NORTH EASTON, Mass. – There might not be a state tournament this season, but Monday night’s game between Oliver Ames and Canton certainly felt like a playoff game.
Oliver Ames boys soccer
Both teams entered the Davenport heavyweight clash undefeated but only one, the Tigers, walked out still without a loss. Oliver Ames built a two-goal lead and added a key insurance strike in the fourth quarter to earn a 3-1 decision over the Bulldogs.
The battle between the top two teams in the Davenport division delivered with high intensity throughout, stout defensive efforts, a pair of class goals, and some fourth quarter drama.
“It was like a playoff game, a great game,” said Oliver Ames head coach John Barata. “They were well prepared, they came out with a very playoff tactic to get the win. We came in with our tactic to win, we were both playing this game to win no doubt about that. They don’t let you play your game, and we didn’t let them play their game so maybe it wasn’t the best either team has played…it was very intense, but that’s what Canton OA is right? We haven’t had this energy or feel in other games. And we expect the same type of vibe there.”
Oliver Ames scored early in the second quarter and doubled its lead with a goal just minutes into the second half but the Bulldogs took advantage of an opportunity in the 55th minute to get back into the game, halving the deficit.
That goal seemed to give the visitors some life and resulted in Canton’s best passing sequence of the game. Senior Abdul Barrie combined with sophomore Jorge Sanchez, the former getting some space in the corner and whipped a service in. Junior Jacob Crugnale got a touch to the cross but his bid was inches off, hitting off the far post and staying out, keeping the hosts ahead 2-1.
Oliver Ames boys soccer
A minute later, the Tigers built quickly out of the back with senior Colin Milliken carrying possession into the middle third, springing classmate Dillon Cupples out wide on the left. Cupples connected with senior Kevin Louhis, who worked around a defender to get to the corner of the area and Louhis blasted a curling shot inside the far post to make it 3-1 just seconds after the Bulldogs nearly tied it.
“Oliver Ames is a great team, they are strong everywhere on the field, really well organized,” said Canton head coach Danny Erickson. “We knew we’d have to play a rather mistake-free game to beat them and we didn’t. We played great moments, I was really proud of our work ethic but we kind of drifted in moments and let them take the game.
“The game really came down to moments, some bounces and some weird mistakes cost us the game. We had a brilliant opportunity with probably our best build up of the game, three of four great passes in a row that led to a great opportunity that hit the far post, and then as soccer goes, a good team will make you pay for missing opportunities and they went down and Kevin scored a banger.”
The game started as expected with two of the best defenses in the Hockomock League this year. OA entered the contest having surrendered just one goal while the Bulldogs had just two goals against. Both defenses shined in the opening 20 minutes, taking away chances and denying passing lanes.
Canton boys soccer
Canton looked to get in behind the defense on a great ball from Colton Mirlianiy but OA senior Ben Cohen, who had a very strong game at outside right back, did very well to recover and thwart the chance.
Canton boys soccer
Meanwhile, Canton keeper Giovanni Ruggeri was up to the task on a low shot from distance from Cupples in the 12th minute, and Barrie intercepted a pass in the area, taking away a combination between Milliken and Cupples.
OA opened the lead in the 23rd minute on a free kick from Matthew Nikiciuk after he drew the foul. On a direct kick from just over 30 yards out, Nikiciuk blasted a low shot that skipped into the area and senior Brady deVos made a run right to the penalty spot and got a touch to it, changing the direction just enough to catch the keeper going the wrong way.
The Tigers went on to double their lead just minutes into the second half. Anthony DaCosta touched the corner into play and Milliken drove a cross into the area that hit off a Bulldog defender and into the net for an own goal.
Canton got on the board late in the third quarter after high pressure resulted in a turnover. Crugnale applied a lot of pressure, getting a piece of a pass out of the back to knock it free. Mirliani latched onto it, taking a touch with his left to set up a blast from 30 yards out that caught the keeper off the line and snuck under the bar to make it 2-1.
The Dogs nearly had the equalizer just before the third quarter came to a close. On a free kick from straight away from just over 25 yards out, Mirlinani touched to Barrie, who skipped on shot on goal that was spilled on frame but junior Dylan Baird’s bid on the rebound was just over the bar.
Canton boys soccer
Canton continued to press in the fourth but Louhis was able to put the game away with his strike in the 67th minute.
“The maturity factor of the seniors is finally paying off for us,” Barata said. “We allowed them to get in and Abdul whipped a wonderful ball in and it ricocheted off the post and suddenly it’s 2-2 and the momentum has shifted. Sometimes with younger kids, you might panic but our senior experience showed today.
“Danny has them well prepared, they know how to play tactically and they are well prepared and ready to go. We didn’t put them away early when we had the chance and it became a much tougher game in the second half. But it was great to have Kevin put in that third goal because then it was done.”
