FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro is a team that prides itself on defense and limiting opposition chances and in Thursday night’s Div. 2 Central/East quarterfinal against Concord-Carlisle at Sam Berns Community Field the Warriors were typically stout for three quarters.
It was the one quarter where things broke down that ended up being the difference.
The visiting Patriots scored five unanswered goals in the second to break open a tie game and take control before halftime. That quarter proved decisive, as Foxboro (15-4) held Concord-Carlisle to only two goals in the second half (and none in the fourth) but could not find a way back into the game and saw the season come to a close with a 9-6 loss.
“I’m just proud of the boys and the way they battled all year,” said Foxboro coach Matt Noone after taking time to speak with each player and give each player a hug following the final huddle.
He added, “There was a time where I thought they (Concord-Carlisle) were going to separate and at the time I said to the guys, ‘we’re fighting for our lives,’ and they did. I couldn’t be prouder of them for that.”
The Warriors got off to a rough start when, three minutes in, senior Patrick Kaveny’s cross-field pass on a clear was intercepted. Foxboro was subbing players at the time and the Patriots were handed a three-on-none break that was eventually finished off for a 1-0 lead.
“We had some poor turnovers, some poor quality shots,” Noone said. “We can’t give teams like that chances. It wasn’t one thing, but we can’t give teams second chances or freebies, especially not in the playoffs.”
That lasted only a minute before sophomore Bobby Yerardi found the back of the net with an overhand shot on the run to tie it. With two minutes left in the first, the Patriots regained the lead but again Yerardi had the answer, turning the corner and ripping a shot under the bar with 42 seconds on the clock.
While the teams combined for four goals in the first 12 minutes, Concord-Carlisle came out strong in the second and scored four times in the first four minutes.
Foxboro did have a few chances offensively in the second, but not many. Louis Piccolo, Foxboro’s top scorer in the regular season, was pretty tightly marked by Henry Nelson all game but he got free with five minutes left to the break only to have his shot ricochet off the helmet of Patriots goalie Ben Kacher. Sophomore Shayne Kerrigan had a good chance four minutes later but that was also saved.
With only 21 seconds left in the half, Foxboro had a rare breakdown defensively. Robert Doherty shook a pair of markers and wound up before unleashing a rocket past Foxboro goalie Jake Addeche.
“They had some great looks,” said Noone of the second quarter struggles. “Our game plan was to force the middies into the middle so Jake could get a better look. We didn’t want to let them down the alley and we were letting them go. We talked about our game plan and started forcing them down the middle and doing a better job.”
The momentum was with the visiting team at the break and it continued in the third quarter when Alexi Hunt fired a shot past Addeche to make it six straight for the Patriots. Foxboro responded right away to stop the bleeding. Kerrigan won the face-off and Mike Collins scored with a running shot to make it 8-3.
Foxboro also went man-up following the goal and the Warriors took advantage. Brendan Tully finally got his hands free and rifled a shot into the corner to get back within four.
Two minutes later, Addeche stopped a bouncing shot and appeared ready to break up the ice but play was halted for a two-minute, locked-in penalty against the Warriors. Matt Moreau found space in the middle and scored with a bouncer to make it 9-4, but Kerrigan won the ensuing face-off and allowed the Warriors to run out the penalty. It was a momentum-builder for Foxboro and the players seemed energized when Ronnie MacLellan put in a good check to force an errant pass, raced up field in transition, drew a penalty, and forced a save out of Kacher.
In the fourth, Piccolo finally got going. He beat his man to the left and scored with an overhand shot for his first of the night to make it 9-5 with 8:31 left. Exactly four minutes later, he twisted and turned his marker before again finding the goal with a close finish.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, it would be as close as they would get as Kacher stopped shots from Kerrigan and Tully and several chances flew past the post.
After a Davenport division title during the regular season, Noone admitted that some of the league games were not enough of a challenge to prepare the Warriors for this level of competition. Of course, Foxboro also had not played in two weeks (Concord-Carlisle won its opening round game on Tuesday) and that lack of game sharpness was a major factor.
