her third year with the program, junior Haley Nelson returns to anchor the defense, and senior Brianna Buckley gives the Black Knights plenty of experience between the pipes. Stoughton will need contributions from everyone on the roster with four seniors, four juniors, six sophomores, and four freshmen.
Lessa is among the league’s top players at forward, scoring nine goals and adding three assists last year. Senior Abbey Kashian is one of the team’s three captains and will provide leadership on the offensive end. Look for Sharon junior Sam Sherman, another captain on the team, to fill in both offensively and defensively depending on the team’s needs. Seniors Carly Lader and Hannah Duff will provide depth on the attack this season.
Nelson, who logs a ton of minutes, will be the leader of the defensive unit. Sophomore Zofia Bangs and Sharon junior Jillian Parker are going to be key pieces on both ends of the ice this season for Stoughton. Freshman Ava Buckley has impressed early on this preseason and could give the blue line a big boost.
Foxboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – After a scoreless first period, Foxboro found the back of the net twice in the second and tacked on a third in the final period to pick up a win over Attleboro in a non-league clash. Junior Kirk Leach opened the scoring on an assist from Jack Watts, and Eoin Reager doubled the lead on an unassisted goal to make it 2-0. Sebastian Ricketts scored in the third period to make it 3-0 before Attleboro’s Ryan Morry got the Bombardiers on the board.
North Attleboro, 5 vs. Smithfield (R.I.), 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Medway, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames went on the power play and pulled its goalie for the final 1:40 of the game but couldn’t find the tying goal, falling to Medway in its season opener. Senior Duncan Pereira and junior Luca DeCillia (first career goal) scored for the Tigers while senior Owen Connor (29 saves) played well in net.
Stoughton, 0 @ Dartmouth, 3 – Final – Stoughton goalie Ryan Spano was outstanding in net for the Black Knights, making 44 saves.
Canton, 5 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 0 – Final – Carolyn Durand made 15 saves to record her second shutout in as many games, as the Bulldogs won for the second time in three days to start the season.
Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin opened the season with a big win at home over visiting Stoughton. Freshman Lyndsey Atkinson had a big debut, scoring her first goal while adding a pair of assists to lead the way. Sophomore Maggie McCaffrey, freshman Shaw Downing, and freshman Molly Hurley also scored their first career goals for the Panthers win the win. Gabby Colace had a 12-save shutout for the win.
King Philip, 0 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – MOA’s Lily O’Brien scored twice, Julia Muttart anchored the defense, and Jess Widdop notched the shutout in goal as the Warriors skated to a league win over King Philip. Melissa Shanteler put the hosts up with a goal with 5:49 left in the opening period while O’Brien scored twice in the first five minutes of the second. Junior Emma Pereira found her younger sister Reese Pereira with a pass, and she connected with O’Brien down low to make it 2-0. Three minutes later, O’Brien had her second after burying a rebound off a shot from Ella Waryas. Alex Ledin added another second period goal to put MOA up 4-0. Widdop finished with 18 saves for the shutout.
Ashland Early Bird (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro earned 106.5 points to take eight place overall at the Ashland Early Bird Tournament to kick off the season. Tanner Ferguson (106) picked up the first tournament win for the Rocketeers, earning two pinfall victories, including one in the final over the top seed. Michael Edmonds (170) and Montrel Jackson (182) each had third place finishes for the Big Red.
Devin Ness Tournament (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames hosted its annual Devin Ness Invitational to kick off the 2019-2020 season, with the Tigers taking fifth overall with 144.5 points. Ness was a captain on the OA wrestling team that died unexpectedly in January 2013, and the Tigers have hosted this memorial tournament since the start of the 2013-2014 season. Senior Max Anderson opened the season in style, winning the 195 bracket. Anderson won his first two matches by fall, the semifinal matchup by major decision, and then pinned his opponent in 1:52 to win the bracket. Stavros Constantinou (120) and Remi Creighton (126), and Gavin Morrison (285) each earned third place finishes for the Tigers.
Burlington Quad (Canton), 10:00
Mount Hope (R.I.) Quad (Franklin, Stoughton), 10:00AM
Sharon Quad (Mansfield, Sharon), 10:00
King Philip Quad, 10:00
Watertown Quad (Taunton) – Taunton’s Luke Fraga and Ethan Harris both went undefeated on the day while the Tigers post a 1-2 record at the quad meet. Taunton knocked off Carver (48-18) but suffered setbacks to Norwood (24-45) and Watertown (27-41). Fraga went 3-0 wrestling at 113 while Harris had three wins at 152. Taunton’s Christian Balmain (160), Nico Sallaway (170), 182 Peter Ye (182), and Sean Guilmette (195) each had two wins.
Attleboro @ Milford, 8:15AM
Canton @ Franklin, 10:30 (@ Milford)
Foxboro, 51 @ King Philip, 59 – Final – Foxboro won a pair of relays and one solo event but came up just short against King Philip. Kris Anderson won the 100 breaststroke in 1:29, and was a member of the winner 200 relay with Anthony Amico, Dimitrios Davis, and Jared Roke (2:11). Foxboro’s 400 relay team of Marek Stone, Amico, Roke, and Joseph St. Pierre won in 5:17.
