Boys Soccer: 2017 Davenport Division Preview

2017 Davenport Division Preview
Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview

Canton

2016 Record: 8-7-5
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Danny Erickson

After playing a good handful of juniors and sophomores during the 2016 season, the Bulldogs look to be an experienced group heading into this year. Leading the way will be senior and two-time captain Jake Verille, who leads the Bulldogs from the middle of the pitch. Fellow captain Abe Garber is back for another year in net and senior captain John Agnitti with anchor the defensive line.

Verille, a HockomockSports.com Best XI selection last season, has been one of the top playmakers the past two years. On top of Verille’s offensive ability, Canton also returns junior Paul Corcoran – the team’s leading scorer (nine goals) and the HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. Alongside Corcoran, the Bulldogs have a slew of juniors with varsity experience including Griffin Roach, Simon Cruz, Paulo Ruggeri and Avery Minkin that will all factor into the attack.

“We are confident that we will be able to keep the ball and attack this year,” said Canton head coach Danny Erickson. “The chances should be created, but we will need to finish. We will also need to defend as a group of 11 MUCH better than we did last season.”

Foxboro

2016 Record: 6-9-4
2016 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round
Coach: Joe Franchino

After graduating just five seniors last season, head coach Joe Franchino brings back the majority of squad that had just one loss in its last eight regular season games in 2016. However, two of those five players – Anthony Barreira (two-time Best XI selection) & AJ Bubencik (now playing at Mass. Maritime) – were four year players and will be tough to replace.

The good news is that while the Warriors were young a year ago, a good portion of the team has at least a season of varsity experience under its belt. Senior captain Shawn McNamara, now in his fourth year starting for the Warriors, will lead the way along with fellow captains Matt Rongione and Ryan Kelley. Senior Cam Cass also has plenty of experience and will be relied upon as a playmaker. Junior Shane Vandenboom had a strong sophomore season and will be an important piece in the midfield along classmate Nic Beigel and senior Hussiein Kafel.

Seniors Bobby Harrison will be the starting goalie for the Warriors.

“Coming into my third year, I am confident the team has bought into the system and I’m really looking forward to see how they compete,” Franchino said. “We have experienced senior and junior classes with a couple of sophomores to watch out for. We may not have a target on our back but when it’s all said and done, I believe we have the team to win! I believe in this group and really excited to see what they accomplish.”

Milford

2016 Record: 4-10-4
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brian Edwards

The Scarlet Hawks are looking to take the next step in year two with Brian Edwards at the helm. After just four wins a season ago, Edwards is hoping that the experience gained by his younger players will translate into more success this time around.

Midfielder Andre Oliveira will be a key piece for Edwards and the Scarlet Hawks, helping both the offense and defense. Oliveira’s ability to transition from defense to offense will be key for the Scarlet Hawks this season. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Jacob Balzarini is back in the center of the defense. After getting plenty of time in that spot last season, Balzarini will be the anchor of the backline this year. On top of Oliveira and Balzaini, Edwards is looking for new players to step up and make an impact.

“I’m looking for us to be a team that stresses balance,” Edwards said. “I am hopeful that the experience many of these guys gained last year translates into more success in the standings. I am also excited to see what the new guys bring to the squad. There are a bunch of hungry young players that want to make their mark on this team and in this league.”

North Attleboro

2016 Record: 2-10-6
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Geoff Burgess

North Attleboro boasts over a dozen seniors on the 2017 version of the Red Rocketeers and head coach Geoff Burgess is hoping that experience will translate into success on the field.

Leading the way will be senior and 2016 HockomockSports.com Second XI selection Gabe Pinhancos, who has been Big Red’s field general for the past couple of seasons. Josh Rodriguez and Ryan Pasquel are also back this season to help bolster the midfield. Junior Joe Hilf and senior Jeff Gale will be relied upon to pace North Attleboro’s offense.

Big Red’s biggest strength could be in the back, having a defensive unit with plenty of experience. Noah Barney and Zach Matracia both saw significant time and will be joined by classmates Andrew Fontaine and Kevin Aguilar. That defensive unit will be in front of senior goalie Brendan Matracia.

