Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Grace Mayer, Attleboro
Andrea McNeil, Canton
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Riley Brown, Canton
Emily Campbell, Canton
Jackie Brion, Foxboro
Lily Daly, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Catherine Luciano, Foxboro
Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Abby Campbell, King Philip
Elizabeth Furfari, King Philip
Alli Meehan, King Philip
Ann Maher, Mansfield
Nicole Berluti, Mansfield
Shannon Cormier, Milford
Emilie Pothier, North Attleboro
Kaley Gorman, North Attleboro
Sarah Stevens, Oliver Ames
Hannah Stryke, Oliver Ames
Leora Levitt, Sharon
Kamryn Oliveira, Stoughton
Kya Enos, Taunton
Liana Duarte, Taunton
SOMERSET, Mass. – Just over four minutes into the first overtime period, Somerset-Berkley junior Lucas Crook gained possession alone to the left of Canton’s net and fired a shot that smacked against the back of the cage, giving the top-seeded Raiders a 3-2 win over the visiting Bulldogs.
While overtime game-winners are pretty common throughout the playoffs, this one stung a little bit more. Not only did it come in the D1 South Semifinal, or in a game in which the Bulldogs felt they were the better team, but it came off the stick of one of two boys in the Raiders’ lineup.
“I think we were the better team,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “I think they shouldn’t have boys on their team, it’s ridiculous. Just ridiculous. You saw the game, we were the better team. How do you play against that?”
While the Bulldogs’ game plan had worked through 60 minutes, keeping Crook off the scoresheet, the Somerset-Berkley junior had his hand in creating over a half dozen offensive chances for the Raiders.
A prime example came with just eight minutes to play, in a tie game. Crook carried for possession for nearly 20 yards, beating at least two Canton defenders and drawing a third with his speed and stick handling skills. Once he drew the third defender, he sent a pass to Kara Desjarlais but Canton goalie Riley Brown came sliding out for one of her 13 saves.
And Alex Millar, the other male player that patrolled the left back position for Somerset-Berkley, stopped no less than the same amount of chances, using his speed to thwart a handful of breakouts by Canton.
“Of course [it got too physical], of course it did,” O’Connor added. “The officials didn’t keep control of it. Had they kept control of it, I think the outcome would have been different in regulation. I think it’s too bad for a team that clearly had better skill.
“I think the boys were too physical, I thought they were altogether too physical.”
The unbeaten Raiders (21-0) had an ideal start, scoring just over two minutes into the game. Desjarlais got the last touch out of a scrum in front to take an early lead.
But Canton didn’t let the early deficit rattle its confidence, even after its first two penalty corners were turned away. Just over seven minutes in, during their second spell of offense, the Bulldogs cashed in.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Goyetch continued her hot streak in the playoffs, using a hard hit backhand shot that was deflected by the goalie and into the net to make it 1-1.
After back and forth action over the next 20 minutes, the Raiders seized the lead with just over three minutes left in the first half. After some offensive pressure, the ball was centered and Megan Salsinha found the back of the net.
Canton came out with a strong intensity in the second half, earning four corners early on.
In the 40th minute, the Bulldogs cashed in on one of those corners. An original shot was turned away by a great diving save by the Raiders’ goalie, but Goyetch collected the rebound and buried it into the back of the net to tie the game.
“I’m so proud of them, so proud. They just stuck in there and kept on going all the way to the end. I thought we were the better skilled team, the better overall team. I think, unfortunately, until the MIAA gets their act together and makes some changes, that’s what’s going to happen.”
The Raiders had six penalty corners in the second half but Canton’s defense, along with Brown, thwarted all chances.
“Riley played great, I think our defense played such an outstanding game,” O’Connor said. “We came in with a great game plan, I think it really took away their focus which is on the two boys. I think we did a great job of taking that away. They were able to put one in at the end but I think we were the better team.”
Crook scored with 10:57 to play in the first overtime period for the winner.
“When you have a club option, and you have kids playing club field hockey, this should no longer be an option,” O’Connor said about the boys. “Clearly there is a difference in the physicality.”
Canton field hockey finishes the season 16-4-1 while the Raiders advance to the D1 South Sectional final to take on Hockomock League Kelley-Rex champions, King Philip, on Saturday at Taunton High School.
