Canton, 2 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Canton’s Erik Valdovinos set up the first goal and scored the game-winner as the Bulldogs claimed a big two points on the road against Attleboro. Valdovinos’ speed was on full display as he used it to get around a defender down the left side before a centering pass found Jake McCabe for a shot from close range to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage in the 9th minute. In the 67th minute, Colton Mirliani launched a clearance behind the defense and Valdovinos used his speed to track it down and beat the keeper to make it 2-0. Just over a minute later, Thomas Russo played a ball through the defense and Liam Bischoff was first to it and slid it past the oncoming keeper to make it 2-1.
North Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore Carson Dameron liked his first career goal so much, he decided to replicate it. Dameron opened his account with the lone goal in North’s win over KP just under a month ago by forcing a turnover and scoring on a breakaway. He was at it again on Tuesday night, once again pressing high to force a turnover and turned that into a goal with 10 minutes to play.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames freshman Andrew Martins scored his first career goal to lift the Tigers to a win over Mansfield in a battle of division leaders. Mansfield goalie Jack Lasbury-Casey saved a penalty kick with 15 minutes to play to keep the game scoreless but Martins scored off a pass from Mathias Taylor just minutes later for the lone goal of the game.
Stoughton, 2 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Milford scored a pair of goals in each half to knock off the visiting Knights. John Borges scored a pair of goals for the Hawks, opening the scoring on a feed from Eduardo Santana and then capping the scoring with a key insurance goal on a pass from Artur Tome. Tome also set up Bill Silva to make it 2-0 before Stoughton’s Rhuan Carvalho responded to cut the deficit in half. Tome then scored himself assisted by Chris Martinez for a 3-1 before Stoughton senior Wenderson Silva de Souza scored to make it a one-goal game.
Taunton @ Foxboro, 3:45
King Philip, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Heidi Lawrence scored twice and Dani Lomsucio had a goal and an assist to help the Warriors get back on track and moved KP within two points of first-place Franklin. Lawrence opened the scoring by finishing off a Lomuscio through ball and then Lomuscio added a second with a 25-yard shot off an assist by Morgan Norrman. Lawrence again ran onto a through ball, this time from Ella Pisani, to round out the scoring before halftime. For North Attleboro, Brayden Rice scored on a header off a corner kick from Emma Pratt. Haley Sinacola, Autumn Hewitt, and Steph McKenna all played well for the Rocketeers.
Milford, 3 @ Stoughton, 8 – Final – Freshman Makenzie O’Connor scored four times and recorded five points to power the Black Knights to a second straight win. Stoughton found itself down 2-0 after six minutes but found a quick response when Bianca Casna flicked home a Samantha Tran corner in the ninth minute. After Sivannah Marcy drew a penalty, Emma Tran finished the chance to tie the game. Isabella Rodrigues played a nice pass to find O’Connor behind the defense for her first goal to put Stoughton in front and O’Connor’s curling pass picked out Morgan Cook for a shot to the top corner to make it 4-2 at the break. Cook assisted on Casna’s second goal of the day to extend the lead to three just minutes into the second half. After O’Connor snagged her brace (from another Rodrigues assist), Milford grabbed its third of the game. Lauren Mitchel set up O’Connor for her first career hat trick and then slipped a shot through the goalie to complete the scoring. Freshman Emma Byrne had the final assist. Shayla Ford played well in the defensive third, having moved back after Milford’s second goal, and Katrina Varnum had a solid game in goal for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. The Bulldogs scored once in each of the final three quarters and won for the ninth straight time. Canton has allowed only one goal during that win streak. Ellie Bohane got the scoring started with a blast in the second quarter and then assisted on a Sarah Cunningham goal on a third quarter corner. Audrey Koen added the third goal in the final quarter and Carolyn Durand picked up the shutout in goal.
Taunton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Taunton’s goal came off the stick of Braeley MacDonald on an assist from Kaysie DeMoura.
Franklin, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Franklin bounced back from its first loss of the season, a tough 1-0 decision to Walpole, with a big win on the grass at Sharon. Kaitlyn Carney scored a pair of goals — once in the first and once in the third — to lead the offense. Kaeley Dubriske, Haley Wernig, Raena Crandall, Caroline Gannon, and Lindsey Dennett each scored once for the Panthers. Megan Sullivan and Chloe Strassner split the shutout in net.
King Philip, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – King Philip and North Attleboro battled to a scoreless draw at Beaupre Field. Junior Haley Bright made six saves in net for the Warriors to record the shutout while senior Molly Piller also denied the Rocketeers a goal to keep the hosts scoreless.
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames, 6:30
Milford, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton picked up its second straight win, this time against visiting Milford. Three different Black Knights scored in the win with Ella Anderson, Carly Sanda and Zofia Bangs each finding the back of the net.
Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final
Taunton @ Foxboro, 6:30
Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and earned a sweep, bouncing back from its 3-2 loss to King Philip at the end of last week. The Panthers took three straight (25-16, 25-9, 25-9) to get the win; sophomore Taylor Lacerda recorded 11 kills, six digs, and a pair of aces to lead the way.
King Philip, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – King Philip stayed unbeaten on the season with a clean sweep (25-11, 25-9, 25-10) over the Rocketeers. Sami Shore put down 16 kills to go along with three aces and two blocks, Ahunna James and Emily Sawyer each added eight kills, and Samantha Asprelli chipped in with 11 digs defensively.
Mansfield, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – After dropping a close first set, Oliver Ames rallied to win three straight to take the match, 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-21). Sophomore Sarah Hilliard had the best game of her young career, putting down 24 kills to go along with 10 digs and six aces. Senior Hadley Rhodes added 27 assists and seven kills, junior Maddie Homer notched 36 digs, and junior Courtney Raymond added seven kills and four aces. For Mansfield, Julia Kelly notched six aces, five kills, and nine digs, Nicole Santos added seven kills, three blocks, and two aces, Elyssa Buchanan chipped in with 10 kills, and Christina Lydon (19) and Izzy Flint (9) combined for 28 assists.
