By HockomockSports.com Staff
2021 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview
2020 Record: 5-3-6
Coach: Lindsey Antunes
With a large senior class full of experience, the Bombardiers are looking to make the tournament and a run at the Kelley-Rex division title. Attleboro has players back all over the field and could be a serious contender for the division crown.
The offense starts with returning All-Hockomock selection Madison Ellis, who enters her third year with the team. Ellis has been one of the best attackers over the past two years, leading the Bombardiers during last year’s abbreviated season and was third on the team as a sophomore. Classmate Sarah McMahon should see an expanded role this year and will be tasked with helping pace the offensive attack for Attleboro.
Defensively, the Bombardiers have senior Ava Haggerty back in the cage and that is a big boost for the defense. Haggerty has started since her sophomore year and is one of the most experienced goalies in the league. Stand out defender Emma Briggs will anchor the defensive unit in front of Haggerty. Senior captain Emelia Westwater and classmate Jordan Croteau highlight the midfield unit for Attleboro.
“We are looking forward to transitioning back into the 11v11 model and a more traditional season,” said head coach Lindsay Antunes. “We have a great senior class, who has been working diligently in the offseason which we feel will positively impact our program and our overall season.”
2020 Record: 8-2-2
Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
After missing out on back-to-back league titles but just two points, Canton graduated a host of long-serving players. Despite those graduations, the Bulldogs return several key players who are looking to step into bigger roles and help the team get back on top in what should be another difficult Davenport division title race.
Canton will obviously feel the loss of the league’s co-leading scorer, Maria Femia, but the Bulldogs have a lot of attacking talent that should be able to make up for at least some of those goals. Junior forward Ellie Bohane is a three-year varsity player and her quickness on the wing and finishing ability have her poised for a breakout year. Senior Erin Lane has been a playmaker from midfield and classmate Payton McDonough is a skillful, physical presence in midfield or inside the circle. Senior Sarah Cunningham and junior Audrey Koen will also be factors in what remains a dynamic attack.
The defense will be a young group this season. Senior Carly Fitzgerald is the lone returning starter and will be the backbone of the defensive unit. Junior Carolyn Durand and Jackie Smith are vying to take over the goalie position and there are several younger players that look capable of jumping into the defense and contributing right away. Sophomore Maggie McCready will be one of the newcomers to keep an eye on this year.
“Offensively we have some versatility with several players with scoring potential,” said Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor. “While we have several slots to fill on defense, we have our returning starter Carly Fitzgerald, who will undoubtedly be the backbone of our defense.”
2020 Record: 7-3-2
Coach: Melissa Bordieri
Foxboro slipped to third place in the Davenport last fall, but was only four points back of first-place Oliver Ames and went into the final week of the regular season with a shot at the title. The Warriors were impacted by graduation and transfers, so there will be some new faces in new spots this season, but there is still confidence that the pieces will come together for another division title challenge.
Even with the transfer of leading scorer Dylan Rappoli, the Warriors still have a lot of firepower up top. Senior Kate Collins will be the focal point at the center forward position, coming off a season in which she led the team with eight assists. Junior Mya Waryas and sophomore Mary Collins will be in the forward line and both have shown the ability to get into good scoring positions in the circle.
Midfield will be led by senior Paige Simoneau, who will bring much-needed experience. Alongside Simoneau will be junior Mia DiNunzio, who adds club experience to her time on varsity and adds a burst of energy. Sophomore Val Beigel is another dynamic player who can be counted on at both ends of the field. The midfield will play a big role in Foxboro’s team defense, but the Warriors can also count on two strong goalies. Senior Lilli Jones returns from varsity last year and Katherine Ferguson will make the jump up from JV and is expected to see some time this year as well.
“We’re looking good,” said Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri. “We’ve got some new players and some returning players, so I’m feeling good about it. Trying to put players in the right position to get the maximum out of the team. I think, as a unit, we’ll be a competitor in our division for sure.”
2020 Record: 11-0-2 (Kelley-Rex division champions)
Coach: Michelle Hess
Franklin has won back-to-back league titles and enters the season on a run of 30 league games unbeaten (26-0-4) going back to 2018. After graduating 11 seniors from the Hock Cup champions, the Panthers will be inexperienced at several spots this season, but there is confidence in the new players that they can step in and keep Franklin’s impressive run going this fall.
It is in attack that the Panthers will have a lot of new faces, but Franklin coach Michelle Hess sees a lot of skill from the new group, and a willingness to get into dangerous positions. Junior midfielder Kaitlyn Carney is back after tying for the league lead with 22 points last year (15 goals and seven assists). Her aggressive personality will be a major factor in getting the Panthers into the attack. Defensively, Franklin is quick and experienced. Seniors Kate O’Rourke and Kendall Jones are both returning to provide leadership at the back. Senior Jill Fenerty is carrying an injury into the season, but the Panthers will hope she returns quickly.
