FOXBORO, Mass. – When the Foxboro boys lacrosse team made its season debut on Monday, the Warriors let a lead, and a win, slip away against Medway.
The Warriors studied their mistakes with a long film session on Tuesday, ready to right those wrongs in their Hockomock League opener against North Attleboro on Wednesday afternoon.
The study session paid off as Foxboro raced out to a 4-0 lead, killed three third-quarter penalties, and pulled away with a strong fourth quarter to pick up a convincing 9-2 win over the Rocketeers.
“We needed that bad, a bounce-back win,” said Foxboro head coach Matt Noone. “We had some big mental mistakes [on Monday] like sliding up field, not trusting the offense that we run. The film was better than anything we could have done on the field yesterday…Every day we’re going to get better.
“Right now, [North Attleboro] was us on Monday. Kevin [Young] is a great coach, they will rebound. “
The Warriors wasted little time to get things going. Just under two minutes into the game, junior Aidan Stapleton connected with classmate Shayne Kerrigan in front for a close finish and a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, Foxboro converted its second shot on net, this time off the stick of Pete Conley, who ripped a shot from distance up high.
North Attleboro struggled to keep possession when it did get into the offensive zone as the Warrior defense of Pat Stapleton, Ronnie MacLellan, and Will Morrison played strong man-to-man defense and didn’t allow any open cuts in front of the net.
Foxboro struck for quick back-to-back goals again inside a minute span late in the first quarter. Conley grabbed his first assist when he found sophomore Charlie Baughan right in front for an easy finish.
The Warriors made it 4-0 just 27 seconds later, fresh off a face-off win by Kerrigan (10 face-off wins). Senior Brendan Tully beat his defenseman and found some space before firing a shot into the back of the net.
“It was a tough start,” said North Attleboro coach Kevin Young. “We’ve played better [in the preseason] and I didn’t expect to give up that first quarter like that. They didn’t rebound, there wasn’t a lot of team play, a lot of team blame instead. We have some young kids but we’ve played much better than that.”
The Rocketeers did improve in the second quarter, winning an early face-off and getting on the scoreboard. Senior Damien Curtis went one-on-one and was able to find some space to fire a shot into the back of the net.
North Attleboro had a chance to add to its lead with a man-up opportunity with four minutes left in the half but couldn’t convert. Foxboro then went on a man-up chance and Baughan took a feed from Conley and scored to make it 5-1 heading into halftime.
Foxboro’s defense killed another Rocketeer man-up chance midway through the third quarter but North Attleboro cut into the deficit just over a minute later when junior Ryan Rajotte ripped a shot inside the near post.
“When it’s 5-2, you’re still in it,” Young said. “But [Foxboro] held the ball well, they controlled it, and Tully made some great saves and those are momentum changers If you go 5-3 or 5-4, you get some momentum. But too much hero ball, one guy driving and five guys watching. I think they got to the point where they didn’t want to make a mistake and that’s a recipe for disaster. Foxboro played great, you have to hand it to them. They were just better than us today.”
With a minute left in the third, Big Red had a two-man advantage for 30 seconds and a one-man up chance for the final 30 seconds but North Attleboro’s offense was only able to muster one shot and Foxboro freshman goalie Matt Tully (seven saves) made the stop.
“Our man down [defense] is pretty good,” Noone said as his side killed all four of its penalties. “They’ve been playing for me for a while so they know what we expect and how to run it. They talk, their sticks are up and they fly around. And the equalizer is Matty [Tully]. To kill that is a huge lift for the team.”
On the other side, Foxboro cashed in on an extra man chance early in the fourth quarter. Just seconds before the call was set to expire, Tully found Kerrigan for a shot from the right side that found its way to the back of the net.
Four minutes later, Tully really put the game out of reach with a strong individual effort. He backed his way down against a defender, and then went to his right as the double came and unleashed a hard shot that the goalie had no chance at stopping.
“They controlled the ball and then opened up the center,” Young said of Foxboro’s success. “They got four or five goals right around the crease. They were patient with it, they waited. They pushed two guys from behind and two guys up top, and they were just patient enough for those guys to open up.”
Aidan Stapleton (from Conley and Kerrigan) and freshman Jack Avery (from Kevin Tully) scored in the final minutes to give the Warriors the 9-2 win.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro is a team that prides itself on defense and limiting opposition chances and in Thursday night’s Div. 2 Central/East quarterfinal against Concord-Carlisle at Sam Berns Community Field the Warriors were typically stout for three quarters.
It was the one quarter where things broke down that ended up being the difference.
The visiting Patriots scored five unanswered goals in the second to break open a tie game and take control before halftime. That quarter proved decisive, as Foxboro (15-4) held Concord-Carlisle to only two goals in the second half (and none in the fourth) but could not find a way back into the game and saw the season come to a close with a 9-6 loss.
“I’m just proud of the boys and the way they battled all year,” said Foxboro coach Matt Noone after taking time to speak with each player and give each player a hug following the final huddle.
He added, “There was a time where I thought they (Concord-Carlisle) were going to separate and at the time I said to the guys, ‘we’re fighting for our lives,’ and they did. I couldn’t be prouder of them for that.”
The Warriors got off to a rough start when, three minutes in, senior Patrick Kaveny’s cross-field pass on a clear was intercepted. Foxboro was subbing players at the time and the Patriots were handed a three-on-none break that was eventually finished off for a 1-0 lead.
“We had some poor turnovers, some poor quality shots,” Noone said. “We can’t give teams like that chances. It wasn’t one thing, but we can’t give teams second chances or freebies, especially not in the playoffs.”
That lasted only a minute before sophomore Bobby Yerardi found the back of the net with an overhand shot on the run to tie it. With two minutes left in the first, the Patriots regained the lead but again Yerardi had the answer, turning the corner and ripping a shot under the bar with 42 seconds on the clock.
While the teams combined for four goals in the first 12 minutes, Concord-Carlisle came out strong in the second and scored four times in the first four minutes.
Foxboro did have a few chances offensively in the second, but not many. Louis Piccolo, Foxboro’s top scorer in the regular season, was pretty tightly marked by Henry Nelson all game but he got free with five minutes left to the break only to have his shot ricochet off the helmet of Patriots goalie Ben Kacher. Sophomore Shayne Kerrigan had a good chance four minutes later but that was also saved.
With only 21 seconds left in the half, Foxboro had a rare breakdown defensively. Robert Doherty shook a pair of markers and wound up before unleashing a rocket past Foxboro goalie Jake Addeche.
