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.”
MILFORD, Mass. – Milford junior goalie Leo Oliveira stood on his goal line face-to-face with the next Nauset penalty kick shooter and took his right hand and pointed in that direction a handful of times.
Oliveira, who was a spectator from the bench for 90 minutes in the snow and cold, was suddenly thrust into action in the second overtime, and now in the midst of a penalty kick shootout with one of the top teams in the country.
With each team converting their first three attempts, Oliveira stepped back in net and pointed to his right as Nauset’s senior captain Spencer Rushnak placed the ball on the spot.
It worked as Rushnak fired his shot in that direction and Oliveira made the diving stop. Three attempts later, Milford freshman Gabriel Godoy calmly deposited his chance into the back corner to give the Hawks a 5-4 edge in penalties, a 2-1 win in the match, and the program’s first-ever D2 South Sectional Championship.
It’s the program’s first sectional title since 1999 when it won the D1 Central crown, and Nauset’s first loss since 2017, snapping a 44-game unbeaten streak. The Warriors’ last loss came to Oliver Ames in the sectional semifinals, which also went to penalty kicks and was played on the same Milford High turf field.
“I told him to go right and he did, and I was ready for it and I saved it,” Oliveira said. “All I heard was the crowd cheering my name, it was amazing. The best moment of my life so far.”
Sophomore Kevin Gomes, who had a strong game in net through regulation and the first overtime, came out between overtime periods due to illness. While Milford was planning to go with Oliveira if it went to penalties, he was thrust into the game in the second sudden-victory overtime period.
“It’s hard sitting on the bench in the cold weather but I’m always ready just in case something happens to Kevin, and I was ready tonight,” Oliveira said. “During the playoffs, we’ve been practicing them for around 30 minutes at the end of practice, and I’ve been able to save them there. When you have guys like Pedro [Araujo] and Leo [Coelho] who barely miss, it’s hard to save them. Nauset, they are amazing, but I was able to come up with the big save.”
Milford head coach Brian Edwards wasn’t surprised that Oliveira was ready for the big moment.
“Leo is our best goalie for PKs,” Edwards said. “We were planning to make the change in overtime and then Kevin in-between overtime periods wasn’t feeling well so we told [Leo] to go in and he delivered. He’s the hero of the hour. He doesn’t really get nervous, he just shows up and plays. He isn’t really fazed [by the moment].”
Nauset went first in penalty kicks and junior Ben LaBranche slotted a low shot into the bottom left corner past the reach of Oliveira’s save. Milford boys soccer senior captain and center back Dan Santos answered with a low to the left of his own.
Nauset senior captain Sebastian Headrick put the Warriors back ahead with a low shot to the left despite Oliveira getting a fingertip to it. Milford sophomore center back Chris Tocci blasted a shot into the upper left corner giving the keeper no chance to make it 2-2.
The Warriors scored again as junior Anthony Lovati was the first to go in the other direction, hitting his shot into the right side. Milford senior and the Hockomock League’s leading score Pedro Araujo went up the middle with the keeper diving to the side to make it 3-3.
Oliveira’s mind games worked to get the big stop, and Milford senior Jordan Borges blasted a hard shot off the underside of the crossbar and in to give the Hawks’ a 4-3 lead.
“It was very scary when it hit the bar but it ended up going in so I was happy,” Borges said. “For Leo, it’s all theatrics before the kick. He just gets guys nervous, throws them off. We’ve practiced them before just in case we go to penalties and it paid off.”
Nauset junior center back Ethan Boyle kept the match alive with a nice shot to the left side but Godoy, despite being a freshman, placed a left-footed shot into the back corner to give the Hawks the win.
“Our JV coach Antonio Pinto has been working with these guys on PKs for a while so I asked who he thought the best five guys were, he told me and I went with those,” Edwards said. “A lot of these decisions aren’t mine, they make me look smart. We have a whole crew of coaches and the players have an input too.
“It was awesome, I lost my mind when he made that save, I knew that was it because I have complete faith in our five guys to make their kicks. When Leo made that save, I knew we were going to win it.”
Not only did Milford have to weather a strong Nauset attack in overtime, the Hawks had to do so without Coelho, who had to miss the extra period due to injury. Then the Hawks lost Joao Pedro Da Silva to an injury for the second overtime period. Senior outside back Nuno Mestre also missed some time in the extra period but was able to return.
