Oliver Ames Claims Third South Title In Four Years

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames’ Matt Alvarado (right) celebrates his second half goal with Mason Galbato (left) and Cam Vella (center). (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off its biggest win of the season in the D2 South Semifinals against top-ranked Nauset, Oliver Ames head coach John Barata was admittedly a little worried how his Tigers would come out on Tuesday night against Pembroke in the sectional final.

But those worries were quickly erased as the Tigers came out firing, dictating the play throughout the first half. OA took the lead just before the halftime break and then added two more in the second half to earn a 3-0 win over the sixth-seededa Titans, giving the fourth-seeded Tigers their third D2 South crown in the last four years.

“That’s where the experience kicked in for us,” Barata said. “We knew that even after winning such a big game, it was just one game and the next big game was this one. Having won that one and losing this one, [the Nauset win] wouldn’t have meant much. So it was very important coming out firing, and we did.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the Tigers were ready to go. With 21 seniors on the roster, Oliver Ames is stacked full of playoff experience.

The Class of 2018 witnessed the Tigers win four playoff games, including the sectional final, in 2014, their freshman year

In 2015, a handful of those seniors – then sophomores – played vital roles in five postseason wins including a win in the D2 State Final. And last year, they picked up experience in two more postseason games.

Now in the program’s 16th playoff game since they were freshmen, these seniors had no trouble getting going from the start.

“It’s a great senior group, it’s a group I’ve been with since kindergarten and first grade,” Barata said. “We knew it was a special group coming through, and we’ve had similar groups and have similar groups coming, but it’s been a special bond. For me, it’s been nice to see them succeed and now hold their own title up, not with senior groups. They’ve done it on their own.”

Less than a minute in, the Tigers had two goal scoring chances. Senior Chris Lawrence’s throw somehow flew through the area without a recipient. And seconds later, senior Mason Galbato chipped a service in but senior James Gillespie’s header was saved.

Three minutes later, senior Matt Alvarado found Gillespie at the far stick but his header just went over the bar. Two minutes later, Gillespie’s low shot just missed the far post after senior Michael Nikiciuk had set him up via a low centering pass.

In the 18th minute, Lawrence launched another long throw that slipped through the keepers’ hands but Brian Flaherty cleared the loose ball off the line to prevent the Tigers from taking the lead.

Flaherty gave the Titans their best chance of the first half. OA senior keeper Jack Carroll did well to clear away a cross, but the loose ball fell to Flaherty who floated a shot off the crossbar from 25 yards out.

But the momentum didn’t shift as OA continued its pressure. Alvarado touched a ball over the top that Pembroke tried to shield back to the keeper but strong pressure from senior Nathaniel Cardoza nearly gave the Tigers the lead.

A minute before half, the Tigers cashed in on a corner kick. Senior Jack Sheldon drove the corner right to the six-yard line where Cardoza rose up and nodded his header inside the near post for a 1-0 lead.

“We felt like we should have opened the game up much earlier,” Barata said “It made it a battle and we knew it was a going to be a difficult contest but we should have opened the scoring much earlier and much more frequent. But [Pembroke] made some adjustments, then we made some adjustments [in the second half] and got control back.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

While Pembroke picked up some of the play to begin the second half, the Tigers withstood the pressure. The best chances for the Titans came on a scramble in front off a corner kick, but OA did well to clear it.

The Tigers finally found an insurance goal in the 71st minute. Sheldon gained possession on the right flank near the corner flag. He was able to beat his defender along the line, drawing the defense out. He slid a pass right to the penalty spot where Alvarado calmly blasted a right footed shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

“We talked about going into a defensive formation or not, but at the end of the day, we had so many chances it just didn’t make sense to go into a cocoon and have them come at is. So we decided to not do it and it paid off. We were able to get the two at the end.”

OA put the game away for certain just two minutes later as Gillespie was rewarded for a great run with a service into the area. His shot was saved but Nikiciuk was right on the doorstep to tap it in for a 3-0 lead.

With the win, Oliver Ames boys soccer (15-2-4) advances to the D2 State Championship to take on North sectional champion Concord-Carlisle (13-2-6) on Saturday, with a location and time to be announced. It is also a rematch of the 2014 final, a 1-0 win by the Patriots.

“We look forward to playing them again, they are a fantastic team,” Barata said. “They have five state titles, they are a juggernaut in high school soccer. They are the bar that everyone tries to be. I know Ray [Pavlik] well, he’s a fantastic coach. I hope we give them a great game.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/11/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
D2 South

#4 Oliver Ames, 1 vs. #1 Nauset, 0 – Final (5-4 PKs)Oliver Ames went toe-to-toe with the defending D2 State Champs, and one of the highest ranked teams in the state, and prevailed in penalty kicks. Senior goalie Jack Carroll made a diving save to his left on the third shot of PKs to make a huge save. James Gillespie, Chris Lawrence, Matt Alvarado, Brandin Osborne and Nathaniel Cardoza all converted their penalty attempts, with Cardoza’s strike clinching the win. Fourth-seeded OA advances to its third D2 South final in the past four years and will take on #6 Pembroke on Tuesday, November 14th at 7:15 PM.

Girls Soccer
D1 South Final

#5 King Philip, 3 vs. #2 Newton South, 2 – Final (2OT)Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Field Hockey
D1 South Final

#2 King Philip, 1 vs. #1 Somerset-Berkley, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Volleyball
D1 Central East Final

#2 King Philip, 0 vs. #1 Newton North, 3 – FinalKing Philip fell in the D1 Central East Final (22-25, 13-25, 11-25), finishing the season 20-3. Sydney Phillips had nine kills, five digs, and two aces and Elise Pereira added four digs. Kat Kmetz and Grace Ely added two kills for the Warriors.

Gillespie’s Brace Sends OA Past Walpole in Double OT

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames’ Nathaniel Cardoza (4) dribbles past a Walpole defender in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames senior James Gillespie didn’t have a ton of touches on the ball during Thursday’s nights game against Walpole, but he certainly had the two most important ones.

Gillespie scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in double overtime in the 94th minute of play to help the fourth-seeded Tigers avoid an upset bid by the 12th-seeded Rebels.

