The Campus Report: Looking Back At Fall 2017

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 Foxboro standout Austin Ryan had a very memorable and impressive first year suiting up for the Bentley Falcons. After spending time at Williston Northampton School after graduating from Foxboro High. Ryan was named Northeast 10 Conference Rookie of the Week four times throughout the season, and was named NE10 Offensive Player of the Week in the final week of the season. He was second on the Falcons with 49 receptions but had almost more than triple the yardage of the next highest receiver on the team with 1,237 yards. He also hauled in a team-high and conference-best 16 touchdowns. His 123.7 receiving yards per game also led the NE10.

Franklin’s Quintin McDermott also had a strong season for the Falcons. He recorded 34 tackles, forced a team-high three fumbles and came away with three pass breakups. He had two interceptions on the season, coming in the same game. He picked off Merrimack quarterback CJ Scarpa twice to help Bentley pick up a 17-7 win on the road against the Warriors. Attleboro’s Luke Morrison played in five games, Mansfield’s Kyle Wisnieski (six tackles) played in six games and Bobby Mylod, a freshman, played in all 10 games and made five tackles.

Ryan wasn’t the only former Hockomock star to have a standout first year in the NE10. Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and Canton star Jake Ragusa was a monster on the defensive side of the ball for Merrimack. Ragusa led the Warriors with 70 total tackles, and was tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks (for a total of 40 yards). He also had two interceptions from his linebacker spot, three quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Lasy year’s girls’ soccer HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Hannah Reiter made an immediate impact for the Quinnipiac team this fall. Reiter was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team. She earned a spot as the Bobcats’ primary defensive midfielder and racked up four assists in 17 regular season games (11 starts). Reiter increased her minutes played in all six games prior to earning a starting spot she has since not relinquished at Harvard on Sept. 13. Since Reiter joined the starting lineup, Quinnipiac finished the regular season with a mark of 5-3-3 while she played every minute in seven out of the 11 games she started in 2017. In addition, Quinnipiac allowed more than one goal in just three of the 11 regular season games in which Reiter was in the starting lineup.

Joe Wilder, a former Stoughton standout on the gridiron, was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year after a great senior year at Framingham State. Wilder, who was also selected to the MASCAC First Team All Offense, helped lead a Rams offensive line that first in the conference in rushing yards (2,044), rushing yards per game (204.4), rushing touchdowns (22) and rushing first downs (104). Wilder started at tackle for the Rams.

Also at Framingham State, Attleboro’s Tom Burns earned Second Team All Defense honors after another solid campaign with the Rams. Burns, a senior, was third on the team with 54 tackles (most among defensive backs). He also recorded two tackles for loss while coming away with three interceptions (totaling 65 return yards) and three pass breakups. King Philip’s Brian Donahue had 14 tackles, including two for loss, while fellow former Warrior Cory Lombardo had five tackles and an interception.

Taunton’s Trevor Wysong continued to pace Bridgewater State’s men’s cross country team again this season. Now a sophomore, Wysong helped the Bears finish second at the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Cross Country Championships held at Stanley Park in Westfield. Wysong garnered All-MASCAC honors as he placed second overall at the meet, covering the eight-kilometer course in a time of 26:07.60. Taunton’s Dylan Lynch, a freshman, finished 41st overall and Attleboro’s Will McKenzie, a sophomore, was 80th. In the women’s race, Milford’s Jenise Madden, a sophomore for BSU, crossed the finish line fourth overall in a time of 19:39.50, earning All-MASCAC honors. She helped the Bears finish fourth overall.

2016 HockomockSports.com Best XI selection Colby Koch made an immediate impact on the pitch at Becker College. Koch was second on the team with four goals and had a team-high four assists, resulting in 12 points during his rooking campaign. He had a team-high 26 shots on goal, and three of his four goals were game-winners.

At Bridgewater State, former Oliver Ames football star Cam Williamson wrapped up his collegiate career with 34 tackles from his defensive back spot. Williamson, who played in eight of 10 tames, averaged 4.3 tackles and a game, had a fumble recovery in a win over Westfield state, had an interception on the road at Fitchburg State and totaled five pass breakups.

Down at Mass. Maritime, a handful of former Hockomock League standouts are factoring to the Buccaneers’ defensive unit. Mansfield’s Alex Ruddy was second on the team with 47 tackles, including two for a loss. He also came up with one interception, two pass breakups and three passes defended. KP alum Leo Munafo had 22 tackles, an interception, and two pass breakups, Mansfield’s Connor Finerty had nine tackles in six games played, KP grad Chris Winbourne had four tackles, former Sharon standout Peter Banks had three tackles, and James Cooke (an offensive lineman) had one tackle.

Kim McNally had her best offensive season during her senior campaign with the Sacred Heart women’s soccer team. McNally, a defender, was one of just four players on the team to start in all 18 games. And even has a defender, she finished third on the team with three goals scored. The former Canton Bulldog scored on the road at Yale, scored the game-winning goal at home against Mount St. Mary’s and added a third tally on the road at Wagner. She finishes her career with six goals and one assist, playing in all 73 games that happened during her four-year career – starting all but four of them.

Mansfield’s Alyssa Kelly finished second in both assists and digs for the Bridgewater State volleyball team. Kelly had 116 sets, averaging 1.15 assist per set. She added 187 digs (1.85 per set) as well as 27 kills and 24 aces (third on the team). Against Lasell, Kelly had a season-high 15 digs while notching a season-best four aces just a week earlier against Worcester State.

Brandies men’s soccer is in the midst of another successful postseason run, with two former Hock players leading the way. Josh Ocel has a team-high 10 assists along with four goals, leading the Judges with 18 points. Ocel, along with King Philip grad Andrew Allen, are just two of nine players to see action in all 19 games this year. Allen has been a weapon off of the bench, making 12 appearances as a substitute. He’s second on the team with five goals and also had three assists during his junior season.

Attleboro’s Michelle Sheehan set the offense in motion for Mass. Maritime’s volleyball team this fall. Sheehan, a sophomore, posted a team-high 307 assists (3.30 per set) and was also a top defensive option for the Bucs, notching 129 digs. Along with 41 kills, she had 24 aces. She had a season-high 24 assists on the road at Pine Manor and a season-best 12 digs on the road at Fitchburg State.

