FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro not only put its unbeaten record on the line against Milford on Tuesday night at Jack Martinelli Field but also wanted to restore its three-point lead atop the Davenport division, which had been cut to just a single point after North Attleboro’s win in the afternoon.
The Warriors, who are the third-highest scoring team in the Hockomock League, came out strong and had the Hawks on their heels from the opening kick, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Foxboro hit the post three times and forced Milford goalie Olivia Marshall into three saves in the first half alone.
Frustration was setting in for the Warriors with two minutes left until halftime when Milford cleared a corner to the center of the field. Defender Alex Stamatos, who celebrated her senior night before kick-off, raced onto the loose ball and unleashed a 30-yard blast that smacked off the underside of the crossbar and over the line.
It was an impressive first career goal for the center back and it turned out to be the game-winner, as the Warriors added a second after the break to earn a 2-0 victory and stay unbeaten this fall.
“Amazing,” said Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup about Stamatos’ goal. “Her first ever, on senior night, and she’s a sweeper.” Stalcup also admitted, “We needed that.”
Milford had the game’s first good chance when Olivia Sullivan slipped a pass in behind the Foxboro defense to Juliana France. The junior midfielder appeared to be clear on goal, but left back Yara Fawaz was able to race back and pressure the shot, which went wide of goalie Morgan Sylvestre’s near post.
It would be the best chance of the half for the Hawks, as the field started to tilt towards Marshall in the Milford goal and the Foxboro midfield started to take control.
In the 16th minute, Jordyn Collins had a shot cleared off the line by Madelyn Boyle and the follow-up from distance by freshman Kailee McCabe went over the bar. Four minutes later, Mackenzi Fraser got into space on the right side of the box and her cross was forced onto the post by Marshall.
Collins had another look from inside the box, but again it struck woodwork. Katelyn Mollica played a ball back into the box from the right but Lizzy Davis had her shot go high. McCabe then forced Marshall into a save with a 20-yard free kick to the bottom corner. On the ensuing corner, Marshall tipped a Davis header away and Alyssa Vandenboom knocked the rebound off the post.
“At halftime I counted the shots and we had 17 shots and just the one goal,” said Stalcup. “I felt like we weren’t taking quality shots. They were going wide or they were weak or we were crossing the ball when we should’ve been shooting. Yeah, it was frustrating.”
After all those chances, it took a golazo to put Foxboro in front. While the Warriors went into the break with momentum, Milford flipped things around to start the second half and controlled the opening 10 minutes.
Boyle had a long free kick that was saved by Foxboro’s new keeper Jamie DeVellis and France had a chance off a corner, but her far post header was blocked and she was leaning back on the second effort and the shot went high.
“I didn’t have my starting lineup at the beginning of the second half and I think that threw us off a little bit but they came out hard and were fired up,” Stalcup said. “It was tough, but I think once we settled down and started playing our game like we do, playing to feet, don’t just play kick and run, that’s when we’re at our best.”
In the 59th minute, Foxboro sealed the two points. A corner from Mollica picked out Davis on the edge of the six-yard-box and her downward header deflected off the foot of a defender and flicked into the goal.
Marshall was huge down the stretch to keep the Hawks in it. Vandenboom set up McCabe for a one-timer that was saved comfortably, then Davis forced a diving save with a long shot from the right side and Vandenboom had her rebound effort saved.
Collins had a breakaway in the closing minutes but was forced to hold up by Boyle and Marshall was able to make the save and then a Mollica corner found Collins’ head but again Marshall made the reaction save.
“I wish we would’ve had more, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” Stalcup said.
Foxboro (11-0-3, 9-0-3) extended its lead back to three points in the division and will travel to Stoughton on Friday. Milford (3-9-0, 3-9-0) will host North Attleboro on Friday.
Foxboro, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Foxboro raced out to a 3-0 lead by halftime and never looked back, picking up two points on the road. Hussein Kafel scored both of his goals in the first half while Nic Biegel also found the back of the net in the opening stanza. Cam Cass added a goal in the second half for Foxboro. Shane VandenBoom had two assists in the win while Cass and Dylan Barreira each had one.
