CANTON, Mass. – For 60 minutes, the Canton and Oliver Ames field hockey teams battled back-and-forth, racing up-and-down the field matching each other stride for stride, shot for shot, and stop for the stop.
The only difference came with just over 10 minutes to go off the stick of Tiger senior Haley Gilman, who scored the lone goal of the game to give unbeaten Oliver Ames a 1-0 win over previously undefeated Canton in a battle for Davenport supremacy.
Both defenses shined, constantly thwarting chances and limiting the opposition from ever sustaining a consistent pressure on net, which wasn’t a total surprise as the teams entered the contest with two of the best defenses in the Hockomock League. Canton had allowed just one goal going into the game and OA had surrendered just four goals.
That’s not to say there weren’t chances both ways, including breakaways and point-blank chances in front of net. But Canton senior goalie Riley O’Connor and OA senior keeper Peyton Phillips both had strong games in the cage to keep the game tight.
“It felt like whoever scored first was going to win,” said Oliver Ames head coach Sharon Lawrence. “It was about being in the right place at the right time, [Canton] had some of the same chances as we did. We talked at the end of the third quarter about how we were doing all of the right things, we were making good passes, we just had to keep up our passing and speed and eventually, it will fall. We just had to keep playing our game.”
The fourth quarter started with chances for both sides, with the visiting Tigers putting the pressure on early. Gilman connected with Maggie Woods on the sideline but her centering pass to Georgia Costello was thwarted by good defense from Canton’s Meghan LaBelle. A minute later, Woods set up senior Sofia Anestam for a low shot that was kicked aside by O’Connor.
Canton had a chance to break the deadlock two minutes later, a pass finding space behind OA’s high-line defensively. Bulldogs senior Maria Femia latched onto the ball and raced into goal along the right side but her shot was wide at the near post as Phillips came flying off her line with a feet-first tackle attempt.
The Tigers came back down the other way and finally found the back of the net with 10:25 to play. Woods once again connected with Costello, who delivered a service into the area. O’Connor once again came up with a terrific point-blank stop but Gilman stayed with it and tucked the rebound bid into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
“I thought it was a great game for both sides,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “Both teams had great opportunities. For us, we had some chances in the circle we just made some bad decisions. I was hoping we’d be a little more up for the home game [against OA], we did play a little flatter than we usually do on offense. I thought our defense did a solid job. We just needed a little bit more on offense.
“We just have to capitalize on our chances. We were able to get behind the defense and we got in there, maybe we need two people so we can make that extra pass. We’ve had these opportunities before that usually turn into a goal, just didn’t happen today.”
Canton continued to push for the equalizer over the final minutes but OA’s defense and Phillips stood tall. Femia and Sarah Cunningham had a two-on-one chance broken up by Emily Han, and a minute later, OA defender Abbey Boyce had a key interception and clear. Phillips made a positional pad stop on a one-timer from Cunningham in front after a cross from LaBelle.
Oliver Ames field hockey Canton field hockey
“Our defense this year has been so good,” Lawrence said. “With it being 7-on-7 this year, there’s so much space on the field so we’re trying to preserve our energy and move as a unit, using kind of a zone as a defense. We have a lot of speed this year, especially on defense which helps.”
With just over a minute to go, the Bulldogs had another breakaway bid with Femia racing in but once again Phillips came charging off her line with a slide stop, getting just enough of the shot to keep it wide and the Tigers cleared to secure the win.
“We coach Peyton to charge when she needs to and cut down that angle so it’s not an easy shot,” Lawrence said. “We never want her to be a sitting duck in there. So the more aggressive she is, the scarier it is for the offense.”
Both defenses were strong from the get-go. With little chances through the first half, the Tigers nearly found the back of the net just before the end of the first quarter. Woods linked up with Costello for a good chance in the area but Canton’s Allie Gefteas intervened to prevent a chance on goal.
OA continued to push in the second quarter and might have had a couple more shots on goal if not for some great defensive work from Canton’s Lizzie Tassinari. Just before the halftime break, Canton was inches away from the lead when Femia set up Samantha Vrabel in front but Phillips made the point-blank stop.
“I thought both defenses were solid,” O’Connor said. “Having no corners is probably the biggest killer for our offense, for our game. We were in the circle, and if there’s a foul you go back out. Usually we’d have 10 to 12 corners, and we probably turn that into something. That’s probably been the biggest challenge with the modifications.”
