The Campus Report: Fall 2019 In Review

Campus Report

The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

Former Mansfield star Hunter Ferreira, who holds the Hornets’ all-time receptions and receiving yards records, is well on his way to the top of the charts at Nichols College. In his sophomore season, he grabbed 69 passes for 912 yards and four touchdowns. His best game of the year came at the University of New England when he hauled in 12 catches (fourth-most in program history in a single game) for 148 yards. In just two years, he has 97 receptions (sixth all-time), 1,428 yards (sixth all-time), and 12 touchdowns (tied fourth all-time). Another former Hornet Joe Cox is the leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Bison. Cox led the team in tackles with 99, including a team-high and conference-best 68 solo tackles. He forced a fumble against Anna Maria and had an interception at Western New England. His 17 tackles for loss led the entire Commonwealth Conference. His 99 tackles this season is tied for sixth-best in program history. King Philip’s Brett McEvoy (Nichols ’18) is the program’s all-time tackle leader with 385. OA’s Darnele Ryan appeared in six games and has nine total tackles and Mansfield’s Phil Dinov made three tackles in four appearances.

Former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Joe Kellett had to watch Boston College’s first-round overtime loss of the ACC Tournament against Notre Dame after being issued a red card in the regular season finale. It marked the first game Kellett missed in his four years in college between BC and UMass Lowell. During his senior year, his first career goal for the Eagles proved to be the game-winner against UMass. He also scored the game-tying goal in a 2-2 overtime game against Virginia Tech. He played all 1,520 minutes of the season for BC during his junior year while starting all 34 games he played for UMass Lowell during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Kellett played the opening 50 minutes in a win over Yale.

For the second straight season, King Philip’s Rachael Veilleux led the Nichols College volleyball team in assists. A sophomore setter, Veilleux has been dishing out sets for the past two seasons, helping the Bison win 12 matches this season. She had a team-high 360 assists (eighth-most in the conference) to go along with 16 aces this season. In her career so far, she has 592 assists.

Franklin Pierce’s Jason Reed earned All-East Region honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for his strong showing at the NCAA East Regional. Reed placed 20th overall at 32:28 and became the first Raven in program history to earn three straight All-Region accolades. Reed finished 14th overall at the NE10 Championship, clocking in at 27:47.6 for the 8k race.

Two former league rivals started every game this season for the Union field hockey squad. Senior Sarah Wilkinson, from Canton, and sophomore Cristina Boudreau, of Oliver Ames, both started in all 16 games this season for the Dutchmen. Wilkinson scored a pair of goals in her final season, once against Morrisville and then the game-winning strike in a win over William Smith. Boudreau scored her lone goal of the game against Rensselaer while recording three assists — all coming in a four-game span.

The Western Connecticut State University will be losing one of its most reliable players to graduation as Oliver Ames alum Melissa Krim wraps up her career with the Colonials. Krim did it all for WCSU, listed as a utility player on the roster because of her versatility. She scored 10 career goals, with eight coming in the past two seasons, and four assists. She scored her first game-winning goal this season in a win over Salem State. In her four years, Krim played in 76 games with 74 of them starts.

Milford graduate Katie Brown closed her career at Salem State with a strong senior season, earning MASCAC All-Conference Second Team honors. Brown, who was featured on HockomockSports.com earlier this season, was the leading goal scorer for the Vikings once again this season. For the second straight year, Brown found the back of the net eight times and added three assists this year for 19 total points. She scored the game-winning goal against Rivier early in the season and then added another winner in a 2-1 win on the road at Endicott. She finishes her career with the second-most points in program history (48) and second-most goals scored (22), just three shy of the record.

Success and Lily Sykes continue to go hand-and-hand as the former Foxboro Warrior is now helping the Tufts women’s soccer program go where it hasn’t gone in over a decade. A regular presence in the midfield, Sykes helped the Jumbos knock off Cortland in the opening round and TCNJ in the second round, sending Tufts to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. Sykes blasted a shot that was saved in the 8th minute of the game against Cortland, setting up Sophie Lloyd for the opening-goal. Sykes, a four-time EMass All-Star, has started in all 19 contests for the Jumbos this year, scoring three goals with one assist. She scored the game-winning goal on the road at Hamilton. Tufts takes on conference foe Williams in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Taunton’s Trevor Wysong continues to lead the pack for the Bridgewater State men’s cross country team. Wysong, who has been named MASCAC Runner of the Week six times this season alone, clocked in (25:56) nearly two minutes ahead of the next runner at the MASCAC Championship Race at Moore State Park to earn MASCAC Runner of the Year honors for the second straight season. After the MASCAC race, Wysong competed in the DIII New England Championships and finished 12th overall in the 8k course, clocking in at 25:11.3 to qualify for the NCAA DIII Championship race (this Saturday) for the second straight year.

Also competing at the MASCAC Championship race, Taunton’s Zac Bentley (Westfield State) finished 10th overall at 28:16, Stoughton’s Cameron Bean (Westfield State) was 12th overall at 28:25, Franklin’s Robert Moreau (Bridgewater State) crossed 15th overall ad 28:35, and Milford’s Anthony DiStauro (Westfield State) took 19th at 28:41. Milford’s Miguel Torres, a freshman for Framingham State, took 22nd overall at 29:02. Mansfield graduate Collin Rice, a sophomore at Westfield State, clocked in at 29:32 for 27th overall and fellow former Hornet Cullen Lancaster (Framingham State) was 33rd overall at 30:32.

On the girls’ side of MASCAC cross country, Milford grad and Bridgewater State senior Jenise Madden was the top former Hockomock runner this season. Madden was second at the MASCAC Championships and went on to place 34th out of a field of 380 runners to lead the BSU women’s cross country team and earn All-New England honors at the 2019 NCAA DIII New England Regional Cross Country Championships held at Bowdoin College. Other top finishes at the MASCAC race included North Attleboro’s Megan Leary (Bridgewater State, 21:14, 12th place) and North Attleboro’s Kyra Siano (Worcester State, 21:29, 15th Place).

Former Franklin standouts Alexis and Victoria Stowell wrapped up their collegiate careers with Assumption, helping the Greyhounds to a 7-4-5 overall record in 2019. Both played the same amount of games in their four-year careers (69) with Alexis (NE10 All-Conference Second Team selection) recording eight goals and six assists in 60 starts. Victoria played a vital role in the midfield with one goal and five assists in 53 starts. In their four years, Assumption won over 35 games.

The Bridgewater State women’s soccer team had its season come to a dramatic end in a double-overtime loss to Worcester State in the MASCAC Final. But a pair of former Hockomock standouts both had strong final seasons for the Bears. Taunton’s Alana Vincent was once again the leading scorer for the club, leading the conference in goals scored with 17. Her seven assists were also a team-high and were third in the MASCAC. Seven of her goals proved to be game-winners. Mansfield’s Katie Bongarzone also started all 19 games for BSU this fall as a key piece of the defense. She added a goal and three assists. Both Vincent and Bongarzone were selected to the MASCAC All-Conference First Team.

Two members of the HockomockSports.com 2015 Best XI were apart of the Northeast-10 All-Conference awards that were announced on Veteran’s Day. Former Oliver Ames captain and member of the 2015 D2 State Championship team Keegan Nutt finished his career with the Skyhawks this fall by being named to the NE10 All-Conference Second Team. Nutt tied for the team lead in scoring despite being a starting defender, scoring five goals and registering two assists for 12 points. He scored twice, including the game-winner off a free kick, against Saint Rose in late October. Another All-NE10 collection and former Best XI selection was Foxboro’s Devante Teixeira, who was named All-Conference Third Team. Teixeira, a senior at Southern Connecticut, led the Owls with 10 points (two goals, six assists) while starting in 14 games.

It’s been a good season for the UMass Dartmouth football team and the hexad of former Hockomock players there. All six have played for the Corsairs, who finished the year at 7-3. Taunton’s Chris Gomes had the biggest year of the half dozen alums, earning MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors back in September for his big game against Plymouth State in which he made a key stop on the 1-yard line to help secure a 21-14 win. For the season, the junior defensive back was fourth on the team with 47 tackles, including six for a loss and one sack, grabbed two interceptions, and tied for the team lead with six pass breakups. Attleboro’s Justin Cote was a regular on special teams, returning 12 kicks for a total of 219 yards. North Attleboro’s David Engler appeared in eight games, making a catch against Alred State. On the defense side, Foxboro’s Allston George had 14 tackles and played in all 10 games, North Attleboro’s Luke LaBonte made 11 tackles, including a half a sack, and Taunton’s Sam Krajewski had 10 tackles, an interception, and four pass breakups.

Former four-time Hockomock League All-Star and league MVP Ryan Tomaso is leading the way for the Hartford golf squad during his junior season. Tomaso played in five tournaments this fall with an average round of 73.64 in 14 rounds played. He shot par or better in four rounds and finished tied for second overall at the UConn Collegiate Invitational. He led the team in average for the fall season.

Former Taunton coach and current mentor for the Bridgewater State women’s tennis team Dave Purpura earned seven wins this fall and reached the Little East Semifinals before bowing out to RIC. Three former Hockomock players were in the lineup for Purpura, manning second, fourth, and fifth/sixth singles for the Bears. Taunton’s Olivia Sweeney was the second singles player and picked up six wins in singles action, and teamed up with fellow former Tiger Vanessa Rosa at second and third doubles. The pairing of Sweeney and Rosa won seven matches together, and Rosa had seven singles wins at mostly at fourth singles. Mansfield’s Rachel Tarantino played mostly fifth or sixth singles during the reason, earning 11 single wins and nine wins in doubles action at either second or third doubles.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and Mansfield Hornet Hannah Reiter has been a stalwart for Dave Clarke and his Quinnipiac women’s soccer team ever set she stepped foot on campus in Hamden. She played in all 19 games this season (all starts), and has played in every single game (56 games) since joining the program in the fall of 2017. This season, she was third on the team with 1,646minutes played, playing an important role defensively for the Bobcats. For her career so far, Reiter has three goals and five assists.

Meghan Dieterle finished her career as a Purple Knight this fall, finishing with 45 appearances for St. Michaels, including 11 starts this season. Dieterle has been a regular in the lineup for SMC for the past three years, scoring a pair of goals as a sophomore and recording four assists during her junior campaign. She tallied her final collegiate point, an assist, in a win over Lincoln this fall. Also patrolling the pitch up in Colchester is Sharon alum Victoria Zambello. A junior forward, Zambello has appeared in 33 games in three seasons, scoring in the win over Lincoln. Franklin’s Grace Gallo is also a member of the Purple Knights.

Down in Pennsylvania, Canton’s Mac Brown scored his first collegiate touchdown for Dickinson in a win over Juniata. Brown, a senior running back, hauled in his first career pass for a three-yard score. A week later, Brown had another catch for 14 yards on the road at Moravian.

