FOXBORO, Mass. – For the past month, Foxboro and North Attleboro have been taking care of business on the court with half an eye on each other’s results. Since the two teams last met on Jan. 20, North went 5-2 (despite missing senior guard Ashley Ahern for all seven games) including a five-game win streak entering Friday night. Meanwhile, Foxboro rattled off nine straight wins, eight off those coming in the league.
Grace Tamulionis scored 11 points, knocking down a trio of three-pointers, and all four of her shots were assisted by Lily Sykes (seven assists). Kristen Bortolotti also got off to a strong start with six of her 12 points in the first.
“It’s what they’ve been doing,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “They’ve been hot for a while. Once they got that consistent third shooter then they present a matchup problem for anyone. I was hoping we could mix and match and keep them uncomfortable but unfortunately they came out and shot the ball very well.”
The lead stretched to as many as 18 in the second quarter, after a Lauren Flahive (six points) jumper, but North started to find the range on offense and slow down the Warriors. Samantha Taggart scored seven of her team-high 12 in the second and assisted on a Caroline Collard (seven points, seven rebounds) jumper that cut the lead to 28-21.
It was as close as the Rocketeers would get for the rest of the night. Hailey Maling drove and kicked out to Riley Collins for a three that regained a double digit lead for the hosts at the break.
“Obviously, we had a great first quarter and we were bound to have a little bit of an offensive letdown in the second, but to be up by 10 going into halftime I was pleased with that,” said Downs. “Just the way the came out and the amount of energy they showed, I knew we were in for a good game.”
Foxboro came out of halftime intent on putting the game away and that is what the Warriors did, using an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 21 points (46-25). Ashley Sampson (game-high 19 points) was the aggressor for the Warriors, scoring seven in the third including a corner three off a Sykes assist and then going coast-to-coast for a layup off a steal. Bortolotti and Tamulionis (18 points) each added four in the quarter.
“In the second quarter we were able to score and defend a little better and keep them disrupted. In the third quarter, we just couldn’t sustain it offensively,” said Herber, whose team trailed 50-32 entering the fourth.
On Monday night against Bridgewater-Raynham, Foxboro had only four players get on the score sheet, but on Friday eight Warriors scored at least two points. That balance made it difficult for North to send help for Emily Schromm on Sampson and the senior got into foul trouble in the third quarter. In the end, Schromm and Collard would both foul out.
“The problem is the third player,” Herber explained. “We can cover two, but the third player is a tough matchup for us. We need to keep our bigs in the game to score on offense but it puts them in a bind on defense.”
Foxboro also had a decisive edge on the glass, despite North’s advantage in height. The Warriors were plus-10 on the boards, which Downs credited to a total team effort.
She said, “That hasn’t been our story all season long…especially against a team that has some height on us…They were all contributing to keeping that ball and getting second and third opportunities.”
Julia Feid scored a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 19 in the fourth, but Foxboro responded to seal the win and the title. Sampson hit a pair of free throws (two of her six points in the fourth and 13 in the second half) and then assisted on a Maling jumper. Maling then provided her second assist of the game on a kick-out to Tamulionis for a dagger three.
“You can’t win games with two or three girls scoring,” Downs said, “and we have scorers, so we have to make sure that we keep them in the offense and we’re rotating the ball to get different looks from different people so that we’re a hard matchup.”
After clinching its eighth league title and second in the past three seasons, Foxboro (16-2, 14-2) will try to sew up the top seed in Div. 2 South in its end-of-season Warrior Classic beginning with Whitman-Hanson on Monday. North Attleboro (15-5, 13-3) will also try to work on its seeding for Div. 2 South and get revenge for an earlier loss when it travels to Attleboro.
Stoughton, 68 @ Sharon, 61 – Final – Stoughton junior Cam Andrews scored a career-high 28 points to pace the Black Knights to their first win over Sharon since January 2013. Stoughton held a double-digit lead at halftime (35-23) but Sharon cut it to five (49-44) entering the fourth quarter. The Black Knights outscored Sharon 7-3 over the final two minutes of play. Ricardo Ripley led the Eagles with 19 points while Malik Lorquet added 13 points and Jimmy Fitzhenry had 12 points.
Franklin, 38 @ Attleboro, 49 – Final
Foxboro, 69 @ Canton, 31 – Final – Ashley Sampson scored a game-high 20 points for the Warriors. Hailey Maling added 15 and Grace Tamulionis had 10 for Foxboro. Hannah Jerrier scored 11 points and Emma Murphy added 10 for the Bulldogs.
Mansfield, 60 @ King Philip, 28 – Final – Jen Peel was the top scorer with 18 points in the win. Ann Maher and Maggie Danehy each chipped in with nine points apiece and Meg Hill had six points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets. KP was led by Julia Leroux and Christina Hathaway, who both scored eight points.
