2017 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview

2017 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview
Sophomore attacker Sophia DiCenso (1) and Foxboro will be favorites for a sixth straight Davenport division crown this season but will face tough challenges from North Attleboro, Sharon, and Canton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 6-12
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Kevin Patton

Attleboro is still a relatively young program but has taken strides to be competitive with the rest of the teams in the Hockomock and first-year head coach Kevin Patton is hopeful that the large number of players at tryouts is a sign that the Bombardiers are heading in the right direction.

One of the reasons for Attleboro’s confidence coming into the spring is the experienced players that will take the field, including senior Mish Logie, who is a four-year varsity midfielder. Joining Logie as a captain for this year’s team is goalie Hadley Porreca, who is in her second year in net.

In addition. juniors Emily Patton and Ali Wall return in attack, while classmates Kim White and Graycen Cassidy will keep things tight on the defensive side of the ball. Midfield depth will be provided by sophomores Kyra Lyons and Alex Compton, who are both coming off strong rookie seasons on varsity. Freshman Sydney DiLiddo will also have the chance to step in and contribute in midfield this season and junior Ashlyn Salisbury and sophomore Shea Harrison will see time on defense.

“We had our largest player turnout in the program’s history,” said Patton, “and we have girls that want to work hard and succeed. With only two seniors on this year’s team, I will be looking to certain underclassmen to take on added leadership roles. This will help us not only this year but going forward.”

Canton

2016 Record: 8-9
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Christine O’Connor

Canton won five of its final seven games last season to get back to .500 and qualify for the state tournament and the Bulldogs will be hoping to carry that momentum over to this spring with a roster that features nine seniors and eight juniors.

Some of the key returning players for Canton this season include senior attacker Mary Kent, senior defender Tessa Cudmore, and senior goalie Kathryn Doody, who form a solid spine for the Bulldogs to build on. Caroline Hagan, Rebecca Eckler, and Maria Mackie are among the other seniors that will be contributing for Canton.

One of the younger players to watch is sophomore attacker Leah McClellan, who is one of several players that helped the girls’ hockey team reach the state title game at the TD Garden. Another sophomore, Maggie Malloy, has already had strong seasons for the field hockey and ice hockey teams and will provide depth this spring.

“We look to gain strength as the season progresses,” said O’Connor. “We will look to the seniors for leadership and intensity in order to be competitive.”

Foxboro

2016 Record: 16-5
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 2 East Semifinal
Coach: Brittany Sherry

Foxboro won its fifth straight Davenport division title last spring and returned to the Div. 2 South semifinal for the second straight season and expectations will be even higher this season for head coach Brittany Sherry, as the Warriors return 15 players to try and make it six league titles in a row.

Among the many experienced players coming back is an exciting core of sophomores that have made instant impacts, including the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Sophia DiCenso, who scored 65 goals and had 31 assists last year. Joining DiCenso up front will be classmates Caroline McGeary and Meghan Curran and juniors Jackie Brion and Catherine Luciano.

Defensively, senior Hallie Canfield will be back to anchor things and provide leadership. Junior Christina Rogers and sophomores Jenna Stamatov and Molly Murphy will also be back to limit opposing offenses. Freshman Sara Addeche will take over in goal and is another in a line of talented underclassmen that Sherry is excited to see develop over the course of the season.

“Our goals stay about the same every year, most importantly getting another round further!” Sherry said. “The last two years our season has ended in the semi finals but I’m hoping with the scheduling and tourney experience last year we will have the edge we need to get to the finals.”

Franklin

2016 Record: 19-5
2016 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 State Semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino

Another spring and another league title for Franklin, which completed another perfect season in the Hockomock and then carried that success into the playoffs to win a second Div. 1 East title with a dramatic, one-goal victory over Acton-Boxboro. Even though they only return five players, the Panthers enter the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and with sights set on challenging for a state title.

There is experience coming back for the Panthers with seniors Grace McDermott and Dana Lewandowski coming back to control things on the defensive end, while former Underclassman of the Year Kendall Reardon and fellow senior Caroline Lounsbury will provide leadership in the attack.

Franklin always seems to have players ready to step in and, despite there being a youth movement on the varsity team, the Panthers have already started 2-0 with wins against Needham and Lincoln-Sudbury. Sophomore midfielder Annie Walsh and her freshman sister Erin have both gotten off to strong starts with sophomore Halle Atkinson helping out with a hat trick in the win over L-S as well.

