Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars.
Hockomock League MVP
Austin Kent, Franklin
Hockomock League All Stars
Ben O’Neill, Canton
Michael Pigeon, Canton
Austin Ryan, Foxboro
Brian Buckner, Foxboro
Jake Addeche, Foxboro
Eric Civetti, Franklin
Austin Kent, Franklin
Packie Watson, Franklin
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Sean Lockhart, Franklin
Steven Eaton, King Philip
Paul Macrina, King Philip
Billy Grant, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Connor Finerty, Mansfield
Dan McDonald, North Attleboro
Matt Gilson, Oliver Ames
Mark Bloom, Sharon
Brian Letourneau, Attleboro
Jake Ragusa, Canton
Bobby Kierce, Foxboro
Connor O’Rourke, Franklin
Sam Agricola, King Philip
Josh Schafer, Mansfield
Harrison Bliss, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Jake Aronson, Oliver Ames
Santiago Lopez, Taunton
WESTWOOD, Mass. – Last season, the Franklin boys’ lacrosse team reached its first ever sectional semifinal after upsetting perennial power Xaverian at Pisini Field. On Sunday, a much younger Franklin team faced the same opponent at the same stage of the tournament, but in a different venue and with a much different final result.
The Panthers started well, but once the Hawks clicked on offense Franklin had little answer for a team that has found its footing (and its health) in recent weeks and is once again among the contenders for a Div. 1 title.
Xaverian pulled away in the second half and knocked out the Panthers 18-11, despite five goals and three assists from senior attacker Austin Kent, who was recently selected as the Hockomock League MVP.
“They were flat out better than us,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “[Sophomore goalie] Connor [O’Rourke] saw a lot of rubber today and…they’re just really good. They’re unselfish, they find the one more, they did all the things we’ve been preaching all year long.”
Verrochi continued, “We caught them at a time in the season when they’re on a roll. Early on, I don’t think they had found their identity, but now they have and I think they’re going to be a really tough team to beat.”
Xaverian jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Peter Thorbahn (four goals) and Nick Shaw, but Kent brought the Panthers back level.
On his first goal, Kent threw a shot fake that sent his marker tumbling to the ground before he unleashed a laser into the bottom corner past Michael Toomey. Two minutes later, Kent spun back to his left side and found the corner with an overhand finish to the far post.
The Panthers took the lead with Kent picking out sophomore Eric Civetti for the first of his three goals, but Xaverian answered right back to tie it again. In the closing seconds of the quarter, Kent fired a pass from the ‘X’ to a cutting Kyle McEniry, who put Franklin ahead 4-3 after one.
The score stayed the same for the next seven minutes before Thorbahn was given all day to line up a rip into the top corner to tie it. That started a 5-1 run for the Hawks that put them ahead to stay. Civetti scored with an overhand finish that make it 6-5 but Xaverian scored twice in the final minute, both on assists by Drew Lee to freshman Sam Jean.
“They spent a lot of time trying to shut off Nick Shaw and Pete Thorbahn and it really opened up room in between once we figured out how to get the ball to the back side to open areas,” said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner.
“When you spend a lot of time on one guy, the back side attack opens up and that’s why Sam Jean had a heck of a half.”
McEniry scored his second of the game, again on an assist by Kent, to open the second half, but another 5-1 run by the Hawks broke it wide open. After a Sean Sperzel goal, O’Rourke (nine saves) came up with the play of the game when he went post to post to somehow deny Lee when he was wide open at the back post. Packie Watson scored on an assist by Chase Tanner, but Xaverian answered with four straight before Civetti ended the run with a goal while being knocked down.
Franklin forced a turnover but a poor clearance was picked off by the Hawks for a dagger goal right before the end of the third quarter that extended the lead to 14-8.
Early in the game, the Franklin defensive unit of Sean Lockhart, Patrick Morrison, Gabe Murphy and Matt Pleshaw was shutting down the Hawks, but as the game wore on the Hawks just had too many weapons and were too good at forcing the Panthers to slide out of position.