The two teams will clash again on Wednesday as Oliver Ames (7-0) travels to Canton (4-1-2) on Wednesday for a 6:15 PM kickoff. The Tigers can clinch at least a share of the Davenport title with a draw, and can clinch it outright with a win.
“We hadn’t talked about [the division title] until today, we talked about today being a championship game for us, Canton coming in undefeated,” Barata said. “But whenever you play Danny and Canton, you know they will be prepared so it’s a good game to get ready for the tournament, but this is like a tournament game for us this year.”
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Two days after suffering a 4-0 loss, Attleboro battled to a scoreless draw with the Hornets to earn a point. Mansfield goalie Jack Lansbury-Casey had a strong outing in net with eight saves.
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Canton scored two minutes into the third quarter and that was enough for the Bulldogs in a win on the road. Sophomore Jake McCabe converted a feed from junior Jacob Crugnale for the lone tally of the match. David Floyd had a solid outing in net for the Rocketeers with eight saves.
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game – Foxboro sandwiched a pair of third quarter goals around a tally from Stoughton to earn two points and a season sweep of the Black Knights. After a scoreless first half, Foxboro’s Max Beigel opened the scoring in the 44th minute, tucking his show low to the left into the back corner for a 1-0 advantage. Rhuan Carvalho helped bring the Black Knights level, sending a perfectly paced through ball to Joao Marotti, who was fouled in the box for a pen. Carvalho blasted a left-footed shot that Foxboro keeper Nick Penders got his fingertips to but the ball kissed off the post and in to bring Stoughton level at 1-1. The deadlock lasted less than 10 minutes as Matt Angelini raced onto a loose ball behind the defense and hit a left-footed shot on the run just inside of the far post. Stoughton keeper Nolan Gerome had a strong outing with eight saves.
Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored a pair of first quarter goals a minute apart and held on the rest of the way to earn two points at home over visiting Taunton. Ben Moccia opened the scoring for the Panthers, finishing off a feed from Charlie Amante for a 1-0 advantage. Just a minute later, Ryan Witt set up Ethan Cain, who scored for the third straight game, for a 2-0 lead. Taunton sophomore Riley Rebello cut the deficit in half with an unassisted goal in the second quarter.
Milford, 2 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip battled back from a 2-0 deficit, scoring right before the halftime whistle and then just seconds before the final whistle to grab a point over visiting Milford. Junior Avi Seri put the Hawks ahead in the eighth minute on an assist from Leo Coelho, who scored in the 31st minute on an assist from Arthur Tome to make it 2-0. King Philip cut the lead in half with less than a minute to go in the first half when junior Stephen Griffin converted a free kick. And then with just 12 seconds left, Conor O’Neill buried a service from Evan McCoy to bring the Warriors level at the death.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames exploded for six second half goals to earn a big win at home over visiting Sharon. The Tigers built a 2-0 lead at halftime on goals from Mathias Taylor (from Ben Cohen) and Anthony DaCosta (from Colin Milliken). Senior Brady deVos added a second half brace for the Tigers while Milliken, Kevin Louhis, Dillon Cupples, and Jared Goldman also scored. Senior Ryan Ventura and freshman Joey Carney added assists.
Mansfield, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Cathryn Cooney scored twice in the second quarter to lift Mansfield to a win on the road. Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined to keep a clean sheet for the Hornets.
Foxboro, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Alyssa Vandenboom scored three times and Jordyn Collins and Erin Foley each scored twice, as Foxboro’s offense clicked into gear with a big road win. Kailee McCabe recorded five points on the day, finishing with one goal and four assists, and Katelyn Mollica added three, scoring one and assisting on two. Meghan Burke, Jordan Carman, and Collins all had one assist in the win. Stoughton coach Hermes Lima credited the leadership of seniors Mackenzie Manning, Nikki Anderson, and Rebecca DeSousa for keeping the Black Knights going. He said the team had several good attacks for forward Shayla Ford but just couldn’t find the finish.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Clare Bowen’s hat trick keeps the Panthers rolling along, having won all six of their games so far this season and extending their lead to six points in division standings (second-place KP plays on Thursday). Jamie Tanner and Riley Fitzpatrick also scored for Franklin. Izzy Arnold had a pair of assists, while Norah Anderson, Erin Quaile, and Tanner each had one helper apiece.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sharon’s goal came on a first half penalty kick by Sofia Goclowski that put the Eagles ahead 1-0 but the Tigers scored four straight to get the win on the road. Katie Gibson (assist), Camryn O’Connor (two assists), Emma Pereira, and Carly Gibson scored for OA. Lucinda Cotter notched an assist for the Tigers.
Canton, 147 @ North Attleboro, 156 – Final – Another day, another new golfer steps up to lead the Bulldogs as Conor Hunter fired a match-medalist even par round of 35 as Canton notched a win on the road at Heather Hill Country Club over North Attleboro. Will Gefteas and Owen Donovan each chipped in with a 37 while Aiden French carded a 38 for Canton. Sophomore Jake Gaskin led the Rocketeers with a team-low round of 37, Sam Gallagher added a 38, Jordan Paradis shot a 40, and Tyler DeMattio finished with a 41.
