King Philip Grad Still Taking All the Right Shots

Kathryn Riley
KP grad Kathryn Riley lines up a shot at Fenway Park. The former lacrosse star is now a photographer for many of the top leagues in the country. (Kathryn Riley)

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When Kathryn Riley graduated King Philip in 2012, she envisioned a career in the sports world. The lacrosse standout, a member of KP’s last league champion, Riley played college lacrosse at Boston College, then a program on the rise, and planned on continuing into the family business of college coaching.

A decade later, Riley has found a career in sports, though it is one that she could never have pictured when she decided to step away from her lacrosse career after two seasons at Chestnut Hill. What started as a hobby, working for the BC yearbook office, got boosted by an internship with the Boston Red Sox and has now become an accomplished career as a photographer covering some of the biggest sporting leagues and events in the country.

From Fenway Park to Gillette Stadium, from NASCAR to MLS, from USA Today to Getty Images, Riley is taking her own experiences as an athlete and bringing sports stories to life through her lens.

“Anyone who pays me, I’ll be there,” Riley joked when listing the numerous clients she has worked for, which includes MLB, MLS, the NFL, Boston College Athletics, NASCAR, the USTA, the USGA, and more. “I’ve been really lucky to get some awesome clients that allowed me to do what I do for a living. I’m very thankful for them.”










Her career began after stepping away from lacrosse after her sophomore year. Admittedly “disillusioned” with college athletics, Riley took up an offer from a friend to join the yearbook. She got credentialed to cover BC football when it upset highly ranked USC at Alumni Stadium and was on the ground among the fans who stormed the field. Suddenly, the decision to be part of the yearbook staff, which Riley admits is “bottom of the barrel” in terms of photo cred at BC, looked brilliant.

“I was no longer playing a sport and I had some free time all of a sudden and I was like, I need to join a club or do something,” she explained. “I had really no idea of what I wanted to do.

“The students rushed the field and I was like this is the greatest thing ever. I kind of thought shooting sports is like this all the time, which it is not, but I really liked it and it became a fun hobby. I didn’t think anything would come of it.”

She picked up a photo minor, which was more focused on art than journalism, and after graduating went into PR. It only took six months of sitting at a desk for Riley to realize that wasn’t the right career for her. Riley said, “I came home one time and was like, is this what life is going to be like for the next 50 years? I just work every day and get two weeks off a year. I can’t do that.”

(Kathryn Riley)

On a whim, Riley applied for a photo internship with the Red Sox. Although she had no idea what to expect, Riley got the chance to be at Fenway Park almost every night (splitting games with another intern) and learned the ins and outs of the professional sports photography business. In addition to enjoying the work, “It was so much fun every single day just to go into the ballpark,” and getting great shots of the historic stadium, the players, and the fans, Riley also forced herself to network. She met photographers from the major local papers, from AP, from Getty, and started to see that the hobby she picked up at BC could become a lifelong career.

“When I got this internship, I thought I’m going to hold on for dear life and find a way to make it stick,” Riley reflected. “That really opened a lot of doors for me and I saw that I can have a career doing what I now do. Very happy that I saw some random Twitter post about this job.”

Riley used that internship to become a member of an expansive Boston photography community, filled with young and up-and-coming photographers and older, more experienced veterans. It is a competitive field for sure, but also features plenty of people willing to give advice, share ideas, and commiserate about similar struggles.

“If it wasn’t for that [internship], I wouldn’t have met any of the contacts I met, wouldn’t have gotten the jobs I got after,” Riley said. “I didn’t know anybody but I got lucky with an internship and then I networked.”

Her career began with baseball, but Riley is happy to get away from the grind that is shooting baseball every day over the course of a long season (taking the occasional line drive to ribs is also an occupational hazard). Regardless of the sport, Riley is always searching out the moments in games that go beyond just the action on the field.

All photographers want to get the diving catch, the winning goal, or the crucial touchdown, but sometimes the best shots are what happens after. It is about getting the emotions of the game, both positive and negative, and finding images that fans might miss from the stands or the television broadcast and that give a fuller picture of the experience.

“Everyone who is working these games, I don’t care what level it is, they all want that same shot,” Riley said. “But my favorite moments, if I’m able to get them, are those in between moments. Whether it’s a celebration or dejection, it’s those small moments that just kind of help fill in the blanks of how the game went.

