Below are the official 20020 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Amanda Lewandowski, Franklin
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Shae Salisbury, Attleboro
Madison Ellis, Attleboro
Amanda Lewandowski, Franklin
Kaitlyn Carney, Franklin
Stephanie Bell, Franklin
Makenzie Manning, King Philip
Abby Nixon, King Philip
Grace Crocker, King Philip
Isabelle Crocker, King Philip
Lindsay Devine, Mansfield
Bella Deberghes, Mansfield
Ashley Amaro, Taunton
Alana Tavares, Taunton
Davenport Division MVP
Maria Femia, Canton
Davenport Division All Stars
Maria Femia, Canton
Riley O’Connor, Canton
Allie Gefteas, Canton
Meghan LaBelle, Canton
Ella Waryas, Foxboro
Dylan Rappoli, Foxboro
Shannon Egan, Foxboro
Julia Puccio, North Attleboro
Emily Han, Oliver Ames
Maggie Woods, Oliver Ames
Georgia Costello, Oliver Ames
Haley Nelson, Stoughton
Zofia Bangs, Stoughton
Amanda Burns, Attleboro
Lizzie Tassinari, Canton
Molly McElhinney, Foxboro
Sara Carney, Franklin
Alli Beltramini, King Philip
Abby Varricchione, Mansfield
Olyvia Whyte, Milford
Lauren Abusheery, North Attleboro
Peyton Phillips, Oliver Ames
Yesha Sharma, Sharon
Lena Allie, Stoughton
Emily Gannon, Taunton
FRANKLIN, Mass. – With its second straight Kelley-Rex division title already in-hand, the Franklin field hockey team had their sights set on proving they were the best team in the league through the Hockomock Cup.
But just before the final week of the regular season, the Panthers’ season came to an abrupt halt when the high school went completely remote, forcing a two-week hiatus for athletics.
Not only did that mean Franklin’s final two games were canceled, it looked like the Panthers wouldn’t be able to compete in the league’s postseason tournament.
But the Franklin school committee and administrators from FHS came together, organized COVID testing for varsity athletes, and — after all the tests came back negative — athletics was back on.
The Panthers took advantage of their so-called second chance, capping their postseason run with a 1-0 win over King Philip in the Hockomock Cup final on their home turf field at Beaver Street.
“The fact that we got our season back was huge,” said Franklin coach Michelle Hess. “It would have been super disappointing because this is probably one of the best teams I’ve had in years. It would have crushed me and the rest of the team if we weren’t able to continue so we are very grateful we were able to play tonight.
“I’ve actually coached a lot of this group since they were in the rec program. So to celebrate this and have them play the way they did tonight just makes me super proud as a coach.”
Franklin field hockey King Philip field hockey
The only separation between the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex division came off the stick of Franklin senior Amanda Lewandowski, finishing off a pass from classmate Sara Carney with just seconds left in the third quarter.
And when the Warriors threatened to equalize, Franklin senior goalie Neilee Hess came charging off her line to deny a partial breakaway chance from KP’s Grace Crocker midway through the fourth quarter to help secure the one-goal win.
“We made one mistake on defense,” said King Philip head coach Lisa Cropper. “We were trying to force everything to our right, their left, which is our strong side. The one time we didn’t, they got it in and deflected it in. But we had our chances, we had that breakaway in the fourth and couldn’t quite slip it past her, Neilee came up big on that one. We marked [Lewandowski] and we marked [Kaitlyn Carney] and we were trying to force to our strong side to keep them away from their strong side. Any time anyone was winding up for a shot, we had to have a stick on it and we did. But we just had one mistake, we didn’t quite force them [the way we wanted].
“I was hoping we could get to overtime. I felt like we had the advantage going into overtime or a shootout but we didn’t get that far so congratulations to [Franklin].”
After it a scoreless first half, it looked like the teams would head to the final 15 minutes without a goal but the Panthers finally broke through with 20.9 seconds to go. After a restart from the 25-yard line, Carney tossed a pass into the mix in front of goal and Lewandowski finished for a 1-0 lead.
Franklin field hockey King Philip field hockey
The Panthers had a good chance to double the lead in the 51st minute as sophomore Kaitlyn Carney intercepted a pass with the Warriors pushing numbers forward. Carney sprinted into the attacking half but KP’s last defender Ally Beltramini was able to break up the play, and then came in and cleared the ball before Lewandowski could latch onto it.
