By Jaron May, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
WRENTHAM, Mass. – After tying Attleboro earlier in the season, King Philip knew it would need more than the one goal scored in the first half. The Warriors were able to turn it on in the second half, adding three more goals, to blank the Bombardiers, 4-0.
The Bombardiers came out strong and held the ball for most of the time in the first 20 minutes. Multiple chances opened early for Attleboro, but none ended in the back of the net. Most notably, in the 2nd minute, Ahijah Joseph streaked right up the middle of the Warrior defense and was just barely stopped at the last row of defense by a sliding Cameron Mullins.
Attleboro kept the pressure on, but the game slowly began to shift towards the other end, putting KP on the offensive. Once they got the ball rolling, KP never looked back.
KP’s first real chance came in the 12th minute when the ball was advanced into the zone and a waiting Colby Koch was ready to receive it. The Bombardiers defense came crashing in on Koch, a little too hard, and ran right into him, drawing the penalty kick. Mullins then lined up to take the ensuing penalty kick and booted it right past a diving Nicholas Hasenfus to open the scoring.
With a lone point up on the board for KP, the rest of the first half washed away with no real threats by either side.
To try to find a spark, Attleboro’s head coach Peter Pereira made a lineup change in the second half. He moved Harry Lancaster, who was previously leading the defense, to the front of the formation. This proved to be a smart decision as Lancaster helped the offensive attack for the Bombardiers.
After multiple shot attempts to open the half, the Warriors finally capitalized in the 47th minute. Tyler Mann dribbled the ball right up the gut of Attleboro’s defense and put a beautiful touch pass past the last defender right Koch. Koch then sidestepped the charging Attleboro goalie and was left we an easy tap in to double to score.
The Mann-Koch duo struck again just eight minutes later, but this time the roles were reversed. Koch, who had the ball on the wing, found Mann on a low cross, and the junior tapped it in at the far post to make it 3-0.
After the two quick goals, Attleboro tried to stop the bleeding with a time out. After the timeout, Lancaster helped put together one of Attleboro’s better looks of the game. He weaved in and out of the Warrior’s defense until he had an open shot on net but KP keeper Eli O’Neill came up with a big save.
O’Neill cleared the ball out by tossing it to Mullins, who then booted it down the field. He toed it right over the entire Attleboro defense to find Koch on the opposite end of the field. Koch took advantage and tapped in another wide open net for his second goal of the game.
With the Warriors up by four, it was a game of keep away for the last 20 minutes. KP kept up their pressure but did not get any more solid looks at the net. Attleboro did see a few more chances before the last few seconds ticked off the clock, however. The Bombardiers had two consecutive free kicks in the final three minutes of the game, but both were stopped in their tracks by KP’s defense.
“I think we moved the ball well. We created a lot of scoring opportunities; I thought that was awesome,” King Philip head coach Nick Gale said.
With the win the Warriors improve their record to 13-0-2 and keep a zero in the win column.
When asked about his team’s success Gale said, “Every game is going to be tough, everyone wants a piece of the success we are having. I try to keep these guys humble, and keep them focused on only getting better.”
The King Philip Warriors will try to stay hot as they face a true test in Oliver Ames on Wednesday. Attleboro will look to bounce back as they play host to a very talented Mansfield team on Wednesday as well.
FOXBORO, Mass. – As teams enter the final weeks of the regular season and points are at a premium, Foxboro and Attleboro settled for one apiece as they fought to a 0-0 draw at Sam Berns Community Field.
Despite dominating the majority of the first half, and recording more scoring chances in the second half, Foxboro was unable to find the back of the net, hitting the crossbar once and being stopped by Attleboro goalie Nick Hasenfus on other attempts. Meanwhile, the Bombardiers continued to be frustrated by the Warriors’ high pressure and their lone serious chance of the second half was blocked away before Bobby Harrison was forced into a save.
“We have to pick up points,” Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino said. “The guys fought hard, I thought we were the better team today. We were knocking it around, we had the possession and we had the chances. You just have to keep grinding, it’s been the nature of the season so far. The boys aren’t quitting though, it was just unfortunate we didn’t get a goal.”
After Attleboro registered the first scoring game in the 13th minute – a sequence between Aidan Lancaster and Ahijah Joseph resulting in a shot over the bar from Nick Lawrence – it was essentially all Foxboro for the final half hour of the opening stanza.
