SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – Sometimes it takes just one moment to separate two good teams. On Wednesday night at Muscato Stadium, the moment came right before halftime when Oliver Ames senior Camryn O’Connor burst out of midfield and crossed to junior Jenna Gilman at the back post. Making her first start of the season up top, Gilman made no mistake from a few yards out to put the Tigers back in front.
OA was able to hold onto its halftime lead, beating Mansfield 2-1 in a game that had the proper intensity for two teams fighting for first place in their respective divisions, battling for higher rankings in the state tournament, and getting prepared for making deep playoff runs next month.
“I preach all the time that a great game is 2-1,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “Someone is going to make a mistake, someone is going to hit a brilliant goal, and you need two [goals] to win. That’s two games in a row that this team has shown some growth since the Foxboro game where we had a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes to go and it kind of slipped away.
“It’s one of our best games of the year, so I’m pleased because Mansfield’s always tough to break down.”
The first half was largely dominated by the hosts. OA’s pressure on the ball was forcing turnovers high up the pitch and forcing Mansfield to resort to long balls over the top. There was very little time to take a touch and the Hornets struggled early.
Just six minutes into the game, OA had its first chance on a set piece. An in-swinging corner was only partially cleared and Ella McDonough got a foot to it. The shot was blocked onto the post and then a goal-bound rebound effort was blocked by Carly Devine.
In the 12th minute, another set piece would provide the opener. Mansfield keeper Olivia Salisbury did really well to prevent Katie Gibson’s corner from heading straight in, clawing the ball out from under the bar. Alexa Lane was there to knock the rebound back at goal but it was blocked out to Mary Cross. Third time was the charm, as the senior defender poked it home.
Lyla Nappa would have Mansfield’s first shot on goal in the 18th minute and it was comfortably saved by Emily Meyers. At the half-hour mark, the Hornets equalized out of nothing. Abby Jean and Tarynn Smith played a nice one-two about 35 yards from goal. Smith looked up and, for once, had no pressure on her so decided to have a go. The shot slid just under the bar and over the fingers of Meyers to make it 1-1.
“She’s starting to and we need it,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said of Tarynn Smith finding the back of the net more often in recent games. “We’re built on a team offense. We don’t have the Steph Kemp or the Cam O’Connor or the Kailee McCabe, so we have to get contributions from everybody.”
The remainder of the half was largely controlled by O’Connor. The Boston University-commit was proving difficult to contain, even as the Hornets threw multiple defenders on her. After sending one just wide from 25 yards, O’Connor dribbled past a pair of defenders into the box taking advantage of a Gabby Smith clearance ricocheting off Kara Santos for another chance that went just wide.
In the 39th minute, Lucinda Li Cotter teed up O’Connor from 20 yards that forced Salisbury into a full stretch save, tipping it around the post.
With the clock stopped at the end of the half, O’Connor had her moment. She rode a challenge near midfield and then carried the ball a full 40 yards down the left channel, got to the end line, and sent over a pinpoint, left-footed cross to Gilman ghosting in unmarked at the back post.
“Cam had the big play that we need every game from her,” said Sellmayer. “She is one of those rare players that has pace on the ball. Sometimes there will be a tackle and it ends up on your foot, ends up on my foot, well it usually ends up on her foot a little more often.”
The second half would feature very few chances for either team, but the Hornets made significant improvements in how they played out of the pressure. Smith admitted that it had little to do with his team talk at the break.
He explained, “Got to halftime and said what do you guys think? They were like, coach we were playing scared a little bit. They actually self-reflected and they figured out how to break it down. It’s what I love about these kids, they really think about the game and we’re growing.”
OA had a chance of yet another corner early in the second half but McDonough didn’t catch it cleanly and Santos was in the way to block and clear. In the 64th minute, Katie Gibson had a deflected cross find her at the back post but she couldn’t make clean contact and hit it right at Salisbury. A minute later, Carly Gibson set up O’Connor on her right foot but it was a tame effort that Salisbury snagged.
Those were the only chances for the Tigers after the break, but they were also limiting Mansfield, who was playing better and getting into advanced areas down the wings but still not troubling Meyers. The foursome of McDonough (making her first start), Cross, Allison Evin, and Sophia Byron largely held the Hornets at arm’s length.
“We really didn’t give them many chances inside the 18 and that’s something they’ve worked on,” said Sellmayer. “I thought Kyla [Melton] playing in the midfield gave us another edge on those headers that we didn’t have in the Foxboro game.”
Still, in a one-goal game, all it takes is a single chance to turn two points into one. Mansfield finally got that look in the 70th minute. Santos won the ball at the back and hit a quick outlet to Anna Darlington down the right wing leading to a corner. Smith curled one into the six-yard box and Devine was there but unable to keep her header down.
OA was able to run out the final nine minutes to secure the win and stay level with Foxboro in the Davenport title race
“I keep saying we’re young and learning and we are,” said Smith. “It’s been our mantra all year and it’s a great opportunity to learn about those little things and how to play against a team that’s, in the power rankings, No. 4 four in the state. It was good for us, I’m proud of my girls.”
Oliver Ames (9-1-1) will travel to Canton on Friday. Mansfield (8-3-0), which is four points behind Franklin in the Kelley-Rex with game in hand, will be on the road at Milford on Friday.
Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – After earning a corner kick, Billy Badger dropped a left-footed service into the area to the six-yard line to an open Cashel Stuger, who headed it to the far post and in for the lone goal of the game in the 13th minute.
Taunton, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton scored a pair of goals in each half to knock Taunton from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Dogs built a 2-0 lead before the Tigers got on the board before halftime. Canton came out and tacked on two more in the second half to put the game away. Carson Eagles scored his first career goal while Jacob Crugnale, Caden Mirliani, and Dylan Baird also scored for the hosts.
Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – North Attleboro took the lead in the first half but Franklin leveled the match early in the second half and the two teams split the points. North struck first in the 12th minute as Patrick McDermott finished off a cross. Givany Carney sent in the pass and Connor Ward made a nice run to draw the defender and dummied it to free McDermott for an open look. Franklin pulled level less than two minutes into the second half when Will Krysak scored on a cross from Jack Moran.