Milford, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 201 @ Taunton, 191 – Final
Sharon, 181 @ Foxboro, 167 – Final
North Attleboro, 164 @ Canton, 142 – Final – Canton clinched its fifth straight Davenport division title with a win at home over visiting North Attleboro. Seniors Will Gefteas and Mike Leonetti shared match medalist honors, each coming in with a round of 35. Senior Nate MacDonald and sophomore Mekhala Costello both shot a 36 to round out the scoring for the Bulldogs. Jake Gaskin led the way for North with a team-low round of 37, Tyson Laviano and Ishan Kohli each shot a 42, and Dillon Harding came in at 43.
Oliver Ames, 159 @ Milford, 178 – Final – Oliver Ames returned home from Hopedale Country Club with a win over host Milford. Senior captain Jake Kaplan fired a medalist round of 38 to lead the way for the Tigers. Senior Jo Jo Gaultier and Sean Kearns each shot a 39 in the win while senior Daniel Paul carded a 43. Anthony LaPierre led the hosts with a 39 while Nate Lawrence added a 41 for the Hawks.
King Philip, 158 @ Milford, 178 – Final – King Philip’s Pat Reardon birdied the seventh hole and the Warriors picked up a win on the road at Hopedale Country Club. Reardon earned match medalist honors with a 37, helping King Philip clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. Jared Curran added a 39 in the win, Gavin Croke shot a 40, and Mike Matheson came in at 42. Anthony LaPierre led the hosts with a 39 while Nate Lawrence added a 41 for the Hawks.
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:45
Foxboro, 30 @ Canton, 25 – Final
Franklin @ Milford, 3:45
Taunton, 23 @ Mansfield, 32 – Final – Taunton had four of the top six runners and five of the top eight in a win over Mansfield. The win clinches the Kelley-Rex division title for the first time in program history as the Tigers finished the dual meet season at 5-0. Sophomore Brayden Cali won the race in 17:13 while classmate Andrew Cali was third overall just four seconds later. Junior Sam Dennis (17:30) took fifth, senior Ryan Strawbridge (17:43) was sixth, and freshman Cam Dorr (18:36) crossed the finish line eighth overall. For Mansfield, Chris Leonard was second overall in 17:15 while Collin Stevens took fourth in 17:29.
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Stoughton, 44 @ Sharon, 19 – Final
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:45
Foxboro, 29 @ Canton, 26 – Final
Franklin @ Milford, 3:45
Taunton, 27 @ Mansfield, 28 – Final – Taunton and Mansfield split the top 10 but a 2-3 finish from freshmen Colby Dunham and Emersyn DePonte helped give the Tigers the edge. It marked the first time that Taunton beat Mansfield since joining the Hock nearly a decade ago and it also gave Taunton its third win of the dual meet, its best record in program history. Dunham clocked in at 20:59 for second overall while DePonte crossed in 21:02 for third overall. Juniors Kiley Quinlan (22:33) and Phylicia Dias (23:28) took fifth and seventh, respectively, while eighth grader Tori Corrao was 10th in 25:11. Mansfield sophomore Anna Moore won the race in 20:40, senior Megan Johnston took fourth (22:13), senior Alanna Conley was sixth (23:14), senior Sophia Allen took eighth (23:43), and junior Elizabeth Heavey was ninth (23:58).
TAUNTON, Mass. – It was jubilation for Attleboro and disbelief for Taunton.
The Bombardiers, who trailed by a pair of goals in the second half, cashed in during the final minute of play on a penalty kick to steal a point on the road in a 3-3 draw with the Tigers.
A long throw-in into the area in the final minute of play took an unlucky bounce and hit off the hand of a Tiger defender, giving the visitors a penalty kick. Sophomore Alex Vecchioli sent the keeper the wrong way, tucking his shot into the corner to bring the Bombardiers level with seconds left.
While it was an unfortunate bounce, the call was correct. But the throw-in before that, the one that led up to the handball, was more than just your average throw-in.
Seconds before, Taunton keeper SuJavonte Fernades grabbed a loose ball in the area off a cross but a teammate went down with an injury right in front of him. Fernandes immediately punted the ball out for the injury, but the Bombardiers didn’t buy it and elected to keep the throw instead of playing it back to the keeper.
“When you’re that close, you go for it,” explained Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira. “They were playing with the time delay, which is all part of the game but when you start doing that, we can play it too. But they are a good team, and they are young so they’ll be good for a couple of years now.”
While Attleboro took the early lead, it was the hosts who dominated play for a solid 50 minutes of action.
Attleboro junior Esvin Morales won a free kick from 25-yards out off a handball just eight minutes into the game, and before the ref could stop the time to map out 10 yards for the wall, Morales floated a shot to the far post before the keeper was ready and just like that, the Bombardiers built a 1-0 advantage on the road.
Taunton was coming off its first loss of the season after opening the year with four wins and now found themselves in an early hole against a division foe. But the Tigers, who have a very young roster with just three seniors, responded like a veteran squad.
Attleboro boys soccer
Seven minutes after falling behind a goal, Taunton found the back of the net with the equalizer. Junior Aidden Fitting drove a free kick into the attacking third where junior Riley Rebello was the first to it, flicking it on with his head to put the ball in behind the defense. Junior Conal Scully made the run onto it and tapped it in from in close to make it 1-1.
It looked like the visitors would retake the lead just minutes later when Morales drove a low corner to the near post and Liam Bischoff faked the defense with a terrific dummy, but the ball went through the area and the chance went begging for the Bombardiers.
Taunton started to knock on the door over the next couple of minutes. A bit of “Route One” soccer saw Fernandes blast a long ball over the top of the defense that Rebello nearly chased down but Attleboro defender Cashel Stuger did well with his position to shield it back to sophomore keeper Tyler Rocchio.
Attleboro boys soccer
Three minutes later, Taunton sophomore Delano Costa-Hanlon won a loose ball in the midfield, linked up with Rebello but his blast was denied by a nice diving effort from Rocchio.
