North Earns Another Clean Sheet, Advances to Quarters

North Attleboro boys soccer
Matt Mordini (7) celebrates his first half goal against Somerset-Berkley, which turned out to be the game-winner for North Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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SOMERSET, Mass. – North Attleboro allowed only 13 goals in 18 games during the regular season and that disciplined, organized defense was on full display again on Monday afternoon at Somerset-Berkley in the first round of the playoffs.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Rocketeers held the hosts to only two shots on goal, as North keeper Kyle Briere was largely untroubled in earning his ninth clean sheet of the season (and third in a row). With the defense in control, Matt Mordini’s first half strike turned out to be all North needed to beat the Raiders 1-0 and set up a quarterfinal against Hock rival Oliver Ames.

“I thought we played our brand of soccer and we had to possess a little more than we normally do and I thought we did a really nice job,” said North coach Geoff Burgess. “We’re still missing the timing of our runs forward to get in behind, but that’s always been a work in progress. We defended well. I think they had one legitimate chance where they go in behind us.”

The hosts started the game well, moving the ball around and keeping possession, but failed to generate any chances, whether it was a shot or just putting the ball into the penalty area. The North back line of Jeremy Folan, Donovan Carter, Justin Silva, and James Bush kept everything in front of them and bottled up the Somerset-Berkley forwards.

Defending began in the midfield, where the Rocketeers kept up the pressure and consistently stymied attacks high up the pitch.

Burgess explained, “That has come from our preparations for Milford. We know how good their midfield is so we worked really hard on our midfield defending. If we can hang with that midfield, there isn’t a midfield that is going to outrun us or outperform us.”

North’s offense was relying on quick transitions to get the ball to Mordini up top. It proved to be effective, as the Rocketeers had several chances to grab the lead in the opening 20 minutes.

Joey Coscarella played a ball into Andrew Tolfa in the center of the field and his pass to Matt Conley on the right wing caused confusion between the defender and goalie. Conley nearly pounced on the loose ball but the keeper was able to dive on it and cover. Two minutes later Mordini was played in behind the left back by an Alex Pfeffer flick, but his shot was sliced well wide.

In the 31st minute, North had a deserved lead. It came from a quick break out to Conley on the righthand side. He cut inside of the fullback and teed up Mordini on the edge of the box. The striker took a touch before finding the bottom corner.

“Mordini is a work in progress,” Burgess said. “He was playing outside left early on and we moved him to that striker position and kind of moved some pieces around. I think he’s a budding striker. He has good instincts and he’s got a pretty good shot.”

Somerset-Berkley closed the half with a flurry, registering its only two shots on goal. Briere had to be out quick to block a chance for the forward in the right channel and then was able to make a diving stop on a powerful header off a corner. The ball pinballed around in the box for a minute and the Raiders started to celebrate a goal only to have it wiped away for a foul.

North could have been excused for trying to lock things down in the second half and just hold onto its one-goal lead, but instead the Rocketeers dominated the ball and had numerous opportunities to double the advantage. Burgess admitted that it was nerve-wracking watching chance after chance go by without a second goal.

“You know how that goes, a missed opportunity down here turns into a set piece or something down there and what happens, you give up that lead you’ve had all game long,” Burgess joked. “I was proud of the boys.”

The first chance fell to Mordini, who rose highest to meet a Tolfa free kick, but his header flashed wide of the post. Three minutes later James Sales played a give-and-go with Coscarella on the edge of the box to create shooting space, but he dragged his shot inches wide. The duo combined again just minutes later with Sales forcing a save from the keeper.

Mordini ended up with North’s best chance of the second half when the Raiders defender and keeper allowed a ball to bounce between them. He nicked the ball away and had a wide open goal to aim for, but only found the side netting.

Coscarella took advantage of a poor goal kick to have a left-footed shot that was saved, Tolfa tried his luck from 30 yards and his dipping shot flew narrowly over the bar, and Conley got in behind the left back only to have two players run offsides as he tried to pass it across the goal.

It turned out the one goal was enough and North Attleboro (9-6-4) celebrated a playoff victory and the chance to take on the Kelley-Rex division champion Oliver Ames on Thursday night.

Burgess said, “I’m excited about Thursday because we play them tough and these guys are motivated.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North Attleboro Denies Foxboro Postseason Berth

North Attleboro boys soccer
North Attleboro’s Joey Coscarella passes the ball past Foxboro’s Ronnie MacLellan. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The state tournament doesn’t start until next week, but the North Attleboro boys soccer team got a head start in its final week of the regular season.

The Rocketeers’ final two opponents — Foxboro and Mansfield — head into their season finale’s needing points to qualify for the state tournament. The Warriors, who visited Beaupre Field on Tuesday afternoon, needed one point (a draw or win) while Mansfield needs a win on Thursday afternoon.