“I think we did a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities and pressing our advantage,” said Gardner. “Obviously, they had a great game going on with their attack, but we got a lot of opportunities from the midfield coming downhill.”
Meanwhile, on the offensive side Franklin was stagnating as the Hawks sat on Kent and Civetti and tried to force other players to beat them. Verrochi saw plenty of promise from his younger players to give him confidence that in the coming years that strategy will not be as effective.
“One of the things we need to do is look to get more players involved,” he explained. “Our midfielders are kind of young, three sophomores, a freshman, and two juniors, so next year if these guys improve then we’re going to be able to be more dangerous.”
The Panthers could never mount much of a comeback in the fourth quarter, although Kent did score a hat trick in his final period with the Panthers.
“We’re going to definitely miss him,” said Verrochi. “He’s the real deal. He rose to the occasion today. This was a big challenge; they’re a big strong, physical defense and he sort of shut them up and put them in their place.”
Franklin finished the season with a record of 14-6.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The FOGO (“face-off, get-off”) position can sometimes be overlooked, as the players may only be on the field for a few minutes and many times are on the bench or heading back to the box when the ball finds the back of the net. But when a FOGO dominates a game, those few minutes of playing time can play a critical role in the final result.
Freshman Jake Alexander has come in this season and provided a spark for Franklin and on Monday night his domination of the face-off ‘X’ (winning all but three face-offs) provided a platform for the Panthers to break away in the second half and get one step closer to a fourth straight league title.
Franklin turned a two-goal lead at halftime into as much as a 10-goal lead in the fourth quarter and rolled to a 13-6 victory over the Warriors at Pisini Field, leaving games against Oliver Ames and MIlford between the Panthers and a perfect league record.
“It’s such a key position and a key role,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi of the FOGO. Of Alexander, Verrochi added, “He’s been awesome…awesome. For a kid his size to be as good as he is…and not only that he’s so quick and he’s got good stick skills.”
KP coach Jacob Kravitz was effusive in his praise for Alexander. He said, “They’re face-off guy deserves a lot of attention…If it’s a 50-50 situation, I think we have as much talent as them…but when they get 90 percent of the possessions then their talented players get the ball.”
Kravitz added, “When you’re that good against everybody, you deserve to be mentioned in the MVP conversation.”
When Alexander wins the Panthers the ball it allows attackers like Eric Civetti and Austin Kent go to work and the pair combined for seven goals, despite another stellar performance from KP goalie Paul Macrina, who made 12 saves and kept the Warriors in the game into the second half.
“Paul had a great game,” said Kravitz. “People look at his size and think, he’s just a big kid in net, but his footwork is phenomenal, he does a real good job getting lateral, and he sees the ball really well.”
After junior Tim Watson put KP ahead in the opening minutes, Franklin responded with Civetti’s first on a trademark move on the edge of the crease capped off by a low angle shot to the top corner from just a few feet from goal. Kent then fed sophomore Luke Downie for a rip from straightaway to make it 2-1 after one.
In the second quarter, Chase Tanner fired in a man-up goal off a Civetti assist but KP responded a minute later with the first of Sam Agricola’s two goals. It stayed 3-2 until the final 30 seconds of the half, but Franklin added a fourth on Kent’s first following a pump fake and a few steps to get a better angle.
Kent’s second early in the third quarter was a laser to the top corner, which no goalie would have been able to save. KP hit the post on a quick break and Macrina made six saves in the quarter but Franklin scored two goals in quick succession to break things open. Ninit Chaudhury started it with a quick burst on a face dodge to blow by his man and pick the corner then Civetti stole a clearance and finished from close range to make it 7-2.
“When you’ve got snipers like Civetti and Kent, Chase Tanner,” Verrochi explained, “we told them that [Macrina] was stopping everything down low, so let’s go high on him and they did. Then we got some nice bounce shots on him, so yeah it was a good effort.”