In the 25th minute, Beigel sent in a low service to the near post where freshman Joe Cusack got a touch to it but Hasenfus cut the angle down and got just enough to keep it out.
Three minutes later, after a corner was partially cleared, a service from Will Regan eventually was deflected to Barreira, who volleyed a rocket right off the crossbar and out.
The Warriors had two chances in the final minute with Spinney finding Cusack at the near post but his shot was wide and then Cusack returned the favor by playing Spinney in but Hasenfus denied his shot to send the teams into the halftime break scoreless.
“The first ten minutes is a feeling out period, looking at the formation they are playing, matching up players, have to be defensive minded in that first ten minutes,” Franchino said. “But once we got in a groove, we pushed players on and I thought we had the better play and the better opportunities.”
“We’ll take any tie because our goal is to get points,” Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira said. “We need points, we have four left so any point is great. Obviously [Foxboro] played better than we did, we got lucky because they hit the bar and they had a few opportunities. But we’re going home with a point so that’s excellent. It was one of our weakest games. We just had our best game last game and it was 0-0 then too. We dominated that game but here today, no. Foxboro was hungry, they were winning the 50/50 balls and had opportunities. The first half was all them. I don’t usually call timeouts but Foxboro was just putting pressure on us.
“The second half was more even but they still won more of the 50/50 balls. Anthony [Barreira] is deadly around the area. He’s a big boy, he’s got a good touch so he’s difficult. Harry [Lancaster] does a good job with anybody and he did with him.”
The Bombardiers registered the first chance of the second half when Austin Champagne pounced on a loose ball off a corner kick but his bid was blocked.
Foxboro’s AJ Bubencik had a shot from just outside the area saved by Hasenfus in the 57th minute and Barreira had a similar shot smothered by Hasenfus in the 61st minute.
“He’s been solid,” Pereira said of Hasenfus, who notched his sixth shutout of the season. “He talks, he gets the kids going, the kids have confidence in him now. He’s been a total surprise, I had no idea. He’s been playing JV. He’s been playing ODP for the last couple of years so he’s been getting the training and he’s been absolutely awesome for us. And with Harry [Lancaster] and Tyler [Treichler], they play solid, Harry’s been our MVP for the season.”
The Warriors continued its pressure and it resulted in another good bid. Barreira played Spinney wide but his shot just rolled wide at the far post in the 67th minute.
“I think that’s the difference from where we were at the beginning of the year to now is the pressure in the center of the park,” Franchino said. “We’re not letting teams play. It’s just getting the right mixture of the right players. Even our outside backs stepped up and our backline was pushing players on. We’re not just winning balls in the defensive third, we’re winning them in the attacking third and middle third which makes a huge difference. We just have to keep grinding.”
Attleboro had its best chance in the 70th minute when Joseph sprang Will Halbem in behind the defense but before he could uncork a shot in the area, Foxboro’s Shawn McNamara slid in and pushed the ball out for a corner kick.
Foxboro boys soccer (2-7-3, 1-7-3), which has earned at least a point in four of its last five games, will look to continue that trend when they travel to Sharon on Monday. Attleboro (5-3-4, 5-2-4) travels to Wrentham to take on Kelley-Rex leading King Philip the same day.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Coming into Thursday night’s game at Alumni Field, Attleboro coach Peter Pereira warned his defense about the long throws of Mansfield senior defender Max Gurnon. He warned his defense that it is a major weapon for the Hornets and that they need to be prepared anytime Mansfield wins a throw anywhere near the attacking third of the field.
No matter how many warnings Pereira gave, it does not make it any easier for the defense to deal with Gurnon’s bombardment of throws. He assisted on the first goal and got credit for the third when it was headed home by an Attleboro defender. Gurnon created consistent havoc in the Attleboro penalty area and the Hornets took advantage to pull out a 3-0 victory.
“I told my kids to play them like a corner and we did the first one and there was no one at the post,” said Pereira. “They took it to us a little in the first half with those long throws. It’s better than a kick. You get it in there, a little header, and things happen.”
Mansfield coach Steve Sheridan said, “We’re starting to cash in on his throw-ins, a lot better than we used to. We’re working on them. I’d like to see more goals from the flow of the game, but we’ll take them.