Oliver Ames (6-0-1) remains undefeated with the win and moves into first place in the Davenport division with a one-point lead over Canton (6-1). The two teams will meet again on Thursday in a rematch that will have major implications on the Davenport division title.
“It’s our goal, we want to win it all,” Lawrence said. “We don’t focus on it before the games, but we knew this was the biggest week for us coming in. But right now it’s just taking it one game at a time.”
Attleboro, 7 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Attleboro earned its second win of the season and a sweep of Milford with another shutout win. The Bombardiers had 11 players find the score sheet with Amanda Burns and Shae Salisbury leading the way with two goals apiece. Sarah McMahon and Campbell Compton each recored a pair of assists while Laura McVeigh, Madison Ellis, and Kaelin Coleman all found the back of the net once for Attleboro.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames and Foxboro split the points on Thursday afternoon, settling for a 1-1 draw at Sam Berns Field. Oliver Ames’ Sofia Anestam scored in the second quarter off of an assist from Georgia Costello. OA goalie Peyton Phillips made nine saves to help the Tigers earn a point on the road.
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored twice inside a four-minute space in the opening quarter and held off King Philip the rest of the way to get a key win. Amanda Lewandowski scored both for the Panthers, opening the scoring at 7:07 on an assist from Stephanie Bell and then doubling the lead just over three minutes later. Neilee Hess made five saves in the win for the Panthers. Head coach Michelle Hess praised the defensive play of Kendall Jones and Kate O’Rourke, and added that Sara Carney had a stellar outing in the midfield. KP senior goalie Makenzie Manning kept the Warriors in it with 18 saves and head coach Lisa Cropper said both senior Ali Beltramini and freshman Kelly Holmes played well.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton nearly stole a point with a late fourth quarter surge earlier in the week in its trip to North Attleboro. This time around, the Black Knights completed the comeback. Trailing 2-1 late in the fourth quarter, Haley Nelson scored her second goal of the game to knot the score at 2-2 with 2:30 to go. Just 30 seconds later, Zofia Bangs deposited the go-ahead goal to give Stoughton a win at home. Lena Allie had 10 saves in net for Stoughton while head coach Dan Mark lauded the excellent defensive performances from Cate Downey and Julia Driscoll.
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton scored a fourth quarter goal to pull out a second straight draw against the Hornets. Mansfield jumped into the lead in the second quarter with freshman Lola Varricchione knocking in a loose ball in the crease. Alexandra Burnham picked up the assist. Taunton goalie Emily Gannon made a number of saves and defender Jocelyn Pagliuca stopped several Mansfield breakaways to keep it a one-goal game. In the fourth quarter, Alana Tavares slipped a pass through to Ashley Amaro and the junior forward got a touch past the last defender and raced half the field before scoring the tying goal.
Milford, 183 @ Attleboro, 177 – Final
Sharon, 168 @ Canton, 154 – Final – The Bulldogs had five golfers shoot 40 or better on Thursday afternoon at Blue Hill Country Club leading to a win over Sharon. Owen Donovan and Will Gefteas were the match co-medalists, each carding a round of 37. Mike Leonetti, Conor Hunter, Nate MacDonald, and Aiden French each shot a 40 in the win. For Sharon, Nathan Daley had a team-low round of 39, Eric Carter added a 41, and both Rosie Leonard and Noah Glassman carded a round of 44.
Oliver Ames, 175 @ Foxboro, 164 – Final – Foxboro earned a key division win at home at Foxboro Country Club against Oliver Ames. For OA, senior Logan Domenico had a team-low round of 42, senior Sam Kagan added a 43, and both freshman David Rogers and junior Jake Kaplan came into the clubhouse with a round of 45.
Franklin, 158 @ King Philip, 166 – Final – Franklin picked up its sixth straight win to open the season, earning its second straight close win over division foe King Philip. Jack Paterson and Brian Sandham led the way for the Panthers at Wentworth Hill Country Club, both shooting a team-low round of 38. Pat Dolan and Nolan Norton each added a 41 in the win. Mike Matheson was the match medalist, leading KP with a low-round of 37 while Jared Curran chipped in with a 40 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 163 @ Taunton, 194 – Final – Mansfield continued its unbeaten start to the season with its second straight win over the Tigers, this time at Segregansett Country Club. Joe Gormley had the low-round for the Hornets, coming off the links with a 38 while Nate Morreale was right behind with a 39. Ryan Doherty added a 42 and Hunter Tang added a 44 in the win.
