Boys Soccer: 2019 Davenport Division Preview

2019 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview
Milford’s Jordan Borges plays a ball forward against Canton in 2018. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview

Canton

2018 Record: 10-5-4
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Danny Erickson

There will be a lot of new faces on the pitch this season for the Canton Bulldogs. And because of that, the Bulldogs are going to rely heavily on the few returners they do have.

Longtime head coach Danny Erickson will lean on his three senior captains this year: Alejandro Correal, Cooper Ashcroft, and Colby Ciffolillo. Correal took over as the starting goalie last season and had a strong year for the Bulldogs, who came in second in the Davenport division. Beyond a strong season in net, Erickson also deployed Correal as a midfielder for portions of the game. Ashcroft and Ciffolillo provide a good amount of varsity experience and will be relied upon to be leaders both on and off the field.

“We will be a brand new looking team this fall after graduating so many impactful players,” Erickson said. “We are looking to be anchored by a veteran group of backs who will be tough to break down.”

Foxboro

2018 Record: 9-7-5
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Joe Franchino

Foxboro has been one of the most lethal offenses over the past couple of seasons, and while the offense looks to be an early strength for the Warriors, head coach Joe Franchino is hoping a well-balanced squad will be able to compete for a league title.

The Warriors have one of the most talented strikers in the league back in senior Dylan Barreira, who tied for the league lead in goals scored a year ago. He can score in a plethora of ways and will be a handful for opponents to deal with. Sophomore Matt Angelini, who picked up some valuable minutes a year ago, and junior Max Beigel will both see a lot of time alongside of Barreira in the attack. Senior Joe Cusack will pull the strings from the center of the pitch, Ronnie MacClellan returns to the six role, and PJ Frost is likely to factor into the midfield this season. Will Morrison and Tim Behn will be key pieces of the Warriors’ defense this season while there is a healthy competition for minutes in goal that involves senior Dylan Tierney, junior Nick Penders, and sophomore Derek Axon.

“The ultimate goal is to win a league title and compete for a state title, that’s how it is every year,” Franchino said. “We have a pretty solid team so it’s just a matter of who shows up on game day.”

Milford

2018 Record: 13-2-5 (Davenport Division Champions)
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Brian Edwards

Milford lost a good amount of talent from the squad that won the Davenport division crown a year ago, but the Scarlet Hawks still have plenty of skilled players ready to defend their title.

While replacing league MVP and HockomockSports Player of the Year Walisson de Oliveira will be a tall task, the Hawks have a lot of options to replicate that production. Senior Jordan Borges is one of the more experienced players in the league and will do a lot of the dirty work in the center of the pitch. Leo Coelho, a junior, gives head coach Brian Edwards a lot of flexibility and can impact the game in a variety of ways. Joao Vitor Neiva is a strong target forward that is looking to build on a successful junior campaign. Senior captains Dan Santos and Nuno Mestre are tasked with anchoring the Milford defense. Mestre is a four-year varsity player and will likely join in on the attack while Santos’ distribution out of the back will be an important part of Milford’s possession game.

“As always the goal is to improve every day and be competitive within a very challenging league,” Edwards said.




North Attleboro

2018 Record: 7-4-8
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Geoff Burgess

North Attleboro found a lot of success with a defense-first mentality in 2018. The Rocketeers are looking to replicate that same stingy defense while also improving their build-up play.

It didn’t take long for North Attleboro to establish its identity a year ago, defending first and then hitting on the counter-attack. Head coach Geoff Burgess will rely on some newcomers to fill holes on the defense and on experienced players when attacking. Senior goalie Kyle Briere had a breakout junior campaign and will be tasked with organizing the new faces on the defense. Senior captain James Sales controls the midfield for the Rocketeers and will look to distribute to the likes of Joey Coscarella, who will move up the field to a forward position, and senior Matt Mordini. Alex Pfeffer provides a lot of versatility and can be a dangerous weapon on the wings. Senior James Bush, one the most experienced players on defense for North Attleboro, will match up with some of the top strikers in the Hockomock League.