Taunton graduate Connor Briggs started at center in all 10 games for Fitchburg State this season. A senior lineman, Briggs helped pave the way for an offense that averaged over 100 yards per game on the ground and had 61 rushing first downs. Attleboro’s William Healy appeared in three games, including on defense where he recorded three total tackles, including two against Plymouth State.

Former King Philip standout Larsen Keys was the only player to start in all 19 games for Western New England this season. A leader for the Golden Bears’ defense, Keys found his way into the attack as well with two goals and two assists this season. Both of the sophomore’s goals proved to be game-winners, the first coming in a 1-0 win over Wentworth and the other on the road at Elms.

Over at Worcester State, former Franklin Panther Henri Guilmette started and played every minute in goal for the Lancers. In 20 starts, Guilmette allowed 27 goals (1.32 GAA) with a .803 save percentage, making 110 total saves in over 1,800 minutes of action. He posted four shutouts and helped the Lancers reach the MASCAC Semifinal.

Bianca Coghi-DeSousa had a solid showing in her one year playing for the UMass Boston volleyball squad. Coghi-DeSousa, who previously played two seasons at Framingham State and once held the program record for aces at Stoughton High, played in 15 matches for the Beacons this fall. In 45 sets, she landed 46 kills and added eight total blocks. The Beacons made the NCAA tournament but fell to Babson, coached by Easton native Eric Neely, brother to Franklin basketball coach CJ Neely.

Defense was a huge reason that the Westfield State volleyball squad went a perfect 7-0 in conference matches and went on to claim the MASCAC championship. Mansfield grad Jess Haradon is a key piece of the defense, ranking third on the team with 281 digs. Only one player has featured in more sets for the Owls this season than Haradon, who has played in 30 matches and 106 sets. She had a season-high 30 digs in a five-set thriller with Clark earlier this season and had a six-match stretch with double-digit kills. With one year to go, Haradon has 848 career digs.




Prinos sisters Diana and Sophia have been key pieces for the Fairfield University tennis. Diana finished the fall season on a three-match win streak, playing once at second singles (winning 6-2, 7-5) and twice at third singles, winning twice in three sets. Diana also picked up three wins this fall in doubles action, teaming up with Paulina Bakaite for first doubles and getting a win in their fall finale over Sacred Heart. Sophia Prinos had a lot of success, taking first place in one bracket at the West Point Invite. She won in straight sets over St. Bonaventure, Lehigh, Colgate, and Marist to get to the final where she defeated Amy Stanley (St. Bonaventure) 6-1, 6-4. She went 2-1 in head-to-head competition, finishing with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win against Sacred Heart at fifth singles.

Up at the University of New Hampshire, Franklin’s Ryan Spelman participated in six races for the men’s cross country team during his senior year. He finished ninth overall in a dual meet between the Wildcats and Maine, clocking in at 26:32.0 for the 8k course. His best 8k time came against Lehigh when he clocked in at 25:55.6, good for 119th overall. On the women’s side, Foxboro’s Nicole Yeomans had a solid showing at the D1 Northeast Region meet, clocking in at 22:19.5 for 165th overall.

North Attleboro’s Vanessa Frost was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference Second Team following a strong season in the midfield for Salve Regina. Frost was just one of two midfielders that started all 19 games for the Seahawks during the 2019 campaign. Frost scored once (in the CCC Final) and added three assists while Foxboro grad Kayla Ames made five appearances this season, scoring in a win over Dean.

Liz Morehouse was among the top goalies in the New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference in her first year in the cage for the Springfield Field Hockey squad. Morehouse, a former Big Red Rocketeer, started in all 19 games this season, making 87 saves (sixth in the conference) with a 2.06 goals against average (fourth in the conference). She set a career-high with 11 saves against Babson, and then repeated that feat twice more in against Trinity and MIT.

Former Mansfield standout Sarah Mullahy had a successful senior campaign with the Suffolk volleyball squad. A middle blocker, Mullahy ranked third for the Rams with 182 kills (1.77 per set) with an impressive .265 hitting percentage. She was second on the team with 44 blocks, landed 29 aces and even chipped in with 46 digs for the 20-win Rams. A captain this season, she was named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship squad and had 326 kills in three seasons.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that sisters Ashlyn and Emma Gaulin made an immediate impact on the pitch in their rookie seasons with Hamilton College, who had a 10-5-1 overall record this season. Both appeared in all 16 games for the Continentals, with Emma starting all of the games and Ashlyn serving as a reliable super-sub off the bench. Patrolling the midfield, Emma recorded a pair of assists during the season with a helper against Bates and one against Hartwick, both games at home. Ashlyn also had an assist in the win over Bates while scoring off the bench against SUNY Oswego, Colby, Morrisville State (also an assist), and Sage Colleges. The Continentals were undefeated when either Gaulin recorded a point this season.

Franklin’s Madison Kuzio had a busy season as a defensive specialist for the Worcester State volleyball team. She was third on the team with 169 digs, playing in 70 sets this year. A junior, Kuzio has appeared in 66 matches thus far in her career and has 301 career digs to go along with 20 aces.

The workload continued to increase for Franklin grad Megan Adams during the 2019 season. After a redshirt first-year, Adams appeared in five games last season including her collegiate debut for Northeastern against Long Beach State. This year, Adams was the starting keeper for the Huskies, making 15 starts and playing over 1,200 minutes. Adams allowed just 16 goals (1.13 goals against average) while making 48 saves, posting a 7-7 record for the season with four shutouts. She had shutout wins over Towson, COFC, Drexel, and Elon.

Another former Panther and collegiate keeper Cat Robbins, a sophomore, continued to be a regular in net for the Plymouth State women’s soccer team. After nine starts last season, Robbins was once again the go-to option for the Panthers. She started 12 games this season, winning six games, with 41 saves and just a.184 goals against per game. She played over 1,000 minutes and has four shutouts in her career so far.

Two former Hockomock rivals are now team captains for Saint Anselm football. Junior Franklin Holgate, who played at Oliver Ames, and junior Ryan Sullivan, a former Black Knight, are two of the four captains for the Hawks. Holgate finished third on the team in receptions (40), fourth in receiving yards (484), and second with three touchdowns. Sullivan is a leader on the other side of the ball, second on the team with 54 solo tackles and 95 total tackles. He also had four sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and four pass breakups. He earned NE10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 6 for his performance against New Haven. In that game, he had 17 tackles, two sacks, and the forced fumble. Also at St. A’s, King Philip’s Michael Riggs appeared in nine games and made 25 tackles, including two for a loss, while Franklin’s Brian Kosicki has started every game at left tackle.

In the same week that Sullivan earned NE10 defensive honors, another former Black Knight was awarded the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. Brandon Swain-Price, a graduate student with Southern Connecticut, recorded 10 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He is just the sixth receiver in program history to hit the 200-yard mark in a game, and the first SCSU receiver to reach the mark since 2010. For the season, Swain-Price had a team-high 49 catches for 792 yards and 10 touchdowns, which was second-most in the NE10.

Former Oliver Ames Tiger Jared Mallers wrapped up his collegiate career with Curry College, making 16 appearances for the Colonels with 11 starts. Mallers recorded an assist in a game on the road at the University of New England. North Attleboro grad Joe Hilf made three appearances in his rookie season while Jonathan Sandoval, who donned the Bombardier blue and white early in his high school career, played in three games.

Milford’s Andre Oliveira has fit in nicely with the Framingham State men’s soccer team. A sophomore defender, Oliveira is just one of four midfielders to start in 19 or more games this season, and the only one at his position to do so. Oliveira was in the lineup on Sunday when the Rams knocked off Salem State in the MASCAC Championship, giving FSU its first conference championship since 2011. Taunton’s Austin Botelho has nine appearances this year with a goal against Fitchburg while Attleboro’s Tyler Treichler had made eight appearances off the bench.

Former two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Sydney Phillips continues to find success at the collegiate level. An outside hitter for Bates, Phillips led the team in kills for the season. After featuring in just 10 matches during his freshman campaign, Phillips emerged as the go-to option for the Bobcats during her sophomore year. She slammed down 196 kills in 82 sets played (2.39 per set) and had 29 total blocks and 42 digs for the 16-win Bobcats.

Franklin’s Dayna McCue played in her 173rd and final set for the Connecticut College volleyball team this fall. Appearing in 68 matches in her four-year career, McCue was one of the Camels’ top defensive players. She had 110 digs in her final season, finishing her career with 372 digs. She posted a season-high 17 digs in a 3-1 win over Mitchell at the end of October.

The WPI field hockey team had its best season in over a quarter century, posting a 17-3 record and being ranked as high as fifth in the D3 New England East Rankings, and senior forward and team captain Carly Cidado was a big factor why. A former standout for Oliver Ames, Cidado was second on the team in goals (12) and points (26), helping the Engineers reach the NEWMAC Semifinals. WPI improved every year with Cidado in the lineup, going from six wins her freshman year to 17 in 2019. For her career, Cidado had 20goals and 10 assists, scoring four game-winning goals while starting in 67 of the 70 games she played in.

Former King Philip standout Nina Sitarski is one of the top runners for the Babson Women’s Cross Country team. Her top 5k time was 21:36 at the Keene State Invitational, crossing the finish line 112th overall. At the NEWMAC Championship race, Sitarski clocked in at 27:12 in the 6k race, finishing 111th overall. On the men’s side, Oliver Ames grad Matt Campbell was 65th overall at 29:29 in the 8k race at the NEWMAC championship. He just ran his personal-best in the 8k, clocking in at 28:53 at the NCAA Regionals at Bowdoin.

A senior golfer for the Wentworth Leopards, Franklin graduate Matt Pleshaw played in five tournaments this fall. He had a pair of top 10 finishes, finishing 10th in both the Mitchell Invitational and a tri-match with Eastern Nazarene and Mitchell. His best round of the fall was on the first day of the FSC Fall Invitational when he shot an 80; he finished 50th overall in the tournament.

Taunton’s all-time wins leader Jillian Pagliuca jumped right into the lineup in her first year with Franklin Pierce University. Pagliuca played mostly at fifth singles but also made appearances at fourth and sixth singles. Overall, she picked up six wins in singles action and earned her first doubles win (at third singles, 6-0) against American International in September.

Hannah Friend (Oliver Ames) has etched her name into the Saint Anselm record book, and multiple times too. A senior forward for the Hawks’ field hockey team, Friend is the program’s all-time career leader in points per game (1.19), goals (37), assists (27) and assists per game (0.32). She also set the program record for games played when she started against Assumption on November 8th. She currently has 85 appearances and begins the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon against East Stroudsburg. Five other Hockomock alums are on the roster at St. A’s and all see regular time on the field. Canton’s Mary Nee, a senior midfielder has started 20 of the 21 games and has six goals and five assists, Oliver Ames’ Kendall Clifford has two goals and three assists in 21 starts, and sophomore midfielder Andrea McNeil of Canton has come off the bench in every game, scoring twice with two assists. Freshmen Maggie Malloy (Canton) and Emma Izydorczak (King Philip) have both played in 10 games this year.

