Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton picked up a key two points and gained some ground in the division title race with a win over Stoughton. Jake McCabe continued his current hot streak with two more goals to pace the offense. Erik Valdovinos and Jacob Crugnale each added one goal in the win while Dylan Baird played well in the midfield. The Bulldogs pushed their unbeaten streak to six games and sit just two points out of the lead in the Davenport.
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – North Attleboro grabbed its third straight win and third straight shutout with a win over visiting Foxboro, leapfrogging the Warriors in the standings. Junior Givany Carney headed in a cross from classmate Griffin Rodden in the 55th minute for the lone goal of the game. David Floyd came up with a handful of big stops to preserve the shutout while Brody Rosenberg and Jaad Ismail had solid showings defensively.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Franklin scored the lone goal of the game just under 15 minutes into the contest to earn a season split with Taunton. Tim O’Keefe served a free kick from the right wing into the area that was redirected before falling to the feet of senior Terry O’Neill, who buried his chance from in close. The Panthers had a handful of good looks in the second half but couldn’t tack on a second goal; Taunton keeper Javonte Fernandes had a pair of terrific stops to help keep the deficit at one.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – King Philip sophomore Tommy Lomuscio scored the equalizer with just under 10 minutes to go to help the Warriors grab a point on the road against Mansfield. The Hornets had an ideal start when senior Matt Hyland scored just five minutes into the game to give the hosts the lead, finishing off a pass from classmate James Li. Both Connor O’Reilly (King Philip) and Jack Lasbury-Casey (Mansfield) played well in net.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sharon recorded the upset of the season, snapping OA’s 10-game unbeaten streak and avenging a 6-1 loss from earlier this year. Adam Landstein scored the lone goal of the game, finishing off a pass from James Zhang. Brady Daylor recorded the shutout in net for the Eagles.
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro broke open a scoreless game with three goals in the second half and moved back to .500 on the season. Seven minutes into the second half Jamie Davies was able to break the deadlock, assisted by Bethany Alves. Kacey Parker teed up Kahlan Gray for a 30-yard strike that double the lead. Emily Dunlea sealed the win with Attleboro’s third goal. Emily Khang picked up the assist.
Canton, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Canton scored six unanswered goals to pick up a big road win and move a win away from .500 on the season. Emily McCabe had four goals and an assist to power the Bulldogs offensively. Stoughton got off to a good start in the match and grabbed the lead after 12 minutes when Makenzie O’Connor coolly finished from the penalty spot. Canton equalized in the 28th minute when Ava Gilmore found the back of the net from long distance. McCabe broke the deadlock with the last kick of the half, taking a pass from Lauren Shatkin, cutting in on her left foot, and finding the back of the net. McCabe would add three goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half, twice running onto balls in behind the Stoughton back line and tapping in after a cross from the left by Devan Spinale. Fay Gallery wrapped up the scoring in the last minute when she met a McCabe corner at the back post.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Neve Taylor had a goal and an assist, as Foxboro held off a challenge from North to remain in a first-place tie. Taylor opened the scoring, finishing off a feed from Jordan Carman. Erin Foley made it 2-0 off another Carman assist. Kailee McCabe added a third with a solo run and finish. Lauren Miley wrapped up the scoring with a nice touch on a cross by Taylor.
Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Stella Regan’s brace powered Franklin to a road win that keeps the Panthers in first place in the Kelley-Rex, two points ahead of Mansfield and KP. Kelly O’Connor and Selene Hammad each scored as well for the Panthers, while Anya Zub had a pair of assists. Jackie O’Neill and Emma Reilly also had helpers in the win, while Rachel Welch and Haylie Aniki split the clean sheet in goal. Franklin coach Jodi Klein praised her team’s composure and ball movement.
Mansfield, 5 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – The Hornets moved into a tie with KP for second place in the Kelley-Rex with a big win on the road. Mansfield had five different goal scorers. Olivia Homsi got the first on an assist from Tarynn Smith, but KP answered back on a penalty from Ella Pisani. Gabby Smith had the second, scoring direct from a corner, but again the Warriors responded as Mikayla Thompson scored unassisted. Alexis O’Keefe put the visitors back in front, assisted by Bridget Hanley and Tarynn Smith scored off a pass from Anna Darlington for her second point of the night to make it 4-2 at the break. Kara Santos closed out the scoring for the Hornets with a second half free kick. Olivia Salisbury made seven saves, including three diving stops, to pick up the win in goal.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – OA pulled away to earn another win and remain tied with Foxboro atop the Davenport, scoring four goals in the second half. Katie Gibson, Lauren Sellmayer, Carly Gibson, Camryn O’Connor and Allison Evin were the goal scorers for OA while Emily Meyers and Kathrine Farley combined for the shutout in goal. Sharon had strong performances in the midfield from Sofia Goclowski and Amber Marcus-Blank. Jordanna Morris played well for the Eagles in defense and Autumn Simon had a good first half in goal and created several scoring opportunities playing up top after the break.
Canton, 2 @ Braintree, 0 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Algonquin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored three goals in the final quarter to break a tie game and pull away from Algonquin for its 13th win of the season. Algonquin twice took the lead, the first coming in the opening quarter but a goal from Shaw Downing (from Kaitlyn Carney) four minutes later leveled the match, which stayed 1-1 into halftime. Algonquin regained the lead less than a minute into the third but Kendall Jones finished a pass from Carney four minutes later to make it 2-2 heading into the fourth. Haley Wernig put the visitors ahead less than five minutes into the fourth off of Carney’s third assist of the game and then Carney scored herself with just under five minutes to go to make it 4-2.Jones tacked on her second goal of the game two minutes later on a pass from Kaeley Dubriske. Jones also made a pair of huge defensive saves while goalie Megan Sullivan had seven stops.
Taunton, 0 @ New Bedford, 3 – Final – Ashley Amaro and Thalia Nogeira played well in the loss for the Tigers.
Foxboro @ Walpole, 6:00
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames rallied from a two-set deficit to stun Bridgewater-Raynham, earning a season sweep of the Trojans with a 3-2 win (23-25, 21-25, 25-12, 25-12, 15-9). Sophomore Claire O’Rourke helped rally the Tigers with 24 kills and five aces while classmate Sarah Hilliard added 24 kills and four aces. Junior Maddie Homer recorded 42 digs and Hadley Rhodes dished out 39 assists.
CANTON, Mass. – Inside the opening 10 minutes of Wednesday night’s game at WWII Veterans Memorial Field, Foxboro saw itself go behind. A bad bounce (or fortuitous if you were on the Canton side) left the Warriors down, but far from out. The league’s second-highest scorer, Foxboro was confident that it could find one goal in the next 70 minutes.
As it turned out, the Warriors got five. Behind a Kailee McCabe hat trick, Foxboro turned around the early deficit to run out 5-2 winners at Canton, once again moving into a first-place tie with Oliver Ames atop the Davenport division.
“After we got down by that one goal, I could just see that they knew they were going to come back and win this game,” said Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup. “I have that confidence in them and I think we’ve just come together so strongly as a team that they just have that faith in each other that they’re going to make it work.”