“I am hoping that we are going to be a team on the rise this year,” said Burgess. “I have a strong senior class and we’ve had a good summer and an even better preseason.”

Sharon

2016 Record: 11-4-4 (Davenport Division Champions)
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Bryan Kelly

The defending Davenport division champs will boast a large senior class (14) but will also rely on some younger players as they look to win back-to-back Hock titles.

The Eagles’ tri-captains will provide leadership in each part of the pitch, with senior center back Shubo Roy-Chowdury on the back line, senior Tyler Hippler leading the midfield and senior Spencer Hall up front. Sharon’s attack will bolstered by seniors Marques Benton and Andy Reyes-Jones, who both saw plenty of time up top a year ago. Meanwhile, sophomore Michael Baur is back after a standout freshman season and classmates Isaiah Stessman, Brian Higgins and freshman Brice Nathan will all play a role in helping the Eagles go forward.

Maybe the biggest advantage the Eagles have is returning keeper Ethan Kantor. The junior had a terrific season in net a year ago and will be the backbone of the team’s defense.

“With a solid defense that is smart and has speed, we should be able to keep up with fast offenses while not losing the capability to support a potent offense,” said SHS head coach Bryan Kelly. “Overall, we are solid from goal to forwards, it just depends on if we can put the ball in the back of the net.”

Stoughton

2016 Record: 8-9-2
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Chris Suchorski

Stoughton will be looking to make it back again to the postseason, this time under first-year head coach Chris Suchorski. The Black Knights just made it in a season ago but it marked the third straight year for the program.

Suchorski is tasked with replacing 12 seniors that graduated from last year’s team. However, all of the players he is returning all saw varsity time last season and that should soften the blow dealt by graduation. Senior Tyler Melo (six points) is back and will likely be a vital part of the Black Knights’ midfield and attack. Junior Fabio Ponce de Leon (six points) begins his third season on varsity and will once again be one the Black Knights’ top offensive options. Brian Peoples also returns as one of the team’s top playmakers.

The biggest question could come with the back four, as the Black Knights must find a replacement for 2016 Best XI selection Goddy Fombe, who anchored the back line the past two season the sweeper position.

Stamm’s Brace Helps Sharon Pick Up Win Over Franklin

Sharon boys soccer
Sharon’s Michael Baur (left) goes up for a header in the second half against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
SHARON, Mass. – Sharon senior Ben Stamm scored once in each half and the Eagles’ defense was able to limit Franklin in a 2-0 win on Friday afternoon.

The Eagles didn’t waste much time to seize the lead, finding the back of the net inside the opening five minutes. Sharon then iced the game with just over 10 minutes to play. Both goals came off long throw-ins.

“We haven’t used the long throw-in at all,” Sharon head coach Bryan Kelly said. “Two goals off of long throws is really nice. And on those direct kicks, if could get on the end of some of those, we could have scored more but it’s something we’ve got to work on. This season is the most we’ve scored on set pieces since I’ve been here.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the fourth minute, Shubojit Roy-Chowdhury launched a long throw from the attacking third into the area. The ball fell to Stamm, who had his first shot blocked. The senior kept with it and got another shot, this one was partially blocked but trickled in at the far post to put Sharon up 1-0.

“We’ve been working on possession and switching the field a lot since the KP game,” Kelly said. “Some of the pieces fell into place today. Getting that early goal, just that little poke in, it gave us confidence to ride. We lost a little composure after that but I have a good group of seniors that can get it back for us. And I have a lot of subs at my disposal and we don’t get any worse.

“We’re deep, we’re fast and when we play the way we know how to play, we come out on top.”

Franklin had the only other scoring chance of the first half. In the 16th minute, Matt Poirier launched a service from the right sideline, just a few steps over half. The ball was deflected and bounced through Sharon’s area and found Farley Asmath, but his bid went over the bar at the far post.

Chances were aplenty in the second half, the first just two minutes into the stanza. Spencer Hall worked to get some space on the left sideline and hit a service to the back post. Oliver Hu elected to have a go on a one-time volley but his bid went high.

