FRANKLIN, Mass. – Hockomock League history was made on Saturday afternoon at Pirelli Veterans Arena, when Franklin hosted Mansfield/Oliver Ames (MOA) in the first girls’ hockey game to be played under the league’s banner.
Previously, girls’ hockey teams had been part of the Southeastern Mass Girls Hockey League (SEMGHL), but now the Hockomock had expanded enough to have its own competition, although, as Franklin coach Margie Burke explained, her young Panthers squad was more concerned with the start of a new season rather than a new league.
“There wasn’t a lot of focus on that to be honest,” Burke said. “Again, a young team, a lot of them don’t know the history. To them, they just assumed it was the Hock because that’s what the school is in.”
Amanda Lewandowski scored the historic first league goal and Franklin led 2-0 until late in the game, but the Warriors scored twice in the final 7:27 of the game to come from behind and ensure that both teams went home with their first Hockomock League point.
“It was a great comeback,” said MOA coach Mike Dalton. “The girls showed a lot of heart in the third period. We shouldn’t get down like that in a hole, but we dug ourselves out.”
Franklin took the lead a little more than two minutes into the game. On the power play, junior Regan Paterson swung the puck around to Jackie Connelly, who fired a shot towards the far post. Lewandowski was on hand at the back post to redirect the shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
MOA had its chances in the period with Mackenzie Fraser creating a scoring chance after shrugging off two defenders on the far boards, but Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott made the stop. Two minutes later, Stott (30 saves) came up big again, this time making a series of three close-range saves to deny a tying goal.
“She played great,” said Burke of the rookie netminder. “It’s her first high school game and you can’t ask much more than that.”
Franklin doubled the lead with 3:47 left in the first. Connelly again got the assist when she played the puck up the boards out of her defensive zone. The puck skipped past an MOA defenseman and Paterson was first to it, racing three quarter of the rink before planting her wrister top shelf.
Paterson had another opportunity early in the second but after dragging the puck past the defense her shot was gloved by MOA goalie Cate Gallagher.
The Warriors had their share of chances to cut into the lead, holding a 24-12 advantage in shots after the second (32-19 for the game), but Stott continued to make big saves. Lindsey Corning had her shot from the slot kicked aside by a quick right pad, then Stott showed quick reflexes to stop a deflected drive from the point by Melissa Shanteler.
In the final seconds of the period, Catherine Luciano split the Franklin defense with an outlet pass to Kristina O’Connell for a breakaway, but Stott went full split to block the shot at the far post. Dalton admitted that the Warriors were getting frustrated heading into the third.
“We had a lot of shots and quite a few chances,” he said. “I tell the girls that we need to relax and it will come because after the second period they were hitting their heads against the wall and trying to figure out what to do.”
The hosts started the third strongly and nearly put the game away. Gallagher made a series of saves in the first few minutes, including several off shots from the point by Gianna Cameron, to keep the Warriors alive.
MOA finally found a way through with 7:22 to play. O’Connell got another chance on a breakaway and she picked out the top corner high on the glove side to cut the lead to 2-1.
Dalton said, “First line played well but I think the second line played even better. Kayla Dalton, Kristina O’Connell and Ella Waryas played their best game that I’ve seen them play.”
With two minutes to play, MOA pressure paid off and tied the game. After a scramble in the crease, in which Stott made two close-range saves, the puck squirted out to the far post where Denae Reager was on hand to punch it in.
Franklin had an opportunity on the power play for the final 1:22 and Burke used a timeout to ensure that her young team would be careful and earn a season-opening point.
“They had two really great scoring opportunities where they scored and that’s what happens,” said Burke about the third period. “It just comes down to being a young team and playing a full game. There were a few spurts where they were a little maybe lax, tired, nerves, young, inexperienced, all of those things. I’m happy with this game; it’s a good start for us.”
When asked what it meant to his team to be playing in the first Hockomock League game, Dalton said, “They were excited. We stepped it up a little for the day. The Hockomock League will be a tough league and we should compete well with everybody.”
He added, “A lot of games like that will be fun to watch.”
Franklin (0-0-1) will travel to the New England Sports Center in Marlboro to face Medway/Ashland on Monday, while Mansfield/Oliver Ames (1-0-1) will head to the Jim Roche Arena in West Roxbury to face Ursuline Academy.
2016-2017 Record: 6-12-2 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro struggled in its closing games of 2016-17 and narrowly missed out on a place in the state tournament via the Sullivan rule. This year’s Bombardiers are hoping that a mix of youth and experience will be enough to get the team over the hump and back in the playoff mix.
The main scoring threat for Attleboro this season is senior forward Jake Parker, a HockomockSports.com Second Team selection last winter who led the team with 20 goals despite facing regular double teams and playing loads of minutes. Parker will be joined up front by sophomore Ryan Morry, who is coming off a solid rookie campaign and will try to take advantage of the opportunities Parker creates near the net.
Attleboro’s experience is on the defensive side of the ice. Seniors Eddie Noel and Sam MacKenzie and junior Kyle McCabe provide size, physicality, and reading of the game to protect the Bombardiers goal. Attleboro coach Mark Homer, in his second season with the team, is expecting the defensemen to be aggressive in the zone and be more prepared to clear the puck. The Bombardiers are also experienced in goal with junior Evan Andrews and sophomore Derrik Rivet offering a solid one-two between the pipes.
“As a team, we are working on becoming more competitive in our games at all phases of the game, said Homer. “We will strive to be better today than we were yesterday but not as good as we will be tomorrow. Our success will be measured by how hard we work and not by our wins and losses.”
2016-2017 Record: 16-5-3 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal. Coach: Brian Shuman
After another league title in 2016-17 and a run to the Div. 2 South semifinal, Canton has started this season with a win and a draw (that turned into an overtime win in the final of the Gormley Cup) and the expectations remain as high as ever for one of the teams to beat in D2.
Last season, Canton was by far the league’s best defensive team, allowing only 32 goals in 24 games. The next best defense allowed 48 goals. But, the Bulldogs will need to rebuild the blue line this season after the graduation of HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jackson Maffeo and Third Team selection C.J. Martin. Defensemen Brad Murphy and Nick Allen have experience and will be counted on to step up to bigger roles this year.
The key for the Canton defense, which has allowed only one goal in two games so far this season, will be junior goalie Quinn Gibbs. He was a HockomockSports.com First Team choice last year with a league-best 0.924 save percentage and there is hope he can get even better with a year of experience. Offensively, the Bulldogs bring back most of the goals from last year with Ryan Nolte, Johnny Hagan, Bubba McNeice, and Jack Goyetch all returning this season and all having scored big goals in big moments for Canton during last season’s tournament run.
