Below are the official 20020 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Leo Coelho, Milford
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Joey Soucy, Attleboro
Jackson Singer, Attleboro
Ethan Cain, Franklin
Terry O’Neill, Franklin
Evan McEvoy, King Philip
Aidan Lindmark, King Philip
Ajae Olsen, King Philip
Evan Eames, Mansfield
Tommy Lanzillo, Mansfield
Michael Jeans, Mansfield
Leo Coelho, Milford
Lucas Da Silva, Milford
Chris Tocci, Milford
Davenport Division MVP
Colin Milliken, Oliver Ames
Davenport Division All Stars
Giovanni Ruggeri, Canton
Jacob Crugnale, Canton
Abdul Barrie, Canton
Erik Valdovinos, Canton
Max Beigel, Foxboro
Justin Silva, North Attleboro
Kevin Louhis, Oliver Ames
Colin Milliken, Oliver Ames
Brady deVos, Oliver Ames
Mathias Taylor, Oliver Ame
Matt Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Anthony DaCosta, Oliver Ames
Bryce Nathan, Sharon
Alex Vecchioli, Attleboro
Jorge Sanchez, Canton
Matthew Angelini, Foxboro
Ben Moccia, Franklin
Cole Breen, King Philip
Eric Sullivan, Mansfield
Leo Oliveira, Milford
Matthew Conley, North Attleboro
Drew Nickla, Oliver Ames
Matthew Baur, Sharon
Nolan Gerome, Stoughton
Riley Rebello, Taunton
Oliveira had to exit the game with an injury early in the fourth quarter and in stepped Gomes, who came up with a colossal save on an indirect kick from inside the area as Milford claimed the cup with a 2-1 win on the road to finish the season undefeated.
“We know they are a powerhouse, always a top team, always a state championship contender…so this game to me is like a district final,” said first-year Milford head coach Antonio Pinto. “For me, these were the two best teams in Eastern Mass. and they put on a show. It was a back-and-forth game, chances both ways, full of excitement, and I couldn’t be more proud of Milford, and couldn’t be more proud of OA for the battle they put up.”
The Hawks scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of the second half but the Tigers pulled one back before the end of the third quarter to set up the frantic finish.
A low cross from Oliver Ames’ Brady deVos in the 78th minute was first touched by a Milford defender before Gomes handled it, giving the Tigers an indirect kick inside the box near the end line on the right side, about 10 yards from goal. Colin Milliken touched the ball in play and Matthew Nikiciuk blasted a rocket from close range but Gomes stood tall and pushed the ball over the bar to keep the Hawks ahead.
Milford boys soccer Oliver Ames boys soccer
“Me and Leo love each other, we practice together every day,” Gomes said. “Right when I saw he was hurt, I knew I had to do it for him. Because last year against Nauset, he did the same for me. He won it for us. He was upset from the injury but I wanted him to leave happy so I told him I got this, I was going to do it for him. I just had to be confident, calm down, and play my game.
“It was a close play but the angle they were in, there was only one way they could try and get it in and it was all power. So I had my teammates marking, lining up in front where they could and I just had to be confident and be strong when I approached it. It was the best feeling after saving that.”
The ensuing corner bounced around the box twice but was finally cleared away. OA had another attacking free kick a minute later but the service sailed wide. Chris Tocci came up with key clearances in the final seconds as OA continued to press.
Milford boys soccer Oliver Ames boys soccer
“It was a great game, a lot of fun,” said OA head coach John Barata. “Just one or two things separate the teams in a game like this. We hit the crossbar, they cleared a ball off the goal line and the game changes completely if those go in. Two nice goals [from Milford] but not goals we’ve given up all year. The challenge for us is the way it happened. The loss isn’t bad because it was a fantastic game, definitely a state final atmosphere, and we’ve been in them before so we know, and that team is excellent.
“The boys are a little more disappointed because of the errors. It wasn’t that they were dominated…sometimes it’s better to lose a game being dominated and not one that at times, you were on the front foot and better. But they have special players…their two best players put the two daggers in.”
After a scoreless opening 40 minutes, the Hawks took the lead less than five minutes into the second half. Senior Leo Coelho helped the Hawks transition into offense by splitting a pair of defenders and feeding a pass to Lucas Da Silva, who took a touch and was fouled five yards outside the box.
Coelho took the free kick, bending a left-footed shot towards the far post and just under the bar and out of the reach of OA keeper Drew Nickla.
Just six minutes later, the visitors tacked on another goal. A big clearance from Julio Dasilva was tracked down by Lucas Da Silva, and he was able to beat a defender along the right sideline before launching a high arching ball that eluded the keeper and fell just under the bar into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Milford boys soccer Oliver Ames boys soccer
“Two phenomenal goals from two phenomenal players,” Pinto said. “They can flip a switch and turn the game around in a second. If Leo gets half a chance, he can make it a goal. And Lucas scored from no angle, he didn’t have any options inside so just chipped it.”
