Second Half Shutout Gives OA First Ever Playoff Win

Oliver Ames boys lacrosse
Oliver Ames celebrates after winning its first ever playoff game in program history. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames erased a pair of two-goal deficits in the first half and pitched a shutout in the second half, giving the #8 eight seeded Tigers their first ever playoff win with a 8-4 decision over #9 Apponequet.

It took just over three minutes for the Lakers to take a two goal lead. The Lakers won the game’s first three face offs and Owen Cosgrove and Ryan Donovan found the back of the net to put Apponequet up 2-0. Oliver Ames had the answer though, finding the back of the net twice in less than a minute to tie the game.

First, senior Aidan Connly and bounced a shot into the back of the cage and 38 seconds later, sophomore Eric LeBlanc dodged his way up the middle and tied the game 2-2.

The Lakers had another strong start to the second quarter as Donovan had his original bid stoned by OA goalie Jake Aronson but the rebound bounced off the line. Apponequet once again gained a two goal lead when Jacob Hryzan muscled his way through a pair of defenders and finished to make it 2-0 five and a half minutes into the second quarter.

OA head coach Chris DiGiacomo called for a timeout to regroup and the Tigers responded, nearly instantly. It took just 49 seconds after the Lakers gained a two goal lead for OA to pull within one. Connly and Max Bamford connected up the field and Gallagher found Liam Brown with a tic-tack-toe
passing sequence and Brown finished from close range. With under five minutes to go, took a feed from Connly and deposited it into the back of the net to tie the game heading into half.

“I think initially there were some jitters and nervous with the whole moment,” DiGiacomo said. “It took a little while until they got the hang of things and got comfortable. We called the timeout and regrouped and the kids knew the game plan, I think they needed to just step back, not worry about the moment and just play. And that’s what they did. It was almost instantaneous after that and we scored a couple quick goals, the effort was fantastic.

“I can’t be any more proud of the way they gutted it out, not only winning this game but the way they gutted it out during the second half of the season when we had very little margin for error in terms of making of the playoffs. They got it done every step of the way and that’s a testament to these boys and how hard they’ve worked.”

The Tigers, who won five of their final seven games in order to earn a playoff berth, completely controlled the play in the second half. OA opened its lead just over four minutes into the half when LeBlanc raced past his defender, stepped back in front of goal and easily found the back of the net to make it 6-4.

It took less than a minute for Oliver Ames to capitalize on the momentum. The Tigers called out an isolation play for Gallagher and he took advantage, faking a spin behind the cage and wrapping around to make it 7-4.

Oliver Ames capped the scoring, finding the back of the net for the third time in a two minute span when LeBlanc took advantage of a man up situation to make it 8-4.

“We made some changes personnel wise as the year went on and we’ve developed some chemistry,” DiGiacomo said. “I’m not even sure how many goals [LeBlanc and Gallagher] had. But they’re solid kids, solid players and battle tested from playing hockey and playing on a big stage. It’s been nice to see the whole group step up. It’s a collective group effort. We had to do this as a team and that’s what we preached to them. This was the first home playoff game in program history and now we have our first win in program history.”

OA was forced into a man-down situation to start the fourth quarter because of an illegal stick. The Lakers tried to mount a comeback, firing two shots on net with the man advantage but both were turned aside by Aronson. Apponequet kept the pressure up, rocketing two more shots in the next minute but Aronson once again was there, picking up his 10th and 11th saves of the game. Max Howe, Kyle Agresta, Philip Saba and Max Sheldon all played well in front of Aronson.

“Jake’s a senior captain, he’s played great all year,” DiGiacomo said. “He’s made a lot of very impressive saves and in big moments to keep us in games and put us in a position to win. I had coaches all year coming up and asking if he was a senior, saying I hope so. He’s really a talented kid. He certainly did a lot for us.”

The Tigers’ close to the season and first ever playoff win are impressive on their own, but they did it all without their top scorer, senior Matt Gilson, who suffered a knee injury. Gilson led OA with 36 goals and 51 overall points despite only playing in 12 and a half games. Still, DiGiacomo was quick to point that Gilson was a big reason for OA’s win today.

“I feel terrible for him and we certainly wouldn’t be here without him,” DiGiacomo said. “He’s a tremendous talent. No question, he’s our best player. He’s a very mature, bright kid and he transition from player to honorary coach when he got injured. He’s all about mentoring these kids and telling them what he saw from the sidelines. It’s a testament to the kind of kid he is. We know he’s hurting because he wishes he was out here but I just told him we wouldn’t be here without him. He’s as big a part of this as anyone.”

Oliver Ames boys lacrosse (10-9) now advances to the D2 South Quarterfinals to take on top-seeded Hingham (17-5). The Tigers will travel to take on the Harbormen on Thursday at 3:00.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/23/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 2 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final (8 inn.) – Click here for a recap of the game. Click here for a photo gallery from the game.

Canton, 5 @ Sharon, 4 – Final

Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Zach Sato, Kevin Geary and Michael Mulrean combined to limit the Foxboro Warriors to five hits to get the Tigers’ 10th win of the season. OA scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth behind a Chris Pearsons single and a two-run double from Matt Mancini. Kyle Gagliardi and Pearsons each had two hits for the Tigers.

King Philip, 9 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Click here for a recap of the game.

Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Click here for a recap of the game.

Stoughton, 1 vs. Whitman-Hanson, 2 – Final – Stoughton’s Ryan Sullivan pitched well, going the distance, allowing just two runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Jack Connelly drove in the Black Knights’ only run while Luke Johnson went 2-2 with a walk.

Softball
Attleboro, 2 @ North Attleboro, 8 – Final – Amelia Murphy fanned 13 batters to help North Attleboro claim the Blue and Red Cup. Mycala Moody was 2-3 with two RBI, Kaylea Sherman and Gina Miceli each had an RBI single, Tess Munley added an RBI, Jordan Sharpe two hits and Carolyn Wallace made a nice play with a pick at first, helping the Rocketeers prevent a pair of runs.

Sharon, 3 @ Canton, 12 – Final – Sarah Reissfelder had a trio of triples and seniors Caitlin McCarthy, Rachel Dooly, Colleen Phelan, Aoife Omahony and Gab Matthews each had hits for the Bullldogs.

Oliver Ames, 10 @ Foxboro, 15 – Final

King Philip, 3 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – King Philip’s Kali Magane allowed just one hit while retiring 14 batters via strikeout to lead the Warriors to a shutout win. Meghan Gorman had a pair of hits and used excellent base running to score a run for KP.

Taunton, 12 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Click here for a recap of the game. Click here for a photo gallery from the game

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 6 @ Bishop Feehan, 17 – Final

Canton, 8 @ Milton, 4 – Final – Freshman Mike Shaw led Canton with a pair of goals and had one assist and freshman Griffin Roach scored his first career goal in his first varsity game.