“I am very excited for the 2017 season!” said Igoe Guarino. “Our freshmen and sophomores bring a lot of energy and competitiveness to practice and games, while our juniors and seniors bring the discipline and experience. The two combined could bring us very far again this year!”

King Philip

2016 Record: 12-10
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Julie Boudreau

King Philip surprised some last spring when the Warriors went on the road to beat Westford Academy in the first round of the Div. 1 East tournament and that experience could pay dividends as KP returns a number of key players with the intent making a run at earning a first league title since 2012.

Senior Angela Vellante is back and head coach Julie Boudreau called her the “quarterback” for the attacking unit. Vellante will be looking to feed junior Katie Crowther, who was the team’s and the league’s leading scorer as a sophomore with 111 points. Senior Meghan Wagner was a starter as a freshman and scored in every game but missed the last two years with an injury and is now back to make an impact on offense.

KP can also count on a strong sophomore class led by a core of midfielders: Caroline Klim, Alli Meehan, Victoria and Olivia Tormey, and Dana Truini. Also back is sophomore goalie Caroline Watson behind a defense of juniors Molly Mullins, Christina Hathaway and Izzy Agricola. Also making a return is assistant coach Mary Pasquantonio, Boudreau’s sister, who brings experience as a former KP player and will help the current crop of Warriors on draw controls.

“We have a deep bench with many sophomores and will be looking to run lines and sub regularly to keep everyone fresh,” said Boudreau. “Our theme for the season is ‘grit=hard work + passion’.”

Mansfield

2016 Record: 5-11
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Alexis Kobey

Mansfield won its opening two games of the 2016 season, but the Hornets struggled during a difficult middle part of the spring and missed out on the state tournament. The Hornets showed flashes of potential during the year, including a close loss to perennial tournament team Hingham, and hopes are high that they can get back into the postseason this year.

Expectations are boosted by the return of a strong core of experience players. Senior Maire Foley will be a focal point of the Hornets attack this year, while classmate Maggie Dunn and junior Ann Maher will return in the midfield. Senior Jen McCabe will provide leadership in defense and sophomore Kaity Garvin will build off her rookie season in attack.

Among the new faces this spring are sophomore midfielders Maggie Danehy, who had a solid winter with the girls’ basketball team, and Lauren Whitman

“Our team really has been working together as a unit day one,” said head coach Alexis Kobey. “They came into the season ready to go and work on what they needed to work on to get better, from draw controls, ball movement, attack/defense they have been showing up everyday. They also really love playing with each other, working with each other, making each other better.”

Milford

2016 Record: 3-15
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Tim Dowd

It has been a tough run for Milford since moving to the Hockomock League, but the Hawks bring back an experienced roster for first-year head coach Tim Dowd and he is hopeful that the program will continue to improve over the course of the season.

Dowd’s excitement for the new season is in part built on the leadership of his senior class, including captains Taylor Dube, Jill Burley, and Jordyn Lombardo, who Dowd said would all have “incredible seasons.” He praised all three for their competitive spirits and for pushing their teammates to improve.

Another senior, Brainna Croteau, will be in charge of the defensive unit and Dowd is counting on the development of a talented group of sophomores and juniors. Milford also has two freshmen, Hannah Bangert and Anne Flanagan, who will be on the varsity roster this season and who Dowd thinks will make an impact.

“I think one of our strengths is going to be teamwork and work ethic,” said Dowd. “We want to be a team that goes the extra mile for each other and constantly works to win battles on the field. We’re going to try to outwork other teams. We’re going to try to focus on the little things to hopefully make big improvements.”

North Attleboro

2016 Record: 13-7
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 2 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Vitelli

Under first-year head coach Mike Vitelli (who had previously led King Philip to a Hockomock League title and a South final), North Attleboro made a jump into second place in the Kelley-Rex division and won 13 games, while reaching the playoffs for the first time. After a loss to eventual state champ Walpole, Vitelli has built up North’s schedule with perennial powers Notre Dame Academy, Natick, and Walpole to get the Rocketeers prepared for a tournament run.

North will clearly miss last year’s Player of the Year Hana Caster (who is now at UMass Lowell), the Rocketeers return a number of important players, including six of the team’s seven defenders. Seniors Samantha Taggart, Emily Schromm, Emma Cromidas, and Alaina Mello will provide an experienced defensive unit in front of junior goalie Kayla Moulin, who Vitelli believes will have a great season.