Nickla came up with a big stop on a Coelho free kick in the 54th minute and the Tigers came back down and found the back of the net on the other end. After being dispossessed, OA senior Kevin Louhis tracked back to steal the ball back. He took one touch forward before unleashing a rocket that found the top left corner from 35 yards out to make it 2-1 in the 58th minute.
Although neither team scored in the first half, there were still chances from both sides. Milliken unleashed a blast in the 7th minute that was swallowed up by Oliveira. And minutes later, Milliken put another shot on goal that was denied and Dillon Cupples had a bid on goal but Avi Seri was there for the Hawks to clear it off the line.
Just seconds later, Nikiciuk rifled a free kick from 40 yards out that hit off the crossbar and stayed out.
“We knew they’d be a top team…we said if we could give them a game we’d be happy and I think we did more than give them a game but we’re not happy [with the result],” Barata said. “It’s sad for the seniors but ultimately, if you have to end this year…when we look back, we went 12-1, won the division, and played the team who was probably picked to win it all this year. And we had a chance to play, what a blessing.”
Milford boys soccer finishes the season without a loss at 10-0-3, with two of the draws coming on cancellations. Oliver Ames finishes the season at 12-1.
Boys Soccer Hockomock Cup
#KR2 Mansfield, 0 @ #D1 Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames scored once in each of the first two quarters and tacked on a fourth quarter insurance goal to secure a 3-0 win over Mansfield and advance to the Hockomock Cup final. Matt Nikiciuk blasted a free kick through traffic in the first to put Oliver Ames ahead. Anthony DaCosta doubled the lead for the Tigers, running onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Kevin Louhis and one-timing a shot into the net. Mathias Taylor iced the game, running onto a long ball from Hector Bucio and using his speed to race past the defense and finish to the far post. Bucio, Nikiciuk, Brady deVos, Jimmy Keane, and Ben Cohen played strong defense for the Tigers to limit the Hornets. Oliver Ames will take on Kelley-Rex division champion Milford in the Hockomock Cup final.
#D2 Canton, 0 @ #KR1 Milford, 5 – Final – Reigning Hockomock League MVP Leo Coelho netted a first half hat trick to pace the unbeaten Scarlet Hawks past Canton and into the Hockomock Cup final. Lucas Da Silva (from Arthur Tome) and Coelho (from Da Silva) scored first quarter goals as the Hawks took a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes. Coelho converted a penalty kick, and then completed his hat trick on an another assist from Da Silva as Milford carried a 4-0 lead into halftime. Coelho then set up Eduardo Castro for a third quarter goal. Milford will take on Davenport division champion Oliver Ames in the Hockomock Cup final.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – North Attleboro scored first but the hosts equalized less than a minute later and then found the winner in the fourth quarter to claim the Leach and Garner Cup. Connor Ward’s cross was tapped home by Eddy Mendoza to give North a first quarter lead but the Bombardiers equalized right off the kick off when Jackson Singer played Ben Fasoldt in behind the defense and the senior captain finished into the back of the net. In the fourth quarter, Justin Lurrsen laid off a pass for Emilio Ticas and the junior blasted a shot in the far corner for the game-winner in the 63rd minute.
Girls Soccer Hockomock Cup
#D4 North Attleboro, 0 @ #KR3 King Philip, 1 – Final – Jenny Montville scored six minutes into the third quarter and it proved to be enough for the Warriors to pull out the win. Montville ran onto a ball over the top by Ella Pisani and was able to lift it over the keeper for the game-winner.
Field Hockey Hockomock Cup
#KR3 Attleboro, 1 @ #KR1 Franklin, 6 – Final – Franklin scored four unanswered second half goals to pull away from the upset-minded Bombardiers to secure its spot in the Hockomock Cup final. The Panthers pounced early as Amanda Lewandowski scored twice, unassisted at 3:04 and from Kaitlyn Carney at 8:47, to take a 2-0 lead after one quarter of play but Attleboro’s Madison Ellis cut the deficit in halftime with a second quarter goal. In the third, Stephanie Bell scored back-to-back goals to push the Panthers’ lead to 4-1, and Sara Carney and Jill Fenerty added fourth quarter goals to seal the win. Neilee Hess made six saves in net for the win. Franklin will host King Philip in the Hockomock Cup final on Tuesday at 4:00.
#KR2 King Philip, 1 @ #D1 Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – King Philip scored the lone goal of the game midway through the fourth quarter to emerge victorious in a well-played game against Oliver Ames. A quick restart from Alli Beltramini found Grace Crocker, who was able to get past a defender and then raced from midfield, past an OA defender, and slid a low shot past the sliding keeper to put the Warriors in front. KP head coach Lisa Cropper praised Beltramini and Morgan Cunningham for their stellar defensive effort in front of Makenzie Manning (11 saves). King Philip will travel to Franklin in the Hockomock Cup final on Tuesday at 4:00.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Maria Femia and Audrey Koen each scored once as the Bulldogs finished the season with a 2-1 win over North Attleboro.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – For all intents and purposes, the Milford boys soccer team clinched its third straight division title on Tuesday evening.