Stoughton, 179 @ North Attleboro, 161 – Final – North Attleboro defend its home green at Heather Hill Country Club, taking down visiting Stoughton behind a match-medalist round of 39 from sophomore Jake Gaskin. Tyler DeMattio added a 40 for the Rocketeers while both Sam Gallagher and Dillon Harding chipped in with a 41. Anthony Hern paced the Knights with a 42, Jonah Hochberg and Max Huminik each came in at 45 and Jake Curtis finished with a 47.
Boys Cross Country
King Philip, 41 @ Franklin, 18 – Final – Nicholas Calitri broke his own course record, setting a new time of 15:56 as he crossed first in Franklin’s win over King Philip. Griffin Sieczkiewicz (16:19) took second overall on the 3.05 mile course and Josh Anderson (16:21) rounded out the top three for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley (fifth, 16:52) and Clancy Golden (seventh, 17:21) also scored in the Panthers’ win.
Mansfield, 32 @ Taunton, 23 – Final – Taunton swept the top three spots in the race to earn its first ever win over Mansfield since joining the Hockomock League. Senior Nolan Tavares won the race in 17:11 while classmate Ty Cali (17:29) took second and freshman Brayden Cali (17:43) was third overall. Junior Ryan Strawbridge (17:51) and Andrew Cali (17:51.5) also scored for the Tigers.
Girls Cross Country
King Philip, 48 @ Franklin, 15 – Final
Mansfield, 24 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – Mansfield had the top three finishers in Thursday’s race, all finishing within a minute of one another to get a win over Taunton. Abigail Greenberg crossed the finish line at 20:39 to take first place for Mansfield while Tessa Lancaster (20:41) and Emma Lamson (21:26) took second and third, respectively. Cassidy Rice (seventh, 23:07) also scored for the Hornets. Senior Lily Valcovic was the top runner for the Tigers, taking fourth overall in 21:48. Eighth graders Colby Dunham (fifth, 22:16) and Emersyn DePonte (sixth, 22:52) had strong showings for Taunton.
King Philip, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – King Philip’s Brian McCarthy scored in the final minute of play to help the Warriors earn a point in their regular season finale. Cam Lawrence put a free kick into the area and McCarthy was able to latch onto the loose ball to bring the hosts level.
Sharon, 1 @ Walpole, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 3 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton’s Edwin Jean scored a pair of goals inside a two minute span in the second half to help the Tigers break into the win column in league play in the season finale. With the game tied 2-2, Jean scored in the 58th minute and again in the 60th minute to put the Tigers ahead for good. Ed Paiva put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute but Stoughton’s Seby Pierre leveled the game nine minutes later. Taunton’s Travis Nunes gave his side a 2-1 lead just before halftime off an assist from Alec Nunes. Jon Santos grabbed his first of the game in the 52nd minute to tie the game before Jean’s brace. Santos scored again in the 70th minute to bring the Black Knights within one.
Mansfield, 1 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – The Hornets had a chance to get into the postseason with a win at B-R, but the Trojans scored with just three minutes left to earn the victory. B-R scored first but Abby Jean equalized for Mansfield with six minutes remaining and as the Hornets pushed for the winner, the hosts found a goal.
Milford vs. Hopedale, 6:00
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Braintree, 2 – Final – The Rocketeers rallied twice from a goal down to earn a draw against a Braintree. Alex Moulson scored five minutes before the break off a Olivia Wills assist to tie the game and then Caroline Ferrin equalized for North with four minutes left in the game on a shot from 25 yards out. Tess Collins also hit the bar in the second half for North. Regan Fein and Caitlin Echeverri split time in goal and seniors Lily Cameron, Colette Petit, Kyla Rodrigues, Lydia Hershey, and Taylor Ward all played well in their final games for North.
