FOXBORO, Mass. – For nearly a decade, two teams have dominated Hockomock League girls lacrosse. Foxboro and Franklin have each won eight straight division titles, including the league crowns that both have already clinched this spring. The last time a team other than those two finished on top in the league was 2012, when King Philip shared the Kelley-Rex title with the Panthers.
On Wednesday evening, the league’s top two teams squared off at Sam Berns Community Field. Behind a quick start that saw it jump ahead 5-0 and seven goals from senior midfielder Annie Walsh, Franklin pulled out a 14-10 victory to extend its remarkable league winning streak to 80 straight games dating back to April 2012.
“I thought we did really well on the draws early, we were really feisty in the circle, and just took good shots in the first half,” Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino said of the good start. “I think their goalie played awesome and really stepped up her game as it went on but we got on her early.”
The Panthers got off to the perfect start, scoring the game’s first five goals, all but one from free position chances. Freshmen Jackie O’Neil and Stella Regan got the visitors going, the second goal created after freshman Kate O’Rourke scooped a ground ball to keep the possession alive.
After Annie Walsh hit the post, Erin Walsh went over the top of Foxboro goalie Sara Addeche (11 saves) to make it 3-0. The Walsh sisters combined for nine of Franklin’s goals and Erin also chipped in with an assist. O’Rourke bounced in a free position goal for Franklin’s fourth and then O’Neil picked out a cutting Annie Walsh for her first, forcing a Foxboro timeout.
“We’ve struggled all year with playing the entire game,” Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry explained. “When you have to start at a deficit and have to pick away, it’s too much. We can’t let a team like Franklin have that lead. It’s a momentum-changer for us and puts us in a slump and we have to work the rest of the game to get out of it.”
Following a draw control, Foxboro got on the board. Sophomore Lilly Vey cut across the front of goal and managed to bounce a shot inside the post. Two minutes later, Sophia DiCenso set up Abby Hassman in front of goal to make it 5-2.
A free position goal by Kelsey MacCallum restored Franklin’s four-goal lead, but only for a short time. Julia Kelley hit the outside of the cage from a tough angle and then Meghan Curran sliced through the defense to make it 6-3. Addeche stuffed Erin Walsh on one end and the Warriors converted on the other, as DiCenso’s head fake opened a sliver of space down the right channel to make it 6-4.
Just when it looked like Foxboro might be taking control, Annie Walsh stepped up. She went straight down the middle of the Warriors’ defense to score with 2:30 left in the half and then she forced a turnover and scored on the resulting free position just 17 seconds before the break to extend the lead to 8-4.
Igoe Guarino said, “Annie is an excellent dodger and I thought she did a good job of taking good, smart dodges in space and mixing up her shot placement so she could finish.”
Walsh made it a five-goal game early in the second half when she scooped a rebound, after Addeche made another good stop, and flicked it in from close-range.
Foxboro needed a spark and junior Jaime Notarangelo provided one. She used a big pump fake to free herself in the middle of the Franklin defense and scored to make it 9-5. After winning the draw, Notarangelo twice beat the defense and Franklin goalie Gianna Cameron (five saves) only to see the ball come back off the post both times. The second rebound was gathered by Vey, who fired into the open net.
“Jaime came up huge,” Sherry said. “She does it in defense, in midfield, and if she loses the ball in attack she’s right back playing defense and getting the ball back for us.”
Walsh used a head fake and a quick step to beat her marker and then split two other defenders to get the goal back for Franklin, but Carly Stern got the Foxboro bench going when she carried the ball out of defense almost 60 yards before scoring to make it 10-7.
Another Walsh goal got the lead back to four and then Cameron came through with a big stop on Curran. Walsh followed that with her seventh goal to give the Panthers a 12-7 edge. “Gianna always steps up in the most critical time and is always so focused,” said Igoe Guarino. “She knows when we need her the most.”
Vey completed her hat trick, spinning her way into the middle of the defense, but then Erin Walsh got her second on a feed from O’Rourke and Regan added another in transition to make the score 14-8 with less than two minutes remaining.
Sherry said, “The draw wasn’t consistent enough for us. If we don’t win the draw, then we don’t win the game. We had bits and spurts but in those key moments they were beating us.”
The Warriors kept coming. Curran scored off a free position and then Notarangelo added another to make it a four-goal game in the end.
“It totally helps us and that’s the reason that we have those games,” Sherry said of playing the likes of Div. 1 powers Walpole, Wellesley, and Franklin this season. “But, we also have to hold ourselves accountable. At this point in the season, only about a week away from finding out where we are in the playoffs, it can’t just be helping us. We have to use it successfully. It has to be we played hard teams and we got a win from it.”
With 80 straight wins in the Hock and the potential for a seventh straight perfect league campaign, Igoe Guarino was pleased with the way her team responded to the challenge from their rivals.
“We take pride in it and we know that Foxboro is going to be the toughest league game every year,” she said. “[The players] just have a lot of pride and they know Foxboro is out to get us. Foxboro was ready for us but we had to be just as ready back.”
Franklin (14-2, 9-0) can complete another undefeated league season if it beats Canton on Monday. Foxboro (9-7, 7-1) will face Div. 2 East rival Medfield on Friday and look to secure an outright league title when it faces Milford on Tuesday.
FOXBORO, Mass. – The Foxboro girls lacrosse team might not have one of the best records in the state, but the hope is that facing top competition throughout the season will have the Warriors primed for the postseason.
The battle-tested Warriors showcased their talents in a battle of league unbeatens on Monday afternoon, earning a 19-6 win over visiting King Philip in dominating fashion.
“Our record isn’t great, not what it usually is but we’ve played so many of the top teams in the state that we’re so mentally prepared for the games now,” said Foxboro head coach Brittany Sherry. “The end result hasn’t always been what we want but we’re competing for the most part with those teams. We knew this was a big league game and we wanted to prove ourselves, the games leading up to this have prepared us for this.”