“You’re kind of like hiding back there and defenders don’t know you’re there sometimes,” Gillespie said of his back post positioning, the spot he was for both his goals. “The first goal, the defender didn’t know I was there. It’s a good spot to be standing in because we get a lot of crossed to the back post.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Tigers nearly had the game won in regulation but Walpole struck with just over a minute to play. With just their second shot on goal of the half, Rebels senior Luccas Ferreira got just enough of a header on a long throw-in from Kevin Sullivan to tie the game.

“We knew we had to keep our heads high, we couldn’t let them come back and score another goal,” Gillespie said. “We just had to keep fighting to get that goal back.”

Oliver Ames had its chances in the first half but only converted once.

In the eighth minute, senior Matt Alvarado combined with Gillespie, who laid a pass off to Michael Nikiciuk but his bid was at the keeper.

A tactical change helped create the Tigers’ goal in the first half. Head coach John Barata switched senior Matt Campbell from the right side of the pitch to the left side. Shortly after, Campbell won possession on the wing and delivered a low cross that found its way through the area to the back post, where Gillespie tucked it in on a one-timer.

“James is brilliant at that, he’s been brilliant at framing the back post,” Barata said. “We’ve been lucky because no one can mark one guy. For example, James scored twice today but we have 14 goal scores, so we don’t have that star scorer teams can focus on. But we have guys that score.”

The lone scare of the first half came via miscommunication between the defense and keeper. A defender attempted to head the ball back to Jack Carroll, who had come out to get it himself. Senior Colin Evin recovered nicely and cleared the ball just before the goal line to preserve the one-goal lead.

OA kept the pressure up but couldn’t find the back of the net.

In the 29th minute, Alvarado slipped a through ball to Nikiciuk, who got a slight touch before the keeper, but Walpole’s goalie recovered nicely.

A minute later, senior Nathaniel Cardoza linked up with Alvarado, who cut it back to put the ball on his left foot but his shot was slightly deflected and just hit the post and stayed out.

On the ensuing corner, Walpole partially cleared the ball but Mason Galbato took the ball down on his chest and fired a low shot that just rolled wide.

The chances continued in the second half when Jack Sheldon found Alvarado two minutes in, but his left-footed strike was knocked down and saved.

Good pressure from Nikiciuk resulted in another chance in the 57th minute, as his hard run to a loose ball forced a collision between keeper and defender, but before the ball would sit for Alvarado on the rebound, a defender made a nice tackle to block the shot.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Sheldon forced the keeper into another big save in the 67th minute. His shot from just outside the area was slightly deflected and popped up on the keeper on the bounce, but he got just enough to push it over the net.

“We knew we needed two goals against them because they might sneak one in,” Barata said. “The funny thing is the game should have been over; should have been over in the first half, should have been over after the second half. We should have had three or four to be honest. [Walpole] is a very good team but we had multiple chances. I don’t think they had five shots. We have to learn from this that this could have easily been a loss in a game that we purely dominated. We knew it’d take two goals but I just wish it came earlier.

Walpole had its best three chances of the game come in the final 10 minutes. A long throw from Sullivan bounced through the area to the far stick but Walpole’s Conor McDonough saw his golden chance sail over the bar.

The Rebels had a free kick from 25 yards out in the 75th minute, but Carroll was quick to react and made the comfortable save to his left. Four minutes later, Walpole had the equalizer.

“The boys know what they should be doing, getting the ball in the corner and be relaxed,” Barata said. “But instead the adrenaline was bouncing around, plus [Walpole] had to come at us late. We knew it’d be tough, but we just lost some focus in the last two minutes, and we didn’t clear two balls.”

After a scoreless first overtime period, the teams switched sides and OA cashed in on its first corner of the frame. Sheldon’s low cross was touched by Galbato right at the penalty spot, sending the ball to the back post for Gillespie to bury for the winner.

“The ball deflected off a teammates leg and it was open in front of me and I just ran in there and put it away before they could get to the ball,” Gillespie said.

With the win, Oliver Ames boys soccer (13-2-4) to the D2 South Semifinal to take on top-seeded Nauset (18-1-1). It’s a matchup of the past two D2 State Champions.

It will be the first time we play them ever in program history. They’re the number one team in the state, number three team in the region and number five team in the country so we’ll have our hands full. But we’re looking forward to the challenge. We go in as the underdogs so hopefully, we’ll go in fighting.

The game between OA and Nauset is scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 at Milford High School.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/07/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
D2 South

#3 North Attleboro, 0 vs. #19 Medfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro was done in by a first-half goal by the visiting Warriors of Medfield. Medfield used a counter attack down the right wing, a cross that was headed and saved by goalie Brendan Matracia, but then buried by sophomore Matt Thompson on the rebound. “In the second half, every time that we got something going, we committed some type of foul, we killed ourselves in that regard,” said North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess. North finishes the season 11-2-6.

#4 Oliver Ames, 4 vs. #13 Whitman-Hanson, 0 – FinalOliver Ames had an ideal start to its first playoff game, scoring four goals in the first half to advance past Whitman-Hanson. Senior Matt Alvarado converted a pass from Nathaniel Cardoza to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead, and then Alvarado set up classmate James Gillespie to make it 2-0. Michael Nikiciuk scored a pair of goals inside a five-minute span to add to OA’s lead. OA senior goalie Jack Carroll saved a penalty kick in the second half to preserve the shutout. #4 Oliver Ames will host #12 Walpole (10-6-2) on Thursday with a time still to be announced by the MIAA.

#9 Foxboro, 4 @ #8 Canton, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Girls Soccer
D1 South

#5 King Philip, 2 @ #4 Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – FinalKing Philip sophomore Avery Snead scored her 29th and 30th goals of the season, one in each half, to help the Warriors advance past the Trojans. Snead scored on a cross from Chloe Layne in the 37th minute, and then added a big insurance goal in the 76th minute.

#8 North Attleboro, 0 @ #1 Natick, 3 – FinalNatick scored all three of its goals in the first half to hand North Attleboro the loss. Big Red finishes the season 14-3-3.

