Girls Soccer D1 South
#5 King Philip, 2 @ #1 Natick, 1 – Final – King Philip took the lead in the 11th minute when sophomore Chloe Layne blasted a song off the crossbar and in, putting the Warriors up 1-0 in the 11th minute. Natick knotted the game 1-1 in the 60th minute, but six minutes Layne found her second goal, converting a breakaway after being set up by Hanna Balunos. Emma Durant had a strong game in net for the Warriors.
Volleyball D1 Central East
#2 King Philip, 3 vs. #6 North Quincy, 2 – Final – King Philip outlasted sixth-seeded North Quincy, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to pick up the win and advance to the sectional final (25-18, 21-25, 15-25, 25-20, 15-10). Sydney Phillips paced the offense with 17 kills along with eight service points (one ace) and five digs while Kat Kmetz had eight service points (two aces), four kills, three blocks and a pair of digs. Rachael Veilleux chipped in with nine service points and four kills and Michaela Palumbo had 13 service points (two aces) and three kills.
Football – Non Playoffs
Mansfield, 0 vs. Natick, 16 – Final 1st Quarter: (N) Mansfield penalty, safety.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (N) Amir Wells 5-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (N) William Lederman 54-yard rush, XP good.
Milford, 25 @ Bishop Feehan, 28 – Final
Taunton, 9 @ Brockton, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (B) Brockton 4-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
4th Quarter: (T) Everett Fereira 26-yard field goal.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Not all scoreless draws are the same. The lack of a goal does not automatically mean that a game was stale or defensive or boring. It goes without saying that not many scoreless draws have enough incidents to fill a page in a notebook either.
Tuesday night’s rematch between Kelley-Rex division co-leaders King Philip and Mansfield at Macktaz Field was the latter. It was a game packed to the brim with excitement. The teams combined to hit the post three times, the goalies combined for 11 saves, two chances were blocked on the line, and the chances did not end until the final seconds of regulation.
It was a game that had just about everything, except for a goal and a winner.
King Philip and Mansfield lived up to the billing regardless of the 0-0 final score and it leaves the teams in a first place tie heading into the final game of the regular season, which means win the finale and win a championship.
“You’ve got the two best teams in the league and they go toe-to-toe and tie,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “They’re the best scoring offense, but in the league they have one more goal than we do. We have one less [goal allowed] than they do. So, you’re talking about the two best defenses, the two best offenses and unfortunately the offenses got nullified but, as a defensive person, I love that.”
KP coach Gary Pichel, whose program is just two years removed from an injury-riddled, two-win season, added, “It had great goaltending, great defense on both sides, very stingy tonight…King Philip has had a hard run for 15 years, so this is big for us. We’re enjoying every minute of it. I’m very proud of the kids; they played their heart out.”
The blustery conditions provided an additional element of drama to the game, as the wind swept across the pitch towards the school and played havoc with clearances, goalkeeper punts, and free kicks. Even shorter passes were affected by the wind whipping from end zone to end zone.
KP took the wind at its back to start the game and it helped the Warriors put the Hornets on their heels for the majority of the first half. It started just four minutes in when Jenna Midura chased down a long ball over the top and blocked the clearance by Mansfield keeper Lauren Whitman only to have the carom go just wide.
Sophomore attackers Chloe Layne and Avery Snead got into the game shortly after, with Layne able to drag a Snead pass past a defender to get off a shot on the edge of the box and then controlled another Snead through ball to get a low shot that drew a save from Whitman. KP goalie Emma Durant was tested soon after when Cassidy McMahon flicked a pass to Amanda Mangano, whose shot was partially blocked and saved at the near post.
In the 27th minute, Layne took a throw-in just inside the left side of the box and she found a sliver of space to squeeze the ball to Snead, who took a left-footed shot that looked destined for the far corner until Whitman flew across to make a two-handed save. Just seconds later and Bryn Anderson had a go from 20 yards for the Hornets but Durant was able to get a fingertip to the ball and knock it over the bar.
In the 30th minute, Layne showed off the skills that have made her one of the league’s top scorers when she used three touches to separate herself from three Mansfield defenders on the edge of the 18 and lined up a right-footed shot only to have it ricochet off the post.
Smith said, “Chloe and Avery are fantastic and we had to double them, we had to triple them, we had to cover, have backside marks on their other players because if you double them you leave people, so that’s why we didn’t have as much offense because we have to shove our forwards back to cover their extra players.”
Six minutes before the break, KP hit the post again. A corner landed in the middle of the box and the ball popped off the foot of Abby Baker but again stayed out thanks to the woodwork.
“We went with the wind at our back in the first half to try and put a few in,” said Pichel. “We hit two posts and an inch to the right on both of them and we would’ve been up 2-0 but give them credit they kept fighting back and I thought we did pretty good pressure-wise even against the wind.”
KP had its chances in the second half as well, although the Warriors were limited by playing into the gusting wind. Layne had an early chance after a slip by the Mansfield defense but put it wide and Makayla Griffin saw her opportunity from a Snead flicked header fly wide just a minute later.
“Kevin’s team is always prepared,” said Pichel. “Their back four is magnificent. They took care of business. The second half we knew was going to be tough with the wind.”
“It was the best defensive battle we’ve had all season,” said Smith. “It was fantastic.”
The Warriors back line, marshaled by Emma Corcoran and Olivia Berry in the middle with Hanna Balunos and Lauren Anderson on the outside, also put in a strong shift against a varied Mansfield attack. Pichel credited a change in formation for putting the pressure on the Hornets higher up the pitch, particularly Faye Veilleux creating havoc in the center of the field.
