2017 Hockomock Softball Preview

2017 Hockomock Softball Preview
With a deep and experienced lineup and both pitchers returning, Milford will once again be the favorite to retain the Davenport division title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Hockomock Softball Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 2-18
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Mark Homer

Attleboro struggled through a difficult 2016, the first season under new head coach Mark Homer, winning only two games while giving up a league high 177 runs and scoring a league-low 46. Heading into this spring, the Bombardiers will be counting on a group of young players to try and turn things around and it seems to be working so far, as Attleboro has played two games and already matched last year’s win total.

One of the true bright spots from last season was freshman pitcher McKenzie Bergdoll, who showed flashes of the potential to be an ace for Attleboro, and this season she will be counted on to keep the Bombardiers in games and to provide big hits from the three-spot. Julia Woyton will be behind the plate this year while senior Ilea Caverley and junior Casey Whelan (outfield) and Jordyn Lako (second base) are the few returning players on the roster.

The Bombardiers are going to turn to youth this spring with freshman MacKenzie Killough taking over at shortstop. Freshmen twins Emma and Jenna Gittle will add depth to the Attleboro pitching staff and classmate Ashley Macia will take over in centerfield. Homer also said that there were underclassmen who would provide speed off the bench.

“The expectations are to play hard, be committed and get excited with every game and practice that they take part in,” said Homer. “With the added depth in each position this year, the girls hope to gain advantages from the previous year and reach their set goals for the season.”

Canton

2016 Record: 3-17
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Jennifer Robillard

Former King Philip and Sacred Heart University shortstop Jennifer Robillard takes over the Canton program this spring with the hope of bringing some of the success that she enjoyed playing for two state champions and a Division I college to the Bulldogs, who are coming off a three-win season.

The Bulldogs will be looking to their experienced players to help turn things around in 2017, including seniors Molly Loughran, Taylor Carrington, and Julia Ezepik and junior Hannah Jerrier, who are all captains this spring. Jerrier and Ezepik will start the season injured, but Robillard is hoping that other players can step up until they return. Canton will have depth in the circle, as both junior Caitlyn Cahill and freshman Caroline Hughes will see action at pitcher.

Lillian Carrington and Samantha Keefe are two other players that will be counted on to contribute and both provided home runs in a loss to Mansfield in the second game of the season. Robillard is excited about the opportunity to get back into the Hockomock League and she sees a team that “wants to learn.”

“This team has a lot of potential. If we can tap into this potential, I truly believe that we are going to take teams by surprise,” Robillard said. “I am here to share my passion for and knowledge of the game I love with these girls. It is important to me that these girls learn how to be strong, independent and respectful young women.”

Foxboro

2016 Record: 9-13
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round
Coach: Mark Maguire

In 2016, Foxboro finished 6-10 in the Hockomock League but got its chance to play in the postseason and took advantage with a preliminary round win over Westwood and a near-upset of Abington in a nine-inning classic. The Warriors will hope to build on that experience this spring with a number of key players returning.

League all-star Hannah Davis is back behind the plate for the Warriors and will be one of the top hitters in the Hockomock. Davis will likely be in the three-spot in the lineup and right behind her will be senior Kelly Fisher, who head coach Mark Maguire called one of the best first basemen in the league. Kelly McCarthy will try to set the table for the power hitters in the lead-off spot.

Sophomore pitcher Emma Rohan is back in the circle and Maguire expects that she will compete every game and build on her rookie campaign. Behind Rohan, Cam Willis will moved from second base to short and Chelsea Gibbons will provide good ‘D’ and a solid bat at third. Lefty Lexi Buckner could grab the second base spot and senior Jamie Gorham could provide an unexpected boost as a first-year player in the outfield. Mandy Ryan and Kayla Wheatley are two of the players coming up from JV that Maguire is hoping will step in to provide depth.

“They’re all working hard and they’re ready to build together as a team,” said Maguire. “The expectations are really to compete every game.”

Franklin

2016 Record: 12-11
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Kate Fallon

Once the rains go away for a few days, Franklin will be able to open its new field and make official its move back to the high school after a couple seasons playing at Dean College. The Panthers are excited about the new facility and about the team’s potential for success this spring with seven returning starters from last year.

Leading the way is third baseman, and four-year starter, Olivia DiGiacomo, who has been a mainstay at the hot corner and provides leadership for the infield. To her left is shortstop Alyssa DaSilva, a three-year starter with two years of experience at short. Sophomore Allie Shea is back at first base and senior Clara DeCarvalho is back behind the plate and poised for a “breakout season,” according to head coach Kate Fallon. The outfield is also filled with veterans, including seniors Rachel Cousineau in left and Olivia Haba in center.

The seventh starter is senior Alex Niss, who started as a pinch hitter last season before taking over the DP role and turning into one of the top power hitters in the Hockomock League. The Panthers should be solid defensively and at the plate and Fallon is hoping that sophomore pitchers Jackie Cherry (who carried a shutout into the seventh in the season opening loss to North Attleboro) and Emily Valentino can make an instant impact in the circle.

“Win 11 games and make the tournament again,” said Fallon when asked about the expectations for the team this season. “I expect the seniors to provide leadership and be role models for the underclassmen. It’s always a dogfight in this league…but I think we are a good team.”

King Philip

2016 Record: 24-4
2016 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship
Coach: Norm Beauchemin

King Philip comes into 2017 on the back of its third state title in the past six years and, while expectations remain high for one of the region’s top programs, there are key pieces from last year’s team that need to be replaced in order for the Warriors to get back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and in the state.

The biggest absence this season is, of course, pitcher Kali Magane, who is now in the circle for Boston University and who was dominant during KP’s playoff run a year ago. Senior Jenn Hutnyan will step in to be the team’s starting pitcher after several starts and relief appearances in the past two seasons. Hutnyan will also be an important bat in the lineup. Junior Brie Lacy will be back behind the plate to help Hutnyan and head coach Norm Beauchemin noted that junior Jessica Bonner will be a solid defensive third baseman.

KP rarely rebuilds and almost always reloads for another title push. This year should be no different with a lineup that features several familiar names from last season’s title run, including sophomore Meghan Gorman and juniors Brooke Taute, Elise Pereira, and Hailey McCasland. Each of those players had important roles last season and will be ready to step up for the Warriors this spring as KP tries to regain the league title after Taunton ended its nine year run in 2016.

“Though it’s hard to replace last year’s seniors,” said Beauchemin, “we have a solid core of returning players ready to represent King Philip and its proud softball legacy.”

Mansfield

2016 Record: 13-9
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Lori Letendre

Mansfield is coming off a 13-win season that included a tournament win against Notre Dame Academy, but after four years of being able to count on Maddie Letendre in the circle the Hornets will be handing the ball over to a new pitcher this spring, although as it turns out only the first name will be changing.

Megan Letendre, who played shortstop as a freshman, will take over in the circle for the Hornets and her development as the No. 1 pitcher will go a long way to determining if Mansfield can repeat last year’s success. Pitcher is not the only position that needs to be replaces, as the Hornets will have a new catcher and three new infielders. Still, with nine returning players, there is plenty of experience on the roster.

Kara Bendanillo will move from third base to second, according to head coach Lori Letendre, and Megan Letendre will sometimes see time at second when not pitching. Liz Mackin will take over at first base, while Marissa Staffier and Amanda Giambanco will take the corner outfield positions. Mady Bendanillo will be back in center after an impressive first season for the Hornets.