Attleboro @ Milford, 8:15AM
Canton @ Franklin, 10:30 (@ Milford)
Foxboro, 77 @ King Philip, 97 – Final – Foxboro’s Megan Lanthrop recorded a pair of sectional qualifying times in the meet against King Philip. Lanthrop won the 100 fly with a time of 1:06, and took second overall in the 500 free in 5:51.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – It is never easy to beat a team three times in a single season, but King Philip continues to meet all challenges this year and continues to show that there is a lot more to the team than just its two superstars.
The Warriors dominated the ball, limited Oliver Ames to a handful of half chances until late in the match, and had three different players find the back of the net in a 3-1 victory on Thursday afternoon that completes a sweep of the season series with the Tigers and sends the top seed into the Div. 1 South semifinal.
“You always worry about beating a team a third time, but my worries started to diminish when I saw how hard we came out and we were just taking it to them,” said KP coach Gary Pichel.
He added, “The kids came out with so much more energy at the opening whistle than they did against Hingham, so they learned their lesson. It’s not going to be a cake walk against a 16-seed and then you get OA and of course it’s always a battle against Britt (Sellmayer) and his team. We’re just happy to be moving on.”
OA’s defense was put under pressure from the opening kick. A long ball down the left channel was kept in bounds on the end line by Chloe Layne who created a corner, which Makayla Griffin curled it to the back post where it had to be cleared off the line. A minute later, Ally Stanton took a shot from distance that OA keeper Emily Meyers palmed out for another corner. Avery Snead headed the corner on target but Olivia Carroll was able to block on the line.
In the 12th minute, Layne again showed her ability to hold the ball up under pressure and passed it to Makenzie Shandley, who teed up Stanton for a shot that was saved. Three minutes later, Stanton played provider to set up Snead, who held off her defender but then blazed a shot over the bar.
The chances kept coming in the 23rd minute when Snead showed off her quick feet to dance around a couple of defenders but then dragged her shot wide of the post.
Allison Evin, the hero of OA’s overtime win against Franklin in the first round, nearly stunned the home crowd when she forced an Abigail Hodges free kick over the line, but it was ruled out for offside.
Led by Hodges, Carroll, and Emma Pereira, the OA defense had held the KP attack at bay, until the 36th minute. A bouncing ball landed at the feet of Jenny Montville, who hit a speculative shot on the turn from 25 yards. The half-volley looped towards goal and eluded the leap of Meyers before nestling into the top corner.
OA coach Britt Sellmayer said, “She hit it and it went up and came down in the net, so it was kind of deflating.” He joked, “It’s so hard to keep Chloe off and then Avery, I was thinking if we could stop those two, but we haven’t stopped them in four years, thank god they’re going to college.”
It was almost 2-0 in the closing seconds of the first half. Jenna Hitchen raced down the left side and forced a good diving save out of Meyers and then Montville saw her brace erased by a goal line clearance from Jenna Gilman.
“We’re trying to figure each other out in that first half,” Pichel said. “I was trying to figure out what his plan was, which was obviously to mark up with at least one person on Chloe and Avery, but I thought they were more defensive at the outset. We were just all over them.”
Eight minutes after the break, KP doubled its lead. Griffin set up Hitchen, who cut inside on her right foot and forced a save out of Meyers. The keeper managed to tip the shot onto the bar, but Snead was the quickest to react to the rebound and tapped it home.
In the 60th minute, the Warriors put the game away. A corner was half-cleared out to Stanton, who hit it first time through a crowd and into the bottom corner.
Pichel said, “We’ve worked hard the whole season to get them more involved with the play. Even though Chloe and Avery do the bulk of the scoring, we get big contributions from Jenny Montville and Jenna Hitchen and Ally Stanton. That’s three other players they have to worry about other than Chloe and Avery and that’s been a big plus for us all season long.”
“Sometimes you underrate their defense because of Chloe and Avery,” Sellmayer explained, “but it took us 70 minutes before we started getting some corner kicks and creating some chances on them.”
Leah Johnson had a chance blocked by Berry and Varvarigos was forced to clear a Hodges free kick off the line, while the rebound was sent over the bar. A Hodges corner in the 75th minute was met by a glancing header from Camryn O’Connor, but it went narrowly wide of the far post.
The Tigers avoided the shutout in the final minute. Johnson found herself with room on the left side of the box and picked out O’Connor alone in the middle. The sophomore took a touch and fired a shot into the side netting.
“We had some chances, but we didn’t get the luck that we needed in the first half,” Sellmayer reflected. “To beat a great team like KP, you’ve got to have some luck. We worked hard but it didn’t bounce our way today.”
King Philip (20-0) advances to face No. 12 seed Needham in the semifinal, which will be played on Wednesday at Whitman-Hanson.
That was just one of many positive mantras Scott Dolan was known for, and it was the perfect way to describe Monday evening’s clash between #8 Oliver Ames and #9 Franklin.