The Tigers finally broke through on their third good chance in a 10-minute span. A quick throw from Scully down the left sideline found Rebello, who used his size and skill to create enough space to launch a cross to the far post where Sete de’letoile was all alone and tucked away his header.
“I’m really proud of them because even at the end of the game, they kept their head up and got together as a group and were focused on moving on,” said Taunton head coach Taylor Whitters. “They are working hard, we have a great group of guys that are very talented. We just have to keep learning from these mistakes.”
It was a dream start to the second half for the hosts, tacking on a third goal less than a minute in. Scully cut the ball back to his right foot at the top of the area and curled a shot past the outstretched keeper and off the far post and in.
“They play good soccer, they have nice ball control,” Pereira said of the Tigers. “They got a couple of goals to go ahead and then that third one was beautiful, no one is going to stop that. With 20 minutes left, we had to push people up. We got a break on the second goal and we went from there. That’s a good point away for us…they probably should have had the game but it’s not over until it’s over.”
As time ticked into the latter portions of the second half, the Bombardiers elected to push numbers forward. Luke Hagopian nearly linked up with Morales on a nice diagonal ball but Taunton defender Jonathan Trinh did well to recover and deny the through pass. A minute later, Vecchioli’s shot from distance was gobbled up on the bounce.
Attleboro boys soccer
Attleboro got a big boost in the 63rd minute when Stuger blasted a free kick from midfield into the area and the ball slipped through the keeper’s hands and into the net, cutting a two-goal deficit in half to make it 3-2.
The Bombardiers were on the front foot for the rest of the game. Vecchioli found classmate Billy Badger in behind the defense but the latter’s touch was too heavy and grabbed by the keeper.
Before the pen, it looked like Fernandes had saved the two points for the hosts. Thomas Russo came flying out of the back with possession for Attleboro and he found Vecchioli, who did well to drift away from the defender. Vecchioli carried in the area, cut back to get space from the defender, and ripped a left-footed blast from 12 yards out but Fernandes parried it away with a diving effort.
“Any time we have a setback or a failure, we take it as a lesson and try to turn it around for future games,” Whitters said. “We have to have more of a success rate for a long stretch of the game. They are working hard at it and they’ll get there.”
Taunton boys soccer (4-1-1) will try to bounce back at home on Monday when they entertain Oliver Ames. Attleboro boys soccer (3-2-1) returns home for a date with Stoughton.
2020 Record: 2-5-6 Coach: Peter Pereira
The Bombardiers seemed to get things in gear just as last season was coming to an end, finishing the season unbeaten in its final five games. But there won’t be much carryover to this year as Attleboro only has three starters back from a team that lost 14 seniors to graduation.
It will be a lot of new faces for longtime head coach Peter Pereira, who is still trying to fit the puzzle pieces together to figure out the best combination for his Bombardiers. Senior Cashel Stuger joined the lineup last season and will be a main part of the Attleboro defense this year with Lucas Marques, Ian Miller, and John Blouin all in the mix to see minutes. Junior Esvin Morales begins his third year on the varsity level and has the most experience at this level on the team. Morales is a crafty midfielder that is very dangerous in the attack and on set pieces. Seniors Liam Bischoff and Thomas Russo have good varsity experience and should see expanded roles this year.
Sophomore Alex Vecchioli exploded onto the scene last year, scoring a team-high four goals. He’ll join Morales to solidify the Attleboro midfield but he’s no stranger to getting forward and making some noise in the attack. Sophomores Tyler Rocchio and Brady Whitmarsh are battling for the starting position in goal while Pereira is looking for the likes of Connor Adema, Yannie Skortas, and Emilio Ticas to step up in the attack.
2020 Record: 6-3-3 Coach: Danny Erickson
Canton was the main challenger to OA’s division title win last season, playing tough against the Tigers in both matches. In fact, the Bulldogs’ lone losses were to both division champs in OA and Milford, the latter coming in the semifinal of the Hock Cup.
Canton has a large chunk of those players returning to the pitch for this season and a lot of them have multiple years of experience playing at the varsity level, which means expectations are high for Canton. OA has been the team to beat in the Davenport for the majority of the past decade but it looks like that could be different this year with how much skill the Bulldogs have.
There are veteran players all over the field, starting in the back with the anchor of the defense in senior All-Hockomock selection Giovanni Ruggeri, who returns as the starting goalie. Establishing a strong defensive group in front of Ruggeri will be key but the Bulldogs have a track record of getting better defensively as the season goes on. There is a lot of firepower going forward with senior Dylan Baird being the link in the midfield, helping the Dogs transition from defense to offense. There will be a lot of options in the attacking third with both Erik Valdovinos (three goals, two assists) and Jacob Crugnale up front (goal, seven assists). Junior Jake McCabe is also back after scoring three goals and notching two helpers.
“We are so excited to head into the season,” said head coach Danny Erickson. “Our team has a very high ceiling for success and we are working hard to reach that ceiling. Couldn’t have much more difficult of an early-season schedule playing Franklin, OA, and Milford to open up the Hock so we will certainly be presented some very tall tasks right out of the gates.”
2020 Record: 4-6-2 Coach: Dan Ambrosio
Foxboro is leaning on a strong senior class, a group of talented returners, and a mix of new faces to try and make a run at the Davenport division title. The heart of the team will be with the senior class, including four-year player Derek Axon and midfielder Alex McGarry.
Axon has been on the roster since his freshman year and will start in net for the Warriors, leading the way for what head coach Dan Ambrosio hopes is a strong defensive unit. Foxboro has been on the lower half of the Davenport table in terms of goals against in each of the past two seasons but Ambrosio believes he has a strong defensive unit that will play well in front of Axon. McGarry, a three-year member of the varsity squad, will be a key piece in the middle of the pitch.
