ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan has pleaded for his players to start shooting more when they have opportunities in the final third.
On Monday afternoon, the Hornets took heed of their coach’s request.
After scoring four goals in its opening four games, the Mansfield boys soccer team equaled that output as four different Hornets found the back of the net in a 4-0 win on the road over Attleboro in the HockomockSports Game of the Week.
The Hornets wasted little time, scoring a pair of goals in the first quarter to jump ahead early and then tacked on goals in each the third and fourth quarters to get their fourth win of the season.
“Our forwards are finally starting to shoot,” Sheridan said. “I think we had more shots today than we’ve had all season. We’ve got a couple of guys that are finally starting to get it. I’ve been screaming since we started to take more shots. We spend more time on shooting in practice and then we get to a game and we don’t take them. We took them today, I was happy with how we played today.”
Mansfield boys soccer
Mansfield scored a pair of signature goals, pushing numbers into the area and cashing in on loose chances in the area. But the Hornets also showed some versatility in their offense as junior Matt Hyland and senior Tommy Lanzillo scored on class shots from distance.
Just over five minutes into the contest, a clearance popped out to Mansfield senior Michael Jeans, who popped a service high back into the box. Attleboro’s keeper was unable to catch it cleanly and Mansfield junior Sagar Koul was exactly where he needed to be, following up the loose ball and roofing his touch just under the bar for a 1-0 lead.
And a minute later, Jackson Singer found Soucy, who got a touch to the ball before Lasbury-Casey and then followed up on the loose ball in the area but a slide from Ethan Scholes and a block from Jeans kept the ball out.
“We played very well, I like my defense, Evan [Eames] and [Michael] Caridi played phenomenal back there, especially in the second half,” Sheridan said. “Michael [Jeans] saved a bunch of balls back there. We finally got our three center midfielders [Lanzillo, Colin True, Sullivan] to start working together. They weren’t communicating enough. But now they’re talking, they know whos making a run up and who needs to drop back, moving side to side together. It’s basically what’s connected everything, us starting to communicate.”
Mansfield boys soccer
Mansfield’s pressure paid off just before the end of the first quarter. Sophomore Aidan Steele forced a giveaway, junior Dan Rowe quickly squared a pass to Hyland, who let the ball come across his body before blasting a shot from just over 30 yards out, catching the keeper off his line as it floated just under the bar.
“We were missing heart,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira. “Mansfield played their game which is boot, boot, boot and they capitalized on some of those. We weren’t disciplined enough to play our game which is touch. We had no offense today. [Our players] want to blame the ref for everything but we had two of the best in the league today so you can’t say it’s the ref. We just lost our cool and could never get going.
“They run at you and they create some crazy stuff. They play the long balls and there’s a bounce here or there and they capitalize on them. They played their game better than we played ours. But we see them in two days and hopefully, it will be a little bit different.”
The second quarter was mostly played between the two 18-yard lines, the best chance coming off the foot of Steele. Both Steele and Rowe pressured the Bombardier defense, resulting in a turnover and a low shot from Steele but Attleboro backup keeper Cody Abreu, who took over the middle of the period, handled the bounce well.
Mansfield added to its lead in the 49th minute, again capitalizing on numbers and high pressure in the area. Lanzillo whipped in a cross from the left wing and Hyland was there to meet it after making a near post run but his touch hit the post and stayed out. It bounced right to Grady Sullivan, who touched it over to Scholes for the finish and a 3-0 lead.
“For us, it’s important to attack in numbers,” Sheridan said. “And that’s why we can’t have anyone taking a play off. We need everyone to keep doing. We have the numbers to put different guys in. With the new rules with 20 minute quarters, I don’t expect to have to sub too often but I can if I have to. We want them to go really hard for 8-12 minutes and then we’ll get someone fresh in there.”
Attleboro looked to answer five minutes alter as Henriquez and Singer combined to create for the Bombardiers, the result a shot from Justin Lurssen but his bid was partially blocked and bounced harmlessly to Lasbury-Casey.
Mansfield added one more goal in the 64th minute. Lanzillo played a ball into the area that was cleared away but Lanzillo alertly tracked down the loose ball and put his laces through a bouncing ball that curled into the near post from 30 yards out.
Mansfield (4-1) will host the Bombardiers (0-3) in a rematch on Wednesday night at 6:45.
2019 Record: 6-9-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
One more goal scored or one goal less allowed could have changed the entire outcome of the 2019 season for the Bombardiers, who suffered six one-goal losses and three draws. Now with more varsity experience under their belts, Attleboro is aiming to surprise some teams in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season.
Longtime head coach Peter Pereira is counting on that experience to translate into leadership on and off the field. Senior goalie Zackary Brown is back in net for the Bombardiers and is showing more confidence inside the area. Senior Joey Soucy is making the transition to defense and will play alongside classmates Jayden Lockhart and Andrew Fasoldt. Junior Cashel Stuger is also back in the mix defensively while seniors Henry Marini and Alejandro Jimenez could factor into the defensive unit as well.
Jackson Singer emerged as a strong option in the midfield in his first season with the Bombardiers and should be a big piece again this year. Singer will pair up with Hugo Henriquez to give Attleboro an experienced duo in the heart of the pitch. Seniors Ben Fasoldt, Emilio Amaya, and Tyler Sar will all be apart of the midfield while juniors Tom Russo and Emilio Ticas should see valuable minutes for the Bombardiers. Freshman Alex Vecchioli has shown a lot of versatility so far and could play in a variety of roles.
Up front, Attleboro will be relying on a combination of speed, tough, and work effort as they challenge opposing defenses. Depending on the pairing, Attleboro will be able to attack in a variety of ways. Seniors Justin Lurssen and Connor Paquin as well as juniors Liam Bischoff and Yianni Skordas will all see time in the attack. Sophomore Esvin Morales emerged as one of the top attacking threats a year ago and will be among the top finishers in the league.
“We have a good group of seniors and hope that this experience will pay off,” Pereira said. “We believe we will have a more competitive, more mature, and more balanced team.”
2019 Record: 4-12-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Danny Erickson
The Bulldogs were very young during the 2019 season with just a half dozen seniors on the squad, but that meant plenty of young players were able to gain valuable on-field experience at the varsity level. Now the Bulldogs will be looking to contend in a very competitive Davenport division in the shortened 2020 season.
The defense will be the backbone of the team this season as the Bulldogs have a lot of experience at the centerback position. Senior captain Matt Giglio is back for his third year with the squad after being a key piece in each of the previous two years. He will be joined in the middle of the defense by Will Keefe, who anchored the Dogs’ backline last year and earned All-Hockomock honors.
Junior Dylan Baird had a breakout sophomore season and will be one of the main pieces in the midfield. After a down season for Canton on the offensive end as a whole last year, Baird’s presence in the midfield will help create opportunities going forward. Up front, the Bulldogs are counting on senior Colton Marliani to be a go-to scoring threat.
Canton already suffered a big blow as senior captain TJ McCabe, who has been with the squad since he was a freshman, will miss the season due to injury. On the flip side, the Bulldogs are getting a boost with the addition of Abdul Barrie. Barrie played in the youth leagues in Canton but will make his CHS debut this fall and could make a big impact for the Dogs.
“I think the rule modifications will challenge us all equally,” said longtime Canton head coach Danny Erickson. “But after a week or so of training, to me, it’s still soccer.”
2019 Record: 7-8-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Ambrosio
The Warriors had a sour taste in their mouth at the end of last season, losing the last game of the year to miss out on the playoffs. While Foxboro won’t have the chance to get back to the postseason this year, the Davenport division title is certainly in reach.
