Rocketeers Roll To D2 South Title Against Oliver Ames

North Attleboro baseball
North Attleboro’s Nate Pearce (right) is greeted at home plate after his sixth inning home run. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BROCKTON, Mass. – There’s hot, there’s red hot, and then there’s Big Red hot.

The North Attleboro lineup continued its torrid streak this postseason, belting out 18 hits on its way to a 17-2 win over Hockomock rival Oliver Ames in the D2 South Sectional Final.

It was the second straight game the Red Rocketeers have had double-digit hits and double-digit runs. In its three postseason games, North Attleboro has outscored opponents 42-2.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“They are swinging the bat well, we’re just trying to keep the same approach regardless of what the pitcher is doing out there,” said first-year North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart. “We’re taking it one pitch at a time, one batter at a time. We feel if we take care of ourselves, we can be successful.”

And if the offense wasn’t hot enough, North Attleboro ace Nick Sinacola allowed just two hits and two unearned runs in six innings of work while striking out seven to earn the win.

“I’ll give it to that North Attleboro lineup, they crush the ball,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Barr. “I’ve never seen a team like that, top to bottom, just go through and square it up. Our guy [Reid Latham] was throwing strikes but I don’t know if the air was a little thin or what but those balls got in the air and kept traveling.”

Once Sinacola set the Tigers down in order in the first inning, North Attleboro’s offense went right to work. Brendan McHugh led off with a double, Zach DeMattio had a one-out walk, and Nate Pearce roped a ground-rule double over the fence for a quick 1-0 lead.

Nick Raneri scored on a fielder’s choice as DeMattio was able to get home before OA’s throw did, and Jeff Gale hit one deep enough that brought Pearce, who was ruled to have tagged up after Mitch Goulet’s spectacular catch in center, home for a 3-0 lead after an inning.

Big Red tacked on four more runs — all with two outs — when it returned to the plate in the bottom of the second inning. McHugh started the rally with a single and moved to third when Sinacola picked up his first hit of the day. DeMattio brought both runners home with a hard hit triple, Pearce knocked a run in with a single, and Raneri drove a run in with a single as well to make it 7-0.

“We’ve all been working together through the winter and the spring and it really just shows how much hard work and coming together as a group can accomplish when you execute,” DeMattio said.

Nick Zwerle reached after forcing an error on his bunt and Sean O’Brien walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Sinacola got the second out but Michael Friel hit a line drive double into the gap in left center to bring both runs in to give the Tigers some life, cutting the deficit to 7-2.

But North Attleboro landed a big counter punch in the form of four runs in the bottom of the third to extend its lead. Aidan Harding walked and pinch runner Kyle Briere took second on a wild pitch and third on a single from McHugh. Briere beat out a throw home on Sinacola’s grounder, DeMattio scored McHugh with a single, Sinacola scored after DeMattio stole second and OA attempted to pick him off, and Pearce doubled in DeMattio for an 11-2 advantage.

“Subconsciously that’s the type of stuff that just creeps into your mind,” Abarr said. “You think you’re back in it — and I think we were in it more most of the game — but that was a deflating experience. I’ve been on that end as a player and a coach, and it’s tough. I tip my cap to North for that, they didn’t let up. They played hard right to the end.”


“I give [OA] a lot of credit, they are an excellent hitting team,” Hart said. “In regards to answering back, I think it just puts us at ease. I think it made it 7-2 then and five runs with these two teams means nothing. So to get those runs back, it helps Nick on the mound.”

Sinacola retired the side in order in each of the first and second innings, and after allowing two runs in the third, only allowed one base runner to reach third base (an error and a wild pitch). It was Sinacola’s second win against OA this year after beating them in his first appearance back in early April.

“I think early in the year, a lot of hitters struggle with the fastball,” Sinacola said. “Once you get to this point in the season, they are a lot better and they have their timing down. So I think we had to change it up and throw a little bit more offspeed then I did the first time and I think it worked.”

Raneri scored on a passed ball and Gale came home on a hard hit ball from Nolan Buckley that was ruled an infield error for the Tigers in the fifth inning.