Taunton, 194 @ Franklin, 149 – Final – Franklin earned its eighth straight win to start the season behind an impressive two-under par round of 33 from senior Jack Paterson. Sean Connelly added a 38 in the win while both Nolan Norton and Pat Dolan carded rounds of 39. Spencer Andrews was Taunton’s top performer, coming in with a team-low round of 44.
King Philip, 158 @ Milford, 173 – Final – King Philip went on the road and earned a win over Milford at the Hopedale Country Club. Jared Curran was the match medalist, shooting a team-low round of 36 to pace the Warriors. Mike Matheson added a 37 and Gavin Croke chipped in with a 42 for KP.
Milford, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – After a scoreless first 40 minutes of play, Milford found the back of the net twice to earn two points on the road. The Hawks scored once in the third quarter and once more in the fourth. Junior Avi Seri put Milford ahead on an assist from classmate Chris Tocci, and then a fourth quarter goal from Felipe Guerra (from Victor Botelho) made it 2-0.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of goals on both sides of halftime to earn a series sweep of visiting Foxboro. Kevin Louhis (from Dillon Cupples) opened the scoring for the Tigers, who had four players find the back of the net. Brady deVos doubled the lead before the break on a pass from Matthew Nikiciuk. Nikiciuk (from Anthony DaCosta) and Colin Milliken (penalty kick) scored in the second half for OA.
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – King Philip leveled the match just before halftime but Franklin came out and took the lead back with an early goal in the second half and held on to even the season series between the two rivals. Ben Moccia converted a feed from Tyler Powderly in the 26th minute to give the Panthers the lead but Tadhg Keller answered in the 35th minute on a long free kick to make it 1-1 at the break. Franklin’s Ethan Cain (from Charlie Amante) scored the game-winning goal in the 46th minute and the Panthers held on the rest of the way.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – For the second straight game, Mansfield scored the game-winning goal in the second half to earn two points against Taunton. Aiden Steele scored off a corner from Ethan Scholes for the lone goal of the game. Jack Lasbury-Casey earned his first shutout in his first career start. MHS coach Steve Sheridan said Colin True had an amazing day in the midfield and both Evan Eames and Michael Caridi played well defensively.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
Attleboro, 4 @ Milford, 5 – Final – After failing to find the back of the net in the first three games of the season, Milford edged a shootout against Attleboro to pick up its first win. Dani Atherton proved difficult to contain, scoring four goals for the Hawks, while Jillian Michelson added a goal and two assists. Briley Harnois had a goal and three assists for the Bombardiers, giving her six points in two games this season. Atherton got her first of the night four minutes into the game and added a second before halftime. Michelson also got one in the first half but Bethany Alves (first career goal) and Cassondra Stuger, both assisted by Harnois, kept Attleboro within one at the break. Atherton added two more in the third quarter, while Harnois got one, as Milford led 5-3 heading to the fourth. In the final quarter, Harnois set up Jamie Davies for her first varsity goal, but the Hawks held on to take the two points. Milford coach Lou Colabello called the win “a good morale boost” heading into next week’s games with King Philip.
Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Canton scored twice in the fourth quarter to pull out a win on the grass at Sharon, stay perfect on the season, and remain two points ahead of the pack in the Davenport division. Mekhala Costello, Olivia Rodman, and Gabriella Herivaux scored the goals for the Bulldogs. Sarai Costello had two assists and Emily McCabe had one helper. Sharon played well throughout, keeping Canton’s attack at bay for the bulk of the game. Wendy Wooden had the goal for the Eagles.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored twice in the first quarter and held off a late charge by the Warriors to earn a hard-fought win in the rain and stay perfect on the season. The Panthers wasted no time getting on the board, as Sydney St. Marie scored after 90 seconds. Eight minutes later, St. Marie set up Anya Zub to double the lead. The lead remained two goals until the fourth quarter. Ava Tormey got KP back within one as she knocked in a rebound, which was the first goal the Panthers have allowed this season.. The goal sparked the Warriors and they put the Panthers under pressure for the final 13 minutes, but Franklin’s defense held on for the win. Julia Bertone and Rachel Welch combined to make seven saves for Franklin, while KP keeper Emma Glaser made nine saves.
Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – The Hornets earned their first win of the season behind the first career goals for Amira Walcott and Olivia Homsi. Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined for a second clean sheet in as many days. Mansfield had plenty of chances, forcing Taunton goalie Isabella Anslow into 20 saves.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Steph McKenna and Emma Pratt continued their impressive weeks, each scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist, as the Rocketeers won for the second straight game and stayed unbeaten on the season. Coming off a hat trick on Wednesday, McKenna scored a pair of goals and assisted one, while Pratt scored one (her third of the week) and had an assist. Tess Collins added a goal and two assist for North, while Maggie O’Brien and Lily Adams scored their first varsity goals. Brayden Rice, Charlotte Moynihan, and Caroline Ferrin had assists.