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Taunton, 20 – Final – Oliver Ames build a 24-6 lead at halftime and never looked back. Kayla Raymond led OA with 15 points and seven rebounds while Abby Reardon added eight points and four assists.
Sharon, 29 @ Stoughton, 43 – Final – Jordan Motley and Val Whalen each had double-doubles for the Black Knights. Motley had 11 points and 23 rebounds and Whalen scored 12 points and pulled down 18 boards. Sharon sophomore Emma Eberhardt scored a team-high 15 points for the Eagles.
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – After taking all of Christmas break off and not playing for 17 days, Foxboro is in the midst of a busy stretch of basketball and on Monday night traveled to Bridgewater-Raynham for a non-league matchup against the Trojans.
The Warriors were clearly the more talented team and took a big lead into halftime but came out sluggish to start the third quarter, allowing the hosts to go on a 7-2 run that cut the lead to 14 points and forced head coach Lisa Downs into a timeout.
Downs was able to wake Foxboro up from its halftime slumber and the Warriors scored 15 of the next 19 points to take back control and head into the fourth with a 25-point advantage. Foxboro cruised to a 65-36, extending its win streak to four games since a season-opening loss to Mansfield and made it three straight wins by more than 20 points.
The Warriors came out with typical intensity on the defensive side of the floor and held the Trojans to only one made field goal in the first quarter and only three for the entire first half, but they were also committing fouls and sent B-R to the line 12 times. Junior guard Ashley Sampson missed almost the entire first quarter after picking up a second early foul.
“That’s kind of been our Achille’s heel the past few games,” said Downs. “We play so fast and our hands are so quick that if the refs are calling the touch fouls and the hand checks…We’re very aggressive and we work on that but we also work on not using our hands, which is not what we’ve been doing the past couple games.”
It took the Warriors time to get going offensively without Sampson, but Grace Tamulionis (eight points, seven rebounds) knocked down a jumper and scored on a drive down the lane. Lauren Flahive also came off the bench to score four of her eight points, both on pump-fakes and drives to the basket.
Leading 11-4 after the first, Foxboro brought Sampson back in for the second and the offense exploded for 22 points. Sampson (game-high 16 points) got it started with a bucket in transition and then buried a three off a Lily Sykes assist. Sykes (15 points) followed it with a score plus the foul to cap a 9-0 run.
Sykes would assist on a Tamulionis corner three and then Hailey Maling kicked it out to Sykes for another three and a 33-14 halftime advantage.
The intensity that the Warriors showed in the early part of the game was mimicked by the Trojans at the start of the second half. B-R went into a full-court press and Foxboro seemed rattled by it, struggling to get the ball up the court and turning it over frequently. B-R went on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 35-21 before Downs called a timeout.
“They just got a little bit lax on our rebounding and our half-court defense wasn’t as good as it had been in the first half,” she explained. “Things like that just make me cringe.”
Sampson scored back-to-back baskets out of the timeout to restore an 18-point lead and sparked another Foxboro run that had the Warriors doubling up the Trojans heading to the fourth.
Flahive scored on a layup, Riley Collins (10 points) finished a three-point play on the break and then Sykes closed the quarter with a corner three off a Tamulionis assist and another from deep off an assist by Shannon Smally. Collins started the fourth with a shot from long distance and then Kristen Bortolotti followed with a three as well, as the game turned into a rout.
“Riley’s been a little sparkplug in there,” said Downs. “She’s been great to have out there this year. She’s a great complement to have off the bench for Ashley or Lily or even to have the three on the floor is a powerful thing.”
The Warriors are not the biggest team but they were able to hold their own on the glass, pulling down one fewer rebound than the Trojans on the night. It is a key component to the defensive effort and Downs was happy to see players like Flahive, Sykes (five rebounds), and Sampson (seven rebounds) get involved.
“Grace did a great job on the boards and even Lauren Flahive did good things on the boards,” Downs said. “That’s the thing I tell them all the time is that you don’t have to be a great basketball player to be a great rebounder or good defensive player, it’s all about effort and who wants it more.”
Foxboro (4-1) will return to league play on Tuesday night when it hosts Stoughton.
2015-16 Record: 6-14 (3-13) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Jim Choquette
The Bulldogs continue to add to the program both on the court and on the bench with former Canton and UMass Boston star Olivia Murphy joining the coaching staff this season to help out with the freshman team. It is a sign of the continued growth of the program under head coach Jim Choquette, who is hoping that the momentum built at the end of last season will carry over to this year.
Senior forward Emma Murphy returns after a league all-star season and will be joined on the front line by returning starters senior Casey Shea and juniorHannah Jerrier, who was an honorable mention for all-star last winter. Adding depth on the front line will be sophomore forwards Molly Ludwig and Erin Devine, who lacks inexperience but adds significant height.