“We’re just confident at all times,” Borges said. “We believe in ourselves, we believe in our teammates and that’s what it’s all about. When we believe, I think we have a chance to win at anything. We have that team mentality, the next guy up. Anybody can step in and do the job. Of course we don’t want to see guys go out but everybody on the bench is ready to go in there and make a difference.”
It was a scoreless first half that saw both sides have a share of strong play, but the Warriors ended with the two most dangerous chances on goal. In the 7th minute, Rushnak smacked the crossbar on a free kick and Milford senior Carlos Terrinha was well-positioned to block the rebound chance.
Rushnak also flashed a header just wide in the 20th minute of a corner from Patrick Pinto and then smacked the crossbar for the second time off a well-hit volley from distance that knuckled and dipped before hitting the woodwork in the 34th minute.
Milford had its fair share of chances too as Coelho, who started up front along Araujo, took advantage of some space before rifling a left-footed shot from 25-yards out just wide in the 13th minute. In the 26th minute, Araujo sprang Coelho free with a perfect through ball but Nauset keeper Jack Avellar played it perfectly off his line and came charging to block the shot just inside the box.
Gomes made a strong save on a chance from Boyle in the 42nd minute, pouncing on a header in the area. Two minutes later, the Hawks opened the scoring.
Coelho drew a foul near the corner of the area on the right wing, and then took the free kick himself. He lofted a perfectly weighted ball to the far post to an open JP Da Silva, who nodded the ball just inside the post for a 1-0 lead.
Edwards was frank when asked if he could believe it that his side had beaten Nauset.
“I do, I do believe it because they are high school kids just like anyone else,” Edwards said. “Regardless of how you look, how you dress, how you put your bags in a row…your high school kids and so are we. We believe in who we can beat and bring them on, we’ll play anyone.
“It was just belief…belief in each other, belief in ourselves. This team is very confident but we know how good Nauset is. They are a top 10 team in a country but we did our homework, we knew what we needed to do. Thankfully we got the job done. I can’t be prouder of them right now.”
Araujo played junior Lucas Da Silva in on the right side seven minutes later but his bid was denied by Avellar, and he was unable to pounce on the rebound bid. Nauset nearly drew level in the 59th minute as Shavar Champagnie broke free at the near post but flashed his header just wide.
Araujo had three chances over a two-minute space but wasn’t able to double the Hawks’ lead. He was played in off a flick from Borges but Avellar was quick off his line and just got to the ball first just inside the box. Still in the 63rd minute, Borges delivered a ball over the top but Araujo’s shot on goal was saved.
A minute later, Araujo nearly got his touch past an oncoming Avellar, but the ball popped up and the keeper did very well to recover and hang on.
Nauset cashed on in the final five minutes of the match after earning a free kick along the left sideline. Boyle dropped a service to the near post and LaBranche was left open and he buried his shot into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1.
“Nauset has one of the best attacks I’ve ever seen,” Edwards said. “They are deliberate in what they do, you know exactly what they are going to do, and regardless of that they still generate scoring chances. They are that good, they are that well-coached, they are great soccer players. Our defense was superb tonight I thought. I thought we minimized the throw-ins for the most part.
“We got in trouble with the free kicks, that’s where their goal came from. I was very proud of our backline and I was very proud of our goalie, I thought Kevin played a stellar game. Nauset is a hell of a team, that’s the best team I’ve seen in 11 years of coaching soccer.”
Gomes was forced into an early save on Champagnie two minutes into the first overtime but the best chance of the first extra period was from Borges. After a win at midfield, Borges received a pass and ripped a shot from 30-yards out that Avellar had to backtrack and then tip over the bar.
Neither side had a genuine scoring threat in the second overtime.
“It’s been two decades since we’ve been in a game like this,” Edwards, an MHS graduate, said. Milford boys soccer reached the state final in 1998, the year after Edwards graduated. “We know whoever we’re going to play is going to be a tough test. We’ll try to make our league play and do what we can do, and hopefully, get the job done.”
Milford boys soccer (18-0-2) will play North sectional champion Winchester (14-3-5) in the D2 Final on Saturday with the time and location to be determined.
Edwards moved Coelho from his defensive center mid spot to striker, and the decision paid dividends nearly immediately.