The tie clinches the Bulldogs at least a share in the Davenport division title – the program’s first Hock title since 2013 – and a chance to win it outright with a win or tie against Stoughton night on Wednesday.
“We talked about the opportunity [to clinch] and to just play their game and to not overthink things,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “Thanks to HockomockSports, the girls are all well aware where they stand. We tried not to make it too much of a focus. But in the second half, it was a little more about the urgency.”
“It was important to not get too crazy if we let up a goal. Sometimes mentally it can be tough to come back in the big games.”
Although Foxboro is mathematically still alive for a share of the title, the Warriors would need to beat North Attleboro and a win from the Black Knights over Canton. If the Warriors had picked up a win over visiting Canton on Monday, the two teams would be tied for first heading into the final game.
“It kind of feels like a loss because they played so well and gave so much effort that you want the win,” said Foxboro head coach Melissa Bordieri. “But we’re putting ourselves in a good position to compete in the tournament, which is always next level hockey.
“I’m really psyched with how we played in the second half, you want to be a second half team. But I’m really pleased with how we played today and how we look going into the tournament.”
Despite being of the two top scoring squads in the Hockomock League, the two teams showed off why they are two of the stingiest in terms of goals against in the first half.
Foxboro had the lone shot on net in the opening five minutes but Riley Brown turned away Sophia DiCenso’s bid. Just minutes later, Foxboro got the ball behind the Canton defense but Brown came charging out and kicked it clear.
Canton had the lone two corners of the first half. The first, with just over 13 minutes left in the opening stanza, was denied when Foxboro’s defense was quick to get out and clear it out.
The second came with just over a minute to play, but once again Foxboro’s players were quick off the line and thwarted any chance before Canton could get a shot off.
“We worked on our defense,” Bordieri said. “We knew they were fast, we knew they were very skilled so we were prepared in how to play them. I thought the defense came up huge for us today.”
After a pedestrian first half, the second half started with a flurry of chances. Foxboro had three straight corner chances in the opening minutes.
The first two chances each resulted in a shot, but neither found the back of the cage. But on the third attempt, the ball popped out of a scrum in front. Junior Carly Stern placed a shot on net and just beat the diving effort of Brown to give Foxboro a 1-0 lead.
“I think we just needed to settle,” Bordieri said of the strong start to the second half. “I think we knew what we wanted to do, and knew what we could do, we just needed to settle and really start playing our game. We were kind of rushing it, and I thought we played with more poise in the second half.”
Foxboro’s defense limited the visiting Bulldogs to just one corner in the second half, and one shot on goal, but Canton made the most of its chance.
While in the attacking end, Foxboro was whistled for a foot infraction. Canton sophomore Kaitlyn Goyetch quickly took the restart, sending the ball into the circle where senior Andrea McNeil got a perfect touch, tipping it past the outstretched effort of Foxboro’s Kelli McCarthy.
“I think the girls were thinking about the Davenport (title) in the first half and sometimes that stresses you out,” O’Connor said. “But we just told them to stay composed and play their game. And they were able to pull it back together.
“It was perfect timing, it came when we needed it. Nice hit, nice tip, nice position by everyone.”
Foxboro’s best chance to regain the lead came with just over 13 minutes to play. Off of Lily Daly’s corner, Jackie Brion stopped the pass and Catherine Luciano unleashed a shot. DiCenso got a tip in traffic but the ball bounced off the post and stayed out.
The Warriors had seven corners in the second half alone, but Canton’s defense did well to prevent any other goals.
“I thought our defense is an outstanding job against them, especially with their goal scorers like Lily [Daly],” O’Connor said. “I thought they did a very good job of limiting her opportunities in the circle.”
Canton field hockey (13-3-1 overall, 12-2-1 Hockomock) can clinch the Davenport title outright with either a win or tie against Stoughton on Wednesday at 6:30. Foxboro (12-3-1, 11-3-1) concludes its league schedule by hosting North Attleboro on Wednesday.
CANTON, Mass. – After a stretch of 12 Hockomock League titles in 14 seasons, Canton has gone three seasons since its last Davenport crown. The Bulldogs took a step towards reclaiming their spot atop the division standings on Wednesday night at World War II Veterans Memorial Field thanks to strong goaltending and a freshman stepping up in a big moment.
