FOXBORO, Mass. – Last season, Franklin rolled through the league unbeaten and scored 124 goals on its run to the Div. 1 state semifinal, which was more than double any other Hockomock League team. The Panthers started this season just as potent in front of goal, with 14 tallies in the opening two games.
Foxboro knew exactly what kind of threat the Panthers would pose on Wednesday evening at Sam Berns Community Field and put together a total team effort to keep the Franklin attack at bay. The game plan worked perfectly.
The Warriors held Franklin to just three penalty corners, the defense stayed packed into the middle, Foxboro threw multiple bodies at last year’s top scorer Kaitlyn Carney, and goalie Kathryn Ferguson came up with a highlight reel stop in the fourth quarter to come away with an impressive 0-0 draw.
“One of the keys to trying to keep the game controlled for us would be our defense and keeping the ball out of the middle and slowing them down as fast as we could,” Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri explained about her team’s third shutout in three games this season. “I thought we did a really good job of making them do other things and be more creative on the fly.”
Franklin coach Michelle Hess praised Bordieri for putting together a strong plan and the Foxboro players for executing it very well. I was just giving Melissa kudos because that’s how I would’ve played us,” she said.
“They completely packed it in and it was hard for us to generate anything,” Hess continued. “We were super nervous today for some reason. We didn’t play our typical style of play. It was back-and-forth, back-and-forth, not a lot of opportunities and we didn’t take advantage when we did get them.”
While Foxboro was intent on keeping compact defensively, it wasn’t all one-way traffic. In fact, the Warriors had several good chances of their own, including the best look of a tight first quarter when Mya Waryas broke free down the right wing and forced a near post save out of Franklin freshman goalie Devon Barry.
The Panthers were having difficulties getting anything through to goal in the opening 15 minutes. Their best chance came when Raena Crandall charged down a clearance and deflected it off the side of the net. Foxboro’s defense of Catherine Cotter, Macy Quinn, Paige Curran, Val Beigel, and Mia Dinunzio (with help from all the attackers) kept everything outside the circle.
After a tough opening quarter, Franklin seemed to find another gear in the second, but Ferguson was there to back up her defenders.
Carney had a chance in the opening minute of the period that was kicked aside. Seven minutes later, Haley Wernig stole the ball on one end and, after a give-and-go with Carney, raced half the field before forcing another kick save out of the Foxboro goalie. Less than a minute after that, Carney was teed up by Sophia Cuneo for a blast off a penalty corner but again Ferguson was able to get a pad to it.
Right before halftime, Carney again forced her way into the circle and got free for a backhand shot from a tight angle but Cotter was in front to block and clear.
Foxboro gained momentum from going into the break scoreless and carried that energy into the third. Camryn Collins spun and fired a shot towards goal that was tipped just wide of the post by Jennifer Gallagher.
“We have to capitalize on the opportunities we work so hard for,” Bordieri said. “We did a fantastic job against an obviously really strong team, but we’ve got to jump on and capitalize on those too.”
Midway through the third, Foxboro had another good look as Isabelle Chamberlin’s long shot from the left side was kicked away by Barry. The save turned into one of the few transition opportunities Franklin had all night. Shaw Downing raced down the right side, but her cross into the middle was cut out by Quinn in front of a couple of late-arriving Panthers.
Pressure continued to mount, as Franklin grew increasingly anxious about trying to preserve its perfect start to the season. On a corner, Cuneo played the ball out to Carney, who tipped it to her sister Emily for a long shot that was blocked in front. Play stayed alive and Franklin won another corner. This time Kaitlyn Carney took the shot from the top herself and Ferguson came through with a nice stop.
Franklin nearly grabbed the opener with six minutes to play. Emily Carney flicked a shot in front that was tipped by Wernig in front. Ferguson (six saves) appeared to be wrong-footed, but was able to plant and dive at full stretch to get her stick to the shot that seemed destined for the bottom corner, preserving the shutout.
“The diving save and then she jumped right up to make sure,” Bordieri said about her goalie’s late heroics, “They’re a quick team. You can’t make a dive like that and lay there.”