“They had some great looks,” said Noone of the second quarter struggles. “Our game plan was to force the middies into the middle so Jake could get a better look. We didn’t want to let them down the alley and we were letting them go. We talked about our game plan and started forcing them down the middle and doing a better job.”
The momentum was with the visiting team at the break and it continued in the third quarter when Alexi Hunt fired a shot past Addeche to make it six straight for the Patriots. Foxboro responded right away to stop the bleeding. Kerrigan won the face-off and Mike Collins scored with a running shot to make it 8-3.
Foxboro also went man-up following the goal and the Warriors took advantage. Brendan Tully finally got his hands free and rifled a shot into the corner to get back within four.
Two minutes later, Addeche stopped a bouncing shot and appeared ready to break up the ice but play was halted for a two-minute, locked-in penalty against the Warriors. Matt Moreau found space in the middle and scored with a bouncer to make it 9-4, but Kerrigan won the ensuing face-off and allowed the Warriors to run out the penalty. It was a momentum-builder for Foxboro and the players seemed energized when Ronnie MacLellan put in a good check to force an errant pass, raced up field in transition, drew a penalty, and forced a save out of Kacher.
The defense continued to be strong to the final whistle with Patrick Stapleton, Will Morrison, Kaveny, and MacLellan locking down the shooters and Addeche getting stronger as the game wore on.
In the fourth, Piccolo finally got going. He beat his man to the left and scored with an overhand shot for his first of the night to make it 9-5 with 8:31 left. Exactly four minutes later, he twisted and turned his marker before again finding the goal with a close finish.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, it would be as close as they would get as Kacher stopped shots from Kerrigan and Tully and several chances flew past the post.
After a Davenport division title during the regular season, Noone admitted that some of the league games were not enough of a challenge to prepare the Warriors for this level of competition. Of course, Foxboro also had not played in two weeks (Concord-Carlisle won its opening round game on Tuesday) and that lack of game sharpness was a major factor.
“It was awful, just trying to keep the boys focused and here and wanting to come to practice every day,” Noone said of the layoff. “We tried to make it fun and work on things that would make us better at the same time but yeah it was tough. That’s a lot of time.”
Noone continued, “It sucks that our last game had to end in a defeat. I love them and they battled for me and I’m so proud. They showed the Foxboro spirit and the Foxboro fight.”
FOXBORO, Mass. – Fans were treated to a playoff preview on Wednesday afternoon as two of the top teams in Division 2 Central/East collided on Sam Berns Community Field.
For the second game in a row, Foxboro held tight with a perineal state power through a quarter and a half but Wayland built a four-goal lead by half and never looked back en route to a 15-6 win.
“They were better than us,” said Foxboro head coach Matt Noone. “Some of our games earlier in the season we could get away without having a third slide, or having some other bad habits, but against a team like this and a team like Xaverian that won’t work. That’s why I schedule these games though, so we can learn from them before the playoffs.”
After a relatively close first quarter ended with Wayland up 3-2, the visitors made a 4-0 run to start the second quarter, eventually leading to a 7-3 halftime.
Wayland scored the first two goals of the afternoon before Bobby Yerardi (two goals) put Foxboro on the scoreboard. One minute later Brendan Tully (two goals, one assist) tied the game with a man-up snipe. After Wayland’s Christopher Balicki scored his second of the quarter, the first period ended at 3-2 in favor of Wayland.
In the second quarter, Wayland junior Michael Lampert (four goals, two assists) took over, scoring two goals, and assisting on another to help establish a 4-0 run to give Wayland a five-goal lead. Yeradi scored his second goal of the game on an assist from Tully to stop the bleeding just before half.
Wayland won five straight faceoffs to start the second half, resulting in the majority of time of possession and a 4-1 to extend its lead.
Beyond Wayland’s strong day at the faceoff X, the Warriors were plagued by 15 turnovers. The visiting Warriors held a 9-3 edge in faceoffs in the second half made it challenging for Foxboro’s defense to get a break.
“I told them we’re not going to get them all back in one shot,” Noone said. “We have to just chip away at the lead but [Wayland] won 15 faceoffs, that’s about a minute possession each time meanwhile my defense is getting tired in the sun and it certainly showed. That’s why good teams win, they can possess the ball better than the team that can’t. That’s how we like to beat teams, but we just couldn’t make enough stops on the defensive end to get it to our offense and possess it ourselves.”
Foxboro’s defense played well at the beginning of possessions, but Wayland’s patience on offense paid off.
Wayland FOGO Jake Tyska set the tone for the second half, winning the opening faceoff and scoring himself to extend the lead to five just 13 seconds into the half. Tyska won the next four faceoffs and even scored again on the same play, mounting a 4-1 run to start the second half. The lone Foxboro goal came from a man-up rip from Louis Piccolo.
“Defensively right now I think we’re porous,” Noone said. “We have to play better one on one defense if we want to stop teams that can shoot as well as Wayland can. Jake [Addeche] bails us out of a lot of situations. He had 11 saves today, that’s unbelievable. We gotta tighten things up and we will.”
Foxboro carried a man-up possession into the final quarter but was unable to turn it into anything as Wayland goalie made a huge save on Piccolo’s rifle. Foxboro’s Mike Moses scored the lone Foxboro goal of the fourth quarter and Wayland was able to run the clock down for the remainder of the game.
“We’re a product of our schedule right now.” Noone said. “We had a soft schedule early but we’re going to be better because we played this game, as well as last game [Xaverian]. Wayland plays a really tough schedule, so they’re battle-tested, unfortunately for us, we’re just getting battle tested right now. You have to get exposed and that’s what happened these last two games, and we just have to learn from that.”
Wayland (15-2), now on a six-game win streak, will finish their regular season against another D2 Central East foe in Concord-Carlisle, while Foxboro (14-3) will close out the regular season at Milford.
FOXBORO, Mass. – It’s safe to say Foxboro learned its lesson from last year’s game against Franklin.
The Warriors trailed 5-0 after a quarter in last year’s contest before ultimately falling 9-5. This time around, they made sure to get off to a better start.
Foxboro dominated opening frame this year, building a 4-0 lead before having to hold off a Franklin comeback, eventually pulling out a 7-6 win in double overtime to beat the Panthers.
It’s the first Hockomock League loss for the Panthers since April 2014 (11-10 in overtime to King Philip), snapping a 49-game league win streak.
With the win, Foxboro clinched the 2018 Hockomock League Davenport division title, the program’s second in the last three years.
“We try to start fast and we don’t always get it but we did today,” said Foxboro head coach Matt Noone. “Last year we got off the bus and we were down. I told them we can’t lose the game right away. We knew we could play with them, they believed in the system and it showed. It was just a great game.
