2019 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

2019 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview
Sharon and King Philip battled in the opening round of the D1 East tournament and both have their sights set on a return to the postseason as the spring gets underway. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 3-15
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Chrissy Quinn

Attleboro is a relatively young program that is looking to build on a talented group of returning players, particularly in the attacking end of the field. New head coach Chrissy Quinn has a dynamic group of attackers that she is hoping will build on last season’s 113 goals, which was the second-lowest goals tally in the league.

The key player in the midfield and attack is senior Kyra Lyons, who accounted for nearly half of the team’s goals last spring despite drawing the attention of opposing defenders. Lyons will be joined by senior midfielder Rylee Fontes, a Worcester State-commit, who adds a secondary playmaker around the opponent’s goal. Junior attackers Sydney DiLiddo, Kelly Johnson, Rylee Turnes, and Ashley Piazza will get helped by sophomore Hannah Webster, Campbell Compton, and Isabella Salviati.

On the defensive side of the ball, seniors Sam Fasoldt and Sydney Viera will be the leaders of the back line, trying to protect sophomore Maggie Porreca and junior Dee Graham, who will both see time in goal this season. Juniors Julia Willis, C.J. Westwater, and Lynn McDonald will also be jumping into the defensive unit to add depth at the back for the Bombardiers.

Canton

2018 Record: 4-13
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Laurie Chabot
Like many of the teams in the Davenport division, Canton comes into the spring eyeing a return to the state tournament. The Bulldogs last made it in 2016 after finishing in a three-way tie for second behind Foxboro in the Davenport division. With a mix of new faces and experienced returning players, second-year coach Laurie Chabot is hopeful that this season with see Canton make a run up the standings.

Canton will have a lot of experience in the defensive unit even after graduating a few key pieces. Senior Molly Cummings will be the leader at the back and will be joined by classmate Devyn McGrann and freshman Sydney Gallery, whose twin sister Fay will jump into the midfield this season. Junior Alexa Maffeo and seniors Maggie Connolly and Leah McLellan will also be critical for the Bulldogs to take control of the middle of the field and transition from defense into attack. Communication at the back will be key. There are several new faces in the attacking unit but Chabot is already seeing that chemistry is building. She was pleased with results in the preseason and is hoping that confidence will carry over into the games that count.

“We are off to a great start this spring,” Chabot said. “This year we not only have a strong team with both skill and speed, but we have size on our side. The team is coming together, starting with a win against Norwood in our scrimmage. We have strong players in all areas it’s hard to pinpoint just one.”

Foxboro

2018 Record: 14-6
2018 Finish: Reached D2 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Brittany Sherry
Expectations may be as high for this year’s Foxboro team as any under head coach Brittany Sherry because the Warriors have a roster filled with talent and experience (14 returning seniors). Foxboro will be looking to clinch an eighth straight league title but also will have its sights set on bringing home the program’s first sectional title as well. With the weapons at the Warriors disposal, there is the potential for plenty of silverware to come their way this spring.

It all starts with two-time reigning Hockomock League MVP (and reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year) Sophia DiCenso. The senior midfielder has spent the off-season playing with the youth national team and will be the cog on which the Warriors build their attacks. She is joined in the midfield by classmate Molly Murphy, who is closing in on 100 goals in her career, juniors Abby Hassman and Jamie Notarangelo and sophomore Ella Waryas, who each provide Foxboro with solid two-way play. In attack, seniors Meghan Curran and Caroline McGeary have consistently provided goals in big games and sophomore Lilly Vey is a newcomer to watch this spring. The loss of Alex Stamatos to injury will be tough on defense, but senior Carlie Stern will provide the leadership for an experienced group that includes seniors Mary Spillane and Jenna Stamatov and junior Grace Boudreau. Of course, if anyone gets through then University of Louisville-commit Sara Addeche will be waiting in goal.

“This year our main goal is to take it game by game,” Sherry said. “We’re putting whatever has happened these last few years, as far as previous wins/losses and playoffs go, and putting it in our past. We need to continue to work hard every day, play as a team and have fun while doing it. We all have a common goal and know what it’s going to take to get there.”

Franklin

2018 Record: 14-6
2018 Finish: Reached D1 East Semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino

It is a sign of just how far the Franklin program has come that being knocked out in last season’s East semifinal could almost be considered a disappointment. After winning the East title in 2016 and 2017, the Panthers come into the spring with another roster loaded with talent and experience and a schedule loaded with the top teams in the state to prep for a deep tournament run as well as trying to make it eight straight league titles.

Senior Annie Walsh will be the focal point for the Panthers again this year and the player that the offense typically runs through. Her sister Erin, a junior attacker, is one of the best finishers in the league and gives Franklin a dynamic one-two punch on offense. Junior Kelsey MacCallum adds another talented attacker to the forward line, while senior Hailey Toolin adds versatility as either a midfielder or defender and junior Alex Field will be a key piece of a defensive unit that was by far the best in the Hock last season. Junior goalie Gianna Cameron is another reason for the Panthers having such a strong defensive record after two straight seasons on the HockomockSports.com First Team. The Panthers haven’t lost a league game since 2012 (more than 70 straight wins) and have added an exciting freshman class with loads of potential, including six players making the instant jump to varsity.

“We have a ton of versatility where a lot of different players can play all positions. I am excited about the athleticism and skill level of our team,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “We have a ton of players with high level stick work and IQ that are capable of scoring and feeding. I am looking forward to us becoming a team with a high powered offense!”

King Philip

2018 Record: 14-6
2018 Finish: Reached D1 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Kourtnie Wilder

Under first-year head coach Kourtnie Wilder, King Philip built on the momentum of its run to the 2017 East semifinal to put together a 14-win season and finish comfortably in second place in the Kelley-Rex division. The Warriors took Franklin to triple-overtime, coming as close as anyone has in recent years to ending the Panthers’ long league win streak, and battled with Lincoln-Sudbury in the East quarterfinal. Now, KP is hoping to use that experience to make a run at ending Franklin’s dominance in the division.

The key for KP may be the attack, which returns a lot of goals from last season. Senior Caroline Klim is back and will be a player that opposing defenses will have to watch out for after leading the league with 73 goals last season, including nine against Sharon in the playoffs. Klim will be joined up top by classmate Dana Truini and junior Jessica Sullivan. Defensively, Wilder points to the team’s aggressiveness and communications as being the keys to building on a season in which the Warriors only allowed 153 goals, which was second-best in the Hock. Senior Victoria Tormey, a HockomockSports.com First Team defender last season and Boston University-commit, will be the leader at the back and will have classmate Caroline Watson back in goal behind her to make a formidable group for opponents to break down.