Kent completed his hat trick 45 seconds into the fourth and Alexander won the ensuing face-off clean and raced straight down the middle for a goal just seven seconds later. Thirty-two seconds after that junior Brian Vieten rifled in a goal as well and it was 10-2.
With eight minutes left, KP received a locked in penalty and Franklin tacked on two more. Kent again found the corner with a powerful shot and then just 16 seconds later he found Tanner in space for another rip just under the bar that made it 12-2.
“They have some good shooters,” said Kravitz. “I think you have to respect the talent, especially of Kent and Civetti, and when you pay too much attention to those guys they have enough other guys that can make you pay.”
The Franklin defense was also coming through with experienced players like Sean Lockhart, Matt Pleshaw and Wyatt Arsenault leading the way alongside freshman Patrick Morrison. Morrison drew praise from his coach after the game.
Verrochi said, “He’s going to be a stud. I think he’s a DI prospect and he’s one of the best poles we’ve had in a few years.”
Agricola scored off a feed from Harry Fallon to get one back and Zach D’Amico found the top corner to beat Connor O’Rourke (11 saves), but Civetti answered with his third. Freshman LSM Wesley Bishop scored just his second goal of the season (taking on four Franklin defenders) with 1:09 left and then D’Amico scored a second with three seconds remaining.
Kravitz said, “I think our guys came in here knowing how important the game was and maybe once the pressure was off they were playing a little loose. We play best that way. Fight to the end and that is a good mentality to have.”
After seeing his underclassmen shine in a big pressure game, Verrochi was excited about the direction that the program is headed.
He said, “Luke Downie, Chase, Eric naturally…it’s a talented group and we have some kids down in JV that can play too. I’m looking forward to it.”
Franklin (11-4, 8-0) will clinch at least a share of the title when it takes on Oliver Ames on Wednesday. KP (9-5, 6-2) will try to end a two-game skid against North Attleboro.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
By Phil Garceau, HockomockSports.com Contributor
COHASSET, Mass. – It comes as no surprise that the Franklin boys lacrosse team come loaded with plenty of offensive standouts. Eric Civetti, Austin Kent and Jared Trainor are a few that jump off the page, but we are quickly learning about perhaps the Panthers’ best kept secret in a shutdown defense.
That unit, led by long poles Wyatt Arsenault and Sean Lockhart and aided by goaltender Connor O’Rourke quieted a volatile Cohasset offense on Friday evening, but the Skippers had just enough to spoil a monumental road victory.
While Franklin largely shutdown the Skippers’ Danny Axelson on the evening, the Providence-bound midfielder emerged in the final five minutes of play, splitting a Franklin double team to net the eventual game-winner in Cohasset’s 8-7 victory over the Panthers.
Civetti (three goals) scored a minute later cutting the deficit down to one, but an untimely slashing call with 1:54 remaining, paired up with four turnovers between the two squads in the final 72 seconds was enough to give Cohasset the win.
“We made some mental errors that cost us and they extended on us,” Franklin coach Lou Verrochi said. “They out-toughed us in a lot of ground ball situations and that dictated how the game went.”
Franklin falls to 3-2 on the season, with both losses coming to non-conference juggernauts in BC High and Cohasset, two losses that while they may sting, will certainly make for the better in the long term.
The Panthers fell to the Eagles after holding an early 4-0 lead last week, and inconsistent offense down the stretch again led to their downfall on Friday evening.But that learning lessons will likely go far for a young team that is loaded with speed and talent.
“These kids will regroup, they are really resilient,” Verrochi said. “We have the Creators’ Cup next week and it will be very competitive. Last year we had Billerica and lost 10-9, and I’d be disappointed if we didn’t get there again because we have the horses to play with anyone.”
Between the second and third quarter, the Panthers scored just one goal, a transition tally that came from Kent in the second period that at the time gave Franklin a 5-4 lead.
