Strong Defense Helps Warriors Win First D2 South Title

Foxboro field hockey
Foxboro seniors Emma Daly and Kelly Fisher hold up the Div. 2 South championship trophy after the Warriors beat Falmouth 2-0. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – Defense has been the strength for Foxboro all season long (with only 11 goals allowed in the first 21 games), helping the Warriors win the Davenport division title and then reach the program’s first sectional final on Saturday afternoon at Taunton’s Tiger Aleixo Stadium.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the Div. 2 South final, the defense stood tall again, led by seniors Kelly Fisher and Angela Vandenboom, limiting Falmouth to only one corner and one shot over 60 minutes. Thanks to the defensive effort in front of her, junior goalie Kelli McCarthy was not forced to make a single save, as Foxboro pulled out a 2-0 victory to win the program’s first ever Div. 2 South championship.

“We stepped up defensively big time,” said Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri. “We made adjustments based on the aerials, but we’ve seen aerials all season. Defense has been our strength and it’s kept us in a lot of games.”

While Falmouth did not get a shot on target, the Clippers did have possession in the attacking zone for stretches of the game. The Warriors stayed compact around the circle and kept everything to the outside. In addition to the defenders, Foxboro midfielders Meghan Curran, Catherine Luciano, Jaclyn Brion, and Allison Curran were always on hand to close down potential scoring chances.

“They had a lot of opportunities,” Bordieri said. “No. 7 [Ericka Meissner] is really fast, so we knew if they were to get inside the 25 they would be dangerous. We knew that to close them down in the middle and keep them to the outside would be huge.”

Foxboro was also dangerous in the attack in the first half, creating a number of chances, including four corners.

The first opportunity came in the sixth minute when Sophia DiCenso had two shots a few yards from goal but the first was cleared by Falmouth goalie Molly Duff-Still and the second bounced off the foot of Lily Daly at the back post. It started from a quick transition, Meredith Cronin hitting Emma Daly with an outlet pass to spring the attack.

A few minutes later, another quick break had Foxboro racing forward with Meghan Curran hitting Daly on the run but her shot was kicked off the line by Duff-Still before it could trickle across.

The opening goal felt imminent and in the 16th minute the Warriors made the breakthrough. Fisher’s shot off a corner was blocked but the ball caromed right back to her stick. She sent in a second shot that was settled by DiCenso right in front of goal. The sophomore turned and slid the ball past the goalie for a 1-0 lead.

Falmouth had yet to give up a goal in the playoffs, so Bordieri knew that the first score on Saturday could be decisive. She said, “We had to put a ball in the net as fast as we could. From everything I heard, they’ve scored in the first five minutes of a lot of their games so we knew that was going to be a huge opportunity for us.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Cronin admitted that there were a few nerves for Foxboro players at the start of the game but that the opening goal calmed everyone down. She said, “It was very good. We knew we had to come out fast.”

In the 25th minute, Foxboro had a chance to double the lead. Caroline Wheatley started the break with a pass to Luciano, who fed the ball to Jenna Stamatov and on to Lily Daly one-on-one with the goalie, but Duff-Still came up with her fourth save of the first half.

With just under two minutes left in the half, Foxboro did get a second. Again it came off a corner and a hit by Fisher from the edge of the circle. Wheatley was stationed in front and cleverly lifted the ball up over the pads of the goalie for a 2-0 advantage that felt like game over to many, but not to Bordieri.

“I want to call it an insurance goal but not in the playoffs,” she said. “I know that Falmouth can score and they’ve got fast forward who have good sticks. I wasn’t super comfortable with two goals until maybe five minutes left.”

In the second half, Foxboro went into a defensive shell, keeping Falmouth to the edges of the attacking zone and it led to very few scoring opportunities for either team. The lone clear chance fell to Daly just four minutes after the break when she tipped a Cronin shot at close range but Falmouth’s Chloe Crago was able to get across and clear it off the line.

With five minutes remaining, Falmouth finally got a decent look at goal, but the shot went off the side of the net. The final minutes ticked off the clock and the Warriors stormed onto the field to celebrate their first title.

“Good, really good,” said Cronin about the feeling at the final whistle. When asked if it felt like the culmination of all the work the team has put in this year, she added, “Kind of, but we’re not done yet. We need to keep pushing through.”

Bordieri is in her 15th year in charge of the program and was clearly savoring the moment of winning a trophy.

“Fifteen years…it’s been a long time coming,” she said. “We’ve come close to doing great things for a long time, so to have this is just an amazing feeling.

“It’s such a team thing for us. This whole season has been ‘All In’ and we really mean it. It’s been everybody on the team who’s had a role, played it well and gotten us here.”

Foxboro (19-2-1) will advance to the Div. 2 state semifinal on Tuesday at Reading High and will face undefeated North champion Watertown, which is riding a national record win streak of 182 games over the past eight seasons.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wedneday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/28/16

Today’s games are selected.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Ahijah Joseph gave Attleboro the lead with an 18th minute goal, an advantage the Bombardiers took into the halftime break. Franklin senior Hatim Brahimi found the equalizer in the 69th minute to level the scoring.