“If I was covering a game for Getty for the NFL, they would be like, if the game gets out of hand or if it’s a big upset or something, make sure you’re getting these moments of elation from players on the sideline or try to find the dejected quarterback hanging his head or coach crossing his arms because that just adds so much more than a picture of him fumbling. It just adds more context and makes it richer. That to me is always super important and almost as important as some epic sack or touchdown catch.”

(Kathryn Riley)

Photography has kept Riley involved in athletics and shooting some of the biggest events, like Tom Brady’s return to Gillette, brings with it a rush, but it is still work. It is a lot of long days and nights, shooting and editing, carrying equipment, and trying to get into the best positions for a shot, sometimes with dozens of other photographers jostling for the same spot.

“I find a lot of similarities between shooting a sporting event and playing a sport,” Riley said. “You still get those adrenaline rushes when you get an epic shot or you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s a little bit competitive. What can I do to make myself stand out?”

She continued, “Those bigger moments, I feel like people just rise to the occasion. I’m very lucky. I love my job, it’s a cool job, it’s fun, but at the end of the day it’s still a job and there are still days where it’s stressful, I’m exhausted, my body hurts from lugging around all the gear. It’s nice to have something exciting.”

Whether it’s a big game or just one of 162, Riley will be there looking for the unique shot, the story that only a great photo can tell.

See more of Kathryn Riley’s work at https://www.khriley.com/.

Downing Scores Two, Franklin Continues Streak at KP

Franklin Field Hockey
Shaw Downing (21) celebrates the first of her two goals, as Franklin extended its league unbeaten streak to 40 games with a 2-0 win at KP. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WRENTHAM, Mass. – Coming into the season, Franklin had several new faces to incorporate into the lineup, a few key players who had graduated, and a group of experienced, talented teams to contend with in its quest for a third straight league title. The Panthers haven’t missed a beat.

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Shaw Downing scored a pair of first quarter goals on Friday afternoon and Franklin powered to a 2-0 victory over title rival King Philip at Macktaz Field. The win keeps the Panthers perfect on the season, moves them two games up in the loss column on the Warriors, and extends their remarkable unbeaten run in league play to 40 games.

“That was our plan to try and score fast, score early, and see how the rest of the game goes,” said Franklin coach Michelle Hess. “I’m glad that they were able to get those two quick ones because they do a good job of frustrating us and getting in our heads a little bit.”

Franklin came into the game with 64 goals on the season, 23 more than anyone else in the league, and had only allowed three. KP definitely wanted to keep the game close early and try to frustrate the Panthers. Unfortunately for the Warriors, that game plan only lasted five minutes.

The visitors stormed out of the gates. In the fifth minute, Downing got free inside the circle and shot on the turn to slip it through a crowd in front for a quick 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, the lead was almost doubled but the league’s leading scorer Kaitlyn Carney couldn’t get full purchase on a backhand shot from close range.

With two minutes left in a first quarter that was completely controlled by Franklin, Downing struck again. Off the fourth corner of the quarter, Carney fired a shot from the top of the circle to the post and Downing’s deft flick took it past KP goalie Haley Bright.

Bright (10 saves) would be called into action early in the second when Carney found space right in front but was denied by a kick save and then two minutes later when Carney wound up and took a shot from distance that needed blocking.

KP had been struggling to get into the attacking half of the field. Sydney O’Shea was a consistent outlet on the right side, but Franklin defender Kate O’Rourke kept a close watch on her and didn’t allow the Warriors to get into their transition game. Sweeper Kendall Jones was also on hand to mop up when KP did get the ball forward.

Hess said, “We knew they were fast and I know my fullbacks are quick, so I just really had to tell them make sure you don’t over-commit because they’re quick and if they get by you we need to have people back there covering for you if you decide to step up. We had a game plan and I think we executed it well.”

Midway through the second, KP had one of its best scoring chances. Makenzie McDevitt’s pressure forced a turnover in the circle and she had a couple swings, drawing a good save from Megan Sullivan.

Franklin came close to adding a third when freshmen Haley Wernig and Raena Crandall combined for a shot, but Bright was out aggressively and forced it wide. The combo of Crandall, Downing, and Carney was proving tough for the KP defense to handle and another good move led to a drop pass for Carney that forced another kick save from Bright.

“She played great,” KP coach Lisa Cropper said of Bright. “She was a little tentative in the first quarter but she got over it, almost like she could relax after they got two. But, you know, they’re great, they’re scoring a ton of goals, so keeping them to two is kind of a moral victory.”