It wasn’t the result that she was looking for, but Hess sees positives in her team getting tested like this early in the season. “We all know other teams are going to go after Kaitlyn,” she said. “So, this was a good learning experience for us that we’re going to have to work with the other girls to pick up the slack. It was a really good learning experience for us.”
Foxboro (2-0-1) will be on the road on Friday afternoon to take on Sharon, which is fresh off its first win of the season. Franklin (2-0-1) will also be on the road Friday, traveling to Taunton.
Stoughton, 5 @ King Philip, 12 – Final – King Philip scored three runs in the first inning and five runs in the third to pick up its second win of the season with a 12-5 decision over Stoughton. The Warriors had 17 hits on the day, led by Rudy Gately’s three hits, and two apiece from Travis Crawford, Matt Kelley (three RBI), Brendan Sencaj (four RBI), and Eli Reed (two RBI). Sencaj had a two-run double in the first and another RBI single in the fifth while Kelley had an RBI in each the second, third and fourth innings. Tommy Martorano didn’t let up an earned run in five innings of work, striking out seven.
Sharon, 2 @ North Attleboro, 11 – Final – North Attleboro pushed across four runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back in a win over visiting Sharon. Tyler DeMattio smacked a two-run home run, David Floyd (walk) scored on a double steal, and Christian Bates drove in a run with a double. Sharon put up two runs in the fourth inning by Dillon Harding had an RBI single in the fifth and highlighted a four-run sixth inning with a two-run base hit. Tyler Bannon earned the win on the mound, allowing three hits with three strikeouts in four innings. Harding pitched three scoreless innings in relief with one hit allowed.
King Philip, 19 @ Stoughton, 5 – Final (5 inn.) – King Philip scored at least three runs in each of the five innings, including nine between the first two to grab a win on the road over Stoughton. Sophomore Taylor Regan went 4-for-4 on the day with thee runs scored and two RBI to lead the offensive charge for KP, who had 20 hits as a team. Freshman Liv Petrillo added two hits, four RBI, and two runs, Charlotte Raymond drove in three runs and scored three runs, and Meg Sherwood, Ava Kelley, and Mia Bennett each had two RBI. Stoughton’s Camryn Whitman drive in three runs with a double in the second.
Oliver Ames, 8 @ Attleboro, 16 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Attleboro trailed 3-0 in the first quarter and 5-3 early in the second, but found another gear and pulled away in the second half to pick up a second win in as many days. Carter Shelton scored six goals and Keigan Conley had three goals and three assists for the Bombardiers. Ben Reardon scored four times and had two assists for the Tigers. Reardon got OA off to a great start with two goals in the opening four minutes and Wyatt Fritchman had one to make it 3-0. Conley set up Shelton to get Attleboro on the board and then Freddy Wheaton teed up Conley to bring the hosts within one. Reardon assisted on a Joey Carney goal but Shelton set up Patrick McAvoy to make it 4-3 after one. Fritchman added his second to push the lead back to two, but Attleboro scored the next three to go into halftime leading 6-5. Shelton and Conley had the first two and Chad Beaupin assisted a Cole McKenna goal with 20 seconds left to put Attleboro ahead for the first time. Reardon tied it early in the third, but Attleboro responded with the next four goals (Spencer Sherk, Beaupin, and two from Shelton) to take control. After Reardon got one back, Seth LaPlaca and Shelton answered but Ryan Jaco tallied his first with five seconds left in the third to keep OA within four (12-8). Attleboro sealed the win by scoring the only four goals of the fourth. Conley, Wheaton, Shelton, and Sherk all finding the back of the net. Goalies Noah Isleib (OA) and Harry Wheaton (Attleboro) both played well throughout.
Canton @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Foxboro, 9 @ Sharon, 8 – Final – Sharon dominated at the faceoff X to rally in the second half, but Foxboro held on to get the league win. The Warriors built a 5-2 lead at half but the Eagles tripled their first half production with six strikes in the second half. For Foxboro, sophomore Lincoln Moore scored six goals, Tony Sulham added two more, and Jack Avery scored once in the win while sophomore goalie Adam Addeche turned in a 17-save performance to keep Foxboro ahead. Sophomore Ryan Cotter had a standout game defensive for Foxboro with six ground balls. Sharon senior Ben Shocket won 18 of 21 face offs taken.
