Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Nick Allen, Canton
John Hagan, Canton
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Ryan Nolte, Canton
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Owen Ginley, Franklin
Jack McGrath, Franklin
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Mike Curtin, King Philip
Cullin Anastasia, Mansfield
Tim Arnold, Mansfield
Jason McNeany, North Attleboro
Drew Wissler, North Attleboro
Matt McCormack, Oliver Ames
Michael Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Brendan Campbell, Stoughton
Will Walsh, Taunton
Attleboro, 2 vs. Old Rochester, 1 – Final (3OT) – Attleboro beat Old Rochester in triple overtime to advance to the finals of the Farleigh Dickinson Tournament. The Bombardiers will play either Martha’s Vineyard or Weston in the final on Sunday at 1:00PM. The game against Old Rochester will go down as a tie for MIAA purposes.
Canton, 2 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 1 – Final – Canton overcame a one-goal deficit, scoring a pair of goals in the third period to beat Lincoln-Sudbury. Sophomore Chris Lavoie tied the game at the midway point of the final period and then classmate Johnny Hagan netted the game-winner with 23.7 seconds left.
Mansfield, 2 @ Winthrop, 4 – Final – Chris Copponi and Jake Lund each scored a power play goal but the Hornets fell on the road to Winthrop.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Brockton, 2 – Final – Brockton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first 15 minutes of play but Oliver Ames tied it in the second period and scored the game-winner in the third. With the win, OA qualifies for the state tournament. Senior Rory Madden scored OA’s first goal on the power play (assisted by Colin Bourne and Michael Nikiciuk) and junior Brett Williams tied the game in the second. In the third period, Bourne netted the game-winner on an assist from Max Ward.
Stoughton, 4 vs. Nauset, 9 – Final – Stoughton’ Sean Doherty recorded a hat trick and Josh Hough scored once but the Knights fell at home to Nauset. SHS head coach Dan Mark said Thomas McCoy played well in goal for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 3 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 1 – Final – Will Walsh scored a pair of goals to help the Tigers pick up two points on the road and qualify for the state tournament for the third consecutive year. It marks just the second time in school history the Tigers have reached the postseason three straight years (1994-1996). Walsh also had an assist while Cam Sneyd scored once and had two helpers. Jack Patneaude and Nathan Fernandes each had an assist in the win.
Canton, 2 @ Duxbury, 1 – Final – Canton scored less than five minutes into the game and doubled its lead early in the third period to upset Duxbury, ranked fifth in the state. Kendra Farrelly opened the scoring in the first and Maggie Malloy made it 2-0 in the third period. Duxbury scored with 14 seconds left.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Both Oliver Ames and Attleboro skated to wins on Wednesday night, so both were facing the tough task of such a quick turnaround with a matinee matchup on Thursday at the New England Sports Village.
But by the way the Tigers came out, you’d never know they had just been on the ice the night before.
Oliver Ames scored less than a minute into the game, added a second goal in the final minute of the opening period, and then scored three more in the final period, picking up a 5-1 win over the Bombardiers.
“We wanted to get the points sooner than later,” said OA head coach Sean Bertoni. “We came out strong in the first. I wasn’t happy with how we came out in the second, it wasn’t our best period. I think the penalties kind of threw us off a little bit. But we came out strong again in the third, especially right away.
“We have Brockton on Saturday, then a good tournament down the Cape after that. It’s a quick turnaround after today, and we have a tough Westwood team to end the season. So we need the one point, and if we do get in, we’ll be battle-tested. We need our rest now, we need to get healthy and then Saturday is a big one for us.”
The Tigers move within one point of qualifying for the state tournament with four games left. Attleboro is already in the state tournament via the Sullivan Rule after their big win over Weston on Wednesday.
The visitor’s offense came from its defense in the first period. Senior defenseman Michael Nikiciuk stepped into a shot atop the right circle and the puck found its way through traffic and into the back fo the net with 14:11 left in the period.
Attleboro’s best chance of the period came with 3:30 to go when senior Jake Parker had a chance at a partial breakaway but good back pressure from OA’s Matthew McCormack didn’t allow Parker to get a shot off on target.
While it looked like the Tigers would take a 1-0 lead into the break, the offense came back to life. LeBlanc, who was credited with an assist on the opener, had a pair of shots saved and Ross Carroll saw his rebound bid go just wide of Attleboro goalie Evan Andrews (29 saves).
