Oliver Ames Blanks Mansfield In Key Division Clash

Oliver Ames boys soccer Casey Milliken
Oliver Ames sophomore Casey Milliken takes a shot in the first half against Mansfield. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MANSFIELD, Mass. — The Oliver Ames boys soccer team felt it should have taken two points in its last league game, a draw at home against Stoughton, especially after carrying a lead into the second half.

The Tigers found themselves in a similar situation on Monday, and this time out made sure to put the game away.

Senior Mike MacAdam gave the visitors the lead less than 10 minutes into the game and sophomore Casey Milliken, who had the assist on the opener, buried a penalty kick late in the second half for a key insurance goal as Oliver Ames earned a 2-0 win in a key matchup with division foe Mansfield.

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“Every game in the Hockomock this year is going to be that, a tough, gritty battle,” said Oliver Ames head coach John Barata. “In fairness, I thought we played well at many times tonight and I thought their goalkeeper made a number of terrific saves. Overall it was a good bounce-back game after Stoughton because we should have put that game away and we didn’t. So it was good to come here and get a gutsy win against a good Mansfield team.”

A week ago, Oliver Ames didn’t open the scoring until just before halftime. Against Mansfield, MacAdam’s opener came in the eighth minute of play. But in both contests, the Tigers controlled play and had a handful of chances to score more.

Mansfield senior goalie Liam Doyle was strong all game long, turning away bids from OA’s Jackson Mercieri (5th minute) and Mirray Dasilva (6th) in the early moments.

OA broke through just moments later as outside back Diego Rivera connected with Milliken in the middle, who promptly dribbled forward to attack the defense. He laid off a perfectly weighted through pass and MacAdam sprinted onto it, reaching out to blast a shot past the keeper from inside the area for an early 1-0 lead.

“Mike’s going to see a lot of minutes for us if he plays like he did today,” Barata said. “Mikey is kind of like that unsung senior that can really help us out.”

Milliken nearly had another assist in the 16th minute, connecting with classmate Andrew Martins atop the area, and Martins used a quick touch before ripping a shot that was gobbled up by Doyle off the bounce. A minute later, Milliken’s hard cross was knocked around before Hector Bucio got his right boot on it but Doyle was once again in position for the stop.

OA continued to press, this time it was sophomore Luke Churchill playing Dasilva in behind but Doyle came out and made a huge stop, pushing the bid over the bar in the 26th minute. Four minutes later, Doyle was at it again as MacAdam nearly returned the favor to Milliken, who cut it back onto his left foot inside the area only for his shot from in close to be denied and cleared by Mansfield defender Derek McGrath.

“We didn’t get into our style, [OA] runs around and cover each other all over, unlike we did,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan. “We’re young, we’re inexperienced, and we’re learning, which is good. This is what happened against Wayland, we let them dictate everything and got away from the way we should be playing. We played great for three games, got better each game, but reverted back tonight.”

Mansfield was able to get a forward a bit more in the second half and had their first two real chances just minutes apart. In the 52nd minute, senior Aiden Steele won a battle after a service from Grady Sullivan and unleashed a left-footed blast from distance but OA keeper Drew Hall handled it on the bounce.

Minutes later, sophomore Marco Germiniani got up and headed a cross from Daniel Checkoway, but Hall was there to take it in.

OA finally added its insurance tally in the 70th minute. Milliken was taken down in the area to earn the pen. He stepped up and converted with a clinical finish just out of the reach of an outstretched Doyle.

“We definitely learned from Stoughton…today, we gave up very little shots from anywhere on the field, we were converging very quickly,” Barata said. “In the second half, we tried to bring them out a little bit because we wanted to play the game a little bit more. So it was a little bit of a tactical shift on our end that allowed for a lot more open play. We’re trying different things because it’s early in the season, we’ll see what works and what doesn’t.”

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Oliver Ames’ back four of Mercieri, Rivera, Bucio, and Jake Williams played well in the back while Luke Churchill and twin brother Craig Churchill were vital in the midfield. Anytime the Hornets tried to build out of the back, it seemed one of the Churchills was there to thwart it. And then when it came to OA’s heavy edge in possession, it was Luke and Craig that seemed to facilitate the majority of it.

“Luke is kind of the glue that keeps us together, he’s the lynchpin for us right now,” Barata said. “It’s a lot of pressure in that position but now we have two Churchill’s doing it together, which is great because they both were fantastic today. They won’t get much press — except for maybe this — that’s just the way it works sometimes but they’re so steady, very good players.”

Oliver Ames boys soccer (2-0-1 Hockomock, 2-0-2 overall) has another huge showdown on Wednesday as the Tigers welcome league-leading Attleboro to Muscato Stadium. Mansfield (2-1-1, 2-2-1) will look to bounce back on Wednesday evening when it hosts Taunton.

North Makes Goal Line Stand to Win at Mansfield

North Attleboro football
North Attleboro senior Greg Berthiaume drags a Mansfield tackler with him for a first half touchdown, one of his two scores in the game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – With under eight seconds remaining in the second quarter of Friday night’s rivalry game at Alumni Field, Mansfield faced a third down from the one-yard-line. The Hornets had traveled 61 yards in 45 seconds, now they just had to punch it in. North Attleboro senior Jack Munley had other ideas and stopped Rocco Scarpellini short of the end zone.

Having started the first overtime period with a touchdown, North’s defense had the chance to repeat its earlier trick, stop the Hornets from the one, and clinch a second consecutive impressive road victory. Mansfield QB Connor Curtis tried to keep it himself, looking for a hole in the middle of the line, but was swallowed up by white shirts.

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For the second time in the game, North’s defense made a stand, this time sealing a 27-21 win, avenging last year’s double-overtime defeat to the Hornets at Community Field. It was North’s first win at Mansfield since 2015.