KP had two corners in the game, both within seconds of each other in the second quarter, and the Warriors nearly scored on both of them. Kelly Holmes went with an aerial that was blocked off the line and on the second attempt she lifted it over everyone but was unable to beat the crossbar.

The pattern continued into the second half, with Franklin controlling possession and keeping the Warriors largely pinned back, but with KP able to stymie the Panthers’ attempts to put the game away. Kiera Kotwicki teed up Carney for a backhand shot that Bright stopped and then the KP goalie denied Carney on a shot from the right and Downing following up on the rebound.

“We were tinkering with a different formation and we went with it from second quarter on and it worked,” Cropper explained. “We shut them out for three quarters, but we gave them two early ones. We didn’t take advantage of our chances. We had some good pressure points but we just couldn’t find it.”

Freshman Emily Carney tried an aerial on a fourth quarter corner but KP defender Molly Piller was able to drop back and use her reach to knock it down before it crossed the line. Another Franklin corner led to a scramble in the circle and Lily Brown was able to get back on the line to block and clear another chance for the Panthers.

“I think the fourth quarter for us was probably the best,” Hess said. “They didn’t really get it over the 50 and we were pretty much down here the whole time. I told them, play your game, don’t let them frazzle you.”

Franklin (10-0-0) will take on state power Walpole in a showdown of unbeaten teams on Monday before traveling to Sharon two days later. King Philip (9-3-0) will try to get back on track with a trip to North Attleboro, hoping that someone can beat Franklin before the two teams meet again the regular season finale.

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KP Remains Unbeaten With Sweep of Canton

King Philip Volleyball
KP junior Emily Sawyer had a career-high 16 kills to power the Warriors to a sweep of Canton and a ninth straight win to start the season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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CANTON, Mass. – On Wednesday night at the Masciarelli Gym, in a battle of division leaders and a rematch of last year’s Hock Cup semifinal, King Philip showed not only why its gone the opening nine matches unbeaten and why its in the running for a sixth league title in eight years, but also that it could be a strong contender in the Div. 2 state tournament.

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Behind a dominant display at the net by junior hitters Emily Sawyer, Ahunna James, and Sami Shore, the Warriors swept Canton 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16) to continue its perfect start to the season. KP has lost only one of the 28 sets it has played in nine matches.

“That’s good and bad,” KP coach Kristen Geuss said. “We need to keep working hard. If we want to keep this going, then we need to work hard and I think they know it, I think they get it. I’m hoping that they continue to put the work in at practice and continue to get good results.”

Sawyer (16 kills and three blocks) set the tone from the opening point of the match. Listed at 6-foot-3, she towered over the Bulldogs and smashed home the first two points to put KP in front. Canton answered right back with a tip by Fatima Sidibay and a block and a kill from Jess Wright. James (eight kills) started to find the range on the outside with a pair of kills, including one that ended a long rally. A Shore kill and a pair of aces from James put KP up 10-5.

“We are strong at the net,” said Geuss, “which is great for our setters (Stella Bailey and Kiera Hagen) because they have so many options and not just having to set up one or two people. Having the options makes them more comfortable.”

Right from the opening set a pattern emerged. Both teams were excellent defensively, keeping rallies going on both sides of the net, but when it came time for the decisive swing KP’s attackers were more consistent in finding the open space.

“I’m very proud of the way my team played,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We’re a scrappy defensive team and when we could get a good swing I think we tested their defense. Free balls, tips, they were all over them. We have to hit the ball.”

With Sawyer able to overpower Canton’s defense either on the outside or in the middle, the Warriors started to pull away in the first. Three straight Sawyer kills pushed the lead to 19-8, then James stepped in with a pair and scored a third point with a well-placed bump. Shore and then Olivia Carey closed out the first with kills and KP took the lead in the match.

The second set was far more even, as Canton started to turn its strong play on the back row into points at the net. Again Sawyer put KP up 2-0 with back-to-back kills, but then Wright got a couple of good swings and Talya DeGraw found an opening with a tip. After a Sydney Gallery kill on the outside, the set was tied at 8-8.

KP would rattle off seven of the next eight points and seemed poised to pull away, but the Bulldogs kept scrapping and answered right back with a run of their own, tying the second at 16 apiece. James put KP back in front with a block and Shore smashed a hit off the blocker to regain the advantage.

Canton showed off its defense again, with freshman Zoe Scibelli laying out to keep the play alive and Anna Verille finding a point with a bump inside the line. Momentum for the hosts was short-lived as Shore got a point at the net and then the service line and Sawyer rose up to bury the final point of the second.