Up front, North will turn to junior Kenzie Rosenberg and senior Erin Holley, who had breakout seasons for the Rocketeers in 2016. Chloe Olsen, Julia Dakin, and Julia Tolfa will also be counted on to provide offense for North Attleboro, while Camille Pizzaro and freshman Katie Lindstrom will be newcomers to watch this spring.

“I really like the depth of our bench as well,” said Vitelli. “Lots of hybrid players who can play in many roles…Biggest question I’ve gotten this offseason has been ‘how can you replace Hana Caster?’ My response is we can’t. But that being said, I don’t think any player is replaceable…It just becomes an opportunity for other players to step in and make their mark.”

Oliver Ames

2016 Record: 8-11
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round
Coach: Abby Tepper

Oliver Ames reached the postseason last year by finishing second in the Davenport division and will look to build on that in 2017 in the Tigers first season in the Kelley-Rex and first season under new head coach Abby Tepper, who is only one year removed from the end of a very successful college playing career at Salve Regina and a solid first season as coach of the OA field hockey program this fall.

Tepper inherits a roster with several key returning players that provide a foundation for the Tigers, who won the opening two games of the spring. Junior captain Sofia Masciarelli will be the main attacking cog for OA this season with senior Katie Davenport back in the heart of the defense and junior goalie Ari Waldorf will be back between the pipes.

Also back for OA and expected to make a step up into the starting lineup are senior captain Kendall Clifford in the midfield, junior Chloe Kilkelly in the attack, and sophomore midfielder Olivia Piazza.

“The girls have been working hard each day at practice to prepare for the tough schedule they will face,” said Tepper. They continually improve their skills and lacrosse IQ each day. I have been impressed with how the girls have pushed one another to get better and have committed themselves to the program.”

Sharon

2016 Record: 10-9
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East First Round
Coach: Colleen Carchedi

In her second season in charge, Sharon head coach Colleen Carchedi (née Manning) led the Eagles to their first ever playoff appearance. On their home grass, the Eagles put in a great performance to battle perennial playoff competitor Bishop Feehan and the experience has generated a lot of excitement in the program as the new season begins.

Sharon has five key players returning from last season, including leading scorer Alex Rabb and twin sister Sam, who is one of the team’s top defensive players. Senior Anna Crosby will be the motor in the midfield and junior midfielder Sabrina Robbins has verbally committed to the University of Colorado. Carchedi said of Robbins, “She is someone who always gets the job done and deserves more credit than she gets. She is reliable and hard working, never afraid to take a risk.”

Sophomore Emma Eberhardt is another player coming back that Carchedi believes will be able to take on a much larger role this spring. Eberhardt will add size in the midfield and, particularly, on draw controls. Carchedi said, “She is an all around stud athlete and is for sure a player to watch.” Sophomore Rose Wald is a newcomer that takes over in goal.

“I know we are going to be a really well balanced team,” Carchedi added, noting that the Eagles had six different goal scorers in the season opener against Milford. “I am so excited for the season and ready to hit the ground running after a big game against my old high school, KP.”

Taunton

2016 Record: 2-16
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Kerry Northup

With a win against Norton on Monday, Taunton avenged a pair of losses to the Lancers from 2016 and is halfway to last year’s win total. The Tigers are still a young program at the varsity level and, as such, head coach Kerry Northup knows there will be a learning curve against Hockomock opponents, but she is also excited about the team’s potential.

The Tigers will turn to seniors Delaney Powell, Annie Tate, and Abbey Kingman to provide consistent offense this spring and all three had big games in the opener against Norton, combining for 12 of the team’s 17 goals. Powell led the way with six goals in the win and junior Lorna Li had 12 saves in another strong performance for the Tigers’ “confident” goalie.

Taunton also has plenty of youth that will be gaining valuable experience this spring, including three sophomores, a pair of freshmen, and three eighth graders. One of the eighth graders, Alana Tavares, made the most of her varsity debut on Monday, potting five goals against Norton and will be one of the newcomers to watch in the Hock this season.

“We have a solid group of girls this season,” said Northup. “Our strength players have a nice balance throughout the field from offense, mid, to defense. We are not a powerhouse team, but a team with passion, drive, and grit. These girls play to the end and don’t give up until that last whistle sounds.”