“It was awful, just trying to keep the boys focused and here and wanting to come to practice every day,” Noone said of the layoff. “We tried to make it fun and work on things that would make us better at the same time but yeah it was tough. That’s a lot of time.”
Noone continued, “It sucks that our last game had to end in a defeat. I love them and they battled for me and I’m so proud. They showed the Foxboro spirit and the Foxboro fight.”
By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor
FOXBORO, Mass. – The Foxboro Warriors defeated Medfield when the two teams met back in April, but on Thursday in the Division 2 East Quarterfinals, Medfield was ready to flip the script.
“Having played them once before we had a little game change and we started a little more defensively because they’re a huge fast break team,” said Medfield head coach Kathleen McCullough. “I think that helped us kind of defensively and we kept track of their top scorers… the girls’ defense was everything today.”
The defense first strategy worked out as the visitors, the sixth seed in the bracket, held third-seeded Foxboro to one its lowest scoring outputs of the season with an 8-6 result.
Foxboro looked like they were once again ready to easily get past Medfield, as Molly Murphy gave them a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the game. But as Medfield stayed true to their game plan, success followed.
Medfield rattled off three consecutive goals over the next seven minutes to open up a 3-1 lead, and goalkeeper Anna Lyons made several key stops to spark the team and maintain the advantage.
“That first save of the game kind of gave [Lyons] that confidence she needed and she was the spark,” McCullough said. “Once she’s hot it spreads to the defense and she was definitely focused today, it was awesome.”
Trailing by two, Foxboro wasn’t going to go down easy. With under five minutes left in the half, Foxboro struck twice in less than 20 seconds after a save from goalie Sara Addeche. Meg Curran scored off a free position then Sophia DiCenso scored immediately off the next faceoff to knot the game at three.
But Medfield had their own answer, using three straight draw controls to add two more goals before the half, both from Margaret McCarthy off of pretty feeds from Erin Seibel.
To start the second half, DiCenso netted her second goal of the game to draw Foxboro back to within two.
Medfield again had an answer, scoring three straight goals (two from Seibel and one from Brooke Deady) to open an 8-4 lead.
“I actually told the sideline that you guys won the game for us today,” McCullough said. “Just the spirit and the support and those cheers, that was something different today but I think it definitely helped the players who were on the field. It’s a great team win all around.”
With just under five minutes left, Foxboro tried to start a rally as Curran scored twice, but there was not enough time to complete the comeback. Medfield finished the upset with an 8-6 victory.
“[This win] just gives us the confidence that we can continue on and that the team we saw today is the team we should continue to be,” McCullough said. “They played their best game today of the season so they should feel confident moving forward.”
Medfield girls lacrosse will now take on Groton-Dunstable in the Division 2 East Semifinals. Foxboro finishes the season 14-6.
By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor
FOXBORO, Mass. – The Foxboro Warriors had everything going during Wednesday’s 8-2 victory over Coyle Cassidy.
The Warriors were rewarded for following the same approach at the plate they’ve taken all season, scoring eight runs on nine hits. The Warriors also drew two walks and were hit by pitches six times.
“Our approach all seasons been going to the opposite field gap,” said Foxboro head coach Derek Suess. “We’ll react in on pitches, fight off curves or changeups if we have to and our guys kept that approach today and did the job. All of our hits, at least most of them were to the opposite field, nice line drives.”
With the win, Foxboro qualifies for the state tournament via the Sullivan Rule.
Foxboro struck first in the second inning when Chad Bearce drew a leadoff walk. After Devin Hassett reached on a fielder’s choice, a Matt Rongione single scored both runners.
Coyle Cassidy responded in the next inning with an RBI walk by Troy Oliveri, but Foxboro quickly answered when an error allowed for Joe Freitas to score.