In a back-and-forth game with defending league and Div. 2 South champ Foxboro, the Bulldogs finally got on the board with 12 minutes left to tie the score. Four minutes later, Meghan LaBelle popped up at the back post, followed up a sliding save by Warriors goalie Kelli McCarthy (six saves), to scramble home the game-winner.
With the 2-1 victory, Canton moves one game ahead of Foxboro in the loss column and four points ahead of the Warriors in the Davenport. The two teams will meet again in the penultimate game of the season.
Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor said, “In a game like that, when you have a goal that maybe shouldn’t have gone in, I think the mental toughness to bring them back to get over that goal and move on from there and play your game. That was the best game I’ve seen them play, definitely.”
The teams battled through a first half that saw very few scoring opportunities. Foxboro dominated the opening 15 minutes, but the Bulldogs came back and took control in the second part of the first half. It was while the hosts were on the front foot that Foxboro struck.
Lily Daly collected the ball on the left edge of the circle, spun to her forehand, and fired a low shot through traffic that snuck inside the far corner. The Bulldogs were spurred into action by going behind and senior forward Andrea McNeil had two chances to equalize before halftime only to be denied by McCarthy, the reigning league MVP.
“They kind of changed things up and came at us,” said Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri. “They took away our left side, which was working so well for us and I think one of our mistakes was trying to force it down the left side instead of making that transition and going right.”
While the first half saw almost no scoring chances for either team, the second half was filled with shots on goal and both goalies were kept busy.
Maggie Malloy had the first chance for the Bulldogs but her backhanded shot went just wide. Foxboro came right back with an intricate corner from Daly to Jackie Brion to Catherine Luciano back to Brion, but the shot went inches wide of the corner past the dive of Canton goalie Riley Brown (nine saves).
Daly had a chance for a second but Brown kicked aside her redirect and then blocked the rebound effort by Molly Murphy. Malloy created a chance with a long run to the end line and tried to cut it back for Emily Campbell, but the ball skidded through the crease and out the other side untouched.
The Bulldogs had a great move denied by the official’s whistle midway through the second half. Campbell flicked a pass to Katie Trerice, who fired a pass into the middle to McNeil and the ball ended up in the back of the net, but was waived off.
Foxboro had the next opportunity, looking to put the game away with 15 minutes remaining. Brown was forced to deny Sophia DiCenso, Murphy, and Luciano in quick succession to keep Canton in it. The Bulldogs nearly capitalized right away but McCarthy slid across goal to block a chance for Molly Cummings.
Less than a minute later, with 12:40 on the clock, Canton tied the game. McNeil was on hand at the back post to finish off an inch-perfect cross.
“It’s always a tough battle; it’s always evenly matched,” O’Connor said. ‘So, to get them to see that we can score, then it’s lets go get them again.”
When asked about the impact of her goalie on the team’s mentality, O’Connor replied, “Just to know that we can push more into offense because we trust our goalie back there is a game-changer. It makes all the difference to have someone back there who you can trust to make those initial saves.”
Four minutes after tying the game, Canton went in front for the first time. Again, it was a ball played in from the right side, this time off the pads of McCarthy and all the way to the back post where LaBelle was in perfect position to tap it home.
“It’s so frustrating,” admitted Bordieri. “It was so back-and-forth and I felt like we did a lot of great things and to be so evenly matched and they capitalized on two mistakes we made.”
The game was hardly over. Foxboro had one more chance to try and steal a point with two minutes to play. Again the Warriors showed off a well-planned corner to work a chance for DiCenso, but the junior’s shot was sent narrowly wide of the post with Brown stranded.
“I think the second [goal] was harder to regroup [from],” Bordieri said. “A couple of players were gassed…but I think we did a good job of it. We almost scored on that [corner]. If she had gotten that on net, Riley was so far to the left then it was a tie game.”
At the final whistle, the Canton players charged onto the field to celebrate, knowing that this was an important game against a title rival. “I think seeing that they can take it to the next level with a team that is so successful and has some strong returning players and such a strong goalie,” O’Connor said about the impact of this victory.