But this is 2020, and nothing is quite as straight forward as years past.
The Scarlet Hawks scored once in each half to earn a 2-1 win over Mansfield, leapfrogging the Hornets in the standings. The win puts the Hawks at 6-0-1 and a total of 13 points while Mansfield sits at 5-2-2 and 12 points. The teams play again Thursday, and as it stands now, the Hornets could jump back ahead, but the Hawks have two games in limbo against Taunton.
As of Tuesday night, Milford’s matchups with Taunton were not officially canceled, but all indications point to no makeup games, meaning a pair of 0-0 draws and two points for the Hawks, which would secure the division title at 15 points.
“We don’t care who we play, we’ll play anyone anywhere because we love competition,” said first-year head coach Antonio Pinto. “Obviously the situation with Taunton made it a little harder with points because we don’t know exactly how it will play out…but the kids are treating every game like it’s their last because we don’t know when it could end. Every game, we’ve had the mentality that each game is like a state final because for these seniors it could be the last time they play with each other, with their friends.”
Milford boys soccer Mansfield boys soccer
Upon review, the host Hornets would certainly like a second chance to start each half. While Mansfield came out of the front foot, it let a pair of good scoring chances slip away inside the opening two minutes. And to start the second half, the Hawks needed less than two minutes to double their lead by converting a penalty kick.
“The whole first half wasn’t very good for us,” admitted Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan. “We let them do what they want to do and they got in our heads. Finally, in the fourth quarter, we got a little into their heads. We changed some things up at halftime to try and get going…I didn’t see anything on the penalty kick, hopefully, the video shows me something about it. It didn’t look like one from where we were.”
Pressure from Hornet senior Michael Jeans created a turnover in the attacking third and a chance in the are for sophomore Aidan Steele but Milford senior goalie Leo Oliveira was quick to react and intervened before a genuine bid on net.
Just a minute later, a service to the far post from senior Evan Eames found juniorMatt Hyland but once again Oliveira was there for the stop.
Chances were aplenty for both sides throughout the first half but the Hawks slowly started to assert themselves and take control of the play. It started with their first real chance on net which resulted in the first goal of the game.
A quick combination from seniors Lucas Da Silva and Leo Coelho resulted in a pass to the far post where sophomore Arthur Tome was left alone and he latched onto a shot with the inside of his right foot, tucking a shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Mansfield nearly equalized three minutes later, a combination from sophomore Connor Palinski and junior Dan Rowe with the latter rifling a shot on net that was denied by a one-handed save from Oliveira.
An errant pass out of the back from Oliveira nearly resulted in the equalizer but the keeper was able to recover quickly and get down to stop a low bid from Hyland. And in the 29th minute, Oliveira once again was called into action, this time denying a bid from Grady Sullivan from a step inside the area.
“We went with a keeper change for this game, going with Cheeseburger [Leo Oliveira],” Pinto said. “He’s our big game keeper, every year he always steps up in the big games. Cheeseburger does a good job coming out and commanding the box, and that’s what we needed in this matchup. He stepped up big for us, he didn’t just do well coming off his line, he made some saves that were spectacular.”
Milford boys soccer Mansfield boys soccer
The Hawks started to gain some momentum before the half as junior David Desa intercepted a pass out of the back, leading to a counter chance that saw Coelho link up with Tome but his shot was denied by Mansfield keeper Eric Sullivan. Just minutes later, Hulanger Dias Pires won an important battle at midfield that ended up in a blast off the foot from Desa but Sullivan was equal to the task.
Milford started fast in the second half, using a nice combination down the left side to get Tome the ball. Tome used a quick touch to get around the defender before being taken down just inside the area and the refs awarded the visitors a penalty kick. Da Silva stepped up and confidently deposited a low shot into the bottom right corner for a 2-0 lead in the 42nd minute.
“At halftime, we made some changes and the players reacted well,” Pinto said. “Mansfield had only allowed one goal against going into tonight so we knew if we wanted to score, we couldn’t let them get organized. It had to be quick touches, quick passes, quick flicks…just like we did to open the second half, and then Arthur made a nice move to draw the penalty. That’s how you beat them, you can’t let them get organized you have to attack quickly and that’s how we got both goals.”
Mansfield nearly pulled one back in the 53rd minute when Tommy Lanzillo laced a direct free kick destined for the top corner but Oliveira timed his jump perfectly and tipped it over the bar. Another free kick bid from Lanzillo in the 65th minute was originally spilled by Oliveira but he quickly pounced on the loose ball in front.
The Hornets finally cashed in on a direct free kick attempt in the 67th minute as Rowe blasted a shot from atop the area into the top corner at the near post to make it 2-1. Mansfield’s best chance at the equalizer came in the 75th minute when a ball over the top was chested on by Dylan Buchanan to Sagar Koul but his low shot was easily handled. Last ditch efforts were turned away by Milford center back Chris Tocci.