“Our hope is to continue to be dangerous on the counter-attack and improve our build-up play from the back to bolster our offense,” Burgess said. “This team has an opportunity to contend for a league title and possibly make a run in the tournament. We have a large senior class that has experience and great team morale. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch them play.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 2-9-7
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Bryan Kelly

Expectations are high at Sharon High this fall, and for good reason. The Eagles have talent returning all over the pitch and will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division crown.

Sharon is looking to its offense to lead the way this season. After a season filled with bad breaks and unlucky bounces, the Eagles are ready to not only make a push for the state tournament but challenge for a league title. Head coach Bryan Kelly has a lot of choices when it comes to his attacking group including senior Brian Higgins, senior Ben Nathan, junior Mason Benton, senior Bohazo Li, and Victor Schneider. Opponents are most familiar with Higgins and his ability to score but Nathan, Benton, Li, and Schneider have all impressed this preseason and give the Eagles a plethora of options. Michael Baur returns as one of the top center midfielders in the league and can take on defenders himself, but is also an excellent distributor. Bryce Nathan will also be a key piece in the Eagles’ midfield alongside tennis sensation Alberto Olivei, who is joining the program for the first time. Defensively, Isaiah Stessman is one of the most dynamic players in the Hock and will be supported by Brendan Arnold, Daniel Zagoran, Brandon Mauricio, and Reese Davis. Freshman Matt Baur takes over in net for the Eagles.

“We’re going to be a different team this year, a lot more offensive-minded,” Kelly said. “We are going to look to attack a lot this season and we have some good pieces to do so.”

Stoughton

2018 Record: 0-16-2
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jon Grant

Stoughton is looking to have a bounce-back year and new head coach Jon Grant is bringing a defense-first mentality to the Black Knights.

The Black Knights had the most goals allowed last season so the emphasize early on will be improving the defense. Senior captain Ted Lucas is a returning player and will be tasked with anchoring the back line for Stoughton. Lucas will get a lot of help from junior goalie Nolan Gerome. Gerome picked up some valuable minutes in net throughout the season. Grant will also rely on senior captains Jon Santos and Mason Eschleman to be important pieces on the defense. While both Santos and Eschleman will play in the midfield, the Black Knights are dedicated to getting numbers behind the ball to improve the defense. Santos and Eschleman will also help Stoughton transition into offense and start the attack.

“This team’s positive attitude and willingness to learn will be the keys to their success,” Grant said. “We have been focusing on the defensive side of the game for much of the preseason so far. Our goal is obvious…if we keep the ball out of the back of our net then we give ourselves a chance to win. Our ultimate goal is to get back to the tournament.”

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/22/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Foxboro @ Norton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy – Postponed to Thursday, 5/16 at 3:45.

Softball
Canton vs. Boston Latin – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Foxboro @ Medway – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/14 at 4:00.
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Friday, 4/26 at 3:45.

Boys Lacrosse
Foxboro, 18 @ Wayland, 11 – FinalFoxboro senior Brendan Tully netted his 100th career goal as the Warriors picked up a big win on the road over Wayland. Tully had five goals and two assists while Pete Conley had four goals and three assists, each finishing with seven points for Foxboro. Charlie Baughan added three goals, Aidan Stapleton and Bobby Yerardi each found the back of the net twice, and Shayne Kerrigan scored once and had two helpers. Foxboro coach Matt Noone said Nick Penders was excellent at the faceoff X.

King Philip, 11 @ Bishop Feehan, 8 – FinalKing Philip senior Colin DeVellis factored into seven goals, helping the Warriors take down Bishop Feehan. DeVellis scored five goals and recorded two assists, Kevin Riggs netted a pair of goals, and Andrew Sajdak had one goal and one assist. Sam Mattson (goal, assist) David Lawler (goal), Robbie Tartaglia (goal), and Tyler Bartlett (assist) all contributed to the score.

