Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Avery Snead, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Jordyn Forte, Attleboro
Sarah Connolly, Canton
Riley Duserick, Canton
Olivia Rodman, Canton
Lily Sykes, Foxboro
Mackenzi Fraser, Foxboro
Molly Duncan, Franklin
Catherine Robbins, Franklin
Avery Snead, King Philip
Chloe Layne, King Philip
Emma Corcoran, King Philip
Ally Stanton, King Philip
Melissa Reef, Mansfield
Emily Vigeant, Mansfield
Taylor Smith, Mansfield
Stephanie Kemp, Mansfield
Juliana France, Milford
Rachel LaBonte, North Attleboro
Haley Guertin, North Attleboro
Ashlyn Gaulin, North Attleboro
Emily Chiasson, North Attleboro
Regan Benton, Oliver Ames
Jacqueline Mills, Oliver Ames
Ally Filipkowski, Sharon
Sarah Widrow, Stoughton
Samantha Tichelaar, Taunton
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Not all scoreless draws are the same. The lack of a goal does not automatically mean that a game was stale or defensive or boring. It goes without saying that not many scoreless draws have enough incidents to fill a page in a notebook either.
Tuesday night’s rematch between Kelley-Rex division co-leaders King Philip and Mansfield at Macktaz Field was the latter. It was a game packed to the brim with excitement. The teams combined to hit the post three times, the goalies combined for 11 saves, two chances were blocked on the line, and the chances did not end until the final seconds of regulation.
It was a game that had just about everything, except for a goal and a winner.
King Philip and Mansfield lived up to the billing regardless of the 0-0 final score and it leaves the teams in a first place tie heading into the final game of the regular season, which means win the finale and win a championship.
“You’ve got the two best teams in the league and they go toe-to-toe and tie,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “They’re the best scoring offense, but in the league they have one more goal than we do. We have one less [goal allowed] than they do. So, you’re talking about the two best defenses, the two best offenses and unfortunately the offenses got nullified but, as a defensive person, I love that.”
KP coach Gary Pichel, whose program is just two years removed from an injury-riddled, two-win season, added, “It had great goaltending, great defense on both sides, very stingy tonight…King Philip has had a hard run for 15 years, so this is big for us. We’re enjoying every minute of it. I’m very proud of the kids; they played their heart out.”
The blustery conditions provided an additional element of drama to the game, as the wind swept across the pitch towards the school and played havoc with clearances, goalkeeper punts, and free kicks. Even shorter passes were affected by the wind whipping from end zone to end zone.
KP took the wind at its back to start the game and it helped the Warriors put the Hornets on their heels for the majority of the first half. It started just four minutes in when Jenna Midura chased down a long ball over the top and blocked the clearance by Mansfield keeper Lauren Whitman only to have the carom go just wide.
Sophomore attackers Chloe Layne and Avery Snead got into the game shortly after, with Layne able to drag a Snead pass past a defender to get off a shot on the edge of the box and then controlled another Snead through ball to get a low shot that drew a save from Whitman. KP goalie Emma Durant was tested soon after when Cassidy McMahon flicked a pass to Amanda Mangano, whose shot was partially blocked and saved at the near post.
In the 27th minute, Layne took a throw-in just inside the left side of the box and she found a sliver of space to squeeze the ball to Snead, who took a left-footed shot that looked destined for the far corner until Whitman flew across to make a two-handed save. Just seconds later and Bryn Anderson had a go from 20 yards for the Hornets but Durant was able to get a fingertip to the ball and knock it over the bar.
In the 30th minute, Layne showed off the skills that have made her one of the league’s top scorers when she used three touches to separate herself from three Mansfield defenders on the edge of the 18 and lined up a right-footed shot only to have it ricochet off the post.
Smith said, “Chloe and Avery are fantastic and we had to double them, we had to triple them, we had to cover, have backside marks on their other players because if you double them you leave people, so that’s why we didn’t have as much offense because we have to shove our forwards back to cover their extra players.”
Six minutes before the break, KP hit the post again. A corner landed in the middle of the box and the ball popped off the foot of Abby Baker but again stayed out thanks to the woodwork.
“We went with the wind at our back in the first half to try and put a few in,” said Pichel. “We hit two posts and an inch to the right on both of them and we would’ve been up 2-0 but give them credit they kept fighting back and I thought we did pretty good pressure-wise even against the wind.”
KP had its chances in the second half as well, although the Warriors were limited by playing into the gusting wind. Layne had an early chance after a slip by the Mansfield defense but put it wide and Makayla Griffin saw her opportunity from a Snead flicked header fly wide just a minute later.