Former Foxboro Warrior Katie Notarangelo finished her collegiate career with her best offensive season in four years with MIT’s field hockey team. During her senior season, she scored a career-high seven goals along with a career-high five assists for 19 points, which was top five for the Engineers. She finished her career with 11 goals and six assists for 28 points while starting in 66 of the 69 games she appeared in over four years.

Franklin’s Alexis Stowell earned Northeast-10 All-Conference Third Team honors after another successful year with the Assumption women’s soccer team. Stowell helped anchor a defensive line that posted five shutouts on the season, including a huge effort against Saint Rose in the NE10 Quarterfinals. She also recorded three assists playing right back for Assumption, including producing the game-winning assist in the Hounds 2-1 win over Le Moyne on October 11th. Twin sister and former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Victoria Stowell scored once and had two assists with 18 games started for the Greyhounds.

Former King Philip standout Melissa Daigle finished her collegiate career with an even 800 kills for the WPI volleyball team. She had a career-best 266 kills her freshman year, and finished with 167 during her senior campaign. She also had 565 career digs, 48 aces and 79 career blocks.

Two of Bridgewater State’s three field hockey all-conference honorees hailed from the Hockomock League. Mansfield’s Janet Maher was named to the All-Little East Second Team and Foxboro’s Emma Daly, a freshman, earned honorable mention honors. Maher, who hails from Mansfield, Massachusetts, started all 17 games on the Bears’ back line this season. She tallied four goals and one assist for nine points to go along with a defensive save. In 70 games over four seasons with the Bears, Maher recorded six goals and three assists for 15 points in addition to six defensive saves. Daly put together a solid rookie campaign as she notched eight goals and three assists for 19 points.

Another former Hockomock field hockey player that Little East honorable mention honors was Franklin’s Allison Burke. Burke was the stingiest goalkeeper in the conference, sporting an .824 save percentage that slotted her atop all LEC netminders. The junior shattered her previous season-high for saves, stopping 168 shots in 2017, logging four shutouts with a 2.57 goals against average. UMass Dartmouth’s season-opener against MIT on Sept. 2 was a sure preview of Burke’s outstanding season; she set NCAA Division III’s highest single-game save total of the season with 37, holding the Engineers to just four goals and breaking Seana Golden’s previous school-record of 29 saves.

Anthony Barreira worked his way into the starting lineup by the midway point of the season for Bryant University’s men’s soccer team. Barreira started in six straight games, including both of the Bulldogs’ wins this season. He scored his first collegiate goal at home on October 22nd, netting the opening strike in a 2-1 win over Sacred Heart.

Brett McEvoy became Nichols all-time leading tackler (385) this season and earned his fourth Commonwealth Coast Conference all-conference nod and second First Team selection. He led the Bison and finished second in the conference in tackles with 115 (41 solo) and recorded 10-or-more tackles in seven contests, including a season-high 15 against Westfield State and Endicott. He also led the CCC in fumble recoveries (four) and collected seven tackles for loss. He also owns several punting records at Nichols, including punts (207) and yards (7,237).

Mansfield’s Kerra Anastasia concluded her four-year career with Fitchburg State field hockey with her highest point total during her senior season. Anastasia scored a pair of goals for the Falcons, scoring her first of the season in a rout on the road at Becker, and netting her second in a comeback win against Southern Maine. She finishes her career with three goals and six assists, for a total of 12 points.

At Regis College, Stoughton’s Ashley Chipman was the leading scorer for the Pride’s field hockey team while Oliver Ames’s Yvonne Abate was in the top five in scoring from her midfield position. Chipman, who played forward, notched a team-high five goals to tie for a team-best 10 points this season. Abate, who started in 14 games this season, scored twice and had two assists to finish with six points.

Former Attleboro Bombardier Owen McKenna handled punting duties for the Norwich University team this season, along with getting reps on the defensive side of the ball. In 10 games played, McKenna booted 60 punts, averaging over 35 yards on each kick with six kicks inside the 20-yard line and only one attempt blocked. On defense, the sophomore had 22 tackles.

At Bard College, Franklin alum Nicole Ellin appeared in all 17 games as a junior, starting 16 of them. She totaled 1,316 minutes played, which was fourth on the team, finished with a shot on goal, and was a rock in the middle of Bard’s defense at center back. Another Franklin grad, Meghan Dieterle, became a mainstay on Saint Michael College’s backline. She started in 16 games, and even scored a pair of goals (including the game-winner on a free kick in overtime against Post).

Sharon’s Tim Peng notched his first collegiate goal during his senior season at Trinity College. Peng, who patrolled the midfield for the Eagles four years ago, concluded his college career with his best season. He appeared in a career-high 14 games, along with seven starts. He scored his first goal – the game-winner – in a 1-0 win on the road at Western Conn. State.

Danny McDermott made the most of his senior year, starting under center for Salve Regina. He finished the season with 1,892 yards, 22 touchdowns through the air and an average of 210.2 passing yards a game. He completed 55.8% of his 258 attempts. Attleboro’s Tyler McGovern, a freshman, was McDermott’s backup and completed two of his four attempts for 32 yards. One of those completions went for former Bombardier teammate Brendan Nunes, who was second on the team with 34 receptions, totaling 432 yards and hauling in seven touchdowns. Nunes also had six kick returns for 142 yards and was third on the team in all-purpose yards. Foxboro grad Ronnie Martin, in his first year with the Seahawks, was third on the team with 96 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.

Two former Mansfield Hornets earned All-MASCAC honors after solid seasons with the Bridgewater State women’s soccer team. Molly Sheild was named to the All-MASCAC First Team and Katie Bongarzone earned All-MASCAC Second Team honors. Shield and Bongarzone anchored an outstanding BSU defensive unit which limited opponents to just 6.7 shots on goal per game and helped produce seven shutouts and a team goals against average of 0.98. As a team, the Bears ranked second in the MASCAC in shutouts and third in goals against average. Bongarzone started all 19 games this season and finished with a goal and six assists, while Shields appeared in 17 games with 16 starts and recorded an assist. Taunton’s Alana Vincent finished with four goals and four assists in just eight games played for the Bears.

Merrimack junior Mary McNeil was named to the Northeast-10 All-Conference Second Team for another solid season with the Warriors. McNeil, a former Canton standout added to her well-decorated career with another all-league selection. The two-time All-American posted totals of three goals, a team-best 10 assists and 16 points over 18 appearances. She ended the season in a tie for fourth in the conference in helpers, one of six players in the league with double-digit assists. She posted three multi-assist efforts in 2017, and a pair of four-point performances. Also at Merrimack, Canton’s Lindsey Nolte scored five goals and had two assists while Milford’s Jess Palmer scored once. All three started in all 18 games this season.