Mansfield, 158 @ Oliver Ames, 155 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its biggest win of the season, knocking off a previously unbeaten shorthanded Mansfield squad. Senior Logan Domenico made a 15′ putt for a birdie on the 8th hole, finishing with a match-low score of 35. Senior Kosta Spiliakos, junior Jake Kaplan, and freshman David Rogers all shot 40 for the Tigers. For Mansfield, Ryan Dow and Joseph Gormley each had a team-low round of 39n while Cian Goulet and Nate Morreale each carded a 40.
Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Milford’s Victor Botelho scored on each side on halftime to help the Scarlet Hawks pick up two points against visiting Attleboro. Milford opened the scoring when Lucas Da Silva finished off a feed from Arthur Tome but Attleboro equalized on a goal from Jackson Singer (assisted by Hugo Henriquez). Botelho put the Hawks back ahead on an assist from Leo Coelho to make it 2-1 going into halftime. Da Silva set Botelho up to make it 3-1, and Coelho (from Da Silva) added an insurance tally for the 4-1 win.
Canton, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames moved to 3-0 on the season with its third shutout, this time going on the road and beating Foxboro. Senior Colin Milliken scored once and set up three more to lead the way for the Tigers. Milliken set up Kevin Louhis for the opening goal and then assisted on back-to-back goals from Mathias Taylor. Taylor set up Milliken prior to those goals to make it 2-0. OA senior Gage Fritchman scored his first career goal on a penalty kick.
Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield scored a pair of fourth quarters to earn two points on the road against Taunton. After three scoreless quarters, the Hornets finally broke through in the 64th minute. Connor Palinski earned an assist after showing great hustle to track down a loose ball, centering to find Sagar Koul right at the six yard box for the finish. Mansfield doubled its lead five minutes later when Koul settled a pass from Tommy Lanzillo and blasted a shot in from a step inside the area. Eric Sullivan earned his second shutout of the season for Mansfield.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro senior Matt Conley bagged a brace as the Rocketeers broke into the win column with a 2-0 road victory over Stoughton. Conley scored the Big Red’s first goal of the season in the 10th minute of the contest, beating the keeper 1-on-1 after latching onto a through ball from Connor Ward. The Rocketeers doubled their lead in the 55th minute as Jaad Ismail found Conley streaking in behind the defense and he finished into the far corner. David Floyd (nine saves) played well for North to record the shutout.
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Briley Harnois scored twice for the Bombardiers, who picked up a win in their delayed season opener and senior day. Jessica Gates added an assist and Alexis Campbell earned the clean sheet in goal. Attleboro coach Steve Santos was proud of his team’s start after having to wait an extra week to get on the field, saying the Bombardiers created a number of early chances against a Milford team that battled throughout.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Olivia Rodman, Gabriella Herivaux, and Elisa Diletizia each scored once to lift Canton to a third straight win to start the season and into a one-point lead in the division. Rodman opened the scoring with a rocket from outside the box in the first quarter and Mia Gilmore then set up Herivaux with a through ball to get a second before halftime, but Sharon was resilient and kept battling. Wendy Wooden nearly halved the deficit right before the break with a tight angled shot but it went over the bar and landed on the roof of the net. The score stayed 2-0 until late in the fourth quarter when Diletizia blasted one just under the bar for Canton’s third. Sharon goalie Cass Barbera played well in the loss and Mekhala Costello finished with two assists for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – The Warriors battled back from a 2-0 deficit, scoring twice in the second half to come away with a point. Trailing by two goals at the break, Foxboro had a goal disallowed early in the third quarter, but Grace Ferguson scored off a Kailee McCabe assist to cut the deficit to one and then McCabe scored an unassisted goal to secure the draw. Sophomores Mary Cross and Jenna Gilman scored to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. Emma Pereira had an assist while senior Madeleine Taylor and junior Alexa Lane had strong games for OA.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined for the shutout and helped the Hornets get their first point of the season. Mansfield coach Kevin Smith praised his defense for limiting Taunton’s chances and added that the Tigers played well in their defensive third, blocking shots and coming up with a lot of big saves.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – Steph McKenna scored a hat trick and Emma Pratt scored twice to lead North Attleboro to its first win of the season, keeping the Rocketeers unbeaten through three matches. Caroline Ferrin and Tess Collins also scored for North, with Collins adding an assist. Maggie O’Brien, Ari Newth, Clara Giuliano, Brayden Rice, and Jordyn Sullivan also had assists for North. Kaylah Seavey and Maddie Ferrin split time in goal to get the clean sheet. First-year Stoughton coach Hermes Lima praised his team’s start to the game, as it was scoreless after the first, and explained that he needs the team to not get down after a mistake and let teams break the game open. He said, “We were chasing almost the whole middle quarters and that cannot happen.”
Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Canton’s Meghan LaBelle scored twice as the Bulldogs went on the road and earned two points on the grass at Sharon.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Mansfield and Taunton traded goals back and forth, the latter scoring in the final minutes as the squads settled for a point each in a draw. Ashley Amaro scored a pair of goals for the Tigers, both assisted by Kylie Thorpe, while Alana Tavares added an unassisted goal. Jocelyn Pagliuca and Skylar Rheaume played well defensively in front of junior Emily Gannon (16 saves) for Taunton.
Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames overcame an early deficit with three straight goals to knock off visiting Foxboro. The Warriors took the lead less than three minutes into on a goal from Dylan Rappoli but the Tigers responded less than two minutes later when Sofia Anestam set up Georgia Costello to make it 1-1. Costello put the Tigers ahead in the second quarter with an unassisted goal just 33 seconds into the frame. Julia Maclaine secured the win for the Tigers with a second half insurance goal set up by Erin Cottam. Peyton Phillips made seven saves for OA and had an outstanding second half in the cage. OA coach Sharon Lawrence lauded the performances of Abbey Boyce, Emily Han, and Maggie Woods.
Attleboro, 175 @ Milford, 179 – Final – Brendan Raymond was the match medalist, helping the Bombariders pick up a win on the road at Hopedale Country Club. Raymond shot a match-low round of 36 while Milford’s top performers were Dave Pacella (42) and Jacob Hipolito (43).
Canton, 148 @ Sharon, 173 – Final – Canton’s Mike Leonetti earned match medalist honors and Nate MacDonald shot an even par to help the Bulldogs pick up a victory at the Cape Club of Sharon. Leonetti carded a two-under par round of 34 while MacDonald shot a 36 for the Bulldogs. Will Gefteas added a 38 and Owen Donovan carded a 40 for Canton. Nathan Daley led the Eagles with a one-over round of 37 while Eric Carter added a 41 for Sharon.
King Philip, 163 @ Franklin, 158 – Final – Franklin’s depth proved pivotal in a close win at home over visiting King Philip. The Warriors’ Jared Curran was the match medalist with a 37 while Mike Matheson shot a 39 for KP. But Franklin’s top four all finished within four strokes of one another, led by Jack Paterson’s 38. Sean Connelly added a 39, Nolan Norton shot a 40, and Brian Sandham chipped in with a 41 in Franklin’s win.
Taunton, 191 @ Mansfield, 148 – Final – All four of Mansfield’s scorers shot under 40 at Norton Country Club as the Hornets picked up a win over Taunton. Ryan Dow led the way with a match-medalist round of 35, Brian See added a round of 37 while both Cian Goulet and Nate Morreale each shot a 38 in the win.
North Attleboro, 172 @ Stoughton, 181 – Final – Jake Gaskin and Sam Gallagher split medalist honors as the Rocketeers recorded a win at Easton Country Club over Stoughton. Both Gaskin and Gallagher shot 42 to lead the Big Red to a win. Anthony Hern also shot a 42 to earn medalist honors while Joe Mark added a 43 for the Black Knights.
Foxboro, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up an important win over division foe Foxboro on the links at Pine Oaks in Easton. Senior Logan Domenico and junior Jake Kaplan each shot a 37 to lead the Tigers, with Domencio sinking a birdie on the eighth hole. Senior Will Gianni added a 39 in the win and freshman Sean Kearns finished with a 40.
Canton @ Sharon, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 15 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Tigers, taking the top scoring spots to earn a big win over Foxboro. Kyle Sarney won the race for the Tigers while Owen McMorrow and Nate Reservitz rounded out the top three. Nicolas Olson clocked in at 19:14 and was Foxboro’s top runner while Jared Ciora ran a PR (19:37) and was second for Foxboro.
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
Canton @ Sharon, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 17 @ Foxboro, 43 – Final – The Tigers took the first three spots in the race en route to a victory on the road over Foxboro. Katie Soberaij was the winner with teammates Jojo Holmes and Hailey Goldman taking second and third, respectively. Foxboro’s Aine Fitzpatrick finished in 22:05 for fourth place overall while Mabel Linck took seventh for the Warriors.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – A late goal from North Attleboro nearly led to the end of Oliver Ames’ season during last year’s playoffs.
It’s safe to say the Tigers learned their lesson.
In last year’s D2 South Sectional quarterfinal matchup, Oliver Ames boys soccer saw a lead disappear in the final minutes of regulation before pulling out a victory in the extra rounds of penalty kicks.
Fast forward to the first game of the 2020 season, and while the on-field product certainly looks a bit different under the current circumstances, the Tigers found themselves in the same situation: control of the game but only a 1-0 lead to show for it.