In the same offensive cycle, Rory Madden deflected the puck to the center of the ice, between the circles, and Nikiciuk stepped up once again from the blue line, batting a high shot through traffic and into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Attleboro had its best chances in the second period thanks to a pair of power play opportunities. OA was whistled for a cross check at 11:12 and the Bombardiers had a couple of chances over the next two minutes.
Big Blue’s best chance came at the tail end of the man advantage when Sam Flynn had his low shot redirected in front hit the post. Before that, Attleboro had three good chances denied by blocks.
“I think those PKs were huge, especially with our guys battling through some sickness, playing last night, only having four PK guys…going back-to-back was a challenge for us and they did a really good job,” Bertoni said. “I think we gained some momentum from killing those. We talked before the game about how big the o-zone would be. I wanted the defense to play up more, and as you saw with Nikiciuk’s goals he was up in the zone. It was good to see him come down to the circles to get shots off.”
The Bombardiers went on the man advantage a minute later. Junior Cam Littig came flying down the ice and shuffled a pass to sophomore Ryan Morry on a two-on-one bid but OA sophomore goalie Owen Connor made a nice push from right to left and make the save with the blocker.
“When you only get 15 shots in the game, you have to capitalize on the good chances,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We hit the post, had the other chance…the game could have changed in the second. OA needs their points right now and they played like it, they played with urgency tonight. Their three lines deep.”
Oliver Ames cashed on the momentum it gained with the penalty kill in the third period. Attleboro took a penalty just 11 seconds into the third, and though it was able to kill off the man-advantage, OA kept the pressure up and converted shortly after.
With the puck still in the offensive end Madden dropped a pass back to Hunter Costello. Costello got a piece of it, causing a scrum in front. The puck popped free back to Madden, who whipped a low shot while turning to goal to make it 3-0.
After killing another cross check penalty, Oliver Ames junior Colin Bourne took a pass from Madden, raced down the right side fo the ice and found the back of the net with a wrist shot.
OA added a fifth goal in the final minutes when Madden got his second goal of the game, and fourth point, stuffing one in from behind the net.
Attleboro’s lone goal came in the final seconds when Littig batted in a one-timer on nice pass from Flynn.
“That’s a good team over there,” Homer said of OA. “They have three lines and they are deeper than we are. They’re quicker, they are on the puck. Sean is a good coach, he has the kids playing the game they are supposed to be playing, and they are structured. They came out flying in the first period, the second period was a better period for us, we worked harder and took the body a bit more. Then we went into the third period, we made one error and boom, they capitalized on it. You can’t do that, you can’t beat good teams doing that.”
Oliver Ames boys hockey (5-4 Hockomock, 10-7-0 overall) will try to earn the point it needs for the state tournament when it takes on Brockton on Saturday at 6:00. Attleboro (1-7-1, 7-9-1) returns to action on Saturday with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard to take on Old Rochester at 5:00.
Canton, 60 @ Boston Latin, 46 – Final – Canton trailed after eight minutes of play but built a five-point lead at halftime, and doubled that going into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs qualified for the state tournament with the win. Junior Devin Foster had a team-high 21 points while senior Tony Harris had 18 points.
Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – Foxboro trailed by just two goals after two periods but Franklin put the game away with three third period goals. CJ Spillane, TJ Durkin, Dan Magazu, Shane McCaffrey, Joe Lizotte and Scott Elliot each scored once for the Panthers while Josh Bertumen scored for Foxboro in the second period.
Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip scored a pair of goals in the first period and had a quick response in the second after Taunton cut it to one to beat the Tigers. Sophomore Jack Coulter buried a rebound on a shot from freshman Rocco Bianculli just under five minutes into the game. Sophomore Joe Boselli doubled the lead five minutes later, firing a low shot after a feed from defenseman Mike Curtin. Taunton’s Will Walsh took a feed from Cam Sneyd, used his first touch to get past the defenseman and then used a nice move, finishing backhand to cut the deficit to 2-1 just two minutes into the second. But less than three minutes later, Curtin drove a hard slap shot through traffic to put KP up 3-1. Luke D’Amico added an empty net goal in the final minute. Taunton sophomore Sean Bunker played well in net with 32 saves while KP goalie Shane Frommer had 19 saves.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames stole the momentum with a goal late in the first period and then capitalized on it with two second period goals to beat Mansfield. The Hornets scored first and last, but the Tigers had three straight between the first and second periods. Mansfield sophomore Kevin Belanger tallied his first career goal just over two minutes into the game, getting a tip on Tim Arnold’s shot. Oliver Ames’ Rory Madden tied the game with 30 seconds left in the opening frame, burying a rebound off a shot from Matt McCormack. Just over two minutes into the second, the Tigers took the lead when Brett Williams batted in a rebound off a shot from Ryan Gottwald, with Madden also notching an assist. Six minutes later, solid forechecking from Ross Carroll and Adam Lyons resulted in the puck squirting free to top of the circles where OA senior Michael Nikiciuk stepped into a slapshot for a 3-1 lead. Mansfield sophomore Joseph Troiano recorded his first career goal in the third period, taking a pass from Tyler Oakley before depositing his slap shot into the back of the net.
Canton, 5 vs. Dedham, 0 – Final – Canton’s Lauren Fitzpatrick recorded her 50th career point in the Bulldogs’ big win over Dedham.
Franklin, 1 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final
King Philip, 6 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 0 – Final – King Philip scored three goals in each the first and second periods to build a big lead over DS/Hopkinton. Nicole Connor scored a pair of goals while Alli Meehan, Allie Wilson, and Katie Crowther each netted one goal apiece. Lilly Potts and Cristina Coleman combined for the shutout in goal.
Canton, 21 @ North Attleboro, 46 – Final – North Attleboro had success with the lower and upper weights in a division win over Canton, clinching at least a share of the Davenport title for the second straight year, and fourth league title overall. “The best part was our execution on our feet,” North head coach Wayne Griffin said. “The team’s take-downs are getting better and better along with other aspects of our wrestling.” Ethan Smith (106), Brady Folan (113), Adam Eberle (160), Brad White (195) and Matteus Kudra (220) had pins for North while Anis Chakir (132), Max Gallagher (138) and Cole Murphy (182) had pins for Canton.
Oliver Ames, 49 @ King Philip, 28 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up some momentum heading into the league championships on Saturday with a division win over King Philip. Remy Creighton (106), Greg Griffin (120), Chris Belleton (160), Jay Fruci (195) and Dean Pacini (220) all won by pins for the Tigers while Casey Bellevue (132) had a major win and Brandon Belleton (138) had a minor win.
Milford, 27 @ Stoughton, 45 – Final
North Attleboro @ Milford, 4:00
King Philip, 127.90 @ Franklin, 133.15 – Final – Franklin junior Mia Lizotte won the All Around with a 35.75 while teammate Liz Traphagen took second with a 34.3 to help the Panthers beat King Philip. Franklin results: Vault – Lizotte 9.35, Traphagen 8.6, Lexi Lupien 8.3, Rachel Cyr 8.2; Bars – Lizotte 8.5, Sadie Rondeau 8.1, Traphagen 7.9, Katelyn Guidi 6.0; Beam – Lizzote/Traphagen 8.7, Rondeau 8.5, Lupien 7.9; Floor – Lizotte 9.2, Traphagen 9.1, Rondeau 8.3, Lupien 7.8.
Franklin, 3 vs. Newburyport, 2 – Final – Franklin scored a pair of goals over the final 65 seconds to score an improbable win against Newburyport. Trailing 2-1 with just over a minute to play, sophomore Tom Tasker scored to tie the game. Right off the faceoff, senior Jeremy Miller scored the game-winning goal. Senior Luke Downie put the Panthers on the board in the second period.
King Philip, 2 vs. Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 2 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames junior defenseman Matt McCormack scored on the power play with three minutes left to lift Oliver Ames to a non-league win over North Attleboro. Senior Michael Nikiciuk scored Oliver Ames’ first goal as the Tigers held a 31-12 advantage in shots.