“Whether you get the ball first or second, you’ve got to stop them and it came down to that at the end,” said first-year North coach Mike Strachan. “I’m just really proud of my football team, they fought. To beat Mansfield at Mansfield, with this great team, and this great tradition they have here, I’m really proud of my guys.”

Mansfield coach Mike Redding admitted that he will be second-guessing his call on that final play for a while.

“It’s a heartbreaker,” he explained. “I’ll go over this for 10 years on any call that would’ve worked.

“We’re trying to come up with a little bit of a counter to kind of get them overflowing, get Connor back, he’s great off the fake finding the seam to run. Once we get to the one or two, they’ve just got 11 big, strong bodies up front and we’re young up front and we just can’t quite get movement to punch it in.”

The Hornets started the game on top. Aidan Gleavy made a nice read on a screen pass to force a three-and-out. After Munley sacked Conner Zukowski, Mansfield was able to convert third and long with Zukowski (18-of-28, 300 yards) throwing a 20-yard strike to Trevor Foley (five catches, 134 yards) on the near sideline. CJ Bell followed with a nice grab on the far sideline, hauling in a 29-yard reception.

After Zukowski and Foley combined again for another 17 yards, Scarpellini punched it in from a yard out to make it 7-0.

In the second quarter, Kyle Murphy sacked North quarterback Chase Frisoli to force a punt from the three. Mansfield started at the North 30-yard-line but a holding call stalled the drive. North took over possession and took the momentum.

On third and short from the North 42, Frisoli (12-of-22, 180 yards) looked deep down the sideline to Jovany Rivera (six catches, 123 yards). The 41-yard completion put the Rocketeers in the red zone for the first time. Eight yards and three plays later, facing fourth and two Strachan elected to go for it. Greg Berthiaume wouldn’t be stopped, dragging a would-be tackler with him for a nine-yard, game-tying score.

The North defense followed up that score by forcing a three-and-out. A short punt gifted the visitors the ball at the 26 and North took advantage. A timeout before Austin Clemente attempted a 46-yard field goal led to a change of plan, with North electing to go for it and Frisoli finding Rivera for 21 yards to the eight. On the next snap Berthiaume caught a pass in the flat and dove for the pylon to put Big Red in front.

Mansfield only had 53 seconds on the clock but wasted no time racing up field. Zukowski hit Drew Sacco for 15 yards and Bell for 17. He then fired a 30-yard pass to Foley to get the Hornets down to the two. After a false start, Nolan Bordieri took a sweep for six yards but just short of the end zone. An incompletion and Munley’s big stop, left the Hornets down 14-7 at the break.

Strachan said, “I think we were physical up front. I thought we were very physical and controlled the line of scrimmage.”

North added to its lead on its first possession of the third. Frisoli’s quick release to Rivera down the sideline for 25 yards got them into Mansfield territory and a perfectly executed play action left sophomore Ryan Bannon all alone in the secondary for a 26-yard touchdown.

The Hornets were struggling to get the ground game working but Zukowski was having a lot of success through the air. On the first snap of the next drive, he looked down field for Foley, who made a great adjustment to the flight of the ball and pulled in a 47-yard catch. On the next play, Foley out-jumped the defensive back in the back of the end zone, snatching a 20-yard touchdown.

Down seven in the fourth quarter, Mansfield got the ball back at its own 11. A first down got it out to the 23 and Zukowski again looked down the sideline, this time to Brandon Jackman, who made a great catch for 37 yards. Zukowski appeared to get a cramp at the end of the play and had to come to the sideline. Curtis jumped in and immediately broke away for a 40-yard touchdown run that tied the game with under six minutes remaining.

“We let them go up 14 and then we kind of woke up and started playing clean,” Redding said. “Zuk started throwing the ball well, we spread them out. We really started playing great from when they scored to go up 14 until overtime. We showed a lot of heart.”

North had one more chance to win it in regulation. A 10-play drive to the Mansfield 19 gave Clemente a chance from 36 yards out, but his kick was wide left with just 20 seconds to play.

The visitors had the ball first in OT. On first down, Frisoli flipped a pass over the shoulder of Aidan Conrad in the flat and he walked in with the go-ahead score. Ryan DeGirolamo was in tight coverage to breakup the two-point conversion try, leaving North up six.

Mansfield had four plays to try and tie it. Zukowski looked for Foley on each of the first two plays, with Rivera doing a good job in coverage on the second. On third down, Zukowski hit Sacco in the flat and he showed patience to pick a hole but North converged at the goal line to keep him a yard short.

Curtis came in for the final play, trying to force his way through North’s defensive line, but Zachary Gallagher, Bannon, Berthiaume, and others were on hand to keep the Hornets just short and add another exciting chapter to this historic rivalry.

“We practiced all week in the goal line, what to do, we practiced our new formations, and I really think we just executed it like we’re supposed to,” Berthiaume explained. “When you don’t make mistakes, you win football games.”

Strachan said, “We go to work each week, we talk about that, we say we put the money in the bank and the payout is on Friday nights. This was a big check mark for us and it was a really big test for our team. We’re going to try and enjoy this one, but I’m just really happy with our football team.”

Following a bye week, North Attleboro (2-0) will have its home, and Kelley-Rex, opener when the Rocketeers host currently unbeaten Franklin. Mansfield (1-1) will head out on the road for the first time next Friday, traveling to Worcester to face Doherty.

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Taylor Nets Again, Lifts Foxboro to Win at Mansfield

Foxboro girls soccer
Foxboro sophomore Neve Taylor scored her third goal in two games and led the Warriors to a league win at Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – For the first time in the opening 25 minutes, Foxboro found a path into the Mansfield penalty area. Neve Taylor ran onto a looped pass from Lauren Miley in the left channel. The sophomore forward squared up her marker, cut into the box on her right foot, and fired a shot into the left bottom corner.