“Our strengths will be scrappy defense and rebounding on both ends,” said Choquette. “our goal is to improve each game and be playing our best headed into the last part of the season…the faster we find chemistry the faster we’ll find the win column.”
2015-16 Record: 15-7 (11-5) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal Head Coach: Lisa Downs
Despite a lot of youth in the lineup, Foxboro has been one of the top teams in the Davenport division for several seasons and this year should be no different, as the Warriors enter the winter with very high expectations and as one of the favorites for the league title.
A lot of the interest in the Warriors stems from the continued development of junior point guard Ashley Sampson, who has turned into one of the best all-around guards in the Hockomock and is the player that the Foxboro offense flows through. Sampson has plenty of help in the backcourt with classmate Lily Sykes, who offers scoring from the perimeter, and seniors Lauren Flahive, Riley Collins (back after an injury), and Hailey Maling, who are all strong on the ball defenders.
In the front court, Kristen Bortolotti is back after missing last year with an injury and will add speed and a strong mid-range game. Junior Grace Tamulionis is another matchup nightmare for the opposition with her size on the boards and on defense and her ability to step outside and shoot the three. Junior Shannon Smally continues to improve and gives the Warriors an inside presence, while newcomers Chelsea Gibbons and Abby Hassmancould make big contributions for the Warriors.
“The girls have been playing together throughout the summer and fall and this familiarity should work to our benefit this season,” said head coach Lisa Downs. “We will continue to focus on our running game and our defensive efforts and I am fortunate to have the players that not only buy into this system, but, also appreciate this pace.”
2015-16 Record: 9-11 (5-11) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: T.J. Dolliver
After missing out on a playoff spot by one game a season ago under first-year head coach T.J. Dolliver, Milford enters this winter with high hopes of making the leap into the postseason with a deep and versatile roster that has gained a lot of experience together over the past few seasons.
The enthusiasm for the Hawks begins with dynamic junior point guard Kate Irwin, who has shown the ability to get to the basket at will, draw defenses to get open looks for her teammates and also be a pesky on the ball defender. With Irwin creating open shots, junior Emily Piergustavo’s return after missing last year with an injury will be a big boost on the perimeter along with senior guard Jill Burley.
“These girls have been playing together for a while and their team chemistry is amazing,” said Dolliver. “We are starting to learn the minor details of offense and defense in order to give our team a better chance of success.”
2015-16 Record: 11-10 (9-7) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South tournament Head Coach: Derek Herber
The Rocketeers head into their first season in the Davenport division with eight returning players from last year’s team that was two points away from a first round victory in the Div. 2 South tournament against Hock rival Oliver Ames.
Senior Ashley Ahern is a three-year starter at guard and was the team’s leading scorer last winter. Ahern will be the player that gets the offense going, but she will get plenty of help from her classmates, Emily Schromm and Samantha Taggart. Schromm was one of the top defenders in the league and can stretch a defense with her outside shooting and Taggart can play all three guard positions and led North in assists last year. In the paint, senior Caroline Collard is the team’s leading rebounder and showed a soft touch around the basket.
North can also look for improvements from sophomore Julia Feid, who got valuable minutes as a rookie last year, senior Liz Morehouse, who adds depth in the post, and juniors Julia Santos, who both brought athleticism off the bench at the wing positions. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Roberts is a newcomer who adds size and outside shooting and junior Emily Pastore can step in at all three guard positions.
The Rocketeers have plenty of experience on the roster and will be one of the favorites for the league title at the beginning of the season. While head coach Derek Herber can count on a number of returning players, he hopes to “mix in a few new faces into the lineup to help with depth.”
Sharon is another team that has been building with youth and has created a lot of depth on its roster and, despite losing three of its top four scorers from last winter, has garnered preseason hype as a potential sleeper to make a return to the postseason for the first time since the Eagles made a run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
The Eagles will be hoping for an improvement on the offensive side of the ball, which was a challenge at times last winter. Junior point guard Shira Stoller, a three-year starter, is continuing to improve at limiting turnovers and looking for her own shot as well as setting up teammates. One of the players that benefits from Stoller’s ability to get into the lane is sophomore Emma Eberhardt, who was third on the team in points as a rookie and continues to develop into a consistent wing scorer.
Sophomore Veronica Wallace has emerged as one of the top backcourt defenders during the preseason and is one of the fastest players on the Sharon roster. Senior Ana Crosby, who is also a standout on the soccer and lacrosse fields, is another player that is continuing to improve and will have an increased role this season. Freshman Kaitlyn Wallace is a newcomer to watch and could have a bigger role to play over the course of the year.