Foxboro had the best chances in the first overtime despite Franklin junior Jacob Alexander winning the OT face off. Pressure from Kaveny forced an errant pass by the Panthers but the Warriors couldn’t solve Franklin goalie Connor O’Rourke.
O’Rourke made three of his 14 saves in the first overtime period to keep it level. Franklin had a second chance to get its offense going but lost the ball in transition.
Both sides had chances in the second overtime, both sending shots just wide. Addeche came up with his 14th save of the game, denying a wrap around low shot from Civetti, putting the Warriors on offense.
Senior Louis Piccolo was originally denied as he tried going to his right a couple of times but came back and whipped a quick sidearm shot that snuck in at the near post to give the Warriors the win.
“Special players make special plays and step up in the big moment.” Noone said. “That play Louis made, I was calling for him to make a pass and he stuck it like that, that was magical. We had a bunch of guys step up, [Brendan] Tully, Shayne [Kerrigan], my sophomores played great, Jake [Addeche] was awesome in goal…it was just a great night for Foxboro lacrosse.
“A game of inches, it felt like whoever had the next possession would win. There were a couple of times they had it and I thought, ‘Here we go,” but were able to get the stops we needed. It was just a great win for our program to show we can play with those programs. We’re trending in the right direction as we get ready for playoffs.”
Foxboro’s Brendan Tully opened the scoring just before the midway point of the first quarter, taking a feed from Andrew Whalen and depositing it into the back of the net. Just a minute later, Pete Conley ripped a rising shot to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead.
Just 15 seconds into an extra-man opportunity, the Warriors made it 3-0 when Piccolo picked out the top corner. And on the ensuing face-off, Shayne Kerrigan was able to corral a loose ball and raced all the way down before finding the back of the net with just a minute left in the opening quarter.
“We just spotted them those four early goals and it was tough to battle back,” said Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi. “We held them scoreless for over a half after their sixth goal. Credit to the kids, they battled back and were resilient, but what can you say, Foxboro is a good team.
“[Jake] Addeche stood on his head, I think Connor [O’Rourke] played a great game as well, especially in the second half. But hats off to them, they outworked us in the first half for sure. I think we came in here a little too overconfident, seeing some of the stuff online, but they are kids, their heads aren’t where they should be sometimes.”
Franklin got on the board three minutes into the second quarter when Civetti found Nitin Chaudhury cutting to the goal and the junior made no mistake and buried it into the back of the net. But that would be the Panthers’ only goal of the half.
Foxboro extended its lead back to four with under a minute left in the second quarter as Mike Moses took a handoff from Kerrigan before whipping a shot on target for a 5-1 lead.
The Warriors’ offense continued to roll to begin the second half when Piccolo made it 6-1 less than three minutes into the frame, but Foxboro wouldn’t score again in regulation after that.
“Franklin is a great team, it wasn’t like we were trying to stall, they played sound defense and they fought back,” Noone said. “That’s a five-time defending Hockomock champs over there, they aren’t going to give it up easily. I’m proud of the effort today, we’ll win a game 1-0 if we have to.”
Franklin scored back-to-back goals just 16 seconds apart at the halfway point of the third quarter. First, Addeche was caught out of goal after a turnover, leading to an empty net goal from Civetti. Alexander won the faceoff, raced up, the ball bounced loose in front and Civetti pounced and scooped it into the back of the net to make it 6-3.
While the score stayed that way for the rest of the third, it took just seven seconds for Franklin to cut the deficit when the fourth quarter started. After another win from Alexander, he found Jake Davis who wasted no time in finding the back of the net with a hard shot.
The Warriors had a two-man up opportunity halfway through the final frame but couldn’t add onto its lead. Franklin had a man-up chance shortly after, and although they didn’t score during it, Chase Tanner used a wicked shot shortly after snuck under the crossbar to make it 6-5 with 4:46 to go.
Franklin tied the game 90 seconds later. Chaudhury made a nice move to gain some space and then found Civetti in front and the senior faked a low shot before dumping it in up high to tie the game.
Foxboro had a man-up chance following the goal but O’Rourke came up with a big stop at the tail end of it, giving Franklin possession with two minutes to go. The Panthers nearly had the game-winner with 1:25 left but hit the post.
“It’s a game of inches, and that’s exactly what that goal was,” Verrochi said of the winner. “It was just a situation, I think it was a backhand shot, and Connor was just a little off the post. What are you going to do there?”
Foxboro boys lacrosse (9-1, 14-1) Hockomock) is back in action on Monday when it travels to Xaverian. Franklin (10-1, 12-3) is back in action on Friday night when it hosts Cohasset.
FOXBORO, Mass. – History has a tendency to repeat itself, and Friday afternoon’s matchup between Foxboro and North Attleboro was no different.
The past four regular season meetings between the two sides have all finished very close; two by two goals (2014, 2015) and two by just one tally (2016, 2017).
That trend continued this year as Foxboro used a pair of goals in the final three minutes and a big save from senior Jake Addeche to register a 7-5 decision over the visiting Rocketeers.
In a see-saw battle that featured six lead changes, both sides had multiple leads erased. Neither team led by more than one goal until Foxboro added an insurance goal in the final seconds of the game.
“[Kevin] is such a good coach, those kids play so hard for him,” said Foxboro head coach Matt Noone. “In the last four or five years, it’s been a one or two goal game. I have so much respect for North…I knew it was going to be a battle. We weren’t ourselves in the first quarter, I think we were trying to press a little bit too much, trying to go through double teams. That’s not our system. The defense played well today, just five goals [allowed], and Jake was awesome in net.”
After battling back and forth over the first 36 minutes, the Warriors and Rocketeers entered the final frame knotted at 5-5. And despite combining for six goals in the third quarter, offense was hard to come back in the final 12 minutes.
“We started to shut their shorties off a little bit, they weren’t really going against our poles,” Noone said of fourth quarter adjustments. “The biggest adjustment…they were clearing the ball with their long poles and we were trying to shut everyone off. So we just conceded there and made them beat us 6v6 instead of in transition. What a battle though, that was a big win for us.”
Addeche made the first big save just over four minutes into the frame, but his Rocketeer counterpart, sophomore Jake McNeany (eight saves), was equal to the task and made a huge save on a strong shot from Foxboro star Louis Piccolo (four goals) just two minutes later.
“I thought both goalies were fantastic, I thought both defenses were as good as I’ve seen,” Young said. “Their #1, Louis [Piccolo] is a handful. Tommy Lockavitch was on him all day, just trying to wear him down. I was happy with the defense, they have a couple of guys over there that can really rip it.”