Remarkable Run Ends for Canton in State Title Game

Canton girls hockey
Sophomore Lauren Fitzpatrick (17) celebrates Canton’s second goal against Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the state title game at the TD Garden. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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BOSTON, Mass. – Heading into the third period down by a single goal to defending Div. 2 state champion Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), the Canton girls’ hockey team was probably thinking that it had the Cougars right where it wanted them.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Bulldogs (14-5-6), who entered the playoffs as the No. 14 seed, had shown a propensity for coming from behind to pull out wins during an improbable tournament run that had brought Canton all the way to the TD Garden for its first state title game appearance since 2006. Despite being behind by a goal, the Bulldogs remained confident.

“It was only 1-0 and we have come back from 1-0 games so many times,” said senior captain Rebecca Eckler. “We can get a goal in 30 seconds. We just knew that we can come back, we can do this, never give up and even with a minute left, we just cannot give up.”

Canton did come back and tied the game early in the third period. Andrea McNeil popped in a backhander on the rebound and fired up the large contingent of fans that made the trip up 93 for the early morning game.

However, the Cougars (23-0-1) responded just nine seconds later to regain the lead and freshman Katherine Pyne caught fire, scoring all four of NDA’s goals in the third period, while classmate Skyler Irving added a goal and three assists. The Cougars skated to a 5-2 victory and back-to-back state titles, despite a roster that has zero seniors.

“To see them tie the game, we could have crumbled,” said NDA coach Jean-Yves Roy, “and things could have gone south for us but I think it showed a lot of character and bounced back very next shift and we just kept rolling from there.”

Defense has been the strength of the Bulldogs all season. Sunday’s final was only the second time this year that Canton allowed an opponent to score more than two goals in a game and the first time since Barnstable scored four all the way back in December. That defense was put to the test against the high-scoring Cougars.

Junior goalie Colleen Kelleher stood tall to make an early save on a scoring opportunity for Emma Duffey, but six minutes into the game Irving reacted first to a rebound and was able to finish for a 1-0 lead. Pyne also had Kelleher beat two minutes later only to see her shot come back off the crossbar.

Kelleher made nine saves in the first and the Bulldogs grew into the game as the opening period wore on. Sophomores Katie Trerice and Leah McClellan, senior Molly McLaughlin, and freshman Alexa Maffeo all making solid plays to limit the Cougars to shots from the edges and the forwards starting the defensive effort with an aggressive forecheck.

“We thought we had a pretty good grasp on what they wanted to do and it kind of in a way fit into what we do anyways,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “A couple times they almost stuttered with the puck because we were taking away their wide wings and stuff like that.”

Sophomore Lauren Fitzpatrick had Canton’s best chance of the first period with a solo rush up the right side and a shot from the circle that was blocked aside.

Canton took control in the second period and started to create scoring chances by forcing turnovers in the neutral zone. McNeil had a good chance just a minute into the second but her rush to the net was blocked at the last second. Five minutes later, Trerice had a shot through traffic batted away and Ava Bevilacqua took the rebound the length of the ice and forced Kelleher into a save.

Kendra Farrelly nearly created the tying goal with seven minutes left in the second but her initial rush was tipped away by NDA goalie Erin Murray in the crease and Farrelly’s deflected follow-up was well saved by Murray. Three minutes later, Farrelly again created an opening down the left but her shot through the crease could not be tapped in at the back post by Fitzpatrick.

“These girls’ heads never drop,” said Aldrich. “There’s no panic. Our mantra all along has been attitude and focus and it’s not if it’s going to happen but when and how.”

Just two minutes into the third period, Canton’s seemingly stole the momentum for the game with the tying goal. McNeil pounced on a rebound off a shot by Fitzpatrick and planted it top shelf.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Aldrich said, “When we tied, I don’t think the girls were surprised, I certainly wasn’t surprised. I’ve seen them do it over and over again.”

NDA won the ensuing face-off and the puck slid all the way down into the Canton zone. Pyne showed off her speed to react first to the loose puck and she buried the chance for a 2-1 lead. The game was tied for only nine seconds.

“It was just one of those squirter pucks,” said Aldrich. “There’s no one at fault, no one to blame, just one of those squirters that happen. When you’ve got someone like the Pyne girl swarming around like a shark, she smells the blood and she can finish.”

Pyne added a second goal a little more than a minute later, but again Canton showed the resiliency to fight back. Fitzpatrick turned in the high slot and flung a shot at goal that took a funny bounce and ended up in the back of the net.