Franklin, 25 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Franklin poured in 21 goals in the opening half to secure a road win to move to 2-0 on the season. Tyler Sacchetti led the charge with four goals and six ssists, Jayden Consigli had five goals and four assists, and Luke Davis added four goals and three assists.
King Philip, 17 @ Hopkinton, 7 – Final
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 3:45
North Attleboro, 7 @ Canton, 11 – Final – Knotted at 4-4 at halftime, Canton found the back of the net seven times over the final two quarters to get a win over North Attleboro. Emily McCabe and Devan Spinale both had four goals to pace the Bulldogs’ offense while Ella Yeaton scored twice and Shannon McGrann had one goal. Elyse Broderick made 10 saves in net to get the win.
Sharon, 2 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final – Foxboro completed a perfect opening week with another double-digit win. Ten Warriors found the scoresheet on Thursday, led by Paige Curran with five goals and two assists. Mya Waryas added four goals and three assists, while Kate Collins (one assist), Cate Noone, and Val Beigel each scored twice. Grace Riley and Meghan Burke both had goals and an assist and Kaelin Connors, Jennifer Gallagher, and Hannah Blake found the back of the net once apiece. Anna Hertzel and Kiera Ledyard scored for the Eagles and goalie Tess Letendre made 13 saves in the loss.
Milford, 1 @ Franklin, 21 – Final
Mansfield, 16 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Cali Melo scored both goals for the Tigers.
King Philip, 14 vs. Hopkinton, 5 – Final – King Philip scored six goals in the first half and added eight more after the halftime break in a win over Hopkinton. Julia Marsden paced the offense for the Warriors with seven goals while Makenzie McDevitt had a hat trick plus three helpers. Lily Brown notched six assists along with a goal, Nikki MacDonald scored twice, and Abby MacDonald added one in the win.
King Philip, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – A singles sweep and another win in doubles play gave King Philip a win on the road at Stoughton. Brady Jannell rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win at first singles, Jonathan Cohen didn’t drop a set in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jackson Hom took a 6-2, 6-1 victory at third singles. KP also added a win from Diego Nieto and Noah Ihley at first doubles (6-0, 6-4). Stoughton’s Jake Berry and Joe Mark claimed a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Milford, 0 @ Medway, 5 – Final
Oliver Ames @ Milton, 3:45
Taunton, 1 vs. Durfee, 4 – Final
Sharon 2, vs. Bishop Feehan 3 – Final
Milford vs. Whitinsville Christian, 3:45
Taunton, 3 @ Durfee, 2 – Final – A sweep of doubles action plus one singles win was enough for Taunton to get a win on the road over the Hilltoppers. Senior Kayla Parrett battled to a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 win at first singles for the Tigers. The first doubles tandem of sophomores Morgan Smith and Sam Parrett notched a 6-3, 6-3 win and sophomore Janelle Garcia and senior Kelsey Brennan teamed up for a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles.
King Philip, 0 @ Bellingham, 3 – Final
Milford, 3 vs. Nipmuc, 0 – Final
Taunton, 3 vs. Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton broke into the win column for the first time this season, taking the final two sets after splitting the first two for a 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-17, 25-17) win. Junior Ty Ekstrom set the offense up with 26 assists along with four aces, four digs, and a pair of kills. Antonios Dimakis led the offense with 11 kills, six digs, a pair of aces, and a block, Matt Freitas added nine kills, eight digs, and six aces, while Josh Duncan (eight digs, four kills) had a big day from the service line with 10 aces.
2021 Record: 2-13 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Chrissy Quinn
Attleboro will continue rebuilding this season, but the Bombardiers also feel like there is talent and experience on the roster to improve on the results of 2021 and possibly climb a spot in the division standings. Last season was a struggle, Attleboro had the fewest goals scored and most goals allowed in the league, but so much of the roster was getting its first taste of varsity play. With that year of experience, the Bombardiers are expecting more at both ends of the field.
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Senior midfielder Olivia Calderone will lead the Bombardiers in attack. Sophomores Molly Moore and Addison Papagolos are back to provide a threat around the cage, while seniors Corrine Whiting and Kelsey Sherry and junior Jordan Mooney give Attleboro a lot of depth in the attack. Freshmen Isabella Cavallini and Ryann Mooney are a pair of talented newcomers who are going to get the chance to boost Attleboro’s scoring punch.