Despite all the chances that both teams were managing to create, the defensive efforts were superb from both teams. The Mansfield back four of Kerina Geminiani, Emily Vigeant, Taylor Smith, and Mikaela Maughn were stretched by the dynamic KP attack, but held firm with help from midfielders Melissa Reef and Anderson.
“Kevin’s team is always prepared,” said Pichel. “Their back four is magnificent. They took care of business. The second half we knew was going to be tough with the wind.”
“It was the best defensive battle we’ve had all season,” said Smith. “It was fantastic.”
The Warriors back line, marshaled by Emma Corcoran and Olivia Berry in the middle with Hanna Balunos and Lauren Anderson on the outside, also put in a strong shift against a varied Mansfield attack. Pichel credited a change in formation for putting the pressure on the Hornets higher up the pitch, particularly Faye Veilleux creating havoc in the center of the field.
He added, “We had better success controlling the ball today. Our middle was exposed [last time]. Our midfield was so aggressive that it was hard for them to get back…so I had to put a stopper in there and [Faye] did a great job.”
Both teams had chances to win the game in the final 20 minutes. Snead had a header off a corner blocked on its way to goal and then Smith belted a perfect 45-yard free kick that smashed off the crossbar and was cleared. Stephanie Kemp had the ball fall to her off a corner only for Lauren Anderson to get a piece of the goal-bound shot and keep it out.
In the closing seconds, Kemp would have one more chance as she tried to get on the end of the long through ball but Durant got the angle and timing perfect to smother the ball at Kemp’s feet. Seconds later, the whistle put an end to a breathless top of the table clash.
King Philip (15-1-2, 12-1-2) will have the chance to win its first title since 2002 when it hosts Franklin on Friday afternoon. Mansfield (12-1-2, 12-1-2) can seal the program’s first back-to-back titles with a win at home against Oliver Ames on Thursday night.
Today’s games are listed below.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Attleboro junior Will Halben scored the lone goal of the game in the 10th minute and senior goalie Nick Hasenfus had a strong performance in goal to help the Bombardiers score an upset of top-ranked OA.
Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Canton junior Paul Corcoran broke the deadlock with 15 minutes to play, netting the game-winner to help the Bulldogs earn two points on the road. Canton junior Avery Minkin scored his first career goal to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead entering halftime. Sharon senior Christian Villanueva scored the equalizer early in the second half before Corcoran netted the winner.
Foxboro, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Foxboro scored three goals in the second half to secure two points on the road at Milford. Hussein Kafel opened the scoring in the 10th minute, finishing a rebound off a shot from Ryan Kelley. Kafel doubled Foxboro’s lead in the second half but Milford cut the deficit in half with a penalty kick. Matt Garcia and Dylan Barreira scored in the final 20 minutes to ice the game. Shane VandenBoom had two assists in the win for Foxboro.
Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield senior John Cooney netted the lone tally of the game and senior keeper Nick Ferraz made a pair of highlight saves in the first half to help the Hornets preserve the lead, and the win, against the visiting Panthers. Cullin Anastasia set up Cooney for the only goal.
Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip erased a one-goal first half deficit, scoring once before the halftime break to knot the score, and then again early in the second half for the winner. THS took the lead in the 17th minute but KP scored in the 31st minute with Mike Rowe nodding in a corner kick from Camron Lawrence. The Warriors scored the winner in the 44th minute when Cam Koch latched onto a loose ball in the area, burying it backside to make it 2-1.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro scored a pair of first half goals, and then survived an early second half strike from the visitors to stay in first place. Joe Hilf (14th minute) and Gabe Pinhancos (33rd minute) each converted breakaway chances to put the hosts up 2-0. Stoughton’s Jayden Falise buried a rebound on a chance from Ritchy Laguerre to make it 2-1. Pinhancos then buried a chance from the top of the box in the 60th minute, and James Sales capped the scoring with his first career goal in the 68th minute on an assist from Ryan Pasquel.
Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Isabella Salviati scored the game’s lone goal on what Attleboro coach Steve Santos described as a “great hustle play.” OA coach Britt Sellmayer said that Emily Nosalek and Sofia Masciarelli played well in defeat.
Canton, 4 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Riley Duserick scored a pair of goals to lead the Bulldogs to the victory that clinches Canton a return to the state tournament. Morgan McCabe and Elisa Diletizia also scored for the Bulldogs and Leianna Brune recorded an assist. Ally Filipkowski scored both goals for the Eagles in the loss. Bridget McManus and Keegan Veazey recorded assists for Sharon.
Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final Lily Sykes scored two goals, including a 40-yard strike, and had an assist for the Warriors. The second goal was the 50th of her career. Shaina Abbott and Jordyn Collins had the other two goals for the Warriors. Milford coach Jay Mastaj said that Juliana France, Rachel LeBlanc and Brianna Braza had good games for the Hawks.