“This is one of the hardest working teams I have had at Mansfield and they have been putting in a lot of effort to get ready for the season,” said Coach Letendre.

Milford

2016 Record: 17-5
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Steve DiVitto

Milford has been the class of the Davenport division for the past four seasons and the Hawks come into 2017 with the expectations of being heavy favorites for another league title, but, with three seniors and nine juniors on the roster and eight starters returning, head coach Steve DiVitto is hopeful that the talent will translate to a deep run in the state tournament.

The Hawks are one of the few contenders to return not just one but two starting pitchers from last season. Senior Ali Atherton is back to be the primary option in the circle and the Southern New Hampshire-commit has been dominant at times in her career. If Atherton gets into trouble or needs a rest, junior Kelley Reichert has demonstrated that she is more than just a fill-in but can also shut down opponents. They will be pitching to sophomore Emily Hartman, who will step into the starting lineup this season.

There are very few question marks in this year’s lineup with junior Emily Piergustavo moving from second to short to replace Jill Powers, which is Piergustavo’s natural position and one she has played several times in the past year. Junior Jess Tomaso is back at first base and in the heart of the lineup where she will be joined by senior outfielder Maggie Farrell and senior third baseman Kaitlyn DeCapua. Junior Kate Irwin will try to be the table-setter at the top of the order and juniors Maddy Bonvino (second base) and Shannon Cormier (outfield) will also be contributors.

“This has been a focused and driven group ever since the end of last season,” said DiVitto. “They have worked hard in the off-season and that was very apparent in the early stages of the season. We are excited to compete in the best league in the state, which will hopefully prepare us for a long run into June.”

North Attleboro

2016 Record: 11-10
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Bill Wallace

North Attleboro returned to the postseason in 2016 and for the Rocketeers to get back to the tournament this spring it will be the younger players that will lead the way. Head coach Bill Wallace knows that his team will be “green” (with only four seniors on the roster), but he is excited about North’s athleticism and versatility.

Pitching may be North’s biggest strength this season with five players in the rotation, led by freshman Bella Erti, who won her first career start, and last year’s starter Amelia Murphy. Juniors Olivia DesRoches, Jaclyn Buckley and Abby Warren could also step into the circle to help out. Senior Sam Courtemanche will be behind the plate to help the pitchers.

Senior Liz Morehouse returns at first base and Andrea Miceli will be at second. Megan Barlow moves in from the outfield to take over at short (and provided the walk-off hit in North’s season opening win), while Murphy will see time at third when she’s not pitching. Olivia Capobianco will play center with Katherine Munley and Kristina Murphy in left and right with freshmen Ashley Cangiano and Abby Gallagher getting playing time.

“With only four seniors on the roster, I am hoping the learning curve will be brief!” said Wallace. “This may be the year we see a lot of pinch hitting and pinch running! For a young team, they are very focused between the lines!”

Oliver Ames

2016 Record: 10-11
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Lindsey Allison

Oliver Ames finished in second in the league in 2016 and qualified for the postseason, but that will be an even tougher task now that the Tigers have made the move to the Kelley-Rex division. Even with facing the likes of defending state champion King Philip twice this spring, head coach Lindsey Allison is optimistic that the 10 returning players have the experience to get back into the playoffs.

Senior Victoria Ziner will be the spark on offense for the Tigers this season, but OA also has a number of juniors that Allison said can “do some damage at the plate.” Among those players is Caroline Mahoney, whose bat “is still as dangerous as ever,” according to Allison. Freshman Katie Abreu will be a newcomer to watch for the Tigers as her versatility will make her a valuable member of the lineup.

The Tigers will bring back sophomore Kayla Georgeu in the circle and will be hoping that she continues to develop and keep OA competitive against the league’s top teams. Junior Alexis Campbell will be a second pitcher and also help out at second base.

“We have a solid 10 players returning from last year’s roster,” said Allison, “and we are looking to fill holes behind the plate, in the outfield and at first base this year. Definitely hoping to use some of the speed we have on our team to our advantage this year.”

Sharon

2016 Record: 4-16
2016 Finish: Missed Postseason
Coach: Deb Parker

Sharon is coming off a four-win season in 2016 but head coach Deb Parker believes that the Eagles have the potential to be a contender in the Davenport division this spring as long as the players continue to develop over the course of the season.

Although the Eagles are a relatively young team, Parker is counting on senior captains Clara Cook and Sam Marglous to provide the leadership needed to keep the team on the right track. Cook will be back in the circle for Sharon, while Marglous will be back behind the plate. Parker said, “Both have been solid contributors for their entire high school careers.”

Sophomore centerfielder Rebecca Clayman and shortstop Ally Small, who Parker referred to as “standouts,” will be the anchors of the defense. Freshman Shoshanna Lowe will step in to play third base and should have a positive impact in the lineup as well.

“I believe we have the right combination of experience, talent and drive to be a contender in the Hock,” said Parker. “This is a team that works hard every day to be better than they were the day before. They have great chemistry and our captains have done an excellent job leading them into the season.”

Stoughton

2016 Record: 10-11
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Norton

The Black Knights made a return to the state tournament in head coach Tim Norton’s first season in charge, and nearly pulled out a win against Braintree, and Stoughton will be counting on last year’s freshmen to continue developing and keep the program heading in the right direction.

One of the sophomores that the team will be leaning on is third baseman Jordan Lyons, who brings a strong bat to the hot corner and her leadership skills had her named a captain for this spring. Brianna Ferrandiz will take over behind the plate for Sam Tullis and Karly Estremera will move into the infield and continue to be the table-setter as the leadoff hitter.

Norton is excited to have depth in the circle with Shannon Flaherty and Gina Carafa both capable of racking up innings and “setting great examples on and off the field.” Stoughton will also have depth in the outfield with first-year starters Krista Michienzi, Val Whalen and Alessandra Loffredo.

“We were extremely fortunate in Stoughton last year to have such a strong freshman class with great senior leadership,” Norton explained. “This year that sophomore class is going to have to come into their own. While this team is young they got a taste of the post season last year and are hungry for more.”

Taunton

2016 Record: 22-2
2016 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Dave Lewry

Last season, Taunton won its first outright league title, ending King Philip’s nine-year reign atop the Hockomock. It was a fitting coda to the impressive careers of Taunton’s senior class, but this spring the Tigers will now have to move forward with six new faces in the starting lineup, including at pitcher and the middle infield positions. Taunton typically reloads quickly and head coach Dave Lewry believes this year’s team has a plenty of potential.

Senior Courtney Fisher will step into the circle hoping to make a seamless transition from 2016 Player of the Year Aimee Kistner. Fisher tossed three shutout innings and had three hits in the season opener and got several opportunities to pitch in the past two seasons. She will be pitching to junior captain Kya Enos, who is making the move back to catcher after two seasons in the outfield. Other starters coming back include first baseman Katie VanZandt, junior outfielder Liana Duarte, and sophomore Jaime Brown, who is in her third year at third base.

The Tigers have always found young players who can step right in an make an impact at the varsity level and this year could be a breakout season for eighth grader Hannah Aldrich, who will take over from Jordan Wade at short. Sophomore Alexa White looks ready to step in at second, while senior Rebekah Lajoie and junior Hailey Medeiros are in line to start in the corner outfield places. Taunton could also get contributions at pitcher from eighth grader Kelsey White and freshman Jaylin Couto.

“While we lost six starters from last season, I am excited about the potential of this year’s team,” said Lewry. “I expect there will be some growing pains with six new starters in the lineup, but with some seasoned veterans and good young talent we are optimistic that we’ll be competitive this season.”