Foxboro nearly opened the scoring after seven minutes. Jordan Carman’s pass from the left wing picked out McCabe on the edge of the box. Elyse Broderick was able to get two hands to the shot and tip it over the bar. Just two minutes later, Canton found the opener. Sarah Dempster’s free kick from midfield took a huge bounce in the box, stranding Foxboro keeper Alexis Sougaris and ending up in the back of the net.
The Bulldogs were absorbing pressure but seemed buoyed by the early goal and were getting some success attacking down the wings. Fay Gallery won the ball in midfield and fed it to Emily McCabe, who in turn found Emma Cahill streaking down the right wing. The freshman’s cross just eluded Gallery at the back post. A few minutes later, it was McCabe on the right wing crossing but again Gallery couldn’t make contact on the far side.
Two goals in two minutes turned the game on its head and sophomore Erin Foley was the impetus behind both. First, she made a smart run in the box and was brought down by Broderick to earn a penalty that McCabe coolly put away. Just two minutes later, Foley pressured Dempster, forcing a turnover, and hit a curling, first-time shot over Broderick and under the bar from a tight angle.
“She’s just a grinder,” Stalcup said of Foley. “She just has so much competitive energy. I told her the other day that’s something I can’t coach. She just has so much emotion and passion and competitiveness that it fuels so much of her game.”
Canton continued to hold its own. Injuries have taken their toll for the Bulldogs, forcing Ava Gilmore to move out of defense into the midfield, but Allie McCabe was handling the Foxboro attacks and it remained a one-goal game for another 10 minutes.
Then Kailee McCabe made a goal out of nothing. The league’s leading scorer and reigning MVP, fired a shot from 35 yards out on the right side of the box and placed it into the far bottom corner to make it 3-1.
“Where we’re getting hurt most in the midfield,” said Senyonjo, who was missing two starters to injuries and had several other players banged up. “If we can put on this same performance with a few more healthy bodies then we might be able to get something out of the next few games and hopefully we can squeeze into the playoffs.”
With two minutes to go until halftime, Canton had a chance to get back within one. Gabriella Herivaux played a pass into Cahill charging down the right. The freshman cut back onto her left foot, but her shot from the edge of the box was parried at full stretch by Sougaris.
Momentum remained with the visitors coming out of the break. A cross from Brooke Barreira nearly found Foley for her second but the redirected shot went wide. Canton came close after a cross from deep by Kristina Keefe found Anne Hoban on the far side of the box. The senior’s glancing header went narrowly wide, possibly clipping the post on its way past the corner.
McCabe continued to be a thorn in the side of the Canton defense, finding little pockets of space on the edge of the area. Twice she forced great diving saves out of Broderick before finally completing her hat trick in the 63rd minute with a perfectly-placed shot from the edge of the box into the corner.
“She’s just this gift that was given to Foxboro and we’re just so thankful and grateful to have her,” Stalcup said. The pairing of McCabe with Carman up top has proved very fruitful for the Warriors. Stalcup explained, “That goal when Jordan passed it back to her and Kailee finished it, they just read each other so well and they’re just so quick on the ball. It’s just beautiful soccer.”
Like in the first half, Foxboro wasted no time adding another. A long ball from sweeper Lindsey Resnick found Carman behind the defense and she rounded Broderick before firing home from an acute angle.
Carman nearly added a second on a similar play a few minutes later, but this time her shot flashed through the box and out the other side. Just a minute before that shot, Cahill had gotten free on a rare foray into the attacking third and clipped the bar with a cross from the right.
McCabe forced another save out of Broderick in the 74th minute and the Canton keeper reacted quickly to clean up the rebound in front of Neve Taylor.
Canton would get a second goal in the closing minutes. Emily McCabe’s corner to the back post was met by Gallery, whose firm header from close range gave the keeper no chance.
“When you have a player that can make goals out of nothing, it’s just a killer,” said Senyonjo. “We had a game plan coming in, we stuck to it for the most part, and it worked. I still think the 5-2 scoreline doesn’t reflect how well we played but that’s the nature of the business we’re in. A couple mistakes here or there we could’ve avoided, we started well, but that’s a tough team.”
With the win, Foxboro (9-1-1) extended its unbeaten run to 10 games heading into Friday’s visit of state power Bishop Feehan. Canton (3-5-3) will get a few days off to heal before a visit from Attleboro on Tuesday.
2020 Record: 5-5-5 Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro has been on the brink of tournament qualification for the past several seasons, but narrowly missed out. Last fall’s team had the potential to end head coach Steve Santos’ wait to get back into the playoffs only for the pandemic to force an abbreviated season. After graduating the team’s leading scorers and playmakers (Bella Salviati, Jessica Gates, and Briley Harnois), the Bombardiers will count on new faces stepping in and giving them a chance to taste the postseason.
The Bombardiers will be hoping to build on a strong defense. Senior Olivia Calderone and junior Ella Stromfors will be the anchors in the heart of the back line and their leadership will be critical. Attleboro will miss senior Olivia Cook, who had a strong preseason at outside back but suffered an injury that will keep her out for the season. Junior goalie Alexis Campbell also has an injury at the start of the season but will hopefully be back soon to take over in net.
In midfield, Attleboro has several returning players who will be looking at slightly different roles this year. Junior Emily Dunlea is a dynamic and versatile midfielder and could be the team’s playmaker this season. She will get help from senior Emily Khang, who missed the 2020 season. Another skillful midfielder, Khang will give Attleboro an attacking boost. Sophomore Bethany Alves can play as a holding or attacking midfielder, depending on the situation. Up top, junior Kacey Parker and sophomore Jamie Davies will be counted on to make up some of the goals that were lost to graduations.
“We graduated a solid core of players who brought a lot to the team, so we’re trying to figure out who’s going to embrace those roles,” said Santos. “We have some good talented players who can keep the ball on the ground and play some solid soccer. We have some more to grow on and learning how to play aggressive, Hockomock soccer.”
2020 Record: 8-3-1 Coach: Idris Senyonjo
Last season, Canton edged Foxboro by a single point to win its first league title since 2012. The Bulldogs graduated a strong class of seniors, particularly in the midfield and the attack, but there is plenty of returning talent on both ends of the pitch and second-year coach Idris Seyonjo to feel confident of another title challenge this fall.
The attack will look very different this season after graduating prolific forward Olivia Rodman and Elisa Diletizia (17 goals combined in 2020), but senior Gabriella Herivaux returns after scoring five times last year and could be poised for a breakout season as the primary target up top. Seniors Fay Gallery and Anne Hoban (who played at outside back last season) will also join in the attack and freshman Emma Cahill is a newcomer that could provide creativity in the final third. Sophomore Emily McCabe will step into the attacking midfield role and try to provide the killer pass from the center of the pitch.