Stoughton grad Molly Turner has played in 17 total matches so far this year for the Stonehill volleyball squad, featuring in 53 total sets. A freshman setter, Turner is third on the team with 236 assists to go with 10 aces and 86 digs. After seeing minimal time for the first month of her collegiate career, Turner has featured regularly since the October 5th match against Malloy, even picking up five starts (including the last two matches). The Skyhawks are set to take on AIC in the NE10 Semifinals on Friday night in Waltham.

Only Hockomock alumni patrolled the net for the Framingham State women’s soccer team this year. Attleboro grad Madison Brown started in all but one game for the Rams this season, playing over 1,500 minutes with 186 saves made, which was tied for the most in the MASCAC this season. She recorded a season-high 18 saves to help the Rams pick up a 3-2 win over Fitchburg State, finishing with double-digit stops in 11 games this season. Franklin’s Calen Frongillo made one appearance in goal during her rookie season, making one save with no goals allowed.

Two former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year selections spent the fall season on the same team at UMass Amherst. King Philip’s Tyler Mann, who transferred in from UMass Lowell, and Oliver Ames’ Nathaniel Cardoza, who earned the honor in consecutive years in 2016 and 2017, patrolled the same side of the field at times for the Minutemen. Mann played outside mid while Cardoza was an outside back. Both scored this season with Mann scoring at Central Connecticut and Cardoza netting the game-winner a week prior at Boston University.

Former Attleboro Bombardiers Tyler McGovern and Brendan Nunes were limited to just three games together at Salve Regina this season. McGovern, the starting quarterback, appeared in all but one game this year for the Seahawks, throwing for 1,464 yards on 117 completions with 49.2% accuracy. He had eight touchdown passes with 10 interceptions. Nunes was limited to just the first four games this year but was one of the top targets for Salve in that time, hauling in 12 passes for 140 yards. Foxboro’s Ronnie Martin played in three games, taking 22 carries for 95 yards (4.3 yards per carry) for the Seahawks.

Former North Attleboro Rocketeer Nick Rajotte has seen his workload increase as the season has gone on for Springfield. After not playing in the first three games, Rajotte played in seven straight games with the team winning five of those games. Has had 12 carries in a three-game span for a total of 158 yards, scoring in all three games. He scored a pair of touchdowns in a big win over Maine Maritime. But in the final game, Rajotte was the feature back with 10 carries for 92 yards. Another former Rocketeer, Nick Raneri, has two appearances at fullback and had three carries against Maine Maritime. On the defensive side of the ball, King Philip grad Terrell Jacobs-Baston is playing defensive tackle and had 12 tackles. He recorded his first sack in the win over Maine Maritime.

Joe Morrison and the University of Vermont men’s soccer team had the season end in heartbreaking fashion for the second straight season. After losing to UMBC in penalties during his freshman campaign in the America East tournament, the Catamounts fell in overtime on the road to Hartford this season. Morrison (a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and two-time Best XI selection from Foxboro) was a regular on the pitch for UVM again this season, appearing in 14 total matches with 13 of them as a starter. He scored a pair of goals, both which turned out to be game-winners. He scored the opening goal against Binghamton and another against Hartford in the regular season meeting. He recorded assists against Harvard, Merrimack, and Binghamton.

The Endicott volleyball team earned the CCC championship this year with a sweep over Roger Williams, and two former Franklin Panthers were apart of the winning squad. Last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Lauren McGrath dished out 88 assists and landed 27 aces in her first year with the Gulls while also chipping in as a reliable defensive option with 241 digs. She made her collegiate debut in the season-opener against Worcester State. She played in all five sets in a 3-2 win over Amherst with 15 assists and 10 digs. Erin Skidmore, a junior outside hitter, has 25 career kills along with 60 digs.

After guiding Franklin to its first sectional championship last year, middle hitter Hailey Sanders continued her success at the collegiate level with Framingham State. Sanders led the MASCAC in attack percentage (.277), racking up 196 kills on 447 attempts with just 72 errors, and earned All-Conference Second Team honors. Sanders led the Rams and ranked second in the MASCAC in total blocks (68) with 20 solo blocks and 48 block assists. Mansfield’s Lexi Gardner appeared in 10 matches for the second straight season for Framingham, which reached the MASCAC Championship game.

At Bridgewater State, senior goalie Jillian Delaney recorded 172 saves in goal for the Bears’ field hockey squad. A former Foxboro Warriors, Delaney ranked second in the MASCAC in saves, logging over 960 minutes in 16 starts this season. She made 11 saves to help the Bears earn a 2-1 win over Fitchburg on the road, and then turned away 11 shots as BSU edged Framingham a week later. She had a season-high 20 saves on the road at Castleton. Emma Daly, another former Warrior, had two starts and three total appearances at the beginning of the season.

Franklin alum Dylan Kehoe has emerged as one of the top runners for the Merrimack men’s cross country squad, making a favorable impression in his rookie year. The Warriors took first place and repeated as Codfish Bowl champions back in September, which took place at Franklin Park. Kehoe was fifth overall in the race at 27:59 and was the third Warrior to cross the finish line. At the NEC Championship race, Kehoe took 37th overall by clocking in at 27:28.6, the sixth Warrior overall. North Attleboro’s Liam Monahan is also on the squad and ran 28:43.2 back in September at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Road Race at Bryant University.

A pair of Hockomock grads played a vital role in the Regis field hockey team winning four straight games to finish the regular season and an upset in the first round of the GNAC tournament. Stoughton’s Ashley Chipman, a senior forward, started in all 19 contests this season, scoring four goals and adding three assists to finish third on the team with 11 points. She scored a pair of game-winning goals, both coming in that late-season stretch (over Albertus Magnus and Johnson & Wales). Oliver Ames’ Sarah Tetrault, a sophomore defender, joined the starting lineup midway through September and started 14 straight matches, helping the Pride allow just two goals in a five-game stretch at the end of the season.

Down at UMass Dartmouth, a pair of former Hockomock graduates helped the Corsairs earn seven wins this fall. Junior Jordan Martin (Taunton) posted a 3-2 record overall, winning a pair of matches at sixth singles. Martin played with three different doubles partners, going 7-3 overall at second doubles with Michelle Aftandilian, including three wins in Little East Conference action. North Attleboro’s Hana Hershey, also a junior, also played with three doubles partners and earned four wins total, all coming at third doubles.

After missing out on his sophomore season due to injury, Austin Ryan is back on the field for the Bentley football team. The Foxboro grad is second on the team with 36 receptions for 423 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games played, helping the Falcons win the NE-10 Championship. He had three catches for 118 yards and a score in a win over Saint Anselm on November 2nd. King Philip’s Evan Rice appeared in the final three games for the Falcons, recording a pair of tackles plus a tackle for a loss against Franklin Pierce.

The Bridgewater State football team features a handful of former Hockomock League players, including Foxboro defensive back Mark Wilson. Wilson is second on the team in individual tackles (31) and tied for third overall in total tackles (50), averaging 5.6 per game. He has one sack, five pass breakups, and returned an interception for a 46-yard touchdown in a MASCAC win over Worcester State. North Attleboro’s Maxwell Kroll has been in the backfield a bunch for the Bears with five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick in nine games played. Freshman Dean Pacini, formerly of Oliver Ames, had 15 tackles in seven games played. Milford alum Michael Casey has been the starting center with North Attleboro’s Austin White to his left as the left guard. North Attleboro’s Thomas Duell, Taunton’s Paul Corrao, Stoughton’s Brendan Walsh, and Canton’s Brian Campagna have all seen time on the offensive line for the Bears, who won the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl against Mass Maritime to finish the season. Wilson was named to the MASCAC First Defense while Casey and White were selected to the MASCAC Second Team Offense.

Only two players started all 18 games for the Mass. Maritime men’s soccer team this season and Foxboro graduate AJ Bubencik was one of them. A converted forward for the Buccaneers, Bubencik bagged his lone goal of the season in a 3-2 win at home over Becker, which featured King Philip grad Colby Koch and Oliver Ames’ Haendal Louhis, who had an assist.

AIC women’s soccer earned a first-round win in the Northeast-10 Conference tournament over Adelphi in penalty kicks, and Attleboro’s Paige Medeiros was the one who sent the Yellow Jackets into celebration. The teams were tied 0-0 after regulation, and neither side could find the back of the net in two overtime periods to send the first-round game to PKs. The first four Yellow Jackets converted their chances but Adelphi missed its second chance. Medeiros converted the fifth and final shot to give AIC the win. Medeiros logged 1,200 minutes this season, starting in 15 games and appearing in 18 total matches. She scored the game-winning goal in a win over Florida National University.

Former Canton standout and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Elizabeth Hamilton wrapped up her collegiate career this fall, helping the Johnson & Wales volleyball team earn its fifth straight GNAC Title and an NCAA berth. In her four years with the Wildcats, Hamilton had 332 kills with a .215 hitting percentage. She had 537 digs, 74 aces, and 45 total blocks. She was named to the GNAC Third Team during his freshman year and ranked in the top 20 in kills, hitting percentage, blocks, and points that season.

Shannon Cormier continued to be a steady presence for the AIC field hockey team. After starting in all 18 games as a rookie last year, Cormier was in the starting lineup 17 times this year while making one substitute appearance. She ranked third on the team in points, scoring four goals and adding two assists with over 1,000 minutes played…Foxboro’s Lily Daly made 11 appearances in her first year with Assumption, scoring her first collegiate goal in a win on the road at Mercy College…Oliver Ames’ Dimitra Efremidis was a reliable option off the bench for Bentley, recording an assist against Molloy while making 16 appearances this year.




Former Franklin standout Megan Georges wrapped up her career with the New Haven women’s soccer team, capping her four-year stint with the Chargers with 17 appearances (10 starts) this season. After just seven starts through three years, Georges was a regular on the pitch this fall, playing 912 minutes in the midfield. She found the back of the net against league foe St. Anselm and picked up an assist in a big win over Le Moyne. She played over 2,000 minutes in her career, finishing with three goals and four assists.

Taunton’s Amanda Baptiste factored into the scoring for the UMass Lowell women’s cross country team last week at the NCAA Northeast Regional. Baptiste clocked in at 23:03.5, the sixth River Hawk to cross the finish line, taking 215th overall. At the New England Championships in October, Baptiste crossed the finish line at 19:31 in the 5k course, taking third on the team. On the boys’ side, sophomore Jack Kalil (Milford) finished 24th overall at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational, finishing the race in 26:02.3.

