Foxboro Finishes Strong To Beat Canton And Advance

Foxboro boys soccer
Canton’s Jake Verille (11) defends Foxboro’s Ryan Kelley (8) in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – After both regular season meetings against Canton, the Foxboro boys soccer team felt like they had let a point get away.

The first time, the Warriors saw the Bulldogs erase a pair of one-goal deficits to earn a draw. The second meeting saw the Warriors come back from a goal down, but couldn’t add a second despite nearly a dozen scoring chances.

This time around, ninth-seeded Foxboro made sure history didn’t repeat itself. After eighth-seeded Canton cut the deficit to just one goal in the second half, the Warriors went on and finished the game strong with two more goals and registered a 4-1 over the Bulldogs.

“It was a great result,” said Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino. “We came in with confidence, the kid put the work in. Credit to the boys, I thought we were the better team. Now we have to focus on the next one.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Foxboro came out with its foot on the gas with two big chances inside the opening 10 minutes. Shane VandenBoom left a ball behind to Ryan Kelley in the third minute, but Kelley’s blast was over the bar.

Four minutes later, senior Hussein Kafel found VandenBoom in behind the defense, but Canton center back John Agnitti did well to recover, slide and get just enough of a block on the shot to make it a comfortable save for Bulldog keeper Abe Garber.

But after play evened out some, the Warriors capitalized on a free kick opportunity. In the 24th minute, sophomore Dylan Barreira whipped a service to the back pose and Kelley rose up above his mark and nodded in the opener.

Neither side hag a legitimate scoring chance in the first half until the final seconds when Canton’s Paolo Ruggeri sent in a left footed shot from distance but Foxboro goalie Bobby Harrison covered nicely.

While the first half was limited to just a handful of chances, the second half opened up with opportunity after opportunity.

The Bulldogs nearly leveled the match just two minutes into the second half when the Hockomock League’s regular season leading scorer Paul Corcorantracked down a loose ball and had his shot partially blocked, forcing Harrison to make a save while backtracking.

A minute later, VandenBoom had his back towards goal inside the area, releasing a shot while turning but Garber made the stop.

Foxboro broke through again in the 46th minute. Junior Matt Garcia played a ball wide for Kelley, and the senior drove a low cross the near post. VandenBoom made the run and got just enough of a touch to tap it in for a 2-0 lead.

The Warriors’ two-goal cushion didn’t last long. Three minutes later, the Bulldogs earned a free kick from just over 40 yards out on the left sideline. Junior Griffin Roach stepped up and ripped a curling shot into the upper corner at the near post, eluding Harrison’s diving effort, to bring Canton back within one.

But unlike the previous meetings, Foxboro made sure to put this game away.

Kafel came close to adding Foxboro’s third with a near post bid two minutes later, but Garber made the low save. Five minutes later, Kelley dribbled his way past two defenders and had a golden chance but Garber came sliding out for the huge stop.

Harrison was called upon to make a stop in the 50th minute, saving Corcoran’s hard shot from 30 yards out towards the post.

Foxboro added the big insurance goal midway through the second half when sophomore Joe Cusack helped turn defense into offense, quickly linking up with Kelley, who took little time depositing a through ball behind the defense that VandenBoom ran onto and calmly finished alone on goal.

“I think that’s one Bobby wants back,” Franchino said of Canton’s goal. “I think the boys felt like we didn’t give one up, we let one in. But everyone responded and we kept going. Once we got the third one, it was lights out. Everyone played great, I only made a couple of subs.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Canton continued its pressure, earning a free kick from 25 yards out that senior Jake Verille placed around the wall, but Harrison made a terrific diving save to get a hand to it and push it out for a corner.

Foxboro put the finishing touches on the match in the 78th minute when Cam Cass took possession along the right side, put in a centering pass that VandenBoom dummied to draw the defender, leaving Kafel open to finish alone on goal.

“I think a difference has been Ryan Kelley, he’s just an engine in there,” Franchino said of the offense clicking. “At the beginning of the year we had him so much deeper and then we pushed him above the other two center midfielders and he just finds that gap. He’s been the link between the forwards and the midfield, he was tremendous.”

Foxboro boys soccer (11-4-4) advances to the D2 South quarterfinals to take on #1 Nauset (17-1-1) on Thursday, November 9th at 6:00. Canton finishes the season 10-5-4.

Boys Soccer: 2017 Davenport Division Preview

2017 Davenport Division Preview
Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview

Canton

2016 Record: 8-7-5
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Danny Erickson

After playing a good handful of juniors and sophomores during the 2016 season, the Bulldogs look to be an experienced group heading into this year. Leading the way will be senior and two-time captain Jake Verille, who leads the Bulldogs from the middle of the pitch. Fellow captain Abe Garber is back for another year in net and senior captain John Agnitti with anchor the defensive line.

