Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse All Stars.
Hockomock League MVP
Kenzie Pleshaw, Franklin
Hockomock League All Stars
Kayla Merritt, Attleboro
Mary Nee, Canton
Hallie Canfield, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Julia Jette, Franklin
Sam Jones, Franklin
Kenzie Pleshaw, Franklin
Kendall Reardon, Franklin
Emily Spath, Franklin
Abbey Buchanan, King Philip
Katie Crowther, King Philip
Jen Lacroix, King Philip
Caroline Maher, Mansfield
Hana Caster, North Attleboro
Brooke Ebert, North Attleboro
Erin Holley, North Attleboro
Mackenzie Rosenberg, North Attleboro
Erin Fitzgerald, Oliver Ames
Alex Rabb, Sharon
Sabrina Robbins, Sharon
Hannah Lamothe, Attleboro
Casey Bradley, Canton
Melissa Lynch, Foxboro
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Olivia Dort, King Philip
Maire Foley, Mansfield
Morgan Smith, Milford
Alaina Mello, North Attleboro
Sophia Masciarelli, Oliver Ames
Anna Crosby, Sharon
Lorna Li, Taunton
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2015 Record: 6-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jackie Beland
Attleboro comes into its third season of varsity play after winning pair of Hockomock games last spring and six games overall. As the Bombardiers continue to develop, head coach Jackie Beland will be hoping that Attleboro can start climbing the standings and be competitive with the strong teams above it in the Kelley-Rex as well as with Taunton, which is beginning its first season in the league.
Attleboro will be led by its senior captains Katie Patton and Hannah Lamothe in attack and Sam Spaziano and Kayla Merritt in the midfield. Mish Logie will highlight the juniors, who will be stepping in to fill the void left by Kerri Beland’s graduation, and senior Amy Cadle will be back in goal this spring. Sophomore Grace Mayer saw some time last year as a freshman and could be ready for a breakout year.
2015 Record: 15-5
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino
Franklin enters this season as it does just about every season, as the heavy favorite to win another Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will need to replace the scoring and all-around game of Emily Jeffries, but have plenty of players that can step in to fill that production.
Senior midfielders Kenzie Pleshaw and Emily Spath will continue Franklin’s strength in the middle of the field and Sam Jones will be back to lead the defense. University of New Haven-commit Julia Jette will spearhead the attack along with junior Kendall Reardon, last year’s Underclassman of the Year.
Freshmen Annie Walsh and Halle Atkinson will also step into the lineup and show the future remains bright for the league’s top program.
Head coach Kristin Igoe, who has loaded the schedule this year with six of the top seven teams in the state, said, “We have a lot of talent, and when we put all the little pieces together, it is fun to watch. Our goal is to win the Hock and make it back to the sectional final.”
2015 Record: 10-11
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East first round
Coach: Julie Bourdeau
King Philip has been a perennial power in the Kelley-Rex division and will be hoping that a large pool of players that came out this spring will help the Warriors get back on top for the first time since it shared the title with Franklin in 2012. The key for KP this season is the senior class, especially in the midfield.
Jen Lacroix is back after a season in which she scored 60 goals and has been a four-year starter and draw control specialist for the Warriors. While Lacroix gets forward to score the goals, fellow captains Abigial Buchanan and Olivia Dort provide the defensive coverage in midfield. Defensively, KP will miss Rylie Dalzell, who is out injured, but Makenzie Nickerson is back after missing most of last season with an injury and fellow seniors Meghan Reilly and Francesca Tonelli will try to keep things away from KP’s freshman goalie.
In the attack the Warriors will turn to their underclassmen Katie Crowther and Angela Vellante and will also be bringing senior Katharine Yetman from defense to add another weapon up front. Head coach Julie Boudreau said, “We have a strong team this year, we are just looking to pull together a dynamic attack with multiple goal scorers…Last year we had a small team and didn’t have the opportunity to sub much-this year we will many different players in the midfield and on attack.”
2015 Record: 6-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Alexis Kobey
Mansfield got off to a strong start to last season, including an overtime win over Hingham that was later turned into a tie, but the Hornets could not sustain it and missed the playoffs. This year, Mansfield is looking to build on that and get back into the tournament behind senior attacker Caroline Maher, who was one of the league’s top scorers last year.
In addition the Hornets will count on seniors Julia Todesco and Claire Maroney and juniors Maggie Dunn, Maire Foley, Meg Lydon and Tori Lawlor. Head coach Alexis Kobey is also hoping that freshmen Emily Vigeant and Katie Garvin can steo right in and contribute this year.