Mansfield, 14 @ Framingham, 6 – FinalMansfield got back into the win column with a victory on the road at Framingham. Connor Quirk and Brady Kessler paced the offense, each scoring four goals apiece. Jake Quirk netted three goals, Aidan Sacco added two tallies, and Jake DiSangro chipped in with one goal. Joe Plath made 12 saves in net for the Hornets.

Attleboro @ Milford – Postponed to Friday, 4/26 at 4:00.
Oliver Ames @ Ashland – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.

Girls Lacrosse
Canton, 8 @ Mansfield, 22 – FinalKaty Garvin had five goals and four assists and Lauren Whitman had seven goals and an assist to lead the Hornets to a comprehensive non-league win against the Bulldogs. Whitman was also a force on the draws, pulling down 15 to keep Mansfield in possession. Maggie Danehy had a hat trick, while Olivia Murray, Grace Fernandez, and Annemarie McCory all scored twice in the win. Grace Danehy recorded her first career goal as well. Katie McCarthy had a big game in goal, recording a career-high 13 saves.

Franklin, 15 @ Medfield, 6 – FinalFranklin raced out to a 10-3 lead at halftime and never looked back for a victory on the road at Medfield. Senior Annie Walsh had a team-high nine points, scoring five goals and adding four assists while junior Erin Walsh also scored five goals with two helpers. Annie Walsh and Stella Regan dominated draws for the Panthers, combining for 15 wins. Hailey Toolin and Sydney Hawkins played well defensively in front of Gianna Cameron (10 saves).

North Attleboro, 7 vs. Medway, 17 – Final

King Philip, 17 vs. Bishop Feehan, 7 – FinalSix different players scored for the Warriors, as KP rolled to a non-league win. Jess Sullivan led the way with six goals, while Caroline Klim added six points (five goals and an assist) of her own. Olivia Tormey had a hat trick, while Victoria Tormey chipped in with a goal and two assists. Mackenzie Mazur and Ali Wilson also scored for the Warriors, while Wilson added an assist as well. Caroline Watson made nine saves in the win.

Sharon, 6 @ Foxboro, 16 – FinalFoxboro senior Sophia DiCenso recorded her 200th career goal as the Warriors rolled to a win in the rain. Emma Eberhardt and Jenna Goldstein each scored twice for the Eagles and Mia Lappen added one. Maeve Barbera, Bridget McManus, and Molly McAlevey each had assists in the loss.

Milford @ Attleboro – Postponed to Tuesday, 4/25 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames vs. Ursuline Academy – Postponed to Thursday, 5/9 at 4:00.

Boys Tennis
North Attleboro @ Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/22 at 3:45.
Canton @ King Philip – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Stoughton @ Franklin – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Sharon @ Taunton – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Milford @ Mansfield – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/22 at 3:45.
King Philip @ Canton – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames @ Foxboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Franklin @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Taunton @ Sharon – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Mansfield @ Milford – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.

Boys Volleyball
King Philip, 3 vs. Norton, 0 – FinalKing Philip defended home court by sweeping visiting Norton 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-18). Eric Altobello paced the offense with 14 kills while Jimmy Peterson added eight kills. Shea Duffy was strong at the net with three blocks while Max Armour and Mike O’Brien played well defensively with seven digs apiece.

Taunton, 0 vs. North Quincy, 3 – Final

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/18/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 6 – FinalAttleboro rallied with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to grab the lead and then held on for a non-league win over North. Alvaro Espinal started the rally when he was hit by a pitch and then came around to score on a Mason Houle double. Lorenzo Wilson plated Houle with a single, followed by a base hit from Robert Furtado. With two outs, Eoin Kelleher singled to bring in both runners and put Attleboro in front. Kelleher (seven strikeouts) also grabbed the win on the mound, retiring the final 10 batters he faced after giving up five runs, all in the fourth inning. North took advantage of a walk, two errors, and a catcher’s interference to put together thr fourth-inning rally, with Kyle Bolger providing the big hit on a bases-clearing double.