“Our defense is going to have to be our key in order to compete, and our girls know that,” said third-year coach Cliff Tomassian. “We get our best looks on offense off of great defensive stands. Our girls are going to have to be patient and vigilant on both ends and be ready to take chances.”
2015-16 Record: 7-11 (7-9) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
The Black Knights lost six seniors to graduation but this offers plenty of opportunities for a new crop of younger players to get playing time and learn the system of second-year head coach, and former Stoughton star, Charmaine Steele Jordan.
Two of the players that will be counted on most this season are junior forwards Val Whalen and Jordan Motley, who are two of the best rebounders in the league and can also get out on the break and score in transition. Their development in the half-court offense will be a key for Stoughton making a playoff push in the Davenport division this season. Senior Lili Njiem is another player that could make a big impact, as one of the team’s three captains.
The Black Knights will have as many senior as freshmen on this year’s roster (three) along with four sophomores and three juniors, so the foundation for the future is in place. Shyanne Trinh, Lexi Baptista, and Aliyah Wright are the three newcomers to the program who will be hoping to make an instant impact.
“So excited for the upcoming season,” said Steele Jordan. “We lost six seniors so there is lots of opportunity for our players to step up. Our returnees from last year will contribute for us despite being pretty young.”
MEDFIELD, Mass. – It was the type of game that left spectators thinking it was a shame that either side had to lose. It was a game with wild swings of emotion and momentum. It had a coach with arms raised dancing down the sideline and it caused tears on both the winning and losing benches.
Twice Foxboro had the game in its grasp and both times Medfield managed to stave off defeat. A headed goal with only four minutes remaining forced overtime and then backup goalie Emma Hilvert became the hero, saving a penalty to stay alive and then saving a second to get the win.
For the third time in the past four seasons, Medfield knocked Foxboro out of the playoffs, winning 5-4 in a shootout following a breathless 2-2 draw Monday night at Calvin Fisher Field.
“Unfortunately with PKs it stinks,” said Foxboro coach Kaitlin Lamothe-Vaughn after the game. “It’s exciting, but it is what it is. It was a pretty good matchup between the two of us and when you get to PKs it’s anybody’s game.”
Foxboro led 2-1 inside the final five minutes when Medfield earned a corner kick. The ball was played into the middle by junior Maggie McCarthy and Sophia Ouimette out-jumped the Foxboro defense to head home from close range. Medfield almost won it in the final seconds of regulation but Alanna Cooney shot it right at Foxboro keeper Hallie Canfield.
The best chance of the first overtime fell to Foxboro senior Riley Collins, who got on the end of a cross by classmate Hailey Maling, but could not direct it on target.
In the second overtime, Medfield had the chances for the golden goal winner, but Allison Petit saw her long-range effort land on top of the goal and Canfield came through with a clutch save, denying Cooney with a sliding block a few yards outside of the box as the Medfield forward raced onto a through ball.
“Hallie had an amazing game,” said Lamothe-Vaughn. “She came out when she needed to come out, she was directing players, I mean she’s made great saves the past two games.”
The game would be decided by penalty kicks. Both teams made each of the first three (Kristen Bortolotti, Lily Sykes, and Canfield scoring for Foxboro). On the fourth Medfield kick, Canfield got down well to her right to make the save and put Foxboro once again on the verge of the Div. 2 South semifinal.
Jamie Gorham added the fourth kick for the visitors and that was matched by Medfield. Lauren Flahive had a shot at the win, but Hilvert used her full reach to tip the shot away. After Medfield added a fifth off the fingertips of Canfield and just inside the post, Hilvert again went full stretch to deny Collins to seal the win.
“It’s a tough one, especially with 11 seniors,” said Lamothe-Vaughn. “We’re losing a lot, so it’s hard.”
She added, “We’ve played them, we knew they were a senior team, we knew what they had, so that helped too. As much as I don’t want to see them, we know what we’re up against…I just kind of wish we would get someone new.”
Foxboro had started the game well, creating chances and denying Medfield time and space in the midfield and playing a high defensive line that caught star striker Taylor Sherman offsides several times in the first half. The partnership of Gorham and Flahive with help from Alexandra Stamatos on the left side managed to keep the hosts under wraps.
“We have great speed back there with the three of them,” said Lamothe-Vaughn. “[Medfield] had tons of speed and having them back there was big for us because we would have been blown out of the water if we didn’t have that kind of speed.”
Maling had Foxboro’s first chance with a looping shot that hit the crossbar and she provided a consistent outlet on the right wing running off center forwards Bortolotti and Olivia Dantona. On the opposite side was Collins and she had several chances, including a shot that was kicked aside at the back post after an angled cross by Sykes.