North Attleboro passed its first test, scoring a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 win over Foxboro and deny the Warriors a postseason berth.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“You go down against them, how many goals have they’ve given up all year? Not many,” said Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino. “They stay compact and keep it tight. To be fair, they were the better team. Our passing was just a little bit off, I think our intensity from the start wasn’t there. So give credit to them, they came out and beat us today.”

The hosts, who entered the contest with a playoff berth secured via a second-place finish in the Davenport, learned a valuable lesson from their first matchup with Foxboro. Despite taking an early lead, North Attleboro saw the Warriors score back-to-back goals to earn a comeback win.

“We’ve had moments where we scored first, like we did against them last time, and fell asleep,” Burgess said. “So we’ve been really conscious about that. But when we [get a lead] and decide to park the bus, we’re pretty confident. We knew they were going to push because they had to, and as soon as we scored that just kind of fed right into the game plan.

“We saw on film where there were moments that [Foxboro] defended with two guys. I know [Matt] Mordini is faster than half of the defenders in the league, and I know [Matt] Conley is faster than all the defenders in the league. So that gives us a great chance to surprise people.”

This time around, the Warriors need to score played right into the game plan of the hosts. With a defense-first mentally, the Rocketeers’ counter-attack style led to a handful of breakout chances, mostly in the second half after taking a 2-0 lead.

Despite missing out on a golden chance three minutes into the game, the Rocketeers did jump in front on their second chance which came in the 24th minute. Goalie Kyle Briere launched a deep ball over the top of the Foxboro defense that Joey Coscarella made a run onto. The bounce eluded Coscarella, but the run drew a defender free of Matt Mordini, who was able to just get his shot off before the oncoming keeper, placing it into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.

Foxboro’s best chances of the opening half came off free kicks. Junior Dylan Barreira put a shot on goal from 20 yards out but Briere (eight saves) was in position for the stop. Joe Cusack set up the other chance in the 34th minute, putting a free kick into the area but Tim Behn’s bid was over the bar.

“It seemed like we were building out of the back in the first half and we just couldn’t find that final pass,” Franchino said. “They were putting a lot of pressure on our back four. I think we were off in completing passes, breaking lines in the middle third. We didn’t try to play direct, there was some space behind but we didn’t have the intensity. But give credit to North, they came and played well today.”

The game really opened up after North Attleboro doubled its lead just under four minutes into the second half. Mordini played a ball wide to Matt Conley, who got a touch to center the ball and Coscarella latched onto a half volley, finding the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.

From that point on, the Rocketeers had a handful of chances to add to its lead but couldn’t solve Foxboro keeper Dylan Tierney (10 saves). Foxboro had its share of chances but only came up with a pair of serious threats against Briere.

Just minutes after the second goal, another long ball from Briere found Mordini but Tierney made a big one-on-one stop and the rebound fell back into the keepers’ arms. Six minutes later, North senior Alex Pfeffer got a hold of a clearance that forced Tierney into a terrific diving save.

Foxboro junior Jeremy Neale kept the game at a two-goal deficit in the 55th minute by clearing a chance off the line. After Tierney made the initial stop on Coscarella, Mordini’s follow up chance was inches away from crossing the line until Neale intervened.

A change in formation led to more chances for Foxboro over the final 20 minutes. Cusack found Barreira at the back post on a free kick, but Barreira’s high touch was corralled by Briere. Two minutes later, Barreira had back-to-back free kick chances but the first was saved by Briere and the second just skipped wide at the post.

With Foxboro pushing, North’s counter-attack was on as Conley got in behind on a partial breakaway but Tierney came up with another big stop.

Barreira, who was almost always surrounded by a sea of red jerseys, had a shot blocked in the 67th and the loose ball fell to Will Morrison, but his blast went over the bar in the 67th minute. Max Beigel played a quick 1-2 with Barreira but his shot from atop the area was gobbled up in the 75th minute.

Briere put an exclamation point on the shutout with a terrific diving save in the 78th minute, robbing Barreira on a free kick from just outside the area.

“That was a big part coming in, we knew they’d come at us full boar cause they needed the game, they needed a point,” Burgess said. “Mansfield is in the same situation on Thursday so we have a chance to treat both of these games like playoff games. I think it’s great preparation going forward.

“We focused on taking Barreira out of the game, we moved [James] Sales to a different position, he was playing the six instead of the 10. Every set piece, he was always around Barreira, because he killed us last time as he probably he does a lot of teams.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With Foxboro needing just a point entering the game, Franchino was asked if there was any thought about playing a similar defensive-first style that North plays, but the head coach noted the team was looking for a win to get in.

“That’s not the style we play, we could have had a draw to go through but for me, I was looking to not play the number one seed and get over [North Attleboro], that was my mentality, that’s always my mentality,” Franchino said. “We could have [sat back from the beginning], but I think we if set back, and with the intensity we didn’t have, we would have gotten bombarded. I want to win the game, want to be confident and try to instill that in my players.”