Field Hockey
D2 South

#5 Foxboro, 0 @ #1 Dennis-Yarmouth, 1 – Final – Top-seeded Dennis-Yarmouth scored off a scrum in front of the net with just 1:56 to play to end Foxboro’s postseason run. The Warriors finished the season 15-4-2.

Volleyball
D1 Central East

#2 King Philip, 3 vs. #7 Arlington, 0 – FinalAfter a lengthy period of time off between the regular season and postseason, King Philip opened up tournament play in style with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-18) win over visiting Arlington. Sydney Phillips put down 15 kills while adding 10 service points, including two aces while Michaela Palumbo chipped in with eight kills, Julianne Rando added 11 digs, Elise Pereira had seven digs and six service points, Rachael Veilleux had 10 service points and 24 assists and Olivia Atkins finished with 10 digs. #2 King Philip will host #6 North Quincy (14-7) on Thursday at 6:00.

D1 Central West
#6 Franklin, 0 @ #3 Hopkinton, 3 – FinalFranklin went on the road and gave the third-seeded Hillers a big test, especially in the second half, but came up short (13-25, 24-26, 18-25). Hailey Sanders had seven kills and a block while Meaghan Maguire added four kills and four blocks to pace the offense. Lauren McGrath finished with 24 assists, eight digs and three aces while Riley Marino had 16 digs for the Panthers.

Oliver Ames Wins Division With Draw Against Mansfield

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames senior Matt Alvarado defends against Mansfield senior Sean Lanzillo. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – The game ended in a draw, but Oliver Ames walked away from Val Muscato Stadium with something to celebrate.

Although neither the Tigers nor the Hornets of Mansfield scored in a showdown of the Kelley-Rex’s top two teams, the point from the draw kept OA (26 points) ahead of Mansfield (25 points) and clinched the division title in the final league game of the season.

“It’s a good draw because that’s all we needed to win the league outright,” said OA coach John Barata, who helped the program win its fifth division title in the past seven years. “However I think we were the better team today anyways. I thought we had many more chances, especially in the beginning. I thought we dominated about 80% of the game.

“But they had the best chance of the game so we escaped with the tie. Although it was a good tie, we kind of escaped because they had that chance and we got fortunate. They could be Hock champs right now.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The first half nearly picked up right where OA left off the last time these two teams met back at the beginning of October. The Tigers dominated the second half of that game with chance after chance, but only scored once in a draw.

“[Oliver Ames] is a much higher ranked team than people give them credit for,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan. “They are a great team…great coach, great players. I have nothing bad to say about this game other than I wish we scored.

“We should have put away that golden opportunity. But we didn’t play our best for 80 minutes and they didn’t score on us. If this was the tournament, I’d take my chances with my goalie in PKs.”

The chances came right away for OA, who had six corners kicks in the opening 40 minutes and six long attacking throws into the area.

Michael Nikiciuk ripped a left footed shot for the Tigers in the eighth minute that was collected by Mansfield keeper Nick Ferraz. Senior Nathaniel Cardoza played classmate Brandin Osborne wide but his low drive at the near post was turned aside.

Cardoza was at it again in the 20th minute, seamlessly splitting a pair of defenders before sending in a through ball for classmate Matt Campbell, but Campbell couldn’t quite get his body turned and his one-timer rolled harmlessly to Ferraz.

Jack Sheldon forced Ferraz into a leaping save in the 24th minute on a tight angle shot, but the ensuing corner didn’t result in a chance.

Chris Lawrence’s long throw-in found Nikiciuk inside the box in the 33rd minute, but his low bid from in close skidded wide at the near post.

Matt Alvarado sent a tempting cross into the box that bounced to the far post but Sheldon was just a step late and his touch went wide into the near post side netting.

“First half almost seemed like a continuation of the second half of the first game,” Barata said. “Then in the second half they were more physical and kind of took us out of our element. But we adjusted. [Mansfield’s] a good team. We really focused on a couple players, and one of them created their two best chances. We had to prepare for this like it was a state tournament game and that’s how we played it today.”

The game, and the chances, evened out more in the second half as the Hornets came out with a more physical game plan. The style worked, as the Tigers struggled to get their offense going as they did in the first half.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Nonetheless, both sides had chances. Campbell laced a shot just over the bar after hitting it on the bounce in the 47th minute.

Cullin Anastasia did well to track down a clearance for the Hornets in the 54th minute, playing Sean Lanzillo wide, but his service to the back post was gobbled up by OA keeper Jack Carroll.

Just a minute later, Sam Hyland jumped onto a loose ball for the Hornets but his low bid was covered by Carroll.

OA senior Cam Vella connected on a header in the 61st minute, but Ferraz had plenty of time to adjust on the bounce and make the stop.

The best chance of the game for either side came in the 62nd minute when Jackson Murphy played a perfectly weighted through ball to Lanzillo on the left wing, and he centered to a wide open Anastasia inside the six, but his sliding bid went over the bar.

“For us right now, we believe defense wins championships,” Barata said. “We’ve done well not giving up goals overall this year. I’m happier with the shutout than if we would have won 4-3 because I don’t want to be giving up goals right now. If we can score one, we know we can win any game. And if it goes 0-0, we are confident with PKs.”

Mansfield kept the pressure up as Harry Braidt sent a free kick into the area in the 66th minute but it bounced through without a recipient. Hyland had another chance in the 69th minute when his long throw was cleared back out to him, but his hard show sailed over the bar at the far post.

With the Hornets – who needed a win to clinch the division title – pushing numbers forward, OA had some chances on the counter-attack. Alvarado slipped a pass in behind for Nikiciuk but Ferraz made his biggest stop of the game with a point-blank save on a shot from inside the area.

The Hornets had a chance on a scramble in the area when Luke Savoie’s free kick was dropped by Carroll, but as Nick Hyland put a header on frame, Carroll recovered quickly to make the stop.

Nikicuk nearly had the winner with the final chance of the game, again taking a pass from Alvarado but Mansfield’s Matt O’Donnell had a perfectly timed slide to just put him off and allow Ferraz to collect.

