CANTON, Mass. – Over the weekend, Canton played a tough, physical game against division rival Oliver Ames. It was Canton’s first loss of the season. Just a few days later, on Wednesday night at WWII Veterans Memorial Field, the Bulldogs had another competitive, physical encounter against division-leading Franklin.
This time, the Bulldogs started the game without leading scorer Emily McCabe. The senior forward was nursing an injury and would likely only be able to play a half, so head coach Idris Senyonjo left her out of the starting lineup. Canton struggled without the focal point of its attack, but McCabe emerged in the second half and sparked a massive turnaround.
With McCabe up front for the final 40 minutes, Canton put the pressure on the Panthers, rallying from a goal down for the second time in a week and pulling out a 2-1 victory.
“She hasn’t trained all week, so I was going to either play her first half or second half,” Senyonjo explained. “Bringing her on in the second half would give them something different to think about. Em gives them a whole different dimension of what they’re going to have to worry about.”
It didn’t take long for McCabe to make her presence felt. She immediately charged at the Franklin back line and pressed center backs Norah Anderson and Lily Deforge (who was playing in the middle in place of injured junior Maddie Horton). McCabe added a different dimension to the attack, drawing attention and freeing up space on the wings, as both Emma Cahill and Caira McKinney looked dangerous after the break.
Twelve minutes into the second half, it was McCabe that would get the equalizer. She clipped a ball up over the defense from just outside the penalty area and then burst through a pair of defenders to get clean through on goal. She was just able to get a toe on the loose ball and poke it past onrushing Franklin keeper Rachel Welch.
“We knew it was going to be an aggressive game and we had to stick to the game plan,” Senyonjo said. “The idea was, if we could put their defense under pressure, we’re going to force them to make mistakes.”
Not only had Canton stemmed the tide of Franklin attacks, which was the story of the opening 40 minutes, but now the Bulldogs were taking control of the action in the midfield through Paige Sullivan and Mekhala Costello.
McCabe nearly created the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute. She slipped a pass into the path of Cahill, who was tripped up on the edge of the box. Canton cried out for a penalty but the official spotted the ball just outside. Costello’s free kick was on target, but right at Welch.
Ten minutes later, Costello would score the winner. Welch came out of the box to clear a ball over the top. Her clearance was in the middle of the field and Costello pulled it down about 40 yards from goal. The junior took a look, saw the keeper racing back to her line, and fired a shot into the unguarded net. It was her second game-winner in the past three games.
“I just feel bad for Rachel,” Franklin coach Tom Geysen explained. “She got caught too far out and there was nobody back there to help her, nobody. She feels like crap because the goal was scored on her, but where were her defenders? And that’s something I’ll make sure she understands.”
Franklin didn’t give up and battled right to the final whistle. The Panthers wrested some control back in the midfield down the stretch and had a series of free kick opportunities for Anderson, Deforge, and midfielder Bridget Leo to put the ball into the box.
With two minutes to play, the Panthers nearly snatched a point. Leo sent an angled ball to the edge of the area and Kelly O’Connor rose well to head the ball down across the penalty area. Right winger Olivia Costa raced in at the far post and appeared to get a touch to it, but Canton keeper Marissa Staffiere was off her line quickly and smothered the chance, saving the win.
Senyonjo loved the way his team was able to bounce back from the loss to OA, and that his team gave him a nice present for his birthday on Thursday.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Saturday was an emotional game. The girls were disappointed but super motivated to come and play today and it’s a huge win, at home against probably the top team in the other division right now.”
The game was physical throughout with neither team giving an inch, but in the first 40 minutes the chances almost all fell to the Panthers. Only three minutes in, striker Anya Zub found space running down the left channel and forced Staffiere into a save at the near post.
O’Connor was a constant menace on the left wing. She was able to turn away from her marker and chipped a pass for Zub to race onto, the forward’s clever outside of the foot chip again forcing Staffiere to make the stop. Three minutes later, the duo combined again with O’Connor getting a chance to test the keeper.
In the 22nd minute, Franklin’s pressure finally paid off. Leo’s outswinging corner dropped to the foot of Selene Hammad about eight yards from goal. She scuffed her first attempt at a shot but on her second attempt lashed the ball inside the post, giving Staffiere no chance.
Chances kept coming for the Panthers. This time it was a Katie Ewald corner that was headed clear by Sullivan. The ball dropped for Leo on the half-volley but her shot went over the bar. After a turnover at the back, O’Connor played a near-perfect angled, low cross to Costa at the back post, but Staffiere read it well and dove out to stop the pass hitting its target.
“We just ran out of gas,” Geysen said. “That’s the best effort we’ve had this season. They really worked their butts off tonight. I said, if you keep playing the way you played tonight, you’re going to win a lot of games. You got unlucky tonight, the soccer gods weren’t looking your way.”
Canton (6-1-1) won’t have much time to celebrate the win, as the Bulldogs will be on the road on Friday against Foxboro. Franklin (5-2-0) can expect another physical encounter on Friday when it travels to Attleboro.
King Philip, 1 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game – King Philip junior Will Bowen scored the winner in the final minutes of the match to give the Warriors two points on the road over Foxboro. Moments after having his one-on-one bid with the keeper denied, Bowen ran onto a service over the top from senior Matt Crago and smashed a shot from in close that Foxboro keeper Ryan Cotter (12 saves) got a piece of but found its way under the bar and in. King Philip’s back line of Thomas Meader, Patrick Sullivan, Ethan Jack Hancock, and Tommy Lomuscio denied the hosts of creating many scoring chances, while Foxboro’s back four of Jack Sullivan, Marco Pacini, Andrew Linnehan, and Alex Penders, as well as defensive center mid John Hollis, all played well. Cotter was strong in net, including a key double save in the 21st minute — diving to his right to save a blast from Meader off a corner, and leaping the opposite way seconds later to deny Crago.
Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of second half goals to secure a key two points against Attleboro in a battle of the top two ranked teams in the Hockomock League. After a scoreless opening 40 minutes, a pair of sophomores linked up to open the scoring for the hosts. Casey Milliken notched his team-leading seventh assist with a through ball to classmate Andrew Martins to give OA a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the second half. Senior Diego Rivera set up OA’s next goal with a long ball that was deflected in behind the defense with junior Ryan Linhares running onto it. Linhares smashed a terrific one-time shot from just inside the area to double the hosts’ lead. Sophomore Drew Hall recorded his second career shutout while OA head coach John Barata praised senior Hector Bucio and Jake Williams for anchoring the back line. Barata also noted the strong play of sophomores Jackson Mercieri, Luke Churchill, Craig Churchill, and senior Jason Zalis.
Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – After staking a one-goal lead at halftime, Franklin put away two more in the second to earn an impressive 3-0 decision on the road at Sharon. Sophomore Garrett Scagliarini put the visitors ahead with a goal in the opening half, finishing off an assist from Hansy Jacques. Jacques then got one of his own in the second half to double the Panthers’ advantage, linking up with Andrew O’Neill to make it 2-0. Will Kryzak then recorded an assist for the third straight game, setting up Wyatt Herndon for his first career goal.
Taunton, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – After earning points in back-to-back games with a pair of draws, Taunton broke into the win column with a 3-2 decision on the road at Mansfield. Junior Javonte Fernandes had a hand in all three goals for the Tigers, assisting on the opening goal and the game-winner, sandwiched around a goal of his own. Senior Az-Anael St. Marc opened Taunton’s scoring off an assist from Fernandes, who then scored himself off an assist from Conal Scully for the Tigers’ second goal. Fernandes returned the favor, hooking up with Scully for the game-winner. Riley Rebello, Ian Robicheau, Quincy Jones-Sylvia, Xavier Mercardo, and Aidden Fitting all had solid play the entire game for the Tigers while goalie Sebastian Darosa had some key saves throughout the match.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – North Attleboro scored a pair of second half goals and held off a late push from the hosts to grab two points with a 2-1 win against the Black Knights. Carson Dameron orchestrated the attack with two assists on the day, first setting up Kaden Burns for the opener. Burns took a pass from Dameron and found the far corner to put the Rocketeers ahead 1-0 in the 46th minute. Just over 15 minutes later, a long free kick from Brody Carter was headed by Dameron onto Zach Smahi and he finished for a 2-0 lead. Stoughton scored with just under 10 minutes to go on a free kick goal from Matheus Groberio.