That defensive stop led the KP’s best chance to level the match as Isabelle Crocker raced onto a loose ball before firing a pass ahead for her sister Grace, who used her speed to get by the defense. With pressure from Franklin defender Molly Collins, Crocker unleashed a shot as Hess came charging out to close down the angle. Hess made the stop with the pad and Isabelle Crocker’s rebound attempt was just wide of the post.
“I think that just showcased her skills and how hard she’s worked as a goalie,” Michelle Hess said of her daughter Neilee. “She’s very lucky this season to have the players in front of her that she did. So she didn’t face as many shots as some of the other goalies in the league but when it was crunch time, when it was critical, Neilee stepped up and got the job done.”
Both teams opened the contest with a chance to score right away. First it was Kaitlyn Carney, weaving her way through the KP defense but her shot was denied by KP keeper Makenzie Manning (13 saves). On the other end, Abby Nixon knocked down an aerial clearance attempt but her shot from in close was turned aside.
Both defenses stole the spotlight throughout the first half, limiting the opposing offenses to few genuine scoring chances, allowing their keeper to see any shots from distance.
“If you can stop their transition…their forwards are so fast,” Hess said of the defensive gameplan. “But my fullbacks kind of matched them speed-wise so we kind of knew we were pretty safe there with them trying to get through the midfield and pushing forward.
“Their defense was very good. We talked at halftime about how we were trying to do a lot of things individually, we were trying to penetrate the defense individually. That’s not our strength, we’re much better when we play together as a team so we had to go to our passing game. We were getting into the circle and they had three girls on them right away. We tried getting it down low…and one of our strengths is using Sara Carney at the top. So we tried to get it down low to shift the defense and then get it back out to Sara, and sure enough, that’s how we scored the goal.”
Just seconds before the halftime whistle, Manning stood tall on a rocket of a shot from Kaitlyn Carney to keep things scoreless. Five minutes into the second half, Sara Carney had a big shot kicked away as well. Alongside Beltramini, Morgan Cunningham, Lily Brown, and Kelly Holmes anchored the KP defense.
It was just the third time this season that Franklin was limited to two or fewer goals; the first two times also came against KP back in week two of the regular season.
“I’m extremely proud of how they progressed and how well they played in this big game,” Cropper said. “There was a lot of adversity that everyone had to deal with and the kids did a phenomenal job. And I’m so appreciative of the ADs for their efforts to put this all together.”
Franklin field hockey finishes the season at 11-0-2 while King Philip finishes at 8-3-3.
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.
The hosts, the second-seed from the Kelley-Rex division, went on to score once in each the third and fourth quarters to earn a 3-2 decision over the Davenport division’s third-seed Foxboro.
King Philip field hockey Foxboro field hockey
“We tried to make that a lesson in adversity and wanted to bounce back from it, and they did so very nicely,” said King Philip head coach Lisa Cropper. “We had a goal taken away, that should fire them up and they should want to go out and get another one, and they did. I’m really happy with how they responded.”
King Philip had a handful of chances throughout the first as a result of strong passing sequences. Just over five minutes into the second half, Lauren Barierro started an attack with a pass to Sydney O’Shea — a duo that would link up again later for the game-winner — who quickly passed the ball along to Paige Berdos but Foxboro goalie Hannah Trombly was quick off her line to divert the breakaway bid.
Just minutes later, KP seniors Grace Crocker and Abby Nixon linked up on a perfect give-and-go with the former firing a shot from in close that was denied point-blank by Trombly to keep the game level late in the third.
But the host Warriors were persistent, and Crocker and Nixon combined again just minutes later but this time Crocker stayed with the loose ball in front after Trombly’s first save and buried the rebound to make it 2-1.
“We totally knew this would be a close game, back-and-forth, 100-percent,” said Foxboro head coach Melissa Bordieri. “Their speed definitely made a difference. Our mids played a little high and I think they were a little gassed and they were able to get by. I have a good defender which is great, but you can only give them so many chances. But also had how many opportunities to make something happen in the circle? You have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
King Philip field hockey Foxboro field hockey
Foxboro’s best chance to equalize came in the final minute of the third off the stick of senior Ella Waryas but her bid slid just wide of the post.
