Crockers Each Score Twice as KP Sweeps Mansfield

King Philip Field Hockey
KP senior Isabelle Crocker (22) scored a pair of goals for the second game in a row as the Warriors earned a season sweep of Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WRENTHAM, Mass. – With the modified 7-on-7 rules for field hockey this season, and all the space that leaves on the field, speed is more important than ever. It’s just two games into the season, but King Philip has wasted no time finding top gear.

Behind two goals apiece from Isabelle and Grace Crocker, the Warriors rolled to a 5-1 win against Mansfield on Thursday afternoon at Macktaz Field, sweeping the home-and-home against the Hornets ahead of next week’s matchup with defending league champion Franklin.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It starts from the defense,” said KP coach Lisa Cropper. “With only six field players, you can’t chase all the way to the corners, so we kind of took the protect the house, protect the circle, and just shadow them. You’re also not running as much that way. Then we work it out just like a fast break. You outlet the ball and go right down the sideline into space.”

She added, “Our kids are so fast, if we just dump it into space no one is going to catch them.”

The teams played a tight, one-goal game on Tuesday and the second encounter started in similar fashion with Mansfield having a several early chances denied by KP goalie Makenzie Manning (seven saves). Once KP settled into its style of play, the Warriors took off and never looked back.

Abby Nixon (three assists) caused problems on the left wing all game and it was her run into the circle that led to the opening goal. The senior hit a cross just in front of goal that Kelly Holmes had first crack at but the ball slid to Isabelle Crocker at the far post for a tap in.

Sydney O’Shea also found room on the left to test Mansfield goalie Lily Danehy, as KP was able to keep the majority of the pressure in its attacking half of the field. Mansfield managed a couple of breakouts down the right with Grace Danehy and Abby Varricchione heavily involved, but Manning kicked aside a shot from Lindsay Devine on the only ball that got through on net.

KP doubled its lead just three minutes into the second when Nixon got free on the left and put a ball into the middle. Grace Crocker reacted first to the loose ball and knocked it through a crowd and in. Nixon was proving to be a handful. She made a long run and had a shot cleared off the line then was able to make a run from half, with Grace Fernandez on her shoulder the whole way, and force a save out of Danehy.

“Abby Nixon is doing phenomenal,” said Cropper. “She’s the one creating a lot of havoc out there with her speed and her stick work and the others are picking up the loose ends.”

With just two minutes to go before halftime, Isabelle Crocker got free on the right side and fired a shot to the far corner to make it 3-0. It was her fourth goal of the young season.

Cropper explained, “She’s so fast and she has a quick release and I’ve been telling the kids as soon as you have daylight in the circle then shoot it. I don’t care if it hits the goalie, she can’t smother it in this game, so then someone’s going to get a rebound.”

Any hope of a second half comeback was dashed just two minutes after the break when Nixon blocked an attempted clearance and found Grace Crocker alone in front. Danehy made the first stop but Crocker was able to get the rebound and finish for a four-goal advantage. KP was peppering the Mansfield goalie but Danehy came up big in the third quarter to keep it 4-0. Eight of her 11 saves came in the second half.

The Hornets got on the board with two minutes left in the third. Caitlin Dumouchel picked out Lola Varricchione right in front of goal and the freshman managed to squeeze it past Manning and just over the line for her first varsity goal.

Grace Danehy set up Abby Varricchione for a chance in the first minute of the fourth quarter but the shot went just wide. Six minutes later, KP put the game away. Nixon was again the playmaker, slipping a pass to Paige Berdos and she blasted it into the back of the net.

“You have to sub at the right time because if someone makes the run, then they can’t quite make the run back and if they’re in too long then they can’t get there,” said Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhan about defending with the new rules. “The defense is hard.”

Mansfield kept going even as legs were starting to tire. A nice passing combination from Alexandra Burnham to Lilly O’Brien to Celia Puleo forced Manning into a good save. Then Dumouchel teed up Emma Kelly but her quick shot smacked the post and stayed out.

Nyhan added, “We had chances early. KP had all six kids in the circle, so it’s just foul, back to the 25, foul, back to the 25, and we were not smart with our 25-yard hit options. We’ll be working on that at practice. They certainly took advantage of their opportunities.”

King Philip (2-0) will host undefeated Franklin on Tuesday in a battle of the first place teams in the Kelley-Rex. Mansfield (0-2) will host Taunton on Tuesday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/06/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Field Hockey
Canton, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalCanton’s Maria Femia recorded a hat trick as the Bulldogs opened with a big win on the road at neighboring Stoughton. Meghan LaBelle added a pair of goals to go along with Femia’s three tallies while Erin Lane and Sarah Cunningham each scored once in the win. Haley Nelson scored for Stoughton on an assist from Zofia Bangs.

Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Franklin, 10 @ Milford, 0 – FinalFranklin scored four goals in the opening quarter and never looked back in a win on the road over Milford. The Panthers tacked on three more in the second quarter to build a 7-0 lead. Junior Kaitlyn Carney scored a hat trick and had three assists while Stephanie Bell also scored three times for the Panthers.