Milford, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton came back from a two-goal deficit two pull level with a half hour left in the game, but Milford regained the lead and held on for an important two points on the road at Canton. Andre Baiano smashed a thunderous volley off a pass from Eduardo Santana to give the Hawks the lead, and Nick Ribeiro doubled the advantage with his second free kick goal in as many games. The free kick was earned after some great work from freshman Danny Da Silva. Canton came back and leveled the match with two goals in a seven-minute span. First, freshman Vlad Francoeur squeezed one in past the keeper to cut the deficit in half and Carson Eagles buried a rebound chance from in close to make it 2-2. Milford found the winner with 10 minutes to go as Ribeiro played Santana through and he finished past the keeper to make it 3-2.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – For the second straight game, Oliver Ames scored once in each half and earned a shutout win. Jolie Diaz opened the scoring for the visitors, intercepting a ball at midfield and going on to convert a breakaway chance, beating the keeper on the near side for a 1-0 lead. OA doubled its lead late in the second half as Emma Gavin volleyed a second chance off a restart with 12 minutes left with the assist going to Sophia Byron. Mary Cross had a great game in the midfield for the Tigers while Janiya Matier made four saves for the shutout.
Canton, 6 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Canton scored three times in the opening 25 minutes of the game to take control and keep its unbeaten start to the season alive. Lauren Shatkin, Emma Cahill, and Emily McCabe each scored in the first half. For McCabe, it was her league-leading 10th goal of the season. Caira McKinney, Gisella Berardi, and Mekhala Costello added second half goals for the Bulldogs, who tried not to let the tempo slip despite being in a busy stretch of the season. Georgia Campbell, Cahill, McCabe, Costello, and Shatkin each had an assist. Dani Atherton scored Milford’s lone goal.
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – The game was scoreless at the half, but Ella Pisani scored four times after the break to lead King Philip to a big win. Pisani opened the scoring off a corner just a minute into the second half, assisted by an Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn corner. Four minutes later, Pisani again finished off a corner, this time with Danielle Gresham picking up the assist. She completed her hat trick by finishing off a pass from Ailish McGowen. With 13 minutes to play, Pisani got behind the defense and capped off her night by lifting a shot over the keeper. Makayla Thompson had the assist on the final goal. Erin Foley had the Foxboro goal that cut the lead to 3-1.
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Olivia Costa scored a pair of goals to lift Franklin to a home win that moves the Panthers a half-game ahead in the division. Kelly O’Connor and Tori Carmignani each scored once and each assisted on another goal. Norah Anderson’s header capped the scoring for the Panthers, who also got a pair of assists from Anya Zub and an assist from Katie Ewald. Sharon faced the Kelley-Rex leaders without a pair of starters and struggled to get the attack going against Franklin’s defense. Jordanna Morris and Sally Brouhard both had strong games in defense for the Eagles.
Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield scored four times in the opening half to take home an away win against the Tigers. Freshmen Alexandra and Maddie Fernandes each scored their first varsity goals. Bridget Hanley and Meghan McCann also found the back of the net for Mansfield. Alexis O’Keefe had a pair of assists, while freshmen Lauren Signoriello and Olivia Dunham each had one helper. Olivia Salisbury picked up the clean sheet. Eighth-grader Ashlyn Herbert had another good performance in net for the Tigers, making nine saves. Mia Torres, Jenna Pereira, and Christina Da Costa also played well in the loss.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Sydney O’Connor headed in a Kaitlyn Joyce cross with five minutes to go before halftime and that was enough for North to pull out its first league win of the season.
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin continued to roll against league opponents, this time with an impressive 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-14, 25-11) of visiting Sharon. Juniors Grace Lacerda and Taylor Lacerda (five aces) paced the offense with 12 kills apiece.
Attleboro, 156 @ North Attleboro, 143 – Final – North Attleboro’s Jake Gaskin had a great day on the links, carding a two-under-par round of 33 that included an eagle, to lead the Rocketeers to a win over rival Attleboro on the middle course at Heather Hill. Gaskin finished with a 33, sinking an eagle putt on the third hole. Tyson Laviano came in one-over at 36 while Dillon Harding, Ishan Kohli, and Zach Corsetti all shot a 37 on the day. Leo Lombardo fired an even par round of 35 to lead the Bombardiers, Ryan hill added a 38, Bradley Lehtonen finished at 41, and Bradley Martin rounded out Attleboro’s scoring with a 42.
Milford, 165 @ Foxboro, 175 – Final – Milford junior Anthony LaPierre continued his strong week, shooting a match medalist round to lead the Scarlet Hawks to victory over the Warriors at Foxboro Country Club. LaPierre was the lone golfer to break 40 on the day, recording a medalist round of 37. Nate Lawrence added a 40 in the win while both Zach Hipolito and Jacob Hipolito shot 44 for the day. Louis Carangelo, who had a birdie, led Foxboro with a 42, Patrick Callahan (three pars) added a 43, and both Zac Georgantas and Reese Curreri came into the clubhouse with a 45.
Franklin, 149 @ Sharon, 172 – Final
Stoughton, 186 @ Canton, 156 – Final – Canton sophomore Huck McCready fired a medalist round of 35 to help the Bulldogs bring down Stoughton at Blue Hill Country Club, snapping a four-match skid. Brendan Tourgee added a 38 in the win, Joey Ryan shot a 41, and both Charlie Vaughan and Teddy Shuman finished at 42 for the day. For Stoughton, Mason Page had a team-low round of 42.
Attleboro, 27 vs. Bishop Feehan, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (BF) Dante Bruschi 10-yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) Anthony Salviati 30-yard fumble recovery, A. Salviati XP good.
3rd Quarter: (A) Adrian Rivera 4-yard rush, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (A) A. Salviati 16-yard interception return, A. Salviati XP good; (A) Matt Harvie 24-yard pass to A. Rivera, A. Salviati XP good.
Canton, 29 vs. Norton, 0 – Final 1Q: (C) Charlie Cox 50-yard interception return, XP failed.
2Q: (C) Owen Lane 22-yard rush, Hayden Rose XP good; (C) O. Lane 62-yard rush, 2pt conversion failed.
3Q: (C) O. Lane 3-yard rush, H. Rose XP good.
4Q: (C) H. Rose 17-yard field goal.
Foxboro, 0 vs. Whitman-Hanson, 7 – Final
Franklin, 37 vs. Brockton, 6 – Final 1Q: No scoring.
2Q: (F) Jase Lyons 3-yard rush, Garrett Portesi XP good; (F) J. Lyons 55-yard pass to Grayson Hunter, XP failed; (F) J. Lyons 35-yard pass to Luke Davis, G. Portesi XP good; (F) J. Lyons 3-yard rush, G. Portesti XP good.
3Q: (F) J. Lyons 5-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good; (F) G. Portesi 22-yard field goal.
4Q: (B) Monteiro 60-yard rush, XP failed.
King Philip, 42 vs. Needham, 0 – Final
North Attleboro, 27 @ Mansfield, 21 – Final (OT) – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Rocco Scarpellini 1-yard rush, Travis Hennessey XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Greg Berthiaume 9-yard rush, Austin Clemente XP good; (NA) Chase Frisoli 8-yard pass to G. Berthiaume, A. Clemente XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) C. Frisoli 26-yard pass to Ryan Bannon, A. Clemente XP good; (M) Conner Zukowski 20-yard pass to Trevor Foley, T. Hennessey XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Connor Curtis 40-yard rush, T. Hennessey XP good.