King Philip struck again just before the midway point of the fourth, what looked to be a key insurance goal turned into the game-winner for the hosts. This time O’Shea raced up field and rifled a low pass across the face of goal and found Barierro alone for a one-time hit into the back of the net.
“I think we wore them down a bit,” Cropper said. “My top line is really coming together with Grace, Abby, and Izzy. They are getting to be like sonar…they know where each other are going to be. Their goalie played pretty well, she came out nicely and did a good job. I was a little concerned our kids would get worn out playing that style but we’ve been running hard for over a week to get ready for this because I knew it was going to be a track meet.”
Foxboro didn’t go down without a fight, cutting the deficit back down to one less than two minutes after Barierro’s goal. Freshman Mary Collins, who had the opening goal in the first quarter, centered and sophomore Dylan Rappoli deflected the chance into the back of the net to make it 3-2.
“We were playing very good defense,” Cropper said. “We were marking where we were supposed to be, pressing where we were supposed to be. The two times they scored, we kind of mishandled the ball and got into the circle and created a crazy shot, a crazy bounce…it’s one of those things that you see in a tournament game. So you have to make good on your chances so that those types of things don’t kill you.”
Collins gave Foxboro the lead with a goal in the ninth minute. A restart from Molly McElhinney found Waryas, who used her speed to race past a pair of defenders and lifted a shot towards goal where Collins was able to redirect the shot with her stick over the goal line.
King Philip answered just two minutes into the second quarter to level the game. A great effort from Nixon tracking back led to an interception, and she quickly passed it wide to Isabelle Crocker, who raced down the right side before firing a cross into the circle. The ball came back out to Crocker, who had her first shot denied but then tucked the rebound in to make it 1-1.
King Philip advances to the semifinal round of the Hockomock Cup and will take on Davenport division champion Oliver Ames, who took down Mansfield in the opening round. KP and OA will clash later this week on a date and time to be announced.
King Philip, 4 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – King Philip senior captain Abby Nixon scored once and had two assists to lead all scorers in a 4-2 non-league win over Attleboro. Senior Paige Berdos added a goal (game-winner) and an assist while senior Isabelle Crocker notched two assists. Junior Sydney O’Shea scored her first varsity goal on an assist from freshman Kelly Holmes and senior captain Grace Crocker also found the back of the net once. Seniors Makenzie Manning (10 saves) and Maddie Paradis (four saves) combined for the win in net.
Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton scored a pair of late goals to secure a win over visiting Foxboro, locking up second place in the Davenport division. Maria Femia scored twice for the Bulldogs while Payton McDonough scored once in the win. Riley O’Connor had a stellar game in goal with 14 saves for Canton.
Sharon @ North Attleboro, 5:30
Stoughton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final – Oliver Ames freshman Erin Cottam scored four goals to lead the Tigers to a win at home, clinching sole possession of the Davenport division title. Maggie Woods added two assists in the win, setting up Sofia Anestam and Georgia Costello for goals for the Tigers, who won their first division title since 2015. Ava Costello and Julia Maclaine had strong games in the midfield for OA.
Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip seniors came through in the clutch on Senior Day, leading the Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Bombardiers of Attleboro. Senior Abby Nixon put the hosts ahead midway through the second quarter but Attleboro answered just before the halftime whistle to knot the score at 1-1. In the second half, senior Grace Crocker netted the game-winning goal on an assist from classmate Paige Berdos, putting KP ahead 2-1 midway through the third. Isabelle Crocker (from Grace Crocker) tacked on an insurance goal in the final minutes. Senior Makenzie Manning made 10 saves in net including three point-blank stops in the fourth to deny the Bombardiers from equalizing. Senior defenders Cat Spellman and Alli Beltramini also had strong games for KP.
Canton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Saturday, 10/31 at 11:30.
Foxboro @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Franklin @ Mansfield – Postponed to Monday, 11/9 at 3:45.