“If teams want to keep giving us these throw-ins then we’ll take them.”
The Hornets nearly had the perfect start when Sean Lanzillo chipped a pass over the top for Kevin Bouck in the first minute but the senior could not finish the chance, sending his shot over the bar. Attleboro had a quick response four minutes later when a corner was not properly cleared and Will Halben hit a near-perfect half-volley that smacked off the bar.
The rest of the first half was dominated by the Hornets with the ball constantly in the Attleboro half and Gurnon getting chance after chance to put a ball into the box from free kicks and throws. In the ninth minute, one of his throws paid dividends when it eluded everyone in the middle of the box, bounced on the far side, and was nodded into goal by Jackson Murphy at the far post.
At the midway point of the half, Mansfield doubled its lead. James Chotkowski lined up a shot from 20 yards out and forced Attleboro keeper Nicholas Hasenfus into a full stretch save. The resulting corner bounced off Brendan Sullivan to Sam Hyland on the edge of the box and he fired in his chance to make it 2-0.
“That was huge and it made them play with a little more urgency and allowed us to take more chances,” said Sheridan. “When we had the ball, we were able to get it up there and get some numbers forward.”
The Hornets were relying on Gurnon and Harry Braidt to hold down the center of the defense and limit the chances for Attleboro. The Bombardiers started pressing forward at the end of the first half and during the break Pereira urged his team to continue pressing the Hornets.
Just before halftime Colin Levis sent in a dangerous cross from the right but it went just over Halben inside the six and just missed the toe of Ahijah Joseph sliding in at the back post. The Bombardiers continued the push forward in the second half with Zach White becoming more influential in the midfield.
Mansfield had the opportunity to put the game away in the 55th minute when John Cooney escaped a challenge by Harry Lancaster and raced in clean on goal. Hasenfus (four saves) denied him with a slide and Hyland had his follow up cleared off the line.
A minute later the Bombardiers nearly cut the lead in half when freshman Nathan Laplumeflicked a pass into classmate Michael Russo, but, while the Mansfield defenders screamed for an offsides that was not forthcoming, Russo rolled his shot inches wide of the post.
“As far as soccer, second half we won a lot of balls, but up front I tried to put guys up there but we just weren’t able to finish,” said Pereira. “We picked up at the end of the first half and we carried it for about 30 minutes.”
Chotkowski nearly killed the game off with a header off a throw in the 64th minute and Cullin Anastasia also sent a header wide three minutes later. The Hornets finally put the game away with yet another throw by Gurnon. This one was headed into goal by an Attleboro defender with 12 minutes to play.
“The third one was the dagger,” said Sheridan. “It let me breathe a little bit easier…That’s probably the best game we’ve played from start to finish this year…all around, offensively and defensively.”
It was the fifth straight win for Mansfield (5-0-1), which stays unbeaten ahead of Monday night’s visit of Franklin. Attleboro (2-2-1) drops back to .500 with the loss and now faces a tough stretch beginning with Saturday’s visit of New Bedford followed by Franklin and Oliver Ames.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – As the final minutes of Saturday evening’s game between Attleboro and Canton ticked down, it looked as though the teams were destined for a scoreless draw.
But with just under six minutes to play, Attleboro senior Tyler Treichler got on the end of a set piece service and used his head to tuck the ball on the inside of the post and give the Bombardiers a 1-0 win in both team’s first game of the season.
As the game ticked into the 75th minute, the Bombardiers earned a free kick near the corner flag. Junior Zach White played it short, only to get it back immediately. He drove a cross to the back post and Treichler was able to jump up in a sea of players and get his head to the ball, putting it just inside the post, making it nearly impossible to stop.
“We’ve been sending the two guys from the back up for corners and set pieces because they can head the ball, so that paid off,” Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira said. “We have a good team and the kids are working hard, that’s what we we are. We’re young but we work hard.
“The freshmen are giving everything they have and that sets the tone for the other kids. We have a while to go though, this is most of the kids’ first ever game playing together because of the ages are so different. I was happy with the performance and of course the points are even more important.”
Each team had just once serious chance in the first half. Lancaster’s low free kick to the near post was deflected to freshman Michael Russo in the 8th minute, but his shot on frame went right at Canton goalie Abe Garber.