“We’ll see how that pushes them for the rest of the season that they see that they can beat these strong teams.”
Today’s games are listed below.
Stoughton, 0 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final
Canton, 2 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Mansfield netted a pair of goals in each half in a win over visiting Canton. Senior Sam Hyland finished with a goal and three assists to pace the Hornets. Hyland opened the scoring 10 minutes into the match, taking a through ball from Luke Savoie. Five minutes later, Nick Wisnieski netted his first goal, finishing a throw from Hyland. Early in the second half, Wisnieski made it 3-0 off a cross from Hyland but Canton quickly made it a one-goal game. Junior Griffin Roach scored a pair of goals in a 10-minute span to make it 3-2 but Jared Gabrilowitz nodded home a throw from Hyland in the 79th minute to ice the game.
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – King Philip found the game winner in the final five minutes for the second straight game. Tony Bozza played a 1-2 combination with senior Thomas Lugten to get in behind the defense and the junior calmly finished in the 78th minute to give the Warriors two points.
Milford, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin netted a pair of second half goals to erase a one goal deficit to earn its first win of the 2017 season. Milford’s Andre Oliveira put the visitors ahead in the first half but Franklin drew level midway through the second half. Sophomore Jacob Cummings made it 1-1 before the Panthers found the winner in the final two minutes. Sophomore Sam Stowell buried a penalty kick for the game-winner. Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Lucas Caetano had a strong game for the Hawks at left back.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Taunton netted the go-ahead goal with less than five minutes to play but North Attleboro found an equalizer with just two minutes to play to earn a draw. The Tigers took the lead in the fourth minute when Francois Hennaux capitalized on a ball over the top and scored on a breakaway. North tied the game in the 60th minute when Gabe Pinhancos volleyed home a cross from Connor MacIver. The Tigers regained the lead when Liam Crowley buried a penalty kick but Pinhancos netted his second, again on a volley, on a cross from junior Joe Hilf.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored twice late in the second half to earn two points against Sharon. After hitting the post twice, the Tigers converted when senior Matt Alvarado’s cross found classmate Brandin Osborne, who buried his chance in front. Just before the halftime whistle, Alvarado found Nathaniel Cardoza, who rocketed his shot off the crossbar and in from distance for OA’s second goal.
Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game.
Mansfield, 5 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Cassidy McMahon scored a brace for the Hornets, including the eventual game-winner in the second half, to help the Hornets hold off Canton in what Mansfield coach Kevin Smith called “a great game.” Bryn Anderson opened the scoring for the Hornets and Emily Vigeant added a second off a free kick. Canton got one back before McMahon scored her first for a 3-1 halftime lead. The Bulldogs again cut the lead to one but McMahon’s second made it 4-2. With five minutes left, Canton made it a one-goal game, but Emma Oldow sealed the points with Mansfield’s fifth.
King Philip, 4 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final KP scored three goals in the opening 12 minutes of the second half to overcome a one-goal deficit and make it four wins in four games. Ally Stanton scored the opener for KP off an assist by Avery Snead. Foxboro took the lead before halftime as Jordyn Collins scored off a Lily Sykes assist and the returned the favor by assisting on a Sykes goal. Chloe Layne tied it four minutes into the second half off an Emma Corcoran pass and then assisted on a goal by Snead three minutes later to take the lead for good. Five minutes later, Makayla Griffin scored off an Abby Baker assist to wrap up the scoring.
Franklin, 1 @ Milford, 0 – Final – According to Milford coach Jay Mastaj, Brianna Braza, Rachel LeBlanc and Maddie Boyle played well on defense and Julianna France and Leeanne Kibbee had good games in what he called, “a strong team effort.”
Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro’s offense clicked on Monday, creating 21 shots and 11 corners. Haley Guertin opened the scoring in the first half off an Emily Chiasson assist, then created a second goal for Leah Jette. Jette then set up Ashley Gaulin to make it 3-0 and Britta MacDonald closed out the scoring off an assist by Meghan Slaney. Rachel Labonte played well defensively to secure the clean sheet.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Jackie Mills scored a brace for the Tigers, while Briana Gibson and Abby Hodges each added a goal apiece. Ally Filipkowski scored on a header off a Bridget McManus pass and Sabrina Robbins scored her first varsity goal off an assist by Bella Berger. All six goals were scored in the final 25 minutes of the game.