Foxboro graduated a couple of stalwarts (Joe Cusack, Dylan Barreira, Will Morrison) that were important pieces of the squad in each of the last couple of seasons, but there are plenty of experienced players back from last year’s seven-win squad plus a handful of new faces anxious to make their mark. Seniors Max Beigel and PJ Frost will give the Warriors plenty of leadership and experience, especially in the midfield and attacking third. Foxboro will look to play quick, using the counterattack to hit on the break.
After giving up nearly two goals a game a season ago, the Warriors are aiming to tighten up the back as they navigate through a very competitive Davenport division. First-year head coach Dan Ambrosio is also counting on new players like John Hollis and Ryan Flaherty to make an impact during the shortened season.
“We are a tight-knit group who like to have fun playing the game and look forward to representing our school and town,” Ambrosio said.
2019 Record: 9-7-4 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Fran Bositis
With returning players in most areas of the pitch and a trio of top midfielders in the Hockomock League, the Panthers should be in the mix for the Kelley-Rex title, although it could be one of the most competitive seasons since the league split into two.
With just 10 games and all six teams in the Kelley-Rex possible contenders, there is little margin for error. The Panthers will be put to the test right away as they take on Milford, who won the Davenport two years in a row and went to the D2 State Final last season, in the opening week. But longtime head coach Fran Bositis has plenty of talent on his roster to try and make a push for the division title. It all starts in the midfield with a trio of returning starters in Ethan Cain, Tyler Powderly, and last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Terry O’Neill.
All three bring something different to the table which will make Franklin’s midfield among the most dynamic in the league. Powderly’s speed on the wings will give defenses fits while Cain will bring plenty of creativity as the Panthers push forward. O’Neill won’t be able to dominate in the air like he did a season ago thanks to the new modifications that ban headers, but the junior is also such a calming presence with the ball at his feet and will help Franklin keep possession. Ben Moccia, who started in the midfield a season ago, is moving up top to the number 9 spot, while Charlie Amante, Ryan Witt, Jack Moran, and Kevin Proenca will also see time in the attack.
The Panthers have some new faces in the defensive unit. Will Fox is the lone returning starter and has impressed in the early stages of the season. Sam George, Robbin Tappin, and Karl Gruseck will all factor into the Panthers’ defense while Aidan Griffith, Nelson Martinez, and Connor Scagliarini will be options for Bositis to play either defense or in the midfield. Newcomers Trey Lovell and Rex Cinelli could see valuable minutes right away. Former Panther standout goalie Freddie Backmann, who is without a season at Regis College, is mentoring Luc Boudreau, this year’s starting keeper for Franklin.
“I think that we have a very good group of athletes (soccer players) who have worked real hard in preparation for this season,” Bositis said. “I know that they are all excited to be playing and that they are looking forward to competing against the other Kelley-Rex teams and putting themselves in a position to challenge for a league championship.”
2019 Record: 8-5-6 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mike O’Neill
King Philip was the surprise team of the 2019 season, overcoming a large amount of inexperience to take third in the Kelley-Rex and qualify for the state tournament. While the Warriors won’t sneak up on anyone this season, the skill and experience they return should put them in the mix for the division title.
Second-year head coach Mike O’Neill has strong players in all areas of the pitch, starting with senior captain Evan McEvoy. A four-year player with the program, McEvoy is coming off a breakout season in 2019 and will be among the top midfielders in the league. He will control the pace for the Warriors from the center of the pitch, working with fellow captain Alex Leon, who will use his speed to patrol the wings and get in behind the defense. Both Caleb Waxman and Stephen Griffin made an impact last season and should see expanded roles in the shortened 2020 season. Sophomore Matt Crago is a new face that could make a splash in his first year.
The Warriors should have one of the top defenses in the league again this season. Senior captain Aidan Lindmark is back in goal and his distribution skills will factor in heavily to how KP plays out of the back. Jeremy White had a strong 2019 season at center back and will bolster the Warriors’ backline when he returns from injury. In the meantime, four-year player Ajae Olsen, who is normally patrolling the wing or up top, will have his versatility on display as he slides into the centerback spot.
“Our players and coaches are thankful that we are at the point where we can have a season,” O’Neill said. “So much work and sacrifice have gone into getting the Hockomock League schools to this moment. I’m looking forward to some excellent and competitive soccer. I expect every game to be extremely competitive – there are no easy games in the Hock. Five wins may win the division.”
2019 Record: 6-7-5 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Sheridan
With just 10 games scheduled for the season, every game – from the first to the last – is going to be important. No one understands that more than the 2020 Hornets, who came up just short of the state tournament last year. After a slow start, Mansfield became one of the toughest teams to beat down the stretch, finishing on an eight-game unbeaten streak that featured an upset of division champion Oliver Ames but came just one point shy of postseason play.
With the postseason not in the picture for this year, the focus shifts on the division title. The Hornets are hoping to carry the momentum from the end of last season into this year. Mansfield will have a mix of veterans and inexperience in its defensive unit. Senior captain Evan Eames will be the centerpiece of the group alongside classmate Michael Jeans, who missed all of last season due to injury. Sophomores Grady Sullivan and Nate Kablik round out the Hornets’ back four while senior captain Eric Sullivan will take over starting in goal.
Senior captain Tommy Lanzillo will run the show from the center of the pitch, helping the Hornets transition from defense to offense. Lanzillo is strong with the ball at his feet and will help distribute as the Hornets hit on the counter. Senior Colin True and juniors Matt Hyland and Dan Rowe will join Lanzillo in the Hornets’ midfield. Junior Dylan Buchanan is back for his third year with the squad and will play up top alongside Aiden Steele.
2019 Record: 18-1-2 2019 Finish: D2 State Finalists Coach: Antonio Pinta
Milford arrives in the Kelley-Rex division with a huge target on its back. Coming off back-to-back Davenport division titles and a trip to the D2 State Final a season ago, the Hawks enter their new division as the favorite. But game in and game out, Milford can expect to get everyone’s best.
First-year head coach Antonio Pinto might be new to the varsity position but has been with the program during this successful run as an assistant and JV coach. It will all start with the reigning HockomockSports Player of the Year and Hockomock League MVP Leo Coelho, who can play just about any position on the pitch at a high level. If there is a need to shut down a high-powered offense, you might see Coelho playing defense. Or if the Hawks need a boost offensively, he can just as easily move up front and provide creativity in the final third.
The Hawks are far from a one-trick pony with both Lucas Da Silva (eight goals, seven assists) and Joao Pedro Da Silva (six goals, three assists) back in the mix this season. Replacing the Hockomock’s leading scorer in Pedro Araujo (25 goals, 11 assists) will be tough but we saw the Hawks do just that when Araujo took over for former HockomockSports Player of the Year Wallison de Oliveira.
Defensively, the Hawks will be strong up the middle. Junior Kevin Gomes returns to start in goal for the Hawks after getting valuable experience there during last year’s season and deep playoff run. And junior Chris Tocci is back in the heart of the defense at centerback after a breakout sophomore campaign. While the new regulations will certainly challenge the Hawks defensively with heading and slide tackling banned, Milford should have a big advantage offensively because of their strong possession skills.
“I’m very excited to be out there with the guys this season,” Pinto said. “We are ready to play no matter what the rules and conditions are! We’re ecstatic to have a season.”
2019 Record: 9-7-4 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Geoff Burgess
The Rocketeers and head coach Geoff Burgess have found a recipe for success over the past couple of seasons and will be looking to replicate that again this year. Defense always comes first for the Rocketeers, who allowed just 0.68 goals per game last year. While every team is being forced to make changes because of the new modifications due to COVID-19, the Rocketeers might be affected more than most with heading, slide tackles, and shoulder-to-shoulder challenges banned.