North advanced the ball into the attacking half shortly after McNeany’s save and called a timeout. Foxboro’s defense stood strong through and didn’t allow North to get a good look, getting the ball back with just under five minutes to go.
“It could have gone either way, tt was very evenly matched,” said North Attleboro head coach Kevin Young. “I was happy with how the guys played. I would have liked to come out with the win but [Foxboro] has some good players over there. I thought we had a pretty good defensive plan, and then their defense is always tough, always hard to break down. With the weather, I think we were throwing the ball at each other a little too far out.”
Foxboro eventually got possession back with just under three minutes left and called a timeout to set up the offense. Though they didn’t run a set play, the offense executed and gave the Warriors the lead.
Sophomore Bobby Yerardi moved to the right as Pete Conley came over to provide a screen. Instead of a pick, Conley slipped past and both North defenseman stayed with Yerardi. The sophomore alertly flipped the ball to an open Conley in front and his bounce shot just went over the stick of McNeany to put Foxboro up 6-5 with 2:11 to play.
“That was just executing our offense and Bobby having his head up and seeing his man open after being doubled,” Noone said. “It was just a quick feed inside. That’s not anything we drew up, just people being in the right spots.”
Foxboro’s Shayne Kerrigan won the ensuing draw and Foxboro was able to kill some clock in the offensive end. North was whistled for a 30 second penalty but its defense was still able to come up with the crucial turnover, getting possession back with just over a minute to go.
North attempted to tie the game, setting up a play for defenseman Will Yeomans. The sophomore used a nice move to create some separation and ripped a shot from distance that looked destined for the top corner but Addeche made a huge stop to preserve the lead.
Addeche then turned defense into offense, sprinting over midfield with the ball. With North just getting their man back from a penalty and down a goal, the defense was forced to press out. That allowed Piccolo to find some space and net his fourth of the game, giving the Warriors a 7-5 edge with 16 seconds to go.
North had one chance in the final seconds but Addeche corralled a partially blocked bounce shot for his sixth save of the quarter and 12th for the game.
“I have around eight sophomores out there at most times and when they see an opening in the net, they go for it,” Young said. “As we scale that back, we’ll have a much more disciplined, dangerous offense. I thought we moved the ball around well, but they do make young guy mistakes at times but they’ll figure it out.”
Foxboro took the lead less than a minute into the game when Piccolo used a nice spin move to change direction and create space, firing it in to put the Warriors up 1-0.
But North Attleboro senior Jason McNeany, who had a strong day at the faceoff X, won the ensuing draw and took it himself up the middle, firing the tying goal just seven seconds later. Big Red took a 2-1 lead when McNeany converted on a bounce shot with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
“I thought Jason crushed it at the faceoff today, I thought that really kept us in it,” Young said. “He’s really good at controlling the ball for guys until they get the look they want.”
Foxboro tied things up in the middle of the second quarter. With North down two men, Foxboro executed perfectly with Pat Kaveny finding Shayne Kerrigan in front for the tying goal heading into halftime.
The third quarter featured more offense from both teams, both Foxboro and North Attleboro each finding the back of the net three times.
Piccolo gave the hosts a lead just over a minute into the third but three minutes later, Jake McNeany made a save, tossed a pass to midfield to Yeomans, who took it the rest of the way and deposited into the back of the net to make it 3-3.
Foxboro regained the lead when Piccolo used a fake pass to create separation and make it 4-3, but North came right back a couple minutes later and tied it off a goal from Damien Curtis.
North then grabbed its first lead since the first half when Andy DeMattio curled around a screen right in front of goal to go up 5-4. Foxboro tied it at five apiece with 91 seconds left in the third quarter as Brendan Tully faked out his defenseman and snuck his shot under the bar.
Foxboro boys lacrosse (5-0 Hockomock, 9-0 overall) is back in action on Monday when it hosts Bishop Feehan. North Attleboro (2-2, 5-3) will try to bounce back on the same day when it opens a three-game homestand against Attleboro.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Kevin Koppy
After coming up just one game shy of the postseason, Attleboro is aiming to make the playoffs for the first time in program history in 2018.
The Bombardiers doubled their victory total from 2016 to 2017, going from four to eight in the win column. Attleboro returns 11 players from last year’s squad and has a total of 12 seniors on the team. Now in its fourth year, interest in the program is growing rapidly with 17 combined freshmen on either varsity or the JV roster.
There will be a lot of experience on the defensive end for Big Blue. Junior captain Trevor Koppy is back for his third year as the Bombardiers’ starting goalie. He turned away 306 shots last year with a 64% save percentage. In front of Koppy, senior captain Dan Perry is back to anchor the defensive unit which features all seniors.
“Dan is a physical defender that has excellent field awareness and leads by example,” said AHS head coach Kevin Koppy. “He’s constantly hustling and fighting hard for loose balls.”
Perry is joined by classmates Jim Nordberg and Chris Reynolds on close defense while Matt Potter will man LSM and Matt Jiminez brins an extra long pole presence to the defensive unit. Another returner is senior Kyle Henry, resuming his role as the team’s primary faceoff man. Henry had a successful 2017 season in that role and Big Blue will rely on him to spark the offense once again.
Seniors Jimmy Burke and Aidan McKenna, junior Cam Littig, and sophomore Thomas Shipman return to the midfield for Attleboro. Big Blue will have some new faces on the attack with seniors TJ Infante, Shane Joubert, and Aidan Downey leading the way. Freshman Mike Strachan and Matt Perry will also be involved in Attleboro’s attack.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs found themselves in an unfamiliar position at the end of last season: on the outside looking in for the postseason.
Canton is looking to get back into the postseason this year after coming up just one game shy of qualifying. The Bulldogs won three straight to give themselves a chance but fell just short on the road against Abington in the final game of the season.
Using that as motivation, look for the Bulldogs to be right back in the mix this season. Leading the way will be senior captains Kevin Albert, Charlie O’Connor, and Griffin Roach. All three patrolled the midfield last season but could see time in other spots depending on how the lineup comes together.
O’Connor will step in to handle faceoffs but could miss some time early along with defensemen Brian Ghostlaw and Brendan Albert. Until Canton gets back to 100%, it will rely on senior Gabe Galeotos, junior George Kent, and sophomores Nick Mackay and Jace Emma to provide protection in front of sophomore goalie Jack Connolly. Connolly had a superb freshman season in the cage for the Bulldogs and will try to build upon that his season.