“I think the most important determinant of our success will be whether we can find some depth at forward and defense,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “Teams need more than two lines and four ‘D’ to make a deep run, so we need some guys to compete for those remaining spots.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-12-2 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 3 First Round. Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro saw improvement last year, increasing its win total, goals for, and allowed fewer goals than the season before. Head coach Mark Cedarchuk is hoping that trend continues this season as the Warriors look to try and compete for the spot in the postseason.
The Warriors will be relying on a mix of experience as well as youth to try and compete in the Hockomock League this year. Senior captain Aidan Sullivan (two goals, six assists) has been an anchor of the team’s blue line unit over the past couple of seasons and will be relied upon to lead the way again this year. Senior captain Taylor Sharfman is another defenseman that gives the Warriors two capable and reliable options in the back. Junior Tanner Kennedy is also back after a solid sophomore year and Warriors added junior Brendan Tully to the defensive unit.
On offense, Foxboro graduated its top three goal scorers but sophomore Ronnie MacLellan (four goals, seven assists) is back after a strong sophomore year. He will be joined up front by senior Sam Garrabrant and sophomore Sebastian Ricketts, who had four goals and two assists last year.
Foxboro will have to find a replacement for goalie John Cronin, a multi-year starter in between the pipes for the Warriors. Foxboro has three goalies – freshman Jack Spinney, sophomore Espen Reager, and freshman Connor Callahan – listed on the roster.
“With a combination of experienced upperclassman and talented underclassman, we’re looking forward to an exciting and competitive season,” Cedarchuk said.
2016-2017 Record: 14-9-1 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Chris Spillane
Although last winter was atypical for the Panthers, losing two games in the league for the first time in several years, Franklin won another league title and with 20 players back for this season the expectation is that a seventh straight league crown is a distinct possibility – not to mention making a run in the state tournament.
Experience will be the key for the Panthers. Most of the forwards were members of the team that won the state championship two years ago and know what it takes to get goals against top competition. Leading scorer Brendan O’Rielly is back after scoring 20 goals and recording 11 assists last season. He should have plenty of help up front with classmates Luke Downie, Jeremy Miller, T.J. Durkin, and Ken Demerchant, who are all three-year varsity players for the Panthers.
Defensively, Franklin has lost several talented young defensemen to other programs in recent seasons, but still boasts a strong defensive corps heading into this winter. Jack McGrath, Matt Crane, Connor Norton, Cam Cassella, and sophomore Tom Tasker will all contribute to the defensive pairings this season and that depth will be important over a long season. The goalie position is a battle between three seniors, including returning netminders Owen Ginley and Dan Sheehan, who both saw time last year.
“I will be looking to our leading goal scorer from last year Brendan O’Rielly to once again lead the offensive charge,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “From a small practice sample (one skate) I was impressed with our team speed.”
2016-2017 Record: 4-16-0 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip finished just below .500 in the league last season, and just five points out of second place in the Kelley-Rex division, but struggled in the non-league schedule, losing all 11 games outside of the Hock. The Warriors will look to improve that considerably this year with an experienced roster that wants to challenge for a league title.
KP returns 13 players from last year’s squad and that experience will be vital to allow the Warriors to compete not only in the league but against a schedule that has been bolstered because of the program’s move up to Div. 1 several seasons ago. Offensively, the attention will be on senior forward Collin Cooke, who chipped in with 10 goals and seven assists and has been drawing the focus of opposing defenses for several years. Senior Gavin Maxwell had nine goals and eight assists last season and will again be a solid counterpoint to take some of the pressure off Cooke in the attacking zone.
On the defensive side of the ice, KP continues to be a physical team that likes to be aggressive attacking the puck. Senior defensemen Will Connor will get some help at the back with the return of senior Mike Curtin from juniors, who head coach Paul Carlow said could be an “anchor” on defense. Senior Shane Frommer, fresh off a stellar football season and another Super Bowl title, will quickly transition from the gridiron to be the team’s starting goalie, after posting a 2.66 goals against average in 2016-17.
“Our strength is that we have a total of 13 returning players from last years team,” said Carlow. “We have experience up front and on the back end. We should see some team chemistry with this many returning players.”
2016-2017 Record: 12-8-2 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round. Coach: Mike Balazarini
In last year’s state tournament, Mansfield held its own against perennial power Xaverian before losing 2-1 in the opening round and that defeat is spurring the Hornets on this season, as the team has built a deep roster that believes it can challenge for the Kelley-Rex crown.
Team speed is going to be a strength for the Hornets this season, even without several key pieces from last winter, including breakout freshman Chris Jenkins, lost to graduation or to juniors. Senior forward Dylan Tivnan and Cullin Anastasia will be back to man the top scoring line along with freshman Coleman Jenkins. The second line will feature a lot of youth with sophomore Jake Lund and freshman Matt Copponi alongside junior Chris Copponi.
Seniors Tyler Oakley and Tim Arnold will be the leaders on the defensive side this year, while senior Ryan O’Hara and juniors Nick Levine and Austin Ricker will give the Hornets depth in the defensive unit. That depth should make things easier for sophomore Sean McCafferty, who will be stepping between the pipes for Mansfield this season.
“I think everyone wants to pick up where he left off last year,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini. “We’ve had a good mindset early on this season. We have some new faces and everyone has gelled so far. We can’t take everyone lightly, we have to play every shift as its out last.”
2016-2017 Record: 14-4-4 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Ben McManama
North Attleboro is coming off its most successful season in program history, and will be starting a new chapter with new head coach Ben McManama.
The Rocketeers will be tasked with finding replacements for some of the top players in the league from a season ago. Someone will need to step up in order to fill the void left by Zach McGowan (19 goals, 13 assists for 32 points – third most in the Hockomock) as well as Hunter Sarro’s 22 points and Erik Clements’ 20 points.
Senior Jason McNeany is a key piece back for the Rocketeers, fresh off a terrific football season. He scored 13 goals last season and added 13 assists, and has been a big piece of the offense for many years now. He will be counted on to be a leader this season, both in the locker room and on the ice.
2016-2017 Record: 14-7-1 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Sean Bertoni
Under first-year head coach Sean Bertoni, Oliver Ames proved to be a strong skating team that could cause a number of problems with its dangerous attack. That speed up front will be put to the test again this year, as the Tigers look to jump from second in the Kelley-Rex division to the top of the standings.
The Tigers have a number of talented forwards returning from last season’s team, which reached the Div. 2 South tournament and beat Nauset only to run into state finalist Scituate in the second round. That loss will provide motivation for junior forward Brett Williams, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team with 12 goals and eight assists last year, and the rest of the OA forwards. Williams will be joined up front by seniors Eric LeBlanc and Rory Madden and junior Max Ward.