But the Rocketeers have adjusted during the preseason and will be relying on defense and goalkeeping once again this season. Replacing two-time HockomockSports Best XI selection Kyle Briere in net won’t be easy but the North Attleboro is turning to junior David Floyd, who is one of the most athletic players on the team this season according to Burgess. The Rocketeers also boast one of the best centerback combinations in the league with seniors Justin Silva and Donovan Carter back in the fold this year. With a season of experience playing together, it will be tough for teams to find ways to get by the defense anchored by that duo.
While defense remains a top priority for the Big Red, that doesn’t mean North isn’t a dangerous team in the attacking third. As they’ve shown over the past two seasons, speed can kill. Relying on the counterattack and set pieces for the majority of their offensive chances, North brings back senior forward Matt Conley (one goal, five assists) to try and beat defenses with his speed and skill. Junior Connor Ward will have a lot to say about the pace the Rocketeers play at as he orchestrates the team from the center of the pitch.
“With an abbreviated season and a large senior class, we hope to challenge OA for the league title,” Burgess said. “This will obviously be a huge challenge but our defense will be tough to breakdown and you can’t lose if the other team does not score.”
2019 Record: 15-4-0 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal Coach: John Barata
Oliver Ames has reached the D2 State Final three times since 2014 and with a large group of experienced and skilled players back from last year’s team that went 15-4, another trip to the finals might have been in the cards for 2020. But with postseason canceled due to COVID-19, the Tigers are looking to make as big of an impact as they can.
After a four-year stint in the Kelley-Rex, one that included a pair of division titles (2017 and 2019), the Tigers are back in the Davenport division where they won five titles in the first six years after the Hockomock split. OA brings back nine players that either started or saw a good amount of minutes on the pitch last year, highlighted by HockomockSports Best XI selections Colin Milliken, Brady deVos, and Kevin Louhis. Milliken will help the Tigers transition from defense to offense from his center mid spot, Louhis will be a go-to option on the offensive end, and deVos is back to anchor the defense for the second straight season.
The Tigers will have plenty of options to go along with Milliken (10 goals, 14 assists) and Louhis (4 goals, 9 assists) in the attacking third. Jimmy Keane (six goals, one assist) bolsters the midfield while Anthony DaCosta (six goals, one assist) has improved each of the past two seasons and will be a handful for opposing defenses. Senior Matthew Nikiciuk really emerged as a force in the middle of the pitch last season and will be a big part of the offense, especially through set pieces. Both Mathias Taylor and Dillon Cupples burst onto the scene a year ago and will be in the mix as the Tigers push forward.
Senior goalie Drew Nickla returns in net after a strong year in 2019. The Tigers graduated the most from the defensive unit so the early challenge will be developing chemistry quickly in the backline. Head coach John Barata is also looking for Ben Cohen, Michael Haikal, and Hector Bucio as viable options for the Tigers while sophomore Jake Williams and freshmen Ryan Linhares, Joey Carney, and Diego Rivera are new faces to keep an eye out for.
“We are looking forward to competing this fall and enjoying the opportunity to grow as people and players,” Barata said. “This is a unique situation for a very unique group of players and we are going to make the best of it and play the best soccer we can. These young men are fantastic and we are going to have a great time this season regardless of the on field results…but we hope to have a few of those too!”
2019 Record: 6-7-5 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Scott Nathan
The Eagles enter the 2020 campaign with a chip on their shoulder, coming up just one point shy of the state tournament a year ago. While Sharon can’t make up for that with a tournament appearance this year with the playoffs canceled due to COVID-19, the Eagles can certainly make some noise while challenging for the Davenport division title.
Sharon said goodbye to a handful of experienced veterans including Michael Baur, Brian Higgins, and Isaiah Stessman, but first-year head coach Scott Nathan has a group of proven players plus a bunch of news faces eager to make their mark. Senior captain Bryce Nathan and junior captain James Zhang will lead the way both on and off the pitch this year as the Eagles compete for the Davenport crown.
Bryce Nathan is one of the most versatile players in the league, playing anywhere from defense to striker during his tenure with the Eagles. Zhang, fresh off an impressive sophomore campaign, is very confident with the ball at his feet and does a nice job distributing from the center of the pitch. Sophomore Matthew Baur is back in goal after getting a varsity season under his belt. Rhys Davis and Brandon Mauricio highlight a list of returners defensively while Coby Jacobson, Samid Khandaker, Adam Landstein, Aaron Livshin, and Daniel Zagoren are all back with varsity experience as well.
The Eagles will focus on a sound defense first before transitioning into offense. Patience will be key this year as Sharon looks to make the most of each opportunity as they push forward. Brady Daylor, Malachi Diaz, Adam Eastman, Daniel Fishman, Amjad Kordab, Jack Landstein, Rohan Prakash, Elliot Pototsky Nicholas Rincon, Aaron Tamkin, Jeffrey Xiang, and Tony Yang are new to the varsity level and will be looking to make an impact on the pitch for the Eagles in 2020.
“The game will be different…for players, coaches, referees, and fans,” Scott Nathan said. “I am just happy for the boys that they have the opportunity to play the game they love!”
2019 Record: 3-13-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jon Grant
With a year of experience under coach Jon Grant, the Black Knights are aiming to have a bounce back year and compete with the top teams in the Davenport division.
There were plenty of bumps in the road during the 2019 season but Stoughton certainly showed some bright spots, including wins over Mansfield and Canton. Now the Black Knights will try to compete in each game and string some results together. Captain Nolan Gerome returns in goal for Stoughton and is among the best keepers in the league. Opposing head coaches have raved about saves Gerome has made over the past couple of seasons and he will be the anchor of the Black Knights’ defensive unit.
Playing in front of Gerome will be senior captain Ryan Sears and junior Owen Roddy, who both played valuable minutes last year. With a good amount of experience and skill in the back, Stoughton is hoping defense will be a cornerstone for the 2020 season. Grant is looking for Rhuan Carvalho to be a top playmaker for the Black Knights, distributing from the center of the pitch to create some offensive chances.
“Our goal for this year to improve on last season,” Grant said. “This year the players came in to the short season fairly well conditioned and with a great attitude. All the players are so grateful to have this opportunity to be back out on the field. This will definitely help us in this short season.”
2019 Record: 2-9-7 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
It’s easy to look at Taunton’s record from a season ago and make assumptions, but upon further review, the Tigers were in just about every game they played. Five of the nine losses were decided by just one goal and the Tigers had a league-high seven draws; one goal either way and the Tigers were that close to a spot in the tournament. It goes to show how competitive the league was and how important each goal is.
With a strong nucleus of players back from last year’s squad, the playoffs wouldn’t have been such a far reach for Taunton this season. But with the postseason not in play, the Tigers will shift focus on being a darkhorse in the Kelley-Rex division title hunt. The new modifications will make it tough for all teams when it comes to defending, but it will also benefit something that Taunton has plenty of: speed. The Tigers plan on utilizing their pace on both ends of the pitch, getting behind the defense on one end while using their speed defensively to fend off opposing offenses.
Taunton will be strong up the middle with senior Travis Nunes back in the heart of the pitch and sophomore Riley Rebello back to anchor the defense. Senior Hunter Cabral will give the Tigers flexibility by playing in both the midfield and up front. Head coach Taylor Whitters is looking for sophomores Joseph Renquinha Jr., Aidden Fitting, Quincy Jones-Sylvia, Jonathan Trinh, and Nathan Keenan to all be in the mix this season.
“Despite everything that has occurred in recent months, we have one of the most versatile and technically sound teams that Taunton High School Boys Soccer has seen in a long time,” Whitters said. “This group of young men have the number one factor in the success of any team: chemistry. They have the willingness to play for the team, not for themselves. I feel with their talents, abilities, and desire to work together as a unit, we will be a team to watch in our division this season.”