NDA responded quickly to regain the two-goal advantage. Pyne’s wraparound effort slid under the pads of Kelleher, who appeared to have it covered until she was bumped but the goal was given. With 2:26 left, Pyne added her fourth and the team’s fifth to seal the title.

Despite the disappointment of losing Sunday’s final, Rebecca Eckler reflected on what it meant just to get to that round. She said, “The journey here was just as awesome as it was being here. We never gave up in any games and all our hard work paying off and to come here…it was just awesome. I’m so proud of everyone and we did our best.”

Aldrich noted that three years ago, the Bulldogs won just three games. He praised the leadership of the seniors for getting the program to this point. “These guys, especially Rebecca and Kristen (Eckler) being our leaders, kept everyone focused on what we wanted and needed to do as a program. We got consistently better each game,” he said.

Aldrich added, “I coached boys’ hockey for 13 years and these guys, no offense to the boys, have taught me more in five…I’m just very, very grateful and proud to go on a run like this.”

When asked what it was like to skate on the TD Garden ice, Kristen Eckler said, “When we first stepped onto it, I couldn’t wait for that moment. I’ve been thinking about it all week, you step out there and you see your town, you see your parents, you see your family, it’s just awesome to have this experience.”

She joked, “If you told me a month and a half ago that I’d be playing at the Boston Garden, I would probably slap you or something because I wouldn’t believe it…It was just so much heart, soul, and hard work, blood, sweat and tears…that’s just our team.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/11/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Basketball
D2 South Final
#1 Foxboro, 47 vs. #7 Westwood, 38 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Girls Hockey
Division 2
#14 Canton, 3 vs. #11 Winchester, 2 – FinalCanton erased a one-goal deficit on two different occasions and then found the winner in the final seconds. After Winchester went up just over two minutes into the game, Canton sophomore Lauren Fitzpatrick tied the game less than two minutes into the second period. Winchester took a 2-1 lead but senior Rebecca Eckler tied the game with just over five minutes left in the middle frame. Canton took a timeout with 15.4 seconds left in the game with a face off in the offensive zone. The Bulldogs won, got a shot on goal and Eckler pushed the rebound in as she fell to the ice with 10.8 seconds to play. Canton advances to the D2 State Semifinal to take on #7 Westwood on Wednesday at 7:15 at Gallo.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/21/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Hockey
North Attleboro, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalSophomore Anthony Zammiello and freshman Jack Connolly each scored a goal and had in an assist in the first period for the Rocketeers.

Canton, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalFreshman John Hagan netted a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs to a division win on the road. Stoughton head coach said goalie AJ Scott played well in goal for the Black Knights.

Franklin, 5 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

King Philip, 0 @ Walpole, 6 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalOliver Ames’ Cullen Gallagher registered three points, with two goals and an assist to pace the hosting Tigers. Juniors Eric LeBlanc and Rory Madden each had a goal while senior Jared Costello had two assists. OA Goalie Zach Walsh made nine saves to record his first shutout of the season.

Wrestling
St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (Canton) – Canton went 0-2 at the meet, falling to both Lynnfield-North Reading and St. John’s Shrewsbury.

Foxboro @ Duxbury Quad – Foxboro went 2-0-1 on the day. The Warriors rolled past Quincy 70-6 then beat No. 8 ranked Marshfield 42-33. Foxboro finished the day with a 39-39 tie with No. 4 ranked Methuen.

Franklin @ Merrimack Duals, – Franklin finished second out of 11 teams at the team duals, going 4-1 overall. Franklin beat Biddeford (Maine) 48-19, Alvirne (N.H.) 46-22, St. Johnsbury (Vt.) 49-6, and Lawrence (Mass.) 40-20. The Panthers lost to Marshwood (Maine) 45-18 in the final match.

Whitman-Hanson Quad (King Philip, Sharon) – Sharon went 3-0 at the Whitman-Hanson Quad. The Eagles beat KP to start the day, 51-21, and then followed it with wins against North Quincy (60-24) and Whitman-Hanson (54-18).

Cape Cod Invitational (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield claimed the team title at the Cape Cod Invitational with 136.5 points. Freshmen Antonios Sevastos (106) and Vinnie Holmes (170) both finished first at their weight classes, while Will Stratton (126) and Ford DelVecchio (22) both took second place finishes. Taunton had three wrestlers place: Alex Rodriguez (138) placed second, Nuno Camara placed (182) was third and Woudanly Danger (220) placed fourth.