Coelho scored the lone goal of the game just under 90 seconds into the sudden-victory overtime period, handing the second-seeded Hawks a 1-0 verdict over #6 Bishop Feehan.
“I was playing through an injury and it felt like nothing was going to go my way, I felt like it was probably one of my worst games,” Coelho said. “I asked coach if I could play up top in overtime, and he had the trust and confidence to put me there, and I was able to get it done.”
Milford went to work quickly in the extra session, applying pressure as it had done for the majority of the 80 minutes of regulation. This time, the Hawks were able to find the back of the net.
Senior Pedro Araujo hustled to a ball down the right flank, battling a defender off to earn possession. He got the ball on his right foot and fired a cross/shot that was parried away by Feehan keeper Thomas Potenza.
But the ball fell right to the feet of junior Joao Pedro Da Silva, who was quickly surrounded by a trio of Shamrock defenders. Da Silva calmly carried away from goal before sliding a pass to Coelho at the far post, and the junior let the ball come across his body before depositing a shot into the back of the net for the game-winner.
“We had to change something up, the ball wasn’t going in,” Edwards said. “I trust him and he rewarded our faith in him. He played a tremendous game, I thought everyone did. But we couldn’t get the ball in the net. Thankfully we made the play when we needed to.”
While the ball wasn’t going in, it wasn’t for a lack of possession or chances. The Hawks controlled the game from start to finish, putting nearly a dozen shots on frame while limiting the Shamrocks to just two chances, both coming within seconds of each other.
Coelho registered the first serious chance for either side in what was a rare foray into the attacking third. The junior midfielder controlled a clearance, took a touch towards goal, and fired a shot from 25 yards out but his bid clanked off the top of the crossbar and stayed out in the 14th minute.
JP Da Silva took a pass from Lucas Da Silva and forced a save from Potenza, but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing chance. Two minutes later, Coelho found Jordan Borges but his chance went over the bar.
Bishop Feehan’s best three chances all came in the final 15 minutes of half. A cross to the far post eluded the Milford keeper but Chris Tocci was in position to head the first ball up, and Dan Santos cleared the second ball to keep the game scoreless.
The Shamrocks nearly jumped ahead in the final moments of the first half. A lackadaisical play on a loose ball afforded Feehan’s Zach Stephenson possession. He used his speed to get past the Hawks’ defense and rifled a shot alone with the keeper but Milford sophomore Kevin Gomes made the leaping stop.
The rebound bounced to the Shamrocks’ left wing and to the feet of Samir Kassel, who had a good look to bury the rebound, but his chance was denied by Gomes as well to keep the game scoreless
“Kevin has done a good job, we didn’t ask him to do a lot tonight (two saves) but he actually did a nice job coming off his line tonight,” Edwards said. “He snuffed out some chances and he was very decisive when he came off his line. And that’s important against a team like this that’s relying on you to make a mistake defensively so Kevin was big for us.”
Milford continued to control possession in the second half but the Shamrocks often had five or more players behind the ball, making life difficult for the Hawks’ offense that likes to connect on short passes.
The chances still came though as Borges saw his shot go just over the bar in the 44th minute, and Araujo’s header at the far stick was handled in the 50th minute. Potenza came up with a save on a low strike from Borges in the 57th minute and had plenty of time to recover and handle the loose rebound.
“They could have been wearing red and white (North Attleboro),” Edwards said of Feehan, comparing their defense-first approach to that of the Rocketeers. “They played so well defensively. From what we saw leading up to this game, they gave us a very different look. Credit to their coaching staff and players, they were able to adopt a very different strategy against us that was very effective.
“I think we were more frustrated that it wasn’t going in. I think we generated more chances in the second half. I wasn’t happy with the first half, especially defensively, but we adjusted. I thought we were better in the second, and I think we kept our composure.”
After Feehan made a push into the offensive third, Milford countered with one of its best chances. With more space than usual, Coelho pushed forward with possession, using a nice stepover move to get past a defender. He unleashed a shot from 30 yards out that froze the keeper, but it smacked off the post and stayed out in the 58th minute.
“The first half, I think we were all being a little too selfish,” Coelho said. “We were a little too excited, everyone was trying to be the hero. We talked at halftime about playing our game, and if we do that, we can get the job done. They definitely played like North Attleboro, behind the ball, and we had some difficulty breaking it down.”