Junior Mike Shaw is back for his third year on attack for Canton, providing experience and leadership up front. Juniors Matt Martin and Dan Cohen, along with sophomores Chris Lavoie and David Allen will also figure into the Bulldogs’ offense this season.”
“We have a great group of kids this year with a nice blend of experienced players and new faces,” said CHS head coach Bill Bendell.
2017 Record: 11-9 2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round Coach: Matt Noone
It’s safe to say Foxboro head coach Matt Noone is optimistic about the 2018 season.
The Warriors graduated just three players total and return their starting goalie, the entire defensive unit, and top three scorers from a season ago. Foxboro’s record was a bit deceiving based on how much talent they had, with five one-goal losses and two two-goal losses. The Warriors were dropped in the opening game of the playoffs by just one goal after holding a multi-goal lead in the second half.
With so much of the line up back, Noone is hoping to turn those close losses into wins.
“We’re going to be a better team than we were last year,” Noone said. “We have to play within our system, and do the simple things…if we do that, we will be very good and very tough to beat. If they don’t, we’ll be losing those one-goal games again.”
It all starts with defense in Foxboro with Jake Addeche returning in the cage for his third season. Addeche (185 saves) is one of the best goalies in the region and will have a very experienced defense in front of him. Senior Pat Kaveny and junior Pat Stapleton will anchor the defense, both with equipped with plenty of skill and experience, while sophomores Ronnie MacLellan and Matt Lathrop each already have a year of varsity experience under their belts.
Junior Brendan Tully (24 goals, 15 assists) will pace the Warriors in the midfield (“His lacrosse IQ is off the charts,” Noone notes). Tully can help transition Foxboro from defense to offense, and his ability to keep possession helps the Warriors control the tempo. Tully is complemented in the middle by seniors Louis Blake and Mike Collins while both Shayne Kerrigan and Bobby Yerardi will be in the mix as well.
Offensively, the Warriors look to be well-balanced with Louis Piccolo (25 goals, 13 assists) back this year along with senior Mike Moses (18 goals, 20 assists), junior Pete Conley (15 goals, 23 assists) and senior Andrew Whalen.
2017 Record: 16-5 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Lou Verrochi
Expectations are high for the 2018 season based on the talent the Franklin Panthers boast this year.
“We return a very good team,” said FHS head coach Lou Verrochi. “We have a very good and deep bench too, we’re looking forward to the season.”
The long list of returning talent starts with All-American and 2017 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Eric Civetti. Civetti (Rutgers commit) has been tormenting opposing defenses since his freshman year. He scored 70 goals and notched 24 assists as a sophomore, and then netted 79 goals and 21 assists last year, totaling 194 points between the two years. The Panthers will also boast senior Zach Alexander and freshman Matt Lazzaro on attack.
The midfield will be loaded with two talented lines available. Captains Kyle McEniry (10 goals, 21 assists) and Chase Tanner (29 goals, 10 assists) will be joined by the speedy Nitin Chaudhury (24 goals, 10 assists) on the Panthers first unit while Jake Davis, Johnny O’Glishen, and Owen Palmieri give Verrochi an incredibly talented second unit.
As if the midfield wasn’t loaded enough, the Panthers have 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jacob Alexander back to dominate the faceoff X. Alexander, who is committed to play at Bryant University, has dominated at the X for the past two years and really gives the Panthers an advantage in terms of getting possession. “He’s arguably the best FOGO in Mass,” Verrochi noted.
The defense will be anchored by junior Patrick Morrison (Rutgers commit) along with Trevor Raffin, Jack McGrath and Spencer Briggs. Sean Lazzaro will be our top LSM while the Panthers have plenty of talent as SSDM with Will Harvey, Ben Kolb, and Aaron Mollo in the mix. Backstopping the team in goal will be Colorado commit and captain Connor O’Rourke (169 saves, 64% save percentage).
2017 Record: 13-9 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals Coach: Hal Bean
The Warriors will be looking to replicate the success they had in the 2016 season again this year.
After finishing 9-2 in league play (second in the Kelley-Rex), the Warriors had an impressive postseason run, competing with top-seeded and eventual sectional champ BC High in the D1 South Quarterfinals.
A big reason why KP has had a lot of experience over the past four years is goalie Paul Macrina. Macrina is now manning the cage at Drexel University, so there are big shoes to fill in the cage this season for KP.
King Philip also has to find replacements for the production lost by LSM Zach D’Amico, attack Tim Watson (56 goals, 28 points – second in the Hockomock League), and defenseman Connor Khung – the first two selected to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team and Khung apart of the Second Team.
All is not lost though as the Warriors have junior Colin DeVellis back to spearhead the attack. DeVellis was fourth overall in the Hockomock League in points last season, scoring 22 goals and notching 36 assists (58 points). Another key piece will be senior Nate Minkwitz, who can make an impact on both ends of the field. Minkwitz had 13 goals and five assists last season and will aim to improve on that. Expect LSM Wesley Bishop and midfielder Aidan Bender to factor in this season as well.
2017 Record: 12-7 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Tim Frias
Mansfield returns a good amount of talent from last year’s playoff squad so the Hornets will certainly be looking to book a return trip as well as compete for a Kelley-Rex title.
The Hornets return one of the most dangerous attackmen in the area in senior Hunter Ferreira. Ferreira’s combination of size, speed, and strength – as well as finishing ability – make him a must-watch for opposing defenses. Most will dedicate two defensemen his way but Ferreira still finished fifth in the league in points with 34 goals and 19 assists. Ferreira will be joined by returners Aidan Sacco and Mike Reed, giving the Hornets an experienced three-headed monster on offense.
The midfield is also loaded with experience behind returning starters Joe Cox (19 goals, 14 assists) and Danny DeGirolamo (17 goals, 15 assists). Cox, who was named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team, muscles his way through opponents, while DeGirolamo can use his speed to cause problems. Haig Megerdichian, Brett Kessler, Connor Quirk, and Brad Grant will all see time in the midfield as well.
Tommy Donnelly will anchor the defensive unit but the Hornets will have some new faces in back. Dan Plugis and Chris Copponi will both see a lot of minutes for the Hornets in front of goalie Jack Munroe, who stepped in last season and impressed in the cage.
“Our strength this year will be at the midfield with lots of legs,” said MHS head coach Tim Frias. “We should be good in transition as well.”
2017 Record: 4-13 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jacob Scordato
Milford hasn’t had a ton of success overall since it joined the Hockomock League, but new head coach Jacob Scordato is hoping to change that going forward.
Scordato takes over a team that had just four wins a year ago and is the third coach in the past three years for the program.