King Philip, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – King Philip scored three second half goals to earn their second win of the season, handing Sharon its first loss at home in the process. Sharon took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break but the Warriors equalized and went ahead inside the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Eagles equalized shortly after but KP went back ahead with the eventual game-winner in the 62nd minute. Stephen Griffin scored the first two goals for the visitors, the first unassisted and the second off a feed from Tommy Lomuscio. Oliver Blackburn netted the winner with an assist from Josh Canning.
Mansfield, 6 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Mansfield found the back of the net three times in each have, rolling to another win this season. Junior Aidan Steele scored in each half to pace the Hornets’ offense, Danny Rowe and Liam Anastasia scored in the first half, and Matt Hyland added another in the second half. Senior Anthony Klimas scored his first career goal in the win. Jack Lasbury-Casey earned the shutout in net.
Milford, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – After trading goals twice, Oliver Ames found the game-winner at the death to pick up two points against Milford, snapping a three-game skid to the Hawks. The visitors opened the scoring on a goal from Nick Ribeiro (assisted by Arthur Tome) but OA responded a minute later on a goal from Hector Bucio (from Christian Haikal). This time it was the Tigers who took the lead, with Bucio setting up Joey Carney for the hosts’ first lead of the afternoon. But Milford had the answer in the form of an equalizer from senior Avi Seri (from classmate Christian Dinis). In the final minute, Haikal finished off a pass from Carney for the winner. Senior Mathias Taylor had a superb game in the midfield for OA while Jake Williams, Collin Lozano, Diego Rivera, and Antonio Fernandes played well in the back.
Foxboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Kailee McCabe put on a show to lead the Warriors to another impressive win, the team’s fifth in a row. McCabe, the league’s leading scorer, recorded all five of Foxboro’s goals, including the 50th of her career. She scored direct from a free kick and had a pair of “olimpicos” (goals direct from corner kicks). McCabe also scored one from a Jordan Carman assist and another off a pass from Kylie O’Keefe.
Canton, 5 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Emily Calederon scored both goals for the Tigers.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Anya Zub continued to be on fire in front of goal for the Panthers. After scoring four times on Monday, Zub added a brace to help Franklin beat North and stay a point back of KP in the Kelley-Rex standings. Riley Fitzpatrick opened the scoring off an assist from Avery Greco, who moved into a new position and had a strong game. Steph McKenna tied the game in the 48th minute for North, scoring off a Caroline Ferrin assist. Bridget Leo’s through ball to Fitzpatrick led to Franklin’s second goal, finished off by Zub. Fiztpatrick added her second assist, and third point of the afternoon, to set up Zub for the third Franklin goal that sealed the two points. Chloe Barca, Stella Regan, and Leo played well in midfield for the Panthers and Norah Anderson controlled the back line. North had other chances in the first half, with Charlotte Moynihan and Casey Butanowicz both striking the woodwork. Victoria Donnelley, Abby Pratt, and Lily Adams each had great games in the loss.
Sharon, 1 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – After falling behind by a goal inside the opening five minutes, KP scored five in a row to get the win, remain perfect in league play, and stay in first place in the division. Olivia Soby opened the scoring for the Eagles, ripping a 30-yard shot just under the bar. Ten minutes later, Dani Lomuscio took a pass from Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn and found the back of the net from 25 yards. Ella Pisani also scored from distance to put the Warriors ahead before the break. Midway through the second half, Sarah Harper doubled the KP lead off an assist from Rihanna Mason. Rachel DeFlaminis was then played through on goal by Pisani and made it 4-1. Delia Mahoney wrapped up the scoring with eight minutes to play, finishing a corner kick from Danielle Gresham. Sofia Goclowski and Amber Marcus-Blank both played well for Sharon.
Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – The Hornets ended a two-game losing streak with a shutout of Stoughton. Tarynn Smith scored twice and assisted on another to power the Mansfield offense. Abby Jean and Olivia Homsi each had a goal and an assist. Avery Hawthorne added a goal and freshman Gabby Smith scored her first career goal. Olivia Salisbury and Caitlyn Zajac combined for one save and the clean sheet. Morgan Cook had her best game of the season for the Black Knights, passing the ball well and taking on defenders to create scoring chances. Emma Tran was close to getting on the board for Stoughton, but her shot came back off the inside of the post. Sophia Issa played well at both defensive mid and left back.
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Camryn O’Connor had a hat trick and an assist to lead the Tigers on the road and keep them unbeaten on the season. Halle Kandar, Lucinda Li Cotter (two assists), Jenna Gilman, and Carly Gibson also scored for OA. Dani Atherton had the lone goal for the Hawks.
Attleboro, 167 @ Mansfield, 153 – Final – Mansfield earned its seventh win in nine tries, defending its home course against the visiting Bombardiers. Cian Goulet fired a medalist round of 37, Ryan Doherty and Cody Nieratko both shot a 38, and Hunter Tang came in with a 40 for the Hornets.
Franklin, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 139 – Final – OA senior Jo Jo Gaultier birdied the first two holes and added another on seven while sophomore Sean Kearns also had three birdies as the Tigers had one of the best performances by any team this season in a win at Pine Oaks over visiting Franklin. Kearns had birdies on two, five, and eight while Gaultier’s third birdie of the day came on seven. Both finished with a two-under 32 to share medalist honors. Senior Carter Allbritton added a 37 and classmate Jake Kaplan shot a 38. Sophomore Anthony Lampasona had a low-round of 39 for the Panthers.
Taunton, 196 @ Sharon, 173 – Final – Sharon picked up its second win at home in as many days, this time knocking off Taunton at The Cape Club of Sharon. Nathan Daley led the way for the Eagles with a medalist round of 38, Rosie Leonard added a 43, Owen Kevorkian chipped in with a 45, and Eric Carter finished with a 47. Nathan Fernandes led Taunton with a 47.
Canton, 148 @ Stoughton, 179 – Final – All four of Canton’s scorers came in under 40 for the day as the Bulldogs earned their fifth win of the season. Will Gefteas took his turn as the match medalist for the visitors, carding a low round of 35. Conor Hunter added a 37 in the win while Mekhala Costello and Mike Leonetti both came in at 38. Anthony Hern led Stoughton with a 41 while Pat Smith fired a 43.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – The Oliver Ames girls soccer team controlled possession, applied a lot of pressure, and had nearly a dozen corners in the first half of its matchup with Franklin on Friday afternoon.
And at halftime, all they had to show for it was a 2-0 deficit on the scoreboard.