Sharon, 1 vs. Ursuline Academy, 3 – Final
Field Hockey D1 South
#15 Mansfield, 2 vs. #18 Nauset, 1 – Final
#21 Oliver Ames, 2 @ #12 Braintree, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames cut the Braintree lead to one and had several chances to tie the game but the Wamps scored two unanswered goals to secure the win. Sofia Anestam scored with 2:28 left in the first half on an assist from Cassie Gennis to get the Tigers on the board, down 3-1 at half. Georgia Costello scored shortly into the second half to get bring OA within one. Maggie Woods had a strong game in the midfield while Peyton Phillips (13 saves) was outstanding in net.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – With a minute left in the first half, King Philip appeared to be running away with a comfortable win. The Warriors scored the first four goals against Oliver Ames on Monday night at Macktaz Field, but then the Tigers got on the board and stole the momentum.
Twice in the second half OA cut the lead to just two goals, but each time the Warriors were able to find a response, taking back control long enough to hold on for a 5-3 victory that keeps KP within five points of league leading Franklin.
“We fell asleep a little bit,” admitted KP coach Lisa Cropper. “We got a little too comfortable and they weren’t going to quit. They’ve got some really good goal scorers, some really nice crossing balls that we just fell asleep on. We’ve been really tight and good defensively lately and I think we felt a little too comfortable with that 4-0 lead.”
KP got off to the perfect start to the night. Only two minutes into the game, the Warriors broke quickly and a centering pass from the right found Olivia Kulesza in front. She was able to find the touch in a crowd and knocked it in.
In the 12th minute, KP nearly doubled the lead when Paige Berdos stole the ball and raced clean through on goal, only to be denied by OA goalie Kara Ostrander.
Four minutes later, the Warriors did find a second goal and then just seconds later made it 3-0.
Berdos started the move by racing free down the right wing before passing it ahead to Kulesza. The junior, who was moved up from defense to forward earlier this season, managed to keep the ball alive on the end line and then slipped a square pass across the front of goal where Abby Nixon was on hand to tap it in. Just 30 seconds later, Raegan Simeone finished off another nice KP move.
“We were so hyped up for the game,” said OA coach Sharon Lawrence. “I think we played a little frazzled in the beginning, very panicky, couldn’t settle the ball. We play a good possession hockey game and we were off of that game in the beginning. It took us a few minutes to get settled in.”
With about a minute remaining in the first half, King Philip appeared to put the game away. Berdos got space to take a whack from the right side and was able to find the back of the net to make it 4-0.
OA was on the brink of being run off the field, but then the Tigers finally found a successful attack of their own. Hannah Stryke got her first of the night to give some hope to the visitors before the break.
“Huge, we needed some momentum for sure,” Lawrence said of that late goal. “We just said, forget about the scoreboard. We’ve got some momentum, we’re chipping away and let’s just keep putting the pressure on.”
The message seemed to have gotten through as the Tigers dominated the opening portion of the second half, creating a series of corners and dangerous scoring chances. KP goalie Grace May made a big stop to keep the three-goal lead but then OA got its second. Cassie Gennis created space on the righthand side and crossed it to Stryke in front for a one-time finish.
Cropper said, “I called a timeout and I said, look we need to answer back. All of a sudden we stopped playing with each other and using each other and once we started doing that again we had our way down in their circle.”
Nixon helped KP respond and restore a three-goal edge. She weaved her way through the KP defense down the left side, getting all the way to the crease before the ball was knocked away. It fell to the stick of Christina Gifun, whose shot was saved by new OA goalie Peyton Phillips and the rebound came right to Nixon in front of an empty net.
“She’s getting better and better at that and she can do it from the left side, which is rare in a high school player,” Cropper said of Nixon. “Sometimes the left wing gets left out but with Sammy Robison at center back and Grace [Crocker] at center mid and Raegan at left mid, we look for her. Those four have combined really nicely.”
If there was any concern that OA may fold once KP added to its lead, it was quickly wiped away. Again it was Gennis that created the opening with a good run on the right and she sent the ball through the middle to Stryke, who capped her hat trick with another first-time hit.
“We got Hannah Stryke back on the scoreboard tonight, she was firing away,” said Lawrence. “Cassie Gennis was bringing the ball down on the right, she had an amazing game.”
“Part of our game too is transferring the ball, which we didn’t do enough of tonight,” Lawrence explained, “but usually those two in the middle are good at kind of switching the field so we could move the ball up and around.”