Lamothe-Vaughn said, “Hailey and Riley both had great runs up the sidelines…We were getting lost in the kick-and-run game, which if we had the ball down a little bit more and we were possessing it then we would’ve had even more opportunities with Riley and Kristen up top.”
Bortolotti opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a shot from 25 yards that took a bounce in front of the keeper and slipped through the five-hole for a fortuitous 1-0 lead. It would last until 10 minutes after the break when Sherman responded for Medfield, holding off two defenders before sliding a shot into the bottom corner.
Seven minutes later, Sherman almost gave Medfield he lead with another run down the right channel but her powerful shot smacked off the post. Almost immediately back down the other end, Bortolotti ran at the Medfield back line and opened space for a drop off pass to Maling who hit it first time and curled it past the static keeper.
The lead lasted 20 minutes, until Medfield’s late heroics snatched an equalizer. Despite the defeat, Lamothe-Vaughn was proud of the way her team finished the season against tough opponents like Notre Dame Academy and Medfield.
“We play in an extremely good league,” she said. “Our season is preparing us for tournament and even though our record is not what we want it to be it prepared us for Notre Dame and Medfield, some of the best teams in our division.”
Canton @ Stoughton – Postponed to 10/31 at 3:30.
Foxboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to 10/28 at 4:00.
Franklin @ King Philip – Postponed to 10/28 at 3:30.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Thomas McCormick was in a giving mood on Thursday night, registering a pair of assists to pace the Tigers to a win on the road. McCormick set up junior Nathaniel Cardoza in the first half for the game-winning goal. Junior Matt Campbell added an insurance goal early in the second half off another assist from Cardoza.
Sharon, 5 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Each team had a first half lead but the squads headed into halftime tied 2-2. Sharon went on to score three goals in the second half to come away with the two points. Andrew Reyes-Jones opened the scoring in the first minute to give Sharon the lead before Marcello Panno tied it on an assist from Pedro Sampaio. Sampaio put Milford ahead on an assist from Joey Madden but Shalin Patel tied the game off a corner kick from Michael Baur. In the second half, Ben Stamm scored two straight games, on assists from Jeffery Gao and Baur. Jake Teven capped the scoring on an assist from Spencer Hall. Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Nuno Mestre played well on defense.
Stoughton @ Canton – Postponed to 10/31 at 3:30.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Riley Collins opened the scoring for Foxboro off an assist by Hailey Maling. Haley Guertin equalized for North before halftime on an assist from Haley Ferrin. Ashlyn Gaulin then scored the game-winner in the second half off an assist from sister Emma Gaulin to give the Rocketeers the two points. North head coach Bill Wallace said Rachel LaBonte, Emily Chiasson and Aine Mendonca played well while Nina Beauvais made a couple of great saves in net.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Rachel Hogan scored the lone goal for the Warriors and Nadia Havens scored for the Panthers on an assist by Calen Frongillo.
Mansfield, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Hannah Reiter scored off a Emily Vigeant free kick early in the second half. Lauren Wright answered for the Tigers off an assist by Emily Freeman.
Milford @ Sharon Postponed to 10/28 at 3:45.
Foxboro @ North Attleboro, 4:45
King Philip, 3 @ Westwood, 0 – Final – King Philip closed the regular season with a sweep on the road, winning 25-18, 25-19, 25-17 to finish the regular season 18-2. Sydney Phillips had 14 kills, Emma Lopez added six kills and Amanda Loewen chipped in with six digs.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Brockton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames qualified for the state tournament with a 25-11, 25-21, 25-21 win over the Boxers. Jackie Kandar four kills and two blocks, Bridget McCarthy finished with 27 assists and two aces, Emma Petrillo had a team-high nine kills and three aces and Kayla Raymond (three blocks) and Maya Fetcho (two blocks) had eight kills apiece.
2015 Record: 13-5-1 2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Kate Howarth
The Bulldogs will be happy to see Oliver Ames move on to the Kelley-Rex after finishing just behind the Tigers in the Davenport title race each of the past two seasons. Head coach Kate Howarth is now in her fourth season and Canton seems poised to make an even bigger impact this year with a number of returning players, despite still being a very young team that has only three seniors on the roster.
Canton’s strength starts at the back where senior goalie Kathryn Doody has developed into a solid shot stopper and also an extra sweeper who can cover when the defense steps up to press the play. Just in front of the keeper, Sarah Connolly will be in her third year on varsity and brings “loads of experience,” according to Howarth.
Junior Riley Duserick is back to run the middle of the pitch for the Bulldogs after a pair of all-star seasons. Her range of passing and her long-range shooting will force defenses to keep an eye on her at all times, which can open lanes for the pass into senior forwards Hannah Link and Tessa Cudmore. Both are in their fourth year on varsity and Howarth is counting on their experience to be in the right place to finish opportunities.