Foxboro entered the contest at 7-6 overall, but four of those losses were to four of the top seven teams in Eastern Mass — Notre Dame Academy (1), Walpole (2), Norwell (5), and Wellesley (7) — another to Western Mass powerhouse Longmeadow, and the sixth to Natick, who is ranked in the top 20.
After trading a pair of goals each to start the game, Foxboro’s offense went into high gear and rattled off eight straight goals to turn a close game into a comfortable lead for the host Warriors.
King Philip closed the first half strong to give themselves a shot in the second half, but Foxboro once again had eight straight goals and pull away for the win.
“We had a long talk after the Walpole game about what we can do to better prepare for games, and we haven’t put together two halves yet,” Sherry said. “Just because we say to be here at 3:00, doesn’t mean you can’t come early and get some shots up. It was the first time it hasn’t rained and they came early today and got ready for the game.”
Foxboro junior Julia Kelley scored a pair of goals inside the first four minutes to give the hosts the lead, the first off a feed from junior Jaime Notarangelo and the second assisted by sophomore Lilly Vey.
King Philip responded with a pair of goals to tie it 2-2 six minutes into the contest. First, freshman Julia Marsden carried possession from her own half and sliced through the Foxboro defense, finishing with a shot in close. Caroline Klim followed with a goal off a feed from Victoria Tormey to tie the score.
But from that point on, Foxboro owned the first half. The host Warriors dominated on draws, winning 11 of 16 in the first half, and won eight of the first nine which directly led to a big lead.
Senior Sophia DiCenso scored back-to-back goals, the first off a free position and the second off a feed from Vey. Vey then took a pass from Kelley and scored to make it 5-2. Senior Molly Murphy netted her first of three goals with a bounce shot with 12:31 left to make it 6-2 and force a KP timeout.
Foxboro didn’t take its foot off the gas though with Notarangelo tucking in a low shot for a 7-2 lead. King Philip goalie Caroline Watson (12 saves) was strong in net and turned away a Warrior chance with just under 10 minutes to go but Foxboro was first to the rebound and Abby Hassman connected with DiCenso to make it 8-2.
Vey scored back-to-back goals, the latter with four minutes to play in the first half.
King Philip put together a mini-run to end the first half and stay within striking distance. Buoyed by some draw controls, Klim scored off a nice individual effort, senior Allie Wilson found the back of the net off a free position chance, and junior Jessica Sullivan buried a nice shot with a minute to go to make it 10-5.
But Foxboro was relentless in the second half, holding King Philip to just one offensive possession through the first eight minutes. Watson made some stellar stops in close to keep Foxboro off the board but the host Warriors’ continual pressure paid off.
Vey found DiCenso in transition and just 17 seconds later, Notarangelo scored after controlling the draw. Hassman, Notaragenlo, and Murphy scored over the next five minutes to push Foxboro’s lead to 15-5.
“Credit to Foxboro, they came out strong with high energy and really wanted to play today from start to finish,” said King Philip coach Kourtnie Wilder. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to play that full 50 minutes. We had a few good sparks but not a full game of lacrosse and it showed, and they were able to pile it on.
“Having that short term memory is something we need to work on. Even if they score a couple of goals, we have to move on and focus on the next play. Credit to our goalie Caroline Watson, she had a lot of saves and kept us in it for most of the game.”
Even when King Philip was able to get a stop, Foxboro’s pressure made it tough for the visiting Warriors’ to clear the ball cleanly.
“We haven’t been that strong [pressuring defenses] but we did a nice job today,” Sherry said. “We wanted to put pressure on the goalie, the girls did very well with their ride today.
“I think we had the edge [on 50/50 balls]. We haven’t had that every game so far but today we did and that’s been one of our biggest things. We’re either really strong or really weak, and today we were on the strong end of things.”
Meghan Curran added two goals, Murphy scored once more, and senior Kristin Whalen found the back of the net once to cap the Foxboro scoring. Klim scored King Philip’s lone goal of the second half with 2:30 to play.
Foxboro girls lacrosse (6-0 Hockomock, 8-6 overall) is back in action on the road at Attleboro on Wednesday. King Philip (5-1, 8-3) is on the road at Canton on the same day.
Foxboro @ Norton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy – Postponed to Thursday, 5/16 at 3:45.
Canton vs. Boston Latin – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Foxboro @ Medway – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/14 at 4:00.
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Friday, 4/26 at 3:45.
Foxboro, 18 @ Wayland, 11 – Final – Foxboro senior Brendan Tully netted his 100th career goal as the Warriors picked up a big win on the road over Wayland. Tully had five goals and two assists while Pete Conley had four goals and three assists, each finishing with seven points for Foxboro. Charlie Baughan added three goals, Aidan Stapleton and Bobby Yerardi each found the back of the net twice, and Shayne Kerrigan scored once and had two helpers. Foxboro coach Matt Noone said Nick Penders was excellent at the faceoff X.
King Philip, 11 @ Bishop Feehan, 8 – Final – King Philip senior Colin DeVellis factored into seven goals, helping the Warriors take down Bishop Feehan. DeVellis scored five goals and recorded two assists, Kevin Riggs netted a pair of goals, and Andrew Sajdak had one goal and one assist. Sam Mattson (goal, assist) David Lawler (goal), Robbie Tartaglia (goal), and Tyler Bartlett (assist) all contributed to the score.
Mansfield, 14 @ Framingham, 6 – Final – Mansfield got back into the win column with a victory on the road at Framingham. Connor Quirk and Brady Kessler paced the offense, each scoring four goals apiece. Jake Quirk netted three goals, Aidan Sacco added two tallies, and Jake DiSangro chipped in with one goal. Joe Plath made 12 saves in net for the Hornets.