“They pressured us and didn’t give us much space to play our normal game so we had to adjust and make everything a little quicker,” Pinto said. “We have a bunch of Brazilians playing in the cold so it took us a little while to get warm. But that was a fight, no matter who they play Mansfield is always going to give you a game just by their style so you have to fight the entire way.”
The teams will clash again on Thursday as Milford hosts Mansfield for a 6:00 PM kickoff.
Franklin, 1 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Franklin’s Ethan Cain scored for the second straight game as the Panthers earned a draw on the road at Taunton. Will Fox had the assist on Cain’s goal.
King Philip, 0 @ Milford, 1 – Final – After three quarters of scoreless action, Milford finally broke through with the lone goal of the match just before the midway point of the fourth quarter. On an indirect kick from just outside the box, senior Leo Coelho touched the ball to set up Lucas Da Silva for a shot that found the back of the net in the 67th minute.
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Elisa Diletizia scored with four minutes remaining to keep Canton’s perfect start to the season alive and handed North its first loss of the season. Annie Hoban had the assist on the game-winning goal. North nearly grabbed the lead for itself earlier in the fourth quarter but Steph McKenna’s shot was cleared off the line. North coach Bill Wallace said that Jordyn Sullivan, Summer Doherty, Katie Manning, and Clara Giuliano all played well defensively for the Rocketeers.
Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Jordyn Collins scored the 50th goal of her career, as Foxboro got back in the win column. Jordan Carman and Caroline Rongione had put the Warriors two goals ahead before Collins, who also had an assist, recorded her milestone goal. Kailee McCabe wrapped up the win with a pair of goals, the second goal assisted by Carman. Despite the loss, Stoughton coach Hermes Lima was happy with his team’s effort and how they played against Foxboro’s pressure. He said, “We kept everything in front of us and played well. Our center mids kept up good press and facilitating the ball as they should.”
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 7 – Final – Stella Regan and Tori Carmignani both scored twice, as Franklin rolled to its fifth win in five games this season. The Kelley-Rex leaders also got goals from Anya Zub, Sydney St. Marie, and Clare Bowen, while Zub, Riley Fitzpatrick, Bridgette Ginley, and Anna Grasson (two) had assists.
Milford, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – Jenny Montville scored three times and assisted on the fourth goal to help the Warriors get back on track with a win against Milford. KP opened the scored five minutes into the second quarter when Montville teed up Ella Pisani for a finish inside the box. Dani Atherton brought Milford level just 30 seconds later, with her fifth goal in two games, beating a pair of defenders and knocking her shot in off the far post. The game was tied for five minutes before Montville restored the KP advantage off a Kiera Lindmark pass. Six minutes before the half, Pisani set up Montville to make it 3-1. Montville sealed her hat trick and the win when she finished off a left wing cross from Lindmark five minutes from full time. Emma Glaser made eight saves in the win. KP coach Gary Pichel said Ava Tormey, Jillian Anderson, Paige Varvarigos, and Brooke Mullins played well in the win.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – OA scored one early and one late in the game to earn its first win of the season and remain unbeaten. Alexa Lane scored off a cross from Madeleine Taylor to put the hosts ahead in the 5th minute. Camryn O’Connor doubled the lead with a goal in the 75th minute. Cass Barbera played well in goal, according to Sharon coach Catherine Sullivan, and midfielders Sofia Goclowski and Kate McLaughlin stood out for the Eagles.
Attleboro, 168 @ North Attleboro, 158 – Final – North Attleboro avenged a loss to its rival Attleboro from earlier in the season with a victory at home at Heather Hill Country Club. Sophomore Jake Gaskin shot a team-low round of 38, Dillon Harding came in with a 39, Sam Gallagher shot a 40, and Aidan Weir carded a 41 in the Rocketeers’ win. For Attleboro, Brendan Raymond was the match medalist with a low-round of 37. Leo Lombardo added a 43 for the Bombardiers while both Parker Sackett and Owen Dryjowicz each shot a 44.
Sharon, 166 @ Oliver Ames, 157 – Final – Oliver Ames defended its home turf, picking up a 157-166 win at Pine Oaks over visiting Sharon. Senior Kosta Spiliakos birdied each the first and second hole en route to a career-low match score of 38 to lead the Tigers to a win. Jake Kaplan added a 39 in the win while both senior Logan Domenico and freshman David Rogers shot 40. Nathan Daley was the match medalist, shooting a low-round of 36 with a birdie on the fifth hole for Sharon.
Foxboro, 160 @ Stoughton, 169 – Final – Jack Rounds and Jack Watts were medalists for Foxboro with a pair of 39’s. Anthony Hern led Stoughton with a 41 and Jonah Hochberg added a 42 for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Milford’s Victor Botelho scored on each side on halftime to help the Scarlet Hawks pick up two points against visiting Attleboro. Milford opened the scoring when Lucas Da Silva finished off a feed from Arthur Tome but Attleboro equalized on a goal from Jackson Singer (assisted by Hugo Henriquez). Botelho put the Hawks back ahead on an assist from Leo Coelho to make it 2-1 going into halftime. Da Silva set Botelho up to make it 3-1, and Coelho (from Da Silva) added an insurance tally for the 4-1 win.