1st OT: (NA) C. Frisoli 10-yard pass to Aidan Conrad, 2-point conversion failed.
Milford, 34 vs. Wellesley, 14 – Final
Oliver Ames, 22 vs. Quincy, 27 – Final
Stoughton, 26 @ Braintree, 27 – Final
Sharon, 40 @ Westborough, 28 – Final
Foxboro, 0 vs. Milton, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 5 @ Norwood, 0 – Final – Matheus Groberio scored a pair of goals to help Stoughton bounce back in a big way with a rout of Norwood. Sam Santos, Tyler Teixeira, and Joao Moratti each scored once on top of Groberio’s brace while Ben Shirey posted the shutout in net.
Stoughton, 4 vs. Norwood, 1 – Final – Stoughton scored four times in the second half, winning for the second time in as many days. Norwood got the lone goal of the first half and went into the break with the lead, but the Black Knights responded six minutes into the second half and never looked back. Morgan Cook equalized with a shot off the post, assisted by Shayla Ford. Five minutes later, Emma Tran scored what turned out to be the game-winner from the spot. Ford doubled the lead in the 57th minute, breaking past the Norwood defense and finishing. Tran added her second of the day just two minutes later with a 30-yard free kick. Molly Fox made seven saves to pick up the win in goal.
King Philip, 2 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – KP bounced back from a loss to OA by handing Franklin its first loss of the season. Heidi Lawrence scored a brace for the Warriors, who moved back into a first-place tie with the Panthers in the division. Lawrence scored 13 minutes before halftime after a nice run that was picked out by Ella Pisani’s diagonal ball. Norah Anderson got Franklin’s goal off a Katie Ewald corner, but then Lawrence popped up with the winner five minutes from full time. Pisani again provided the killer pass.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. KP scored a pair of second half goals, both assisted by Kelly Holmes, to pull out a second straight win. The game was scoreless at halftime, but with seven minutes left in the third Holmes found a little bit of space on the left and fired a ball into the middle that was deftly tipped by Nicole MacDonald for the opening goal. The lead stayed at one until the final two minutes when Holmes hit a low cross from the right wing that was deflected in front by Ella McDonnell for a goal that sealed the points. Marley Young had Attleboro’s best chance when her second quarter shot was cleared off the line by Maggie Murphy. Siany Gomez had a huge game in goal for the Bombardiers to keep them in the game until the final minutes.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 10 – Final
Franklin, 9 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Franklin scored five goals in the opening quarter and never went back in a big win on the road over Taunton. Sophia Cuneo opened the scoring less than a minute in, Sydney Rogan and Payten Crandall each scored once, and Haley Wernig scored two goals inside the final minute to give the Panthers a big lead early. Kaitlyn Carney, who scored two goals in the second half, assisted on Franklin’s first four goals. Lindsay Dennett and Brooke Taylor (first career goal) added a goal each for Franklin.
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames, 3:45
North Attleboro, 8 @ Milford, 0 – Final – North Attleboro scored three goals in each the first and third quarters on its way to a big win over Milford. Caitlin Vacher (from Caroline Folan), Madison Folan (from Ava Spencer), and Julia Puccio (from Sadie Barend) scored one apiece in the first to give North a 3-0 lead. In the third, Rory McGinley, Caroline Folan, and Puccio each had an unassisted goal. Kelsey Thompson and Ava Mckeon both played solid in the midfield to help stop Milford offense and transition the ball up the field for the North Attleboro offense.
Foxboro, 6 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – After a great back-and-forth battle, Sharon prevailed in five sets to take down visiting Foxboro (25-20, 17-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-11). For the Warriors, Sami Sloan recorded eight kills, seven digs, and six aces, Alyssa Cloherty added 30 assists, seven digs, three blocks, and a pair of kills and aces, and Shannon McElhinney chipped in with 16 digs and two aces.
Mansfield, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – In a hard-fought, competitive match, Oliver Ames prevailed with a 3-0 25-15, 25-19, 25-20) sweep of visiting Mansfield. Senior Courtney Raymond had a strong game with 10 service points and four kills, senior Maddie Homer added 22 digs, sophomore Clare Kavoulis dished out 20 assists, junior Sarah Hilliard had 14 kills, and senior Mary Derba chipped in with five kills.
Attleboro, 0 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – After prevailing in a tightly contested first set, King Philip went on to complete the sweep to knock Attleboro from the ranks of the unbeatens (26-24, 25-17, 25-18). Emily Sawyer continued to dominate in the middle with 13 kills along with four blocks and three aces while the Warriors also got big offensive contributions from Ahunna James (six kills, 11 digs) and Sami Shore (eight kills, two ces). Shea Mellman anchored the KP defense with eight digs. For Attleboro, Julia Leonardo recorded 14 digs and six kills while Natalie Brojek added 12 assists, seven digs, and four aces in a strong all-around effort.
Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Franklin continued its undefeated start to the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-17, 25-16) on the road at Taunton. Makayla Kuykendall had a big game for the Panthers with 11 kills, eight digs, and four aces while Taylor Lacerda continued her streak of strong performances with 17 kills and 11 digs.
Milford @ North Attleboro, 5:15
Attleboro @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 3:00
Mansfield, 162 @ North Attleboro, 155 – Final – Jake Gaskin and Tyson Laviano shared match medalist honors to give North Attleboro a key non-league win over rival Mansfield. Gaskin and Laviano both fired a two-over par round of 37 on Heather Hill’s South Course to lead the Rocketeers. Zach Corsetti shot a 40 and Ishan Kohli rounded out North’s scoring with a 41. Brendan Vokey led the Hornets with a 38, Nate McClean and Hayden O’Connor each shot a 41, and Drew Urban carded a 42.
Foxboro, 162 @ Oliver Ames, 152 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its fifth straight win to start the season, taking down Davenport division foe Foxboro at Pine Oaks. Junior David Rodgers was a co-medalist in the match, sinking a birdie on the fourth hole to finish with a 36 for OA. Michael McGinnis added a 37, Sean Kearns finished with a 39, and Lucas Riley came into the clubhouse with a 40. Foxboro freshman Zac Georgantas also shared match medalist honors with a 36.
Stoughton, 0 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – For the second straight game, Attleboro exploded offensively in the second half to run away with a big win. Alex Vecchioli took down a deflection off a throw from Luke Hagopian and somehow kept possession between a pair of defenders and ripped a shot to the far post to give the Bombardiers a lead right before halftime. In the second half. Vecchioli grabbed his second of the game early in the second half, tracking down a pass from Lucas Marques before cutting it back onto his left for a shot from just outside the box that was tipped by the keeper and in. Late in the second half, Vecchioli linked up with Kyle Neuendorf, who played a perfectly weighted through ball in behind the defense that was smashed home by Billy Badger to make it 3-0. In the final minutes, senior Steve Etienne tracked down a long punt from keeper Tyler Rocchio and hit a low shot into the back of the net from inside the area.
Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin junior Hansy Jacques scored for the third straight game and the Panthers picked up two points in a 3-0 blanking of visiting Foxboro. Junior Michael Fernandez-Martin opened his varsity account, finishing off a pass from sophomore Matt Honekamp to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Jacques doubled the lead before halftime after an assist from Will Kryzak. In the second half, Trey Lovell buried a penalty kick to cap off the scoring for the Panthers.
Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – After a scoreless first half, Mansfield tallied twice inside a 15-minute span in the second half to pick up two key points on the road at North Attleboro. Aidan Lopes set up Tyler Znoj for a blast from 25 yards out to put the Hornets ahead, 1-0, in the 53rd minute. Mansfield doubled the lead in the 65th minute as Aiden Steele’s header off a corner from Dan Checkoway ended up at the feet of Sean Higgins, who dropped in a shot from just outside the box. Liam Doyle recorded his second straight shutout for Mansfield, making six saves. Derek McGrath anchored another strong Mansfield defensive effort with a great individual performance.
Sharon, 1 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Each team converted off a set piece in a 1-1 draw at Milford. Visiting Sharon took the lead in the 18th minute as Adam Eastman buried a free kick from 25 yards out to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Milford pulled level in the 61st minute as Eduardo Santana buried a penalty kick, a call he earned himself, to bring the Scarlet Hawks level. Sharon goalie Matt Baur had a terrific performance in net.
Canton, 2 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – A late goal from Canton helped the Bulldogs pull even and earn a point in a 2-2 draw on the road at Taunton. Carson Eagles scored a late goal to help the Bulldogs erase a one-goal deficit and pull level at 2-2. Jake McCabe scored Canton’s first goal while Taunton’s Javonte Fernandes (first half) and Devin Poe (second half) scored for the Tigers.
Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Morgan Cook’s goal just before halftime proved to be the winner, as Stoughton picked up its first victory of the season and its first under new coach Jon Grant. Shayla Ford opened the scoring in the third minute, running onto a Sabrina Rodrigues through ball behind the Attleboro defense. Jamie Davies leveled the match for the Bombardiers from the penalty spot in the 17th minute. Stoughton regained the lead in the 40th. Emma Byrne played a ball forward to Cook, who was able to get a telling touch on it and find the back of the net. Stoughton was able to limit Attleboro’s chances for a tying goal in the second half with a strong defensive effort. Katrina Varnum finished with 10 saves to help the Black Knights come out on top.
Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton scored late in each half to earn its third win in as many games and move alone into first in the Davenport division. Emily McCabe scored both goals for the Bulldogs, her sixth and seventh of the season, the first assisted by Caira McKinney and the second by Gisella Berardi. While Canton held a sizable (17-4) edge in shots on goal and hit three posts, Taunton continued to fight and remained in the game until the final 90 seconds. Taunton coach Dan Borges praised the play of midfielders Juliana Matos and Emily Calderon for helping the Tigers compete to the end.
Franklin, 2 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Franklin scored a pair of second half goals to maintain its perfect start to the season and hand Foxboro its first loss. Olivia Costa opened the scoring off a Norah Anderson assist and Costa then provided the assist for Selene Hammad’s goal that wrapped up the points for the Panthers. Franklin keeper Rachel Welch finished with six saves, while Foxboro’s Allie Sougaris made nine stops.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames sophomore Taylor deVos scored a pair of goals to lead the Tigers to a win over visiting King Philip. deVos converted a free kick opportunity in the first half to give the Tigers the lead. King Philip’s goal was scored by Heidi Lawrence, finishing a Rihanna Mason corner five minutes into the second half to bring the game level. Shortly after that, deVos buried another shot, which proved to be the game-winner. Catie Wilson, Rhiya Fisher, and Lucinda Li Cotter all had strong games for OA. Janiya Matier made six saves in net for the Tigers.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield and North each scored in the opening 20 minutes of the game and split a point apiece. Meghan McCann scored her first varsity goal four minutes into the game, off an assist from freshman Alexandra Fernandes. Emma Pratt equalized for North 15 minutes later, finishing off a corner to make it 1-1.
Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sofia Goclowski and Autumn Simon each scored a brace to lift Sharon to its second win of the season, already matching its league win total from 2021. Taylor Standring and Jessica Li each recorded assists for the Eagles and Kate Goloboy earned the clean sheet in goal.
Milford, 151 @ Attleboro, 157 – Final – After back-to-back close losses, Milford got back into the win column with its second win over the Bombardiers this season. Junior Anthony LaPierre was the match medalist, firing a low-round of 35 at Stone-E-Lea. Nate Lawrence added a 36 and David Fleming came in with a 39 for the Scarlet Hawks. Carter Shelton paced the Bombardiers with a 38 while Leo Lombardo chipped in with a 39.
North Attleboro, 155 @ Stoughton, 190 – Final – Tyson Laviano and Dillon Harding shared medalist honors to pace North Attleboro to a win over Stoughton at Easton Country Club. Laviano and Harding each fired a 38 in the win. Paul Medeiros had a team-low round of 45 for the Black Knights.
Foxboro, 172 @ Franklin, 149 – Final – Franklin junior CJ Steel fired a 35 to lead the Panthers to a win in their home opener at Franklin Country Club over visiting Foxboro. Steel, who had one birdie on the day, earned match medalist honors while Jack Hagerty added a 37, Tyler O’Brien shot a 38, and Brendan Collins finished with a 39. Mat Sullivan had a team-low round of 40 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 162 @ Canton, 165 – Final – Mansfield had a trio of golfers all come in with a 40 to help the Hornets land a rare win for the visiting team at Blue Hill Country Club. Brendan Vokey, Jason Friedman, and Nate McClean each shot 40 in the win while Drew Urban chipped in with a 42. For Canton, Huck McCready earned match medalist honors after carding a 37 on the day. Brian Middleton added a 41, Brendan Tourgee chipped in with a 43, and both Joey Ryan and Teddy Shuman finished with a 44.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – When Franklin head coach Tom Geysen left practice on Thursday evening, he didn’t know what to expect from his team when it lined up to face Oliver Ames in the season opener. Once things kicked off for real though, the Panthers eased their coach’s fears and welcomed him back to the sidelines with a win.
Franklin scored twice in the opening half and used its typically stout defense to earn a 2-0 victory over a young Tigers team, winning Friday afternoon’s battle of defending league champions at Pisini Field.
“I knew what was going to happen in the second half because that’s how they play and I told these kids ahead of time, they’re going to play long ball, they’re going to push to the wings, and that’s what they did,” said Geysen, who was forced to miss last season because of health issues. “I thought defensively, the kids in the back played really well.”
Despite the loss, OA coach Britt Sellmayer was upbeat about his team’s play, particularly in the second half, and the way it battled against another of the league’s elite.
“Usually after a 2-0 loss I’m not too happy,” he explained, “but the way we played from where we’re starting and where we’re going that was a good game.”
The home team had the game’s first chance after just two minutes when Olivia Costa had a look from the right corner of the box that flashed wide of the far post. Freshman Jolie Davis started brightly for OA on her debut and she had a low cross to Jenna Gilman at the back post cut out by Franklin keeper Rachel Welch.
Franklin started to get its forward line in sync as the first half wore on. Kelly O’Connor tracked back to make a steal in the defensive half and played a one-two with Anya Zub, but after a long run her shot was easily held by OA keeper Janiya Matier.
A minute later, Maddie Horton played a ball out wide to left back Katie Ewald who advanced and found O’Connor on the wing. The sophomore played a ball into the middle where Zub got a toe on it but could only direct it over the bar.
In the 24th minute, Franklin got the breakthrough. Center back Norah Anderson played a long ball over the top of the OA defense. Zub wouldn’t give up on the bouncing ball and her pressure caused some confusion in the back line. The ball ricocheted off the defender and slid past Matier, who was rushing out to collect.
There may have been an element of fortune about Franklin’s opener, but there was nothing lucky about the second goal five minutes later. Tori Carmignani found a little pocket of space on the right side and played a ball to the edge of the box. O’Connor had cut in from the left wing and with her first touch split a pair of OA defenders. Her next touch was a cool finish lifted over the keeper.
“Kelly wanted to keep going left, left, left and I said no, if you go left then you’re going to sit down,” Geysen said. “You go right because that’s where they’re not expecting you to go and and you can use your right foot. Those three kids up in the front will be tough once we get a little more experience together.”