Attleboro @ Milford – Postponed to Friday, 4/26 at 4:00.
Oliver Ames @ Ashland – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Canton, 8 @ Mansfield, 22 – Final – Katy Garvin had five goals and four assists and Lauren Whitman had seven goals and an assist to lead the Hornets to a comprehensive non-league win against the Bulldogs. Whitman was also a force on the draws, pulling down 15 to keep Mansfield in possession. Maggie Danehy had a hat trick, while Olivia Murray, Grace Fernandez, and Annemarie McCory all scored twice in the win. Grace Danehy recorded her first career goal as well. Katie McCarthy had a big game in goal, recording a career-high 13 saves.
Franklin, 15 @ Medfield, 6 – Final – Franklin raced out to a 10-3 lead at halftime and never looked back for a victory on the road at Medfield. Senior Annie Walsh had a team-high nine points, scoring five goals and adding four assists while junior Erin Walsh also scored five goals with two helpers. Annie Walsh and Stella Regan dominated draws for the Panthers, combining for 15 wins. Hailey Toolin and Sydney Hawkins played well defensively in front of Gianna Cameron (10 saves).
North Attleboro, 7 vs. Medway, 17 – Final
King Philip, 17 vs. Bishop Feehan, 7 – Final – Six different players scored for the Warriors, as KP rolled to a non-league win. Jess Sullivan led the way with six goals, while Caroline Klim added six points (five goals and an assist) of her own. Olivia Tormey had a hat trick, while Victoria Tormey chipped in with a goal and two assists. Mackenzie Mazur and Ali Wilson also scored for the Warriors, while Wilson added an assist as well. Caroline Watson made nine saves in the win.
Sharon, 6 @ Foxboro, 16 – Final – Foxboro senior Sophia DiCenso recorded her 200th career goal as the Warriors rolled to a win in the rain. Emma Eberhardt and Jenna Goldstein each scored twice for the Eagles and Mia Lappen added one. Maeve Barbera, Bridget McManus, and Molly McAlevey each had assists in the loss.
Milford @ Attleboro – Postponed to Tuesday, 4/25 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames vs. Ursuline Academy – Postponed to Thursday, 5/9 at 4:00.
North Attleboro @ Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/22 at 3:45.
Canton @ King Philip – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Stoughton @ Franklin – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Sharon @ Taunton – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Milford @ Mansfield – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/22 at 3:45.
King Philip @ Canton – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames @ Foxboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Franklin @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Taunton @ Sharon – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
Mansfield @ Milford – Postponed to Wednesday, 4/24 at 3:45.
King Philip, 3 vs. Norton, 0 – Final – King Philip defended home court by sweeping visiting Norton 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-18). Eric Altobello paced the offense with 14 kills while Jimmy Peterson added eight kills. Shea Duffy was strong at the net with three blocks while Max Armour and Mike O’Brien played well defensively with seven digs apiece.
Attleboro is a relatively young program that is looking to build on a talented group of returning players, particularly in the attacking end of the field. New head coach Chrissy Quinn has a dynamic group of attackers that she is hoping will build on last season’s 113 goals, which was the second-lowest goals tally in the league.
The key player in the midfield and attack is senior Kyra Lyons, who accounted for nearly half of the team’s goals last spring despite drawing the attention of opposing defenders. Lyons will be joined by senior midfielder Rylee Fontes, a Worcester State-commit, who adds a secondary playmaker around the opponent’s goal. Junior attackers Sydney DiLiddo, Kelly Johnson, Rylee Turnes, and Ashley Piazza will get helped by sophomore Hannah Webster, Campbell Compton, and Isabella Salviati.
On the defensive side of the ball, seniors Sam Fasoldt and Sydney Viera will be the leaders of the back line, trying to protect sophomore Maggie Porreca and junior Dee Graham, who will both see time in goal this season. Juniors Julia Willis, C.J. Westwater, and Lynn McDonald will also be jumping into the defensive unit to add depth at the back for the Bombardiers.
2018 Record: 4-13 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Laurie Chabot
Like many of the teams in the Davenport division, Canton comes into the spring eyeing a return to the state tournament. The Bulldogs last made it in 2016 after finishing in a three-way tie for second behind Foxboro in the Davenport division. With a mix of new faces and experienced returning players, second-year coach Laurie Chabot is hopeful that this season with see Canton make a run up the standings.
Canton will have a lot of experience in the defensive unit even after graduating a few key pieces. Senior Molly Cummings will be the leader at the back and will be joined by classmate Devyn McGrann and freshman Sydney Gallery, whose twin sister Fay will jump into the midfield this season. Junior Alexa Maffeo and seniors Maggie Connolly and Leah McLellan will also be critical for the Bulldogs to take control of the middle of the field and transition from defense into attack. Communication at the back will be key. There are several new faces in the attacking unit but Chabot is already seeing that chemistry is building. She was pleased with results in the preseason and is hoping that confidence will carry over into the games that count.
“We are off to a great start this spring,” Chabot said. “This year we not only have a strong team with both skill and speed, but we have size on our side. The team is coming together, starting with a win against Norwood in our scrimmage. We have strong players in all areas it’s hard to pinpoint just one.”
2018 Record: 14-6 2018 Finish: Reached D2 East Quarterfinal Coach: Brittany Sherry
Expectations may be as high for this year’s Foxboro team as any under head coach Brittany Sherry because the Warriors have a roster filled with talent and experience (14 returning seniors). Foxboro will be looking to clinch an eighth straight league title but also will have its sights set on bringing home the program’s first sectional title as well. With the weapons at the Warriors disposal, there is the potential for plenty of silverware to come their way this spring.