Canton, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames moved to 3-0 on the season with its third shutout, this time going on the road and beating Foxboro. Senior Colin Milliken scored once and set up three more to lead the way for the Tigers. Milliken set up Kevin Louhis for the opening goal and then assisted on back-to-back goals from Mathias Taylor. Taylor set up Milliken prior to those goals to make it 2-0. OA senior Gage Fritchman scored his first career goal on a penalty kick.
Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield scored a pair of fourth quarters to earn two points on the road against Taunton. After three scoreless quarters, the Hornets finally broke through in the 64th minute. Connor Palinski earned an assist after showing great hustle to track down a loose ball, centering to find Sagar Koul right at the six yard box for the finish. Mansfield doubled its lead five minutes later when Koul settled a pass from Tommy Lanzillo and blasted a shot in from a step inside the area. Eric Sullivan earned his second shutout of the season for Mansfield.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro senior Matt Conley bagged a brace as the Rocketeers broke into the win column with a 2-0 road victory over Stoughton. Conley scored the Big Red’s first goal of the season in the 10th minute of the contest, beating the keeper 1-on-1 after latching onto a through ball from Connor Ward. The Rocketeers doubled their lead in the 55th minute as Jaad Ismail found Conley streaking in behind the defense and he finished into the far corner. David Floyd (nine saves) played well for North to record the shutout.
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Briley Harnois scored twice for the Bombardiers, who picked up a win in their delayed season opener and senior day. Jessica Gates added an assist and Alexis Campbell earned the clean sheet in goal. Attleboro coach Steve Santos was proud of his team’s start after having to wait an extra week to get on the field, saying the Bombardiers created a number of early chances against a Milford team that battled throughout.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Olivia Rodman, Gabriella Herivaux, and Elisa Diletizia each scored once to lift Canton to a third straight win to start the season and into a one-point lead in the division. Rodman opened the scoring with a rocket from outside the box in the first quarter and Mia Gilmore then set up Herivaux with a through ball to get a second before halftime, but Sharon was resilient and kept battling. Wendy Wooden nearly halved the deficit right before the break with a tight angled shot but it went over the bar and landed on the roof of the net. The score stayed 2-0 until late in the fourth quarter when Diletizia blasted one just under the bar for Canton’s third. Sharon goalie Cass Barbera played well in the loss and Mekhala Costello finished with two assists for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – The Warriors battled back from a 2-0 deficit, scoring twice in the second half to come away with a point. Trailing by two goals at the break, Foxboro had a goal disallowed early in the third quarter, but Grace Ferguson scored off a Kailee McCabe assist to cut the deficit to one and then McCabe scored an unassisted goal to secure the draw. Sophomores Mary Cross and Jenna Gilman scored to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. Emma Pereira had an assist while senior Madeleine Taylor and junior Alexa Lane had strong games for OA.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Olivia Salisbury and Kelsey Hubler combined for the shutout and helped the Hornets get their first point of the season. Mansfield coach Kevin Smith praised his defense for limiting Taunton’s chances and added that the Tigers played well in their defensive third, blocking shots and coming up with a lot of big saves.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – Steph McKenna scored a hat trick and Emma Pratt scored twice to lead North Attleboro to its first win of the season, keeping the Rocketeers unbeaten through three matches. Caroline Ferrin and Tess Collins also scored for North, with Collins adding an assist. Maggie O’Brien, Ari Newth, Clara Giuliano, Brayden Rice, and Jordyn Sullivan also had assists for North. Kaylah Seavey and Maddie Ferrin split time in goal to get the clean sheet. First-year Stoughton coach Hermes Lima praised his team’s start to the game, as it was scoreless after the first, and explained that he needs the team to not get down after a mistake and let teams break the game open. He said, “We were chasing almost the whole middle quarters and that cannot happen.”
Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Canton’s Meghan LaBelle scored twice as the Bulldogs went on the road and earned two points on the grass at Sharon.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Mansfield and Taunton traded goals back and forth, the latter scoring in the final minutes as the squads settled for a point each in a draw. Ashley Amaro scored a pair of goals for the Tigers, both assisted by Kylie Thorpe, while Alana Tavares added an unassisted goal. Jocelyn Pagliuca and Skylar Rheaume played well defensively in front of junior Emily Gannon (16 saves) for Taunton.
Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames overcame an early deficit with three straight goals to knock off visiting Foxboro. The Warriors took the lead less than three minutes into on a goal from Dylan Rappoli but the Tigers responded less than two minutes later when Sofia Anestam set up Georgia Costello to make it 1-1. Costello put the Tigers ahead in the second quarter with an unassisted goal just 33 seconds into the frame. Julia Maclaine secured the win for the Tigers with a second half insurance goal set up by Erin Cottam. Peyton Phillips made seven saves for OA and had an outstanding second half in the cage. OA coach Sharon Lawrence lauded the performances of Abbey Boyce, Emily Han, and Maggie Woods.