There was another familiar face on the NE10 All-Conference Second Team, as former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Hannah Friend, who now plays forward for Saint Anselm, was also selected to the team. Friend earned Second Team recognition by leading her team with 21 points of offense (9-3=21) against NE10 foes, scoring nine goals and three assists. Overall on the season, she notched a team-best 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points (12-7=31) and currently ranks 13th nationally in points per game (1.72). Another former OA standout, Kendall Clifford, was named to the NE10 All Rookie team. She led all Saint Anselm freshmen in 2017 by scoring three goals and as many assists for nine points. Making 16 appearances in a reserve role, Clifford has boosted a midfield that has scored more than four goals per game on eight occasions and has blanked its opponents in eight games as well. Franklin’s Maddie Bressler scored five goals and added two assists and Canton’s Mary Nee had three goals and five goals for the Hawks.

Former Stoughton standout Malachi Baugh concluded an injury-riddled career at Stonehill with his best season. After being limited to 27 carries through his first three years, Baugh was second on the Skyhawks with 96 carries this season and totaled 472 yards (52.4 per game and five touchdowns. He scored a touchdown in five of his last six games, helping Stonehill go 4-2 in those contests.

Luke Albertini concluded a four-year career at Central Connecticut State. The former Red Rocketeers started in 56 games over his four years, including 17 in each of the past two seasons. He made 63 appearances in total for the Blue Devils, patrolling the midfield. He scored a pair of goals, one as a freshman, and one as a junior.

Taunton High grad Adam McLaughlin hauled in a pair of touchdowns in his rookie year at UMass Dartmouth, finishing fifth on the team in receptions with 14. He scored his first touchdown of the season in the second game of the year, hauling in a 10-yard touchdown. He had a season-high four catches for 66 yards in a win on the road at Mass. Maritime and then scored his second touchdown of the season in the finale at Fitchburg State, a 29-yard reception in the third quarter. Also at UMass Dartmouth, Attleboro’s Andrew Gingras started all 10 games at left tackle during his freshman season.

Lauren Berman capped a rollercoaster ride of a collegiate career with a great final season with the Boston College women’s soccer team. Berman finished second on the squad in points this season, scoring a team-high seven goals while adding three assists for 17 points. She started in all 20 games this season and was fourth on the team in minutes played. She was named New England Soccer Journal Midfielder of the Year. She finishes her BC career with 14 goals and 15 assists.

Former two-time HocomockSports.com Player of the Year Taylor Cogliano finished the season fourth in scoring for the Merrimack Warriors. Cogliano made 12 starts, and a total of 19 appearances as the Warriors reached the NE10 semifinal game. The former Frankin star scored a pair of goals – one against Molloy and one against Le Moyne – and finished with two assists (against Dominican and Stonehill). Milford’s Nicole Dahlgren made six appearances off the bench for the Warriors this season.

King Philip grad Joe Kellett continues to be a mainstay in the midfield for the talented UMass Lowell men’s soccer program. After starting in all 16 games as a freshman, Kellett was just one of three River Hawks to start in all 18 contests in 2017. He was second on the team in minutes (1,670), and had one assist on the season. He set up a goal in UMass Lowell’s 3-2 win at home over Monmouth.

Elias Camacho, a former Canton gridiron standout, concluded his career at Wesleyan fourth on the team in tackles. He had 26 solo tackles, and 35 total tackles, including two for a loss. He also had an interception in the final game of the season – his third career pick – and had five pass breakups. For his career, Camacho finished with 67 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.

After just one appearance during her freshman campaign, former Franklin standout Dani Lonati lead the Colby women’s soccer team with eight starts in net and nine total appearances. She posted 48 saves with an impressive 1.42 goals against average, earning a shutout win on the road against Thomas. Lonati made a career-high 13 saves in a scoreless tie to open the season against Tufts.

Franklin’s Sammy Rondeau was named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Field Hockey All-Conference Second Team after a strong season with Simmons – her second straight year on the second team. The senior enjoyed the best season of her career, racking up 40 points to rank sixth among GNAC players, while scoring 16 goals to stand fifth and recording eight assists for the fourth-most in the league. The forward’s four game-winners place her fifth among GNAC leaders. The former Panther’s season was one of the best in school history with the fourth-highest point total in school history, the fifth-highest assist count and the sixth-most goals in a season at Simmons. She started all 19 matches for the Sharks and was named the GNAC Player of the Week as well.

Milford’s Eric Nunez had a strong senior season for the Worcester State football team. From his linebacker spot, he finished fifth on the team with 44 tackles and had a team-high four sacks, and six tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble as well. Mansfield grad Aurian Dawkins had 12 tackles during his senior year, as well as a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

Former Red Rocketeer and New England Revolution academy standout Justin Freitas wasted little time making an impact at the University of Vermont. After spending time at Dean College, Freitas scored eight goals and had three assists while starting 13 games for the Catamounts. Freitas had a pair of goals in a 3-1 win at home against UMBC and again notched two goals two games later in a 2-3 setback at home against Northeastern.

For the third time in four years, Franklin graduate Joe Kalil was honored by the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Now anchoring Wentworth’s defense, Kalil was named to the all-conference second team for his strong 2017 campaign. Kalil earned honorable mention during his freshman year, and was named to the first team a year ago. In 2017, Kalil started 20 games and picked up a pair of goals. He finishes inside the top 10 all-time in program history in starts.