Oliver Ames continued to carry the play in the second half and found the back of the net twice to earn a 2-2 draw against the visiting Panthers.
“We were lucky to come away with a 2-2 tie,” admitted Franklin interim head coach Jodi Klein. “OA outplayed us for most of the game. We capitalized on some scoring opportunities which is wonderful but we were playing too slowly, not contesting for 50-50 balls enough. The last half of the second half, after it got level, we did a much better job. But I think we needed to increase our intensity.”
The Tigers picked up where they left off to start the second half, quickly moving up field to pressure the Panthers’ defense. There was a near chance less than a minute into the second half but Franklin junior Norah Anderson recovered well and timed her slide perfectly to deny an open look in the area.
OA continued its pressure and it finally paid off in the 47th minute after a superb effort from senior Camryn O’Connor. After gaining possession just over half near the middle of the pitch, O’Connor used her speed to race down the right wing, getting around the defender before inserting a low cross right to the six-yard line. Sophomore Lucinda Li Cotter made the run to the middle and used a deft touch to redirect the cross on a one-timer into the back of the net.
After failing to convert on 11 corners in the first 40 minutes, totaling eight shots on target, the Tigers were finally on the board early in the second half.
“Cam pretty much had to make a superhuman play just to get that cross off to Lu but that got us going,” said OA head coach Britt Sellmayer. “The girls showed a lot of character to fight and get back into the game.”
While the Tigers didn’t have as many chances in the second half, they still controlled the play. Just under 20 minutes after getting on the board, the hosts found the equalizer.
Lauren Sellmayer sent a free kick from just over half into the area at the far post. The ball bounced off a Franklin defender and fell in front to freshman Taylor deVos, who was all alone in front and buried the loose ball to knot the score 2-2 in the 66th minute.
“It’s a good tie, it’s early in the year, we’re still figuring it out,” Sellmayer said. “We played a little tense, made a mistake, and gave up a goal early and that’s going to happen. I don’t think they had as many chances as we did in the first half but had the lead. And they were tougher than us, more physical, and won those 50-50 balls. You have to credit them for that, they won those battles all game. Their back four is solid, it’s hard to get chances.
“It was a great game. Two good teams going at it and I think we had the edge just about everywhere except the scoreboard.”
Franklin’s best scoring chance for the go-ahead goal came in the 74th minute on a free kick in the attacking third. Senior Izzy Arnold put her shot from the left wing on target but OA keeper Emily Meyers handled it soundly.
While OA controlled the run of play over the first 40 minutes, it was Franklin that put the ball in the back of the net twice in the opening half.
Less than 10 minutes into the contest, a failed clearance from the OA defense went right to the feet of Stella Regan at the top of the area. Regan took a touch and then deposited her shot over the keeper and into the back of the net at the far post for a 1-0m advantage in the 9th minute.
Oliver Ames girls soccer
OA had its chances to pull level. The Tigers had two good looks in the 17th minute, the best of the two when freshman Emma Gavin saw her half volley tipped over the bar by Franklin keeper Rachel Welch. Senior Katie Gibson and junior Jenna Gilman also put in strong shifts for the Tigers.
Franklin almost doubled its lead moments later as sophomore striker Anya Zub forced a turnover and carried into the area but her low shot was denied. On the other end of the pitch, O’Connor saw her free kick to the far corner stopped by Welch, who parried the bid over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, the momentum swung back in favor of the visitors as they doubled their lead in the 28th minute. Anderson dropped a free kick in between the defense and the keeper, and Regan was the first to react to the loose ball, nodding it home off the bounce past the oncoming keeper.
“I’ll take a point on the road against a team like OA, especially given the fact that we did not play to our potential,” Klein said. “We didn’t have our best game but we played a good team and walk away with a point so I’ll take it.”
Oliver Ames girls soccer (2-0-1 Hock, 2-0-1 overall) returns to action on Monday with a road trip to division foe Sharon while Franklin (2-0-1, 2-0-1) returns home for a clash with Taunton on the same day.
2020 Record: 5-5-5 Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro has been on the brink of tournament qualification for the past several seasons, but narrowly missed out. Last fall’s team had the potential to end head coach Steve Santos’ wait to get back into the playoffs only for the pandemic to force an abbreviated season. After graduating the team’s leading scorers and playmakers (Bella Salviati, Jessica Gates, and Briley Harnois), the Bombardiers will count on new faces stepping in and giving them a chance to taste the postseason.
The Bombardiers will be hoping to build on a strong defense. Senior Olivia Calderone and junior Ella Stromfors will be the anchors in the heart of the back line and their leadership will be critical. Attleboro will miss senior Olivia Cook, who had a strong preseason at outside back but suffered an injury that will keep her out for the season. Junior goalie Alexis Campbell also has an injury at the start of the season but will hopefully be back soon to take over in net.
In midfield, Attleboro has several returning players who will be looking at slightly different roles this year. Junior Emily Dunlea is a dynamic and versatile midfielder and could be the team’s playmaker this season. She will get help from senior Emily Khang, who missed the 2020 season. Another skillful midfielder, Khang will give Attleboro an attacking boost. Sophomore Bethany Alves can play as a holding or attacking midfielder, depending on the situation. Up top, junior Kacey Parker and sophomore Jamie Davies will be counted on to make up some of the goals that were lost to graduations.
“We graduated a solid core of players who brought a lot to the team, so we’re trying to figure out who’s going to embrace those roles,” said Santos. “We have some good talented players who can keep the ball on the ground and play some solid soccer. We have some more to grow on and learning how to play aggressive, Hockomock soccer.”
2020 Record: 8-3-1 Coach: Idris Senyonjo
Last season, Canton edged Foxboro by a single point to win its first league title since 2012. The Bulldogs graduated a strong class of seniors, particularly in the midfield and the attack, but there is plenty of returning talent on both ends of the pitch and second-year coach Idris Seyonjo to feel confident of another title challenge this fall.
The attack will look very different this season after graduating prolific forward Olivia Rodman and Elisa Diletizia (17 goals combined in 2020), but senior Gabriella Herivaux returns after scoring five times last year and could be poised for a breakout season as the primary target up top. Seniors Fay Gallery and Anne Hoban (who played at outside back last season) will also join in the attack and freshman Emma Cahill is a newcomer that could provide creativity in the final third. Sophomore Emily McCabe will step into the attacking midfield role and try to provide the killer pass from the center of the pitch.