In the bottom fo the sixth, Sinacola got his second RBI with a single to score McHugh, DeMattio picked up his fourth RBI of the day with a base hit to score Sinacola and at the next at-bat, Pearce launched a two-run home run to cap the scoring.

“We had to pretty much show up and play perfect against that lineup and that pitcher in order to walk out with a win,” Abarr said. “We knew they’d be relentless. But it was an unreal run for us here at the end, with a team that didn’t quite expect to be here. We don’t set hard and fast goals about where a team can get to, we have just shown up and worked on specific things to get better each day. And these guys did a great job doing that.”

North Attleboro’s top four hitters — McHugh, Sinacola, DeMattio, and Pearce — combined for 13 hits, 11 RBI, and 14 runs scored.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

For Oliver Ames (16-8), Friel had two hits and two RBI, Matt McCormack and Nick Bloumbas each had a base hit, and O’Brien and Zwerle each scored once. On the mound, Jay Fruci pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

“This is definitely the best group I’ve ever coached,” Abarr said of his team. “From top to bottom, the first guy in the lineup to the last guy on the bench to the team manager…they were tight, always behind each other, and regardless who was in the lineup each day, they were ready to play. It was the most reliable, hard-working, and unified group that I’ve coached and those are the three qualities you look for in a high school team.”

North Attleboro (21-2) advances to the D2 State Final to play North champ Beverly (20-4) on Thursday night at 6:30 at LaLacheur Park in Lowell.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/01/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
North Attleboro, 6 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final North Attleboro scored all six of its runs in the top of the third inning to extend its unbeaten start to the season. Nick Sinacola started things with a walk, Jeff Gale reached on an infield single and Zach DeMattio walked to load the bases. Both Sinacola and Gale scored on an error and then Brendan McHugh knocked in Nate Pearce (2-for-3). Both Pearce and McHugh came around to score on a single from Nick Raneri (3-for-4), who crossed home for the sixth run on an error. Attleboro plated its two runs on three hits in the bottom of the third. Sinacola earned the win on the mound, striking out seven with three walks and three hits allowed. Attleboro sophomore Ryan Morry was strong in relief, allowing just two hits in 4.2 innings of work with no runs allowed.

Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalJake Noviello allowed just one run in six innings of work, struck out six, walked four, and scattered four hits to lead the Panthers to a win on the road. Bryan Woelfel earned the win, pitching a scoreless seventh inning. Cooper Ross paced the offense, going 2-for-2 and scoring a pair of runs while Jack Nally had two RBI and Scott Elliott chipped in with a double and a run scored.

Sharon, 1 @ Mansfield, 9 – FinalHockomock League leading hitter Dan Saraceno continued his stellar start to the season, going 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored to help the Hornets pick up a big win on the road. After Sharon took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Mansfield plated four runs in the third, two more in the fourth and three in the fifth inning. Seniors Tyler Dalton (1-for-2, run) and Cullin Anastasia, juniors Mike Hargadon (2-for-2, two runs) and Sam Nugent (two runs), and sophomore Chris Jenkins (1-for-3, run) each knocked in a run for Mansfield. Sharon’s Drew Naisuler went 3-for-3 and scored on an RBI single from Max Tarlin. Mansfield sophomore John Carney earned the win in his first career start, striking out six with just one walk in five innings of work. He allowed just four hits and one unearned run.

Milford, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 16 – Final (5 inn.)Oliver Ames pushed across six runs in the first inning and never looked back in a big win over the Hawks. Milford took the lead in the top of the first but OA’s bats came to life in the bottom half. Chris Pearsons went 4-for-4 with two RBI, Matt Muir was 4-for-4 with an RBI, and Nick Bloumbas went 3-for-4 with an RBI for OA. Michael Mulrean earned the win, allowing one walk and one hit in five innings of work, striking out six.

Softball
Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final (8 Inn.)Annabelle Hebard led off the eighth inning with a double and scored the game-winning run (her third run scored in the game) on a ball hit by Katie Daby, who also drove in a run with a second inning triple. Emily Nardelli drove in a run for North with a double in the fourth and Abby Gallagher and Olivia Capobianco each recorded two hits for the Rocketeers. Bella Erti went the distance to pick up the win and struck out 10. McKenzie Bergdoll and Makenzie Killough each hit homers for the Bombardiers.