Defense should be a strength for the Bulldogs this season with a mix of veterans and several incoming freshmen who could step in right away and contribute. Senior Allie McCabe continues to be the lynchpin of the Canton defense, commanding the heart of the back line with her strong play and leadership. There is plenty of experience in goal as well with senior Elyse Broderick back and healthy and junior Marissa Staffiere ready to step in, after being the starter all of 2020.
Seyonjo said, “Most important thing about this season is that I believe all teams are looking forward to what will hopefully be a normal season. I am excited. I look forward to my first full season as head coach. Every game will be different and we hope to be able to match or even better our performances from last season.”
2020 Record: 7-2-2 Coach: Katie Stalcup
Foxboro was just a single point short of a three-peat last season, dropping to second in the Davenport behind Canton, and the Warriors will have a lot of new faces this fall as they try to get back on top in the division. The Warriors graduated 10 seniors, but still have a lot of varsity experience, especially in the midfield, that will make them a tough challenge for their title rivals.
Senior Kailee McCabe, the reigning league MVP, is back in the middle for the Warriors this season. The four-year starter tied for the team (and league) lead with 11 goals in 2020 but she may have to take on a bigger scoring role this fall with Jordyn Collins now at Bryant. She should have a lot of help in the middle of the pitch. Senior Brooke Barreira, junior Lauren Milley, and sophomore Erin Foley all played significant minutes last year and capable of the quick combination passing that has been a hallmark of Foxboro’s play. Senior Jordan Carman will bring her versatility to the forward line this season, after playing pretty much every position (including goalie) last year.
Defensively, senior Meghan Burke will be the leader in the back line. An aggressive, solid defender, Burke has regularly been tasked with marking the opponent’s best attacker. Sophomore Lindsey Resnick had a strong rookie season and will add some game experience to the defense. Senior Maddie Maher and sophomore Alexis Sougaris will be the goalies tasked with replacing Morgan Sylvestre between the posts.
Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup said, “We had some major losses with our 10 graduating seniors last year, but I am very excited about this team and what I have seen from them so far and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do against the tough competition in this league.”
2020 Record: 6-4-2 Interim Coach: Jodi Klein
Long-time head coach Tom Geysen is dealing with a medical issue, so former JV coach Jodi Klein will take over this season and is emphasizing pressure high up the pitch and keeping possession in attack. Franklin returned to the top of the Kelley-Rex last season and Klein has an experienced squad to work with this fall, as they look to go back-to-back in what should be a wide-open title race.
The Panthers have built a lot of their recent success on a strong defense. This season should be no different. Junior Norah Anderson has been a mainstay in the heart of the back line for the past two seasons and she’ll be joined by junior Reilly Lorenzo and sophomore Maddie Horton. Senior Izzy Arnold and junior Katie Ewald give the Panthers speedy outside backs to provide width in attack and cover in the defensive third. Sophomore Rachel Welch will get the nod in goal after splitting time as a freshman and her reading of the game will help direct the defensive unit.
Franklin’s midfield has the potential to control games. Seniors Stella Regan and Chloe Barca and junior Bridget Leo bring plenty of experience to the middle of the pitch. Each are quick and solid in possession. Juniors Avery Greco and Chloe Stavely and sophomore Selene Hammad will step into the midfield to add depth. The Panthers will be looking to use the speed of the forward line to create chances. Senior Riley Fitzpatrick is the most experienced player up top and sophomore Anya Zub had three goals and four assists as a freshman. Freshman Kelly O’Connor is a new player to watch out for in the forward line.
“This is an exciting season for all of us,” said Klein. “I am a new coach to all of our returning varsity players and any of these girls who have played for me in the past have never played at the varsity level before. We are working through a brand-new system and style of play and we’re all very eager to see what we can accomplish together this season.”
2020 Record: 7-5-2 Coach: Gary Pichel
After graduating a large, talented group of seniors, including the top two scorers in program history, last year was bound to be transitional for King Philip, but it was also an opportunity for several players to step up into bigger roles. As it turned out, the Warriors had plenty of talent still on the squad and stayed in the hunt for a league title right to the final week.
The Warriors will be hoping last year’s game experience will pay off with a title challenge this season. The midfield should be a strength for KP. Junior Ella Pisani had a breakout 2020 season, showing off her skills as both a forward and midfielder and leading the team in scoring. She will be at the center of the KP attack again this year. Senior Paulina Baczkowski will give the Warriors width on the outside and delivers accurate crosses. Senior Morgan Norrman is an accurate passer who can push the Warriors into quick counterattacks.
Senior Brooke Mullins has improved every year in the KP defense, and she adds aggression and a willingness to get the ball forward quickly. After an impressive rookie year, junior Grace Lawler missed all of 2020 with an injury, but she is back and gives KP an instant upgrade in the back line with her ability to mark the opposing team’s best attacker. Freshmen Dani Lamuscio (midfield), Mikayla Thompson (defense), and Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn (defense) should make an instant impact and add extra energy for the Warriors this season.
“I see this team keeping up with our KP tradition of good old-fashioned hard work and dedication to the cause,” said KP coach Gary Pichel. “Our team will be competitive in every game as we go through the gauntlet of the Hockomock League.”
2020 Record: 6-4-3 Coach: Kevin Smith
Mansfield entered the abbreviated 2020 season with a relatively inexperienced group, and it showed during the early parts of the fall, but the Hornets put things together quickly and finished only a point back of Franklin for the division title. With nine starters returning, including most of the defensive corps, the Hornets should be in the mix for the title again this year.
Although the Hornets will definitely miss the on-field leadership and versatility of senior Maria Sevastos, who was injured in the spring, Mansfield has plenty of experience in the back line. Senior Anna Darlington will be the leader in the defense alongside sophomore Kara Santos, who is coming off an impressive rookie season at centerback. Junior goalkeeper Olivia Salisbury brings two years of experience in net and classmate Caitlin Zajac is a capable backup.
Senior Katie Miller will control the middle of the field. A four-year starter, Miller provides an extra layer of protection for the back line and can get the Hornets into the attack as well. Up front, senior forward Tarynn Smith is a willing runner, who can give opposing defenses a physical challenge. Sophomore Carly Devine is a creative playmaker that will give the Hornets an offensive spark.
“We are still very young with only four returning seniors,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith explained, “but it’s a good core of players who have multiple years of varsity experience already.”
2020 Record: 3-6-3 Coach: Lou Colabello
Milford closed the 2020 season on a strong run, going 2-1-1 over its final four games that included two hard-fought games with Mansfield. Only three seniors are returning from last year’s roster, so the Hawks will be young this fall, but not necessarily inexperienced since many of the underclassmen stepped into the lineup last year.
The key to the Milford attack is junior Dani Atherton. She was the team’s leading scorer with eight goals last season (more than half of the team’s total) and most of the offense will flow through her feet. The Hawks will hope for more creativity and goals from the rest of the team, including juniors Brooke Ferreira and Amy Oliveira, a pair of players who can start up top or in the midfield. Junior Brianna Guerreiro is also back in the center of the pitch.