Defense should be a strength for the Bulldogs this season with a mix of veterans and several incoming freshmen who could step in right away and contribute. Senior Allie McCabe continues to be the lynchpin of the Canton defense, commanding the heart of the back line with her strong play and leadership. There is plenty of experience in goal as well with senior Elyse Broderick back and healthy and junior Marissa Staffiere ready to step in, after being the starter all of 2020.
Seyonjo said, “Most important thing about this season is that I believe all teams are looking forward to what will hopefully be a normal season. I am excited. I look forward to my first full season as head coach. Every game will be different and we hope to be able to match or even better our performances from last season.”
2020 Record: 7-2-2 Coach: Katie Stalcup
Foxboro was just a single point short of a three-peat last season, dropping to second in the Davenport behind Canton, and the Warriors will have a lot of new faces this fall as they try to get back on top in the division. The Warriors graduated 10 seniors, but still have a lot of varsity experience, especially in the midfield, that will make them a tough challenge for their title rivals.
Senior Kailee McCabe, the reigning league MVP, is back in the middle for the Warriors this season. The four-year starter tied for the team (and league) lead with 11 goals in 2020 but she may have to take on a bigger scoring role this fall with Jordyn Collins now at Bryant. She should have a lot of help in the middle of the pitch. Senior Brooke Barreira, junior Lauren Milley, and sophomore Erin Foley all played significant minutes last year and capable of the quick combination passing that has been a hallmark of Foxboro’s play. Senior Jordan Carman will bring her versatility to the forward line this season, after playing pretty much every position (including goalie) last year.
Defensively, senior Meghan Burke will be the leader in the back line. An aggressive, solid defender, Burke has regularly been tasked with marking the opponent’s best attacker. Sophomore Lindsey Resnick had a strong rookie season and will add some game experience to the defense. Senior Maddie Maher and sophomore Alexis Sougaris will be the goalies tasked with replacing Morgan Sylvestre between the posts.
Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup said, “We had some major losses with our 10 graduating seniors last year, but I am very excited about this team and what I have seen from them so far and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do against the tough competition in this league.”
2020 Record: 6-4-2 Interim Coach: Jodi Klein
Long-time head coach Tom Geysen is dealing with a medical issue, so former JV coach Jodi Klein will take over this season and is emphasizing pressure high up the pitch and keeping possession in attack. Franklin returned to the top of the Kelley-Rex last season and Klein has an experienced squad to work with this fall, as they look to go back-to-back in what should be a wide-open title race.
The Panthers have built a lot of their recent success on a strong defense. This season should be no different. Junior Norah Anderson has been a mainstay in the heart of the back line for the past two seasons and she’ll be joined by junior Reilly Lorenzo and sophomore Maddie Horton. Senior Izzy Arnold and junior Katie Ewald give the Panthers speedy outside backs to provide width in attack and cover in the defensive third. Sophomore Rachel Welch will get the nod in goal after splitting time as a freshman and her reading of the game will help direct the defensive unit.
Franklin’s midfield has the potential to control games. Seniors Stella Regan and Chloe Barca and junior Bridget Leo bring plenty of experience to the middle of the pitch. Each are quick and solid in possession. Juniors Avery Greco and Chloe Stavely and sophomore Selene Hammad will step into the midfield to add depth. The Panthers will be looking to use the speed of the forward line to create chances. Senior Riley Fitzpatrick is the most experienced player up top and sophomore Anya Zub had three goals and four assists as a freshman. Freshman Kelly O’Connor is a new player to watch out for in the forward line.
“This is an exciting season for all of us,” said Klein. “I am a new coach to all of our returning varsity players and any of these girls who have played for me in the past have never played at the varsity level before. We are working through a brand-new system and style of play and we’re all very eager to see what we can accomplish together this season.”
2020 Record: 7-5-2 Coach: Gary Pichel
After graduating a large, talented group of seniors, including the top two scorers in program history, last year was bound to be transitional for King Philip, but it was also an opportunity for several players to step up into bigger roles. As it turned out, the Warriors had plenty of talent still on the squad and stayed in the hunt for a league title right to the final week.
The Warriors will be hoping last year’s game experience will pay off with a title challenge this season. The midfield should be a strength for KP. Junior Ella Pisani had a breakout 2020 season, showing off her skills as both a forward and midfielder and leading the team in scoring. She will be at the center of the KP attack again this year. Senior Paulina Baczkowski will give the Warriors width on the outside and delivers accurate crosses. Senior Morgan Norrman is an accurate passer who can push the Warriors into quick counterattacks.
Senior Brooke Mullins has improved every year in the KP defense, and she adds aggression and a willingness to get the ball forward quickly. After an impressive rookie year, junior Grace Lawler missed all of 2020 with an injury, but she is back and gives KP an instant upgrade in the back line with her ability to mark the opposing team’s best attacker. Freshmen Dani Lamuscio (midfield), Mikayla Thompson (defense), and Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn (defense) should make an instant impact and add extra energy for the Warriors this season.
“I see this team keeping up with our KP tradition of good old-fashioned hard work and dedication to the cause,” said KP coach Gary Pichel. “Our team will be competitive in every game as we go through the gauntlet of the Hockomock League.”
2020 Record: 6-4-3 Coach: Kevin Smith
Mansfield entered the abbreviated 2020 season with a relatively inexperienced group, and it showed during the early parts of the fall, but the Hornets put things together quickly and finished only a point back of Franklin for the division title. With nine starters returning, including most of the defensive corps, the Hornets should be in the mix for the title again this year.
Although the Hornets will definitely miss the on-field leadership and versatility of senior Maria Sevastos, who was injured in the spring, Mansfield has plenty of experience in the back line. Senior Anna Darlington will be the leader in the defense alongside sophomore Kara Santos, who is coming off an impressive rookie season at centerback. Junior goalkeeper Olivia Salisbury brings two years of experience in net and classmate Caitlin Zajac is a capable backup.
Senior Katie Miller will control the middle of the field. A four-year starter, Miller provides an extra layer of protection for the back line and can get the Hornets into the attack as well. Up front, senior forward Tarynn Smith is a willing runner, who can give opposing defenses a physical challenge. Sophomore Carly Devine is a creative playmaker that will give the Hornets an offensive spark.