In defense, senior Avery Vieira and junior Ally Haigh are back to protect the goal. Both are strong presences in the defensive area with their athleticism and reading of the game. Sophomore Kristen Vasquez-Trudeau and junior Ella Stromfors also return and have shown great progress during the preseason. Attleboro will have a pair of new goalies this season with senior Alex Insani and freshman Peyton McCauliffe.
“I am excited to watch this talented group of athletes come together on the field this season,” said Attleboro coach Chrissy Quinn. “They have great potential and I think our program is making positive strides in the right direction.”
2021 Record: 5-9 2021 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Casey Bradley
Canton got off to a decent start in 2021, winning five of its first seven games, but the Bulldogs closed with a tough stretch, losing each of the last seven, including overtime losses to Oliver Ames and Whitman-Hanson to end the season. Former Bulldog Casey Bradley steps in as the head coach and she is confident that a year of experience will be the key for a lineup that is largely unchanged from last spring and has the potential to move up the standings.
The Bulldogs will have a strong midfield group. Senior Allie McCabe is a three-sport star and gives them energy and leadership alongside junior Ella Yeaton and sophomore Devan Spinale, who had an impressive rookie season as an attacker. Freshman Annie McLean will step in and add a new dimension to the midfield. Senior Carly Fitzgerald and junior Emily McCabe give Canton a lot of depth at that end of the field.
Defensively, seniors Tess Khoury and Sydney Gallery will hold down the middle of the field in front of classmate Elyse Broderick, who is stepping into the cage after four seasons as the goalie on the soccer team. Broderick’s athleticism will be important to help Canton’s defense hold off the opposition.
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Bradley said, “As a first-year head coach, I couldn’t be more excited to work with this group. These girls love the game and love working with one another every day. We have great leaders. I believe as long as we work hard and spend our time together efficiently, we will be a really strong team this year and may surprise some people.”
2021 Record: 11-2 2021 Finish: Reached D2 East Quarterfinals Coach: Kathleen McCullough
Last season, the first under new head coach Kathleen McCullough, Foxboro lost its season opener against Franklin then rolled through the next 11 games before falling by a goal against Bedford in the state tournament. Over that 11-game win streak, the Warriors outscored teams 204-44. Foxboro’s schedule looks a little tougher this year to help build up towards a potential tournament run, as the nine-time defending Davenport champs return a loaded lineup on both ends of the field.
The Warriors should have one of the most potent attacks in the league this season with a junior class that is loaded with talent and now has a year of varsity experience as well. Senior Kate Collins gives the team leadership up front, while junior Paige Curran was second in the league in scoring as a sophomore. Junior Mya Waryas and sophomores Valerie Beigel and Mary Collins would be the headliners in most teams’ attacking units.
While the offense will draw a lot of headlines, Foxboro’s defense is experienced and difficult to score on. Seniors Hannah Blake and Meghan Burke will be the leaders ahead of classmate Lilli Jones, who is stepping into goal this year after having a strong fall for the field hockey team. Junior Grace Riley and Jennifer Gallagher make this one of the deeper defensive groups in the Hock. Freshman midfielder Cate Noone is a newcomer to watch, who could make an instant impact all over the field.
“Our biggest strength is that we have a large returning group this year,” said McCullough. “My hope is that their playing experience and the fact that they have been playing together since youth level will develop the confidence needed to compete well against our opponents. We have put together a strong schedule this year and we look forward to challenging ourselves as a team and program.”
2021 Record: 18-1 2021 Finish: Reached D1 State Championship Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino
There is no hiding that the goal for Franklin this season is to return to the state championship game and bring home the program’s first title. Even just a quick look at the roster shows why. The Panthers return the vast majority of last year’s team that was seconds away from overtime in last year’s final and added a few new faces that could be impact players. Franklin has experience and depth at every position. With a league win streak that has extended beyond 80 games, Franklin’s next goal is to be the best in the state.