It all starts with two-time reigning Hockomock League MVP (and reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year) Sophia DiCenso. The senior midfielder has spent the off-season playing with the youth national team and will be the cog on which the Warriors build their attacks. She is joined in the midfield by classmate Molly Murphy, who is closing in on 100 goals in her career, juniors Abby Hassman and Jamie Notarangelo and sophomore Ella Waryas, who each provide Foxboro with solid two-way play. In attack, seniors Meghan Curran and Caroline McGeary have consistently provided goals in big games and sophomore Lilly Vey is a newcomer to watch this spring. The loss of Alex Stamatos to injury will be tough on defense, but senior Carlie Stern will provide the leadership for an experienced group that includes seniors Mary Spillane and Jenna Stamatov and junior Grace Boudreau. Of course, if anyone gets through then University of Louisville-commit Sara Addeche will be waiting in goal.
“This year our main goal is to take it game by game,” Sherry said. “We’re putting whatever has happened these last few years, as far as previous wins/losses and playoffs go, and putting it in our past. We need to continue to work hard every day, play as a team and have fun while doing it. We all have a common goal and know what it’s going to take to get there.”
It is a sign of just how far the Franklin program has come that being knocked out in last season’s East semifinal could almost be considered a disappointment. After winning the East title in 2016 and 2017, the Panthers come into the spring with another roster loaded with talent and experience and a schedule loaded with the top teams in the state to prep for a deep tournament run as well as trying to make it eight straight league titles.
Senior Annie Walsh will be the focal point for the Panthers again this year and the player that the offense typically runs through. Her sister Erin, a junior attacker, is one of the best finishers in the league and gives Franklin a dynamic one-two punch on offense. Junior Kelsey MacCallum adds another talented attacker to the forward line, while senior Hailey Toolin adds versatility as either a midfielder or defender and junior Alex Field will be a key piece of a defensive unit that was by far the best in the Hock last season. Junior goalie Gianna Cameron is another reason for the Panthers having such a strong defensive record after two straight seasons on the HockomockSports.com First Team. The Panthers haven’t lost a league game since 2012 (more than 70 straight wins) and have added an exciting freshman class with loads of potential, including six players making the instant jump to varsity.
“We have a ton of versatility where a lot of different players can play all positions. I am excited about the athleticism and skill level of our team,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “We have a ton of players with high level stick work and IQ that are capable of scoring and feeding. I am looking forward to us becoming a team with a high powered offense!”
Under first-year head coach Kourtnie Wilder, King Philip built on the momentum of its run to the 2017 East semifinal to put together a 14-win season and finish comfortably in second place in the Kelley-Rex division. The Warriors took Franklin to triple-overtime, coming as close as anyone has in recent years to ending the Panthers’ long league win streak, and battled with Lincoln-Sudbury in the East quarterfinal. Now, KP is hoping to use that experience to make a run at ending Franklin’s dominance in the division.
The key for KP may be the attack, which returns a lot of goals from last season. Senior Caroline Klim is back and will be a player that opposing defenses will have to watch out for after leading the league with 73 goals last season, including nine against Sharon in the playoffs. Klim will be joined up top by classmate Dana Truini and junior Jessica Sullivan. Defensively, Wilder points to the team’s aggressiveness and communications as being the keys to building on a season in which the Warriors only allowed 153 goals, which was second-best in the Hock. Senior Victoria Tormey, a HockomockSports.com First Team defender last season and Boston University-commit, will be the leader at the back and will have classmate Caroline Watson back in goal behind her to make a formidable group for opponents to break down.
Wilder said, “We are excited for the season and have a great group of returners. This season will be competitive as we are playing some strong teams, but we are up for the challenge! We are looking to build off of our success from last season and continuing to work hard and improve each day at practice.”
2018 Record: 9-10 2018 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round Coach: Lauryn Wilkie
New coach Lauryn Wilkie takes over the program this spring, looking to push an experienced Mansfield roster up the league standings, challenge Franklin at the top of the division, and make another run at a state tournament berth. The Hornets will be counting on its 11 returning seniors to keep things heading in the right direction this spring.
Senior attacker Katie Garvin will lead the forward line again this season after being among the league’s top scorers in 2018. Seniors Lauren Whitman and Maggie Danehy bring verve, energy, and experience to the Mansfield midfield, covering on draw controls and the transition game. Seniors Emily Vigeant and Kylie Tryder will cover the back line just in front of senior goalie Katie McCarthy, all of whom have multiple years of experience on varsity and should be a strength of the team. There are some underclassmen who will contribute right away for the Hornets, including sophomore midfielders Annemarie McCoy, Abby Varricchione, and Grace Fernandez and sophomore defender Melissa Shanteler.
“We are coming back this year with a brand new coaching staff looking to make some changes to the program,” said Wilkie. “We are breaking down the sport back to the basics and building it back up. Once this team finds their groove, I expect big things.”
Milford has a number of players back and a new head coach, Nicole Serra, looking to make a quick turnaround from last season in which the Hawks won only twice overall. With an athletic group back, Serra is working on building chemistry and putting the players in position to take advantage of their speed in transition. After scoring a league-low 82 goals last season, the attack will be a primary area of focus this spring.
Seniors Emily Haley, Katie Drysdale, and Sophia Bucal will give the Hawks leadership on the field, with Bucal providing a vocal presence in the attack. Senior Briana Maietta will join Bucal up front and they will be helped by junior midfielders Annie Flanagan and Elena Bon Tempo, who add athleticism whether in the attack or tracking back to help out on defense. Junior Hannah Bangert will be the leader at the back, controlling the defensive zone, along with sophomores Katie Maietta, Jillian Michelson, and Eva Parson.
“I am hoping to see the team really push themselves to improve every day and treat each practice like a game,” said Serra. “We are working on improving our speed, adding to our repertoire of offensive plays, and beating our record from previous years. I am looking forward to a great season.”
