FRANKLIN, Mass. – The Panthers recently clinched another outright Kelley-Rex division title, Franklin’s third straight outright league title and fifth in a row overall, but there was still a feeling that the team needed a marquee win to add confidence ahead of the state tournament.
On Saturday afternoon at Pisini Field, Franklin was determined to make a statement about its potential for another tournament run against Newton North. Behind six goals from junior attacker Eric Civetti, eight saves by junior Connor O’Rourke, and a strong performance at the face-off ‘X’ by sophomore Jacob Alexander, the Panthers jumped all over the Tigers and earned a 9-6 win.
“It was a good team we played and our kids responded real well,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “That’s a good quality team and a good, quality win for us.”
Despite being the focal point of the Newton North defense, Civetti showed the range of his skills, scoring from long range and using his strength around the crease. The Rutgers University-commit scored three goals in the opening quarter and left Tigers coaches scrambling for a solution.
Verrochi said, “Civetti’s a stud. He’s just a goal scoring machine. He’s so hard to control. He’s just so talented, he’s got strong hands, and he’s very difficult to strip of the ball. He definitely deserves All-American this year.”
The Panthers stormed out of the gates to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Alexander won the opening face-off and the Panthers held the ball for two minutes before Packie Watson fed Civetti for a close range score.
The Tigers struggled to get any possession in the first and Franklin nearly doubled its lead when Nitin Chaudhury smacked the crossbar with a shot on the run. A minute later, Civetti muscled his marker to score on the edge of the crease.
With 2:22 left in the first, Civetti got his hat trick with a move from behind the cage. He pump faked a pass out in front that forced both Newton North defenders to take a step back and Civetti took advantage of the space to step in and finish with a backhand shot under the bar.
Verrochi was pleased with the great start that his team made. He said, “They were really excited to play this game today and part of the thought process was, from Packie Watson, ‘we haven’t beaten a real good team in a long time boys; we’re going to make sure this is a good game.’ They were very dedicated and very purposeful in what they did out here today.”
The Tigers got one before the end of the quarter (a highlight reel quality, behind-the-back shot by Bryce Adam) and then cut the lead to one early in the second. Civetti responded for Franklin. After smashing a shot off the bar that looked like it may have crossed the line, he collected a loose ball and went with a low angle shot into the corner.
Newton North had an opportunity to make it a very different game with eight minutes left in the half when it had a two-man advantage for 30 seconds, but O’Rourke denied the Tigers a crucial goal. O’Rourke made three saves during the man-down situation and Watson made the visitors pay when he scored in transition to turn a potential 4-3 game into a 5-2 lead.
“I can’t say enough about him,” said Verrochi about O’Rourke. “He’s our MVP. He plays lights out in big games and we’re very fortunate that he switched from attack to goalie. That was a huge transition for him and he’s been outstanding.”
That proved to be the turning point, as Franklin took control and put the Tigers on their heels. Sam Arsenault picked out Chaudhury on the edge of the crease to make it 6-2 and finish off a great move by the Panthers that saw everyone in attack touch the ball.
Civetti got his hands free and time for a rip into the top corner for a man-up goal early in the third and Arsenault added a goal off an assist by Kyle McEniry for a six-goal lead. The Tigers scored right before the end of the third, but Civetti restored the lead early in the fourth when he finished a transition sparked by a long run from sophomore pole Patrick Morrison.
The Tigers tried to make it close at the end, scoring the final three goals of the game to get back within three with 1:24 remaining. It was hard to get a run going though because Alexander continued to win every face-off for the Panthers. He won 17-of-20 for the game, including all five in the fourth quarter to help slow down the Tigers momentum.
“I think he’s the best in the state,” said Verrochi of Alexander, “even better than the [Lincoln-Sudbury] kid. I think he’s dominated every player he’s gone against this year and that’s huge. You’re almost guaranteed a possession every time there’s a face-off.”
Franklin (16-3) will finish off the regular season with Div. 3 power Dover-Sherborn on Wednesday and is expecting to be one of the top three or four seeds in the upcoming state tournament.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2017 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview
2016 Record: 4-13
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kevin Koppy
Now in its fourth year at the varsity level, Attleboro boys lacrosse is looking to take the next step in the 2017 season. First year head coach Kevin Koppy made it clear what the goal is for Big Blue: the postseason.
Koppy has plenty of experience at the youth level so he’s very familiar with a lot of the players on the team.
“With the experience and leadership of this team, I fully expect us to make the playoffs this year which would be a first for this relatively young program,” Koppy said. “If the kids work hard and play as a team we have enough talent to make this happen.”
Offensively, seniors Seth Lombardy and Zach Viau, along with junior Alex Banner, will see a lot of time. They’ll be bolstered by the midfield help of seniors Andrew Milliken, Sam Carrado and Jay Mota and sophomore Zach Thomas in the midfield. Juniors Kyle Henry and Aidan McKenna will man the face off X while Jim Nordberg and Chris Reynolds will be long stick midfielders.