“We are still very young with only four returning seniors,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith explained, “but it’s a good core of players who have multiple years of varsity experience already.”
2020 Record: 3-6-3 Coach: Lou Colabello
Milford closed the 2020 season on a strong run, going 2-1-1 over its final four games that included two hard-fought games with Mansfield. Only three seniors are returning from last year’s roster, so the Hawks will be young this fall, but not necessarily inexperienced since many of the underclassmen stepped into the lineup last year.
The key to the Milford attack is junior Dani Atherton. She was the team’s leading scorer with eight goals last season (more than half of the team’s total) and most of the offense will flow through her feet. The Hawks will hope for more creativity and goals from the rest of the team, including juniors Brooke Ferreira and Amy Oliveira, a pair of players who can start up top or in the midfield. Junior Brianna Guerreiro is also back in the center of the pitch.
At the back, seniors Aubrey Korpi and Aislinn Bennett will provide much-needed leadership for this young crew and senior Jill Araujo can jump into the back line or help supply cover from the midfield. Junior Catarina Mestre is another returning defender from last season’s squad.
2020 Record: 5-5-3 Coach: Bill Wallace
North Attleboro battled to a .500 record in 2020 and did it thanks to a strong defensive foundation. The Rocketeers allowed only 11 goals in 13 games last year and had five clean sheets. After graduating 15 players from that squad, and losing a starter to an injury, North coach Bill Wallace is enthusiastic about the potential for this year’s team to make a playoff push.
The Rocketeers return both of last year’s leading scorers. Senior Steph McKenna and junior Emma Pratt each scored five times last season and they will be counted on to improve those numbers with a full season (and without the restrictions that were in place in 2020). Behind the strikers, North’s midfield got a lot of experience last year. Senior Brayden Rice and junior Caroline Ferrin will be in the middle, while senior Autumn Hewitt and juniors Brooke Sullivan and Lily Adams provide the width.
Defense was a strength last year and it should be again in 2021. Senior Summer Doherty returns after missing a lot of last season with an injury. Her leadership and athleticism will be important in the middle of the back line. Seniors Meaghan Dowd and Charlotte Moynihan and junior Haley Sinacola make up the rest of the starting back four with junior Maddie Ferrin in goal.
“Right now, we are organized and making opponents work hard to develop their offense,” Wallace said. “Our goal is to play faster and with more urgency. The work rate is high, and the girls are looking forward to competing in the always tough Hockomock League!”
2020 Record: 8-1-5 Coach: Britt Sellmayer
Oliver Ames lost only once in 2020 and avenged that defeat by beating Canton in the Hock Cup final. The Tigers did draw five matches last season, but with eight starters returning, and several younger players who got valuable experience, OA will hope to turn those single points into two and bring home its first league title since 2016.
The Tigers pride themselves on being a tough team to break down and the defense should be stout again this fall. Senior Emily Meyers is back in goal and will be a vocal leader at the back. Senior Allison Evin moved from up top to the heart of the defense last season and her speed and understanding of the game made her a tough marker for opposing forwards to get away from, while juniors Mary Cross and Sophia Byron are looking to build off strong sophomore seasons. Senior Kyla Melton has transferred in from Milton Academy and her versatility will be a boost to the back line or in midfield.
Midfield will continue to provide cover for the back line with the likes of seniors Katie Gibson and Lauren Sellmayer not only giving the Tigers a physical, aerial presence, but also consistent delivery on set pieces. Senior Camryn O’Connor, a Boston University-commit, adds creativity to OA’s bite in the center of the pitch and will be a key to turning defense into attack. Junior Jenna Gilman will also provide playmaking and width and speedy sophomore forward Lucinda Cotter has been in good scoring form during the preseason.
“We have eight starters returning from last season, plus some younger players pushing for playing time,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “We are hoping our depth will be an advantage for our team this year.”
2020 Record: 2-8-2 Coach: Catherine Sullivan
Sharon won a pair of games in 2020, but was also competitive in several losses that showed there was potential for improvement heading into the new season. The Eagles will be young this year, particularly after a pair of preseason injuries cost them returning starters, including junior Sally Brouhard, but there is still reason for optimism about the athleticism in the squad.
The Eagles will lean on the midfield, as the most experienced group. Junior Sofia Goclowski stepped in last year and had an all-star-caliber season and will be the primary playmaker in the center of the pitch. Junior Amber Marcus-Blank is moving up from the back line and her aggression will be key to shielding the defense. Junior Olivia Soby combines physical presence with technical skills and will be an important piece to the attack.
Senior forward Wendy Wooden will be the team’s primary threat up top and her speed will stretch opposition defenses to open space for the midfielders. On the other end of the field, the Eagles will be very young. Senior Amanda Hu is the only returning player in the back line and she’ll be counted on to keep everything organized. Sophomore Jordanna Morris will add much needed speed and athleticism to the defense and already looks comfortable at the varsity level.
“We have a very young squad this year, but I am excited about our mix of talent and athleticism,” said Sharon coach Catherine Sullivan. “As always, the league looks to be extremely competitive, but we welcome the challenging matches that help us grow and continue to move our program in the right direction.
2020 Record: 0-11-1 Coach: Hermes Lima
Second-year Stoughton coach Hermes Lima is still looking for his first win, but he is confident that this year’s team has the right combination of skill and speed to give teams problems. The Black Knights are counting on increased depth and the pairing of experienced players and talented newcomers to get back in the win column.
One of the key players for Stoughton this season is junior Shayla Ford. Blessed with great speed, Ford can either stretch the opposition and attack the space behind the defense or drop into the Stoughton back line and give cover for her teammates. Freshman Makenzie O’Connor is going to step in up top and will add another dynamic element to the attack, while classmate Morgan Cook can slot in as a forward or in the back line to add aggression and a physical element. Junior Isabella Rodrigues gives the Black Knights speed on the wings and gives more speed for the forwards to run into.
The Black Knights will have experience in defense. Senior Abigail Durand is back in goal and provides vocal leadership for the back line. Senior Samantha Tran can play anywhere across the back line and her versatility is important. Junior Emma Tremblay and freshman Lauren Mitchell will both play in the center of midfield and can protect the back line or facilitate the Stoughton counter attack. Both can also slot in at central defense when needed. Junior Sabrina Rodrigues is another versatile player, jumping in at wingback or in the heart of the midfield.