While North Attleboro finished below .500 last season, the Rocketeers only missed a postseason berth by a single game, ending up one game behind Sharon and in third-place in the Davenport division. Second-year coach Colleen Carchedi, who came over from Sharon last spring, is counting on the team’s young core (and the new turf at Beaupre Field) to help North get back into the postseason hunt and even challenge Foxboro’s reign at the top of the division.
Senior attacker Alexa Sinacola and senior defender Lauren Pezzi will be leaders on either end of the field, but North also has a strong junior class that will be counted on to produce this season, especially after the graduation of perennial all-star Kenzi Rosenberg. Junior Katie Lindstrom will be the focus of attention in the midfield after committing to UMass Lowell in the off-season, but she will have help from classmates Kathryn Kayata, Regan Fein, Lily Cameron, and Lindsay Spratt. Junior Faith Graveline will step into goal to try and help Pezzi lock down the defense along with sophomore starters Camryn Gonrdell and Aimee Baiungo. Sophomore Maggie O’Brien will add a spark to the attack.
Carchedi said, “We are young, but we are fresh. We are full of potential and certainly have the ability to compete at a high level of lacrosse. It is going to be a great season for us. Having the turf will be crucial in creating success for the program. I am very excited for this season and the future looks bright.”
2018 Record: 8-12 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Nicole Lang
Oliver Ames continues to build the depth within its program to try and get that elusive berth in the state tournament. The Tigers have won eight games in each of the past three seasons, making the postseason in 2016 and narrowly missing out by two wins each of the last two years. This spring, OA will send out a relatively young squad that will look to get the Tigers over the hump and into the playoffs.
While there is plenty of youth on the roster, OA has leadership from a core of experienced players, including senior midfielder Olivia Piazza, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team last year and is committed to Merrimack College. She scored 91 points last season and will be the engine at the heart of the OA midfield. Senior Maddie Kullen will be in goal this season for the Tigers and classmate Grace McCallum returns to lead the defensive unit.
OA will try to improve its defensive record and make strides up the league standings under second-year coach Nicole Lang, who said, “We have a young team this year but with a lot of determination to learn the game. We continue to work hard each day to continue to build a competitive team for this League. The girls are definitely excited for the season so we are looking forward to their hard work paying off.”
2018 Record: 11-8 2018 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round Coach: Shara Ginthwain
Sharon has made the playoffs each of the past three seasons and has gone 7-3 in league play for the past two years. It has been an unprecedented run of success for the program and the challenge for the Eagles is to keep that momentum going even with the loss of key players to graduation. Second-year coach Shara Ginthwain will hope that new players can step in and that the team’s chemistry and effort will allow Sharon to continue battling at the top of the Davenport division standings.
Senior midfielder Emma Eberhardt is the key to the Eagles staying on track. The Lehigh University-commit scored 69 goals last year, including five against KP in the playoffs, and has been one of the top playmakers in the league the past three seasons. Eberhardt’s normal running mate in midfield, Sabrina Robbins, is now playing at the University of Colorado, so it will be important for her to build a rapport with sophomore Jenna Goldstein, who had an impressive rookie campaign, and senior Maeve Barbera. Senior goalie Rose Wald will be back between the pipes and classmate Bridget McManus is back to guide the defensive unit after being a HockomockSports.com Second Team performer last spring. Sophomore Molly McAlevey is a newcomer in defense to keep an eye on.
“Based on tryouts, practices, and scrimmages early this season, I can already tell that this team has a lot of heart, a lot of grit, and does not give up,” said Ginthwain. “I think their mental toughness is going to be a big strength for us this year!”
Taunton has been on the verge of getting into the postseason in each of the past two seasons, missing out by just two wins last year, including a one-goal loss to Canton and a pair of non-league losses to New Bedford. With a young crew coming into this spring, the Tigers will be looking to improve their performance in the league (2-8 in the Hock in 2018) to push themselves into the postseason conversation.
The key for the Tigers is sophomore Alana Tavares. The three-year starter has been one of the league’s most dynamic attacking threats since jumping onto the varsity scene as an eighth grader and so much of the Taunton attack runs through her. Junior Kamryn Li is also back for the Tigers after scoring 23 goals last season. The only seniors on this year’s team are Emma Sheehan and Mabel Smith, but Taunton will have 10 sophomores, eight freshmen and an eighth-grader on this year’s roster, so the underclassmen are going to have roles to play right away this spring.
“We are a young group this year, but added some promising players to our roster,” said Taunton coach Kerry Northup. “We are excited to work with and grow the young talent we gained towards building us as a confident, strong competitor in the league.”
Franklin junior goalie Gianna Cameron has been a standout for each of her two seasons in net for the Panthers, earning HockomockSports.com First Team honors both years. Cameron, a University of Oregon-commit, has been a rock for the league’s top defensive unit, showing off quick hands and the ability to read the intentions of opposing attackers. She led the league in goals against average with just a little more than six per game. The Panthers only allowed 127 goals last spring, which was almost 30 goals fewer than the second-best defense in the Hock, on their way to another perfect league campaign, another Kelley-Rex division title, and another trip to the D1 East semifinal. Cameron has that knack for making the big saves in big moments and will be a key figure if Franklin wants to regain its sectional title.
It is hard to find new plaudits for the two-time reigning Hockomock League MVP, 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and 2018 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year. Foxboro senior midfielder Sophia DiCenso has been one of the league’s top players since she walked onto the field her freshman year and the University of Richmond-commit is the main reason that the Warriors are considered one of the favorites in D2 East. She scored 56 goals and assisted on 27 others last season, helping the Davenport champions lead the league with 274 goals as a team. She also added 53 draw controls, showing off the all-around game that got her onto the national team radar. With her quick feet, quick hands, and vision, DiCenso can open up defenses for either her own shot or to set up her teammates and she rarely makes the wrong choice when through on goal.