Foxboro’s bats then blew the game open, scoring five runs over the fourth and fifth innings to increase their lead to 8-2.
“Joe Freitas, Jack Franceschelli, Matt Rongione all had those opposite-field hits to the gap,” Suess said. “Anthony Mollica as well, just one after another, everyone contributed today.”
Along with the Warriors offense, starting pitcher Steve McLaughlin was able to limit Coyle Cassidy to just two runs over 5.2 innings.
Coyle Cassidy threatened early in the first inning, loading the bases with just one out. McLaughlin was able to retire the next two batters, escaping the jam.
“Steve’s at his best when he gets ahead in counts because he can work his off-speed stuff,” Suess said. “He’s a senior, he’s battle tested, he can get out of them when we need him to. He did that today, did just enough for us on the mound and then we went to our bullpen.”
When Foxboro went to their bullpen, they called on freshman Sean Yoest. Yoest forced the first batter he faced to ground out, leaving two runners on base. Suess then turned to junior Anthony Mollica for the final two innings, who struck out four out of the eight batters he faced.
“Yoest did his job and Mollica came in and finished the job for us,” Suess said. “I’m proud of all three pitchers today.”
Behind all three pitchers was a fantastic defensive performance by Foxboro. Mollica at shortstop and Bearce at third made several key plays to which helped prevent scoring opportunities and Coyle Cassidy rallies.
“Great defensive effort today,” Suess said. “We preach that a lot, especially with guys on base and two outs, we got to keep the ball in the infield. They did that in a few spots, where that kid might score from second base if it squeaks through. We’re a bunch of dirt dogs out there [and] did what they needed to do to help us out and I’m just very proud of my guys, very proud.”
Foxboro (3-12 Hockomock, 5-14 overall) returns to the diamond Thursday at home for the final game of their regular season against Mansfield. Coyle Cassidy will return home to take on Bishop Connolly Saturday afternoon.
By David James, HockomockSports.com Contributor
FOXBORO, Mass. – Fans were treated to a playoff preview on Wednesday afternoon as two of the top teams in Division 2 Central/East collided on Sam Berns Community Field.
For the second game in a row, Foxboro held tight with a perineal state power through a quarter and a half but Wayland built a four-goal lead by half and never looked back en route to a 15-6 win.
“They were better than us,” said Foxboro head coach Matt Noone. “Some of our games earlier in the season we could get away without having a third slide, or having some other bad habits, but against a team like this and a team like Xaverian that won’t work. That’s why I schedule these games though, so we can learn from them before the playoffs.”
After a relatively close first quarter ended with Wayland up 3-2, the visitors made a 4-0 run to start the second quarter, eventually leading to a 7-3 halftime.
Wayland scored the first two goals of the afternoon before Bobby Yerardi (two goals) put Foxboro on the scoreboard. One minute later Brendan Tully (two goals, one assist) tied the game with a man-up snipe. After Wayland’s Christopher Balicki scored his second of the quarter, the first period ended at 3-2 in favor of Wayland.
In the second quarter, Wayland junior Michael Lampert (four goals, two assists) took over, scoring two goals, and assisting on another to help establish a 4-0 run to give Wayland a five-goal lead. Yeradi scored his second goal of the game on an assist from Tully to stop the bleeding just before half.
Wayland won five straight faceoffs to start the second half, resulting in the majority of time of possession and a 4-1 to extend its lead.
Beyond Wayland’s strong day at the faceoff X, the Warriors were plagued by 15 turnovers. The visiting Warriors held a 9-3 edge in faceoffs in the second half made it challenging for Foxboro’s defense to get a break.
“I told them we’re not going to get them all back in one shot,” Noone said. “We have to just chip away at the lead but [Wayland] won 15 faceoffs, that’s about a minute possession each time meanwhile my defense is getting tired in the sun and it certainly showed. That’s why good teams win, they can possess the ball better than the team that can’t. That’s how we like to beat teams, but we just couldn’t make enough stops on the defensive end to get it to our offense and possess it ourselves.”