“Our players are focused on making our program a successful one,” Scordato said. “Boys lacrosse in the Hockomock is known for being a tough league, and Milford lacrosse is going to be making a lot of noise from here on out.”
Although the Hawks don’t have an incredibly deep roster, the optimism stems from the experience returning on offense. UMass Boston commit and senior captain Andrew Gallagher (16 goals, 7 assists) will be a key weapon up front along with junior captains Ryan Hazard (41 goals, 10 assists) and Josh Ligor.
Scordato also expects junior newcomer Brendan White, who has had successful football and basketball seasons so far this school year, to make a big impact on offense for Milford. Defensively, Milford will rely on senior captain and midfielder Chase Blanchette.
2017 Record: 16-3 2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals Coach: Kevin Young
North Attleboro graduated a lot of talent from last year’s squad, so it’s no surprise head coach Kevin Young believes this season will be a big challenge for his young squad.
Although he expects it to be a challenge, the Rocketeers have built a strong program and will likely be in the mix for the division title with Foxboro. Big Red will be anchored by defenseman and captain Tom Lockavitch (Roger Williams commit) and senior LSM Max Fontes. Both Lockavitch and Fontes had tremendous junior seasons and were both honored by HockomockSports.com (first and second teams, respectively). Sophomores Brett Labonte and Will Yeomans will round out a strong defensive unit.
One of the biggest tasks will be filling the void left in goal with Hock MVP and long-time starter Dan MacDonald now graduated. The Rocketeers have three goalies in the mix with Young noting all are working hard to claim the starting spot. Junior Jack Puccio and sophomores Nate D’Amico and Jake McNeany will all be in the mix.
Captain Tommy Lindstrom (Springfield commit) will pace the offense with the help of sophomores Jack Connolly and Andy DeMattio. Faceoff specialist Jason McNeany (Cocker College commit) is also back and will be a key piece of the offense. Nick Ward, Damien Curtis, and Dan Conroy should carry the transition in the midfield with help from Ryan Rajotte and Matt McSweeney.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Devlin
Oliver Ames nearly made it two straight years in the postseason but came up just one game shy of qualifying in 2017. So the goal is simple for the Tigers in 2018: get back to the tournament.
The Tigers return their top six scorers from last season, and now with a year more experience under their belts, should be ready to take on some of the top defenses in the league.
Assistant coach Ben Devlin takes over the reigns of the program, and the familiarity should help make for a smooth transition. Senior captains Eric LeBlanc (30 goals, 13 assists) and Owen Gallagher will spearhead the attack while senior captain Jack Lang will make an impact on both ends of the field while also handling faceoff duties. Junior Colin Bourne and sophomores Sam Stevens and Shane Kilkelly give the Tigers varsity experience in the midfield. Sophomore Frankie Ireland and freshman Remi Creighton will also figure into the mix on offense.
Devlin will have holes to fill on the defensive end but its excited about the skill that the Tigers have. Shane Murphy, Cullen Gallagher, and Matt Saba will be relied upon to carry the defensive unit while Rory Madden will handle LSM duties after missing last season. Nick Gillis will take over for Sean Cosgrove in net after impressing at the JV level.
“We are a couple years into rebuilding this program, which is difficult while playing in such a tough conference against some of the best players and coaches in the state,” Devlin said. “We’re young and inexperienced, but talented on defense. All I can ask is for my kids to play to their capabilities. If we do that I think we can win enough games this season to reach our goal.”
2017 Record: 7-11 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jon Shocket
New head coach Jon Shocket is excited and optimistic that the 2018 season will be a successful one on the lacrosse field for the Sharon Eagles.
Shocket believes the Eagles have the lacrosse IQ and skill to get back to the postseason after missing out on qualification by two wins. A big reason for the optimism is the senior class.
“I have a really good senior group,” Shocket said. “If everyone buys into the system and trusts the process, this should be a fun season. This year, we have to make better decisions and move the ball around. It’s about working as a team instead of as individuals.”
The Eagles have experience at all positions on the field, starting with returning goalie Johnny Greenberg. Greenberg enters his third year as the starting goalie and will have good size in front of him. Both Sam Spencer and Coleman Loftus stand at 6’2 and look to be key pieces in the Eagles’ defensive unit.
In the midfield, Jimmy Fitzhenry, Chase Waxman, and Spencer Hall give the Eagles a well-balanced and experienced group. The three provide a combination of speed, strength, and skill that will help Sharon transition from defense to offense. Junior Matt Callan will handle faceoff duties while freshman LSM Tyler Freidman will be in the mix as well.
Senior Brett Litner brings a strong shot to the offense and will be tough to stop on the inside. Classmate Kadin Nestler gives the Eagles speed on the outside and makes the move from midfield to attack this year. Freshman Drew Litner rounds out the Eagles’ attacking unit.
2017 Record: 4-12 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Pat Healey
After winning four games in its inaugural season at the varsity level, Stoughton boys lacrosse is hoping to continue heading in the right direction this spring.
The Knights picked up wins over Milford twice, Taunton, and Norton and will look to be in competition with those squads again this year. Leading the blue collar group will be captains Justin Ly, Sean Doherty, and Danny Nakhili. Ly is a three-sport athlete that is willing to do the dirty work, Nakhili provides a lot of leadership in the midfield and uses his speed to give the offense a boost, and Doherty will handle the faceoff duties and provide an offensive punch.
Twins Nate and Alex Wilson bring skill to the long poles, Marty Barrett and Josh Cohen will be key pieces on defense, and Charlie Morgan, Luke Bainton, and Mike Tracey will all be in the mix offensively.
“I’m hoping for more wins,” said SHS head coach Pat Healey said in an interview with Stoughton Media Access. “Last year we got four under our belt which is great for a first-year program. We brought up a lot of freshmen this year from the youth program. But baby steps, this is a tough league so we’ll do as best as we can.
Now in its third year as a varsity program, Taunton is aiming to progress day by day to continue to build the program.
The Tigers went without a win last season but bring seven starters back with another year of success on their belts. Junior goalie Ryan Williams returns in cage to give the Tigers a familiar face on the defensive end. Williams has been manning the cage for Taunton since the team moved to a varsity schedule.
In front of Williams will be junior Justin Demoga, a captain, that handles close defense. Head coach Brendan Chambers noted Demoga is great with positioning, takes a great approach, and is willing to learn and improve every day. Chambers noted Demoga will be tasked with menacing opponents’ best attack throughout the season.
In the midfield, junior captain Dylan Nichols provides leadership and experience for the Tigers. Nichols has the speed to make an impact on both ends of the field and Chambers is hoping for some offensive production out of the junior. Nichols will be joined by senior Chris Kanabayashi who will contribute to the offense with his hard shot.