Canton nearly took the lead just seconds later off when Paul Corcoran took off down the right flank, centering a pass for Ben Waterhouse but Attleboro goalie Nick Hasenfus came off his line and just got in front.
The Bulldogs started off on the front foot in the second half, finding a chance in the 47th minute, Corcoran sent in a low cross to the near post, where Cole Duserick got a touch on but the ball spun just out of the reach for Waterhouse to get a clean shot and it slipped wide.
Attleboro had a chance midway through the second half when Devin Andre combined with Ahijah Joseph at the top of the area but Andre’s shot went over the bar.
Canton’s Jake Verille made a nice run in the 65th minute into the final third but his shot was saved by Hasenfus. Two minutes later, White played Connor Dunn wide and his cross was met at the far post by Nick Lawrence, bit his bid back across goal went wide. Lawrence’s shot three minutes later was stopped by Garber as well.
That led to Andre going for a 50/50 ball on the right sideline, earning a free kick just by the corner. That led to White’s service and Treichler’s winner.
“Attleboro played great, I thought they they had the territory in the first half. We actually had the possession in the first half but we kept the ball in our end so it didn’t do anything for us,” Canton head coach Danny Erickson said, also praising Attleboro’s defensive effort. “They were really dangerous, keeping the ball that first half. I thought we turned it around and had the ball down their end the whole second half, they had a couple glimpses and then they took advantage of a set piece and scored a really nice goal. I don’t think he was completely open, I thought we were on him but he scored a great goal. I thought we gave them a great fight in the second half though but it’s onto the next one.”
Attleboro’s defense was bolstered by Lancaster, who has made the switch from an attacking option to a center back for his senior year. It seemed anytime that Canton had something going in the final third, Lancaster was there to cause a problem.
“Harry is doing well for us. He was playing midfield but I felt like I needed someone back there,” Pereira said. “He’s got the speed, he’s got the experience. He’s covering for everyone back there. With Treichler next to him, he’s learning with Harry too. Then we rotate four sophomores in the wings and we’re hoping they’ll do the job.”
Attleboro boys soccer (1-0-0) will look to make it two in a row with a trip to Stoughton (0-1-0) on Tuesday. Canton (0-1-0) will be back in action on Friday when they travel to King Philip (1-0-0).
2015 Record: 4-10-3 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
Attleboro is only returning three starters from last year’s squad but the Bombardiers are hopeful that its incoming players will keep them competitive in the Kelley-Rex this season.
Senior captain Harry Lancaster will anchor the back line, showing his versatility by playing yet another position in his fourth year on varsity. Senior captain Ahijah Joseph will see time at both forward as well as some time in the midfield, alongside junior Zach White, another returnee. Junior Nick Hasenfus will take over as the starting goalie while seniors Tyler Treichler and Nick Lawrence will also emerge as key contributors this season. Head coach Peter Pereira also expects to get contributions from underclassmen including sophomore Will Halben and freshmen Mike Russo and Nathan LaPlume.
“We will be a hard working team that should get better every game,” Pereira said. “I think we will surprise some teams.”
2015 Record: 12-7-1 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Fran Bositis
Franklin has some big holes to fill around the field but returning nearly a dozen varsity players is a good start. Around 10 returning players saw valuable varsity minutes last season and that is something the Panthers will rely on.
The Panthers have to find replacements for midfielders Austin Kent and Nick Parent, along with defender Dan Geraci and goalie Henri Guilmette. However, Franklin doesn’t need to find any replacements for its strikers with both Farley Asmath and Kevin Hall back this year. Hall was second on the team with seven goals a season ago and Asmath is speedy, strong player that could add a lot to the attack. Hatim Brahimi (five goals, three assists in 2015) is one of the top returning players in the league and will lead the midfield for the Panthers this season. Franklin’s defense will consist of a rotation of five or six players, including Wesley Kozil and Noah Scafati. Senior Joe Kroon and junior Fred Beckmann will battle for the starting goalie spot.
“We’ve got a bunch of great athletes that are pretty good soccer players that work really hard,” head coach Fran Bositis said.
2015 Record: 8-8-3 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Second Round Coach: Nick Gale
The Kelley-Rex division title race expects to be a very contested one and King Philip looks like they’ll be right in the mix this season because of a strong balance of returning players.