King Philip, 0 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – King Philip goalie Makenzie Manning and Attleboro keeper Ava Haggerty both stood tall in net, denying any and all chances as the Warriors and Bombardiers battled to a scoreless draw. Both Manning and Haggerty finished with 13 saves apiece in the tie. KP senior Alli Beltramini hand a standout game defensively while the Warriors also had strong showings from Morgan Cunningham, Lauren Barreiro, Kayla O’Brien, and Kelly Holmes. Abby Nixon, Grace Crocker, and Isabelle Crocker created several scoring chances for the Warriors but couldn’t solve Haggerty.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 0 @ Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin poured in five goals in the first half and never looked back in a win over visiting Mansfield. Both Amanda Lewandowski and Kaitlyn Carney scored a hat trick in the Panthers’ win, each scoring twice in the first half and adding third quarter goals as well. Stephanie Bell (from Sara Carney) scored late in the second quarter to give Franklin a 5-0 advantage at the break. Neilee Hess made seven saves in net for the shutout.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton earned its first shutout win of the season, blanking Sharon in a victory at home. Zofia Bangs scored a pair of goals to the pace the Black Knights’ offense while Morgan Lessa scored once.
Attleboro, 174 @ King Philip, 153 – Final
Canton, 154 @ Oliver Ames, 157 – Final – Canton went on the road and earned a close win over Oliver Ames at Pine Oaks, securing its fourth straight outright Davenport division title. Will Gefteas and Owen Donovan led the way for the Bulldogs, each shooting a team-low round of 38 while Conor Hunter and Nate MacDonald chipped in with a pair of 39s in the win. OA senior Logan Domenico was the match medalist, shooting a low-round of 37 for the Tigers. Kosta Spiliakos and David Rogers each chipped in with a 39 for OA while Jo Jo Gaultier, Jake Kaplan, and Will Gianni each finish with a 42.
North Attleboro, 173 @ Foxboro, 163 – Final – Junior Jack Watts was the lone golfer to shoot under 40, earning match medalist honors and leading Foxboro to a win at home. Watts carded a match-low round of 39, Dylan Quinn added a 40, and both Jack Rounds and Luke Davies finished with a 42 for Foxboro. Tyler DeMattio paced the Rocketeers with a 40, Aidan Weir shot a 43, Sam Gallagher added a 44, and Dillon Harding came in with a 47 for North Attleboro.
Stoughton, 181 @ Sharon, 176 – Final – Sharon earned a close win at home at the Cape Club of Sharon over visiting Stoughton. Nathan Daley earned match medalist honors with a low-round of 40 to pace the Eagles while Eric Carter added a 44 and Owen Kevorkian chipped in with a 45. Max Huminik led Stoughton with a 43 and Anthony Hern finished with a 44 for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 20 @ King Philip, 37 – Final
Foxboro, 48 @ North Attleboro, 15 – Final
Franklin, 26 @ Mansfield, 30 – Final
Stoughton, 46 @ Sharon, 15 – Final
Attleboro, 26 @ King Philip, 30 – Final
Foxboro, 36 @ North Attleboro, 17 – Final
Franklin, 29 @ Mansfield, 30 – Final
Stoughton, 38 @ Sharon, 19 – Final
Attleboro, 7 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Attleboro earned its second win of the season and a sweep of Milford with another shutout win. The Bombardiers had 11 players find the score sheet with Amanda Burns and Shae Salisbury leading the way with two goals apiece. Sarah McMahon and Campbell Compton each recored a pair of assists while Laura McVeigh, Madison Ellis, and Kaelin Coleman all found the back of the net once for Attleboro.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames and Foxboro split the points on Thursday afternoon, settling for a 1-1 draw at Sam Berns Field. Oliver Ames’ Sofia Anestam scored in the second quarter off of an assist from Georgia Costello. OA goalie Peyton Phillips made nine saves to help the Tigers earn a point on the road.
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored twice inside a four-minute space in the opening quarter and held off King Philip the rest of the way to get a key win. Amanda Lewandowski scored both for the Panthers, opening the scoring at 7:07 on an assist from Stephanie Bell and then doubling the lead just over three minutes later. Neilee Hess made five saves in the win for the Panthers. Head coach Michelle Hess praised the defensive play of Kendall Jones and Kate O’Rourke, and added that Sara Carney had a stellar outing in the midfield. KP senior goalie Makenzie Manning kept the Warriors in it with 18 saves and head coach Lisa Cropper said both senior Ali Beltramini and freshman Kelly Holmes played well.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton nearly stole a point with a late fourth quarter surge earlier in the week in its trip to North Attleboro. This time around, the Black Knights completed the comeback. Trailing 2-1 late in the fourth quarter, Haley Nelson scored her second goal of the game to knot the score at 2-2 with 2:30 to go. Just 30 seconds later, Zofia Bangs deposited the go-ahead goal to give Stoughton a win at home. Lena Allie had 10 saves in net for Stoughton while head coach Dan Mark lauded the excellent defensive performances from Cate Downey and Julia Driscoll.