King Philip, 4 @ Canton, 3 – FinalKing Philip earned its third win in the past four games, holding on for a one-run win on the road. The Bulldogs led 3-0 through four innings but the Warriors went ahead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. David Morganelli went the distance on the hill, striking out three and allowing six hits, one walk, and just one earned run to pick up the win. Zach Zarba and Tim Crowley each had a pair of hits and each drove in a run for the Warriors, while Robbie Jarest had a hit and an RBI. Conor Cooke and Chris Sawyer each had two hits for KP. Canton’s Matt Pigeon went 3-for-3 and senior Paul Corcoran had an RBI for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 9 vs. Milton, 11 – FinalFoxboro jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, and then scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game but Milton prevailed in the championship game of the third annual Steven J. Sullivan tournament. Senior Brian Duncan had a team-high three hits and a run scored, Anthony Mollica (three walks, triple, two runs, two RBI), Kyle McGinnis (two walks, two RBI, run, triple) and Adam Lanctot (run, RBI) each had two hits for the Warrior.

Franklin, 5 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Mansfield, 6 @ Milford, 0 – FinalMansfield held just a one-run lead through five innings of play before plating four in the sixth and one in the seventh to pull away from the Scarlet Hawks. Jake Gerraughty shined on the mound, allowing just one hit while talking two and striking out three in a complete game effort. Offensively, Dan Saraceno went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Sam Nugent (run), Gerraughty (run), and Mike Hargadon (run, RBI) each had two hits for Mansfield. Milford starter Colby Pires scattered five hits and three walks with just one earned run over five innings of work.

Sharon, 1 @ Weymouth, 5 – Final

Softball
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 10 – FinalBella Erti struck out eight and walked none to earn the non-league win against Attleboro. Emily Nardelli powered the North offense with three hits, including a double and a two-run homer. Abby Gallagher had a pair of hits, including a solo homer, and Ashley Cangiano and Belle Clarkin also added two hits for the Rocketeers, who used a six-run sixth inning to break the game wide open. Annabelle Hebard, Katy Daby, and Emma Bailey each drove in runs for North. Attleboro’s run came on a solo homer by Makenzie Killough. Jenna Gittle also went 2-for-3 for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 15 – Final (5 Inn.)King Philip’s offense came alive, belting out 14 hits in a win over visiting Canton. Meg Gorman led the way, hitting two home runs and a total of three hits, knocking in four runs. Kara McWhinnie added a home run and a double, and Faith Turinese, Paige Berdos and Reagan Simeone each had a pair of hits for the Warriors. Turinese was strong in the circle, allowing only three hits striking out eight and no walks in five innings. Liz Bickett and Steph Trendell each had solo homers for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 16 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final (5 Inn.)Foxboro scored five runs in the top of the first and never looked back, taking control of the game with an eight-run third. Nicole Theriault had a big day with three hits and three runs scored for the Warriors. Chelsea Gibbons and Camryn Willis also scored three times in the win, while Alexandra Willis had a pair of hits and a pair of runs. Morgan Sylvestre scored twice and Maria Dunn drove in a pair. Grace Simone (RBI), Kayla Georgeu, Abbi Holmes (run) and Kalei Clark (two runs) each had hits for OA. Clark scored 2 runs, Holmes scored a run. Emma Varella added two RBI for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 1 @ Franklin, 13 – Final (5 inn.)Click here for a photo gallery of this game.Franklin got off to a strong start, scoring five runs in the first inning and four more in the second to beat Stoughton. Junior Sarah Jackson launched a two-run home run to highlight the Panthers’ big first inning. Ally Shea went 4-for-4 (courtesy runner Molly Collins scored three runs), Gabby Colace had three hits and two RBI, and Maddy White added two hits and two RBI. Jackie Cherry allowed just one run on two hits, walking two and striking out three in four innings of work to get the win. Nikki Coppola had a solo home run in the second inning for the Black Knights.

Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 18 – Final (5 Inn.)Sarah Cahill allowed only one hit and struck out eight to earn the five-inning shutout for the Hornets. Mansfield jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one, tacked on a run in the second, four in the third, and then seven in the fourth, while pounding out 11 hits as a team. Megan Letendre and Ashlyn Conley each had a pair of hits and each drove in a pair of runs. Nine Mansfield batters had at least one hit in the game.

Sharon, 0 @ Taunton, 18 – Final (5 inn.)Taunton scored eight runs in the first inning and never looked back in a while over visiting Sharon. Sophomore Hanna Aldrich paced the offense with a pair of home runs and five RBI, sophomore McKenzie McAloon added a pair of hits and two runs scored, sophomore Tayah DaCosta had two hits, scored three runs, and two RBI, junior Abbie McDonough had a double and two RBI, and sophomore Skylar Rheaume added a hit and an RBI. Alexa White earned her second win of the year, allowing just one hit in three innings of work while striking out six. Freshman Olyvia Mendonca did not allow a hit in two scoreless innings of relief.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro @ Bishop Feehan, 10:00

Foxboro, 7 vs. Marshfield, 5 – FinalAfter falling behind 4-1 at the end of the first quarter, Foxboro’s defense put a lock on the Ram attack. The Warriors shut Marshfield out in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 4-3 at halftime, and then allowed just one second half goal, scoring four of their own to get the victory in Chowda Cup action. The Warriors used a balanced attack with Pete Conley scoring twice and Charlie Baughan (assist), Aidan Stapleton (assist), Bobby Yerardi (assist), Shayne Kerrigan, and Nick Penders each scoring once. Foxboro coach Matt Noone said the Warrior defense played awesome in front of goalie Matt Tully (11 saves).

Franklin, 9 vs. St. John’s Prep, 10 – Final (2 OT)Franklin had a lead and possession with under a minute to go but St. John’s Prep got the ball back after a save and scored with 16 seconds left and went on to win in double overtime. Owen Palmieri had three goals, Jake Davis added two goals and an assist, and Matt Lazzaro scored once and had two helpers. Will Davis made 17 saves in net for the Panthers while senior Jacob Alexander won 15-of-23 faceoffs.

King Philip, 9 @ North Attleboro, 7 – FinalColin DeVellis scored four goals and recorded two assists to lead the Warriors to a non-league road win. KP also got two goals and an assist apiece from Andrew Sajdak and Sam Mattson. Robbie Tartaglia scored the other goal, Chris Longobardi won 12-of-17 face-offs, and Andrew McKinney made 12 saves for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 11 vs. Hanover, 10 – Final

Milford vs. Blackstone Valley Tech, 6:00

Oliver Ames, 16 @ Bellingham, 2 – FinalOA had seven different scorers, led by Hunter Costello’s five goals, to stay unbeaten through six games this season. Cullen Gallagher had a strong game defensively in his LSM role and also popped up with a pair of goals on the other end. The Tigers defense was led by Shane Murphy, Matt Saba, and Tyler Campbell, who held Bellingham to just two scores.

Sharon, 10 vs. Nipmuc, 8 – Final

Stoughton, 2 @ Dedham, 12 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 20 – Final

Canton, 13 vs. Quincy, 2 – Final

Foxboro, 9 @ Longmeadow, 16 – Final

Mansfield, 6 @ Hopkinton, 16 – FinalMansfield fell behind early, trailing 9-1 at halftime, but battled back in a nearly even second half. Hornets coach Lauryn Wilkie said that the score didn’t reflect how well the Mansfield midfield and defense played against a good Hopkinton attack. Melissa Shanteler was highlighted for her marking of Hopkinton’s Lydia Rudden, holding the 200-goal scorer to just one for the game, and Wilkie said that Shealyn Sears also played well in the defense. Katie McCarthy made six saves for the Hornets who got three goals apiece from Katie Garvin and Lauren Whitman. Wilkie added, “The girls are really starting to hit their stride, we just need to find the net more.”

Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – FinalIt was a one-goal game at halftime, but the Eagles used a 7-4 second half to pull out the non-league road win and extend their win streak to five games. Emma Eberhardt scored six times for Sharon and also pulled down 15 draw controls. Mia Lappen scored three goals and Cass Barbera and Bridget McManus each tallied twice in the win. OA had five players score in the game, led by Olivia Piazza, who had four goals and three assists.

King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 15 – Final

Milford, 18 vs. Blackstone Valley Tech, 3 – FinalMilford took an early lead and never looked back, cruising to its third win of the season. Senior Sophia Bucal paced the offense with five goals while Emily Haley, Annie Flanagan, Riley Campbell and Elena Bon Tempo each scored three goals apiece. Senior Stella Amour scored her first career goal for the Hawks.

Boys Tennis
Milford, 1 vs. Hopedale, 4 – Final

Girls Tennis
Milford, 0 vs. Hopedale, 5 – Final

Outdoor Track
Attleboro @ North Attleboro, 2:00

Boys Volleyball
King Philip, 0 @ Milford, 3 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.Milford earned a 3-0 sweep over King Philip in the first ever meeting between the programs, winning 25-19, 25-17, 25-18. Milford senior Joao Boaventura was terrific all around, pounding down 18 kills, adding six aces, and finishing with 12 digs. Josh Orellana added 28 assists for the Scarlet Hawks. Jimmy Peterson and Max Armour had three kills apiece for King Philip while Kyle Desrochers finished with 10 digs.

Foxboro Rides Strong Second Half Past King Philip

Foxboro boys soccer
King Philip’s Ian Zimmerman jumps in front of Foxboro’s Nic Beigel to intercept a pass. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – After Foxboro opened the scoring in the first half, it took King Philip just two minutes to respond and erase any momentum the host Warriors had.

But in the second half, the Foxboro retook the lead, it made sure it didn’t let its foot off the gas.

The host Warriors scored three goals inside the first 20 minutes of the second half, blowing open what was a tie game into a 4-1 victory over KP on the turf at Southeastern Regional High School.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We had a lot of positives in the first half so we needed just to keep going,” said Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino. ” One thing we stressed was that we can’t concede goals right after we score, that was a main focus for us. We just kept going at them in the second half, started knocking the ball around out of the back.

“We knew it was going to come, we just had to stay positive and continue to knock the ball around. I thought we were the better team tonight and fortunately, we were able to put some in the back of the net.”

After a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes, Foxboro jumped ahead in the 11th minute. Nic Beigel won a ball in the area at midfield and played it up to senior Shane VandenBoom. VandenBoom took a touch and then latched onto a volley on the bounce, getting enough pace on it to catch the KP keeper just off his line for a 1-0 advantage.

But Foxboro’s lead didn’t last long as King Philip netted the equalizer in the 13th minute. Sophomore Cam Lawrence delivered a near post service, and senior Gavon Fox did a nice job challenging for it, causing the ball to bounce free. Senior John Cullen got a touch to the loose ball, forcing a low save from Foxboro keeper Nick Penders but the rebound fell right to Fox, and he buried it into the open net to make it 1-1.

“I was really impressed with our ability to respond,” said KP head coach Nick Gale. “Gavon and John did a nice job in the box to create something, and that’s something we’ve expected of ourselves but haven’t done frequently, so I was happy about that. It was just about keeping up that momentum and energy, and we didn’t capitalize on it.

“Foxboro was prepared, they found great ways of combining, getting it over us and getting it through. Set pieces are something we still obviously have to work because they exposed us there too. [Foxboro] played well and took it right too us. They scored early in both halves and the second half kind of took some life out of us.”

Although neither side found the back of the net by the time half rolled around, it wasn’t for lack of chances.

Foxboro junior Joe Cusack nearly scored twice in a two-minute span while KP’s Tony Bozza nearly gave the visitors the advantage in the final seconds of the opening frame.