Verille, a HockomockSports.com Best XI selection last season, has been one of the top playmakers the past two years. On top of Verille’s offensive ability, Canton also returns junior Paul Corcoran – the team’s leading scorer (nine goals) and the HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. Alongside Corcoran, the Bulldogs have a slew of juniors with varsity experience including Griffin Roach, Simon Cruz, Paulo Ruggeri and Avery Minkin that will all factor into the attack.

“We are confident that we will be able to keep the ball and attack this year,” said Canton head coach Danny Erickson. “The chances should be created, but we will need to finish. We will also need to defend as a group of 11 MUCH better than we did last season.”

Foxboro

2016 Record: 6-9-4
2016 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round
Coach: Joe Franchino

After graduating just five seniors last season, head coach Joe Franchino brings back the majority of squad that had just one loss in its last eight regular season games in 2016. However, two of those five players – Anthony Barreira (two-time Best XI selection) & AJ Bubencik (now playing at Mass. Maritime) – were four year players and will be tough to replace.

The good news is that while the Warriors were young a year ago, a good portion of the team has at least a season of varsity experience under its belt. Senior captain Shawn McNamara, now in his fourth year starting for the Warriors, will lead the way along with fellow captains Matt Rongione and Ryan Kelley. Senior Cam Cass also has plenty of experience and will be relied upon as a playmaker. Junior Shane Vandenboom had a strong sophomore season and will be an important piece in the midfield along classmate Nic Beigel and senior Hussiein Kafel.

Seniors Bobby Harrison will be the starting goalie for the Warriors.

“Coming into my third year, I am confident the team has bought into the system and I’m really looking forward to see how they compete,” Franchino said. “We have experienced senior and junior classes with a couple of sophomores to watch out for. We may not have a target on our back but when it’s all said and done, I believe we have the team to win! I believe in this group and really excited to see what they accomplish.”

Milford

2016 Record: 4-10-4
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brian Edwards

The Scarlet Hawks are looking to take the next step in year two with Brian Edwards at the helm. After just four wins a season ago, Edwards is hoping that the experience gained by his younger players will translate into more success this time around.

Midfielder Andre Oliveira will be a key piece for Edwards and the Scarlet Hawks, helping both the offense and defense. Oliveira’s ability to transition from defense to offense will be key for the Scarlet Hawks this season. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Jacob Balzarini is back in the center of the defense. After getting plenty of time in that spot last season, Balzarini will be the anchor of the backline this year. On top of Oliveira and Balzaini, Edwards is looking for new players to step up and make an impact.

“I’m looking for us to be a team that stresses balance,” Edwards said. “I am hopeful that the experience many of these guys gained last year translates into more success in the standings. I am also excited to see what the new guys bring to the squad. There are a bunch of hungry young players that want to make their mark on this team and in this league.”

North Attleboro

2016 Record: 2-10-6
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Geoff Burgess

North Attleboro boasts over a dozen seniors on the 2017 version of the Red Rocketeers and head coach Geoff Burgess is hoping that experience will translate into success on the field.

Leading the way will be senior and 2016 HockomockSports.com Second XI selection Gabe Pinhancos, who has been Big Red’s field general for the past couple of seasons. Josh Rodriguez and Ryan Pasquel are also back this season to help bolster the midfield. Junior Joe Hilf and senior Jeff Gale will be relied upon to pace North Attleboro’s offense.

Big Red’s biggest strength could be in the back, having a defensive unit with plenty of experience. Noah Barney and Zach Matracia both saw significant time and will be joined by classmates Andrew Fontaine and Kevin Aguilar. That defensive unit will be in front of senior goalie Brendan Matracia.

“I am hoping that we are going to be a team on the rise this year,” said Burgess. “I have a strong senior class and we’ve had a good summer and an even better preseason.”

Sharon

2016 Record: 11-4-4 (Davenport Division Champions)
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Bryan Kelly

The defending Davenport division champs will boast a large senior class (14) but will also rely on some younger players as they look to win back-to-back Hock titles.

The Eagles’ tri-captains will provide leadership in each part of the pitch, with senior center back Shubo Roy-Chowdury on the back line, senior Tyler Hippler leading the midfield and senior Spencer Hall up front. Sharon’s attack will bolstered by seniors Marques Benton and Andy Reyes-Jones, who both saw plenty of time up top a year ago. Meanwhile, sophomore Michael Baur is back after a standout freshman season and classmates Isaiah Stessman, Brian Higgins and freshman Brice Nathan will all play a role in helping the Eagles go forward.