On defense, junior Matt McCormick returns to be one of the top four along with senior Mike Nikiciuk. Both players will provide leadership for a defensive unit that promises to be aggressive in both zones, as Bertoni continues to implement his system at OA. Sophomore goalie Owen Connor will be the new goalie for the Tigers.
“We will continue to use our team speed and play an aggressive style offensively and defensively,” said Bertoni. “We hope to compete at a high level in all three zones. If we bring an aggressive forecheck we can create turnovers which should result in production.”
2016-2017 Record: 7-12-2 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Dan Mark
Numbers are a bit down for the Stoughton High hockey team this season, so the Knights will be relying on their most experienced players to lead the way, especially early on.
On offense, the Knights boast senior Brendan Campbell at center and junior Sean Doherty at wing. Campbell had a team-high in points last season, finishing second with 11 goals while recording a team-best 15 assists for 26 points. Doherty was third on the team, tying for the team lead with 12 goals and finishing with 25 points.
Senior Cam Nelson and junior Josh Hough will be the leaders of the Knights’ defensive unit. Hough is a captain along with Campbell and Doherty and has the most experience on the blue line. Nelson also saw plenty of time last season, recording an assist.
“We are an inexperienced team that will improve as the season goes on,” said Stoughton head coach Dan Mark.
2016-2017 Record: 12-9-2 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round. Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of seasons, setting new program bests for wins and making the state tournament two seasons in a row. This year’s team features only three seniors, so the Tigers will be hoping recent success will continue with a youthful lineup.
Senior forward Will Walsh has returned from junior hockey and will provide a boost to the front line, which head coach Kris Metea has high hopes for this season. Senior Jake Roberts is also back for the Tigers after scoring 18 points last year and junior Cam Sneyd is back after a 16-point season last winter. Metea is counting on high energy from the offensive unit and believes that the roster is capable of creating loads of scoring opportunities.
Sophomore Sean Bunker will be in net for the Tigers and the defensive unit is fairly inexperienced, although the coach believes that by working together Taunton will be able to put together a solid back line. The hope is that defense will become a strength of the Tigers by the end of the season.
“The players enjoy wearing the orange and black and look forward to coming to the rink every day,” said Metea. “The coaching staff has preached about enjoying the journey of a season and the developmental process. These players strive to work hard and get better every day. They will be fun to watch grow throughout the season.”
2016-2017 Record: 14-5-6 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Final Coach: Dennis Aldrich
Canton is coming off a remarkable state tournament run that took the No. 14 seed all the way to the TD Garden and the program’s first state title game appearance since 2006. After years of competing in the SEMGHL Coastal division, the Bulldogs are excited for the first Hockomock League girls’ hockey season and enter the new season as favorites to bring home the first Hock title.
A number of key players are back from the team that battled Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the state championship game last March and will be counted on to put together another solid defensive effort that made the Bulldogs so tough to play against during the tournament run. Spearheading that defensive unit is senior goalie Colleen Kelleher, who was stellar throughout the state tournament with clutch saves in key situations.
On offense, Canton returns plenty of firepower. Juniors Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick emerged as big time scorers last year and came through with important goals to help the Bulldogs make a run to the Garden. Senior forwards Melissa Devane, Kendra Farrelly, and Andrea McNeil give Canton a loaded attacking unit that always seemed to pop up with goals when the team needed it most.
“The strength of the Bulldogs will continue to be a tenacious, smothering team defense, strong goaltending, and balanced, opportunistic scoring,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “We are proud to have our roster filled with 11 Canton team captains amongst our 22 rostered players.”
Franklin enters the first Hockomock League girls’ hockey season with a young roster, but one that is expected to compete with the other four teams and have a shot at bringing home the inaugural title.
Junior Regan Paterson and senior Jackie Connelly will be expected to provide leadership and create scoring opportunities for a roster that is loaded with underclassmen. Both players provide speed and playmaking ability in the attacking zone and the Panthers will be counting on their experience to make the difference.
Leadership is going to be critical for this year’s team and head coach Marjorie Burke is looking to her senior class to provide direction for the youthful lineup on both ends of the ice. Among the seniors that Burke is looking to this season are Bella Trask, Caroline Hedvig, Maddie Hinkley, Jillian McGlaughlin, and Connelly.
“We are excited about the upcoming season,” said Burke. “We are young but look to be competitive.”
Three years ago, King Philip was the top seed in Div. 2 and after two more playoff appearance, the Warriors now have the opportunity to bring their recent success into the first ever Hockomock League girls’ hockey season and hope that an experienced lineup could make them the first Hock champs.
Junior Nicole Connor is off to a strong start this season and has the potential, according to KP coach Jack Unger, to be one of the top players in the Hockomock League this year. Connor will play both at forward and along the blue line, crucial versatility that makes her an important piece for KP. The Warriors return five seniors who will be the “backbone” of the squad, said Unger. Kyleigh Remmes, Olivia McCarthy, Jessica Daniels, Katie Crowther, and Talia Quinn give the Warriors depth all over the ice.
Lilly Potts returns for her third year in between the pipes, while sophomore Cristina Coleman will be the backup netminder. Freshmen Avari Maxwell and Jordyn Remmes will be instant contributors on offense, while classmate Marin Cormier will step in on defense. Sophomores Abby Carr and Sammy Robison are also expected to step in at forward this season.
“[The roster is] rounded out by a number of talented juniors who should be able to spread out the scoring amongst the three starting forward lines,” said Unger.
2016-2017 Record: 14-6-1 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 First Round. Coach: Mike Dalton
Mansfield, Oliver Ames, and Foxboro have joined forces since the 2014-15 season and have reached the postseason each of the past two winters, suffering an overtime loss to Walpole in the first round of the state tournament last year, and have started this season with an impressive win in the opener.
The Warriors will be led by Foxboro’s Catherine Luciano. The senior was the team’s leading scorer last year and scored a hat trick in the season opener to get off to another strong start. Joining Luciano on the top line will be Mackenzie Fraser and Isabelle Shanteller. Other contributors in the offensive zone include senior Kayla Dalton, Kristina O’Connell, and Lindsey Corning.
While the Warriors are expected to create a number of scoring opportunities, defense will be just as important if Mansfield/OA (MOA) is going to make it a third straight playoff appearance. Denea Reager, Ali Delano, and Emily Bubencick will all be critical components of the Warriors defensive unit. Senior Kerren Holmes will be back in goal this year to stifle the opposition, while freshman Cate Gallegher will be the backup netminder.