Defensively, four year starter and captain Tyler Koppy will anchor the backline alongside juniors Dan Perry and Matt Potter. Sophomore Trevor Koppy returns as the starting goalie again this season.
2016 Record: 11-8
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs will rely on its athleticism, and be bolstered by depth this season, having more players in the program this season than in the last couple of years.
Canton looks to have one of its most athletic squads from top-to-bottom in recent years and will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport title after winning it twice in the past four seasons.
Offensively, the Bulldogs lost one of the top scorers in the league and in program history in Ben O’Neill, but the good news is that four of the team’s six top point producers from a year ago are back: Ryan Lodge, Joe Mulkay, Dan Dillon and Mike Shaw, all of which reached double figures in points.
Michael Pigeon has been one of the top LSMs in the league the last two years and will be a key piece for Canton defensively this season. Canton will rely on experience to fill the positions around him. The starting goalie spot is up for grabs between Dylan Cunningham, CJ Martin and Jack Connolly.
“The Davenport division is wide open again this year so we know every game is going to matter…we can’t wait to get going,” said head coach Bill Bendell.
2016 Record: 11-7
2016 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Matt Noone
The Davenport division looks like it will be wide open this year, but Foxboro could have a slight advantage because of the experience they return this season.
On offense, junior Andrew Whalen is a three year starter and junior Louis Piccolo led the team in scoring a team ago. Junior Mike Moses and sophomore Pete Conley will also factor into the attack or could see time in the midfield. Seniors Trey Guerini and Colin Spinney not only bring a wealth of experience to the midfield, but they have a lot of talent. Sophomore Brendan Tully will relocate to the midfield this season while junior Sam Blake, Lou Blake and Mike Collins will all factor in the midfield as well.
Defensively, it all starts with goalie Jake Addeche, one of the top netminders in the league and the area. Pat Kaveny is a two year starter, as is senior Padraig Farmer and will provide plenty of experience to the back line. Sophomore Pat Stapleton and freshman Ronnie MacLellan will also factor in defensively for the Warriors.
2016 Record: 14-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Lou Verrochi
The Panthers are going to be young compared to past years, and compared to other teams in the league, but what they lack in age, they more than make up in skill.
There aren’t much better in the offensive end than junior Eric Civetti, and he’s only been in the league for two years. Already committed to Rutgers, Civetti will be one of the most dangerous scorers in the league. Senior captain Sam Arsenault will also be a top option in the offensive end while midfielders Packie Watson, a senior and Nitin Chaudhury, a sophomore, will also be viable options.
Defensively, the Panthers have a second Rutgers commit in sophomore Patrick Morrison. Senior Wyatt Arsenault will give the backline some experience while senior Jack Platner will be the team’s LSM. Junior Connor O’Rourke is back in the cage after a breakout sophomore year.
“We are young as compared to past years, but I feel we’ll be very competitive,” said head coach Lou Verrochi. “We’re very fortunate to have a strong youth program and many boys playing club lacrosse which provides us with talented players every year.”
2016 Record: 11-9
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jamie Stefanini
The Warriors had another strong season in 2016 and will be looking to do the same in 2017.
King Philip was strong in league play, posting a 7-3 record and will try to carry that success over to its non league schedule, which include games against Bishop Feehan, Newton North, Hopkinton, Westwood and more.
Paul Macrina has been one of the top goalies in the league over the past couple of seasons and is now ready for his senior year.
Replacing leading scorer Sam Agricola will certainly be a tough test, as well as replacing the production of Harry Fallon. But Tim Watson (27 goals, 21 assists) brings a lot of experience back to the offensive end for the Warriors.
2016 Record: 15-4
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias
Coming off one of the program’s best seasons in recent history, the Hornets will be looking to replicate that success in 2017.
The challenge will be replacing some of the top talent that graduated, including midfielders Billy Grant and Connor Finerty, and defenseman Josh Schafer.
The good news is that the Hornets return two of the top talents in the league with Sean Powers back in goal and Hunter Ferreira back patrolling the midfield. Joe Cox and Danny DeGirolamo will flank Ferreira in the midfield with Aidan Sacco, Brett Kessler and Brad Grant factoring in as well.
Offensively, seniors Cullen Murphy, Sam O’Connell and Jon Reed will be one of the most experienced units in the league. On defense, Grant Milas, Mike Zampine, Josh London and Tommy Donnelly will hold court in front of Powers.
“We are going to go out there this season and try to improve on the aspects we were weak on last season and just try to compete in every contest,” said head coach Tim Frias.
2016 Record: 0-18
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Doug Gallant
The Hawks are hoping for a turnaround season after going without a win a season ago. First year head coach Doug Gallant has taken over at the helm and is looking to make Milford a participant in the Davenport race.