North Attleboro (8-5-3 Hockomock, 8-6-3 overall) will host Mansfield in both teams’ regular season finale on Thursday. The Hornets are unbeaten in seven straight with four straight wins and need a fifth straight in order to qualify for the state tournament. Foxboro finishes the season at 7-8-3.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/15/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored a trio of first half goals and never looked back in a big win over visiting Stoughton. Matt Mordini opened the scoring just beyond the half hour mark, putting the hosts ahead in the 31st minute off of an assist from Jeremy Folan. James Sales grabbed his first of two goals with an unassisted tally in the 39th minute and the Rocketeers deposited another tally just a minute later when Alex Pfeffer scored on a feed from Matt Conley. North added to its lead in the 48th minute when Sales finished a cross from Pfeffer. Eddy Mendoza scored his first career goal in the 74th minute, burying a free kick from 30 yards out.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final

Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalFoxboro scored late in the first half to level the game and then tallied three unanswered goals in the second half to earn two points. Canton took a 1-0 lead midway through the first but sophomore Kailee McCabe found the equalizer for the Warriors with five minutes left in the first half. Lizzy Davis (from Katelyn Mollica) and Kendra Wentling each found the back of the net while McCabe bagged her second of the game with 11 minutes to go to secure the win.

Milford, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final

North Attleboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalNorth scored six unanswered goals to earn a big road win. Lily Cameron scored the first two goals for the Rocketeers, one assisted by Lydia Hershey and the second by Alex Moulson. Caroline Ferrin got her first career goal just before halftime to make it 3-1. After Moulson scored from the penalty spot, following a foul on Steph McKenna, Ferrin got her second career goal off a Moulson assist. Moulson got her brace before Olivia Wills rounded out the scoring off a Cameron helper. Nikki Anderson scored for Stoughton.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalOliver Ames converted a penalty kick in the first half to take the lead and found the back of the net twice in the second half to earn a win on the road at Taunton. Abby Hodges scored from the spot to put OA up by the break. Erin Holmberg orchestrated a pair of second half goals, assisting on goals from Leah Johnson and Camryn O’Connor as OA improved to 11-2-2.

Field Hockey
Mansfield, 2 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final

Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin took the lead just past the 20-minute mark of the first half and doubled its lead early in the second half to pick up a win over visiting King Philip. With the win, the Panthers move within one point of clinching a share and two points from clinching the division crown. Amanda Lewandowski scored in the 21st minute to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Freshman Kaitlyn Carney finished off a feed from Maeve Ledwith just under four minutes into the second half to make it 2-0. Neilee Hess made three saves in the win. King Philip goalie Makenzie Manning kept the Warriors in the game with 18 saves. Senior Charlotte Colella, junior Alli Beltramini, and sophomore Molly Piller all played well defensively for the Warriors.

Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final

Sharon, 1 @ Milford, 1 – Final




Volleyball
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield went on the road and earned a 3-0 sweep (35-22, 25-19, 25-20) over Attleboro. Sam Sternburg had a strong showing for the Hornets with 12 service points and nine digs while Ashley Santos added 14 service points and six kills for Mansfield.

Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match.Canton defended home court in a key division battle, earning a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-17) victory over Foxboro. Taylor Harris led the way for the Bulldogs with 16 kills and nine digs while Liz Bickett played well with seven kills and 11 digs. Both Talya DeGraw and Kiara Cerruti had strong games at the net for Canton. Despite the loss, Foxboro didn’t had a single service error. Pam Nelson (11 digs, seven service points) and Sara Addeche (two aces, five service points) led the way at the service line for Foxboro. Grace Boudreau had 12 digs, six kills, and two blocks, Shakirah Ketant added two kills and two blocks, and Kelsey Treweek finished with eight digs for the Warriors.

King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this match.

Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro had a strong showing on Tuesday afternoon, notching a 3-0 sweep (25-6, 25-8, 25-13) win over visiting Stoughton. Hayley Gaskin dished out 22 assists in the win with Kylie Melanson (eight kills, seven aces) and Eliza Dion (seven kills) pacing the attack.

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final Oliver Ames earned an important win at home, beating Taunton 3-0 (25-13, 25-8, 25-13) to stay just a game back of first place in the division. Sarah Morley impressed at the service line with 23 service points, including 10 aces, while adding 12 digs to pace the host Tigers. Allie Kemp handed out 22 assists, Ryley McNeeley added 10 kills, and Caroline Flynn finished with eight kills for OA.




Boys Cross Country
Attleboro, 32 @ Franklin, 19 – FinalFranklin had four of the first five runners to earn a win over Attleboro and finish 5-0 in league action, clinching the Kelley-Rex division title for the third straight season. Senior Tyler Brogan earned another win, clocking in at 16:45. Nicholas Calitri was second overall, finishing one second later at 16:46.