Mansfield, 5 @ Franklin, 1 – Final The Hornets broke open a 1-1 tie with four second half goals and stayed tied atop the Kelley-Rex division standings. Taylor Smith had a brace and an assist for Mansfield, while Cassidy McMahon, Stephanie Kemp, and Amanda Mangano each had goals and Emily Vigeant had a pair of assists for the Hornets.
King Philip, 5 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Avery Snead scored two goals and Chloe Layne, Abby Baker, and Emma Durant each had one for the Warriors. Emily O’Gara scored the lone goal for the Tigers. Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro deposited all three of its goals in the first half to beat Stoughton and clinch the 2017 Hockomock League Davenport division title. Mackenzie Rosenberg had a pair of assists in a five-minute span, setting up Emma Gaulin for the opener and then Asyln Gaulin to make it 2-0. In the 28th minute, Haley Guertin made it 3-0 on a feed from Leah Jette. Nina Beauvais recorded the shutout in net for the Rocketeers.
Canton, 1 vs. Notre Dame Academy, 3 – Final – Canton split the first two games, but NDA rolled to two straight wins to grab the victory 15-25, 25-19, 9-25, 21-25. Hannah Jerrier had 13 kills and two blocks and Nicole Brown had 27 assists for the Bulldogs.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – While it is only about a third of the way through the league campaign, Monday night’s meeting between unbeaten Mansfield and Franklin at Alumni Field was an opportunity for one of the Kelley-Rex’s perennial powers to grab a slim advantage at the top of the table.
It was a opportunity that the defending division champion Hornets would not pass up. Mansfield dominated large portions of the game, created the majority of the few scoring chances that either team managed, and came away with a 3-0 victory that puts it one game up on the Panthers and King Philip.
“We played very well,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith after the game. “It’s good to play like that against a really quality opponent.”
As expected from a meeting between these two programs, the game was combative and fast-paced, but neither team was able to find space for a shot against two well-organized defensive units (the top two defensive teams in the league).
The game changed in the 14th minute when senior Taylor Smith played a long ball out of the back that bounced past the Franklin center backs and into the path of Kerina Geminiani. The junior beat Franklin keeper Cat Robbins to the ball and touched it past her into the open net.
“There’s so much pressure on the defense,” said Franklin coach Tom Geysen, “and eventually someone is going to make a mistake and something bad is going to happen. Even if it’s not your fault, something is going to go wrong with all that pressure in the back.”
The first half was limited in offensive chances for either team. Stephanie Kemp had a shot easily saved by Robbins in the 25th minute, but it was one of only two saves that the keeper was forced into in the game. Meanwhile the Mansfield defense bottled up Franklin midfielder Molly Duncan and held the Panthers without an attempt on goal in the opening 40 minutes.
“We’re getting there,” said Smith about the defense, including Erin Daniel and Mikaela Maughn on the outside and Emily Vigeant and Taylor Smith in the middle. “There’s still a couple breakdowns here or there, lack of concentration, but we’re getting there.”
The defense also popped up with a goal for the Hornets. In the 38th minute, Vigeant lined up a 35-yard free kick. Her effort took a deflection off the end of the Panthers wall and bounced past the dive of Robbins for a 2-0 lead at half.
Smith admitted that goal was important for the Hornets heading into the break. He said, “It would’ve been weird to go in with that much possession, but again give Franklin credit. They really limited us, we didn’t have a lot of shots in the first half, and that’s a credit to their defense.”
Franklin made a change of system at halftime to try and give more of a challenge in the midfield. It seemed to work, as the Panthers got their first shot two minutes after the break when freshman Erin Quaile had her shot saved by Lauren Whitman.
Four minutes later, the Panthers nearly got back into the game. Jess Kroushl stole the ball in the midfield and showed off the speed that has made her a track standout to create a chance on the break. Her first effort was blocked and Duncan’s follow-up effort was also blocked by the retreating Mansfield defense.
“When they changed back to four in the middle,” Smith explained, “they overran us a little in the midfield and we had to make some adjustments and find the length in the corners. Once we did that, we could expand them and find space in the middle.”
With seven minutes left to play, the Hornets wrapped up the points. Smith played a long free kick into Allee Bezeau in the box and the senior forward flicked the ball across goal to the back post. Bryn Anderson ran onto it and calmly finished with one touch.
Kroushl gave the Panthers one more chance to ruin Mansfield’s clean sheet but her breakaway with two minutes remaining was stymied by a sliding Whitman, who managed to get a toe on the ball.
“They continued to fight hard,” Geysen said, “but we obviously need to make some changes because we didn’t generate much offense at all. We need to find ways to create some offense to take the pressure off the defense.”
Smith was happy to get the lead in the division, however slim it may be.