King Philip, 5 @ Westwood, 9 – Final – King Philip outscored Westwood 4-0 in the fourth quarter but their rally fell short against the Wolverines. Paul Macrina made 16 saves in the cage for the Warriors while Sam Agricola (three goals), Tim Watson (goal, assist), Harry Fallon (goal) and Colin Devellis (goal) paced KP’s offense.

Mansfield, 9 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 5 – Final

Milford, 5 vs. Worcester, 17 – Final

Taunton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 9 – Final Taunton’s Kyle Hebert scored off an assist from Andrew Wellington.

Oliver Ames, 10 vs. Pembroke, 6 – Final – Senior Jake Aronson made 11 saves in net and sophomore Owen Gallagher recorded five points as the Tigers punched their ticket to the postseason. Gallagher had four goals and one assist, senior middie Max Bamford had a pair of goals and assists, sophomore attack Eric LeBlanc scored two goals, senior middie Connor Howe scored once and senior middie Aidan Connly found the back of the net once and added one assist.

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 8 vs. Bishop Feehan, 20 – Final

Foxboro, 21 vs. Norwood, 10 – Final

Oliver Ames, 10 @ Pembroke, 8 – Final – Ariana Waldorf pushed aside 18 saves in the cage for Oliver Ames, who held off Pembroke. Erin Fitzgerald led the offense with four goals and one assist, Hannah Friend scored twice and Abby Duvall had a goal and an assist. Sam Lang, Carly Cidado and Kendall Clifford each scored once for OA. The Tigers’ defense was led by a strong effort by Katie Davenport.

Sharon, 14 @ Shrewsbury, 13 – Final

North Attleboro, 19 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Kenzie Rosenberg netted four goals, including her 100th career goal, for the Rocketeers. Sophomores Camille Pizarro, Julia Takin and Julia Tolfa each scored twice for the Rocketeers. Chloe Olsen also chipped in with three assists for North.

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro senior Mitchell Dyer battled to a 7-5, 6-3 win at first singles, senior Jake Fontes didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at second singles and senior Ben Lacasse won 7-5, 6-0 at third singles. Seniors Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch won 6-1, 6-4 at first doubles and seniors Duncan Pickett and Ben Scott won 6-2, 6-4 for Big Red.

Canton, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final The Eagles completed yet another undefeated league season with a sweep over Canton. Griffin Fein won 6-3, 6-3 at first singles but both Fred Bondar and Tilak Mehta had to battle back from a lost set to get wins. Bondar prevailed 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-4) at second singles and Mehta won 6-3, 6-7, 1-0 (10-4). Adam Dobbin and Alex Romantz didn’t drop a single game in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at first doubles and Andrew Tarnoff and Jing Huang won 6-0, 6-3 at second doubles.

Foxboro, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final

King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final

Mansfield, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Milford, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final

Girls Tennis
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final

Sharon, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Sharon completed an undefeated regular season with the sweep. Lulu Yuan and Nupur Shulka both swept 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles, respectively, while sophomore Emily Wen won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles. Pooja Puttigampala and Katie Merport didn’t lose a set in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles and Sydney Gordon and Sophia Fein won 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Neither Diana Prinos or Lexi Nelson lost a game, winning at first and third singles, respectively, for Foxboro in the win. Sophia Prinos picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles and the team of Michaela McCarthy and Julia Muise won 6-4, 7-5 at first doubles. Oliver Ames’ Claudia Ferrara and Rachel Stryke won 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles.

Franklin @ King Philip, 3:30

Taunton, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Needing a win, Mansfield’s three singles players carried the Hornets to a berth in the state tournament. Paulina Martin picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, Kathleen Giffels won 7-5, 6-3 at second singles and Sarah Doyle notched a 6-1, 6-3 win at third singles to clinch the win. Taunton’s Ashleigh Eason and Emily Moor won 6-2, 6-4 at first doubles and Caroline Hebert and Jillian Pagliuca won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles for the Tigers.

Boys Volleyball
Milford vs. Brockton 4:30
Taunton @ Braintree 4:00

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/21/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 9 – Final

Taunton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 7 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Boys Lacrosse
King Philip, 6 @ Catholic Memorial 8 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Milford, 2 @ Plymouth North, 14 – Final

Oliver Ames, 10 @ Milton, 7 – Final – Oliver Ames kept its postseason hopes alive, needing just one win to qualify with two games to go. Senior middie Aidan Connly had three goals and three assists, senior middle Connor Howe had a pair of goals and three assists, sophomore attack Eric LeBlanc had two goals and one assist, sophomore attack Owen Gallagher had two goals and senior middle Max Bamford scored once.

Girls Lacrosse
King Philip, 17 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Girls Tennis
Taunton, 2 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/16/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
King Philip, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Senior Nate Tellier was masterful on the mound for the Bombardiers in a complete game shutout. Tellier struck out 13 batters while allowing just one hit to keep the Kelley-Rex leading King Philip Warriors at bay. At the plate Tellier had a pair of hits. Freshman Dakota Kirby was a perfect 3-3 for Attleboro, having an RBI single in the fifth inning that made it 2-0. Senior Tyler Stowe have Attleboro the lead two at bats prior, singling in Brent Cook.

Milford, 14 @ Canton, 6 – Final

Foxboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Stoughton junior Ryan Sullivan had one of his best outings of the year on the mound for the Black Knights, striking out 10 in a complete game shutout. Sullivan scattered five hits with just one walk and didn’t allow a run. The Black Knights’ offense cashed in in the bottom of the third. After Doug Seaman singles and stole second, Jack Connelly knocked in his team-leading 16th run of the season with a two-out single. Seaman went 2-3 and Connelly reached base twice with a stolen base.

Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – Franklin turned a two run lead in the fourth inning to a comfortable cushion in a league win over Taunton. Nick Santucci connected for a two-out RBI triple in the inning, finishing the game 3-4 with a run. Jake Lyons added two RBI while Joe Corsi was 2-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Josh Macchi added two hits, including a double, and scored a run for the Panthers. Sophomore Jason Ulrickson was solid on the mound in a complete game effort, scattering five hits while walking one to get the win. Ulrickson struck out four with just one walk. Taunton’s Kevin Griffin went 2-3 with an RBI while Luke Figueira (2-3) and Joe Manchester (1-3) each scored a run for the Tigers.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – North Attleboro’s Andy Katch had no-hit Mansfield through five innings but the Hornets were finally able to break through in the sixth inning. Aidan Cahill got the team’s first hit with a one out single and Mike Arnold was hit by a pitch to reach. A sacrifice fly from Tyrone Pascual advanced the runners and Jake Tryder connected for a two-RBI double to score the only runs of the game. Jake Neureuter got the win for Mansfield, allowing just three hits in a complete game shutout. Neureuter struck out three and issued three walks in the win.

Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (8 inn.) – Oliver Ames walked off with a win for the second straight game and seniors Josh Minuskin and Ryan Adams were right in the middle of it. After Minuskin’s home run tied the game on Friday against Mansfield, he led of the bottom of the eighth inning with a single. Two wild pitches later, Minuskin was at third and Adams, who scored the winning run on Friday, knocked in the winning run. Senior Zach Sato pitched a two-hit shutout complete game for Oliver Ames, striking out four. Sharon sophomore starter Max Tarlin pitched seven scoreless innings for the Eagles.

Softball
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 12 – Final – Milford’s Ali Atherton carried a no hitter through the sixth inning before the Bulldogs’ offense broke through. Atherton finished with eight strikeouts in a complete game to get the win. Offensively, freshman Emily Hartman had his first career home run for the Scarlet Hawks, blasting a two run shot. Jess Tomaso was 2/2 with a pair of walks and two RBI while Kaitlyn DeCapua was 2-4 with an RBI.

Stoughton, 5 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Stoughton scored all five runs in the fifth inning and held off a Foxboro four-run rally in the seventh. Bri Fernandez, Karly Estremera, and Gina Carafa each had two hits for the Black Knights. Shannon Flaherty threw a complete game with six strikeouts to pick up the win.

Taunton, 6 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – The Tigers’ offense cashed in in the fifth and sixth innings to get the win over the Panthers. Taunton scored four runs in the fifth and then tacked on two more in the sixth inning while Franklin scored twice in the seventh. Aimee Kistner got her 11th win of the season, striking out five while scattering four hits in a complete game effort. Kistner also paced the offense, going 4-4 with a pair of RBI while Jordan Wade was 3-3 with a triple, a walk and an RBI. Jaime Brown went 1-2 for the Tigers with a sac bunt, a walk and an RBI and Kya Enos added a double and an RBI. Allie Shea went 1-2 for Franklin with a pair of walks and knocked in both of the Panthers’ runs.

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final The Rocketeers turned to small ball to get its offense going, plating all six runs in the fifth inning. With one out in the inning, North Attleboro had eight straight batters reach and it resulted in six runs. Big Red had a pair of infield hits and a pair of bunt singles to get the offense going. Kaylea Sherman and Megan Barlow each went 2-3 at the plate for North while Gina Miceli was a perfect 3-3. Amelia Murphy struck out nine in a complete game effort for the Rocketeers. Mansfield responded with its two runs in top of the sixth off of four hits. Marissa Staffier went 1-2, Megan Letendre was 2-3, Mady Bendanillo went 1-3 with an RBI and Maddie Letendre was 1-2 with an RBI. Maddie Letendre struck out 10 batters while allowing seven hits for Mansfield.

Oliver Ames, 14 @ Sharon, 10 – Final – The Oliver Ames Tigers belted out 17 hits on the day, using its offense to best Sharon. Victoria Ziner was 3-5 with two RBI, including a home run, and two runs scored, Katie Pursley went 4-4 with four RBI, including a pair of home runs and a triple and scoring two runs for OA. Jamie Gottwald was 3-5 with a triple an RBI and three runs scored, Rachel Han scored three runs and Dalene Gomes (2-5) and Emma Papargiris (1-4, two RBI) each had a triple and scored for OA while Caroline Mahoney (2-5) also had an RBI and a run scored for the Tigers.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final

Canton, 11 vs. Abington, 8 – Final – Canton built a 3-0 lead and that was all the separation that the Bulldogs needed to beat Abington. Shaun Kirby was the driving force behind the offense, registering a hat trick and adding a trio of assists in teh win. Thomas Monagle and Kevin Albert returned to net a goal each while Dan Nadeau stretched his goal scoring streak to two games. Canton got a boost from sophomore Charlie O’Connor, who dominated at the faceoff X for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 3 vs. Wayland, 8 – Final

King Philip, 6 @ Franklin, 13 – Final

Milford, 0 vs. Nipmuc, 19 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 13 – Final – Oliver Ames kept its playoff hopes alive, moving within two wins of a postseason berth with the shutout win. Senior attack Matt Gilson had three goals and three assists, senior Middie Max Bamford had two goals and one assist, senior middie Aidan Connly added a pair of goals and one assist, senior middie Connor Howe had a goal and an assist and senior middie Mike Sullivan scored once. OA Senior goalie Jake Aronson had the shutout in the cage.

Sharon, 14 vs. Westwood, 22 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
North Attleboro, 19 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – It was a day of milestones for North Attleboro in a non-league win over rival Attleboro. Hana Caster found the back of the net for the 200th time in her career while teammate Erin Holley notched her 100th career goal in the win.

Canton, 13 @ Milton, 8 – Final – Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor praised the defense of Lauren Peplau and Tessa Cudmore, saying they played excellent in the Bulldogs’ win. Lindsey Nolte paced the offense, potting four goals for Canton.

Foxboro, 19 @ Sharon, 11 – Final

King Philip @ Hopkinton, 3:45

Mansfield @ Bishop Feehan, 3:30

Milford @ Nipmuc – Postponed to 5/26 to 3:45 at Milford

Boys Tennis
King Philip, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – The Warriors of King Philip took care of business in singles play and got another win at doubles to beat Attleboro. Cole Ginter won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Garrett Schneider won 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles and Blake Ginter took a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at third singles. Justin Rohan and Marco DiStefano won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles for KP. Attleboro’s Zain Yusuf and Shaun Gordon battled for a 7-5, 6-4 win at first singles.

Milford @ Canton, 4:00

Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – It was a clean sweep for Franklin, who won all five matches in straight sets. Rahul Herur won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles, Eli Brooks ton 6-2, 6-0 at second singles and Dan Barrow won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles. Cam Piana and James Johnston took home a 6-1, 6-1 win at first doubles and Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Junior Zack Pfeffer handled his match at second singles and classmate Barsomo Nuay battled for a three set win at third singles to lead Big Red. Pfeffer won 6-2, 6-2 while Nuay got a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win. Doubles teams of Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch (6-2, 6-3) and Jake Fontes and Daniel Zhang (6-3, 6-3) each won at first and second doubles respectively. Mansfield junior Benny Lin earned a 6-4, 6-2 at first singles for the Hornets’ lone win.