At the back, seniors Aubrey Korpi and Aislinn Bennett will provide much-needed leadership for this young crew and senior Jill Araujo can jump into the back line or help supply cover from the midfield. Junior Catarina Mestre is another returning defender from last season’s squad.
2020 Record: 5-5-3 Coach: Bill Wallace
North Attleboro battled to a .500 record in 2020 and did it thanks to a strong defensive foundation. The Rocketeers allowed only 11 goals in 13 games last year and had five clean sheets. After graduating 15 players from that squad, and losing a starter to an injury, North coach Bill Wallace is enthusiastic about the potential for this year’s team to make a playoff push.
The Rocketeers return both of last year’s leading scorers. Senior Steph McKenna and junior Emma Pratt each scored five times last season and they will be counted on to improve those numbers with a full season (and without the restrictions that were in place in 2020). Behind the strikers, North’s midfield got a lot of experience last year. Senior Brayden Rice and junior Caroline Ferrin will be in the middle, while senior Autumn Hewitt and juniors Brooke Sullivan and Lily Adams provide the width.
Defense was a strength last year and it should be again in 2021. Senior Summer Doherty returns after missing a lot of last season with an injury. Her leadership and athleticism will be important in the middle of the back line. Seniors Meaghan Dowd and Charlotte Moynihan and junior Haley Sinacola make up the rest of the starting back four with junior Maddie Ferrin in goal.
“Right now, we are organized and making opponents work hard to develop their offense,” Wallace said. “Our goal is to play faster and with more urgency. The work rate is high, and the girls are looking forward to competing in the always tough Hockomock League!”
2020 Record: 8-1-5 Coach: Britt Sellmayer
Oliver Ames lost only once in 2020 and avenged that defeat by beating Canton in the Hock Cup final. The Tigers did draw five matches last season, but with eight starters returning, and several younger players who got valuable experience, OA will hope to turn those single points into two and bring home its first league title since 2016.
The Tigers pride themselves on being a tough team to break down and the defense should be stout again this fall. Senior Emily Meyers is back in goal and will be a vocal leader at the back. Senior Allison Evin moved from up top to the heart of the defense last season and her speed and understanding of the game made her a tough marker for opposing forwards to get away from, while juniors Mary Cross and Sophia Byron are looking to build off strong sophomore seasons. Senior Kyla Melton has transferred in from Milton Academy and her versatility will be a boost to the back line or in midfield.
Midfield will continue to provide cover for the back line with the likes of seniors Katie Gibson and Lauren Sellmayer not only giving the Tigers a physical, aerial presence, but also consistent delivery on set pieces. Senior Camryn O’Connor, a Boston University-commit, adds creativity to OA’s bite in the center of the pitch and will be a key to turning defense into attack. Junior Jenna Gilman will also provide playmaking and width and speedy sophomore forward Lucinda Cotter has been in good scoring form during the preseason.
“We have eight starters returning from last season, plus some younger players pushing for playing time,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “We are hoping our depth will be an advantage for our team this year.”
2020 Record: 2-8-2 Coach: Catherine Sullivan
Sharon won a pair of games in 2020, but was also competitive in several losses that showed there was potential for improvement heading into the new season. The Eagles will be young this year, particularly after a pair of preseason injuries cost them returning starters, including junior Sally Brouhard, but there is still reason for optimism about the athleticism in the squad.
The Eagles will lean on the midfield, as the most experienced group. Junior Sofia Goclowski stepped in last year and had an all-star-caliber season and will be the primary playmaker in the center of the pitch. Junior Amber Marcus-Blank is moving up from the back line and her aggression will be key to shielding the defense. Junior Olivia Soby combines physical presence with technical skills and will be an important piece to the attack.
Senior forward Wendy Wooden will be the team’s primary threat up top and her speed will stretch opposition defenses to open space for the midfielders. On the other end of the field, the Eagles will be very young. Senior Amanda Hu is the only returning player in the back line and she’ll be counted on to keep everything organized. Sophomore Jordanna Morris will add much needed speed and athleticism to the defense and already looks comfortable at the varsity level.
“We have a very young squad this year, but I am excited about our mix of talent and athleticism,” said Sharon coach Catherine Sullivan. “As always, the league looks to be extremely competitive, but we welcome the challenging matches that help us grow and continue to move our program in the right direction.
2020 Record: 0-11-1 Coach: Hermes Lima
Second-year Stoughton coach Hermes Lima is still looking for his first win, but he is confident that this year’s team has the right combination of skill and speed to give teams problems. The Black Knights are counting on increased depth and the pairing of experienced players and talented newcomers to get back in the win column.
One of the key players for Stoughton this season is junior Shayla Ford. Blessed with great speed, Ford can either stretch the opposition and attack the space behind the defense or drop into the Stoughton back line and give cover for her teammates. Freshman Makenzie O’Connor is going to step in up top and will add another dynamic element to the attack, while classmate Morgan Cook can slot in as a forward or in the back line to add aggression and a physical element. Junior Isabella Rodrigues gives the Black Knights speed on the wings and gives more speed for the forwards to run into.
The Black Knights will have experience in defense. Senior Abigail Durand is back in goal and provides vocal leadership for the back line. Senior Samantha Tran can play anywhere across the back line and her versatility is important. Junior Emma Tremblay and freshman Lauren Mitchell will both play in the center of midfield and can protect the back line or facilitate the Stoughton counter attack. Both can also slot in at central defense when needed. Junior Sabrina Rodrigues is another versatile player, jumping in at wingback or in the heart of the midfield.
“Every player bought into the culture last year and the new/returning players have bought in to every word/thing said and given to them this year!” said Lima. “The players are ready to fight for one another, represent their school and make this program proud of every achievement in their path. As a coach, I cannot ask anything else of them! This will be an intriguing but yet good step in the right direction for this program.”
2020 Record: 0-3-7 Coach: Mike Couture
Taunton coach Mike Couture only got four games to assess his team in 2020 before the season came to an abrupt end. Now in his second year, Couture is building around a young roster, composed mostly of sophomores, and is excited about the talent and the potential. The Tigers will be hoping to get off to a good start and end their wait for a nearly two-year wait for a league win.
Senior Isabella Anslow will be the leader of the defensive unit. She has been a busy goalkeeper in the past but has come up with several big games against big opponents. An example of that was being able to hold Mansfield to a scoreless draw in the first meeting between the teams last year. Junior Emily Calderon will lead the Tigers on the other end of the field. The forward is quick and experienced and she’ll be counted on to give Taunton a cutting edge in attack.
“This is a strong group and how quickly this good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start,” said Couture.
A program that is still developing, Attleboro will be looking for its first league win since 2018 when things get started this spring and the Bombardiers are looking to combine returning players with exciting newcomers to compete with the teams in the Kelley-Rex.
2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
Senior Hannah Webster and Isabella Salviati are the most experienced attackers on the roster and the Bombardiers will hope that the addition of sophomore Jordan Mooney and freshman Molly Moore will add a different dimension to the offense. Mooney and Moore have already scored half the team’s goals this season. Defensively, senior Carlie Jamieson and juniors Avery Vieira and Ally Haigh are the returning players who give Attleboro a good foundation. Sophomore Ella Stromfors is a newcomer that will give Attleboro depth in defense. Senior Maggie Porecca is back between the pipes this spring and has been busy in the early going with 35 saves in the opening three games.
