CANTON, Mass. – For 60 minutes, the Canton and Oliver Ames field hockey teams battled back-and-forth, racing up-and-down the field matching each other stride for stride, shot for shot, and stop for the stop.
The only difference came with just over 10 minutes to go off the stick of Tiger senior Haley Gilman, who scored the lone goal of the game to give unbeaten Oliver Ames a 1-0 win over previously undefeated Canton in a battle for Davenport supremacy.
Both defenses shined, constantly thwarting chances and limiting the opposition from ever sustaining a consistent pressure on net, which wasn’t a total surprise as the teams entered the contest with two of the best defenses in the Hockomock League. Canton had allowed just one goal going into the game and OA had surrendered just four goals.
That’s not to say there weren’t chances both ways, including breakaways and point-blank chances in front of net. But Canton senior goalie Riley O’Connor and OA senior keeper Peyton Phillips both had strong games in the cage to keep the game tight.
“It felt like whoever scored first was going to win,” said Oliver Ames head coach Sharon Lawrence. “It was about being in the right place at the right time, [Canton] had some of the same chances as we did. We talked at the end of the third quarter about how we were doing all of the right things, we were making good passes, we just had to keep up our passing and speed and eventually, it will fall. We just had to keep playing our game.”
The fourth quarter started with chances for both sides, with the visiting Tigers putting the pressure on early. Gilman connected with Maggie Woods on the sideline but her centering pass to Georgia Costello was thwarted by good defense from Canton’s Meghan LaBelle. A minute later, Woods set up senior Sofia Anestam for a low shot that was kicked aside by O’Connor.
Canton had a chance to break the deadlock two minutes later, a pass finding space behind OA’s high-line defensively. Bulldogs senior Maria Femia latched onto the ball and raced into goal along the right side but her shot was wide at the near post as Phillips came flying off her line with a feet-first tackle attempt.
The Tigers came back down the other way and finally found the back of the net with 10:25 to play. Woods once again connected with Costello, who delivered a service into the area. O’Connor once again came up with a terrific point-blank stop but Gilman stayed with it and tucked the rebound bid into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
“I thought it was a great game for both sides,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “Both teams had great opportunities. For us, we had some chances in the circle we just made some bad decisions. I was hoping we’d be a little more up for the home game [against OA], we did play a little flatter than we usually do on offense. I thought our defense did a solid job. We just needed a little bit more on offense.
“We just have to capitalize on our chances. We were able to get behind the defense and we got in there, maybe we need two people so we can make that extra pass. We’ve had these opportunities before that usually turn into a goal, just didn’t happen today.”
Canton continued to push for the equalizer over the final minutes but OA’s defense and Phillips stood tall. Femia and Sarah Cunningham had a two-on-one chance broken up by Emily Han, and a minute later, OA defender Abbey Boyce had a key interception and clear. Phillips made a positional pad stop on a one-timer from Cunningham in front after a cross from LaBelle.
Oliver Ames field hockey Canton field hockey
“Our defense this year has been so good,” Lawrence said. “With it being 7-on-7 this year, there’s so much space on the field so we’re trying to preserve our energy and move as a unit, using kind of a zone as a defense. We have a lot of speed this year, especially on defense which helps.”
With just over a minute to go, the Bulldogs had another breakaway bid with Femia racing in but once again Phillips came charging off her line with a slide stop, getting just enough of the shot to keep it wide and the Tigers cleared to secure the win.
“We coach Peyton to charge when she needs to and cut down that angle so it’s not an easy shot,” Lawrence said. “We never want her to be a sitting duck in there. So the more aggressive she is, the scarier it is for the offense.”
Both defenses were strong from the get-go. With little chances through the first half, the Tigers nearly found the back of the net just before the end of the first quarter. Woods linked up with Costello for a good chance in the area but Canton’s Allie Gefteas intervened to prevent a chance on goal.
OA continued to push in the second quarter and might have had a couple more shots on goal if not for some great defensive work from Canton’s Lizzie Tassinari. Just before the halftime break, Canton was inches away from the lead when Femia set up Samantha Vrabel in front but Phillips made the point-blank stop.
“I thought both defenses were solid,” O’Connor said. “Having no corners is probably the biggest killer for our offense, for our game. We were in the circle, and if there’s a foul you go back out. Usually we’d have 10 to 12 corners, and we probably turn that into something. That’s probably been the biggest challenge with the modifications.”
Oliver Ames (6-0-1) remains undefeated with the win and moves into first place in the Davenport division with a one-point lead over Canton (6-1). The two teams will meet again on Thursday in a rematch that will have major implications on the Davenport division title.
“It’s our goal, we want to win it all,” Lawrence said. “We don’t focus on it before the games, but we knew this was the biggest week for us coming in. But right now it’s just taking it one game at a time.”
Attleboro, 7 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Attleboro earned its second win of the season and a sweep of Milford with another shutout win. The Bombardiers had 11 players find the score sheet with Amanda Burns and Shae Salisbury leading the way with two goals apiece. Sarah McMahon and Campbell Compton each recored a pair of assists while Laura McVeigh, Madison Ellis, and Kaelin Coleman all found the back of the net once for Attleboro.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames and Foxboro split the points on Thursday afternoon, settling for a 1-1 draw at Sam Berns Field. Oliver Ames’ Sofia Anestam scored in the second quarter off of an assist from Georgia Costello. OA goalie Peyton Phillips made nine saves to help the Tigers earn a point on the road.
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored twice inside a four-minute space in the opening quarter and held off King Philip the rest of the way to get a key win. Amanda Lewandowski scored both for the Panthers, opening the scoring at 7:07 on an assist from Stephanie Bell and then doubling the lead just over three minutes later. Neilee Hess made five saves in the win for the Panthers. Head coach Michelle Hess praised the defensive play of Kendall Jones and Kate O’Rourke, and added that Sara Carney had a stellar outing in the midfield. KP senior goalie Makenzie Manning kept the Warriors in it with 18 saves and head coach Lisa Cropper said both senior Ali Beltramini and freshman Kelly Holmes played well.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton nearly stole a point with a late fourth quarter surge earlier in the week in its trip to North Attleboro. This time around, the Black Knights completed the comeback. Trailing 2-1 late in the fourth quarter, Haley Nelson scored her second goal of the game to knot the score at 2-2 with 2:30 to go. Just 30 seconds later, Zofia Bangs deposited the go-ahead goal to give Stoughton a win at home. Lena Allie had 10 saves in net for Stoughton while head coach Dan Mark lauded the excellent defensive performances from Cate Downey and Julia Driscoll.