Wilder said, “We are excited for the season and have a great group of returners. This season will be competitive as we are playing some strong teams, but we are up for the challenge! We are looking to build off of our success from last season and continuing to work hard and improve each day at practice.”

Mansfield

2018 Record: 9-10
2018 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round
Coach: Lauryn Wilkie

New coach Lauryn Wilkie takes over the program this spring, looking to push an experienced Mansfield roster up the league standings, challenge Franklin at the top of the division, and make another run at a state tournament berth. The Hornets will be counting on its 11 returning seniors to keep things heading in the right direction this spring.

Senior attacker Katie Garvin will lead the forward line again this season after being among the league’s top scorers in 2018. Seniors Lauren Whitman and Maggie Danehy bring verve, energy, and experience to the Mansfield midfield, covering on draw controls and the transition game. Seniors Emily Vigeant and Kylie Tryder will cover the back line just in front of senior goalie Katie McCarthy, all of whom have multiple years of experience on varsity and should be a strength of the team. There are some underclassmen who will contribute right away for the Hornets, including sophomore midfielders Annemarie McCoy, Abby Varricchione, and Grace Fernandez and sophomore defender Melissa Shanteler.

“We are coming back this year with a brand new coaching staff looking to make some changes to the program,” said Wilkie. “We are breaking down the sport back to the basics and building it back up. Once this team finds their groove, I expect big things.”

Milford

2018 Record: 2-16
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Nicole Serra

Milford has a number of players back and a new head coach, Nicole Serra, looking to make a quick turnaround from last season in which the Hawks won only twice overall. With an athletic group back, Serra is working on building chemistry and putting the players in position to take advantage of their speed in transition. After scoring a league-low 82 goals last season, the attack will be a primary area of focus this spring.

Seniors Emily Haley, Katie Drysdale, and Sophia Bucal will give the Hawks leadership on the field, with Bucal providing a vocal presence in the attack. Senior Briana Maietta will join Bucal up front and they will be helped by junior midfielders Annie Flanagan and Elena Bon Tempo, who add athleticism whether in the attack or tracking back to help out on defense. Junior Hannah Bangert will be the leader at the back, controlling the defensive zone, along with sophomores Katie Maietta, Jillian Michelson, and Eva Parson.

“I am hoping to see the team really push themselves to improve every day and treat each practice like a game,” said Serra. “We are working on improving our speed, adding to our repertoire of offensive plays, and beating our record from previous years. I am looking forward to a great season.”

North Attleboro

2018 Record: 7-11
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Colleen Carchedi

While North Attleboro finished below .500 last season, the Rocketeers only missed a postseason berth by a single game, ending up one game behind Sharon and in third-place in the Davenport division. Second-year coach Colleen Carchedi, who came over from Sharon last spring, is counting on the team’s young core (and the new turf at Beaupre Field) to help North get back into the postseason hunt and even challenge Foxboro’s reign at the top of the division.

Senior attacker Alexa Sinacola and senior defender Lauren Pezzi will be leaders on either end of the field, but North also has a strong junior class that will be counted on to produce this season, especially after the graduation of perennial all-star Kenzi Rosenberg. Junior Katie Lindstrom will be the focus of attention in the midfield after committing to UMass Lowell in the off-season, but she will have help from classmates Kathryn Kayata, Regan Fein, Lily Cameron, and Lindsay Spratt. Junior Faith Graveline will step into goal to try and help Pezzi lock down the defense along with sophomore starters Camryn Gonrdell and Aimee Baiungo. Sophomore Maggie O’Brien will add a spark to the attack.

Carchedi said, “We are young, but we are fresh. We are full of potential and certainly have the ability to compete at a high level of lacrosse. It is going to be a great season for us. Having the turf will be crucial in creating success for the program. I am very excited for this season and the future looks bright.”

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 8-12
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Nicole Lang

Oliver Ames continues to build the depth within its program to try and get that elusive berth in the state tournament. The Tigers have won eight games in each of the past three seasons, making the postseason in 2016 and narrowly missing out by two wins each of the last two years. This spring, OA will send out a relatively young squad that will look to get the Tigers over the hump and into the playoffs.

While there is plenty of youth on the roster, OA has leadership from a core of experienced players, including senior midfielder Olivia Piazza, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team last year and is committed to Merrimack College. She scored 91 points last season and will be the engine at the heart of the OA midfield. Senior Maddie Kullen will be in goal this season for the Tigers and classmate Grace McCallum returns to lead the defensive unit.

OA will try to improve its defensive record and make strides up the league standings under second-year coach Nicole Lang, who said, “We have a young team this year but with a lot of determination to learn the game. We continue to work hard each day to continue to build a competitive team for this League. The girls are definitely excited for the season so we are looking forward to their hard work paying off.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 11-8
2018 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round
Coach: Shara Ginthwain
Sharon has made the playoffs each of the past three seasons and has gone 7-3 in league play for the past two years. It has been an unprecedented run of success for the program and the challenge for the Eagles is to keep that momentum going even with the loss of key players to graduation. Second-year coach Shara Ginthwain will hope that new players can step in and that the team’s chemistry and effort will allow Sharon to continue battling at the top of the Davenport division standings.

Senior midfielder Emma Eberhardt is the key to the Eagles staying on track. The Lehigh University-commit scored 69 goals last year, including five against KP in the playoffs, and has been one of the top playmakers in the league the past three seasons. Eberhardt’s normal running mate in midfield, Sabrina Robbins, is now playing at the University of Colorado, so it will be important for her to build a rapport with sophomore Jenna Goldstein, who had an impressive rookie campaign, and senior Maeve Barbera. Senior goalie Rose Wald will be back between the pipes and classmate Bridget McManus is back to guide the defensive unit after being a HockomockSports.com Second Team performer last spring. Sophomore Molly McAlevey is a newcomer in defense to keep an eye on.

“Based on tryouts, practices, and scrimmages early this season, I can already tell that this team has a lot of heart, a lot of grit, and does not give up,” said Ginthwain. “I think their mental toughness is going to be a big strength for us this year!”

Taunton

2018 Record: 7-10
2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Kerry Northup

Taunton has been on the verge of getting into the postseason in each of the past two seasons, missing out by just two wins last year, including a one-goal loss to Canton and a pair of non-league losses to New Bedford. With a young crew coming into this spring, the Tigers will be looking to improve their performance in the league (2-8 in the Hock in 2018) to push themselves into the postseason conversation.