Milford had a flurry of chances late in the game but couldn’t unlock the Shamrocks with a final product. Potenza made a leaping stop but the rebound was deflected right off Borges’ foot, too hard for him to control in short range.
Tocci’s cross found the feet of Araujo and he tested the keeper with a low shot but Potenza smothered it. A minute later, Araujo beat his defender to the touchline and fired a low cross across the face of goal to Borges at the far post, but the ball found his weaker foot and was cleared after the first touch, and regulation ended scoreless.
Coelho’s winner sends the Hawks to their first-ever D2 South Sectional Final. The last final appearance for Milford boys soccer was in 1999 when they played in the D1 Central Final.
With Milford as the predetermined site for the sectional final, the Hawks (17-0-2) will end up “hosting” Nauset but as the away team, on Sunday at 3:30.
MILFORD, Mass. – In last year’s playoff, Milford was considered one of the teams to beat in Div. 2 South but ran into a physical, direct Walpole team in the quarterfinal and were knocked out. On Wednesday night, almost a year to the day after that loss, the Hawks faced another tough quarterfinal against Dartmouth with the chance to show what they have learned.
Milford scored once in each half, dominated possession throughout, and overcame the physical battle to secure a 2-0 win and a spot in the sectional semifinal.
“Some teams think we’re soft, we’re a finesse team, but we can be hard,” said Milford coach Brian Edwards. “I thought the guys responded really well physically, especially in the second half when it got nasty because it was a really intense, exciting soccer game and I thought my guys responded. It wasn’t our best performance, but we did what we had to do.”
Dartmouth played direct balls over the top of the defense and tried to take advantage of their size on set pieces, particularly on long throws in the attacking third. The Milford back line held firm, especially center backs Dan Santos and Chris Tocci, and sophomore goalie Kevin Gomes looked adept at controlling the box against the Indians’ aerial threat.
“It’s vital because we work as a unit,” said Santos. “We defend well and we attack just as well, so we sent a message out to the other teams. [Our confidence] is through the roof.”
In fact, it was Milford that looked more dangerous at dead ball opportunities. An early corner from Lucas Da Silva was met by Santos at the near post and had to be cleared off the line by Luke Sylvia. The Hawks used another free kick to grab an early lead.
Pedro Araujo, the Hockomock League’s top scorer this season, curled in a teasing ball that found Santos at the back post. The senior defender knocked the loose ball towards goal and it snuck just past the keeper and just over the line. The Dartmouth players chased after the official claiming the ball went through a hole in the side of the net, but the goal stood.
“It was huge, just for confidence,” Edwards explained. “It really put them under pressure. You could see it in the second half when they switched formation that we were really able to get some more looks.”
A free kick from Leo Coelho in the 18th minute almost made it 2-0, when the ball was spilled and both Araujo and Jordan Borges had shots blocked. Araujo came close again nine minutes later off yet another corner, but his first-time hit from the edge of the box after a weak clearance was blazed over the bar.
Dartmouth’s best chance of the half came off a Sylvia long throw that was met by Matt Furtado, but his lefty shot was wide of the mark. Araujo and Borges combined well on the edge of the box to open space and Araujo played in Eduardo Castro down the right but his shot to the bottom corner was well saved.
Holding a precarious one-goal lead at the break, Milford set out in the second half to try and add an insurance goal. The Hawks would have a number of chances to double the lead and the frustration and concern for an equalizer was growing as the opportunities were spurned.
Edwards said, “I had a feeling where it could be one of those games where you don’t get a second goal and they tie it late because it felt like it was going to be that way, but thankfully we got that second goal from JP.”
Araujo almost played provider in the 48th minute when he was able to work space for a right-foot cross by neither Da Silva was able to get a foot on it. A minute later, Araujo hit a free kick straight at the keeper. Da Silva flicked a header to Borges, but his volley went over the bar and then Da Silva split the defense with a through ball to Araujo but the keeper was out quickly and blocked the shot with his trailing foot.
Dartmouth sent a warning with a Sylvia long throw that was met by Mitchell Taradash, but his shot went over the crossbar. It was a reminder to the Hawks to keep pressing for a second to make things more comfortable, although the combination of Coelho and Carlos Terrinha was protecting the back four and keeping the Indians largely at bay.