OA nearly halved the deficit right before the whistle. Mary Cross laid a perfect through ball behind the Franklin defense for Davis to run onto. The freshman was clean through on goal but her shot went just wide and left her slamming the turf in frustration.
The Tigers seemed to gather some momentum from that chance and from the move of Taylor deVos into the midfield, as they had a much better second half. OA created a number of set piece opportunities, although Franklin’s defense, especially Anderson, always seemed to be in the right place to clear.
Chances were at a premium after halftime, but Lucinda Li Cotter nearly created a goal for OA by charging down an Anderson clearance in the box. The ball caromed to the far side but Welch was quickly off her line to snag the loose ball at the feet of Gilman.
Three minutes later, deVos created a chance with an interception near midfield. She carried the ball to the edge of the Franklin penalty area before the ball kicked to Cotter on the left side of the box. The OA forward showed quick feet to fashion room for a shot but Horton was able to get across with a crucial block. OA kept pressing and again came close when Cross collected a loose ball and hit the post.
Franklin finished with a flurry. O’Connor connected with Zub, who laid off a pass to freshman Mia Eglintine, but her shot was over the bar from 25 yards out. Seconds later, a turnover led to a chance for Costa at the back post but she couldn’t bundle it home and Zub wasn’t able to get a clean strike on the rebound, which rolled into the grateful arms of Matier.
“The first goal was a sophomore-sophomore conversation in the back, first varsity start for a couple of players, so it happens,” Sellmayer said. “I thought we played a lot better in the second half. They worked hard. I’m pleased.”
Franklin (1-0-0) will host division rival King Philip (1-0-1) on Tuesday. Oliver Ames (0-1-0) will be on the road again on Monday to face Stoughton (0-1-0)
2021 Record: 10-8-2 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro ended its long wait for a return to the postseason in 2021 and head coach Steve Santos is hoping that success will breed more winning for the program. The Bombardiers will have a strong foundation this season because of a big senior class and experience across the pitch. If Attleboro can overcome some early season injuries and illnesses, they could be in the mix for another postseason spot.
With 34 goals as a team last year, Attleboro wasn’t one of the league’s most prolific attacking groups, but the Bombardiers have talented players who can make an impact in the final third. Junior Jamie Davies had a breakout sophomore year with nine goals and two assists and will be expected to lead the line this fall. Senior midfielder Kahlan Gray, who is dealing with an injury, can add to the attack either in the center of the field or out on the wing and freshman Tatum O’Brien is a newcomer to the lineup that has a good soccer IQ and will provide playmaking from the center of the pitch. Sophomore Tatum Leahy will give the team a boost after a year on JV.
The Bombardiers are going to be experimenting with defensive groups early in the season. Senior Emily Dunlea is a versatile player who can impact play no matter where she slots in and could be used in the defense at the start. Senior Ella Stromfors is battling illness but will give the team good experience and aggressiveness in the back line and junior Bethany Alves had an impressive sophomore season at the back and can also step into midfield. Junior Presley Biller will also add depth in the defensive unit. Senior Alexis Campbell is back in goal and her composure and vocal leadership will be important to keep things organized while the team gets healthy.
“We’ve had a good preseason,” Santos said. “We have a lot of seniors who are a good group of friends who all look out for each other. We had a good season and now they expect more this year. We want to not just get into the tournament, but win a couple of games.”
2021 Record: 6-7-5 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32 Coach: Idris Senyonjo
Canton battled through injuries for much of last season, but the Bulldogs were able to rally and made a playoff push. Entering his third season as coach, Idris Senyonjo has a roster filled with players that understand his style of play and he believes that the Bulldogs will be ready to push on and challenge the top teams in the division.
Senior midfielder Emily McCabe had a breakout season in 2021, becoming the team’s leading scorer and playmaker, and her leadership will be a key to the team’s success this fall. Senior Han Hong and sophomore Paige Sullivan add more experience in the center of the pitch. Up front, sophomores Emma Cahill and Caira McKinney (who missed last season with an injury) will be the top forward options.
Defensively, the Bulldogs graduated several starters, but seniors Kristine Keefe and Sarah Dempster are back and will provide the foundation for the back line. Junior Ava Gilmore is a versatile player who can help out in the midfield or drop into the defense, giving the Bulldogs options in the lineup. Junior Mekhala Costello took a year off to shine on the golf course, but she is back on the pitch this fall and is another dynamic player who can line up in multiple spots.
“Yes we have had multiple players graduate over the past couple of years but this is the first time in my tenure that most of the players from last year will be returning and my hope is that it brings a sense of continuity going into this season,” said Senyonjo. “The best we can do now is prepare to the best of our ability and we will be taking it game by game.”
2021 Record: 16-2-4 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 3 Final Four Coach: Jen Lippolis
Despite an injury to All-American Kailee McCabe, Foxboro made a historic run to the Div. 3 state semifinal last fall, and the Warriors will try to use that experience to put together another tournament run this season. In addition to the graduation of McCabe, who set a program record with 32 goals in 2021, the Warriors will also be making a change on the sideline with assistant Jen Lippolis taking over for Katie Stalcup.
Foxboro will be young this season but many of those players got valuable experience last fall. Seniors Lauren Miley and Jaclyn Vecchione will be back in the middle of the pitch this season, as junior Erin Foley will be moved further forward to try and bolster the attack. Sophomore Neve Taylor had a strong rookie campaign and will step into a bigger midfield role this year, while senior Grace Riley will give the Warriors a boost when she returns from a preseason injury.
The Warriors were known as an attack-minded team last season, but the defense was excellent, allowing only 20 goals in 22 games and recording three clean sheets in the tournament. Junior sweeper Lindsey Resnick will be back in the heart of the defense and sophomore Sophia Auclair is coming off an impressive freshman season. Sophomore Maddy Luck is another young defender who should be ready for a big step up in responsibility this season. Foxboro should be strong in goal with senior Maddie Maher joined by junior Allie Sougaris, fresh off her playoff heroics.
“We’re excited to be back on the soccer field,” Lippolis said. “We are a young team this year. With the leadership of our returning varsity players, we’re excited for a fun, competitive season.”
2021 Record: 14-2-2 (Kelley-Rex champion) 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 16 Coach: Tom Geysen
In 2021, under interim coach Jodi Klein, Franklin continued its success in the Kelley-Rex winning a second straight league title. Head coach Tom Geysen is back on the sidelines this fall and the Panthers have a lineup loaded with experience that looks ready to make a challenge for a three-peat.
Defense has long been a strength for the program and last year was no different. The Panthers allowed only 11 goals in 18 matches and bring back one of the league’s top center back pairings. Senior Norah Anderson is a four-year starter in defense and she will be partnered by junior Maddie Horton, who had a breakout sophomore campaign. Junior Rachel Welch will be back in goal behind them and has proven to be one of the league’s top shot-stoppers. Junior Lily Deforge is a versatile player who can also help out at the back.
The Franklin attack took a big step forward last year. Junior Anya Zub moved from the wing to center forward and the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year put together a 20-goal season. Sophomore Kelly O’Connor was a breakout star on the wing who could take over a game. There were a few graduations in the midfield, but seniors Bridget Leo and Avery Greco can control the game in the center of the pitch and create scoring chances for the forward group.
“They have worked incredibly hard all year and done all the things necessary for success,” Geysen said. “All that is left is putting it all together on the field.”
2021 Record: 12-7-1 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 16 Coach: Gary Pichel
Despite being very young in 2021, King Philip was in contention for the Kelley-Rex title until the final weeks of the regular season and took highly ranked Bishop Feehan to overtime in the Round of 16. With a more experienced roster this year, the Warriors will be looking to take the next step and get back on top of the division for the first time since 2019 and make a deep tournament run.