Stoughton, 2 vs. Norton, 6 – Final – Brendan Campbell and Matt Brown scored third-period goals for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 5 vs. Dartmouth, 7 – Final
Franklin, 3 @ Auburn, 1 – Final
King Philip, 4 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 2 – Final – King Philip raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but the Dolphins battled back with a goal in the first and the second to tie the game. But the Warriors answered quickly as Meghan Gorman put KP back in front with her second goal of the game. Defenseman Nicole Connor carried the puck in from the blue line, evaded multiple DY defenders, and dished a pass to Gorman, who was open in front. Gorman had the opener for KP off an assist from Kyleigh Remmes. Junior Ali Wilson put KP ahead 2-0 while junior Alli Meehan gave the Warriors insurance with a goal in the third period, assisted by Talia Quinn. Defensemen Katie Crowther, Jess Daniels, Marin Cormier, and Madda Kelly kept DY scoring opportunities to a minimum through the second and third periods.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 @ Medfield/Norton, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 2 vs. Framingham, 7 – Final
Franklin, 70 @ Ashland, 0 – Final
Sharon Quad (Sharon, Hingham, Norton, Danvers) – Sharon pinned down a pair of wins at its own quad meet on Saturday morning. The Eagles beat both Hingham (41-36) and Danvers (46-36), but fell to powerhouse Norton (52-15). Senior captains Matt Callan (145) and Sam Mandelbraut (132) each win 3-0 on the day while freshman Jack Landstein (113) earned his first career win.
Franklin, 131.75 @ Taunton, 125.25 – Final – Franklin opened its season with a win over Taunton. Junior Mia Lizotte was first in the All-Around with a 36.15, edging out Taunton’s Elise Ferreira (34.1). Lizotte was first in the vault (9.45), bars (8.30), beam (9.20) and floor (9.2). Franklin freshman Lexi Lupien scored an 8.45 on the vault, senior Liz Traphagen scored 8.05 on the bars and 9.1 on the floor, and junior Sadie Rondeau scored 8.40 on the beam for the Panthers. Freshman Katelyn Guidi also placed on the bars.
FITCHBURG, Mass. – Playing in a state final was nothing new for the Oliver Ames High boys soccer team.
The senior-laden Tigers, playing in their third state final in four years, looked to hoist the state championship trophy like they did in 2015.
But in Saturday’s Division 2 state championship match, it played out more like 2014, when OA fell to Concord-Carlisle.
The Tigers had a chance at redemption facing C-C again for the crown, but OA left the door open by not finishing all its first-half chances and the Patriots fought back, securing the game-winner in double overtime to defeat OA, 2-1, at Fitchburg State University’s Elliot Field in the D2 State Final.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities early on,” said OA coach John Barata. “The game should have been over in the first half with two or three goals. Then, the bounces didn’t go our way and all of a sudden momentum started to pick up on their side.
“It was anyone’s battle, going back-and-forth. They’re a great team. They’re well-coached. They have an absolute terrific group of players and we’re pretty excited that we were able to compete with them. We could have had a better outcome if we had put a couple balls away.”
OA (15-3-4) certainly had its share of chances to put C-C (14-2-6) away, but unable to do so, the game went into overtime.
The Patriots dictated play throughout the first overtime and thought they had notched the game-winner twice, only to have each goal in the extra frame called back due to offsides.
OA couldn’t do anything with the new life. In the 98th minute, Cameron Emde-Gerdine worked his way into the box on the left side before crossing it to Logan Dick, who got a knee on the ball to send it into the back of the net to give C-C its fifth state title since 2006.
“Concord-Carlisle seems to have our number right now,” Barata said. “We’ll have to continue to develop as a program to catch up to them.”
Even though C-C leveled the score, 1-1, in the 66th minute when Kyle Jackson stayed with his shot and snuck the rebound inside the left post from the top of the box, OA still had plenty of opportunities to end the contest in regulation.
In the 76th minute, senior forward Jack Sheldon crossed a ball in from the right wing, but nobody was on the other end of it as the ball trickled just wide of the left post.
“We had a lot of chances today,” Barata said. “A few went right past the goalpost and the six (yard box). Some of those might haunt some of the kids, but hopefully it won’t because they should be very proud of themselves. They played a great game and great season.”
OA dictated play in the first half with consistent pressure and it paid off with a goal in the 18th minute.
A long throw-in from senior Chris Lawrence found the head of senior forward Michael Nikiciuk in the box. Nikiciuk flicked the header over the reach of C-C’s 6-foot-5 goalie Davis Van Inwegen as the ball hit the crossbar and dropped into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
“Those throw-ins and set pieces are a blessing for us,” Barata said.