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton scored a fourth quarter goal to pull out a second straight draw against the Hornets. Mansfield jumped into the lead in the second quarter with freshman Lola Varricchione knocking in a loose ball in the crease. Alexandra Burnham picked up the assist. Taunton goalie Emily Gannon made a number of saves and defender Jocelyn Pagliuca stopped several Mansfield breakaways to keep it a one-goal game. In the fourth quarter, Alana Tavares slipped a pass through to Ashley Amaro and the junior forward got a touch past the last defender and raced half the field before scoring the tying goal.
Milford, 183 @ Attleboro, 177 – Final
Sharon, 168 @ Canton, 154 – Final – The Bulldogs had five golfers shoot 40 or better on Thursday afternoon at Blue Hill Country Club leading to a win over Sharon. Owen Donovan and Will Gefteas were the match co-medalists, each carding a round of 37. Mike Leonetti, Conor Hunter, Nate MacDonald, and Aiden French each shot a 40 in the win. For Sharon, Nathan Daley had a team-low round of 39, Eric Carter added a 41, and both Rosie Leonard and Noah Glassman carded a round of 44.
Oliver Ames, 175 @ Foxboro, 164 – Final – Foxboro earned a key division win at home at Foxboro Country Club against Oliver Ames. For OA, senior Logan Domenico had a team-low round of 42, senior Sam Kagan added a 43, and both freshman David Rogers and junior Jake Kaplan came into the clubhouse with a round of 45.
Franklin, 158 @ King Philip, 166 – Final – Franklin picked up its sixth straight win to open the season, earning its second straight close win over division foe King Philip. Jack Paterson and Brian Sandham led the way for the Panthers at Wentworth Hill Country Club, both shooting a team-low round of 38. Pat Dolan and Nolan Norton each added a 41 in the win. Mike Matheson was the match medalist, leading KP with a low-round of 37 while Jared Curran chipped in with a 40 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 163 @ Taunton, 194 – Final – Mansfield continued its unbeaten start to the season with its second straight win over the Tigers, this time at Segregansett Country Club. Joe Gormley had the low-round for the Hornets, coming off the links with a 38 while Nate Morreale was right behind with a 39. Ryan Doherty added a 42 and Hunter Tang added a 44 in the win.
Stoughton, 179 @ North Attleboro, 161 – Final – North Attleboro defend its home green at Heather Hill Country Club, taking down visiting Stoughton behind a match-medalist round of 39 from sophomore Jake Gaskin. Tyler DeMattio added a 40 for the Rocketeers while both Sam Gallagher and Dillon Harding chipped in with a 41. Anthony Hern paced the Knights with a 42, Jonah Hochberg and Max Huminik each came in at 45 and Jake Curtis finished with a 47.
Boys Cross Country
King Philip, 41 @ Franklin, 18 – Final – Nicholas Calitri broke his own course record, setting a new time of 15:56 as he crossed first in Franklin’s win over King Philip. Griffin Sieczkiewicz (16:19) took second overall on the 3.05 mile course and Josh Anderson (16:21) rounded out the top three for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley (fifth, 16:52) and Clancy Golden (seventh, 17:21) also scored in the Panthers’ win.
Mansfield, 32 @ Taunton, 23 – Final – Taunton swept the top three spots in the race to earn its first ever win over Mansfield since joining the Hockomock League. Senior Nolan Tavares won the race in 17:11 while classmate Ty Cali (17:29) took second and freshman Brayden Cali (17:43) was third overall. Junior Ryan Strawbridge (17:51) and Andrew Cali (17:51.5) also scored for the Tigers.
Girls Cross Country
King Philip, 48 @ Franklin, 15 – Final
Mansfield, 24 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – Mansfield had the top three finishers in Thursday’s race, all finishing within a minute of one another to get a win over Taunton. Abigail Greenberg crossed the finish line at 20:39 to take first place for Mansfield while Tessa Lancaster (20:41) and Emma Lamson (21:26) took second and third, respectively. Cassidy Rice (seventh, 23:07) also scored for the Hornets. Senior Lily Valcovic was the top runner for the Tigers, taking fourth overall in 21:48. Eighth graders Colby Dunham (fifth, 22:16) and Emersyn DePonte (sixth, 22:52) had strong showings for Taunton.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – It was nearly the perfect start for King Philip in its heavyweight battle against division rival Franklin.