It was Taylor’s third goal in two games this season and proved to be the decisive moment, as Foxboro held on for a 1-0 win on Tuesday night at Alumni Field.

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“She is just that outside-mid force that is just our secret weapon that no one is ready for all the time,” first-year Foxboro coach Jen Lippolis said of Taylor, who has scored all the Warriors’ goals so far this season.

“Milford was a little shock to a lot of the girls because it was their first time ever playing in a varsity game and experiencing that level of physicality. They were ready today and they pushed back today.”

Foxboro’s goal came against the run of play, as Mansfield started brighter in what turned out to be a combative, competitive, hard-fought battle between two teams with league title aspirations.

The Hornets had a good chance after seven minutes, when Jill Koppy intercepted a pass and fed Alexis O’Keefe in the center of the pitch. O’Keefe laid a pass into the path of left winger Olivia Homsi, who won possession back immediately after it was stolen and curled a shot wide of the far post.

Ten minutes later, Mansfield was on the attack again. Lyla Nappa slipped a pass in behind the Warriors back line and freshman Alexandra Fernandes hit a shot across the front of goal that Foxboro keeper Allie Sougaris held onto. Following the goal, Fernandes had another good look from the center of the box but Sougaris was able to get down quickly to her right to tip the shot past the post.

“When you’ve got young kids, four freshman, a lot of new sophomores, even some juniors who’ve never played varsity before, right from the preseason they’ve been bringing it,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said about his young attackers. “They brought it tonight and we had tons of shots and opportunities but just couldn’t score.”

Foxboro gained confidence from its goal and started to get a larger foothold in the match. Part of that was the move of Erin Foley into the center of midfield, where her physicality and composure were vital to the Warriors getting forward.

“She sets the tone for the team and everyone sort of follows her pace,” Lippolis said. “I’ll take the fouls at the 40 just to sort of push back because sometimes you have to. She never shies away.”

At the half hour mark, freshman Morgan Riley was able to deflect a ball into the path of classmate Shea Dorney for a shot that forced Mansfield’s Olivia Salisbury into a save. Sophomore Meghan McCann showed her strength to earn Mansfield a chance, winning the ball in the box and cutting it back to freshman Lauren Signoriello for a shot just wide.

With nearly the last kick of the half, Foxboro was nearly two goals in front. Foley won the header in midfield and Miley played another perfect through ball into the channel for Taylor. This time, her left-footed shot flashed just wide of the far post.

Mansfield came out of the break on the front foot and had two early chances to equalize. McCann again was able to win a duel with her marker to gain possession in the box but her shot from the left was across the face of goal. Two minutes later, freshman Olivia Dunham stepped up from center back to win the ball. O’Keefe’s one-touch pass sprung Reagan Trout down the left wing. After a 50-yard run, Trout’s shot was charged down by Lindsey Resnick.

The pattern continued midway through the half. Sophomore Aniela Diieso was able to win the ball on the right edge of the box and cut the ball to Gabby Seifert making a late run from midfield. The first-time shot was just wide. Brooke Penney then got the ball to Fernandes on the wing and she cut inside to create space, but her shot was right at Sougaris.

“Lindsey, this is her third year starting at center back so she’s calm,” Lippolis said about her team’s defensive effort. “Having her see the whole field and directing everyone, and they listen to her, which is great. And Allie behind her in net, the two of them are such a force.”

Foley nearly put the game away with five minutes to play. She ran onto Dorney’s corner and hit a cushioned volley on target, but Salisbury came up with a full-stretch save to deny the Foxboro junior a stunning goal.

As time wound down, there was a moment of controversy. Fernandes again cut into the box from the left and held possession against tight marking. A whistle came from across the field. Although the play was in the box at the time of the call, the official on the far side ruled that the foul started outside the box and awarded a free kick right on the line. Dunham curled her shot over the wall, but Sougaris (seven saves) was able to get two hands to it and was fouled in the attempt to collect it fully.

There was still time for Taylor to have another chance. This time she got in behind the Mansfield defense, which was pressing forward to try and tie the game, but Salisbury (five saves) was able to get a palm to the clipped shot and keep the deficit at one.

“We just couldn’t finish,” Smith explained. “Credit to their defense, credit to their goalie. She made some great saves and they were able to put us off a step or two there to hit some wide, fingertip to some.”

Foxboro (2-0-0) will have its home opener on Thursday against Franklin. Mansfield (1-2-0) will try to bounce back with a home game against North Attleboro.

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2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview
Check out our team-by-team preview of the upcoming Hockomock League field hockey season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Attleboro

2021 Record: 11-6-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32
Coach: Jessica Pink
Attleboro has been a team on the rise for the past few seasons with a couple of tournament appearances and wins over some of the league’s perennial powers. New head coach Jessica Pink takes over a roster that sees a lot of turnover from 2021, but one that she believes is filled with players ready to step in and take their chances in the lineup.

Speed will be the main strength of the Attleboro attack, which will look to transform any turnover into a quick transition. Junior Siobhan Landers returns to the midfield and will be one of the team’s top playmakers and senior Marley Young will be a focal point on the front line. Their combination of stick skills and leadership will help the younger players adapt to the varsity level. Senior Jordan Mooney will play in midfield with Landers and will help set the tone with her energy to keep the Bombardiers on the front foot.

The back line will have a lot of inexperience, but senior Megan Ferreira is a returning starter and she is going to need to keep communication strong and provide cover in the center of the field. Attleboro is working hard to build more familiarity in the defensive unit this preseason. Sophomore goalie Siany Ortiz will be the new starter this season and, despite being an underclassman, has been very vocal in organizing the defense and keeping things solid.