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton scored a fourth quarter goal to pull out a second straight draw against the Hornets. Mansfield jumped into the lead in the second quarter with freshman Lola Varricchione knocking in a loose ball in the crease. Alexandra Burnham picked up the assist. Taunton goalie Emily Gannon made a number of saves and defender Jocelyn Pagliuca stopped several Mansfield breakaways to keep it a one-goal game. In the fourth quarter, Alana Tavares slipped a pass through to Ashley Amaro and the junior forward got a touch past the last defender and raced half the field before scoring the tying goal.
Milford, 183 @ Attleboro, 177 – Final
Sharon, 168 @ Canton, 154 – Final – The Bulldogs had five golfers shoot 40 or better on Thursday afternoon at Blue Hill Country Club leading to a win over Sharon. Owen Donovan and Will Gefteas were the match co-medalists, each carding a round of 37. Mike Leonetti, Conor Hunter, Nate MacDonald, and Aiden French each shot a 40 in the win. For Sharon, Nathan Daley had a team-low round of 39, Eric Carter added a 41, and both Rosie Leonard and Noah Glassman carded a round of 44.
Oliver Ames, 175 @ Foxboro, 164 – Final – Foxboro earned a key division win at home at Foxboro Country Club against Oliver Ames. For OA, senior Logan Domenico had a team-low round of 42, senior Sam Kagan added a 43, and both freshman David Rogers and junior Jake Kaplan came into the clubhouse with a round of 45.
Franklin, 158 @ King Philip, 166 – Final – Franklin picked up its sixth straight win to open the season, earning its second straight close win over division foe King Philip. Jack Paterson and Brian Sandham led the way for the Panthers at Wentworth Hill Country Club, both shooting a team-low round of 38. Pat Dolan and Nolan Norton each added a 41 in the win. Mike Matheson was the match medalist, leading KP with a low-round of 37 while Jared Curran chipped in with a 40 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 163 @ Taunton, 194 – Final – Mansfield continued its unbeaten start to the season with its second straight win over the Tigers, this time at Segregansett Country Club. Joe Gormley had the low-round for the Hornets, coming off the links with a 38 while Nate Morreale was right behind with a 39. Ryan Doherty added a 42 and Hunter Tang added a 44 in the win.
Stoughton, 179 @ North Attleboro, 161 – Final – North Attleboro defend its home green at Heather Hill Country Club, taking down visiting Stoughton behind a match-medalist round of 39 from sophomore Jake Gaskin. Tyler DeMattio added a 40 for the Rocketeers while both Sam Gallagher and Dillon Harding chipped in with a 41. Anthony Hern paced the Knights with a 42, Jonah Hochberg and Max Huminik each came in at 45 and Jake Curtis finished with a 47.
Boys Cross Country
King Philip, 41 @ Franklin, 18 – Final – Nicholas Calitri broke his own course record, setting a new time of 15:56 as he crossed first in Franklin’s win over King Philip. Griffin Sieczkiewicz (16:19) took second overall on the 3.05 mile course and Josh Anderson (16:21) rounded out the top three for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley (fifth, 16:52) and Clancy Golden (seventh, 17:21) also scored in the Panthers’ win.
Mansfield, 32 @ Taunton, 23 – Final – Taunton swept the top three spots in the race to earn its first ever win over Mansfield since joining the Hockomock League. Senior Nolan Tavares won the race in 17:11 while classmate Ty Cali (17:29) took second and freshman Brayden Cali (17:43) was third overall. Junior Ryan Strawbridge (17:51) and Andrew Cali (17:51.5) also scored for the Tigers.
Girls Cross Country
King Philip, 48 @ Franklin, 15 – Final
Mansfield, 24 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – Mansfield had the top three finishers in Thursday’s race, all finishing within a minute of one another to get a win over Taunton. Abigail Greenberg crossed the finish line at 20:39 to take first place for Mansfield while Tessa Lancaster (20:41) and Emma Lamson (21:26) took second and third, respectively. Cassidy Rice (seventh, 23:07) also scored for the Hornets. Senior Lily Valcovic was the top runner for the Tigers, taking fourth overall in 21:48. Eighth graders Colby Dunham (fifth, 22:16) and Emersyn DePonte (sixth, 22:52) had strong showings for Taunton.
Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Milford’s Victor Botelho scored on each side on halftime to help the Scarlet Hawks pick up two points against visiting Attleboro. Milford opened the scoring when Lucas Da Silva finished off a feed from Arthur Tome but Attleboro equalized on a goal from Jackson Singer (assisted by Hugo Henriquez). Botelho put the Hawks back ahead on an assist from Leo Coelho to make it 2-1 going into halftime. Da Silva set Botelho up to make it 3-1, and Coelho (from Da Silva) added an insurance tally for the 4-1 win.
Canton, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames moved to 3-0 on the season with its third shutout, this time going on the road and beating Foxboro. Senior Colin Milliken scored once and set up three more to lead the way for the Tigers. Milliken set up Kevin Louhis for the opening goal and then assisted on back-to-back goals from Mathias Taylor. Taylor set up Milliken prior to those goals to make it 2-0. OA senior Gage Fritchman scored his first career goal on a penalty kick.
Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield scored a pair of fourth quarters to earn two points on the road against Taunton. After three scoreless quarters, the Hornets finally broke through in the 64th minute. Connor Palinski earned an assist after showing great hustle to track down a loose ball, centering to find Sagar Koul right at the six yard box for the finish. Mansfield doubled its lead five minutes later when Koul settled a pass from Tommy Lanzillo and blasted a shot in from a step inside the area. Eric Sullivan earned his second shutout of the season for Mansfield.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro senior Matt Conley bagged a brace as the Rocketeers broke into the win column with a 2-0 road victory over Stoughton. Conley scored the Big Red’s first goal of the season in the 10th minute of the contest, beating the keeper 1-on-1 after latching onto a through ball from Connor Ward. The Rocketeers doubled their lead in the 55th minute as Jaad Ismail found Conley streaking in behind the defense and he finished into the far corner. David Floyd (nine saves) played well for North to record the shutout.