The 2015 Hockomock Girls Soccer All Stars & HMs

playeroftheweek_2015_calabraro_HP
Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames

Hockomock League All Stars

Paige Medeiro, Attleboro
Sarah MacQuarrie, Canton
Riley Duserick, Canton
Victoria Stowell, Franklin
Dani Lonati, Franklin
Meghan Dieterle, Franklin
Alexis Stowell, Franklin
Carolynn Will, Foxboro
Lily Sykes, Foxboro
Rachel Hogan, King Philip
Hannah Reiter, Mansfield
Jaclyn Carchedi, Mansfield
Patricia Murphy, Mansfield
Jennifer Kemp, Mansfield
Kristen Franzini, Milford
Haley Guertin, North Attleboro
Rachel LaBonte, North Attleboro
Hana Caster, North Attleboro
Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames
Jacqueline Mills, Oliver Ames
Delaney Benton, Oliver Ames
Zoe Chazan, Oliver Ames
Ally Steinberg, Sharon
Samantha Tullis, Stoughton
Alana Vincent, Taunton
Abby Small, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Rebekah Entwistle, Attleboro
Tessa Cudmore, Canton
Lauren Rudolph, Franklin
Riley Collins, Foxboro
Brooke Thomas, King Philip
Anna Chairolonza, Mansfield
Katie Brown, Milford
Grace Guertin, North Attleboro
Emily Freeman, Oliver Ames
Ally Filipkowski, Sharon
Marissa Williams, Stoughton
Emily Serpa, Taunton

The 2015 Hockomock Girls Soccer All Stars & HMs

playeroftheweek_2015_calabraro_HP
Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames

Hockomock League All Stars

Paige Medeiro, Attleboro
Sarah MacQuarrie, Canton
Riley Duserick, Canton
Victoria Stowell, Franklin
Dani Lonati, Franklin
Meghan Dieterle, Franklin
Alexis Stowell, Franklin
Carolynn Will, Foxboro
Lily Sykes, Foxboro
Rachel Hogan, King Philip
Hannah Reiter, Mansfield
Jaclyn Carchedi, Mansfield
Patricia Murphy, Mansfield
Jennifer Kemp, Mansfield
Kristen Franzini, Milford
Haley Guertin, North Attleboro
Rachel LaBonte, North Attleboro
Hana Caster, North Attleboro
Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames
Jacqueline Mills, Oliver Ames
Delaney Benton, Oliver Ames
Zoe Chazan, Oliver Ames
Ally Steinberg, Sharon
Samantha Tullis, Stoughton
Alana Vincent, Taunton
Abby Small, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Rebekah Entwistle, Attleboro
Tessa Cudmore, Canton
Lauren Rudolph, Franklin
Riley Collins, Foxboro
Brooke Thomas, King Philip
Anna Chairolonza, Mansfield
Katie Brown, Milford
Grace Guertin, North Attleboro
Emily Freeman, Oliver Ames
Ally Filipkowski, Sharon
Marissa Williams, Stoughton
Emily Serpa, Taunton

Stowells Provide Goals For Franklin Against Walpole

Victoria Stowell
Victoria Stowell (16) scored direct from a corner kick for waht turned out to be the game-winner against Walpole on Friday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FRANKLIN, Mass. – There was little energy on the pitch, the passing was far from crisp, chances were practically non-existent and it seemed like both teams were grateful that halftime was only nine minutes away so they could try and regroup.

It was exactly how visiting Walpole and coach Bill Wallace wanted the first 31 minutes to go.

“When you play them in the tournament that’s how it goes,” said Franklin coach Tom Geysen. “I’m lucky it didn’t come down to penalty kicks because that’s how they play.”

“They don’t generate a whole lot of offense, but it’s always close with them because they don’t give you much.”

Then Victoria Stowell stepped up and curled a corner kick into the top corner to give Franklin the lead and changed the outlook for both teams at halftime.

“The corner kick screwed up our plan,” said Wallace, who had taken over two weeks ago when head coach Erin Kearney went into labor. “We usually don’t play a formation with five at the back and I think they did a great job on one day of preparation.”

He added, “She hit a laser…what are you going to do? With a team like that, then 1-0 is like 3-0.”

The goal stood as the game-winner, but also sparked a much-improved second half for the Panthers who ran out 3-0 winners and advanced to face league rival North Attleboro, which Wallace used to coach, on Sunday in the Div. 1 South quarterfinal.

There were chances in the first half, but all came within a four minute span. First Victoria set up her sister Alexis with a corner to the far post but the forward could not keep her header on frame.

Two minutes later, Walpole had a golden opportunity when Franklin’s normally rock solid defense allowed a player clean through on goal, but she dragged her shot wide of the post.

The Rebels had another chance shortly after when Meghan Dieterle and Dani Lonati had a miscommunication on a throw that bounced to Tayla Randall but she steered her header wide as well.

“The kids in the back, I don’t know if it was jitters or whatever, but they weren’t as tight as they usually are,” said Geysen. “I called timeout and told them to calm down on both sides of the ball.”

It was easier to calm down after Stowell’s “Olimpico” and at halftime Geysen reinforced his message that the Panthers needed to get back to playing their game.

“I said that you can’t allow them to be knocking you off the ball,” he explained. “I said, you have to put your big girl pants on an go after them and we kind of did that a little bit in the second half.”

Walpole was forced to come out of its shell a little in the second half and chase a goal, but also the Panthers started to move the ball with more purpose and make more runs off the ball to create scoring chances.

Victoria Stowell had the first chance on a free kick that skimmed the crossbar on its way past. Three minutes later and Alexis Stowell almost finished off a long throw by Ellie Teixeira, but Walpole keeper Kaitlin Brown did well to block.

Teixeira had a chance of her own after a good run forward by left back Abigail Gipson opened space in the middle but again Brown was on hand to make the save. Molly Duncan also had a chance from long range that forced Brown to back pedal and tip the shot over the bar.

With eight minutes to go, Alexis Stowell doubled Franklin’s lead. There was a mad scramble in the box, with several shots blocked by Brown and/or her defenders, and the ball popped loose to Stowell who managed to squeeze it inside the post.

Walpole had created no scoring opportunities since the opening minutes, so the lead looked safe, but Meghan Doherty ensured the win with a deflected shot from the edge of the box that gave Brown no chance.

Geysen hopes that the goal by Doherty and the performance of several young players will give them confidence against the Rocketeers in the next round. He explained that he writes a poem to the team before every game and that in this game’s poem he told them, “if you have butterflies that’s a good thing, it means you’re ready.”

He joked, “And some of them had more than butterflies.”

Franklin will host North Attleboro at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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

Stowell Brace Clinches League Title for Franklin

Victoria Stowell
Victoria Stowell (16) scored a pair of goals in the second half to beat Mansfield and earn Franklin a sixth straight league title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FRANKLIN, Mass. – During Franklin’s win on Friday, head coach Tom Geysen noticed that senior Victoria Stowell was getting frustrated because, despite her team leading 7-0, she could not find the back of the net.

He took her aside and told her to save the goals for the games that matter most to the Panthers. On Monday night, Geysen explained, “Anybody on this front line and in the middle can score against these teams, there are certain teams that they can’t and those are the teams you want to focus on.”

