MILFORD, Mass. – Coming into Tuesday night’s game at Milford, most of the attention was on Foxboro guard Katelyn Mollica approaching the 1,000-point mark for her career and once the game tipped off both teams remained preoccupied with either reaching or denying that milestone.
The Hawks regularly sent two or three defenders at Mollica all night, chasing her off the three-point line and giving her no room to maneuver. Ordinarily the Warriors would punish a team for putting that much attention on one player, but Foxboro looked hesitant and uncharacteristically turnover-prone.
In the end, Foxboro found enough of its offensive groove in the second half and dominated the glass to pull out a 44-17 road win that clinched at least a share of a fourth straight league title.
Although it was a win and another goal reached, Foxboro coach Lisa Downs was less than thrilled at the final whistle. “That’s why she needs to get to 1,000 points because she’s trying to do way too much,” Downs admitted. “She’d be tripled and still kept dribbling, and that’s not her. They’re going should I take it or should I pass it, and then it’s an airball.”
The tone was set right from the opening tip, as it took more than three minutes for the opening basket of the game. Mollica drilled a three to open the scoring, but when freshman Brooke Ferreira got her fifth steal of the quarter and turned it into a fast break layup, Milford led 4-3 inside the final 30 seconds of the first.
Abby Hassman (eight points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks) put the Warriors back in front off an assist by Hannah Blake and then she denied Milford the lead with a block on the other end.
Hassman added the first four points of the second quarter too, including a transition basket after Yara Fawaz (four points and 10 rebounds) got a steal and assist. Ferreira (team-high 10 points, six steals) drove to the basket to keep Milford within three, but Foxboro went on an 8-0 run to grab control.
Shakirah Ketant (game-high 14 points and 13 rebounds) hit a pair of shots and Fawaz added a basket to help Foxboro pull away.
Mollica, who came into the game needing 24 points to reach 1,000, hit a pair of free throws in the second and had five points at the break. She finished with 12 on the night and was hounded from start to finish by Emma Lawrences, with help from Jillian Michelson and others.
Milford assistant Tim Walsh, who coached the team in the absence of head coach TJ Dolliver, praised his team’s defensive effort. Few teams have held Foxboro to 17 points in a half or 44 for a game. He said, “You don’t want 1,000 scored on your home court, so we did all that we could to take that away.”
Walsh added, “The effort was just unbelievable tonight. I thought we hustled and played as hard as they’ve played all season. It was the best they played all season in that first quarter. We had the lead and I thought we were going to win the quarter but then they scored at the end.”
Foxboro came out of the break with more cohesion on offense and put the game away. After scoring 17 in the first half, the Warriors scored 16 in the third quarter alone.
“They probably out-rebounded us three or four to one and they’ve got some girls inside,” said Walsh. “You take one away and they’ve got four others who can shoot, so it’s tough.”
Mollica got it started with a steal and layup, good ball movement got Fawaz a bucket, and then, after a layup by Carly Ferreira, Fawaz kicked out a pass for a Hassman jumper. Ketant added four points in the third and Aislinn Servaes, who has been injured for most of the season, got a steal and layup.
Brooke Ferreira added four of Milford’s seven points in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks couldn’t score enough to get back into the game. Mollica scored five in the fourth and Ketant had four more to seal the win for the Warriors. Jamie DeVellis grabbed her 10th board, the fourth Foxboro player to get double digits rebounds.
“We should have been dominating inside,” said Downs. “Our bigs should’ve all had 16 points and some of the things we were doing…nothing was good.”
Foxboro (13-2, 11-2) will be home on Friday night to face Stoughton with a chance to clinch the outright league title. Milford (3-14, 0-13) heads on the road on Friday to face North Attleboro.
King Philip, 54 @ Attleboro, 62 – Final – Attleboro senior Bryant Ciccio connected on a key three-pointer in the final minutes of the game and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the final quarter to help the Bombardiers pull out a win over visiting King Philip. With the game tied 42-42 through 24 minutes of action, Ciccio netted eight of his team-high 15 points in the final quarter while classmate Qualeem Charles (12 rebounds) netted half of his 12 points in the fourth. Nick McMahon (nine points) and Jason Weir (six rebounds) also had key buckets in the fourth for Attleboro. King Philip, which led by three after a quarter (19-16) and outscored the hosts in the third to bring the game even heading into the fourth, got 25 points from senior Alex Fritz while classmate Andrew McKinney added 10 points.
Sharon, 43 @ Canton, 60 – Final – Canton won each quarter but it was its lopsided second quarter that created the necessary separation to secure a win over visiting Sharon. The Dogs held a 14-11 lead through eight minutes but limited the Eagles to just five points in the second while its offense produced its best frame of the game with 17 points, creating a 31-16 advantage at halftime. Junior Eric Mischler drained three of his five triples in the second quarter, totaling 11 of his career-high 25 points in the frame to help Canton create its big lead. Nick Cushman gave the Bulldogs a big boost, scoring nine second half points while senior Kyle Fitzgerald scored all seven of his points after the break. Andrew Burton scored a team-high 12 points for the Eagles, who were limited to just one three-pointer in the second half and three total for the game. Caleb Gayle added 10 points for Sharon.