Milford, 12 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final (5 inn.)Milford’s Kelley Reichert was nearly perfect, allowing just one hit in the top of the fifth to earn the win in the circle. Reichert took the perfect game into the fifth but a leadoff single from Katie Mills broke it up. Reichert struck out five and helped her cause at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a double. Emily Hartman added three hits, including a double, and an RBI, Emily Piergustavo had two RBI, including a solo home run, Maddy Bonvino went 2-for-2 with a double, Shannon Cormier added two hits and two RBI and Kate Irwin (three stolen bases) also had an RBI.

King Philip, 13 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalKing Philip set the tone early, scoring nine runs in the first inning on its way to a big win on the road at Sharon. Marjorie Guerrier, Lillianna Rolfe, Nicole Carter, Allie Kuchy, Destiny Goyco all had two hits to lead the way. Faith Turinese allowed just one hit while striking out eight batters in five innings of work.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro @ Taunton, 7:00

Canton, 5 @ North Attleboro, 7 – FinalCanton dominated the first half and held a 2-0 lead but North was able to tie it up in the second half and scored two late goals to earn the win. “Our defense played well and our young middies stepped up and got it done,” said North Attleboro head coach Kevin Young. “Hats off to Canton, I thought they outplayed us. Fortunately. our guys held it together and earned a scrappy win.” Dan Conroy scrapped his way to a ground ball and tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth. After Canton retook the lead, Damien Curtis tied it 5-5. Nick Ward scored the game-winner for the Rocketeers with 3:30 left and Tommy Lindstrom sealed the deal with an empty net with 1:30 to go.


Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s three singles players combined to lose just one game total in a sweep over rival Attleboro. Richard Bermudez won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles while Christian Bermudez (second singles) and Jonah Manso (third singles) each won 6-0, 6-0. Senior Ben Pfeffer and junior Vikram Senthilakumaran won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles for North while sophomore Alex Pfeffer and freshman Sam Gallagher didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Taunton, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalTaunton swept singles play to edge out Foxboro on the road. Senior Francois Hennaux battled to a three-set win (6-1, 1-6, 6-4) at first singles, Brett Beaulieu impressed in a 6-1, 6-1 decision at second singles, and Mike Brigg recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win at third singles for the Tigers.

Franklin, 5 @ Canton, 0 – FinalFrankin notched an impressive win on the road, losing just seven games total to sweep Canton. Liam Marr (second singles), Saketh Saripalli (third singles), the team of Tyler DiPalma and Derek Wu (first doubles) and the pairing of Dan Angermeier and Tony Calderone (second doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0 for the Panthers. Franklin’s Rohan Herur battled to a 6-3, 6-4 win at first singles.

King Philip, 5 vs. Walpole, 0 – FinalKing Philip won all five matches in straight sets to get a sweep over visiting Walpole. Marco DiStefano picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at first singles, Nick Putney notched a 6-2, 6-1 win at second singles and Jack Cannon won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. KP’s pairing of Sean Desrochers and Nate Ihley won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles while Aidan Ignatius and Nick Ihley recorded a 6-2, 6-4 decision at second doubles.

Mansfield, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – FinalSharon senior Fred Bondar prevailed with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Mansfield junior Luke Nickerson in a battle of two of the top players in the league. Andre Olivei earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles and Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-2, 6-2 at third singles for the Eagles. Sophomore Alberto Olivei and junior Max Brody won 6-4, 6-2 at first doubles while Arie Chinnappan and Russell Rapaport notched a 6-4, 6-2 decision at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro won all five matches in straight sets without dropping a game in three of them. North’s Jordan Willis (first singles), the team of Shurobhi Nandi and Azka Siddiq (first doubles) and the pairing of Leah Marceau and Tara Nair (second doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0. Senior Emily Chiasson won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and classmate Katie Ovoian won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles for the Rocketeers.