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While those are lofty expectations, Franklin has a lineup filled with college commits. In the midfield and attack, seniors Stella Regan, Jackie O’Neil, Kate O’Rourke, Maura Cogavin, and Kenzie Baker are entering their third seasons as starters and all can be playmakers. Katie Peterson and fellow junior Kaitlyn Carney are both coming off impressive sophomore seasons and junior Lindsay Atkinson and Jamie Tanner can be threats anywhere near the cage.
Defensively, Franklin will be aggressive and athletic. Senior Anna Grasso will be the leader at the back in front of classmate Brigid Earley, who was the star of the final with a series of great saves. Juniors Riley Cross and Payten Crandall make a group that works well together. Freshman goalie Ella Mahoney is a new face that will get some time this year and gives Franklin depth at that position as well.
“I am really excited for this season, as this is one of the most talented and cohesive Franklin teams I have ever coached,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “Everyone is all in and it is our goal to win a state championship!”
2021 Record: 12-3 2021 Finish: Reached D1 East Quarterfinals Coach: Kourtnie Wilder
Overall, King Philip had a strong season in 2021. The Warriors only lost three games and two of those were to state finalist Franklin and the other to Div. 1 East finalist Concord-Carlisle. Still, KP can look at it as a season to build experience, get players back into the groove of varsity lacrosse, and prepare for more this spring. With a strong returning corps. KP will be eyeing a tournament run.
Experience will be important up front where Saint Anselm-commit Julia Marsden is back after a 50-goal junior season and will be joined by fellow senior Lily Brown, who had 55 points last year. In defense, senior Haley Izydorczak is in her third year on varsity and gives KP a strong presence in the crease.
In goal, KP has a pair of talented juniors who will both see time. Emily Campbell and Haley Bright give the Warriors enviable depth in the cage. Senior Colleen Crowther is another experienced defender that will help out at the back. There are plenty of talented underclassmen who can step in this season, including four freshmen, Abby MacDonald, Sammy Cloutier, Makenzie McDevitt, and Sierra King.
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“Our greatest strength is we have a lot of returners that we are going to rely on heavily this year,” said KP coach Kourtnie Wilder. “The players we have are experienced and excited to play together again this season. We also have a few new ninth graders that are going to give us more depth on the field this year.”
2021 Record: 8-6 2021 Finish: Reached D1 East Preliminary Round Coach: Mary Kiley
Mansfield has a third coach in as many years with Mary Kiley taking over this spring. Kiley is a former league MVP and a four-time league champion with King Philip and she’ll be looking to push Mansfield into contention in its final spring in the Kelley-Rex. The Hornets will have experience in defense but looking for new faces to step up and contribute to the attack to make a push for the postseason.
Junior goalie Caitlin Zajac impressed in her debut season and she will be back between the pipes to provide leadership to the back line. The rest of the defensive unit is also experienced with seniors Grace Bertolino, Gabriella Geminiani, and Kayla Doherty adding intensity and aggression at that end of the field, while also looking to spring the Hornets in transition.
The attack is largely new this season. Juniors Ava Adams and Brooke Butler have looked solid in the preseason and sophomores Lola Varricchione and Cammy Shanteler will look to build on solid rookie seasons. Sophomores Keira Fitzpatrick and Ella Souza are two newcomers in the Mansfield attack who will be looking to make immediate impacts.
“On attack we have great discipline and patience with the ball, waiting for just the right opportunity to score,” said Kiley. “We’re looking forward to a competitive season this year.”
2021 Record: 1-12 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Kacey Abbriano
With 28 players on the roster this spring, Milford will have the numbers to try and make a push up the division standings, but only eight of those players are returning from last year. There will be a lot of new faces for first-year head coach Kacey Abbriano to try and get up to speed with the new defense she is implementing.
Midfield is an area of experience for the Hawks with senior Aislinn Bennett and junior Carly Haley and Emily Croteau all back from last season. The hope is that their athleticism and leadership will help Milford improve the number of scoring opportunities that it is able to create this season with an eye on improving on the one win from 2021.
Junior goalie Caitlyn Bangert is another returning player from last year who will be counted on to provide a dose of experience in the defensive end of the field. Although many of the players are new to the varsity level this year, Milford is largely led by upperclassmen with only two sophomores, attackers Ryara Madruga and Rhea Mathew, on the roster.