Results: 1. Tyler Brogan, Fra (16:45) 2. Nicholas Calitri, Fra (16:46) 3. Nathan Seybert, Att (17:04) 4. Camden Harrington, Fra (17:20) 5. Declan Walmsley, Fra (17:28) 6. Francis Wenner, Att (17:40) 7. Griffin Sieczkiewicz, Fra (17:56) 8. Ethan Sylvia, Att (17:58) 9. Neil Bowie, Att (18:06) 10. Jack Clifford, Fra (18:13)

North Attleboro, 20 @ Foxboro, 42 – FinalFoxboro’s Ryan Proulx (17:19) finished the division dual meets undefeated but North Attleboro had the next six runners cross the finish to grab a win on the road. Senior Daniel Nobrega was the top finisher for the Rocketeers in 18:00.

Results: 1. Ryan Proulx, Fox (17:19) 2. Daniel Nobrega, NA (18:00) 3. Christopher Galligan, NA (18:21) 4. Griffin Gouck, NA (18:52) 5. Casey Poirier, NA (19:00) 6. Jack MacLaughlin, NA (19:09) 7. Mark Carlson, NA (19:13) 8. Jake Parkman, Fox (19:27) 9. William Bradley, NA (19:39) 10. Nicolas Olson, Fox (19:44)

Oliver Ames, 28 @ King Philip, 31 – Final

Taunton @ Mansfield, 3:45

Sharon, 15 @ Stoughton, 50 – FinalIt was a clean sweep for Sharon as its top six runners took the top six spots to secure the win and clinch the Davenport division crown. It marks the second straight year that the Eagles have won the division title. Jacob Dubin won the race for Sharon in 18:13.

Results: 1. Jacob Dubin, Sha (18:13) 2. Mark Starovoytov, Sha (18:17) 3. James Kong, Sha (18:19) 4. Bradley Weiss, Sha (18:33) 5. Jordan Saks, Sha (18:34) 6. Siddharth Reddy, Sha (18:35) 7. Balint Mihajlovits, Sha (18:53) 8. Bob Currier, Sto (18:54) 9. Alex Tao, Sha (18:55) 10. Sebastian Malek, Sto (19:28)

Girls Cross Country
Attleboro, 37 @ Franklin, 24 – FinalAttleboro earned first and third place but Franklin used its depth to claim 10 of the top 12 spots to earn the win and clinch a share of the Kelley-Rex title with a 4-1 mark. Attleboro junior Kelly Neuendorf won the race in 21:02 while Franklin senior Sarah Giuliano took second, crossing the finish line two seconds later.

Results: 1. Kelly Neuendorf, Att (21:02) 2. Sarah Giuliano, Fra (21:04) 3. Kimberley Esteban, Att (21:07) 4. Caitlin Casey, Fra (21:34) 5. Sydney Hawkins, Fra (21:40) 6. Audria Hawkins, Fra (21:40) 7. Liliana Duffy, Fra (21:53) 8. Emma Nelson, Fra (22:24) 9. Ruth Ann Mulvey, Fra (22:25) 10. Angelina Perez, Fra (22:27)

North Attleboro, 25 @ Foxboro, 34 – FinalFoxboro took first and second overall but North Attleboro had six straight cross the finish line to pick up the win. Abby Hassman won again, this time finishing in 18:50 for Foxboro. North Attleboro junior Melissa Sapini took third in 21:52.

Results: 1. Abby Hassman, Fox (18:50) 2. Jenn Yeomans, Fox (21:07) 3. Melissa Sapini, NA (21:52) 4. Shruti Srinivasan, NA (22:01) 5. Emily Manning, NA (22:04) 6. Marta Botelho, NA (22:18) 7. Olivia Forbes, NA (22:22) 8. Catherine Hanewich, NA (22:29) 9. Emily Steele, Fox (22:36) 10. Anya Doherty, Fox (23:04)

Oliver Ames, 27 @ King Philip, 28 – Final

Taunton, 32 @ Mansfield, 23 – Final Mansfield finished the division dual meet schedule with a win over Taunton. Tessa Lancaster won the race for the Hornets with teammates Jess Alestock and Emma Lamson taking second and third, respectively.

Results: 1. Tessa Lancaster, Mans (20:30) 2. Jess Alestock, Mans (21:22) 3. Emma Lamson, Mans (21:23) 4. Lily Valcovic, Tau (21:41) 5. Livy Weber, Tau (21:51) 6. Kailey Melito-Santos, Tau (22:08) 7. Anne Riley, Mans (22:34) 8. Olivia Diaz, Tau (22:35) 9. Tatyana Mainer-Smith, Tau () 10. Devin Anderson, Mans ()

Sharon, 17 @ Stoughton, 43 – FinalSharon had the top three runners cross the finish line and six of the top seven to beat Stoughton and clinch the Davenport division title for the first time since 2015. The trio of Daphne Theiler, Eliana Boxerman, and Juliana Dudziak led the way for Sharon once again, finishing within three seconds of each other.