Danny McLoughlin, a sophomore on the Saint Anselm golf team, played in one tournament this fall. A former Warrior at King Philip, McLoughlin played in the Penmen Fall Invitational in Canterbury, New Hampshire. He shot an 85 on the first and third days while posting a low round of 82 in the middle day. He finished tied for 69th overall with a 241.

Canton graduate Griffin Roach has made an immediate impact for the Boston University Terriers. After playing 60 minutes off the bench in the season-opener, Roach went on to start the remainder of games at outside back. While he didn’t register a point, he became a vital piece of the defense this year for BU, logging a team-high 1,494 minutes. BU head coach Neil Roberts just announced his retirement after a 40-year career with the Terriers.

Bridgewater State coach Brendan Adams had a plethora of former Hockomock soccer players to work with this season. Eight former Hock players representing three schools (Attleboro, Milford, and Franklin ) all saw time on the pitch for the Bears. Milford’s Justin Borges was the top producer, starting in all 19 games and leading the team with seven goals and three assists for a team-high 17 points. Freshman Joey Madden, another former Scarlet Hawk, also started in all 19 games and added five assists. Attleboro’s Will Halben appeared in all 19 contests in his first year, with 18 starts, and had one goal (against RIC) and four assists. Milford’s Michael Da Silva made two appearances in net with one start and made five saves. Franklin’s Hatim Bahimi made 16 appearances in the midfield with three starts, recording an assist against Westfield State. Milford’s Tiago Filadelfo, Attleboro’s Nick Hasenfus, and Franklin’s Nasir Brahimi all made five appearances.

James Cooke has been a steady presence for the Buccaneers of Mass. Maritime. Cooke started at left guard in all 10 games for the 6-4 Bucs, who finished their season with a loss in the Cranberry Bowl to BSU. Cooke has helped the offense rush for 162.4 yards per game and had to make a tackle in a win over Maine Maritime in the second game of the season, and for his strong season, he was selected to the MASCAC First Team Offense. Sophomore Jay Fruci (Oliver Ames) appeared in six games this year, taking a handoff against Fitchburg and making a tackle against Worcester State.

Attleboro grad Lexi Pereira continues to do it all at the collegiate level, now a top player on the Curry volleyball squad. A former all-around standout for the Bombardiers, Pereira is now the go-to option on offense for the Colonels. She’s the team leader in kills, putting down 256 for the season (8th in the conference) with 2.98 per set, which ranked second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. She had a team-high 762 total attacks and was a valuable member of the defense with 204 digs. Elsewhere in the CCC, North Attleboro grad Tori Melanson is among the best net defenders in the league. She is second in the CCC with 79 total blocks, which leads the way for Roger Williams. Her 0.99 blocks per set is a conference-best. She also had 106 kills this season.

Attleboro’s Marissa Dias, a junior defender for the Framingham State field hockey team, was just one of five Rams to start in all 18 games this season. She was also a key piece in the offense, scoring a pair of goals while adding two assists this season. Her goal against Westfield State proved to be the game-winner. Another former Bombardier, Meghan Croteau, started four games and made a total of 16 appearances in the midfield for FSU. At Westfield State, OA grad Katie Vamosi started in six games in net, making 10 appearances total, and made 43 saves, earning a shutout win over BSU. North Attleboro’s Shaylee Maxcy made 15 appearances, earning her first collegiate start back in September.

Canton’s Lindsey Nolte and Milford’s Jessica Palmer finished their four years with the Merrimack field hockey team, helping the Warriors transition to Division I. Nolte started in all 17 games this season, scoring once and adding one assist. She scored her final collegiate goal on the road at Dartmouth; she finished her career with 12 goals and seven assists, starting in 55 of the 57 games she played. Palmer also had a goal and an assist in 17 starts this season, her final goal being the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Bryant. Palmer had 11 goals and three assists in 61 starts and 66 total appearances.

Former Oliver Ames standout Ryan McGarry had a solid sophomore campaign with the McDaniel College golf team. He finished in the top 10 in three of the five tournaments he participated in. His best finish was at the Don Scalf Memorial when he shot a 71 on both days, finishing two-under-par for fourth overall. He finished one-under and fifth overall at the Tom Kinder Memorial and tied for ninth at three-under in the Royal Lakes Fall Invitational. He was named the Centennial Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week in early October for his strong showing at the Royal Lakes tournament.

Last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Alli Meehan has had little trouble transitioning to D1 college field hockey, having a terrific year for Northeastern. Meehan scored 11 goals, tying for third-most in the Colonial Athletic Association and second-most on the Huskies. She was tied for second in the conference with four game-winning goals and ranked fourth in the league with 28 points (11 goals, six assists). For her stellar play, Meehan was named to the CAA Field Hockey Second Team and the All-Rookie Team. The Huskies fell in the CAA Championship game with Meehan recording an assist.

Former Taunton netminder Kayla Wentworth helped the Endicott women’s soccer team make it all the way to the Commonwealth Coast Conference title game but the Gulls fell 1-0 to the University of New England. In her two years with Endicott, Wentworth started in 33 games with 37 total appearances, making 152 saves with a 0.87 goals against average. She posted a total of 12 shutouts with a record of 19-11-7.

Attleboro’s Nick Lawrence was one of the few bright spots for the Anna Maria men’s soccer team this fall. A junior midfielder, Lawrence appeared in all but one game while starting in 15 of them. He scored four goals, including two game-winners, with one assist for nine points, which was second on the team. He scored the game-winner in the season-opener against Curry and had another winner in a win on the road at Northern Vermont-Johnson.

Canton’s Paolo Ruggeri saw plenty of the pitch in his first season with the Wentworth men’s soccer team. A defender, Ruggeri made seven substitute appearances along with 10 starts for the Leopards, who had a 10-8-2 record and reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals. North Attleboro’s Ryan Pasquel made three appearances off the bench during the 2019 season.

North Attleboro’s Amelia Murphy led the charge offensively for the Rhode Island College volleyball team this fall. After landing 280 kills during her freshman year, which was second on the team, the sophomore outside hitter had a team-high 263 kills (2.83 per set) during the 2019 campaign. She added 50 total blocks and 11 aces. She ranked eighth in the Little East Conference for kills, seventh for kills per set, and tied for 11th in blocks.

A key player in the development of the Stoughton High volleyball program, Bridgette Whalen wrapped up her collegiate career with Roanoke College this fell. The Maroons earned 57 wins in the four years that Whalen was on the team. She saw the most action during her senior season, featuring in 29 matches with 78 sets played. She had 20 kills and 33 digs while also being a big part of the net defense for Roanoke, recording 24 total blocks this season.

Former Foxboro two-sport standout Abby Tepper is an assistant coach with the top-ranked and top-seeded West Chester University field hockey team. In her first year with the Golden Rams program posted an 18-1 record, falling in the PSAC Semifinals to Kutztown University. Tepper, who got her coaching start with Oliver Ames, is a full-time assistant that helps in every aspect of the day-to-day operations. West Chester, the top seed in the NCAA D2 tournament, opens with a chance at revenge by taking on Kutztown in the first game.

Taunton’s Mario Wilson and Oliver Ames’ Steven Tasho both played for the Bryant University golf team this fall. Tasho played just three rounds, his low score a 77, and finished tied for 56th at the UConn Collegiate Invitational. Wilson participated in three tournaments for the Bulldogs, with a low round of 73. His best finish was 50th at the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Collegiate Invitational.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jake Ragusa continues to shine at the collegiate level for Merrimack. Now playing in Division I, Ragusa was named a Northeast Conference Prime Performance for six tackle game at Lehigh. Ragusa had 3.5 tackles for a loss to help the Warriors get the win. The redshirt junior has 28 total tackles this year, including a sack and eight for a loss. Another Canton grad, Alec Ragusa, is a redshirt freshman. Sharon’s Bryce Smith has broken up three passes for the Warriors this year, including two and an interception at home against Mayville State. He recorded his first career sack against Presbyterian.

The Merrimack men’s soccer team is fairing just fine in its first season at the Division I level, posting an 11-3-2 regular season mark. Brothers Cam and Connor Mullins have both played a role in helping the Warriors have a successful season, which included going undefeated in Northeast Conference play. Cam, a junior defender, has made five appearances this season, all wins, including a season-high 19 minutes against Robert Morris. Connor, a redshirt sophomore midfielder, has one start in 11 games played and recorded an assist in the win over Robert Morris.

Franklin’s Brian Czuba has been a reliable option off the bench for Nichols College during his senior year, making 17 appearances with two starts. He scored the tying goal in the 87th minute against Gordon, a game that the Bison would go on to win in overtime. He concludes his career at Nichols with over 40 appearances and two goals.

Mansfield alum Steph Kemp had a strong first year with the UMass Lowell women’s soccer squad. For her impressive play, Kemp was named to the America East All-Rookie Team, just one of two River Hawks to make the team. Kemp scored her first career goal in October against UMBC and went on to score two more in the match to finish with a hat trick. That game helped earn her America East Rookie of the Week honors. She finished with 14 appearances, including one start, and 417 minutes played.

Attleboro alums Hannah Tarbox and Michelle Sheehan ranked second and third, respectively, in kills for the Mass Maritime volleyball squad this season. Tarbox, a freshman middle, had 62 kills to go along with seven blocks in her first collegiate season. Sheehan, a senior outside hitter, 61 kills, 127 assists, 29 aces, 57 digs, and 11 total blocks for the Buccaneers. Sheehan finished with 184 kills in her four years along 899 assists and 465 digs.

Former Mansfield Hornet Julia Todesco appeared in 18 games for the Tufts field hockey team this fall. All appearances came as a substitute, giving the Jumbos a reliable option off the bench. Todesco scored a pair of goals in a win over Connecticut College and also had an assist in a close win over Hamilton. Tufts had its season come to a close in the third round of the NCAA tournament, falling to Johns Hopkins in overtime.

Gabe Pinhancos, a former midfielder for North Attleboro, had a strong sophomore season for Southern New Hampshire University. The Penmen, who tallied a 9-4-4 record, had its season come to a close in penalty kicks in the NE10 conference quarterfinals against Saint Rose. Pinhancos made 15 total appearances with 10 of them as a starter. He scored his first career collegiate goal in Hockomock territory in Easton in a win on the road at Stonehill.

Former Sharon star Ally Filipkowski became a go-to option for Fairfield University women’s soccer coach David Barrett. After transferring to Fairfield from George Washington following her freshman year, Filipkowski became a reliable reserve for the Stags. She appeared in all but one match this season, helping Fairfield post an 11-6-3 record, and earning three starts. She scored her first goal for the red and white in October in a 2-0 win over Manhattan, finishing off a cross int he 62nd minute to give the hosts an insurance tally.