Oliver Ames’ experience was on full display as the Tigers made sure to slam the door shut this time around, opening the season up with a 3-0 win over the Rocketeers.
Similar to a year ago, Oliver Ames jumped in front with a goal inside the opening 20 minutes but couldn’t solve the Rocketeers’ defense and keeper David Floyd over the next two quarters — yes, soccer in 2020 means four quarters.
When North Attleboro finally found itself with some time in the attacking third, the Tigers turned the tables by doubling their lead on the break to make it 2-0, and tacked on an insurance goal five minutes later.
“[North Attleboro] is very disciplined,” said Oliver Ames head coach John Barata. “Geoff [Burgess] does a phenomenal job organizing the back four and then they have another line in front of that, so two lines of defense…they are very good at it. We have to do a lot of training to try and find a way to break them down. But then you throw the new rules in, and you throw in that it’s the first game of the season, this was a good first run at it in a real competitive environment.”
The first 60 minutes (or three quarters) belonged to the Tigers, with the Tigers knocking on the door in the 13th minute (a hard shot from Mathias Taylor denied by Floyd) and in the 17th minute (a Colin Milliken shot from inside the area turned aside by Floyd) before the hosts were able to breakthrough.
Milliken’s quick switch — taking a feed from the right side of the pitch and quickly changing the point of attack to the left side — put the ball at the feet of senior Kevin Louhis, who took advantage of the space he was given and deposited a low hard shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.
“Honestly, the ball that killed us in the first half was a ball that normally could have been cleaned up with a header,” said North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess. “They played it every time and got Kevin in behind us and how do you defend it? I knew that’s how they’d play so I thought we had a good game plan to try to slow him and we kind of kept him under wraps but the way they move the ball so quickly from side to side, even as organized as we were with our back six, they were just too fast.”
OA continued to pressure but without anything to show for it. Anthony DaCosta had a shot from atop the area saved and then a combination between Michael Haikal and Louhis resulted in a shot from the latter that forced a diving save from Floyd; North Attleboro’s Kyle Robinson was first to the ball to clear it.
North Attleboro’s best chance of the first half came after a miscue from the Tigers in their own defensive third. Ryan Adams-Lopez was quick to intercept a pass out of the back but his bid on net was handled by OA keeper Drew Nickla.
“It’s an interesting dynamic,” Barata said of the effect the modifications have. “It feels like there’s a different intensity level in these games, we’re trying to get the guys to up their urgency. It almost seems that since they can’t challenge hard without it being a foul, they are almost holding back a little bit. But, that aside, once we’re out there playing, it’s great to watch them play even if it’s different. And we have a good style for this opportunity so we’re okay with it.”
North Attleboro Boys Soccer
Oliver Ames Boys Soccer
It didn’t take long for OA to threaten in the second half as Matthew Nikiciuk rocketed a shot off the post a minute in, and Taylor’s cheeky touch over a defender forced a fingertip stop from Floyd in the box.
North Attleboro’s defense made life difficult for the Tigers, who had a majority of the possession but spent a lot of time trying to find a way past the Rocketeers’ packed in defensive group. North’s Donovan Carter had a pair of big plays just minutes apart, winning a one-on-one battle to stop a chance on goal and blocking a shot moments later. Carter’s centerback partner Justin Silva denied a through ball attempt right after as OA continued to push forward.
“The gameplan was to park the bus and we wanted to create through our outside guys but the problem was we couldn’t hold the ball long enough to create anything,” Burgess said. “But credit to [OA], they create a hurried energy so you’re under stress all the time. But I’m starting eight seniors, there should be some composure there and we should be able to pull that off. Not that we have a lot of time to prepare for them Wednesday, but we need to be able to execute that going forward.”
The Rocketeers finally got their offense going at the start of the fourth quarter as junior Brody Rosenberg played speedy senior Matt Conley into some space but his centering pass in the area went without an answer.
North earned a corner moments later but a miscue resulted in a quick counter for the hosts. Taylor quickly cleared the ball up to Louhis, who played it to a streaking DaCosta. DaCosta carried the ball with pace, forcing the lone defender to commit before sliding it back to Louhis, who finished under the sliding keeper for a 2-0 lead in the 66th minute.
“We needed more offense but they don’t let you sustain it for very long with their pressure,” Burgess said. “The kid in the middle [Nikiciuk], he’s just so quick to the ball. He’s so good at disrupting, he does a good job of ruining plays we want to run. We knew what we wanted to do, we just couldn’t execute it which is a credit to them.”
Five minutes later, freshman Joey Carney combined with DaCosta off of a kick-in, the former using a fake to fool the defender before dropping a perfectly placed cross to Milliken, who positioned himself between three defenders. Milliken took the ball down off his chest and use a deft touch with the outside of his right foot to find the back of the net for a 3-0 advantage in the 71st minute.