Stowell paid attention and on Monday she celebrated Senior Night against Mansfield with a pair of second half free kick goals that gave Franklin a 2-0 win and clinched the program’s sixth consecutive Kelley-Rex Division title.

“He says score in the important games and that’s what I did,” said Stowell with an ear-to-ear grin. “They’re rivals; I have to score against our rivals.”

In a game that featured few chances for either team, Franklin had a golden opportunity in the 53rd minute. The ball was flicked forward by Alexis Stowell into the path of Emily Spath and the senior was able to chip it past the onrushing freshman keeper Lauren Whitman but then watched helplessly as the ball skipped off the far post.

Just seconds later, Franklin won a free kick and from 35 yards out, Victoria Stowell smashed the ball off the far post and in for the game’s opening goal to make it 1-0.

Megan Georges hit the bar for Franklin 12 minutes later and then with five minutes remaining Stowell again teed up a free kick – this time from 40 yards out. Once again (and for the third time in two games against the Hornets this seaon), she was able to curl the ball into the top corner to make it 2-0.

“They had two fantastic free kicks – upper 90 far post and then upper 90 near post,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “How do you defend that unless you have a 6-foot-4 keeper?”

“If someone’s going to beat you, let it be on something like that.”

Geysen praised Stowell after the first win against Mansfield as a big game player. She lived up to that billing in the rematch as well.

He added, “She’s rock solid and shows no emotion during the course of the game. It’s all business until it’s over and then maybe you’ll get a smile from her.”

Mansfield’s best chance came with two minutes remaining. Jen Kemp laid a pass into the path of Rebecca Bornstein and the senior smacked the ball off the crossbar from the edge of the 18.

It was one of the few shots that the Franklin defense allowed and only second shot that Mansfield put on target in the game. The Hornets put junior Hannah Reiter up top to be the focal point, but the Panthers defense closed down her space and closed off the passing lanes to her fellow forwards.

“The movement off the pass to her wasn’t in the spaces we needed,” said Smith. “We talked about playing, like Franklin does, move forward, pas backward and play forward. When we played forward, there was no back pass because we weren’t moving into that space.”

Geysen explained, “I told my two center backs (Lauren Rudolph and Meghan Dieterle), you have to decide who is going to pick her up higher because she’s going to end up unmarked and the other one has to be behind. The two of them have been rock solid all season.”

The Panthers defense, which also features Nadia Havens and Abigail Gipson, is a major reason why another they claimed another league title. Franklin has yet to allow a goal through 14 games, which is even more remarkable because three of the four starters from last year (Lindsay Mastaj, Leah Benson, and Nicole Ellin) needed to be replaced.

“I thought that I would have a huge job this year,” said senior keeper Dani Lonati, “but honestly I’ve had not even a dozen shots. They communicate really well and, I don’t know, we just work really well together and it’s been one of the more solid parts of the team.”

When asked if the team talks about not giving up a goal, Lonati cut off the question before it was finished and like a pitcher during a no hitter would not talk about it. She smiled and said, “Nope, keep quiet, we don’t want to jinx it.”

Following the Senior Night celebration, Stowell noted, “We’ve faced a lot of adversity this year, losing Bailey [Knous] quick, losing Megan Adams quick, and inexperienced players have to step up and learn the ropes quickly…and I think the sophomores and juniors have done a good job stepping up to replace that defense.”

Franklin (13-0-1, 12-0-1) will put its unbeaten record on the line on Thursday evening at Taunton. Mansfield (9-3-2, 8-3-2) will travel to North Attleboro on Friday afternoon.

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

Taking Stock of the Hock: Girls Soccer 2015

Victoria Stowell Francesca Calabraro
Victoria Stowell (blue) and Francesca Calabraro lead the midfields of the top two teams in the Hock and are among the players contending for Player of the Year this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Who is the current soccer Player of the Year?
Perry: For the past three years, a Franklin girls’ soccer player has been named Player of the Year. It started with Kristi Kirshe, who split the award by division the first year that we gave it out, and Taylor Cogliano won it each of the past two years. At the moment, I think the Panthers’ domination of this award will continue.

Senior Victoria Stowell continues to dominate the middle of the pitch for Franklin, especially against the top teams, as Mansfield can attest. Even with a host of new and inexperienced players around her in the midfield, she continues to keep the Panthers offense rolling with incisive passing and a bite in the tackle that helps protect the defense by keeping the ball high up the pitch. Stowell is second in the league with 18 points, including 13 assists, and is the main cog in a team that remains unbeaten and has yet to give up a goal.

There are plenty of great players in the Hock and many who have had great first halves but Stowell remains the most influential player on the top team in the league.

Lanigan: There are a handful of really talented players this year and a couple that could very well be picked as the top player. As of right now, I’d say Oliver Ames’ Francesca Calabraro is the Player of the Year. Through the first half of the season, the junior has netted 11 goals, which is currently second in the league and has a total of 15 points, which is fourth in the league. The Tigers sit atop of the Davenport Division and have only allowed four goals this season while finding the back of the net 33 times. They were able to keep both Franklin and Mansfield, two other top teams in the state, scoreless in the game and both had to focus a lot of their attention on stopping Calabraro. The 2014 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year should certainly be in the conversation for the league’s top player this year.

Who is the soccer Underclassman of the Year?
Perry: Coming into the season, I would’ve assumed that Lily Sykes would be a sure bet to win this award, but injuries to her teammates have moved her back into a more central midfield position (taking away some of her scoring punch from last year) and another sophomore has stepped in to become the league’s leading scorer. North Attleboro’s Haley Guertin is the focal point of a talented Rocketeers attack and she leads the league with 13 goals and 23 points She is skilled on the ball, strong in the air, and seems to always be in the right position to get the goal when North counters with its vaunted pace. Her partnership up top with Hana Caster has combined for 23 goals.

Guertin may be the frontrunner at the midway point, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a charge from Sykes in the second half of the season, as she and her teammates get healthier. Don’t count out players like Riley Duserick of Canton or Sam Tichelaar of Taunton making a push as well.

Lanigan: Sometimes stats don’t tell the entire story, but in this case they certainly do. North Attleboro sophomore Haley Guertin has had a superb first half of the season, leading the Hockomock League with 13 goals and is second in the league with 10 assists. The partnership she has formed with senior Hana Caster has been one of the most dangerous in the entire league. With 37 goals scored this year, the Rocketeers are one of the top offenses in the league. With seven league games left, Guertin and North Attleboro are just three points out of first place undefeated Franklin Panthers.