“We are looking forward to defending our 2-year title and working hard towards a three-peat as champions,” said Hess. “Although we are inexperienced and have some positions to fill from last year, I feel we have players that will step up nicely into their new roles and do a great job.”
2020 Record: 8-3-3
Coach: Lisa Cropper
King Philip lost three games last season and all three were to league champ Franklin, by a combined four goals, including a one-goal loss in the Hock Cup final. The Warriors graduated their three starting forwards from last year, but return a roster that is as experienced (15 seniors) as any in the league and KP coach Lisa Cropper will be hoping that they have enough experience to end her former team’s two-year run at the top of the Kelley-Rex.
While the three all-stars are no longer leading the line for the Warriors, there is still plenty of firepower up top. Seniors Sydney O’Shea and Jen Daniels will be expected to take on bigger responsibilities and get into good goal-scoring positions. Sophomore Mara Boldy and freshman Makenzie McDevitt are a pair of newcomers to watch and could provide an instant burst of energy in the KP attack. Sophomore Kelly Holmes will run things from the center of midfield and senior Christina Gifun provides support for both the attack and defense.
The strength of the team should be an experienced back line. Seniors Morgan Cunningham, Lily Brown, and Haley Izydorczak are strong on-ball defenders and, if anyone gets through the first line of pressure, senior Molly Piller is always there at sweeper to clear the ball. Junior Haley Bright will be stepping in to be the new starting goalie.
“We should have some good depth and play about 14 kids rotating thru the lineup,” said Cropper. “Losing all three starting all-star forwards and goalie to graduation, we have some big shoes to fill at both ends of the field, but we should be solid in the midfield and on defense with a senior-heavy team.”
2020 Record: 2-7-3
Coach: Theresa Nyhan
Mansfield will be leaning on its senior leadership this season but it will need to be a complete group effort as the Hornets are looking for key contributions from both its juniors and sophomores on the roster. There are seven seniors on the roster with captains Celia Puleo (striker) and Caitlin Dumouchel (defense) leading the way on each end of the field.
Puleo spearheads a veteran offensive unit as she is joined by classmates Sadie Mello and Maddie Brown, giving the Hornets a trio of experienced players in its attack. Dumouchel is the anchor of the defense with senior Bethany Sears and junior Hallie Popat currently in the mix. Head coach Theresa Nyhan expects to see some new faces emerge both offensively and defensively as the season progresses throughout.
Senior Grace Bertolino is just one of six players back from last year’s team and is going to control the midfield for the Hornets, getting up the field to get involved with the attack while also transitioning back to help solidify the defense. Junior Danni Cuzzi and sophomore Lola Varricchione look to fill out the midfield for the Hornets. Junior Lily Danehy made the switch from the field to the cage last season and returns as the starter this year.
“The Hornets are excited to get back to the traditional field hockey format,” Nyhan said. “Team play, fluidity and communication will be tenets of Hornet success!”
2020 Record: 0-9-2
Coach: Tim Dowd
The Hawks will be putting a major emphasis on defense this season, hoping to establish a solidified front and work their way up the field against the always tough Hockomock League competition.
Senior captain Maddie Hunt returns in the cage for the second straight season, and she has played against a lot of tough competition already. Her experience will be key as the Hawks look to improve each game. Seniors Emma Tredeau and Stephanie Wong are also captains for the team and they’ll be counted on their leadership both on and off the field.
Head coach Tim Dowd is not only counting on his captains to lead the way but the entire senior class. Carmela Bon Tempo, Ashley Maldonado, Gill Meaney, and McKenna Smith will all play key roles for the Hawks this season. Tredeau and Smith will be the focus of the offense alongside Tessa Scrimgeour and Stella Portes as Milford looks to build cohesion on the offensive end of the field. Newcomers Sam Fazo and Lindsay Casman will be in the mix as well.
The midfield could be the strength of the team with dynamic players Jordan Douglas and Ashlynn Ringo — both juniors — ready to take a big step forward this year after getting experience at the varsity level last year. Bon Tempo will be joined by Sophia Soares and Hailey Beagle to help strengthen the defense in from of Hunt.
“We’re looking forward to a great season and getting back to the normal rules of play,” Dowd said. “As a team, we’re going to be focused on defense first and try to give our goalkeeper as much help as we can. We’re also going to try to work hard as a team and stay positive.”
2020 Record: 3-10-0
Coach: Karen Folan
Expectations are high for the Rocketeers this season with a strong mix of experienced seniors and juniors back in the fold. With key players back at all positions, North Attleboro is looking to get back into the mix for the Davenport title.
North Attleboro will try to be on the front foot this year, using speed and skill to apply pressure to opposing defenses. Senior captain Zoe McKeon is back for her second year up front and will be a target for the Rocketeers’ talented midfield unit. Senior captain Kelsey Briere will provide key leadership both on and off the field and will be joined in the midfield by junior Julia Puccio, the team’s leading scorer last season and All-Hockomock selection. Puccio is among the top players in the league and will be an important link in the transition game for North.