“Those two guys have been big for us all year,” said Edwards. “There’s a reason why Leo is league MVP, he’s an animal. Carlos is an absolute beast. Those guys put in really strong performances. They don’t end up on the scoresheet but without those two guys we don’t win this game.”
With the visitors switching to a back three to try and get more numbers forward, Milford started to find more space for Araujo to operate along the right flank. He rose up to nod a header to Joao Pedro Da Silva but the Dartmouth keeper was able to block the close-range shot and then Araujo cut inside a pair of defenders onto his left and forced a solid diving stop.
In the 75th minute, the Milford pressure finally paid off. Borges sent a long free kick into the box and a Dartmouth defender headed it sideways rather than out. Da Silva reacted first, cutting straight down the box and the side-footing the ball into the corner for a critical two-goal lead.
Edwards said, “JP’s been our iceman all year. He’s the finisher, he’s our closer. Joao Pedro’s a real special, clutch kid. He just shows up and plays a great game.”
“I’m proud of the boys,” Santos added. “They’re very hard-working, we went over it at practice all week and we got the outcome we wanted.”
Milford (16-0-2) will take on No. 6 seed Bishop Feehan in the semifinal on Tuesday at Sandwich High.
Boys Soccer D1 South
#11 Franklin, 1 @ #6 Natick, 0 – Final – Franklin scored an early goal and the defense had a great game to earn a 1-0 upset of #6 Natick. Lucas Moura scored on an assist from Donny Tappin to put the visitors ahead. Jack Rudolph was outstanding in net in the shutout for Franklin. The Panthers will play the winner of #3 Brockton and #14 Braintree.
#2 Milford, 6 vs. #15 Catholic Memorial, 0 – Final – Milford’s offense exploded for five goals inside an 11-minute span in the first half to earn a first round win over Catholic Memorial. Junior Lucas Da Silva opened the scoring in the 14th minute and the floodgates opened up for the Hawks’ offense. Jordan Borges (from Leo Coelho) doubled the lead less than one minute later, and Joao Pedro Da Silva got in on the scoring action with a goal in the 21st minute. Joao Pedro Da Silva grabbed his second two minutes later off a cross from Pedro Araujo, who then scored himself off a header (from Eduardo Castro) in the 25th minute. Castro converted a fast break for his first career goal in the 34th minute to make it 6-0. Chris Tocci, Gabriel Godoy, and Carlos Terrinha played well defensively for Milford.
Field Hockey D1 South
#5 Franklin, 0 @ #4 Westwood, 1 – Final
#15 Mansfield, 0 @ #7 Notre Dame, 4 – Final
Volleyball D1 Central/East
#3 King Philip, 3 vs. #6 Revere, 0 – Final – King Philip opened its tournament run in impressive fashion with a dominant 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-9) win over Revere. Nicole Coughlan (11 kills, two aces) and Catherine Waldeck (nine kills, three blocks) led the charge offensively for the Warriors while Kristen Masse (three kills, two aces) also had a strong match. The Warriors advance to the D1 Central/West Semifinals to play at #2 Quincy (19-2) on Wednesday at 6:00.
#4 Oliver Ames, 3 vs. #5 Brockton, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this match. – Oliver Ames pulled out a close win in a see-saw battle between the Tigers and Boxers in a rubber match this season. After splitting the regular season series, the Tigers earned bragging rights with a 3-2 (25-9, 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7) win in the tournament opener for both teams. Senior Allie Kemp with dished out 34 assists, senior Alison Barth had 39 digs, and senior Jordan Bosse and junior Caroline Flynn paced the offense with 15 kills apiece. #4 Oliver Ames will play #1 Dartmouth on Wednesday at 6:30 at Greater New Bedford Voke.
#2 Canton, 3 vs. #10 Tantasqua, 0 – Final – Canton took care of business in its tournament opener, knocking off visiting Tantasqua, 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-14). Taylor Harris was the catalyst for the Bulldogs offense with 16 kills, while Claire Quinn, Shannon Malloy, Liz Bickett (six aces, 10digs), and Angie Elias all played great at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played solid defense, and Jackie Morrissey added 17 assists and 12 digs. #2 Canton advances to the D2 Central Semifinal and will host the winner of #3 North Middlesex and #6 Medfield on Thursday.