Sharon senior midfielder Emma Eberhardt displayed the full range of her game last season, leading the league in scoring and helping the Eagles make another trip to the postseason. Tall and athletic, Eberhardt has the ability to carry the ball the length of the field, split the opposition defense, and use her long reach and quick shot to score from any angle. The Lehigh University-commit scored 69 goals and dished out 56 assists in 2018 while grabbing 116 draw controls and scooping up 56 ground balls. She was a do-everything midfielder last season and might need to do even more this year with the graduation of her midfield partner Sabrina Robbins. If she can develop her relationship with promising sophomore Jenna Goldstein, then the Eagles will continue to have one of the most dynamic pairings in the league and challenge Foxboro’s hegemony in the division.
Mansfield senior attacker Katy Garvin was not only the Hornets’ top attacking threat in 2018 but led the Hockomock League in the regular season with 70 goals, including the 100th of her career. Coming into the new season, under new head coach Lauryn Wilkie, Garvin will be the focal point of the Mansfield attack. A quick player with the ability to shake off defenders with a drop of the shoulder and then finish in traffic, Garvin also had 40 assists and her 110 points accounted for nearly half of the goals that the Hornets scored last spring. Entering her fourth year on varsity, Garvin will be counted on to try and push Mansfield up the standings and get the Hornets back into the state tournament.
King Philip senior Caroline Klim stepped up in a big way last season after an injury to Katie Crowther, who had led the Warriors in scoring for three seasons, went down with an injury. Klim, a UMass Lowell-commit, propelled KP into second place in the Kelley-Rex, including a three-overtime game against Franklin that nearly ended the Panthers’ long league winning streak, and into the D1 East quarterfinal. She scored 73 goals (counting the playoffs), which was the best in the league, and had 12 assists. In addition to her scoring, Klim grabbed 80 draw controls and 40 ground balls. Her tenacity and creativity in front of goal made her one of the toughest covers in the Hock and she came through in big moments, such as a nine-goal haul against Sharon in the playoffs. With Klim leading the line, KP is thinking about ending the long dominance of Franklin in the Kelley-Rex division.
North Attleboro junior Katie Lindstrom broke out last spring, proving to be a great complement to Mackenzie Rosenberg in the North midfield and getting the Rocketeers within one league win of a return to the state tournament. Speedy and with a strong lacrosse IQ, the UMass Lowell-commit eclipsed the 100-point mark for her career as just a sophomore, scoring 43 goals and recording 21 assists for the season. Her playmaking ability, whether to open up space for her own shot or to set up teammates in good scoring positions, will be vital for the Rocketeers as they try to make a run back to the postseason and challenge Foxboro at the top of the division under second-year coach Colleen Carchedi.
Attleboro senior midfielder Kyra Lyons is one of the players that flies under the radar, as the Bombardiers struggled to pick up wins last year despite Lyons having a great individual season. A HockomockSports.com Second Team performer last season, the Framingham State-commit was one of the top 10 scorers in the league last year regardless of the attention that opposing defenses were forced to give her. Lyons uses her speed and her ability to find small seams to create scoring opportunities. She scored 54 goals as a junior and assisted on 14 others, which accounted for more than half of the goals that Attleboro scored as a team. She was also the first player in program history to reach the 100-goal mark for her career. Under first-year coach Chrissy Quinn, Lyons will again be the primary weapon for Attleboro as it tries to improve on its record in 2018.
Oliver Ames senior Olivia Piazza is another player that has had a strong career outside of the league’s perennial powers and she has gotten the Tigers on the verge of a playoff spot in each of the past two seasons. She is an all-around performer for OA, scoring goals, setting up teammates, providing defensive cover, and being a main weapon in the Tigers’ transition game. Piazza, a Merrimack College-commit, was third in the league during the regular season with 91 points, scoring 50 goals (including the 100th of her career) and assisting on 41 more. She also had 106 draw controls, 35 ground balls, and caused 32 turnovers, providing OA with just about whatever it needed every game. If the Tigers will make a run at the state tournament this season, Piazza will be right in the middle of everything again this spring.
Taunton sophomore midfielder Alana Tavares is already a seasoned veteran for the Tigers as she enters her third year on varsity. Already a 100-goal scorer in her career, Tavares has emerged as one of the league’s top attacking threats, despite garnering the attention of every defender that the Tigers face. She was one of the top 10 scorers in the Hockomock during the regular season with 53 goals (tied for eighth best in the Hock) and 21 assists (tied for ninth best) and has been the player that the Taunton offense runs through since she jumped onto varsity. Her stick skills, speed, and her ability to see the openings in a packed defense have allowed her to make an instant impact on the league and her improvement every year gives a young Taunton program the potential for pulling a surprise every game.
Franklin has dominated the Hockomock League for the past seven years, having not lost in 71 straight league games dating back to 2012, and the Walsh sisters have been a primary reason why the Panthers have continued that run in the past few seasons. Annie, a senior midfielder, and Erin, a junior, are both Boston College commits and have both been named HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year (Annie in 2017 and Erin last year). Annie has been the quarterback of the Panthers’ offense, setting things up, and getting the Panthers into the right spots. She scored 56 goals and had 15 assists last year and is an all-around threat with her ability on the defensive side of the ball and on draws. Erin is one of the league’s most creative finishers, pulling off highlight-reel shots even in the biggest moments. She was sixth in the league in scoring during the regular season with 77 points in 2018, scoring 53 goals and dishing out 24 assists. Playing against one of the state’s most difficult schedules, the Walsh sisters have continued to put up big statistics and will be key to Franklin’s run at another D1 East title this spring.
Foxboro, 6 vs. Norwell, 17 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game. – Sophomore Lilly Vey scored three goals and the Warriors kept pace with the defending state champs for nearly a half, but the Clippers flexed their offensive prowess in the second half. Goals from Vey, Julia Kelley, and Abby Hassman helped Foxboro tie it 5-5 in the first half but Norwell used a 3-0 burst over the final three minutes to take an 8-5 lead into half. Sophia DiCenso scored early in the second to make it 8-6 but the Clippers scored the final nine goals.
