Girls Lacrosse: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2016

Kelley-Rex girls lacrosse
Franklin is once again the favorite in the Kelley-Rex with senior midfielder Emily Spath one of the key returning players. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

ATTLEBORO
2015 Record: 6-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jackie Beland

Attleboro comes into its third season of varsity play after winning  pair of Hockomock games last spring and six games overall. As the Bombardiers continue to develop, head coach Jackie Beland will be hoping that Attleboro can start climbing the standings and be competitive with the strong teams above it in the Kelley-Rex as well as with Taunton, which is beginning its first season in the league.

Attleboro will be led by its senior captains Katie Patton and Hannah Lamothe in attack and Sam Spaziano and Kayla Merritt in the midfield. Mish Logie will highlight the juniors, who will be stepping in to fill the void left by Kerri Beland’s graduation, and senior Amy Cadle will be back in goal this spring. Sophomore Grace Mayer saw some time last year as a freshman and could be ready for a breakout year.

FRANKLIN
2015 Record: 15-5
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino

Franklin enters this season as it does just about every season, as the heavy favorite to win another Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will need to replace the scoring and all-around game of Emily Jeffries, but have plenty of players that can step in to fill that production.

Senior midfielders Kenzie Pleshaw and Emily Spath will continue Franklin’s strength in the middle of the field and Sam Jones will be back to lead the defense. University of New Haven-commit Julia Jette will spearhead the attack along with junior Kendall Reardon, last year’s Underclassman of the Year.

Freshmen Annie Walsh and Halle Atkinson will also step into the lineup and show the future remains bright for the league’s top program.

Head coach Kristin Igoe, who has loaded the schedule this year with six of the top seven teams in the state, said, “We have a lot of talent, and when we put all the little pieces together, it is fun to watch. Our goal is to win the Hock and make it back to the sectional final.”

KING PHILIP
2015 Record: 10-11
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 1 East first round
Coach: Julie Bourdeau

King Philip has been a perennial power in the Kelley-Rex division and will be hoping that a large pool of players that came out this spring will help the Warriors get back on top for the first time since it shared the title with Franklin in 2012. The key for KP this season is the senior class, especially in the midfield.

Jen Lacroix is back after a season in which she scored 60 goals and has been a four-year starter and draw control specialist for the Warriors. While Lacroix gets forward to score the goals, fellow captains Abigial Buchanan and Olivia Dort provide the defensive coverage in midfield. Defensively, KP will miss Rylie Dalzell, who is out injured, but Makenzie Nickerson is back after missing most of last season with an injury and fellow seniors Meghan Reilly and Francesca Tonelli will try to keep things away from KP’s freshman goalie.

In the attack the Warriors will turn to their underclassmen Katie Crowther and Angela Vellante and will also be bringing senior Katharine Yetman from defense to add another weapon up front. Head coach Julie Boudreau said, “We have a strong team this year, we are just looking to pull together a dynamic attack with multiple goal scorers…Last year we had a small team and didn’t have the opportunity to sub much-this year we will many different players in the midfield and on attack.”

MANSFIELD
2015 Record: 6-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Alexis Kobey

Mansfield got off to a strong start to last season, including an overtime win over Hingham that was later turned into a tie, but the Hornets could not sustain it and missed the playoffs. This year, Mansfield is looking to build on that and get back into the tournament behind senior attacker Caroline Maher, who was one of the league’s top scorers last year.

In addition the Hornets will count on seniors Julia Todesco and Claire Maroney and juniors Maggie Dunn, Maire Foley, Meg Lydon and Tori Lawlor. Head coach Alexis Kobey is also hoping that freshmen Emily Vigeant and Katie Garvin can steo right in and contribute this year.

Kobey said, “We missed out on the tournament and are ready to get back there (to the tournament) as well as really compete with a tough Hockomock league. Our key returning players are all seasoned veterans and we will be looking to them as the backbone of the squad.”

NORTH ATTLEBORO
2015 Record: 13-6
2015 Finish: Reached Div. 2 East first round
Coach: Mike Vitelli

Last year, North Attleboro had the program’s best ever season with 13 wins and a trip to the state tournament. The Rocketeers were knocked out in the first round, but come back this season with renewed energy and high expectations under first-year coach Mike Vitelli, who won five straight league titles and a sectional championship while at King Philip.

The Rocketeers will lean on UMass Lowell-commit Hana Caster for offense and senior goalie Brooke Ebert will be a key for the North defense, which promises to be much-improved this spring. Sophomore Kenzie Rosenberg has drawn praise from opposing coaches and will be a solid addition to the attack along with classmates Chloe Olsen, Julia Tolfa and Julia Dakin. Emily Schromm and Sam Taggart will join sophomore Alaina Mello to try and lock things down at the back.

Vitelli said, “There’s a lot to digest, but as I’ve told the kids it’s a marathon not a sprint. Mistakes we’ll make in March, April and early May should turn into great results come mid May and hopefully beyond.”

TAUNTON
2015 Record: n/a
2015 Finish: n/a
Coach: Kerry Northup

Taunton is opening its first season of varsity play (and already has recorded its first win with a blowout of Bristol-Plymouth), so its entire roster is filled with newcomers that will be learning on the job. Head coach Kerry Northup admits there will be bumps in the road, but that there is also a chance for the Tigers to “make a name” for themselves in the Hock.

Layne and Abbey Kingman and Delaney Powell will be the key players for Taunton in the first season and combined for 10 goals in the season opener. Hannah Moniz will be another player that the Tigers will be counting on this season. 