Stoughton, 46 @ Foxboro, 64 – Final – Foxboro had one of its best offensive quarters of the season, exploding for 26 points in the third quarter to turn a close game into a runaway win over visiting Stoughton. The Warriors built a 16-10 lead through eight minutes and took a 26-19 advantage into the locker room at halftime. A 7-0 run to start the third sparked the big quarter as Foxboro held a 52-35 advantage with one quarter to play. Senior Brandon Borde scored seven of his team-high 21 points in the third, Ryan Hughes had six of his nine points, Will Morrison (10 points) drained a pair of three-pointers, and Kevin Gallagher added a trifecta of his own. Senior Tahkwan Gates Brown netted a team-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to pace the Black Knights. Ahmad Jahed and Myles Grigalunas-Powell each chipped in with eight points.
Milford, 56 @ North Attleboro, 46 – Final – Milford built its lead over the first two quarters and got key contributions up and down the lineup to stay in front the rest of the way. The Scarlet Hawks jumped ahead 19-12 after a quarter and pushed the advantage to 29-20 at halftime. Milford senior Colby Pires scored 13 of his career-high 23 points in the first quarter whole Ralph Franklin Jr. (eight points) and Matty Varteresian (six points) combined to score all 10 of Milford’s second quarter points. Pires went back to work in the third, hitting two more threes while Jordan Darling and Dom Schofield also scored to keep Milford up 43-33 going into the fourth. Junior Ben Blanchard helped put the game away with an early three, scoring eight of his 10 points in the fourth. Junior Edan Kelley scored a career-high 17 points to pace the Rocketeers, who were without leading scorer George Ladd (illness). Ethan Friberg added 13 points for North.
Mansfield, 71 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – Final – Trailing at halftime and holding just a one-point lead after three quarters of action, the Hornets used a strong start to the fourth quarter to pull away from the win. Five Hornets factored into the fourth quarter scoring with senior Sam Stevens scoring seven of his 19 points, junior TJ Guy adding six of his 20 points, and Cincere Gill giving the visitors a boost with five of his seven points. Drew Rooney (seven points) and Matt Boen (16 points) also scored in the fourth, a period in which the Hornets won 22-11. Oliver Ames had a 24-point second quarter to take a halftime lead. Junior Amari Brown scored seven of his game-high 24 points in the second while Jay Spillane had seven of his 12 points and Ryan Burkett netted six of his 11 points.
Attleboro, 44 @ King Philip, 62 – Final – KP broke the game open by winning the third quarter 18-6 and pushing the lead out to double digits. Emma Glaser was the top scorer for the Warriors with 14 points. Faye Veilleux and Claire Keswick each scored 11 in the win.
Canton, 44 @ Sharon, 20 – Final – Canton locked down on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, holding the Eagles to just two points and running away with a road win. The Bulldogs led by only two points after one quarter (8-6) and extended that to six (17-11) low-scoring first half. Canton held Sharon to single digits in all four quarters and extended the lead to 28-18 heading into the final eight minutes. Fay Gallery paced the visitors with 15 points and Kiara Cerruti scored 10. Lilah Milton added eight points and freshman Erin Beatty made her varsity debut and added to the team’s strong defense in the fourth.
Foxboro, 79 @ Stoughton, 39 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. For the second time this season, Foxboro shutout an opponent in the first quarter, while scoring more than 20 points of their own. The Warriors raced out to a 23-0 lead after the opening eight minutes, extending the lead to 31-0 before Stoughton got on the board. Foxboro led 49-11 at halftime. The second half was just about even, with the Black Knights continuing to battle despite the deficit. Katelyn Mollica scored 27 points through three quarters, burying seven three-pointers in the process, but Foxboro had a number of players step up. Jamie DeVellis came off the bench and scored 11 points, Lizzy Davis scored 10 points, and Hannah Blake scored nine. Abby Hassman (nine rebounds and five assists), Shakirah Ketant (eight rebounds) and Yara Fawaz (11 rebounds and six assists) each scored six points. Shyanne Trinh scored 22 points over the final three quarters and Aliyah Wright added seven points (six in the fourth quarter).
Taunton, 18 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Ali Brigham scored 17 points and Olivia Quinn added 12 to help the Panthers continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Oliver Ames, 58 @ Mansfield, 38 – Final – The Tigers took control from the start, leading 18-4 after the first quarter and 33-12 at the half to earn a road win and extend their win streak to four. Caroline Peper scored 13 to lead the way for OA, while Tate Hadges and Jess Erlich each scored nine. For the second straight game, Kayla Vine scored 20 points to lead Mansfield. Ashley Santos chipped in with eight in the loss.
North Attleboro, 53 @ Milford, 23 – Final – North Attleboro tossed a shutout in the second quarter, outscoring the Hawks 15-0 in the frame, and allowed only two points in the first half. Big Red led 24-2 at the break, but Milford won the third quarter 11-10. North pulled away with 19 points in the fourth. Amanda Kaiser caught fire from three-point range, knocking down five shots from beyond the arc, on her way to a game-high 19 points. Regan Fein scored 15 and Summer Doherty scored 11 in the win. North coach Nikki Correia praised her team’s full-court defense and the control that the Rocketeers played with on the other end.