Canton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalCanton went on the road and earned a sweep of Franklin, taking all three singles matches in straight sets. Natalie Keppler (first singles) and Rachel Kupferman (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles for the Bulldogs. The team of Caitlin Matthews and Stelina Michaelidis prevailed 6-0, 4-6, 10-6 at first doubles and the pairing of Jamie Cree and Jena Moyle picked up a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.

King Philip @ Walpole, 3:45

Sharon, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalSharon won all five matches in straight sets to record a win on the road at Mansfield. Lulu Yuan won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Emily Wen notched a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles, and Katie Merport picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Sophia Fein and Rithika Neti won 6-2, 7-5 at first singles for the Eagles and Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles.

Milford, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames’ Maura Kiernan didn’t lose a single game at second singles and both of the Tigers’ doubles teams won to edge visiting Milford. The team of Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles while Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke paired together for a 6-3, 6-0 win at second doubles. Milford’s Julie Rabinowitz won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles and Olivia Marshall won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles for the Hawks.

Boys Outdoor Track
Sharon, 77 @ Canton, 59 – FinalFor Canton, Cordel Smith was a triple winner after taking first in the long jump (21’5), high jump (5’11) and the 200M (22.4) while also adding a second place finish in the 100M (11.3). Shane Graham took first in the 400M (52.7), Colin Messinger crossed first in the 2 Mile (10:10.4) and the Bulldog 4×400 team (Gerry Sullivan, Zach Goldstein, Chris Milne, and Shane Graham) was first (3:44). Matt Floyd added a second place finish for Canton in the 400M hurdles (63.3).

Foxboro, 47 @ Milford, 89 – Final

Stoughton, 32 @ North Attleboro, 106 – Final

Oliver Ames, 74 @ Attleboro, 62 – FinalOliver Ames’ Jack MacAdam was a triple winner, helping the Tigers edge Attleboro on the road. MacAdam took first in the 400M hurdles, the 110M hurdles, and the long jump to lead the Tigers. Other first place finishes for Oliver Ames included Jason Windvogel (1 Mile), Ethan Eckstrom (800M), Zane Reservitz (2 Mile), Ryan Tamasanis (high jump), Aaron MacDonald (triple jump), Anthony DeCosta (discus), Quinn Proudler (javelin), and Jack Mills (shot put).

Franklin, 45 @ Mansfield, 91 – FinalMansfield swept the 100M, 200M, and the long jump to earn nine points from each event to get a win over visiting Franklin. Greg Waters (11.3), Khristian Conner, and Colin Eutsay swept the 100M for the Hornets, Mike Shannon (22.6), Jack Rivard, and Dan Knight took first, second, and third (respectively) in the 200M, and Jareme DiLorenzo (19’8), Joe Cappelletti and Andrew Williams took care of placements in the long jump.

Taunton @ King Philip, 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track
Sharon, 110 @ Canton, 26 – FinalCanton’s Sarah Collins took first in the 800M (2:32) and placed second in the 400M hurdles (67.8) to pace the Bulldogs. Chloe Pennacchio was first in the 2 Mile (13:09.7), Bronwyn Mahoney was second in the shot put (30’2), Maddie Rousseau took second in the 200M (27.4) followed by Leah Murphy (27.9). Freshman Olivia Rodman was third in the 400M hurdles (70.4) and the triple jump (31’3) for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 49 @ Milford, 86 – Final

Stoughton, 21 @ North Attleboro, 115 – Final

Oliver Ames @ Attleboro, 3:45

Franklin, 78 @ Mansfield, 58 – FinalFor Mansfield, Amanda Mangano had a terrific day with three wins and a second place in another event. Mangano won the 100M (12.4), the 200M (25.3), and the high jump (5′) while taking second in the long jump (16’6). Junior Julia Hill had a 7-inch PR in the long jump to win with a jump of 16’7 and running a three second PR in the 400 hurdles for a second place in a time of 69.4. The Hornets’ 4×100 team of Gabrielle Devlin, Emily Quitzau, Samantha Hindman, Julia Harrison had a season-best time of 50.4 while sophomore Lily Goulding took first in the javelin (95’4″).