Kobey said, “We missed out on the tournament and are ready to get back there (to the tournament) as well as really compete with a tough Hockomock league. Our key returning players are all seasoned veterans and we will be looking to them as the backbone of the squad.”
2015 Record: 13-6
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 2 East first round
Coach: Mike Vitelli
Last year, North Attleboro had the program’s best ever season with 13 wins and a trip to the state tournament. The Rocketeers were knocked out in the first round, but come back this season with renewed energy and high expectations under first-year coach Mike Vitelli, who won five straight league titles and a sectional championship while at King Philip.
The Rocketeers will lean on UMass Lowell-commit Hana Caster for offense and senior goalie Brooke Ebert will be a key for the North defense, which promises to be much-improved this spring. Sophomore Kenzie Rosenberg has drawn praise from opposing coaches and will be a solid addition to the attack along with classmates Chloe Olsen, Julia Tolfa and Julia Dakin. Emily Schromm and Sam Taggart will join sophomore Alaina Mello to try and lock things down at the back.
Vitelli said, “There’s a lot to digest, but as I’ve told the kids it’s a marathon not a sprint. Mistakes we’ll make in March, April and early May should turn into great results come mid May and hopefully beyond.”
2015 Record: n/a
2015 Finish: n/a
Coach: Kerry Northup
Taunton is opening its first season of varsity play (and already has recorded its first win with a blowout of Bristol-Plymouth), so its entire roster is filled with newcomers that will be learning on the job. Head coach Kerry Northup admits there will be bumps in the road, but that there is also a chance for the Tigers to “make a name” for themselves in the Hock.
Layne and Abbey Kingman and Delaney Powell will be the key players for Taunton in the first season and combined for 10 goals in the season opener. Hannah Moniz will be another player that the Tigers will be counting on this season.
Northup said, “My goal for what I want my girls to accomplish this season is to come out hard and showcase what they’ve got…We know it may be a difficult season being our first year, so we are staying positive, keeping up the morale, and maintaining our resilience.”
By Josh Perry, Managing Editor
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – King Philip has prided itself on its defensive effort in the past couple seasons and on Saturday night the Warriors went into Smithfield (R.I.) and held the Sentinels to just 37 points.
Unfortunately, the offense is still a work in progress. KP only scored 10 points in the second half and none in the final five minutes in a 37-34 loss in the opening game of the Smithfield Holiday Tournament.
KP coach Martin Crowley said, “You hold a team under 40 points and you think you have a shot and all the stuff we did in the first half, we stopped doing in the second. We became impatient.”
The Warriors led 24-20 at the break and Sam Madden hit a layup that extended the lead to 27-22 early in the second half (Rhode Island uses halves not quarters). Freshman Julia Leroux had a steal and a fast break bucket that made it 29-23.
The Sentinels battled back with baskets by Julia Mitchell (six points) and a layup by Michaela Dolan that cut the lead to just two, but then Leroux (team-high eight points) stepped into a three-pointer off an assist by Maddie Purdue that kicked the lead up to five.
The game turned into a war of attrition for the final 10 minutes with neither team getting any flow going on the offensive end. KP would go five minutes without a basket until a jumper by Olivia Dort with just over five minutes left to play. It was the final basket for the Warriors.
On the other end, the KP defense was keeping it in the game. Purdue had blocks on consecutive Smithfield possessions, Rylie Dalzell, Madden, and Leroux each came up with several steals. Despite going through a fallow stretch on offense, Dort’s jumper still had the Warriors up by five (34-29).
Crowley said, “We’d get a stop and turn it over; get a stop and then turn it over, We didn’t capitalize on those like the first half.”
“In a game like this, three-, four-, five-point game, if you don’t convert on your chances then it’s going to comeback to haunt you.”
Those missed opportunities did eventually hurt the Warriors. Juliana Romeo scored a traditional three-point play on a drive to the basket for the final three of her game-high 11 points to make it a two-point game and then Mitchell scored on a put back to tie it.
“If you let scrappy teams hang around then they’ll beat you in the end,” said Crowley.
That proved to be the case, as Taylor Deming (10 rebounds) got free in the corner and buried a jumper to put the Sentinels ahead by three inside the final minute.
The Warriors would still have several possessions to try and tie it, but on both attempts they turned it over without getting a shot off. In the final five seconds, Smithfield missed the front end of a one-and-one and freshman Shannon O’Connor (six points) pushed the ball up court and had a look but it was off target.