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“Besides the obvious of trying to win games, we’re trying to build confidence in our player’s skills and ability, work together with one another, and just have a fun season together,” said Abbriano. “I’m excited for this season and look forward to getting started!”
2021 Record: 7-6 2021 Finish: Reached D1 East Preliminary Round Coach: Amanda Welch
North Attleboro has had several coaching changes in the past two seasons but still managed to finish second in the Davenport division last spring. New head coach Amanda Welch will look to build on that this year with a solid returning corps. North lost six times in 2021, but all of those were to teams that qualified for the postseason and the Rocketeers will look to continue their success against the teams around them in the standings to get back in the postseason mix.
Leading scorer Taylor McMath is back to spearhead the North attack. The senior finished with 24 goals last season, and she will have help up top from junior Ava McKeon. Their speed and stickhandling make them tough to stop around the cage. North will also count on seniors Kelsey Briere and Morgan Eaton to add punch to an attack that was fourth-best in the league last year (behind only Franklin, Foxboro, and King Philip).
Defensively, North is counting on the leadership and athleticism of senior Summer Doherty to keep things solid at the back. Senior Zoe McKeon is another quick, athletic defender that gives North a strong foundation in front of senior goalie Avery Beale. Welch is hoping that some of the underclassmen will be ready to make instant impacts this season, including freshmen Lily Ramm and Ellie Regan.
“Overall, this 2022 season will look a lot different than last year,” Welch said. “We had some rough patches in the past but now we are back, focused, and ready to show the league what we have.”
2021 Record: 6-6 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Rylie Dalzell
After a 2-6 start to the 2021 season, which included half of those losses coming to Foxboro and Franklin, the Tiger roared down the stretch, winning the final four games to finish at .500. New head coach Rylie Dalzell, who played at King Philip, is hoping that momentum will carry over this spring with an experienced group that sees seniors taking important roles in every position.
In the attack, seniors Georgia and Ava Costello will be back to provide the scoring punch that the Tigers hope will keep them in the running for the postseason. Junior Catie Wilson and Olivia O’Rourke will also chip in offensively, while also providing cover for the defensive group.
Senior midfielder Hailey Bourne returns in the midfield, giving OA a dose of athleticism and providing defensive effort. The defensive group will be a lot of new faces as the only returning defenders from last year’s team are sophomore Taylor McAndrew and senior Alyssa Kiff. Senior Jessica Widdop is the team’s returning goalie.
“This year the team has many strengths,” Dalzell said. “Something that has been great for us is our senior leadership across the field. We have seniors in all positions across the field. The team is very athletic and dynamic, and every player on the field could play in any position. There are many contributors on this team and I expect big things from many different individuals.”
2021 Record: 2-11 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Shara Ginthwain
After graduating three Div. I commits in the past three seasons, it was inevitable that Sharon would have a rebuilding season. After winning twice in 2021, the Eagles bring back five players from last year’s team and an exciting group of underclassmen that will jump right into the lineup and could provide the energy to get the Eagles back up the Davenport standings.
Senior Athena Merck will provide leadership at the back for Sharon this season, while classmate Kaitlyn Galeota will do the same in the attack. Junior Tess Letendre is an important returning player, as she had a solid season in goal as a sophomore and adds vocal leadership for the defensive unit. Sophomore Anna Hertzel could be poised for a breakout season as the team’s playmaker.
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The freshmen class has a lot of skill and is expected to be a big boost to the team’s depth. Bailey Garf and Ava Jacobson are newcomers in the midfield that could provide goals this year, while Serene Bien-Aime will try to prevent goals in the defense.
“From just the first week of the season, I can see that this team is made up of really driven players who work hard to improve every day!” said Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain. “We are so excited to get the season started and see what we can do!”
2021 Record: 4-10 2021 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Adilson Galvao
After graduating the program’s all-time leading scorer Alana Tavares, Taunton will head into a new season with a new coach and a lineup filled with new faces in hopes of getting the Tigers back into the postseason. First-year coach Adilson Galvao is hoping that his seniors will provide leadership for a young crew that is looking to continue Taunton’s being competitive across the Hock.