“Every player bought into the culture last year and the new/returning players have bought in to every word/thing said and given to them this year!” said Lima. “The players are ready to fight for one another, represent their school and make this program proud of every achievement in their path. As a coach, I cannot ask anything else of them! This will be an intriguing but yet good step in the right direction for this program.”
2020 Record: 0-3-7 Coach: Mike Couture
Taunton coach Mike Couture only got four games to assess his team in 2020 before the season came to an abrupt end. Now in his second year, Couture is building around a young roster, composed mostly of sophomores, and is excited about the talent and the potential. The Tigers will be hoping to get off to a good start and end their wait for a nearly two-year wait for a league win.
Senior Isabella Anslow will be the leader of the defensive unit. She has been a busy goalkeeper in the past but has come up with several big games against big opponents. An example of that was being able to hold Mansfield to a scoreless draw in the first meeting between the teams last year. Junior Emily Calderon will lead the Tigers on the other end of the field. The forward is quick and experienced and she’ll be counted on to give Taunton a cutting edge in attack.
“This is a strong group and how quickly this good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start,” said Couture.
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jordyn Collins, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Kelly Neuendorf, Attleboro
Diana Blouin, Attleboro
Kamsi Igbobi, Attleboro
Kiley Hanlon, Canton
Madison Rousseau, Canton
Jordyn Collins, Foxboro
Emma Dahl, Foxboro
Lindsey Morse, Franklin
Jill Fenerty, Franklin
Sofia DelVecchio, King Philip
Hannah Crocker, King Philip
Abby Scott, Mansfield
Meg Driscoll, Mansfield
Erika Penney, Mansfield
Colleen Waters, Mansfield
Anna Buckley, Mansfield
Kerry O’Connor, Milford
Maren Halpin, Milford
Sarah Flanagan, Milford
Emma Lawrence, Milford
Kiyanni Simas, Milford
Olivia Etienvre, North Attleboro
Emily Nardelli, North Attleboro
Katie Sobieraj, Oliver Ames
Emily Meyers, Oliver Ames
Taegan Hodges, Oliver Ames
Jenna Gilman, Oliver Ames
Grace Simone, Oliver Ames
Catherine O’Donnell, Oliver Ames
Wendy Wooden, Sharon
Caelen O’Leary, Taunton
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Indoor Track All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
CANTON, Mass. – The Oliver Ames girls soccer team started the season without a win in its first four games.
The Lady Tigers ended the 2020 campaign as the hottest team in the Hockomock League, earning a pair of trophies including the Hockomock Challenge Cup with a 3-1 win over Davenport division champion Canton.
Canton girls soccer Oliver Ames girls soccer
After defeating King Philip on Tuesday to win the Hockomock Cup, the Tigers avenged their only loss of the entire season by taking down the Bulldogs in the Challenge Cup. The Challenge Cup was created after Canton was forced to quarantine out of an abundance of caution after playing a team that had a positive COVID test. It gave the Bulldogs, the top seed out of the Davenport, a chance to play in the postseason after having to forfeit their first round of the Hockomock Cup.
“We’re a young team and it’s also about a coach learning who can do what,” said Oliver Ames head coach Britt Sellmayer of the turnaround from the start of the season. “We’re not playing the same positions that we were the first couple of games. COVID put everybody behind but for us, it was just a little bit more because we were younger. When you have experience, when you come back you get rolling a little bit sooner. We peaked at the right time, I’m very proud of the girls for how they played at the end of the year.
“Canton got a chance to play another game, they are a great, great team that I really feel like taking two weeks off didn’t help their cause. They were on a roll themselves when they were playing. They have some super players and the coach has done a great job in his first year. But it’s tough to sit out for two weeks and come out and play a team that’s hot, and we’re playing well, and we’ve been playing every three days for the past two weeks. I think that kind of hindered them a bit. I don’t want to take anything away from them being a great team.”
The Tigers started with four straight ties, finally breaking into the win column in their fifth game with a 2-0 decision over Sharon. Canton and OA tied in their first meeting of the season, and the Bulldogs handed the Tigers their only loss (3-1) in the second meeting.
OA caught fire after that loss, winning five straight to win the Hockomock Cup, and earned its sixth straight victory with the win on Thursday evening.
“We weren’t overly excited about [playing again] at first but then we looked at what it meant for Canton,” Sellmayer said. “And I said to my seniors ‘this is it, this is a chance to play one more game’ and we talked about playing for the seniors. We made sure all the seniors played.”
Although the result wasn’t what Canton, who had just one loss in the regular season, had hoped, the Bulldogs relished in the opportunity to get back on the field. The Bulldogs hadn’t played or practiced since the final week of the regular season, getting one training session in on Wednesday evening.
“It was amazing to least get out there to have one more chance to compete…a team that was having such a great season only to be cut short by, unfortunately, unforeseen events,” said first-year Canton head coach Idris Senyonjo. “Our seniors, especially, they needed this. Of course it didn’t end how we wanted it, but they needed to finish the season. They’ve worked so hard to be able to get there.
Canton girls soccer Oliver Ames girls soccer
“A big layoff is such a big difference in this spot, it means everything. Even if you only take a couple of days, but you take 10 days …that’s a long time not kicking the ball. We practiced for the first time just last night out in the cold. [OA] had a gameplan, they stuck to it and they were the better team today, so you can’t take that away from them. You just hope we could have done better on a couple of chances in the first half but that’s how the game goes. If you don’t take your chances, the other team will.”
The Tigers scored in each the first and second quarters, and tacked on a key insurance goal in the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs pulled one back in the final minutes.
Before Oliver Ames opened the scoring late in the first quarter, Canton had a pair of chances to take the lead. Just nine minutes in, Gabriella Herivaux played a through ball into the area for Olivia Rodman but her chance from in close was met with a terrific stop from OA keeper Emma O’Donnell. Minutes later, Rodman returned the favor for Herivaux but her bid skipped wide at the far post.
Off a kick-in in the attacking third, Katie Gibson knocked down a service into the area. Alexa Lane was the first to pounce on the loose ball, a quick touch past the keeper from in close to give the visitors a 1-0 lead going into the second quarter.
At the midway point of the second quarter, OA senior Emma Pereira took down a clearance and used her time and space to turn and fire a rocket inside the far post from 25 yards out to double the Tigers’ advantage.