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The rivalry on the pitch between Attleboro and Mansfield is a clash of distinct styles. The Hornets press, counter quickly, and dominate teams physically on set pieces, while the Bombardiers play at a different pace, using short passing to move the ball up the field.
At the start of Tuesday night’s match at Alumni Field, it was the Hornets who imposed their will, forcing turnovers, keeping the ball in the attacking half, and putting loads of pressure on the Attleboro goal with a series of long throws and corners. Mansfield took advantage of that quick start to grab the lead, but slowly the Bombardiers worked themselves back into it and started to get hold of the ball.
After tying the game in the 15th minute, the Bombardiers took the lead for good with 10 minutes to go before halftime on an own goal after a Hugo Henriquez corner. Just four minutes after the break, Henriquez found time and space to curl in his second goal of the game before sealing the 4-1 win for the visitors six minutes later with a brilliant assist.
“Possessing the ball was the key,” said Attleboro coach Peter Pereira. “We’ve lost, we’ve won, we’ve seen it and now we’ve got to play some soccer.” He added with a laugh, “I haven’t had four goals in a long time.”
Senior Cam Eddy got the Hornets off to a great start with pressure down the left side of the field. His long throw from the near sideline had to be headed away at the far post and Raffi Marzella forced a save from Zackary Brown with his return header.
Just a couple minutes later, another throw from almost the same spot led to the game’s first goal. Eddy’s throw bounced around in the box and Colin Caridi was in the right spot to prod the ball home from six yards out to make it 1-0. The lead was almost immediately doubled but Brown got the slightest touch to a Tommy Lanzillo corner that skipped off the bar.
Pereira was forced to use a timeout to settle his team down. It seemed to work, as the Bombardiers started to get the ball on the deck and pass through midfield. Off their first corner of the night, freshman Esvin Morales, whose partnership with Henriquez was the key for Attleboro, forced Anthony Salisbury into a save on a low drive.
The tying goal came a minute later. A long ball out of the box was not headed cleanly by the Mansfield defense and Michael Russo showed off his strength and then pace to get by his marker and beat him to the ball in the left channel. Russo was able to find the bottom corner past Salisbury to make it 1-1.
Pereira explained, “That’s why I called a timeout and say, ‘Listen, you guys have to settle down and play to feet.’ It’s how we played Saturday night, 100 miles per hour, and they were really frustrated because they couldn’t get it in, so I was really hoping we could get a point or two today just to get us going.”
Justin Lurssen came off the bench to give Attleboro a lift on the right side and he combined with Jackson Singer to open space for Morales to have another go from the edge of the box. Minutes later, Russo played a one-two with Kevin Raczkowski but his shot flew over the bar. Singer flicked a ball into the path of Joey Soucy, who nutmegged the oncoming defender, but Salisbury was out quickly to force the forward wide and then made one of his seven saves.
It was not all one-way traffic. Mansfield had spells of dominance throughout the first half and continued to create pressure on the Attleboro back line. Caridi and Matt Hyland both had chances from in close off another half-cleared long throw and on the break Aidan Steele forced a near post save from Brown (his fifth of the half) with players open in the middle of the box.
With 10 minutes left before halftime, the game had changed. Henriquez played a driven corner to the front post where it caromed off the knee of a Mansfield defender, skimmed the post and nestled into the top corner to put Attleboro ahead.
“We’re snakebitten right now,” said Mansfield coach Steve Sheridan. “The first half we just couldn’t get anyone to finish. My biggest concern coming in was our defense this season but after the Foxboro game I thought we were all set but one of the guys is injured, so he’s out and that changed everything.”
The Bombardiers carried the momentum over into the second half and Russo created the next chance with good work on the left. The senior cut inside on his right foot and opened space for Henriquez on the edge of the box. He took a touch, looked up, and planted his shot into the corner.
Just six minutes later, the game was effectively over. Again the combination of Morales and Henriquez worked through the midfield. It was Henriquez that picked out the perfect pass, sliding a 30-yard through ball that split the Mansfield defense and allowed Singer to run free on goal. He coolly chipped the ball over the keeper.
“I have some kids who have touch,” said Pereira. “The little guys (Henriquez and Morales) can play to feet. It was a beautiful pass for the score. He knows if Jackson goes that he’s not going to miss too many.”
It was the second game, and second 4-1 loss, in as many days for the Hornets, but Sheridan is confident that they just need a few friendly bounces and some momentum to get things turned around. He said, “That Norton game (on Monday night) was supposed to be at the end of the month and we had to change it last minute. It is what it is. It’s early on and we’ll get these kinks out of the way and we’ll be ready come tournament time.”
Attleboro (1-1) will host Stoughton in its home opener on Friday, while Mansfield (0-3) will look to get its first win when it hosts Sharon.
2018 Record: 5-10-3 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
The Bombardiers have put last year’s season in the rearview mirror and are aiming to get back to the state tournament in 2019.
Attleboro will rely on its eight returners from last year’s squad plus a good amount of new faces to try and make a push for the playoffs. Senior captains Mike Russo, Nathan LaPlume, and Josh Smith will provide leadership both on and off of the field for the Bombardiers. All three have a good amount of varsity experience with LaPlume and Smith tasked with anchoring the Bombardiers’ defensive unit. Both started a season ago so the defense should be a strength to start the season. Russo started in the midfield a year ago and will be in charge of leading that unit. Attleboro will have to fill the shoes left by leading scorer Will Halben (seven goals, five assists) but there is a strong group of forwards that includes Joey Soucy, Justin Lurssen, and Hugo Henriquez — all of whom have varsity experience — that is ready to pace the offense. Patrick Raczkowski and Kevin Raczkowski should give Attleboro help defensively, junior Jackson Singer bolted academy and should give the Bombardiers a boost in the midfield while junior Zackary Brown takes over in goal.
“I am looking to get some leadership and good play from my tri-captains and I’m hoping for a better season [than last year],” said longtime head coach Peter Pereira. “The team’s attitude has been great and we are working hard.”
2018 Record: 10-7-2 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Fran Bositis
Franklin was one of the hottest teams in the league over the second half of the season last year and the Panthers are hoping to carry that momentum into 2019.
When the calendar turned to October, the Panthers finished the regular season 7-1-1. Longtime head coach Fran Bositis has the pieces to continue that success to begin this year and contend for a league title. A strong suit for the 2019 squad will be the defensive unit, featuring returning keeper Jack Rudolph and center backs Sam Stowell and Jacob Cummings. Anytime a team returns two center backs and its keeper, especially a unit that allowed just three goals in its final nine regular seasons, it’s a big positive. Matt Szczepanowski and Trevor O’Neill, both seniors, will factor in defensively as well. Sophomore Terry O’Neill anchors the midfield from the center of the pitch after a successful freshman campaign while the addition of junior Ethan Cain should give Franklin one of the top midfielder duos, and sophomore Tyler Powderly will likely play in a variety of roles. The challenge for Franklin this season will be finding a consistent offense but there is experience up top with Donny Tappin and Lucas Moura back.
“I think we have the potential to be pretty good, but it all comes one game at a time,” Bositis said. “I think if we can score some goals consistently, we can be pretty dangerous this year.”
2018 Record: 4-12-2 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mike O’Neill
King Philip begins a new chapter in program history as Mike O’Neill takes over after Nick Gale stepped down following a successful stint with the Warriors.
O’Neill will be looking to help the Warriors bounce back from a four-win season, the first time the squad missed the state tournament in over a decade. King Philip graduated nearly a dozen seniors from last year’s squad but have some key players back in key positions. Senior captain Brian McCarthy has a lot of varsity experience and O’Neill will lean on him to organize the midfield. Senior captains Wes Orzell and Matt Clarke anchor the back line and will be tasked with helping the Warriors keep possession by playing out of the back. Behind the defense, senior Grant Orzell and junior Aidan Lindmark are both strong options in goal. Juniors Evan McEvoy and Camron Lawrence both begin their third season on varsity and are poised to have big years at midfield.