The key for the Tigers is sophomore Alana Tavares. The three-year starter has been one of the league’s most dynamic attacking threats since jumping onto the varsity scene as an eighth grader and so much of the Taunton attack runs through her. Junior Kamryn Li is also back for the Tigers after scoring 23 goals last season. The only seniors on this year’s team are Emma Sheehan and Mabel Smith, but Taunton will have 10 sophomores, eight freshmen and an eighth-grader on this year’s roster, so the underclassmen are going to have roles to play right away this spring.

“We are a young group this year, but added some promising players to our roster,” said Taunton coach Kerry Northup. “We are excited to work with and grow the young talent we gained towards building us as a confident, strong competitor in the league.”

2018 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars

Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Allison Meehan, King Philip

Hockomock League All Stars

Sydney DiLiddo, Attleboro
Anna Beck, Attleboro
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Kaitlyn Goyetch, Canton
Maria Femia, Canton
Meg Curran, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Lily Daly, Foxboro
Julia Carangelo, Foxboro
Jaime Notarangelo, Foxboro
Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Emily Valentino, Franklin
Maeve Ledwith, Franklin
Allison Meehan, King Philip
Kate Lindmark, King Philip
Samantha Robison, King Philip
Maggie Danehy, Mansfield
Alicia Hottleman, Mansfield
Paige Reisman, Milford
Abby Calistra, North Attleboro
Emily Han, Oliver Ames
Hannah Stryke, Oliver Ames
Allison Small, Sharon
Allie Howe, Stoughton
Emma Sheehan, Taunton
Alana Tavares, Taunton

Honorable Mentions:
Alexis Compton, Attleboro
Katie Trerice, Canton
Molly Murphy, Foxboro
Christina Luccini, Franklin
Meg MacDonald, King Philip
Kelly Doherty, Mansfield
Olyvia Whyte, Milford
Julia Feid, North Attleboro
Maggie Woods, Oliver Ames
Rebecca Clayman, Sharon
Jeanna Girolamo, Stoughton
Lauren Torres, Taunton

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/18/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Sharon, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final Sharon saw a lead disappear in the first half, but didn’t let it happen in the second. After going up 1-0 on a goal from Michael Baur (assisted by Brian Higgins) but Canton leveled before the break behind a goal from Paul Corcoran. Sharon took the lead again when Antonio El-Khoury finished off a cross from Baur. The Eagles added a key insurance goal on an unassisted goal from Higgins. Canton’s Avery Minkin scored to make it 3-2.

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 6 – Final Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Morgan McCabe and Elisa Diletizia each scored twice for the Bulldogs, who scored the first three and the last three goals of the game to get the win. Sarah Collins had a goal and assist and Anne Hoban scored once in the win. Marika Fillion scored off a Bridget McManus free kick early in the second half for the Eagles.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final

Foxboro, 2 vs. Martha’s Vineyard, 0 – FinalJamie Notarangelo and Molly Murphy (assisted by Lily Daly) scored in the second half to give Foxboro the non-league win at Forekicks and extend the Warriors unbeaten streak to nine games.

Volleyball
Canton, 3 @ Notre Dame Academy, 2 – Final Despite falling behind 2-1, Canton picked up two straight wins to earn a 3-2 (19-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-11, 15-8) decision on the road at Notre Dame Academy. “The entire team stayed strong throughout,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley. Taylor Harris has a great night with 22 kills, 18 digs, a block and two aces, and Erin Devine added seven kills and eight blocks. Theresa O’Brien chipped in on both sides of the ball with nine kills and 18 digs while Nicole Brown finished with 36 assists, six kills, and 27 digs. Cawley said Megan McDonough and Julia Minichiello were awesome on defense, combining for 37 digs and seven aces.

Norton, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final

Golf
Hockomock League Championships – Click here for results and a photo gallery of this event.

Canton Lands Big Win Over Division Foe Foxboro

Canton field hockey
Foxboro’s Sophia DiCenso tries to get past Canton’s Kaitlyn Goyetch in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – In a battle between the top two teams in the Davenport division, the visiting Foxboro Warriors landed the first punch, but the Canton field hockey team delivered a counterpunch that led to a key 3-1 Hockomock League victory.

Foxboro scored less than four minutes into the contest, capitalizing on its second straight corner after swarming the Canton defensive zone.

But Canton didn’t sway, scoring three unanswered over the next 25 minutes to take a lead that it never surrendered.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We were slow in our warmup, the weather was off, we just took a little time today to pull it together,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “I think the goal woke them up a little bit and I think we did a nice job of transitioning from down a goal to taking control of the game.

“I think the games against KP and Walpole helped prepare them for today’s game against Foxboro. Playing good competition, it spreads the field out, and you have to look for those spaces.”

Foxboro cashed on its second straight corner after its first one was denied by Canton goalie Riley O’Connor (seven saves) and then cleared off the line by Katie Trerice.

On the second corner, Michaela Ames found Lily Daly. Her shot was deflected, alluding O’Connor and found the stick of Sophia DiCenso. The senior used a strong backhand shot at the near post to put Foxboro up 1-0 with 26:50 to play.

But instead of the Warriors adding onto the lead, Canton took complete control of the play. The Bulldogs earned a pair of corners and a penalty stroke. Although they didn’t cash in on those chances, Maggie Malloy got the hosts on the board at the midway point of the half.

On a corner, sophomore Maria Femia found sophomore Kaitlyn Goyetch at the top of the area. She quickly passed to Malloy in the area and she hit a one-timer into the back of the cage to make it 1-1.

The Bulldogs nearly took the lead a minute later when Maggie Connolly found Malloy in space and she unleashed a hard shot but Foxboro goalie Julia Carangelo came up with a big kick save to keep the score level.

“They came right back at us, I think we took that one goal for granted,” said Foxboro head coach Melissa Bordieri. “[Canton] played well, came right back, and placed the ball well. We had, defensively, some pretty big breakdowns positionally. We were leaving gaps and kudos to them, they found them and used them.

“We tried to make some adjustments at halftime, and I thought we started to make them and then we turned right around and started chasing.”

But as the half went on, Canton continued to apply pressure and was able to break through with just under nine minutes to go. Femia played a ball into the area, Malloy redirected it with one touch and Connolly tipped it in from right in front of the goal.

The Bulldogs cashed in one more time before the half was over, scoring with just 57 seconds to go. Again it was a shot from Malloy from inside the circle that was tipped in by Connolly right in front that gave Canton its 3-1 lead.