Canton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames James Gillespie scored early in the second half to help the Tigers beat visiting Canton. Gillespie converted after a touch from Nathaniel Cardoza off of a long throw from Chris Lawrence. Jack Carroll came up with a big save late to preserve the win.
Sharon, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Franklin took the lead in the first half but Sharon senior Tyler Goldstein pounced on a loose ball inside the area in the final minutes to net the equalizer.
North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip got off to a strong start with senior Thomas Lugten netting a pair of goals inside the first 10 minutes as the Warriors handed North its first loss of the season. Senior Tyler Mann and freshman Ajae Olsen scored second half goals for KP.
Milford, 2 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Milford twice took the lead on the road, but Mansfield responded each time to earn the draw. The Scarlet Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute when sophomore Walisson de Oliveira buried a free kick from just outside the area. Mansfield tied the game when Jared Gabrilowitz converted a corner from Luke Savoie in the 24th minute. Milford went back on top in the 32nd minute when Claudio Da Silva sprang de Oliveira on the break and he scored. The Hornets grabbed the equalizer with just seven minutes to play with Nick Hyland heading in a throw-in from his brother Sam.
Stoughton, 1 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton junior Brett Beaulieu scored a hat trick to lead the Tigers to their first Hockomock League since October 2015, snapping a 32-game skid. Beaulieu scored one unassisted while the other two were set up by Alec Nunes. Beaulieu also had an assist, setting up classmate Charlie Fiske for his first career goal. Junior Evan Melo capped the scoring on a feed from classmate Noah Leite.
Attleboro, 2 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Mackenzie Fraser scored a brace and Lily Sykes added a goal from the penalty spot and three assists to help Foxboro climb back above .500 for the season. Shaina Abbott and Katelyn Mollica also scored for the Warriors. Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup said the Warriors “played really well as a team today!”
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Freshman Olivia Rodman scored a brace for the Bulldogs to pick up two points against OA. Fellow freshman Elisa Diletizia assisted on the opening goal and Sarah Collins got the assist on the second for Canton, which moves within three points of first place North Attleboro. OA coach Britt Sellmayer said that Emily Nosalek and Regan Benton played well for the Tigers.
Franklin, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Molly Duncan scored the opening goal off an Emily Quaile assist to give the Panthers the lead midway through the second half, but Ally Filipkowski answered from the penalty spot with six minutes to play to earn the draw for the Eagles. Cat Robbins made three saves for Franklin in the draw. Sharon coach Brad Furnival said, “The team put in a great shift and I am pleased they had a positive result today after a few close games recently.”
Mansfield, 4 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Emily Vigeant continued her scoring streak for the Hornets with a pair of goals, while Stephanie Kemp and Cassidy McMahon also got on the score sheet for Mansfield, which moves back into a first-place tie with King Philip. Leeanne Kibbee scored for Milford off a Maggie Boyle assist and Madelyn Boyle added the second for the Hawks. Freshman goalie Carley Ferreira made four saves in the loss.
Taunton, 1 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalAngie Lynch scored the lone goal for Taunton, assisted by Maggie Sullivan, and Grace Pimenta made four saves in the Tigers goal. Stoughton’s goal was scored by Chinazo Odunze off an assist by Nicole Weir.
North Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – In a battle of division leaders, King Philip emerged with a 25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22 win at home. Sydney Phillips led the way with nine kills, six digs, and six service points while Michaela Palumbo added eight kills and 11 service points. Elise Pereira also had 12 digs, 12 service points, and two aces and Julianne Rando finished with 11 digs, seven service points, two kills and two aces.
North Attleboro, 168 @ Attleboro, 163 – Final – Attleboro swept the season series with rival North Attleboro, edging the Rocketeers by five strokes at Highland Country Club. Kyle DelSignore earned match medalist honors, carding a low-round of 39. Corey McKenna shot a 40 while Ethan Johnson and Taron Mills each shot 42. Matt Wanless led North Attleboro with a round of 40.