Results: 1. Daphne Theiler, Sha (20:27) 2. Eliana Boxerman, Sha (20:48) 3. Juliana Dudziak, Sha (20:50) 4. Rebecca Lally, Sto (22:26) 5. Margaret Li, Sha (24:30) 6. Sierra Robinson, Sha (24:36) 7. Berta Faktorovich, Sha (24:38) 8. Elaine McCarthy, Sto (25:06) 9. Jess Maddaliena, Sto (25:12) 10. Julia Franey, Sto (25:20)

Golf
Sharon, 162 @ Canton, 145 – FinalCanton’s Mike Leonetti fired a career-best 35 to earn match medalist honors and lead the Bulldogs to a pair of wins over Sharon and King Philip. The win over Sharon gives the Bulldogs the Davenport title outright. Chris Lavoie added a 36 for Canton while Will Gefteas and Conor Hunter each fired a 37 for Canton. Sharon’s Ethan Skelly had a strong showing with a team-low 36. Eric Carter (41), Nathan Daly (42), and Will Frier (43) also scored for the Eagles.

King Philip, 161 @ Canton, 145 – FinalKing Philip senior Kayla Schuberth fired a team-low 39 but the Warriors fell to Canton. Jack Hastry added a round of 40 for the Warriors while Patrick Reardon and Jared Curran each shot 41.

Taunton, 183 @ Foxboro, 170 – FinalFoxboro notched its ninth win of the season, taking down Taunton in a crossover match at Foxboro Country Club. Dylan Quinn shot a team-low 40, carding five pars in the win. Matt Fossella and Luke Davies had three pars apiece and both finished at 43 while Noah Hicks shot a 44. Taunton’s Spencer Andrews was the match medalist with a 39.

Stoughton @ Attleboro, 2:30

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/01/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 2 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this gameNorth Attleboro scored a pair of goals in the second half to secure two points in a win at home against visiting Canton. Senior Joey Coscarella beat the oncoming keeper in the 59th minute, finishing off a through ball from junior Matt Conley to put the Rocketeers ahead. Senior Matt Mordini knocked in a cross from Conley in the 79th minute to put North ahead 2-0. Canton sophomore Jacob Crugnale scored his first career goal in the 80th minute.

Field Hockey
Milford, 2 @ Bellingham, 0 – FinalMilford’s Paige Reisman posted a shutout to lead the Scarlet Hawks to a win on the road over Bellingham. Reisman made 15 saves to earn the win while Julia Kidman scored one and had an assist. Maddy Carneiro added a goal for the Hawks while Kat Swineford had an assist.

Volleyball
Foxboro, 3 @ Norwood, 0 – FinalFoxboro went on the road and earned a 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 26-24) sweep over Norton. Maddie O’Brien dished out 12 assists and added five kills, Grace Boudreau finished with 13 kills and four aces, and Shakirah Ketant had a total of seven blocks. Shannon McDonald added five blocks and Sara Addeche chipped in with nine digs. The Warriors are hosting a breast cancer awareness game on October 7th and are asking all fans to wear pink to support the cause.

Franklin, 3 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – FinalFranklin rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two sets and earn a 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12) win over the Shamrocks. Sophie Lyons had a great game for Franklin with 15 kills while Allyson Bonnet-Eymard also had a strong showing at the net with 16 kills. Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 41 assists and had three aces while Jill Benoit finished with 16 digs.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Milford, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this match.

Golf
Attleboro, 177 @ Taunton, 192 – Final

Franklin, 163 @ King Philip, 153 – Final

Oliver Ames, 175 @ Foxboro, 171 – FinalFoxboro’s Matt Fossella sank six pars on his way to a 40, earning co-medalist honors and helping the Warriors knock off visiting OA. Noah Hicks (four bars) shot a 42, Dylan Quinn (two pars) finished with a 44, and Matt Lathrop (birdie) chipped in with a 45. Tate Hadges was also a co-medalist for OA with a round of 40.

Milford Slips Past North With Early Second Half Goal

Milford boys soccer Jordan Borges
Milford’s Jordan Borges winds up for a shot in the second half against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It was a clash of styles on Wednesday evening at Beaupre Field as North Attleboro hosted Milford boys soccer in a battle of two of the top teams in the Davenport division.

The Hawks are one of the top offenses in the league with a handful of skilled players that can break down opposing defenses at will at times. On the flip side, the Rocketeers emphasize defense first with plenty of numbers behind the ball and then look to hit on the counter.

The game played out accordingly as Milford controlled the majority of possession but didn’t create a ton of chances against North’s strong defense. And the Rocketeers’ best chances came counter trying to get in behind the Hawks’ defense.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The difference came just moments into the second half as Milford capitalized on a North Attleboro miscue defensively to score the only goal and grab a 1-0 win on the road.

“Kudos to Geoff [Burgess], his team is so well-coached and so well organized, you have to be on your toes the entire game,” said Milford head coach Brian Edwards. “If you make one mistake, they will capitalize. We were fortunate they didn’t score on that header right before half, and if they do it’s 1-0 and we probably don’t win that game.

“They are a really tough team to move the ball against. They are athletic, they are disciplined, they don’t give you any good chances. They all communicate well and they all tackle well. That’s the best team we’ve seen all year easily.”