Attleboro, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Attleboro’s Grace Mayer and Alex Compton each recorded a hat trick in the Bombardiers win on the road. Abigail Boudreau added the other goal for Attleboro while Katie Pelletier turned away eight shots for the shutout.
King Philip, 2 @ Canton, 0 – Final – King Philip finally broke through in the second half, netting a pair of goals to beat Canton on the road. The Warriors had a large advantage in shots in the game. Alli Meehan opened the scoring with 12 minutes left in the game and then Christina Hathaway added an insurance goal, finishing a corner on an assist from Dana Truini with less than three minutes to play. Canton senior goalie Riley Brown made 25 saves, including denying a penalty stroke.
Franklin, 1 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game.
Mansfield, 1 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Mansfield’s Tori Farrington scored the lone goal of the game, finding the back of the net just before the midway point of the second half to help the Hornets earn a win on the road. Mansfield’s Kayla Hunter made four saves in the second half to preserve the shutout. Stoughton’s Gianna Barbosa made 15 saves in net for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 6 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Taunton senior Kya Enos found the back of the four times and registered one assist to lead the Tigers to a big win on the road. Enos scored Taunton’s first two goals, the latter on an assist from freshman Alana Tavares. Diana Brens made it 3-0 on a feed from Enos and then Enos scored two straight goals, the first from Jillian Pagliuca. Lauren Torres capped the scoring with an assist from Mabel Smith. Junior Emma Sheehan made seven saves in the win. THS head coach Liz Hathaway said Smith, Tavares and Kathryn Robinson had strong games for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Kayla Lozzi and Liz Nuss each scored for Oliver Ames while Caitlin Grant made nine saves to help the Tigers earn a tie on the road.
Stoughton, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Stoughton senior captain Val Whalen combined with juniors Molly Turner and Hanna Holden for 37 service points. SHS coach Erica Batchelder said solid defense from the entire Black Knight squad led the team to the win.
Canton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield recorded a sweep over visiting, earning a key win in the second set to get the win (25-18, 29-27, 25-16). For Mansfield, Julia Harrison had 14 kills and eight digs, Lexi Gardner had 18 service points, Meg Hill added 11 kills and 12 service points and Jolie O’Neil had nine digs. CHS head coach Pat Cawley said sophomore Taylor Harris had a good all around game with great serving including four aces, three blocks, and four kills. Hannah Jerrier added four kills and five blocks for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip earned a 25-10, 25-17, 25-6 sweep over the visiting Warriors of Foxboro. Rachel Veilleux led the way with 21 assists and 15 service points, Sydney Phillips added 11 kills and three digs, Michael Palumbo finished with five kills and five aces and Elise Pereira chipped in with four digs and three aces.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – North Attleboro picked up a win on the road with a 25-17, 22-25, 25-10, 25-13 decision over Taunton. Kezia De La Cruz recorded a team-high 18 kills and added six aces for the Rocketeers while Amelia Murphy added seven kills and four aces.
Sharon, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Sharon pulled out its second straight five set win, this time on the road at Oliver Ames (14-25, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 15-6). Oliver Ames’ Sadie Homer had 19 digs and two aces, sophomore Ally Kemp had 33 assists and three aces, senior Katie Flynn had 10 kills, senior Jackie Kandar added eight kills and three assisted blocks and sophomore Jordyn Vella chipped in with seven blocks and four kills.
Canton, 155 @ Milford, 166 – Final – Canton’s Jack Goyetch earned match medalist honors, carding a low-round of 37 as the Bulldogs opened the season with a win. Joey Vaughan shot a 38 for Canton. Milford’s Riley Lynch had a team-low round of 39.
Sharon, 155 @ North Attleboro, 150 – Final
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2017 Hockomock Field Hockey Preview
2016 Record: 4-13-1
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Lindsay Antunes
After registering just four wins a season ago, Big Blue is hoping for a big bounce back year in 2017. The toughest task will be finding replacements for the large amount of seniors that have graduated over the past two seasons. A big reason for hope to get back towards state tournament competition is four-year varsity player Grace Mayer. Mayer has been one of the top players in the Hock over the past couple of the seasons and led the Bombardiers with six goals and three assists for nine points. She will be joined on the forward line by junior Alexis Compton and junior transfer Takara Keele. Head coach Lindsay Antunes said her midfield has been strengthened “immensely” by sophomore Anna Beck, who was pulled up mid-season last year.