King Philip, 153 @ Oliver Ames, 147 – Final – Oliver Ames withstood a strong test from visiting King Philip to card a six-stroke victory. Eric LeBlanc and Matt Kelley led the way for the Tigers, each shooting 36, while Ryan McGarry carded a round of 37.
Sharon, 172 @ Stoughton, 189 – Final – Sharon’s Corey Carter and Stoughton’s Brendan Campbell shared match medalist honors, each carding a round of 40 at Easton Country Club.
Franklin, 165 @ Milford, 168 – Final – Franklin senior Jason Collins shot a low-round of 39 to earn match medalist honors while classmate Bryan Woelfel shot a 40 to lead the Panthers to the win. Riley Lynch and Andrew Fauerbach each shot 41 for the Scarlet Hawks.
2016 Record: 10-8-2 2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal Coach: Kate Howarth
For each of the past two seasons, Canton has finished second in the Davenport division and, with only three seniors graduating from the 2016 roster, the Bulldogs are poised to make another run at a league title this fall. Enthusiasm is also high after a strong closing stretch to last year, which included a draw with Kelley-Rex champ Mansfield and playoff victories over Greater New Bedford and Milton.
Senior Riley Duserick is the focal point of the Canton midfield and her ability to open space, pick out the right pass, and shoot from distance gives the Bulldogs a consistent threat in the attack. Junior Julia Hamilton emerged last season as a solid counterpoint to Duserick in the heart of the midfield with her tenacity and speed adding even more cover to the back line. Sophomores Lauren and Morgan McCabe will be added to the midfield options after strong rookie seasons. Lauren Fitzpatrick could see more time up front to replace the graduated Hannah Link and Tessa Cudmore and head coach Kate Howarth expects several freshmen to contribute as well.
The defense had inconsistent moments early in 2016, but the Bulldogs seemed to figure things out midway through the season and with the back four all returning defense should be a strength for Canton. Seniors Sarah Connolly and Carly Hutchinson will lead the defensive unit and junior Sarah Collins brings energy and speed from her right back spot.
“We are working really hard every day to get better at the little things that will push us beyond being a good team this season,” Howarth said. “I think our biggest weakness last year was consistency, so if we can get ahead of that right away we will be in a much better place than we were last year.”
Foxboro had an inconsistent 2016, but demonstrated the talent in the program by beating perennial power Notre Dame Academy in the first round of the playoffs and nearly going on the road to beat Medfield in the second round, only to fall in a penalty shootout. The Warriors have seven returning players, so this will be a young team in 2017, but new head coach Katie Stalcup will be familiar with those players after her stint as the JV coach last year.
The Warriors will be able to count on senior Lily Sykes. The four-year starter is one of the most dynamic players in the league and is capable of dominating the midfield by beating a defender off the dribble or picking out a defense-splitting pass. Senior Shaina Abbott will be one of the forwards that Sykes will be looking to set up, while senior Olivia Dantona adds speed on the wings. Senior Mackenzie Cusack is also back to lead the defensive unit along with junior Alex Stamatos.
Stalcup is counting on a number of young players to step in and contribute right away. Sophomore Lizzy Davis played for Stalcup on JV last year and brings speed and physicality to the forward position. Among the freshmen that will be on the roster are midfielder Katelyn Mollica, forward Jordyn Collins, and defender Emma Dahl.
“I am very excited about being the new varsity coach this year,” said Stalcup. “We have seven returning varsity players, four seniors who are all captains and five very impressive freshmen on the team for this season as well as some great players coming up from JV. We are a young team, but I am excited to see how well we can play together.”
2016 Record: 5-9-4 2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jay Mastaj
Milford is looking to bounce back from a five-win season to challenge for a spot in the state tournament this fall. The Hawks have a roster filled with youth and bring the majority of the starting lineup back and head coach Jay Mastaj is confident that the talent is there to make a push up the table and compete with the top teams in the league.
The Hawks are deep and experienced on the back line and the defense could be a real strength for Milford this season. Seniors Rachel LeBlanc and Brianna Braza will be the leaders in the heart of the defense and will try to keep everyone organized. Senior Leeanne Kibbee will lead the attack and will be counted on to finish off chances created by senior Maggie Boyle and sophomore Ashleigh Starks, who will look to create from the center of midfield.