It wasn’t meant to be for OA, though, as its offense only mustered two shots on net. The loss ended the career of 21 OA seniors, who left a lasting impact with their tremendous state-final runs over their careers, including three sectional titles over the past four seasons.
“They’re a fantastic group of kids,” Barata said. “We’ve had a good four years. To get to the state championship three times in four years, programs would love to do that. Some haven’t made it ever. We’re very blessed in that case. (The seniors) did win a state championship and now they’re the top-two team in the state for the second time.”
TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off its biggest win of the season in the D2 South Semifinals against top-ranked Nauset, Oliver Ames head coach John Barata was admittedly a little worried how his Tigers would come out on Tuesday night against Pembroke in the sectional final.
But those worries were quickly erased as the Tigers came out firing, dictating the play throughout the first half. OA took the lead just before the halftime break and then added two more in the second half to earn a 3-0 win over the sixth-seededa Titans, giving the fourth-seeded Tigers their third D2 South crown in the last four years.
“That’s where the experience kicked in for us,” Barata said. “We knew that even after winning such a big game, it was just one game and the next big game was this one. Having won that one and losing this one, [the Nauset win] wouldn’t have meant much. So it was very important coming out firing, and we did.”
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the Tigers were ready to go. With 21 seniors on the roster, Oliver Ames is stacked full of playoff experience.
The Class of 2018 witnessed the Tigers win four playoff games, including the sectional final, in 2014, their freshman year
In 2015, a handful of those seniors – then sophomores – played vital roles in five postseason wins including a win in the D2 State Final. And last year, they picked up experience in two more postseason games.
Now in the program’s 16th playoff game since they were freshmen, these seniors had no trouble getting going from the start.
“It’s a great senior group, it’s a group I’ve been with since kindergarten and first grade,” Barata said. “We knew it was a special group coming through, and we’ve had similar groups and have similar groups coming, but it’s been a special bond. For me, it’s been nice to see them succeed and now hold their own title up, not with senior groups. They’ve done it on their own.”
Less than a minute in, the Tigers had two goal scoring chances. Senior Chris Lawrence’s throw somehow flew through the area without a recipient. And seconds later, senior Mason Galbato chipped a service in but senior James Gillespie’s header was saved.
Three minutes later, senior Matt Alvarado found Gillespie at the far stick but his header just went over the bar. Two minutes later, Gillespie’s low shot just missed the far post after senior Michael Nikiciuk had set him up via a low centering pass.
In the 18th minute, Lawrence launched another long throw that slipped through the keepers’ hands but Brian Flaherty cleared the loose ball off the line to prevent the Tigers from taking the lead.
Flaherty gave the Titans their best chance of the first half. OA senior keeper Jack Carroll did well to clear away a cross, but the loose ball fell to Flaherty who floated a shot off the crossbar from 25 yards out.
But the momentum didn’t shift as OA continued its pressure. Alvarado touched a ball over the top that Pembroke tried to shield back to the keeper but strong pressure from senior Nathaniel Cardoza nearly gave the Tigers the lead.
A minute before half, the Tigers cashed in on a corner kick. Senior Jack Sheldon drove the corner right to the six-yard line where Cardoza rose up and nodded his header inside the near post for a 1-0 lead.
“We felt like we should have opened the game up much earlier,” Barata said “It made it a battle and we knew it was a going to be a difficult contest but we should have opened the scoring much earlier and much more frequent. But [Pembroke] made some adjustments, then we made some adjustments [in the second half] and got control back.”
While Pembroke picked up some of the play to begin the second half, the Tigers withstood the pressure. The best chances for the Titans came on a scramble in front off a corner kick, but OA did well to clear it.
The Tigers finally found an insurance goal in the 71st minute. Sheldon gained possession on the right flank near the corner flag. He was able to beat his defender along the line, drawing the defense out. He slid a pass right to the penalty spot where Alvarado calmly blasted a right footed shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
“We talked about going into a defensive formation or not, but at the end of the day, we had so many chances it just didn’t make sense to go into a cocoon and have them come at is. So we decided to not do it and it paid off. We were able to get the two at the end.”