It was the fifth win in six games for the Warriors, who remain in second place in the Kelley-Rex. King Philip (7-3-1, 7-2-1) will have a quick turnaround with a trip to Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) on Tuesday. Oliver Ames (5-7, 4-6) enter the closing stretch of six games needing four to clinch a playoff spot. The Tigers start by hosting Canton on Thursday.
2018 Record: 6-11-1 2018 Result: Missed Playoffs Coach: Lindsay Antunes
The Bombardiers are looking to climb off the foot of the Kelley-Rex division standings this fall and challenge for a return to the state tournament. With a number of players making the move up after successful seasons on JV, Attleboro coach Lindsay Antunes is confident that her team will have the firepower to compete with the league’s top teams this year.
Senior Anna Beck will lead the way for Attleboro again this fall. The midfielder led the team in scoring last year and was one of the top scorers in the Hock, and she will be counted on to open up chances for her teammates. Junior Campbell Compton will add to the midfield group with her playmaking and stick skills. Junior Kiera Murray will be the lynchpin of the defensive unit, providing leadership at the back. The forwards are going to be a combination of returning players and new faces that are expected to provide additional scoring this season.
“Though spots are still being established and player combinations being determined,” Antunes said, “we are confident that this year’s offensive line is going to make a significant impact on the league.”
2018 Record: 15-4-1 2018 Result: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
Canton finished just one point shy of back-to-back league titles and for the second season in a row saw its season ended by the eventual South champion, but the Bulldogs remain one of the teams to beat in the Davenport thanks to a roster filled with returning, experienced players ready to make another tournament run.
Midfield will be an area of strength for the Bulldogs this season with senior Kaitlyn Goyetch back to create scoring chances for her teammates. She was second on the team in scoring last year and is capable of opening up space for the attackers. Juniors Maria Femia and Meghan LaBelle will help Goyetch out in the middle of the field, adding to both the attack and the defense, and senior Meg Aldrich provides energy to push the team on both ends of the field. Junior Riley O’Connor returns in goal to shore up the defense. The attack will certainly miss leading score Maggie Malloy, but there are a number of players that are ready to step in and try to make up for that loss of production.
“Canton field hockey is excited for the regular season to begin,” said head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “Our captains Kaitlyn Goyetch, Meg Aldrich and Rose Malloy along with several key returning players will be major contributors to our success this season. We are working towards a strong showing in the always competitive Hockomock League”
The Foxboro Warriors will have almost an entirely new look this season after graduating 10 starters and 14 seniors overall.
While it will be almost an entirely new team, there is definitely plenty of talent and a lot of team speed. Jaime Notarangelo is the lone starter to return and will see time at both center forward because of her goal-scoring abilities plus time at center mid because of her distribution skills. Ella Waryas will see a significant increase in her role in the midfield alongside Molly McElhinney. Anna Marcucella and Mikayla Cloherty will see time both in the midfield and defensively for head coach Melissa Bordieri, who is still moving all the pieces around in search of the right combination. Lauren Foster is a team captain and will be tasked with anchoring the defense while junior Hannah Trombley and sophomore Lily Jones battle for minutes in goal. Kate Collins picked up some valuable minutes last year and will be relied on offensively alongside Olivia Simoneau.
“We still have a lot of talent, it’s just a matter of piecing together who fits where and who works well together,” Bordieri said. “We are a tenacious team so we are optimistic about the season.”
2018 Record: 13-6-2 2018 Result: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal Coach: Michelle Hess
After finishing second in the Kelley-Rex division and making a run to the Div. 1 South semifinal, where they led perennial power Walpole by two goals with 10 minutes remaining, Franklin wants to build on that momentum and return to the top of the league standings for the first time in three seasons. The experience of last year’s run, which included finishing on an 11-2-2 run, has confidence brimming through the program.
The loss of do-everything midfielder Cassi Ronan will certainly hurt, as well as defender Emily Valentino and goalie Christina Luccini, but the Panthers still have a solid foundation of returning standouts to rely on. Senior Maeve Ledwith will continue to lead the defensive unit and is one of the league’s top distributors out of the back. Junior Amanda Lewandowski saved her best for the end of the season and playoffs and will be one of the team’s top attackers. Freshman Kaitlyn Carney is expected to contribute right away and possibly ease the loss of Ronan from the midfield. Junior Neilee Hess will take over between the pipes.