Girls Basketball: 2016-17 Davenport Division Preview

2016-2017 Davenport Girls Basketball Preview
Shannon Smally (15) of Foxboro and Val Whalen (14) of Stoughton battle in the post in one of last season’s Davenport division meetings. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016-2017 Davenport Girls Basketball Preview

CANTON

2015-16 Record: 6-14 (3-13)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Jim Choquette

The Bulldogs continue to add to the program both on the court and on the bench with former Canton and UMass Boston star Olivia Murphy joining the coaching staff this season to help out with the freshman team. It is a sign of the continued growth of the program under head coach Jim Choquette, who is hoping that the momentum built at the end of last season will carry over to this year.

Senior forward Emma Murphy returns after a league all-star season and will be joined on the front line by returning starters senior Casey Shea and juniorHannah Jerrier, who was an honorable mention for all-star last winter. Adding depth on the front line will be sophomore forwards Molly Ludwig and Erin Devine, who lacks inexperience but adds significant height.

Jess Powers is recovering from an injury suffered during lacrosse season and her return will add more scoring punch to a deep and quick backcourt group. Sophomore Julia Hamilton is back to run the point for the Bulldogs and will be joined by classmate Maggie Connolly, junior Lindsey Barrett, senior Taylor Carrington, and junior twins Lillian and Evelyn Carrington. This group will allow Canton to keep defensive pressure high all game long.

“Our strengths will be scrappy defense and rebounding on both ends,” said Choquette. “our goal is to improve each game and be playing our best headed into the last part of the season…the faster we find chemistry the faster we’ll find the win column.”

FOXBORO

2015-16 Record: 15-7 (11-5)
2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal
Head Coach: Lisa Downs

Despite a lot of youth in the lineup, Foxboro has been one of the top teams in the Davenport division for several seasons and this year should be no different, as the Warriors enter the winter with very high expectations and as one of the favorites for the league title.

A lot of the interest in the Warriors stems from the continued development of junior point guard Ashley Sampson, who has turned into one of the best all-around guards in the Hockomock and is the player that the Foxboro offense flows through. Sampson has plenty of help in the backcourt with classmate Lily Sykes, who offers scoring from the perimeter, and seniors Lauren Flahive, Riley Collins (back after an injury), and Hailey Maling, who are all strong on the ball defenders.

In the front court, Kristen Bortolotti is back after missing last year with an injury and will add speed and a strong mid-range game. Junior Grace Tamulionis is another matchup nightmare for the opposition with her size on the boards and on defense and her ability to step outside and shoot the three. Junior Shannon Smally continues to improve and gives the Warriors an inside presence, while newcomers Chelsea Gibbons and Abby Hassmancould make big contributions for the Warriors.

“The girls have been playing together throughout the summer and fall and this familiarity should work to our benefit this season,” said head coach Lisa Downs. “We will continue to focus on our running game and our defensive efforts and I am fortunate to have the players that not only buy into this system, but, also appreciate this pace.”

MILFORD

2015-16 Record: 9-11 (5-11)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: T.J. Dolliver

After missing out on a playoff spot by one game a season ago under first-year head coach T.J. Dolliver, Milford enters this winter with high hopes of making the leap into the postseason with a deep and versatile roster that has gained a lot of experience together over the past few seasons.

The enthusiasm for the Hawks begins with dynamic junior point guard Kate Irwin, who has shown the ability to get to the basket at will, draw defenses to get open looks for her teammates and also be a pesky on the ball defender. With Irwin creating open shots, junior Emily Piergustavo’s return after missing last year with an injury will be a big boost on the perimeter along with senior guard Jill Burley.

Milford will also have plenty of players to contribute on the glass and in the paint. Senior Nicole Dahlgren, a two-year captain, is a strong rebounder but can also step out and hit threes as can junior Jess Tomaso. Five-foot-8 senior Christine Pye, 5-foot-11 junior Gillian Valanzola, 5-foot-8 senior Emma Liskov, and 5-foot-10 Juliana Tracy give Milford an imposing group of front line players.

“These girls have been playing together for a while and their team chemistry is amazing,” said Dolliver. “We are starting to learn the minor details of offense and defense in order to give our team a better chance of success.”

NORTH ATTLEBORO

2015-16 Record: 11-10 (9-7)
2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South tournament
Head Coach: Derek Herber

The Rocketeers head into their first season in the Davenport division with eight returning players from last year’s team that was two points away from a first round victory in the Div. 2 South tournament against Hock rival Oliver Ames.

Senior Ashley Ahern is a three-year starter at guard and was the team’s leading scorer last winter. Ahern will be the player that gets the offense going, but she will get plenty of help from her classmates, Emily Schromm and Samantha Taggart. Schromm was one of the top defenders in the league and can stretch a defense with her outside shooting and Taggart can play all three guard positions and led North in assists last year. In the paint, senior Caroline Collard is the team’s leading rebounder and showed a soft touch around the basket.

North can also look for improvements from sophomore Julia Feid, who got valuable minutes as a rookie last year, senior Liz Morehouse, who adds depth in the post, and juniors Julia Santos, who both brought athleticism off the bench at the wing positions. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Roberts is a newcomer who adds size and outside shooting and junior Emily Pastore can step in at all three guard positions.

The Rocketeers have plenty of experience on the roster and will be one of the favorites for the league title at the beginning of the season. While head coach Derek Herber can count on a number of returning players, he hopes to “mix in a few new faces into the lineup to help with depth.”

SHARON

2015-16 Record: 5-15 (3-13)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Cliff Tomassian

Sharon is another team that has been building with youth and has created a lot of depth on its roster and, despite losing three of its top four scorers from last winter, has garnered preseason hype as a potential sleeper to make a return to the postseason for the first time since the Eagles made a run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.

The Eagles will be hoping for an improvement on the offensive side of the ball, which was a challenge at times last winter. Junior point guard Shira Stoller, a three-year starter, is continuing to improve at limiting turnovers and looking for her own shot as well as setting up teammates. One of the players that benefits from Stoller’s ability to get into the lane is sophomore Emma Eberhardt, who was third on the team in points as a rookie and continues to develop into a consistent wing scorer.

Sophomore Veronica Wallace has emerged as one of the top backcourt defenders during the preseason and is one of the fastest players on the Sharon roster. Senior Ana Crosby, who is also a standout on the soccer and lacrosse fields, is another player that is continuing to improve and will have an increased role this season. Freshman Kaitlyn Wallace is a newcomer to watch and could have a bigger role to play over the course of the year.

“Our defense is going to have to be our key in order to compete, and our girls know that,” said third-year coach Cliff Tomassian. “We get our best looks on offense off of great defensive stands. Our girls are going to have to be patient and vigilant on both ends and be ready to take chances.”

STOUGHTON

2015-16 Record: 7-11 (7-9)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan

The Black Knights lost six seniors to graduation but this offers plenty of opportunities for a new crop of younger players to get playing time and learn the system of second-year head coach, and former Stoughton star, Charmaine Steele Jordan.

Two of the players that will be counted on most this season are junior forwards Val Whalen and Jordan Motley, who are two of the best rebounders in the league and can also get out on the break and score in transition. Their development in the half-court offense will be a key for Stoughton making a playoff push in the Davenport division this season. Senior Lili Njiem is another player that could make a big impact, as one of the team’s three captains.