What has been the biggest surprise this season?
Perry: I’m not at all surprised that Franklin is back on top of the league and has a serious chance at winning another league title, but the fact that the Panthers have allowed exactly zero goals through the opening 10 games of the season is shocking. After losing Nicole Ellin, who was a rock at center back last year, and both outside backs, I assumed Franklin would need some time to mesh defensively. But Lauren Rudolph and Meghan Dieterle have been immense at the back and on the outside converted midfielder Nadia Havens has slotted in at right back like she’s played there forever. Of course, having four-year starter Dani Lonati in goal also helps with the organization and confidence of the Franklin back line. There is a ton of talent on this squad, but seriously no goals allowed in 10 games? That is a remarkable accomplishment.

Lanigan: Certainly Franklin having a +38 goal differential (with zero goals against) is quite the feat but I’d say the biggest surprise so far has been North Attleboro. The Rocketeers graduated two very talented players in Nicole Chretien and Courtney Hewitt, both of which had the ability to find the back of the net. But they haven’t skipped a bit with Glenn Pasquel in his first year at the helm. Between Hana Caster, Haley Guertin, Grace Guertin and Shannon Kingsley, among others, the Rocketeers are second with 37 goals scored this year. North still has two games left against Franklin, who has yet to surrender a goal.

HockomockSports.com Midseason Best XI
Perry:
G – Dani Lonati, Franklin
D – Delaney Benton, Oliver Ames
D – Hannah Reiter, Mansfield
D – Meghan Dieterle, Franklin
D – Sarah MacQuarrie, Canton
M – Victoria Stowell, Franklin
M – Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames
M – Lily Sykes, Foxboro
M/F – Hana Caster, North Attleboro
F – Haley Guertin, North Attleboro
F – Jackie Carchedi, Mansfield

Lanigan
G – Dani Lonati, Franklin
D – Hannah Reiter, Mansfield
D – Sarah MacQuarrie, Canton
D – Delaney Benton, Oliver Ames
M – Victoria Stowell, Franklin
M – Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames
M – Hana Caster, North Attleboro
M – Alexis Stowell, Franklin
F – Haley Guertin, North Attleboro
F – Jackie Carchedi, Mansfield

At this point, which team will be going the furthest in the tournament?
Perry: I’m not really going out on a limb, but I think at this point it would be hard to pick against Franklin. Even with injuries starting to hit the Panthers attack, freshman Halle Atkinson has stepped in and provided a spark and, as mentioned above, the defense is playing at a very high level.

But, I will say that there is a chance that we could see a deep run from Canton this season. Division 2 South is wide open with a lot of very good teams, but without a powerhouse like Hingham at the top. While the Bulldogs will have to go through the likes of Scituate and Medfield (and probably Hingham), Canton has made huge strides in head coach Kate Howarth’s third year and showed against Mansfield at Gillette that it can pass the ball and control possession as well as any team in the league, which becomes particularly important in the tournament.

Lanigan: I think there’s a very good chance we could see the Panthers return to the D1 South Sectional game for the fourth straight year. Between Mansfield, Franklin and OA, they might have to go through one another in a very talented D1 South bracket. You win games with defense and so far, the Panthers have done just that as they haven’t allowed a goal. I think all three of those teams will all be tough to play in the playoffs.

What is your bold prediction for the rest of the season?
Perry: I’m not great at bold predictions. I’m almost invariably way off or my pick is far from bold. But here goes: my bold prediction is that this fall a girls’ soccer team wins silverware for the league in the tournament. At first glance, Franklin looks the most likely, but Mansfield, Oliver Ames, and North Attleboro will be teams that the likes of Whitman-Hanson and Bishop Feehan will want to avoid in D1 and Canton and Foxboro have potential to cause problems in D2. The league looks increasingly deep and before the season ends one of the teams will have a trophy to show for it.

Lanigan: My bold prediction is that Franklin won’t allow a goal all regular season. It will be a very tough task with two games left against North Attleboro and one against Mansfield but I think the Panthers have a chance at doing it. With Meghan Dieterle anchoring a strong back line and with Dani Lonati, one of the best goals in the state over the last four years, in net, it will be a challenge for teams to score against Franklin.

Friday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/09/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Football
North Attleboro, 14 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Patrick Johnson 65 yard interception return, Connor Flynn XP; (NA) Nick Rajotte 30 yard rush, C. Flynn XP.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Canton, 22 @ Stoughton, 21 – Final (OT)
1st Quarter: (Sto) Guy Eddy 1 yard run, XP missed.
2nd Quarter: (Can) Jake Ragusa 2 yard run, Thomas Monagle XP.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (Sto) Jake Gibb 18 yard pass to Eddy, 2-point failed; (Can) Dennis Ross 35 yard pass to Michael Harris, Woanyen Mahn 2-point run; Gibb 27 yard field goal.
Overtime: Ragusa 2 yard run, Monagle XP; Gibb 2-yard run, 2-point failed. 
Foxboro, 42@ Milford, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Mark Clagg 52 yard pass to Austin Ryan, John Cronin XP good; (F) M. Clagg 15 yard pass to Ronnie Martin, J. Cronin XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Blake Hill 5 yard rush, XP good; (F) Darren Kelly 12 yard rush, J. Cronin XP good. 
3rd Quarter: (F) Austin Ryan 99 yard punt return, J. Cronin XP good; (M) Zach Lanzetta 10 yard pass to Blake Hill, XP good; (F) R. Martin 11 yard rush, J. Cronin XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) D. Kelly 65 yard rush, J. Cronin XP good. 

King Philip, 10 @ Franklin, 3 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Zach Boari 17 yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (F) Nick Yelle 20 yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (KP) John DeLuca 2 yard rush, Z. Boari XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Taunton @ Mansfield – Postponed to 10/10, 12:00

Sharon, 28 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – Final
1st Quarter: (OA) Liston Funai 7 yard rush, 2pt fail.
2nd Quarter: (S) Tyler Smith 55 yard rush, Josh Rotman XP good; (S) Rob Bayha 21 yard pass to Craig Titus, J. Rotman XP good; (S) R. Bayha 21 yard pass to Bryce Smith, J. Rotman XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Juvan Elisma 43 yard rush, J. Rotman XP good.
4th Quarter: (OA) Charlie Ryan 12 yard pass to Shawn Cardoza, XP fail.
Boys Soccer
Canton, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Kevin Hall scored for the third straight game, this time off an assist from David Stowell to pace the Panthers. Austin Kent added an unassisted for for Franklin.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Kinge  Philip, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Keegan Nutt headed home the lone goal of the game, finishing off a rebound off of Chris Romero’s shot that hit the crossbar.