Franklin, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro used a strong second half to earn its third straight win. Mike Russo scored a pair of goals and Jackson Singer found the back of the net once for the Bombardiers. Ethan Cain scored for Franklin on an assist from Donny Tappin.
Canton, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Milford senior Pedro Araujo scored his league-leading 25th goal of the season and added a pair of second half assists to help the Hawks finish undefeated in the regular season (14-0-2) for the first time in school history. Araujo set up Jordan Borges and Lucas Da Silva for second half strikes.
Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield won its fourth straight and extended its unbeaten streak to seven to keep its postseason hopes alive heading into the final game of the season. Sophomore Matt Hyland scored the lone goal of the game in the 37th minute while Anthony Salisbury had the shutout in net. Hyland took a feed from Dan Rowe, who originally handled a long throw in from Cam Eddy.
Stoughton, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon took the lead midway through the first half and added a pair of second half goals to keep its postseason hopes alive. Viktor Schneider set up Brian Higgins for the opening goal just before the midway point of the first half. Schneider then assisted on a goal from Michael Baur in the second half to make it 2-0. Rhys Davis secured the win by making it 3-0 off an assist from Ben Nathan.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final – Jordan Sullivan, Lydia Hershey, Lily Adams, and Abi Slaney played well for the Rocketeers.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip completed its undefeated season (18-0-0) behind three second half goals at home against OA. Chloe Layne scored the opening goal in the 55th minute, finishing off a ball over the top from Jenna Hitchen. Layne returned the favor six minutes later, linking up with Hitchen for a one-timer inside the area to make it 2-0. Makenzie Shandley capped the scoring with a blast from 25 yards out in the 65th minute with Layne getting the assist.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Tarynn Smith scored twice and assisted on the third Mansfield goal to put the Hornets within two points of tournament qualification with one game remaining in the regular season. Meg Krone had the third goal for the Hornets and Olivia Salisbury made three saves to secure her eighth clean sheet of the season.
Sharon, 2 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Stoughton ended its season on a high note with a big win at home over visiting Sharon. Junior Mackenzie Manning and freshman Shayla Ford each had three goals in the win. Hannah Papagno, Rebeca Desousa, Isabella Rodrigues, Sabrina Rodrigues, and Maggie Veliotis each registered an assist in the win.
Canton, 3 @ Quincy, 0 – Final – Canton picked up its 17th win in its regular season finale, picking up a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-21) sweep on the road at Quincy. Taylor Harris led Canton with 18 kills and five digs, Liz Bickett had 11 kills and 10 digs, and Jackie Morrissey added 32 assists, nine digs and a pair of aces. Angie Elias, Shannon Malloy and Claire Quinn were strong at the net while Steph Trendell and Nikki Desjardins played great defense for the Bulldogs.
Sharon, 4 @ Milford, 6 – Final – Milford built a 3-0 lead with a strong first half but had to survive a wild second half to earn a win over visiting Sharon. Junior Lucas Da Silva scored the first two goals of the game with Pedro Araujo and Jordan Borges earning assists. Borges then set up Araujo to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead at the break. Sharon’s Brian Higgins scored from Bryce Nathan to begin the second half, Nathan grabbed a goal of his own to make it 3-2. Araujo (from Leo Coelho) restored Milford’s two-goal lead only for Higgins to bring the Eagles back within one on James Zhang’s second assist. Coelho set up Da Silva for his hat trick and Araujo completed his hat trick on a pass from Joao Pedro Da Silva to make it 6-3. Nathan bagged his second of the game to get Sharon within two.
Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Taunton keeper Nolan Melo made save after save to keep the visiting Tigers in the game but Oliver Ames was able to solve him once, and that was enough for two points. “Their keeper was ridiculous, he was great,” said OA head coach John Barata. OA junior Matthew Nikiciuk scored in the 60th minute on a shot from outside of the area to put the hosts ahead. OA’s defense of Harry Ahearn, Matthew Nosalek, Jon Freeman, and Brady deVos played well in front of keeper Drew Nickla (sixth shutout).