Maybe the biggest advantage the Eagles have is returning keeper Ethan Kantor. The junior had a terrific season in net a year ago and will be the backbone of the team’s defense.

“With a solid defense that is smart and has speed, we should be able to keep up with fast offenses while not losing the capability to support a potent offense,” said SHS head coach Bryan Kelly. “Overall, we are solid from goal to forwards, it just depends on if we can put the ball in the back of the net.”

Stoughton

2016 Record: 8-9-2
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Chris Suchorski

Stoughton will be looking to make it back again to the postseason, this time under first-year head coach Chris Suchorski. The Black Knights just made it in a season ago but it marked the third straight year for the program.

Suchorski is tasked with replacing 12 seniors that graduated from last year’s team. However, all of the players he is returning all saw varsity time last season and that should soften the blow dealt by graduation. Senior Tyler Melo (six points) is back and will likely be a vital part of the Black Knights’ midfield and attack. Junior Fabio Ponce de Leon (six points) begins his third season on varsity and will once again be one the Black Knights’ top offensive options. Brian Peoples also returns as one of the team’s top playmakers.

The biggest question could come with the back four, as the Black Knights must find a replacement for 2016 Best XI selection Goddy Fombe, who anchored the back line the past two season the sweeper position.

Ruggeri Goal, Garber Save Lift Canton to Win

Canton boys soccer
Canton scored off a first half free kick and it was all the Bulldogs needed to pull out a win against Milford on Saturday night. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
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CANTON, Mass. – In a game that featured aggressive pressing in the midfield and disciplined back lines that maintained their shapes and proved hard to break down, scoring chances were always going to be at a premium.

Canton took advantage of a set piece opportunity to take the lead in the first half, as Paolo Ruggeri flicked home a free kick for the lead, and the Bulldogs got a full stretch save from Abe Garber with eight minutes remaining to pull out a 1-0 victory on Saturday evening against Milford at World War II Veterans Memorial Field.

“I thought we played really, really well,” said Canton coach Danny Erickson. “Milford played a lot of guys at the back…they were very disciplined and were hard to break down…I thought goals were going to be hard to come by after 10-15 minutes and we were right.”

The Bulldogs had the game’s first chance in the opening two minutes but Jake Verille‘s shot from distance was deflected and easily held by Milford keeper Danny Zwonik. Five minutes later, Milford had its first shot on goal when Marcello Panno’s header from a corner was tipped over the bar by a back pedaling Garber.

In the ninth minute came the break through. Canton had started the game well and pushed the Hawks back, which led to a foul on the left side of the box. Griffin Roach served the ball into the box and it was side footed towards goal by Ruggeri. The ball hit the underside of the bar, landed and then was headed home by Ben Waterhouse, but the official said that the initial shot had crossed the line.

“We worked on restarts yesterday, so we’re really happy about that,” said Erickson.

The game settled into a midfield stalemate for the majority of the first 40 minutes. Milford absorbed the Canton pressure and kept the Bulldogs from getting the ball into dangerous areas. In the 25th minute, Verille sent in a corner that was met at the far post by Dillon Anderson but his shot was saved by Zwonik. Two minutes later Zwonik got down well to his left to keep a long free kick attempt by Verille from sneaking inside the post.

Milford had one great chance with three minutes to halftime. Garber’s mis-hit goal kick surprised his defender Matas Leveckis and allowed Mike Webber to cut in and intercept. The Milford forward pulled his shot just wide of the post.

The Hawks started to find more space in the second half with Pedro Sampaio, Tiago Carvalho, and Panno getting on the ball more often and being able to create. Milford also started to find success with diagonal balls towards the fullbacks that got its playmakers in one-on-one situations rather than the crowded midfield.

A long throw by Joey Madden in the 47th minute was headed on by Panno but Carvalho nodded his shot wide from the middle of the box. In the 69th minute, Panno again rose above the defense but his headed chance from Sampaio’s corner was easily held by Garber.

Canton’s two best chances to that point in the second half had both fallen to Roach but he had sent his shots narrowly past the post with Milford keeper Luke Capobianco at full stretch both times. In the 71st minute, the Bulldogs had another opportunity when left back John Agnitti’s long diagonal found Paul Corcoran on the edge of the box. After a touch to create room, Corcoran’s shot was saved by Capobianco.

According to first-year head coach Brian Edwards, Milford’s defensive effort was the perfect response to the six goals that the Hawks gave up to Stoughton on Tuesday.

“I have no complaints defensively,” Edwards said. “After the performance we had on Tuesday, this was a completely different team. I’m happy with the performance if not the result…These guys have great character, so I wasn’t surprised by the reaction.”