“A strong freshman class will assist the team with help on both offense and defense,” said MOA coach Mike Dalton. “The team looks to compete for a top position in the Hockomock League and secure a spot in the tournament.”
2016-2017 Record: 1-19-1 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Richard Grasso
The newest of the programs in the inaugural season of Hockomock League girls’ hockey, Stoughton is in only its third season of varsity play, but the Black Knights are counting on last year’s experience and the growth in the program to make them a team to watch out for this winter.
Two-time all-star Julia Russell will be one of the key defenders for the Black Knights, but also brings an offensive punch with her speed forcing opponents to worry about her carrying the puck through the neutral zone. Senior Sarah Widrow will join Russell at the blue line and provides consistency in the defensive zone. Both will be expected to provide leadership for the less experienced players on the roster and try to make Stoughton a team that is tough to play against.
The offense will be sparked by a pair of freshmen. Hailey Nelson and Morgan Lesso made an instant impact on their debuts, helping Stoughton start the season with a 6-5 win at Framingham in the season opener. Lesso recorded a hat trick against the Flyers to set a high standard in her first varsity action.
“Stoughton will be a much stronger team this year than last,” said Black Knights coach Richard Grasso. “However, this will be a great challenge for our program. We have a lot of respect for the teams in the Hockomock League. There’s a lot of talent out there and each team is well-coached.”
Taunton, 50 @ Cumberland (R.I.), 39 – Final – Senior Hannah Moniz was the top scorer for the Tigers with 14 points in the season opening win. Fellow senior Mackenzie Handrahan chipped in with 12 points and juniors Alexa White and Lily Patneaude each scored nine for Taunton.
Canton, 2 vs. Hanover 1 – Final (OT) – The Bulldogs earned a point in a 1-1 tie, but for Jim Gormley Cup tournament purposes the game headed to overtime. Sophomore Johnny Hagan scored the game-winner, giving the Dogs their third straight tournament win.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 8 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 1 – Final – Catherine Luciano led the way for the Warriors with a hat trick in the season opener. Emma Garland added a pair of goals, while Isabella Shanteler, Kristina O’Connell, and Tess Luciano each scored one.
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final – Mansfield’s Lauren Clang and Alicia Hottleman each scored a pair of goals as the Hornets’ offense exploded for its highest-scoring outing of the season. Kristina O’Connell, Abby Varricchione, Emily Ierardo and Hayleigh Crawford each scored once for Mansfield. Abigail Boudreau scored for Attleboro.
Canton, 6 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Canton’s Maggie Malloy netted a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs to a big win on the road.
Foxboro, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final
Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton erased a pair of deficits and then scored the winner late in the second half to pull off a win over visiting Franklin. Franklin went up 1-0 on a goal from sophomore Erin Walsh on a feed from junior Ashley Reutlinger. Taunton tied the game on a goal from Liana Duarte, but Franklin regained the lead behind a tally from freshman Victoria Quinn, assisted by Cassi Ronan. Taunton senior Kya Enos scored the equalizer to make it 2-2 and senior Diana Brens scored the late winner for the Tigers. Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan (15 saves) received praise from both THS head coach Mike Fox and FHS head coach Lisa Cropper. Fox also noted the strong defensive play of Mabel Smith, Jocelyn Pagliuca, and Riley Murphy.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – After over 45 minutes of scoreless play, King Philip finally broke the deadlock with the lone goal of the game. KP senior Liz Furfari scored with 13:10 left on an assist from junior Caroline Klim.
Sharon, 1 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Sharon, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton overcame a 2-1 deficit to pick up a 3-2 win over visiting Sharon (25-14, 19-25, 25-27, 25-11, 15-12). Nicole Brown had 22 assists, five kills, and four aces for the Bulldogs while Hannah Jerrier had eight kills and four blocks, and Rose Hazam added five kills, two aces, and 18 digs.
Foxboro, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield earned a big win in the first game, but Franklin rallied for three straight to earn the win (10-25, 25-10, 25-15, 25-20). FHS junior Lauren McGrath set the offense up with 40 assists and three aces, Hailey Sanders notched 11 kills and three blocks, Ellie Wisniewski had 10 kills and four aces and Maggie Doyle added nine kills and five blocks for the Panthers. For Mansfield, Meg Hill had 17 kills, Julia Harrison had 12 kills and Jolie O’Neil finished with 10 digs.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro dropped the first game but rattled off three straight wins to claim the Davenport division title outright with a 22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 win over Stoughton. Senior Leah Marceau had 26 assists, spreading the ball around to balance the Rocketeers’ attack. Amelia Murphy led the way with 12 kills and five aces, Anna Caristi had 10 kills and five blocks and Kezie De La Cruz added 10 kills and four aces.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip celebrated Senior Night by clinching its second straight Kelley-Rex division title with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-20 win over visiting Taunton. KP senior Sydney Phillips had 11 kills, seven aces, and three digs, Michaela Palumbo added seven kills and two aces, Grace Ely had nine kills, and Julianne Rando chipped in with seven digs.
King Philip, 167 @ Attleboro, 162 – Final – Attleboro won its third match in three days to punch its ticket to the D1 South Sectional, the program’s first postseason appearance since 2010. Kyle DelSignore led the Bombardiers with a low-round of 38 while Ethan Johnson shot a 40. Jack Handy carded a 41 and Taron Mills shot 43 for Attleboro. King Philip’s Matt Stanton earned co-match medalist honors with a 38.
Canton, 151 @ Oliver Ames, 144 – Final – Oliver Ames emerged as the winner in a battle of two unbeaten teams, finishing the regular season 15-0. Canton finishes 13-1. It was no secret of how much talent both teams have as the top four golfers from each side all finished under 40. OA’s Ryan McGarry, who birded on the second and fourth holes, earned match medalist honors with a 34. Thomas Walsh carded a 36 for the Tigers while both Nolan Donze and Eric LeBlanc each shot 37. Joey Vaughan led Canton with a 36 while Danny Powers and Thomas Singleton each carded rounds of 38 and Jack Goyetch fired a 39.
Foxboro, 181 @ Franklin, 171 – Final
Taunton, 181 @ Stoughton, 180 – Final – Stoughton picked up its first win in four years, edging Taunton by a stroke at Easton Country Club. Brendan Campbell and Luke Bainton led the way for the Black Knights, each carding a round of 43 while Josh Hough shot a 44 for Stoughton.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final
Canton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin scored a pair of goals inside the first five minutes of the second half, breaking open a tie game to earn the win. Freshman Amanda Lewandowski scored her first career goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, just minutes after senior Maddy Hinckley put the Panthers up 2-1 early in the second half. Junior Annie Walsh scored Franklin’s first goal on an assist from Regan Paterson. FHS head coach Lisa Cropper said junior Anna Jardine (12 saves) was stellar in net and also praised the play of sophomore Courtney Davenport, who made her varsity debut.