Eighty minutes wasn’t enough to decide the physical contest between the two league rivals, with neither team willing to give an inch.
But finally, in the 89th minute, OA sophomore Allison Evin delivered the game-winner with a perfectly struck shot to the far post, just sneaking inside the far post into the side netting to give the Tigers a 1-0 emotional overtime win over the Panthers.
“I felt like we could score one goal we had a chance,” said Oliver Ames head coach Britt Sellmayer. “The last time [Franklin] gave up a goal was forever ago. They had 12 shutouts in the last 13 games and the only team that scored against them was KP and they only got two. They are just so hard to break down because they have such quality players back there.”
Dolan, a longtime OA assistant coach, passed away last week after a courageous battle with cancer at the age of 48. Whether it was at the high school, with Legacy Soccer Club, Easton Youth Soccer, or a local camp or clinic, Dolan had a strong impact on all the members of this year’s Tigers squad. Even when Dolan worked at the college level, he was always on the OA sideline for the playoffs.
“I’m just very happy for the girls, it’s been a very emotional week,” Sellmayer said. “Come tournament time, Scotty would always be here. I could say something that they’ve heard all year long but I could have Scotty tell them and they’d listen. And then he’d be there to help me with my coaching too.
“A kid could make the worst play in the world and Scotty would say ‘Hey darling, don’t worry about it, this is what you have to do.’ And make them feel like a million bucks. Just a big booming voice, just a super guy.”
Evin’s game-winner was the first goal that the Tigers scored against the Panthers this season. The two sides battled to a scoreless tie in Easton in early October while the Panthers earned a 2-0 decision in one of the final games of the season.
“We won one, we tied one, and now they’ve won one so you can’t get much more even than that,” said longtime Franklin coach Tom Geysen. “[Oliver Ames] was the better team tonight. They were able to force us into some things that we haven’t done since the beginning of the year, so kudos to them.”
Chances were few and far between throughout the 80 minutes of regulation. The Tigers had five corners and put four shots on net but all were handled by Franklin keeper Bre Atwood. OA keeper Emily Meyers was equal to the task, handling four corners and three shots on goal by the Panthers.
Sophomore Lauren Sellmayer connected with classmate Camryn O’Connor on a throw, but her cross was partially blocked. That led to a clearance from the defense but it was intercepted by Evin just outside the area. She took a touch around a defender and rifled a shot just out of the reach of Atwood’s diving attempt to give the Tigers a win.
“That was [a big girl soccer goal],” Sellmayer said. “[Evin] cramped up and I was sitting her for a little bit but in overtime, we just went with it. There were moments Allison wasn’t giving us a lot of defense but she couldn’t move. It was a trade-off so we went for it.”
The limited number of chances had a lot to do with strong defense from both sides. Even when it looked like there might be a chance for a shot, a defender would often intervene.
Evin and O’Connor linked up in the 10th minute with the latter giving the hosts their first shot on goal. Atwood tipped away a corner kick from Abby Hodges in the 28th minute and came up big again in the 35th minute when OA’s Emma Pereira lofted a ball over the defense but Franklin’s Sabrina Addi help shield the ball and the keeper was there before Erin Holmberg could pounce.
Franklin’s Riley Fitzpatrick got in behind the defense in the 9th minute but Pereira was quick to get back and win possession back. Sydney St. Marie sent a shot just wide of the net in the 21st minute, and Erin Quaile’s bid from distance was handled easily in the 32nd minute.
Panther freshman Norah Anderson made a terrific recovery in the 58th minute, getting back in time to take away a shot from Holmberg from inside the area. On the other end, Franklin’s Sam Powderly smashed a shot wide of the post after taking down a clearance.
The Tigers were close to a winner in regulation when Katie Gibson linked up with Holmberg at the far post but her point-blank chance was saved by Atwood to keep the game scoreless and force overtime.
“We talked about it halftime but we weren’t able to do it…we needed to play the ball wide over the defender, and the forwards who made the initial pass need to make a run,” Geysen said. “But we never got the ball up in the air and make them change them what they were doing.”
A nice give-and-go between Quaile and Carly Alston resulted in the former putting a shot on target to start the overtime period, but that would be it in the attacking end for Franklin.
Two minutes later, OA almost had a winner when a ball was played into the area that eluded Atwood, causing a little scrum in front of the net but Anna Balkus and Bridgette Ginley helped clear the line and keep it out.
After starting the season with one win in its first four games, Franklin lost just once in its final 13 games. And in the span, the Panthers allowed just three goals.
“We started 1-3 and I wasn’t sure how the rest of the season would go,” Geysen said. “We made the change to put Anna [Balkus] in the back and that changed the whole defensive scheme for us. That’s when we started to play better. If you play well defensively, you’re in every game. We only gave up two goals twice, the first was an early game to Canton and the second one was KP, and they’ll score two on anybody.”
Oliver Ames girls soccer (14-4-1) will look continue to play “big girl soccer” when it hits the road on Thursday to visit top-seeded King Philip. Franklin finishes at 12-5-1.