Sharon, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – After a weekend at the MIAA individual tournament, Sharon had an adjusted lineup but still clinched a win. Andre Olivei won 6-1, 6-3 at second singles and Andrew Tarnoff won 6-2, 6-0 at third singles. Alex Romantz and Adam Dobbin swept 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Tilak Mehta and Danujan Thirumavalavan also swept 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles. Oliver Ames senior Thomas O’Leary won 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-7) at first singles.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – Becca Ricci won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles for KP, Emily MacDonald won 6-3, 6-1 and Meghan Sepich took home a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles. The team of Kelly Masse and Carly Adams won 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles and Molly Citarell and Andrea Li won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles.

Canton, 3 @ Milford, 2 – Final – The Bulldogs of Canton got a pair of wins in singles play and clinched the victory with a win at doubles. Carly Scanlan won 6-4, 6-2 at first singles and Skyler Jabbour won 6-3, 6-1 at second doubles for the Bulldogs while the team of Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles. Milford’s Kate Rosenblatt won 6-2, 7-6 at third singles and the team of Jess McIntire and Kayla Thongpul won 7-5, 6-4 at second doubles.

Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Franklin went on the road and extracted a bit of revenge by avenging an early season loss to the Tigers. The Panthers used a sweep in singles play to edge of the Tigers. Junior Hannah Sweeney won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles while senior Anna Humphreys won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and junior Anja Deric swept 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Taunton’s Ashleigh Eason and Emily Moor won 7-6 (7-2), 3-0 (forfeit) at first doubles and Caroline Hebert and Jillian Pagliuca won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles.

Mansfield, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon singles players cruised through in straight sets to help the Eagles earn the win. Lulu Yuan won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Nupur Shulka won 6-2, 6-0 at second singles and Emily Wen won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Pooja Puttigampala and Michal Kondratiev won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles for Sharon. Oliver Ames’ Claudia Ferrara and Rachel Stryke won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 at second doubles.

Boys and Girls Outdoor Track
Hockomock League Championships (@ Taunton High), 2:30

Boys Volleyball
Taunton @ Barnstable 5:30

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/29/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Sharon, 4 @ Canton, 7 – Final

Oliver Ames, 10 @ Foxboro, 9 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Matt Muir’s strong week continued as the sophomore pitched a scoreless bottom half of the seventh inning to seal the deal after the Tigers incredible comeback. Oliver Ames trailed 9-4 heading into the seventh inning but rattled off six runs to take the lead. Kyle Gagliardi had three hits for OA, Ryan Adams knocked in four runs on two hits and Mitch Goulet and Muir each added two hits for the Tigers.

Taunton, 5 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Sophomore Christian Simoes blasted his first career home run off the foul pole in left field to break a 3-3 tie game in the top of the fourth to lift the Tigers. Taunton added a bases loaded walk in the same inning to create the separation. Mansfield struck in the first inning before Taunton took a 2-1 lead in the second and 3-1 lead in the top of the third. Mansfield tied the game in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs. Taunton senior Luke Figueira earned his fourth win of the season, scattering five hits in five innings of work, striking out two. Max Bowden earned the save, striking out two while not allowing a hit in two innings of work. Matt Machado had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, Charles Hearrold III had two hits, two RBI and a run scored and William Emerson added two hits for Taunton. Mansfield junior Zack Peterson had a pair of doubles and runs scored, Aidan Cahill had two hits, an RBI and a run scored and Mike Arnold had an RBI for the Hornets.

Milford, 3 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalClick here for a recap from the game.

Softball
Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon junior Clara Cook recorded 11 strikeouts and only allowed five hits to pace the Eagles to their second straight win. Senior Rachel Usen was 2-3 with two runs scored, freshman Rebecca Clayman had a pair of singles, an RBI and a run scored and senior Jenny Friedman was 2-3 with a pair of singles.

King Philip, 13 vs. St. Peter Marian, 0 – Final (6 inn.) – King Philip wasted no time jumping all over the defending D1 State Champions, plating 10 runs in the first inning. Christa Wagner went 3-3 and Hailey McCasland, Meghan Gorman and Jenn Hutnyan all added two hits for the Warriors. Hutnyan closed out the game with a two-run home run for KP. Kali Magane pitched three innings for the Warriors, striking out eight of the nine batters she faced.

Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton, 10 – Final – The Tigers used a six hit, six run sixth inning to break open the game and score a big win over Mansfield. Taunton loaded the bases in the first but a throw home from Marissa Staffier and a pair of strikeouts helped the Hornets get out unscathed. Taunton scored one run in the second, one in the third and two in fourth to build a lead. Aimee Kistner continued her shutout streak to start the season, pitching six inning, striking out 13 with just one walk. Courtney Fisher retired the side in order in the seventh for Taunton. Meghan Navarro went 3-3 with a double, Liana Duarte was 3-4 with a triple and an RBI, Jordan Wade was 2-4 with a triple and an RBI and Jaime Brown went 2-3 and knocked in a pair of runs. Mansfield freshmen Megan Letendre, Mady Bendanillo and Caty DeMassi each had a hit for the Hornets.

Milford, 8 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Milford’s Kelley Reichert only allowed two hits in five innings of work, striking out four to earn the win for the Scarlet Hawks. Kate Irwin had a pair of hits and stolen bases, Jess Tomaso was 2-4 with a triple and an RBI, Jill Powers knocked in a pair of runs and both Maddy Bonvino and Shannon Cormier hit a homerun. Stoughton freshmen Freshman Jordan Lyons and Jeni D’Andrea each had a hit as well as sophomore Val Whalen and senior Nicole Bodette for the Black Knights.

Boys Lacrosse
Canton, 4 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalClick here for a recap from the game.

Mansfield, 16 @ Sharon, 11 – Final

Milford, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 16 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Max Bamford and sophomore Owen Gallagher paced Oliver Ames’ offense, finding the back of the net four times apiece. Sophomore Eric LeBlanc added a pair of goals and assists for the Tigers.

Girls Lacrosse
Foxboro, 16 @ Canton, 3 – Final

Sharon, 10 @ Mansfield, 18 – Final – Caroline Maher led the way for the Hornets with five goals and Marie Foley added four. Katy Garvin also had a hat trick for Mansfield, which also got two goals apiece from Julia Todesco, Emily Aarons and Maggie Dunn According to head coach Alexis Kobey, Cat Daly and Kaleigh Jodice played well on defense and Victoria Lawlor had a great game in goal.

Oliver Ames, 17 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Abby Duval paced an explosive Tiger offense in a big win on the road. Duval finished with a team-high five goals, adding two assists as well. Sam Lang and Erin Fitzgerald each netted a hat trick with an assist, Sofia Masciarelli and Hannah Friend each scored twice and had an assists, Devin Gardner had an assist and a goal and Emalyn Duvall scored once for OA. Ariana Waldorf made 10 saves in net for the Tigers.