The heart of the lineup could be in the midfield, with junior Andrew Gallagher bringing experience to the table and sophomores Ryan Hazard and Josh Ligor, as well as freshman Dan Farrell, providing the Hawks with skill and speed.
In the attacking end, Gallant will look to senior Alex Wood and sophomore Ryan Pearl, both with varsity experience, to pace the offense. LSM Nick Lurie and defenseman Harrison Bliss will be key pieces on defense in front of goalie Drew Mirisola.
“We have a great group of kids who are very eager to be successful,” said Gallant. “The reception from the players has been outstanding and they have bought in to my system.”
2016 Record: 8-10
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kevin Young
After just missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro returns a lot of key pieces and will not only make a push for the playoffs, but should be in the mix for the Davenport crown.
The entire attacking corps is back this season Zach McGowan, Owen Costello and Colin Young all back again this season. Tim Lindstrom, who missed last season with an injury, will also be a key piece offensively for the Rocketeers.
Jack Dakin, the team’s leading scorer a season ago, will be a team leader from his midfield position while Nick Ward, Hunter Sarro, Nick Moore and Jason McNeany will all get minutes in the midfield as well. Poles David James, Zach Doucette and Tom Lockovitch, along with LSM Max Fontes, bring a combination of speed and size for the Rocketeers.
Dan McDonald is back for another year in goal and will be like a coach on the field for North Attleboro.
“He’s very solid in net and a great team leader,” head coach Kevin Young said of MacDonald. “Dan is that rare player that is like having a coach on the field. I think Dan is as good a goalie as you’ll see playing anywhere in Massachusetts this year.”
2016 Record: 10-10
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Chris Digiacomo
The Tigers not only made the playoffs a season ago, but won their first ever postseason game as a program. Oliver Ames will face new challenges this season with the switch to the Kelley-Rex division.
While the Tigers face the task of going head to head with some of the top teams in the league, Oliver Ames will rely on team chemistry to try and get back to the postseason.
Offensively, juniors Owen Gallagher and Eric LeBlanc are back as two of the team’s top point producers. They’ll be helped by midfielders Liam Brown, a senior captain, and Jack Lang, a junior. Defensively, senior captain Phil Saba and senior Max Howe are two experienced players that will man the space in front of senior goalie Sean Cosgrove.
“The boys have worked very hard, and bought into our program,” said head coach Chris Digiacomo. “We play in an extremely tough league, but the boys are excited to get started.”
2016 Record: 9-10
2016 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round
Coach: Peter DeSisto
Sharon just made it into the postseason a year ago, punching its ticket on the last game of the season with a win over North Attleboro.
This season, the Eagles are expecting to qualify for the state tournament again because of the experience they have returning for the 2017 season.
Josh Rotman, who registered 35 goals a season ago, is one of the top midfielders in the league and will be relied upon to lead the Eagles this season. Spencer Hall and Chase Waxman are also back and should make an impact on both ends of the field. Jack Lesser has the ability to get forward and play as an attack or can drop into a midfield role.
“We have a lot of guys with experience at this level returning, so we have set our expectations high,” said head coach Pete DeSisto.
2016 Record: N/A
2016 Finish: N/A
Coach: Pat Healey
The Black Knights are the new kids on the block, entering their first year at the varsity level after playing at the JV level the last couple of seasons.
Combining the JV experience and a budding youth program, Stoughton won’t be starting from scratch. However, the Black Knights are ready for what could be a roller coaster ride of a season.
Leading the way for the Black Knights are captains Dave Cellucci, Ryan Pierri, Harry Leal and Matt St. Clair. Leal will anchor the team from the cage, Pierre is the leader of the team’s poles and Cellucci and St. Clair are standout members of the Black Knights’ midfield.
“The team knows we’re going to be getting our share of bumps and bruises,” said head coach Pat Healey. “And winning here in the Hock is no easy chore. But it wouldn’t be much of a challenge if it was easy.
2016 Record: 1-19
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brendan Chambers
After getting its feet wet last season, Taunton is looking to improve now in its second year at the varsity level.
Sophomore goalie Ryan Williams was a bright spot for the Tigers a season ago and now, with a year under his belt, will an important part of the Tigers’ defense this season. Senior captain Mason Baacke and sophomore LSM Dylan Nichols will be key pieces in front of Williams.
Offensively, Shawn Campbell will try to ignite Taunton from the face off X while senior captain Andrew Wellington, who had a solid season a year ago, will be a vital piece in the midfield for first year head coach Brendan Chambers.
Today’s games are listed below.