The Black Knights will have as many senior as freshmen on this year’s roster (three) along with four sophomores and three juniors, so the foundation for the future is in place. Shyanne Trinh, Lexi Baptista, and Aliyah Wright are the three newcomers to the program who will be hoping to make an instant impact.

“So excited for the upcoming season,” said Steele Jordan. “We lost six seniors so there is lots of opportunity for our players to step up. Our returnees from last year will contribute for us despite being pretty young.”

The 2016 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars

Below are the official 2016 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Kelli McCarthy, Foxboro

Hockomock League All Stars

Marissa Dias, Attleboro
Julia Ezepik, Canton
Emily Campbell, Canton
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Lily Daly, Foxboro
Emma Daly, Foxboro
Meredith Cronin, Foxboro
Kelli McCarthy, Foxboro
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Kate Morse, Franklin
Kayla Marshall, Franklin
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Caitlin Donahue, King Philip
Alli Meehan, King Philip
Emily Ierardo, Mansfield
Jen McCabe, Mansfield
Caitlin Whitman, Mansfield
Shannon Cormier, Milford
Liz Morehouse, North Attleboro
Mary Kummer, North Attleboro
Kendall Clifford, Oliver Ames
Dimitra Efremidis, Oliver Ames
Georgia Salvatore, Sharon
Angela Connolly, Stoughton
Kayla Oliveira, Stoughton
Breanne Conlon, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Grace Mayer, Attleboro
Taylor Carrington, Canton
Jackie Brion, Foxboro
Caroline Lonsbury, Franklin
Abby Campbell, King Philip
Maddy Gemme, Mansfield
Kaitlyn DeCapua, Milford
Teresa Bagarella, North Attleboro
Katie Davenport, Oliver Ames
Erica Dougherty, Sharon
Mia Russell, Stoughton
Katie Van Zandt, Taunton

Warriors Rally for Overtime Win Over Canton

King Philip field hockey
King Philip’s Christina Hathaway makes a pass against Canton. (Jaron May/HockomockSports.com)

 
By Jaron May, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

WRENTHAM, Mass. – There are 60 minutes in a field hockey game, and you cannot let off the gas pedal for one of them if you want to win, especially in the postseason.

Canton fell prey to this on Friday afternoon at Macktaz Field as they lost focus for just a second at the end of regulation and allowed King Philip to tie it up and force an overtime, which eventually ended with a KP goal and 2-1 victory for the hosts.

The first 57 minutes was all Canton. The Bulldogs controlled the time of possession, the tempo of the game, shots on goal, and corner opportunities.

Just five minutes into the first half, the Bulldogs saw their first glimpses at the net. A host of players threw three consecutive shots on net, but none found the back of the net. Then just two minutes later, Canton had their first corner of the game, but KP’s Kate Lindmark stole the crossing pass.

Canton kept the pressure on and attacked the ball on offense and defense, but did not see any other real opportunities. Around the 26-minute mark, however, the Bulldogs’ offense kicked it into gear, drawing three consecutive corners.

The first was blown dead before anything could happen. The second ended with KP’s goalie on the ground, and Canton’s offense throwing repeated shots on net. And the third, was the best look as Canton’s Julia Ezepik sent a rocket right to the middle of the net, but a waiting Abby Campbell was able to stop it.

If you wear down a defense enough, it will break eventually, and that is what happened with only 39 seconds left in the half. Canton sent the ball in from a free hit on the sideline; Andrea McNeil controlled the pass on the right side, turned, faced the net, and slapped the ball past the KP defense and goalie.

With the score 1-0 at the half, Canton had all of the momentum and KP went to the huddle with their heads down.
That same trend continued in the second half as well. Canton dominated the time of possession, won all the 50-50 balls, and kept pressure on offense; while KP had to rely heavily on their defense and didn’t get out on offense until the end of the half.

The Bulldogs kept going to their strengths, corners. They drew another six in the second half to add to their four from the first half. Although nothing came from those opportunities, they were able to wear down KP’s defense, totaling 12 shots on goal for the game.

With just three minutes remaining, still down one, KP’s head coach Liz Hathaway saw her opportunity and took a timeout. They Warriors were beginning to push the ball to the offensive side of the field and gain some momentum.

When asked about what she said in that huddle, Hathaway noted that she just wanted to “shift the ball to our
right, we can attack, cross right, and draw a corner.”

And that is just what they did. At the 2:30 mark, the Warriors set up for their corner. The ball was passed in, thrown on net, kicked out by Canton’s goalie, but right to Elizabeth Furfari who tapped it back in and hit the back of the net.

Hathaway was extremely proud of her girls and Furfari’s resilience saying the goal “propelled us into overtime and we dominated in overtime.”

In the 15 minutes of 7-on-7 overtime, KP had the momentum. The Warriors got right out on the attack and put as much pressure on the Bulldog defense as possible.

Some failed attempts from KP, coupled with some big saves by Canton’s Taylor Carrington, kept the game knotted up for the first 13 minutes of overtime. Canton had the best look of the period when they got out on a two-on-none breakaway. A huge kick save by Campbell stopped them in their tracks however and sent KP right back on the offensive.

The Warriors were able to draw seven corners in the overtime period, capitalizing on their final one with 1:20 left. Christina Hathaway received the inbounding pass, dribbled around a few defenders, and then found a streaking Lindmark up the left side. Lindmark wound up and fired a shot that was just too quick for the goalie to react to.

With the loud clack of plastic hitting wood, the scoreboard switched to 2-1, and KP completed the comeback.
Hathaway after the game was ecstatic for her girls and how they were able to fight back. She said, “I’m just really happy for them. We are having such an amazing season and to lose to Franklin and the Kelley-Rex title, this makes up for it. Since we are moving on.”

She even thought that, although her team may not have played their best game, they will be able to take the playoff win and grow from it. “Now they have more experience, have that tournament atmosphere, they get what it is all about,” Hathaway explained. “They have confidence that they can finish a game and come from behind.”

With the heartbreaking loss, Canton closes their season 13-5-2. KP (13-2-4) will be moving on to the next round of playoffs where they will be traveling to take on No. 3 seed Somerset Berkley on Sunday.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/13/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 0 – Final

Mansfield, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final Milford freshman Jordan Borges scored his first career goal off an assist by Marcello Panno to open the scoring but Mansfield netted four goals in the final seven minutes of the first half to get the win. Sean Lanzillo leveled the score off an assist from Ethan Brill-Cass in the 33rd minute, Cullin Anastasia put Mansfield up 2-1 on an assist from Kevin Bouck in the 35th minute, James Chotkowski made it 3-1 off an assist from Brill-Cass in the 39th minute and then Anastasia made it 4-1 off an assist from Lanzillo just 30 seconds later. Mansfield goalie Nick Ferraz replaced an injured Jed Tolbert in net in the second half and made 12 saves – head coach Steve Sheridan saying Ferraz played phenomenal. Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Zachary Brown and Mike Weber played extremely well for the Scarlet Hawks.

King Philip, 2 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalKing Philip senior Colby Koch opened the scoring for the Warriors, finishing off a one on one situation after a ball over the top from Tyler Mann. Jason Florio netted the game-winner in the 77th minute, finishing at the back post off a feed from Anthony Bozza. North Attleboro netted it’s goal in the 79th minute.

Taunton, 0 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalStoughton scored a pair of goals in each half to earn its seventh win of the season. Jordan Asnes opened the scoring with a shot into the bottom left corner after a cross from Marco Antunes. Antunes then set up Loubensky Lucas four minutes later, playing a through ball while Lucas lifted the ball over the keeper to make it 2-0. Senior Goddy Fombe made a nice run out of the back, putting a through ball into Lucas who ran onto it and slotted it home. Sophomore Fabio Ponce De Leon capped the scoring, flicking in a service from Conner Kavanagh at the near post to make it 4-0. Matt Gallagher earned his second shutout of the year in net.