Boys Tennis
Sharon, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Eagles, who didn’t drop a game in four of the five matches. Griffin Fein (first singles), Han Cui (third singles), Adam Dobbin and Alex Romantz (first doubles) and Tilak Mehta and Danujan Thiru (second doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0. Sharon sophomore Fred Bondar completed the sweep with a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final

Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final

Girls Tennis
Canton, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon didn’t lose a game at two of the three singles matches and won all five in straight sets. Lulu Yuan won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles while Nupur Shulka and Emily Wen each won 6-0, 6-0 at second and third singles, respectively. Pooja Puttigampala and Michel Kondratiev won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles and Sydney Gordon and Akhila Songadi won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles for the Eagles.

Foxboro, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Foxboro won all three singles in straight sets without dropping a game to edge the Tigers. Diana Prinos (first singles), Sophia Prinos (second singles) and Lexi Nelson (third singles) all won 6-0, 6-0. Oliver Ames’ Valeria Tueme and Claudia Ferrara battled for a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) win while Rachel Stryke and Olivia Groebe won 6-3, 3-6 7-6 (8-6) at second doubles for the Tigers.

Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton swept both doubles matches and sealed the win with a victory at second singles. Junior Olivia Sweeney won 6-2, 6-4 at second singles while juniors Ashleigh Eason and Emily Moor won 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) at first doubles and junior Caroline Hebert and freshman Jillian Pagliuca won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles. Mansfield’s Paulina Martin won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles and sophomore Sarah Doyle on 6-3, 6-0 at third singles.

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 0 @ Quincy, 3 – Final

Boys Lacrosse: Davenport Division Preview 2016

Canton senior attack Ben O'Neill is one reason that the Bulldogs have a chance to repeat as Davenport champs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Canton senior attack Ben O’Neill is one reason that the Bulldogs have a chance to repeat as Davenport champs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON

2015 Record: 11-7
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs have won two Davenport division titles in the last three years and will be looking for a third in 2016. With a beefed up non-league schedule, Canton will be looking to make a deep run in the D2 South tournament this season.
“I really like this team and I think we will be very difficult to beat once we figure things out,” head coach Bill Bendell said. “Our goal this year is to trust the process…ignore the scoreboard and instead focus on doing your job to the best of your ability and the wins will follow.”
Canton will be relying on an experienced defense this season. Senior Chris Albert returns to the cage while senior Jake Ragusa and junior LSM Michael Pigeon will anchor the backline. Senior Dan Nadeau, junior Jonathan Sutton and sophomore Gabe Galeotos all saw time on defense last season and will fit in nicely again this year.
On offense, Ben O’Neill – one of the best offensive players in Canton history – enters the season with 125 career points. He’s got a high lacrosse IQ and can battle through defenses to find the net. Shaun Kirby, Dan Dillon, Bobby Mullaney and Eddie McCabe will all chip in with O’Neill offensively.

FOXBORO

2015 Record: 12-8
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Matt Noone
Foxboro graduated a handful of talented players last season but the biggest loss might be losing last year’s leading scorer Pat McCarthy to a knee injury this year. But with five seniors and plethora of youth, Warriors will look to try and claim their first Davenport title since 2011.
“You can’t replace Pat McCarthy, thankfully we still have his leadership, he will help the young guys,” Foxboro head coach Matt Noone said.
Connor McNamara and Brian Buckner are both entering their third year on varsity and will be relied upon heavily. McNamara is a factor at both sends of the field, Noone adding “He can carry us at times.” Buckner, a defenseman, possess great speed and positions himself well, Noone saying “His athleticism and IQ make him tough to beat on and off the ball.”
Foxboro will rely on Andrew Whalen, Louis Piccolo and James Silveria – all sophomores – on attack. McNamara will be complemented in the midfield by senior Austin Ryan and juniors Colin Spinney and Trey Guerrini. Noone called all three great athletes. Defensively, two year starters Tom Piccolo and Bobby Kierce will work alongside Buckner while sophomore Pat Kaveny has improved his game as well.
Expect sophomore Jake Addeche and junior Tyler Silveria to battle for the starting goalie job.

MILFORD

2015 Record: 2-17
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ralph Bono
Milford will be looking to try and improve after recording just two wins in the 2015 season. New head coach Ralph Bono will try to turn things around in his first year at the helm.
The Scarlet Hawks graduated their two top scorers from last season in Nick Mobilia (30 points) and Spencer Lawson (19 points) so there will be some questions to answer up front.
In midfield, junior Alex Salamone registered 10 points last season and had 12 grounds balls while sophomore Andrew Gallagher made an impact with nine points in his rookie campaign. Jack Boyle, Nick Lurie and Ian Bucal all factored into the scoring last year as well.
Defensively, Harrison Bliss led the Scarlet Hawks defensemen in grounds balls as a sophomore while Andrew Palaria and Riley Burns also saw time. In goal, Pietro Bon Tempo made 123 saves last year in 17 games played and should provide some experience in the back.

OLIVER AMES

2016 Record: 6-10
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris DiGiacomo
After missing out on the playoffs last season, second year skipper Chris DiGiacomo will be relying on a large senior class to try to get back to the postseason.
“There is a lot of positive energy surrounding the program currently,” head coach Chris DiGiacomo said. “The boys have been working very hard, and we are very excited to get started.”
Senior attack Matt Gilson is back for his fourth year on varsity to pace the offense while senior Jake Aronson returns to man the goal for the Tigers. Senior captain middie Aidan Connly will be relied upon to take care of both ends of the field.
Connly will be joined by classmates Mike Sullivan, Jack Long, Connor Howe and Max Bamford so the Tigers will boast a very experienced midfield. On defense, senior Max Sheldon will anchor the backline in front of Aronson.

Sharon

2015 Record: 10-9
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round
Coach: Peter DeSisto
The Eagles are looking to get back to the top of the Davenport mountain and are hoping former Canton player Peter DeSisto will lead them there in his first year at the helm.
“I am really excited for this season, we are a young team but the captains and upperclassmen have really set the tone for this season,” DeSisto said. “They’re showing the newer players what it takes to be successful at this level. We’ve set high expectations for ourselves, but we know that if we come together as a unit and work hard we are completely capable of reaching our goals.”
After coming up just short in the division race last year, Sharon has a strong returning core to try to win the division for the second time in three years. Senior captains Mark Bloom and Craig Titus will be the focus of the attack again this year while sophomore Jon Greenberg will be back in goal after a terrific freshman campaign in 2015.
UMass commit Josh Rotman will be paired with senior captain Matt Cancian in the midfield to provide a power 1-2 punch while sophomores Spencer Hall and Chase Waxman will also see a lot of time in the middle of the field. Sharon will have to fill some holes defensively but expect junior Jared Zunenshine and sophomore Zach Reingold to step in.