Franklin, 11 vs. Falmouth, 6 – Final – Franklin coach Lou Verrochi said junior Eric Civetti was unstoppable and sophomore Jacob Alexander dominated in the face off X to pace the Panthers past a senior-laden Falmouth side. Civetti scored five goals and had two assists while Alexander won nearly 80% of the draws. Junior Connor O’Rourke made 10 saves in goal and Verrochi said Wyatt Arsenault, Patrick Morrison and Spencer Briggs played very well defensively. Verrochi added LSM Jack Platner, short stick defensive midfielder Will Harvey and Aaron Mallo all played well. Chase Tanner scored twice and added an assist, Sam Arsenault had a goal and an assist, Packie Watson notched two heklpers and Kyle McEniry, Nitin Chaudury and freshman Jake Davis each scored once.
Franklin, 12 vs. Needham, 7 – Final – Franklin led by just a goal (6-5) at halftime but had a very strong second half to open the season with a win over the Rockets. Freshman Erin Walsh impressed in her debut, netting a team-high four goals to pace the Panthers. Classmate Gianna Cameron also had a solid debut in goal, registering 10 saves in net. Halle Atkinson added three goals and Kendall Reardon notched two goals and an assist. Head coach Kristin Igoe Guarino said senior Grace McDermott played well defensively with five caused turnovers.
Taunton, 4 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 1 – Final – The Tigers opened the 2017 campaign with a victory over rival Coyle, taking wins at first and second singles and both doubles. Sophomore Brett Beaulieu won 7-6, 6-2 at first singles and junior Mike Briggs took a 7-6, 6-0 decision at second singles. The team of sophomores Charlie Fisk and Dylan Kullas won 6-4, 6-0 at first doubles and sophomore Trevor Hart and junior Kyle Dennehy teamed up for a 6-4, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Taunton, 5 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final – The Tigers started the season with a clean sweep of rival Coyle at home on Thursday afternoon. Olivia Sweeney (first singles) and Jordan Pagliuca (second singles) both won 6-0, 6-0, while Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles. The teams of Emily Moor and Caroline Hebert (first doubles) and Jordan Martin and Vanessa Rosa (second doubles) each won 6-1, 6-0.
Milford, 3 @ Medfield, 1 – Final
Taunton, 3 vs. Braintree, 0 – Final – Taunton picked up the sweep (25-22, 25-19, 25-21) over the Wamps to begin the season. Junior Lance Law paced the offense with nine kills, four aces and two blocks while adding 11 digs. Nate Grant finished with 20 assists and three kills and Lens Esquil had six kills, an ace and a block for the Tigers.
WESTWOOD, Mass. – Last season, the Franklin boys’ lacrosse team reached its first ever sectional semifinal after upsetting perennial power Xaverian at Pisini Field. On Sunday, a much younger Franklin team faced the same opponent at the same stage of the tournament, but in a different venue and with a much different final result.
The Panthers started well, but once the Hawks clicked on offense Franklin had little answer for a team that has found its footing (and its health) in recent weeks and is once again among the contenders for a Div. 1 title.
Xaverian pulled away in the second half and knocked out the Panthers 18-11, despite five goals and three assists from senior attacker Austin Kent, who was recently selected as the Hockomock League MVP.
“They were flat out better than us,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “[Sophomore goalie] Connor [O’Rourke] saw a lot of rubber today and…they’re just really good. They’re unselfish, they find the one more, they did all the things we’ve been preaching all year long.”
Verrochi continued, “We caught them at a time in the season when they’re on a roll. Early on, I don’t think they had found their identity, but now they have and I think they’re going to be a really tough team to beat.”
Xaverian jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Peter Thorbahn (four goals) and Nick Shaw, but Kent brought the Panthers back level.
On his first goal, Kent threw a shot fake that sent his marker tumbling to the ground before he unleashed a laser into the bottom corner past Michael Toomey. Two minutes later, Kent spun back to his left side and found the corner with an overhand finish to the far post.
The Panthers took the lead with Kent picking out sophomore Eric Civetti for the first of his three goals, but Xaverian answered right back to tie it again. In the closing seconds of the quarter, Kent fired a pass from the ‘X’ to a cutting Kyle McEniry, who put Franklin ahead 4-3 after one.
The score stayed the same for the next seven minutes before Thorbahn was given all day to line up a rip into the top corner to tie it. That started a 5-1 run for the Hawks that put them ahead to stay. Civetti scored with an overhand finish that make it 6-5 but Xaverian scored twice in the final minute, both on assists by Drew Lee to freshman Sam Jean.
“They spent a lot of time trying to shut off Nick Shaw and Pete Thorbahn and it really opened up room in between once we figured out how to get the ball to the back side to open areas,” said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner.
“When you spend a lot of time on one guy, the back side attack opens up and that’s why Sam Jean had a heck of a half.”
McEniry scored his second of the game, again on an assist by Kent, to open the second half, but another 5-1 run by the Hawks broke it wide open. After a Sean Sperzel goal, O’Rourke (nine saves) came up with the play of the game when he went post to post to somehow deny Lee when he was wide open at the back post. Packie Watson scored on an assist by Chase Tanner, but Xaverian answered with four straight before Civetti ended the run with a goal while being knocked down.