It’s not often a team gets a transfer with not only varsity experience, but experience playing in the Hockomock League. But the Warriors added Jorge Sanchez, who has two years of playing at Canton under his belt and could be a big boost for Foxboro. Senior forward Matt Angelini has improved each year with the program and will be one of the top strikers in the league while junior Alex Penders has impressed so far in the preseason. Sophomore John Hollis made a splash during the COVID-shortened 2020 season and could be poised for a breakout year for the Warriors.
“The group has done an outstanding job of coming together as a team,” Ambrosio said. “We look forward to playing the Foxboro way and competing to win the Hockomock regular season.”
2020 Record: 3-5-4 Head Coach: Fran Bositis
Hall of Fame head coach Fran Bositis is back on the sidelines for his 51st season in charge and he and his Panthers are anxious to get back to normal soccer after last year’s abbreviated season that featured rule changes that altered the game.
Bositis has liked what he’s seen so far in the preseason with the team improving after each training session and after each scrimmage. Having a trio of four-year players is an advantage that many teams won’t have so the Panthers will lean heavily on seniors Terry O’Neill, Tyler Powderly, and Aidan Griffith for their veteran leadership. There are a lot of upperclassman on the roster with seniors Jack Moran, Nelson Martinez, and Kevin Proenca all back in the mix after playing last season.
O’Neill, the 2019 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, is the spine of the team, patrolling the middle of the pitch. We saw early on in his career his ability to get forward and become a scoring threat but he also showed he can sit back and solidify the defensive unit. Both Powderly and Griffith provide a lot of speed on the outside. Junior Trey Lovell and sophomore Rex Cinelli earned some minutes a season ago while Bositis expects junior Will Krysak and sophomore Sean O’Leary to be steady contributors this season.
“I feel the outlook is bright as long as we continue to work hard and look to make small improvements every day,” Bositis said. “I also feel that we have very good senior leadership and that this will be important in helping our younger players develop.”
2020 Record: 5-4-4 Coach: Mike O’Neill
The Warriors graduated nearly its entire starting lineup, losing a total of eight players from the starting 11, along with five more seniors from last year’s squad, but somehow KP boasts a strong returning group of players.
That’s a credit to head coach Mike O’Neill, who has shown since he took over the varsity team that he will take full advantage of the depth of his roster, getting a lot of player’s minutes each season. Last year’s abbreviated season was no different; KP has half a dozen players back with varsity experience ready to make a run at the division title.
There are four captains: Caleb Cassetta, John Pfeiffer, Sean McCarthy, and Stephen Griffin, and all four bring something a little different to the table. Cassetta can do a bit of everything, from being the maestro of the midfield, to shoring up the defense, to sliding up front to score goals. Pfeiffer plays both defensively and in the midfield and provides key leadership, McCarthy is an aggressive outside back, and Griffin is a four-year member of varsity that can play in a variety of roles going forward.
Junior Matt Cargo could be poised for a breakout year in the midfield while senior Dan Fifolt is back in the mix to give KP at outside back. Junior Andrew Seropian has had a good preseason so far while sophomores Tommy Lomusico, Will Bowen, and Dermott Amorim are all competing to try and give the Warriors a boost on the offensive end.
“I think there is going to be a lot of parity in the Hock this year,” O’Neill said. “It will be difficult (as always) to win games. We graduated 13 seniors and 8 starters last year. That is a significant loss of experience on the field, but it also provides opportunities for younger players. I am excited to see which players will step into the available roles and have a breakout year.”
2020 Record: 6-4-2 Coach: Steve Sheridan
For years, Mansfield has been known as a defensive team that sets the tone with its physicality, taking advantage of set pieces on the offensive end to win games. Things might be a little different in 2021.
While Mansfield still boasts a strong defensive group, the heart and soul of the team is in the midfield. There is a lot of creativity in the group that features senior captains Matty Hyland and Danny Rowe along with juniors Grady Sullivan and Connor Palinski. The unit has impressed in the preseason, moving the ball around, combining to get up field and attack opposing defenses. Mansfield has traditionally used a lot of subs for its forwards under Sheridan and that looks like it will be the case again this year with senior Liam Anastasia and junior Dan Checkoway both in the mix.
Four-year varsity player Dylan Buchanan will take on a new role this year, making the switch to defense. His speed will make it tough for opponents to get in behind the Hornet back line. Senior Michael Caridi is another returner and he will join Buchanan in the back in front of senior goalie Jack Lasbury-Casey.
“This is the first time in a very long time that I can honestly say that the defense is not the strength of our team, the midfield is!!”
2020 Record: 10-0-3 Coach: Antonio Pinto
The target on Milford’s back this season will be bigger than ever as the Scarlet Hawks enter the season with three straight division titles; last year’s Kelley-Rex crown and two from the Davenport prior to that. While the Hawks are certainly in the hunt to make it four straight, they’ll do so without their best player from the past two seasons.
Last year’s Hockomock League MVP and lone Massachusetts All-American selection Leo Coelho graduated alongside nine other players that helped Milford won the Hockomock Cup last season. That class also included star midfielder Lucas Da Silva and 2019 playoff hero and goalie Leo Oliveira. While it might seem like the cupboard is a bit thin, the Hawks have reloaded with some new talent eager to win a title of their own.
Kevin Gomes has been on varsity since he was a sophomore and has plenty of varsity starts in net under his belt. He came off the bench in the Hockomock Cup and came up huge to help the Hawks take the win. Milford also has veteran centerback Chris Tocci back in the fold; Tocci is not only one of the most experienced backs in the league but he’s one of the most skilled and his prowess in the air is key for the Hawks.
Senior Avi Seri and juniors Arthur Tome and Hulanger Pires all took advantage of their expanded roles last season and will be key in the offense this season.
“We have a good direct style of play,” said head coach Antonio Pinto.
2020 Record: 3-6-3 Coach: Geoff Burgess
It was a good offseason for the Rocketeers, who used their time between seasons to improve their craft. North has developed a reputation for a defense-first-minded program over the past couple of seasons and the Big Red is sticking true to its colors in 2021.