Third Period Goals Lift Oliver Ames Over King Philip

Oliver Ames' Matt Mancini (left) and Owen Gallagher celebrate after scoring a shorthanded goal in the third period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Oliver Ames’ Matt Mancini (left) and Owen Gallagher celebrate after scoring a shorthanded goal in the third period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
BROCKTON, Mass. – After a back and forth battle through the first two periods, Oliver Ames scored three unanswered goals in the final frame to pick up its second win of the season with a 6-3 decision over King Philip.
Senior captain Matt Mancini netted his first career hat trick, sophomore Owen Gallagher had three assists and a goal and the Tigers outshot the Warriors 38-16.
Both teams had leads in the first period but went into the first intermission tied and then traded goals in the second period to stay level with just a period to go.
With the game tied 3-3, the Warriors went on their first power play of the game just before the midway point of the third period. It looked like KP would take its third lead of the game as time was about to expire in the man advantage but Jacob Kelly’s shot rang off the crossbar. Oliver Ames was able to corral the puck and cleared it out. The puck took a funny hop off the glass and landed right in front of Gallagher.
The sophomore was unable to get a shot off on his breakaway with a KP defenseman chasing behind but Gallagher was able to keep possession behind the net, looked up and found a wide open Max Ward in front and the freshman went five hole to give OA a 4-3 lead.
The Warriors had another man advantage with 2:30 to play but less than a minute in, a turnover turned into a chance for the Tigers. Gallagher was able to race up ice and went to the left of the net, drawing the attention of two KP defensemen. Gallagher calmly used his backhand to feed a wide open Mancini in front with a no look pass and the senior completed his hat trick to seal the game with 1:32. Gallagher scored on an empty net goal with 27 seconds to play.
“In the last two games we’ve given up goals in the last couple minutes of the game which is not a good habit to have,” Oliver Ames head coach Mark Homer said. “It was an unfortunate penalty but I just told the guys they had to collapse around the net, leave it all out on the ice, block shots and every chance we have, clear the puck. We had veteran players out there to take care of it. [King Philip’s] a good team, they are scrappy and they work real hard.
“Owen’s such an unselfish player,” Homer said. “Did he score all the goals? No but he creates opportunities offensively and defensively. He just has a real good hockey IQ. Like on that last play, he knows where guys are. He doesn’t get upset or worked up about things and he’s a real smart player. He’s proof you don’t need to be 6’2, 230 pounds to control situations in the game. I feel real confident when he’s out there no matter who he’s playing with.”
King Philip opened the scoring in the game despite a dominant start from OA. The Tigers had the first seven shots on goal but it was the Warriors who found the back of the net with 11:29 to go. After sophomore Collin Cooke was unable to convert a breakaway chance, he stayed with it and tossed a centering pass that deflected off a defenseman and in to make it 1-0.
Less than two minutes later the Tigers nearly tied it up but KP goalie Shane Frommer came up with a huge glove save to rob Cullen Gallagher in the slot. Frommer finished with 32 saves.
The Tigers were finally able to solve Frommer midway through the first when sophomore Eric LeBlanc slammed home a rebound off a shot from senior Max Bamford at the blue line. Oliver Ames then cashed in on its first power play of the game near the end of the period. Owen Gallagher picked up the puck along the far side boards and fired a pass right in front for Mancini to tap in.
Just when it looked like Oliver Ames would go into the first intermission with the lead, King Philip’s Richie Lucente found Cooke open in front with just 8.3 seconds left and the sophomore buried it to send the teams into the break tied 2-2.
The Warriors took their second of the game just over three minutes into the second. Nick Connor was able to keep control after a hit along the near boards and send a centering pass that Lucente got his stick to to roof the puck for a 3-2 lead. King Philip nearly doubled its lead by OA goal Zach Walsh made a tremendous point blank save on Cooke from right in front.
But once again, special teams helped bring Oliver Ames back into the game. The Tigers went on the power play with 2:58 in the game and converted when Jared Costello found Mancini in front right after the penalty expired to tie the game with 1:24 left.
“You get bounces because you work hard, you’re in the right place at the right time because you work hard,” Homer said. “I know at times Matt gets frustrated because he thinks he needs to do more than he’s doing. He’s starting to have more patience. He’s a veteran on the team, he’s a captain, he’s centering the first line. He puts a lot of pressure on himself but tonight the more he was in there, the better he did.”
Despite having two man-advantage opportunities in the final period, the Warriors saw Oliver Ames capitalize as a result both times.
“We just really couldn’t get the puck to settle on that power play,” first year KP head coach Paul Carlow said of the late advantage. “They got it cleared all the way down and we just never really got in sync after that. A little inexperience maybe, a little too much running around, a little guys trying to do too much. Then we coughed it up and they get the odd man rush.
“We really didn’t play a good first period. We came out at flat and they dominated but our goalie kept us in it. I felt the second period we controlled the play and it felt like we played much better in that period until we took a penalty and gave up the power play goal. I thought we played we played the first half of the third pretty even. If we capitalize at the end of the second on the breakaway or on the [first] power play in the third, and we had our chances, we just weren’t sharp tonight. It felt like we played in spurts.
Oliver Ames (2-1) will play host to Taunton (5-1) on Saturday at Asiaf when Hockomock League play opens. King Philip (2-3) will look to bounce back on the same day when they take on Foxboro at the Foxboro Sports Center at 4:30.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Oliver Ames Captures First Ever State Championship

Oliver Ames captains Max Bamford, Chris Romero, Keegan Nutt and head coach John Barata with the D2 State Championship. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
Oliver Ames captains Max Bamford, Chris Romero, Keegan Nutt and head coach John Barata with the D2 State Championship. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Click here to purchase photos from OA’s celebration.
By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