Taunton, 78 @ King Philip, 58 – Final


OA Breaks Through Late To Earn Draw With Mansfield

Oliver Ames boys soccer
Oliver Ames’ Matt Alvarado (left) takes a shot past Mansfield’s Derek Mueth while goalie Nick Ferraz looks on. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Oliver Ames head coach John Barata was starting to run out of fingers to count his side’s chances in the second half alone.

And as the chances went calling, and the minutes ticked by, Barata began to wonder if his side would be shut out for the first time in league play this year.

“I’ll be honest, we didn’t know if it was just going to be one of those nights,” Barata said. “I believe in these kids, but I wasn’t sure if it just was going to be one of those nights. Mansfield is a very good team but I believe we were the better team tonight.

“We had an unbelievable amount of chances. They cleared some off the line, they blocked shots in the area. It was a high-intensity atmosphere. Steve [Sheridan] does a great job, they’re such a good team.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Tigers had complete control of the match for the first 25 minutes of the second half, but all they had to show for it was four corner kicks and four long attacking throws that were thwarted by Mansfield defense. And a 1-0 deficit to the Hornets, who scored midway through the first half.

But finally in the 68th minute, on the team’s fifth long throw in the attacking third, there was a breakthrough. Chris Lawrence’s toss was cleared away by Mansfield’s defense, but only to just outside the top of the area. OA senior Mason Galbato put his laces on the ball, driving a low line drive through traffic and into the back of the net, helping OA finish 1-1 with the Hornets.

“It was a great tie,” MHS head coach Steve Sheridan said. “I was hoping to get two points, but they pressuring too much in the second half so we’ll take the point. [Oliver Ames] is a great team.”

The first half was a bit more even, with Mansfield even having the better chances in the opening half hour. Senior Sean Lanzillo tested OA early, ripping a right footed shot in the fourth minute from just outside the area but Tigers’ goalie Jack Carroll was up to the task at the near post.

OA registered its first chance 10 minutes later, when the Tigers forced a turnover in the attacking third. James Gillespie was quick to play senior Nick Bloumbas, and Bloumbas’ shot from distance forced a diving save.

Mansfield finally broke through in the 21st minute. Nick Wisnieski centered a pass that was partially cleared by OA, but not past Mansfield senior Sam Hyland just a step inside the area. When the ball fell to him, he buried his shot into the upper corner at the far post, giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets nearly doubled their lead inside the same minute when Lanzillo dropped a pass in behind OA’s defense, leaving Hyland in alone on goal. But Carroll came out and made the big stop, with Colin Evin first to the rebound to make the clearance.

The Tigers had a chance just before half, again on the back of a long throw from Lawrence. This time senior Michael Nikiciuk got a touch at the near post but Mansfield’s Jackson Murphy did well to clear the loose ball.

“It’s a great tie,” Barata said. “The boys weren’t happy with the tie because we felt we were the better team. However…on the road, a D1 team, they are undefeated, we go down early. Coming back showed a lot of maturity.”

The second half was full of chances for OA.

In the 44th minute, Nathaniel Cardoza – who shined in midfield for OA – got his head to a throw, but it was over the bar.

In the 54th minute, Jack Sheldon played a short corner to Matt Alvarado, but his low shot to the near post was saved by Mansfield keeper Nick Ferraz.

In the 56th minute, Cam Vella got his head to a long throw, giving Gillespie a chance inside the box but Mansfield’s Derek Mueth came up with a key block.

Three minutes later, a long throw put the ball into the area but both Cardoza and Alvarado had shots from inside the area blocked away.

In the 66th minute, Gillespie played a low cross to the near post that found Matt Campbell, but his bid was blocked by right in front by Mansfield’s Sam Nugent.

“We did good defensively,” Sheridan said. “I have to look at the tape to see exactly what happened on their goal. My goal was to stay undefeated after tonight, and we still are. So we still control our own destiny.”