“We’re very confident that no one is going to give us space because we know that if they do, we can most likely take advantage of it,” Barata said. “We just have to find a way to beat teams when they pack it in a bit. We want the space, we want to be able to run a bit and we’re hoping teams will try to run with us.
“[North] is very good in transition, they are good fast going forward. I just think that we did a good job of pinning them back in their own half for close to 90% of the game. We were definitely on the front foot in this game but we know they’ll make some adjustments and they’ll challenge us again Wednesday.”
Oliver Ames (1-0 Davenport, 1-0 overall) will travel to North Attleboro (0-1, 0-1) for a rematch on Wednesday night at 6:00.
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.”
Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Leo Coelho, Milford
Hockomock League All Stars
Michael Russo, Attleboro
Joshua Smith, Attleboro
William Keefe, Canton
Joseph Cusack, Foxboro
Dylan Barreira, Foxboro
William Morrison, Foxboro
Samuel Stowell, Franklin
Donald Tappin, Franklin
Jacob Cummings, Franklin
Matthew Clarke, King Philip
Evan McEvoy, King Philip
Evan Eames, Mansfield
Leo Coelho, Milford
Pedro Araujo, Milford
Jordan Borges, Milford
Daniel Santos, Milford
Anthony Salisbury, Mansfield
Kyle Briere, North Attleboro
James Sales, North Attleboro
Matthew Mordini, North Attleboro
Colin Milliken, Oliver Ames
Matthew Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Kevin Louhis, Oliver Ames
Isaiah Stessman, Sharon
Nolan Gerome, Stoughton
Nolan Melo, Taunton
SANDWICH, Mass. – The Oliver Ames boys soccer team entered Thursday night’s D2 South Semifinal with a tall task against unbeaten Nauset.
Despite a spirited second half effort and a saved penalty kick, the Tigers were unable to complete their upset bid, suffering a 1-0 loss to the Warriors after a late goal.
The top-seeded Warriors extended their unbeaten streak to 44 straight games to advance to the D2 South Final against Milford. The last time Nauset lost was in the D2 South Semifinals in 2017 via penalty kicks to OA.
“I think the second half was much better than the first,” said Oliver Ames head coach John Barata. “I think they took it too us for about 50% of the [first] half, then the rest of it was a little more back and forth. We had some chances but they had more dangerous chances. They are a strong team. They are fast, they want to impose their style of play and they were able to do that. They a very good team, John [McCully] has done a great job. They are #8 in the country for a reason, they are no joke.
“I thought we played very well and have a lot of guys that will learn from this experience. They’ll remember how this felt, and the extra work that it takes. We had one or two bad mistakes and they punished us for it. Overall, I thought it was a great second half for us.”
The lone goal came in the 73rd minute of play. A ball over the top found Nauset’s Anthony Lovati, who controlled the ball and took a touch forward despite OA’s plea for handball. Lovati connected with Shavar Champagnie in the area, who was quickly met with a pair of OA defenders on his back.
Champagnie alertly played the ball back to the top of the area where senior Sebastian Headrick calmly ran onto it and placed a shot through traffic and into the bottom corner for the eventual game-winner.
The Tigers quickly switched to three in the back, throwing numbers and services forward, but the Nauset backline used its height to prevent any balls in behind. OA had a corner in the final seconds and put all of the players in the box, including the keeper, but were unable to get on the end of it before a Nauset clearance.
“For the most part we dominated,” said Nauset head coach John McCully. “Don’t get me wrong, Oliver Ames made it difficult for us. It was very difficult for us to get any rhythm today because we’re used to ball dominance. We didn’t have a lot of that, even though we controlled at times. And 0-0…it would have been a crying shame [if we didn’t win].”
OA keeper Drew Nickla was called into action in the 12th minute when Nauset’s Connor Cushing delivered a service to the back post that was met by Lovati but Nickla was perfectly positioned and tipped the bid over the bar.
While changes were hard to come in the first, Oliver Ames’ best opportunity came in the 19th minute. Anthony DaCosta played classmate Kevin Louhis wide on the left flank. Louhis used his speed to beat his defender before poking a cross to the edge of the six-yard box, but the service was in-between DaCosta and Dillon Cupples and a Warrior defender was quick to clear.
Nauset had two golden chances before the end of the half but couldn’t convert. William Schiffer got on the end of a throw-in from Lovati but his chance smacked off the crossbar. Just under 10 minutes later, Nathan Watring set Schiffer up right in front but his shot was over the bar.
Louhis had the first good chance of the second half in the 54th minute. After working his way around a pair of defenders, he cut near the top of the 18 and ripped a left-footed shot but a Nauset defender was able to reach out and make the block. OA’s lone shot on goal came off the foot of Louhis with a low shot from distance that was saved.