“If we have more of those chances [long throws, corner kicks]…we just couldn’t get anything going offensively, especially in the first half,” Sheridan said. “In the first half we couldn’t string together three passes. We knew what we had to do defensively. It just goes to show you our defense can hold it, we just have to get our offense clicking.”

Oliver Ames boys soccer finishes the season with an overall record of 11-2-4 and will likely be a top-four seed in D2 South when the brackets are released on Wednesday. Mansfield finishes 10-2-6 and will also likely have a home game to start the D1 South tournament.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/11/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Foxboro, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalFoxboro raced out to a 3-0 lead by halftime and never looked back, picking up two points on the road. Hussein Kafel scored both of his goals in the first half while Nic Biegel also found the back of the net in the opening stanza. Cam Cass added a goal in the second half for Foxboro. Shane VandenBoom had two assists in the win while Cass and Dylan Barreira each had one.

Canton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOliver Ames James Gillespie scored early in the second half to help the Tigers beat visiting Canton. Gillespie converted after a touch from Nathaniel Cardoza off of a long throw from Chris Lawrence. Jack Carroll came up with a big save late to preserve the win.

Sharon, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalFranklin took the lead in the first half but Sharon senior Tyler Goldstein pounced on a loose ball inside the area in the final minutes to net the equalizer.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalKing Philip got off to a strong start with senior Thomas Lugten netting a pair of goals inside the first 10 minutes as the Warriors handed North its first loss of the season. Senior Tyler Mann and freshman Ajae Olsen scored second half goals for KP.

Milford, 2 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalMilford twice took the lead on the road, but Mansfield responded each time to earn the draw. The Scarlet Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute when sophomore Walisson de Oliveira buried a free kick from just outside the area. Mansfield tied the game when Jared Gabrilowitz converted a corner from Luke Savoie in the 24th minute. Milford went back on top in the 32nd minute when Claudio Da Silva sprang de Oliveira on the break and he scored. The Hornets grabbed the equalizer with just seven minutes to play with Nick Hyland heading in a throw-in from his brother Sam.

Stoughton, 1 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalTaunton junior Brett Beaulieu scored a hat trick to lead the Tigers to their first Hockomock League since October 2015, snapping a 32-game skid. Beaulieu scored one unassisted while the other two were set up by Alec Nunes. Beaulieu also had an assist, setting up classmate Charlie Fiske for his first career goal. Junior Evan Melo capped the scoring on a feed from classmate Noah Leite.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 2 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalMackenzie Fraser scored a brace and Lily Sykes added a goal from the penalty spot and three assists to help Foxboro climb back above .500 for the season. Shaina Abbott and Katelyn Mollica also scored for the Warriors. Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup said the Warriors “played really well as a team today!”

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 2 – FinalFreshman Olivia Rodman scored a brace for the Bulldogs to pick up two points against OA. Fellow freshman Elisa Diletizia assisted on the opening goal and Sarah Collins got the assist on the second for Canton, which moves within three points of first place North Attleboro. OA coach Britt Sellmayer said that Emily Nosalek and Regan Benton played well for the Tigers.

Franklin, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalMolly Duncan scored the opening goal off an Emily Quaile assist to give the Panthers the lead midway through the second half, but Ally Filipkowski answered from the penalty spot with six minutes to play to earn the draw for the Eagles. Cat Robbins made three saves for Franklin in the draw. Sharon coach Brad Furnival said, “The team put in a great shift and I am pleased they had a positive result today after a few close games recently.”

King Philip, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Mansfield, 4 @ Milford, 2 – Final Emily Vigeant continued her scoring streak for the Hornets with a pair of goals, while Stephanie Kemp and Cassidy McMahon also got on the score sheet for Mansfield, which moves back into a first-place tie with King Philip. Leeanne Kibbee scored for Milford off a Maggie Boyle assist and Madelyn Boyle added the second for the Hawks. Freshman goalie Carley Ferreira made four saves in the loss.

Taunton, 1 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final Angie Lynch scored the lone goal for Taunton, assisted by Maggie Sullivan, and Grace Pimenta made four saves in the Tigers goal. Stoughton’s goal was scored by Chinazo Odunze off an assist by Nicole Weir.

Volleyball
North Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalIn a battle of division leaders, King Philip emerged with a 25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22 win at home. Sydney Phillips led the way with nine kills, six digs, and six service points while Michaela Palumbo added eight kills and 11 service points. Elise Pereira also had 12 digs, 12 service points, and two aces and Julianne Rando finished with 11 digs, seven service points, two kills and two aces.

Golf
North Attleboro, 168 @ Attleboro, 163 – FinalAttleboro swept the season series with rival North Attleboro, edging the Rocketeers by five strokes at Highland Country Club. Kyle DelSignore earned match medalist honors, carding a low-round of 39. Corey McKenna shot a 40 while Ethan Johnson and Taron Mills each shot 42. Matt Wanless led North Attleboro with a round of 40.

King Philip, 153 @ Oliver Ames, 147 – FinalOliver Ames withstood a strong test from visiting King Philip to card a six-stroke victory. Eric LeBlanc and Matt Kelley led the way for the Tigers, each shooting 36, while Ryan McGarry carded a round of 37.

Sharon, 172 @ Stoughton, 189 – FinalSharon’s Corey Carter and Stoughton’s Brendan Campbell shared match medalist honors, each carding a round of 40 at Easton Country Club.

Franklin, 165 @ Milford, 168 – FinalFranklin senior Jason Collins shot a low-round of 39 to earn match medalist honors while classmate Bryan Woelfel shot a 40 to lead the Panthers to the win. Riley Lynch and Andrew Fauerbach each shot 41 for the Scarlet Hawks.

OA Breaks Through Late To Earn Draw With Mansfield

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames’ Matt Alvarado (left) takes a shot past Mansfield’s Derek Mueth while goalie Nick Ferraz looks on. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Oliver Ames head coach John Barata was starting to run out of fingers to count his side’s chances in the second half alone.

And as the chances went calling, and the minutes ticked by, Barata began to wonder if his side would be shut out for the first time in league play this year.

“I’ll be honest, we didn’t know if it was just going to be one of those nights,” Barata said. “I believe in these kids, but I wasn’t sure if it just was going to be one of those nights. Mansfield is a very good team but I believe we were the better team tonight.