The offense that erupted fro four first-quarter goals was shutdown by a Cohasset defense that began to solve the Panther’s tendencies. Mixing in the loss of Trainor to a knee injury in the second quarter didn’t help the cause.
“They were just very, very good, (Kent and Civetti) had a tough time driving on their poles, they are very good and sort of neutralized us,” Verrochi said. “They have been our big weapons all year, they got their share of goals, but we lost one of our middies in Trainor.”
While the offense sputtered during that period, the Franklin defense thrived in that span, as O’Rourke (six saves) came up with a handful of saves, none bigger than a point-blank stop on Cohasset’s Ryan Donovan.
Cohasset began to figure out the Franklin defense in the fourth quarter, taking a 4-4 game at the start and scoring two quick goals off the stick of Will Thomas (two goals) and Kyle Mcfetridge sent the Panthers onto the wrong side of a two-goal deficit.
Kent (two goals) again emerged in crunch time, closing the gap to one goal, but Axelson’s individual effort to get to the cage was the dagger than Franklin couldn’t recover from.
The Panthers go into the break with a 3-2 record, with three games slates over vacation week, all which are apart of the Creators’ Cup. That begins with Masconoment (1-5) at Walpole High on Tuesday afternoon.
Today’s games are listed below.
Franklin, 13 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Franklin’s offense reached double figures for the second straight game to pick up another road win. Tyler Gomes had a pair of doubles and five RBI to lead Franklin while Jake Lyons had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, Josh Macchi had two hits, two runs and an RBI, Ryan Hodgkins had a triple and three runs scored, Steven Luttazi had a pair of hits, a pair of runs scored and an RBI and Joe Corsi scored a pair of runs. Mike Skaza got the win on the mound, tossing five innings and striking out four. Ryan Morse pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Franklin. Attleboro’s Pat Collins went 2-4 with an RBI double for the Bombardiers.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 12 – Final – Canton’s Kevin Powers threw a complete game shutout with four strikeouts, issuing just one walk for the win. At the plate, Powers was 3-4 with two runs scored, Joe Peccia was 1-3 with three runs scored, Mike McMahon was 3-4 with a run scored and a stolen base and sophomore Matt Casamento was 1-2 with two runs scored.
King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final (9 inn.) – Senior Jon Rolfe picked up the win with a complete game shutout, allowing just five hits. Rolfe had 82 total pitches – 62 for strikes – in an efficient outing that saw him strike out three batters. In the top of the ninth, Stephan MacMean’s leadoff double to turned into a run when junior Will Weir singled him home. Three straight singles from Rolfe, senior Jack DiCenso and senior Jake Cavanagh plated pinch runner Rich Lucente for the Warriors’ second run.
Milford, 7 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sophomore Aidan Wilde struck out six in five innings of no hit baseball to get the win on the mound for the Scarlet Hawks. Chris Speroni was 2-3 with three stolen bases and two runs scored while Blake Hill had a triple and two RBI.
North Attleboro, 8 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – North Attleboro’s John O’Donnell scattered five hits and one walk over seven innings of work, striking out five to pick up the win for the Rocketeers. North Attleboro erased a deficit with a four run fourth inning to get the lead including a pair of runs coming off suicide squeezes. Zach Rofino was 2-5 with two RBI, Kyle McCarthy was 2-4 with a pair of RBI, Ethan Hebard added a pair of hits, Bryan Harris had a hat and two sacrifices and Ridge Olsen finished with two hits. North Attleboro amassed 12 hits as a team. Taunton’s Max Bowden had two hits and an RBI for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Stoughton scored eight runs with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.
Franklin, 8 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Foxboro scored six runs in the sixth inning to earn its first win of the season. Emma Rohan struck out seven and walked just three to earn the win in the circle for Foxboro. At the plate, Marylou Long went 3-3 and Chelsea Gibbons had a pair of hits in the big sixth inning for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Kali Magane struck out 15 batters and threw her first no hitter of the season for the Warriors. Offensively, King Philip had 14 hits as a team led by Jenn Hutnyan’s three hits and a fourth inning grand slam. Christa Wagner had three hits, including a double and a triple, and Ashley Hession had two hits.