OA put the game away for certain just two minutes later as Gillespie was rewarded for a great run with a service into the area. His shot was saved but Nikiciuk was right on the doorstep to tap it in for a 3-0 lead.
With the win, Oliver Ames boys soccer (15-2-4) advances to the D2 State Championship to take on North sectional champion Concord-Carlisle (13-2-6) on Saturday, with a location and time to be announced. It is also a rematch of the 2014 final, a 1-0 win by the Patriots.
“We look forward to playing them again, they are a fantastic team,” Barata said. “They have five state titles, they are a juggernaut in high school soccer. They are the bar that everyone tries to be. I know Ray [Pavlik] well, he’s a fantastic coach. I hope we give them a great game.”
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames senior James Gillespie didn’t have a ton of touches on the ball during Thursday’s nights game against Walpole, but he certainly had the two most important ones.
Gillespie scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in double overtime in the 94th minute of play to help the fourth-seeded Tigers avoid an upset bid by the 12th-seeded Rebels.
“You’re kind of like hiding back there and defenders don’t know you’re there sometimes,” Gillespie said of his back post positioning, the spot he was for both his goals. “The first goal, the defender didn’t know I was there. It’s a good spot to be standing in because we get a lot of crossed to the back post.”
The Tigers nearly had the game won in regulation but Walpole struck with just over a minute to play. With just their second shot on goal of the half, Rebels senior Luccas Ferreira got just enough of a header on a long throw-in from Kevin Sullivan to tie the game.
“We knew we had to keep our heads high, we couldn’t let them come back and score another goal,” Gillespie said. “We just had to keep fighting to get that goal back.”
Oliver Ames had its chances in the first half but only converted once.
A tactical change helped create the Tigers’ goal in the first half. Head coach John Barata switched senior Matt Campbell from the right side of the pitch to the left side. Shortly after, Campbell won possession on the wing and delivered a low cross that found its way through the area to the back post, where Gillespie tucked it in on a one-timer.
“James is brilliant at that, he’s been brilliant at framing the back post,” Barata said. “We’ve been lucky because no one can mark one guy. For example, James scored twice today but we have 14 goal scores, so we don’t have that star scorer teams can focus on. But we have guys that score.”
The lone scare of the first half came via miscommunication between the defense and keeper. A defender attempted to head the ball back to Jack Carroll, who had come out to get it himself. Senior Colin Evin recovered nicely and cleared the ball just before the goal line to preserve the one-goal lead.
OA kept the pressure up but couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the 29th minute, Alvarado slipped a through ball to Nikiciuk, who got a slight touch before the keeper, but Walpole’s goalie recovered nicely.
A minute later, senior Nathaniel Cardoza linked up with Alvarado, who cut it back to put the ball on his left foot but his shot was slightly deflected and just hit the post and stayed out.
On the ensuing corner, Walpole partially cleared the ball but Mason Galbato took the ball down on his chest and fired a low shot that just rolled wide.
The chances continued in the second half when Jack Sheldon found Alvarado two minutes in, but his left-footed strike was knocked down and saved.
Good pressure from Nikiciuk resulted in another chance in the 57th minute, as his hard run to a loose ball forced a collision between keeper and defender, but before the ball would sit for Alvarado on the rebound, a defender made a nice tackle to block the shot.
Sheldon forced the keeper into another big save in the 67th minute. His shot from just outside the area was slightly deflected and popped up on the keeper on the bounce, but he got just enough to push it over the net.
“We knew we needed two goals against them because they might sneak one in,” Barata said. “The funny thing is the game should have been over; should have been over in the first half, should have been over after the second half. We should have had three or four to be honest. [Walpole] is a very good team but we had multiple chances. I don’t think they had five shots. We have to learn from this that this could have easily been a loss in a game that we purely dominated. We knew it’d take two goals but I just wish it came earlier.
Walpole had its best three chances of the game come in the final 10 minutes. A long throw from Sullivan bounced through the area to the far stick but Walpole’s Conor McDonough saw his golden chance sail over the bar.
The Rebels had a free kick from 25 yards out in the 75th minute, but Carroll was quick to react and made the comfortable save to his left. Four minutes later, Walpole had the equalizer.