Canton @ North Attleboro, 7:00
Sharon @ Foxboro, 7:00
Mansfield, 73 @ Franklin, 92 – Final
Milford @ Stoughton, 6:00
Canton @ North Attleboro, 7:00
Sharon @ Foxboro, 7:00
Mansfield, 56 @ Franklin, 107 – Final
Milford @ Stoughton, 6:00
2018-2019 Record: 8-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
Attleboro was three wins shy of reaching the postseason last year, despite a roster filled with inexperienced players, and the Bombardiers demonstrated the potential in the squad by upsetting Franklin late in the season and handing the Panthers their only league loss. This winter, the Bombardiers will be looking to turn potential into reality and make a jump into the playoff picture.
Six players are returning from last year, including seniors Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall, who give Attleboro a talented backcourt on both ends of the court. Thomas adds length and slashing ability, while McCall is a sharpshooter who will be the team’s primary ball-handler. Sophomore Meg Gordon has taken a big leap from last year and head coach Marty Crowley thinks that she is ready for a breakout season on the wing.
Juniors Gabby Bosh and Emma Reilly will both be back to add some nous to the lineup, while sophomores Hailey and Lindsey Perry add grit and toughness. Junior Ryan Johnson will add size to the frontcourt, while sophomore Lillian Froio and juniors Jackie MacDonald and Laura McVeigh add depth and physicality. Overall, it is a much deeper, more experienced group for Crowley to build lineups with this season.
“For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound,” Crowley said. “Nyah and Liv I am sure are going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone, however, we feel as if we have the players in place who will contribute offensively.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-7 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Jim Choquette
Youth was served for the Bulldogs last season, as a talented trio of freshmen jumped into the starting lineup and helped Canton have one of its most successful seasons in program history, with 14 wins and a return to the state tournament. There were still some learning curves to overcome, but now a more experienced group is play with speed and get out on the break as often as possible to give Foxboro a challenge in the Davenport title race and bring home a postseason win.
Although Canton is still a relatively young team, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Sophomores Kiara Cerruti and Sydney and Fay Gallery all had impressive rookie campaigns, showing off their skills on the wing, from three-point range, and in the paint. They will face even more pressure this season, as teams know what they like to do and will be even more determined to take them out of their games.
Sophomore Carly Fitzgerald will be one of the players stepping into the point guard role vacated by the graduation of Julia Hamilton and will be the facilitator getting Canton into its offense. In the paint, Canton has size and athleticism in senior Lilah Milton and junior Kayla Albert, who are both active rebounders and finishers at the rim and both have shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper as well. Juniors Angie Elias and Sam Lamarr and sophomore Annie Hoban all have experience from last year to add to Canton’s depth.
Canton coach Jim Choquette said, “Each day we will try to improve as a coaching staff and a program. By the end of the season, our hopes are to be playing at our best.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-3 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Lisa Downs
The two-time defending Davenport division champions return all but one player from last year’s roster, so Foxboro remains the team to beat for the league title and expectations are very high heading into a new season. After a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals last season, the Warriors will be aiming for even more this winter, trying to regain the top spot not just in the Hock but also in the South sectional.
Junior Katelyn Mollica was the team’s leading scorer last year and is already closing in on 1,000 points for her career. The team’s primary ball-handler and one of the best shooters in the league, Mollica will be one of the top offensive threats in the league. She will have plenty of help. Senior guard Lizzy Davis and senior forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman will also return to the starting lineup this season and add athleticism, speed, and tenacity on both ends of the floor, taking some pressure off Mollica with their ability to score in the open court.
Senior Shakirah Ketant came on strong at the end of last season and gives Foxboro a different, more physical look in the paint. Junior Jordyn Collins is a tough on-the-ball defender and has speed to burn. Seniors Jamie DeVellis and Julia Kelley both saw time on the floor last year and will add to Foxboro’s depth. Sophomore center Hannah Blake is a new face that could provide more strength in the post.
“The Hockomock League continues to produce teams, which make every night a tough one – there are really no teams that you can take lightly,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “The preparation required to compete in this league really benefits teams that get to the postseason.”
2018-2019 Record: 21-4 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal. Coach: John Leighton
Franklin is coming off its best season in program history and the Panthers have the talent returning to potentially surpass that success this winter. After winning the program’s first sectional title and coming within minutes of reaching the state title game, Franklin returns three of its starters and a host of bench players ready to step into bigger roles this year.
The key to it all is senior Ali Brigham. The George Washington-commit controlled the paint on both ends of the floor last season and remains the league’s most dominant star, as she continues to expand her game to make it even more difficult for the opposition. Teams can’t focus only on Brigham, as senior forward Meghan O’Connell showed in the playoffs the problems she can present with her ability to score and rebound and sophomore Olivia Quinn is another forward with size that teams will struggle to match up with.