“We’re a young team,” Cawley explained. “We had a really slow start, losing our first two [matches], and we changed our lineup making Anna Verille our libero. She’s amazing. Taylor Reynolds, my setter, I can’t say enough about her.”

She added, “We didn’t play well in the first set, but the next two sets I think we gave it everything we had and we’ve got 12 matches left and I think we’re getting better every day. I couldn’t be happier coaching this team, every day we see improvement.”

Trailing by two sets, the Bulldogs came out with extra fight in the third. Amaiah Christian got her first kill, Gallery’s block led to an error, and DeGraw fired in an ace to grab a 10-7 lead. KP has dropped only one set all season (last time out against Milford) and the Warriors were able to stay focused and come right back. Carey’s kill tying the set up at 10-10.

Down by three, Sawyer gave KP a spark when her third attempt at a kill finally eluded the Canton defense. Bailey added an ace and the set was tied again. Bailey (19 service points) would go on a run at the service line, turning a three-point deficit (13-10) into a five-point lead. She had two aces and Sawyer had a pair of blocks in the run.

James would put the final touches on the third set, with two kills and an accurate tip down the line helping the Warriors over the line in a match that felt closer than the final score.

“Canton is always very competitive,” said Geuss. “We have to play our best no matter what against Canton because they never give up. They are scrappy, they are fast, and that was great competition for us.”

Cawley was effusive in her praise for the Warriors. She said, “KP is a legitimate team. I could see them going all the way in D2. They have height, they have strength, they’re a great team. Both middles are legitimate and obviously Ahunna James is amazing.”

King Philip (9-0) will put its perfect record on the line on Friday against a much-improved Attleboro team. Canton (5-3) will try to bounce back on the road against Sharon.

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North Battles Back with Second Half Effort at KP

North Attleboro football
North senior Tyler Bannon celebrates the first of his two second half touchdowns that helped the Rocketeers battle back from 13 points down to beat King Philip. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WRENTHAM, Mass. – Last week, North Attleboro was a minute away from pulling off a win against longtime rival Mansfield, but the Hornets rallied to win in double overtime. On Saturday morning at Macktaz Field, against another league rival, the shorthanded Rocketeers turned the tables, coming from behind twice in the second half against King Philip to earn their first win of the season.

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Trailing 13-0 at halftime, North came out of the locker room with renewed energy. Even without several players due injuries and COVID protocols, notably star running back Tyler DeMattio, the Rocketeers were able to take control of a game that KP had dominated. Tyler Bannon scored touchdowns on both sides of the ball and freshman Chase Frisoli threw his first career TD pass to Gavin Wells to pull out a dramatic 20-19 victory.

“We actually lit into them a little bit because I felt it was an uninspiring effort in the first half,” North coach Don Johnson said about the halftime team talk. “I think, without DeMattio here, we’ve got a couple kids out with COVID, and it hurt us and I think guys were doubting themselves in the first half.

“It was more about We’re not changing a thing that we’re doing, we just need to do it better and they did it.”

KP coach Brian Lee was understandably frustrated at how the Warriors let the game slip away. “A little bit of panic,” he explained. “I think they had a lot to do with it too. They changed up what they were doing, some of the stuff we were doing earlier took that away. We just couldn’t find a consistent answer after that.”

North’s offense struggled to go anywhere in the opening half. The Rocketeers had the ball four times but managed only one first down. Frisoli, who has had the unenviable task of playing Mansfield and KP in his first two varsity starts, completed only one pass for two yards and Bannon was held to just 18 yards on the ground.

The aggressive KP defense was winning the battle at the line of scrimmage and consistently getting into the backfield. Ryan Gately stuffed Bannon on one play for a loss of three, Crawford Cantave made a nice play on the ball to break up a pass, and Hunter Hastings was able to drag down Nathan Shultz on a jet sweep.

On the other side of the ball, the Warriors were just as dominant up front, allowing the ground game to eat up yards and keep the clock moving.

KP’s opening possession was a 13-play, 56-yard scoring drive. Twice KP was able to convert on fourth down to keep the drive alive. On fourth and six at the North 30, Charlie Grant (9-of-2, 146 yards) hit Danny Clancy (three catches, 84 yards) for 13 and the first down. Four plays later, Grant was able to dive forward for two yards to move the chains on fourth and a foot. The drive was capped by a three-yard pass from Grant to a wide open Gately (17 carries, 92 yards).