“There is an immense amount of unity on this team, and an outpouring of teamwork,” Antunes said. “Under the leadership of our current captains, many girls have assumed these roles [left by graduation] and are taking over the field. Some girls have been forced to transition into roles that are similar to ones they played in in the past, but not quite exact.”
2016 Record: 13-5-2
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Chrissy O’Connor
Canton is returning a strong core of players from a 13-win team a year ago and will be in the hunt for the Davenport title. Key returning players include senior forward Andrea McNeil and junior forward Maggie Malloy, who will be back to pace the Bulldogs’ offense, as well as senior midfielders Emily Campbell and Maggie Wade. With experience back in the mid, the Bulldogs expect to have a strong passing game and strong ball control. Senior Riley Brown will step in as the starting goalie and freshman Maria Femia could make an impact as a rookie.
“Coming into our second season we look to strengthen our passing game and game sense,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “We look forward to another competitive season in the Hockomock League!”
2016 Record: 19-3-1 (Davenport Division Champions)
2016 Finish: Reached D2 State Semifinal
Coach: Melissa Bordieri
Coming off its best season in program history, Foxboro is now focused on 2017 and trying to write its owm chapter in the history books. While the Warriors graduated over a half a dozen seniors, they return last year’s Hockomock League MVP in goalie Kelli McCarthy as well as 2016 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Lily Daly. With experience on both ends of the field, Foxboro is set up nicely for 2017. Daly has led the Warriors in scoring in each of the past two seasons.
The middle of the field will look most familiar from last season with seniors Jackie Brion and Catherine Luciano, and juniors Meghan Curran and Sophia DiCenso all returning after playing valuable minutes last season. The biggest challenge for the Warriors could be replacing starting defenders Kelly Fisher and Angela VandenBoom, who both graduated.
2016 Record: 12-4-4 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Lisa Cropper
The defending Kelley-Rex division champions are in a good spot with so many returning players from last year’s squad. Leading the way is HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Annie Walsh, who led the Hockomock League with 25 points a season ago. Cassi Ronan (16 points) and Erin Walsh (10 points) are also back as Franklin returns its top three scorers. Another positive is that Franklin has some experience back on the defensive end as well. Kate Morse is back to anchor the unit after an impressive junior season and will be joined by Meri Gendreau and Emily Valentino in front of goalie Christina Luccini. Head coach Lisa Cropper expects senior Maddie Hinckley and freshman Victoria Quinn to also play big roles for the Panthers.
“Our biggest asset this season is depth,” Cropper said. “We are hoping to wear down our opponents and utilize our speed late in games.”
2016 Record: 14-3-4
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Liz Hathaway
After coming just a point shy of splitting the league title with Franklin a season ago, King Philip returns a strong core that will look to make another push for the Kelley-Rex crown. One big reason that the Warriors will be in the mix is because senior goalie Abby Campbell is back in the cage this season. And in front of Campbell, KP returns senior Christina Hathaway – two big reasons why the Warriors allowed only 13 goals all season in 2016. The offense will look very familiar with senior Liz Furfari (13 points) and junior Alli Meehan (25 points) back in the fold. Juniors Kate Lindmark and Caroline Klim will help bolster the defense while Nicole Connor and Dana Truini will be important players in the midfield.
“We have speed and can create a quick transition game with our passing game and formation,” said KP head coach Liz Hathaway. “We also have a couple of big hitters which should help us generate getting the ball inside the offensive 25 and to execute on corners.”
2016 Record: 13-5-2
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Theresa Nyhan
Mansfield is relying on seven returning seniors and a mix of young players as they look to get back to the state tournament yet again this season. The Hornets have senior leadership all over the field, which will be important in a very deep and talented league. Up top, Mansfield had Heather D’Amdra and Kristina O’Connell, while seniors Emily Ierardo and Ann Maher will lead the way from the midfield. On the defensive end, seniors Nicole Berluti, Julia Burhman and Brittany Lam will anchor the back line.