“The boys know what they should be doing, getting the ball in the corner and be relaxed,” Barata said. “But instead the adrenaline was bouncing around, plus [Walpole] had to come at us late. We knew it’d be tough, but we just lost some focus in the last two minutes, and we didn’t clear two balls.”
After a scoreless first overtime period, the teams switched sides and OA cashed in on its first corner of the frame. Sheldon’s low cross was touched by Galbato right at the penalty spot, sending the ball to the back post for Gillespie to bury for the winner.
“The ball deflected off a teammates leg and it was open in front of me and I just ran in there and put it away before they could get to the ball,” Gillespie said.
With the win, Oliver Ames boys soccer (13-2-4) to the D2 South Semifinal to take on top-seeded Nauset (18-1-1). It’s a matchup of the past two D2 State Champions.
It will be the first time we play them ever in program history. They’re the number one team in the state, number three team in the region and number five team in the country so we’ll have our hands full. But we’re looking forward to the challenge. We go in as the underdogs so hopefully, we’ll go in fighting.
The game between OA and Nauset is scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 at Milford High School.
Boys Soccer D2 South
#3 North Attleboro, 0 vs. #19 Medfield, 1 – Final – North Attleboro was done in by a first-half goal by the visiting Warriors of Medfield. Medfield used a counter attack down the right wing, a cross that was headed and saved by goalie Brendan Matracia, but then buried by sophomore Matt Thompson on the rebound. “In the second half, every time that we got something going, we committed some type of foul, we killed ourselves in that regard,” said North Attleboro head coach Geoff Burgess. North finishes the season 11-2-6.
#4 Oliver Ames, 4 vs. #13 Whitman-Hanson, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames had an ideal start to its first playoff game, scoring four goals in the first half to advance past Whitman-Hanson. Senior Matt Alvarado converted a pass from Nathaniel Cardoza to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead, and then Alvarado set up classmate James Gillespie to make it 2-0. Michael Nikiciuk scored a pair of goals inside a five-minute span to add to OA’s lead. OA senior goalie Jack Carroll saved a penalty kick in the second half to preserve the shutout. #4 Oliver Ames will host #12 Walpole (10-6-2) on Thursday with a time still to be announced by the MIAA.
Girls Soccer D1 South
#5 King Philip, 2 @ #4 Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – King Philip sophomore Avery Snead scored her 29th and 30th goals of the season, one in each half, to help the Warriors advance past the Trojans. Snead scored on a cross from Chloe Layne in the 37th minute, and then added a big insurance goal in the 76th minute.
#8 North Attleboro, 0 @ #1 Natick, 3 – Final – Natick scored all three of its goals in the first half to hand North Attleboro the loss. Big Red finishes the season 14-3-3.
Field Hockey D2 South
#5 Foxboro, 0 @ #1 Dennis-Yarmouth, 1 – Final – Top-seeded Dennis-Yarmouth scored off a scrum in front of the net with just 1:56 to play to end Foxboro’s postseason run. The Warriors finished the season 15-4-2.
Volleyball D1 Central East
#2 King Philip, 3 vs. #7 Arlington, 0 – Final – After a lengthy period of time off between the regular season and postseason, King Philip opened up tournament play in style with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-18) win over visiting Arlington. Sydney Phillips put down 15 kills while adding 10 service points, including two aces while Michaela Palumbo chipped in with eight kills, Julianne Rando added 11 digs, Elise Pereira had seven digs and six service points, Rachael Veilleux had 10 service points and 24 assists and Olivia Atkins finished with 10 digs. #2 King Philip will host #6 North Quincy (14-7) on Thursday at 6:00.
D1 Central West
#6 Franklin, 0 @ #3 Hopkinton, 3 – Final – Franklin went on the road and gave the third-seeded Hillers a big test, especially in the second half, but came up short (13-25, 24-26, 18-25). Hailey Sanders had seven kills and a block while Meaghan Maguire added four kills and four blocks to pace the offense. Lauren McGrath finished with 24 assists, eight digs and three aces while Riley Marino had 16 digs for the Panthers.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – The game ended in a draw, but Oliver Ames walked away from Val Muscato Stadium with something to celebrate.
Although neither the Tigers nor the Hornets of Mansfield scored in a showdown of the Kelley-Rex’s top two teams, the point from the draw kept OA (26 points) ahead of Mansfield (25 points) and clinched the division title in the final league game of the season.