Instead, a pair of great chances were turned aside by Franklin, one by goalie Neilee Hess and another by the stick of midfielder Sara Carney, and the Panthers took control from there.
Behind goals in the first and third quarters, Franklin field hockey secured a 2-1 win over the Warriors in the first of two meetings between the teams this week in a rain-filled contest on the slick turf of Macktaz Field.
“We didn’t show enough energy,” said King Philip head coach Lisa Cropper. “We didn’t believe that we could win the game…they didn’t say that but I could see it in their body language. We had chances right off the bat and I think if we popped one in, it would have been a different story. But we didn’t, they did and they relaxed played their game, and we had to struggle the whole way.”
There was a burst of energy at the opening whistle as the Warriors marched down the field into the attacking zone less than a minute into the 7-on-7 style contest, one of the modifications due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Senior Grace Crocker unleashed a low, hard shot from the right side that was denied by Hess with a kick save. After a brief scrum in front, KP once again put a shot on frame that got by Hess but only to be deflected wide by Carney, who was alertly covering the goal line for the Panthers.
The rest of the opening quarter belonged to the visitors, who continued to put pressure on KP goalie Makenzie Manning (14 saves). Just under 10 minutes into the game, the Panthers broke through.
Junior Kailyn Carney carried possession into some space but whacking a low shot on goal. Senior Amanda Lewandowski was positioned perfect right in front of the keeper and deflected the shot perfectly into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Franklin field hockey
“There’s a lot of nerves in a big game like this between these two teams so getting that goal [in the first quarter] kind of broke the ice, kind of helped us to settle in a little bit,” said Franklin head coach Michelle Hess. “To KP’s credit, they did more subbing than I did and I think that made a difference towards the end. It was a pretty competitive game, back-and-forth.
“Their goalie is really aggressive and since we’re not used to seeing that, it almost makes them think a little more. For us, just shoot the ball. We had a bunch of shots but we also had trouble putting shots on net.”
It was a scoreless second quarter but both teams came close to putting the ball in the back of the net. First, KP senior Isabelle Crocker forced another big save from Hess just before the midway point of the quarter. And with just under four minutes to go, Sara Carney dropped a pass to the far post that was just out of the reach of the sticks of both Lewandowski and sophomore Shaw Downing.
“My two backs, Kate [O’Rourke] and Kendall [Jones], they are so strong and they see the field so well,” Hess said. “Once they get the stop, we’ve drilled it into them to get it out to the side and clear it up and find the open man. And then Sara Carney playing in the center, she has the endurance to get forward and get back and play defense.
“A lot of teams are packing it in…King Philip had all six defenders in the circle so that’s hard to play against offensively. And with an aggressive goalie like they have, it makes it even more difficult. So we knew it’d be a low scoring game. We’re trying to work on our triangles, see the space, cut into space, and find the ball.”
Manning made a stellar save, diving out to deny a chance from Stephanie Bell just two minutes into the second half, but Bell added a big goal for the Panthers just five minutes later.
The Panthers broke out of the back, taking advantage of open space on the right wing. Lewandowski carried toward goal before rifling a pass to the far post where Bell one-timed it into the back of the net.
“[Franklin] passes really well, they move off the ball extremely well and they find each other,” Cropper said. “And they have a couple of very good shooters. Amanda scored one and created the second one, we had someone on her most of the game so we held her to one and an assist. They had [23 goals] in the first two games.
“We had some chances early on but didn’t score and didn’t follow up We kind of sat back in a shell and they took it to us. You can’t play that way. But with this format, no lead is safe, we knew we could come back. We started to some in the third and then the fourth quarter we really came alive.”
Fresh legs allowed the Warriors to get some momentum in the final quarter. KP forced a turnover in the defensive third which led to a counterattack the other way. Isabelle Crocker used her speed to split a pair of defenders and then slid the ball past the charging keeper, the ball rolling in just inside the post to make it 2-1 with seven minutes.
KP continued to garner more offensive pressure than it had throughout the previous quarters but couldn’t register a serious chance on goal to find the equalizer.