Foxboro, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 7 – Final – Abby Varricchione and Hayleigh Crawford each scored a pair of goals to lead the Hornets to a home win over visiting Sharon. Ann Maher, Kristina O’Connell and Heather D’Ambra also scored once for Mansfield while Alicia Hottleman and Maggie Danehy notched assists in the win.
King Philip, 172 @ Sharon, 173 – Final – King Philip’s Nate Ihley carded a team-low round of 41 to help the Warriors edge Sharon at The Cape Club. Sharon’s Russell Rapaport earned match medalist honors with a low round of 39.
Attleboro, 161 @ Canton, 141 – Final – Canton’s Jack Goyetch, Joey Vaughan and Niko Donovan all had their best performances of their careers on Thursday afternoon, leading the Bulldogs to a big win over Attleboro. Goyetch shot a two-under-par round of 32, Vaughan carded a one-under-par round of 33 and Donovan shot a career-best 38. Chris Lavoie and Thomas Singleton also carded rounds of 38 for the Bulldogs. Attleboro’s Ethan Johnson and Taran Mills each shot 39 for the Bombardiers.
Taunton, 189 vs. New Bedford, 226 – Final – Taunton’s Cam Williams shot a team-low round of 42 to lead the Tigers past New Bedford. Kyle Robinson chipped in with a round of 46 for the Tigers.
Canton, 2 @ Norwood, 0 – Final – Canton senior Jake Verille converted a penalty kick and freshman TJ McCabe netted his first career goal as the Bulldogs earned two points on the road in a non-league game.
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Frankin junior Cassi Ronan had a hand in all four Panthers goals, scoring a pair and assisting on the other two. Juniors Annie Walsh and Regan Paterson each scored once and added one assist in the win. Panthers goalie Christina Luccini made nine saves in the win while FHS head coach Lisa Cropper said Jill McLaughlin did “an outstanding job in the midfield.”
Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Mansfield scored once in each half, netting the game-winner with just over 15 minutes to play in the game. Hayleigh Crawford opened the scoring, putting the Hornets up 1-0 on an assist from Ann Maher just before the midway point of the first half. KP tied the game five minutes into the second half when Dana Truini converted a centering pass from Alli Meehan. Kristina O’Connell netted the winner on an assist from Crawford. Mansfield goalie Kayla Hunter made 21 saves in net.
Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames had three different players score in its win on the road. Liz Nuss, Maggie Woods and Maura Kiernan each found the back of the net while Kayla Lozzi had two assists. Caitlin Grant made nine saves in net for Oliver Ames. For Taunton, Diana Brens scored on an assist from Lauren Torres.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Stoughton’s Lauren Berteletti and Julia Russell both found the back of the net twice while Kamryn Oliveira and Haley Apotheker each added single goals for the Black Knights.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Maggie Doyle had a strong day at the service line, recording 14 service points, including three aces, and added five kills as the Panthers earned a sweep on the road. Ellie Wisniewski (eight kills) and Meaghan Maguire (seven kills) helped pace Franklin’s offense.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton defended its home court with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 sweep over the visiting Warriors. Nicole Brown led Canton’s offense with 18 assists, four kills and one block while Hannah Jerrier added 10 kills. CHS head coach Pat Cawley said Angie Elias and Nyah Claiborne played well off the bench.
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip earned a sweep against the visiting Hornets, cruising in the first game before edging Mansfield in the final two (25-13, 25-23, 26-24). Sydney Phillips led the way with 22 service points, including four aces, and led the offense with 14 kills. Michaela Palumbo added 12 kills, Rachael Veilleux finished with 32 assists and Julianne Rando had six digs. For Mansfield, Meg Hill had eight kills and four blocks, Julia Harrison added six kills and Greenly Kelly finished with five kills and three blocks. Junior Katie Dardinski had eight service points for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – After dropping the opening game, Oliver Ames rallied for three straight wins to earn the victory on the road (24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23). OA head coach Chelsea Cunningham praised senior Caroline Cavanaugh, saying she was “the glue on and off the court.” Sophomore Ally Kemp finished 30 assists, junior Sadie Homer had 22 digs, senior Emma Petrillo added 14 kills, and senior Kayla Raymond finished with 11 kills, four blocks and three aces.
Sharon, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22 win over Sharon. Senior Vicky Ramos and sophomore Mykiah Simpson had strong games from the outside while junior Molly Turner added 17 assists for the Knights.
Foxboro, 171 @ Milford, 170 – Final – Milford’s Andrew Fauerbach earned co-medalist honors, carding a team-low round of 39 to help the Hawks nip the Warriors. Foxboro’s Logan Sloan shared medalist honors with a 39 of his own. Milford’s Riley Lynch and Foxboro’s Noah Hicks each carded rounds of 42.
Franklin, 166 @ Mansfield, 162 – Final – Mansfield senior Brendan Loomer and freshman Brian See both carded rounds of 38 to lead the Hornets to a close win over Franklin. Senior Madison Haughey and freshman Joseph Gormley added rounds of 43 for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 179 @ North Attleboro, 150 – Final – All four of North’s top golfers finished with rounds under 40 in middle course at Heather Hill. Dylan Kane fired a one-over-par round of 36 while Matt Wanless, Marcus Costa and Jillian Barend each shot 38 on the day.
By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
FRANKLIN, Mass. – It felt like mid-summer on the turf at Beaver Field on Monday as Franklin hosted Mansfield in a Kelley-Rex showdown, but the weather didn’t slow down either sides’ offense as the two sides battled to a 2-2 tie.
Just two minutes into the game, Franklin had a scoring opportunity but the Panthers couldn’t find the back of the net. Four minutes later, Mansfield had an opportunity of its own but a kick save by Franklin goalie Anna Jardine (nine first half saves) kept the Hornets off the board. Ten minutes in, Franklin had another good scoring chance but a nice save by Mansfield goalie Kayla Hunter (11 saves) prevented the Panthers from taking an early lead.
With 16 minutes left in the half, Mansfield’s shot was kicked away by Jardine and to the top corner of the circle where Ann Maher put the ball on her stick and drove a shot to the corner to put the Hornets up 1-0.
Two minutes later, a would-be Franklin goal was waved off after it ruled the shot hit the foot of a Franklin player. Mansfield would then see their best scoring opportunity for the rest of the half when the Hornets had three shots on goal in a sequence with nine minutes left in the first half, but stout play from Jardine and the Franklin defense managed to keep the Franklin deficit at one.