“We have strong, decisive playmakers who haven’t had a chance in past years to make a name for themselves that are ready to compete,” said Pink. “This team is hungry. Coming in this year to take over the program, I have been impressed every day with the attitude and hard work of my players. I know this season will be a lot of growth for the girls coming up from JV this year, but we are ready to show the Hockomock League what we have in store. “

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Canton

2021 Record: 16-4-0 (Davenport champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16
Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
Expectations remain high in Canton as the defending Davenport division champions are ready to defend their crown and make another run in the state tournament.

The Bulldogs went 16-4 a year ago before dropping a second-round matchup on the road to Reading in triple overtime. They’ll have to find production to replace all three of their all stats from a year ago, but there is still plenty of key pieces all over the field that puts Canton in a prime position to repeat.

It starts in goal with senior Carolyn Durand, who had a breakout junior campaign and earned HockomockSports Second Team honors. She will have a familiar face defending the cage in front of her with Laura Valkanas back at sweeper. In the midfield, the Dogs have Maggie McCready back in the mix. Freshman Carolyn Schiavo and Izzy Cusack have impressed in preseason so far.

Up top, Canton has its leading scorer back in Assumption-commit Ellie Bohane, who scored 13 goals along with nine assists in the regular season and earned HockomocokSports First Team honors. She will be one of the most dangerous players in the attacking half this season.

“Ellie comes into her senior season with experience and confidence,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “We will look to her for her goal scoring ability and overall leadership on the field.”







Foxboro

2021 Record: 15-6-0
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 3 Round of 16
Coach: Melissa Bordieri
Foxboro came up just two games back in the hunt for the Davenport division title a season ago, and with the majority of the team back this year, the Warriors look poised to challenge for the crown this go around.

The Warriors have two of their biggest offensive threats back in the mix led by 2021 HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Mary Collins, who scored 15 goals and added 18 assists. Foxboro will also feature Mya Waryas up front, who was second on the team with nine goals and eight assists in the regular season. Val Beigel and Mia Dinunzio will be key pieces in the midfield again this year.

Defensively, there are more familiar faces with Katherine Ferguson back in the cage and Catherine Cotter returning to a defensive unit that gave up just over a goal a game last year. Freshman Kathleen Staruski will push for minutes in net as well.

“The Hockomock League is historically a very competitive and experienced group of teams and I believe one of the best leagues in the state for our sport,” said Foxboro head coach Melissa Bordieri. “This year will be no different…so we have our work cut out for us, no doubt, but this group has been working hard this offseason and now in preseason. They are a gritty and determined group, so I am very optimistic about how we will perform as a team.”

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Franklin

2021 Record: 20-2-0 (Kelley-Rex champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Final Four
Coach: Michelle Hess
Franklin had one of the most dynamic offenses last season, not only in the Hockomock League where they went 16-0, but also one of the best in the entire state as they reached the Division 1 state semifinals.

What’s good news for Franklin is bad news for everyone else: the Panthers have nearly their entire attacking group back ready to make another run at a state title. The offense will be anchored by Kaitlyn Carney, the 2021 HockomockSports Player of the Year, who scored a league-best 37 goals and added 18 assists. Franklin also has dynamic forward Shaw Downing back fresh off a 20-goal, nine-assist season a year ago. The attack will also feature junior Sophia Cuneo, sophomore Haley Wernig, and sophomore Raena Campbell.

One area that will have some new faces is the defensive unit after the Panthers lose two of the best defenders in the league in Kendall Jones and Kate O’Rourke. Head coach Michelle Hess is looking for Ella Mahoney to anchor the group after starting last year while freshman Devon Barry joins Megan Sullivan and Chloe Strassner as the goalies on the roster.

“After graduating five seniors and winning the Kelley-Rex Division, we are looking forward to defending our three-year title and working hard towards being four-peat champions,” Hess said.




King Philip

2021 Record: 12-5-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32
Coach: Kaitlyn Wilder
There are a lot of new faces on the roster for King Philip this season, as the Warriors make a push to unseat Franklin from the top of the Kelley-Rex division and win the league title for the first time since 2018. First-year head coach Kaitlyn Wilder, who takes over for Lisa Cropper, will still have plenty of experience to call on with 18 seniors in this year’s squad.

Offensively, KP will once again lean on junior midfielder Kelly Holmes to set the tone. The team’s leading second-leading scorer in 2021 was instrumental in pushing the Warriors into the attack. Junior Mara Boldy (12 goals and eight assists last year) will join up with Holmes to give KP a potent forward line and classmate Nicole McDonald is poised for a bigger role in the attack. Junior Bridget King will be a key player in transition and sophomore Abby MacDonald could be ready for a breakout year in the midfield.

The Warriors were strong on the defensive side of the ball last season, allowing only 17 goals in 19 games, but that was a senior-laden group and new players will be counted on to step in this fall. Seniors Lauren Barriero and Charlotte Raymond will give the relatively inexperienced group valuable leadership and provide much-needed communication on that end of the field. Goalie should be a position of strength for KP this year with seniors Haley Bright and Samantha Sweetman both back between the pipes.

“Preseason has been great so far, we have a big roster with talented, hardworking field hockey players,” Wilder explained. “Looking to use our big roster to our advantage, utilize our senior leadership to help them, and the underclassmen to excel this season.”

Mansfield

2021 Record: 4-13-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Theresa Nyhan
Mansfield has battled through back-to-back difficult seasons, and even though the Hornets qualified for the state tournament based on the new statewide rating system a year ago, the Hornets are looking to have a big bounce-back campaign in 2022.

Behind a renewed enthusiasm, a youthful energy boost, and strong team speed, the Hornets look ready to challenge for the division title, this season in the Davenport division. The team is led by seven seniors that bring experience to each layer of the field. It starts with senior Lily Danehy, a three-year starter in goal for the Hornets. One of the most experienced netminders in the Hock will be the backbone of the defense while classmates Fadila Krieche and Audrey Murphy are returners on defense.