Attleboro, 175 @ Milford, 179 – Final – Brendan Raymond was the match medalist, helping the Bombariders pick up a win on the road at Hopedale Country Club. Raymond shot a match-low round of 36 while Milford’s top performers were Dave Pacella (42) and Jacob Hipolito (43).
Canton, 148 @ Sharon, 173 – Final – Canton’s Mike Leonetti earned match medalist honors and Nate MacDonald shot an even par to help the Bulldogs pick up a victory at the Cape Club of Sharon. Leonetti carded a two-under par round of 34 while MacDonald shot a 36 for the Bulldogs. Will Gefteas added a 38 and Owen Donovan carded a 40 for Canton. Nathan Daley led the Eagles with a one-over round of 37 while Eric Carter added a 41 for Sharon.
King Philip, 163 @ Franklin, 158 – Final – Franklin’s depth proved pivotal in a close win at home over visiting King Philip. The Warriors’ Jared Curran was the match medalist with a 37 while Mike Matheson shot a 39 for KP. But Franklin’s top four all finished within four strokes of one another, led by Jack Paterson’s 38. Sean Connelly added a 39, Nolan Norton shot a 40, and Brian Sandham chipped in with a 41 in Franklin’s win.
Taunton, 191 @ Mansfield, 148 – Final – All four of Mansfield’s scorers shot under 40 at Norton Country Club as the Hornets picked up a win over Taunton. Ryan Dow led the way with a match-medalist round of 35, Brian See added a round of 37 while both Cian Goulet and Nate Morreale each shot a 38 in the win.
North Attleboro, 172 @ Stoughton, 181 – Final – Jake Gaskin and Sam Gallagher split medalist honors as the Rocketeers recorded a win at Easton Country Club over Stoughton. Both Gaskin and Gallagher shot 42 to lead the Big Red to a win. Anthony Hern also shot a 42 to earn medalist honors while Joe Mark added a 43 for the Black Knights.
Foxboro, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up an important win over division foe Foxboro on the links at Pine Oaks in Easton. Senior Logan Domenico and junior Jake Kaplan each shot a 37 to lead the Tigers, with Domencio sinking a birdie on the eighth hole. Senior Will Gianni added a 39 in the win and freshman Sean Kearns finished with a 40.
Canton @ Sharon, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 15 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Tigers, taking the top scoring spots to earn a big win over Foxboro. Kyle Sarney won the race for the Tigers while Owen McMorrow and Nate Reservitz rounded out the top three. Nicolas Olson clocked in at 19:14 and was Foxboro’s top runner while Jared Ciora ran a PR (19:37) and was second for Foxboro.
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
Canton @ Sharon, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 17 @ Foxboro, 43 – Final – The Tigers took the first three spots in the race en route to a victory on the road over Foxboro. Katie Soberaij was the winner with teammates Jojo Holmes and Hailey Goldman taking second and third, respectively. Foxboro’s Aine Fitzpatrick finished in 22:05 for fourth place overall while Mabel Linck took seventh for the Warriors.
Sharon, 1 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final – The teams took turns on the score sheet with the visitors tying it up 1-1 in the third quarter but Foxboro scored the final two goals to earn the win. Max Beigel put the hosts ahead before Sharon found an equalizer in the third. Adam Connolly restored the lead for the Warriors and Matt Angelini added an insurance goal for Foxboro.
Milford, 4 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Milford opened the season in style as reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Leo Coelho scored a pair of goals in a road win over Franklin. Coelho opened the scoring on an assist from Lucas Da Silva. Eduardo Castro doubled the lead, finishing off a service from Christian Dinis. Da Silva added two more assists, setting up sophomore Hulanger Pires to make it 3-0 and once again linking up Coelho for the final goal.
Canton, 8 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final
Foxboro, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Jordyn Collins accounted for three points and Foxboro started its league title defense with a shutout on the road. Collins scored a pair of goals within a three-minute span in the second quarter to put the Warriors in front to stay. Kailee McCabe and Erin Foley also scored for Foxboro, while Aislinn Servaes and Alyssa Vandenboom added assists.
Franklin, 4 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Sydney St. Marie scored a pair of goals, as Franklin opened the season with a big win over neighboring Milford. Norah Anderson and Jamie Tanner also scored for the Panthers. Head coach Tom Geysen praised his team’s ability to sustain the attack saying, “We were able to keep pressure on Milford most of the afternoon and held a wide advantage of shots on goal. We were able to produce many scoring opportunities and create what we have been working on in practice throughout the game.” Bridgette Ginley, Anya Zub, Lizzy Durkey, and Izzy Arnold all had assists for Franklin. Milford goalie Carly Ferreira made 22 saves in the loss. Hawks coach Lou Colabello said, “They were very well skilled and adjusted very well to the new rules. We obviously did not.” He also noted that there is a lot of potential for growth from his young roster.