Canton, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Canton sophomore Paolo Ruggeri scored in the final minutes of the came to complete the Bulldogs’ comeback. Foxboro’s Anthony Barreira and Jeff Melo scored goals in the first half as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead into halftime. But Canton senior Ben Waterhouse cut into the lead with a goal in the 52nd minute and sophomore Paul Corcoran tied the game in the 55th minute. Ruggeri was able to convert with under two minutes to play for the game winner.

King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final Sophomore Tony Bozza netted his first career goal in the opening minutes of the contest off an assist from Thomas Lugten and Lugten doubled the lead before the halfway mark of the first half to lead King Philip. Bozza used a one time finish off a pass from Lugten to put KP up 1-0 in the 2nd minute. Lugten then took a flick from Colby Koch and tucked his chance into the net from inside the area. KP head coach Nick Gale said his back four of Jack Bush, Cam Mullins, Ryan Coulter and Larsen Keys had a strong defensive game in front of goalie Eli O’Neill, who had a strong game against Mansfield’s set pieces.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final Pedro Sampaio netted a pair of second half goals to lead the Scarlet Hawks to their second straight win. Sampaio converted a penalty kick to put Milford up 1-0 and then carried possession across the edge of the area before firing in his second of the game.

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final Joe Cerqueira and Nathaniel Cardoza each scored in the first half for Oliver Ames. James Gillespie assisted on Cerqueira’s goal and Chris Lawrence set up Cardoza’s goal.

Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon cashed in on a pair of corner kicks to build a 2-0 lead at halftime and converted on a free kick for a 3-0 advantage early in the second half. Andrew Reyes Jones opened the scoring, converting a corner from Michael Baur. Jeffrey Gao doubled the lead, finishing off another corner from Baur. Ben Stamm headed home a free kick from Ian Camilli to make it 3-0. Stoughton responded with a pair of goals with sophomore Fabio Ponce De Leon finishing a lofted pass from Tyler Melo coming first and Jordan Asnes finishing a cross from Goddy Fombe to make it 3-2. Camilli iced the game with his second point of the game with a strike from just outside the area to cap the scoring.

Girls Soccer
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMiranda Smith scored twice and assisted on the third goal for the Panthers. Jess Kroushl added a goal and an assist and Emily Mastaj had an assist for Franklin.

Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final

Mansfield, 5 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Emma Oldow scored once and had two assists, Allee Bezeau netted a pair of goals and Emma Goulet and Steph Kemp each scored once and had an assist in Mansfield’s win. Avery Snead scored for King Philip.

Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalMilford converted a corner kick to pick up a tie on the road at North Attleboro. Nicole Dahlgren scored off of Maddie Boyle’s corner for the Scarlet Hawks. Milford head coach Jay Mastaj praised the two-way play of Ashleigh Starks and Maggie Boyle.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalAnna Tempestoso, Kiana Lozzi and Abby Reardon were the goal scorers for OA and Zoe Chazon added two assists for the Tigers. Samantha Tichelaar scored for Taunton.

Sharon, 11 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalSharon’s Alex Rabb registered her third hat trick of the season to lead the Eagles while Ally Filipkowski, Jessie Tarnoff and Amanda Klayman each scored two goals apiece. Ally Steinberg and Maxine Gordon each scored once for Sharon.

Volleyball
Mansfield, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalMansfield picked up a 25-16, 20-25, 28-26, 25-19 win on the road at Oliver Ames. Olivia Broyles had nine blocks and four kills for the Hornets while Chloe Peters added 20 service points and Jess Haradon and Jacey Anderson combined for 20 digs. Oliver Ames’ Bridget McCarthy had 27 assists and five aces and Maya Fetcho added 11 kills.

Milford, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – FinalSharon junior Jess Allan led the Eagles’ offense with nine kills and Cori Jermyn added seven kills.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalMaggie Malloy accounted for all of the scoring in the game, scoring a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final Jaclyn Brion scored the lone goal of the game with eight minutes remaining to earn Foxboro’s fifth straight victory.

Mansfield, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalClick here for a recap from the game. Click here for a photo gallery.

Milford, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final

King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap from the game.

Golf
Sharon, 181 @ Stoughton, 192 – FinalMax Avratin was the match medalist, shooting a low-round of 44 to lead Sharon. Cam Doherty and Zach Gay led Stoughton, both shooting a round of 47.

Taunton, 191 @ Milford, 154 – Final Three Milford golfers broke 40 on the day to pace the Scarlet Hawks to the win. Ryan Tomaso carded a low round of 35 while Anthony Arcudi shot 38 and Tylor Renaud carded a round of 39.

Canton, 153 @ North Attleboro, 149 – Final – Four different golfers shot under 40 for the Rocketeers to edge Canton in a key Davenport division showdown. Robbie Congdon shot a 36, David Colasanti shot a 37 and Dylan Kane and Tyler Sinacola both shot 38 in the win. Canton’s Matt Minichiello was the match medalist, carding a low round of 35.

Cross Country
Boys
Sharon, 22 @ Canton, 33 – Final

Girls
Sharon, 15 @ Canton, 49 – Final