King Philip, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalKing Philip senior Makenzie Manning shined in goal, turning away breakaway after breakaway to help the Warriors open the season with a tightly contested win over Mansfield. The Warriors held a 1-0 lead at halftime but each team found the back of the net twice in the second half. Senior Isabelle Crocker used her speed to get in behind the defense and scored twice for KP while senior Abby Nixon scored the opening goal of the game. Jenn Daniels and Lauren Barreiro played well in the win for KP. Abby Varicchione scored (on an assist from Grace Danehy) and registered an assist on a goal from Stori Rounds. Lily Danehy made 12 saves in goal for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this game – Georgia Costello and Julia Maclaine each scored twice and had an assist as Oliver Ames earned its first win of the season. Lexi Gennis added a goal while Haley Gilman registering an assist. Elleny Bau scored for North Attleboro.

Golf
Stoughton, 146 @ Canton, 189 – FinalCanton’s Thomas Singleton and Mike Leonetti shared medalist honors, each shooting a low-round of 36 to pace the Bulldogs at home over Stoughton. Will Gefteas and Owen Donovan rounded out the scoring, each carding a round of 37 for Canton. Stoughton’s Jake Curtis shot a team-low round of 43, Joe Mark added a 48, and both Max Huminik and Jonah Hochberg shot a 49.

Mansfield, 160 @ King Philip, 171 – FinalMansfield senior Brian See was the match medalist for the third straight time, helping the Hornets pick up a win on the road against KP and improve to 3-0. See shot a 39 while Ava Haggis and Cian Goulet were right behind at 40. Joe Gormley and Jason See each shot a 41 for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 161 @ North Attleboro, 165 – FinalIt came down to the final group but Oliver Ames was able to pull out a key win on the road. The Tigers trailed by four strokes with one group to go before junior Jake Kaplan, who shot one-over on the last seven holes, came in with a team-low 39 and senior Will Gianni carded a 40 to help Oliver Ames earn the win. Junior Carter Allbritton (41) added birdies on two of the first three holes and sophomore Daniel Paul (41) had a birdie on five. North Attleboro’s Dillon Harding was the match medalist with a round of 38, sophomore Jake Gaskin carded a round of 39, Tyler DeMattio added a 43, and both Aidan Weir and Sam Gallagher shot 45 on the middle course at Heather Hill.

Foxboro, 167 @ Sharon, 180 – FinalJunior Jack Watts was the lone golfer to score under 40, earning match medalist honors and helping Foxboro knock off Sharon. Watts carded a round of 39 on the front nine at Foxboro Country Club with Jack Rounds (42), Dylan Quinn (43), and Luke Davies (43) also scoring for the Warriors. Eric Carter led Sharon with a team-best round of 43 while Nathan Daley and Owen Kevorkian each shot a 45 for the Eagles.

Boys Cross Country
Stoughton, 35 @ Canton, 20 – FinalThe Bulldogs had the top three placements to open the season with a win at home over Stoughton. Junior Kyle Downing picked up where he left off, winning the race in 18:34. Downing was followed by senior captain Jack Hernon (19:08) and senior captain Elias Jabbour (19:41). Sophomore Matt Hart (20:59) and freshman Luke Darling (21:44) also scored for Canton.

Sharon, 15 @ Foxboro, 50 – FinalNicolas Olson (19:11), Liam Cody (19:26), and Brooks Stone (19:50) had the top performances for Foxboro.

Milford, 44 @ Franklin, 19 – FinalFranklin showed off its depth, taking first overall in the race and five of the top six spots overall in a win over Milford. Franklin’s Nicholas Calitri was the fastest on the day, taking first in a time of 16:01 on the 3.05 mile course. Josh Anderson (16:22), Griffin Sieczkiewicz (17:09), Clancy Golden (17:22), and Declan Walmsley (17:28) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers.

Mansfield, 20 @ King Philip, 35 – Final

North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 3:45

Girls Cross Country
Stoughton, 50 @ Canton, 15 – FinalIt was a clean sweep for the Bulldogs, taking the top five spots in the race to get a win at home over Stoughton. Senior captain Marie Messinger was first overall with a time of 21:52. Junior newcomer Kiara Cerruti was second (23:53), senior Amanda Duffin crossed third (24:22), sophomore Johanna Bouwmeester took fourth (24:42), and junior Corinne Campbell was fifth (25:34).

Sharon, 26 @ Foxboro, 31 – FinalFoxboro had a trio of runners in the top five but Sharon was able to squeak out a victory on the road. Aine Fitzpatrick took second overall (22:52) to pace Foxboro with Emilia Lacy (third, 23:11) and Mabel Linck (fifth, 23:12) following shortly after.

Milford, 27 @ Franklin, 30 – FinalMilford swept the top three spots to earn a close win over the defending Kelley-Rex division champions. Junior Emma Lawrence ran away with the win in 19:17, sophomore Sydney Kalil took second in 20:08, and senior Kerry O’Connor rounded out the top three by clocking in a 20:32. Sarah Flanagan (21:19) and Eva Parson (23:35) rounded out the scoring for the Hawks.

Mansfield, 25 @ King Philip, 31 – FinalMansfield took the top three spots in the race to earn a close win over King Philip. Senior Tessa Lancaster led the way for the Hornets, clocking in at 20:53.4 to take first place overall. Classmates Abigail Greenberg (21:35.6) and Emma Lamson (22:09.0) rounded out the top three for the Hornets. King Philip had the next four runners cross the finish line, led by senior Ava Pisani (22:50). Meg Sherwood (22:55), Katarina Precobb (23:32), and junior Maya Evans (23:41) followed suit for fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 3:45