The best chance for each side in the opening half came in the final five minutes. Junior Leo Coelho connected with senior Pedro Araujo, and the Hawks’ striker played the ball wide for freshman Nick Ribeiro. Ribeiro got to the ball first, beating the keeper lower but his shot clanked off the near post and his rebound bid went over the bar.

North nearly struck in the 40th minute when senior Joey Coscarella whipped in a cross from the right sideline and classmate Matt Mordini elevated over his defender but his header was just off target to keep the game scoreless.

After a lack of real chances in the first half, Milford came out in the second half and had three real good chances. Milford capitalized on the first one, just seconds in, as Araujo pounced on an errant pass between North defenders, getting just enough on his shot to North keeper Kyle Briere and the ball trickled over the line for the lone goal.

“You know what they want to do, but we know what we are and we’re a team that’s best going forward,” Edwards said. “We trust our players to not make a mistake that will let them punish us. We weren’t going to change how we play because of their game, we just made some adjustments. They really force you to be focused the entire game.

“They give you some space and you want to take that extra touch, and you want to try and break them down, but sometimes it’s really difficult when you have that space because you fall into that trap. But I thought we did a good enough job today, even without getting many quality chances. They always have three or four guys behind the ball so its tough to create a lot.”

Milford’s offense got some life from the goal as Coelho was able to create some space and rip a left-footed blast that was just high, clanking off the football goal post and bouncing into the net. And in the 43rd minute, Lucas Da Silva took a pass from Coelho and blasted a shot from inside the area but it was wide at the far post.

North Attleboro coach Geoff Burgess called a timeout to relax his squad, and the break worked out as the Rocketeers returned to form, with a stingy defense and wing players streaking down the sideline on the counter.

Coscarella combined with classmate James Sales, playing Sales in behind the defense but Milford keeper Kevin Gomes was quick off his line to thwart the bid. The duo combined again five minutes later but the shot rolled wide.

“I thought after the start of the second half, I thought we upped our level of play,” Burgess said. “We had one mistake [defensively]. We had a couple of chances with through balls, with Sales and Coscarella linking up, and the offsides call was pretty close. Those were three great chances there. I don’t think too many teams are breaking down them like that because they have the four backs plus the holding [midfielder] in front.”

Briere did well to come off his line in the 65th minute to deny a connection from Coelho to Araujo, forcing the shot to go wide.

The Rocketeers thought they had the equalizer in the 66th minute as Matt Conley laid a pass off for Sales, who beat the keeper, but it was ruled Sales was in an offside position.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Our mantra is stay disciplined, keep the ball in front, intercept passes, and get out on the break,” Burgess said. “That was what we did tonight, and you saw, once we get rolling we can be pretty dangerous. We just have to put it in the back of the net.”

Both teams had chances in the final moments as Araujo flashed a header wide a the near post after a service from Gabe Alvarenga for Milford, Conley had his header go over the bar off a free kick from Andrew Tolfa, and North defender Jeremy Folan won a key challenge in the box in the final minute.

Milford boys soccer (5-0-1 Hockomock, 5-0-1 overall) travels to Taunton on Friday while North Attleboro (3-3-0, 3-3-0) visits Franklin the same day.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/30/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored a pair of goals in the last 10 minutes of the first half to secure a win in its final regular season game. Dylan Corrigan put things in motion for the opener, playing a ball through to Matt Conley, who crossed it to Joe Hilf in the 32nd minute. Five minutes later, James Sales converted a corner kick from Joey Coscarella. Kyle Briere recorded his 12th shutout of the season.

Mansfield, 0 @ Dartmouth, 2 – Final

Milford, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalMilford junior Walisson de Oliveira scored a pair of goals and had an assist, tying the program record for career points. Oliveira made it 1-0 in the first half off a feed from Lucas Da Silva, a lead the Hawks took into halftime. de Oliveira set up Tiago Carvalho for a 2-0 lead, and then scored his 22nd goal of the year (from Leo Coelho), putting him in a tie for the golden boot. Carter Gerome made 22 saves in net for Stoughton.

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 0 vs. Milton, 1 – Final
Milford, 0 vs. Holliston, 3 – Final
Taunton, 5 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 2 – Final

Field Hockey
Milford @ Sharon – Postponed to Thursday, 11/1.

Rocketeers Counter Late To Claim Leach & Garner Cup

North Attleboro boys soccer
Attleboro’s Nathan LaPlume and North Attleboro’s Joe Hilf battle for possession in the 34th annual Leach and Garner Cup. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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ATTLEBORO, Mass. – For nearly 80 minutes, Attleboro continue to knock on the door, but couldn’t break through.

And in a flash, just when it looked like the Bombardiers had a chance to find a way in, North Attleboro delivered a knockout punch on the counter attack, scoring the lone goal of the game in the 79th minute to secure its fourth straight Leach and Garner Cup.

In the 34th addition of the rivalry game between Big Blue and Big Red, it was the hosts that had a lion’s share of possession, though not a tremendous amount of scoring chances.