The strength of the team lies in the defense with a lot of experience in the defensive third. Senior captain Brody Rosenberg will slide into a center back role and anchor the defense from there while sophomore Kaden Burns returns to his outside back position after picking up vital experience during last year’s abbreviated season. Senior David Floyd returns in goal this year after posting a 1.50 goals against average last season.
Connor Ward has been making plays in this league for a long time and look for that to continue during his senior season Ward uses his versatility and creativeness to orchestrate the Rocketeer push forward. Sophomore Carson Dameron is another returner in the midfield unit for North Attleboro; look for senior Jaad Ismail and juniors Griffin Rodden and Givany Carney to give North’s offense a boost.
“We have a great mix of experience and talent that will hopefully lead to a successful year,” said North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess. “The team really came together this summer at Camp Manitou and they really believe in each other. They really want to work hard to improve each day and are one of the most coachable groups we have ever had. We are all really excited to get back to normal soccer and see what this season holds for us.”
2020 Record: 12-1-0 Coach: John Barata
Oliver Ames spent the majority of the last decade at the top of the mountain in the Hockomock League, winning five Davenport division titles and two Kelley-Rex crowns since the league split. The Tigers are the defending champs in the Davenport and lost just one game (Hock Cup) last year, but this will be the biggest turnover that OA has seen in a long time.
Oliver Ames graduated over a dozen players, including nearly its entire starting lineup of a team that scored a league-best 59 goals and had a league-low five goals against. Not only did the Tigers lose a talented senior class, but a majority of the players were also either two or three-year starters, so there will be a lot of new faces getting playing time at the varsity level for the first time. Senior captain Mathias Taylor is the most experienced player back for the Tigers after getting a lot of time as a sophomore and starting last fall. His versatility will be key as the Tigers carve out roles for the new players; Taylor can control the play from the middle of the pitch, move up front as a dangerous attacking option, or sit back some to help solidify the defense.
Hector Bucio is the other returner starter for the Tigers after earning some minutes after a sophomore, picking up some starts in the process, and will be a big part of the offense for OA. Michael Haikal also saw time on the field during the COVID-shortened season and will see an expanded role this year as one of the team’s captains. With new faces in the mix, OA is focusing on attacking with pace while stressing getting numbers behind the ball to defend against the tough competition in the Hockomock League.
“We are excited to be back playing regular soccer and looking forward to seeing how this very young and inexperienced team gels during the season,” said OA head coach John Barata. “We hope to win a couple games and get these underclassmen a lot of experience.”
2020 Record: 0-10-2 Coach: Jon Grant
It starts with the fundamentals for head coach Jon Grant and his Black Knights: an improved defensive effort to stay in games and better technical play to increase scoring games.
And so far, so good as Grant has seen improvement on both ends of the pitch throughout the preseason. Throughout each of the last two seasons, the Knights have shown glimpses and the goal this season is to string together consistent performances and limit the mistakes to keep Stoughton in the game. Captains Rhuan Carvalho and Joao Marotti, both seniors, give the Knights some experience up top as they battle against a tough Hockomock League schedule. Although Evan Khang and Kyle Grant as just sophomores, they saw a lot of time last season and will bring that experience and talent to Stoughton’s midfield.
Defensively, the Knights will turn to senior captain Owen Roddy to anchor the defense. He will be joined by classmate Val Pierre to try and solidify the Stoughton back line.
“Everyone is excited to be back out on the field and it will make it even sweeter as we add the competition of the season,” said Jon Grant. “This season we are looking to not beat ourselves by limiting our mistakes. This mentality will put us in a good position each game to compete. Combine that with great effort and a positive attitude and we have a pretty good recipe for success.”
2020 Record: 0-3-7 Coach: Taylor Whitters
The Tigers only played four games last fall due to COVID so there wasn’t much of an opportunity to pick up varsity experience for the younger players, which make up most of the roster for the 2021 season. The lineup will feature mostly juniors along with a group of sophomores so Taunton will lean heavily on the few players that have played at this level before.
That starts with juniors Riley Rebello and Joseph Renquinha, who both enter their third season apart of the varsity team. Rebello has seen time just about everywhere for the Tigers, including at center back, attacking mid, and up front at striker. The experience that both he and Renquinha possess will be key as the young Taunton team tackles a difficult schedule. Taunton is also looking for juniors Aidden Fitting, Quincy-Jones Sylvia, Conal Scully, and Jonathan Trinh to step into big roles right away.
Taunton will rely on a strong work ethic to try and put pressure on teams, using team speed to attack opposing defenses. The Tigers have been in a lot of close games — three of the for from last season, and 11 of their games in 2019 were decided by a goal or less. Taunton will be hoping to end up on the other end of those one-goal results this season to try and make a push for the postseason. Sophomores Javonte Fernandes, Delano Costa-Hanlon, and Joshua Letourneau, alongside junior Sete Deletoile, will be in the mix on their first year with the team.
“I am hoping for us to continue to mature this season and raise the bar a little higher each game,” said head coach Taylor Whitters.
2019 Record: 6-9-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
One more goal scored or one goal less allowed could have changed the entire outcome of the 2019 season for the Bombardiers, who suffered six one-goal losses and three draws. Now with more varsity experience under their belts, Attleboro is aiming to surprise some teams in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season.
Longtime head coach Peter Pereira is counting on that experience to translate into leadership on and off the field. Senior goalie Zackary Brown is back in net for the Bombardiers and is showing more confidence inside the area. Senior Joey Soucy is making the transition to defense and will play alongside classmates Jayden Lockhart and Andrew Fasoldt. Junior Cashel Stuger is also back in the mix defensively while seniors Henry Marini and Alejandro Jimenez could factor into the defensive unit as well.
Jackson Singer emerged as a strong option in the midfield in his first season with the Bombardiers and should be a big piece again this year. Singer will pair up with Hugo Henriquez to give Attleboro an experienced duo in the heart of the pitch. Seniors Ben Fasoldt, Emilio Amaya, and Tyler Sar will all be apart of the midfield while juniors Tom Russo and Emilio Ticas should see valuable minutes for the Bombardiers. Freshman Alex Vecchioli has shown a lot of versatility so far and could play in a variety of roles.