Mastaj said of the attackers, “The combination brings strong skills, familiarity and solid varsity experience.” He is also excited about the younger players and what they can bring to the table this year, including sophomores Madelyn Boyle, Julianna France, and Annie Flanagan.
“This season we expect to be very competitive across the entire league,” Mastaj added, “and with a little bit of luck we believe we can challenge for the top of the Davenport.”
2016 Record: 14-4-2 (Davenport Division Champions) 2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Bill Wallace
Despite changing coaches midway through the 2016 season, North Attleboro rolled to its first league title in its first season in the Davenport division. The Rocketeers racked up 14 wins and a goal differential of plus-40. Expectations are even higher coming into this fall with North returning a roster filled with experienced upperclassmen.
URI-commit Haley Guertin is the player to watch for the Rocketeers, as the senior forward is both a goal threat and also a playmaker who consistently opens up opportunities for her teammates. Her 37 career assists is tied for the most in program history. Head coach Bill Wallace said that there is a change in systems coming up front, but with Leah Jette and Ashlyn Gaulin joining Guertin, North will have a formidable attack.
In the midfield, Aine Mendonca returns to hold things down in the center of the pitch. Her poise in posession and ability to break up opposing attacks is critical for the Rocketeers. Of course, if anyone gets through, HockomockSports.com Best XI defender Rachel LaBonte and fellow senior Emily Chiasson are on hand to clean it up. North also returns both Nina Beauvais and Emma Noreck in goal.
“We should be up tempo and have a lot of depth,” said Wallace. “These kids have played together for years and generally care about each other. As always, the Hock is a ‘bear’ of a league and for us to continue last years success we are going to have to work hard and continue to improve!”
Sharon narrowly missed out on reaching the playoffs last season under first-year head coach Brad Furnival. This year, making the playoffs could be even more difficult after the team lost nine seniors and seven starters from last year’s team. The Eagles will be building with youth this fall and gaining experience for a number of new faces.
One returning player that the Eagles will be counting on is senior Ally Filipkowski, who is coming off an exciting summer that saw her named to the U-20 Puerto Rican national team. The George Washington-commit is one of the most talented players with the ball in the league and she will be tasked with creating most of the chances for the Eagles. Senior Sabrina Robbins will step into a leadership role at the heart of the Sharon defense this fall and will be counted on to organize a young group.
Among the new faces to watch is junior Maxine Gordon, who will be starting in the attack this fall and is hoping to build off her experience from last season to be a consistent goal scorer. Sophomore Bella Berger is another player that Furnival believes could be in for a strong season. Berger will be influencing the game from the center of midfield.
“This season will be more of a transition season for Sharon girls,” Furnival said. “We have a very young team so the vision for this team is a couple of seasons down the line. We are hoping to continue playing an attacking brand of soccer and are looking forward to coming up against some top opposition that the Hock will pit us up against.”
Stoughton has been in a rebuilding mode for the past couple of seasons, but entering 2017 head coach Tara Daniels is making changes to the formation and counting on an experienced back line to get the Black Knights moving up the table in the Davenport division.
The leader for Stoughton is senior Sarah Widrow, who was the team’s lone league all-star last fall and impressed during the HockomockSports.com Charity All-Star Game. As an attacking fullback, Widrow pushes the Black Knights forward and adds vocal leadership to the back line. She will be joined at the back by the speedy Gabriela Diaz, who was converted from striker to defender. Senior Mia Greene will be the focal point in the midfield to try and keep possession for Stoughton.
Sophomore Chinazo Odunze returns from a injury-shortened season to lead the line for the Black Knights attack. She had a strong start to her freshman campaign before her injury and Daniels calls her combination of speed and physicality a “game-changer” for the attack.
Daniels said, “This season we are trying a new formation to give us more offensive opportunities…Staying healthy and in good shape is key to a successful season. We are looking to step up our possession game and having more of an offensive push this year.”