Canton opened the second half with a pair of chances to get back into it but Mia Gilmore’s free kick a minute in was just off frame, and an intercepted pass by Elisa Diletizia led to a chance but her shot was over the bar.
Canton girls soccer Oliver Ames girls soccer
COVID restrictions nearly led to a goal for the Tigers in the 50th minute when Pereira’s cross was met with a good take off Carly Gibson’s shoulder but it was right at the keeper.
Canton’s Allie McCabe came up with a big stop on the goal line to deny a shot from Lane to keep the score at 2-0 at the end of the third quarter, but the score didn’t stay that long at the start of the fourth.
Oliver Ames was quick to clear a Canton corner and sophomore Jenna Gilman latched into the loose ball and used her speed to race up the right wing. Her cross into the area was cleared away by a defender but only as far as Pereira, who brought it down and laid it off to junior Lauren Sellmayer. Sellmayer took a touch to put it on her left foot and fired a perfectly placed shot off the far post and in to make it 3-0.
“Emma had a great goal, Lauren had a great goal, and Alexa’s scored two games in a row coming off the bench for us, and her work and her speed has helped with pressure,” Britt Sellmayer said. “We’re not the most skilled team but I think we’ve outworked everybody the last four games. Our work rate in the midfield, contesting every 50-50 ball. They showed a lot of heart. Canton is definitely more skilled than us but I think we had a little more work rate today and maybe our team is a little bit deeper. But we’re also fresher, those two weeks off is huge. I tip my hat to [Canton], they are a great team, and congrats on being Hockomock champs.
“We definitely connected a lot more passes today than the first two times we played Canton. We started playing better as a team, the communication came together. Plus, finding the right role for everybody. Sometimes as a coach, it takes a while to put people in the right spot where they can be successful.”
Canton continued to fight back against OA’s back four of Sophia Byron, Mary Cross, Allison Evin, and Madeleine Taylor. After coming close on a couple of chances before, Gilmore blasted a free kick from 30 yards out just under the bar to get the Bulldogs on the board.
“It’s been a rollercoaster for us, having to start late and then cut the season short, only to go back again,” Senyonjo said. “The team had a new coaching staff so they had to adjust to the new system, the way we want to play. So kudos to them, it speaks volumes the kind of kids that are here. I’m definitely looking forward to going again next year.”
Oliver Ames girls soccer finishes the season at 8-1-5 and won both the Hockomock Cup and the Challenge Cup. Canton’s record finishes at 8-3-1, though one loss was via forfeit at the start of the Hockomock Cup.
Girls Soccer Hockomock Cup
#KR4 Attleboro, 1 @ #D3 Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames scored once in each of the first three quarters to pick up a win over Attleboro and advance to the Hockomock Cup Final. Jenna Gilman scored off a cross from Lauren Sellmayer to put the hosts ahead and freshman Lucinda Cotter netted her first career goal in the second quarter. Emma Pereira scored off a direct kick in the third to ice the win.
Hockomock League Championship, 9:00AM (@ Highland Park)
Sharon @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Friday, 11/6 at 6:00.
Stoughton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Kevin Louhis scored a hat trick and classmate Colin Milliken had three assists as the Tigers rolled to their ninth win of the season. Mathias Taylor added a pair of goals while Ryan Ventura, Anthony DaCosta, and Milliken each scored once.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, 11/6 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Lauren Sellmayer half volleyed a cross from Jenna Gilman with five minutes to give the Tigers a win in a hard fought game. Emma O’Donnell and Emily Meyers shared the shutout for OA. Stoughton coach Hermes Lima was full of praise for his team’s competitiveness and its ability to limit the Tigers to just the one goal. Lima said that Shayla Ford played well in defense for the second straight game and center midfielders Sam Tran and Emma Tremblay provided attacking impetus to open chances for the wingers and forwards.
CANTON, Mass. – It was a frustrating Monday night for the Davenport division leaders at WWII Veterans Memorial Field. Canton was pressing forward, trying to find an equalizing goal that would maintain its unbeaten start to the season, but the Bulldogs kept running into the wall of the Oliver Ames defense.
As the clock ticked down under three minutes remaining, sophomore Emily McCabe collected a loose ball 30 yards from goal and let fly. The shot dipped down just under the crossbar and just over the fingertips of OA keeper Emily Meyers, securing a 1-1 draw and a point that pushes the Bulldogs back above Foxboro at the top of the league standings.
“Emily’s job was to make those runs into the final third and hopefully we’d have doubled up numbers to see if we could get more people shots,” said first-year Canton coach Idris Senyonjo. “We closed the gaps and give them no time on the ball then we were able to create more chances in the final third.”
It was typically hard-fought game between two rivals who were used to battling for the Davenport crown until the Tigers moved into the Kelley-Rex division for four seasons. Both teams pressed high up the pitch, compressing the space and giving little time on the ball for anyone to take an extra touch.
The OA defense was going to be under pressure against Canton’s prolific attack, but the combination of center backs Allison Evin and Mary Cross stymied the Bulldogs.
“They have two DI players up top and I thought with did a really nice job on them,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “Defensively, I was happy with what we did. We just couldn’t hold on for those last few minutes.”
Elisa Diletizia had a good early chance for Canton, after a Sarai Costello through ball, but the forward shot wide with a defender on her back. Lucinda Cotter set up Carly Gibson for a good chance in the middle of the Canton penalty area, but Allie McCabe charged down the shot.
OA grabbed the lead in the final minute of the first. Madeleine Taylor touched the indirect kick, teeing it up for Lauren Sellmayer to have a go from 35 yards. The ball was smashed just inside the post, giving Canton keeper Marissa Staffiere no chance.
The Bulldogs tried to answer early in the second. Olivia Rodman played the ball into the middle to Diletizia, who slipped a pass into the right channel for Gabriella Herivaux. With defenders racing over to try and block the shot, Herivaux hit it early but sent it narrowly over the bar.
As the half wore on, the Tigers seemed to be taking control of the tempo and the style of the match. Jenna Gilman intercepted a clearance and nearly set up Alexa Lane, but she couldn’t bring it under control in the six-yard-box.
Midway through the second, Camryn O’Connor had a steal in midfield, raced forward nearly 30 yards and then played in Reese Pereira, but her shot went just wide. With two minutes to play in the half, Sellmayer played a cross from the right that O’Connor knocked down for Emma Pereira, but the shot was over the bar from the edge of the box.
