Girls Lacrosse: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2016

Kelley-Rex girls lacrosse
Franklin is once again the favorite in the Kelley-Rex with senior midfielder Emily Spath one of the key returning players. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

ATTLEBORO
2015 Record: 6-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jackie Beland

Attleboro comes into its third season of varsity play after winning  pair of Hockomock games last spring and six games overall. As the Bombardiers continue to develop, head coach Jackie Beland will be hoping that Attleboro can start climbing the standings and be competitive with the strong teams above it in the Kelley-Rex as well as with Taunton, which is beginning its first season in the league.

Attleboro will be led by its senior captains Katie Patton and Hannah Lamothe in attack and Sam Spaziano and Kayla Merritt in the midfield. Mish Logie will highlight the juniors, who will be stepping in to fill the void left by Kerri Beland’s graduation, and senior Amy Cadle will be back in goal this spring. Sophomore Grace Mayer saw some time last year as a freshman and could be ready for a breakout year.

FRANKLIN
2015 Record: 15-5
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino

Franklin enters this season as it does just about every season, as the heavy favorite to win another Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will need to replace the scoring and all-around game of Emily Jeffries, but have plenty of players that can step in to fill that production.

Senior midfielders Kenzie Pleshaw and Emily Spath will continue Franklin’s strength in the middle of the field and Sam Jones will be back to lead the defense. University of New Haven-commit Julia Jette will spearhead the attack along with junior Kendall Reardon, last year’s Underclassman of the Year.

Freshmen Annie Walsh and Halle Atkinson will also step into the lineup and show the future remains bright for the league’s top program.

Head coach Kristin Igoe, who has loaded the schedule this year with six of the top seven teams in the state, said, “We have a lot of talent, and when we put all the little pieces together, it is fun to watch. Our goal is to win the Hock and make it back to the sectional final.”

KING PHILIP
2015 Record: 10-11
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East first round
Coach: Julie Bourdeau

King Philip has been a perennial power in the Kelley-Rex division and will be hoping that a large pool of players that came out this spring will help the Warriors get back on top for the first time since it shared the title with Franklin in 2012. The key for KP this season is the senior class, especially in the midfield.

Jen Lacroix is back after a season in which she scored 60 goals and has been a four-year starter and draw control specialist for the Warriors. While Lacroix gets forward to score the goals, fellow captains Abigial Buchanan and Olivia Dort provide the defensive coverage in midfield. Defensively, KP will miss Rylie Dalzell, who is out injured, but Makenzie Nickerson is back after missing most of last season with an injury and fellow seniors Meghan Reilly and Francesca Tonelli will try to keep things away from KP’s freshman goalie.

In the attack the Warriors will turn to their underclassmen Katie Crowther and Angela Vellante and will also be bringing senior Katharine Yetman from defense to add another weapon up front. Head coach Julie Boudreau said, “We have a strong team this year, we are just looking to pull together a dynamic attack with multiple goal scorers…Last year we had a small team and didn’t have the opportunity to sub much-this year we will many different players in the midfield and on attack.”

MANSFIELD
2015 Record: 6-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Alexis Kobey

Mansfield got off to a strong start to last season, including an overtime win over Hingham that was later turned into a tie, but the Hornets could not sustain it and missed the playoffs. This year, Mansfield is looking to build on that and get back into the tournament behind senior attacker Caroline Maher, who was one of the league’s top scorers last year.

In addition the Hornets will count on seniors Julia Todesco and Claire Maroney and juniors Maggie Dunn, Maire Foley, Meg Lydon and Tori Lawlor. Head coach Alexis Kobey is also hoping that freshmen Emily Vigeant and Katie Garvin can steo right in and contribute this year.

Kobey said, “We missed out on the tournament and are ready to get back there (to the tournament) as well as really compete with a tough Hockomock league. Our key returning players are all seasoned veterans and we will be looking to them as the backbone of the squad.”

NORTH ATTLEBORO
2015 Record: 13-6
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 2 East first round
Coach: Mike Vitelli

Last year, North Attleboro had the program’s best ever season with 13 wins and a trip to the state tournament. The Rocketeers were knocked out in the first round, but come back this season with renewed energy and high expectations under first-year coach Mike Vitelli, who won five straight league titles and a sectional championship while at King Philip.

The Rocketeers will lean on UMass Lowell-commit Hana Caster for offense and senior goalie Brooke Ebert will be a key for the North defense, which promises to be much-improved this spring. Sophomore Kenzie Rosenberg has drawn praise from opposing coaches and will be a solid addition to the attack along with classmates Chloe Olsen, Julia Tolfa and Julia Dakin. Emily Schromm and Sam Taggart will join sophomore Alaina Mello to try and lock things down at the back.

Vitelli said, “There’s a lot to digest, but as I’ve told the kids it’s a marathon not a sprint. Mistakes we’ll make in March, April and early May should turn into great results come mid May and hopefully beyond.”

TAUNTON
2015 Record: n/a
2015 Finish: n/a
Coach: Kerry Northup

Taunton is opening its first season of varsity play (and already has recorded its first win with a blowout of Bristol-Plymouth), so its entire roster is filled with newcomers that will be learning on the job. Head coach Kerry Northup admits there will be bumps in the road, but that there is also a chance for the Tigers to “make a name” for themselves in the Hock.

Layne and Abbey Kingman and Delaney Powell will be the key players for Taunton in the first season and combined for 10 goals in the season opener. Hannah Moniz will be another player that the Tigers will be counting on this season. 