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – Milford’s Kaitlyn DeCapua was 3-3 with a pair of runs knocked in and a home run in the first inning that was the highlight of a 10-run inning for the Scarlet Hawks. Sophomore Emily Piergustavo was 3-3 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring a pair herself and Maggie Farrell added a pair of hits and knocked in four runs. Kelley Reichert struck out four, allowing just one hit, in five innings of work to earn the win.
Taunton, 9 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton’s Aimee Kistner threw her second consecutive no hitter, this time striking out 10 while scattering three walks. Sophomore Kya Enos went 4-4 with a double and an RBI, Jordan Wade had three hits with two RBI and a double, Meg Navarro had two hits and an RBI and Jaime Brown went 2-3 with a double and two RBI. Bailey Clapp and Sarah Bagge each added two hits and Rebekah Lajoie had a pinch hit two run home run for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – OA’s Lexie Campbell’s complete game effort, with just two earned runs allowed, helped the Tigers pick up a win. Jamie Gottwald went 3-3 at the play, knocking in a pair of runs and Rachel Han was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Lizzie Miller also had an RBI and a run scored while Victoria Ziner and Caroline Mahoney each added hits for Oliver Ames. Stoughton’s Nicole Bodette, Jordan Lyons and Karly Estramerea all had two hits for the Black Knights.
Mansfield, 14 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Ryan Smith led a balanced attack with a game-high four goals while Sam O’Connell and Connor Finerty each added three goals and Joe Cox and Billy Grant chipped in with two goals apiece.
King Philip, 10 @ Canton, 4 – Final – King Philip started strong, building a 5-1 lead after the first quarter but didn’t put the game away until adding four goals in the fourth quarter. Sam Agricola led the offense with four goals and one assist and senior Steven Eaton led the defense with 10 groundballs. John DeLuca and Harrison Fallon each scored a pair of goals and Tim Watson added two more with an assist.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 12 – Final – Louis Piccolo scored four goals and Colin Spinney netted a hat trick to lead the offense for the Warriors. Connor McNamara added a goal and three assists and Brendan Tully found the back of the net twice and had one assist. Pat Kaveny had five groundballs for Foxboro.
Franklin, 18 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – The teams finished level (3-3) at the end of the first quarter but Franklin won the second quarter 6-0 and the second half 9-1 to get the win. Freshman Jacob Alexander dominated the faceoff X, winning 24/26 draws while sophomore Eric Civetti tied a team record with eight goals in the game. Senior Austin Kent added four goals and three assists and sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke made seven saves in net. Head coach Lou Verrochi credited the defense of Sean Lockhart, Matt Pleshaw, Wyatt Arsenault and Patrick Morrison for limited the Eagles after the first quarter.
Milford, 4 @ North Attleboro, 16 – Final – Sophomore Colin Young scored four goals to lead the Rocketeers.
Attleboro, 11 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final (OT)
Foxboro, 18 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final
Sharon, 3 @ Franklin, 17 – Final – Julia Jette scored a team-high four goals, including her 100th career goal, and added two assists to lead the Panthers. Grace MacCallum had a pair of goals and four draw controls and Olivia Truenow had two groundballs and played well on defense according to head coach Kristin Igoe.
North Attleboro, 19 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Rahul Herur and Eli Brooks picked up 6-1, 6-1 wins at first and second singles respectively to lead the Panthers. Tom Mancini won 6-2, 6-1 at third singles for Franklin, James Johnston and Cam Piana won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Jeremy Gan and Dan Barrow won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – King Philip sophomore Cole Ginter rallied for a 3-6 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) at first singles to lead the Warriors. Garrett Schneider won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. Ryan Gemelli and Sam Colella won 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles and Justin Rohan and Jake Webster won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles for KP.
Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Rallies at both first and second singles anchored the Rocketeers to a win. Mitchell Dyer rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5) win at first singles and Barsomo Nuay won 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5). North junior Zack Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles, Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles and Jake Fontes and Daniel Zhang won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames won each singles match in straight sets to pick up its first win of the season. Thomas O’Leary won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Greg Weinstein won 6-1, 6-4 at second singles and Jarrod Hedlund won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin didn’t lose a game at first or second singles as well as first doubles to get the win. Hannah Sweeney and Anna Humphreys won 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles respectively while junior Anja Deric and senior Katelyn Davenport won with the same score at first doubles. Franklin junior Madison Derby won 6-3, 2-6, 13-11 at third singles and seniors Halle Love and Selina Wu won 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles.
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Diana Prinos, Sophia Prinos and Lexi Nelson all won in straight sets without losing a game in singles play to lead the Warriors. Michaela McCarthy and Diana Hickox won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles for Foxboro. Canton’s Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie won 6-2, 6-4 at first doubles.
Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – The Warriors swept doubles play and got a win at third singles to edge out the Hornets. Kelly Masse’s and Megan Davenport’s marathon 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 win at first doubles was key while Molly Citarell and Corinne Palumbo won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles. Sophomore Megan Sepich notched a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 comeback win at third singles for the Warriors. Mansfield’s Paulina Martin won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles and Kathleen Giffels won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles.
Sharon, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Sharon didn’t lose a game in singles play and lost only three games in the two doubles matches combined in the win. Lulu Yuan, Nupur Shulka and Emily Wen all won 6-0, 6-0 at first, second and third singles respectively. Pooja Puttigampala and Michal Kondratiev teamed up for a 6-0, 6-3 win at first doubles and Katie Merpot and Sydney Gordon won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames swept singles play and got a win at first doubles to pick up the victory. Riley Spillane won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles, Jackie Sulkala won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and Sarah Leger won 6-0, 6-3 at third singles. Lark Warner and Olivia Groebe rallied to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 at first doubles for OA. Stoughton’s Becca Lawson and Ellie Kashian won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at second doubles for the Black Knights.
Boys Outdoor Track
North Attleboro @ Attleboro 3:45
Girls Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 121 @ Attleboro 15 – Final
Taunton, 1 vs. Barnstable 3 – Final – Taunton fell behind 2-0 in close, won the third game but Barnstable won the fourth game to win the match. Set scores were 23-25, 23-25, 25-13, 14-25. Ricardo DaFonseca had 43 assists and 11 digs along with a block and an ace for the Tigers. Sophomore Lance Law had 22 kills, eight digs and an ace, Collin Hunter played well with 11 kills and a block and Nate Grant was strong in the back row with 16 digs.
BOSTON, Mass. – For the second year in a row, Franklin held a lead against BC High, but also for the second year in a row the Panthers failed to hold onto it and allowed the Eagles to walk away with the victory.
BC High shut out the Panthers 5-0 in the fourth quarter, with senior attacker A.J. Kucinski recording a goal and three assists, and turned around a two-goal deficit to pull out a 10-7 victory in the Eagles’ season opener.
“We have to play teams like this,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “These guys are always going to be a good challenge, just the second year in a row that we sort of imploded in the fourth quarter.”
The Panthers got off to the perfect start on a blustery afternoon. Senior Jared Trainor opened the scoring inside the first minute and just two minutes later sophomore Eric Civetti scored the first of his three goals to double the lead.
A quick outlet pass by junior Patrick Watson sprung Civetti, who picked out senior Austin Kent for his first goal of the game and the Franklin bench was going crazy on the sidelines. The energy got ramped up even more when Kent forced a turnover in the attacking zone and then fed Civetti for his second and a the Panthers’ fourth.
Kucinski got on the board after a turnover early in the second quarter, but Civetti answered right back for Franklin just a minute later. It would be the last goal of the half for the Panthers, as the BC High defense started to clamp down.