Junior point guard Erin Quaile is a tenacious defender and a solid ball-handler, who is developing her outside shot. Senior Sydney Garilli and juniors Elizabeth Wilson, Teagan Collins, and Carissa Alers all saw time last season and will be in the backcourt rotation. Franklin will also add several newcomers, who could step right in and contribute, including juniors Katelynn Taylor and Kaleigh Houlihan and sophomores Emma Sousa and Stefany Padula. On balance, the Panthers look likely to be the team to beat again in the Kelley-Rex.
“I am excited by what I have seen to date,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They are a very motivated group who have bought into their team motto ‘We Over Me.’ They are good teammates who seek team success over individual glory.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-8 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip had a breakout season in 2018-19, winning 13 games and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. Returning seven players from last year’s roster, new head coach Dan Nagle takes over a program in solid shape and is looking to build on last season’s success and try to challenge Franklin at the top of the league standings this winter.
Senior Faye Veilleux spearheaded KP’s breakout season when she emerged as one of the top post scorers in the league. Her versatility and her ability to get out in transition will be crucial to Nagle’s fastbreaking style. Senior Faith Roy will give the Warriors a clutch outside shooter and classmate Taylor Butler adds physicality to the guard or forward position.
Junior Emma Glaser will be expected to take on a bigger role after a strong sophomore season on the wing and junior point guard Brianna James demonstrated the ability to get into the lane at will and finish even against taller opponents. Juniors Caroline Aaron and Courtney Keswick are also back from last year to provide depth on the wings and 6-foot-3 freshman Emily Sawyer will give KP much-needed size in the post, as they try to combat Franklin’s Ali Brigham. The Warriors are going to try and break teams down with aggressive defending and their speed in transition.
Nagle said, “It has been a great start to the year with this group of kids. From top to bottom our roster is full of girls who love the game of basketball and are enjoying the process of improving day to day here in the early going. I think we will be a fun team to watch this season, and I look forward to the challenge of having our kids compete night in and night out in an excellent league like the Hockomock.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Mike Redding
Mansfield has consistently been one of the top programs in the Kelley-Rex division but even the best programs are going to need time to overcome the graduation of 10 seniors. The Hornets will lack experience, but head coach Mike Redding will be looking for improvement over the course of the season and will be hoping to have the team playing its best basketball as the tournament rolls around.
Senior Becca Hottleman was recently cleared after knee surgery and will be back at the point for the Hornets. Hottleman is one of only two players that got starts last year. Junior forward Ashley Santos is the other and she will be one of the players expected to see her numbers take a jump, as she should expect to get a few more looks on the offensive end. Senior Kelly Doherty and junior Kayla Vine will jump into starting roles on the wings, while junior Sara Dooling will be a starter at forward.
While there is a lack of varsity playing time on the roster, there are plenty of upperclassmen that will be expected to contribute. Junior Sarah Sacco will back-up Hottleman at the point, while junior Ally Prentis and senior Grace Benton will add depth at the wing. Senior Grace Maher and juniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking will see time in the frontcourt and freshman wing Abby Wager should get opportunities to build experience this season.
“This group has very limited varsity basketball experience overall because we had that large and talented group of 10 seniors last year, but we’re not young and will rely on senior leadership and a deep junior class and all have varsity experience in other sports,” said Redding. “We have good size and depth in the post and all of them can shoot, handle the ball, and play like guards, which should cause some problems for the defense. It will be a work in progress and we’ll have to battle for wins in a very good league but this will be a good basketball team by February when the tourney rolls around.”
2018-2019 Record: 1-19 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Last year was a tough one for Milford. After graduating the bulk of the roster, an inexperienced group struggled through the season, but never lost the work rate and closed out the winter with its first win. The Hawks are still relatively young, but head coach TJ Dolliver is approaching the new year with optimism because of his team’s continued growth.
Four juniors are entering their third varsity seasons and the Hawks will be counting on them to provide necessary leadership on and off the court. Emma Lawrence, Jillian Michelson, Carly Fereira, and Katie Maietta have all gotten plenty of playing time last year and the hope is that experience will serve them well this winter.
This will be a guard-heavy lineup, especially with no player over 5-foot-8. Junior Elise Fauerbach will add some physical play to the frontcourt and sophomore forward Jill Araujo is a newcomer that can add some depth in the paint.
“There is a lot to pay attention to but what I care about the most is how we do this together,” said Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls and a great coaching staff and I believe this season will be very rewarding.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Nikki Correia
It has been a tough run over the last few seasons for North Attleboro, which won seven games and missed the playoffs for the third straight year, but there are still positives to take away as former assistant Nikki Correia takes over for her first year in charge. North has several experienced players returning to try and push Big Red back up the standings.
The backcourt should be a plus for North with senior point guard Olivia Forbes back to run the show and keep the Rocketeers getting into the transition game that Correia prefers. She will be joined at the guard position by junior Amanda Kaiser, who emerged as not only a threat from deep but also as a tough defender who gets her hands into the passing lane. Juniors Siobhan Weir and Lydia Santos will add to the depth at guard to help with the full-court pressure that North will turn to this year.
North hasn’t had much height in the past few seasons, but there are several forwards who can compete on the glass. Senior forward Eliza Dion is an aggressive defender and can take her defender off the dribble. Senior Regan Fein will add extra depth in the paint. Freshman guard Ava McKeown and sophomore guard Summer Doherty are two newcomers that could make an instant impact.