Milford, 1 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Lens Esquil scored for the second consecutive game, this time finding the back of the net twice for the Tigers. Senior Austin Botelho had two assists and Daeshawn Duffy scored once.
Sharon, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Sharon found the back of the net just five minutes into the game when Lucas Allaria converted an assist from Jake Goloboy. James Dunlea doubled the league off an assist from Liam McManus and Stephen Higgins scored unassisted in the 34th minute to make it 3-0. Matt Lowerre capped Sharon’s scoring shortly into the second half off an assist from Dunlea. Gareth King netted a late goal for the Rocketeers.
Girls Soccer
Franklin, 2 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Megan Georges and Meghan Dieterle scored the goals for Franklin both assisted by Victoria Stowell.
Mansfield, 4 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalJen Kemp scored two goals and assisted on a pair of Jackie Carchedi goals in the first half for the Hornets. Hannah Burns scored in the first half and Lily Sykes scored with five minutes left for Foxboro. 
King Philip, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Francesca Calabraro scored a pair of goals for OA. Emily Freeman and Julia Roy also scored, while Delaney Benton had three assists for the Tigers, who scored all their goals in the first half. 

Taunton, 1 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Kristen Franzini scored off an assist by Gabbie O’Neil and Katie Brown headed home the winner with fewer than two minutes remaining assisted by Francesca Shipperd. Christine Pye returned from injury to make 11 saves in goal. Abby Small had the goal for Taunton.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Hana Caster scored once and had two assists, Shannon Kingsley netted a pair of goals and Haley Guertin picked up two points for the Rocketeers, who led 3-0 at half. Felocity Monfils also added a goal for the Rocketeers and Leah Jette had an assist. Kiersten Bixby and Nina Beauvias combined for the shutout in net.
Volleyball
King Philip, 1 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final King Philip fell on the road, 20-25, 25-21, 21-25, 16-15. 
Mansfield, 1 vs. Needham, 3 – Final – Mansfield picked up a win in the second set to level the match but Needham took sets three and four to get the win, 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 16-25. Cathryn Heavey had 33 assists and 10 digs in the loss for the Hornets.
Sharon, 1 @ Norwood, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 1 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 3 – Final – Stoughton suffered a 26-24, 15-25, 24-26, 19-25 loss on the road. Bianca DeSousa had 16 assists, 14 digs, 10 service points, eight aces, five kills and two blocks and Val Whalen added seven kills and seven blocks.
Field Hockey
Milford @ Taunton – Postponed to 10/19
Golf
Attleboro, 184 @ Foxboro, 174 – Final

King Philip, 169 @ Oliver Ames, 157 – Final – Jack Green’s 37 paced Oliver Ames while Brian Lambert carded a 39. Todd Bushway and Danny McLoughlin each shot 41 for King Philip.

Stoughton, 190 @ Franklin, 165 – Final – Matt Dao and Matt Pleshaw each shot a 40 for the Panthers. 
Taunton, 208 @ Mansfield, 206 – Final (5 cards) – David Craig led Mansfield with a 39, who picked up its second straight win on a card off. Devon Barbero shot a 40, Mike Marry shot 41 and Matt Chirichiello carded a 42. 
 

Panthers Shut Out Mansfield in Battle of Unbeatens

Bailey Knous
Franklin senior forward Bailey Knous scored the eventual game-winner just four minutes into the game against Mansfield on Monday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

MANSFIELD, Mass. – The air was cool, even chilly, the lights were on at Alumni Field and Monday evening’s matchup between unbeaten Mansfield and Franklin girls’ soccer did not feel like the fifth game of the season.

The action on the pitch felt like a state tournament game and the reaction of the Mansfield players after the final whistle showed just what it meant to the Hornets.

“It’s five games in and my girls wanted it so bad that they’re upset right now,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “They’re saying that we did not play at the level we want to and I’m very happy with that.”

Franklin went on the road and sent a message to its division rivals that it was still the team to beat with a 3-0 victory. Bailey Knous, Jamie Dragsbaek and Victoria Stowell were on target for the Panthers, but it was the back four and the defensive pressure in the midfield that both coaches credited for the win.

“The pressure up front was causing them problems,” said Franklin coach Tom Geysen. “It makes them less apt to pushing everyone forward and in the first half they started getting away from what they were doing and started whacking the ball long, which takes them out of their game.”

The Panthers needed only four minutes to take the lead. Megan Georges picked up the ball in the hole behind the forwards and hit a perfect through ball to Knous, who managed to hold off Anna Chiaralonza and slide the ball past the onrushing Emily Gaumond.

It was a struggle in the first half for the Hornets who had trouble matching Franklin’s pace and the control of the midfield. Mansfield created only one chance in the opening 40 minutes when Katie Bongarzone managed a shot from 20 yards that hit the angle of post and crossbar.

“We were running helter skelter,” said Smith. Our shape was terrible. Their spacing was fantastic but we were also letting them win easy 50-50s. I thought we cleaned that up in the second half and gave them a much better game.”

Franklin was not creating many clear-cut chances but was keeping the pressure on the Mansfield back four. Alexis Stowell had a chance with a header on a cross from her twin sister Victoria and then created another scoring opportunity for Knous minutes before halftime only for Gaumond to make the sliding save.

“When we come here, our girls really get up for them because they’re always very, very good,” said Geysen. “It’s the first time all season that we’ve played a full 80 minutes the way that we’re capable.”

“I told them that this is the best, total game in two years.”

The second half was far more even with Mansfield starting to get more involved in the physical battles, but it was still Franklin that had the majority of the chances. Knous flicked a header onto Stowell only for Gaumond to come flying out and make the save at the feet of the forward.

Mansfield made a change and brought junior Hannah Reiter from center back to the center of midfield to try and improve the Hornets attack. The Quinnipiac-commit made an instant impact with a dipping shot from 25 yards that forced Franklin keeper Dani Lonati to tip it over the bar.

Smith explained, “We were missing that link between the midfielders and the forwards who could just get a ball under composure and attack – not just kick it. Just to have that presence there…she won headers and helped us sustain attacks.”