“They shut down Eric and Austin and we just didn’t get enough out of our midfielders,” said Verrochi. “We just weren’t driving forward the way we should have…when those two start to tire we just don’t have the kids to throw in like we did last year.”
After a pair of goals by the Eagles, sophomore goalie Connor O’Rourke stepped up with a huge close-range save on Kucinski to keep the score 5-3. Franklin raced down the field and freshman pole Patrick Morrison had his goal wiped out because there was a man in the crease.
BC High sophomore Will Bowen took advantage of the ruling and beat Franklin in transition, racing straight down the middle of the field and beating O’Rourke in the bottom corner.
“We threw the ball away, we were in the crease a few times, bad substitutions, we were sloppy out of the box…but once we got ourselves set and it was time to make plays they stepped up,” said BC High coach Steve Lydon.
O’Rourke took over between the pipes this season after playing as an attacker during his freshman year. Verrochi said that there was an opening in goal and the sophomore spent the offseason learning the new position.
Verrochi said, “I can’t say enough about what he did this year. He went to all sorts of camps and he’s now playing goalie for Laxachussets in his age level. That says a lot about his athleticism and how he goes after the game.”
Junior Sam Arsenault restored the two-goal lead with a man-up goal three minutes into the third quarter, but Kucinski answered back for the Eagles. With time running down in the third, Kent capped a long possession with an unstoppable rocket into the top corner, which made it 7-5.
The Franklin defense, led by seniors Matt Pleshaw, Sean Lockhart, and Gabe Murphy, had managed to limit the chances for Kucinski and the Eagles attack. But in the fourth quarter, everything turned around.
Pat Greene scored to cut the lead to one, Andrew Helfrich completed his hat trick (on a Kucinski assist) to tie it, and then Kucinski gave BC High its first lead with a shot on the run, across his body, and into the top corner.
“We went to sleep on him,” said Verrochi. “I was disappointed in how our close defense played in that fourth quarter. I talked to the players that we can’t allow that to happen.”
“That type of stuff, with a senior defense, we can’t have that.”
Kucinski assisted on the final two goals of the game. Franklin’s chances were limited, although it did force BC High goalie Michael Haggan into four saves in the fourth and Kent smacked the post with a shot in the final minute.
“We had a couple guys go out and make plays for us,” said Lydon. “A.J. made a couple of really big plays in the fourth and our defense locked down after a slow start.”
Despite the loss, Verrochi insisted that it is a positive for his team to play top non-league competition and challenge his players early in the season.
He said, “Give credit to them; they’re bigger, faster, stronger than we are right now, but my kids worked their butts off. I think the better team won…but we played them really tough for three quarters.”
Franklin (2-1) will get back into league play on Wednesday with a trip to Sharon.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2015 Record: 4-13
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris Kiley
Now in its third year at the varsity level, Attleboro is looking to once again take another step in the right direction. With a handful of returning players back this season, the Bombardiers will look to improve on their 4-13 season in 2015.
Junior Sam Corrado shined in the cage on multiple occasions last season and will look to continue that this season. Seniors Brian Letourneau, Mitch Caruso and Owen McKenna were named captains for this year’s team and will all look to contribute.
Caruso found the back of the net throughout the 2015 while junior attack Jay Mota was another key piece to the offense. Junior Andrew Milliken is also back after earning Hockomock League Honorable Mention a season ago.
2015 Record: 17-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinals
Coach: Lou Verrochi
After a historic campaign in 2015 that saw the Panthers get to the D1 South Semifinals, Franklin is looking to build upon it in 2016.
Hockomock League All Stars Austin Kent, Sean Lockhart and Eric Civetti are all back along with a handful of experienced players. Kent will spearhead the Panthers attack and will be one of the most complete players in the Hockomock League in 2016. Lockhart was a lockdown defenseman during his junior year and will anchor that unit again this year. Civetti had a tremendous freshman year and will look to build on that this year, partnering with Kent up top.