Oliver Ames finally broke through two minutes later on Galbato’s strike.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Each team had a chance in the final five minutes. For OA, Campbell played a low cross to the near post, but Ferraz made the charging save before Cardoza could get a touch.

And for Mansfield, Mueth played a ball in behind the OA defense but the spin on the bounce fooled Carroll and ended up just wide at the far post.

Oliver Ames boys soccer (6-1-2 overall, 6-0-2 Hockomock) returns to action on Wednesday when it starts the second half of its crossover games with Milford coming to visit. Mansfield (6-0-3, 6-0-2) will entertain Sharon on Wednesday afternoon.

Boys Soccer: 2017 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
Oliver Ames’ Cam Vella (left) and King Philip’s Mike Rowe are back for their senior seasons. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 8-6-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Peter Pereira

Even though Attleboro graduated some key pieces, the Bombardiers have a lot of experienced and talented players back for the 2017 season. The biggest challenge will be replacing center backs Harry Lancaster (Best XI selection) and Tyler Treichler (Second XI selection) in the heart of the defense.

Juniors Colin Levis and Aidan Lancaster are both back on the defensive line after gaining plenty of experience a season ago. They’ll look to work with Brandon Lewis and Connor Dunn to solidify the back four in front senior goalie Nick Hasenfus (2016 Best XI selection). In the midfield, Zach White is back and will be relied upon as one of the team’s top playmakers once healthy. He’ll have the help of Brady Holander, Nathan LaPlume, Devin Andre, Eli Araujo and Keith Thompson.

After breaking out as one of the league’s bright young stars a season ago, Will Halben is back to lead the attack alongside sophomores Mike Russo and David Medeiros.

“We are hoping to do a bit better than last year with a bit more depth,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira.

Franklin

2016 Record: 6-9-3
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Fran Bositis

It looks like there is a chance of growing pains in the forecast for the 2017 Panthers. After graduating over a dozen seniors from last year’s team, there will be some inexperience in the lineup for Fran Bositis.

Senior Freddie Beckmann returns as the team’s starting goalie to give the defensive end some familiarity, but it will be a brand new back four in front of him. Sophomore Sam Stowell saw some minutes a year ago and will anchor the defense alongside senior Andrew DiLeo. Senior Connor O’Rourke, who also played some last year, will man the outside along with junior Sam Malloy.

In the midfield, Nitin Chaudhury will take over as the holding mid in the center of the pitch but could also move around depending on need. He’ll have the help of sophomores Jacob Cummings and Donny Tappin. Up front, there are mainutes up for grabs with junior Tim Duval in the running to likely grab one of the spots.

“We’re going to be young and inexperienced,” Bositis said. “We have a handful of seniors back but a youth movement is happening. But overall, the kids are really working hard and have great attitudes. We’re looking for improvement each day.”

King Philip

2016 Record: 17-2-2 (Kelley-Rex Division Champion)
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Nick Gale

It will be hard to top the historic season the Warriors had a year ago, winning the division title and allowing just eight goals all season. But Nick Gale and his squad are focused on 2017, not last Fall.

Even though 2016 Best XI selections Cam Mullin and Colby Koch, and Second XI selections Ryan Coulter and Eli O’Neill all graduated, the Warriors still return some of the top talent in the league this year. Tyler Mann, the 2016 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, is just one of many talented players back for Gale. Senior Connor Mullins will be a key piece in the midfield, senior Larsen Keys started all of last year on the back line and senior Mike Rowe is a dangerous player inside the 18. Thomas Lugten, Anthony Bozza and Zac White are all back as well after playing plenty of minutes last year.

Junior Nick Beltramini and sophomore Tristan Stephani are battling for minutes in goal.

“Our focus continues to be on developing players and improving our team,” Gale said. “We understand that opposing teams will be after us, but we won’t take our attention away from training, competing, and focusing on the smaller details that will help us continue to move forward. The league will be good, and we know we will need to be as well.

Mansfield

2016 Record: 11-5-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Steve Sheridan

Mansfield will be relying on a mix of experience and new faces in an effort to get back to the postseason for another year. The Hornets have the challenge of trying to fill the shoes of two-time Best XI selection Max Gurnon, and as well as the void left by the injury to Ethan Brill-Cass, a two year varsity starter.