“We actually built up in the midfield well at times, but the challenge was then you run into a wall of six in the back,” Barata said. “And they weren’t soft, they come through hard. Ultimately I thought we did well, I am pleased with the guys. I am sad for the seniors because they’ve done a lot of good work for the program. But I thought they went out in a great blaze. It was a close game, they scored with seven minutes left in the game. Problem was, there was no time to bounce back. We pressed, we put everyone up for that last corner but they have a lot of big bodies in there.
“I think the guys did a really good job playing the game and they should leave here with their heads held high. They’ll learn and then we’ll come back, we’ll bounce back.”
“We were a little worried with the long throws and set pieces against a strong team but today he was pretty outstanding and stellar on all the throws and set pieces,” Barata said of Nickla. “And the PK was a great save.”
Just under 10 minutes after the penalty stop, the Warriors cashed in for the lone goal of the game.
Football D1 South
#2 Franklin, 28 vs. #3 Brockton, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (B) Devonte Medley 10-yard pass to Ahmik Watterson, XP good; (F) Thomas Gasbarro 6-yard pass to Jack Nally, Parker Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 4-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good; (F) Owen Palmieri 32-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
3rd Quarter: (B) Isaiah Laguerre 68-yard touchdown, XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 62-yard pass to Cole Lakatos, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
#3 King Philip, 6 @ #2 Mansfield, 34 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (M) Jack Moussette 9-yard pass to Cincere Gill, Michael DeBolt XP good; (M) J. Moussette 46-yard pass to C. Gill, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) J. Moussette 18-yard pass to Everett Knowlton, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) C. Gill 11-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (KP) Robert Jarest 19-yard pass to Andrew McKinney, XP failed; (M) J. Moussette 24-yard pass to C. Gill, 2pt rush failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
#3 Stoughton, 12 @ #2 Duxbury, 38 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Clayton Rahaman 72-yard pass to Jordan Emile, XP failed; (D) Will Prouty 5-yard rush, Brett Souza XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Oluwole Fabikun 23-yard fumble return, 2pt pass failed.
3rd Quarter: (D) B. Souza 24-yard field goal; (D) W. Prouty 1-yard rush, B. Souza XP good.
4th Quarter: (D) Tim Landolfi 1-yard rush, B. Souza XP good; (D) W. Prouty 25-yard pass to Brady Madigan, B. Souza XP good; (D) T. Landolfi 6-yard rush, B. Souza XP good.
#4 Foxboro, 0 @ #1 Canton, 15 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (C) Safety; (C) Owen Lehane 22-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: O. Lehane 31-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 15-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
Milford, 7 @ Hopkinton, 20 – Final
Taunton, 15 @ Weymouth, 14 – Final – Taunton scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to erase a 14-point deficit, winning on the final play of the game with a two-point conversion. Josh Lopes scored on a five-yard run and Collin Knorr drilled the extra point the half the Wildcats’ lead. After a penalty on Weymouth, the Tigers had one untimed play and Lopes plunged in from one-yard out to make it 14-13. The Tigers went for the two-point conversion and the win. Danny MacDougall took a jet sweep, escaped a swarm of tackles, and fired a pass back across the field to quarterback Trent Santos for the two-point conversion and the win.
Boys Soccer D2 South
#12 North Attleboro, 1 @ #4 Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (OA wins, 5-4 on PKs) – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – Not much could separate the Tigers and the Rocketeers on the pitch in a D2 South quarterfinal matchup. The teams were tied 1-1 after 80 minutes of play, and then played a pair of scoreless 10-minute overtime periods to send the game to penalty kicks.
“North was outstanding today on the defensive side of the ball,” said OA head coach John Barata. “Their goalie [Kyle Briere] was simply amazing. He must have saved close to 20 shots and some were from three to six yards out. No doubt that is one of the best performances by a goalie I’ve ever seen.”
Junior Kevin Louhis finished off a cross from sophomore Mathias Taylor in the 15th minute to put Oliver Ames ahead. North Attleboro leveled the match with five minutes to go when Andrew Tolfa buried a free kick chance.
“Our boys played well and with lots of poise and control today,” Barata said. “We maintained possession of the ball on all three thirds very well and broke the lines often. However, we did not capitalize on all our opportunities. We need to find the back of the net on a few of those close range opportunities.”
In the penalty kicks, both sides converted on their first three chances. North Attleboro missed on its fourth chance but Briere came up with a save to keep it tied, and both teams scored on their fifth chance to send the game to the sudden death round of pens. Barata inserted Brendan Cross in goal for the sixth chance and North was off the mark. Junior Anthony DaCosta buried his shot into the top right corner to clinch the win. Colin Milliken, Taylor, Dillon Cupples, and Louhis converted PKs for OA.
“We are very happy,” Barata said. “Before the season started our goal was to get into the state tournament, win the Hockomock Kelley Rex and win at least one game in the tourney. At this point everything is just a bonus. We have to prepare now for the top team in the state and one of the top teams in the country. We look forward to moving on.”