Junior Noah Kuczewski is making the jump from JV to varsity and will be one of the Tigers’ main pieces on attack. Chambers is also relying on junior captain Joel Delgado, who put a lot of time in during the offseason to improve, to be an important part of the offense.
“Our goal this year is to continue to build on what we did last year,” Chambers said. “We want to increase our lacrosse IQ and try to be more competitive in all our games. Ideally, we’ll win a couple games and get better every day.”
FOXBORO, Mass. – When the final buzzer sounded, it was an all too familiar situation for Foxboro head coach Matt Noone ands his Warriors.
For the sixth time this season, and fourth time in their final seven games, eighth-seeded Foxboro lost by a single goal, falling 10-9 to ninth-seeded Medway behind a fourth quarter comeback in the MIAA D2 Central-East First Round.
The Warriors took their largest lead behind back-to-back goals, the latter coming with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter to go up 8-4.
However, Medway netted one with just 12 seconds to play in the third quarter to cut it to three and then outscored Foxboro 5-1 in the final quarter. The Mustangs took advantage of four straight Foxboro turnovers and scored the game-winner with 18 seconds remaining.
Foxboro won the final draw but a desperation shot just before the buzzer went just over the bar.
“It was the bug that bit us all year, our youth took over,” Noone said. “The turnovers at the end…we just get tight, that’s youth. We have a freshman, a sophomore and a junior on defense, we have almost all juniors on attack. We’re a young team and at times it showed today.
“We get in these situations and I’m not sure they always fully trust what they’re supposed to do. Sometimes you revert back to old habits and today we got out of our system in the fourth quarter and it hurt us.”
Two early goals from the visitors cut the deficit to one, 8-7, with just over eight minutes to play in the game.
The Warriors were able to survive their third turnover of the frame as junior goalie Jake Addeche (nine saves) denied a close range bid from Medway’s Jake Tomsik.
“We were in this game because of Jake,” Noone said. “He made some great saves. I thought our defense got tired, we played a lot of defense in the fourth quarter. I’m not sure how much offense we even played. The turnovers, you can’t have that many in the playoffs. I said all season long that the turnovers will be the disease that kills us. And it was evident today.”
Foxboro capitalized three minutes later, restoring a two goal lead with just over three minutes to play. Louis Piccolo took possession behind the ned and found Trey Guerini. The senior battled his way through a sea of defenders and tucked his shot top shelf to put Foxboro up 9-7 with 3:32 to go.
But that would be the final time the Warriors found the back of the net. Just 22 seconds later, right off a draw win, Jeff Wenzil buried one for the Mustangs to make it a one goal game.
Foxboro was whistled for too many men on its next offensive possession and the Mustangs took advantage. Senior Tim Nicklas scored the equalizer for Medway with just over a minute remaining.
Medway came away with another draw win and set up their offense. With under 30 seconds to play, the Mustangs put the play into motion: Tomsik cut across the middle, taking a pass with back towards goal, jumping, turning and bouncing in the game-winner with 18 seconds to play.
“Just costly, costly turnovers,” Noone said of the fourth quarter. “When we needed to possess the ball, we couldn’t. They stepped up the pressure and we couldn’t handle it. I didn’t want to play defense as much as we did today. I knew they had guys that could score, [Tomsik] is a beast and [Wenzel] can shoot the ball really well.
“Just small things, like we had the chance to clear and we had a guy open on the sideline and we forced it into the middle. Just things we’ve talked about all season long. Medway is a good team so you can’t do that against those teams.”
While the Warriors graduate three seniors, the majority of the team returns with plenty of experience. All nine of Foxboro’s losses this season were by four goals or less, and six were by two or less.
“It hurts now,” Noone said. “There’s a reason we try to play a tough schedule. When these kids get more experienced, they will be battle tested. Unfortunately sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Now it’s about working hard and getting better in the offseason.”
CANTON, Mass. – If there was one word that describes how Foxboro head coach Matt Noone wants his offense to play, patient would be near the top of the list.
With limited depth, Noone stresses long offensive possessions that lets his defense get plenty of rest. On Monday night, the Warriors were able to convert enough of those long possessions into goals and limited the Bulldogs’ time on attack, especially in the second half, to manufacture a 4-2 win.
“We were pressing early, making a lot of mistakes,” Noone said. “It felt like they were tight or just pushing too hard, thinking they all had to do it individually. At halftime, talked about doing all the little things right. Making simple 10 yard passes, changing the formation up a bit. We just made some adjustments and the boys just possessed the ball better in the second half.”
Foxboro earned a pair of man-up opportunities in the first quarter but couldn’t convert on either chance. On the first chance, the Warriors nearly broke through when senior Trey Guerrini collected a pass in close and ripped a shot but Canton freshman Jack Connolloy (11 saves) robbed him with a point blank save.
After neither side scored in the opening 12 minutes, Foxboro finally broke through with the first goal of the game. The Warriors were actually whistled for a penalty but forced a turnover and took control on offense. Sophomore Brendan Tully spun past his defenseman and found Guerrini right in front for an easy finish to make it 1-0.
Foxboro’s goal seemed to give the Bulldogs a little but of a spark as Canton controlled the final four minutes of the half.
Canton tied the game just over three minutes after giving up the first goal. Senior Ryan Lodge held possession in the corner and hit Griffin Roach – streaking in from the bench on a sub – in stride and the sophomore bounced his shot in to tie the game.
Just over a minute, the Bulldogs netted their second goal of the game. Lodge once again held possession in the corner but this time, he eluded his defenseman, sprinted toward goal, spun past a second opponent and bounced his shot in from in close to give Canton a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Although Canton took the momentum into the halftime break, it was Foxboro who controlled the entire second half.
The Warriors took advantage of long possessions on the offensive end while allowing just three shots on net for the entire second half.
“We have to possess the ball,” Noone said. “When we go back and forth, we just don’t have the depth. If we can possess the ball and rest our defense, our defense is damn good, they’ll get the ball back to you. We’re still getting better at offense. Every win is a win and then its onto the next one.”
Foxboro’s lengthy possessions finally paid off with two goals in the final four minutes of the third quarter. Senior Mike Moses faked his way around a defender and gained just enough space to tie the game with his shot with 3:44 to go in the third.
The Warriors took possession once again and worked the ball around. With under a minute to play, their patience paid off once again. Moses fed junior James Silveria and his bounce shot through traffic put the visitors up 3-2 heading into the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Canton registered just two shots total on goalie Jake Addeche in the second half.