Girls Soccer
Foxboro, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final

Canton, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalOliver Ames scored two goals in each half to pick up its 10th win of the season. Tori Wyman, on an assist from Anna Tempestoso and Kiana Lozzi, on an assist from Abby Hodges gave OA a 2-0 lead at halftime. Jess Robarge, on an assist from Zoe Chazan) and Jackie Mills added second half goal for the Tigers.

Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalHannah Reiter netted a pair of goals and assisted on Stephanie Kemp’s goal to lift Mansfield. Kemp also notched an assist in the win. Milford head coach Jay Mastaj said Nichole Dahlgren and Rachel LeBlanc played well on defense.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip scored three goals in the final 15 minutes to pick up the win over North Attleboro. Chloe Layne scored the game-winner, converting a corner kick from Emma Corcoran in the 65th minute. Kathrine Turner found Rachel Hogan, who volleyed her shot into the net to make it 2-0 with just under five minutes to play. Just 30 seconds later, Corcoran service another corner that Avery Snead latched onto to make it 3-0.

Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalIzzy DaCosta netted the lone goal of the game to lift the Tigers. Stoughton head coach Tara Daniels said Emerson Sprague, Krista Michensi, Corina Kavengh and Sarah Widrow all played well defensively for the Black Knights.

Volleyball
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final

Mansfield, 3 @ Milford, 2 – FinalIn a match filled with long rallies, Mansfield was able to edge Milford, 21-25, 25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 15-8. “It was an outstanding team effort by our whole team,” Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden said. For the Hornets, Jess Haradon had 43 digs, Chloe Peters had 49 assists, Meg Hill added 14 kills, Julia Harrison chipped in with 12 digs and 10 kills, Jacey Anderson had 22 digs, Emily Kleber finished with eight kills and Olivia Broyles had seven kills.

King Philip, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final King Philip avenged a non-league loss to the Rocketeers last week with a 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20 league win on Thursday. Sydney Phillips paced the offense with 19 kills while adding 18 service points and three blocks. Kat Kmetz had 23 service points for the Warriors along with three kills and two blocks, Amanda Loewen had 11 service points and eight digs and Angela Vellante added 25 service points and two digs.

Sharon, 0 @ Norwood, 3 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton’s Riley Bagley had a strong all around game with with eight kills and 16 digs.

Field Hockey
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 1 – FinalAndrea McNeil scored the lone goal of the game while Taylor Carrington recorded the shutout in net for the Bulldogs. Oliver Ames head coach Abby Tepper said Katie Vamosi, Katie Davenport and Sarah Tetrault played well defensively for the Tigers.

Franklin, 5 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin sophomore Annie Walsh netted a hat trick to help the Panthers land a 5-1 victory. Junior Maddie Hinckley opened the scoring with junior Kate Morse and freshman Erin Walsh each chipping in with two assists. Sophomore Cassi Ronan also had a goal and an assist. Franklin senior Sam Hertzberg had six saves –including two scintillating stops — to get the win in the cage.

Mansfield, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final

King Philip, 2 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip’s Christina Hathaway scored a penalty stroke in the first half to give the Warriors the edge at the break. In the second half, with 11 minutes left, Nicole Connor scored from an assist from Alli Meehan to make it 2-0. KP put 30 shots on net but North Attleboro goalie Liz Morehouse had a strong game.

Golf
Foxboro, 172 @ Oliver Ames, 143 – Final Brady Allbritton earned match medalist honors for Oliver Ames, carding a low round of 34. Mark Bissonette shot a 35 while Ryan McGarry and Matt Kelley each shot 37 on the day. Chad Bearce shot a 42 for Foxboro and Matt Tierney carded a 43.

Stoughton, 179 @ Canton, 154 – Final Canton’s Tommy Dimock was the match medalist, shooting a match-low 34 on the day at Blue Hills Country Club. Jackson Maffeo added a 39 for the Bulldogs while Matt Martin shot 40 and Pat Duggan shot a 41. Brendan Campbell led Stoughton with a 41.

Franklin, 151 @ North Attleboro, 146 – Final

Taunton vs. New Bedford, 3:00

Field Hockey: 2016 Hockomock League Preview

Stoughton's Angela Connolly, the reigning Hockomock MVP, will be a key piece for Stoughton in a competitive Davenport division. (Photo: Jeffrey Pickette/SMAC)
Stoughton’s Angela Connolly, the reigning Hockomock MVP, will be a key piece for Stoughton in a competitive Davenport division. (Photo: Jeffrey Pickette/SMAC)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Hockomock Field Hockey Preview

Attleboro

2015 Record: 10-8-2
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Lindsay Antunes

After a year off from the postseason, Attleboro made its way back to the postseason in 2015 and is looking to continue that trend in 2015. The Bombardiers are returning a handful of playoff experienced players and also have spots open for players to step into and make a name for themselves. Some of the experienced players will also shift positions to help voids left. Marissa Dias is back to anchor the defense again this year while three year varsity player Grace Mayer’s versatility has shined as she’s played all over the field. Sophomore Alexis Compton will get minutes at forward and could be a breakout player for the Bombardiers this year.

“I have returners who have filled deficits on the field by transitioning into new roles,” Attleboro head coach Lindsay Antunes said. “The players who are sliding into new positions are facing these challenges with eagerness. Their willingness and immense capability are a large part of the reason behind the changes being made. I have a great deal of confidence in this newly built team, and are certain that they are going to work hard to compete with the high level of competitiveness within this league.”

Canton

2015 Record: 10-8-3
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Chrissy O’Connor

With a good amount of returning varsity players, Canton is hoping it can return to the top of the Hockomock League. It also helps that coach Chrissy O’Connor – who won a D2 State Championship with Canton in 2004 – is back at the helm. O’Connor coached for over a decade, capping her final year with an undefeated season. Senior Julia Ezepik is back to anchor the defense while Taylor Carrington returns in the cage with starting varsity experience. Juniors Maggie Wade and Andrea McNeil are also back and will be key pieces in Canton’s midfield this season. Senior Caroline Hagan will be an important piece of the attack as well.

“With a new coaching staff this season Canton is looking to continue its tradition of being a competitive force in the Hockomock League,” O’Connor said.

Foxboro

2015 Record: 10-6-3
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Melissa Bordieri

Expectations are high once again in Foxboro this season. The Warriors have made the postseason for 14 straight years and are looking to extend it to 15 straight seasons this year. Foxboro has a large amount of returning starters and players that had varsity experience, which bodes well for another playoff berth. Things start with Foxboro’s offense as they bring back three forwards that can all score consistently. Sophomore Lily Daly, the team’s leading scorer and MVP last year, is back alongside seniors Meredith Cronin and Emma Daly. Foxboro’s midfield will also have some familiar faces, including Ally Curran and Caroline Wheatley. The Warriors will have a new goalie between the pipes this year as Kelly McCarthy takes over for Jill Delaney. After two years as the understudy, head coach Melissa Bordieri is confident in McCarthy to take over.

“I’m confident we can achieve a lot of things,” Bordieri said. “We’ve set our sights on winning the division. We always want to get back to the tournament. This is one of those years I strongly feel a lot of girls can contribute because of our depth.”