“The players worked very hard in the offseason, and I am proud of them for their dedication and determination,” said Franklin coach Michelle Hess. “I look forward to watching this team come together and earn a top spot in the Hockomock League along with another deep run in the tournament.”
2018 Record: 18-2-1 2018 Result: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal Coach: Lisa Cropper
After winning the league and South titles in 2017, the Warriors made a coaching change. After making it back-to-back Kelley-Rex crowns and getting back to the South semifinal last season, the Warriors are making another change on the sideline. Former Franklin coach Lisa Cropper is back in the Hock after two years at Dean College and she will be trying to keep the momentum going for KP this fall.
While the Warriors dominated the league in goals scored last year, thanks in large part to HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Alli Meehan, and that drew a lot of attention, but the Warriors were even more impressive defensively, allowing only 15 goals in 21 games. Senior Sammy Robison is back to hold down things on defense along with classmate Grace May and junior Mackenzie Manning, who may end up sharing duties in goal. Sophomore Christina Gifun and junior Paige Berdos will drive the team in the midfield.
In addition to the graduation of Meehan, KP will be without reigning Underclassman of the Year Meghan MacDonald, who transferred to Tabor Academy. Senior Raegan Simeone and juniors Abby Nixon and Grace Crocker will be counted on to try and make up that production in the attack.
“We have a lot of really solid players with no real superstars, which should give us a very balanced team,” said Cropper.
2018 Record: 9-8-2 2018 Result: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Theresa Nyhan
The Hornets are only four years removed from back-to-back league titles and a trip to the South final and the experience on this year’s roster gives Mansfield hope that another deep tourney run could be on the cards. With seniors in every layer of the field and talented underclassmen to fill in the depth, the Hornets look like a serious contender at the top of the Kelley-Rex division standings.
In attack, Mansfield will count on a speedy trio of seniors to try and boost the goal totals. Paige Peterson, Becca Hottleman and Gabby Devlin are all back on the front line. In midfield, Kelly Doherty and Grace Doyle provide the engine that pushes the Hornets forward, while also providing the necessary cover for the defense. Senior Kayla Hunter is back in goal and will try to organize the back line, which will include seniors Grace Maher, Mallory Burke, and Angela Burnham.
“Overall we have a good balance of juniors and seniors at each level,” said Mansfield coach Theresa Nyhan. “We should be able to keep fresh legs on the field at all times. Looking forward to a good season.”
2018 Record: 2-14-2 2018 Result: Missed Playoffs Coach: Katie Blackburn
The Hawks have a number of players returning who have several years of varsity experience and will try to blend in players that are making the leap from JV in order to improve from last year’s two-win season, which included five games that Milford lost by only one or two goals.
Senior goalie Paige Reisman will be the key on the defensive end, solidifying a back line that will see several new faces that are trying to get up to varsity speed. Her communication and vision will help the newcomers be ready for opposing attacks. Senior Megan Hart is also back on defense to add leadership in front of Reisman. Junior Olyvia White can play in midfield or defense, while senior Kathryn Swineford will try to push the Hawks into the attack from the middle of the field.
“We have a lot of returning players on offense that have experience playing together,” said Milford coach Katie Blackburn. “This experience will help in creating an offensive attack throughout games. The players have worked hard this offseason to improve on skills and come into the season conditioned.”
2018 Record: 6-10-2 2018 Result: Missed Playoffs Coach: Karen Folan
The Rocketeers are hoping that an experienced lineup will be the key to challenge the top teams in the Davenport division and also to make a return to the state tournament. North Attleboro only missed out on a playoff spot by four points last season and there is the potential to make a bigger push this fall.
Senior Emma Strachan will be in her third year as the starting goalie and will continue to lead the defensive unit. Senior Lindsay Robinson heads into her second year as a force in the North midfield and senior Michelle Pothier will start her third year generating offense as one of the starting forwards. Senior Grace Cole adds speed on the wings to open space for the attack and senior Faith Graveline will move into the midfield from defense, adding another layer of cover for the back line and another weapon in the offensive circle.