The hosts started at midfield on their second possession of the half. On third and 10, Grant was able to find Jonathan Joseph for 28 yards down to the North 9. Two plays later, Grant was able to scramble out of the pocket and swerve through the secondary for a 10-yard score. The XP was just wide but KP led 13-0 at the break.

When the teams came back to the field, there was a noticeable rise in the energy level on the North sideline. Despite being dominated for 24 minutes, the Rocketeers were only down by two scores and still in the game.

KP tried to change that on its opening possession of the third quarter. A pass interference call and a 23-yard pass from Grant to Clancy got the ball to the North 33. Bannon stepped up with a big tackle for loss on Gately and Greg Berthiaume followed with a sack of Grant.

North took over on its own 32 and started to go to work with Bannon (19 carries, 92 yards) taking direct snaps. He broke a 17-yard keeper to get into KP territory and another five-yard run on third and one to keep the drive moving. Thomas Brewster pressured Frisoli into an incompletion and then picked off the freshman on fourth and 13 to end the drive, but with the Warriors pinned back at their own four.

Bannon stuffed Cantave for a loss of two and then Kaiden Leary made a nice tackle on William Astorino to force a three-and-out and a KP punt. North had tilted the field and got the ball at the KP 27-yard-line. Bannon again stepped in to make the big plays. He had a seven-yard carry, spun out of a hit in the backfield and dove for a first down on third and short, and then got North on the board with a nine-yard keeper on the final play of the quarter.

“He’s tough as nails,” Johnson said of Bannon. “Those guys don’t care about technique or anything like that, they’re just football players, just snap them the ball and run downhill. He was a big factor.”

The extra point was no good, but the lead was cut to 13-6 and the game was definitely up for grabs with 12 minutes to play.

A holding call negated a huge gain on a pass to Joseph and pushed KP back inside its own 30. On third and 17, KP tried to go deep over the middle, but Bannon was there again. He pulled down a one-handed interception, managed to keep his footing, and then returned it 45 yards for his second touchdown. Frisoli picked out Wells on the conversion play and North had its first lead of the day.

Two possessions later, KP was able to answer. Grant hot Cantave for 14 yards out to the 38 then scrambled for 13 yards and another first down into North territory. On second and nine, he went deep down the near sideline to Clancy, who not only out-jumped the coverage to make the catch but was able to recover his balance and race into the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown.

KP went with a trick play on the conversion but Gately wasn’t able to find Grant in the back corner thanks to pressure from Bannon. The hosts led 19-14 with 4:05 on the clock.

“It’s a good sign,” Lee said about his team’s response to going behind, “but then you’ve got to make plays. You should’ve had an interception, you’ve got to make that play and you shouldn’t intercept the ball down here. All that stuff comes back to me. I think we’re all guilty and I just think North never quit.”

Three plays later, North was back in front, this time for good. Bannon’s 18-yard burst got North to the 43. Frisoli then took a shot deep. Wells managed to jump above two defensive backs right in front of his bench, ripping the ball away, and then having a free run to the end zone for a 57-yard score. Bannon was stopped in the backfield by Gately on the conversion but North was in front 20-19 with just 2:30 remaining.

Johnson said of Frisoli, “He’s got to develop physically but his poise and his football intelligence, he’s a smart kid, how quickly he’s picked it up, very impressive.” It was mentioned that Frisoli had to play Mansfield and KP in his first two starts and Johnson said, “If he can survive that, that’s a good sign.”

The Warriors had one last shot to stay perfect on the season, but four straight incompletions gave North the ball back and Bannon was able to get the one first down the Rocketeers needed so they could take a knee and run out the clock.

“That was our first full-length game really,” Lee said. “I think they were tested, had been in an overtime game, and it served them well. I felt we kind of panicked a little bit.” Asked if he thought the Warriors would be served well having this game under their belts before league play kicks off, Lee joked, “Well, only if we play better!”

Johnson was asked how important it was to his team to avoid going 0-3 with the Hock opener looming next week. He said, “We didn’t play well against Feehan, but we played better and were who we thought we could be against Mansfield. Then we got hit by the injuries and the COVID and I think guys were doubting themselves again. More than ever, this win was needed. We needed to get in the win column.”

North Attleboro (1-2) will try to build on the first win of the season next week when it hosts Canton. King Philip (2-1) will also open league play with a trip to unbeaten Taunton.