“As a unit we are looking to move the ball at pace,” said Mansfield head coach Theresa Nyhan. “We have speed at all levels and look to transition quickly.”
2016 Record: 3-15-2
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kim Danish
Although the Hawks graduated 11 seniors from last year’s squad, they return some key pieces that head coach Kim Danish is hoping will help Milford take a step forward. The Hawks will lean on tri-captains Shannon Cormier (the team’s leading scorer last season), Danielle Fokas (who will start on the wing) and Emily Condon (a returning member of the Hawks’ defense) to pave the way this season. Kate Wimette, Colby Bowers and Megan Larouco will see time in the midfield while Julie Rabinowitz would see time all over the field, depending on need. Milford is looking to rely on speed on offense to try and get the offense going.
“We have a strong mix of seven returning seniors who are fantastic leaders and a great core group from last year’s JV team who will step up and make an immediate impact on the field,” Danish said. “Overall, the motivation and work ethic among this group has been top notch! We are looking forward to a great season.”
2016 Record: 6-8-4
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Karen Folan
After missing out on the state tournament in back-to-back years, Big Red field hockey is hoping to make a run at the Davenport crown and get back to the MIAA playoffs. One tough task will be replacing 14 seniors, including all-league goalie Liz Morehouse, all-star Mary Kummer and all-league honorable mention Teresa Bagarella. But head coach Karen Folan is confident she has the pieces to compete in a deep Hockomock League this year. Senior captains Emilie Pothier, Olivia Gedgaudus and Camille Pizarro return to make up the majority of the midfield. Senior Katherine Munley is also back on the wing, giving Big Red some speed on the outside. Sophomore Emma Strachan takes over in net this season, with Folan describing her as “quick and aggressive.”
“The returning members of the varsity team have shown they are ready to fill in any gaps our line up may have after graduating 14 seniors,” Folan said. “And our new team members are eager to step onto the varsity playing field.”
2016 Record: 11-6-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Abby Tepper
Oliver Ames will be relying on a mix of experience and youth as they try to stay competitive in a deep Kelley-Rex division. It starts with senior captain Sarah Stevens in the midfield, who will be the “quarterback” of the midfield according to head coach Abby Tepper. Senior Cristina Boudreau and junior Kayla Lozzi will bolster that midfield while senior Liz Nuss will provide speed to the attacking group. OA’s defense will be anchored by senior captain Sarah Tetrault while senior Caitlin Grant will be the starting goalie. Freshman Brynna Courneen has impressed defensively early on.
“This year our offense will be quick and have speed,” Tepper said. “We have some young players filling the wing spots and we are working on being hungry inside the circle. We want to be a scrappy team and get the ball in the bucket no matter what it takes. Our defense does a solid job recovering for one another in the circle and stepping to ball without hesitation. As a team we want to build a positive culture and work hard day in and day out.”
2016 Record: 1-17-0
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrea Vandette
Now in her third year at the helm of the Sharon Eagles, head coach Andrea Vandette is confident that her squad is ready to take the next step and find some more success. The Eagles are led by three captains: Elyse Korn, Abbi Solomon and Grace Leavitt. Leavitt started to come on strong at the end of the year last season and will be the anchor for the Eagles’ defensive unit this season. Senior Lindsay Moses will be be in the cage and has a good amount of varsity experience under her belt. In the midfield, Leora Leavitt will be in the center of the field and one of the Eagles’ most reliable players. Vandette is also expecting juniors Veronica Wallace and Stephanie Edwards to continue their growth after picking up the sport a season ago.
“My main goal for the girls this season is to compete,” Vendette said. “Being that this is my third year with the program, I believe they know my expectations and the seniors have a good understanding of how to move the ball on the field and how to be successful. We certainly have enough talent to put a few more wins on the board this season!”