Foxboro’s defense played well at the beginning of possessions, but Wayland’s patience on offense paid off.
Wayland FOGO Jake Tyska set the tone for the second half, winning the opening faceoff and scoring himself to extend the lead to five just 13 seconds into the half. Tyska won the next four faceoffs and even scored again on the same play, mounting a 4-1 run to start the second half. The lone Foxboro goal came from a man-up rip from Louis Piccolo.
“Defensively right now I think we’re porous,” Noone said. “We have to play better one on one defense if we want to stop teams that can shoot as well as Wayland can. Jake [Addeche] bails us out of a lot of situations. He had 11 saves today, that’s unbelievable. We gotta tighten things up and we will.”
Foxboro carried a man-up possession into the final quarter but was unable to turn it into anything as Wayland goalie made a huge save on Piccolo’s rifle. Foxboro’s Mike Moses scored the lone Foxboro goal of the fourth quarter and Wayland was able to run the clock down for the remainder of the game.
“We’re a product of our schedule right now.” Noone said. “We had a soft schedule early but we’re going to be better because we played this game, as well as last game [Xaverian]. Wayland plays a really tough schedule, so they’re battle-tested, unfortunately for us, we’re just getting battle tested right now. You have to get exposed and that’s what happened these last two games, and we just have to learn from that.”
Wayland (15-2), now on a six-game win streak, will finish their regular season against another D2 Central East foe in Concord-Carlisle, while Foxboro (14-3) will close out the regular season at Milford.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin and Foxboro have been the dominant girls lacrosse programs in the league for several years, winning a combined 14 league titles in a row (including this spring’s Kelley-Rex and Davenport crowns) and perennially making deep state tournament runs as well.
While the two teams have shared success in the league, the head-to-head matchup has recently been one-sided. The games have typically been close, but it is Franklin that has regularly come out on top, as part of the Panthers incredible win streak against Hockomock opponents that stood at 70 games entering the yearly matchup with the Warriors on Wednesday night at Pisini Field.
This felt like a year that Foxboro could flip the script and end the Panthers’ long unbeaten run, but instead it was a familiar storyline. Annie and Erin Walsh scored four goals apiece, Franklin goalie Gianna Cameron made eight saves (six in the second half) and the Panthers pulled out an 11-5 victory.
“They came out with a lot of energy, a lot of passion,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “it was our senior night so we were honoring them and that energy translated on the draw. Annie did a great job, our circle people (Hailey Toolin, Erin, and Kelsey MacCallum) did awesome fighting for the ball.”
Franklin won 9-of-10 draws in the opening half, which limited the Warriors ability to get the ball into the sticks of their talented attacking corps. Also, the Panthers took full advantage of the opportunities that they were presented with.
“They were using every opportunity they had, for the most part, and capitalizing on them,” said Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry. “When it’s only being done on one side for us, the defense can only do so much, Sara [Addeche] can only make so many saves.”
Following a Nicole Houlihan steal, Annie Walsh put Franklin in front with a shot over Addeche’s stick into the top corner. Less than a minute later it was Erin Walsh bursting through the middle of the Foxboro defense to double the lead.
The Warriors got on the board three minutes later when senior Cat Luciano found space in the middle of the Franklin defense. Erin Walsh answered back with a pump fake and finish, but Foxboro again got the lead down to one with a lefty shot on the run by Sophia DiCenso.
Kelsey MacCallum scored her first of the night to make it 4-2 and then the Franklin defense made several big plays to keep Foxboro at arm’s length. Grace MacCallum was the vocal leader for the defensive unit, calling out switches, slides, and double teams. With the help of Halle Atkinson, MacCallum forced a turnover and scooped the ground ball to win possession back and on the other end Annie Walsh went high-to-low for Franklin’s fifth.
“Grace has been on this team for four years, so she’s a huge leader on the defensive end, kind of the director of the team,” said Igoe Guarino. “We’ve been pushing the defense to get even better and she’s been leading the way.”