The midfield also will feature junior Caroline Folan, another two-year member of the varsity program. Her speed will help North get the ball up the field as the Rocketeers push from defense into offense, setting up teammates in the circle. Junior Ava Mckeon will add a strong defensive presence to the midfield while still firing drives on net from the top of the circle.
“We have high expectations for ourselves this season,” said head coach Karen Folan. “With a core line up of experienced players that mesh well, there is a drive to generate lots of offensive pressure. We will look to keep the energy on the field high by utilizing the depth on our roster.”
2020 Record: 9-1-2 (Davenport division champions)
Coach: Sharon Lawrence
Oliver Ames edged Canton and Foxboro to win the Davenport title in 2020. In each of the last three seasons that the Tigers have played in the division, they have come out on top. OA will have a challenge to make it four straight titles, as the Tigers graduated 11 seniors (eight of which were two-year starters), but there is a lot of talent returning to keep the expectations high going into the new year.
With nine returning seniors, eight juniors, and two sophomores that saw significant minutes last season, OA has reloaded to take on the league’s best. The key for the Tigers will be rebuilding the defense, after graduating an entire back line. Junior Maddie Proia will be the anchor on that end of the field. Senior Ava Costello will be the driving force in the midfield, which is loaded with experienced seniors, and she is a key to the Tigers getting forward into the attack.
Senior Georgia Costello is the team’s top returning scorer and the combination between the twin sisters will give OA plenty of chances in transition. The Tigers will also return junior Julia Maclaine and sophomore Erin Cottam, who were both vital to OA’s title run last year. The speedy wingers give the Tigers a consistent outlet and both showed a nose for the goal. Depth will also be a strength, as OA coach Sharon Lawrence believes her bench can step in to produce and give fresh legs.
“We are a brand new team this year with lots of re-positioning,” Lawrence said, “but we are improving every day and building on our passing game. There is magic in the air with our season back on track, and I know good things and lots of goals are in our future this fall.”
2020 Record: 0-11-0
Coach: Paulina Kosmadakis
Sharon has four captains this season and they will be leading the way as the Eagles look to improve each and every game, getting better as the season progresses.
Seniors Abby Gott, Rachel Glass, Ashley Young, and Shiraz Becker are all captains for the Eagles this team with Young back in the fold after missing last season due to injury. Young and Glass will help in all areas of the field while Becker and Gott will make up a strong forward line for the Eagles. Head coach Paulina Kosmadakis has been impressed with the captains’ heart, determination, and “true grit” so far.
Junior Natalie Kessler will start in the cage for the Eagles, who are looking to improve on the defensive end as they tackle an incredibly tough schedule against Hockomock foes. Sophomore Jane Hendrixson joins the varsity squad this year and will be an important piece of the Eagles’ defense.
“The girls have been working hard to try and be more of an offensive team,” Kosmadakis said “Sharon’s defense has always been strong but as an overall team, we are looking forward to playing both sides of the field this year.”
2020 Record: 5-7-0
Coach: Dan Mark
Varsity experience will be in short supply for Stoughton this season. The Black Knights graduated 20 players from last year’s team and return only four starters. This will be a season of transition, as a host of new faces get acclimated to playing against Hockomock competition, but with hope that the talent could carry the team to a playoff spot.
Senior Zofia Bangs scored 10 goals last season and she is back to give the Black Knights a consistent goal-scoring threat. Senior Mia Allie is also back at forward and will be looking to step into a bigger role and take advantage of more chances this season. Seniors Kate Bulger and Sydney Menz will bring athleticism to the midfield and senior Melody Casna will be stepping into goal this season. Although the Black Knights will have 11 seniors on this year’s roster, the vast majority will be getting their first varsity appearances.
“We lack experience at many key positions,” said Stoughton coach Dan Mark, “but the [returning] players will supply stability and experience for less experienced players.”
2020 Record: 0-2-8
Coach: Liz Hathaway
Taunton are another team that will be turning to youth this fall. The Tigers graduated eight seniors from a team that only saw the field four times in a very abbreviated season. There will still be plenty of speed and athleticism on display for Taunton, which has consistently proven over the past few seasons to be a tough team to beat even for the top teams in the league.
Senior forward Ashley Amaro scored three times in four games last year and will lead the line for the Tigers, using her ability to carry the ball and her speed to stretch the opposition. Junior Caelen O’Leary is a newcomer to the attack, who will offer Amaro a good partner up top. Senior Kylie Thorpe returns in the midfield and has been an important player supporting both the defense and the attack. Senior Emily Gannon is back in goal and will once again be one of the league’s top shot stoppers. Junior Thalia Nogueira is going to be a key player in the Taunton defense, with her aggression and leadership needed in a young group.
“We do have some returning speed and ball handlers that we will be really counting on,” said Taunton coach Liz Hathaway. “Our returning players do demonstrate a good field awareness that translates well both offensively and defensively.”