Howarth added, “We have some great depth this year. When we make subs I don’t think our quality will go down at all and that is very exciting.”
2015 Record: 9-9-0 2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Kaitlin Lamothe-Vaughn
The Warriors were one of several teams that battled injuries last season. Foxboro started the fall without its starting keeper, one of its primary forwards and with its star midfielder playing through an injury suffered in the off-season. The Warriors still reached the postseason but with a full roster set to start 2016, expectations are even higher.
The key player is junior midfielder Lily Sykes, who head coach Kaitlin Lamothe-Vaughn referred to as the team’s “rock.” Sykes has recovered from the injury problems she dealt with last year and will be the primary playmaker in behind the forwards. She will have plenty of experienced players to look for with the return of senior Kristen Bortolotti, who was one of Foxboro’s top scorers as a sophomore but missed all of last year with injury. Also up top, the Warriors will feature Olivia Dantona, Shaina Abbott, and Hannah Burns.
Another key returner is senior goalie Hallie Canfield, who missed significant time last year. She adds even more confidence to a returning back four of seniors Devon Mollica, Lauren Flahive, and Jamie Gorman and sophomore Alex Stamatos. With Hailey Maling and Riley Collins running the wings, Foxboro has plenty of familiar talent coming back to try and win the program’s first league title since 1993.
2015 Record: 8-9-2 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Jay Mastaj
For the past several seasons, Milford has been incorporating younger players in an effort to get back to the postseason, but injury troubles have limited the Hawks in the ultra-competitive Hock. This year, the Hawks have a good balance between senior leadership and young talent and could be poised for a breakthrough season.
The key players for Milford are senior captains Nicole Dahlgren, who is a strong presence in the center of defense with the ability to step into the midfield, and Kristen Franzini, who was the team’s leading scorer from a year ago with nine goals. The four-year starters will have help from midfielder Maggie Boyle and defender Rachel LeBlanc.
Head coach Jay Mastaj is excited about a strong crop of freshmen, including Maddie Boyle, Ashleigh Starks, Annie Flanagan, and Juliana France. Mastaj said that the team has plenty of depth this season. He added, “This is the most talented team that we have fielded in my four years here at Milford.”
While the Rocketeers had a solid regular season under first-year head coach Glenn Pasquel, not many expected North Attleboro to make a run through league rivals OA and Franklin to reach the Div. 1 South semifinal (a 2-1 loss to Whitman-Hanson). Key players like Hana Caster and Grace Guertin are gone, but North has a lot of returning talent for its first season in the Davenport and expectations are high at Kelly Field.
Much of the excitement around the program is in the attacking third where junior Haley Guertin will try to have another season like 2015 in which she scored 19 goals, led the league in scoring, and was named HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. She will receive help up top from winger Felicity Monfils, who emerged last year as a threat on the right wing for the Rocketeers. Emily Schromm and Julianna DiRenzo will try to fill the holes in midfield from the strong crop that graduated.
Goals are important but it was the development of the North defense that propelled the Rocketeers to a tournament run. The move of Rachel Labonte to sweeper turned into a masterstroke as she seemed to block every attack and move the ball quickly back into the attack. Emily Chiasson will join Labonte in the back line in front of new goalie Emma Noreck. Pasquel said, “Great start to the season, plenty of returning players…Looking forward to a great season.”
First-year head coach Brad Furnival has spent the preseason installing his style of play and building the organization needed to compete in the Hockomock League. So far, he said that results have been positive and he is excited to get the season underway. It may be a new coaching staff, but the Eagles have plenty of familiar names from last year’s young and talented squad.
Senior captains Anna Crosby and Ally Steinberg will be the players that Furnival is expecting to be leaders on and off the pitch and both have the potential to make an impact in the midfield. Ally Filipkowski has the foot skills and moves to create scoring chances for herself and her teammates.
In addition, Sharon will also have St. Michael’s College-commit Victoria Zambello and Ithaca College lacrosse commits Alex and Samantha Rabb back this season to add aggressiveness and energy to the team. There is a lot of talent on hand and Furnival is trying to find the right “vision” to mold the talent into a competitive team. He said, “I’m looking to have the perfect balance this season between players with a technical and physical prowess, which will make Sharon a much harder team to play against.”
Head coach Tara Daniels enters her second season with the Black Knights looking to continue the development of the program to compete in the very competitive Davenport division. Stoughton has several players that Daniels believes could make a big impact this season and see the Black Knights make a move up the standings.
The key for Stoughton will be the midfield where Emerson Sprague will try to run things from the center of the pitch. Daniels praised Sprague’s distribution and her ability to keep the Black Knights in possession. On the outside, senior captain Amelia Cochran will be racing up and down the wing and junior Mia Greene will be helping Sprague with the playmaking duties. Up front, sophomore Gabby Diaz will try to build on a solid freshman campaign.