Northup said, “My goal for what I want my girls to accomplish this season is to come out hard and showcase what they’ve got…We know it may be a difficult season being our first year, so we are staying positive, keeping up the morale, and maintaining our resilience.”

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/02/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Milford, 33 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final

North Attleboro, 70 @ Stoughton, 78 – Final – Cam Andrews scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to pace the Black Knights. Ryan Sullivan tied a career-high with 16 points, Brandon Teixeira had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Elson Lopes added 11 points and five assists. North Attleboro’s Jonny Friberg had a career-high 23 points and added 13 points while Brent Doherty had 20 points. 
Girls Basketball
Milford, 29 @ Mansfield, 56 – FinalCaroline Maher led the Hornets with 14 points, while Olivia Broyles added a career-high 12 points. Katie Irwin was the top scorer for the Hawks with 11 points.
Stoughton, 26 @ North Attleboro, 45 – FinalSamantha Taggart and Caroline Collard were the top scorers for North with nine points apiece. Ashley Ahern added seven and Emily Schromm six points for the Rocketeers, while Emily Peters chipped in with 13 rebounds. Alecia Quinones led Stoughton with 11 points, all in the third quarter, and Val Whalen added six points and 16 boards.
Wrestling
Stoughton, 36 @ Canton, 38 – Final

Milford, 36 @ Foxboro, 40 – Final – With the victory, the Warriors clinch the outright Davenport division title.

King Philip, 21 @ Franklin, 49 – Final
Oliver Ames, 30 @ Sharon, 40 – Final
Swimming
North Attleboro @ Attleboro, 3:30
Girls Hockey
Franklin, 5 @ Ursuline, 1 – Final

Attleboro Overcomes Another Injury to Defeat North


Emily Houle
Emily Houle (3) scored eight of her 13 points in the second half as Attleboro survived the loss of Sarah Deyo to pull out a road win at North Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

NORTH ATTLEBORO – The Bombardiers have been snakebitten with injuries this season. A day after finding out that junior Julia Strachan was lost for the year to a knee injury, Attleboro watched as Sarah Deyo walked off the court holding her elbow just 1:17 into the second half against North Attleboro on Friday night.

Deyo had a first half double-double and scored the first bucket of the third quarter, but she would be done after scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and helping the Bombardiers grab a slim, five-point advantage.

Rather than allowing the disappointment of losing another key player cost it the game, Attleboro, as it has all season, had other players step up.

Sophomore Sam Pierce scored 15 points (nine in the second half) and had 12 rebounds and senior Emily Houle, in only her third game back from her own injury, had 13 points (eight in the second half) and 11 rebounds to lead the Bombardiers to a 51-43 victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader at the Pickering Gym.

“I think our box out and rebound stuff was outstanding,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch. “We didn’t really run much [on offense] but the big thing they did was compete. They didn’t let up, they focused.”

North came out strong at the end of a tough week that saw it face three of its fiercest rivals (Mansfield and Bishop Feehan were the others). Emily Schromm started the game with the first of her three three-pointers on the night and later in the quarter Ashley Ahern completed a four-point play on the far sideline. Sam Taggart scored four points in the first, including a long two at the buzzer.

The Bombardiers counted on Deyo to stay close in the opening quarter. The junior scored six points, many of them on second chance opportunities, as Attleboro dominated on the glass.

“They’re a tough matchup,” said North coach Derek Herber about trying to keep Attleboro off the boards. “Defensively, we rebound okay but it’s the offensive rebounds we don’t force a lot of teams to play on the defensive boards.”

In the second, Attleboro went on a run to grab the lead. After Emily Peters (seven points) and Schromm knocked down threes to put North ahead 24-19, the Bombardiers scored nine of the next 10 points. Deyo tied the game with a jumper, then Emma Vlashi, in her first game back from injury, hit two free throws to give Attleboro the lead and Houle made it four with a steal and transition layup.

“She just got cleared today,” said Patch of Vlashi. “The plan was to only have her play like six minutes and then a couple of things where Sarah goes down and you just go by how you feel.”

With Deyo on the bench icing her arm, Taggart (nine points) buried a three to bring North back within two and then Kiersten Bixby scored on an offensive rebound to tie it at 32. Momentum seemed to be on the home team’s side, but first Houle and then Pierce knocked down threes from opposite corners to give the Bombardiers a 38-34 lead heading to the fourth.

“Sam posts up all the time but she can play on the outside,” Patch explained. “We give those kids the green light. They can shoot anytime they think they can make it.”

Attleboro carried the momentum into the final quarter with some help from poor shooting by the Rocketeers. Time and again, North created openings for Ahern, Schromm, and Taggart but the shots just would not fall.

“We played some good offense but right now we’re having a tough time shooting,” said Herber. “Part of that is Attleboro and the teams we’re playing but part of it is us. To use a golf reference, we have the ‘yips’ right now.”

Houle picked off a pass and assisted on a fast break bucket for Fatima McDonald that built the lead to 10 and Houle later completed a three-point play to answer an Ahern layup and essentially ice the game.

“At halftime we kept saying they’re starting to tire,” said Patch. “On the offensive side, even when we weren’t running a play, just put pressure on them and make them work and wear them down a little bit.”

North has dropped three straight games this week and the three-time defending league champions are now two games behind league leading Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex standings.

Herber is hopeful that this level of competition will lead to positive results later in the season, but at the moment the shooting woes are making for some tough nights. He added, “Unfortunately, there’s no easy nights in the league and no easy nights on our schedule. We’ll be battle-tested but hopefully we can get a little offensive flow at some point.”

Attleboro (8-1, 4-1) will travel to Milford in its next game on Tuesday, while North Attleboro (3-3, 3-2) will travel to Canton.

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