Senior Danni Cuzzi and junior Lola Varricchione both bring speed and experience to the Hornets’ midfield unit. Up front, Mansfield will look to improve its scoring output and will turn to Rose Maher, Ava Adams, and Kristin Kipp to apply pressure on opposing defenses.

“The team intends on turning things around this year,” said head coach Theresa Nyhan. “The Hornet squad is young, fast, and enthusiastic!”

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Milford

2021 Record: 1-17-0
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Jenna Casello
Milford has a new head coach this season in Jenna Casello and she’s hoping to push the program in a positive direction as they navigate a daunting Hockomock League schedule.

The Scarlet Hawks have 10 seniors on the roster this season and will lean on their leadership and guidance, both on and off the field. Casello will look to her three captains — Hailey Beagle, Jordan Douglas, and Ashlynn Ringo — to lead the way. Ringo will be a player to watch this season as she patrols the midfield, playing a crucial role in helping the Milford back line while also organizing and orchestrating the Hawks’ offense.

Up front, senior Kay Wheelock is set to provide pressure on opposing defenses. Although new to the center forward spot, Casello has liked what she’s seen so far and the team will be looking to target Wheelock up front.

“Being a new coach this year, I am hopeful that I will have a positive impact on the team and lead them in the right direction this season,” Casello said. “We will have a fresh new start and are ready to show off our skills in the Hock. One strength for us this year will be using the entire field. Throughout our preseason we have been working on not only stretching the field vertically but horizontally as well. Our midfielders are constantly scanning the field and looking to transition the ball as needed.”




North Attleboro

2021 Record: 7-9-3
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Karen Folan
With the majority of the roster intact from a season ago, North Attleboro is looking to take a big step forward and make some noise in their first season back in the Kelley-Rex division.

The Rocketeers are loaded with experience all over the field, especially in the attacking half. Senior center forward Julia Puccio starts her fourth year on varsity and emerged as one of the most dangerous scorers a season ago. She was third in the Hock with 23 goals last season and earned HockomockSports First Team honors. She’ll be joined on the left wing by classmate Caroline Folan (nine goals, five assists), a three-year member of the team that is often the catalyst of the attack with her strong passing.

North has a lot of veterans in the midfield with seniors Ava Spencer and Caitlin Vacher along with juniors Kelsey Thompson and Emily Burnham – all four saw valuable minutes last season and will help North both defensively and offensively. In the defensive half, junior Gracie Leary had a breakout season in net and had a great offseason preparing for this year. In front of her are returning varsity members and seniors Rory McGinley, Maddie Bailey, Ava McKeon, and Ella Luistro.

“This group has played together for some time and they have developed strong skills throughout their careers,” said head coach Karen Folan. “The chemistry and camaraderie they have off the field, shows on the field, with cohesive passes and strong communication.”

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Oliver Ames

2021 Record: 11-7-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16
Coach:
With key returners spread out all over the field, new head coach Alex Sylvia is looking to continue the momentum that the Tigers have had the past couple of seasons.

The Tigers won the Davenport division two seasons ago and had a thrilling overtime playoff win last year before bowing out in the second round to top-seeded Masconomet. Sylvia, who played collegiately locally at Stonehill College, will have contributors from all four classes, including senior Julia Maclaine. Maclaine is a seasoned veteran that plays the full length of the field, a key piece of the defense as well as a dangerous attacker with the ball. She’ll be joined by junior Megan Crabtree in the midfield, both of which are returners.

Up top, junior Erin Cottam is one of the top scoring returners from last year after scoring 14 goals and registering seven assists. She will be one of the main options for OA up front and freshman Kayla Kenney has impressed so far in the preseason and will be a key new addition to the attack. Defensively, OA has some veterans on the back line with senior captains Olivia Stevens and Abby Welz. They have a lot of varsity experience and will anchor the defense in front of junior goalie Olivia O’Rourke.

“I am excited for the season as the head coach this year,” Sylvia said. “During tryouts, I witnessed amazing talent, and now our team is strong and ready to work for this entire season. Each player understands their role and is ready to work toward their goals.”

Stoughton

2021 Record: 4-13-0
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Caitlin Jamiel
For the first time in over 40 years, Stoughton field hockey will have a new head coach on the sidelines. Caitlin Jamiel takes over for the legendary Dan Mark and she will be leaning heavily on the returning players.

After moving to goalie for the first time last year, Stephanie Costerio (109 saves last year) is back in the cage for the Black Knights with much more experience under her belt, and she will be the backbone of the defense.

Jamiel will also look for guidance from her four captains: Kerry Driscoll, Andrea Khouzami, Carly Sanda, and Katherine Giroux. Driscoll was a key piece of the defense last season, Khouzami patrolled the midfield, and both Giroux and Sanda were a part of the Stoughton offense.

“We will be relying heavily on our returning captains to show their maturity on the field, and lead our young team through difficult moments,” Jamiel said. “We have a lot of energy coming into our program this season, and we are so looking forward to building our program into a competitive one.”

2022 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Taunton

2021 Record: 5-11-2
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Liz Hathaway
With a blend of experience and new faces, Taunton is hoping to compete in a very deep Kelley-Rex division and push for a spot in the postseason.

Senior Kaysie DeMoura is fresh off a super season with the state champion softball team and is looking to carry some of that success onto the turf with the field hockey team. She burst onto the scene last year as one of the top box-to-box players in the Hock and finished as the team’s leading scorer with four goals and six assists. She’ll look to work with senior forward Caelyn O’Leary (six goals, one assist) to give the Tigers a dynamic 1-2 punch offensively. Sophomore Caroline Vallarelli has impressed with a strong skillset in the midfield so far this preseason.