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Franklin keeper Breanna Atwood was terrific in net for the Panthers but King Philip scored a pair of first half goals to earn the win. Chloe Layne finished off a corner from Makayla Griffin in the 22nd minute to give the hosts the lead, and Avery Snead doubled the advantage four minutes later, heading in another corner from Griffin. Atwood made eight great saves to keep Franklin in the game. King Philip’s defense of Grace Lawler, Paige Varvarigos, and Griffin along with keeper Taylor Butler earned their 12th shutout of the season.
Boys Cross Country
Milford, 25 @ Canton, 35 – Final
Girls Cross Country
Milford, 25 @ Canton, 30 – Final
North Attleboro, 165 @ Canton, 149 – Final – Canton earned a win over North Attleboro to finish unbeaten in division action this season, going 10-0, and improving to 13-0 overall this season. The Bulldogs had a trio of golfers share match medalist honors with Chris Lavoie, Conor Hunter, and James O’Keeffe all finishing with a 37. Will Gefteas and Mike Leonetti each shot 38 in the win. North Attleboro’s Jake Gaskin had a team-low round of 38, Jillian Barend and Jared Bankert each shot 42, and Aidan Weir chipped in with a 43 for the Rocketeers.
Oliver Ames, 160 @ Mansfield, 149 – Final – Mansfield picked up some momentum heading into the league championship meet, earning a win over Oliver Ames at home. Brian See fired an impressive three-under par round of 33 to earn match medalist honors. Ryan Dow added a 35, Jason See shot a 40, and Cian Goulet finished with a 41 for Mansfield.
Milford, 179 vs. Nipmuc, 188 – Final
Foxboro, 156 @ Milford, 179 – Final – Foxboro earned a win on the road to close out its division schedule, finishing 8-2. Noah Hicks led the way for the Warriors, firing a round of 37 to earn match medalist honors. Matt Lathrop added a 39 for Foxboro while Jack Rounds and Dylan Quinn each shot 40. Tyler Wetherbee and Wes Murdock each carded a 42 for the Hawks.
Taunton, 174 @ Stoughton, 181 – Final – Taunton earned a win on the road at Easton Country Club over host Stoughton. Kyle Robinson and Dillion Schofield led the way for the Tigers, each shooting 42 in the win. Stoughton’s Max Huminik was the match medalist with a 39.
Milford junior Lucas Da Silva has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Oct. 6 through Oct. 12. Da Silva is the sixth player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2019-20 school year.
Da Silva had an impressive week, as the Davenport division-leading Hawks solidified their position at the top of the league with three wins and moved within one point of securing back-to-back titles. He scored one goal and had three assists this week, providing important moments in all three of the wins, including assists on two game winners.
“Lucas is a really creative player with a high soccer IQ,” said Milford coach Brian Edwards. “His flexibility also allows us to plug him at various positions depending upon where he is needed.”
On Monday, the Hawks rallied in the second half to earn a one-goal win at Canton. Da Silva assisted on a goal by Pedro Joao Da Silva that proved to be the game-winner and handed Milford a 2-1 victory. Two days later, Da Silva controlled the midfield against Stoughton, adding the third goal in a 5-0 win. He closed out the week with a pair of assists in a win at Attleboro. Again he set up Joao Pedro for a goal that turned out to the game-winner and then set up Pedro Araujo for the team’s third.
Milford has already clinched a share of the Davenport title and needs only a draw from its remaining five Davenport games to win the division outright. With his four-point week, Da Silva has moved into a tie for third in the league’s scoring charts with 11 points (four goals and seven assists).
The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.
Game of the Week – Football
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 35 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game. 1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 3-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 21-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) J. Hagan 3-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (C) Gersom Rivera 3-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) G. Rivera 13-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Sam Callanan 1-yard rush, Dylan Conti XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Robert Jarest 12-yard pass to Brian Wassersug, D. Conti XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Stoughton, 18 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Savion Scott 5-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 41-yard pass to Elijah Lewis, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Ais 6-yard rush, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (S) John Burke 5-yard rush, 2pt failed.
Mansfield, 39 @ Franklin, 9 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Parker Cheuvront 24-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (M) Michael DeBolt 41-yard field goal; (M) Nick Marciano 35-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Safety; (M) Jack Mousette 13-yard pass to Cincere Gill, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 21-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (F) Thomas Gasbarro 20-yard pass to Jake Davis, XP blocked; (M) C. Gill 84-yard kick-off return, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Ethan Thevenot 65-yard rush.