“We had an unbelievable amount of chances. They cleared some off the line, they blocked shots in the area. It was a high-intensity atmosphere. Steve [Sheridan] does a great job, they’re such a good team.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Tigers had complete control of the match for the first 25 minutes of the second half, but all they had to show for it was four corner kicks and four long attacking throws that were thwarted by Mansfield defense. And a 1-0 deficit to the Hornets, who scored midway through the first half.

But finally in the 68th minute, on the team’s fifth long throw in the attacking third, there was a breakthrough. Chris Lawrence’s toss was cleared away by Mansfield’s defense, but only to just outside the top of the area. OA senior Mason Galbato put his laces on the ball, driving a low line drive through traffic and into the back of the net, helping OA finish 1-1 with the Hornets.

“It was a great tie,” MHS head coach Steve Sheridan said. “I was hoping to get two points, but they pressuring too much in the second half so we’ll take the point. [Oliver Ames] is a great team.”

The first half was a bit more even, with Mansfield even having the better chances in the opening half hour. Senior Sean Lanzillo tested OA early, ripping a right footed shot in the fourth minute from just outside the area but Tigers’ goalie Jack Carroll was up to the task at the near post.

OA registered its first chance 10 minutes later, when the Tigers forced a turnover in the attacking third. James Gillespie was quick to play senior Nick Bloumbas, and Bloumbas’ shot from distance forced a diving save.

Mansfield finally broke through in the 21st minute. Nick Wisnieski centered a pass that was partially cleared by OA, but not past Mansfield senior Sam Hyland just a step inside the area. When the ball fell to him, he buried his shot into the upper corner at the far post, giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets nearly doubled their lead inside the same minute when Lanzillo dropped a pass in behind OA’s defense, leaving Hyland in alone on goal. But Carroll came out and made the big stop, with Colin Evin first to the rebound to make the clearance.

The Tigers had a chance just before half, again on the back of a long throw from Lawrence. This time senior Michael Nikiciuk got a touch at the near post but Mansfield’s Jackson Murphy did well to clear the loose ball.

“It’s a great tie,” Barata said. “The boys weren’t happy with the tie because we felt we were the better team. However…on the road, a D1 team, they are undefeated, we go down early. Coming back showed a lot of maturity.”

The second half was full of chances for OA.

In the 44th minute, Nathaniel Cardoza – who shined in midfield for OA – got his head to a throw, but it was over the bar.

In the 54th minute, Jack Sheldon played a short corner to Matt Alvarado, but his low shot to the near post was saved by Mansfield keeper Nick Ferraz.

In the 56th minute, Cam Vella got his head to a long throw, giving Gillespie a chance inside the box but Mansfield’s Derek Mueth came up with a key block.

Three minutes later, a long throw put the ball into the area but both Cardoza and Alvarado had shots from inside the area blocked away.

In the 66th minute, Gillespie played a low cross to the near post that found Matt Campbell, but his bid was blocked by right in front by Mansfield’s Sam Nugent.

“We did good defensively,” Sheridan said. “I have to look at the tape to see exactly what happened on their goal. My goal was to stay undefeated after tonight, and we still are. So we still control our own destiny.”

Oliver Ames finally broke through two minutes later on Galbato’s strike.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Each team had a chance in the final five minutes. For OA, Campbell played a low cross to the near post, but Ferraz made the charging save before Cardoza could get a touch.

And for Mansfield, Mueth played a ball in behind the OA defense but the spin on the bounce fooled Carroll and ended up just wide at the far post.

Oliver Ames boys soccer (6-1-2 overall, 6-0-2 Hockomock) returns to action on Wednesday when it starts the second half of its crossover games with Milford coming to visit. Mansfield (6-0-3, 6-0-2) will entertain Sharon on Wednesday afternoon.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/15/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
Franklin, 28 @ Milford, 10 – FinalClick here for a recap from the Game of the Week.
1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 8-yard pass to Jack Nally, Matt Zucco XP Good; (M) Brendan White 4-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (M) S. Lehane 20-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Noviello 7-yard pass to Evan Wendell, M. Zucco XP good; (F) J. Noviello 6-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, M. Zucco XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Sean Hofferty 2-yard rush, M. Zucco XP good.

Football
Attleboro, 0 vs. Dartmouth, 6 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (D) Nate Ellis 62 yard rush, XP failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Canton, 16 @ Scituate, 17 – Final
1st Quarter: (S) Scituate 82-yard pass, XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 31-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Scituate 31-yard field goal; (C) O. Lehane 31-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 16-yard pass to Tony Harris, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (S) Scituate 14-yard pass, XP good.

King Philip, 16 @ Foxboro, 7 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.
1st Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 31-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 25-yard pass to Tom Madden, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 22-yard rush, Russell Neale XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) Nick Kerr 5-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.

Mansfield, 28 vs. Braintree, 0 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Danny DeGirolamo 52-yard rush, Mike DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 24-yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) D. Scott 28-yard pass to Aidan Sacco, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Joe Cox 10-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.

North Attleboro, 34 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final

Oliver Ames, 12 @ Silver Lake, 28 – Final
1st Quarter: (SL) Phil Lashley 37-yard rush, 2pt failed; (OA) Noah Fitzgerald 10 yard rush, 2pt failed.
2nd Quarter: (SL) Tanner Boyd 10 yard rush, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (SL) T. Boyd 6 yard rush, 2pt good.
4th Quarter: (OA) Anthony Berksza 15 yard rush, 2pt failed; (SL) P. Lashley 4 yard rush, 2pt good.

Taunton, 14 @ Durfee, 0 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 9 yard pass to Wesner Charles, John Teixeira XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (T) Prince Brown 48 yard interception return, J. Teixeira XP good.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalReigning Hockomock League MVP Tyler Mann netted a hat trick to lead the Warriors past Attleboro. Attleboro opened up a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes but King Philip rallied to cut the deficit in half before the halftime break and netted two in the second half. Aidan Lancaster converted the opener on an assist from Will Halben in the fourth minute and Mike Russo doubled the lead on a feed from Devin Andre in the 15th minute. Mann opened his 2017 account in the 25th minute on an assist from Tony Bozza. Mann tied the game in the 52nd minute and then finished off a feed from Connor Mullins in the 67th minute for the winner.

Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalCanton opened the scoring in the 29th minute when junior Paul Corcoran buried an assist from Griffin Roach to go up 1-0. But North Attleboro responded just a minute later, tying the game when Jeff Gale hammered home a rebound off a shot from Gabe Pinhancos.

Foxboro, 1 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalFoxboro scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the game to earn a key division win on the road. Junior Shane VandenBoom finished off a cross from Cam Cass for the winner.

Franklin, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames senior Brandin Osborne continued his strong start to the season, scoring a pair of second half goals to lift the Tigers over Franklin. After a scoreless first half, Osborne scored twice, assited by Cam Vella and Nathaniel Cardoza. Jack Carroll earned his third shutout of the season and OAHS head coach John Barata said Vella, Mason Galbato, Colin Evin, Matt Campell and Chris Lawrence played great in the back for the Tigers.

Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 5 – FinalMansfield built a 5-0 lead in just over a half hour of play in a big win over visiting Taunton. John Cooney opened the scoring in the 5th minute, converting a throw in from Sam Hyland. Junior Luke Savoie buried a shot from distance to double the score, and two minutes later, Sean Lanzillo nodded home another Hyland throw. Austin Ricker made it 4-0 on a feed from Jake Tuleja and Connor Eames netted his first career goal off an assist from Colin Caridi. Taunton’s Jake DeAndrade picked the upper corner from distance in the 32nd minute to get the Tigers on the board.

Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 2 – FinalMilford scored once in each half to build a 2-0 lead and held off a late Stoughton push to earn the two points. Wallison Tavares opened the scoring for the Hawks, heading home a corner from sophomore Jordan Borges to put Milford up 1-0. Anthony Salvador doubled the lead in the second half on an assist from Joey Madden. MHS head coach Brian Edwards said Brayan Traya played well in the midfield for the Hawks.

Girls Soccer
King Philip, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalKP scored two goals in the second half to break open a one-goal game at the break. Attleboro trailed 2-1 at the half with a goal by freshman Isabella Salviati and head coach Steve Santos said the Bombardiers came out strong to start the second half, but KP was able to get the third goal and extend its perfect start to the season.

North Attleboro, 3 @ Canton, 3 – FinalThe Bulldogs rallied from a 3-1 deficit to get the draw. Morgan McCabe scored off an Olivia Rodman cross to cut the lead to one and Sarah Connolly finished off a corner from Sarah Collins with about four minutes to play to earn Canton a point. Canton’s first goal was by Collins from another Rodman cross. North goals were by Leah Jette, Aine Mendonca, and Kayla Pasquel.

Sharon, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalThe Warriors earned their first win of the season and the first win for head coach Katie Stalcup. Foxboro got goals from Jordyn Collins, Lizzy Davis, Shaina Abbott and Grace Ferguson to bring home its first two points. Ally Filipkowski got the lone goal for the Eagles and Lydia Chase had a great game, according to Sharon coach Brad Furnival, making more than a dozen saves in the loss.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalMolly Duncan scored the winner with a long-range shot in the final eight minutes of the game to earn the win for the Panthers. Abby Reardon gave OA the lead seven minutes after halftime, but Anna Balkus tied it for Franklin six minutes later. Regan Benton made seven saves for the Tigers and Cat Robbins made 10 for the Panthers.

Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalEmily Vigeant scored a pair of goals, as the Hornets continued their unbeaten start to the season. Sydney Mulkern and Amanda Mangano also scored for Mansfield.

Milford, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalCassie Probert, Hannah Martin, Maddie Boyle each scored goals for Milford, which has won back-to-back games. Freshman Mackenzie Manning scored the lone goal for the Black Knights.

Field Hockey
Foxboro, 3 @ Hopkinton, 2 – Final

Oliver Ames, 7 vs. West Bridgewater, 1 – FinalWest Bridgewater scored first but Oliver Ames scored seven straight goals to rout the visitors. Liz Nuss and Emily Han each scored two goals while Meaghan Rockey, Maura Kiernan and Brenna Woods each found the back of the net once. Sarah Stevens had three assists while Kayla Lozzi, Rockey and Nuss each had one helper.

Stoughton, 7 vs. Brockton, 0 – FinalAllie Howe and Kamryn Oliveira each netted a pair of goals for the Black Knights. Lisa Ramanauskas, Jordan Lyons and Alanna McCormick each scored once in Stoughton’s win.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip defended home court with a dominant sweep (25-17, 25-8, 25-4) over the visiting Bombardiers. Kat Kmetz rattled off 21 service points for KP, including two aces. Sydney Phillips (12 kills), Michaela Palumbo (six kills) and Grace Ely (three kills) paced the Warriors’ offense.

Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final North Attleboro notched a key division win over visiting Canton, 25-14, 25-12, 23-25, 25-8. Kezie De La Cruz (two aces) and Amelia Murphy (five aces) each had 14 kills in the win for the Rocketeers while Leah Marceau finished with 26 assists. CHS coach Pat Cawley said Nicole Brown had a great night for the Bulldogs, finishing with 21 assists while Hannah Jerrier finished with 13 kills.

Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalTrailing 9-17 in the third set, Franklin’s Lizzie Boynton went on a 10 point serving run, including four aces, to put Franklin ahead and help the Panthers finish the sweep. During the Panthers’ comeback, Emma Clifford played strong defense and added two kills. Ellie Wisniewski finished with nine kills and an ace.

Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMansfield bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 25-12, 25-19, 25-12 sweep of visiting Taunton. Julia Harrison paced the Hornets’ offense with 13 kills and 13 service points. Meg Hill added 12 kills and Olivia McGrath finished with 17 service points.

Stoughton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – FinalStoughton notched its fifth straight win to open the season, sweeping Milford 25-11, 25-18, 25-13. SHS junior Molly Turner controlled the offense with 21 service points and 10 assists while senior Val Whalen had a strong game with 15 kills, 12 digs and eight service points. Milford head coach Dan Seaver said Emily Piergustavo and Julia Riordan played well from the setting spot and Sydney Sutton had a good day in the back row.