The Warriors were the third-highest scoring team in the league last year with 57 goals and offense should be a strength again with senior Ella Pisani back to run things in attack. The team’s leading scorer in 2021, Pisani had 19 goals and eight assists last fall and she will be the focal point on offense. KP has talent on the wings that can take advantage of any space defenses leave open. Junior Eilish McGowen and sophomores Danielle Lomuscio and Mikayla Thompson have the pace and skill to create scoring chances as well. The forward line is also boosted by the return of junior forward Heidi Lawrence and senior Danielle Gresham will shore up the midfield.
The defense has plenty of experience from last season. Senior Grace Lawler will be the leader of the back line and continues to be called upon to mark the opposition’s top attacker. Junior Rylie Wesley and sophomores Rihanna Mason and Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn give KP a lot of athleticism in the defensive third of the field. There will be experience in net as well with the return of senior Lauren Casper and junior Makenna Norrman, who both saw action in 2021.
“I am really looking forward to competing this season with all the great Hockomock teams,” said KP coach Gary Pichel. “We were very young last year. With a year under our belt, we should see improvements across the board in every facet of our game.”
2021 Record: 12-5-1 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16 Coach: Kevin Smith
Mansfield was in the running for the Kelley-Rex title into the final weeks of the regular season and this year the Hornets will be hoping that their first fall in the Davenport will feature a similar title challenge. With a young roster that features four freshmen and four sophomores, the Hornets will be relying on the upperclassmen to keep the team heading in the right direction in what promises to be a very competitive division.
The Hornets are without their top three scorers from last season (Tarynn Smith, Katie Miller, and Gabby Smith) so there will be room for other players to step in and provide an attacking threat. Senior forward Olivia Homsi will lead the line and junior Carly Devine is a skilled forward who can play up top or just behind the strikers, while senior Abby Jean gives Mansfield speed on the wing. Senior Bridget Hanley is coming off a breakout season in a holding midfield role and could be asked to get forward a little more this season to help support the offense.
Defense was a significant strength for the Hornets last year, allowing only 17 goals in 18 games, including a shutout of Canton in the opening round of the playoffs. Junior Kara Santos is back for her third year in the heart of defense and, although she will have her third center back partner in three years, gives the Hornets a strong foundation. She is also the team’s top returning scorer with seven goals and is a threat on any set piece opportunity. Senior goalie Olivia Salisbury has become one of the league’s top shot-stoppers. They’ll provide vocal leadership for the younger players at the back.
“We have a very young team with many first-year varsity players,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “We will be leaning on our seniors and returning players to provide leadership as we grow as a team.”
Milford is coming off a three-win season in 2021, but the Hawks are hoping that an influx of young talent from a successful JV team will help them climb the league standings and make a playoff push. The Hawks have 10 seniors and have added seven freshmen who can contribute right away in their first varsity seasons.
The key for Milford this season will be the play of leading scorer Dani Atherton. The four-year starter has been the focal point of Milford’s attack since she jumped on the team and this year head coach Lou Colabello is counting on a move to outside midfield to give her more chances to get on the ball and run at defenders. Freshman Ava Baglione will step in up top and there is hope she can add firepower to the Hawks’ attack. Sophomore Paige Caldon had a good season in attack as a freshman and this year will drop back to help out in the center of the pitch.
Senior Serena Borges will be moved further up in midfield so that she can produce more in the attack, but classmate Brooke Ferreira will be pushed from midfield to the back line to cover for preseason injuries. Ferreira will be joined by senior Evalysse Pierce, who is coming back from an injury that kept her out of last season. Freshman Kayleigh Tourtellot is another rookie who should be ready for the physical test of the Hockomock League, while classmate Chloe Murdock will step between the pipes after a strong season as an eighth grader on JV.
“It’s a fun team,” Colabello said about the mix of veterans and talented newcomers. “There is a lot of talent there. We’re deeper than we were last year. We’ll hold our own. We’re hoping to get out of the blocks well and build some confidence.”
2021 Record: 8-10-2 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32 Coach: Geoff Burgess
North Attleboro is making the move back to the Kelley-Rex division this fall and the Rocketeers will be turning to a familiar face on the sidelines, as Geoff Burgess moves back to the girls’ program after coaching the boys for the past few seasons. After graduating 12 players, North will have a lot of new faces implementing a new style this season.
Up top, North will be counting on senior Emma Pratt. After scoring nine goals last year, Pratt is the team’s top returning scorer and will be counted on to give the Rocketeers the firepower to compete with the league’s best. Senior Caroline Ferrin will be one of the key playmakers in the center of the pitch and will help Burgess bring in a more possession-based approach.
The North boys have been known as a strong defensive team and Burgess will hope that solidity carries over to his work with the girls as well. Senior Haley Sinacola will be the team’s leader at the back. Sinacola was the team’s MVP last season and gives North a strong foundation in the defensive third, as well as a constant threat on set pieces. Senior Maddie Ferrin is back in goal for the Rocketeers and adds experience to the back line.
“Lots of changes to the team, the philosophy and the style of play,” said Burgess. “We are still learning about ourselves and who we can be this season. We are going to try and possess the ball and build attacks rather than kick and chase.”
2021 Record: 14-2-2 (Davenport champion) 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16 Coach: Britt Sellmayer
Even after graduating 10 players from last season, Oliver Ames looks prepared to defend its Davenport division title. Many of the younger players got experience on the pitch in 2021 and could be poised for big years as they step into larger roles.
OA was second in the league with 68 goals last year and the attack will continue to utilize the speedy wings that have become a signature of the Tigers’ style. Junior Lucinda Li Cotter and senior Jenna Gilman will continue to provide width and service into the box. Senior Carly Gibson will move into the forward line to give additional creativity in the final third.
The midfield will continue to be strong, physical, and direct. Senior Mary Cross will move forward from defense and give leadership in the middle of the field. Sophomore Emma Gavin impressed during her rookie season and gives another weapon in the midfield. Seniors Sophia Byron and Molly Capace will be leaders in a back line that allowed only 11 goals in 18 games last year. Sophomore Taylor deVos is a versatile player who can line up on the wing or at outside back. Sophomore Janiya Matier will be the team’s new keeper this season.
“Even graduating seven senior starters (10 total) we feel we have a competitive team returning this year,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “The key will be returning taking on larger roles and new players having an impact for a successful season.”
2021 Record: 3-14-1 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Catherine Sullivan
Sharon went through a tough 2021 season, with only three wins, but the Eagles are another team returning the bulk of its roster, and the experience that they have from back to front promises the potential for more positive results in 2022.
The key for Sharon will be senior Sofia Goclowski. The team’s top playmaker, Goclowski is a back-to-box midfielder who will contribute on both ends of the field and, as she continues to develop her finishing, could be ready to lead the Sharon attack. The Eagles will also lean on a pair of underclassmen in the forward line. Sophomore Autumn Simon, who also played in goal last season, makes good runs behind the back line and is one of the team’s top returning scorers. Freshman Jessica Li is an exciting newcomer that will add speed and athleticism on the wing.
Defense will be bolstered by the return of senior Sally Brouhard. After missing all of last season with an injury, Brouhard provides reliability in the back line and is a leader that will keep things organized. Senior Carly Pinnix is another technically proficient midfielder that gives Sharon composure in the midfield and can jump into the attack when she gets the chance.
“With so many returning varsity players, we have strength across every line this season and we have the potential to be very good,” said Sharon coach Catherine Sullivan. “We will need to stay focused and committed to continuous improvement if we are going to be competitive in the challenging Hockomock, but I am excited to see what this talented group can do together.”
2021 Record: 3-15-0 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Jon Grant
Stoughton had three wins in 2021, but the Black Knights also displayed potential for a brighter future with a host of underclassmen that looked ready to start competing with the top teams. Former boys coach Jon Grant has taken over the girls’ program this season and he will be focusing on the defensive side of the ball, hoping to shore things up at the back to help secure more positive results.