“We have a solid group of returning varsity players for the 2019 season,” said North coach Karen Folan. “We hope to utilize our knowledge and experience to come out strong at the start of the season and continue to build on our strengths as the season moves forward.”
2018 Record: 8-9-2 2018 Result: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Sharon Lawrence
While Oliver Ames brings back 11 returning players from last year’s playoff team, the Tigers remain relatively young, with a strong junior class anchoring the team throughout the roster. That level of experience gives OA the potential to make noise in the loaded Kelley-Rex division and be competitive with the perennial title challengers.
The offensive unit is deep and expectations are high for an improvement on last year’s 31 goals scored as a team. Juniors Haley Gilman and Hannah Stryke and seniors Maura Kiernan, Ellie Waters, and Cassie Gennis will all play up top and are all capable of making plays inside the offensive circle. Several younger players will get the chance to impress right away, including sophomores Ava Costello and Lily Gaskill and freshman Julia Maclaine.
Junior Maggie Woods is the leader of the midfield group, constantly finding herself around the ball and propelling the Tigers forward. Sophomore Georgia Costello will join her in the middle of the field. Juniors Emily Han and Emily Dionne will lead the defense, while juniors Abbey Boyce and Courtney Lake are newcomers to the defense that will contribute right away. Senior Kara Ostrander and junior Peyton Phillips are both capable of being the starter in goal.
“The team shows improvement in skill and confidence from last season after a strong off-season commitment to the game,” said OA coach Sharon Lawrence. “We have a deep bench with lots of talent in the forward and midfield lines to keep legs fresh and performance strong, giving us good game endurance.”
2018 Record: 0-18-0 2018 Result: Missed Playoffs Coach: Ashley Courville
After a winless season, with no goals scored, there is plenty of room for improvement for the Eagles this fall. Sharon ended that goalless stretch in the opening game of the season against Norwell and there is an increased level of confidence that the program is mixing in more experienced players with newcomers that can help make the team more competitive this year.
The defense will be led by an experienced corps of players. Seniors Holly Davis, Blaize Hanna, and Anya Lane are all back to solidify a back line that reduced the goals allowed by 27 from 2017 to 2018. Senior Lauren Glass will be the team’s primary playmaker in midfield and she will get help from junior Jenna Goldstein. There are a lot of new faces in the attack, including sophomore Ashley Young, who got Sharon’s first goal of the season in the opener. Juniors Samantha Sherman and Jillian Parker will also chip in up front.
Sharon coach Ashley Courville said, “Our strengths on defense this season are consistency and strength. We have a handful of returning players back on defense giving us stability. Our offensive strengths are added speed leading to the ability to carry the ball on the field more effectively.”
2018 Record: 7-11-2 2018 Result: Missed Playoffs Coach: Dan Mark
The Black Knights would love to make a push for a playoff appearance this fall and Stoughton will rely on is experience in midfield and attack to overcome some of its inexperience in defense to try and make that run possible.
In the midfield, seniors Skylar Carroll, Madison Araujo, and Juliana Rush give the Black Knights speed and stick skills to push forward and make the transitions that will break down opposing defenses. In the attack, senior Brittni Paul and juniors Haley Nelson and Sarah McGrath have a nose for being in the right spots around the goal to create scoring chances. While the defense is relatively new, junior Kayla Laboy will be back between the pipes to add leadership and organization at the back.
Stoughton coach Dan Mark said, “We have a good nucleus of returning players, but do have some inexperience defensively. I think the key to our team will be a strong offense.”
2018 Record: 8-7-4 2018 Result: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Liz Hathaway
The Tigers have made great strides as a program, becoming a regular in the state tournament and competing with the top teams in the Hock, but after graduating 10 seniors Taunton will have its work cut out to make sure that another playoff berth is secured this fall.
Junior forward Alana Tavares will carry a lot of the scoring load for the Tigers this season. Tavares led the team in scoring last year and showed that she can also play in the midfield to create opportunities for teammates. Senior Kathryn Robinson will move up from defense into the midfield and her stick skills added to her defensive mindset will give the Tigers cover on both ends of the field. In defense, junior Jocelyn Pagliuca returns to provide leadership and cover in the back line with her ability to step into a challenge.
“We graduated 10 seniors last year and have many players stepping up for this season,” said Taunton coach Liz Hathaway.