Derek Pereira, a former Taunton Tiger, made four starts and nine total appearances for AIC in his senior season. He started the first three games of the season and then again against Franklin Pierce, helping the Yellow Jackets make a late push for the NE10 title. AIC knocked off nationally-ranked Adelphi in the opening round but fell to Assumption in the semifinal. Pereira featured in both games, logging 39 minutes in the upset over Adelphi. He had two goals and one assist this season, all coming in a regular-season win over the Greyhounds. He netted the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win.

Framingham State football concluded its regular season with a 47-6 trashing of Worcester State, and all three former Hockomock players now representing the Rams factored in. King Philip alum Brian Donahue had a team-high 12 tackles, including four solo. He was also a regular in the backfield, recording one sack (for a 12-yard loss) and a total of 3.5 tackles for loss. Earlier this season, Donahue forced a fumble against Westfield and Fitchburg. Franklin’s Nick Gordon completed a pair of passes for 25 yards while Taunton’s Noah Leonard also completed two passes from under center. The Rams travel to Wesley for the first round of the NCAA tournament this weekend.

Panthers Run Ends At Xaverian in Quarterfinals

Franklin boys lacrosse
Austin Kent scored five goals and had three assists in the quarterfinal loss to Xaverian. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WESTWOOD, Mass. – Last season, the Franklin boys’ lacrosse team reached its first ever sectional semifinal after upsetting perennial power Xaverian at Pisini Field. On Sunday, a much younger Franklin team faced the same opponent at the same stage of the tournament, but in a different venue and with a much different final result.

The Panthers started well, but once the Hawks clicked on offense Franklin had little answer for a team that has found its footing (and its health) in recent weeks and is once again among the contenders for a Div. 1 title.

Xaverian pulled away in the second half and knocked out the Panthers 18-11, despite five goals and three assists from senior attacker Austin Kent, who was recently selected as the Hockomock League MVP.

“They were flat out better than us,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “[Sophomore goalie] Connor [O’Rourke] saw a lot of rubber today and…they’re just really good. They’re unselfish, they find the one more, they did all the things we’ve been preaching all year long.”

Verrochi continued, “We caught them at a time in the season when they’re on a roll. Early on, I don’t think they had found their identity, but now they have and I think they’re going to be a really tough team to beat.”

Xaverian jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Peter Thorbahn (four goals) and Nick Shaw, but Kent brought the Panthers back level.

On his first goal, Kent threw a shot fake that sent his marker tumbling to the ground before he unleashed a laser into the bottom corner past Michael Toomey. Two minutes later, Kent spun back to his left side and found the corner with an overhand finish to the far post.

The Panthers took the lead with Kent picking out sophomore Eric Civetti for the first of his three goals, but Xaverian answered right back to tie it again. In the closing seconds of the quarter, Kent fired a pass from the ‘X’ to a cutting Kyle McEniry, who put Franklin ahead 4-3 after one.

The score stayed the same for the next seven minutes before Thorbahn was given all day to line up a rip into the top corner to tie it. That started a 5-1 run for the Hawks that put them ahead to stay. Civetti scored with an overhand finish that make it 6-5 but Xaverian scored twice in the final minute, both on assists by Drew Lee to freshman Sam Jean.

“They spent a lot of time trying to shut off Nick Shaw and Pete Thorbahn and it really opened up room in between once we figured out how to get the ball to the back side to open areas,” said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner.

“When you spend a lot of time on one guy, the back side attack opens up and that’s why Sam Jean had a heck of a half.”

McEniry scored his second of the game, again on an assist by Kent, to open the second half, but another 5-1 run by the Hawks broke it wide open. After a Sean Sperzel goal, O’Rourke (nine saves) came up with the play of the game when he went post to post to somehow deny Lee when he was wide open at the back post. Packie Watson scored on an assist by Chase Tanner, but Xaverian answered with four straight before Civetti ended the run with a goal while being knocked down.

Franklin forced a turnover but a poor clearance was picked off by the Hawks for a dagger goal right before the end of the third quarter that extended the lead to 14-8.

Early in the game, the Franklin defensive unit of Sean Lockhart, Patrick Morrison, Gabe Murphy and Matt Pleshaw was shutting down the Hawks, but as the game wore on the Hawks just had too many weapons and were too good at forcing the Panthers to slide out of position.

“I think we did a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities and pressing our advantage,” said Gardner. “Obviously, they had a great game going on with their attack, but we got a lot of opportunities from the midfield coming downhill.”

Meanwhile, on the offensive side Franklin was stagnating as the Hawks sat on Kent and Civetti and tried to force other players to beat them. Verrochi saw plenty of promise from his younger players to give him confidence that in the coming years that strategy will not be as effective.

“One of the things we need to do is look to get more players involved,” he explained. “Our midfielders are kind of young, three sophomores, a freshman, and two juniors, so next year if these guys improve then we’re going to be able to be more dangerous.”

The Panthers could never mount much of a comeback in the fourth quarter, although Kent did score a hat trick in his final period with the Panthers.

“We’re going to definitely miss him,” said Verrochi. “He’s the real deal. He rose to the occasion today. This was a big challenge; they’re a big strong, physical defense and he sort of shut them up and put them in their place.”

Franklin finished the season with a record of 14-6.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Alexander Helps Panthers Roll Against King Philip

Franklin boys lacrosse
Jake Alexander (2) dominated the face-off ‘X’ again on Monday and helped Franklin pull out a win against KP. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – The FOGO (“face-off, get-off”) position can sometimes be overlooked, as the players may only be on the field for a few minutes and many times are on the bench or heading back to the box when the ball finds the back of the net. But when a FOGO dominates a game, those few minutes of playing time can play a critical role in the final result.

Freshman Jake Alexander has come in this season and provided a spark for Franklin and on Monday night his domination of the face-off ‘X’ (winning all but three face-offs) provided a platform for the Panthers to break away in the second half and get one step closer to a fourth straight league title.

Franklin turned a two-goal lead at halftime into as much as a 10-goal lead in the fourth quarter and rolled to a 13-6 victory over the Warriors at Pisini Field, leaving games against Oliver Ames and MIlford between the Panthers and a perfect league record.

“It’s such a key position and a key role,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi of the FOGO. Of Alexander, Verrochi added, “He’s been awesome…awesome. For a kid his size to be as good as he is…and not only that he’s so quick and he’s got good stick skills.”

KP coach Jacob Kravitz was effusive in his praise for Alexander. He said, “They’re face-off guy deserves a lot of attention…If it’s a 50-50 situation, I think we have as much talent as them…but when they get 90 percent of the possessions then their talented players get the ball.”

Kravitz added, “When you’re that good against everybody, you deserve to be mentioned in the MVP conversation.”

When Alexander wins the Panthers the ball it allows attackers like Eric Civetti and Austin Kent go to work and the pair combined for seven goals, despite another stellar performance from KP goalie Paul Macrina, who made 12 saves and kept the Warriors in the game into the second half.

“Paul had a great game,” said Kravitz. “People look at his size and think, he’s just a big kid in net, but his footwork is phenomenal, he does a real good job getting lateral, and he sees the ball really well.”

After junior Tim Watson put KP ahead in the opening minutes, Franklin responded with Civetti’s first on a trademark move on the edge of the crease capped off by a low angle shot to the top corner from just a few feet from goal. Kent then fed sophomore Luke Downie for a rip from straightaway to make it 2-1 after one.

In the second quarter, Chase Tanner fired in a man-up goal off a Civetti assist but KP responded a minute later with the first of Sam Agricola’s two goals. It stayed 3-2 until the final 30 seconds of the half, but Franklin added a fourth on Kent’s first following a pump fake and a few steps to get a better angle.

Kent’s second early in the third quarter was a laser to the top corner, which no goalie would have been able to save. KP hit the post on a quick break and Macrina made six saves in the quarter but Franklin scored two goals in quick succession to break things open. Ninit Chaudhury started it with a quick burst on a face dodge to blow by his man and pick the corner then Civetti stole a clearance and finished from close range to make it 7-2.

“When you’ve got snipers like Civetti and Kent, Chase Tanner,” Verrochi explained, “we told them that [Macrina] was stopping everything down low, so let’s go high on him and they did. Then we got some nice bounce shots on him, so yeah it was a good effort.”

Kent completed his hat trick 45 seconds into the fourth and Alexander won the ensuing face-off clean and raced straight down the middle for a goal just seven seconds later. Thirty-two seconds after that junior Brian Vieten rifled in a goal as well and it was 10-2.

With eight minutes left, KP received a locked in penalty and Franklin tacked on two more. Kent again found the corner with a powerful shot and then just 16 seconds later he found Tanner in space for another rip just under the bar that made it 12-2.

“They have some good shooters,” said Kravitz. “I think you have to respect the talent, especially of Kent and Civetti, and when you pay too much attention to those guys they have enough other guys that can make you pay.”

The Franklin defense was also coming through with experienced players like Sean Lockhart, Matt Pleshaw and Wyatt Arsenault leading the way alongside freshman Patrick Morrison. Morrison drew praise from his coach after the game.

Verrochi said, “He’s going to be a stud. I think he’s a DI prospect and he’s one of the best poles we’ve had in a few years.”

Agricola scored off a feed from Harry Fallon to get one back and Zach D’Amico found the top corner to beat Connor O’Rourke (11 saves), but Civetti answered with his third. Freshman LSM Wesley Bishop scored just his second goal of the season (taking on four Franklin defenders) with 1:09 left and then D’Amico scored a second with three seconds remaining.

Kravitz said, “I think our guys came in here knowing how important the game was and maybe once the pressure was off they were playing a little loose. We play best that way. Fight to the end and that is a good mentality to have.”

After seeing his underclassmen shine in a big pressure game, Verrochi was excited about the direction that the program is headed.

He said, “Luke Downie, Chase, Eric naturally…it’s a talented group and we have some kids down in JV that can play too. I’m looking forward to it.”

Franklin (11-4, 8-0) will clinch at least a share of the title when it takes on Oliver Ames on Wednesday. KP (9-5, 6-2) will try to end a two-game skid against North Attleboro.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/13/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Franklin, 13 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Franklin’s offense reached double figures for the second straight game to pick up another road win. Tyler Gomes had a pair of doubles and five RBI to lead Franklin while Jake Lyons had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, Josh Macchi had two hits, two runs and an RBI, Ryan Hodgkins had a triple and three runs scored, Steven Luttazi had a pair of hits, a pair of runs scored and an RBI and Joe Corsi scored a pair of runs. Mike Skaza got the win on the mound, tossing five innings and striking out four. Ryan Morse pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Franklin. Attleboro’s Pat Collins went 2-4 with an RBI double for the Bombardiers.

Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 12 – Final – Canton’s Kevin Powers threw a complete game shutout with four strikeouts, issuing just one walk for the win. At the plate, Powers was 3-4 with two runs scored, Joe Peccia was 1-3 with three runs scored, Mike McMahon was 3-4 with a run scored and a stolen base and sophomore Matt Casamento was 1-2 with two runs scored.

King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final (9 inn.) – Senior Jon Rolfe picked up the win with a complete game shutout, allowing just five hits. Rolfe had 82 total pitches – 62 for strikes – in an efficient outing that saw him strike out three batters. In the top of the ninth, Stephan MacMean’s leadoff double to turned into a run when junior Will Weir singled him home. Three straight singles from Rolfe, senior Jack DiCenso and senior Jake Cavanagh plated pinch runner Rich Lucente for the Warriors’ second run.

Milford, 7 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sophomore Aidan Wilde struck out six in five innings of no hit baseball to get the win on the mound for the Scarlet Hawks. Chris Speroni was 2-3 with three stolen bases and two runs scored while Blake Hill had a triple and two RBI.

North Attleboro, 8 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – North Attleboro’s John O’Donnell scattered five hits and one walk over seven innings of work, striking out five to pick up the win for the Rocketeers. North Attleboro erased a deficit with a four run fourth inning to get the lead including a pair of runs coming off suicide squeezes. Zach Rofino was 2-5 with two RBI, Kyle McCarthy was 2-4 with a pair of RBI, Ethan Hebard added a pair of hits, Bryan Harris had a hat and two sacrifices and Ridge Olsen finished with two hits. North Attleboro amassed 12 hits as a team. Taunton’s Max Bowden had two hits and an RBI for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Stoughton scored eight runs with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.

Softball
Franklin, 8 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final

Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Foxboro scored six runs in the sixth inning to earn its first win of the season. Emma Rohan struck out seven and walked just three to earn the win in the circle for Foxboro. At the plate, Marylou Long went 3-3 and Chelsea Gibbons had a pair of hits in the big sixth inning for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Kali Magane struck out 15 batters and threw her first no hitter of the season for the Warriors. Offensively, King Philip had 14 hits as a team led by Jenn Hutnyan’s three hits and a fourth inning grand slam. Christa Wagner had three hits, including a double and a triple, and Ashley Hession had two hits.

Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – Milford’s Kaitlyn DeCapua was 3-3 with a pair of runs knocked in and a home run in the first inning that was the highlight of a 10-run inning for the Scarlet Hawks. Sophomore Emily Piergustavo was 3-3 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring a pair herself and Maggie Farrell added a pair of hits and knocked in four runs. Kelley Reichert struck out four, allowing just one hit, in five innings of work to earn the win.

Taunton, 9 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton’s Aimee Kistner threw her second consecutive no hitter, this time striking out 10 while scattering three walks. Sophomore Kya Enos went 4-4 with a double and an RBI, Jordan Wade had three hits with two RBI and a double, Meg Navarro had two hits and an RBI and Jaime Brown went 2-3 with a double and two RBI. Bailey Clapp and Sarah Bagge each added two hits and Rebekah Lajoie had a pinch hit two run home run for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – OA’s Lexie Campbell’s complete game effort, with just two earned runs allowed, helped the Tigers pick up a win. Jamie Gottwald went 3-3 at the play, knocking in a pair of runs and Rachel Han was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Lizzie Miller also had an RBI and a run scored while Victoria Ziner and Caroline Mahoney each added hits for Oliver Ames. Stoughton’s Nicole Bodette, Jordan Lyons and Karly Estramerea all had two hits for the Black Knights.

Boys Lacrosse
Mansfield, 14 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Ryan Smith led a balanced attack with a game-high four goals while Sam O’Connell and Connor Finerty each added three goals and Joe Cox and Billy Grant chipped in with two goals apiece.

King Philip, 10 @ Canton, 4 – Final – King Philip started strong, building a 5-1 lead after the first quarter but didn’t put the game away until adding four goals in the fourth quarter. Sam Agricola led the offense with four goals and one assist and senior Steven Eaton led the defense with 10 groundballs. John DeLuca and Harrison Fallon each scored a pair of goals and Tim Watson added two more with an assist.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 12 – Final – Louis Piccolo scored four goals and Colin Spinney netted a hat trick to lead the offense for the Warriors. Connor McNamara added a goal and three assists and Brendan Tully found the back of the net twice and had one assist. Pat Kaveny had five groundballs for Foxboro.

Franklin, 18 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – The teams finished level (3-3) at the end of the first quarter but Franklin won the second quarter 6-0 and the second half 9-1 to get the win. Freshman Jacob Alexander dominated the faceoff X, winning 24/26 draws while sophomore Eric Civetti tied a team record with eight goals in the game. Senior Austin Kent added four goals and three assists and sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke made seven saves in net. Head coach Lou Verrochi credited the defense of Sean Lockhart, Matt Pleshaw, Wyatt Arsenault and Patrick Morrison for limited the Eagles after the first quarter.

Milford, 4 @ North Attleboro, 16 – Final – Sophomore Colin Young scored four goals to lead the Rocketeers.

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 11 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final (OT)

Foxboro, 18 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final

Sharon, 3 @ Franklin, 17 – Final – Julia Jette scored a team-high four goals, including her 100th career goal, and added two assists to lead the Panthers. Grace MacCallum had a pair of goals and four draw controls and Olivia Truenow had two groundballs and played well on defense according to head coach Kristin Igoe.

North Attleboro, 19 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Boys Tennis
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Rahul Herur and Eli Brooks picked up 6-1, 6-1 wins at first and second singles respectively to lead the Panthers. Tom Mancini won 6-2, 6-1 at third singles for Franklin, James Johnston and Cam Piana won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Jeremy Gan and Dan Barrow won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles for the Panthers.

Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final

King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – King Philip sophomore Cole Ginter rallied for a 3-6 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) at first singles to lead the Warriors. Garrett Schneider won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. Ryan Gemelli and Sam Colella won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles and Justin Rohan and Jake Webster won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles for KP.

Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final

North Attleboro, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Rallies at both first and second singles anchored the Rocketeers to a win. Mitchell Dyer rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5) win at first singles and Barsomo Nuay won 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5). North junior Zack Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles, Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles and Jake Fontes and Daniel Zhang won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames won each singles match in straight sets to pick up its first win of the season. Thomas O’Leary won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Greg Weinstein won 6-1, 6-4 at second singles and Jarrod Hedlund won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin didn’t lose a game at first or second singles as well as first doubles to get the win. Hannah Sweeney and Anna Humphreys won 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles respectively while junior Anja Deric and senior Katelyn Davenport won with the same score at first doubles. Franklin junior Madison Derby won 6-3, 2-6, 13-11 at third singles and seniors Halle Love and Selina Wu won 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles.

Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Diana Prinos, Sophia Prinos and Lexi Nelson all won in straight sets without losing a game in singles play to lead the Warriors. Michaela McCarthy and Diana Hickox won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles for Foxboro. Canton’s Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie won 6-2, 6-4 at first doubles.

Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – The Warriors swept doubles play and got a win at third singles to edge out the Hornets. Kelly Masse’s and Megan Davenport’s marathon 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 win at first doubles was key while Molly Citarell and Corinne Palumbo won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles. Sophomore Megan Sepich notched a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 comeback win at third singles for the Warriors. Mansfield’s Paulina Martin won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles and Kathleen Giffels won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles.

Sharon, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Sharon didn’t lose a game in singles play and lost only three games in the two doubles matches combined in the win. Lulu Yuan, Nupur Shulka and Emily Wen all won 6-0, 6-0 at first, second and third singles respectively. Pooja Puttigampala and Michal Kondratiev teamed up for a 6-0, 6-3 win at first doubles and Katie Merpot and Sydney Gordon won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.

Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final

Stoughton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames swept singles play and got a win at first doubles to pick up the victory. Riley Spillane won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles, Jackie Sulkala won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and Sarah Leger won 6-0, 6-3 at third singles. Lark Warner and Olivia Groebe rallied to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 at first doubles for OA. Stoughton’s Becca Lawson and Ellie Kashian won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at second doubles for the Black Knights.

Boys Outdoor Track
North Attleboro @ Attleboro 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 121 @ Attleboro 15 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 1 vs. Barnstable 3 – Final – Taunton fell behind 2-0 in close, won the third game but Barnstable won the fourth game to win the match. Set scores were 23-25, 23-25, 25-13, 14-25. Ricardo DaFonseca had 43 assists and 11 digs along with a block and an ace for the Tigers. Sophomore Lance Law had 22 kills, eight digs and an ace, Collin Hunter played well with 11 kills and a block and Nate Grant was strong in the back row with 16 digs.

Franklin Shut Out In Fourth Quarter at BC High

Franklin boys lacrosse
Austin Kent scored a pair of goals against BC High, but the Panthers could not hold onto a fourth quarter lead on the road. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

BOSTON, Mass. – For the second year in a row, Franklin held a lead against BC High, but also for the second year in a row the Panthers failed to hold onto it and allowed the Eagles to walk away with the victory.

BC High shut out the Panthers 5-0 in the fourth quarter, with senior attacker A.J. Kucinski recording a goal and three assists, and turned around a two-goal deficit to pull out a 10-7 victory in the Eagles’ season opener.

“We have to play teams like this,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “These guys are always going to be a good challenge, just the second year in a row that we sort of imploded in the fourth quarter.”

The Panthers got off to the perfect start on a blustery afternoon. Senior Jared Trainor opened the scoring inside the first minute and just two minutes later sophomore Eric Civetti scored the first of his three goals to double the lead.

A quick outlet pass by junior Patrick Watson sprung Civetti, who picked out senior Austin Kent for his first goal of the game and the Franklin bench was going crazy on the sidelines. The energy got ramped up even more when Kent forced a turnover in the attacking zone and then fed Civetti for his second and a the Panthers’ fourth.

Kucinski got on the board after a turnover early in the second quarter, but Civetti answered right back for Franklin just a minute later. It would be the last goal of the half for the Panthers, as the BC High defense started to clamp down.

“They shut down Eric and Austin and we just didn’t get enough out of our midfielders,” said Verrochi. “We just weren’t driving forward the way we should have…when those two start to tire we just don’t have the kids to throw in like we did last year.”

After a pair of goals by the Eagles, sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke stepped up with a huge close-range save on Kucinski to keep the score 5-3. Franklin raced down the field and freshman pole Patrick Morrison had his goal wiped out because there was a man in the crease.

BC High sophomore Will Bowen took advantage of the ruling and beat Franklin in transition, racing straight down the middle of the field and beating O’Rourke in the bottom corner.

“We threw the ball away, we were in the crease a few times, bad substitutions, we were sloppy out of the box…but once we got ourselves set and it was time to make plays they stepped up,” said BC High coach Steve Lydon.