Junior Packie Watson and senior Jared Trainor return to bring some experience to the midfield alongside newcomer Brian Vieten while freshman Jake Alexander will handle a lot of the faceoffs. Senior LSM Matt Pleshaw and senior Gabe Murphy will be key pieces in the defensive unit. Head coach Lou Verrochi said he expects junior Mike Keane and sophomore Connor O’Rourke to battle for the starting spot in goal.
“Hopefully we will be in the hunt for a league championship,” Verrochi said.
2015 Record: 14-8
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jacob Kravitz
King Philip is looking to continue its growth as a program, hoping to take another step in the right direction in 2016. The Warriors return experienced players all over the field.
“We have a lot of two way guys in the midfield,” KP head coach Jacob Kravitz said. “We should be a balanced team that is led by our captains.”
The 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Paul Macrina is back in goal after a stellar year and will be one the three captains for KP. Mike Riggs and Connor Khung are returning starters on defense along with Steven Eaton, a captain, that will see time at pole and LSM.
In the midfield, senior captain Anthony Truini will play a big role especially offensively while Kravitz is looking for a mix of other players to fit into the middle of the field. Offensively, seniors Sam Agricola and Harrison Fallon will look to take over at attack while junior Tim Watson is looking to to build upon his 29 goal season last year.
2016 Record: 10-9
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias
After making a late charge last season to reach the playoffs, the Hornets are returning a large core back this season. Mansfield won seven of their last 10 games to reach the playoffs and with only three very valuable players graduated, head coach Tim Frias is hopeful for another postseason trip.
“Our strengths will be the experience and play at the midfield and defense we will have to wait to see who pulls full time duty at attack for our seniors that we lost last year,” Frias said.
Senior captains Connor Finerty and Billy Grant will be key pieces in the midfield with Finerty also seeing time at attack. Senior Mike Wilcox will also be an important piece in the middle of the field while sophomores Hunter Ferreira and Joe Cox could have breakout seasons.
Defensively, Sean Powers is back in the cage while three year starter Josh Schafer will anchor the line in front of him along with Tommy Donnelly. Frias is relying on some of the younger poles to step up in that role. Offense will be one of the biggest questions after graduating some talent there but senior Ryan Smith is back and will be a big part of setting up the offense.
2015 Record: 13-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Kevin Young
The Rocketeers will have to replace the program’s all time leading scorer Sean Young but to start the season, head coach Kevin Young is confident they have the defensive end covered.
Senior captains Anthony Baiungo and Andrew Casson return and will be relied upon heavily to handle opponent’s offense. Junior Dan MacDonald will take over in the cage to help solidify the defensive end.
In the middle of the field, seniors Brody Barr and Connor Dunn bring a lot of experience to both sides of the field, which is another reason Young is confident in the defensive end. Patrick Nally will be look at to take over on face offs with help from LSM James Schromm.
When it comes to offense, although Big Red has to replace a near 300 point producer, junior Zach McGowan
has proved in the past he has what it takes to find the back of the net and create opportunities for teammates. Classmates Owen Costello and Jack Dakin will also make an impact on the offensive end for the Rocketeers.
2015 Record: N/A
2015 Finish: N/A
Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton is looking to make a splash in its inaugural season after competing for two years at the JV level and posting 20 wins. Kris Metea, who guided the Tigers hockey team to a record season on the ice this season, is the head coach for the lacrosse team as well.
“The team has some good upperclassmen,” Metea said. “But the talent is on the young end which will take time for them to become successful against upperclassmen from solid Hockomock programs. The key to success will be how fast depth can develop and youth can step up.”
Seniors Santiago Lopez and Jared Williams will be called upon to anchor the defensive unit in front of freshman Ryan Williams, who will take the majority of minutes in goal. In the midfield, senior Ethan Patterson will be joined by sophomore Will Walsh and junior Andrew Wellington.
Offense can sometimes be the hardest challenge for new programs but Taunton will look to younger players Josh Grasso, a sophomore and Griffin Speicher, a freshman to take care of the attack.