Northup said, “My goal for what I want my girls to accomplish this season is to come out hard and showcase what they’ve got…We know it may be a difficult season being our first year, so we are staying positive, keeping up the morale, and maintaining our resilience.”

Girls Soccer: 2015 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

ATTLEBORO

2014 Record: 3-12-3
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro heads into the 2015 season with a strong core of sophomores that have the Bombardiers thinking positive thoughts about the future, although  this may be a season of growing pains.
Paige Medeiros is back for Attleboro and the senior midfielder will be a key player for the Bombardiers as her set pieces have been one of their best sources for creating scoring chances. Head coach Steve Santos will also be hoping for positive contributions from Rebecca Entwistle and Kayla Merritt among other returning players. Attleboro also has several players bouncing back from serious injuries who could step right back into the lineup.
Attleboro scored only eight goals a season ago and offense may be at a premium again this fall as the young players grow into their new roles. The Bombardiers will focus on pressuring the opposition and being tough to beat.

FRANKLIN

2014 Record: 17-1-3
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Tom Geysen
Franklin reached its third consecutive Div. 1 South final last fall but couldn’t come through with a three-peat in an overtime loss to Whitman-Hanson. The Panthers lost several key pieces including two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Taylor Cogliano, but remain among the favorites for the Kelley-Rex title.
The Stowell twins, Assumption commits Victoria and Alexis, are two important players coming back for the Panthers in midfield and attack along with senior forward Bailey Knous, who has battled injuries during her career but when on the field can be prolific in front of goal. Also, junior Meg Adams is back and healthy, which will be a huge boost in the early season, and Megan Georges returns after a breakout season at attacking mid.
Franklin was not only a strong offensive team but also one of the league’s best defensively and Geysen is counting on Lauren Rudolph and Meghan Dietrle to hold down the center of defense while young players step into roles on the outside. Geysen is confident his team is going to be solid, but he believes younger players are going to need to grow into new positions if the Panthers are going to get back to the sectional final.

KING PHILIP

2014 Record: 6-6-8
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Gary Pichel
King Philip is waiting on a new turf field to be finished, but in the meantime will be battling the Kelley-Rex leaders and aiming for another spot in the postseason.
The Warriors will return junior striker Rachel Hogan, who will be joined this fall by senior captain Makenzie Nickerson, who is returning after 1-1/2 years out with a knee injury and should be a big boost to the forward line. Maggie Hall will return for her second year in goal and Lauren Hehn and Kate Sexton are back to shore up the midfield and Brooke Thomas and Emma Corcoran will lead the defense.
Logan Greenburg, Liz Cooley, and Caitlin McNulty are new faces that head coach Gary Pichel says “will add an exciting style of play across the board.” He added, “Our goal this year is to compete well with all the teams in the Hock and of course, make it to the postseason.”

MANSFIELD

2014 Record: 11-4-4
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Kevin Smith
The Hornets took No. 1 seed to the brink in the quarterfinals last season before being knocked out of the playoffs. This year’s team will be missing several key pieces from that squad, but returns 14 players including several from the 2014 HockomockSports.com Second XI.
Mansfield will be counting on junior Quinnipiac commit Hannah Reiter to continue her emergence as a star player in the Hock and to dominate in the midfield. Up top, the Hornets will have plenty of firepower with seniors Jackie Carchedi and Jen Kemp back after combining for 19 goals last fall. Defensively, Mansfield also has plenty coming back with Trish Murphy, Lindsey Dalton, and Anna Chiarolanza all returning.
The top four scorers are all back for Mansfield and all but one of the starting back four. Head coach Kevin Smith also noted that the players who are returning have 2-3 years of experience at the varsity level and should be able to step right in to keep the Hornets among the top teams in the league.

NORTH ATTLEBORO

2014 Record: 10-5-4
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Glenn Pasquel
The Rocketeers were stunned in overtime by league rival Mansfield in the first round last year and will have a new coach with former JV coach Glen Pasquel taking over from Doug Wheldon.
While there are plenty of changes for the Rocketeers this season, there was plenty of youth on last year’s team that could develop into top talents. North will look to senior Hana Caster for the primary scoring punch and Pasquel is pleased with the developing partnership up top between Caster and sophomore Haley Guertin. Grace Guertin is back in the midfield and Rachel Labonte will be moved back into defense to cover for the loss of Hannah Kane.
Pasquel feels comfortable moving into his new role and hopes to instill a passing game that keeps the ball on the ground. He is also adding a sweeper/stopper system rather than a flat back four. Once again, North appears to be a team that can compete among the best in the league.

TAUNTON

2014 Record: 6-9-4
2014 Finish: Missed the playoffs
Coach: Edith Dixon
Taunton earned plaudits for its growth under first-year head coach Edie Dixon last season, as the Tigers won six games and showed tenacity and competitiveness with everyone they played. This season, Taunton will return all but two starters and is eyeing a potential tournament berth.
HockomockSports.com Second XI goalie Kayla Wentworth is among the returning players and will be expected to backstop the Tigers defense. Up top, the combination of Bristol-Plymouth transfer Alana Vincent and Sam Tichelaar will be back to provide a scoring punch and freshman Maggie Sullivan will be back in midfield after starting a couple of games as an eighth grader in 2014.
Dixon has high hopes for the Tigers. She said, “We’ve got high expectations for this season and are getting excited to get into games.”