However, with Sean Lanzillo, Nick Hyland, Sam Hyland and Harry Braidt back, the Hornets have a solid core to work on. Lanzillo’s speed makes him one of the toughest marks in the league while Sam Hyland emerged as a top midfielder last season. Nick Hyland and Braidt will be back to anchor the back line. Head coach Steve Sheridan expects junior Sam Nugent to step in and make an impact early on defensively, as well as junior midfield Luke Savoie on the offensive end.

Senior Nick Ferraz is battling with sophomore Anthony Salisbury for the starting position in net.

“I’m hoping some of the younger guys can step up on offense, and with the departure of Max along with the injury to Ethan and graduation of Jed in goal, our defense is going to have some new faces,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan.

Oliver Ames

2016 Record: 10-5-3
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: John Barata

Oliver Ames returns plenty of talent and will be looking to challenge King Philip for supremacy in the Kelley-Rex division. Two-time HockomockSports.com Best XI selection Nathaniel Cardoza is back to anchor the Tigers from the middle of the field. His ability to play defense, as well as get forward, gives OA a boost.

Other returning starters back this year include Matt Campbell, Matt Alvarado, Cam Vella, Mason Galbato and Jack Sheldon. Mike Braga and Chris Lawrence bring experience to the back line in front keeper Jack Carroll, who is in his third year in net.

With the graduation of three-year starter Thomas McCormick, the Tigers have a void to fill at the striker position. Senior James Gillespie saw time last year off the bench and proved a capable option up top while Alvarado also showed his ability to finish. Senior Brandin Osborne transferred in from Coyle and will also be an attacking option for OA. Nick Bloumbas, Sean Flaherty and Niko Byron will all likely see time off this season as well.

“We are looking to build a solid team that will play well in a very competitive environment,” OA head coach John Barata said. “We know that to succeed we will need to play our best soccer everyday. The boys are working hard – we need to turn our effort into results. I feel confident that we will find our way and make an effort to qualify for the MIAA State tourney.”

Taunton

2016 Record: 1-16-2
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Taylor Whitters

Taunton brings back eight starters from last year’s team and head coach Taylor Whitters is hoping that experience will translate into an improved season in 2017. On top of of those eight starters, the Tigers will have Marc deSousa back in net after a missing his junior season battling cancer.

Senior Liam Crowley is back again with more experience to anchor the back line along with junior Kyle Aubin. DaeShawn Duffie and Hasan Farahat both return to give the Tigers a solid duo in the middle of the pitch while junior Liam Crowley also adds experience to the midfield. Jake DeAndrade, Brett Beaulieu and Alec Nunes are also back in the mix this year as well.

The Tigers got a boost from their rival as Ian Soderbom traded his Warrior blue and gold in from Coyle for Tiger black and orange. Soderbom will be a key piece on defense while Francois Hennaux, an exchange student from Belgium, will add depth to Taunton’s offense.

“Our team is already looking stronger and better,” said Whitters. “They say the tougher the set back the stronger the comeback. We are going to be one of those teams.”

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/19/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalMansfield’s Sam Hyland scored the tying goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Hyland scored on an assist from James Chotkowski, who got a touch off of Max Gurnon’s throw in.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 1 – FinalFreshman Jordan Borges scored his second career goal to put Milford ahead early in the second half but Canton leveled the match with a penalty kick with six minutes to go. Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Zachary Browne and Marcello Panna both put in great performances.

Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalFoxboro’s Hussein Kafel scored the game winning goal midway through the first half for the Warriors while Anthony Barreira iced the game with a goal in the final minutes.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalShawn Watters notched his second straight shutout and fourth overall in net for the Rocketeers.