Taunton will turn to a core of returning players that the Tigers hope will make new connections and keep the attack flowing. Sophomore Cali Melo is a quick, athletic player that they are hoping has taken a leap this spring. Senior Aria Cordero, Samantha Crowley, and Sarah Clark will give the team a lot of experience on both ends of the field.
In addition to the returning players, Taunton has a few new faces that will be looking to make a quick impression at the varsity level. Melissa Jesus will step into goal this year after playing on JV last year, while Alanna DeJesus and Maddison Szala have both stood out in the preseason.
2022 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview
“The team has a mix of new and young faces that look poised to get better as the season progresses and lineups get figured out to maximize our potential,” Galvao said. “Our seniors on the team have been doing a great job leading practices and getting the team ready for this year.”
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro entered its first round playoff game on Sunday morning at Sam Berns Community Field having won eight straight games. The Warriors carried momentum and the the experience of battling the top teams in the Hockomock League into the postseason and it all paid off.
Three different players found the back of the net for Foxboro in a 3-0 win over No. 27 Middleboro in the Div. 3 Round of 32. The Warriors dominated the first half and then held off the Sachems in the second, showing defensive resolve and solid goaltending from Lilli Jones to preserve the shutout.
“If you look at brackets and the power rankings, we’re playing some of the best teams in the [state] and it absolutely helps each of us in the Hock when we get to the postseason,” Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri said.
She added, “We worked hard on spreading the field and using deceptive moves up top and using the outside of the circle on our corners, trying to get (their goalie) to move, and I think that worked really, really well.”
The hosts started the game strongly. Foxboro had seven corners in the first half to none for Middleboro and Jones spent most of the opening half hour as a spectator trying to see what was happening up the other end of the field through the bright glare of the morning sun.
After eight minutes, the pressure turned into the opening, and as it turned out game-winning goal. From a corner, Kate Collins started the play with a pass out to her sister Mary Collins, who fired a low shot into a crowd of bodies in front of goal. The ball sat on the doorstep for a couple seconds before Jennifer Gallagher was able to knock it across the line.
Foxboro nearly added a second just before the first quarter ended. Mya Waryas drove down the right wing and forced Isabelle Mosley into a good kick save to keep the ball from Camryn Collins, who was waiting at the back post to tip it in.
The second quarter was even more one-way traffic. Foxboro created a series of penalty corners and had the Sachems pinned down in the defensive half of the field. Mary Collins blasted another shot from a corner just wide of the post, then Collins’ shot fell to Gallagher who brought a good save out of Mosely.
Ten minutes into the quarter, the second goal finally went in. From a corner, Collins was again the impetus with a shot into the mix in the crease. This time it was Kate Collins who was on hand to get the ball across the line and give Foxboro an important cushion.
A two-goal lead proved to be comforting for the Warriors because Middleboro flipped the game on its head in the third. Suddenly, it was the Sachems on the front foot. The visitors created five corners in the third quarter alone and finally drew the first two saves out of Jones. Foxboro’s defense, including Catherine Cotter, Paige Simoneau, Valerie Beigel, and Isabella Richardson, stood tall against the pressure to keep Middleboro off the board.
“We came off of our game plan,” Bordieri said about the change in momentum in the third quarter. “They were plugging up the middle of the field and we didn’t recognize exactly what they were doing and we kept trying to force the ball in the middle. It took them forever to recognize where the space was and where they could go and stop forcing the play.”
Five minutes into the fourth, Foxboro nearly put the game away but Mary Collins saw her shot from the top of the circle slip through her sister’s legs and get tipped just wide of the post by the Middleboro goalie.
Just two minutes later, the Sachems came close to halving the Foxboro lead. In the wake of another corner, Middleboro was able to get the ball into the crease and Jones was able to scramble and make an acrobatic kick save to keep the ball out and preserve the shutout.
“When it called for it, she made some really big saves because it was dicey in there,” Bordieri said of Jones.
That save proved to be crucial, as just a minute later Foxboro went on the break to close out the win. Waryas made the rush down the right wing and sent a pass into the middle. Camryn Collins was able to redirect the pass to the back post where Mia DiNunzio had made a late run and tapped in the third.
Foxboro (14-5-0), the No. 6 seed, will host No. 11 Dighton-Rehoboth, which beat Weston in double overtime, in the Round of 16 this week.