With the first half winding down, Franklin junior Annie Walsh had her shot tipped and deflected in by sophomore Erin Walsh, and the Panthers tied the game up 1-1.
With the heat, Franklin made a goalie change at halftime, putting in Christina Luccini who would be tested immediately with an early Mansfield corner, However, Luccini was able to kick it away for the first of her six second half saves.
“Both Anna and Christina have been playing very well, Anna did an outstanding job against Walpole on Saturday, but I knew with the heat that’d we’d probably have to use both of them.” Franklin coach Lisa Cropper said about her team’s goalie play. “They’ve both been much more aggressive and covered their angles better.”
With 22 minutes left in the half, Franklin had a scoring chance of their own, but once again a save by Hunter kept the score tied. Eleven minutes later, a rebound after a Mansfield corner made it onto the stick of Kristina O’Connell, and she put it in the back of the net to give Mansfield a 2-1 lead.
Franklin kept attacking, however, and once again they broke through late in the half, as Regan Paterson scored off a rebound to tie the score up at two.
“I kept putting it to the girls that you gotta want it more than they do,” Cropper said. “Yes, it’s hot, but it’s hot for both teams, so we just had to dig deeper and it was about who wanted it more.”
Franklin wasn’t done after Paterson’s goal, however, as the Panthers had another scoring opportunity with just 1:40 to go in the game, as Cassi Ronan’s aerial off a corner went just over the net, and despite a late Mansfield push, the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
Franklin (2-3-2) will head to Attleboro on Wednesday to take on the Bombardiers.
Mansfield (2-2-2) heads to King Philip on Wednesday to take on the unbeaten Warriors.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 7 – Final – King Philip raced out to a 6-0 lead at halftime and never looked back, notching its fourth win of the season. Alli Meehan had four goals while Christina Hathaway recorded two assists. Claire Lawler, Nicole Connors and Caroline Klim each scored once for the Warriors.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 7 – Final – Maggie Malloy netted a hat trick and Andrea McNeil registered four points as Canton picked up a key division win at home over North Attleboro. McNeil scored once and added three assists.
Foxboro, 6 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Taunton took the lead seven minutes into the second half but Mansfield found the equalizer less than two minutes later to settle for a draw. Diana Brens put Taunton ahead on an assist from Liana Duarte while Kristina O’Connell tied the game with the assist going to Ann Maher. THS head coach Liz Hathaway said Brens, Duarte, Mabel Smith and Jillian Pagliuca had strong performances for the Tigers while Emma Sheehan totaled seven saves in net.
Stoughton, 3 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Milford’s Shannon Cormier scored twice and assisted on the game-winning goal to help the Hawks edge visiting Stoughton. The Hawks erased a pair of first half deficits and took a 3-2 lead into the break on Cormier’s second goal, assists by Kate Wimette. The Black Knights tied the game up at 3-3 but Cormier set up Danielle Fokas for the game-winner. Fokas also had an assist while Ashlyn Olivieri scored once on an assist from Bella Gonzalez. Alanna McCormick, Julia Russell and Jordan Lyons scored for Stoughton.
Mansfield @ Franklin, 3:00
Milford, 182 @ Sharon, 171 – Final – Sharon’s Corey Carter carded a match medalist round of 40 to lead the Eagles to a win over Milford. Zach Tammaro paced the Hawks with a round of 42.
Attleboro, 167 @ Stoughton, 186 – Final – Final – Kyle DelSignore earned match medalist honors for the Bombardiers, shooting a low-round of 38. Taron Mills added a 42 and Ethan Johnson shot 43. Stoughton’s Brendan Campbell carded a team-low round of 39.
Foxboro, 166 @ Canton, 155 – Final – Canton’s Danny Powers and Joey Vaughan shared match medalist honors for the second straight day, each carding a low round of 38 in the Bulldogs’ win. Jack Goyetch added a 39 for Canton while Noah Hicks and Matt Lathrop led Foxboro, each carding a round of 41.
Taunton, 276 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 292 – Final – Taunton’s Jack Patneuade shot a team-low round of 38 to lead the Tigers to a win over rival Coyle in a match that counted six cards. Jack Giebel shot a 42 and Spencer Andrews carded a round of 45 for Taunton.
After registering just four wins a season ago, Big Blue is hoping for a big bounce back year in 2017. The toughest task will be finding replacements for the large amount of seniors that have graduated over the past two seasons. A big reason for hope to get back towards state tournament competition is four-year varsity player Grace Mayer. Mayer has been one of the top players in the Hock over the past couple of the seasons and led the Bombardiers with six goals and three assists for nine points. She will be joined on the forward line by junior Alexis Compton and junior transfer Takara Keele. Head coach Lindsay Antunes said her midfield has been strengthened “immensely” by sophomore Anna Beck, who was pulled up mid-season last year.
“There is an immense amount of unity on this team, and an outpouring of teamwork,” Antunes said. “Under the leadership of our current captains, many girls have assumed these roles [left by graduation] and are taking over the field. Some girls have been forced to transition into roles that are similar to ones they played in in the past, but not quite exact.”
2016 Record: 13-5-2 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
Canton is returning a strong core of players from a 13-win team a year ago and will be in the hunt for the Davenport title. Key returning players include senior forward Andrea McNeil and junior forward Maggie Malloy, who will be back to pace the Bulldogs’ offense, as well as senior midfielders Emily Campbell and Maggie Wade. With experience back in the mid, the Bulldogs expect to have a strong passing game and strong ball control. Senior Riley Brown will step in as the starting goalie and freshman Maria Femia could make an impact as a rookie.
“Coming into our second season we look to strengthen our passing game and game sense,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “We look forward to another competitive season in the Hockomock League!”
Coming off its best season in program history, Foxboro is now focused on 2017 and trying to write its owm chapter in the history books. While the Warriors graduated over a half a dozen seniors, they return last year’s Hockomock League MVP in goalie Kelli McCarthy as well as 2016 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Lily Daly. With experience on both ends of the field, Foxboro is set up nicely for 2017. Daly has led the Warriors in scoring in each of the past two seasons.
The middle of the field will look most familiar from last season with seniors Jackie Brion and Catherine Luciano, and juniors Meghan Curran and Sophia DiCenso all returning after playing valuable minutes last season. The biggest challenge for the Warriors could be replacing starting defenders Kelly Fisher and Angela VandenBoom, who both graduated.