Franklin forced a turnover but a poor clearance was picked off by the Hawks for a dagger goal right before the end of the third quarter that extended the lead to 14-8.
Early in the game, the Franklin defensive unit of Sean Lockhart, Patrick Morrison, Gabe Murphy and Matt Pleshaw was shutting down the Hawks, but as the game wore on the Hawks just had too many weapons and were too good at forcing the Panthers to slide out of position.
“I think we did a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities and pressing our advantage,” said Gardner. “Obviously, they had a great game going on with their attack, but we got a lot of opportunities from the midfield coming downhill.”
Meanwhile, on the offensive side Franklin was stagnating as the Hawks sat on Kent and Civetti and tried to force other players to beat them. Verrochi saw plenty of promise from his younger players to give him confidence that in the coming years that strategy will not be as effective.
“One of the things we need to do is look to get more players involved,” he explained. “Our midfielders are kind of young, three sophomores, a freshman, and two juniors, so next year if these guys improve then we’re going to be able to be more dangerous.”
The Panthers could never mount much of a comeback in the fourth quarter, although Kent did score a hat trick in his final period with the Panthers.
“We’re going to definitely miss him,” said Verrochi. “He’s the real deal. He rose to the occasion today. This was a big challenge; they’re a big strong, physical defense and he sort of shut them up and put them in their place.”
Franklin finished the season with a record of 14-6.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The FOGO (“face-off, get-off”) position can sometimes be overlooked, as the players may only be on the field for a few minutes and many times are on the bench or heading back to the box when the ball finds the back of the net. But when a FOGO dominates a game, those few minutes of playing time can play a critical role in the final result.
Freshman Jake Alexander has come in this season and provided a spark for Franklin and on Monday night his domination of the face-off ‘X’ (winning all but three face-offs) provided a platform for the Panthers to break away in the second half and get one step closer to a fourth straight league title.
Franklin turned a two-goal lead at halftime into as much as a 10-goal lead in the fourth quarter and rolled to a 13-6 victory over the Warriors at Pisini Field, leaving games against Oliver Ames and MIlford between the Panthers and a perfect league record.
“It’s such a key position and a key role,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi of the FOGO. Of Alexander, Verrochi added, “He’s been awesome…awesome. For a kid his size to be as good as he is…and not only that he’s so quick and he’s got good stick skills.”
KP coach Jacob Kravitz was effusive in his praise for Alexander. He said, “They’re face-off guy deserves a lot of attention…If it’s a 50-50 situation, I think we have as much talent as them…but when they get 90 percent of the possessions then their talented players get the ball.”
Kravitz added, “When you’re that good against everybody, you deserve to be mentioned in the MVP conversation.”
When Alexander wins the Panthers the ball it allows attackers like Eric Civetti and Austin Kent go to work and the pair combined for seven goals, despite another stellar performance from KP goalie Paul Macrina, who made 12 saves and kept the Warriors in the game into the second half.
“Paul had a great game,” said Kravitz. “People look at his size and think, he’s just a big kid in net, but his footwork is phenomenal, he does a real good job getting lateral, and he sees the ball really well.”
After junior Tim Watson put KP ahead in the opening minutes, Franklin responded with Civetti’s first on a trademark move on the edge of the crease capped off by a low angle shot to the top corner from just a few feet from goal. Kent then fed sophomore Luke Downie for a rip from straightaway to make it 2-1 after one.
In the second quarter, Chase Tanner fired in a man-up goal off a Civetti assist but KP responded a minute later with the first of Sam Agricola’s two goals. It stayed 3-2 until the final 30 seconds of the half, but Franklin added a fourth on Kent’s first following a pump fake and a few steps to get a better angle.
Kent’s second early in the third quarter was a laser to the top corner, which no goalie would have been able to save. KP hit the post on a quick break and Macrina made six saves in the quarter but Franklin scored two goals in quick succession to break things open. Ninit Chaudhury started it with a quick burst on a face dodge to blow by his man and pick the corner then Civetti stole a clearance and finished from close range to make it 7-2.
“When you’ve got snipers like Civetti and Kent, Chase Tanner,” Verrochi explained, “we told them that [Macrina] was stopping everything down low, so let’s go high on him and they did. Then we got some nice bounce shots on him, so yeah it was a good effort.”
Kent completed his hat trick 45 seconds into the fourth and Alexander won the ensuing face-off clean and raced straight down the middle for a goal just seven seconds later. Thirty-two seconds after that junior Brian Vieten rifled in a goal as well and it was 10-2.
With eight minutes left, KP received a locked in penalty and Franklin tacked on two more. Kent again found the corner with a powerful shot and then just 16 seconds later he found Tanner in space for another rip just under the bar that made it 12-2.
“They have some good shooters,” said Kravitz. “I think you have to respect the talent, especially of Kent and Civetti, and when you pay too much attention to those guys they have enough other guys that can make you pay.”