There will be some familiar faces on the defensive end, but some changes as well. Junior Jasmine Lucier, who previously started on defense for the Tigers, will make the transition to goalie this year. Head coach Liz Hathaway notes that Lucier has worked very hard during the offseason and has established herself in between the pipes. Taunton will lean heavily on Thal Nogueira, a smart defender that has been the anchor of the defense for the past few seasons. They are a great ball tackler with a great sense for defensive position.

“We are a young team, we graduated seven starters from last season,” Hathaway said. “We have a strong returning defense and a young forward line that have stepped up during the preseason. Our younger players are really looking to make a name for themselves and working hard. Our team has worked hard and is looking forward to the season ahead.”

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview
Franklin will be one of the top teams in the league again this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

Attleboro

2021 Record: 10-8-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32
Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro ended its long wait for a return to the postseason in 2021 and head coach Steve Santos is hoping that success will breed more winning for the program. The Bombardiers will have a strong foundation this season because of a big senior class and experience across the pitch. If Attleboro can overcome some early season injuries and illnesses, they could be in the mix for another postseason spot.

With 34 goals as a team last year, Attleboro wasn’t one of the league’s most prolific attacking groups, but the Bombardiers have talented players who can make an impact in the final third. Junior Jamie Davies had a breakout sophomore year with nine goals and two assists and will be expected to lead the line this fall. Senior midfielder Kahlan Gray, who is dealing with an injury, can add to the attack either in the center of the field or out on the wing and freshman Tatum O’Brien is a newcomer to the lineup that has a good soccer IQ and will provide playmaking from the center of the pitch. Sophomore Tatum Leahy will give the team a boost after a year on JV.

The Bombardiers are going to be experimenting with defensive groups early in the season. Senior Emily Dunlea is a versatile player who can impact play no matter where she slots in and could be used in the defense at the start. Senior Ella Stromfors is battling illness but will give the team good experience and aggressiveness in the back line and junior Bethany Alves had an impressive sophomore season at the back and can also step into midfield. Junior Presley Biller will also add depth in the defensive unit. Senior Alexis Campbell is back in goal and her composure and vocal leadership will be important to keep things organized while the team gets healthy.

“We’ve had a good preseason,” Santos said. “We have a lot of seniors who are a good group of friends who all look out for each other. We had a good season and now they expect more this year. We want to not just get into the tournament, but win a couple of games.”

Canton

2021 Record: 6-7-5
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Idris Senyonjo
Canton battled through injuries for much of last season, but the Bulldogs were able to rally and made a playoff push. Entering his third season as coach, Idris Senyonjo has a roster filled with players that understand his style of play and he believes that the Bulldogs will be ready to push on and challenge the top teams in the division.

Senior midfielder Emily McCabe had a breakout season in 2021, becoming the team’s leading scorer and playmaker, and her leadership will be a key to the team’s success this fall. Senior Han Hong and sophomore Paige Sullivan add more experience in the center of the pitch. Up front, sophomores Emma Cahill and Caira McKinney (who missed last season with an injury) will be the top forward options.

Defensively, the Bulldogs graduated several starters, but seniors Kristine Keefe and Sarah Dempster are back and will provide the foundation for the back line. Junior Ava Gilmore is a versatile player who can help out in the midfield or drop into the defense, giving the Bulldogs options in the lineup. Junior Mekhala Costello took a year off to shine on the golf course, but she is back on the pitch this fall and is another dynamic player who can line up in multiple spots.

“Yes we have had multiple players graduate over the past couple of years but this is the first time in my tenure that most of the players from last year will be returning and my hope is that it brings a sense of continuity going into this season,” said Senyonjo. “The best we can do now is prepare to the best of our ability and we will be taking it game by game.”







Foxboro

2021 Record: 16-2-4
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 3 Final Four
Coach: Jen Lippolis
Despite an injury to All-American Kailee McCabe, Foxboro made a historic run to the Div. 3 state semifinal last fall, and the Warriors will try to use that experience to put together another tournament run this season. In addition to the graduation of McCabe, who set a program record with 32 goals in 2021, the Warriors will also be making a change on the sideline with assistant Jen Lippolis taking over for Katie Stalcup.

Foxboro will be young this season but many of those players got valuable experience last fall. Seniors Lauren Miley and Jaclyn Vecchione will be back in the middle of the pitch this season, as junior Erin Foley will be moved further forward to try and bolster the attack. Sophomore Neve Taylor had a strong rookie campaign and will step into a bigger midfield role this year, while senior Grace Riley will give the Warriors a boost when she returns from a preseason injury.

The Warriors were known as an attack-minded team last season, but the defense was excellent, allowing only 20 goals in 22 games and recording three clean sheets in the tournament. Junior sweeper Lindsey Resnick will be back in the heart of the defense and sophomore Sophia Auclair is coming off an impressive freshman season. Sophomore Maddy Luck is another young defender who should be ready for a big step up in responsibility this season. Foxboro should be strong in goal with senior Maddie Maher joined by junior Allie Sougaris, fresh off her playoff heroics.

“We’re excited to be back on the soccer field,” Lippolis said. “We are a young team this year. With the leadership of our returning varsity players, we’re excited for a fun, competitive season.”

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

Franklin

2021 Record: 14-2-2 (Kelley-Rex champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 16
Coach: Tom Geysen

In 2021, under interim coach Jodi Klein, Franklin continued its success in the Kelley-Rex winning a second straight league title. Head coach Tom Geysen is back on the sidelines this fall and the Panthers have a lineup loaded with experience that looks ready to make a challenge for a three-peat.