The Black Knights should be dynamic in the final third this season. Senior Shayla Ford is back for her fourth varsity season and her speed and ability to find space make her a constant threat to the opposition defense. Sophomores Makenzie O’Connor and Bianca Casna both had strong freshman seasons and can cause problems with the ball at their feet. Sophomores Morgan Cook and Emma Tran showed good chemistry in the midfield last year and will help provide the killer pass to the forwards.
After allowing 86 goals last year, defense will be a priority for the Black Knights this year and there were several players who will be leaning on the valuable experience they got in 2021. Senior Sabrina Rodrigues will add a veteran presence, while junior Ally Lada and sophomore Lauren Mitchell will anchor the middle of the back line. Junior Katrina Varnum is a vocal leader in goal.
“This season we are focusing on team and individual defending,” said Grant. “I’m excited to watch this group grow throughout the season and compete in such an extremely competitive league. Everything I’ve thrown at them so far has been received positively. This group is very coachable and has such a passion to learn and get better.”
2021 Record: 2-15-1 2021 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Danny Borges
Taunton is coming off a difficult 2021 season, after just two wins, but there is optimism in the squad with many younger players gaining valuable experience last season. The Tigers will have a new face on the sideline this fall, with Dan Borges taking over. Although new to the Hockomock, Borges spent 34 years as the coach of the boy’s team at Coyle-Cassidy and he is excited about the progress the team has made in picking up his system in the preseason.
Goals were hard to come by at times last season, as Taunton scored only 14 overall and just eight in league play. Senior midfielder Emily Calderon returns to be the team’s primary playmaker and will be counted on to get the Tigers moving upfield into the attack. Junior forwards Jenna Pereira and Ava Alves will be the main targets up top, as Taunton is looking to add more firepower at that end of the field.
On the other side, the Tigers have a question mark in goal with several younger players looking to replace Izzy Anslow, who was impressive between the sticks for the past couple of seasons. Senior Christina Da Costa and junior Cali Melo will give Taunton athleticism and leadership in the back line to try and shore things up and limit the opposition.
“Our team spirit is high, the girls have been working very hard and adjusting to a new game model,” Borges said. “I believe we have a good mix of experience and youth, and we hope to be more competitive in the traditionally strong Hockomock League.”
Franklin retained its Kelley-Rex crown last season and once again it was a stout defense that helped the Panthers bring home the title. Anderson was dominant in the heart of the Franklin back line, growing into her role as the veteran and vocal leader of the defense. While she brings physicality and athleticism, Anderson is also a smart defender, reading plays and sensing where the danger is to be in the right spots. Franklin had nine clean sheets last year, allowing only 11 goals in 18 games and only twice allowing more than one goal in a game. Anderson is a major factor in that solidity at the back, whether defending attackers one-on-one, providing cover for her teammates, or starting a counterattack with a well-timed pass. The Panthers will have their sights set on a three-peat this fall and Anderson’s presence in the center of the back line will be a major reason that they enter the season as favorites in the Kelley-Rex.
Atherton has been the spark plug for the Milford attack for the past three seasons, helping to keep a relatively inexperienced squad competitive in league play. She scored nine times and had six assists last season and her recovery from a late-season injury will be critical for the Hawks to make a playoff push this year. Quick and tenacious, Atherton is always putting pressure on the opposition defenders. She is willing to make runs into the channels and in behind the back line, but can also drop into space to receive the ball and challenge defenders one-on-one. A strong finisher anywhere near the box, Atherton is a constant threat to make something happen, regardless of how many defenders she is up against. Milford will be hoping to build on the experience of 2021 and Atherton remains the key to unlocking some of the tough defensive units that the Hawks will be up against this season.
Cotter had a breakout sophomore campaign, leading OA in assists and proving to be a constant thorn in the side of opposition defenses. The latest in a long line of talented, speedy wingers at OA, Cotter scored seven times and set up nine other goals last fall. She has a low center of gravity, quick feet, and a tenacity to chase every ball played in behind the defense. Teams need to keep an eye on her at all times because Cotter can turn what looks like a lost cause into a dangerous scoring chance. Whether running past the back line or taking on defenders with the ball at her feet, Cotter’s speed is always a threat to create an opening and she has the vision to pick out the right pass or find a teammate with a pinpoint cross. Although the Tigers will lose some experienced attackers from last year’s team, which was second in the league with 68 goals scored, Cotter returns as a consistent outlet on either flank, giving the Tigers a solid foundation as they seek to repeat as league champs.
Dunlea stepped into a bigger role in the heart of the Attleboro midfield last season and now the senior returns to try and move the Bombardiers up the Kelley-Rex standings. Not only one of Attleboro’s top creative players, but Dunlea also adds a physical presence in the middle of the pitch, using her size and strength to win the ball back on the deck or win aerial challenges. With quick feet and a good eye for a forward pass, the Eastern Connecticut State commit helps the Bombardiers quickly turn defense into attack and as a box-to-box midfielder she also pops up with late runs to give Attleboro an extra scoring threat. Dunlea is also potent with free kicks and has a dangerous long-range strike, finishing with three goals and five assists last year. Attleboro celebrated a return to the postseason in 2021 and Dunlea will be hoping to lead the Bombardiers back into the tournament this fall.
Although it was a tough season for a young Sharon team in 2021, Goclowski emerged as a standout playmaker in the center of the pitch. She finished in the top 10 in the league in scoring, racking up seven goals and 11 assists, while accounting for nearly 60 percent of the goals that Sharon scored last year. Despite drawing a lot of attention from opposing teams, Goclowski was able to find pockets of space from which to create. She could take on defenders with the ball at her feet, had the vision to make the right pass even under pressure, and seemed to always pop up in the right place to produce a scoring chance for the Eagles. A box-to-box midfielder, Goclowski didn’t shy away from a tackle or tracking back to help her defense and gave the Eagles much-needed energy in the middle of the park. Sharon will hope that Goclowski’s skill and experience can bring more results for the team this fall, as the Eagles look to make a move up the Davenport standings.
There was a run of games towards the end of last season when it seemed like McCabe couldn’t stop scoring. The skillful midfielder had a breakout junior season, becoming one of the league’s top attacking threats and helping Canton make a late push to secure a playoff berth. In a relatively young team, McCabe demonstrated her ability to orchestrate things from the center of the pitch, smartly keeping possession, avoiding pressure from opposing defenders, and picking out the right passes to get the Bulldogs moving forward. As the season progressed, McCabe also showed that she could get forward herself, making intelligent runs into the box, finding space behind the defense, and finishing off chance after chance. A dangerous free kick taker, McCabe started to use that long-range shooting ability to good effect to lead the Bulldogs in goals (14) and assists (nine). Her rich vein of scoring form coincided with Canton losing only two of its final 10 matches in the regular season, securing a .500 record and a spot in the state tournament. With a more experienced roster around her, McCabe could help the Bulldogs put in a league title challenge.
Pisani has emerged as one of the top creative players in the league over the past two seasons, becoming one of the Hockomock’s top scorers despite being the focus of opposing defenses. She finished last year with 19 goals and nine assists, playing up top or dropping in behind the forwards to find spaces where she can deliver the killer pass. With her quick feet and skills on the ball, Pisani is a nightmare for opposing defenders. She can beat players with her speed but also has the control in tight spaces to find a sliver of shooting room or slip a pass through to a teammate in a better position. Pisani’s versatility is also important because she can move anywhere along the front line, making it more difficult for teams to man-mark her and giving the Warriors different looks to their attacks. KP will be aiming to unseat Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex this season and Pisani’s creativity and finishing will be critical for the Warriors to get back on top of the league.