“I am looking forward to being apart of watching this team and this program grow this year,” Correia said. “There are six returning seniors, so that veteran play will be very helpful, as well as returning a great shooter and adding an athletic sophomore and freshman to the mix.”
2018-2019 Record: 13-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames had a lot of new faces last year, but the success was very familiar. The Tigers finished with 13 wins and reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal, giving Wellesley all it could handle on the road. A year of experience and the return of a strong core of players means expectations are even higher for OA this winter.
Sophomore Caroline Peper will be the player that is going to draw the most attention at the start of the new season. As a freshman, Peper was one of the league’s top scorers and its top shooters. Junior Caroline Flynn was also an all-star last year. She runs the point, is one of the top passers on the team, and also one of its top rebounders. Her overall game helps the Tigers control games. Also in the backcourt will be seniors Meg Holleran and Erin Holmberg, who is coming back after surgery cost her almost all of last season.
Senior Tate Hadges will be on the front line, giving OA another strong defender and rebounder. Sophomore Hailey Bourne, while undersized, gives the Tigers a lot of effort in the post even when matched up against some of the best frontcourt players in the league. Junior Jess Erlich and Tori Harney and sophomore Anna Murphy will add to the team’s depth on the wing.
“As always, the Hock will present with a very high level of competition,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We are looking forward to being capable of putting together a variety of strong personnel combinations which will provide us with depth as we face those challenges.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sandra Lombardi
Sharon narrowly missed out on its first playoff appearance under head coach Sandy Lombardi, finishing just one win away from a tournament berth. With three returning starters and several younger players who got significant playing time last year, the Eagles will be eyeing that elusive postseason berth.
Three seniors will be counted on to lead the team at both ends of the floor. Point guard Ally Brown will be expected to get the Eagles into their offensive sets and is a strong defender on the other end, keeping pressure on the perimeter. Shooting guard Kaitlyn Wallace is the team’s top outside threat, stretching the defense with her range and also being a strong passer off the dribble. Forward Telishya Herbert led the team in scoring last year and is a matchup nightmare in the paint with her aggressive play going to the basket.
The starting lineup will be rounded out by junior Leah Fandel and sophomore Trinity Payne, two athletic forwards that will give Sharon decent size on the front line. Senior Nicole Teven, juniors Julia Early and Gaby Cabral and freshman Tess Letendre will all see plenty of playing time this season and will look to contribute to the team’s success.
“Ally, Kaitlyn, and Telishya have the most varsity experience and I expect great things from them this year,” Lombardi said. “We have a young team and I am hoping some of the younger players are able to step up this year as well.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
A new era will begin this winter, as Stoughton moves into its brand new gym with a lot of new faces on the roster, hoping to get the Black Knights back into the playoff race this season after missing out on the tournament last year.
The key for the Black Knights will be its senior leadership. Although Sydnee Hyacinthe has moved on to Milton Academy, they still return a strong core led by senior Aliyah Wright. The point guard can be a dominant presence on both ends of the floor, sparking Stoughton on defense and breaking down the opposition off the dribble. Senior Shyanne Trinh is healthy to start the season and will be the team’s top outside threat, with the ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Senior forward Lexi Baptista is an athletic post threat who can also step back and knock down the mid-range jumper.
Senior Hannah Pagano and juniors Brooke Bulger, Mackenzie Manning, and Catherine Downey will add to the team’s depth, especially in the backcourt. Sophomore Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and freshman Kyla Sheedy-Goff will be two of the newcomers to the roster that could make a name for themselves this season.
“Despite being somewhat young this season this group of ladies worked really hard in the off-season,” said Stoughton coach Charmain Steele Jordan. “The sky is the limit this season and our Black Knights are going compete hard until the final whistle blows.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-15 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
After a number of seasons under coach Walter Harrigan, Taunton has turned to former King Philip coach Amy Siggens this year and she has brought plenty of energy into her first preseason with the Tigers, trying to push the program back into the playoff hunt.
As Siggens and the players become more comfortable with each other, the Tigers will count on their returning starters to get things off to a good start. Juniors Sonya and Jaelyn Fernandez and Kelsey White will be the players to watch this season after strong sophomore campaigns. All three have good size, with both Sonya and Jaelyn providing strong presences on the boards and out on the break and White causing match-up issues on the perimeter. All three will need to step up on the defensive end and keep the Tigers running.
Taunton also has depth, although it will be relatively inexperienced. Seniors Liz Crisman and Jaylah Chaves and junior Tori DaRosa will add more depth in the backcourt. Sophomores Braeley McDonald and Abby Souza (who has helped out on varsity since she was an eighth-grader) and freshman Kameron St. Pierre will also chip in this season.
“Any coaching change brings lots of challenges and, this season, we will be faced with our share,” said Siggens. “I am very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. Our bench is young and talented but how quickly a good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start.”
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro not only put its unbeaten record on the line against Milford on Tuesday night at Jack Martinelli Field but also wanted to restore its three-point lead atop the Davenport division, which had been cut to just a single point after North Attleboro’s win in the afternoon.