Golf
Attleboro, 187 @ King Philip, 154 – FinalKing Philip’s Danny McLoughlin shot a match medalist round of 36 to lead the Warriors to a win over Attleboro.

Mansfield, 173 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 168 – Final

Taunton, 174 @ North Attleboro, 154 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Dylan Kane carded a one-over-par round of 36 to pace the Rocketeers at the middle course at Heather Hill Country Club. Jillian Barend (38) and Matt Wanless (39) also carded rounds under 40 for Big Red.

Boys Soccer: 2017 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
Oliver Ames’ Cam Vella (left) and King Philip’s Mike Rowe are back for their senior seasons. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 8-6-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Peter Pereira

Even though Attleboro graduated some key pieces, the Bombardiers have a lot of experienced and talented players back for the 2017 season. The biggest challenge will be replacing center backs Harry Lancaster (Best XI selection) and Tyler Treichler (Second XI selection) in the heart of the defense.

Juniors Colin Levis and Aidan Lancaster are both back on the defensive line after gaining plenty of experience a season ago. They’ll look to work with Brandon Lewis and Connor Dunn to solidify the back four in front senior goalie Nick Hasenfus (2016 Best XI selection). In the midfield, Zach White is back and will be relied upon as one of the team’s top playmakers once healthy. He’ll have the help of Brady Holander, Nathan LaPlume, Devin Andre, Eli Araujo and Keith Thompson.

After breaking out as one of the league’s bright young stars a season ago, Will Halben is back to lead the attack alongside sophomores Mike Russo and David Medeiros.

“We are hoping to do a bit better than last year with a bit more depth,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira.

Franklin

2016 Record: 6-9-3
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Fran Bositis

It looks like there is a chance of growing pains in the forecast for the 2017 Panthers. After graduating over a dozen seniors from last year’s team, there will be some inexperience in the lineup for Fran Bositis.

Senior Freddie Beckmann returns as the team’s starting goalie to give the defensive end some familiarity, but it will be a brand new back four in front of him. Sophomore Sam Stowell saw some minutes a year ago and will anchor the defense alongside senior Andrew DiLeo. Senior Connor O’Rourke, who also played some last year, will man the outside along with junior Sam Malloy.

In the midfield, Nitin Chaudhury will take over as the holding mid in the center of the pitch but could also move around depending on need. He’ll have the help of sophomores Jacob Cummings and Donny Tappin. Up front, there are mainutes up for grabs with junior Tim Duval in the running to likely grab one of the spots.

“We’re going to be young and inexperienced,” Bositis said. “We have a handful of seniors back but a youth movement is happening. But overall, the kids are really working hard and have great attitudes. We’re looking for improvement each day.”

King Philip

2016 Record: 17-2-2 (Kelley-Rex Division Champion)
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Nick Gale

It will be hard to top the historic season the Warriors had a year ago, winning the division title and allowing just eight goals all season. But Nick Gale and his squad are focused on 2017, not last Fall.

Even though 2016 Best XI selections Cam Mullin and Colby Koch, and Second XI selections Ryan Coulter and Eli O’Neill all graduated, the Warriors still return some of the top talent in the league this year. Tyler Mann, the 2016 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, is just one of many talented players back for Gale. Senior Connor Mullins will be a key piece in the midfield, senior Larsen Keys started all of last year on the back line and senior Mike Rowe is a dangerous player inside the 18. Thomas Lugten, Anthony Bozza and Zac White are all back as well after playing plenty of minutes last year.

Junior Nick Beltramini and sophomore Tristan Stephani are battling for minutes in goal.

“Our focus continues to be on developing players and improving our team,” Gale said. “We understand that opposing teams will be after us, but we won’t take our attention away from training, competing, and focusing on the smaller details that will help us continue to move forward. The league will be good, and we know we will need to be as well.

Mansfield

2016 Record: 11-5-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Steve Sheridan

Mansfield will be relying on a mix of experience and new faces in an effort to get back to the postseason for another year. The Hornets have the challenge of trying to fill the shoes of two-time Best XI selection Max Gurnon, and as well as the void left by the injury to Ethan Brill-Cass, a two year varsity starter.

However, with Sean Lanzillo, Nick Hyland, Sam Hyland and Harry Braidt back, the Hornets have a solid core to work on. Lanzillo’s speed makes him one of the toughest marks in the league while Sam Hyland emerged as a top midfielder last season. Nick Hyland and Braidt will be back to anchor the back line. Head coach Steve Sheridan expects junior Sam Nugent to step in and make an impact early on defensively, as well as junior midfield Luke Savoie on the offensive end.

Senior Nick Ferraz is battling with sophomore Anthony Salisbury for the starting position in net.

“I’m hoping some of the younger guys can step up on offense, and with the departure of Max along with the injury to Ethan and graduation of Jed in goal, our defense is going to have some new faces,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan.

Oliver Ames

2016 Record: 10-5-3
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: John Barata

Oliver Ames returns plenty of talent and will be looking to challenge King Philip for supremacy in the Kelley-Rex division. Two-time HockomockSports.com Best XI selection Nathaniel Cardoza is back to anchor the Tigers from the middle of the field. His ability to play defense, as well as get forward, gives OA a boost.

Other returning starters back this year include Matt Campbell, Matt Alvarado, Cam Vella, Mason Galbato and Jack Sheldon. Mike Braga and Chris Lawrence bring experience to the back line in front keeper Jack Carroll, who is in his third year in net.

With the graduation of three-year starter Thomas McCormick, the Tigers have a void to fill at the striker position. Senior James Gillespie saw time last year off the bench and proved a capable option up top while Alvarado also showed his ability to finish. Senior Brandin Osborne transferred in from Coyle and will also be an attacking option for OA. Nick Bloumbas, Sean Flaherty and Niko Byron will all likely see time off this season as well.

“We are looking to build a solid team that will play well in a very competitive environment,” OA head coach John Barata said. “We know that to succeed we will need to play our best soccer everyday. The boys are working hard – we need to turn our effort into results. I feel confident that we will find our way and make an effort to qualify for the MIAA State tourney.”