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Briley Harnois scored twice for the Bombardiers, who picked up a win in their delayed season opener and senior day. Jessica Gates added an assist and Alexis Campbell earned the clean sheet in goal. Attleboro coach Steve Santos was proud of his team’s start after having to wait an extra week to get on the field, saying the Bombardiers created a number of early chances against a Milford team that battled throughout.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Olivia Rodman, Gabriella Herivaux, and Elisa Diletizia each scored once to lift Canton to a third straight win to start the season and into a one-point lead in the division. Rodman opened the scoring with a rocket from outside the box in the first quarter and Mia Gilmore then set up Herivaux with a through ball to get a second before halftime, but Sharon was resilient and kept battling. Wendy Wooden nearly halved the deficit right before the break with a tight angled shot but it went over the bar and landed on the roof of the net. The score stayed 2-0 until late in the fourth quarter when Diletizia blasted one just under the bar for Canton’s third. Sharon goalie Cass Barbera played well in the loss and Mekhala Costello finished with two assists for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – The Warriors battled back from a 2-0 deficit, scoring twice in the second half to come away with a point. Trailing by two goals at the break, Foxboro had a goal disallowed early in the third quarter, but Grace Ferguson scored off a Kailee McCabe assist to cut the deficit to one and then McCabe scored an unassisted goal to secure the draw. Sophomores Mary Cross and Jenna Gilman scored to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. Emma Pereira had an assist while senior Madeleine Taylor and junior Alexa Lane had strong games for OA.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined for the shutout and helped the Hornets get their first point of the season. Mansfield coach Kevin Smith praised his defense for limiting Taunton’s chances and added that the Tigers played well in their defensive third, blocking shots and coming up with a lot of big saves.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – Steph McKenna scored a hat trick and Emma Pratt scored twice to lead North Attleboro to its first win of the season, keeping the Rocketeers unbeaten through three matches. Caroline Ferrin and Tess Collins also scored for North, with Collins adding an assist. Maggie O’Brien, Ari Newth, Clara Giuliano, Brayden Rice, and Jordyn Sullivan also had assists for North. Kaylah Seavey and Maddie Ferrin split time in goal to get the clean sheet. First-year Stoughton coach Hermes Lima praised his team’s start to the game, as it was scoreless after the first, and explained that he needs the team to not get down after a mistake and let teams break the game open. He said, “We were chasing almost the whole middle quarters and that cannot happen.”
Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Canton’s Meghan LaBelle scored twice as the Bulldogs went on the road and earned two points on the grass at Sharon.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Mansfield and Taunton traded goals back and forth, the latter scoring in the final minutes as the squads settled for a point each in a draw. Ashley Amaro scored a pair of goals for the Tigers, both assisted by Kylie Thorpe, while Alana Tavares added an unassisted goal. Jocelyn Pagliuca and Skylar Rheaume played well defensively in front of junior Emily Gannon (16 saves) for Taunton.
Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames overcame an early deficit with three straight goals to knock off visiting Foxboro. The Warriors took the lead less than three minutes into on a goal from Dylan Rappoli but the Tigers responded less than two minutes later when Sofia Anestam set up Georgia Costello to make it 1-1. Costello put the Tigers ahead in the second quarter with an unassisted goal just 33 seconds into the frame. Julia Maclaine secured the win for the Tigers with a second half insurance goal set up by Erin Cottam. Peyton Phillips made seven saves for OA and had an outstanding second half in the cage. OA coach Sharon Lawrence lauded the performances of Abbey Boyce, Emily Han, and Maggie Woods.
Attleboro, 175 @ Milford, 179 – Final – Brendan Raymond was the match medalist, helping the Bombariders pick up a win on the road at Hopedale Country Club. Raymond shot a match-low round of 36 while Milford’s top performers were Dave Pacella (42) and Jacob Hipolito (43).
Canton, 148 @ Sharon, 173 – Final – Canton’s Mike Leonetti earned match medalist honors and Nate MacDonald shot an even par to help the Bulldogs pick up a victory at the Cape Club of Sharon. Leonetti carded a two-under par round of 34 while MacDonald shot a 36 for the Bulldogs. Will Gefteas added a 38 and Owen Donovan carded a 40 for Canton. Nathan Daley led the Eagles with a one-over round of 37 while Eric Carter added a 41 for Sharon.
King Philip, 163 @ Franklin, 158 – Final – Franklin’s depth proved pivotal in a close win at home over visiting King Philip. The Warriors’ Jared Curran was the match medalist with a 37 while Mike Matheson shot a 39 for KP. But Franklin’s top four all finished within four strokes of one another, led by Jack Paterson’s 38. Sean Connelly added a 39, Nolan Norton shot a 40, and Brian Sandham chipped in with a 41 in Franklin’s win.
Taunton, 191 @ Mansfield, 148 – Final – All four of Mansfield’s scorers shot under 40 at Norton Country Club as the Hornets picked up a win over Taunton. Ryan Dow led the way with a match-medalist round of 35, Brian See added a round of 37 while both Cian Goulet and Nate Morreale each shot a 38 in the win.
North Attleboro, 172 @ Stoughton, 181 – Final – Jake Gaskin and Sam Gallagher split medalist honors as the Rocketeers recorded a win at Easton Country Club over Stoughton. Both Gaskin and Gallagher shot 42 to lead the Big Red to a win. Anthony Hern also shot a 42 to earn medalist honors while Joe Mark added a 43 for the Black Knights.
Foxboro, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up an important win over division foe Foxboro on the links at Pine Oaks in Easton. Senior Logan Domenico and junior Jake Kaplan each shot a 37 to lead the Tigers, with Domencio sinking a birdie on the eighth hole. Senior Will Gianni added a 39 in the win and freshman Sean Kearns finished with a 40.
Canton @ Sharon, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 15 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Tigers, taking the top scoring spots to earn a big win over Foxboro. Kyle Sarney won the race for the Tigers while Owen McMorrow and Nate Reservitz rounded out the top three. Nicolas Olson clocked in at 19:14 and was Foxboro’s top runner while Jared Ciora ran a PR (19:37) and was second for Foxboro.