The defense is led by junior captain Sarah Wildrow. Daniels said of the vocal outside back, “I’ve never seen Sarah get out-hustled.” Daniels added, “Hard work and staying healthy will be key to our success. Our goal this season is to keep our mind focused on teamwork and connecting passes.”
Today’s playoff games are listed below. Boys Basketball D1 Central
#3 Franklin, 62 vs. #6 Westford Academy, 60 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle tied a career-high with 24 points to pace the Panthers’ offense. Senior Kevin Gill broke the tie with a layup with 15 seconds to play. Senior Tim Prunier had 12 points and also came away with a big steal in the final minutes to prevent an easy basket from WA. Franklin will play #7 Framingham on Saturday at 5:00 at WPI. Girls Basketball D1 South
#4 Attleboro, 32 vs. #5 Wellesley, 43 – Final
#6 Mansfield, 40 @ #3 Newton South, 37 – Final – Meg Hill had a career-high 24 points for the Hornets. Jackie Carchedi added nine points for Mansfield and Caroline Maher hit two clutch free throws in the closing seconds. Mansfield will face No. 2 seed Bishop Feehan in the D1 South semifinal. D2 South
#15 North Attleboro, 46 @ #2 Oliver Ames, 47 – Final – The Tigers host No. 7 seed Notre Dame Academy on Saturday.
#6 Foxboro, 75 vs. #11 O’Bryant, 28 – Final – Cassidy Harrison led a balanced offensive attack with a team-high 15 points, Ashley Sampson and Grace Tamulionis each had 13 points and Hailey Maling added 12 points. The Warriors travel to No. 3 seed Falmouth on Saturday.
Today’s games are listed below. Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 88 @ King Philip, 66 – Final – Senior Kyle Murphy scored a career-high 21 points, pulling in eight rebounds and picking up three steals. Jake Dunkley paced the Bombardiers with 12 of his 17 points in the opening quarter, Berlyns Abraham had 12 points and six rebounds and Andrew Milliken also chipped in with 12 points.
Canton, 47 @ Oliver Ames, 70 – Final – Carter Evin scored 20 points and hauled in nine rebounds and Nick Welch came off the bench to net 14 points. Tony Harris scored a team-high 14 points for Canton.
Foxboro, 72 @ Stoughton, 55 – Final – Foxboro senior Jason Procaccini led all scorers with a game-high 21 points while Alex DuBrow (13 points) and Mark Clagg (11 points) also scored in double figures. Stoughton’s Jared Maher had 14 points for the Black Knights.
Franklin, 72 @ Taunton, 83 – Final – Quan Roberson scored a career-high 25 points and hauled in eight rebounds to go along with a pair of steals, blocks and assists to lead the Tigers. Jose Mercado added 19 points and seven rebounds, Tommy MacLean had 17 points, five assists and four rebounds, Dom Smith had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Carlos Borrero had seven points, nine rebounds and five assists. Tim Prunier led Franklin with 20 points, four assists and three rebounds, sophomore Paul Mahon finished with 19 points, five rebounds and six steals and freshman Jay Dieterle had 17 points and seven rebounds.
Sharon, 56 @ Milford, 57 – Final – Dimitry Torres hit a layup going across the paint with 4.3 seconds left to put the Scarlet Hawks ahead, then holding off a last second shot from the Eagles. Torres finished with a team-high 19 points while Zack Tamagni notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, having hit a half court buzzer beater to tie the game at the end of three. Kayden Kelley had seven points and 10 rebounds and Dwight Anderson added 10 points and seven rebounds for Milford.
Mansfield, 66 @ North Attleboro, 49 – Final – The Hornets held just a two point advantage at halftime and then just six at the end of three quarters but won the final quarter 23-12 to pick up the win. Sam Goldberg was a perfect 5/5 from the field for a game-high 13 points, also grabbing seven rebounds. Max Boen added 12 points and Matt Ehrlich had 10 points for Mansfield. Chad Peterson led North with 12 points while Brent Doherty and Jonny Friberg each added nine points. Girls Basketball
Oliver Ames, 58 @ Canton, 29 – Final – Kayla Raymond led the Tigers with 12 points while Hannah Carroll added 11 and Francesca Calabraro had 10 points. Emma Murphy was Canton’s top scorer with 10. The two teams joined together for Play4Kay Pink Night to raise money for breast cancer research.
Stoughton, 38 @ Foxboro, 83 – Final – Cassidy Harrison and Ashley Sampson each scored 18 points for the Warriors, who had five players reach double figures. Hailey Maling added 13 points, Grace Tamulionis scored 12 points and Lily Sykes finished with 10.