The Warriors, who are the third-highest scoring team in the Hockomock League, came out strong and had the Hawks on their heels from the opening kick, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Foxboro hit the post three times and forced Milford goalie Olivia Marshall into three saves in the first half alone.
Frustration was setting in for the Warriors with two minutes left until halftime when Milford cleared a corner to the center of the field. Defender Alex Stamatos, who celebrated her senior night before kick-off, raced onto the loose ball and unleashed a 30-yard blast that smacked off the underside of the crossbar and over the line.
It was an impressive first career goal for the center back and it turned out to be the game-winner, as the Warriors added a second after the break to earn a 2-0 victory and stay unbeaten this fall.
“Amazing,” said Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup about Stamatos’ goal. “Her first ever, on senior night, and she’s a sweeper.” Stalcup also admitted, “We needed that.”
Milford had the game’s first good chance when Olivia Sullivan slipped a pass in behind the Foxboro defense to Juliana France. The junior midfielder appeared to be clear on goal, but left back Yara Fawaz was able to race back and pressure the shot, which went wide of goalie Morgan Sylvestre’s near post.
It would be the best chance of the half for the Hawks, as the field started to tilt towards Marshall in the Milford goal and the Foxboro midfield started to take control.
In the 16th minute, Jordyn Collins had a shot cleared off the line by Madelyn Boyle and the follow-up from distance by freshman Kailee McCabe went over the bar. Four minutes later, Mackenzi Fraser got into space on the right side of the box and her cross was forced onto the post by Marshall.
Collins had another look from inside the box, but again it struck woodwork. Katelyn Mollica played a ball back into the box from the right but Lizzy Davis had her shot go high. McCabe then forced Marshall into a save with a 20-yard free kick to the bottom corner. On the ensuing corner, Marshall tipped a Davis header away and Alyssa Vandenboom knocked the rebound off the post.
“At halftime I counted the shots and we had 17 shots and just the one goal,” said Stalcup. “I felt like we weren’t taking quality shots. They were going wide or they were weak or we were crossing the ball when we should’ve been shooting. Yeah, it was frustrating.”
After all those chances, it took a golazo to put Foxboro in front. While the Warriors went into the break with momentum, Milford flipped things around to start the second half and controlled the opening 10 minutes.
Boyle had a long free kick that was saved by Foxboro’s new keeper Jamie DeVellis and France had a chance off a corner, but her far post header was blocked and she was leaning back on the second effort and the shot went high.
“I didn’t have my starting lineup at the beginning of the second half and I think that threw us off a little bit but they came out hard and were fired up,” Stalcup said. “It was tough, but I think once we settled down and started playing our game like we do, playing to feet, don’t just play kick and run, that’s when we’re at our best.”
In the 59th minute, Foxboro sealed the two points. A corner from Mollica picked out Davis on the edge of the six-yard-box and her downward header deflected off the foot of a defender and flicked into the goal.
Marshall was huge down the stretch to keep the Hawks in it. Vandenboom set up McCabe for a one-timer that was saved comfortably, then Davis forced a diving save with a long shot from the right side and Vandenboom had her rebound effort saved.
Collins had a breakaway in the closing minutes but was forced to hold up by Boyle and Marshall was able to make the save and then a Mollica corner found Collins’ head but again Marshall made the reaction save.
“I wish we would’ve had more, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” Stalcup said.
Foxboro (11-0-3, 9-0-3) extended its lead back to three points in the division and will travel to Stoughton on Friday. Milford (3-9-0, 3-9-0) will host North Attleboro on Friday.
Game of the Week – Football
Mansfield, 10 @ King Philip, 28 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Danny DeGirolamo 39-yard run, Mike DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) M. DeBolt 37-yard field goal; (KP) Shane Frommer 96-yard interception return, Cole Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 19-yard pass to Dylan Leonard, C. Baker XP good, B. Lydon 31-yard pass to Thomas Madden, C. Baker XP good; S. Frommer 47-yard run, C. Baker XP good.
Foxboro, 27 @ Canton, 21 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Henri 5-yard rush, XP missed.
3rd Quarter: (C) Alec Ragusa 59-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 13-yard pass to Jack O’Donnell, D. Hassett 2pt pass to J. O’Donnell; (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (F) D. Hassett 1-yard sneak, Russell Neale XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 70-yard pass to Tony Harris, O. Lehane XP good.
Overtime: (F) D. Hassett 6-yard pass to J. O’Donnell.
Franklin, 22 @ Oliver Ames, 40 – Final 1st Quarter: (OA) Noah Fitzgerald 29-yard rush, XP no good; (OA) Anthony Berksza 15-yard rush, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 20-yard pass to Jack Nally, XP no good; (OA) A. Berksza 19-yard rush, Curtis Cann 2pt pass to A. Berksza; (OA) C. Cann 34-yard pass to Ralph Derolus, A. Berksza 2pt rush; (F) J. Noviello 25-yard pass to Sean Leonard, J. Noviello 2pt pass to Evan Wendell.
3rd Quarter: (OA) Michael Mulrean 50-yard interception return, Derick Hanscom XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 4-yard rush, J. Noviello 2pt pass to S. Leonard.