Franklin

2015 Record: 16-3-2
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Lisa Cropper

Franklin has six returning starters back and a total of 10 seniors, setting the Panthers up for another successful season. It’s a mix of all grades for the Panthers, with seniors and captains Caroline Lounsbury, Dana Lewandowski and Kayla Marshall leading the way. Lounsbury and Lewandowski will patrol the midfield along with sophomore Cassie Ronan. Marshall will be a key piece in the defense along with junior Kate Morse. Sophomore Annie Walsh, the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will lead a potent attack along with freshmen Maeve Ledwith and Erin Walsh.

“We have a solid group of field players with some young scoring talent and some depth on the bench,” head coach Lisa Cropper said. “Losing two-time Hock All-Star Samantha Jones to graduation leaves a hole in goal to fill, but if our defense plays strong while our inexperienced goalies develop, we should be able to contend for the league title.”

King Philip

2015 Record: 10-8-2
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Liz Hathaway

King Philip has a bounce back year in 2015 and is hoping to continue that success this season. The Warriors are returning key players all over the field while new players are likely to help fill some voids. Senior captain Caitlin Donahue will be one of the main pieces of the attack while senior captain and junior captain Monica Harvey and Christina Hathaway will anchor the defense. Hathaway will also see time in the midfield while Abby Campbell returns to the cage after a standout sophomore year. Sophomore Alli Meehan is back in the attack after a breakout rookie campaign in 2015.

“We are a young team with some good athletes to build around,” head coach Liz Hathaway said. “Key players have really put in a lot of work in the offseason and summer and are looking fundamentally sound, fast and strong.”

Mansfield

2015 Record: 20-2-0 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Theresa Nyhan

Mansfield took one of the most storied programs to the limit a year ago, forcing double overtime against Walpole in the D1 South Final. The Hornets are looking to continue that success in 2016. Mansfield will need to replace some key pieces if they hope to compete at the same level this year. Julia Todesco Caroline Maher graduated but the Hornets do have league all-stars Amalia Todesco and Caitlin Whitman are back this season. Todesco and fellow senior captain Jen McCabe will be key pieces of Mansfield’s defensive unit while Todesco will also see time in the midfield. Whitman will be a key cog in the Hornets’ midfield as well. Junior Emily Ierardo and senior Olivia Horn are two returners that should help bolster Manfield’s attack this year.

Milford

2015 Record: 3-11-3
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kim Danish

The Scarlet Hawks are hoping senior leadership will help right the ship after just three wins a year ago. Milford has 13 seniors on the team, including some key experienced players in different parts of the field. Senior Emily Smith returns as the starting goalie again this year, which is already a good start for Milford. Senior captain Kaitlyn DeCapua will anchor the defense with her versatility, senior captain Tina Capone will bring speed to the midfield and senior captain Ali Atherton will relied upon to pace Milford’s offense. Shannon Cormier will also be a player to watch for the Scarlet Hawks this season.

“The 2016 Milford Hawks are persistent, determined, and resilient,” head coach Kim Danish said. “We have quickly come together as a team, and we are looking to battle through our Hock schedule.”

North Attleboro

2015 Record: 5-10-3
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Karen Folan

After missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro is looking to find its way back in 2016 and will try to do so by working from the back up. Senior captains Mary Kummer and Teresa Bagarella, who both have a lot of varsity experience, will anchor the back line. Senior Liz Morehouse takes over the starting job in the cage for North this season. Their defense will be the catalyst for the Rocketeers’ offense this season. seniors Kaleigh Cole and Jamie Cromidas, along with juniors Olivia Gedgaudas, Kaley Gorman, Emilie Pothier and Olivia Horricks will look to link up as the Rocketeers transition from defense to offense and go on the attack.

“We are a team that will get better with each game,” head coach Karen Folan said.

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 13-5-1 (Davenport Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Abby Tepper

Oliver Ames has experienced a lot of success in recent seasons and the goal remains the same this year, despite a coaching change. Former Foxboro and Salve Regina standout Abby Tepper has taken over at the helm and Oliver Ames is now competing in the Kelley-Rex division. Senior captains Kendall Clifford and Katie Davenport will be the leaders for the Tigers this season. Clifford will anchor the midfield unit while Davenport will continue as a top defensive player in the Hockomock. Dimitra Efremidis will be a key part of Oliver Ames’ offense this season, with the ability to set up teammates and find the back of the net herself.

“I am very proud of the girls so far during preseason putting in extra work even outside of practice times,” Tepper said.

Sharon

2015 Record: 0-16-0
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrea Vandette

The Eagles are hoping some added depth will lead to a turnaround season and a step in the right direction for the future. Sharon has three senior captains, Georgia Salvatore, Shafali Reddy and Michelle Lu, all of which are returning varsity players with experience. All three are defenders so Sharon is relying on a solid defensive foundation to lead the way in 2016. Lindsey Moses will be the starting goalie this season after seeing some minutes a year ago. Erica Dougherty and Stephanie Wasserman will be new options at forward this season alongside returning varsity player, Emily Locke.

“We made a lot of progress last year and I feel like we are picking up right where we left off,” head coach Andrea Vandette said. “This years squad is a lot bigger than last year and that depth on the bench is much appreciated.”

Stoughton

2015 Record: 10-8-3
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Dan Mark

Stoughton has been on the rise over the last three seasons and after an appearance in the D1 South tournament, the Black Knights will look to continue the upward trajectory in 2016. Reigning Hockomock League MVP and Northeastern-commit Angela Connelly is back to control the midfield for the Black Knights. Olivia Schlehuber and Mia Russell are both returning starters at the forward position, which bodes well for Stoughton’s attack. Kayla Oliviera, Kelly Corrigan and Kelly Joyce all saw plenty of playing time last season and will be important pieces in the midfield this season. Senior Meghan McSweeney and sophomore Gianna Barbosa will battle for the starting job in the cage.

“We are looking forward to a good season with a mix of veteran and new players,” head coach Dan Mark said.

Taunton

2015 Record: 1-15-2
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Elizabeth Hathaway

After finding the win column just one year ago, Taunton is looking to make a big step forward in 2016. The Tigers, playing in the incredibly competitive Kelley-Rex division, will have some experience to rely on in some parts of the field but will be looking to youth in others. Senior’s Katie Van Zandt and Bre Conlon will be key pieces on defense for the Tigers this season. Junior’s Kya Enos and Liana Duarte are returners that will pace Taunton’s offense this season. Both proved to be key pieces of the attack a season ago. Taunton will rely on youth in the middle of the field as sophomores Jillian Pagliuca and Lauren Torres will both play important roles at midfield.

“We are a young team, hoping to use speed and space to our advantage in offensive play,” head coach Liz Hathaway said.

Players to Watch

Players are listed alphabetically

Abby Campbell, King Philip – The class of 2016 included a lot of the top goalies in the league. However, Campbell emerged as one of the top netminders during her sophomore year and could be the top goalie in league in 2016.

Kendall Clifford, Oliver Ames – The Tigers have had a strong run as of late and will need another strong season to compete in the Kelley-Rex. Clifford’s presence in the midfield will be key for the Tigers as she helps the team transition from defense to offense.

Angela Connolly, Stoughton – The reigning Hockomock League MVP is back after helping Stoughton to the playoffs last year. She scored 11 goals and added 15 assists and will be a true double threat for the Black Knights this year.

Lily Daly, Foxboro – It’s rare that a freshman leads a team and scoring but that’s exactly what Daly did a year ago, being named team MVP. With forwards Meredith Cronin and Emma Daly back as well, Foxboro should have a potent attack.