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
Canton @ Sharon, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 17 @ Foxboro, 43 – Final – The Tigers took the first three spots in the race en route to a victory on the road over Foxboro. Katie Soberaij was the winner with teammates Jojo Holmes and Hailey Goldman taking second and third, respectively. Foxboro’s Aine Fitzpatrick finished in 22:05 for fourth place overall while Mabel Linck took seventh for the Warriors.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 3-0 lead by halftime and tacked on two more in the final quarter to earn a sweep over the Rocketeers. Sophomore Hector Bucio opened the scoring in the 10th minute as OA held a 1-0 advantage through one quarter. Senior Matthew Nikiciuk needed less than a minute into the second quarter to double the lead and junior Mathias Taylor made it 3-0 in the 23rd minute of the game. Nikiciuk scored twice more in the fourth quarter in the 69th minute and the 77th minute to complete his first career hat trick. Senior Colin Milliken notched three assists while Anthony DaCosta had one helper.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final – Canton senior Maria Femia scored a pair of goals as the Bulldogs swept the season series against the Black Knights. After scoring a hat trick earlier this week against Stoughton, Femia found the back of the net twice in Canton’s home opener. Meghan LaBelle, Ellie Bohane, and Erin Lane each added a goal for Canton.
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final
Milford 0 @ Franklin, 13 – Final – Franklin recorded its second straight big win, opening its home schedule with a victory over visiting Milford. Senior Amanda Lewandowski and junior Kaitlyn Carney each scored four goals in the win for Franklin, who built a 6-0 lead by halftime. Sara Carney added three assists while Lindsey Morse, Stephanie Bell, Jill Fenerty, Shaw Downing, and Grace Bonacci each scored once.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames scored once in each quarter to secure its second straight win over North Attleboro. Julia Maclaine opened the scoring for the Tigers in the first quarter off an assist by Haley Gilman. Freshman Erin Cottam opened her account with her first varsity goal in the second quarter and then scored an insurance goal in the fourth on an assist from Lexi Gennis. Georgia Costello scored in the third quarter for OA with Maggie Woods recording the assist. OA head coach Sharon Lawrence noted the strong performance from Woods (in the midfield) and Emily Han (defensively). Julia Puccio scored for the Rocketeers while Hannah Bachand made 14 saves in net.
Canton, 146 @ Stoughton, 163 – Final – Canton junior fired a two-under par round of 34 to earn match medalist honors and lead the Bulldogs to a win on the road at Easton Country Club. Owen Donovan and Mike Leonetti were each one-over at 37 while Will Gefteas, Conor Hunter, and Nate MacDonald each shot 38 for the day. Stoughton’s Anthony Hern had a team-low round of 38, Max Huminik added a 40, Jake Curtis finished at 42 for the day, and Jonah Hochberg shot a 43.
King Philip, 179 @ Mansfield, 159 – Final – The Hornets moved to 4-0 on the season with their second win over King Philip this week. Senior Jason See was the match medalist, leading Mansfield with a match-best score of 38. Nate Morreale was right behind with a 39 while Brian See (41) and Ava Haggis (42) also scored for the Hornets.
North Attleboro, 165 @ Oliver Ames, 159 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Carter Allbritton birdied the sixth hole at Pine Oaks, finishing with a low round of 38 to earn match medalist honors and lead the Tigers to a 4-0 start. Senior James Walsh and freshman Sean Kearns each shot 40 for the Tigers while senior Will Gianni, junior Jake Kaplan, and sophomore Daniel Paul all came into the clubhouse with a 41 for OA.
Sharon, 175 @ Foxboro, 163 – Final – Foxboro’s Dylan Quinn carded a round of 37 on the front nine at the Cape Club of Sharon, earning match medalist honors and helping the Warriors to a win on the road over Sharon. Jack Rounds added a 40 for Foxboro while Dylan Pothier and Luke Dave each shot a 43. Sharon’s Eric Carter and Nathan Daley both shot a 43 for the Eagles while Rosie Leonard added a round of 44.
2019 Record: 9-8-3 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Lindsay Antunes
The Bombardiers had one of their best years in recent memory during the 2019 season and with a strong group of returning players, are looking to carry that success over to 2020.
While replacing HockomockSports Player of the Year Anna Beck will certainly be a tough task, the Bombardiers have a lot of talented players back ready to take advantage of the pace and space that comes with 7v7 field hockey — a new rule modification this season. There is a lot of firepower in the Attleboro offense, a group that has played together before and is always looking to set each other up. Senior captains Amanda Burns (five goals, nine assists), Campbell Compton, and Hannah Webster will spearhead the attack alongside junior Madison Ellis (seven goals, six assists).
Attleboro’s defensive unit is coming along, showing plenty of progress in preseason alone. With some open spots up for grabs on defense, potential candidates took advantage of offseason club teams to improve their game. Senior Kiara Murray will be an important part of the backline while junior Ava Haggerty returns in net after a stellar sophomore season.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the accomplishments and success of this team this season,” said Attleboro head coach Lindsay Antunes. “The strong leadership skills, the positive attitudes and the confidence my players have this season is amazing to see given the nature of this season and all of the changes and challenges. We have a lot of returning players with tremendous skill, paired with new additions to our roster who are sure to make an impact this season.”
2019 Record: 12-4-3 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
Expectations are high in Canton as the Bulldogs, one of the perennial league powers year in and year out, will be looking to repeat as Davenport division champions. A big reason for that optimism is the amount of returners from last year’s squad that had 12 wins, just one league loss, and a division-best 61 goals scored.
Senior captain Maria Femia played a part in nearly half of those goals, finding the back of the net five times while recording a Hockomock-best 27 assists. She’ll work alongside Meghan LaBelle (nine goals, eight assists) to form one of the most dangerous attacking units in the Hockomock League.
Beyond Foxboro, one of the biggest challenges the Dogs will face this year is the new rule modifications. Just six players plus a goalie will grace the field at one time, meaning a lot more space to cover. Add in the fact the girls have to wear a mask while wearing a mouthguard.
Allie Gefteas and Lizzie Tassinari will be key pieces in the Canton lineup as well. While defending will look a bit different this year with breakaways more of a concern than penalty corners (which aren’t allowed), the Dogs have senior Riley O’Connor back in net. O’Connor has been one of the top goalies in the Hock the past two seasons and is very aggressive off her line.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to be back on the field this season,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “Our team has worked hard to be here and they do not take it for granted. Our seniors who have played together since a young age deserve to have a competitive and fun season. We look forward to getting started with games next week.”
2019 Record: 13-2-5 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Melissa Bordieri
Last year’s Davenport division race came down to just one game, with Canton taking the title with two more points than Foxboro. With just 10 games on tap this season, the Warriors know each point is vital if they want to try and knock off the Bulldogs atop the division.