In the 37th minute, Will Morrison‘s big switch to VandemBoom was partially cleared, with Cusack knocking the ball down and unleashing a shot that forced KP keeper Nick Beltramini to lunging stop. Two minutes later, after a clearance on a corner, Cusack fired a laser to the far post, but once again Beltramini was there for the top.

And in the 40th minute, KP nearly cashed in on the counter attack. Cullen took possession over midfield and found Bozza darting up field. The senior went central with his first touch and ripped a low shot from outside the area, but it slid wide of the post.

It didn’t take long for the chances to come in the second half. In the 47th minute, Cusack delivered a corner that Beltramini got his hands to but wasn’t able to clear. The ball bounced back into the middle of the area, and junior Tim Behn was the first one there and knocked his first career goal in from in close.

“Having our right back score, I think that certainly sparked us,” Franchino said. “The guys were all excited for him, and it got everyone going.”

Foxboro didn’t let King Philip come back with an equalizer this time. Just five minutes later, the host Warriors added to their lead. Cusack played VandenBoom down the left side, and he delivered a perfectly weighted cross to the penalty spot and junior Dylan Barreira one-timed his bid into the back of the net.

“Between Boom’s injury and Dylan missing a couple of games after being sent off, they haven’t played a lot together,” Franchino said. “They’re starting to gel together at the right time. Dylan had the two goals tonight, but I thought Boom had a great night, he was getting in behind and creating havoc. This was the best game I’ve seen Boom since he came back from the injury. Hopefully, we continue to roll with it.”

And seven minutes after that, Foxboro’s pressure turned into another goal. Barreira’s high press resulted in a turnover and a breakaway. KP’s defender went in with a slide tackle and got some of the ball but more of Barreira, leading to a penalty kick. Barreira got his second goal of the game by sliding his shot low right.

“Getting that second goal and coming back and scoring right away, it deflated us,” Gale said. “They did a nice job of doing what they had to do, and we need to work on that so we can prevent that from happening again.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With the win, Foxboro boys soccer moves back to .500 overall (5-5-1, 4-5-1 Hock). The Warriors need seven points from their final seven games to qualify for the state tournament. They next play on Monday night against Milton back at Southeastern.

“Historically we’ve made good pushes at the end of the year so hopefully we can build off that and that trend will continue,” Franchino said. “It’s good to get back to .500, and hopefully, we continue to get better.”

King Philip (3-8-1 overall, 3-7-1 Hock) returns home on Friday afternoon and will entertain Franklin.

Strong Start Lifts North Past Foxboro in Divisional Battle

North Attleboro Boys Soccer
Joe Hilf (11) celebrates what turned out to be the game-winning goal for North Attleboro in a big 2-1 victory over Foxboro at Beaupre Field. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – When the calendar turns to October, teams start keeping an eye on their rivals in the league standings and two points become even more important. North Attleboro started the night just three points back of Davenport-leading Canton, which was playing second place Milford, so the Rocketeers understood the importance of two points on Thursday night at Beaupre Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North dominated the first half, scoring twice, and then held off a Foxboro charge after the break, keeping the Warriors off the board until the final two minutes of the game, to walk away with a 2-1 victory that moves within one of the Bulldogs and Hawks in the league standings.

“Especially going forward, we’ve got an idea where we want to go with it now,” said North coach Geoff Burgess. “We have a plan and in the first half we executed it really well. We were able to counter them quickly, with speed.”

The hosts took that to heart on Thursday and gave an early warning to the Foxboro defense when Joe Hilf played Matt Conley in behind the Foxboro left back just two minutes into the game. There was contact, but not enough for the official to give the penalty. Hilf almost opened the scoring a minute later but dragged his shot from the edge of the box just wide.

Both teams settled into their styles after that, with North loading the midfield and looking for the quick outlet in transition and the Warriors trying to play out of the back. It was the Rocketeers that controlled the action in the opening half, limiting Foxboro to only a couple of weak shots on goal and constantly putting pressure on the visitors’ back line.