“Each game she gets better at it,” O’Connor said of Connolly. “She only started playing last year, so she’s pretty new to the sport. Each time, she’s getting better at where she needs to be and watching that ball. It’s starting to pay off for her now where she’s in the right spot at the right time and getting her stick on it.”

Foxboro made some adjustments at the half and applied a lot of pressure but couldn’t cut into the Bulldogs’ lead. Daly had a goal off a corner waived off with 13 minutes to go and just 30 seconds later, O’Connor denied DiCenso on a chance and Rose Malloy came up with a big clear off the line.

Two minutes later, Ames connected with DiCenso on a corner and she moved the ball along to Daly but her pass to the far post was just out of the reach of Molly Murphy.

“We had seven corners [in the second half], we need to execute better there,” Bordieri said. “We had seven opportunities to score just from corners, and we didn’t capitalize. We worked our butts off to get those chances, and we didn’t take advantage of them. Some of them we didn’t even generate a chance. [Canton] beat us to the ball today, they were quicker than us.

Canton nearly added another tally on a counter attack as Malloy chased a ball down in space and found Femia but Carangelo made the stop at the near post.

“We’ve worked on improving our defense on those top players, keeping an eye on them and see how we can eliminate them from the play,” O’Connor said. “And today I think our defense did a good job against their offense. The defense is improving each game, and hopefully, we’ll keep it rolling.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Foxboro’s final good chance came with just over nine minutes to go when DiCenso ripped a hard low shot through traffic but O’Connor was up to the task with a big lunging kick save.

“You never want a loss, especially in the division,” Bordieri said. “But we’re going to take this, learn from it and get better and hopefully redeem ourselves. Everyone wants to be Hock champs, but you can’t have these losses in the division. We’ll take a look at this game, make changes, and get better.”

Canton field hockey (4-1 Hock, 4-2 overall) will look to make it three straight when it hosts Mansfield on Thursday. Foxboro (5-1, 5-1) will try to bounce back from its first loss when it hosts Attleboro at Mansfield High.

Field Hockey: 2018 Hockomock League Preview

Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Hockomock League Field Hockey Preview

Attleboro

2017 Record: 5-13-0
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Lindsay Antunes

Attleboro is looking to bounce back from a five-win season in 2017 and make a push up the league standings by mixing experienced players with a talented group of underclassmen that could make instant contributions for the Bombardiers.

The midfield will be a strength for the Bombardiers this season with returning starters like senior Kyra Lyons and junior Anna Back. Up front, leading scorer Grace Mayer graduated but senior Alex Compton was second on the team in points and will be counted on to fire in the goals. Attleboro will be hoping for more consistency from the defensive group this season to cut down on the 76 goals it allowed last year and senior goalie Shealyn Harrison will help keep things organized.

Attleboro coach Lindsay Antunes said, “We are looking forward to this season, as we have a lot of strong returning players throughout each line. We are fortunate to be pairing these returners with a very skilled and unsuspecting younger class, who I am certain will be instrumental in making a positive difference on our team.”

Canton

2017 Record: 16-4-1
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal
Coach: Chrissy O’Connor

Davenport division champion Canton went to overtime against top seed Somerset Berkeley in last year’s Div. 1 South semifinal and was a goal away from setting up an all-Hock final. The Bulldogs bring back a lot of talent from last year’s squad and will be hoping to make a run at back-to-back titles.

Senior forward Maggie Malloy will once again be the focal point up top after leading the Bulldogs with 27 goals and eight assists last fall. Malloy will be joined up top by sophomore Maria Femia. Junior Kaitlyn Goyetch, the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, is back in the midfield and she will get helped out by sophomore Meghan Labelle. Senior Katie Trerice will be the leader of the defense and sophomore Rose Malloy will jump in and contribute as well. Sophomore Riley O’Connor will take over in goal this fall.

Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor said, “We are looking forward to seeing the hard work and effort our players put in this pre-season pay off on the field.”

Foxboro

2017 Record: 15-4-2
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal.
Coach: Melissa Bordieri

With 14 seniors on the roster this season, Foxboro has set its sights on regaining the Davenport division crown that it lost by just two points to Canton last year. Two years removed from winning the Div. 2 South title, the Warriors seem poised to make another deep tournament run with a team loaded with talent, depth, and experience.

Senior forward Lily Daly, the team’s leading scorer each of the past three seasons, will once again team up with classmate Sophia DiCenso to form one of the league’s most dynamic attacking units. Senior Molly Murphy and junior Jamie Notarangelo will add to an already formidable offense. Senior Meghan Curran will lead the midfield unit along with classmate Carly Stern and the defense will be guided by seniors Caroline McGeary and Kristin Whalen, while senior goalie Julia Carangelo.

After come narrowly short of the league title last season and reaching the sectional semifinal, expectations are typically sky high for one of the league’s perennial powers.

Franklin

2017 Record: 10-8-2
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Michelle Hess

Michelle Hess returns to the Franklin bench this season after eight years away from the program and she inherits a team that has the talent to compete for a league title and expectations of being able to make a deep run in the state tournament as well.

Senior midfielder Cassi Ronan is the primary playmaker for the Panthers and was the team’s leading scorer last fall with 16 goals and eight assists. One of the league’s top players, Ronan will be the primary focus of the opposition, but senior Regan Paterson can take some of that pressure off and will chip in with goals from the forward position. Senior Emily Valentino and junior Maeve Ledwith will provide organization for the defensive unit and senior Christina Luccini will be back in goal to backstop the defense.

“We are looking to improve on last years record and would love to go further in the tournament,” said Hess.

King Philip

2017 Record: 19-3-1
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 State Semifinal
Coach: Kimberly Meehan and Erin MacDonald

King Philip had a dominating run through the 2017 season, winning the Kelley-Rex title while losing just two games in the Hock all season, and then claiming the Div. 1 South title for the first time. This year, KP has a new coaching staff, with Kimberly Meehan and Erin MacDonald taking over the reigns, and high expectations with an experienced and talented roster.

The Warriors return six seniors, who will be counted on to keep the team focused in its quest for a second straight title. Alli Meehan will be the primary attacking threat again this season. The Northeastern University-commit scored 40 points last regular season, despite missing a couple of games. Senior Claire Lawlor will be on the left wing to support the attack, and senior Nicole Conner will jump into the attack from her midfield position as well. Three-year starter Dana Truini will run the midfield for the Warriors, providing support on both ends of the field. Defensively, senior Emma Izydorczak, a St. Anselm-commit, will be the leader of the back line to keep things organized. Fellow senior Kate Lindmark will also help out for a defense that last year allowed only 13 goals in 23 games.