Up front, Attleboro will be relying on a combination of speed, tough, and work effort as they challenge opposing defenses. Depending on the pairing, Attleboro will be able to attack in a variety of ways. Seniors Justin Lurssen and Connor Paquin as well as juniors Liam Bischoff and Yianni Skordas will all see time in the attack. Sophomore Esvin Morales emerged as one of the top attacking threats a year ago and will be among the top finishers in the league.
“We have a good group of seniors and hope that this experience will pay off,” Pereira said. “We believe we will have a more competitive, more mature, and more balanced team.”
2019 Record: 4-12-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Danny Erickson
The Bulldogs were very young during the 2019 season with just a half dozen seniors on the squad, but that meant plenty of young players were able to gain valuable on-field experience at the varsity level. Now the Bulldogs will be looking to contend in a very competitive Davenport division in the shortened 2020 season.
The defense will be the backbone of the team this season as the Bulldogs have a lot of experience at the centerback position. Senior captain Matt Giglio is back for his third year with the squad after being a key piece in each of the previous two years. He will be joined in the middle of the defense by Will Keefe, who anchored the Dogs’ backline last year and earned All-Hockomock honors.
Junior Dylan Baird had a breakout sophomore season and will be one of the main pieces in the midfield. After a down season for Canton on the offensive end as a whole last year, Baird’s presence in the midfield will help create opportunities going forward. Up front, the Bulldogs are counting on senior Colton Marliani to be a go-to scoring threat.
Canton already suffered a big blow as senior captain TJ McCabe, who has been with the squad since he was a freshman, will miss the season due to injury. On the flip side, the Bulldogs are getting a boost with the addition of Abdul Barrie. Barrie played in the youth leagues in Canton but will make his CHS debut this fall and could make a big impact for the Dogs.
“I think the rule modifications will challenge us all equally,” said longtime Canton head coach Danny Erickson. “But after a week or so of training, to me, it’s still soccer.”
2019 Record: 7-8-3 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Ambrosio
The Warriors had a sour taste in their mouth at the end of last season, losing the last game of the year to miss out on the playoffs. While Foxboro won’t have the chance to get back to the postseason this year, the Davenport division title is certainly in reach.
Foxboro graduated a couple of stalwarts (Joe Cusack, Dylan Barreira, Will Morrison) that were important pieces of the squad in each of the last couple of seasons, but there are plenty of experienced players back from last year’s seven-win squad plus a handful of new faces anxious to make their mark. Seniors Max Beigel and PJ Frost will give the Warriors plenty of leadership and experience, especially in the midfield and attacking third. Foxboro will look to play quick, using the counterattack to hit on the break.
After giving up nearly two goals a game a season ago, the Warriors are aiming to tighten up the back as they navigate through a very competitive Davenport division. First-year head coach Dan Ambrosio is also counting on new players like John Hollis and Ryan Flaherty to make an impact during the shortened season.
“We are a tight-knit group who like to have fun playing the game and look forward to representing our school and town,” Ambrosio said.
2019 Record: 9-7-4 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Fran Bositis
With returning players in most areas of the pitch and a trio of top midfielders in the Hockomock League, the Panthers should be in the mix for the Kelley-Rex title, although it could be one of the most competitive seasons since the league split into two.
With just 10 games and all six teams in the Kelley-Rex possible contenders, there is little margin for error. The Panthers will be put to the test right away as they take on Milford, who won the Davenport two years in a row and went to the D2 State Final last season, in the opening week. But longtime head coach Fran Bositis has plenty of talent on his roster to try and make a push for the division title. It all starts in the midfield with a trio of returning starters in Ethan Cain, Tyler Powderly, and last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Terry O’Neill.
All three bring something different to the table which will make Franklin’s midfield among the most dynamic in the league. Powderly’s speed on the wings will give defenses fits while Cain will bring plenty of creativity as the Panthers push forward. O’Neill won’t be able to dominate in the air like he did a season ago thanks to the new modifications that ban headers, but the junior is also such a calming presence with the ball at his feet and will help Franklin keep possession. Ben Moccia, who started in the midfield a season ago, is moving up top to the number 9 spot, while Charlie Amante, Ryan Witt, Jack Moran, and Kevin Proenca will also see time in the attack.
The Panthers have some new faces in the defensive unit. Will Fox is the lone returning starter and has impressed in the early stages of the season. Sam George, Robbin Tappin, and Karl Gruseck will all factor into the Panthers’ defense while Aidan Griffith, Nelson Martinez, and Connor Scagliarini will be options for Bositis to play either defense or in the midfield. Newcomers Trey Lovell and Rex Cinelli could see valuable minutes right away. Former Panther standout goalie Freddie Backmann, who is without a season at Regis College, is mentoring Luc Boudreau, this year’s starting keeper for Franklin.
“I think that we have a very good group of athletes (soccer players) who have worked real hard in preparation for this season,” Bositis said. “I know that they are all excited to be playing and that they are looking forward to competing against the other Kelley-Rex teams and putting themselves in a position to challenge for a league championship.”
2019 Record: 8-5-6 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mike O’Neill
King Philip was the surprise team of the 2019 season, overcoming a large amount of inexperience to take third in the Kelley-Rex and qualify for the state tournament. While the Warriors won’t sneak up on anyone this season, the skill and experience they return should put them in the mix for the division title.
Second-year head coach Mike O’Neill has strong players in all areas of the pitch, starting with senior captain Evan McEvoy. A four-year player with the program, McEvoy is coming off a breakout season in 2019 and will be among the top midfielders in the league. He will control the pace for the Warriors from the center of the pitch, working with fellow captain Alex Leon, who will use his speed to patrol the wings and get in behind the defense. Both Caleb Waxman and Stephen Griffin made an impact last season and should see expanded roles in the shortened 2020 season. Sophomore Matt Crago is a new face that could make a splash in his first year.