Taunton, 5 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final – Taunton opened its season with a sweep of rival Coyle, dropping a total of three games. Brett Beaulieu (first singles), Dylan Kullas (third singles) and the team of Barrett Hodgson and Ryan Hebert (second doubles) each won 6-0, 6-0. Charlie Fiske earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and the team of Trevor Hart and Alex Pugh emerged with a 6-0, 6-1 victory at first doubles.
Taunton, 5 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final – Taunton lost just one game among the five matches in a sweep of rival Coyle & Cassidy. Jillian Pagliuca, McKenzie Lucie, and Jocelyn Pagliuca each won 6-0, 6-0 at first, second, and third singles, respectively. The team of Sam Martin and Briana Fevrier picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Kayla Parrett and Ogechi Ariguzo earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory at second doubles.
It all started with an application back in May. Out of the several hundred female lacrosse players from around the country that put their names in the U-19 national team pool, Foxboro senior midfielder Sophia DiCenso was one of 100 that were picked for a three-day tryout in August at U.S. Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.
From that tryout, 36 women were selected to join the training team for a weekend in October in Maryland to scrimmage Navy and the women’s senior national team. Thirty-four were then invited to California last weekend for another round of scrimmages, against Japan, England, and Stanford University.
DiCenso impressed head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller enough that she has made the cut again and is one of 23 players (from college and high school) that will be invited to training camps in June and July in preparation for the U-19 World Championships, which are being held in August in Peterborough, Canada. There are still a few cuts to make before the roster of 18 will be finalized, but DiCenso is enjoying the experience as long as it lasts.
“It was really crazy,” the University of Richmond-commit said about being chosen for the final 23. “When I got the phone call, it literally felt like a dream because this has been everything I was working for the entire winter. Every day it was the only thing I was thinking about and for it to finally be real and to continue moving forward in the next round was the most rewarding feeling.”
Amonte Hiller said in a press release, “This was the toughest decision ever. We literally could have taken any kid on the roster. A lot of times it came down to the smallest thing – the versatility between offense and defense, if they could play mid if we needed them. I’m very proud of every player and how they performed. It’s unfortunate we can’t take them all.”
DiCenso had her opportunities to shine at the Spring Premiere weekend. She played half the game against both Japan (an 18-1 victory) and England (an 18-8 win). The two-time Hockomock League MVP and reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year adapted well to the international game with its higher speed and new rules. “I was with the same people all weekend, so we really blended and there was so much chemistry by the last scrimmage,” she said. “We were just doing really well together.”
“It’s so much faster, but it’s so much fun because it’s so much more intense,” DiCenso added. “I just find it so exciting and being able to play at this level with players who are at this level is so much fun…The harder the competition, the better.”
This weekend also provided the team with its first opportunity to put on the jersey with USA across the front. A reminder of what they were playing for and the unique experience that they are all sharing.
“That was one of the coolest experiences,” DiCenso said about walking into a team meeting and seeing all the jerseys lined up. “We were pinching ourselves, thinking this is not real. It’s the coolest feeling to be such a small group of girls, and we’re all close friends, to be representing something that is so much bigger than we are.”
She was joined in this process by several of her club teammates. Cohasset sisters Elle and Jane Hansen and Notre Dame Academy star Madison Ahern all play with DiCenso for Mass Elite and are part of the final 23. “We’ve flown to all the weekends together, and being on the same midfield line with some them was just comforting because we all know how each other play and it was just really easy to find each other on the field,” DiCenso explained.
Her lacrosse career started, she explained, when she was given a plastic boys’ lacrosse stick as a kid. She joined the Outlaws Lacrosse program that was started by Foxboro boys coach Matt Noone to play in tournaments up and down the East Coast and then made the switch to Mass Elite as she got to high school. Even at an early age, DiCenso had her sights set on being a success.
“It was like sixth grade and I used to do shooting lessons with (former Foxboro standout) Abby Tepper and we’d watch older players and I was always like, I’m going to play Div. I lacrosse someday,” she recalled with a chuckle. It didn’t take long for her desire to play in college to become a reality. By her freshman year of high school, colleges had already recognized her talent and her coaches, including Mass Elite coach Leslie Frank, were preparing her for the next level.
She credited the support of all her coaches and friends, both at her club and high school, for making her dream of college lacrosse come true. She said, “I have the best support from friends, coaches, teachers, family members and it makes me want to work harder to meet those expectations. It’s rewarding to have all this support and if I didn’t have it, I don’t know where I’d be.
Her college dream will come true next spring, but in the meantime there is plenty of lacrosse still to play as the senior is focused on bringing another league title and a first sectional title home to Foxboro.
“That would be one of the best endings to a senior year,” DiCenso said. “It’s time. We have such a strong senior class and we have all been together since fifth grade in Outlaws at Booth (Field) on the little grass fields and we always talk about it’s our year. I think we’re all really ready and we’ll see how it goes but I have high hopes.”
There is a couple of months before the high school lacrosse season kicks off and DiCenso is working hard with her club team, but now she has the added motivation of fighting for her place at the world championships.
“I can’t wait,” she said. “Our coach was just like, this is when all your hard work begins. I just can’t wait to hopefully prove myself one or two more times and then hopefully I’ll be in Toronto.”
Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Allison Meehan, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Sydney DiLiddo, Attleboro
Anna Beck, Attleboro
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Kaitlyn Goyetch, Canton
Maria Femia, Canton
Meg Curran, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Lily Daly, Foxboro
Julia Carangelo, Foxboro
Jaime Notarangelo, Foxboro
Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Emily Valentino, Franklin
Maeve Ledwith, Franklin
Allison Meehan, King Philip
Kate Lindmark, King Philip
Samantha Robison, King Philip
Maggie Danehy, Mansfield
Alicia Hottleman, Mansfield
Paige Reisman, Milford
Abby Calistra, North Attleboro
Emily Han, Oliver Ames
Hannah Stryke, Oliver Ames
Allison Small, Sharon
Allie Howe, Stoughton
Emma Sheehan, Taunton
Alana Tavares, Taunton
Alexis Compton, Attleboro
Katie Trerice, Canton
Molly Murphy, Foxboro
Christina Luccini, Franklin
Meg MacDonald, King Philip
Kelly Doherty, Mansfield
Olyvia Whyte, Milford
Julia Feid, North Attleboro
Maggie Woods, Oliver Ames
Rebecca Clayman, Sharon
Jeanna Girolamo, Stoughton
Lauren Torres, Taunton
MANSFIELD, Mass. – It was a game of contrasting emotions for Foxboro (17-2-1). The Warriors went from euphoria, after scoring with 1:17 left in regulation to force overtime, to tears when Sunday night’s Div. 2 South quarterfinal against Cohasset at Mansfield’s Alumni Field ended in a remarkable shootout about an hour later.
Following a 2-2 tie in regulation and through two scoreless periods of 7-on-7 overtime, Cohasset edged out the Warriors 4-3 in a penalty shootout that featured several momentum shifts and several dips into the rule book.
Cohasset’s Jane Hansen, who scored both goals in regulation, missed the opening chance of the shootout when Foxboro goalie Julia Carangelo forced her to make an extra move and the ball hit her foot. Lily Daly, who scored the opening goal of the game and was dealing with a hand injury that she suffered in the first half, scored her penalty to put Foxboro ahead.
That was just the start of a crazy 20 minutes.
On Cohasset’s second shot, Carangelo forced Katherine Cunning wide and her shot smacked off the post, but the official ruled that while diving Carangelo had thrown her stick at the ball. This resulted in a penalty stroke (not a shootout-style attempt), which was dispatched by Emma Stephens. Sophia DiCenso regained the lead by taking contact from Cohasset goalie Caitlin Durkin and still finishing.
The shootout was 3-3 heading to Foxboro’s fourth shooter. Freshman Katherine Collins lost control as she got to Durkin and the goalie was able to clear it and keep the shootout tied heading into the fifth and final shooters. Stephens scored again on her penalty to get the lead.
Jamie Notarangelo was taken out by Durkin during her penalty attempt, which resulted in a penalty stroke opportunity. Foxboro turned to Daly, but her shot hit the inside of the post and stayed out.
“They didn’t give up,” Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri said of her team. “Going into a shootout is tough, it’s tough. I thought Julia did a great job…It’s just a sucky way to lose.”
The drama of this game started long before the shootout. Hansen’s second goal of the game put Cohasset into the lead and sent the Skippers bench into hysterics with 23 minutes left to play. The visitors held onto the lead and gave up very few scoring chances for the Warriors until the final 90 seconds.
Foxboro was up a player and drew a corner. Daly played the ball out top to Michaela Ames, who teed up DiCenso for a rip. The ball skidded into a crowd of players on the edge of the crease and Sophia Lowe redirected it inside the far post for a game-tying goal with just 1:17 on the clock.
“They’re so gritty,” said Bordieri. “They were fighting the entire time. We went into double overtime last time and listen you could see that they were weary but they were coming right back at it. They didn’t give up even one single time.”
In the overtime periods, Foxboro, which had advanced with a double overtime win in the first round, had a number of scoring chances to possibly win the game. Notarangelo tried to get on the end of one but it slid out of play, DiCenso picked out Daly on the break but the shot slid just wide, and then Daly again got open in the middle but Durkin stepped up to make the crucial save.
DiCenso nearly worked an opening in the second overtime, but her cross to Daly, who was wide open at the back post, was cut out by the Cohasset goalie. In the final minute, Meghan Currran was able to find Notarangelo but it was saved and then the Warriors were given a corner. On the set play, Daly sent a shot towards goal that hit a Cohasset player standing on the goal line in the chest.
Foxboro coaches were incensed when it was ruled dangerous play, despite the defender being behind the goalie, which would have meant a last-second penalty stroke.
“We couldn’t get the one touch,” Bordieri said. “We just needed to capitalize on our corners and today we didn’t. We had opportunities, balls going over the end line and opportunities we just didn’t finish and we typically do finish.”
After going to a second overtime before scoring against Falmouth in the opening round, Foxboro took only seven minutes to find the back of the net on Sunday. DiCenso fired in a backhand shot from straightaway that Daly was able to tip past the goalie for the early lead.
The first half was back-and-forth. Cohasset used its speed up top to create chances and both Caroline McGeary and Kristin Whalen were forced to stop breakaways. Whalen also cleared a shot off the line and Carangelo made two of her five saves. In the 19th minute, Cohasset tied it with a perfect give-and-go between Hansen and Maddie Donovan.
In the second half, Carangelo made a huge stop on a Hansen breakaway to keep the game level, but that only lasted two more minutes. Carangelo made another big diving save but the rebound went straight to Hansen and she made no mistake from close-range.
“They play a different type of field hockey than we do,” said Bordieri, “and I think it took us a little while to adjust to that, but I think towards the latter part of the second half we were able to adjust and move the ball on the outside.”
It was a physical, competitive end to the game and the Warriors battled to the final seconds to force overtime, but unfortunately for the hosts couldn’t capitalize on overtime chances and were forced into the coin flip of a shootout.
Bordieri said, “This team stayed in it, they’re fighters, they’re gritty, and that’s what has gotten us this far this season.”
She added, “This is tough. It’s very, very tough. This team had more in it than quarterfinals, without a doubt, but you win some, you lose some.”