“The team is eager to get started, the seniors want to make their mark after a tough season last year, and the juniors and sophomores are hungry to prove themselves,” O’Neill said. “We will need to stay organized and committed to team defending if we are going to be able to compete in the difficult Hockomock League.”
2018 Record: 13-3-5 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Steve Sheridan
The Hornets have won two division titles in the past four years and took second place in the other two seasons, so it’s safe to assume Mansfield will be in the mix once again this year.
In that span of success, Mansfield has been one of the best defensive teams year in and year out, average under a goal against in each of those seasons, including just 0.67 goals against in 2018. The big challenge this season will be replicating that stingy defense because the Hornets graduated their entire back four. The good news is that Mansfield has Anthony Salisbury back in net after he set the program record for shutouts while Cam Bovey serves as the backup keeper, though he is pushing for minutes this season. The strength of the 2019 squad will be in the midfield where senior captains Peter Oldow and Colin Caridi will be. Both have a good amount of varsity experience and will be joined by fellow returners Robbie Healey, Raffi Marzella, Tommy Lanzillo, Colin True, and Evan Eames. Sophomore Dylan Buchanan made a strong impression during his freshman season and will be joined up front by senior Owen Mullahy, who also picked up some valuable minutes a year ago.
“Our biggest question will be, ‘Who’s going to take over our defense that graduated?”, said head coach Steve Sheridan. “That is what I’m trying to figure out and hopefully it will iron itself out during the preseason.”
2018 Record: 8-4-5 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: John Barata
A lot of people learned last year what we already knew: Under head coach John Barata, Oliver Ames doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. The Tigers had to replace their entire starting lineup last season but still had a shot at the division title heading into the final week.
Oliver Ames has a healthy amount of returning players that either started or saw valuable minutes at the varsity level last year starting with seniors Jon Freeman and Matthew Nosalek, who will be key pieces along the back line for the Tigers. Senior Harry Ahearn is another experienced player that will factor in defensively, senior Josh LaBrosse could see time in the midfield or defense, and seniors Nick Farley and Andrew Hanna could get minutes up top. OA has a strong junior class that learned a lot during last season. Colin Milliken, last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year, will organize the Tigers from the midfield while Anthony DaCosta, Kevin Louhis, and Jimmy Keane are all strong attacking options. Drew Nickla will take over as the starting keeper this year.
“It is too early to tell what we will look like but I’m looking forward to a great season with the boys,” Barata said. “We are excited for the opportunity to compete this season in the Hock. There are lots of talented teams coming back, from the defending champions to the schools with new coaches ready to make a mark. It’s going to be one of the toughest seasons in my tenure and we hope to be competitive.”
2018 Record: 3-12-4 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
While the record might not reflect it, it felt like Taunton took a step in the right direction last year, and the Tigers are expecting to take another one this season.
One area of improvement that head coach Taylor Whitters is excited about is the defensive group. The Tigers had the most goals allowed in the Kelley-Rex division but have a reinforced back line ready to fend off the top offenses the Hockomock League has to offer. Senior Colton Medeiros, who had a terrific freshman year before missing time to academy and injury, will anchor the defense in the middle alongside freshman Riley Rebelo. Khalil Ba, a transfer in from Tolman, gives Taunton an outside back that can join in on the attack, while Nolan Melo returns as the starting keeper. Alec Nunes and Colby Fernandes are two dynamic, experienced players that can play both in the midfield or up front. Junior Travis Nunes returns from injury and classmate Hunter Cabral is a versatile player that will play in various roles.
“We have a lot of versatility this year, we’re going to be able to move guys around based on each game,” Whitters said. “No one is locked into a position, we’re going to take it game by game this season.”
Taunton, 0 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Will Halben set up two goals and scored one himself, leading the Bombardiers to a big win at home. Halben had two assists in the opening half, setting up sophomore Justin Lurssen twice as the Bombardiers took a 2-0 advantage into halftime. Joey Soucy and Halben scored in the second half for Attleboro.
Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Sharon scored first and last, the final tally in the final five minutes to earn a draw with visiting Foxboro. Junior Michael Baur opened the scoring on a corner kick to put the Eagles up 1-0. Foxboro tied things up with under two minutes to go in the first half when Dylan Barreira finished off a service from Brian Gardner. Gardner put Foxboro ahead in the second half with his first career goal, getting on the end of a service from Joe Cusack. Baur brought the Eagles level with a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – After a scoreless first half, Franklin scored a pair of goals early in the second half to earn a victory over visiting Oliver Ames. Tim Duval opened the scoring for the Panthers off an assist from Nitin Chaudhury. Before the 50th minute, the Panthers added to their lead when Nick Barry set up Donny Tappin to make it 2-0.
Mansfield, 1 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Mansfield grabbed the lead late in the first half and fended off the Warriors the rest of the way to grab two points on the road. Freshman Dylan Buchanan headed in a corner kick from Luke Savoie in the 32nd minute for the game-winner. Cam Bovey made eight saves for the Hornets to record the shutout.
Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 9 – Final – Milford junior Walisson de Oliveira scored three goals in the first half as the Hawks picked up a big win at home. de Oliveira finished with four goals and an assist as Milford assumed a 4-0 lead at half. Anthony Salvador and Omar Lema each had a goal and an assist, and Lucas Da Silva and Pedro Da Silva each scored once for Milford. Leo Coelho, Jordan Borges, and Tiago Carvalho all had one assist. Stoughton’s Ted Lucas scored his second goal of the season, heading in a corner from John Neves.
Attleboro @ Taunton, 6:30
North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Canton scored less than a minute into the contest but North Attleboro was able to pull even before the break, and that’s how the game finished. After the Bulldogs seized a 1-0 lead in the first minute, North Attleboro’s Ashlyn Gaulin scored in the 19th minute off an assist from Kayla Pasqual to level the score. North Attleboro head coach Bill Wallace said Haley Ferrin, Lydia Santos, Bri Westcott and Sam Hawkins played well in the middle for Big Red.
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final – Foxboro earned a big win at home and clinched the Davenport division title outright, the program’s first Hock championships since 1993. Lizzy Davis had a goal (assisted by Kailee McCabe) and two assists, setting up Jordyn Collins twice as Foxboro rolled at home. Collins also had an assist, setting up Kenzi Fraser. Kailee McCabe, Katelyn Mollica, and Yara Fawaz all scored once for Foxboro.
Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames took a 1-0 lead late in the first half but Franklin equalized early in the second half to help the Panthers grab a point on the road. Daniella Ferrini put OA ahead in the 38th minute but Sam Powderly tied things up in the 44th minute on an assist from Anna Balkus. Bre Atwood had 10 saves in net for the Panthers while Emily Meyers and Emma O’Donnell both had strong games in net for the Tigers.
Milford, 5 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Stoughton’s goal was scored by Gabi Diaz on an assist from Nicole Weir.
Taunton, 1 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton scored just seconds into the game and held on the rest of the way to earn the win and punch its ticket to the postseason. Alana Tavares scored 22 seconds into the game on an assist from Cierra Bartel for the lone goal of the game. Taunton coach Liz Hathaway said Jocelyn Pagliuca, Jillian Pagliuca, and Lauren Torres all had strong games and goalie Emma Sheehan made 11 saves for the shutout.