2016 Record: 12-4-4 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Lisa Cropper
The defending Kelley-Rex division champions are in a good spot with so many returning players from last year’s squad. Leading the way is HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Annie Walsh, who led the Hockomock League with 25 points a season ago. Cassi Ronan (16 points) and Erin Walsh (10 points) are also back as Franklin returns its top three scorers. Another positive is that Franklin has some experience back on the defensive end as well. Kate Morse is back to anchor the unit after an impressive junior season and will be joined by Meri Gendreau and Emily Valentino in front of goalie Christina Luccini. Head coach Lisa Cropper expects senior Maddie Hinckley and freshman Victoria Quinn to also play big roles for the Panthers.
“Our biggest asset this season is depth,” Cropper said. “We are hoping to wear down our opponents and utilize our speed late in games.”
After coming just a point shy of splitting the league title with Franklin a season ago, King Philip returns a strong core that will look to make another push for the Kelley-Rex crown. One big reason that the Warriors will be in the mix is because senior goalie Abby Campbell is back in the cage this season. And in front of Campbell, KP returns senior Christina Hathaway – two big reasons why the Warriors allowed only 13 goals all season in 2016. The offense will look very familiar with senior Liz Furfari (13 points) and junior Alli Meehan (25 points) back in the fold. Juniors Kate Lindmark and Caroline Klim will help bolster the defense while Nicole Connor and Dana Truini will be important players in the midfield.
“We have speed and can create a quick transition game with our passing game and formation,” said KP head coach Liz Hathaway. “We also have a couple of big hitters which should help us generate getting the ball inside the offensive 25 and to execute on corners.”
2016 Record: 13-5-2 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Theresa Nyhan
Mansfield is relying on seven returning seniors and a mix of young players as they look to get back to the state tournament yet again this season. The Hornets have senior leadership all over the field, which will be important in a very deep and talented league. Up top, Mansfield had Heather D’Amdra and Kristina O’Connell, while seniors Emily Ierardo and Ann Maher will lead the way from the midfield. On the defensive end, seniors Nicole Berluti, Julia Burhman and Brittany Lam will anchor the back line.
“As a unit we are looking to move the ball at pace,” said Mansfield head coach Theresa Nyhan. “We have speed at all levels and look to transition quickly.”
2016 Record: 3-15-2 2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Kim Danish
Although the Hawks graduated 11 seniors from last year’s squad, they return some key pieces that head coach Kim Danish is hoping will help Milford take a step forward. The Hawks will lean on tri-captains Shannon Cormier (the team’s leading scorer last season), Danielle Fokas (who will start on the wing) and Emily Condon (a returning member of the Hawks’ defense) to pave the way this season. Kate Wimette, Colby Bowers and Megan Larouco will see time in the midfield while Julie Rabinowitz would see time all over the field, depending on need. Milford is looking to rely on speed on offense to try and get the offense going.
“We have a strong mix of seven returning seniors who are fantastic leaders and a great core group from last year’s JV team who will step up and make an immediate impact on the field,” Danish said. “Overall, the motivation and work ethic among this group has been top notch! We are looking forward to a great season.”
After missing out on the state tournament in back-to-back years, Big Red field hockey is hoping to make a run at the Davenport crown and get back to the MIAA playoffs. One tough task will be replacing 14 seniors, including all-league goalie Liz Morehouse, all-star Mary Kummer and all-league honorable mention Teresa Bagarella. But head coach Karen Folan is confident she has the pieces to compete in a deep Hockomock League this year. Senior captains Emilie Pothier, Olivia Gedgaudus and Camille Pizarro return to make up the majority of the midfield. Senior Katherine Munley is also back on the wing, giving Big Red some speed on the outside. Sophomore Emma Strachan takes over in net this season, with Folan describing her as “quick and aggressive.”
“The returning members of the varsity team have shown they are ready to fill in any gaps our line up may have after graduating 14 seniors,” Folan said. “And our new team members are eager to step onto the varsity playing field.”
2016 Record: 11-6-3 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Abby Tepper
Oliver Ames will be relying on a mix of experience and youth as they try to stay competitive in a deep Kelley-Rex division. It starts with senior captain Sarah Stevens in the midfield, who will be the “quarterback” of the midfield according to head coach Abby Tepper. Senior Cristina Boudreau and junior Kayla Lozzi will bolster that midfield while senior Liz Nuss will provide speed to the attacking group. OA’s defense will be anchored by senior captain Sarah Tetrault while senior Caitlin Grant will be the starting goalie. Freshman Brynna Courneen has impressed defensively early on.
“This year our offense will be quick and have speed,” Tepper said. “We have some young players filling the wing spots and we are working on being hungry inside the circle. We want to be a scrappy team and get the ball in the bucket no matter what it takes. Our defense does a solid job recovering for one another in the circle and stepping to ball without hesitation. As a team we want to build a positive culture and work hard day in and day out.”
2016 Record: 1-17-0 2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Vandette
Now in her third year at the helm of the Sharon Eagles, head coach Andrea Vandette is confident that her squad is ready to take the next step and find some more success. The Eagles are led by three captains: Elyse Korn, Abbi Solomon and Grace Leavitt. Leavitt started to come on strong at the end of the year last season and will be the anchor for the Eagles’ defensive unit this season. Senior Lindsay Moses will be be in the cage and has a good amount of varsity experience under her belt. In the midfield, Leora Leavitt will be in the center of the field and one of the Eagles’ most reliable players. Vandette is also expecting juniors Veronica Wallace and Stephanie Edwards to continue their growth after picking up the sport a season ago.
“My main goal for the girls this season is to compete,” Vendette said. “Being that this is my third year with the program, I believe they know my expectations and the seniors have a good understanding of how to move the ball on the field and how to be successful. We certainly have enough talent to put a few more wins on the board this season!”
2016 Record: 8-9-3 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Dan Mark
Despite graduating a handful of talented players, including 2015 Hockomock League MVP Angela Connolly, Stoughton head coach Dan Mark is bringing back several key players for the 2017 version of the Black Knights. The Black Knights’ offense will look the most similar to last season’s team that qualified for the state tournament. Julia Russell, Kamryn Oliveira and Jackie Evangelista are returning forwards who played regularly last year. Lisa Ramanauskas is a returning midfielder, and Haley Bushlow is back to anchor the back line. Gianna Barbosa will be the starting goalie again this season.
“We have several returning players who played many minutes last year and are expected to step in as starters this year,” Mark said.
2016 Record: 2-15-1 2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Elizabeth Hathaway
With a strong core of experienced players back, and a couple of young talents looking to make an impression, the Tigers are hoping to improve on last year’s season. Senior Kya Enos has been a steady presence for the Tigers for the past four seasons and will be relied upon to lead the attack long with senior Liana Duarte. Juniors Jillian Pagliuca and Lauren Torres will be tasked with controlling the midfield along with freshman Alana Tavares. Sophomore Kathryn Robinson will be a key piece of Taunton’s defensive unit this season
“Our strength will be the ability of the forwards and mids to move the ball up the field,” said Taunton head coach Liz Hathaway. “Speed is also a factor that will help our offensive attacks.”