Mary Kummer/Teresa Bagarella, North Attleboro – The Rocketeers should have a strong defense this season with senior captains Mary Kummer and Teresa Bagarella. The duo has a lot of experience and that bodes well for North Attleboro this season.

Dana Lewandowski, Franklin – The senior captain midfielder has a large presence on the field for the Panthers. Lewandowski controls the midfield, has the ability to get forward and score and can set up teammates at the same time.

Grace Mayer, Attleboro – Attleboro made a trip to the postseason in 2015 and Mayer’s 11 goals and three assists were a big reason. The Bombardiers will have a lot of competition in the Kelley-Rex but Mayer will be a top offensive producer again this year.

Jen McCabe, Mansfield – The Hornets had a historic run to the sectional final and the offense got a lot of attention but the back line was rock solid throughout the year. McCabe was one of the center pieces to that defense and is back as a senior captain this year.

Annie Walsh, Franklin – The defending HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year is back after a breakout rookie season. Walsh will be looking to produce numbers (nine goals and seven assists) like she did a season ago.

Softball: Davenport Division Preview 2016

Davenport softball
Junior pitcher Ali Atherton and Milford enter the spring with expectations of repeating as Davenport division champs. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON
2015 Record: 2-18
2015 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Tracy Andrews

Canton reached the postseason two seasons ago, despite only recording four wins, and this year’s crop of Bulldogs will be hoping to replicate that experience by getting the program back to the postseason. With senior lefty Sarah Reissfelder back in the circle, Canton has an experienced pitcher to rely on this spring and a power bat in the middle of the order.

Senior captains Gabby Matthews, Colleen Phelan, and Kaitlin McCarthy will also provide some pop, while sophomore Hannah Jerrier is hoping to carry over her success from the basketball court to the softball diamond. Taylor Carrington (third base) and Lillian Carrington (centerfield) will also be players to watch as the Bulldogs fight for a spot in the Div. 2 tournament under head coach Tracy Andrews.

FOXBORO
2015 Record: 9-12
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South preliminary round
Coach: Mark Maguire

Despite being below .500 again last season, Foxboro continued to improve its win total from the year before, going from six to seven to nine over the past three years, and clinching its fourth straight trip to the state tournament. Head coach Mark Maguire expects that a fifth trip will be in the cards for the Warriors again this spring but he is also setting his sights on challenging Oliver Ames and Milford at the top of the league standings.

Senior Jenna Weinstein is back in the circle for the Warriors and will be the primary starting pitcher, but Foxboro also has depth at pitching and that can make a big difference over the course of the season. Freshmen Camyrn Willis and Emma Rohan will be developed as pitchers of the future.

Weinstein will also be one of the Warriors’ top bats this season along with sophomore Hannah Davis, who is moving behind the plate to replace league all-star Bri Stern after a season at shortstop. Mary Lou Long will take over at short and Kelly Fisher will be at first base and batting cleanup, while senior Carolynn Will continues in center and has been a three-sport captain (soccer and basketball).

“We expect to compete for the Davenport division as long as our pitching comes along,” said Maguire. “We expect to make the playoffs and challenge for the league…and the girls are ready to go.”

MILFORD
2015 Record: 19-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South quarterfinal
Coach: Steve DiVitto

Milford enters the season with the potential to win a fourth straight league title and challenging the top teams in the Div. 1 South. Senior shortstop Jill Powers and catcher Meg Jacques will provide leadership for an experienced and still young roster that features sophomore infielder Emily Piergustavo, who is already getting Div. I college interest.

In the circle, junior Ali Atherton returns for a third year and she showed last year that she can compete with the best, as evidenced by her regular season win over South champ Silver Lake. Junior Maggie Farrell will add a lot of pop to the lineup and sophomore Jess Tomasso has transferred in from Hopedale and could make an instant impact in the middle of the order. Sophomore Kate Irwin will step in to fill an outfield role and freshman Emily Hartman will be used at multiple positions this year.

Milford coach Steve DiVitto said, “They are motivated to continue to exceed others expectations and truly believe they can compete with the best of the Hock and state. They have set the bar high-and have worked tirelessly in the off-season to strive and reach those goals.”

OLIVER AMES
2015 Record: 11-11
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South first round
Coach: Lindsey Allison

Oliver Ames finished behind Milford in the Davenport last year, but pulled an upset over league rival Mansfield to advance to the first round of the state tournament to face eventual South champ Silver Lake. The Tigers will be hoping to challenge the Hawks again this spring and make a run at the league title.

Spearheading the offensive attack for OA will be senior Jamie Gottwald, who led the Tigers with a .449 battling average and three homers last year. Classmate Katie Pursley will also be back after hitting .389 last year and fellow senior Missy Krim will bring experience to the outfield. Caroline Mahoney hit .352 last season and the sophomore return at third base, while junior Victoria Ziner has been off to a strong start at shortstop this preseason.

One of the biggest changes for the Tigers will be in the circle where freshman Kayla Georgeu will be the starter with sophomore Alexis Campbell will help out as a pitcher and second baseman. Head coach Lindsey Allison said, “There are still some puzzle pieces we are working on to finalize positions being filled from graduating seven last year…We are definitely looking to play .500 ball and make tournament again this year.”

SHARON
2015 Record: 3-16
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Deb Parker

Sharon will look to build on last season and while the Eagles may not be challenging for the league title this season they will be hoping that the mix of experienced starters and talented underclassmen can make a push towards the postseason.

Sharon will be aided by experienced pitching, as junior Clara Cook will be the starter for the third season in a row and her battery-mate is senior Rachel Ulsen, a two-time Hockomock all-star. Senior Jenna Kranseler will be back at first base and junior Sam Marglous will be at shortstop. Head coach Deb Parker will also be counting on versatile freshmen Allison Small and Rebecca Clayman.

Parker said, “Both play a variety of positions so we will spend the next few days figuring out where they will help us the most.”

STOUGHTON
2015 Record: 7-13
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Tim Norton

After many years in charge of Stoughton softball, Janet Sullivan has stepped down and first-year head coach Tim Norton has taken over. Norton inherits a team that has lost nine seniors from last year and has as many as eight starters playing new positions this season.

Sam Tullis will be behind the plate this year and the Black Knights will also return seniors Courtney Campbell, Nicole Bodette and Shannon Flaherty. Freshman Karly Estramera will be a player to watch, according to Norton, and may be the starting centerfielder.

Norton said, “Even with the high degree of turnover this year I think the tournament isn’t out of the question.  We have a very solid core of young talented players and if they play up to their potential it could propel us back into the tournament.”

Jerrier, Bulldogs Run Past BMR for First Win


Hannah Jerrier
Hannah Jerrier (45) scored 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a non-league win at BMR on Monday night. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

BLACKSTONE, Mass. – Canton took a quick breather from Hockomock League play on Monday night and made the 45-minute drive to head coach Jim Choquette’s old stomping ground at Blackstone-Millville Regional. The trip was well worth it, as the Bulldogs returned home with ther first win of the season.

Sophomore Hannah Jerrier led the way for Canton with 14 points and 10 rebounds and the Bulldogs broke the game open with a 15-0 starting in the second quarter that led to a comfortable 46-30 victory.

“One of the things that we keep saying is to be consistent through four quarters and piece it together when we go through a substitution or something bad happens,” said Choquette,” who coached at BMR for four seasons prior to coming to Canton. 