Canton, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final
Foxboro, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back against visiting Oliver Ames. Regan Paterson (from Ashley Reutlinger) opened the scoring in the 7th minute, Amanda Lewandowski (from Cassi Ronan) made it 2-0 in the 11th minute, and Victoria Quinn (from Lewandowski) scored in the 18th minute for the 3-0 lead. Ronan (from Lewandowski) made it 4-0 midway through the second half. Georgia Costello got the Tigers on the board on an assists from Kayla Lozzi. Anna Jardine had eight saves for the Panthers while Kara Orstrander made 10 saves for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game – Stoughton opened the scoring before the midway point of the opening half but Milford knotted the game before the break, and that’s how the game finished. After a good hustle play from Brittani Paul, Haley Nelson put a shot on goal and Allie Howe knocked in the rebound to put Stoughton up 1-0. In the 23rd minute, Milford’s Tatiana Martinez found classmate Kathryn Swineford open in front for the tying goal.
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip scored once in each half to earn a hard fought win over visiting Mansfield. The Warriors took the lead in the 18th minute when Claire Lawler found the back of the cage on a pass from Meghan MacDonald. KP added an insurance goal at the midway point of the second half as Alli Meehan scored on an assist from Kate Lindmark.
Taunton, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro defended its home court, knocking off visiting Taunton 3-2 (26-24, 25-15, 15-25, 21-25, 15-10). Attleboro won the first two sets but Taunton rallied to tie it 2-2 before the Bombardiers prevailed in the fifth set. Ana Leonardo had 13 assists, six kills, and four aces, Amanda Kadisveskis added seven kills, five blocks, three aces, and three assists, and Chelsea Calcagni finished with eight kills and a pair of aces for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – After falling behind 1-0, the Rocketeers rattled off three straight wins to stun the Bulldogs, 3-1 (22-25, 27-25, 26-24, 25-23). Hayley Gaskin paced the North Attleboro offense while 41 assists with Tatiana Sotelo (22 kills) and Kylie Melanson (18 kills) leading the charge at the net. For Canton, Erin Devine had 10 kills and five blocks, and Nicole brown finished with 28 assists, 20 digs, and four kills.
Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin took care of business on its home court, handing Oliver Ames a 3-0 loss (25-17, 25-17, 25-18). Lauren McGrath dished out 26 assists for the Panthers with Maggie Doyle (four aces) recording nine kills and Lily Galluccio adding seven kills. Riley Marino anchored the Panther defense with 12 digs. For Oliver Ames, Jordan Bosse had 12 kills, Allie Kemp handed out 20 assists and Sadie Homer finished with 23 digs.
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip defended home court with a 3-0 sweep of Mansfield (25-18, 25-21, 25-11). Shayla Weitzman had a strong game for the Warriors with eight aces, nine digs, and 18 service points, Nicole Coughlan added eight kills and three blocks, and Lily Carlow chipped in with seven digs and a pair of aces. Emily Dardinski led the Hornet offense with six kills, while Greenly Kelly and Olivia McGrath each finished with five kills apiece.
Stoughton, 3 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Stoughton prevailed with a 3-2 win on the road over Milford. Delaney Nagel went on a tear at the service line, finishing with seven aces in the fifth set to help the Knights grab the win. Amaya Morris led the Black Knights offensively with 14 kills and 12 blocks, while Molly Turner and Hanna Holden combined for 21 kills.
Attleboro, 21 @ Dartmouth, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (D) Dylan Pacheco 8-yard pass to Nathan Oliver, XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (A) Jason Weir 1-yard rush, 2pt failed; (A) Isaac Gudiel 55-yard interception return, Justin Cote 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (A) J. Cote 4-yard rush, Colby Briggs XP good.
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 17 – Final First Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 35-yard field goal.
Second Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 1-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Third Quarter: No scoring.
Fourth Quarter: (KP) R. Halliday 3-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Mansfield, 14 vs. Everett, 41 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Nick Marciano 4-yard rush, Nico Holmes XP good; (E) Dillon Doherty 2-yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (E) D. Doherty 37-yard pass to Tyrese Baptiste, XP blocked; (E) D. Doherty 51-yard pass to Mike Sainristil, 2pt conversion good; (E) D. Doherty 36-yard pass to M. Sainristil, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (E) D. Doherty 10-yard pass to Eli Auguste, XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 1-yard rush, N. Holmes XP good; (E) Jaden Mahabir 1-yard rush, XP good.
North Attleboro, 19 vs. Bishop Feehan, 23 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 70-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (BF) Safety.
2nd Quarter: (BF) Tim Ambrosia 5-yard rush, XP blocked; (NA) T. DeMattio 25-yard field goal; (NA) T. DeMattio 28-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (BF) T. Ambrosia 1-yard rush, T. Ambrosia 2pt pass to Nick Norko.
4th Quarter: (BF) T. Ambrosia 1-yard rush, William Lynch XP good; (NA) Brendan McHugh 8-yard rush, XP no good.
Oliver Ames, 18 vs. Silver Lake, 28 – Final
Sharon, 7 @ Ashland, 14 – Final
Stoughton, 7 vs. Catholic Memorial, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (CM) Darius LeClair 1-yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (CM) Owen McGowan 7-yard rush, O. McGowan 2pt rush; (CM) Barrett Pratt 2-yard rush, 2pt failed; (S) Jeff Grier 18-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Taunton, 27 vs. Durfee, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 15-yard pass to Brayden Merrill, Coby Adams XP good.
2nd Quarter: (T) Tryton Zavala 11-yard rush, C. Adams XP good; (T) T. Zavala 4-yard rush, C. Adams XP good; (T) N. Leonard 18-yard pass to Wesner Charles, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (D) Elijah Concepcion 8-yard rush, XP good.
Attleboro, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Attleboro scored three times in the second half to earn a win on the road. The Bombardiers had four different goal scorers on the day. Will Halben opened the scoring on an assist from Mike Russo but Stoughton’s John Neves tied the game going into halftime. Alex Naughton (from Joey Soucy), Justin Lurssen (from Russo), and Hugo Henriquez (from Soucy) scored in the second half for Attleboro.
Franklin, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton scored once in each half to secure two points with a win over visiting Franklin. Simon Cruz opened the scoring in the 32nd minute as the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead into the break. Paul Corcoran made it 2-0 just five minutes into the second half. Alejandro Correal notched his first career shutout.
Taunton, 2 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final
King Philip, 1 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Milford’s Lucas Da Silva scored twice in a two minute span to help the Scarlet Hawks complete the comeback. KP took the lead at the midway point of the second half on a goal from Justin Wilson but Da Silva tied it two minutes later, finishing off a flick from Walisson de Oliveira to make it 1-1. Just two minutes later, Joey Madden’s long throw was flicked on by Leo Coelho and finished by Da Silva to make it 2-1. de Oliveira, Anthony Salvador and Cam Doherty played well for Milford.
Mansfield, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s Owen Mullahy scored in the final seconds of the game to help the Hornets grab a point on the road. Sharon took the lead in the first half off a free kick but Mansfield cashed in on a long throw to get the tie. Sharon’s Brian Higgins gave the Eagles the lead with a left-footed shot off a free kick. In the final sesconds, Mansfield’s Cam Eddy’s throw was kept in the box by Sam Nugent, and he found Mullahy in close for the tying tally. Nugent, Ethan Brill-Cass, and Colin Caridi had strong games for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 0 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro scored three times in the second half to pull out the win. Isabella Salviati scored a goal and assisted on another and Jess Gates had a pair of assists for the Bombardiers. Briley Harnois opened the scoring off a Salviatie assist. Salviati added the second from Gates and then Sam Fasoldt made it 3-0 with a header off a Gates corner. Attleboro coach Steve Santos is Gates controlled the midfield and Sophia Salviati played well in defense. Ashley Macia earned the clean sheet. Stoughton goalie Brianna Buckley had a strong first half, according to head coach Tara Daniels, to keep the game scoreless. Daniels added that moving Gabi Diaz from midfield to sweeper also helped organize the defense.
Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Olivia Rodman opened the scoring for the Bulldogs but Franklin responded within five minutes on a tying goal by Halle Atkinson. Freshman Stella Regan gave the Panthers the lead and then late in the game Sydney St. Marie added an insurance goal to seal the win.
Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Steph Kemp had two goals and an assist and Cassidy McMahon had a brace for the Hornets. Melissa Reef, Sydney Mulkern, and Karina Gemiani each had an assist in the win.
Milford, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Chloe Layne scored twice and Avery Snead had a goal and an assist to keep KP perfect in the league. Snead scored the eventual game-winner with a header off a Faye Veillieux corner after 15 minutes. Nine minutes later, Layne scored from the penalty spot to double the lead before halftime. With 20 minutes left, Layne volleyed in a Snead cross to end the scoring. Taylor Butler made five saves for her third clean sheet of the season.
Attleboro @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – The Rocketeers took the lead on a goal by Abby Calistra, but the Tigers scored three straight in the second half to get the win. Hannah Stryke tied the game off a penalty corner, with Maggie Woods picking up the assist. Kayla Lozzi completed a three-on-one break to give OA the lead and Woods added a goal to her earlier assist when she knocked in a rebound off the goalie’s pads. OA coach Sharon Lawrence also praised the midfield play of Meaghan Rockey and Brynna Courneen and the defending of Emily Han. Kara Ostrander made three saves to preserve the win.
King Philip, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip raced out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and never looked back in a win over Milford. Nicole Connor opened the scoring with an unassisted tally (23:51), Dana Truini converted a pass from Kate Lindmark (13:32), and Alli Meehan made it 3-0 off of a pass from Connor (1:39). In the second half, Lindmark scored on an assist from Meehan (16:24) and Meegan capped the scoring with 11:50 on a pass from Olivia Kulesza. Grace May and Mackenzie Manning combined for the shutout in net for KP.
Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – The Black Knights stayed unbeaten with a three-set win (25-10, 25-19, 25-22). Stoughton coach Erica Batchelder said the team “played together and shared the ball.” Mia Bennett had a strong game in the back row and Alexa Quinones had a great overall performance in the win. Attleboro’s Chelsea Calcagni had seven aces and two kills while Hailey Thake added two kills and a block.
Franklin, 3 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Franklin picked up an impressive win over a good Canton team, taking a 3-1 decision (25-21, 13-25, 25-21, 25-9) over the Bulldogs. For Canton, Julia Minichello played great defense with 14 digs and three aces and Nicole Brown was fantastic with 22 assists, 24 digs and four kills.
Taunton, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Taunton secured its second win of the season with 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20) win on the road at Foxboro. Jaime Brown paced the offense with 16 assists, five aces and a block while Sam Martin added five kills, an ace and a block for the Tigers. Sam Silveira had a strong all around game with three kills, two blocks, and 11 aces while Mckenzie Lucie solidified the back row with strong serve receive and defensive play (six digs).
King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final – King Philip went on the road and picked up a 3-1 win over Milford (25-23, 21-25, 25-9, 25-14). Grace Ely paced the offense with nine kills and two aces while Catherine Waldeck added nine kills and two blocks, Nicole Coughlan chipped in with five kills, three aces four blocks, Emma Brooks added six aces, and Lillian Carlo led the defense with five digs.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – The Rocketeers took the final set 15-6 to earn a hard-fought 3-2 (25-17, 15-25, 25-23, 17-25, 15-6) victory. Tatian Sotelo led North with eight kills while Emma Gunn added seven kills. Hayley Gaskin had 15 assists, Joanna Collins-Bilyeu added 12 assists and Lizi Buron anchored the defense with 13 digs. Junior Jordan Bosse led the Tigers with 10 kills and three aces in defeat. OA also got 28 digs and three aces from Sadie Homer and four kills, four blocks, and two aces from Jackie Raymond.
Mansfield, 1 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Mansfield won the third set to prevent the sweep but Sharon finished off the match to earn a 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22) win. For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had 14 kills, Emily Dardinski added 10 kills, and Sam Sternberg had 14 digs.
Canton, 155 @ North Attleboro, 160 – Final – Four Bulldogs shot sub-40 rounds to earn the Davenport win. Tommy Dimock shot a medalist round of 38 to lead the way, while Chris Lavoie, Mike Gobbi and Thomas Singleton each shot rounds of 39. Marcus Costa had North’s low score of the day with a 39. Jillian Barend and Matt Wanless each shot rounds of 40 and Justin Strom shot a 41 for the Rocketeers.
King Philip, 169 @ Franklin, 166 – Final – Matt D’Errico shot a 38 to lead the way for the Panthers in a close match at Franklin Country Club. Franklin also got a round of 41 from Quintin Faro and a 42 from Jake Blaney. KP was led by Kayla Shuberth, who shot a 40.
Attleboro, 178 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Thomas Walsh shot a medalist round of 35 in wet conditions to lead the Tigers to their first win of the season. Tate Hadges shot a 38, Liam Barry shot a 39, and James Walsh finished with a 41 for OA. Attleboro’s low round belonged to Ethan Johnson, who shot a 42.
“More importantly than the goal, he defended their best player,” Pereira said. “We were trying to find someone to finish, we tried subbing too. It was good for Josh to get it. He’s a solid player, he’s not a flashy player but he’s very smart.”
For the majority of the game, Smith was tasked with dealing with a Bulldogs’ offense that scored four goals in their season opener just days earlier against Marshfield. But he was able to give Attleboro the lead just inside the final 10 minutes.
After a free kick was partially cleared by the Bulldogs’ defense, junior Michael Russo delivers a service back into the area. Sophomore Joey Soucy ran onto it and fired a one-time shot from in close. Canton keeper Alejandro Correal made a terrific first save but the rebound popped loose and Smith was there to tap it in for a 1-0 lead.
“It was a good win, the kids are excited,” Pereira said. Attleboro was the last of the 12 Hockomock teams to kickoff its 2018 campaign. “They’ve been ready to go, everyone else has been playing. They were nervous in the first half but then we settled down and it was a totally different team out there for us in the second half.”
The game was loaded was chances for both sides but it wasn’t until Smith’s goal in the final 10 minutes either side broke through.
With Canton down a goal and pushing for an equalizer, Attleboro senior Will Halben gained possession just over half after a turnover. He went at the defense with pace, getting by his mark and rifling a shot into the far corner to make it 2-0 in the 77th minute.
“Towards the end of the game, when you’re up by a goal, he can be deadly,” Pereira said of Halben, who has been the Bombardiers’ leading scorer for the past two years. “He had a couple of chances earlier too and he’ll get a couple of those each game, but it was nice to have him finish.”
The Bulldogs had the better of play for the first 40 minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net. Griffin Roach had a header off Paul Corcoran’s throw-in saved by Attleboro keeper Andre Menard in the opening 15 minutes.
The best chance came off the foot of TJ McCabe. After winning possession near midfield, the sophomore beat off two defenders to gain some space before ripping a hard shot from 25 yards out that just sailed over the crossbar.
“You can’t play 40 minutes of the first half where you’re really on your front foot dominating and not score a goal and think you’re going to win a game, you can’t do that in the Hockomock League,” said Canton head coach Danny Erickson, now in his 26th season at the helm of the Bulldogs.
“Attleboro is too good a team for that. I thought we played great soccer today, pretty much start to finish. I thought the second half was even, we both had some chances. I thought we dominated the first half but Attleboro was clean with a couple finishes in the end and that was the difference. But that was a great Hockomock League game. We could have come out on top but Attleboro deserved it today.”
The first half hour of the second half was full of goal scoring chances, including two from Canton inside the first 15 minutes. Corcoran linked up with McCabe, who found Cruz but his chance was turned aside. Two minutes later, Roach once again got his head on a throw by Corcoran but it went just over the bar.