“All we kept saying is be patient on the offensive end,” Noone said. “We talked about playing five minutes and 30 seconds of defense total tonight…we did it in the first eight minutes of the game so it was a lesson. We had have to possess the ball a lot if we want to win. That’s a great team, [Bill Bendell] is a great coach. We’re the same…small town, we both have freshmen out there. Guys are always learning. Ronnie MacLellan was a little out of sorts on Saturday, he was one of our best defenseman today. Matty Lathrop also had a big game, another freshman.”
Foxboro netted an insurance goal just over the midway point of the final quarter. After another lengthy possession, Louis Piccolo fed Guerrini with a perfect pass right and front and the senior buried it with what was essentially a one-timer.
Canton had a couple of offensive possessions in the final minute but none resulted in a shot on goal – two resulted in turnovers because of poor passes and Foxboro’s Patrick Kaveny forced another.
“They pressed out a lot, especially off ball and especially against our attack and we really didn’t handle it well,” said Canton head coach Bill Bendell. “We have pretty good attack so it was a little unusual for us. We tried to attack from the midfield in the second quarter, we did a great job of doing it. Then by the third quarter I think we were a little tired. They had some long possessions, they made us work. They do a great job of possessing the ball. When we got on offense, we were a little gassed by the end.
“They wear your down. They’re so well coached. They are aggressive but they have such long possessions, they make you learn it. They’ve played some close games, they have a great schedule. I think this where we can learn some things. We’ll see how we’ll respond because this was our first close loss and first loss in the league. It was a lot of fun but we came up just short.”
Canton (4-2, 2-1) looks to bounce back the same day when they host North Attleboro in another key divisional showdown.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Foxboro had already clinched its first Davenport title since 2012 and was still unbeaten in the league when it traveled to Beaver St. field on Wednesday afternoon to take on fellow division leader Franklin. The Warriors hung tough for a half, trailing 3-2, but the Panthers showed their strength in depth to run away after the break.
Sophomore attacker Eric Civetti scored three goals and added three assists and senior Austin Kent scored a hat trick as well, as Franklin outscored the Warriors 8-1 in the second half of an 11-3 victory that moves the Panthers one game closer to clinching a fourth straight league title.
“Our goal is to go through the league undefeated, as we did last year,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi, “and that’s our motivation. We’ve got the best talent in the league, but we have to play like it. Sometimes we don’t.”
Foxboro coach Matt Noone was disappointed in the way the second half went, but he insisted that it is not from lack of effort. He remarked that his team is working as hard as ever, just couldn’t pull off the upset, similar to the Warriors’ loss to Cohasset on Friday.
“That’s about what our depth can do,” said Noone, “and then we get exposed for what we are – freshmen, sophomores…we just couldn’t handle their pressure. It’s been the story of our season.”
The young Warriors nearly took the lead inside the first minute when senior long pole Brian Buckner got forward and split a pair of defenders but struck the bar. Foxboro had a few other chances as well, forcing Franklin goalie Connor O’Rourke into four of his six saves in the first quarter.
The game was fairly uneventful for the next 10 minutes with neither team able to create consistent chances, but with 46 seconds left in the first Franklin found the breakthrough. Sophomore midfielder Chase Tanner was picked out by Sam Arsenault on a cut through the middle. Tanner made a great catch on the high pass in and in one motion was able to score.
It did not take Foxboro long to tie it back up. Just 1:07 into the second, Louis Piccolo fired a perfect pass from the ‘X’ to fellow sophomore James Silveria for a close-range finish. Civetti gave Franklin back the lead but then two minutes later sophomore goalie Jake Addeche (12 saves) stuffed Civetti on one end and then raced forward to score a rare goal and tie it at 2-2.
With 5:43 left in the half, Civetti bullied his way past two defenders on the edge of the crease to give the Panthers the lead heading into the break. Verrochi was no happy with the lack of ball movement in the first half and laid into his team at the break.
“A lot of times it’s the Kent and Civetti show and we’re not getting enough movement,” Verrochi explained. “Guys aren’t moving intelligently off the ball and I think after [halftime] we assisted on a lot of goals and that’s what is important, getting everyone involved in the offense.”
Luke Downie scored the first goal of the second half on a long-range bouncing shot but things stayed close for another three minutes until a quick burst over 28 seconds broke the game open for Franklin.
Packie Watson drove at the Foxboro defense and opened space for Austin Kent, who let rip with a laser into the corner just seconds before Patrick Kaveny was able to close him down. Freshman Jake Alexander won the face-off (Franklin won all but three in the game) and Watson again fed Kent for another rip.
On the ensuing face-off, Watson chased down a ground ball on the near sideline and flipped a pass to Civetti, who in turn fired a cross-crease pass to Arsenault for the first of his two goals.
“If I had 12 Packies I’d win a state championship,” Verrochi raved. “I can’t say enough about him. He’s not the most gifted of goal scorers but everything else that doesn’t show up on the score sheet, he’s just aces. He’s everything you want in a midfielder.”
Noone said, “We couldn’t win a face-off again and against Franklin that’s a minute of possession. They handle the ball for a while, we overextend, and then we get beat.”
Junior Colby Nickerson got one back for the Warriors but a minute later Civetti pump faked to get space and scored from the edge of the crease to make it 8-3. He added his second assist with 18 seconds left in the third to find freshman Nitin Chaudhury for a nifty finish in traffic.
Things continued to be a struggle for Foxboro in attack. “How many turnovers did our attack have today? We can’t complete a 10-yard pass because they don’t ‘V-cut’, they don’t get of their way,” Noone said.
Downie assisted on a goal by Arsenault to make it 10-3 in the fourth quarter and then Civetti fed Kent, who got a little time, a little space and rifled a shot just under the bar to wrap up the scoring.
The Panthers pulled out the win, but Verrochi admitted that the team was distracted, especially at the start of the game. After school on Wednesday, inside two hours before the opening face-off. senior midfielder Jared Trainor was injured in a car accident and was taken to UMass Medical Center in Worcester.
The players wanted to visit their teammate in the hospital, but Verrochi said that after conversations with the school administration and with first responders it was explained that it would be better for the players to wait. They held a team meeting to decide whether or not to play.
“They were definitely shaken by the whole situation,” said Verrochi. “I left it to them if they wanted to play or not and they said that they wanted to play for Jared.”
It took a half to get into the flow, but once they did, the Panthers put it together and honored their teammate with a big win.
Franklin (10-4, 7-0) will have a chance to just about clinch the league title on Monday night when it hosts King Philip, which is just one game back. Foxboro (9-4, 7-1) will host Norwood on Saturday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.