O’Rourke took over between the pipes this season after playing as an attacker during his freshman year. Verrochi said that there was an opening in goal and the sophomore spent the offseason learning the new position.

Verrochi said, “I can’t say enough about what he did this year. He went to all sorts of camps and he’s now playing goalie for Laxachussets in his age level. That says a lot about his athleticism and how he goes after the game.”

Junior Sam Arsenault restored the two-goal lead with a man-up goal three minutes into the third quarter, but Kucinski answered back for the Eagles. With time running down in the third, Kent capped a long possession with an unstoppable rocket into the top corner, which made it 7-5.

The Franklin defense, led by seniors Matt Pleshaw, Sean Lockhart, and Gabe Murphy, had managed to limit the chances for Kucinski and the Eagles attack. But in the fourth quarter, everything turned around.

Pat Greene scored to cut the lead to one, Andrew Helfrich completed his hat trick (on a Kucinski assist) to tie it, and then Kucinski gave BC High its first lead with a shot on the run, across his body, and into the top corner.

“We went to sleep on him,” said Verrochi. “I was disappointed in how our close defense played in that fourth quarter. I talked to the players that we can’t allow that to happen.”

“That type of stuff, with a senior defense, we can’t have that.”

Kucinski assisted on the final two goals of the game. Franklin’s chances were limited, although it did force BC High goalie Michael Haggan into four saves in the fourth and Kent smacked the post with a shot in the final minute.

“We had a couple guys go out and make plays for us,” said Lydon. “A.J. made a couple of really big plays in the fourth and our defense locked down after a slow start.”

Despite the loss, Verrochi insisted that it is a positive for his team to play top non-league competition and challenge his players early in the season.

He said, “Give credit to them; they’re bigger, faster, stronger than we are right now, but my kids worked their butts off. I think the better team won…but we played them really tough for three quarters.”

Franklin (2-1) will get back into league play on Wednesday with a trip to Sharon.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Boys Lacrosse: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2016

Franklin's Austin Kent will be one of the top players in the league this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
Franklin’s Austin Kent will be one of the top players in the league this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

ATTLEBORO

2015 Record: 4-13
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris Kiley

Now in its third year at the varsity level, Attleboro is looking to once again take another step in the right direction. With a handful of returning players back this season, the Bombardiers will look to improve on their 4-13 season in 2015.

Junior Sam Corrado shined in the cage on multiple occasions last season and will look to continue that this season. Seniors Brian Letourneau, Mitch Caruso and Owen McKenna were named captains for this year’s team and will all look to contribute.

Caruso found the back of the net throughout the 2015 while junior attack Jay Mota was another key piece to the offense. Junior Andrew Milliken is also back after earning Hockomock League Honorable Mention a season ago.

FRANKLIN

2015 Record: 17-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinals
Coach: Lou Verrochi

After a historic campaign in 2015 that saw the Panthers get to the D1 South Semifinals, Franklin is looking to build upon it in 2016.

Hockomock League All Stars Austin Kent, Sean Lockhart and Eric Civetti are all back along with a handful of experienced players. Kent will spearhead the Panthers attack and will be one of the most complete players in the Hockomock League in 2016. Lockhart was a lockdown defenseman during his junior year and will anchor that unit again this year. Civetti had a tremendous freshman year and will look to build on that this year, partnering with Kent up top.

Junior Packie Watson and senior Jared Trainor return to bring some experience to the midfield alongside newcomer Brian Vieten while freshman Jake Alexander will handle a lot of the faceoffs. Senior LSM Matt Pleshaw and senior Gabe Murphy will be key pieces in the defensive unit. Head coach Lou Verrochi said he expects junior Mike Keane and sophomore Connor O’Rourke to battle for the starting spot in goal.

“Hopefully we will be in the hunt for a league championship,” Verrochi said.

KING PHILIP

2015 Record: 14-8
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jacob Kravitz

King Philip is looking to continue its growth as a program, hoping to take another step in the right direction in 2016. The Warriors return experienced players all over the field.

“We have a lot of two way guys in the midfield,” KP head coach Jacob Kravitz said. “We should be a balanced team that is led by our captains.”

The 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Paul Macrina is back in goal after a stellar year and will be one the three captains for KP. Mike Riggs and Connor Khung are returning starters on defense along with Steven Eaton, a captain, that will see time at pole and LSM.

In the midfield, senior captain Anthony Truini will play a big role especially offensively while Kravitz is looking for a mix of other players to fit into the middle of the field. Offensively, seniors Sam Agricola and Harrison Fallon will look to take over at attack while junior Tim Watson is looking to to build upon his 29 goal season last year.

MANSFIELD

2016 Record: 10-9
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias

After making a late charge last season to reach the playoffs, the Hornets are returning a large core back this season. Mansfield won seven of their last 10 games to reach the playoffs and with only three very valuable players graduated, head coach Tim Frias is hopeful for another postseason trip.

“Our strengths will be the experience and play at the midfield and defense we will have to wait to see who pulls full time duty at attack for our seniors that we lost last year,” Frias said.

Senior captains Connor Finerty and Billy Grant will be key pieces in the midfield with Finerty also seeing time at attack. Senior Mike Wilcox will also be an important piece in the middle of the field while sophomores Hunter Ferreira and Joe Cox could have breakout seasons.

Defensively, Sean Powers is back in the cage while three year starter Josh Schafer will anchor the line in front of him along with Tommy Donnelly. Frias is relying on some of the younger poles to step up in that role. Offense will be one of the biggest questions after graduating some talent there but senior Ryan Smith is back and will be a big part of setting up the offense.

NORTH ATTLEBORO

2015 Record: 13-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Kevin Young

The Rocketeers will have to replace the program’s all time leading scorer Sean Young but to start the season, head coach Kevin Young is confident they have the defensive end covered.

Senior captains Anthony Baiungo and Andrew Casson return and will be relied upon heavily to handle opponent’s offense. Junior Dan MacDonald will take over in the cage to help solidify the defensive end.

In the middle of the field, seniors Brody Barr and Connor Dunn bring a lot of experience to both sides of the field, which is another reason Young is confident in the defensive end. Patrick Nally will be look at to take over on face offs with help from LSM James Schromm.

When it comes to offense, although Big Red has to replace a near 300 point producer, junior Zach McGowan
has proved in the past he has what it takes to find the back of the net and create opportunities for teammates. Classmates Owen Costello and Jack Dakin will also make an impact on the offensive end for the Rocketeers.

TAUNTON

2015 Record: N/A
2015 Finish: N/A
Coach: Kris Metea

Taunton is looking to make a splash in its inaugural season after competing for two years at the JV level and posting 20 wins. Kris Metea, who guided the Tigers hockey team to a record season on the ice this season, is the head coach for the lacrosse team as well.

“The team has some good upperclassmen,” Metea said. “But the talent is on the young end which will take time for them to become successful against upperclassmen from solid Hockomock programs. The key to success will be how fast depth can develop and youth can step up.”

Seniors Santiago Lopez and Jared Williams will be called upon to anchor the defensive unit in front of freshman Ryan Williams, who will take the majority of minutes in goal. In the midfield, senior Ethan Patterson will be joined by sophomore Will Walsh and junior Andrew Wellington.

Offense can sometimes be the hardest challenge for new programs but Taunton will look to younger players Josh Grasso, a sophomore and Griffin Speicher, a freshman to take care of the attack.

Franklin Wins First D1 State Championship in 2OT

Franklin hockey
Franklin hockey celebrates its first ever D1 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOSTON, Mass. – A Cinderella run from the Franklin Panthers ended with a true storybook ending.

Sophomore Luke Downie, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday, scored on a wrist shot six minutes into the second overtime to give Franklin a 4-3 win over St. Mary’s Lynn and the program its first MIAA Division 1 State Championship.

Senior Tyler Oakes connected on a pass from his own zone to senior and Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) along the boards in the neutral, who then dropped the puck back to Luke after crossing the blue line. Luke fired a wrist shot that deflected off the the leg of a St. Mary’s defenseman and found its way over the goalie’s pad short side for the game winner.

“This is awesome,” Luke Downie said postgame. “This is the best birthday present you could ask for.”

Franklin – who had been shutout three straight years in the D2 State Final from 2011-2013 —got off to an ideal start with a pair of first period goals and took that same lead into the final period. But two goals in the first five minutes of the final period from St. Mary’s knotted the game 3-3.

The final 10 minutes remained scoreless, sending the game into a sudden death overtime period. Neither team could find the back of the net in that period either, sending the teams to the locker room for the ice to be cleaned for a second overtime period.

With exactly nine minutes to go in the second overtime period, Downie scored the game winner.

“I think that the problem was we were playing in the wrong division the other times,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane joked. Franklin moved up to Division 1 at the start of the 2013 season. “This has just been one of those Cinderella years. To follow up last year with a new crop of kids and have them commit to something from day one, and to see them enjoy this success, that’s what high school sports are all about.”

Senior captain and defenseman Joe Corsi scored just his third goal of the season to give Franklin the lead midway through the first period. Sophomore Brendan O’Rielly relayed a perfect outlet pass to senior Sean Hedvig in alone on goal but St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso got a pad to it.

The puck bounced around and as a St. Mary’s defenseman tried to chip it out, Corsi had pinched in and jumped off the ice to grab the puck, put it on the ice and fired it into the back of the net with 8:26 left in the first period.

“They tried to chip it out and I caught it and just put it down,” Corsi said. “Coach always tells me to roll my wrist and I had to roll it on that one. It was just surreal. I haven’t scored a goal like that before.

“This a dream come true. No one believed we could do this at the beginning of the year, except us, all the guys in the locker room. Each in every day we grinding it out, it’s just a dream.”

Just three minutes later, Franklin doubled its lead. Senior Matt Pleshaw fired a wrist shot from inside the blue line that was blocked down. Before LoRusso could smother the puck, junior Joey Blasie poked it in to make it 2-0 with 5:14 left in the period.


Video courtesy of Gavin Mealey

The Spartans cut the deficit in half just 11 seconds into the second period when Eric Pedro knocked in rebound of shot by Dante Maribito.

But Franklin had an answer just minutes later as Alec Gilliatt found sophomore Jeremy Miller behind the net. Miller skated around and found a perfect passing lane between the post and a defenseman to feed freshman Kevin Mackay. Mackay took a step in and sniped one top shelf to make it 3-1 with just over 12 minutes to play in the second period.

Franklin took a 3-1 lead into the final period but once again St. Mary’s found early period success. Less than a minute in, Conor Foley batted in rebound for powerplay goal to make it 3-2. Just three minutes later, Maribito found the back of the net for his third point of the net to tie the game 3-3.