Taunton, 30 @ Franklin, 65 – Final – Erin Skidmore paced the Panthers with 15 points. Aubrie Kutil added 12 points and Catherine Gray had 10 for Franklin.
King Philip, 28 @ Attleboro, 46 – Final
North Attleboro, 30 @ Mansfield, 45 – Final – Meg Hill led Mansfield with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Jackie Carchedi had seven points and nine boards and Jen Peel had five points and six assists. North was led by Liz Morehouse with eight points and Ashley Ahern who scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter.
Milford, 53 @ Sharon, 46 – Final – Kate Irwin led the way for Milford with 13 points and Nicole Dahlgren added nine for the Hawks. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza who had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Charlotte Ransom added 13 points, five rebounds, and four steals. Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 @ Medfield, 6 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a pair of goals for the Warriors while Lilly Feeney added one.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Junior midfielder Francesca Calabraro continued her scoring surge with two goals inside of two second half minutes to break Foxboro’s resistance and lift Oliver Ames to a 3-0 win over its Davenport rival on Wednesday night at Muscato Stadium.
The win open up a six-point gap between the league leading Tigers and third place Foxboro.
The Tigers started the game on the front foot and pushed Foxboro back into its defending third, although the first shot on target was by Lily Sykes who had a go from 20 yards that was saved by Bethany Dunk. OA did not put a shot on target until the 13th minute when Delaney Benton’s 35-yard free kick was tipped over the bar at full stretch by Jalisa Allen.
Three minutes later, a corner came into the box and Allen got a touch to knock it out to the 18 where freshman Sophia Cox was lurking. She had a first-time shot that was deflected and forced another good stretching save from Allen.
Despite the OA pressure, the opening goal remained elusive. In the span of three minutes, Lauren Wright just missed the far post when played down the channel, Julia Roy had a shot from 20 yards land just outside the post with Allen stranded, and Calabraro rushed a shot from seven yards out after Jacqueline Mills worked space on the right and cut it back to her.
“We’re picking on a great player, but that’s what we talked about was having more composure,“ said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “We had the chances in the first half, but I think we just needed a little more composure in the attacking third.”
In the final two minutes of the first half, the Tigers created one more good look but Allen, who made seven of her 11 saves in the opening 40 minutes, was equal to the shot from Erin Fitzgerald.
Sykes had created a couple of shots for Foxboro in the first half and forced Dunk into three saves, but the Warriors had struggled to create clear-cut chances. That changed in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
Hailey Maling had a left-footed shot that went over the bar and Carolyn Will tested new OA keeper Regan Benton with a fiercely struck free kick that was just tipped over the bar. Five minutes later, Will had another go and the Warriors bench erupted thinking the senior had broken the deadlock but the ball had stuck the upright and landed behind the net.
“Defensively the first 10 minutes of the second half we were up here,” said Sellmayer. “I told them to settle down.”
“This is the group I’ve been waiting for for two years. So, we can play a little more on the ground, a little more possession, but we have to have the confidence to do it. “
Sellmayer made a switch and moved Calabraro back into the midfield and moved Kiana Lozzi up top as the striker. She got a chance in the 48th minute, but again the shot went wide when clear through on goa. Three minutes later, Roy got into the box and had a penalty appeal waved away before Benton ran onto the loose ball and forced Allen into a near post save.
The game remained scoreless until the 56th minute when a corner kick was played to the near post and Allen made a terrific reaction save on a header, but the ball bounced around and eventually found its way to Calabraro about three yards from an empty net and she nodded the Tigers in front.
Only a minute later and she had her second. Freshman defender Zoe Chazan found herself up field on the right and put in a perfect cross to the back post to find an unmarked Calabraro and she made no mistake.
“We had her on the outside the first couple of games and were trying to figure a couple things out,” said Sellmayer of Chazan. “We eventually moved her into the middle and I think that’s when we started playing our best soccer.”
“She cleans up a lot for us in the back. Her first touch is always away from pressure and then she’ll put it on someone’s foot.”
One of the main weapons throughout the game was the Tigers’ speedy wingers. Mills and Wright started and were spelled by Sam Bamford and Dana Lowney to allow OA to keep the pressure on and give an outlet for when Foxboro pushed forward.
The ability to sub in fresh bodies has been a key for Sellmayer this season and the difference between the squads was exacerbated by the injuries that Foxboro was dealing with.
“When someone asks about playing four games this week, I feel like we can do that because we go deeper,” said Sellmayer.
“I’ll throw four girls at one time and remove the whole attack or whole midfield and it’s just about being team first and being able to share minutes.”
With two minutes remaining, OA wrapped up the victory. Lozzi ran at the Warriors back line and was able to dance through on goal before calmly slotting her shot past Allen and make it 3-0.