“We’re trying to go too quick,” said Crowley about the second half struggles. “We’re not making good passes and once it starts to snowball it goes and it’s tough to try and get your confidence back.”
He added, “We always felt like we were in control but then a kid hits a three to tie it and a kid hits one to go ahead and momentum swings.”
The first half was far from a shootout with both teams struggling from the floor. Leroux knocked down a three to make it 11-9 before Smithfield went on an 8-0 run. KP answered right back with a 10-0 run of its own.
Jen Lacroix started it with a corner three then added a layup and a couple of free throws. In the middle O’Connor buried her second three-pointer of the half. Dort added a three-point play to close out the half with the Warriors in front.
About his two freshmen, O’Connor and Leroux, Crowley said, “They’re great assets for the program. They’re really special players and they’re going to help us in the long run.”
KP (0-4) will have little time to dwell on Saturday’s game. The Warriors will be back on the court against Cumberland (R.I.) on Sunday, also at Smithfield High.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2014-15 Record: 14-9 (10-6)
2014-15 Finish: Lost in Div. 1 South first round
Head Coach: Rick Patch
The Bombardiers were disappointed at a first round tournament exit last season and are using that as motivation as they enter the second season under coach Rick Patch. Attleboro enters 2015-16 as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex Division and are getting plenty of hype from opposing coaches who feel that the program can win its first Hockomock title.
Expectations are extremely high because Attleboro returns all but two players from last year. The keys pieces will be senior guard Emily Houle and junior forward Sarah Deyo, who were both among the league’s leading scorers a season ago and have had strong off-season playing for their AAU teams. Each is capable of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for their careers but, maybe more important, both also emerged as elite defensive players last season.
Attleboro did not lose much from last year and added a second transfer in as many years with Julia Strachan coming from division rival North Attleboro. The junior forward adds depth to the forward position, shooting touch from deep, and another strong rebounder. Last year point guard Fatima McDonald came into the program and the senior adds toughness to the lineup with more expected from her now that she has a year of experience under her belt.
Sophomore Sam Pierce and senior Emma Vlashi were productive forwards last season and freshman Jordyn Lako is a newcomer to watch for the Bombardiers. Patch said, “Everyone is excited…We have taken the ‘hard hat’ mentality in putting forth a blue collar, blue pride effort. Our players have really focused on becoming great teammates and leaders.”
2014-15 Record: 19-6 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central final
Head Coach: John Leighton
Most programs that lose all but one starter from a team that reached a sectional final would be thinking about rebuilding and the need for a transition year as new players get integrated. Franklin is counting on its system and the depth in its program to reload rather than rebuild this year.
The Panthers reload will benefit from a healthy Lauren Rudolph. The senior guard missed a large portion of last season with an injury sustained during soccer season and added a big scoring punch off the bench when healthy, This year, Rudolph will take on a much larger role as Franklin’s primary scorer, but she also gives them a boost defensively and is good passer in the Panthers’ dribble drive set.
The lone returning starter is senior Aubrie Kutil, who gives Franklin size and strength in the post on both ends of the court. Kutil will be aided by senior forwards Erin Skidmore and Caroline Maguire (who recovered from a volleyball injury to play in the opener) to crash the boards. Senior point guard Olivia Adiletto saw a lot of action last year and will take over as a starter. Junior Carli Koffinke is another player that will step into a bigger role as an offensive spark off the bench.
Newcomers like juniors Isabella Faught and Margaux Welsh will help Franklin make another run at the Kelley-Rex title. Leighton said, “We’re blessed to have depth. We have girls that buy into the system and are willing to play their roles, which is huge for us.”
2014-15 Record: 5-15 (3-13)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Martin Crowley
King Philip has been a competitive program since Martin Crowley took over two years ago with its focus on aggressive defense, rebounding, and being difficult to play against. Although last season did not finish the way that the Warriors had hoped, more than one opposing coach has mentioned KP as a sleeper pick to make a run this year.
Leading scorer Emily Sullivan graduated and Crowley noted that “her scoring can’t be replaced with only one player,” but he feels that the pieces are in place to make up for that loss in production. Senior Maddie Purdue will take over at the point guard position this season and she emerged last year as a solid ball-handler and shooter and never shied away from contact as she took the ball to the basket.
Purdue will get plenty of help from a host of versatile and athletic forwards that gives KP plenty of rebounders and active defenders in and around the post. Senior captain Riley Dalzell showed the ability to step back and knock down shots and she will be joined by classmates Sam Madden, Jen Lacroix, and Olivia Dort.