“We have a lot of potential that we need to work hard to build on this season,” said Attleboro coach Chrissy Quinn. “It is very important that we set our own goals as a team, rather than worry so much about the score at the end of the game. The most important thing is that we continue to stay healthy, remain positive, and celebrate small victories!”
Canton struggled in 2019, missing out on the postseason, but it was a season of transition with a lot of young players getting their first taste of varsity action. Although they’ve had to wait two years to use that experience, those players are now the core of a Bulldogs team that is looking to make a push up the standings under first-year head coach Dani Aquino.
2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
Junior midfielder Allie McCabe is a leader on both ends of the field and will be a key part of Canton’s transition game. Junior Tess Khoury will step into a bigger role in the defensive unit with sophomore Erin Beatty making her debut as the starting goalie. Juniors Fay (attack) and Sydney Gallery (defense) will also play more prominent roles this spring with sophomore Emily McCabe stepping in to add energy in the midfield. Senior Kayla Albert is a versatile attacker, who can take advantage of her size to give defenders issues near the cage, and junior Carly Fitzgerald can create scoring chances with her athleticism and tenacity. Sophomore Ella Yeaton and freshman Devan Spinale are exciting additions to the midfield, adding extra speed and creativity in the attack.
“Our outlook this season is to be competitive,” said Aquino. “I want to put up a fight for those crossover Kelly-Rex teams that we play, while taking away necessary lessons and walk off the field better than we walked on. My focus as a coach with this program to conquer the basics and ‘Master the things we can control.’”
The defending Div. 2 East champions have a lot of new faces, including on the bench where former Medfield coach Kathleen McCullough has taken over from (new Mansfield coach) Brittany Sherry, but the expectations don’t change for a program that has dominated the Davenport division, winning the league title in each of the past eight seasons. While the Warriors get to know each other and their new coach, they will still be looking to keep the run of title going this season.
2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
Foxboro is going to lean on several returning players who had key roles in winning the program’s first sectional title two years ago. Senior midfielder Ella Waryas can control things on both ends of the field and senior attacker Lilly Vey had a breakout sophomore season and is the team’s top returning scorer. Junior Kate Collins joins Vey and Waryas as captains this season and can play as either a midfielder or defender. The Warriors are reloading with a strong sophomore class as well. There are seven sophomores on the roster this season (and also four freshmen), including Paige Curran, Mia Dinunzio, Jenny Gallagher, Maddie Maher, Dylan Rappoli, Grace Riley, and Mya Waryas.
“We are going in with a clean slate and looking at each team as a new team and opportunity to grow and learn,” said McCullough. “We will focus on our game and daily improvement. I look forward to working with this group and having a great season.”
It may have been two years since Franklin last took the field, but the Panthers will have a lot of familiar names on the roster this season and the same set of expectations. Franklin has not lost a league game since 2012 and won the last eight Kelley-Rex division titles (sharing the title with King Philip in 2012). Heading into this spring, even with only three seniors on the roster, the Panthers will be favorites to bring home the league crown yet again.
After missing a lot of 2019 with an injury, senior Katie Jones is ready to lead the attack, while classmate Sydney Hawkins will be the leader in the defensive zone. Junior midfielders Kenzie Baker, Kate O’Rourke, Jackie O’Neil, and Stella Regan were all part of an impressive freshman group that stepped right into the lineup two years ago and are part of a dynamic group that could score a lot of goals this season. Newcomers include sophomores Kaitlyn Carney, Katie Peterson, Lindsay Atkinson, and Jamie Tanner, who just add to the abundance of attacking and midfield options that Franklin boasts. Junior Brigid Earley has taken over in goal and impressed with her athleticism.
“Once we start meshing, I think we will be a very strong team,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igo Guarino. “Offensively, any group of seven players who is in has the potential to be a threat, either as a dodger, feeder or cutter. This group is very dynamic in their stick skill and game sense. Defensively, we are athletic and have some solid leadership.”
King Philip is the last team other than Franklin to win a Kelley-Rex division title and the Warriors enter this spring hoping to end the seven-year reign for the Panthers. After two years off, KP returns an experienced group, especially on the defensive side, as it gets ready to challenge for a league championship.
Seniors Peyton Mellman and Caroline Pasquantonio will provide leadership for the Warriors this season and will be counting on a strong junior class to live up to the potential it showed in 2019. Julia Marsden, Lily Brown, Haley Izydorczak, and Colleen Crowther all saw ample playing time as freshmen and will now be expected to take the step up to be regular contributors. Head coach Kourtnie Wilder is hoping that the experience in the defensive end will make the Warriors tough to score against and has three goalies vying for the starting role. On offense, Wilder thinks the Warriors will be “crafty and aggressive.”
Wilder said, “We are excited to be back out on the field and finally playing together again. We have a great group of hard-working student-athletes that are dedicated and eager to get the season started.”
2019 Record: 11-8 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round Coach: Brittany Sherry
Former Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry will finally get her first season on the sideline at Mansfield and will be getting her first chance to work with a Hornets roster that saw a lot of turnover from two years ago. A couple of exciting newcomers and experience along the back line have Sherry confident that the Hornets can get back to the level that saw them win 11 games in 2019.
2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
The defensive side will be bolstered by senior Melissa Shanteler, who adds aggression to the back line. Juniors Gabriella Geminiani, Grace Bertolino, and Kayla Doherty will provide depth in defense, while sophomore Caitlin Zajac will get the start in goal in her first varsity season. Seniors Grace Danehy and AnnMarie McCoy provide size on the draws and versatility in the attack. A couple of newcomers will give Mansfield an added boost of playmaking, as sophomore attacker Ava Adam and freshman midfielder Lola Varrichione have the potential to create a lot of goals this spring.
“We’re definitely rusty but the girls are putting in the work to get back to where they were two years ago,” said Sherry.
Milford is making the move to the Kelley-Rex division this spring and the Hawks will be hoping that its returning players will be up to the challenge of a new season. There were positive signs in the opening game of the spring, as the Hawks were right in the game with Sharon.
Defense has the potential to be a strength for the Hawks this year with an experienced and athletic group coming back from the 2019 season. Seniors Jillian Michelson, Eva Parsons, and Katie Maietta will lead the team from the back and push the team into the transition as well. Junior midfielder Aislinn Bennett got playing time as a freshman two years ago and now she is looking to step into a bigger role on both ends of the field. Sophomore midfielders Emily Croteau and Carly Haley are newcomers to the varsity roster and will give an added boost of energy and creativity in the attack.
“Our team is growing stronger and stronger every day and it is a truly wonderful thing to witness as their coach,” said Milford coach Nicole Culhane. “I have so much faith in them and I know they are capable of surprising themselves with how much they can accomplish.”