Despite the Hornets increasingly putting pressure forward, the Franklin back four managed to clear everything that came its way. The central defenders, Meghan Dieterle and Lauren Rudolph, worked well in tandem with one going to the ball and the other always there to cover.

The outside backs, junior Nadia Havens and Abi Gipson, were able to keep track of Mansfield’s dangerous duo of Jackie Carchedi and Jen Kemp.

“Before the game, my other outside back told me that she was sick and couldn’t play so I grabbed Abby and said next body up and she played well,” said Geysen.

In the 70th minute, a Franklin break led to a corner. Rudolph played it into the middle and the ball bounced in the six-yard box before junior Jamie Dragsbaek volleyed in the loose ball to make it 2-0.

In the final seconds, Victoria Stowell, who had been a dominant force in the midfield for the Panthers, wrapped up the scoring with a 35-yard free kick that soared into the back of the net and added some gloss to the final score.

“When she stepped up I told her right on [net], right on,” said Geysen of his junior midfielder. “She steps up in big games. Against teams like this and OA, she steps up.”

Smith noted, “[The score] didn’t reflect the game, but the better team did win…They were slightly better than us and they earned it.”

Mansfield (4-1-0) will host Kelley-Rex rival North Attleboro on Thursday afternoon. Franklin (4-0-1) will be back home to play Taunton.

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

Girls Soccer: 2015 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

ATTLEBORO

2014 Record: 3-12-3
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro heads into the 2015 season with a strong core of sophomores that have the Bombardiers thinking positive thoughts about the future, although  this may be a season of growing pains.
Paige Medeiros is back for Attleboro and the senior midfielder will be a key player for the Bombardiers as her set pieces have been one of their best sources for creating scoring chances. Head coach Steve Santos will also be hoping for positive contributions from Rebecca Entwistle and Kayla Merritt among other returning players. Attleboro also has several players bouncing back from serious injuries who could step right back into the lineup.
Attleboro scored only eight goals a season ago and offense may be at a premium again this fall as the young players grow into their new roles. The Bombardiers will focus on pressuring the opposition and being tough to beat.

FRANKLIN

2014 Record: 17-1-3
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Tom Geysen
Franklin reached its third consecutive Div. 1 South final last fall but couldn’t come through with a three-peat in an overtime loss to Whitman-Hanson. The Panthers lost several key pieces including two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Taylor Cogliano, but remain among the favorites for the Kelley-Rex title.
The Stowell twins, Assumption commits Victoria and Alexis, are two important players coming back for the Panthers in midfield and attack along with senior forward Bailey Knous, who has battled injuries during her career but when on the field can be prolific in front of goal. Also, junior Meg Adams is back and healthy, which will be a huge boost in the early season, and Megan Georges returns after a breakout season at attacking mid.
Franklin was not only a strong offensive team but also one of the league’s best defensively and Geysen is counting on Lauren Rudolph and Meghan Dietrle to hold down the center of defense while young players step into roles on the outside. Geysen is confident his team is going to be solid, but he believes younger players are going to need to grow into new positions if the Panthers are going to get back to the sectional final.

KING PHILIP

2014 Record: 6-6-8
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Gary Pichel
King Philip is waiting on a new turf field to be finished, but in the meantime will be battling the Kelley-Rex leaders and aiming for another spot in the postseason.
The Warriors will return junior striker Rachel Hogan, who will be joined this fall by senior captain Makenzie Nickerson, who is returning after 1-1/2 years out with a knee injury and should be a big boost to the forward line. Maggie Hall will return for her second year in goal and Lauren Hehn and Kate Sexton are back to shore up the midfield and Brooke Thomas and Emma Corcoran will lead the defense.
Logan Greenburg, Liz Cooley, and Caitlin McNulty are new faces that head coach Gary Pichel says “will add an exciting style of play across the board.” He added, “Our goal this year is to compete well with all the teams in the Hock and of course, make it to the postseason.”

MANSFIELD

2014 Record: 11-4-4
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Kevin Smith
The Hornets took No. 1 seed to the brink in the quarterfinals last season before being knocked out of the playoffs. This year’s team will be missing several key pieces from that squad, but returns 14 players including several from the 2014 HockomockSports.com Second XI.
Mansfield will be counting on junior Quinnipiac commit Hannah Reiter to continue her emergence as a star player in the Hock and to dominate in the midfield. Up top, the Hornets will have plenty of firepower with seniors Jackie Carchedi and Jen Kemp back after combining for 19 goals last fall. Defensively, Mansfield also has plenty coming back with Trish Murphy, Lindsey Dalton, and Anna Chiarolanza all returning.
The top four scorers are all back for Mansfield and all but one of the starting back four. Head coach Kevin Smith also noted that the players who are returning have 2-3 years of experience at the varsity level and should be able to step right in to keep the Hornets among the top teams in the league.

NORTH ATTLEBORO

2014 Record: 10-5-4
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Glenn Pasquel
The Rocketeers were stunned in overtime by league rival Mansfield in the first round last year and will have a new coach with former JV coach Glen Pasquel taking over from Doug Wheldon.
While there are plenty of changes for the Rocketeers this season, there was plenty of youth on last year’s team that could develop into top talents. North will look to senior Hana Caster for the primary scoring punch and Pasquel is pleased with the developing partnership up top between Caster and sophomore Haley Guertin. Grace Guertin is back in the midfield and Rachel Labonte will be moved back into defense to cover for the loss of Hannah Kane.
Pasquel feels comfortable moving into his new role and hopes to instill a passing game that keeps the ball on the ground. He is also adding a sweeper/stopper system rather than a flat back four. Once again, North appears to be a team that can compete among the best in the league.

TAUNTON

2014 Record: 6-9-4
2014 Finish: Missed the playoffs
Coach: Edith Dixon
Taunton earned plaudits for its growth under first-year head coach Edie Dixon last season, as the Tigers won six games and showed tenacity and competitiveness with everyone they played. This season, Taunton will return all but two starters and is eyeing a potential tournament berth.
HockomockSports.com Second XI goalie Kayla Wentworth is among the returning players and will be expected to backstop the Tigers defense. Up top, the combination of Bristol-Plymouth transfer Alana Vincent and Sam Tichelaar will be back to provide a scoring punch and freshman Maggie Sullivan will be back in midfield after starting a couple of games as an eighth grader in 2014.
Dixon has high hopes for the Tigers. She said, “We’ve got high expectations for this season and are getting excited to get into games.”