“It’s a good draw because that’s all we needed to win the league outright,” said OA coach John Barata, who helped the program win its fifth division title in the past seven years. “However I think we were the better team today anyways. I thought we had many more chances, especially in the beginning. I thought we dominated about 80% of the game.
“But they had the best chance of the game so we escaped with the tie. Although it was a good tie, we kind of escaped because they had that chance and we got fortunate. They could be Hock champs right now.”
The first half nearly picked up right where OA left off the last time these two teams met back at the beginning of October. The Tigers dominated the second half of that game with chance after chance, but only scored once in a draw.
“[Oliver Ames] is a much higher ranked team than people give them credit for,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan. “They are a great team…great coach, great players. I have nothing bad to say about this game other than I wish we scored.
“We should have put away that golden opportunity. But we didn’t play our best for 80 minutes and they didn’t score on us. If this was the tournament, I’d take my chances with my goalie in PKs.”
The chances came right away for OA, who had six corners kicks in the opening 40 minutes and six long attacking throws into the area.
Cardoza was at it again in the 20th minute, seamlessly splitting a pair of defenders before sending in a through ball for classmate Matt Campbell, but Campbell couldn’t quite get his body turned and his one-timer rolled harmlessly to Ferraz.
Jack Sheldon forced Ferraz into a leaping save in the 24th minute on a tight angle shot, but the ensuing corner didn’t result in a chance.
Chris Lawrence’s long throw-in found Nikiciuk inside the box in the 33rd minute, but his low bid from in close skidded wide at the near post.
Matt Alvarado sent a tempting cross into the box that bounced to the far post but Sheldon was just a step late and his touch went wide into the near post side netting.
“First half almost seemed like a continuation of the second half of the first game,” Barata said. “Then in the second half they were more physical and kind of took us out of our element. But we adjusted. [Mansfield’s] a good team. We really focused on a couple players, and one of them created their two best chances. We had to prepare for this like it was a state tournament game and that’s how we played it today.”
The game, and the chances, evened out more in the second half as the Hornets came out with a more physical game plan. The style worked, as the Tigers struggled to get their offense going as they did in the first half.
Just a minute later, Sam Hyland jumped onto a loose ball for the Hornets but his low bid was covered by Carroll.
OA senior Cam Vella connected on a header in the 61st minute, but Ferraz had plenty of time to adjust on the bounce and make the stop.
The best chance of the game for either side came in the 62nd minute when Jackson Murphy played a perfectly weighted through ball to Lanzillo on the left wing, and he centered to a wide open Anastasia inside the six, but his sliding bid went over the bar.
“For us right now, we believe defense wins championships,” Barata said. “We’ve done well not giving up goals overall this year. I’m happier with the shutout than if we would have won 4-3 because I don’t want to be giving up goals right now. If we can score one, we know we can win any game. And if it goes 0-0, we are confident with PKs.”
Mansfield kept the pressure up as Harry Braidt sent a free kick into the area in the 66th minute but it bounced through without a recipient. Hyland had another chance in the 69th minute when his long throw was cleared back out to him, but his hard show sailed over the bar at the far post.
With the Hornets – who needed a win to clinch the division title – pushing numbers forward, OA had some chances on the counter-attack. Alvarado slipped a pass in behind for Nikiciuk but Ferraz made his biggest stop of the game with a point-blank save on a shot from inside the area.
The Hornets had a chance on a scramble in the area when Luke Savoie’s free kick was dropped by Carroll, but as Nick Hyland put a header on frame, Carroll recovered quickly to make the stop.
Nikicuk nearly had the winner with the final chance of the game, again taking a pass from Alvarado but Mansfield’s Matt O’Donnell had a perfectly timed slide to just put him off and allow Ferraz to collect.
“If we have more of those chances [long throws, corner kicks]…we just couldn’t get anything going offensively, especially in the first half,” Sheridan said. “In the first half we couldn’t string together three passes. We knew what we had to do defensively. It just goes to show you our defense can hold it, we just have to get our offense clicking.”
Oliver Ames boys soccer finishes the season with an overall record of 11-2-4 and will likely be a top-four seed in D2 South when the brackets are released on Wednesday. Mansfield finishes 10-2-6 and will also likely have a home game to start the D1 South tournament.