The Franklin defense was also coming through with experienced players like Sean Lockhart, Matt Pleshaw and Wyatt Arsenault leading the way alongside freshman Patrick Morrison. Morrison drew praise from his coach after the game.
Verrochi said, “He’s going to be a stud. I think he’s a DI prospect and he’s one of the best poles we’ve had in a few years.”
Agricola scored off a feed from Harry Fallon to get one back and Zach D’Amico found the top corner to beat Connor O’Rourke (11 saves), but Civetti answered with his third. Freshman LSM Wesley Bishop scored just his second goal of the season (taking on four Franklin defenders) with 1:09 left and then D’Amico scored a second with three seconds remaining.
Kravitz said, “I think our guys came in here knowing how important the game was and maybe once the pressure was off they were playing a little loose. We play best that way. Fight to the end and that is a good mentality to have.”
After seeing his underclassmen shine in a big pressure game, Verrochi was excited about the direction that the program is headed.
He said, “Luke Downie, Chase, Eric naturally…it’s a talented group and we have some kids down in JV that can play too. I’m looking forward to it.”
Franklin (11-4, 8-0) will clinch at least a share of the title when it takes on Oliver Ames on Wednesday. KP (9-5, 6-2) will try to end a two-game skid against North Attleboro.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
Today’s games are listed below.
Franklin, 13 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Franklin’s offense reached double figures for the second straight game to pick up another road win. Tyler Gomes had a pair of doubles and five RBI to lead Franklin while Jake Lyons had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, Josh Macchi had two hits, two runs and an RBI, Ryan Hodgkins had a triple and three runs scored, Steven Luttazi had a pair of hits, a pair of runs scored and an RBI and Joe Corsi scored a pair of runs. Mike Skaza got the win on the mound, tossing five innings and striking out four. Ryan Morse pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Franklin. Attleboro’s Pat Collins went 2-4 with an RBI double for the Bombardiers.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 12 – Final – Canton’s Kevin Powers threw a complete game shutout with four strikeouts, issuing just one walk for the win. At the plate, Powers was 3-4 with two runs scored, Joe Peccia was 1-3 with three runs scored, Mike McMahon was 3-4 with a run scored and a stolen base and sophomore Matt Casamento was 1-2 with two runs scored.
King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final (9 inn.) – Senior Jon Rolfe picked up the win with a complete game shutout, allowing just five hits. Rolfe had 82 total pitches – 62 for strikes – in an efficient outing that saw him strike out three batters. In the top of the ninth, Stephan MacMean’s leadoff double to turned into a run when junior Will Weir singled him home. Three straight singles from Rolfe, senior Jack DiCenso and senior Jake Cavanagh plated pinch runner Rich Lucente for the Warriors’ second run.
Milford, 7 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sophomore Aidan Wilde struck out six in five innings of no hit baseball to get the win on the mound for the Scarlet Hawks. Chris Speroni was 2-3 with three stolen bases and two runs scored while Blake Hill had a triple and two RBI.
North Attleboro, 8 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – North Attleboro’s John O’Donnell scattered five hits and one walk over seven innings of work, striking out five to pick up the win for the Rocketeers. North Attleboro erased a deficit with a four run fourth inning to get the lead including a pair of runs coming off suicide squeezes. Zach Rofino was 2-5 with two RBI, Kyle McCarthy was 2-4 with a pair of RBI, Ethan Hebard added a pair of hits, Bryan Harris had a hat and two sacrifices and Ridge Olsen finished with two hits. North Attleboro amassed 12 hits as a team. Taunton’s Max Bowden had two hits and an RBI for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Stoughton scored eight runs with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.
Franklin, 8 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Foxboro scored six runs in the sixth inning to earn its first win of the season. Emma Rohan struck out seven and walked just three to earn the win in the circle for Foxboro. At the plate, Marylou Long went 3-3 and Chelsea Gibbons had a pair of hits in the big sixth inning for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Kali Magane struck out 15 batters and threw her first no hitter of the season for the Warriors. Offensively, King Philip had 14 hits as a team led by Jenn Hutnyan’s three hits and a fourth inning grand slam. Christa Wagner had three hits, including a double and a triple, and Ashley Hession had two hits.
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – Milford’s Kaitlyn DeCapua was 3-3 with a pair of runs knocked in and a home run in the first inning that was the highlight of a 10-run inning for the Scarlet Hawks. Sophomore Emily Piergustavo was 3-3 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring a pair herself and Maggie Farrell added a pair of hits and knocked in four runs. Kelley Reichert struck out four, allowing just one hit, in five innings of work to earn the win.