“Just getting in the final third and making their goalie make a great save, we just kicked some field goals and Reese had a chance that just went wide,” said Sellmayer. “Cam didn’t score for us but she had some great through balls, which we’ve been working on.”
The third quarter was largely a stalemate. Neither team was able to create a clear-cut scoring chance for the first 18 minutes. Mia Gilmore nearly changed that with a late free kick that she flashed just across the face of goal and just past the outstretched toe of Diletizia sliding in at the back post.
With 20 minutes to go and trying to avoid a first defeat, Canton started pressing into the attack and the OA defense started soaking up more and more pressure.
Senyonjo said, “We started playing too much of their game. I told them we have to stop that because if we do that then we’re not going to get a goal. We had to stay composed on the ball and our chances would come.”
Just three minutes into the fourth, Costello picked out Diletizia in the middle but her shot was over the bar. Seven minutes later, Gilmore had a go from 30 yards and that too was just over the top. Gilmore also had a free kick opportunity in the 73rd minute, but Meyers was able to make the save and it looked like Canton’s chance at staying alone in first place was gone.
Then McCabe stepped up to save the day and get an important point for the hosts, while the Tigers remained unbeaten as well, but had to settle for a fifth draw this season.
“One of the things I tell them all the time is if you keep playing and keep fighting hard then the chances are going to come,” Senyonjo explained. “The hardest lead to keep is a 1-0 lead because the more pressure you put on the other team, the more they just try to keep the lead instead of scoring a second goal. If we can keep moving then it will give us a chance to put some shots on target.”
FOXBORO, Mass. – When Foxboro and Oliver Ames meet there is a distinct clash in styles, with one team trying to keep the ball on the ground and trying to pass its way up the field and the other looking to be more direct and hit longer passes for quick transitions. Regardless of the approach, both teams are very effective with what they do best.
On a rainy Friday night at Sam Berns Community Field, Foxboro and OA showcased their different approaches but neither was able to get the upper hand in an entertaining 1-1 draw. For the second time in two days, the teams went home with a point apiece.
“We just struggled with our finishing,” Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup said. “I was playing a flat back three and had the midfield and offense packed, and we created plenty of chances, we just couldn’t put the ball in the net.”
After storming back with two late goals to earn the tie on Wednesday, Foxboro carried that momentum into Friday’s game and took a lead in the opening minutes. Aislinn Servaes’ cross from the wing found Kailee McCabe in the middle and the junior midfielder showed off her skills with the ball at her feet to work a shooting opportunity and continue her torrid start to the season.
Foxboro also hit the side netting in the early going, as the Warriors got off to a great start, but OA worked itself back into the game and used set piece opportunities to cause problems. Allison Evin had a corner kick routine deflected right in front of Foxboro keeper Morgan Sylvestre and then cleared and Lauren Sellmayer had a free kick chance that went just over.
In the 17th minute, the Tigers found the equalizer. It came on another corner routine, as Camryn O’Connor took the short pass from Evin and then laid it back into her path on the left corner of the box. Evin took a touch and then curled a shot over the keeper’s outstretched hand and into the top far corner.
Another OA corner caused a scramble in front and a chance for Ali Byron but her shot went over the bar and then McCabe teed up Katelyn Mollica for a shot from the edge of the box that also went high.
The Tigers nearly grabbed the lead five minutes into the second, but Sellmayer’s free kick from 20 yards out struck the post. Emma Pereira hit a long free kick into the path of Reese Pereira, whose cross from the right pinballed to Jenna Gilman at the back post but the touch was heavy and Sylvestre saved. Mccabe tried to put Foxboro ahead in the final minute of the half but her 35-yard free kick was wide of the goal.
Foxboro came storming out of halftime and put together its best quarter of the match.
Jordyn Collins finally started to get a little room against an almost constant double team from Emma Pereira and Evin. Just two minutes into the third, Collins got loose in the right channel but her shot was saved by OA keeper Emily Meyers. A minute later, Meyers came up with an even better stop down low to her right to deny Alyssa Vandenboom’s effort from the edge of the box and then did well to palm a dipping McCabe free kick over the bar.
“Our keepers really stood up today, both Emma )O’Donnell) and Emily, and Emma Pereira two games in a row has shut out Jordyn, which doesn’t happen a lot. Jordyn’s a great player,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “Our keepers and backs played great today, but our mids and our forwards have to improve. We’ve got to get more chances up front.”
All the pressure seemed to be on the OA defense, but O’Connor nearly snuck a goal against the run of play. She picked off an attempted outlet pass on the right side of the box. Seeing Sylvestre off her line, O’Connor went for the shot and sent it inches over the bar. It was a scare for the Foxboro back line, marshaled by Emma Dahl, which had otherwise been dealing with OA’s attacks.
Stalcup said, “I was really happy with the way the defenders played. I told them, I know it can be frustrating when a team plays kick and run. It breaks up the flow of our passing, but they did a good job stopping the dangerous plays.”
In the final minute of the third, Collins showed the physical side to her game, holding off Pereira and Evin to get behind the OA defense but Meyers was equal to the shot. Then rebound was cleared to Servaes who let fly from distance but the keeper was ready for it and made a comfortable stop.
Seven minutes into the fourth quarter, Collins would have her best chance to try and snag two points for the Warriors. A through ball by Vandenboom split the OA defense and left Collins free on goal, but Meyers reacted quickly to slide out and close the space, flashing her left arm to rob the Foxboro striker of a potential winner.
“We were moving the ball around so well and keeping possession,” Stalcup said. “It was exactly what I wanted. I told the midfielders to not be afraid to attack the goal and for Jordyn to lay it back and play off of them. We just couldn’t find a goal.”
As the clock stopped with two minutes remaining, OA had a break down the right wing. Gilman carried the ball from just inside her own half all the way to the Foxboro penalty area, but seemed to run out of steam there and her shot was right at Sylvestre.
“We’re very athletic,” Sellmayer explained. “Taking away the corner kicks and being able to head the ball and being able to play really takes away from us but we’re adjusting and doing our best. Foxboro is a great team. They move it really well but we hung in there.”
Foxboro (2-0-2) will be back home on Monday to host Stoughton. Oliver Ames (0-0-4) will return home to take on Sharon.