Freshmen Julia Leroux and Shannon O’Connor will also be added to the mix, as Crowley looks to get the Warriors back into the postseason. He said, “I like where we’re at so far. I like our athleticism and we have good depth. We’re trying to get everyone involved.”
2014-15 Record: 19-5 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal
Head Coach: Mike Redding
There is plenty of buzz about the Hornets this season, as Mansfield brings back arguably one of the deepest rosters in the league, including four of its five starters from last year’s team that reached the sectional semifinal. Head coach Mike Redding always says that the goal is to be in the mix for the title at the end of the season, but several coaches have noted that the Hornets could be a threat in Div. 1 South not just the Hock.
Mansfield has loads of experience on its roster. Senior guard Caroline Maher, a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, can stretch the defense with her range and is also an elite finisher on the break. Fellow senior Jackie Carchedi was last year’s HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year and adds wing scoring for the Hornets. Seniors Julianna Newell and Sarah Mullahy, fresh off a league title in volleyball, add depth to the forward line.
Jen Peel is back to lead the Hornets as the starting point guard after leading the team in assists and tying for the team lead in points last year. Peel’s ability to get to the basket opens up room on the perimeter for the shooters and draws defenders away from sophomore center Meg Hill. Hill is a double-double threat every game and as she develops more offensively will be a primary weapon for Mansfield this season.
Add in senior guard Jen Kemp, sophomore Ann Maher, among others on the roster and the options are plentiful for Redding. He explained, “We need to work harder on defense, find a good balance on offense with our options and be playing our best ball in February…The parts are all there, we need to put them together and develop some chemistry on and off the court.”
2014-15 Record: 17-6 (14-2)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal
Head Coach: Derek Herber
The graduation of Melissa Beaupre and Danielle Perron and the transfer of Julia Strachan to rival Attleboro have many people assuming that the Rocketeers’ run of three straight league titles will surely come to an end. However, even with the turnover on the roster, North Attleboro has the talent to stay in the mix again in its last season in the Kelley-Rex (for at least four years).
One of the main reasons for optimism is the return of junior guard Ashley Ahern, who flirted with the option of transferring to prep school, but returned to North at the start of the school year. North coach Derek Herber called Ahern’s decision to stay “great not only for the team but for the league.” Ahern gives the Rocketeers a primary scorer at the two guard position and another solid ball-handler on the perimeter.
Joining Ahern on the perimeter will be junior point guard Samantha Taggart and junior Emily Schromm, who will be the third guard in the rotation. The strength of the Rocketeers this season is in the post with senior forward Emily Peters providing leadership and toughness and juniors Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse adding scoring punch. Collard, in particular, had a breakout season as a sophomore and could be a player to watch offensively for North this year.
The losses from last season’s squad were important, but Herber brings seven players back and is bullish about what the Rocketeers can accomplish. “It’s not going to be helter skelter and run and gun like it was last year,” he said, “but we’re going to play good, solid man-to-man defense.”
2014-15 Record: 9-13 (5-11)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton struggled with injuries early last season and got off to a sluggish start. As the Tigers got healthier, they finished the season with momentum and ended the year with nine wins. Taunton coach Walter Harrigan is hoping that the momentum will carry over to this winter and give Taunton a chance at getting back to the postseason.
Unfortunately, injuries have popped up again. Senior forward Abby Small, who Harrigan thought was poised for a great season, injured her knee in the soccer team’s playoff game at Wellesley and will be out for at least a while. Harrigan is hopeful that Small can get back on the court at some point this season and give the Tigers a boost. At the start of the season, the Tigers will turn to senior guard Jordan Wade and senior forward Alyssa Gibson to lead the way as both have been in the program for five years.
Junior point guard Jessica Regan will be “critical,” according to Harrigan, as she will get Taunton into its offense every trip. Fellow junior Abbey Kingman is another player that the coach expects to make a big jump this season. There are also seven freshmen and sophomores on the roster highlighted by sophomore wing Hannah Moniz, who at nearly 6 feet tall has the size to cause any team problems and has the athleticism to play on the perimeter or in the post.
Freshman Lily Patneaude could join Moniz in the starting lineup when she returns from an early season injury. Harrigan said, “I’m excited for the season. We’re not really deep, but we’re athletic. Our defense has really improved and I think we have a chance to sneak into states.”
For a list of 10 Players to Watch in Hockomock League girls’ basketball this season, click here.