After a breakout junior season in which she led North with nine goals and four assists, Pratt will be hoping to provide Big Red with even more attacking threat this fall as they make the move back to the Kelley-Rex division. Pratt is one of North’s creative outlets in midfield and her playmaking ability will be key to the Rocketeers producing scoring chances. With her speed and ability to find open space, Pratt is difficult for opposing defenses to pick up. She has good skills with the ball, able to beat defenders and make room for either a shot or to find a teammate. Pratt can play up top or drop into the midfield, has the speed to make runs out wide, and is willing to get stuck into a tackle, allowing North to defend from the front. The Rocketeers will be hoping to make some noise in the Kelley-Rex this year and Pratt’s skill and versatility are major pieces for North to build around.
While a lot of the attention will be on how the Warriors replace the scoring and midfield presence of All-American Kailee McCabe, Foxboro’s underrated defense should continue to be solid with Resnick sweeping things up. The junior was integral in the Warriors only allowing 20 goals in 22 games last season, including three clean sheets in the postseason. Even as an underclassman, Resnick was a vocal leader in the back line. She has the speed to cover a lot of ground as the last line of defense and her ability to read danger allows her to snuff out most attacks before it leads to a scoring opportunity. She is also a tall, commanding presence on set pieces on both ends of the field and has the ability to start Foxboro attacks out of the back with good distribution. Foxboro will have some new faces in new roles this year, but the defense should be sorted out with Resnick returning to now be the veteran leader and keep things organized as the Warriors look to challenge for another league title.
Mansfield will be hoping to make its first season in the Davenport division a title-winning one and the Hornets will lean on the experience of Santos, a three-year starter, to make sure the defense is ready to go again this fall. Santos helped the Hornets hold teams to just 17 goals in 18 games last year, recording eight clean sheets along the way. A strong, physical presence, Santos also has the quickness to cover ground and cut out attacks in the channels. She is an intelligent defender, reading the play well to get a step on attackers, and is tough to beat one-on-one. Santos is also a danger on set pieces, scoring seven times last season, and her composure on the ball is a major factor in Mansfield’s buildup, as she can pick out the right pass into the midfield or find a forward making a run with an accurate long ball. The Hornets have a lot of experience returning from last fall and Santos will add veteran leadership along the back line to keep Mansfield in the running for a league title.
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Kailee McCabe, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Emily Dunlea, Attleboro
Emily Khang, Attleboro
Emily McCabe, Canton
Ava Gilmore, Canton
Jordan Carman, Foxboro
Meg Burke, Foxboro
Anya Zub, Franklin
Stella Regan, Franklin
Norah Anderson, Franklin
Rachel Welch, Franklin
Ella Pisani, King Philip
Grace Lawler, King Philip
Katherine Miller, Mansfield
Kara Santos, Mansfield
Gabrielle Smith, Mansfield
Dani Atherton, Milford
Haley Sinacola, North Attleboro
Steph McKenna, North Attleboro
Emma Pratt, North Attleboro
Camryn O’Connor, Oliver Ames
Lucinda Li Cotter, Oliver Ames
Allison Evin, Oliver Ames
Lauren Sellmayer, Oliver Ames
Sofia Goclowski, Sharon
Shayla Ford, Stoughton
Olivia Calderone, Attleboro
Allie McCabe, Canton
Erin Foley, Foxboro
Kelly O’Connor, Franklin
Dani Lomuscio, King Philip
Tarynn Smith, Mansfield
Brooke Ferreira, Milford
Summer Doherty, North Attleboro
Katie Gibson, Oliver Ames
Amber Marcus-Blank, Sharon
Makenzie O’Connor, Stoughton
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The team felt like mirror images of each other. From the formations to the strength of the lineups, the style of play, it was like the Spiderman meme come to life on a soccer pitch. In a game that is so evenly matched, sometimes it takes a moment of brilliance to decide the outcome.
On Tuesday night at Pisini Stadium, it was Brookline that had that moment. A 59th minute strike by Eleanor Bergstein proved to be the difference, with the Warriors adding another in the final minute, to secure a 2-0 win over No. 4 seed Franklin and reach the Div. 1 quarterfinal.
“They’re a good team, we’re a good team, we play very similar games, it just wasn’t our night,” said Franklin coach Jodi Klein. “It was very, very even, but that’s what every game is going to be like when you get to this level. They had two chances and they capitalized on them. If we had capitalized on the ones we had, we’d be in a different spot.”
The game featured few chances for either team, but it was the Panthers who had the better looks in the first half.
Only three minutes in, Franklin put together a flowing move down the left with freshman winger Kelly O’Connor playing a nice give-and-go with Stella Regan, cutting it back to the midfielder just inside the box. It looked like Regan was going to line up a shot, but instead she angled a pass into the six-yard box looking for the late run of forward Anya Zub. It took a heads up clearance to prevent the opening goal.
Brookline was looking to hit quickly in transition, but the Panthers were doing an excellent job of cutting out most attacks. Central defender Norah Anderson led the way for Franklin’s defense, alongside sophomore Maddie Horton. Left back Lily Deforge also had a strong game deputizing for the injured Izzy Arnold.
“Norah is unbelievable,” Klein said. “Maddie had a great night. Our center midfielders were on point. They did an unbelievable job defending. They have a lot of skill in the midfield, we just couldn’t generate up top.”
The Warriors were able to create only one clear chance in the opening 40 minutes. Amara Ukomadu ran down the right channel and from a tight angle decided to go for goal. Rachel Welch had to get over quickly to prevent the shot from sneaking into the top corner.
Six minutes later, Franklin had another nice move down the left side. O’Connor continued her impressive rookie campaign, tricking her way past the defender to get to the end line. Her cross eluded both Zub and Riley Fitzpatrick, who had made the run in from the wing to the back post.
Franklin’s best chance may have come in the 26th minute. Anderson lined up a 25-yard free kick and curled it towards the top corner. Her first try was saved but the official ordered the kick retaken, as he hadn’t blown his whistle. Anderson tried again to the same spot and the Brookline keeper was there again.
“We had multiple good chances to score, way more actual chances than they had and we just couldn’t get on the end of it,” Klein explained. “We didn’t test that goalkeeper at all. She’s tall and she’s good up high, but we didn’t test her once.”
It was a similar pattern in the second half. The game was fast-paced, competitive, and both teams were battling through the midfield, but there were few clear scoring opportunities on either end of the field. Just two minutes in, Zub pressured the keeper on a ball over the top and Fitzpatrick had a half-chance on a loose ball but sent it wide.
The game turned midway through the half. First, Madeline Moor burst out of defense and raced down the left wing to send in a cross to Gianna Pentland, who maybe could have done better with a free header in the box. A minute later, Bergstein scored the winner. She broke free in the right channel, but when she turned back in field it looked like the Franklin defense was in good position. Then she rifled a shot from the edge of the box, off the crossbar, and in.
Brookline grabbing the lead energized the away bench and Pentland had a chance to put the game away after a mishit clearance fell to her 20 yards from goal, but she shot wide. The game started to get more stretched, as Franklin started to push more numbers forward into the attack.
With just a couple minutes remaining, Franklin finally managed to get past the initial line of defense, as Regan played a nice ball behind the right back for O’Connor to run onto. It was the same combination of players that linked up for the overtime winner in round one. This time, O’Connor played a cross into the middle, but too close to the keeper, who was out to collect.
In the final minute, with Franklin (14-2-2) pushing everyone high up the pitch desperate for an equalizer, Brookline sealed the win. Vilena Tchernychev played a ball in behind the back four and Ukomadu ran onto it, before firing a cool finish past Welch.
“We have a lot of talent coming back next year,” said Klein, who was the interim coach this season while Tom Geysen was out. “There’s a lot of players in JV who are chomping at the bit to come up next year and I’ve got a couple of stud freshmen coming up too. We have a very bright future. Franklin is a big, big soccer town, and I hope I’m the one here to do it.”