Taunton

2016 Record: 1-16-2
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Taylor Whitters

Taunton brings back eight starters from last year’s team and head coach Taylor Whitters is hoping that experience will translate into an improved season in 2017. On top of of those eight starters, the Tigers will have Marc deSousa back in net after a missing his junior season battling cancer.

Senior Liam Crowley is back again with more experience to anchor the back line along with junior Kyle Aubin. DaeShawn Duffie and Hasan Farahat both return to give the Tigers a solid duo in the middle of the pitch while junior Liam Crowley also adds experience to the midfield. Jake DeAndrade, Brett Beaulieu and Alec Nunes are also back in the mix this year as well.

The Tigers got a boost from their rival as Ian Soderbom traded his Warrior blue and gold in from Coyle for Tiger black and orange. Soderbom will be a key piece on defense while Francois Hennaux, an exchange student from Belgium, will add depth to Taunton’s offense.

“Our team is already looking stronger and better,” said Whitters. “They say the tougher the set back the stronger the comeback. We are going to be one of those teams.”

McCormick, Alvarado Lead Oliver Ames Past Walpole

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames’ Nathaniel Cardoza challenges for a ball against Walpole keeper Devin Moore in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
WALPOLE, Mass. – Oliver Ames knew it had a tough test to start its 2016 postseason run with a visit to Walpole, the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division champions.

The Tigers passed the test with flying colors.

Oliver Ames senior Thomas McCormick and junior Matt Alvarado each scored a pair of games – both finding the back of the net once in each half – and the 11th seeded Tigers rolled to a 4-1 win over #6 Walpole.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Early on in the season, we had a lot of trouble with scoring but the last seven games or so we’ve turned it on,” OA head coach John Barata said. “We’re peaking at the right time and we started to score some goals, hopefully we continue to score them because we’ll need them. We’re playing some big boy teams, Walpole is a great team, that was quite the battle.”

It took less than a minute for Oliver Ames to show off its offensive talents against the Rebels. McCormick laid the ball off to junior Nathaniel Cardoza, who wasted little time before unleashing a shot that Walpole keeper Devin Moore just got a paw to it to push it over the bar.

The Tigers kept up the pressure and it paid off in the 12th minute. After McCormick drew a free kick on the right sideline, junior Mason Galbato drove a service right onto the doorstep of Walpole’s net. Pressure from Cardoza forced Moore into a save but the ball popped loose and McCormick was in the right perfect spot and placed it into the back of the net.

The lead only lasted a minute though. After OA failed to clear a cross, Walpole senior Adedamola Ojuolape ripped a shot that clanked off the near post. The rebound fell to senior Jonathan Sarkis and he made no mistake about it, finding the far corner to level the score in the 13th minute.

Despite surrendering the tying goal in such short time, Oliver Ames didn’t waver. Minutes after coming off the bench, Alvarado put the Tigers back ahead with a terrific strike. As OA entered the attacking third, McCormick found Cardoza on an overlapping run and Cardoza quickly found Alvarado alone in the center of the pitch. Given time and space to turn, Alvarado did just that, taking a touch before uncorking a beautiful shot into the upper 90 from 30 yards out, leaving Moore no chance at a save and putting OA up 2-1.

“I think the challenge is we have to learn maturity,” Barata said. “We’re a junior-heavy team so they’re learning still. A lot of them weren’t starters last year so they are learning to be the main players. It took us some time to get there. We had a simple mistake, we gave them a goal and we could have turned over. But I think we’ve matured over the year and we were able to bounce back there.”

Eight minutes after OA went up a goal behind Alvarado’s strike, the junior nearly grabbed his first assist of the game. Walpole had a free kick from less than a yard outside the area but the shot went into the wall. The ball was quickly played up to Alvarado, who beat a defender and raced towards goal, eventually sliding the ball back across to Jack Sheldon, but his shot was gobbled up by Moore.

The Tigers, who continually dealt with Walpole’s long ball style of offense, came through with a key goal early in the second half. In the 56th minute, Cardoza played a through ball for Alvarado to run onto. Alvarado got to the ball just before Moore did as he came charging out, forcing the keeper to bobble the ball. The ball eventually fell to the foot of McCormick, who once again buried the rebound for a 3-1 Tiger lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Tommy has been a senior leader for us, especially during the second half of the season he’s really stepped up and taken over the team with his calm, cool demeanor,” Barata said. “He’s one of the best players in the league, easy. He really took control of the team for us to take this next step.

“Alvy’s a good player, he’s been good for us throughout the year. He hasn’t scored the amount of goals that he’s wanted to but I’m happy he’s doing it in the playoffs. He brings creativity and he’s a dynamic player for us. What a bomb – that was one of the best goals of the year.”

Walpole had its best chances in a five minute span late in the second half. Justin Burns saw his free kick from 30 yards out sail just over the bar in the 68th minute. In the 70th minute, Aidan Murray hit a half volley that forced a diving save from OA keeper Jack Carroll.

In the 73rd minute, Carroll was forced into another save, but this time his frantic dive led to a handball outside the area, and a yellow card. The yellow card forced a substitution with Ben Kemp coming in to face a Walpole free kick from just outside the area. The shot was deflected but Kemp did well to cover the ball.

Two minutes later, the Tigers found their fourth and final goal. Cardoza jumped on a loose ball near midfield and used a Maradona move to spin past a pair of oncoming defenders. The junior delivered a pass wide to Alvarado, who was open on the left wing. Alvarado took two touches and ripped a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and went in.

“Huge senior play by Ben Kemp,” Barata said of the save. “He’s played a lot of games this year. We have a goalie with playoff experience in Jack Carroll but Ben – calm and cool – made the save, it could have been very difficult off that deflection. Kemp saved the day because if they score, it’s 3-2, against Walpole it can easily be 3-3 then overtime and they could win so it was a big play.”

Oliver Ames boys soccer (10-4-3) advances to the D2 South Quarterfinal for the fourth straight year and will travel to #3 Dartmouth (14-1-3) on Wednesday at 5:00.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.