She added, “Our communication was up, we were just playing as a team out there. Our doubling, we had a second slide ready and then our goalie just backing us up when they did shoot.”
Foxboro got one back with man-up goal by Molly Murphy off a perfect pass from DiCenso. With three minutes left in the half, Kelsey MacCallum was denied in transition by Addeche, but Franklin forced a turnover on the clearance and Erin Walsh found MacCallum with a precise pass across the crease for a close-range finish.
“We were moving the ball and ball-moving is great but eventually you’ve got to put points on the board,” said Sherry about the Foxboro attack. “We weren’t attacking the cage, we were looking to just a few players to get it done and when those players aren’t getting it done then other players need to step up.”
Murphy had one more chance before the half but Cameron read the bouncing shot and was able to deflect it up over the bar just as the horn sounded. At the start of the second half, Foxboro had several chances in the first few minutes to cut into the lead, but Cameron made three saves to keep it 6-3. Franklin then broke the game wide open.
“When we need her to save it, she does,” said Igoe Guarino of Camerron. “She had 15 saves against Walpole (on Monday) and she had a ton today against some of their best shooters. We’re just lucky to have her.”
Erin Walsh picked up her second assist when she connected with a cutting Katie Jones and the freshman went behind her back on the run for a highlight-reel finish. Walsh then added back-to-back goals on free positions to put the Panthers up by six. Annie Walsh got into the scoring with a drive from the left side to complete her hat trick.
“They play the whole game,” said Igoe Guarino of the Walsh sisters. “They hustle to get ground balls and win us possession and they just do an excellent job of reading when to take one-on-one and when to pass. They draw a lot of attention, but they both finished really well today.”
Murphy scored again to end the Franklin run and Mackenzie Cusack got the benefit of a bouncing ball through traffic on what appeared to be a pass that slipped past Cameron to make it 10-5 with 3:31 left, but Annie Walsh scooped a ground ball on the far sideline and took it herself to seal the win.
Foxboro came into the game on a nine-game win streak and had key players battling illness, but Sherry admitted that Franklin might be in the Warriors’ heads at this point.
“We love competition with Franklin,” she said. “We had the win streak going and…we’re just scared of Franklin. Every time we hear Franklin, we just don’t get it done and if this was any other team we would have a better result.”
Franklin (12-4, 9-0) has not lost a league game since April 2012 and the Panthers will try to complete another perfect league campaign next Wednesday against Canton. Foxboro (11-3, 7-1) will try to bounce back on Thursday with a trip to North Attleboro.
The Warriors trailed 5-0 after a quarter in last year’s contest before ultimately falling 9-5. This time around, they made sure to get off to a better start.
Foxboro dominated opening frame this year, building a 4-0 lead before having to hold off a Franklin comeback, eventually pulling out a 7-6 win in double overtime to beat the Panthers.
It’s the first Hockomock League loss for the Panthers since April 2014 (11-10 in overtime to King Philip), snapping a 49-game league win streak.
With the win, Foxboro clinched the 2018 Hockomock League Davenport division title, the program’s second in the last three years.
“We try to start fast and we don’t always get it but we did today,” said Foxboro head coach Matt Noone. “Last year we got off the bus and we were down. I told them we can’t lose the game right away. We knew we could play with them, they believed in the system and it showed. It was just a great game.
“Jake Addeche kept us in it, our man down was awesome tonight. Pat Kaveny did a great job on [Eric] Civetti and Pat Stapleton did a great job on [Matt] Lazzaro. We have good matchups and it’s good to have the ability to do that.”
Foxboro had the best chances in the first overtime despite Franklin junior Jacob Alexander winning the OT face off. Pressure from Kaveny forced an errant pass by the Panthers but the Warriors couldn’t solve Franklin goalie Connor O’Rourke.