Taunton, 9 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton’s Aimee Kistner threw her second consecutive no hitter, this time striking out 10 while scattering three walks. Sophomore Kya Enos went 4-4 with a double and an RBI, Jordan Wade had three hits with two RBI and a double, Meg Navarro had two hits and an RBI and Jaime Brown went 2-3 with a double and two RBI. Bailey Clapp and Sarah Bagge each added two hits and Rebekah Lajoie had a pinch hit two run home run for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – OA’s Lexie Campbell’s complete game effort, with just two earned runs allowed, helped the Tigers pick up a win. Jamie Gottwald went 3-3 at the play, knocking in a pair of runs and Rachel Han was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Lizzie Miller also had an RBI and a run scored while Victoria Ziner and Caroline Mahoney each added hits for Oliver Ames. Stoughton’s Nicole Bodette, Jordan Lyons and Karly Estramerea all had two hits for the Black Knights.
Mansfield, 14 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Ryan Smith led a balanced attack with a game-high four goals while Sam O’Connell and Connor Finerty each added three goals and Joe Cox and Billy Grant chipped in with two goals apiece.
King Philip, 10 @ Canton, 4 – Final – King Philip started strong, building a 5-1 lead after the first quarter but didn’t put the game away until adding four goals in the fourth quarter. Sam Agricola led the offense with four goals and one assist and senior Steven Eaton led the defense with 10 groundballs. John DeLuca and Harrison Fallon each scored a pair of goals and Tim Watson added two more with an assist.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 12 – Final – Louis Piccolo scored four goals and Colin Spinney netted a hat trick to lead the offense for the Warriors. Connor McNamara added a goal and three assists and Brendan Tully found the back of the net twice and had one assist. Pat Kaveny had five groundballs for Foxboro.
Franklin, 18 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – The teams finished level (3-3) at the end of the first quarter but Franklin won the second quarter 6-0 and the second half 9-1 to get the win. Freshman Jacob Alexander dominated the faceoff X, winning 24/26 draws while sophomore Eric Civetti tied a team record with eight goals in the game. Senior Austin Kent added four goals and three assists and sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke made seven saves in net. Head coach Lou Verrochi credited the defense of Sean Lockhart, Matt Pleshaw, Wyatt Arsenault and Patrick Morrison for limited the Eagles after the first quarter.
Milford, 4 @ North Attleboro, 16 – Final – Sophomore Colin Young scored four goals to lead the Rocketeers.
Attleboro, 11 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final (OT)
Foxboro, 18 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final
Sharon, 3 @ Franklin, 17 – Final – Julia Jette scored a team-high four goals, including her 100th career goal, and added two assists to lead the Panthers. Grace MacCallum had a pair of goals and four draw controls and Olivia Truenow had two groundballs and played well on defense according to head coach Kristin Igoe.
North Attleboro, 19 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Rahul Herur and Eli Brooks picked up 6-1, 6-1 wins at first and second singles respectively to lead the Panthers. Tom Mancini won 6-2, 6-1 at third singles for Franklin, James Johnston and Cam Piana won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Jeremy Gan and Dan Barrow won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – King Philip sophomore Cole Ginter rallied for a 3-6 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) at first singles to lead the Warriors. Garrett Schneider won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. Ryan Gemelli and Sam Colella won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles and Justin Rohan and Jake Webster won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles for KP.
Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Rallies at both first and second singles anchored the Rocketeers to a win. Mitchell Dyer rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5) win at first singles and Barsomo Nuay won 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5). North junior Zack Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles, Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles and Jake Fontes and Daniel Zhang won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames won each singles match in straight sets to pick up its first win of the season. Thomas O’Leary won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Greg Weinstein won 6-1, 6-4 at second singles and Jarrod Hedlund won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin didn’t lose a game at first or second singles as well as first doubles to get the win. Hannah Sweeney and Anna Humphreys won 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles respectively while junior Anja Deric and senior Katelyn Davenport won with the same score at first doubles. Franklin junior Madison Derby won 6-3, 2-6, 13-11 at third singles and seniors Halle Love and Selina Wu won 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles.
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Diana Prinos, Sophia Prinos and Lexi Nelson all won in straight sets without losing a game in singles play to lead the Warriors. Michaela McCarthy and Diana Hickox won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles for Foxboro. Canton’s Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie won 6-2, 6-4 at first doubles.
Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – The Warriors swept doubles play and got a win at third singles to edge out the Hornets. Kelly Masse’s and Megan Davenport’s marathon 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 win at first doubles was key while Molly Citarell and Corinne Palumbo won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles. Sophomore Megan Sepich notched a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 comeback win at third singles for the Warriors. Mansfield’s Paulina Martin won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles and Kathleen Giffels won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles.
Sharon, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Sharon didn’t lose a game in singles play and lost only three games in the two doubles matches combined in the win. Lulu Yuan, Nupur Shulka and Emily Wen all won 6-0, 6-0 at first, second and third singles respectively. Pooja Puttigampala and Michal Kondratiev teamed up for a 6-0, 6-3 win at first doubles and Katie Merpot and Sydney Gordon won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames swept singles play and got a win at first doubles to pick up the victory. Riley Spillane won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles, Jackie Sulkala won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and Sarah Leger won 6-0, 6-3 at third singles. Lark Warner and Olivia Groebe rallied to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 at first doubles for OA. Stoughton’s Becca Lawson and Ellie Kashian won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at second doubles for the Black Knights.