Expectations remain high for the program this season and the new coaches “anticipate a very successful season led by their powerful seniors.”

Mansfield

2017 Record: 7-7-5
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Theresa Nyhen

Mansfield reached the state tournament again last year and was the only team in the league to beat Kelley-Rex champion King Philip (twice, in fact), but the Hornets have their sights set on returning to the top of the league standings as they did in 2014 and 2015. With a balanced roster that has depth all over the field, the Hornets have a chance to unseat KP in the division.

The Hornets have 10 seniors and experience all over the field. The forward line will include seniors Lauren Clang, Tori Farrington, Alicia Hottleman, Brooke Downy and Hayleigh Crawford. The midfield unit will be led by seniors Maggie Danehy and Kelly Doherty, who showed her versatility last season in several positions. Senior goalie Kayla Hunter is also back to help keep the defense solid. Newcomers like sophomore forward Abby Varricchione and sophomore midfielder Stori Rounds will jump in and contribute as well.

“We have some speed, some strong and some finesse,” said Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhen. “Mansfield field hockey is a team of heart and hustle. As a team, we still have lots of work to do but are looking forward to the fun competition in the Hockomock League.”

Milford

2017 Record: 3-15-0
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Katie Blackburn

New head coach Katie Blackburn will try to improve on Milford’s three wins from last season with a group that has a lot of experience, especially on the back line, and speedy forward line that will try to fire in the goals.

The defense is filled with upperclassmen with seniors Eliza Valente and Emily Haley anchoring the back line along with junior Paige Reisman. Juniors Bella Gonzalez and Kathryn Swineford will be key players in the midfield and sophomore Madison Carneiro is a player to watch in the Milford front line, which Blackburn said would include a number of players that have a variety of skill sets.

Blackburn added, “Each player is unique and it has been exciting to see them all learning how to play together. We have a lot of speed as well as ball handling skills that will help us move the ball up the field and into the attacking circle.”

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 9-7-4
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Karen Folan

North Attleboro got back into the state tournament last fall, only to run into perennial power Walpole in the second round, and the Rocketeers have a deep roster to make another run this year and potentially challenge Canton and Foxboro at the top of the Davenport. The new turf at Beaupre Field should also help North utilize the team’s speed.

The Rocketeers have a ton of experience coming back this season, including seniors Abby Calistra, Julia Feid, Shaylee Maxcy, and Lizzie Frost, who will form a solid defensive corps in front of junior goalie Emma Strachan, who head coach Karen Folan said has improved her quickness in the off-season. Speedy midfielders Michelle Pothier and fellow junior Lindsay Robinson will join senior Jess Strachan, while senior Tara Nair and junior Faith Graveline will be up top.

Folan said, “We are looking forward to another year in the competitive Hockomock League. Our offense will start with our defense this season. We hope to use our cohesive ball movement to transition the ball quickly up the field and into the offensive circle to generate lots of shots on net.”

Oliver Ames

2017 Record: 9-7-3
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round.
Coach: Sharon Lawrence

Oliver Ames is coming off a strong regular season performance, tying for third place in the Kelley-Rex division with 18 points, but they had to go on the road to Taunton in the playoffs and lost an overtime heartbreaker. First-year coach Sharon Lawrence takes over this season and has a roster with 11 juniors and seniors to try and make another run at a postseason bid.

Senior Meghan Rockey is one of the players that the Tigers will turn to this year and she will try to control the middle of the field. Fellow senior Kayla Lozzi can step in at forward or midfield and scored 10 points (four goals and six assists) for OA last season, while senior Samantha Clapp adds a defensive presence whether in midfield or defense. Lawrence is also excited for the contributions from the younger players, including sophomore forward Hannah Stryke, who is the Tigers top returning scorer with seven goals and four assists as a freshman.

“As a first-year coach, my focus has been on learning and assessing our talent and athleticism to position our players as a team for optimal success,” Lawrence said. “We have returning starters as well as new young talent on both offense and defense, and look to be competitive this season.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 0-18-1
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ashley Courville

First-year head coach Ashley Courville is looking to build the program from the ground up, and she is counting on a large roster and a core of returning players to get Sharon moving in the right direction this season. With only one sophomore on the roster, experience shouldn’t be an issue for the Eagles as they turn things around.

The defense will be led seniors Varsha Poreddy and Rebecca Clayman. Junior Blaize Hanna will also be part of that group this fall. The midfield has seniors Georgia Cheney and Lauren Yaffe to help out in the attack and also chip in on the defensive side of things. Sophomore Lauren Prenaveau is another player to watch in the Eagles midfield. Up top, senior forward Elizabeth Romantz will be counted on to add to Sharon’s goal tally.

Courville said, “We have a large team this year with a handful of returning players giving the team consistency and determination. Our defense has added strength and depth, while our offense has added speed.”

Stoughton

2017 Record: 7-12-1
2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dan Mark

Stoughton graduated 13 players from last year’s team and then lost leading scorer Julia Russell to a knee injury, but there is hope for the Black Knights to make a run at a state tournament spot as the inexperienced players gain valuable minutes at the varsity level.

Defense will be a strength for Stoughton this fall, with returning seniors Katie Widrow and Jeanna Girolamo adding stability and keeping things organized at the back. Sophomore Kayla Lobby will start in goal for the Black Knights. In the midfield, senior Jordan Lyons is a strong two-way player and she will be looking to get the ball forward to the sticks of seniors Allie Howe and Alanna McCormick, who will both be trying to make up for the production that was expected from Russell.

Stoughton coach Dan Mark is hopeful that his team can meet its potential. He said, “We will be inexperienced in many areas, but do have several players who played regularly last year.”

Taunton

2017 Record: 11-8-1
2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Liz Hathaway

Taunton had one of its best seasons in program history last year, winning 11 games and advancing in the playoffs for the first time by beating Oliver Ames in an overtime thriller. The Tigers will look to build on that success and compete with the top teams in the ultra-competitive Kelley-Rex division.

The Taunton midfield will be a strength this season, as it is filled with experienced players. Seniors Jillian Pagliuca, Lauren Torres, and Mabel Smith are all capable of making plays on both ends of the field and all read the game well to keep the Tigers moving in the right direction. Senior forward Ciera Bartel will be joined up front by last year’s playoff hero Alana Tavares. The sophomore forward scored the game-winner against OA and has the speed to cause defense lots of problems. The Tigers defense will be led by junior Kathryn Robinson and sophomore Jocelyn Pagliuca and if anyone gets through then senior goalie Emma Sheehan will be there to stop them.