2019 Record: 5-13 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Gen Rogan
Oliver Ames is making the move to the Davenport division this season and will be looking to jump right into the mix and be competitive with the top teams. The Tigers will hope to make a leap under first-year head coach Gen Rogan, who is very familiar with the league and the competition having been an all-star at Foxboro.
2021 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
The Tigers enter the season with nine seniors and six juniors on the roster, so experience shouldn’t be an issue. Seniors Emilee Nuss and Liliana Lozano will be the leaders on the defensive end, locking the opposition down in front of senior Emma O’Donnell or junior Jess Widdop, two vocal and quick goalies that OA can count on. Senior Emma Pereira will patrol the midfield, helping out on the defensive side and then pushing the Tigers forward into the attack. Freshman Taylor McAndrew is a newcomer who could make an instant impact this spring and provide a scoring boost. Versatility and balance will be important as Rogan is hoping that a lot of players will be able to chip in and add to the OA attack.
“I think this season will be a good test to our ability to stay tough and fight through some hard battles,” Rogan said. “We play in a very competitive league, but I have no doubt that this team is up to the challenge and will be exciting to watch this season.”
2019 Record: 12-9 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round Coach: Shara Ginthwain
Sharon has developed into a program that consistently gets into playoff contention, battling for the second spot in the Davenport division and looking to take the next step to put pressure on perennial league power Foxboro. The Eagles will a few seasoned veterans coming back this spring, but also a lot of newcomers and building that connection on the field will be a key early in this shortened season.
Senior Jenna Goldstein has been a standout in each of her first two seasons on varsity and will have a much bigger role this year, as the team’s primary playmaker. Senior Cass Barbera will lead the attacking unit and her combination with Goldstein will be a key to Sharon’s offensive output. Junior Athena Merck and freshman Anna Hertzel are newcomers that will add a different dimension to the attack. Senior Molly McAlevey is moving into the midfield this season to provide extra speed and athleticism. At the back, seniors Abby Hoffman, Amelia Scappaticci, and Carly Romanow give Sharon an experienced defensive unit in front of new goalie sophomore Tess Letendre.
“We are so excited to have the opportunity to play together this season,” said Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain. “We really look forward to developing team chemistry as the season progresses, as this is the first time many of these girls have played together at this level.”
Taunton was on the brink of a playoff spot in 2019, coming up just one win shy of qualifying for the postseason and have several players returning, especially in the midfield, to compete with the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division.
Senior Alana Tavares is the centerpiece of the Taunton midfield. The reigning league MVP and HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year has put up big numbers in her first three seasons and the Marist-commit will be counted on to produce a lot of offense again this spring. Senior Anastasia Lajoie joins Tavares in the midfield. Committed to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Lajoie is another dynamic attacker who gives the Tigers a lot of energy at both ends of the field. Other seniors returning this season include Madison Vigliotti, Rosemary McGrath, Rebecca Berry, and Tori DaRosa. Junior Emily Gannon is back in goal and will be a vocal presence on the defensive side of the ball.
“We are very excited to be back out on the lacrosse field,” said Taunton coach Kerry Northup. “However successful we are with our record this year, we are just happy to be able to get out there again and play the game we love.”
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Olivia Quinn, Franklin
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Meghan Gordon, Attleboro
Narissa Smith, Attleboro
Olivia Quinn, Franklin
Erin Quaile, Franklin
Caroline Aaron, King Philip
Emma Glaser, King Philip
Kayla Vine, Mansfield
Abby Wager, Mansfield
Emma Lawrence, Milford
Davenport Division MVP
Katelyn Mollica, Foxboro
Davenport Division All Stars
Kiara Cerruti, Canton
Fay Gallery, Canton
Katelyn Mollica, Foxboro
Jordyn Collins, Foxboro
Amanda Kaiser, North Attleboro
Caroline Flynn, Oliver Ames
Caroline Peper, Oliver Ames
Trinity Payne, Sharon
MacKenzie Manning, Stoughton
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
Stoughton, 67 @ Franklin, 77 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Franklin created separation in the opening quarter and that was proved to be the difference in a non-league crossover clash between the Panthers and visiting Stoughton. The hosts used a 15-3 surge in the first quarter, outscoring the Black Knights 22-10 overall in the first eight minutes. The game hovered around the 10-point cushion the rest of the way, with Stoughton winning the second (17-16) and fourth (21-18) quarters while Franklin edged the visitors in the third (21-19). The closest Stoughton got the rest of the way was seven, down 34-27 in the second quarter, and Franklin had the lead up to as much 19 (49-32) in the third. But the Black Knights continued to make a game of it, the game playing out like a one-possession game throughout. Stoughton made it an eight point game, 70-62, in the final minutes but Jake O’Brien delivered a dagger three, one of 13 made triples for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley saved the best for last, dropping a career-high 34 points (on 71% shooting) along with 11 rebounds in the final game of his high school career. Junior Sean Vinson came off the bench and added a career-high 12 points and six rebounds while Alex Newman had nine points and four boards for the hosts. Senior Waseem Sablon hit six threes for a career-high 22 points for Stoughton while junior KC Ugwuakazi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Jake Queeney finished with 10 points and three assists.
Foxboro, 78 @ King Philip, 68 – Final – Foxboro led by 20 points at halftime and then had to hold off a furious KP comeback to close out the season with a seventh straight victory. KP got the lead down to as little as four in the second half, but the visitors made the plays down the stretch to secure the win. Katelyn Mollica closed out her stellar career with by scoring a career-high 35 points. The two-time state champion, Stonehill College-commit, and league’s leading scorer finished her career with more than 1,400 points, which puts her fourth all-time in program (and school) history. Caroline Aaron was the spark for KP, as she also put up a career-high, scoring 26 points in the loss. Jordyn Collins added 13 points and Hannah Blake and Erin Foley both had 11 for Foxboro.
Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – Final – Oliver Ames’ offense was firing on all cylinders on Saturday morning, pouring in 42 first half points in a big win over Stoughton, clinching the Davenport division title. Junior Caroline Peper led the way in scoring with 19 points while senior Kelsey Yelle added 17 points and 15 rebounds in the win. OA recorded 28 assists as a team.
Canton, 59 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Canton held off a late Attleboro comeback to close out the season with four straight wins. Kiara Cerruti paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 17. Sydney Gallery added 15 and Fay Gallery chipped in with 11 for Canton. Attleboro cut a 10-point lead in half with a minute remaining, but the Bulldogs had enough on both ends to finish with the victory. Meghan Gordon was Attleboro’s top scorer with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Kayla Goldrick scored 11 points and Narissa Smith and Emma Reilly both finished with eight. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley called it a “great Hock game between two good teams.”