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KP Gets the Crucial Bounce to Edge Out Mansfield

King Philip Girls Soccer
KP freshman Mikayla Thompson (24) celebrates with her teammates after scoring an early goal against Mansfield, which turned out to be the game-winner. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – When Mansfield and King Philip square off on the pitch, it is inevitable that the game will be close, physical, fast-paced, and usually come down to a single bounce of the ball in either direction.

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On Monday night under the lights at Alumni Field, it was the Warriors that got the bounce. Morgan Norrman was able to chase down a long ball over the top, getting enough on it to push it into the path of freshman Mikayla Thompson to apply the finish. Despite Mansfield pressure throughout the second half, particularly on set pieces off the left foot of freshman Gabby Smith, Thompson’s goal held up and KP moved back into first place in the division with a 1-0 win.

“Another Mansfield/KP classic,” said KP coach Gary Pichel after the game. Mansfield coach Kevin Smith agreed. He said, “It was one heck of a game. There is a lot of talent in this league. Great coaching, great players, and the atmosphere was great.”

Pichel added, “We got the first bounce and I was looking for more bounces in the second half. I thought my keeper was outstanding. She came out and made some fantastic plays under pressure. It was a battle of the midfields again, like it usually is with us, and we were just lucky to get the right break at the right time.”

The goal came against the run of play, as the Hornets started brightly. A loose ball in the box gave the hosts two chances to put the ball on target but freshman defender Rihanna Mason, just called up from the JV team, was back on the line to block both efforts. In the 11th minute, Olivia Homsi cut inside from the right wing onto her left foot, but her shot was right at KP keeper Lauren Casper.

Although it was Mansfield that started on the front foot, in the 12th minute it was KP that was ahead on the scoreboard. A long ball over the top put the Mansfield back line under pressure. Normann gave chase and managed to squeeze between the defender and keeper Olivia Salisbury. A toe poke pushed the ball past the onrushing goalie and Thompson kept running to be there for the tap in into an empty net.

It was a first half of few clear-cut chances. Smith, the freshman defender, had a go from 25 yards on a free kick but sent it over the bar. Another Smith free kick in the final minute was only partially cleared and Carly Devine had a half-volley from the edge of the box that also went high.

Mansfield continued to put pressure on the KP defense, but the Warriors held firm with Casper controlling the penalty area, Grace Lawler sweeping up behind the back line, and Rylie Wesley holding up well as the Hornets consistently went down her wing.

“They were picking on our left side,” Pichel explained, “but Rylie played like it was our strong spot. She fought tooth and nail. It was a good battle. She held them off.”

Tarynn Smith had a chance early in the second half, but Casper was able to tip it over her head and then catch. Another cross from the right nearly picked out Smith at the back post, but again the keeper was in the way. Gabby Smith had another good look with a free kick on the right corner of the box and the shot curled inches over the bar.

The Warriors were trying to get forward quickly. Freshman Dani Lomuscio had a solid game in the midfield, sending angled balls out to the wings. It was her through ball that sent Ella Pisani clear down the right channel. KP’s leading scorer put her shot on target but Salisbury was able to palm it over the bar.

It was a rare chance for the visitors. The Mansfield defensive pairing of Smith and Kara Santos managed to repel most of KP’s attacks and leave Salisbury largely untroubled in goal.

“Except for that one long, over the top ball, we clamped down on them really well,” Smith said. When asked about the free kicks from his freshman center back, Smith added, “She’s learning and she’s growing. Her set piece delivery is fantastic.”

As the second half wore on, spurred on by a large crowd on both sides, the game became more frenetic. Mansfield continued to press, trying to avoid a second straight defeat. Devine sent in a low corner from the left that Smith volleyed just wide at the near post. Smith fired in a long free kick that was headed straight across goal. Anna Darlington met it at the far post, but the angle was tight and she only found the side netting.

Smith continued to play provider out of the back. Her ball over the top gave Darlington something to chase. The senior was able to get a toe on it at the edge of the box, but Casper was out quickly and smothered the shot.

It looked like the Hornets may have equalized with four minutes to go. Smith’s free kick was caught by Casper in traffic, but then the ball popped loose and went across the line. Celebrations were immediately cut short, as the official blew for a foul on the keeper.

Smith said, “We found a lot of space between their lines, we were playing quickly, we were finding gaps in their back line and credit to their keeper and their back line, I thought Grace Lawler had a great game, every time we got close they just had that last little touch.”

King Philip (4-1-0) will try to remain unbeaten in league play when it hosts Sharon on Wednesday. Mansfield (2-2-0) hosts Stoughton, trying to end its two-game skid.

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