Defense has long been a strength for the program and last year was no different. The Panthers allowed only 11 goals in 18 matches and bring back one of the league’s top center back pairings. Senior Norah Anderson is a four-year starter in defense and she will be partnered by junior Maddie Horton, who had a breakout sophomore campaign. Junior Rachel Welch will be back in goal behind them and has proven to be one of the league’s top shot-stoppers. Junior Lily Deforge is a versatile player who can also help out at the back.

The Franklin attack took a big step forward last year. Junior Anya Zub moved from the wing to center forward and the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year put together a 20-goal season. Sophomore Kelly O’Connor was a breakout star on the wing who could take over a game. There were a few graduations in the midfield, but seniors Bridget Leo and Avery Greco can control the game in the center of the pitch and create scoring chances for the forward group.

“They have worked incredibly hard all year and done all the things necessary for success,” Geysen said. “All that is left is putting it all together on the field.”




2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

King Philip

2021 Record: 12-7-1
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 16
Coach: Gary Pichel
Despite being very young in 2021, King Philip was in contention for the Kelley-Rex title until the final weeks of the regular season and took highly ranked Bishop Feehan to overtime in the Round of 16. With a more experienced roster this year, the Warriors will be looking to take the next step and get back on top of the division for the first time since 2019 and make a deep tournament run.

The Warriors were the third-highest scoring team in the league last year with 57 goals and offense should be a strength again with senior Ella Pisani back to run things in attack. The team’s leading scorer in 2021, Pisani had 19 goals and eight assists last fall and she will be the focal point on offense. KP has talent on the wings that can take advantage of any space defenses leave open. Junior Eilish McGowen and sophomores Danielle Lomuscio and Mikayla Thompson have the pace and skill to create scoring chances as well. The forward line is also boosted by the return of junior forward Heidi Lawrence and senior Danielle Gresham will shore up the midfield.

The defense has plenty of experience from last season. Senior Grace Lawler will be the leader of the back line and continues to be called upon to mark the opposition’s top attacker. Junior Rylie Wesley and sophomores Rihanna Mason and Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn give KP a lot of athleticism in the defensive third of the field. There will be experience in net as well with the return of senior Lauren Casper and junior Makenna Norrman, who both saw action in 2021.

“I am really looking forward to competing this season with all the great Hockomock teams,” said KP coach Gary Pichel. “We were very young last year. With a year under our belt, we should see improvements across the board in every facet of our game.”

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

Mansfield

2021 Record: 12-5-1
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16
Coach: Kevin Smith
Mansfield was in the running for the Kelley-Rex title into the final weeks of the regular season and this year the Hornets will be hoping that their first fall in the Davenport will feature a similar title challenge. With a young roster that features four freshmen and four sophomores, the Hornets will be relying on the upperclassmen to keep the team heading in the right direction in what promises to be a very competitive division.

The Hornets are without their top three scorers from last season (Tarynn Smith, Katie Miller, and Gabby Smith) so there will be room for other players to step in and provide an attacking threat. Senior forward Olivia Homsi will lead the line and junior Carly Devine is a skilled forward who can play up top or just behind the strikers, while senior Abby Jean gives Mansfield speed on the wing. Senior Bridget Hanley is coming off a breakout season in a holding midfield role and could be asked to get forward a little more this season to help support the offense.

Defense was a significant strength for the Hornets last year, allowing only 17 goals in 18 games, including a shutout of Canton in the opening round of the playoffs. Junior Kara Santos is back for her third year in the heart of defense and, although she will have her third center back partner in three years, gives the Hornets a strong foundation. She is also the team’s top returning scorer with seven goals and is a threat on any set piece opportunity. Senior goalie Olivia Salisbury has become one of the league’s top shot-stoppers. They’ll provide vocal leadership for the younger players at the back.

“We have a very young team with many first-year varsity players,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “We will be leaning on our seniors and returning players to provide leadership as we grow as a team.”

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

Milford

2021 Record: 3-14-1
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Lou Colabello

Milford is coming off a three-win season in 2021, but the Hawks are hoping that an influx of young talent from a successful JV team will help them climb the league standings and make a playoff push. The Hawks have 10 seniors and have added seven freshmen who can contribute right away in their first varsity seasons.

The key for Milford this season will be the play of leading scorer Dani Atherton. The four-year starter has been the focal point of Milford’s attack since she jumped on the team and this year head coach Lou Colabello is counting on a move to outside midfield to give her more chances to get on the ball and run at defenders. Freshman Ava Baglione will step in up top and there is hope she can add firepower to the Hawks’ attack. Sophomore Paige Caldon had a good season in attack as a freshman and this year will drop back to help out in the center of the pitch.

Senior Serena Borges will be moved further up in midfield so that she can produce more in the attack, but classmate Brooke Ferreira will be pushed from midfield to the back line to cover for preseason injuries. Ferreira will be joined by senior Evalysse Pierce, who is coming back from an injury that kept her out of last season. Freshman Kayleigh Tourtellot is another rookie who should be ready for the physical test of the Hockomock League, while classmate Chloe Murdock will step between the pipes after a strong season as an eighth grader on JV.

“It’s a fun team,” Colabello said about the mix of veterans and talented newcomers. “There is a lot of talent there. We’re deeper than we were last year. We’ll hold our own. We’re hoping to get out of the blocks well and build some confidence.”




North Attleboro

2021 Record: 8-10-2
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Geoff Burgess
North Attleboro is making the move back to the Kelley-Rex division this fall and the Rocketeers will be turning to a familiar face on the sidelines, as Geoff Burgess moves back to the girls’ program after coaching the boys for the past few seasons. After graduating 12 players, North will have a lot of new faces implementing a new style this season.

Up top, North will be counting on senior Emma Pratt. After scoring nine goals last year, Pratt is the team’s top returning scorer and will be counted on to give the Rocketeers the firepower to compete with the league’s best. Senior Caroline Ferrin will be one of the key playmakers in the center of the pitch and will help Burgess bring in a more possession-based approach.