King Philip, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames scored three goals in the second half to hand King Philip its first loss of the season. Nathaniel Cardoza set up Thomas McCormick for a shot from just outside the area to put OA up 1-0. Matt Campbell finished off a cross from Matt Alvarado to make it 2-0 and then Alvarado scored one of his own, putting home a flick from James Gillespie off a throw from Chris Lawrence. Jack Carroll recorded his seventh shutout of the season with the help of Lawrence, Mason Galbato, Nick Bloumbas, Cam Johnson and Michael Braga. “We had an early opportunity in the second half but wasn’t able to finish,” KP head coach Nick Gale said. “After that, OA played very well and scored first which set the tone – they didn’t look back. I take responsibility for my team being unprepared.”

Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalFarley Asmath opened the scoring in the 39th minute off a feed from freshman Sam Stowell to put Franklin up 1-0 but Taunton’s Daeshawn Duffie answered a minute later to level the match just before half.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalStephanie Kemp and Amanda Mangano each recorded two points as Mansfield stayed unbeaten on the season. Kemp scored once and had an assist while Mangano had two helpers. Bryn Anderson, Emma Goulet and Emily Vigeant each scored once for Mansfield.

Canton, 3 @ Milford, 6 – Final

Foxboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 6 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Haley Guertin tied a school record with five goals in the Rocketeers’ big win. Emma Gaulin scored the other goal for Big Red. Rachel LaBonte had two assists while Emily Chiasson, Sam Hawkins, Ashlyn Gaulin and Britta MacDonald each had one assist. Head coach Bill Wallace said Grace McGoldrick and Julianna DiRenzo played exception in midfield.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ King Philip, 0 – FinalOliver Ames junior Abby Reardon netted the game winner in the first half to lift the Tigers. OA head coach Britt Sellmayer said Regan Benton had a strong game in goal to earn the shutout and said both Lauren Wright and Dana Lowney played well for the Tigers.

Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Volleyball
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield picked up a 25-9, 25-15, 25-18 sweep on the road. Jess Haradon had 10 service points and 15 digs, Jacey Anderson had 10 digs and Anna Kemp added 14 service points for the Hornets.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalJuniors Jordan Motley and Val Whalen combined for over 30 kills for Stoughton while senior Riley Bagley and sophomore Mia Bennett kept the defense strong with over 80 digs.

North Attleboro @ Sharon, 5:00

King Philip, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip picked up the 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18 win on the road. Angela Vellante had 19 service points, three aces and four digs for King Philip while Sydney Phillips added 17 kills and 19 service points and Liv Balduf chipped in with 11 service points and three kills. KP head coach Kristen Geuss said Molly Croke had an excellent defensive game. Oliver Ames’ Bridget McCarthy had 20 assists and three aces.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalErin Skidmore led the Panthers with 10 kills, eight digs and two aces while Maddie Kuzio added 19 digs, two aces and a kill and Meaghan Maguire finished with four kills and three blocks.

Field Hockey
Mansfield, 6 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final

Milford, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final

North Attleboro @ Sharon, 3:45

King Philip, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin senior Nicole Denommee scored her first varsity goal on the while Annie Walsh, Alex Sullivan, Cassi Ronan and Caroline Lounsbury each scored once. Senior Samantha Hertzberg got the shutout in goal making three saves.

Golf
Foxboro, 173 @ Attleboro, 169 – FinalEthan Johnson led Attleboro, earning co-medalist honors with a round of 40. Brian Houle shot a 42, Corey McKenna shot a 43 and Taron Mills carded a 45 to pace the Bombardiers. Foxboro’s Colby Nickerson shared medalist honors, shooting a 40 as well.

Oliver Ames, 147 @ Canton, 151 – FinalOliver Ames completed the regular season undefeated at 16-0 with a win at Canton. Ryan McGarry and Nolan Donze both shot 35 earn match medalist honors for the Tigers. Brady Allbritton shot a 38 and Tate Hadges carded a 39 for the Tigers. Matt Minichiello and Danny Powers each each shot 37 to pace Canton while Tommy Dimock carded a round of 38

Taunton, 166 @ Franklin, 164 – FinalMatt D’Errico led Franklin with a 38 while Bryan Woelfel carded a 39 for the Panthers. Taunton’s Mike Volkmann and Justin Proto shared match medalist honors, shooting 36 on the day.

Oliver Ames Captures First Ever State Championship

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

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

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