Attleboro countered two minutes later when Brady Holander’s service connected to Justin Lurssen but Correal made a nice diving save to keep the game level.
The Bombardiers next best chance came 10 minutes later when Eli Araujo played Halben into space behind the defense and the senior got past Correal but was forced wide enough by the keeper where his tough angle shot went high.
“The first half, they had the play and then in the second half I thought we outplayed them a little bit,” Pereira said. “They are a good team, they play physical, they play quick, they have size. That was a good game. You knew whoever got the first goal was going to get the win. We ended up with two nice ones.”
Attleboro boys soccer (1-0 Hockomock, 1-0 overall) faces another stiff challenge on Wednesday when it welcomes Mansfield (2-0) to Tozier-Cassidy Field. Canton (0-1, 1-1) will try to bounce back when it hits the road to take on Foxboro on the same day.
2017 Record: 4-9-5 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
Attleboro is aiming to use a strong nucleus of returning players to get back into the state tournament after a couple of years of being on the outside looking in.
“We are excited about the team and looking forward to doing well in the Hockomock, which is not an easy task since there is a lot of talent and good teams in the league,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira.
The Bombardiers bring back a seasoned group of defenders that will hopefully give them stability in the back. Colin Levis brings the most varsity experience to the group and will be joined by Connor Dunn, Josh Smith, and Nathan LaPlume. Senior transfer Aaron Flynn and classmates Jared Cooper and Alex Naughton give the Bombardiers a solid group of veterans in the back. Seniors Andre Menard and Tyler Biller are candidates for the starting goalie position.
Pereira has a lot of options to work with in the midfield, including senior Aidan Lancaster. Lancaster has experience playing defense as well so can provide an extra layer of defense when needed. Another familiar face back in midfield will be Michael Russo, who showed flashes of great skill during his sophomore season. Russo and Lancaster will be joined by Brady Holander, Hugo Henriquez, Kevin Raczkowski and Patrick Raczkowski.
There will be another familiar face up front as Will Halben returns as the feature striker. Halben has been Attleboro’s leading scorer the past two seasons and will be a major factor up front again this year. Eli Araujo, Joey Soucy, Justin Lurssen, and Guilherme Machado are expected to provide help up top as well.
2017 Record: 5-9-4 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Fran Bositis
After going through some growing pains throughout the 2017 season, the Panthers are looking to make it back to the state tournament.
It all starts with the Panthers’ three senior captains, who will be relied upon to help Franklin compete in a very talented Kelley-Rex division.
Nitin Chaudhury, Nick Barry, and Sam Stowell are all veteran players and will be joined by 10 other returners from last year’s team that got better as the season went on. The Panthers must replace talented goalie Freddie Beckmann but head coach Fran Bositis is expecting good things from junior Jack Rudolph because of his excellent athletic ability.
Chaudhury will once again be the engine of the team from the midfield position while Stowell is back for his third year in the heart of the Panthers’ defense. Jacob Cummings will be another weapon for Franklin in the midfield while senior Tim Duval and junior Donny Tappin return up top.
“As always we are looking forward to competing in the very competitive Hockomock League,” Bositis said.
2017 Record: 11-8-2 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Nick Gale
The Warriors have had back-to-back successful seasons and are looking to make it three straight, despite losing six experienced starters to graduation.
While King Philip certainly has some shoes to fill, head coach Nick Gale has a lot of options to work with and is aiming to make another appearance in the state tournament.
Senior captains Zac White, Tony Bozza, and John Cullen have all seen plenty of varsity minutes over the past couple of seasons and are ready to lead the 2018 Warriors. White and Cullen will be major factors in the midfield while Bozza gives the Warriors some pace up top. White and Cullen will be joined in the midfield by a trio of sophomores – Evan McEvoy, Camron Lawrence, and Ajae Olsen – all of whom saw some minutes as freshmen a year ago.
KP’s defense has been among the best in the league over the past two seasons but will need some new faces to step up to continue that trend this year. The Warriors do have some experience with senior Andrew Thompson and juniors Brian McCarthy and Wesley Orzell all expected to step up in the back for KP.
“We’re a much smaller team this year, but we haven’t lost our willingness to fight while defending,” Gale said. “Our focus will be on improving team defending and our ability to press intelligently. We have defenders returning with varsity experience and they’re committed to working together to ensure we’re organized and defending as a team.”
2017 Record: 10-3-6 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Steve Sheridan
Although Mansfield graduated over a dozen seniors, and the majority of its starting lineup, the Hornets have a strong presence in the middle of the pitch and are looking to build off that to compete for the Kelley-Rex title.
The Hornets bring back EMass All Star Sam Nugent at center back and he’ll be joined by Ethan Brill-Cass, who had a bright sophomore season but missed all of last year due to injury. Mansfield’s defense will feature all seniors as Derek Meuth and Matt O’Donnell fill out the back four for the Hornets. Tony Salisbury and Cam Bovey are competing for the starting spot in goal.
Mansfield also has seniors Luke Savoie and Luke Devine back in the center of the pitch to patrol the midfield. Both Savoie and Devine were key pieces for last year’s Hornets team, which came within one point from earning a share of the league title with OA. One spot that Mansfield is looking for new faces is up top, but options include Colin Caridi, Owen Mullahy, and Raffi Marzella.
“Having to fill the loss of 14 seniors from last season is going to be challenging,” said MHS head coach Steve Sheridan. “We have a variety of guys on offense that I’ll be expecting big things from, time will tell who will step up.”
2017 Record: 15-3-4 (Kelley-Rex Champions) 2017 Finish: Reached D2 State Final Coach: John Barata
It’s not often a team graduates its entire starting lineup and then some, but that’s the situation defending Kelley-Rex champions Oliver Ames finds itself in.
The Tigers lost a whopping 20 seniors to graduation and return just four players from last year’s roster so it there will be a completely new look for OA in 2018. But that doesn’t mean the standards will be any lower for the Tigers, who have made three state final appearances in the last four years.
“We have a completely new team and we are looking forward to working hard,” said OA head coach John Barata. “Our primary objective is to get better every day and try to compete in a very difficult and talented Hockomock League.”
OA’s defense was among the best in the entire state last season, allowing just 15 goals in 22 games played. Barata will be looking for Aaron MacDonald, Andrew Leite, Harry Ahearn, Matthew Nosalek, and Jon Freeman to step up and fill in the spots along the back line. Senior Jacob Lerman and sophomore Drew Nickla are battling for the starting spot in goal.
On the offensive side of the ball, Barata is looking for contributions from Colin Milliken, Anthony DaCosta, Matt Nikiciuk, Sean Flaherty, Niko Byron, Kevin Louhis and Haendal Louhis to carry to load.
2017 Record: 3-14-2 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
A solid nucleus returning from last season and more cohesiveness are two of the top reasons for optimism for the Taunton High boys soccer team.
The Tigers have players back all over the field and are hoping that the combination of experience and some fresh faces leads to a competitive season in a very competitive division. Junior Nolan Melo made a splash last season when he took over as starting keeper and looks to be one of the top players at that position in the league.
Senior Evan Melo will be tasked with anchoring the defense from his center back position while Taunton will look for some new faces to step alongside him. Colby Fernandes returns to his defensive midfield spot and Liam Crowley is back as the attacking midfielder in the middle to give the Tigers a nice steady presence up the center of the pitch.
Leading scorer Brett Beaulieu (nine goals, four assists) is back as the featured striker while Alec Nunes can either pair with Beaulieu up top or drop into the midfield when needed. Kyle Aubin is another returning midfield option for the Tigers.
“We have seven returning starters this season and a team with solid technical ability as well as great team chemistry and athleticism,” said Taunton head coach Taylor Whitters.