It looked like they might have something going with an attacking free kick late in the game. The service came in from the right flank but North Attleboro junior goalie Kyle Briere came flying out to punch the ball free.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Rocketeers quickly cleared the ball up field, where senior Joe Hilf did his job by holding the ball up right at midfield. That allowed North sophomore Matt Conley to come flying down the wing. Hilf played a ball in behind and Conley tracked it down. The sophomore delivered a hard cross to the far post where junior Alex Pfeffer connected on a one-timer. The shot bounced right off the ground and bounced over the outreach of Attleboro keeper Andre Mendard for the game-winning strike.

“When we started thinking about that situation was against Mansfield,” said North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess of the quick counter against opponents’ set pieces. “We knew when they go forward for set pieces, they push everyone but one defender up. And I think our chances with a 1-v-1 and if we get Matt Conley or one of the other guys on the outside running hard, not many teams are going to get enough numbers back in time. We hit Mansfield a couple of times with that exact situation so we started talking about using it more. Kyle knows when he comes out and catches a ball, find Joe and then everyone runs and we hit the counter.

“The first 10-15 minutes we played really well and moved the ball well but the first time we played them, we dropped hard and sat deep, and they ran out of ideas. They kept bombing it forward, we’d win the second ball and counter. And that’s how that game continued to go. It worked really well in the first game. This is what we’ve decided to play like because we’re pretty fast up front, Matt Conley on the outside is lightning, Joe Hilf is lightning. [Goalie] Kyle Briere is a stud back there, we trust him and we play out of his hands a lot. So we’ve bought into a defense first mentality so it’s just kind of what we expect now.”

While playing the counter is a dangerous weapon for the Rocketeers, it allows their opponents to mostly control the game. And that’s exactly what the Bombardiers did.

The challenge was the Attleboro couldn’t solve the Rocketeer back line of Remy Folan, Gavin O’Malley, Evan Rosenberg, and James Bush.

In the 18th minute, junior defender Josh Smith ventured into the offensive third and latched onto a cross from Colin Levis, but the difficult shot was wide. Six minutes later, the Bombardiers had their first bid on goal when Brady Holander placed a free kick from 30 yards out on frame but it was right at Briere.

While Attleboro controlled the play, North Attleboro nearly stole the lead right before half. On a corner from Joey Coscarella, a low service was dummied before Hilf ran onto it and delivered a hard shot on frame. Menard, who was going the other way, made a diving save back to his left and made a one-handed save to keep it out.

Hilf had another chance on the next corner but Menard pushed the header over the bar.
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While Hilf had a pair of chances to find the back of the net, it was ultimately his hold up play late in the game that led to the game-winning, something that the senior has worked on to add to his game this year.

“He’s been working really hard on that,” Burgess said. “He’s a player that prefers the flicks and touches to himself but we’ve been working hard on having him bring it down, let the other guys come forward and playing it. He does a nice job with his flicks to keep the offense honest but having him bring it down and let the offense run up, we can create some chances that way.”

In the 63rd minute, Attleboro’s Aidan Lancaster saw his low shot from atop the area roll wide. North nearly countered an Attleboro corner in the 70th minute when Hilf played Matt Mordini in behind the defense by Menard came charging off his line for the clearance.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Attleboro senior Will Halben had a bid saved by Briere in the 72nd minutes, and two minutes later Levis’ low shot off a corner kick went just wide of the post.

“That’s been our entire season,” said Attleboro coach Peter Pereira. “We’ve outplayed a lot of teams but we don’t have a true finisher. We had some shots but nothing too dangerous. This is like the sixth game where we’ve made one mistake, in this case not coming back to cover, and we lose. It’s tough because the kids were looking forward to this one. Second half I thought we were better, played some good soccer but they have a good defense, a good goalie…they hold on, hold on, and then they get the break at the end but that’s why you play 80 minutes.”

North Attleboro boys soccer (6-3-8 overall, 5-3-7 Hockomock) finishes the regular season at home against Sharon on Tuesday afternoon as it tries to improve its seeding for the D2 South bracket. Attleboro (5-9-3, 5-8-3) closes its season on Monday afternoon against New Bedford.

“We think we’ll be a tough out in the tournament,” Burgess said. “We don’t give up many goes and if we can counter and hit you once, it could be enough. It’s real important to know we can strike late. I was selling this style at the beginning of the year and now they’ve bought into. So now they have the confidence they can sit, play defense and then all they need is one chance and it can be a game-winner.”

Strong Start Lifts North Past Foxboro in Divisional Battle

North Attleboro Boys Soccer
Joe Hilf (11) celebrates what turned out to be the game-winning goal for North Attleboro in a big 2-1 victory over Foxboro at Beaupre Field. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – When the calendar turns to October, teams start keeping an eye on their rivals in the league standings and two points become even more important. North Attleboro started the night just three points back of Davenport-leading Canton, which was playing second place Milford, so the Rocketeers understood the importance of two points on Thursday night at Beaupre Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North dominated the first half, scoring twice, and then held off a Foxboro charge after the break, keeping the Warriors off the board until the final two minutes of the game, to walk away with a 2-1 victory that moves within one of the Bulldogs and Hawks in the league standings.