Milford @ Hopkinton, 10:00AM

Gymnastics
Canton, 120.8 @ Franklin, 123.4 – FinalFranklin junior Liz Traphagen won the all around with a 34.7 – scoring a 8.3 on vault, 8.7 on bars and beam and a 9.0 on floor – to lead the Panthers to their first win since reestablishing the program. Sophomore Sadie Rondeau was second in all around with a 33.2 – scoring an 8.1 on vault, 7.4 on bars, 8.0 on beam and 8.2 on floor.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 4 vs. Sandwich, 2 – FinalSenior Rebecca Eckler scored two goals while sophomore Maggie Malloy added two assists.

Franklin, 4 @ Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 11 – Final

King Philip, 6 @ St. Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia, 0 – Final

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – Final

Stoughton, 2 vs. Quincy/North Quincy, 11 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro, 128 vs. Lowell, 119 – Final

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/18/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Basketball
Milford, 51 vs. Hopedale, 19 – FinalMilford junior Kate Irwin had a team-high 12 points while Emma Liskov added 10 points and Emily Piergustavo chipped in with nine points.

Hockey
Canton, 1 vs. Medfield, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Mansfield, 9 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalMansfield had 15 different players register a point in a big win over Foxboro. Cullin Anastasia had two goals and two assists to lead the Hornets while Patrick McCafferty and Matt Farragher each netted a pair of goals. Tim Arnold, Adam Anastos, James Bezeau and Dylan Tivnan each registered two points as well.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalTaunton battled to take a 3-2 lead through two periods and then finished off the Panthers in the third period. The Tigers scored an early third period goal to go up 4-2 before Franklin cut the deficit to one with 2:11 to play. However, Taunton scored an empty netter from its defensive zone with 34 seconds to go to ice the game. Zack Albert had four points, registering three assists and scored the game-winning goal. Nick Terry scored twice and had one assist while Jordan Hoey and Mike Volkmann each scored once. Justin Chappell made 24 saves to earn the win.

King Philip, 2 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final

Wrestling
Sharon, 29 @ Canton, 31 – Final

Foxboro, 54 @ Stoughton, 21 – Final

Oliver Ames, 12 @ Franklin, 44 – FinalOliver Ames received wins from Liston Funai (138), Dean Pacini (195) and Jack Mills (285).

Taunton, 28 @ King Philip, 51 – FinalTaunton picked up wins from Josh Alves (106), Josh Grasso (126), Elijah Simmons (195), Woudanly Danger (220) and Mason Frank (285).

Milford, 6 @ North Attleboro, 51 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Nick Gould earned his 100th career win in the Rocketeers’ victory.

Swimming
Boys
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:30
Milford @ Canton, 5:00
Franklin, 45 @ Taunton, 49 – Final
Mansfield, 88 @ Oliver Ames, 95 – Final

Girls
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:30
Milford @ Canton, 5:00
Franklin @ Taunton, 4:00
Mansfield, 91.5 @ Oliver Ames, 87.5 – Final

Gymnastics
Sharon @ King Philip, 7:30

Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 2 – FinalCanton twice battled back from a one goal deficit, including scoring the tying goal inside the final two minutes to earn the tie. Sophomore Lauren Fitzpatrick and senior Rebecca Eckler each scored a goal for the Bulldogs.

Franklin, 0 vs. Medfield, 4 – Final

King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 – Final

Maher, Todesco Help Mansfield Ice Canton

Mansfield girls lacrosse
Julia Todesco (right) scored three goals and made several defensive plays to help Mansfield improve to 2-0 on the season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – The wind was whipping across Alumni Field on Wednesday afternoon and it felt more like the middle of the winter than the start of spring, but the turf was clear of snow and so Mansfield and Canton each took the field for the second time this season.

It took a little longer than usual for the two teams to warm up, the first half was dominated by turnovers and misplaced passes, but in the end the teams went right down to the wire. Seniors Caroline Maher and Julia Todesco each scored hat tricks for the Hornets to pull out a 10-8 victory and push Mansfield to 2-0 on the season.

Mansfield coach Alexis Kobey was not surprised that her upperclassmen led the way on Wednesday. She said, “Both Julia and Caroline played amazing. Claire Maroney anchored our defense back there…Those three are really the backbone of our team. They anchor everything for us.”