In the 55th minute, the Panthers had a free kick from midfield that Asmath met with his head to flick on. Kevin Hall ran onto the ball at the back post but his touch went just over the bar. Two minutes later, Sharon had a chance when Alex Romantz flicked the ball to Andrew Reyes-Jones in the area but Franklin keeper Freddie Beckmann was first to the ball to end the chance.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Ten minutes later, Sharon’s Marques Benton played a ball into Reyes-Jones but once again Beckmann was quick off his line to gobble the ball up. In the 68th minute, a free kick from Franklin’s Liam Kapples found the head of Hatim Brahimi in the area but Sharon keeper Ethan Kantor smothered the loose ball before a Panther could latch onto it.

Finally in the 69th minute, the Eagles cashed in on another long throw. Tyler Hippler tossed the ball into the area and a scoffed clearance from the Panthers defense led to an open opportunity for Stamm and he buried it at the far post to make it 2-0.

“In practice, we emphasized making sure, even if we lose the ball, we don’t stop playing,” Kelly said. “We have to keep playing until we get the ball back. When we have players start to buy into the system, that’s what we see. We have a great defense this year too. With Shalin [Patel] at stopper and Shubojit at sweeper, we hopefully shut down the best player on the other team.”

With the win, Sharon boys soccer (6-3-2) moves into a tie atop the Davenport division with Canton – both 5-3-2 in league play. The Eagles have three straight home games, starting with a visit from Foxboro on Monday.

After picking up five wins in its first six games, Franklin (5-6-2, 4-5-2) has now gone winless in its last seven games. The Panthers will try to bounce back with a trip to Oliver Ames on Monday.

“I don’t have any answers, it’s a funny team,” Franklin head coach Fran Bositis said. “We’re just finding ways to lose games. It’s been a combination of things. I don’t think it’s from a lack of effort but I don’t know what it is, I can’t figure it out.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Boys Soccer: 2016 Davenport Division Preview

2016 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Davenport Boys Soccer Preview

Canton

2015 Record: 3-10-4
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Danny Erickson

For the first time in a decade, the Bulldogs missed out on the postseason last year but with a large group of experienced players returning, the 2016 team is looking to start a new playoff streak. Canton graduated just two starters from last year’s team and looks to be in the mix for the Davenport division title this season.

Canton will look to its four captains for guidance with the quartet spread out nicely on the field. Junior Jake Verille and senior Ben Waterhouse will bring skills and versatility to the midfield. Senior Danny Hartnett is experienced and will anchor the back line while classmate Sammy Papakonstantino will be relied upon to be a catalyst up top for the Bulldogs.

“We think we have the technical ability this fall to play some good soccer,” head coach Danny Erickson said. “We were competitive last Fall but couldn’t figure out how to get the ball in the back of the net and get a result. I’m confident that we are ready to take the next step and see the positive results come this Fall.”

Erickson added there is a battle for the starting goalie spot right now between senior Sean Mitchell and junior Abe Garber.

Foxboro

2015 Record: 15-2-3
2015 Finish: Reached D3 South Semifinal
Coach: Joe Franchino

It will be far from easy for Foxboro to replace the 2015 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Devante Teixeira (20 goals, 16 assists), who graduated, and two-time league all star Joe Morrison (eight goals, 15 assists), now playing full-time with his academy team. But senior Anthony Barreira (18 goals, 12 assists) is back for his fourth year on varsity and the Warriors get former league all star Jeff Melo back to bolster the back line, which will make the transition easier.

Barreira is set to be a top striker in the league and Melo showed during his sophomore year that he can be one of the best defenders in the area. AJ Bubencik’s conversion from a defender to a midfielder will be key for the Warriors this season as well. Sophomore Nic Beigel had a great rookie campaign and will be a key piece for Foxboro this season along with juniors Shawn McNamara and Ryan Kelley. Aaron Wentling and Bobby Harrison will fight for the starting spot in net this season.

“We are not the same team as last year but the quality is still here and my expectations are to win games,” head coach Joe Franchino said.

Milford

2015 Record: 4-13-1
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brian Edwards

Milford had a strong debut when it joined the Hockomock League in 2013 but were able to capture just seven league wins over the past two years. Brian Edwards has taken over at the helm of the Scarlet Hawks and is looking for a bounce back season in his first year.