Hilf sparked North into the lead after 19 minutes. He made a long run down the far sideline, rode a sliding challenge from Brian Gardner, and got free on the right side of the box. His cut back into Conley was blocked by a couple of Warriors but the ball popped out to Alex Pfeffer in the middle and he side-footed his shot into the empty net.

Just four minutes later and the Rocketeers doubled the lead. This time it was Matt Mordini that got free down the right channel. The junior cut it back into middle for Hilf, who was left free on the edge of the box, and he hit it first time into the far corner.

Foxboro’s best look of the opening half fell to Shane Vandenboom, who hit the outside side-netting with a curling effort from 18 yards. It was about all the North defense gave up in the opening half, as center backs Evan Rosenberg and Gavin O’Malley kept the Warriors out of dangerous areas.

“They’re a great partnership,” said Burgess. “Evan especially, he was JV last year, didn’t play a minute, and I think he’s now one of the best center backs in the league. The way he plays positionally, he’s always covering in the right places, he’s quarterbacking the team.”

Foxboro coach Joe Franchino admitted, “Everybody was just on their own page…We weren’t shooting in the first half, just lumping balls in and playing right into their hands.”

In the 29th minute, North could have put the game away when James Sales’ free kick from 28 yards came back off the crossbar. Hilf almost sealed the win in the 35th minute when he nodded a long clearance by right back James Bush past his marker and got a free run on goal, but his shot went over the bar.

“He had a really good matchup in the first half,” Burgess said of Hilf. “Normally, I’d yell at him for trying to flick it snd take it himself but I think he realized that it was probably the right play. Everything kind of revolves around a target and he’s embraced that.”

Foxboro needed to make some changes at halftime and came out with more intensity, but Hilf nearly hit the Warriors on the counter when his clever dummy beat his marker, but Foxboro keeper Nick Penders was out quick to smother it.

The visitors started to get a foothold going forward, particularly through midfielder Joe Cusack, who kept popping up in between the lines and finding pockets of space where he could dictate play. He had Foxboro’s first good look that went just wide.

Chances started to flow for the Warriors. A throw-in from the left found Vandenboom, who laid it off for Daniel Basler, but his shot from 20 yards went high. A minute later, a long free kick from Daniel Lowey found Dylan Barreira’s head in the box and he nodded it down to Nic Beigel but the shot was saved.

Barreira also forced North keeper Kyle Briere into a save with a 28-yard free kick. Briere made his best stop just a few minutes later to deny Cusack at full stretch at the midway point of the half. It kept Foxboro off the board when the Warriors were clearly on top in the game.

Burgess said of his keeper, “Kyle is this great safety blanket we have because he does come up with the good when we need him to. Today he was mostly calm but he had that one good one.”

Cusack had a free kick from just outside of the box that was saved comfortably and Foxboro nearly fashioned an opener with five minutes left when Matt Garcia played the ball through to Barreira, whose header found Vandenboom but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

“Even at Franklin, we go down a goal, two goals, and we’re trying to fight back into the game,” Franchino said. “The game’s only 80 minutes long, so you’ve got to start quicker and it’s just not happening right now.”

North had one more chance with a late free kick that was played straight across the box by Joey Coscarella, but Pfeffer couldn’t put his shot on frame when he met it at the far post.

Foxboro did get one to make for an interesting final two minutes. Beigel’s free kick from the left corner of the box went through a sea of bodies in front, and possibly got a touch off a North defender, before sneaking in the far side. But, it turned out to be only a consolation for the Warriors.

“The loss Friday to Canton woke us up a little bit,” said Burgess. “We lost 3-1 but in the second half we had four almost breakaways and didn’t convert on any of them. It was very much a winnable game but I think they realized if they don’t go out and actually put the ball in the back of the net, 0-0 isn’t going to get it done.”

North Attleboro (4-1-6, 4-1-5) will next face Kelley-Rex leader Mansfield on Wednesday, while Foxboro (3-5-1, 3-5-1) will be back in action on Saturday at Bishop Feehan.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.