Replacing Jaime Notarangelo won’t be easy but the Warriors have options and depth as they navigate the new rules of 2020. Foxboro is coming off a 13-win season that ended in the D2 South Quarterfinal round.
Senior Ella Waryas will be a key piece in the middle of the field for the Warriors this season. Her ability to play strong defense and then transition into a key piece of the offense will be vital in the new 7v7 style. Sophomore Mya Waryas (seven goals in 2019) had a breakout season and could be an important part of the Foxboro attack in 2019. The Warriors will also see production from senior Molly McElhinney, juniors Kate Collins and Mikayla Doherty, and sophomore Dylan Rappoli (four goals, four assists in 2019).
All-Hockomock selection Shannon Egan is back to anchor a defensive unit that was the best in the Hockomock League last season with just 11 goals allowed. And on top of that, senior Hannah Trombley is back in the cage to anchor the defensive unit.
2019 Record: 15-3-2 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Michelle Hess
When you look at the talent the Panthers possess on their roster this season, it’s hard not to immediately think what kind of run they could go on in the postseason. Unfortunately, there aren’t any playoffs this season so Franklin’s focus zeroes in on one thing: repeating as Hock champs.
A year removed from going undefeated against league opponents, the Panthers enter the 2020 season as the favorites to take home another Kelley-Rex title. For starters, Franklin has its top three scorers back from last year’s team that scored a Hockomock-best 91 goals. Amanda Lewandowski (20 goals, 10 assists), Stephanie Bell (14 goals, eight assists), and last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Kaitlyn Carney (14 goals, eight assists) combine to make the Panthers one of the most lethal teams in the region.
Franklin’s offense even more of a boost with the return of senior captain Sara Carney (who missed last season with an injury) and junior forward Jill Fenerty.
Senior captain Neilee Hess anchors the defensive unit as the starting goalie. Hess’ experience will be vital as Franklin has some new faces on its defensive unit, including Molly Collins, Kendall Jones, and Kate O’Rourke. Freshman midfield Sophia Cuneo could make an impact right away.
“I am extremely proud of my team and how they have adapted to the modifications,” said Franklin head coach Michelle Hess. “They have taken a situation that could have put a damper on their enthusiasm and shared with me that they are just ready to get to work. They have a Hock Title to defend and these modifications are not going to stop them from accomplishing their goal of a Back to Back Kelley-Rex Title!”
2019 Record: 10-7-3 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Lisa Cropper
King Philip had a lot of new faces last year, but there wasn’t a huge drop-off from the team’s success of the back-to-back title-winning seasons, as the Warriors finished in second place in the Kelley-Rex division and picked up a win in the postseason. With returning players all over the field, KP has high expectations to challenge Franklin for a league title this fall.
Speed will be one of the strengths for the Warriors, who will try to take advantage of experience on the wings in the new 7-on-7 format. Seniors Abby Nixon and Paige Berdos are both coming off strong seasons in the attack and senior midfielders Grace and Isabelle Crocker will push forward to add more threats in front of goal.
Experience will be a key to the defensive effort this year, starting in goal with senior Makenzie Manning, who has been on of the league’s top shot stoppers (and showed it in the season-opening win against Mansfield). Junior Molly Piller had a very strong sophomore season and will be the team’s sweeper, while juniors Christina Gifun and Morgan Cunningham and senior Alli Beltramini are all back as part of the defensive unit.
“We have a lot of experience, but I’m not sure how much that will help us with no penalty corners and only six field players,” said KP coach Lisa Cropper. “Hopefully our depth and overall team speed will help to cover all that empty space out there this year.”
2019 Record: 12-7-2 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Theresa Nyhan
Longtime Mansfield head coach Theresa Nyhan is excited to see what the 2020 version of the Hornets can do on the field this season. The new rule modifications have taken some players off the field, making it 7-v-7, but that opens up a lot of space on the field.
That space benefits the Hornets as Nyhan says her squad has speed in both the attacking and defending ends of the field. But the new rules also bring a pair of intriguing challenges. First will be figuring out a new substitution pattern that keeps players fresh for 60 minutes, and the other is adjusting the offense without penalty corners — not only for gameplan purposes but for the active rest players can get while setting up.
The Hornets have a large number of seniors and juniors on the team this year, hoping that experience will translate to success on the field. Tai-captains Abby Varracchione, Alex Burnham, and Grace Danehy lead the way for the Hornets and will be vital to the success of the squad. Seniors Fiona Katz, Stori Rounds, and Emma Kelly will bolster the forward group, Lindsay Devine, Grace Fernandez, and Ally McDevitt provide depth to the midfield, and Bella Deberghes, Lily O’Brien, and Leah Sheehan are important pieces to the defensive puzzle.
Juniors Caitlin Dumouchel, Celia Puleo, Maddy Brown, and Grace Bertolino should factor in this season while sophomore Lilly Danehy will take over as the starting goalie. Nyhan expects freshman Lola Varracchione to be an impact player at the varsity level right away.
“The Mansfield field hockey community wants to thank all who have worked long and hard to make a season possible,” Nyhan said. “We are grateful seniors have a “senior season” and look forward to competing!’
2019 Record: 4-12-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Tim Dowd
The Scarlet Hawks saw improvement during the 2019 season and are hoping that upward trajectory continues into 2020 under new head coach Tim Dowd.
Milford will be leaning on its three captains to lead the way: Maddy Carneiro, Olivia Macleod, and Olyvia Whyte. All three have been cornerstones of the program and will be leaders both on and off the field.
Maddy Hunt will start in the cage for the Hawks, who will be putting a lot of importance into the defensive side of the ball. With the new rule modifications meaning there will be more breakaways, the Hawks are hoping to have good numbers defensively to give Hunt as much help as possible.
Offensively, the Hawks will turn to speedy juniors Emma Tredeau and Stephanie Wong to try and take advantage of all of the space on the field. With just six field players, conditioning and positioning are going to be of the utmost importance.
“It’s certainly going to be an interesting season as we all try to adjust to the modifications and a new way of approaching the game,” Dowd said. “We’re just focusing on working hard and keeping a positive attitude.”
2019 Record: 6-8-4 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Karen Folan
North Attleboro finished third in the Davenport division last season, just two points out of a playoff spot, but will not only have to contend with the typical top two of Canton and Foxboro but will also have Oliver Ames in the division this year and the modified 7-on-7 rules, which should make this an interesting fall.