North Attleboro, 163 @ Attleboro, 158 – Final – Attleboro broke into the win column with a five-stroke victory over rival North Attleboro. Junior captain Brendan Raymond led the way for the Bombardiers with a team-low round of 36. Sophomore Leo Lombardo added a round of 40 while juniors Parker Sackett and Evan Houle both shot a 41.
Milford, 188 @ Franklin, 157 – Final – Franklin senior captain Jack Paterson earned match medalist honors as the Panthers defended home course against visiting Milford. Paterson added a one-under round of 34 to pace the Panthers while Pat Dolan added a 40 and Nolan Norton carded a 41. Dave Pacella and Anthony LaPierre led the way for Milford with a pair of 46s.
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.”
Team: Milford Boys Soccer
2019 Davenport Division Champions
2019 Division 2 State Finalists
Some of the most talented individual players to compete in the Hockomock League together came together as a team and orchestrated one of the best seasons on the soccer pitch this decade.
The 2019 Milford boys soccer team was full of gifted players that formed one of the most dangerous attacking groups over the past 10 seasons. One question coming into the season was the defense but throughout the season, the Hawks got better and better on the defensive end and only allowed one goal in four South sectional tournament games. The combination of a deadly offense and a solid defense propelled the Hawks to their first state final appearance in two decades.
“I think the thing that made this team very different was the fact they really enjoyed playing the game together,” said head coach Brian Edwards. “In training, they would typically have a lot of fun and while it was sometimes very challenging to keep them on task, they genuinely enjoyed the game. More importantly, they genuinely enjoyed helping one another achieve something. They are a very special group of guys and their work rate was something that always blew me away.”
The Hawks went unbeaten throughout the regular season, which didn’t feature any non-league games. Milford rallied for a last-minute goal to tie Foxboro and battled to a 1-1 draw with North Attleboro late in the season; Milford picked up 14 wins including one over a talented Oliver Ames squad and went on to win the Davenport division title for the second straight season.
The likes of Pedro Araujo, Joao Pedro Da Silva, Jordan Borges, Lucas Da Silva, and Hockomock League MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Leo Coelho helped the Hawks average over three goals per game, notching a league-best 56 goals in the regular season. On the flip side, senior Dan Santos anchored a defensive line along with classmate Nuno Mestre and new faces freshman Gabriel Godoy and sophomore Chris Tocci. Senior Carlos Terrinha was one of the most reliable players sitting in the six role. Leo Oliveira and Kevin Gomes split time in net, allowing just one goal per game in the regular season.
“Another thing that made them special was their belief in themselves and one another,” Edwards said. “They had a level of confidence that I loved to see as a coach. One other piece of the puzzle was their ability to tackle one challenge at a time. They did a great job of not looking ahead and getting distracted. As a coach who is slightly obsessive over preparation, it was something that made my job a lot easier. I think about the Nauset game and the preparation that went into it. We scouted them three times and we put together a game plan that I felt gave us a very good chance of beating them. The guys really committed themselves to proving that they could beat a team that many people felt was one of the best in the country. We weren’t surprised that we beat them because we knew we had the ability to execute a plan that we felt was solid.”
The postseason featured a 6-0 blasting of Catholic Memorial, a hard-fought 2-0 decision over Dartmouth, and Coelho gave the Hawks a 1-0 win over Bishop Feehan in overtime. In the South Sectional Final, the Hawks hosted perennial state power and nationally ranked Nauset. Despite giving up a late equalizer in regulation, the Hawks prevailed. After switching goalies for overtime and penalties, Leo Oliveira made a terrific save in the shootout and the Hawks made all five attempts with the freshman Godoy scoring the winner as Milford advanced to the state final.
“One of my favorite memories of the season is the moment Leo Oliveira made the PK save on the fourth Nauset attempt,” Edwards said. “It was the single most exciting moment of a soccer game I can remember. I think the last time I lost my mind like that was when [Adam] Vinatieri hit the 45 yard game-tying kick against the Raiders in the Blizzard Bowl back in January of 2002. Leo stepped up in the middle of Double Overtime in a Sectional Final and made the play of the game.”
After an incredible run through the south sectional, the Milford boys soccer team had an uncharacteristic showing in the final, surrendering five goals (including the game-winner in overtime) in a goal-heavy 5-4 loss to Winchester.
WORCESTER, Mass. – Every time that Milford went forward, it looked capable of scoring a goal, but every time that Winchester lined up an attacking set piece on the other end of the field it looked just as likely to find the back of the net.
It made for a thrilling, end-to-end Div. 2 state championship game at Worcester State’s Coughlin Field. In the end, it also meant heartbreak for the Hawks.