“We’ve had a few close games now where we’re really starting to learn that process of okay what does it really take to win this game.”

The Bulldogs jumped all over BMR to start the game. Senior Meaghan Hunter got things started with a corner three and then Jerrier started to get going on the glass. The sophomore forward scored six points and Canton led 9-1 and looked on the verge of putting the game away.

Instead, Canton took its foot off the pedal for a second and the Chargers started to find a groove. BMR started to get to the basket and switched to a full-court press that cause the Bulldogs issues. BMR scored 13 straight points and held a 14-9 lead after the first.

“We made a few coaching errors where we pressed them,” Choquette explained, “and they scored then we pressed them and they scored again where it was finally that’s not the trick tonight; let’s just get back to our solid halfcourt defense and that did the trick tonight.”

Jerrier started the second with a rebound put back and the foul off a missed free throw. Hunter added a layup and Emma Murphy knocked down a jumper for a quick 6-0 run to regain the lead at 15-14.

After a BMR basket, senior point guard Shannon Foley threw a perfect pass to hit junior Taylor Carrington on a back cut for a layup. The Chargers scored again to lead 18-17, but it would be the last point BMR would score until late in the third quarter. Canton went on a 15-0 run to grab total control of the game.

“They made a comeback and got back into the game,” said Choquette, “but you could tell from the bench, the encouragement of the two senior captains, saying settle down let’s get back to what we’ve been doing successfully.”

In the third quarter, Casey Shea (eight rebounds, four blocks) scored four points, both on offensive rebounds, Jerrier again finished around the rim, Hunter (eight points, seven boards) buried her second three of the game and Murphy scored in the paint. BMR was struggling on the glass and struggling to contain the Bulldogs offense.

“They’re being more aggressive and starting to get more free throws,” said Choquette of his team’s offensive attack. “It’s starting to click.”

“Our bigs are pretty quick so when you get it inside most bigs on most teams think this girl is a little bit quicker than I’m used to, so I think that’s a nice advantage.”

The Chargers scored four points for the second consecutive quarter and with five seconds left  in the third Canton built its largest lead when Julia Hamilton quickly got the ball up to Foley, who buried a three at the buzzer. It was 37-22 heading to the fourth.

A Murphy offensive rebound basket and another two for Jerrier extended the lead to 20 points and Choquette was able to empty his bench to cruise to a solid win.

He said, “When we went to halftime, we said hey we let our guard down at the end of the first quarter start of the second…I said at the start of this quarter let’s lock it down on defense, that’s the No. 1 thing we have to do…and it started to pay off and they wanted to do it more and more and that carried us.”

The Bulldogs schedule has been very difficult in the opening weeks. Canton has already played Franklin, Foxboro, Mansfield, and Oliver Ames, which at the time were all ranked in the top 20 in the state. Also, Canton has yet to play a home game.

On Friday, the Bulldogs battled Stoughton and, although they lost by one point, gained a lot of confidence that they could compete. That confidence rolled into Monday’s non-league road win.

Choquette said, “In our first set of games, we didn’t have a great opportunity to win. We competed and we worked hard but the abilities of those teams…I think we went into the Stoughton game thinking it’s not going to be one of those situations.”

He continued, “It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but this is a team that we can compete with and we can challenge. We had a lot of excitement and got off to a great start and hit some shots in the first quarter.”

Canton (1-6, 0-5) will try to continue the forward momentum on Tuesday with its first home game of the season. The Bulldogs will welcome three-time defending Kelley-Rex champ North Attleboro.

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

Wednesday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/04/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
D2 South
#15 Stoughton, 2 vs. #18 Diman, 0 – Final – Stoughton senior Josh Mitchell opened the scoring three minutes into the second half off an assist from goalie Kyle Silverman and Loubensky Lucas doubled the Black Knights’ lead 10 minutes later, finishing off a cross from freshman Fabio Ponce De Leon. Stoughton advances to the D2 South First Round and will travel to #2 Greater New Bedford (17-1) on Friday at 6:00. 
Girls Soccer
D1 South
#17 Taunton, 3 @ #16 Wellesley, 1 – Final

#18 Milford, 0 @ #15 Silver Lake, 4 – Final
Field Hockey
D1 South
#11 Oliver Ames, 2 vs. #22 New Bedford, 0 – Final – Missy Krim scored in the first half off an assist from Dimitra Efremidis and Nicole Walker added a goal in the second half. Head coach Janice Sundell said Katie Davenport played well on defense for the Tigers while Cassie Gavin made six saves. 
#18 Stoughton, 2 @ #15 Barnstable, 3 – Final – Mia Russell and Courtney Campbell scored for Stoughton but Barnstable scored with just seven seconds left to escape with a win. 

#19 King Philip, 1 @ #13 Plymouth South, 0 – Final (3OT) – King Philip kept Plymouth South off the board while Casie Curtin and Caitlin Donahue scored to lift the Warriors in a stroke off. KP advances to the D1 South First Round, where they will travel to #4 Franklin on Friday at 2:30.
#21 Attleboro, 3 @ #12 Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final – Attleboro got a hat trick from Emily Houle and Quincy Harding assisted on a pair of them to help the Bombardiers advance. Attleboro will play #5 Dennis-Yarmouth on Friday at 2:30 in the D1 South First Round.

#23 Canton, 1 @ #10 Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Lindsey Nolte scored midway through the first half and Taylor Carrington had a strong game in net for the Bulldogs. Canton advances to the D1 South First Round, where they will travel to #7 Norwood (13-4-1) on Friday at 2:30.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/04/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
D2 South
#15 Stoughton, 2 vs. #18 Diman, 0 – Final – Stoughton senior Josh Mitchell opened the scoring three minutes into the second half off an assist from goalie Kyle Silverman and Loubensky Lucas doubled the Black Knights’ lead 10 minutes later, finishing off a cross from freshman Fabio Ponce De Leon. Stoughton advances to the D2 South First Round and will travel to #2 Greater New Bedford (17-1) on Friday at 6:00. 
Girls Soccer
D1 South
#17 Taunton, 3 @ #16 Wellesley, 1 – Final

#18 Milford, 0 @ #15 Silver Lake, 4 – Final
Field Hockey
D1 South
#11 Oliver Ames, 2 vs. #22 New Bedford, 0 – Final – Missy Krim scored in the first half off an assist from Dimitra Efremidis and Nicole Walker added a goal in the second half. Head coach Janice Sundell said Katie Davenport played well on defense for the Tigers while Cassie Gavin made six saves. 
#18 Stoughton, 2 @ #15 Barnstable, 3 – Final – Mia Russell and Courtney Campbell scored for Stoughton but Barnstable scored with just seven seconds left to escape with a win. 

#19 King Philip, 1 @ #13 Plymouth South, 0 – Final (3OT) – King Philip kept Plymouth South off the board while Casie Curtin and Caitlin Donahue scored to lift the Warriors in a stroke off. KP advances to the D1 South First Round, where they will travel to #4 Franklin on Friday at 2:30.
#21 Attleboro, 3 @ #12 Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final – Attleboro got a hat trick from Emily Houle and Quincy Harding assisted on a pair of them to help the Bombardiers advance. Attleboro will play #5 Dennis-Yarmouth on Friday at 2:30 in the D1 South First Round.

#23 Canton, 1 @ #10 Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Lindsey Nolte scored midway through the first half and Taylor Carrington had a strong game in net for the Bulldogs. Canton advances to the D1 South First Round, where they will travel to #7 Norwood (13-4-1) on Friday at 2:30.