“Especially going forward, we’ve got an idea where we want to go with it now,” said North coach Geoff Burgess. “We have a plan and in the first half we executed it really well. We were able to counter them quickly, with speed.”

The hosts took that to heart on Thursday and gave an early warning to the Foxboro defense when Joe Hilf played Matt Conley in behind the Foxboro left back just two minutes into the game. There was contact, but not enough for the official to give the penalty. Hilf almost opened the scoring a minute later but dragged his shot from the edge of the box just wide.

Both teams settled into their styles after that, with North loading the midfield and looking for the quick outlet in transition and the Warriors trying to play out of the back. It was the Rocketeers that controlled the action in the opening half, limiting Foxboro to only a couple of weak shots on goal and constantly putting pressure on the visitors’ back line.

Hilf sparked North into the lead after 19 minutes. He made a long run down the far sideline, rode a sliding challenge from Brian Gardner, and got free on the right side of the box. His cut back into Conley was blocked by a couple of Warriors but the ball popped out to Alex Pfeffer in the middle and he side-footed his shot into the empty net.

Just four minutes later and the Rocketeers doubled the lead. This time it was Matt Mordini that got free down the right channel. The junior cut it back into middle for Hilf, who was left free on the edge of the box, and he hit it first time into the far corner.

Foxboro’s best look of the opening half fell to Shane Vandenboom, who hit the outside side-netting with a curling effort from 18 yards. It was about all the North defense gave up in the opening half, as center backs Evan Rosenberg and Gavin O’Malley kept the Warriors out of dangerous areas.

“They’re a great partnership,” said Burgess. “Evan especially, he was JV last year, didn’t play a minute, and I think he’s now one of the best center backs in the league. The way he plays positionally, he’s always covering in the right places, he’s quarterbacking the team.”

Foxboro coach Joe Franchino admitted, “Everybody was just on their own page…We weren’t shooting in the first half, just lumping balls in and playing right into their hands.”

In the 29th minute, North could have put the game away when James Sales’ free kick from 28 yards came back off the crossbar. Hilf almost sealed the win in the 35th minute when he nodded a long clearance by right back James Bush past his marker and got a free run on goal, but his shot went over the bar.

“He had a really good matchup in the first half,” Burgess said of Hilf. “Normally, I’d yell at him for trying to flick it snd take it himself but I think he realized that it was probably the right play. Everything kind of revolves around a target and he’s embraced that.”

Foxboro needed to make some changes at halftime and came out with more intensity, but Hilf nearly hit the Warriors on the counter when his clever dummy beat his marker, but Foxboro keeper Nick Penders was out quick to smother it.

The visitors started to get a foothold going forward, particularly through midfielder Joe Cusack, who kept popping up in between the lines and finding pockets of space where he could dictate play. He had Foxboro’s first good look that went just wide.

Chances started to flow for the Warriors. A throw-in from the left found Vandenboom, who laid it off for Daniel Basler, but his shot from 20 yards went high. A minute later, a long free kick from Daniel Lowey found Dylan Barreira’s head in the box and he nodded it down to Nic Beigel but the shot was saved.

Barreira also forced North keeper Kyle Briere into a save with a 28-yard free kick. Briere made his best stop just a few minutes later to deny Cusack at full stretch at the midway point of the half. It kept Foxboro off the board when the Warriors were clearly on top in the game.

Burgess said of his keeper, “Kyle is this great safety blanket we have because he does come up with the good when we need him to. Today he was mostly calm but he had that one good one.”

Cusack had a free kick from just outside of the box that was saved comfortably and Foxboro nearly fashioned an opener with five minutes left when Matt Garcia played the ball through to Barreira, whose header found Vandenboom but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

“Even at Franklin, we go down a goal, two goals, and we’re trying to fight back into the game,” Franchino said. “The game’s only 80 minutes long, so you’ve got to start quicker and it’s just not happening right now.”

North had one more chance with a late free kick that was played straight across the box by Joey Coscarella, but Pfeffer couldn’t put his shot on frame when he met it at the far post.

Foxboro did get one to make for an interesting final two minutes. Beigel’s free kick from the left corner of the box went through a sea of bodies in front, and possibly got a touch off a North defender, before sneaking in the far side. But, it turned out to be only a consolation for the Warriors.

“The loss Friday to Canton woke us up a little bit,” said Burgess. “We lost 3-1 but in the second half we had four almost breakaways and didn’t convert on any of them. It was very much a winnable game but I think they realized if they don’t go out and actually put the ball in the back of the net, 0-0 isn’t going to get it done.”

North Attleboro (4-1-6, 4-1-5) will next face Kelley-Rex leader Mansfield on Wednesday, while Foxboro (3-5-1, 3-5-1) will be back in action on Saturday at Bishop Feehan.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.