Taunton coach Liz Hathaway said, “This team has come together and have a great on field bond that allows them to successfully execute plays and breakaways.”

2018 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse All Stars

Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Kyra Lyons, Attleboro
Maggie Connolly, Canton
Sara Addeche, Foxboro
Caroline Boudreau, Foxboro
Meghan Curran, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Christina Rogers, Foxboro
Gianna Cameron, Franklin
Grace MacCallum, Franklin
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Erin Walsh, Franklin
Katie Crowther, King Philip
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Caroline Klim, King Philip
Dana Truini, King Philip
Kathryn Garvin, Mansfield
Ann Maher, Mansfield
Alaina Mello, North Attleboro
Mackenzie Rosenberg, North Attleboro
Olivia Piazza, Oliver Ames
Ariana Waldorf, Oliver Ames
Emma Eberhardt, Sharon
Sabrina Robbins, Sharon
Alana Tavares, Taunton

Honorable Mentions:
Graycen Cassidy, Attleboro
Colleen Boucher, Canton
Molly Murphy, Foxboro
Kelsey MacCallum, Franklin
Alli Meehan, King Philip
Lauren Whitman, Mansfield
Emily Haley, Milford
Katie Lindstrom, North Attleboro
Chloe Kilkelly, Oliver Ames
Bridget McManus, Sharon
Lorna Li, Taunton

Medfield Upsets Foxboro In The D2 East Quarterfinals

By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor

FOXBORO, Mass. – The Foxboro Warriors defeated Medfield when the two teams met back in April, but on Thursday in the Division 2 East Quarterfinals, Medfield was ready to flip the script.

“Having played them once before we had a little game change and we started a little more defensively because they’re a huge fast break team,” said Medfield head coach Kathleen McCullough. “I think that helped us kind of defensively and we kept track of their top scorers… the girls’ defense was everything today.”

The defense first strategy worked out as the visitors, the sixth seed in the bracket, held third-seeded Foxboro to one its lowest scoring outputs of the season with an 8-6 result.

Foxboro looked like they were once again ready to easily get past Medfield, as Molly Murphy gave them a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the game. But as Medfield stayed true to their game plan, success followed.

Medfield rattled off three consecutive goals over the next seven minutes to open up a 3-1 lead, and goalkeeper Anna Lyons made several key stops to spark the team and maintain the advantage.

“That first save of the game kind of gave [Lyons] that confidence she needed and she was the spark,” McCullough said. “Once she’s hot it spreads to the defense and she was definitely focused today, it was awesome.”

Trailing by two, Foxboro wasn’t going to go down easy. With under five minutes left in the half, Foxboro struck twice in less than 20 seconds after a save from goalie Sara Addeche. Meg Curran scored off a free position then Sophia DiCenso scored immediately off the next faceoff to knot the game at three.

But Medfield had their own answer, using three straight draw controls to add two more goals before the half, both from Margaret McCarthy off of pretty feeds from Erin Seibel.

To start the second half, DiCenso netted her second goal of the game to draw Foxboro back to within two.

Medfield again had an answer, scoring three straight goals (two from Seibel and one from Brooke Deady) to open an 8-4 lead.

“I actually told the sideline that you guys won the game for us today,” McCullough said. “Just the spirit and the support and those cheers, that was something different today but I think it definitely helped the players who were on the field. It’s a great team win all around.”

With just under five minutes left, Foxboro tried to start a rally as Curran scored twice, but there was not enough time to complete the comeback. Medfield finished the upset with an 8-6 victory.

“[This win] just gives us the confidence that we can continue on and that the team we saw today is the team we should continue to be,” McCullough said. “They played their best game today of the season so they should feel confident moving forward.”

Medfield girls lacrosse will now take on Groton-Dunstable in the Division 2 East Semifinals. Foxboro finishes the season 14-6.

Franklin Continues Hock Win Streak Against Foxboro

Franklin girls lacrosse
Franklin junior Annie Walsh (3) and her sister Erin each scored four goals to lift Franklin to a victory against Foxboro in a battle of league champions. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin and Foxboro have been the dominant girls lacrosse programs in the league for several years, winning a combined 14 league titles in a row (including this spring’s Kelley-Rex and Davenport crowns) and perennially making deep state tournament runs as well.

While the two teams have shared success in the league, the head-to-head matchup has recently been one-sided. The games have typically been close, but it is Franklin that has regularly come out on top, as part of the Panthers incredible win streak against Hockomock opponents that stood at 70 games entering the yearly matchup with the Warriors on Wednesday night at Pisini Field.

This felt like a year that Foxboro could flip the script and end the Panthers’ long unbeaten run, but instead it was a familiar storyline. Annie and Erin Walsh scored four goals apiece, Franklin goalie Gianna Cameron made eight saves (six in the second half) and the Panthers pulled out an 11-5 victory.

“They came out with a lot of energy, a lot of passion,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “it was our senior night so we were honoring them and that energy translated on the draw. Annie did a great job, our circle people (Hailey Toolin, Erin, and Kelsey MacCallum) did awesome fighting for the ball.”

Franklin won 9-of-10 draws in the opening half, which limited the Warriors ability to get the ball into the sticks of their talented attacking corps. Also, the Panthers took full advantage of the opportunities that they were presented with.

“They were using every opportunity they had, for the most part, and capitalizing on them,” said Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry. “When it’s only being done on one side for us, the defense can only do so much, Sara [Addeche] can only make so many saves.”

Following a Nicole Houlihan steal, Annie Walsh put Franklin in front with a shot over Addeche’s stick into the top corner. Less than a minute later it was Erin Walsh bursting through the middle of the Foxboro defense to double the lead.

The Warriors got on the board three minutes later when senior Cat Luciano found space in the middle of the Franklin defense. Erin Walsh answered back with a pump fake and finish, but Foxboro again got the lead down to one with a lefty shot on the run by Sophia DiCenso.

Kelsey MacCallum scored her first of the night to make it 4-2 and then the Franklin defense made several big plays to keep Foxboro at arm’s length. Grace MacCallum was the vocal leader for the defensive unit, calling out switches, slides, and double teams. With the help of Halle Atkinson, MacCallum forced a turnover and scooped the ground ball to win possession back and on the other end Annie Walsh went high-to-low for Franklin’s fifth.