The Scarlet Hawks will be relying upon its three captains to make the turnaround. Senior Marcello Panno is one of the most versatile players in the league with Edwards referring to him as a ‘swiss army knife.’ Edwards expects Panno to play roles both offensively and defensively. Defensively, senior Danny Mendoza is going to be tasked with handling top strikers from around the league. Edwards credited Mendoza’s work rate and his ability to make those around him better. Junior Andre Oliveira will be a major part of Milford’s attack this season. Oliveira will be one to watch, especially on the counter attack.

“We expect to see a focus on technical skill and ball movement as opposed to direct play,” Edwards said. “This is an attack which will be geared towards moving the ball in tight spaces against high pressure.”

Edwards also noted the team will focus on a team defensive effort, with an effort to deny opponents space in the final third.

North Attleboro

2015 Record: 1-14-3
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Geoff Burgess

After a rough couple of years, the North Attleboro Rocketeers are hoping a switch to the Davenport Division could be the perfect platform to launch a turnaround. With a good amount of players that saw either starting minutes or valuable time off of the bench back, the Rocketeers will look to ramp up their play, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Juniors Noah Barney and Zach Matracia saw a lot of minutes as outside backs last year and will look to bring that experience back this year. Senior John Brennan will try to anchor the back line from the center of the pitch while the Rocketeers look to find the right fit in the middle to complete the defense. Junior Brendan Matracia will occupy the goalkeeper spot with a good amount of minutes played from his sophomore year under his belt.

“We have gone from being young and green to being a group of seasoned varsity players,” head coach Geoff Burgess said. “It should be a resurgence for the program.”

Offensively, senior captains Leo Charlebois and Conor Danahey will be two of the main options up top. Burgess noted that junior Josh Rodriguez had a strong summer and will be a playmaker this year. In the middle of the pitch, junior Gabe Pinhancos will be complemented by classmate Ryan Pasquel and sophomore Marcus Costa.

Sharon

2015 Record: 10-7-1
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Second Round
Coach: Bryan Kelly

Even though Sharon lost a strong group to graduation, the Eagles are relying on a new crop of seniors to lead them in 2016. The Eagles also expect to get contributions from juniors, sophomores and freshmen in different areas of the field.

Senior captains Ian Camilli and Shali Patel will lead from the heart of the field at center midfield while fellow captain Benjamin Stamm will be a viable attacking option. Sophomore Ethan Kantor will take over the starting job for Andrew Filipkowski, a 2015 HockomockSports.com Best XI selection that graduated. Shubojit Roy-Chowdhury will be the anchor of the back line as a center defender. Head coach Bryan Kelly is looking for breakout seasons from Oliver Hu, Jacob Tevin, Jeremy Cabral, Marques Benton Jr., Spencer Hall, Andrew Reyes-Jones and Michael Baur.

“[On top of our seniors and juniors] there will be several sophomores and freshman called up throughout the season who will only add to the strength of the team,” Kelly said.

Stoughton

2015 Record: 9-8-3
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Second Round
Coach: Aaron Salter

After another successful campaign, the Black Knights are hoping to push their postseason streak to three straight years. Stoughton will face the challenge of graduating seven seniors, including some key pieces from each part of the field, but there the group of returning players should give the Black Knights plenty of optimism.

Stoughton has scored over 30 goals in back to back seasons (38 in 2014, 31 in 2015) and will look to make their offense a strong suit again this year. The Black Knights are returning three of their top four scorers, including sophomore Fabio Ponce De Leon (eight goals, two assists), Jordan Asnes (five goals, five assists) and Loubensky Lucas (five goals, one assist). Lucas has been finding the back of the net for three years and head coach Aaron Salter notes he’s had a strong preseason thus far.

“I felt last year we didn’t kill off enough games and left teams with life still in them,” Salter said. “This year we will be hoping to close out games much easier.”

Defensively, the Black Knights are hoping experience will help anchor the back line. Tyler Melo will be a factor in the midfield while Goddy Fombe and Noah Schulze both emerged as strong options on defense last season. Salter admitted there were players in new spots last year but now with a year under their belts, they have developed the awareness and look strong in the preseason.