The Rocketeers have a strong group of returning players that they can count on and expectations of being competitive in every game, but also are trying to adapt to new positioning and the much quicker transitions that come from having fewer players and more space on the field. Senior forwards Lauren Abusheery and Emma Bailey will look to take advantage of those openings to create scoring chances, while sophomores Ava Spencer and Caroline Folan are newcomers that have shown a scoring touch in the preseason.
In the midfield, senior Nora Dluhy is a consistent performer wherever she lines up and sophomore Julia Puccio has the speed and ball control to weave through defenders. Senior Emily Daby will lead the defensive unit and can also step up into the midfield and carry possession, which will be a big help with the new rules. Senior Hannah Bachand will take over in goal this season.
The team is excited to start games this week,” said North coach Karen Folan. “I’ve told them to enjoy each minute on the field and to make the most of the shortened season and the unique situation.”
2019 Record: 9-10-0 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Rou Coach: Sharon Lawrence
There are a lot of familiar names on Oliver Ames’ roster this season, highlighted by 11 seniors and eight returning starters from last year’s team. The Tigers have experience all over the field and could be a dark horse in the Davenport division title race.
With the game reduced to six field players due to the rule modifications, there is plenty of space on the field. That fits right into OA’s gameplan as the Tigers are looking to utilize their speed and passing game to jump-start their offense. Like many teams in the league, Oliver Ames will be shifting to lines similar to an ice hockey team. With a total of 24 players on the team, there is plenty of depth so head coach Sharon Lawrence will be using her deep bench to keep fresh legs on the field throughout the game.
“We are all just happy to be together and have a season,” Lawrence said. ”They have all worked so hard and deserve it! Getting outside to play together is a mental and physical win for all.”
The heart of the team lies in the midfield as the Tigers have a strong mix of talent and experience. Senior captain Maggie Woods, a HockomockSports.com First Team selection last season, gets it done on both ends of the field, a big part of getting Oliver Ames transitioned from defense to offense. She will be joined by senior Sofia Anestam, junior Ava Costello, and sophomore Julia Maclaine in the midfield.
The Tigers return two dangerous attacking players in junior Georgia Costello (nine goals, five assists in 2019) and senior Haley Gilman (five goals, one assist). Without penalty corners, OA will lean on its speed up front to try and beat the defense and score in the run of play. The defense will be anchored by senior captain Emily Han, who has a lot of experience at the varsity level and senior Abbey Boyce.
2019 Record: 2-13-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Paulina Kosmadakis
Former Sharon standout Paulina Kosmadakis is back with the program, this time taking over as new head coach. And after an improved 2019 season, Kosmadakis is hoping the program continues heading in the right direction in 2020.
The Eagles broke into the win column last season and Kosmadakis has liked what she’s seen from her team so far in the preseason. It starts with the team’s four captains: Sam Sherman, Ashley Young, Jill Parker, and Yesha Sharma. Kosmadakis said that the group has brought a new, competitive edge to the program.
Offensively, the Eagles strength is on fast breaks. Improved passing has led to some odd-man rushes and the opportunity to go one-on-one with defenders. It also comes as a result of a lot of space on the field due to the modifications to the rules. On the flip side, the Eagles are adjusting to the new intensity that 7v7 field hockey brings. Kosmadakis plans on using as much of her bench as possible with a lot of subbing throughout the game.
“I believe that the team is really stepping up their competitive edge and going to “Shock the Hock” both defensively and offensively,” Kosmadakis said. “I am excited for this season and the seasons to come!”
2019 Record: 2-15-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Mark
After a two-win season in 2019, Stoughton will look to bounce back this fall with an experienced group, with 20 seniors on the roster, which faces the tough test of trying to compete with the top teams in the Davenport division, and it starts right away with two games against defending league champ Canton in the first week.
The Black Knights should be capable of scoring goals this year with a speedy forward line getting extra space to work with the new 7-on-7 rules. Senior forwards Haley Nelson and Morgan Lessa will be the leaders in the attack and have the skills to put defenders on the back foot. Juniors Zofia Bangs and Mia Allie are new forwards that add depth to the attack this season.
Seniors Sarah McGrath and Kat Billo will shore things up in the midfield and try to help cover for the backline. Senior Lena Allie jumps in goal this season after a solid year with the JV team last fall.
“The biggest obstacle with the modifications is only having six field players and a goalie on the field,” said Stoughton coach Dan Mark. “I plan on using line shifts like in ice hockey. We have a large senior-dominated team, so hopefully that experience should help us.”
2019 Record: 5-12-1 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Liz Hathaway
Looking back at last year’s standings, if there’s one team’s record that isn’t indicative of how good a team was, it’s Taunton. The Tigers had a stellar defense, allowing just 30 goals in total, playing close games against some of the top teams in the league including KP, Foxboro, and Canton.
Defense will be a strong suit of the Tigers once again this season. Even with the changes to the game with the new rule modifications, Taunton will hang its hat on the defensive end. Junior Emily Gannon is a major part of that, returning as the starting goalie after a breakout sophomore season. Gannon had over 100 saves last season, five shutouts, and allowed one or fewer goals in 10 of the 18 games played.
Gannon will have a familiar face in front of her as Jocelyn Pagliuca enters her third season as a key piece of the Tigers’ defense. With that much experience in the defensive end, expect Taunton to be among the toughest groups to break down.
The Tigers are hoping to find the back of the net more during the 2020 season. With last year’s leading scorer back in Alana Tavares, there’s a good chance that happens. Tavares, who has been on the team since eighth grade, will be among the top threats in the league. Having more space will allow Tavares to use her speed to get behind the defense and attack the net. Taunton head coach Liz Hathaway is expecting big contributions from junior Ashley Amaro and senior Skylar Rheaume as well.
“This season will be different but we are up for the challenge and we are grateful to have a season,” Hathaway said. “The girls have been working hard to keep the season going. They are also working hard and embracing the 7 vs. 7 format.”
Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Anna Beck, Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Anna Beck, Attleboro
Campell Compton, Attleboro
Riley O’Connor, Canton
Kaitlyn Goyetch, Canton
Maria Femia, Canton
Meghan LaBelle, Canton
Jaime Notarangelo, Foxboro
Ella Waryas, Foxboro
Shannon Egan, Foxboro
Amanda Lewandowski, Franklin
Olivia Rondeau, Franklin
Maeve Ledwith, Franklin
Stephanie Bell, Franklin
Makenzie Manning, King Philip
Sammy Robison, King Philip
Grace Doyle, Mansfield
Abby Varricchione, Mansfield
Kat Swineford, Milford
Lindsay Robinson, North Attleboro
Emma Strachan, North Attleboro
Cassie Gennis, Oliver Ames
Ellie Waters, Oliver Ames
Georgia Costello, Oliver Ames
Haley Nelson, Stoughton
Alana Tavares, Taunton
Kathryn Robinson, Taunton
King Philip, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – King Philip’s Brian McCarthy scored in the final minute of play to help the Warriors earn a point in their regular season finale. Cam Lawrence put a free kick into the area and McCarthy was able to latch onto the loose ball to bring the hosts level.
Sharon, 1 @ Walpole, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 3 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton’s Edwin Jean scored a pair of goals inside a two minute span in the second half to help the Tigers break into the win column in league play in the season finale. With the game tied 2-2, Jean scored in the 58th minute and again in the 60th minute to put the Tigers ahead for good. Ed Paiva put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute but Stoughton’s Seby Pierre leveled the game nine minutes later. Taunton’s Travis Nunes gave his side a 2-1 lead just before halftime off an assist from Alec Nunes. Jon Santos grabbed his first of the game in the 52nd minute to tie the game before Jean’s brace. Santos scored again in the 70th minute to bring the Black Knights within one.
Mansfield, 1 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – The Hornets had a chance to get into the postseason with a win at B-R, but the Trojans scored with just three minutes left to earn the victory. B-R scored first but Abby Jean equalized for Mansfield with six minutes remaining and as the Hornets pushed for the winner, the hosts found a goal.
Milford vs. Hopedale, 6:00
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Braintree, 2 – Final – The Rocketeers rallied twice from a goal down to earn a draw against a Braintree. Alex Moulson scored five minutes before the break off a Olivia Wills assist to tie the game and then Caroline Ferrin equalized for North with four minutes left in the game on a shot from 25 yards out. Tess Collins also hit the bar in the second half for North. Regan Fein and Caitlin Echeverri split time in goal and seniors Lily Cameron, Colette Petit, Kyla Rodrigues, Lydia Hershey, and Taylor Ward all played well in their final games for North.
Sharon, 1 vs. Ursuline Academy, 3 – Final
Field Hockey D1 South
#15 Mansfield, 2 vs. #18 Nauset, 1 – Final
#21 Oliver Ames, 2 @ #12 Braintree, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames cut the Braintree lead to one and had several chances to tie the game but the Wamps scored two unanswered goals to secure the win. Sofia Anestam scored with 2:28 left in the first half on an assist from Cassie Gennis to get the Tigers on the board, down 3-1 at half. Georgia Costello scored shortly into the second half to get bring OA within one. Maggie Woods had a strong game in the midfield while Peyton Phillips (13 saves) was outstanding in net.
Game of the Week – Football
Foxboro, 21 @ Milford, 10 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 55-yard pass to Elijah Lewis, Cam Prescott XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Luke Rosa 2-yard rush, CJ Cerrella XP good; (M) C. Cerrella 37-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 1-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 44-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
Canton, 35 @ Sharon, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 42-yard pass to David Allen, O. Lehane XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 8-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Nick Cushman 10-yard fumble return, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 18-yard pass to Jace Emma, O. Lehane XP.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) Kiran Chandrasekaran 12-yard pass to Conor McLaughlin, Alec Filipkowski XP good.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Thomas Gasbarro 5-yard pass to Jake Davis, Parker Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 63-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 32-yard pass to J. Davis, P. Cheuvront XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Nally 5-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 28 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game 1st Quarter: (S) Clayton Rahaman 20-yard pass to Christian Ais, Anthony Girolamo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Christopher Ais 22-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Ais 36-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good; (S) Christian Ais 27-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) Christian Georges 48-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good.
Milford, 3 vs. Walpole, 3 – Final – Milford trailed 3-1 with under 10 minutes play but scored a pair of goals in a three-minute span to earn a draw against visiting Walpole. Carly Ferreira was outstanding in goal for the Hawks while Ashleigh Starks, Juliana France, and Maddie Boyle each scored.
Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Stoughton took a lead in each half but Taunton answered each time to split the points in a draw. Emma McSweeney put the Black Knights up with a shot from atop the 18-yard box but Kayla Botelho answered minutes later to make it 1-1 heading into halftime. Mackenzie Manning put the hosts back in front in the 46th minute but Morgan Zakrzewski converted a shot from 20 yards out in the 67th minute to level the scoring.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro’s Hannah Webster scored the lone goal of the second half to help the Bombardiers earn an impressive draw against the Kelley-Rex champions Franklin. The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Hanna Richardson and Stephanie Bell (assisted by Amanda Lewandowski) but Attleboro’s Madison Ellis and Anna Beck scored back-to-back goals to tie it 2-2. Richardson (from Lewandowski) scored her second of the half to put Franklin back ahead, 3-2, at halftime. Neilee Hess had 10 saves in net for the Panthers while Olivia Curreri and Molly Collins each had great defensive saves today to help Franklin preserve the tie.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of second half goals to rally for a win, earning a spot in the state tournament in the final game of the season. KP freshman Lauren Barreiro scored midway through the first half, a 1-0 advantage that the Warriors took into halftime. Cassie Gennis scored a pair of second half goals to help the Tigers rally for the win. Gennis struck in the 41st minute on an assist from Maura Kiernan, and then scored again four minutes later from Georgia Costello to put the hosts in front.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and earned a 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-12) sweep, earning a share of the Kelley-Rex division title with a win combined with OA’s win over KP. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard had 10 kills and seven digs, Cailyn Mackintosh handed out 17 assists, and Jill Benoit had seven digs for the Panthers.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Canton earned a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-13) win on the road to secure sole possession of the Davenport division title. Taylor Harris has 17 kills, two aces and eight digs to pace the Bulldogs while Liz Bickett (13 digs, four aces), Shannon Malloy, Claire Quinn and Angie Elias were solid at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played great defense, and Katie Lynch came in and served well for Canton.