Milford, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – After trading goals, Milford scored three straight unanswered to pick up a win on the road. The Hawks took the lead when Pedro Araujo converted a penalty kick but Attleboro freshman Esvin Morales tied things up moments later. Lucas Da Silva set up Joao Pedro Da Silva to put the visitors back ahead, and Araujo volleyed in a header from Lucas Da Silva before halftime to make it 3-1. Milford’s fourth goal came off a cross from Chris Tocci on an own goal. With the win, and other results around the league, Milford clinches at least a share of the Davenport division title for the second straight season.
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip built a two-goal lead and survived a pair of second half penalty kicks from Foxboro to earn the win. The hosts took the lead in the 41st minute when Wes Orzell finished off a feed from Ajae Olsen. KP doubled its lead in the 67th minute on a goal from Cam Lawrence, assisted by Stephen Griffin. KP keeper Grant Orzell saved a penalty kick to keep the two-goal lead. Foxboro’s Dylan Barreira scored on a penalty kick four minutes later.
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game – Franklin scored a pair of goals in a five-minute stretch in the second half to earn two points at home against visiting Sharon. After a scoreless first half, a long ball from Matt Szczepanowski was spilled in the area and Lucas Moura was able to touch in the loose ball in the 55th minute. Just minutes later, Nelson Martinez finished off a corner from Donny Tappin to make it 2-0.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – North Attleboro and Mansfield traded early first half goals, battling to a draw under the lights on Friday night. The Rocketeers took the lead just a minute into the second half on a penalty kick but Mansfield’s Dan Rowe netted his first career goal just five minutes later to bring the hosts level. Dylan Buchanan flicked on a cross from Cam Eddy and Rowe found the back of the net. Evan Eames, Michael Caridi, Ethan Scholes, and Eddy all played well defensively in front of keeper Anthony Salisbury.
Canton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2:00.
Stoughton @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD.
Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Jillian Michelson and Kristina Chiarelli each scored as Milford earned its third straight win. Carly Ferreira posted the shutout in net for the Scarlet Hawks.
Franklin @ Sharon – Postponed to Saturday, Oct. 26 at 12:00.
Mansfield, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Avery Hawthorne scored the game’s only goal off an assist from Lauren Hobaica midway through the first half and the Hornets held on for the win. Lydia Hershey, Alex Moulson, and Caroline Ferrin all played well for North in the loss.
Taunton @ Stoughton – Postponed to TBD.
Foxboro @ Mansfield, 3:45
Franklin, 2 vs. Walpole, 6 – Final – Franklin took the lead twice in the first half but Walpole responded each time, and went on to score four unanswered goals in the second half to sweep the regular season series with the Panthers. Amanda Lewandowski opened the scoring just over a minute into the game on a feed from Kaitlyn Carney. After Walpole tied it up in the 18th minute, Franklin jumped back ahead when Olivia Rondeau scored on a feed from Kate O’Rourke in the 21st minute. Walpole scored a minute later to make it 2-2 at half. Neilee Hess made four saves for Franklin.
Stoughton @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD.
Canton, 3 @ Milton, 1 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Canton went on to win two straight to clinch the win, 3-1 (28-26, 15-25, 25-23) Taylor Harris anchored the Bulldogs with 19 kills and 16 digs while Jackie Morrissey added 32 assists, 15 digs, and two aces. Liz Bickett (16 digs) and Shannon Malloy were strong in the middle combining for 12 kills and six blocks.
Mansfield, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – Mansfield forced a fourth set against Bishop Feehan but eventually fell, 3-1 (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 18-25) in an exclusion match for the Hornets. Feehan was six points away from a sweep, leading 19-15 before Julia Busier (19 service points) led the Hornets to 10 straight points to win the set and force a fourth game. Busier also had seven digs while Julia Kelly chipped in with eight kills and eight digs.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its second win over the Trojans this season, walking away with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-18) sweep on the road. Allie Kemp dished out 38 assists in the win with seniors Jordyn Vella (14 kills) and Caroline Flynn (13 kills) leading the charge at the net. Sophomore Hadley Rhodes had another strong showing with eight kills and five aces for OA.
Canton @ Mansfield – Postponed to Friday, Oct. 18 at 3:30.
Taunton @ New Bedford – Postponed to TBD.