LYNN, Mass. – When last year’s Div. 2 state title game ended, Oliver Ames players grabbed the runner-up trophy and raised it high in celebration of reaching the program’s first ever championship game.
When OA took the pitch on Saturday morning at Manning Field for this year’s state title game against Masconomet, the Tigers were not going to be happy settling for second place again.
The experience of last season paid dividends. OA bounced back from an early Masco goal to defeat the Chieftains 3-1 on three well-executed set pieces and clinched the program’s first state championship.
“Since we came here once, we knew how to play this game,” said OA coach John Barata. “It’s different; it’s a one-game season against a top team from the North.
“It’s a great feeling to win because it would’ve been horrible to come back-to-back years and lose again. The guys worked hard and they deserved it. We earned that win.”
Masco jumped into the lead in the 12th minute. A long throw from Alex Spaulding reached Josh Polakiewicz on the corner of the six-yard box and he flicked a header up over OA keeper Jack Carroll.
OA had lost the momentum after a decent start, but the Tigers utilized the experience of two straight runs to the South title and stayed in the game.
Senior Chris Romero equalized in the 19th minute when the Tigers were awarded a free kick just outside the box. It may have been a harsh call, but Romero did not mind as he curled his 20-yard shot past the despairing dive of Steven Heitzelman.
“They had all the momentum,” said Romero, “and we really needed the quick goal to get the momentum back, so I think it helped us pushing forward.”
Just five minutes later OA took the lead. Romero played an in-swinging corner kick that Heitzelman failed to hold. The ball dropped to the foot of sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza, who was in the right place at the right time to tap it in.
Cardoza also had the winning goal in overtime to win the South title for the Tigers. Barata said of the midfielder, “He is a very good player, diligent player. He’s a DI school’s dream and he’s only a sophomore. I’m very lucky to have him.”
Masco coach Jared Scarpaci noted, “The first [set piece], you don’t get a better free kick than that and you just tip your hat. The second one, I think we could have done a little bit better on that and that’s really when the momentum shifted.”
The Chieftains, who won the title in 2013 and have reached the state title game in three of the past four seasons (the last two in Div. 2), had their chances to equalize before the break. Shane Collins could not take advantage off of a poor clearance by Carroll to score into an empty net and then he set up Bryan Gilbert, who scuffed a shot while all alone in the box.
“They missed a couple of sitters that could have changed the game,” said Barata. “That’s the way soccer goes; I’ll take it.”
Carroll also came through with a big save to deny Blaise Romanowski in the final five minutes of the half, tipping over the Masco striker’s close-range effort off a free kick.
Seven minutes after the break, Romero showed his defensive prowess by heading out a Andrew Musiak corner underneath his own crossbar.
Barata explained, “You can see why he’s an all-state player. He starts on the left wing, scores a beautiful goal, he plays forward, and then we move him to the back and he was excellent at the back.”
In the 57th minute, OA sealed the title with another set piece that was straight off the training ground. Instead of playing an angled free kick into the box, Romero played the ball straight into the path of Matt Alvarado and the sophomore sent an inch-perfect cross into the box to a wide open Thomas McCormick, who nodded home the Tigers’ third.
“You couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Romero. “Alvarado down the line and crosses it for Thomas to head it in…perfect play.”
Barata credited the week of between games for allowing his team to work on set pieces and, as he explained, it “paid off” of Saturday.
“It worked like a charm today,” he said about the routine for the third goal. “We’ve done that a number of times and it’s gone over the bar, off the bar, off a defender, but today it was destined.”
Romero and the rest of his teammates charged towards the traveling OA fans at the final whistle, celebrating the first state title with friends and family. The Tigers reached their first sectional title in 2013, won the South for the first time last year, and now have won the state championship.
It has been a long and successful career for the OA captain and, when asked how it felt to get to this level, Romero responded succinctly, “It’s pretty awesome. It’s awesome to be a state champ.”
Click here to purchase photos from OA’s celebration. 
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Cardoza’s Goal Gives OA Second Straight D2 South Title

Oliver Ames sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza celebrates after scoring the game winner in the second overtime. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Oliver Ames sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza celebrates after scoring the game winner in the second overtime. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

BROCKTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, Oliver Ames is the D2 South Sectional champions for boys soccer.

Sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza scored the golden goal in the second overtime in the 95th minute minute to give Oliver Ames a 2-1 win over Medfield, the 16th seed who had made a Cinderella-like run to the finals.

The Tigers dominated portions of the first half, the majority of the second half and then most of both overtimes but couldn’t break the deadlock until Cardoza placed a shot with his right foot at the far post to give Oliver Ames the win.

“I was going to shoot with my left at first but the defender closed that off so I had to cut it and I saw a short window,” Cardoza said. “I knew I just had to get an opportunity to get the shot off and I’m just happy it went in.”

Cardoza gained possession at the top of the area and originally put the ball onto his left foot — his dominant foot — but with no shot available, he was able to keep control, touching to his right foot and unleashing a perfectly placed shot for the winner.

“I’m not so sure why we waited, we had some chances,” OA head coach John Barata said, noting the numerous scoring chances his side had before the game winner. “We dominated most of the game. Even a Medfield coach said the better team won and I’m happy to hear that. I thought the guys worked really hard but again, we’re missing chances, the game should have been over. They had two chances all game, one we were very fortunate that went wide [in overtime] and then the goal off a deflection again.”

It was a bit of deja vu for the Tigers when Medfield’s John Cahill found the back of the net to give the upset-minded Warriors the lead in wth 27th minute. Cahill decided to take a chance with a defender in close range and his shot took a deflection and looped into the net at the far post giving no chance for OA sophomore keeper Jack Carroll.

It was a frustrating goal for OA to concede, especially since there were two good chances to take the lead inside the first 15 minutes. In the 9th minute, senior Keegan Nutt played a ball over the top of the defense and classmate Chris Romero ran through but got under his shot and hit the crossbar from close range.

In the 16th minute, Romero served in a tempting corner that sophomore Cam Vella got a head to but it bounced just wide. In the 25th minute, just prior to Medfield taking the lead, Romero had a great shot from 25 yards out that bounced off the chest of Medfield goalie Matt Johnson but he was able to collect the rebound before any players could pounce on it.

The second half belonged to OA from the get go and sophomore Jack Sheldon nearly pulled things level in the 43rd minute. A long throw from senior Max Bamford deflected to Sheldon and he took a chance on goal but it went just wide at the near post.

In the 53rd minute, Barata elected to change things up a bit, going with a look similar to that when the Tigers scored the game winner against Hingham two games prior. Romero moved to the left flank and pushed sophomore Mason Galbato into a holding position in front of the defense. That moved Vella to a more attacking position up front.

The change paid dividends pretty quickly as OA found the equalizer just six minutes later. Sheldon served in a cross from the right flank that was hit back across the face of goal. Medfield made its first mistake of the night in the back as the ball got past a defender and fell right to Vella. The sophomore took a heavy touch forward and then finished with his right foot at a tight angle to make it 1-1.

“Things changed,” Barata said of the move. “We started dominating the game. We need some speed and some technique in front of the back three so I tried to keep Vella there but we just weren’t getting enough forward in terms of chances. I put Vella, who is disgustingly good, up front and him and [Thomas] McCormick just created havoc and Galbato did a super job of keeping our infrastructure in the midfield so that change really won us the game.”

“I think it helps us pressure up a lot because Cam’s a really good offensive player,” Cardoza said of the change. “I love to play with [Vella] and I love Mason because he keeps the stability in the midfield when he drops back there.