4th Quarter: (OA) A. Berksza 7-yard rush, D. Hanscom XP good.
Stoughton, 33 @ Sharon, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (Sto) Evan Gibb 1-yard rush, XP blocked; (Sto) Justin Ly 11-yard rush, 2pt failed;
3rd Quarter: (Sto) E. Gibb 1-yard rush, E. Gibb 2pt pass to Ruben Gonzalez; (Sto) Jason Joseph 50-yard fumble return, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (Sto) J. Ly 1-yard rush, XP good.
Mansfield, 3 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Mansfield built a 1-0 lead at halftime and added two more in the second half to pick up a win on the road at KP. Jackson Murphy opened the scoring on an assist from Sean Lanzillo to put the Hornets ahead. Cullin Anastasia scored what proved to be the game-winner with a penalty kick in the second half and then added an insurance goal on an assist from Sam Hyland. Mansfield goalie Nick Ferraz made 11 saves in the win.
Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro scored all three of its goals in the second half to pick up a key division win over Milford. Big Red went up 1-0 when Gabe Pinhancos scored just under eight minutes into the second half, running onto a flick from junior Joe Hilf and converting. Pinhancos made it 2-0 just three minutes later, heading in a cross from Zach Matracia. Milford cut the deficit in half in the 62nd minute when Anthony Salvador volleyed in a throw from Joey Madden. Nate Burns put the game away with his first career goal, scoring off a flick from Connor MacIver.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Matt Alvarado collected his third and fourth goals of the season, helping OA pick up two points on the road. Michael Nikiciuk netted his fourth goal of the season as well. Nathaniel Cardoza, Colin Evin and Cam Valla each had an assist in the win.
Sharon, 4 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Sharon had four different goal scorers in the win on the road. Tyler Hippler, Andrew Reyes-Jones, Tyler Goldstein and Michael Baur each found the back of the net for the Eagles.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin scored four times in the opening half hour to break the game wide open. Emily Mastaj, Halle Atkinson, Olivia Dellorco, and Sarah Yelle scored the goals for the Panthers before halftime and Molly Duncan added a fifth with five minutes left to play. Julia Hayes netted the lone goal for Attleboro. Breanna Atwood made five saves for the Panthers and Ashley Macia made five for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Katelyn Mollica scored what turned out to be the game-winner with 12 minutes remaining to extend Foxboro’s win streak to five games. Shaina Abbott had the opening goal on a volley from a Mackenzie Fraser assist before Mollica doubled the lead. Canton cut the lead to one with a late goal, but the Warriors held on for the win. Jamie DeVellis made eight saves to earn the win in goal.
King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Avery Snead scored one and set up the other to lift KP to a win over the defending Kelley-Rex champs and put the Warriors into a tie atop the standings. Chloe Layne opened the scoring off a Snead assist in the first half, firing a low shot into the corner. Kerina Geminiani equalized for the Hornets with a 25-yard free kick that sent the game into halftime 1-1. Snead scored the game-winner with 11 minutes remaining, sending her shot just past the outstretched arms of the Mansfield keeper. KP coach Gary Pichel credited his “great defensive line” for helping the Warriors earn the two points.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – North Attleboro scored all three of its goals inside the first half hour of the match and played a strong defensive game to earn the shutout. Ashlyn Gaulin opened the scoring in the 15th minute, converting a feed from Haley Guertin to make it 1-0. Guertin then doubled the lead off an assist from Kayla Pasquel before Emma Gaulin made it 3-0 in the 30th minute, with Leah Jette getting the assist. Emma Noreck made six saves for North to earn the shutout. Milford head coach Jay Mastaj said Briana Braza played well defensively for the Scarlet Hawks.
Taunton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – OA scored a pair of second half goals to come back from a goal down and pull out the win. Erin Holmberg scored off a through ball from Anna Tempestoso in the first minute after the break and Gabrielle McLaughlin netted the winner on an assist from Maeve Hogan. Samantha Tichelaar scored the lone goal of the game for Taunton in the opening minute. Alex Wapenski had the assist for Taunton.
Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 6 – Final – Ally Filipkowski and Fallon Pfeifer both scored hat tricks for the Eagles and Filipkowski added an assist as well. Bridget McManus and Marika Fillon also had assists for Sharon. Stoughton got goals from Nicole Weir (off a cross from Brigid Pearl) and Mia Greene.
Sharon, 2 vs. Bellingham, 2 – Final – Emily Locke scored both goals for the Eagles to earn the non-league tie.
Foxboro, 173 @ Stoughton, 189 – Final – Foxboro’s Dylan Quinn earned match medalist honors, carding a low-round of 41 for the Warriors. Brendan Campbell shot a team-low round of 42 for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 197 @ North Attleboro, 198 – Final (5 cards) – It came down to a fifth card tiebreaker after rivals Attleboro and North Attleboro were knotted at 154. Kyle DelSignore led the Bombardiers with a par round of 35 while Corey McKenna carded a 38. Dylan Kane led North Attleboro, carding a 37 at the middle course of Heather Hill.