“Huge momentum swings,” Spillane said. “They started to carry the play and their offensive kids started to open up the ice. Nick did a great job making the saves he needed to make. We talked about team defense, keeping them high on the forecheck and the defensive guys winning the battles and chipping the puck out.

“That was a great hockey team we played tonight, it was back and forth and both teams had chances to win. I’m proud of my kids, they responded.”

The Panthers nearly had the winner at the end of the third period but LoRusso went post to post to deny Jake Downie with 1:11 to go.

Neither side produced a clear scoring chance in the 12 minute overtime period but Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski came up with a huge kick save off a redirection in the opening minutes of the second overtime. Just two minutes later, the Panthers had the game winner.

Like it has been all season, the Panthers got contributions from all three lines — and four different goal scorers.

“Four different goal scorers and that’s kind of been the key to our success,” Spillane said. “You can’t really one focus on that one player. I said in the locker room after overtime, someone in this room is going to be a hero. Who wants to be that hero tonight? Luke’s been playing great hockey for us, midseason he just turned it on. As a sophomore it’s great to see him be that hero. Also, Kevin Mackay scored his first high school goal tonight. That’s quite a team to score your first goal of the year. That’s the type of team we are. There are no one or two superstars, it’s 22 kids out there having the same belief, working hard and just grinding it out.”

“To win championships, you have to have depth and that’s what we have,” Corsi added. “Everyone believed and look at where we are now.”
The Panthers were somewhat of an unknown coming into season after graduating 21 seniors from a squad that made a historic run to the Super 8 last season. Now this year’s team has created its own place in history.

“I think it gives us a little validity as a program that we can do that, anytime you graduate that many seniors it’s a challenge,” Spillane said. “It just tells us what our junior varsity and youth programs are like. We have a lot of kids that want to wear that jersey and they’re going to wait around until they get that opportunity. We have 13 seniors this year and very few of them skated last year, if any. They waited four years to put that jersey on and they made the most of it.

“It feels good but it’s not about the coaching staff. Yeah we’re excited but it’s about seeing the faces on these kids in that locker room, how excited they are and how committed they were to win the hockey game. I know a lot of people said it’s a rebuilding year but I guess they thought different.”

Franklin hockey finished the season with an 18-4-5 record.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Canton and Franklin Finish Scoreless in Rematch

Nick Jasinski
Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski (31) denies Canton forward Matt Lazaro (9) in the second period on Saturday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FRANKLIN, Mass. – The top two teams in the Hockomock have been struggling to score goals consistently this season and on Saturday afternoon at Pirelli Veterans Memorial Rink Canton and Franklin continued to find offense hard to come by in a scoreless tie that provided plenty of excitement despite the puck never finding the back of the net.

“I joked with Coach Spillane in the line, if that doesn’t sum up both of our seasons right there then I don’t know what does,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “We’re both struggling to put the puck in the net.”

“Ironically that was one of the most wide open Franklin-Canton games. We both had plenty of chances.”

Franklin coach Chris Spillane agreed with those sentiments. All season he has talked about the need for players to step up on the offensive side and that continued against the Bulldogs.

“Canton has the same disease as Franklin, can’t put the puck in the net,” he laughed. “Both teams had really good opportunities and maybe credit the goaltenders, they stepped up and made stops when they had to but yeah it was a game with very few quality, wow that should’ve been a goal.”

Franklin had the first chance of the game just two minutes in. Alex Bissanti and Luke Downie combined to create an opening to slide a pass across the crease to Adam Assad charging in at the back post but the junior was not able to put the puck on net under pressure from the defenseman.

With 7:44 left in the first, Jeremy Miller had a chance after intercepting a poor clearance but his shot from the slot was wristed wide.

Canton held a 5-4 edge in shots after the first but the Panthers dominated territorially in the second, controlling the puck in the Bulldogs’ zone for the opening four minutes of the period and managing five shots on goal. Despite Franklin’s domination of possession, it was Canton that had the best chances.

Midway through the period, Jim Jenkins redirected a shot from the point but was denied by a quick kick save by Nick Jasinski (15 saves). Nearly two minutes later, Canton had two great chances, both created by Matt Lazaro. He set up Bobby Mullaney for a shot from the slot with a behind the back pass but it went wide and then 30 seconds later he had another chance on an odd-man rush and was stoned at the near post by Jasinski.

“Any time that their first line was on the ice they seemed to have a little edge,” said Spillane. “Lazaro creates opportunities and other than that it was equal. He’s always finding those second and third trailers and giving them good opportunities.”

With 4:23 left in the second Miller had another shot on a rebound in the slot but Justin Slocum (25 saves) stood tall and denied the close-range chance.

“You can’t discount what the goaltenders did,” said Shuman. “They made some big saves on both ends.”

The third period was a replica of the second. Franklin outshot Canton 21-10 in the final two periods and had almost constant pressure on the Bulldogs back line, but defensemen Jackson Maffeo, C.J. Martin, D.J. Trerice, and Ryan Lodge helped Slocum keep the Panthers off the board.

Shuman explained, “They were all over us for very long stretches of time. I thought they outplayed us for long part of that game, but we still had chances to win it. It was an exciting game.”

Canton also had the two  best scoring chances of the third, despite only recording four shots in the period. Brad Murphy created the first with a charge up the far boards and a pass right across the crease that Bubba McNeice directed towards goal but Jaskinski snatched it. With 1:01 remaining, Lazaro had a clear look from the slot but again the Franklin goalie stood tall to save.

“That’s what you get with us,” said Spillane about the rivalry. “There was very little flow, it was back and forth, hard forechecking, hard hits…it’s good hockey, good to watch.”

He also credited his defensemen for keeping shots from getting all the way to the goaltender. Joe Corsi made a diving intervention to block a 2-on-1 in the first period and he and fellow seniors Matt Pleshaw and Tyler Oakes and freshman Kevin McKay were regularly in the way.

“Sometimes, I think it was more out of panic, sliding around, but today I think that we did line up with them well and play good, positional defensive hockey,” said Spillane.

It was a game that had the potential to break open, but both teams came in struggling to create offense and that continued, although both will go home with an important point and still unbeaten in the league this season.

“We just couldn’t put it away and sometimes that happens,” said Shuman. “Two good teams, good defenses and a couple guys holding the stick a little tight and throwing it at the pads.”

Franklin (7-3-3, 5-0-2) will travel to Asiaf Arena to face Stoughton on Wednesday, while Canton (10-2-1, 7-0-1) will travel to Aleixo Arena to face Attleboro on Monday.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Kirby Inspires Canton Comeback Win Against Franklin

Shaun Kirby
Shaun Kirby (18) scored a pair of goals (and had two disallowed) to help the Bulldogs bounce back twice and edge league rival Franklin at Schneider Arena. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The top rivalry in Hockomock hockey was showcased on a new stage Friday night,, as Canton and Franklin met in their annual non-league matchup at Schneider Arena on the campus of defending national champion Providence College.

Bulldogs junior Shaun Kirby transferred into the rivalry from Catholic Memorial last season, but suffered a pair of one-goal losses to the Panthers. The third time was the charm for the forward, who scored two goals, hit the post, and had two other goals taken off the board by whistles to inspire Canton to a 4-2, come from behind win.

“I think Shaun Kirby played the best all-around game I’ve seen him play in his two years here,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “He was the best player on the ice and he was a difference maker.”

Kirby scored twice in the opening period, both times bringing Canton back from one-goal deficits. His first tally came on the power play just a minute after he had a goal ruled out when the official lost sight of a loose puck and blew the play dead. Rather than hang his head, he came right back down the ice and received a perfect pass from Matt Lazaro for a one-timer in the slot.

After another Franklin goal, Kirby and the Bulldogs responded quickly. Just 30 seconds after falling behind, an odd-man rush by the second line led to another Kirby one-timer with Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski (22 saves) stranded at his near post.

“They were all over us to start the game,” said Shuman, “and until we got a couple of power plays they were outshooting us 8-1, but we battled back.”

Kirby nearly gave Canton the lead in the second period but he had two point-blank chances blocked by Franklin’s senior netminder. With 4:03 left in the second, Kirby appeared to have his hat trick on a breakaway. The puck disappeared, the red light came on and the Canton fans started celebrating, only to have the officials rule that it landed in Jasinski’s jersey and stayed out.

The Bulldogs got off to a quick start to the third period and Lazaro pounced on a deflected shot by sophomore defenseman Brad Murphy that landed right on the senior’s stick at the far post. He buried his shot to give Canton its first lead at 3-2 with 13:51 left to play.

Shuman said of Lazaro, “Everyone on the other team knows who our best player is and it’s going to be a matter of him keeping his head on straight and being mentally tough when things aren’t going his way.”

Not even two minutes later the Bulldogs’ lead was doubled. The puck stayed loose in the crease in front of Jasinski and senior forward Jim Jenkins took a couple swings at it and the puck dribbled slowly inside the far post for a 4-2 lead.

The Panthers come into the season on the back of a historic run to the Super 8 (becoming the first Hockomock team to ever qualify for the prestigious tournament) but also trying to replace 21 seniors who graduated off that team.

In the opening minutes of the first period, Franklin looked like the experienced team and jumped into the lead when junior Adam Assad took an outlet pass from defenseman Thomas Sicchio and finished to make it 1-0. After Kirby tied it, Franklin took the lead with 1:28 left in the first when Matt Pleshaw’s shot from the point was redirected by sophomore Jeremy Miller.

Franklin coach Chris Spillane said, “We came out with a little fire in our belly and then in third period we just didn’t do it. Every time we scored, we let them right back in the game.”

In the third period, trailing by two goals, Franklin had an opportunity to get back into the game when Canton had Jenkins and Murphy sent to the box. The Panthers struggled to get any clear-cut chances, despite the two-man advantage, and at times in the third looked like a team that was still figuring things out.

“There was a lot of unsure plays, not sure what to do with the puck, making bad turnovers,” said Spillane. He added, “We didn’t really have too many quality shots and we had ample opportunities on power plays…and you need to have that killer instinct to put it away and we didn’t do that.”

There is plenty of season remaining for the Panthers and Shuman was confident that at the end of the year Franklin would be right back in its usual perch atop the league. Spillane noted, “It’s a tough way to start the season, but we’ve got some young kids who are happy to be playing hockey and we’ll make it right.”

Canton players rushed onto the ice at the final whistle celebrating with senior goalie Justin Slocum (24 saves). The Bulldogs have not beaten Franklin in a couple seasons and, as one assistant remarked, it was going to be a much happier ride back up I-95 after this win.

Shuman said simply, “It’s been a couple years, so it was a good W.”

Both teams will be right back on the ice on Saturday. Canton travels to Gallo Arena in Bourne to face Sandwich, while Franklin gets a test from fellow Div. 1 tournament contender Bridgewater-Raynham.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.