“Any kind of cushion gives you a little bit of breathing room,” he said, “but this league is so good…I think out of our last 10 games, seven are against above .500 teams. We might as well start the state tournament now, it’s that kind of quality.”
Mansfield (6-0) will get another top of the table test on Thursday when it plays host to second place King Philip. Franklin (5-1-1) will also be back in action on Thursday when the Panthers host Attleboro.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – After winning the program’s first ever league title last fall, Mansfield comes into this season with a deep and experienced roster, but it was youthful Foxboro that started Thursday evening’s season opener at Alumni Field with energy and confidence. The Warriors were pushing the Hornets back towards their own goal and putting pressure on the Mansfield back line.
But, 15 minutes into the game, the Hornets picked out a pass over the top, a bad bounce took it past the defender, and junior Amanda Mangano slid the ball past Foxboro keeper Jamie DeVellis to open the scoring.
That goal changed the game. The Hornets clicked into gear and dominated from that point on, running out to a 5-1 win behind a pair of goals and three points from junior forward Stephanie Kemp and a pair of assists by senior Emma Oldow.
“Foxboro came out flying. They were physical and quick and tried to press us as high as they could,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith. “They had five in the midfield and we couldn’t figure out how to play through it with our typical passing game. I said, stretch the field, just put it over into space. That will stretch them out and then we can go back to the middle.”
He added, “Once we trusted that, two balls over the top and two goals; the game changed because of that.”
Foxboro was putting pressure from the opening whistle, using a high line and high pressure to win the ball and then quickly releasing freshman Jordyn Collins into the channels. Collins was able to run at defenders along with sophomore Lizzy Davis and win the Warriors a few early corners. The best chance in the opening minutes was a 30-yard free kick by Lily Sykes that swerved over the bar.
In the 16th minute, Oldow fired a pass forward towards Mangano and the ball skipped through the center of the Foxboro defense to create a one-on-one with the keeper. Foxboro struggled to sustain the pressure after falling behind.
“We came out on fire and really working hard,” said first-year Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup. “The ball was in our half, we were in the attacking half for the first part of the first half and then they got that goal and we got a little deflated. That’s something I need to talk to the girls about, but they didn’t stop fighting.”
Once the momentum turned, Mansfield took full control of the game. Junior Cassidy McMahon sent a shot wide from the right corner of the box and then sent a free header over the bar from the six-yard box. Kemp, who had an early chance that she sent wide, doubled the lead in the 31st minute when she ran onto a long ball from Erin Daniel, rounded the keeper and tapped it in.
Kemp nearly played provider a minute later, but Oldow shot wide when free on goal and then Kemp missed a chance that DeVellis appeared to get a finger to, but was ruled a corner.
Foxboro could have made the game closer before halftime, but Sykes had a free kick saved at full stretch by Mansfield keeper Caty DeMassi. On the resulting corner, the ball was redirected up and off the bar to keep it 2-0 heading into halftime.
Despite the speed of the Warriors’ attack, the Mansfield defense was able to hold strong, particularly the combination of center backs Emily Vigeant, Daniel, and Taylor Smith, a senior defender who transferred from Seattle, Wash. (and is already committed to play soccer at the University of Minnesota next year).
“It’s nice to have three center backs,” Smith said, “so I can rest them when they need and so many kids are interchangeable. Erin plays defense, midfield, outside back, and I can put the players anywhere.”
The third goal came nine minutes into the second half. Bryn Anderson picked out Oldow with a defense-splitting pass but Foxboro keeper Morgan Sylvestre (who took over at halftime) made a sliding save. The ball bounced out to Kemp, who calmly side-footed the ball home. Two minutes later, Kemp knocked down a long ball, Anderson took a touch to her left, and curled a shot past a diving Sylvestre.
Sykes was being smothered by the Mansfield midfield, with Anderson and fellow junior Melissa Reef constantly keeping an eye on Foxboro’s star. She finally got space in the 54th minute and curled a shot that DeMassi could not hold. Mackenzie Fraser was first to the loose ball and patiently took a touch before finishing the rebound.
“She’s always going to be out there playing a big part in the game,” said Stalcup of Sykes, “but they new who she was and they knew how to shut her down and she had a really hard time tonight.”
In the 57th minute, Mansfield restored its four-goal advantage. Mangano had a chance in the box, but the ball was cleared off her foot by Mackenzie Cusack. The clearance went directly to McMahon on the right side of the box and she hit it first time into the far side-netting.
Smith said, “We talked about using our experience but now playing with urgency. You can’t just say, we’re good and show up. I thought they came out with some urgency, which is good.”
Stalcup knows that it was always going to be difficult starting the season against the defending champ. She said, “We’re a young team, but we know how to battle. We’re going to keep fighting and we can build from that. You can’t teach hard work and we have that.”