Boys Outdoor Track
North Attleboro @ Attleboro 3:45
Girls Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 121 @ Attleboro 15 – Final
Taunton, 1 vs. Barnstable 3 – Final – Taunton fell behind 2-0 in close, won the third game but Barnstable won the fourth game to win the match. Set scores were 23-25, 23-25, 25-13, 14-25. Ricardo DaFonseca had 43 assists and 11 digs along with a block and an ace for the Tigers. Sophomore Lance Law had 22 kills, eight digs and an ace, Collin Hunter played well with 11 kills and a block and Nate Grant was strong in the back row with 16 digs.
BOSTON, Mass. – For the second year in a row, Franklin held a lead against BC High, but also for the second year in a row the Panthers failed to hold onto it and allowed the Eagles to walk away with the victory.
BC High shut out the Panthers 5-0 in the fourth quarter, with senior attacker A.J. Kucinski recording a goal and three assists, and turned around a two-goal deficit to pull out a 10-7 victory in the Eagles’ season opener.
“We have to play teams like this,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “These guys are always going to be a good challenge, just the second year in a row that we sort of imploded in the fourth quarter.”
The Panthers got off to the perfect start on a blustery afternoon. Senior Jared Trainor opened the scoring inside the first minute and just two minutes later sophomore Eric Civetti scored the first of his three goals to double the lead.
A quick outlet pass by junior Patrick Watson sprung Civetti, who picked out senior Austin Kent for his first goal of the game and the Franklin bench was going crazy on the sidelines. The energy got ramped up even more when Kent forced a turnover in the attacking zone and then fed Civetti for his second and a the Panthers’ fourth.
Kucinski got on the board after a turnover early in the second quarter, but Civetti answered right back for Franklin just a minute later. It would be the last goal of the half for the Panthers, as the BC High defense started to clamp down.
“They shut down Eric and Austin and we just didn’t get enough out of our midfielders,” said Verrochi. “We just weren’t driving forward the way we should have…when those two start to tire we just don’t have the kids to throw in like we did last year.”
After a pair of goals by the Eagles, sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke stepped up with a huge close-range save on Kucinski to keep the score 5-3. Franklin raced down the field and freshman pole Patrick Morrison had his goal wiped out because there was a man in the crease.
BC High sophomore Will Bowen took advantage of the ruling and beat Franklin in transition, racing straight down the middle of the field and beating O’Rourke in the bottom corner.
“We threw the ball away, we were in the crease a few times, bad substitutions, we were sloppy out of the box…but once we got ourselves set and it was time to make plays they stepped up,” said BC High coach Steve Lydon.
O’Rourke took over between the pipes this season after playing as an attacker during his freshman year. Verrochi said that there was an opening in goal and the sophomore spent the offseason learning the new position.
Verrochi said, “I can’t say enough about what he did this year. He went to all sorts of camps and he’s now playing goalie for Laxachussets in his age level. That says a lot about his athleticism and how he goes after the game.”
Junior Sam Arsenault restored the two-goal lead with a man-up goal three minutes into the third quarter, but Kucinski answered back for the Eagles. With time running down in the third, Kent capped a long possession with an unstoppable rocket into the top corner, which made it 7-5.
The Franklin defense, led by seniors Matt Pleshaw, Sean Lockhart, and Gabe Murphy, had managed to limit the chances for Kucinski and the Eagles attack. But in the fourth quarter, everything turned around.
Pat Greene scored to cut the lead to one, Andrew Helfrich completed his hat trick (on a Kucinski assist) to tie it, and then Kucinski gave BC High its first lead with a shot on the run, across his body, and into the top corner.
“We went to sleep on him,” said Verrochi. “I was disappointed in how our close defense played in that fourth quarter. I talked to the players that we can’t allow that to happen.”
“That type of stuff, with a senior defense, we can’t have that.”
Kucinski assisted on the final two goals of the game. Franklin’s chances were limited, although it did force BC High goalie Michael Haggan into four saves in the fourth and Kent smacked the post with a shot in the final minute.
“We had a couple guys go out and make plays for us,” said Lydon. “A.J. made a couple of really big plays in the fourth and our defense locked down after a slow start.”
Despite the loss, Verrochi insisted that it is a positive for his team to play top non-league competition and challenge his players early in the season.
He said, “Give credit to them; they’re bigger, faster, stronger than we are right now, but my kids worked their butts off. I think the better team won…but we played them really tough for three quarters.”
Franklin (2-1) will get back into league play on Wednesday with a trip to Sharon.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.