North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final
Stoughton, 30 @ Canton, 68 – Final – The Bulldogs broke the game open in the second quarter and then closed with a strong defensive fourth quarter to earn a second win in as many days against the Black Knights. Eleven Canton players scored in the victory. Kiara Cerruti paced the hosts with 22 points, including 15 in the first half, and Fay Gallery added 16 (12 in the first half on four threes). The game was close after one, with the Bulldogs leading 17-10. Gallery and Cerruti combined for 15 in the quarter, while Mackenzie Manning kept the visitors close with seven of her team-high nine points. The Bulldogs opened their lead to duble digits by outscoring Stoughton 16-6 in the second. Cerruti and Gallery each knocked down a pair from beyond the arc to power the Canton offense. The third quarter was nearly even but in the fourth, Canton pulled away, outscoring the Black Knights 21-3. Vanessa Phelimond chipped in with 12 rebounds for Stoughton.
Milford @ Sharon – Postponed to Wednesday, 2/10 at 7:00.
Mansfield @ Plymouth North – Game canceled.
Canton @ King Philip – Postponed to TBD.
North Attleboro, 49 @ Canton, 51 – Final – North Attleboro nearly erased a 21-point deficit but saw it’s comeback attempt come up just short at the buzzer when it’s attempt at the game-winning three went in-and-out. Canton got off to a great start, staking a 17-5 lead through eight minutes and pushing it to 31-16 at halftime. The Bulldogs looked to be in full control when they carried a 49-28 edge into the fourth but the game completely changed in the final frame. The Rocketeers limited Canton to just two points and its offense came to life. Tommy Onorato hit a pair of threes and scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth and Brody Rosenberg scored six of his team-high 16 points to help North Attleboro rally to get back within two. North got one final stop and launched a deep three at the buzzer but the ball went in-and-out and Canton held on for the win. Steven Burbank scored all 11 of his points in the first half while Ryan Connerney (14 points), Will Keefe (nine points), and Eric Mischler (13 points) all connected from downtown in the third to help Canton build its big lead.
Stoughton, 72 @ Sharon, 53 – Final – Stoughton had its best offensive outing of the season with nine players finding the scoring column, including four players in double figures. The Black Knights jumped out to a 19-10 lead after a quarter, adding 15 points in each the second and third quarters, and pulled away for good with a 23-point fourth quarter. Brett Pendenza and Waseem Sablon each hit four three-pointers and finished tied for the team-high in points with 14 each. Connor Andrews added two threes of his own and finished with 12 points while Jake Queeney added a pair of threes and a total of 10 points for the Black Knights, who led 34-22 at halftime. Sharon’s Matt Baskin had a game-high 19 points along with nine rebounds while sophomore Matt Baur added 15 points and five boards.
Mansfield, 58 vs. Plymouth North, 38 – Final – Mansfield established a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back in win over non-league foe Plymouth North. The Hornets jumped out to a 20-9 lead and then limited the visitors to just two points in the second as the advantage ballooned to 30-11 by halftime. Mansfield kept its large lead going into (47-27) and throughout the final quarter. Senior Matt Boen scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the opening quarter and added two more threes in the second. Jack Colby added nine points for the Hornets, who had nine players score.
Canton, 51 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – In a game that both offenses took a while to get going, a strong defensive first half proved to be decisive for the Bulldogs. Canton held Stoughton scoreless in the opening quarter and to just eight points in the first half. The Bulldogs scored 20 to take a double-digit lead at the break, led by Fay Gallery, who scored 10 of her game-high 19 in the first half. Things remained tight in the third quarter as the teams combined for 16 points and Canton went into the fourth leading 29-15. After a struggle to score for 24 minutes, the teams exploded in the fourth, combining for 42 points in the final eight minutes. Gallery scored nine in the quarter and Kiara Cerruti added seven of her 13 points. Samya DaSilva added seven, including four points in the fourth. Makaiyah Singleton Rivera paced the Black Knights with a team-high 13 points, including seven in the final quarter. Kate Bulger scored eight points and knocked down a pair of threes in the fourth.
Oliver Ames, 62 @ North Attleboro, 33 – Final – Oliver Ames built a double-digit lead by halftime and then pulled away by holding the Rocketeers to just 13 points in the second half. Caroline Peper led a balanced scoring attack for the visitors while Hailey Bourne chipped in with 10 points and Caroline Flynn finished with eight points. Amanda Kaiser scored 12 points in the loss and was helped by Cailyn Maxcy’s seven points and six from Ava McKeon.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Liam Anastasia had a goal and assist and Chris Hormann made 14 saves in the shutout, as the Hornets earned their first division win of the season. Brayden Purtell opened the scoring with 6:29 left in the first, when he tapped in a loose puck at the far post. It stayed a one-goal game until 10:50 left in the second when Mark DeGirolamo added an unassisted goal. Late in the third period, Anastasia stole the puck in the corner and played a pass across the crease to Kyle Oakley at the far post to make it 3-0. He added an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the win. Aidan Diggin nearly got Attleboro back into the game in the second period but had a breakaway effort come back off the post and and then struck the crossbar with a shot early in the third. Nick Piazza made 35 saves in the loss.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames, 4:00
Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Junior Shaun Fitzpatrick scored a hat trick and freshman Brad Guden added two goals a the Warriors skated to a win over visiting Taunton. Junior Sean Crowther registered four assists in the win while senior Shea Cunningham picked up three helpers.
Boston Latin @ Stoughton/Sharon, 6:30
CANTON, Mass. – Leading by six in the closing minutes, the Foxboro offense suddenly went cold. The Warriors slowed the game down to run the clock and things stalled on that end of the court, allowing Canton to rally and send Thursday night’s game into overtime.
For the first two minutes of OT, it remained a struggle to score and a Fay Gallery free throw put the Bulldogs in front 54-53. When the Warriors needed it most, the offense clicked back into gear, closing the game on an 11-0 run, including a clutch three by freshman Camryn Collins with Foxboro leading by just a point, to finish league play with a 64-54 road win.
“We did what we needed to do against a great team,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “To end against a team like that and to know that we got progressively better over the course of the season is really rewarding.”
Foxboro entered the fourth quarter leading by two and threatened to pull away after Jordyn Collins (10 points and seven rebounds) got an easy bucket off an assist by Andrea Slattery and then her sister Camryn turned a steal into a layup and a 47-41 advantage.
Canton hit a couple of free throws to try and chip away, before Katelyn Mollica (game-high 22 points) hit a deep three to extend the lead to seven, which was the largest lead for either team to that point in the game. Two more at the line for KKiara Cerruti (nine points and 10 rebounds) was matched by another Jordyn Collins jumper.
It looked like Foxboro was going to put the game to rest, but Canton continued to claw back into it with a solid defensive effort. Fay Gallery (12 points) faked out her defender and laid the ball in to make it 52-47. After a Foxboro free throw, Cerruti was able to bully her way into the lane and finish with a scoop. Sydney Gallery (team-high 13 points and eight rebounds) got into the lane and knocked down a short jumper to tie the game at 53 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Warriors worked the ball around, but with just two seconds on the shot clock an inadvertent whistle forced them inbound on the side. Foxboro didn’t get a shot off on time, giving Canton the chance to win it with 20 seconds left. The Bulldogs also failed to get up a shot in time, as the clock ran out on regulation.