“Grace has been on this team for four years, so she’s a huge leader on the defensive end, kind of the director of the team,” said Igoe Guarino. “We’ve been pushing the defense to get even better and she’s been leading the way.”

She added, “Our communication was up, we were just playing as a team out there. Our doubling, we had a second slide ready and then our goalie just backing us up when they did shoot.”

Foxboro got one back with man-up goal by Molly Murphy off a perfect pass from DiCenso. With three minutes left in the half, Kelsey MacCallum was denied in transition by Addeche, but Franklin forced a turnover on the clearance and Erin Walsh found MacCallum with a precise pass across the crease for a close-range finish.

“We were moving the ball and ball-moving is great but eventually you’ve got to put points on the board,” said Sherry about the Foxboro attack. “We weren’t attacking the cage, we were looking to just a few players to get it done and when those players aren’t getting it done then other players need to step up.”

Murphy had one more chance before the half but Cameron read the bouncing shot and was able to deflect it up over the bar just as the horn sounded. At the start of the second half, Foxboro had several chances in the first few minutes to cut into the lead, but Cameron made three saves to keep it 6-3. Franklin then broke the game wide open.

“When we need her to save it, she does,” said Igoe Guarino of Camerron. “She had 15 saves against Walpole (on Monday) and she had a ton today against some of their best shooters. We’re just lucky to have her.”

Erin Walsh picked up her second assist when she connected with a cutting Katie Jones and the freshman went behind her back on the run for a highlight-reel finish. Walsh then added back-to-back goals on free positions to put the Panthers up by six. Annie Walsh got into the scoring with a drive from the left side to complete her hat trick.

“They play the whole game,” said Igoe Guarino of the Walsh sisters. “They hustle to get ground balls and win us possession and they just do an excellent job of reading when to take one-on-one and when to pass. They draw a lot of attention, but they both finished really well today.”

Murphy scored again to end the Franklin run and Mackenzie Cusack got the benefit of a bouncing ball through traffic on what appeared to be a pass that slipped past Cameron to make it 10-5 with 3:31 left, but Annie Walsh scooped a ground ball on the far sideline and took it herself to seal the win.

Foxboro came into the game on a nine-game win streak and had key players battling illness, but Sherry admitted that Franklin might be in the Warriors’ heads at this point.

“We love competition with Franklin,” she said. “We had the win streak going and…we’re just scared of Franklin. Every time we hear Franklin, we just don’t get it done and if this was any other team we would have a better result.”

Franklin (12-4, 9-0) has not lost a league game since April 2012 and the Panthers will try to complete another perfect league campaign next Wednesday against Canton. Foxboro (11-3, 7-1) will try to bounce back on Thursday with a trip to North Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/16/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Milford, 3 @ Canton, 4 – FinalCanton junior Paul Cocoran netted his second hat trick of the season, including a pair of goals in the second half that helped the Bulldogs build a three-goal lead. Milford opened the scoring when freshman Leo Coelho netted his first career goal but Canton responded with a pair of goals in a two-minute span. Corcoran tied the game in the 21st minute and Simon Cruz gave Canton the lead in the 22nd minute. Cocoran added goals in the 56th and 64th minutes to go up 4-1. Milford sophomore Jordan Borges made it a two-goal game in the 75th minute and sophomore Walisson de Oliveira brought the Hawks within one in the final minute.

King Philip, 5 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final King Philip scored four goals in the second half to break a tie game and pick up two points at home. Tyler Mann put the Warriors up 1-0 on an unassisted tally in the ninth minute. Feehan tied the game midway through the first half. Mann completed his hat trick with a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half, making it 2-1 in the 44th minute on a feed from Anthony Bozza and 3-1 just two minutes later on a feed from Connor Mullins. Thomas Lugten scored a pair of goals in a five-minute span, with junior Justin Willson and freshman Evan McEvoy picking up assists.

Stoughton, 2 vs. Norwood, 1 – Final Tyler Melo and Fabio Ponce de Leon each had a goal for the Black Knights to earn Stoughton its first win of the season.

Girls Soccer
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 3 @ Norwood, 4 – FinalChinazo Odunze scored a pair of goals and Mackenzie Manning had a goal and an assist for the Black Knights. Brigid Pearl and Nicole Weir also had assists in the loss.

Field Hockey
King Philip, 6 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip junior Alli Meehan recorded a hat trick to pace the Warriors on the road. Senior Christina Hathaway netted a pair of goals and Dana Truini scored once for King Philip.

Canton, 2 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final

Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 9 – FinalSophia DiCenso led the way for the Warriors with a hat trick. Jackie Brion, Molly Murphy, Lily Daly, Annie Murphy, Lindsey Morris, and Lily Behn also scored for Foxboro.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin junior Anna Jardine had a strong game in net, making nine saves, including a gutsy slide tackle and a beautiful diving save – both in the second half – to help the Panthers preserve the win. Juniors Cassi Ronan and Regan Paterson each scored once in the first half for Franklin. FHS head coach Lisa Cropper said junior Annie Walsh played an outstanding game, creating numerous offensive chances and stopping OA from mounting an attack. Oliver Ames goalie Caitlin Grant made eight saves in net.

Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 3 – FinalSenior Kya Enos netted a hat trick for the second straight game and junior goalie Emma Sheehan made 12 saves to help the Tigers earn an upset over visiting Taunton. Diana Brens had two assists while Liana Duarte had one helper in the win. THS coach Mike Fox praised the defensive play of Jillian Pagliuca, Jocelyn Pagliuca, and Kathryn Robinson.

Milford, 1 @ Stoughton, 2 – FinalStoughton’s Haley Apotheker scored a pair of goals to help the Black Knights defend its home field and earn a win over visiting Milford.

Volleyball
Canton, 0 @ Milford, 3 – FinalMilford picked up a key division win at home, taking it 25-19, 25-18, 25-23. For Canton, Taylor Harris and Hannah Jerrier combined for 14 kills while head coach Pat Cawley praised the defensive play of Julia Minichiello.

Foxboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton earned a dominant win in the first game but had to orchestrate a comeback to win a close second game. The Black Knights completed the sweep with a convincing third game win, 25-5, 26-24, 25-10. Val Whalen took control in the first set, rattling off 16 service points, including six aces. Sophomore Mykiah Simpson paced the offense with five kills in the opening set. Whalen finished 16 kills, 18 digs, and eight aces while junior Molly Turner added 21 assists and six aces. Seniors Vicky Ramos and Haley Stone played well defensively for the Knights.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalFranklin mounted a late comeback in the second half to help sweep the Tigers on the road. Junior Lauren McGrath (four aces) put the Franklin offense in motion with 30 assists while Meaghan Maguire had 10 kills and two blocks and Lauren Lockhart chipped in with eight kills. Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro earned the sweep, defeating Sharon 25-14, 25-20, 25-12. Seniors Amelia Murphy (13 kills) and Kezie De La Cruz (nine kills) led the Rocketeers to the win.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final King Philip defended home court with a convincing 25-14, 25-11, 25-14 win. Sydney Phillips led the way with 15 kills while Michaela Palumbo added four kills. Julianna Rando (eight digs) and Elise Pereira (seven digs) paced the Warriors’ defensive effort.

Golf
Taunton, 179 @ Attleboro, 174 – FinalAttleboro’s Kyle DelSignore eached match medalst honors with a low-round of 39 and was the difference between the Bombardiers and Tigers. The two teams matched on cards two, three and four – meaning DelSignore’s five-stroke win on the top card was the difference.

Canton, 157 @ Mansfield, 173 – FinalCanton sophomore Chris Lavoie fired a 36 at Norton Country Club, earning match medalist honors for the first time and helping the Bulldogs stay unbeaten. Danny Powers added a 39 for the Bulldogs while Brendan Loomer led Manfield with a round of 40.

Milford, 191 @ Foxboro, 178 – Final

Stoughton, 174 @ Oliver Ames, 139 – FinalOliver Ames senior Mark Bissonette birdied the first two holes of play, finishing with a low-round of 33 to earn medalist honors. Ryan McGarry and Eric LeBlanc added rounds of 35 while Matt Kelley fired a 36 at Pine Oaks.

LaBelle Completes Canton Comeback Against Foxboro

Canton field hockey
Freshman Meghan LaBelle scored the game-winning goal to cap a Canton comeback against Foxboro and gave the Bulldogs a slim lead in the division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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CANTON, Mass. – After a stretch of 12 Hockomock League titles in 14 seasons, Canton has gone three seasons since its last Davenport crown. The Bulldogs took a step towards reclaiming their spot atop the division standings on Wednesday night at World War II Veterans Memorial Field thanks to strong goaltending and a freshman stepping up in a big moment.

In a back-and-forth game with defending league and Div. 2 South champ Foxboro, the Bulldogs finally got on the board with 12 minutes left to tie the score. Four minutes later, Meghan LaBelle popped up at the back post, followed up a sliding save by Warriors goalie Kelli McCarthy (six saves), to scramble home the game-winner.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With the 2-1 victory, Canton moves one game ahead of Foxboro in the loss column and four points ahead of the Warriors in the Davenport. The two teams will meet again in the penultimate game of the season.

Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor said, “In a game like that, when you have a goal that maybe shouldn’t have gone in, I think the mental toughness to bring them back to get over that goal and move on from there and play your game. That was the best game I’ve seen them play, definitely.”

The teams battled through a first half that saw very few scoring opportunities. Foxboro dominated the opening 15 minutes, but the Bulldogs came back and took control in the second part of the first half. It was while the hosts were on the front foot that Foxboro struck.

Lily Daly collected the ball on the left edge of the circle, spun to her forehand, and fired a low shot through traffic that snuck inside the far corner. The Bulldogs were spurred into action by going behind and senior forward Andrea McNeil had two chances to equalize before halftime only to be denied by McCarthy, the reigning league MVP.

“They kind of changed things up and came at us,” said Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri. “They took away our left side, which was working so well for us and I think one of our mistakes was trying to force it down the left side instead of making that transition and going right.”

While the first half saw almost no scoring chances for either team, the second half was filled with shots on goal and both goalies were kept busy.

Maggie Malloy had the first chance for the Bulldogs but her backhanded shot went just wide. Foxboro came right back with an intricate corner from Daly to Jackie Brion to Catherine Luciano back to Brion, but the shot went inches wide of the corner past the dive of Canton goalie Riley Brown (nine saves).

Daly had a chance for a second but Brown kicked aside her redirect and then blocked the rebound effort by Molly Murphy. Malloy created a chance with a long run to the end line and tried to cut it back for Emily Campbell, but the ball skidded through the crease and out the other side untouched.

The Bulldogs had a great move denied by the official’s whistle midway through the second half. Campbell flicked a pass to Katie Trerice, who fired a pass into the middle to McNeil and the ball ended up in the back of the net, but was waived off.

Foxboro had the next opportunity, looking to put the game away with 15 minutes remaining. Brown was forced to deny Sophia DiCenso, Murphy, and Luciano in quick succession to keep Canton in it. The Bulldogs nearly capitalized right away but McCarthy slid across goal to block a chance for Molly Cummings.

Less than a minute later, with 12:40 on the clock, Canton tied the game. McNeil was on hand at the back post to finish off an inch-perfect cross.

“It’s always a tough battle; it’s always evenly matched,” O’Connor said. ‘So, to get them to see that we can score, then it’s lets go get them again.”

When asked about the impact of her goalie on the team’s mentality, O’Connor replied, “Just to know that we can push more into offense because we trust our goalie back there is a game-changer. It makes all the difference to have someone back there who you can trust to make those initial saves.”

Four minutes after tying the game, Canton went in front for the first time. Again, it was a ball played in from the right side, this time off the pads of McCarthy and all the way to the back post where LaBelle was in perfect position to tap it home.

“It’s so frustrating,” admitted Bordieri. “It was so back-and-forth and I felt like we did a lot of great things and to be so evenly matched and they capitalized on two mistakes we made.”

The game was hardly over. Foxboro had one more chance to try and steal a point with two minutes to play. Again the Warriors showed off a well-planned corner to work a chance for DiCenso, but the junior’s shot was sent narrowly wide of the post with Brown stranded.

“I think the second [goal] was harder to regroup [from],” Bordieri said. “A couple of players were gassed…but I think we did a good job of it. We almost scored on that [corner]. If she had gotten that on net, Riley was so far to the left then it was a tie game.”

At the final whistle, the Canton players charged onto the field to celebrate, knowing that this was an important game against a title rival. “I think seeing that they can take it to the next level with a team that is so successful and has some strong returning players and such a strong goalie,” O’Connor said about the impact of this victory.

“We’ll see how that pushes them for the rest of the season that they see that they can beat these strong teams.”

Canton (6-1, 6-1) will be back on the field on Monday with a trip to Stoughton. Foxboro (5-2-0, 4-2-0) will look to bounce back on Friday when it hosts Mansfield.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.