Things did not start well for the hosts. Canton opened the scoring nearly four minutes in when Caroline Hagen bounced a shot past Mansfield goalie Tori Lawlor. Jill Pulutchko answered off a feed from Katie Garvin to tie it for the Hornets two minutes later, but Canton came right back with the first of two goals by senior Casey Bradley, on an assist by Abby Colburn.

Todesco and then Maher went back-to-back for Mansfield to give the Hornets their first lead of the game at 3-2 but then Bradley tied the game and classmate Mary Nee smacked the post on a quick break. On her next chance, Nee went over the top of Lawlor (10 saves, seven in first half) to make it 4-3 Bulldogs.

Midway through the first half, Kobey made a change on the draws. She put Todesco on the initial draw and moved Maher up to the edge of the circle with Maggie Dunn and occasionally freshman Emily Vigeant to try and gain control. The switch worked and the Hornets won 8-11 draw controls in the first half and 14-20 for the game.

“We kind of switched it around to get different looks and Emily Vigeant, a freshman, we were trying to get her some looks on the draw,” said Kobey. “But Caroline is so good with those one-handed catches, she has such a good eye.”

Lawlor made a huge kick save to block a chance from Bradley with 9:25 left in the half and two minutes later Maher spun past her marker to tie the game at 4-4. Vigeant put Mansfield ahead at halftime, 6-4, with a pair of goals, the first of her career.

The first came off a turnover that she forced directly in front of Canton goalie Kathryn Doody and the second after she had earned a free position opportunity.

“Her first varsity goals, so that’s big for her,” said Kobey. “She was excited. Her and Katie Garvin are our two freshmen and they came right in and made an impact on the game.”

Canton came out of halftime with renewed energy and immediately got back into the game. Just 1:43 after the break, Colburn took advantage of a restart with Lawlor out of the cage and found Rebecca Eckler alone in front to make it 6-5.

Mansfield pressed forward looking to extend the lead but was denied by Doody, who made seven of her 12 saves in the second half, including four in the opening six minutes. Her stops allowed the Bulldogs to tie the game with 19:48 left on Nee’s second of the game.

“She had a great game; a few big saves,” said Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor of Doody. “She really stepped up and had a great game.”

O’Connor added, “I thought they did a good job in the second half of kind of pulling it together. We’re still kind of early on in the season, so we’re still trying to work some things out.”

Mansfield took less than a minute to regain the lead. Todesco forced a turnover in the defensive zone and started a quick transition that went from Mary Folan to Dunn for a 7-6 lead.

Olivia Devoe answered right back for Canton from a free position chance, but then Todesco scored two in a row, both slicing across the Bulldogs’ defense, to put the Hornets ahead 9-7.

Maroney picked up a card and Canton had an extra player on the field, but the Bulldogs struggled to make the advantage pay. Finally, Nee made a steal on defense and sparked a quick transition. Bradley picked out Hagen in the middle and she cut the lead to just one with 10:57 left.

O’Connor said, “I think it took us a little while to figure out to double team on the man down, but they did a good job of starting to pressure. Our shooting – we hit the post a couple of times, had a couple of overthrows but overall I’m happy with how they played.”

As the clock wound down under six minutes remaining, Canton was probing for the tying goal. The Bulldogs had more than a minute of sustained pressure, but the Mansfield defense was staying with cutters and not allowing good looks. The one chance that the Bulldogs had was stopped by Lawlor.

“I think that’s what really saved us, making that save that gave them the extra confidence,” said Kobey. “When the goalie saved, they’re like yeah! When we went to the timeout, we had the lead and I told them it’s our game.”

Todesco made another play, this time on the defensive side of the game, when she scooped up a ground ball to end Canton’s possession. The play transitioned into the attack and Maher capped her hat trick with a finish that made it 10-8 with 5:17 to play.

The game was sloppy at times, but Kobey admitted that the conditions were at least partly to blame. She explained, “The cold conditions are tough because the blood’s not flowing a much and your hands are freezing and you can’t feel the stick.”

O’Connor is in her first year as head coach and has started with back-to-back losses to perennial power Franklin and now Mansfield. Despite the defeats, she is pleased with how the team is coming together.

She said, “Starting off with Franklin is difficult, but I was happy with how they came back and stayed in this game. It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but I was happy with the fight the whole game…baby steps.”

Mansfield will put its perfect (2-0) record on the line on Friday against King Philip. Canton will be looking for its first win on Friday when it hosts Taunton for the first time.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.