The Warriors should have one of the top defenses in the league again this season. Senior captain Aidan Lindmark is back in goal and his distribution skills will factor in heavily to how KP plays out of the back. Jeremy White had a strong 2019 season at center back and will bolster the Warriors’ backline when he returns from injury. In the meantime, four-year player Ajae Olsen, who is normally patrolling the wing or up top, will have his versatility on display as he slides into the centerback spot.
“Our players and coaches are thankful that we are at the point where we can have a season,” O’Neill said. “So much work and sacrifice have gone into getting the Hockomock League schools to this moment. I’m looking forward to some excellent and competitive soccer. I expect every game to be extremely competitive – there are no easy games in the Hock. Five wins may win the division.”
2019 Record: 6-7-5 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Sheridan
With just 10 games scheduled for the season, every game – from the first to the last – is going to be important. No one understands that more than the 2020 Hornets, who came up just short of the state tournament last year. After a slow start, Mansfield became one of the toughest teams to beat down the stretch, finishing on an eight-game unbeaten streak that featured an upset of division champion Oliver Ames but came just one point shy of postseason play.
With the postseason not in the picture for this year, the focus shifts on the division title. The Hornets are hoping to carry the momentum from the end of last season into this year. Mansfield will have a mix of veterans and inexperience in its defensive unit. Senior captain Evan Eames will be the centerpiece of the group alongside classmate Michael Jeans, who missed all of last season due to injury. Sophomores Grady Sullivan and Nate Kablik round out the Hornets’ back four while senior captain Eric Sullivan will take over starting in goal.
Senior captain Tommy Lanzillo will run the show from the center of the pitch, helping the Hornets transition from defense to offense. Lanzillo is strong with the ball at his feet and will help distribute as the Hornets hit on the counter. Senior Colin True and juniors Matt Hyland and Dan Rowe will join Lanzillo in the Hornets’ midfield. Junior Dylan Buchanan is back for his third year with the squad and will play up top alongside Aiden Steele.
2019 Record: 18-1-2 2019 Finish: D2 State Finalists Coach: Antonio Pinta
Milford arrives in the Kelley-Rex division with a huge target on its back. Coming off back-to-back Davenport division titles and a trip to the D2 State Final a season ago, the Hawks enter their new division as the favorite. But game in and game out, Milford can expect to get everyone’s best.
First-year head coach Antonio Pinto might be new to the varsity position but has been with the program during this successful run as an assistant and JV coach. It will all start with the reigning HockomockSports Player of the Year and Hockomock League MVP Leo Coelho, who can play just about any position on the pitch at a high level. If there is a need to shut down a high-powered offense, you might see Coelho playing defense. Or if the Hawks need a boost offensively, he can just as easily move up front and provide creativity in the final third.
The Hawks are far from a one-trick pony with both Lucas Da Silva (eight goals, seven assists) and Joao Pedro Da Silva (six goals, three assists) back in the mix this season. Replacing the Hockomock’s leading scorer in Pedro Araujo (25 goals, 11 assists) will be tough but we saw the Hawks do just that when Araujo took over for former HockomockSports Player of the Year Wallison de Oliveira.
Defensively, the Hawks will be strong up the middle. Junior Kevin Gomes returns to start in goal for the Hawks after getting valuable experience there during last year’s season and deep playoff run. And junior Chris Tocci is back in the heart of the defense at centerback after a breakout sophomore campaign. While the new regulations will certainly challenge the Hawks defensively with heading and slide tackling banned, Milford should have a big advantage offensively because of their strong possession skills.
“I’m very excited to be out there with the guys this season,” Pinto said. “We are ready to play no matter what the rules and conditions are! We’re ecstatic to have a season.”
2019 Record: 9-7-4 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Geoff Burgess
The Rocketeers and head coach Geoff Burgess have found a recipe for success over the past couple of seasons and will be looking to replicate that again this year. Defense always comes first for the Rocketeers, who allowed just 0.68 goals per game last year. While every team is being forced to make changes because of the new modifications due to COVID-19, the Rocketeers might be affected more than most with heading, slide tackles, and shoulder-to-shoulder challenges banned.
But the Rocketeers have adjusted during the preseason and will be relying on defense and goalkeeping once again this season. Replacing two-time HockomockSports Best XI selection Kyle Briere in net won’t be easy but the North Attleboro is turning to junior David Floyd, who is one of the most athletic players on the team this season according to Burgess. The Rocketeers also boast one of the best centerback combinations in the league with seniors Justin Silva and Donovan Carter back in the fold this year. With a season of experience playing together, it will be tough for teams to find ways to get by the defense anchored by that duo.
While defense remains a top priority for the Big Red, that doesn’t mean North isn’t a dangerous team in the attacking third. As they’ve shown over the past two seasons, speed can kill. Relying on the counterattack and set pieces for the majority of their offensive chances, North brings back senior forward Matt Conley (one goal, five assists) to try and beat defenses with his speed and skill. Junior Connor Ward will have a lot to say about the pace the Rocketeers play at as he orchestrates the team from the center of the pitch.
“With an abbreviated season and a large senior class, we hope to challenge OA for the league title,” Burgess said. “This will obviously be a huge challenge but our defense will be tough to breakdown and you can’t lose if the other team does not score.”
2019 Record: 15-4-0 2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal Coach: John Barata
Oliver Ames has reached the D2 State Final three times since 2014 and with a large group of experienced and skilled players back from last year’s team that went 15-4, another trip to the finals might have been in the cards for 2020. But with postseason canceled due to COVID-19, the Tigers are looking to make as big of an impact as they can.
After a four-year stint in the Kelley-Rex, one that included a pair of division titles (2017 and 2019), the Tigers are back in the Davenport division where they won five titles in the first six years after the Hockomock split. OA brings back nine players that either started or saw a good amount of minutes on the pitch last year, highlighted by HockomockSports Best XI selections Colin Milliken, Brady deVos, and Kevin Louhis. Milliken will help the Tigers transition from defense to offense from his center mid spot, Louhis will be a go-to option on the offensive end, and deVos is back to anchor the defense for the second straight season.