Players to Watch
Players are listed alphabetically
Abby Campbell, King Philip – Campbell has been one of the top goalies in the league for the past two seasons and helped KP come within a point of sharing the league title with Franklin last season and reaching the Div. 1 South semifinal. She had 11 shutouts in 2016 and saved 130-of-143 shots that she faced, finishing with a goals against average of 0.619.
Emily Campbell, Canton – Campbell was a versatile weapon for the Bulldogs, helping out both in midfield and defense to help Canton win 13 games and achieve a plus-40 goal differential for the season. With Campbell playing a critical role, Canton allowed only 14 goals on the year, which was second best in the league. She also chipped in with three goals and seven assists.
Lily Daly, Foxboro – Daly has been the leading scorer for the Warriors in each of her two varsity seasons, helping Foxboro win its first league title in 11 years and its first ever Div. 2 South title. Daly is a force near the net and was chosen as the HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year after scoring 16 goals and recording 11 assists.
Emily Ierardo, Mansfield – Ierardo emerged last season as one of the top offensive weapons for the Hornets, helping Mansfield make another run at the league title and reach the second round of the state tournament. She played five different positions in the forward and midfield areas and she scored nine goals and recorded six assists last fall.
Maggie Malloy, Canton – Malloy made quite the impact in her first season playing field hockey. She jumped onto the Canton varsity squad early in the season and finished as the league’s top goal scorer with 16 tallies for the year. She was a big reason for Canton’s improvement offensively and this year, with a season of experience, Malloy could have even bigger numbers.
Kelli McCarthy, Foxboro – Voted Hockomock MVP by the league’s coaches, McCarthy was the backstop for a Warriors defense that was one of the best in the league and helped Foxboro claim a Davenport division title and its first ever Div. 2 South title. She finished with 115 saves on the season and recorded 15 shutouts in 23 games, allowing only 13 goals total.
Alli Meehan, King Philip – Meehan was integral to KP making a run at the league title last season, holding a lead into the final week of the regular season, and reaching the Div. 1 South semifinal. Meehan scored 14 goals and recorded 11 assists to tie for the league-high in points. She also assisted on the goal that forced overtime against Somerset-Berkeley in a state tournament win.
Cassi Ronan, Franklin – Ronan was a versatile cog in Franklin’s league championship season in 2016, playing both midfield and forward for the Panthers. She finished with 10 goals and seven assists, while being named to the HockomockSports.com First Team, but also did a lot of the defensive work that didn’t show up in the box score.
Sarah Stevens, Oliver Ames – Stevens had a strong season for Oliver Ames in 2016 and the senior will be counted on to create scoring opportunities for the Tigers again this fall. She scored six goals and recorded nine assists for OA last season, helping the Tigers get to 11 wins on the season, beat Durfee in the first round of the playoffs, and push perennial power Walpole to overtime.
Annie Walsh, Franklin – Walsh is the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year (she was also Player of the Year in girls’ lacrosse) after leading the Panthers to a Kelley-Rex division title. A year after being named Underclassman of the Year, Walsh took her game to another level with 14 goals and 11 assists for a league-high 25 points.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Wednesday night’s Div. 1 South preliminary round matchup started with a spell of pressure from the visiting team, as Nauset put Mansfield on its heels for the first minute or two and earned the game’s first penalty corner.
The remaining 58 minutes were completely dominated by the Hornets, last year’s D1 South finalists. Mansfield rolled to a 5-0 win at Alumni Field with five different players getting on the score sheet and the Hornets forcing Nauset goalie Lucy McNamara to make 19 saves (14 in the first half alone).
When asked if this was the most dominant performance of the season, Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhan said, “We’ve played a few games like this, but it’s nice to be able to score some goals too. We reached our goals today. We wanted quick passes through the midfield and we wanted to get the ball deep right and put the pressure on.”
McNamara was forced into action early and often by the Hornets. Emily Ierardo started the onslaught in the third minute with a point-blank chance that the goalie kicked aside. Three minutes later Caitlin Whitman had a shot off a corner that was saved and three minutes after that it was Olivia Horn who had not one but two shots kicked away.
Another penalty corner in the 12th minute saw McNamara make another stop on Ann Maher’s blast from the edge of the circle and, despite the goalie’s heroics, it felt like the breakthrough was imminent.
The opening goal came on a rebound as Ierardo had another chance from close range denied but the ball skidded out to Amalia Todesco and the senior hit a low shot through traffic to make it 1-0.
Nyhan explained, “We went with our speedy lineup and we have to give credit to Emily Ierardo…she is relentless all by herself putting tons of pressure on. Everyone turned it up.”
McNamara was forced to stand on her head to keep the Hornets at bay and she denied Horn again in the 18th minute with a diving save then dove back across goal to make a second stop. Mansfield kept pressing and a third shot hit a foot of a defender on the line to give the Hornet a penalty stroke that Whitman coolly put away to double the lead.
The scoring opportunities kept coming for Mansfield, which forced 10 penalty corners in the opening half (to just three for Nauset) and saw goalie Molly Norton spend almost the entire 60 minutes as a spectator with little to do.
Nauset defender Madison Morris cleared a pair of chances off the line with seven minutes to go until halftime and McNamara closed the first half with a flurry, making stops on shots by Mariana Palanza and Heather D’Ambra.
“They kind of put a girl right on the goal line,” said Nyhan of the Nauset set-up. “They didn’t come out and pressure us either; it kind of worked for us.”
Any hope for Nauset was extinguished early in the second half when Mansfield tacked on a third goal just two minutes after the break. Kristina O’Connell played a ball into the crease that was tipped by Ierardo but saved by McNamara. The ball broke kindly for Palanza, who stepped up and tipped it into the empty net.
“Our talk was just to draw a couple corners early,” said Nyhan of the team talk at halftime. “Defensively they had a high percentage of their team in that circle, so it gets a little crowded. What we did today really was shooting the ball early. We were just firing it on goal.”
That plan continued in the 40th minute when Todesco ripped a shot from the right side and O’Connell turned it in at the near post with a clever deflection. In the 57th minute, Mansfield sealed the big win by adding a fifth, Mairead Dunn stepping up from her defensive position and firing a low shot through legs in front and into the bottom corner.
With the win, 13th-seed Mansfield (13-4-2) will travel to face No. 4 seed Sandwich on Friday afternoon in the first round.