2016 Record: 8-9-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Dan Mark
Despite graduating a handful of talented players, including 2015 Hockomock League MVP Angela Connolly, Stoughton head coach Dan Mark is bringing back several key players for the 2017 version of the Black Knights. The Black Knights’ offense will look the most similar to last season’s team that qualified for the state tournament. Julia Russell, Kamryn Oliveira and Jackie Evangelista are returning forwards who played regularly last year. Lisa Ramanauskas is a returning midfielder, and Haley Bushlow is back to anchor the back line. Gianna Barbosa will be the starting goalie again this season.
“We have several returning players who played many minutes last year and are expected to step in as starters this year,” Mark said.
2016 Record: 2-15-1
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Elizabeth Hathaway
With a strong core of experienced players back, and a couple of young talents looking to make an impression, the Tigers are hoping to improve on last year’s season. Senior Kya Enos has been a steady presence for the Tigers for the past four seasons and will be relied upon to lead the attack long with senior Liana Duarte. Juniors Jillian Pagliuca and Lauren Torres will be tasked with controlling the midfield along with freshman Alana Tavares. Sophomore Kathryn Robinson will be a key piece of Taunton’s defensive unit this season
“Our strength will be the ability of the forwards and mids to move the ball up the field,” said Taunton head coach Liz Hathaway. “Speed is also a factor that will help our offensive attacks.”
Players to Watch
Players are listed alphabetically
Abby Campbell, King Philip – Campbell has been one of the top goalies in the league for the past two seasons and helped KP come within a point of sharing the league title with Franklin last season and reaching the Div. 1 South semifinal. She had 11 shutouts in 2016 and saved 130-of-143 shots that she faced, finishing with a goals against average of 0.619.
Emily Campbell, Canton – Campbell was a versatile weapon for the Bulldogs, helping out both in midfield and defense to help Canton win 13 games and achieve a plus-40 goal differential for the season. With Campbell playing a critical role, Canton allowed only 14 goals on the year, which was second best in the league. She also chipped in with three goals and seven assists.
Lily Daly, Foxboro – Daly has been the leading scorer for the Warriors in each of her two varsity seasons, helping Foxboro win its first league title in 11 years and its first ever Div. 2 South title. Daly is a force near the net and was chosen as the HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year after scoring 16 goals and recording 11 assists.
Emily Ierardo, Mansfield – Ierardo emerged last season as one of the top offensive weapons for the Hornets, helping Mansfield make another run at the league title and reach the second round of the state tournament. She played five different positions in the forward and midfield areas and she scored nine goals and recorded six assists last fall.
Maggie Malloy, Canton – Malloy made quite the impact in her first season playing field hockey. She jumped onto the Canton varsity squad early in the season and finished as the league’s top goal scorer with 16 tallies for the year. She was a big reason for Canton’s improvement offensively and this year, with a season of experience, Malloy could have even bigger numbers.
Kelli McCarthy, Foxboro – Voted Hockomock MVP by the league’s coaches, McCarthy was the backstop for a Warriors defense that was one of the best in the league and helped Foxboro claim a Davenport division title and its first ever Div. 2 South title. She finished with 115 saves on the season and recorded 15 shutouts in 23 games, allowing only 13 goals total.
Alli Meehan, King Philip – Meehan was integral to KP making a run at the league title last season, holding a lead into the final week of the regular season, and reaching the Div. 1 South semifinal. Meehan scored 14 goals and recorded 11 assists to tie for the league-high in points. She also assisted on the goal that forced overtime against Somerset-Berkeley in a state tournament win.
Cassi Ronan, Franklin – Ronan was a versatile cog in Franklin’s league championship season in 2016, playing both midfield and forward for the Panthers. She finished with 10 goals and seven assists, while being named to the HockomockSports.com First Team, but also did a lot of the defensive work that didn’t show up in the box score.
Sarah Stevens, Oliver Ames – Stevens had a strong season for Oliver Ames in 2016 and the senior will be counted on to create scoring opportunities for the Tigers again this fall. She scored six goals and recorded nine assists for OA last season, helping the Tigers get to 11 wins on the season, beat Durfee in the first round of the playoffs, and push perennial power Walpole to overtime.
Annie Walsh, Franklin – Walsh is the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year (she was also Player of the Year in girls’ lacrosse) after leading the Panthers to a Kelley-Rex division title. A year after being named Underclassman of the Year, Walsh took her game to another level with 14 goals and 11 assists for a league-high 25 points.