He added, “We had better success controlling the ball today. Our middle was exposed [last time]. Our midfield was so aggressive that it was hard for them to get back…so I had to put a stopper in there and [Faye] did a great job.”
Both teams had chances to win the game in the final 20 minutes. Snead had a header off a corner blocked on its way to goal and then Smith belted a perfect 45-yard free kick that smashed off the crossbar and was cleared. Stephanie Kemp had the ball fall to her off a corner only for Lauren Anderson to get a piece of the goal-bound shot and keep it out.
In the closing seconds, Kemp would have one more chance as she tried to get on the end of the long through ball but Durant got the angle and timing perfect to smother the ball at Kemp’s feet. Seconds later, the whistle put an end to a breathless top of the table clash.
King Philip (15-1-2, 12-1-2) will have the chance to win its first title since 2002 when it hosts Franklin on Friday afternoon. Mansfield (12-1-2, 12-1-2) can seal the program’s first back-to-back titles with a win at home against Oliver Ames on Thursday night.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Coming into Tuesday night’s game with Kelley-Rex division rival King Philip, Mansfield could have been caught in the trap of looking past the Warriors. On Thursday, the Hornets will travel to Easton to face Oliver Ames in a game that could decide the league title and on Friday night they have the opportunity to play on the Gillette Stadium pitch against Canton.
Mansfield’s seniors gathered the team together well before kick-off, even before head coach Kevin Smith had the chance to speak with his players, and re-focused their teammates.
The pregame talk worked, as the Hornets dominated the opening half and scored a pair of goals. King Philip rallied in the second half, but the Hornets held on for a 2-0 victory that keeps them within one point of Oliver Ames heading into the final two games of the regular season.
“These seniors,” Smith explained, “three have never started a varsity game until this year, but we get to the field and everyone gets together. ‘We are not underestimating this team, you’ve got to come out to play’…just the leadership they showed is incredible.”
The Hornets were fired up to start the game on senior night and controlled the majority of the opening half. They controlled possession and pushed the Warriors back into the defensive third for much of the opening 40 minutes but the first shot on goal took nearly 20 minutes. When the shot finally came, it gave Mansfield the lead.
A corner was played in from the near sideline and bounced around a few times in the six-yard-box before being tipped into the path of senior Hannah Reiter who prodded it home. Melissa Reef was given the assist out of the scramble.
Six minutes later KP had a rare foray forward and Katherine Turner pushed into the attack from her left back position before sending in a perfect cross. Abby Baker had a chance at the far post but her shot sliced wide of the post.
Emma Oldow picked off a poor clearance and set up a two-on-one with Stephanie Kemp, but Kemp’s shot from just inside the box was saved by KP keeper Emma Durant. The ensuing corner was cleared but the Hornets lofted the ball back into the box and the KP defense was caught trying the offside trap.
Reiter, a Quinnipiac University-commit, was left all alone in the middle of the box. The senior turned and took a touch before firing a low shot that Durant parried at full stretch. Sophomore Cassidy McMahon was the first to react and she knocked in the loose ball to double the Hornets lead.
“Since Mansfield’s first game with us (a 5-1 loss),” KP coach Gary Pichel said, “we made our adjustments and we’ve played really well but we can’t have these mental lapses where we’re leaving their best player, their leading scorer, unattended in the six.”
KP fashioned a couple of chances in the closing minutes of the half. Freshman Avery Snead turned her marker and fired a shot from the edge of the box that seemed destined for the back of the net until Mansfield keeper Emily Gaumond managed to save at full stretch.
“We played well except for that one shot they got,” said Smith, “which was an amazing shot and thankfully we got an amazing save, but King Philip is good. You have to be organized to play against them but I was proud of my kids. We pressed together, we stayed connected.”
Pichel added, “We’ve been bitten by the great saves of the goalie the last couple of games, but I like the way we came back in the second half and put pressure on them.”
The Warriors did turn the momentum after the break and turned the second half into an even contest. Maddie Smith had the first good chance of the half but her header on an Emma Corcoran corner flashed wide of the post.
Mansfield almost put the game away seven minutes after the break when Emma Goulet sprung Oldow with a through ball behind the KP defense. Durant was out quickly to close down the angle and palmed aside Oldow’s shot to keep it 2-0.
“We had a couple breakaways we should have scored,” said Smith. “We made some bad decisions too. We had two one on the goalie and we’re shooting from 30 yards when we should be dribbling around the goalie but that’s all learning.”
Bryn Anderson nearly set up Erin Daniel for the winner with another ball in behind the advancing KP defense, but Hanna Balunos> raced across to cover and knock the ball out for a corner with a last ditch tackle. Oldow would have another chance racing down the left channel but again Durant (seven saves) came up with the stop.
The Warriors had one more chance to cut the lead in half with 13 minutes to play but Smith could not keep her header down when she rose highest in the box and it slipped just above the crossbar.
“Overall I thought we played them even in the second,” said Pichel. “We changed our formation to add another player up top so it was a 4-3-3, which helped. We tried to get another person up top to create more pressure.”
Mansfield (14-0-2, 12-0-2) will now head into Thursday’s game with Oliver Ames knowing that a victory at Muscato Stadium will give the program its first ever league title. A draw against OA also keeps the title hopes alive as Mansfield has a league game in hand over the Tigers and would play Canton on Friday at Gillette knowing a result would clinch a title.
King Philip (11-7-1, 10-5-0) has lost two in a row, against the top two teams in the division, and will try to bounce back against Franklin on Thursday.