Senior captains Cam Mullins and Ryan Coulter are returning to anchor the back line, which had a strong showing in 2015 with the fourth least goals surrendered in the Hockomock. Both have proved in the past to be reliable defenders, especially in the air against set pieces. Although the Warriors will have to replace the versatile Joe Kellett, KP has a handful of young players that saw valuable minutes on varsity and can make an impact this year. Tyler Mann will lead the attack, a year after scoring a team-high eight goals as a sophomore. Senior Colby Koch has shown his versatility in the past and will also be a factor for KP again this this. Juniors Connor Mullins, Larsen Keys and Mike Rowe also will be key players for the Warriors this season after each of them played meaningful minutes as sophomores.
“Our goal is to build off last year’s successes, continue to improve everyday, and compete hard,” head coach Nick Gale said.
“We know what we want, but we also know we have to earn it.”
2015 Record: 13-4-3 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Steve Sheridan
The defending Kelley-Rex champions will look to try to win back-to-back league titles for the first time in program history and they have a large amount of returning players that could help accomplish that goal.
Captain Max Gurnon, a 2015 HockomockSports.com Best XI selection, returns for his senior campaign to anchor an experienced back line that allowed just 15 goals last season. While Mansfield must overcome the graduation of Chris Elsner, juniors Nick Hyland and Harry Braidt both started on the back line last year while sophomore Ethan Brill-Cass looks to be the final piece to the defense. Mansfield will have to find a replacement for goalie Mike Kirejczyk but head coach Steve Sheridan said senior Jed Tolbert and junior Nick Ferraz will battle for the starting spot.
“As far as our strengths go, our defense should be strong,” Sheridan said. “Losing [Chris] Elsner is a big loss, but Ethan [Brill-Cass] saw a lot of time as a freshman last season and learned a lot from Chris. I’m hoping our offense is much improved over last season.”
The Hornets finished fifth in the league in scoring last year and graduated its top four scorers. However, there is a group of attacking players back that saw plenty of minutes. Senior captain Brendan Sullivan will be a speedy option up top while classmates Kevin Bouck and Ryan Amaral will figure into the offense. Senior captain James Chotkowski will lead a midfield unit along with Jackson Murphy, Cullin Anastasia and Sean Lanzillo.
2015 Record: 18-0-3 (Davenport Division Champions) 2015 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: John Barata
Oliver Ames has had a target on its back for the last couple of years as they claimed four of the last five Davenport titles but after winning the program’s first ever Division 2 State Title last Fall, it’s bigger than ever.
The Tigers will have to replace two All-State players in Chris Romero and Keegan Nutt, as well as three seniors from their league-best defense last season. However, OA does return a good chunk of starters as well as experienced bench players from the state championship team.
Senior Thomas McCormick has been causing havoc for defenses for two years and will be relied upon to do so again this year. Nathaniel Cardoza, the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will be back to control the middle of the pitch alongside Cam Vella, who showed his ability to get forward last season. Juniors Matt Campbell, Matt Alvarado, Jack Sheldon and Mason Galbato all saw time in the midfield last season and look to be contributors this year. Junior Jack Carroll is back in net again this year.
“We will try to be competitive this season and make another run at qualifying for the postseason,” head coach John Barata said. “Our path to the state tourney is extremely difficult this season as we join the Kelley-Rex. We look forward to a great season and hope to be in a position to qualify for the state tournament in late October.”
Barata noted that losing the back line, one that surrendered just 12 goals all season, will be a major challenge for the Tigers this season.
2015 Record: 2-13-2 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
With a new coach at the helm in Taylor Whitters, the Taunton Tigers are looking to build a new foundation for years to come. Whitters, who was previously the boys freshmen coach, is hoping the Tigers can rise up to the challenge of the very talented Kelley-Rex division.
Two key returning players include sophomore Hasan Farahat and junior Daeshawn Duffie. Both players possess strong soccer skills and will be vital parts for Taunton both ways as they patrol the midfield. Senior Sean Crowley will be tasked with pacing the scoring for the Tigers while freshman Colton Madeira, senior Dan DeAndreade and junior Jake DeAndrade will all be factors as Taunton pushes forward. Junior Liam Crowley will factor into Taunton’s defense and sophomore Liam Crowley will play a role in Taunton’s midfield.
“We are going to rise up in our league with respect, integrity,encouragement, unity and pride,” Whitters said.