Milford, 165 @ Canton, 156 – Final – Canton’s Jack Goyetch carded a round of 37 to earn match medalist honors and help the Bulldogs pick up another key division win. Joey Vaughan finished with a 38 and Bubba McNeice chipped in with a round of 40. Zach Tammaro and Andrew Fauerbach each shot 39 for the Scarlet Hawks.
Sharon, 190 @ Mansfield, 171 – Final – Freshman Nathan Morreale carded a low-round of 41 while classmate Joseph Gormley shot a 42 to help the Hornets fend off visiting Sharon. Senior Brett Kessler, junior Jake DiSangro and freshman Brian See each carded a 44 for Mansfield.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – After winning the program’s first ever league title last fall, Mansfield comes into this season with a deep and experienced roster, but it was youthful Foxboro that started Thursday evening’s season opener at Alumni Field with energy and confidence. The Warriors were pushing the Hornets back towards their own goal and putting pressure on the Mansfield back line.
But, 15 minutes into the game, the Hornets picked out a pass over the top, a bad bounce took it past the defender, and junior Amanda Mangano slid the ball past Foxboro keeper Jamie DeVellis to open the scoring.
That goal changed the game. The Hornets clicked into gear and dominated from that point on, running out to a 5-1 win behind a pair of goals and three points from junior forward Stephanie Kemp and a pair of assists by senior Emma Oldow.
“Foxboro came out flying. They were physical and quick and tried to press us as high as they could,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “They had five in the midfield and we couldn’t figure out how to play through it with our typical passing game. I said, stretch the field, just put it over into space. That will stretch them out and then we can go back to the middle.”
He added, “Once we trusted that, two balls over the top and two goals; the game changed because of that.”
Foxboro was putting pressure from the opening whistle, using a high line and high pressure to win the ball and then quickly releasing freshman Jordyn Collins into the channels. Collins was able to run at defenders along with sophomore Lizzy Davis and win the Warriors a few early corners. The best chance in the opening minutes was a 30-yard free kick by Lily Sykes that swerved over the bar.
In the 16th minute, Oldow fired a pass forward towards Mangano and the ball skipped through the center of the Foxboro defense to create a one-on-one with the keeper. Foxboro struggled to sustain the pressure after falling behind.
“We came out on fire and really working hard,” said first-year Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup. “The ball was in our half, we were in the attacking half for the first part of the first half and then they got that goal and we got a little deflated. That’s something I need to talk to the girls about, but they didn’t stop fighting.”
Once the momentum turned, Mansfield took full control of the game. Junior Cassidy McMahon sent a shot wide from the right corner of the box and then sent a free header over the bar from the six-yard box. Kemp, who had an early chance that she sent wide, doubled the lead in the 31st minute when she ran onto a long ball from Erin Daniel, rounded the keeper and tapped it in.
Kemp nearly played provider a minute later, but Oldow shot wide when free on goal and then Kemp missed a chance that DeVellis appeared to get a finger to, but was ruled a corner.
Foxboro could have made the game closer before halftime, but Sykes had a free kick saved at full stretch by Mansfield keeper Caty DeMassi. On the resulting corner, the ball was redirected up and off the bar to keep it 2-0 heading into halftime.
Despite the speed of the Warriors’ attack, the Mansfield defense was able to hold strong, particularly the combination of center backs Emily Vigeant, Daniel, and Taylor Smith, a senior defender who transferred from Seattle, Wash. (and is already committed to play soccer at the University of Minnesota next year).
“It’s nice to have three center backs,” Smith said, “so I can rest them when they need and so many kids are interchangeable. Erin plays defense, midfield, outside back, and I can put the players anywhere.”
The third goal came nine minutes into the second half. Bryn Anderson picked out Oldow with a defense-splitting pass but Foxboro keeper Morgan Sylvestre (who took over at halftime) made a sliding save. The ball bounced out to Kemp, who calmly side-footed the ball home. Two minutes later, Kemp knocked down a long ball, Anderson took a touch to her left, and curled a shot past a diving Sylvestre.
Sykes was being smothered by the Mansfield midfield, with Anderson and fellow junior Melissa Reef constantly keeping an eye on Foxboro’s star. She finally got space in the 54th minute and curled a shot that DeMassi could not hold. Mackenzie Fraser was first to the loose ball and patiently took a touch before finishing the rebound.
“She’s always going to be out there playing a big part in the game,” said Stalcup of Sykes, “but they new who she was and they knew how to shut her down and she had a really hard time tonight.”
In the 57th minute, Mansfield restored its four-goal advantage. Mangano had a chance in the box, but the ball was cleared off her foot by Mackenzie Cusack. The clearance went directly to McMahon on the right side of the box and she hit it first time into the far side-netting.
Smith said, “We talked about using our experience but now playing with urgency. You can’t just say, we’re good and show up. I thought they came out with some urgency, which is good.”
Stalcup knows that it was always going to be difficult starting the season against the defending champ. She said, “We’re a young team, but we know how to battle. We’re going to keep fighting and we can build from that. You can’t teach hard work and we have that.”
Mansfield (1-0) will travel to Canton on Monday night in a crossover game, while Foxboro (0-1) will host unbeaten King Philip.