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro won the first set on the road at North Attleboro but the hosts rallied to win three straight to pick up a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-13) win over the Warriors. For Foxboro, Kelsey Treweek (20 digs) and Pam Nelson (16 digs) played well defensively, Shakirah Ketant added four blocks and three kills, and Grace Boudreau had 16 kills and four total blocks.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Oliver Ames won two straight to secure a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21) win over King Philip. With the win, Oliver Ames earns a share of the Kelley-Rex division title alongside the Warriors and Franklin. Senior Jordan Bosse helped pace the offense with 16 kills and 14 digs, Allie Kemp handed out 30 assists, and Alison Barth finished with 22 digs. Junior Jordan Bennett added six kills, two blocks, and three aces in the win. For King Philip, Nicole Coughlan (14 kills, two blocks) and Catherine Waldeck (seven kills, two blocks) had strong games at the net, Ali McNamara added seven kills and two digs, and Kiley Sullivan dished out 19 assists.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield pulled out a pair of tight wins in the first two sets and then finished off a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-12) sweep on the road. Julia Buiser had 15 service points and five digs, Sam Sternburg added 10 service points and eight digs, and Emily Dardinski had a strong game offensively with five kills for the Hornets.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – With a minute left in the first half, King Philip appeared to be running away with a comfortable win. The Warriors scored the first four goals against Oliver Ames on Monday night at Macktaz Field, but then the Tigers got on the board and stole the momentum.
Twice in the second half OA cut the lead to just two goals, but each time the Warriors were able to find a response, taking back control long enough to hold on for a 5-3 victory that keeps KP within five points of league leading Franklin.
“We fell asleep a little bit,” admitted KP coach Lisa Cropper. “We got a little too comfortable and they weren’t going to quit. They’ve got some really good goal scorers, some really nice crossing balls that we just fell asleep on. We’ve been really tight and good defensively lately and I think we felt a little too comfortable with that 4-0 lead.”
KP got off to the perfect start to the night. Only two minutes into the game, the Warriors broke quickly and a centering pass from the right found Olivia Kulesza in front. She was able to find the touch in a crowd and knocked it in.
In the 12th minute, KP nearly doubled the lead when Paige Berdos stole the ball and raced clean through on goal, only to be denied by OA goalie Kara Ostrander.
Four minutes later, the Warriors did find a second goal and then just seconds later made it 3-0.
Berdos started the move by racing free down the right wing before passing it ahead to Kulesza. The junior, who was moved up from defense to forward earlier this season, managed to keep the ball alive on the end line and then slipped a square pass across the front of goal where Abby Nixon was on hand to tap it in. Just 30 seconds later, Raegan Simeone finished off another nice KP move.
“We were so hyped up for the game,” said OA coach Sharon Lawrence. “I think we played a little frazzled in the beginning, very panicky, couldn’t settle the ball. We play a good possession hockey game and we were off of that game in the beginning. It took us a few minutes to get settled in.”
With about a minute remaining in the first half, King Philip appeared to put the game away. Berdos got space to take a whack from the right side and was able to find the back of the net to make it 4-0.
OA was on the brink of being run off the field, but then the Tigers finally found a successful attack of their own. Hannah Stryke got her first of the night to give some hope to the visitors before the break.
“Huge, we needed some momentum for sure,” Lawrence said of that late goal. “We just said, forget about the scoreboard. We’ve got some momentum, we’re chipping away and let’s just keep putting the pressure on.”
The message seemed to have gotten through as the Tigers dominated the opening portion of the second half, creating a series of corners and dangerous scoring chances. KP goalie Grace May made a big stop to keep the three-goal lead but then OA got its second. Cassie Gennis created space on the righthand side and crossed it to Stryke in front for a one-time finish.
Cropper said, “I called a timeout and I said, look we need to answer back. All of a sudden we stopped playing with each other and using each other and once we started doing that again we had our way down in their circle.”
Nixon helped KP respond and restore a three-goal edge. She weaved her way through the KP defense down the left side, getting all the way to the crease before the ball was knocked away. It fell to the stick of Christina Gifun, whose shot was saved by new OA goalie Peyton Phillips and the rebound came right to Nixon in front of an empty net.
“She’s getting better and better at that and she can do it from the left side, which is rare in a high school player,” Cropper said of Nixon. “Sometimes the left wing gets left out but with Sammy Robison at center back and Grace [Crocker] at center mid and Raegan at left mid, we look for her. Those four have combined really nicely.”
If there was any concern that OA may fold once KP added to its lead, it was quickly wiped away. Again it was Gennis that created the opening with a good run on the right and she sent the ball through the middle to Stryke, who capped her hat trick with another first-time hit.
“We got Hannah Stryke back on the scoreboard tonight, she was firing away,” said Lawrence. “Cassie Gennis was bringing the ball down on the right, she had an amazing game.”
“Part of our game too is transferring the ball, which we didn’t do enough of tonight,” Lawrence explained, “but usually those two in the middle are good at kind of switching the field so we could move the ball up and around.”
It was the fifth win in six games for the Warriors, who remain in second place in the Kelley-Rex. King Philip (7-3-1, 7-2-1) will have a quick turnaround with a trip to Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) on Tuesday. Oliver Ames (5-7, 4-6) enter the closing stretch of six games needing four to clinch a playoff spot. The Tigers start by hosting Canton on Thursday.
Foxboro, 21 @ North Attleboro, 14 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 12-yard pass to Ryan Hughes, Tyler James XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 13-yard pass to Brian Derba, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 64-yard rush, S. Kerrigan 2pt pass to Luis Sulham.
4th Quarter: (NA) Dan Hayes fumble recovery in the end zone, Evan Vigorito XP good; (NA) Tyler DeMattio 1-yard rush, E. Vigorito XP good.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames earned a point on the road with a draw at Bridgewater-Raynham. Sophomores Lauren Sellmayer and Camryn O’Connor each scored for the Tigers with senior Erin Holmberg assisting on both. Olivia Carroll and Abby Hodges both played well for OA.
Franklin, 1 @ Walpole, 2 – Final – In a battle of two of the top teams in the state, Walpole scored the lone goal of the second half to earn the win. The Rebels opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the game but Hanna Richardson, on an assist from Kaitlyn Carney, scored in the 11th minute to make it 1-1. The Panthers’ defense played strong, limiting Walpole to one goal on 19 corners while Neilee Hess made 13 saves in goal.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Braintree, 5 – Final – Georgia Costello scored a pair of goals but the Tigers fell at home to visiting Braintree. Maggie Woods had two assists while Ellie Waters had OA’s first goal, assisted by Cassie Gennis.