The North boys have been known as a strong defensive team and Burgess will hope that solidity carries over to his work with the girls as well. Senior Haley Sinacola will be the team’s leader at the back. Sinacola was the team’s MVP last season and gives North a strong foundation in the defensive third, as well as a constant threat on set pieces. Senior Maddie Ferrin is back in goal for the Rocketeers and adds experience to the back line.

“Lots of changes to the team, the philosophy and the style of play,” said Burgess. “We are still learning about ourselves and who we can be this season. We are going to try and possess the ball and build attacks rather than kick and chase.”

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

Oliver Ames

2021 Record: 14-2-2 (Davenport champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16
Coach: Britt Sellmayer
Even after graduating 10 players from last season, Oliver Ames looks prepared to defend its Davenport division title. Many of the younger players got experience on the pitch in 2021 and could be poised for big years as they step into larger roles.

OA was second in the league with 68 goals last year and the attack will continue to utilize the speedy wings that have become a signature of the Tigers’ style. Junior Lucinda Li Cotter and senior Jenna Gilman will continue to provide width and service into the box. Senior Carly Gibson will move into the forward line to give additional creativity in the final third.

The midfield will continue to be strong, physical, and direct. Senior Mary Cross will move forward from defense and give leadership in the middle of the field. Sophomore Emma Gavin impressed during her rookie season and gives another weapon in the midfield. Seniors Sophia Byron and Molly Capace will be leaders in a back line that allowed only 11 goals in 18 games last year. Sophomore Taylor deVos is a versatile player who can line up on the wing or at outside back. Sophomore Janiya Matier will be the team’s new keeper this season.

“Even graduating seven senior starters (10 total) we feel we have a competitive team returning this year,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “The key will be returning taking on larger roles and new players having an impact for a successful season.”

Sharon

2021 Record: 3-14-1
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Catherine Sullivan
Sharon went through a tough 2021 season, with only three wins, but the Eagles are another team returning the bulk of its roster, and the experience that they have from back to front promises the potential for more positive results in 2022.

The key for Sharon will be senior Sofia Goclowski. The team’s top playmaker, Goclowski is a back-to-box midfielder who will contribute on both ends of the field and, as she continues to develop her finishing, could be ready to lead the Sharon attack. The Eagles will also lean on a pair of underclassmen in the forward line. Sophomore Autumn Simon, who also played in goal last season, makes good runs behind the back line and is one of the team’s top returning scorers. Freshman Jessica Li is an exciting newcomer that will add speed and athleticism on the wing.

Defense will be bolstered by the return of senior Sally Brouhard. After missing all of last season with an injury, Brouhard provides reliability in the back line and is a leader that will keep things organized. Senior Carly Pinnix is another technically proficient midfielder that gives Sharon composure in the midfield and can jump into the attack when she gets the chance.

“With so many returning varsity players, we have strength across every line this season and we have the potential to be very good,” said Sharon coach Catherine Sullivan. “We will need to stay focused and committed to continuous improvement if we are going to be competitive in the challenging Hockomock, but I am excited to see what this talented group can do together.”

Stoughton

2021 Record: 3-15-0
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Jon Grant
Stoughton had three wins in 2021, but the Black Knights also displayed potential for a brighter future with a host of underclassmen that looked ready to start competing with the top teams. Former boys coach Jon Grant has taken over the girls’ program this season and he will be focusing on the defensive side of the ball, hoping to shore things up at the back to help secure more positive results.

The Black Knights should be dynamic in the final third this season. Senior Shayla Ford is back for her fourth varsity season and her speed and ability to find space make her a constant threat to the opposition defense. Sophomores Makenzie O’Connor and Bianca Casna both had strong freshman seasons and can cause problems with the ball at their feet. Sophomores Morgan Cook and Emma Tran showed good chemistry in the midfield last year and will help provide the killer pass to the forwards.

After allowing 86 goals last year, defense will be a priority for the Black Knights this year and there were several players who will be leaning on the valuable experience they got in 2021. Senior Sabrina Rodrigues will add a veteran presence, while junior Ally Lada and sophomore Lauren Mitchell will anchor the middle of the back line. Junior Katrina Varnum is a vocal leader in goal.

“This season we are focusing on team and individual defending,” said Grant. “I’m excited to watch this group grow throughout the season and compete in such an extremely competitive league. Everything I’ve thrown at them so far has been received positively. This group is very coachable and has such a passion to learn and get better.”

2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer Preview

Taunton

2021 Record: 2-15-1
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Danny Borges
Taunton is coming off a difficult 2021 season, after just two wins, but there is optimism in the squad with many younger players gaining valuable experience last season. The Tigers will have a new face on the sideline this fall, with Dan Borges taking over. Although new to the Hockomock, Borges spent 34 years as the coach of the boy’s team at Coyle-Cassidy and he is excited about the progress the team has made in picking up his system in the preseason.

Goals were hard to come by at times last season, as Taunton scored only 14 overall and just eight in league play. Senior midfielder Emily Calderon returns to be the team’s primary playmaker and will be counted on to get the Tigers moving upfield into the attack. Junior forwards Jenna Pereira and Ava Alves will be the main targets up top, as Taunton is looking to add more firepower at that end of the field.

On the other side, the Tigers have a question mark in goal with several younger players looking to replace Izzy Anslow, who was impressive between the sticks for the past couple of seasons. Senior Christina Da Costa and junior Cali Melo will give Taunton athleticism and leadership in the back line to try and shore things up and limit the opposition.

“Our team spirit is high, the girls have been working very hard and adjusting to a new game model,” Borges said. “I believe we have a good mix of experience and youth, and we hope to be more competitive in the traditionally strong Hockomock League.”