O’Rourke made three of his 14 saves in the first overtime period to keep it level. Franklin had a second chance to get its offense going but lost the ball in transition.
Both sides had chances in the second overtime, both sending shots just wide. Addeche came up with his 14th save of the game, denying a wrap around low shot from Civetti, putting the Warriors on offense.
Senior Louis Piccolo was originally denied as he tried going to his right a couple of times but came back and whipped a quick sidearm shot that snuck in at the near post to give the Warriors the win.
“Special players make special plays and step up in the big moment.” Noone said. “That play Louis made, I was calling for him to make a pass and he stuck it like that, that was magical. We had a bunch of guys step up, [Brendan] Tully, Shayne [Kerrigan], my sophomores played great, Jake [Addeche] was awesome in goal…it was just a great night for Foxboro lacrosse.
“A game of inches, it felt like whoever had the next possession would win. There were a couple of times they had it and I thought, ‘Here we go,” but were able to get the stops we needed. It was just a great win for our program to show we can play with those programs. We’re trending in the right direction as we get ready for playoffs.”
Foxboro’s Brendan Tully opened the scoring just before the midway point of the first quarter, taking a feed from Andrew Whalen and depositing it into the back of the net. Just a minute later, Pete Conley ripped a rising shot to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead.
Just 15 seconds into an extra-man opportunity, the Warriors made it 3-0 when Piccolo picked out the top corner. And on the ensuing face-off, Shayne Kerrigan was able to corral a loose ball and raced all the way down before finding the back of the net with just a minute left in the opening quarter.
“[Jake] Addeche stood on his head, I think Connor [O’Rourke] played a great game as well, especially in the second half. But hats off to them, they outworked us in the first half for sure. I think we came in here a little too overconfident, seeing some of the stuff online, but they are kids, their heads aren’t where they should be sometimes.”
Franklin got on the board three minutes into the second quarter when Civetti found Nitin Chaudhury cutting to the goal and the junior made no mistake and buried it into the back of the net. But that would be the Panthers’ only goal of the half.
Foxboro extended its lead back to four with under a minute left in the second quarter as Mike Moses took a handoff from Kerrigan before whipping a shot on target for a 5-1 lead.
The Warriors’ offense continued to roll to begin the second half when Piccolo made it 6-1 less than three minutes into the frame, but Foxboro wouldn’t score again in regulation after that.
“Franklin is a great team, it wasn’t like we were trying to stall, they played sound defense and they fought back,” Noone said. “That’s a five-time defending Hockomock champs over there, they aren’t going to give it up easily. I’m proud of the effort today, we’ll win a game 1-0 if we have to.”
Franklin scored back-to-back goals just 16 seconds apart at the halfway point of the third quarter. First, Addeche was caught out of goal after a turnover, leading to an empty net goal from Civetti. Alexander won the faceoff, raced up, the ball bounced loose in front and Civetti pounced and scooped it into the back of the net to make it 6-3.
While the score stayed that way for the rest of the third, it took just seven seconds for Franklin to cut the deficit when the fourth quarter started. After another win from Alexander, he found Jake Davis who wasted no time in finding the back of the net with a hard shot.
The Warriors had a two-man up opportunity halfway through the final frame but couldn’t add onto its lead. Franklin had a man-up chance shortly after, and although they didn’t score during it, Chase Tanner used a wicked shot shortly after snuck under the crossbar to make it 6-5 with 4:46 to go.
Franklin tied the game 90 seconds later. Chaudhury made a nice move to gain some space and then found Civetti in front and the senior faked a low shot before dumping it in up high to tie the game.
Foxboro had a man-up chance following the goal but O’Rourke came up with a big stop at the tail end of it, giving Franklin possession with two minutes to go. The Panthers nearly had the game-winner with 1:25 left but hit the post.
“It’s a game of inches, and that’s exactly what that goal was,” Verrochi said of the winner. “It was just a situation, I think it was a backhand shot, and Connor was just a little off the post. What are you going to do there?”