Franklin field hockey (3-0 Kelley-Rex, 3-0 overall) will host King Philip (2-1, 2-1) in a rematch on Thursday at 3:45 at Beaver Street Field.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – With the modified 7-on-7 rules for field hockey this season, and all the space that leaves on the field, speed is more important than ever. It’s just two games into the season, but King Philip has wasted no time finding top gear.
Behind two goals apiece from Isabelle and Grace Crocker, the Warriors rolled to a 5-1 win against Mansfield on Thursday afternoon at Macktaz Field, sweeping the home-and-home against the Hornets ahead of next week’s matchup with defending league champion Franklin.
“It starts from the defense,” said KP coach Lisa Cropper. “With only six field players, you can’t chase all the way to the corners, so we kind of took the protect the house, protect the circle, and just shadow them. You’re also not running as much that way. Then we work it out just like a fast break. You outlet the ball and go right down the sideline into space.”
She added, “Our kids are so fast, if we just dump it into space no one is going to catch them.”
The teams played a tight, one-goal game on Tuesday and the second encounter started in similar fashion with Mansfield having a several early chances denied by KP goalie Makenzie Manning (seven saves). Once KP settled into its style of play, the Warriors took off and never looked back.
Abby Nixon (three assists) caused problems on the left wing all game and it was her run into the circle that led to the opening goal. The senior hit a cross just in front of goal that Kelly Holmes had first crack at but the ball slid to Isabelle Crocker at the far post for a tap in.
Sydney O’Shea also found room on the left to test Mansfield goalie Lily Danehy, as KP was able to keep the majority of the pressure in its attacking half of the field. Mansfield managed a couple of breakouts down the right with Grace Danehy and Abby Varricchione heavily involved, but Manning kicked aside a shot from Lindsay Devine on the only ball that got through on net.
KP doubled its lead just three minutes into the second when Nixon got free on the left and put a ball into the middle. Grace Crocker reacted first to the loose ball and knocked it through a crowd and in. Nixon was proving to be a handful. She made a long run and had a shot cleared off the line then was able to make a run from half, with Grace Fernandez on her shoulder the whole way, and force a save out of Danehy.
“Abby Nixon is doing phenomenal,” said Cropper. “She’s the one creating a lot of havoc out there with her speed and her stick work and the others are picking up the loose ends.”
With just two minutes to go before halftime, Isabelle Crocker got free on the right side and fired a shot to the far corner to make it 3-0. It was her fourth goal of the young season.
Cropper explained, “She’s so fast and she has a quick release and I’ve been telling the kids as soon as you have daylight in the circle then shoot it. I don’t care if it hits the goalie, she can’t smother it in this game, so then someone’s going to get a rebound.”
Any hope of a second half comeback was dashed just two minutes after the break when Nixon blocked an attempted clearance and found Grace Crocker alone in front. Danehy made the first stop but Crocker was able to get the rebound and finish for a four-goal advantage. KP was peppering the Mansfield goalie but Danehy came up big in the third quarter to keep it 4-0. Eight of her 11 saves came in the second half.
The Hornets got on the board with two minutes left in the third. Caitlin Dumouchel picked out Lola Varricchione right in front of goal and the freshman managed to squeeze it past Manning and just over the line for her first varsity goal.
Grace Danehy set up Abby Varricchione for a chance in the first minute of the fourth quarter but the shot went just wide. Six minutes later, KP put the game away. Nixon was again the playmaker, slipping a pass to Paige Berdos and she blasted it into the back of the net.
“You have to sub at the right time because if someone makes the run, then they can’t quite make the run back and if they’re in too long then they can’t get there,” said Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhan about defending with the new rules. “The defense is hard.”
Mansfield kept going even as legs were starting to tire. A nice passing combination from Alexandra Burnham to Lilly O’Brien to Celia Puleo forced Manning into a good save. Then Dumouchel teed up Emma Kelly but her quick shot smacked the post and stayed out.
Nyhan added, “We had chances early. KP had all six kids in the circle, so it’s just foul, back to the 25, foul, back to the 25, and we were not smart with our 25-yard hit options. We’ll be working on that at practice. They certainly took advantage of their opportunities.”
King Philip (2-0) will host undefeated Franklin on Tuesday in a battle of the first place teams in the Kelley-Rex. Mansfield (0-2) will host Taunton on Tuesday.