The Tigers will have plenty of options to go along with Milliken (10 goals, 14 assists) and Louhis (4 goals, 9 assists) in the attacking third. Jimmy Keane (six goals, one assist) bolsters the midfield while Anthony DaCosta (six goals, one assist) has improved each of the past two seasons and will be a handful for opposing defenses. Senior Matthew Nikiciuk really emerged as a force in the middle of the pitch last season and will be a big part of the offense, especially through set pieces. Both Mathias Taylor and Dillon Cupples burst onto the scene a year ago and will be in the mix as the Tigers push forward.
Senior goalie Drew Nickla returns in net after a strong year in 2019. The Tigers graduated the most from the defensive unit so the early challenge will be developing chemistry quickly in the backline. Head coach John Barata is also looking for Ben Cohen, Michael Haikal, and Hector Bucio as viable options for the Tigers while sophomore Jake Williams and freshmen Ryan Linhares, Joey Carney, and Diego Rivera are new faces to keep an eye out for.
“We are looking forward to competing this fall and enjoying the opportunity to grow as people and players,” Barata said. “This is a unique situation for a very unique group of players and we are going to make the best of it and play the best soccer we can. These young men are fantastic and we are going to have a great time this season regardless of the on field results…but we hope to have a few of those too!”
2019 Record: 6-7-5 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Scott Nathan
The Eagles enter the 2020 campaign with a chip on their shoulder, coming up just one point shy of the state tournament a year ago. While Sharon can’t make up for that with a tournament appearance this year with the playoffs canceled due to COVID-19, the Eagles can certainly make some noise while challenging for the Davenport division title.
Sharon said goodbye to a handful of experienced veterans including Michael Baur, Brian Higgins, and Isaiah Stessman, but first-year head coach Scott Nathan has a group of proven players plus a bunch of news faces eager to make their mark. Senior captain Bryce Nathan and junior captain James Zhang will lead the way both on and off the pitch this year as the Eagles compete for the Davenport crown.
Bryce Nathan is one of the most versatile players in the league, playing anywhere from defense to striker during his tenure with the Eagles. Zhang, fresh off an impressive sophomore campaign, is very confident with the ball at his feet and does a nice job distributing from the center of the pitch. Sophomore Matthew Baur is back in goal after getting a varsity season under his belt. Rhys Davis and Brandon Mauricio highlight a list of returners defensively while Coby Jacobson, Samid Khandaker, Adam Landstein, Aaron Livshin, and Daniel Zagoren are all back with varsity experience as well.
The Eagles will focus on a sound defense first before transitioning into offense. Patience will be key this year as Sharon looks to make the most of each opportunity as they push forward. Brady Daylor, Malachi Diaz, Adam Eastman, Daniel Fishman, Amjad Kordab, Jack Landstein, Rohan Prakash, Elliot Pototsky Nicholas Rincon, Aaron Tamkin, Jeffrey Xiang, and Tony Yang are new to the varsity level and will be looking to make an impact on the pitch for the Eagles in 2020.
“The game will be different…for players, coaches, referees, and fans,” Scott Nathan said. “I am just happy for the boys that they have the opportunity to play the game they love!”
2019 Record: 3-13-2 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jon Grant
With a year of experience under coach Jon Grant, the Black Knights are aiming to have a bounce back year and compete with the top teams in the Davenport division.
There were plenty of bumps in the road during the 2019 season but Stoughton certainly showed some bright spots, including wins over Mansfield and Canton. Now the Black Knights will try to compete in each game and string some results together. Captain Nolan Gerome returns in goal for Stoughton and is among the best keepers in the league. Opposing head coaches have raved about saves Gerome has made over the past couple of seasons and he will be the anchor of the Black Knights’ defensive unit.
Playing in front of Gerome will be senior captain Ryan Sears and junior Owen Roddy, who both played valuable minutes last year. With a good amount of experience and skill in the back, Stoughton is hoping defense will be a cornerstone for the 2020 season. Grant is looking for Rhuan Carvalho to be a top playmaker for the Black Knights, distributing from the center of the pitch to create some offensive chances.
“Our goal for this year to improve on last season,” Grant said. “This year the players came in to the short season fairly well conditioned and with a great attitude. All the players are so grateful to have this opportunity to be back out on the field. This will definitely help us in this short season.”
2019 Record: 2-9-7 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
It’s easy to look at Taunton’s record from a season ago and make assumptions, but upon further review, the Tigers were in just about every game they played. Five of the nine losses were decided by just one goal and the Tigers had a league-high seven draws; one goal either way and the Tigers were that close to a spot in the tournament. It goes to show how competitive the league was and how important each goal is.
With a strong nucleus of players back from last year’s squad, the playoffs wouldn’t have been such a far reach for Taunton this season. But with the postseason not in play, the Tigers will shift focus on being a darkhorse in the Kelley-Rex division title hunt. The new modifications will make it tough for all teams when it comes to defending, but it will also benefit something that Taunton has plenty of: speed. The Tigers plan on utilizing their pace on both ends of the pitch, getting behind the defense on one end while using their speed defensively to fend off opposing offenses.
Taunton will be strong up the middle with senior Travis Nunes back in the heart of the pitch and sophomore Riley Rebello back to anchor the defense. Senior Hunter Cabral will give the Tigers flexibility by playing in both the midfield and up front. Head coach Taylor Whitters is looking for sophomores Joseph Renquinha Jr., Aidden Fitting, Quincy Jones-Sylvia, Jonathan Trinh, and Nathan Keenan to all be in the mix this season.
“Despite everything that has occurred in recent months, we have one of the most versatile and technically sound teams that Taunton High School Boys Soccer has seen in a long time,” Whitters said. “This group of young men have the number one factor in the success of any team: chemistry. They have the willingness to play for the team, not for themselves. I feel with their talents, abilities, and desire to work together as a unit, we will be a team to watch in our division this season.”