Milford would create its best chance of the game in the 72nd minute. A throw-in on the near sideline (at a spot that was disputed by the Canton bench) found Sampaio, who turned his defender and found room on his left foot at the edge of the box. He unleashed a shot that looked destined for the bottom corner until Garber dove to his left and got a strong hand to turn it around the post.

“Great, great save by the keeper,” said Edwards.

Erickson added, “They certainly could have had a goal at the end but Abe came up with a big save. Abe didn’t have to do anything until he needed to and that’s what you need from a goalkeeper.”

Canton was able to run out the clock and take home the two points, but the losing coach was pleased with what he saw from his team, particularly in the second half.

“I actually thought we played really well,” Edwards said. “We weren’t able to get the ball in the net but I thought we created a good number of chances. At first we had a hard time dealing with the physicality they brought but I thought we adjusted…we just weren’t able to finish today.”

Canton (2-2) will host Sharon on Monday night, while Milford (1-4) will try to get back on track with the visit of Foxboro.

Corcoran’s Brace Lifts Bulldogs To First Win

Canton boys soccer
Canton’s Jake Verille (11), Pat McLaughlin (4) and Paolo Ruggeri (right) celebrate with Paul Corcoran (second from right) after his opening goal. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
CANTON, Mass – After two straight away games to open the 2016 season, the Canton Bulldogs were ripe for some home cooking.

Canton was on the front foot from the opening whistle in its home opener at World War II Veterans Memorial Field on Tuesday night and walked away with its first win of the season, a 2-0 decision over North Attleboro.

“This team is filled with a lot of veterans from last year’s team and I think we played pretty well on our first two games on the road and didn’t get any results,” Canton head coach Danny Erickson said. “I think our guys were just very excited to get out on our home field today and get into the Davenport and see what we could do.”

The Bulldogs were in control for the first 10 minutes of the match, putting constant pressure on North’s midfield and backline but couldn’t test North goalie Shawn Watters. North had the first shot on goal in the 12th minute off a shot from Leo Charlebois but Canton goalie Abe Garber made a comfortable save.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the 16th minute, Canton kept its pressure up and it paid off. John Agnitti launched a service into the area after a short throw and his cross was met by a charging header from Griffin Roach but Watters was up to the task, pushing it down. North’s defense was unable to get a clean clearance and the loose ball fell to the center of the area where junior Jake Verille uncorked a shot but once again Watters made a terrific save.

The loose ball fell to the feet of an open Paul Corcoran and the sophomore was able to tuck his shot inside the near post for opening goal of the season and the Bulldogs’ first of the season.

“It was 15 minutes into the game but I thought we could have scored five before that,” Erickson said. “I thought we were really on the front foot. The thing about soccer, if we don’t score there, you really don’t know what’s going to happen in that game. It really sets the rest of the game up for us. North Attleboro played very steady so kudos to them but I thought we had the better of the play tonight.”

North’s best chance of the half came in the 28th minute after a deflected throw in fell to the center of the area but Gabe Pinhancos’ strike fired right over the bar.

Canton took a 1-0 lead into halftime but it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to double to advantage when the second half started.

Inside the first minute, Garber’s punt was flicked on at midfield by Simon Cruz but Watters came off his line and covered before Canton could pounce. But a minute later, Verille took possession at midfield and sent a through ball that found Corcoran in behind the defense. The sophomore calmly slid his shot into the net for his second goal and to make it 2-0.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That’s part of our motto here, part of our key moments. We preach the first and last five minutes of each half. If you can’t play well in the first five minutes of each half or the last five, you’re not going to win your games,” Erickson said. “We went to KP last week, played a great first half 0-0 and then came out gave them a goal two minutes into the second half and that was it. We came out tonight, up 1-0, and we want that goal badly and we got it and I thought that put us in control of the game.”

North Attleboro got its offense in gear over the final 20 minutes of the game. Josh Rodriguez beat a pair of defenders but his cross went unanswered as it skipped through the area. In the 72nd minute, Pinhancos played Rodriguez along the wing and his cross was met by a touch from Charlebois, but Garber dove to his right and palmed the shot out.

“It’s the Canton formula, they win every ball in the air and then boom it over the top of the defense and wait until the backline falls asleep and it kills us every time,” North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess said. “Once they got the second goal and sat back a little bit, we actually found ourselves on the ball and we looked fantastic. The last 20 minutes , that’s the time I was hoping would have showed up in the first half but at that point, the game was already over. We’ll figure them out though and we will get a chance to see them again.”

Canton boys soccer improves to 1-2 on the season, both overall and in league play. The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday as they host Milford in the opener of a doubleheader with the girls to follow. North Attleboro (1-2-1, 1-2-1) will try to bounce back on Thursday in a non-league affair with KP before hosting Sharon on Friday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.