Winchester got a free kick on the left side of the Milford box seven minutes into the first overtime period. The first ball in was half-cleared but Aras Kaya reacted quickest and was able to knock in the game-winner, handing the Sachems a 5-4 victory and the state title. It was the fourth goal that Winchester had scored from a set piece and denied Milford its first ever state championship in its first appearance in the final in 21 years.
“Winchester played really good today,” said Milford coach Brian Edwards. “They were very proficient, they were very effective in what they did and we were not. We were uncharacteristically sloppy with set piece defense.”
He added, “I’m really proud of how hard my guys played this season, but we didn’t deserve to win this game given how we played.”
Milford grabbed control of the ball right from the opening whistle and had the game’s first good looks at goal. Joao Pedro Da Silva hit a long, angled ball behind the Winchester left back to free Pedro Araujo, but the senior forward was unable to hit the target under pressure from the last defender. Just a minute later Lucas Da Silva went close with a shot to the near post.
Although it was the Hawks with the early chances, it was Winchester that grabbed the first lead. William Hofheinz hit a long free kick that went all the way through the box to Diego Diaz at the back post. Diaz had time to bring it down, look up, and slide a shot to the far corner.
The Sachems held onto the one-goal lead for 20 minutes, nearly doubling it when Kevin Gomes was forced into a diving save on a 25-yard shot by Ben Von Halle.
In the 34th minute, Milford sprung into life. Araujo got free on the right side and hit a cross into Leo Coelho that was cleared by the last defender. A minute later, Araujo again went to his right and skipped past his marker. This time he loped into the box and got all the way inside the six before chipping a shot over the keeper and into the corner.
Just about a minute later, the Hawks jumped in front for the first time. Joao Pedro Da Silva raced down the left side, leaving his defender in his wake, and then hit a deft toe poke that left the keeper stranded and snuck in off the far post to make it 2-1.
Jordan Borges had a chance down the right side to add to the lead just before halftime, but the Hawks went into the break with the lead.
“In the first half, I thought we were very disorganized,” Edwards explained. “We fought back, we fought back, scored those two goals at the end of the first half to make it a game but I don’t think we started playing well until we got to the end of the second half.”
That lead only lasted three minutes into the second half. Hofheinz curled a 30-yard free kick to this near post and the ball snuck in after the keeper lost track of his positioning in the goal and, thinking the shot was going wide, allowed it to bounce past him.
Milford came right back just five minutes later and regained the advantage. This time it was Lucas Da Silva on the left and he got all the way to the end line and was brought down as he tried to cut a pass back into the middle. The ref pointed to the spot and Araujo stepped up to score his second of the game and put the Hawks up 3-2.
In the 53rd minute, the Hawks were again guilty of not clearing a set piece and allowed Winchester to equalize. This time the bouncing ball went in off a Milford player at the back post.
Four minutes later, the Sachems were in front. Von Halle created the chance when he jumped on a poor clearance and he sent a ball in from the right side that Diaz was able to bring down at the far post. The forward roofed his shot, giving backup keeper Leo Oliveira no chance.
Injuries cropped up for the Hawks throughout the game, as Coelho, the league MVP, was forced to the bench and senior right back Nuno Mestre also missed a bulk of the second half. Eduardo Castro and freshman Arthur Tome played well off the bench, but those were key pieces that Milford was without down the stretch.
The Hawks went into desperation mode in the closing minutes and played some of their best attacking soccer of the game. It took until the 74th minute, but the pressure paid off. A long throw from Dan Santos bounced in the box and was met by Carlos Terrinha, who was able to turn it in first-time from close range.
Edwards said, “These guys have a lot of guts, otherwise they wouldn’t be here today. They’re here for a reason. This has been the best team I’ve ever coached and not just for their playing ability but for their character and their tenacity and their grit.”
With the joy of an equalizer and a raucous fan section at that end of the field, Milford found a second gear for the final few minutes. A Chris Tocci long throw to Araujo almost turned into a winner, only for the Sachems to crowd out the chance. Joao Pedro Da Silva had a great look off a corner, but his goal-bound shot was blocked at the last second.
“The last 10 minutes were how we should’ve been playing the whole game,” Edwards admitted, “and it wasn’t enough because when you play a good team like that you can’t wait 70 minutes to start playing good soccer.”
Borges forced a save from the Winchester keeper five minutes into the OT period and Milford looked the more likely to score at that stage, until the Sachems earned a free kick. After defending set pieces well all tournament long, the Hawks couldn’t find a way to stop one last chance and fell just short of winning an elusive first title.
“Any set piece near the area, a team that is big and strong they’re going to have chances and unfortunately we didn’t do a good enough job denying the chances and we didn’t do a good enough job defending them. We didn’t execute,” said Edwards.
Milford finished the season at 18-1-2, outscoring teams 71-22 along the way. Edwards, a former soccer player at Milford, called it a historic season despite the loss in the final.
“It’s nice to give the town something to talk about,” he said. “We take the name on the front of the jersey very seriously. We take a lot of pride in how we represent ourselves, how we represent the town, and how we represent our school.”