“In the timeout, I said, we’re going to need to come up with a rebound and we have a chance to win it and if we don’t come up with the rebound then they have the chance to win it,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “We tried to get the ball to the right people and without a doubt Foxboro’s defense is one of the best in the league. If we can give ourselves a chance, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Both teams stayed tight at the start of OT. After Fay Gallery put Canton in front, the Warriors finally got something to fall. Hannah Blake (11 points and seven rebounds) knocked down a jumper in the paint to make it 55-54. Next time down, freshman Erin Foley (eight points) swung the ball around to her classmate and Collins, who had struggled from the field to that point, drilled the biggest shot of her rookie season, putting the Warriors up four.
“She’s getting more consistent with taking that shot,” Downs explained. “I tell her, I have confidence in you take that shot because she’s got a great first step to the basket but if we have her just do that then they’re going to keep giving her that outside shot. She’s got to show that she’s got that range.”
Mollica went 4-for-4 from the line and Blake added a late jumper to push the final lead to double digits.
Choquette said, “When you play Foxboro, there’s a lot of focus on what Katelyn Mollica is doing but give credit they had some other players right behind her who stepped up.”
The game was close throughout. An end-to-end first quarter saw the teams evenly split 30 points. Mollica got off to a good start with seven in the first and Slattery knocked down a three off the bench. The Gallerys paced the Bulldogs with Sydney scoring six and Fay adding five.
In the second, Canton grabbed a slim lead. Samya DaSilva (12 points and six rebounds) was a force in the paint, Cerruti got her first basket to make it 26-20, and Kayla Albert (six points and eight rebounds) closed out the half with a tough finish to make it 28-24. Foley kept Foxboro close with five of her eight points in the second.
Downs said, “The freshmen are getting better with every game. If this was a regular season, who knows where they’d be at come this time. That’s a great team and it’s so good to play against them because it makes us better.”
The Warriors rallied in the third to jump in front. Mollica again was the key. She buried a three after Blake’s offensive rebound and kick-out and then added another to make it 41-36. Fay Gallery answered back with a three of her own, assisted by Marissa Staffiere, but Mollica followed with another jumper. DaSilva cut the deficit to two (43-41) with a good post move right before the end of the quarter.
“It wasn’t a loss because of lack of effort,” said Choquette. “Everyone who walked into that game did everything they could. They just hit a couple of really good shots and ultimately that was it.”
Foxboro (8-2) has closed out league play for the season, but will take on King Philip next weekend. Canton (3-5) has three more league games to play, starting with a home-and-home against Stoughton on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Two days after putting up 79 points in a win against Davenport division rival Canton, Oliver Ames looked up at the clock nearly six minutes into Thursday night’s rematch at the Nixon Gym and saw a zero under its name. It was a sign that things weren’t going to be nearly as comfortable the second time around.
“Consider it ugly but effective,” joked OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook after her team rallied, and then held off a late charge by the Bulldogs, to secure a 53-43 victory that puts the Tigers in pole position for a league title in their first season back in the Davenport in four years.
“We really wanted it to be a fast-paced game but it wasn’t pretty, at all,” Clement-Holbrook continued. “We know who their three-point shooters are, a couple of times we just didn’t get a hand up, we were too far off. I thought we were scrappy. Once we switched our defense, we got a lot of turnovers. I think that got us going and got us back into it.”
Canton showed fight from the opening tip, determined not to allow the game to get away like it did in the first meeting. Kiara Cerruti opened with a quick three and Sydney Gallery added two from beyond the arc, including one off glass, to open a 9-0 lead.
OA looked completely out of sorts on the offensive end, taking quick long-range shots, and struggling to find the mark against an aggressive Bulldogs defense. Caroline Peper knocked down a free throw with 2:10 left in the first to get the Tigers on the board. She followed that with a three, Caroline Flynn knocked down four at the line and suddenly it was a one-point game (11-10) after one.
“They’re physical, they’re probably the biggest team in the league or close to it,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “Their size is a totally different challenge than many of the games we face. They put so much pressure on you whenever you touch the ball that it’s not an easy task just to whip it inside.”
Kelsey Yelle (eight points and six rebounds) gave the Tigers a spark off the bench. She knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers, both assisted by Hailey Bourne (seven points and four assists) to put OA ahead.
Cerruti had a steal and layup and Gallery a score off an offensive rebound to go back into the lead, but freshman Jasmyn Cooper (five points and seven rebounds) buried a three and grabbed an offensive board that led to a Peper jumper. OA closed the half on a 9-4 run that put them in front for good.
The Tigers stretched the lead into double digits in the third quarter and threatened at several points in the second half to break the game wide open and run away, as they did on Tuesday, but Canton kept finding ways to hang around.
Peper kicked things off in the third with a three off a Flynn assist, had a nifty scoop on the baseline after Bourne swung it around the perimeter, and turned a steal into an easy transition basket. She scored seven of her team-high 15 points in the third. Bourne (seven points and four assists) added a couple of buckets in the quarter, including one off a Flynn (eight points, seven rebounds, and four assists) rebound and dish.
“Caroline Flynn has the heart of a lion,” Clement-Holbrook said. “She really does. She just makes things happen and I hardly got her a rest. She played almost every minute.”
Gallery tried to keep the Bulldogs close with four of her 14 points in the quarter and Cerruti nailed another three, but OA’s defense and rebounding was proving to be a problem. Kayla Albert (14 rebounds) was one of the few players finding any success crashing the glass for the visitors, who went into the fourth trailing 38-28.
“Kayla played amazing underneath,” said Choquette. “She kept a lot of extra balls alive for us and that gives our guards more chances to hit some shots.”
Twice in the fourth quarter, OA led by as may as 13 points. After Cerruti drilled a deep three, Flynn turned a steal into a short pull-up jumper and then Maddie Homer had a quick release jumper on the baseline to make it 44-31. Samya DaSilva answered with her second three of the game, but Homer hit another short jumper and Bourne knocked down a shot from the corner for a 49-36 advantage.
“Maddie Homer coming off the bench did a good job,” said Clement-Holbrook. “We started moving people around and that to me is the beauty of this group because of the depth. If somebody’s not having a good night, we’re going to move them out and move somebody else in.”
It felt like the game was lost, but Canton kept fighting back. Fay Gallery set up Cerruti for her fourth three of the night and then Sydney Gallery got a rare look in the paint to get the lead back down to eight. Cerruti fought off the attentions of a couple Tigers to spin into the lane and then spin the ball off the glass for a tough finish to make it 49-43 with 51.5 to play.
Homer made a clutch bucket for the Tigers to stem the Canton momentum and Jess Erlich hit two shots at the line (her only points of the night) to seal the win.
Choquette said, “The other night wasn’t a really good representation of our team. We had a really good practice yesterday and talked about that and how we can help each other. Every girl decided lets go out there and play the way we’re capable of playing. I was really really proud of the way the girls responded.”
Oliver Ames (6-0) will put its perfect record on the line at Stoughton on Tuesday, while Canton (3-3) will try to end its three-game skid when it travels to Foxboro.