OA kept up its pressure but had to deal with a late free kick chance from the Warriors, who relied heavily on the counter attack in the second half and overtime. A free kick from 25 yards out was cleared wide to Romero, who quickly played a long ball up field. Nutt ran onto it, headed it forward and tried to go over Johnson from 18 yards out but didn’t get enough on it and Johnson’s leaping stop prevented a winner in the 79th minute.

Medfield had a chance less than five minutes into overtime after the Warriors were able to handle a rush from the Tigers. Kevin McCordic let the ball run across his body and ripped a left footed shot but it rolled wide at the far post.

With just two minutes gone in the second overtime, Medfield was awarded a free kick right at the top of the box. The shot hit the wall in front and went over the net and the Tigers were able to deal with the ensuing corner kick.

Three minutes later, Cardoza converted the game winner to send the Tigers to the D2 EMass/State Finals for the second straight year.

“We were pushing, we had to get a goal,” Barata said. “We didn’t want to go to PKs because they had done it already and didn’t want it to be a David and Goliath situation and have them knock us out.”

Oliver Ames now improves to 17-0-3 and will play in the D2 State Final on Saturday, November 21st. The Tigers will either get a rematch with Concord-Carlisle or will play Masconomet in the finals with a time and location still to be announced.

“It’s very difficult because there’s a big target on your back but it was fun too because it was something that kept motivating the guys and now we’ll look forward to playing either Concord-Carlisle or Masconomet and both of those teams are ridiculously good so we’re going to have a lot to prepare for over the next seven days.”

Cardoza's Goal Gives OA Second Straight D2 South Title

Oliver Ames sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza celebrates after scoring the game winner in the second overtime. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Oliver Ames sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza celebrates after scoring the game winner in the second overtime. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

BROCKTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, Oliver Ames is the D2 South Sectional champions for boys soccer.

Sophomore Nathaniel Cardoza scored the golden goal in the second overtime in the 95th minute minute to give Oliver Ames a 2-1 win over Medfield, the 16th seed who had made a Cinderella-like run to the finals.

The Tigers dominated portions of the first half, the majority of the second half and then most of both overtimes but couldn’t break the deadlock until Cardoza placed a shot with his right foot at the far post to give Oliver Ames the win.

“I was going to shoot with my left at first but the defender closed that off so I had to cut it and I saw a short window,” Cardoza said. “I knew I just had to get an opportunity to get the shot off and I’m just happy it went in.”

Cardoza gained possession at the top of the area and originally put the ball onto his left foot — his dominant foot — but with no shot available, he was able to keep control, touching to his right foot and unleashing a perfectly placed shot for the winner.

“I’m not so sure why we waited, we had some chances,” OA head coach John Barata said, noting the numerous scoring chances his side had before the game winner. “We dominated most of the game. Even a Medfield coach said the better team won and I’m happy to hear that. I thought the guys worked really hard but again, we’re missing chances, the game should have been over. They had two chances all game, one we were very fortunate that went wide [in overtime] and then the goal off a deflection again.”

It was a bit of deja vu for the Tigers when Medfield’s John Cahill found the back of the net to give the upset-minded Warriors the lead in wth 27th minute. Cahill decided to take a chance with a defender in close range and his shot took a deflection and looped into the net at the far post giving no chance for OA sophomore keeper Jack Carroll.

It was a frustrating goal for OA to concede, especially since there were two good chances to take the lead inside the first 15 minutes. In the 9th minute, senior Keegan Nutt played a ball over the top of the defense and classmate Chris Romero ran through but got under his shot and hit the crossbar from close range.

In the 16th minute, Romero served in a tempting corner that sophomore Cam Vella got a head to but it bounced just wide. In the 25th minute, just prior to Medfield taking the lead, Romero had a great shot from 25 yards out that bounced off the chest of Medfield goalie Matt Johnson but he was able to collect the rebound before any players could pounce on it.

The second half belonged to OA from the get go and sophomore Jack Sheldon nearly pulled things level in the 43rd minute. A long throw from senior Max Bamford deflected to Sheldon and he took a chance on goal but it went just wide at the near post.

In the 53rd minute, Barata elected to change things up a bit, going with a look similar to that when the Tigers scored the game winner against Hingham two games prior. Romero moved to the left flank and pushed sophomore Mason Galbato into a holding position in front of the defense. That moved Vella to a more attacking position up front.

The change paid dividends pretty quickly as OA found the equalizer just six minutes later. Sheldon served in a cross from the right flank that was hit back across the face of goal. Medfield made its first mistake of the night in the back as the ball got past a defender and fell right to Vella. The sophomore took a heavy touch forward and then finished with his right foot at a tight angle to make it 1-1.

“Things changed,” Barata said of the move. “We started dominating the game. We need some speed and some technique in front of the back three so I tried to keep Vella there but we just weren’t getting enough forward in terms of chances. I put Vella, who is disgustingly good, up front and him and [Thomas] McCormick just created havoc and Galbato did a super job of keeping our infrastructure in the midfield so that change really won us the game.”

“I think it helps us pressure up a lot because Cam’s a really good offensive player,” Cardoza said of the change. “I love to play with [Vella] and I love Mason because he keeps the stability in the midfield when he drops back there.

OA kept up its pressure but had to deal with a late free kick chance from the Warriors, who relied heavily on the counter attack in the second half and overtime. A free kick from 25 yards out was cleared wide to Romero, who quickly played a long ball up field. Nutt ran onto it, headed it forward and tried to go over Johnson from 18 yards out but didn’t get enough on it and Johnson’s leaping stop prevented a winner in the 79th minute.

Medfield had a chance less than five minutes into overtime after the Warriors were able to handle a rush from the Tigers. Kevin McCordic let the ball run across his body and ripped a left footed shot but it rolled wide at the far post.

With just two minutes gone in the second overtime, Medfield was awarded a free kick right at the top of the box. The shot hit the wall in front and went over the net and the Tigers were able to deal with the ensuing corner kick.

Three minutes later, Cardoza converted the game winner to send the Tigers to the D2 EMass/State Finals for the second straight year.

“We were pushing, we had to get a goal,” Barata said. “We didn’t want to go to PKs because they had done it already and didn’t want it to be a David and Goliath situation and have them knock us out.”

Oliver Ames now improves to 17-0-3 and will play in the D2 State Final on Saturday, November 21st. The Tigers will either get a rematch with Concord-Carlisle or will play Masconomet in the finals with a time and location still to be announced.

“It’s very difficult because there’s a big target on your back but it was fun too because it was something that kept motivating the guys and now we’ll look forward to playing either Concord-Carlisle or Masconomet and both of those teams are ridiculously good so we’re going to have a lot to prepare for over the next seven days.”