Teams of the Decade #19: 2017 Sharon Girls Tennis

Sharon girls tennis

Team: Sharon Girls Tennis
Year: 2017
Record: 26-0
2017 Davenport Division Champions
2017 Division 1 State Champions


Sometimes a team is great because all of the pieces fit together perfectly, and sometimes you have a great team by having a bunch of talented players. The 2017 Sharon girls tennis team had both; a group loaded with skill that filled out the lineup perfectly and the result was a Division 1 State Championship.

As a measuring stick to how good this team was, junior Lulu Yuan was named Hockomock League MVP two seasons prior as a freshman. This season, Yuan had no problem moving to third singles with sophomore Nupur Shukla taking over at first singles and freshman Emily Zhang playing at second singles. With that depth, the Eagles were nearly impossible to beat in singles action alone. In fact, Yuan went undefeated (dropping a total of just four games the entire year) and each Shukla and Zhang dropped just one match apiece in the regular season.

“The 2017 team was a very talented team, with all three singles players capable of playing the number one position,” said head coach Diane Micheroni, who was assisted that season by Colleen Durno and Vinny Micheroni. “They were a powerhouse and dominated the Hockomock League. Having said that, I would also say that the Hockomock League that year was the strongest I have ever seen. Foxboro was a powerhouse in Division 2, with their top three singles players, and North Attleboro was extremely strong, especially with their double teams, and they made it deep into the playoffs.”

The Eagles soared through the regular season, sweeping eight matches and winning eight more with a 4-1 scoreline. Playing division rivals on back-to-back days early in the season, Sharon’s three singles players combined to drop a total of just two games to secure a 3-2 win over a tough North squad, and a day later, the Eagles picked up a sweep in doubles play (Emily Wen and Sydney Gordon at first doubles and Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein at second) to knock off Foxboro. The second time around, Sharon beat the Warriors by the same 4-1 scoreline and showed its improvement on the doubles side by sweeping the Rocketeers.

The regular season also featured impressive non-league wins over Brookline (who they would later beat again in the quarterfinals in the state tournament) and a 3-2 win over Martha’s Vineyard, who would go on to win the D3 State Championship that season for their third straight title. In that match, all three of Sharon’s singles players won in straight sets to notch the win. The Eagles entered the postseason with a convincing 5-0 sweep of Shrewsbury, who reached the D1 Central final.

In the state tournament, the Eagles rolled past Natick, Brookline, and Weymouth to reach the sectional final against playoff rival Wellesley, who also entered undefeated. It was Sharon’s third straight appearance in the sectional final and second against the Raiders, who prevailed 3-2 a year before. This time around, Yuan, Zhang, and Shukla came through and gave the Eagles a 3-2 victory and the sectional crown. Shukla battled back from multiple deficits to seal the win 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

Sharon was up against a powerhouse in Longmeadow in the state final, a team that featured that year’s singles individual state champion in Iris Gallo and the state’s runner-up doubles team of Jennifer Brayton and Meghan Swanson. Sharon showed off its depth by winning both doubles matches in the game, and that proved to be the difference. Junior Katie Merport and Emily Wen won in straight sets while the team of junior Rithika Neti and freshman Sophia Fein secured the state title win a third set victory at second doubles. Yuan also won in straight sets to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory and the state championship.

“My doubles teams came through in this match,” Micheroni said after the state championship. “The singles get a lot of attention, but I always say titles and championships are won by your doubles and they came through. They did come through today. I’m very proud of them – the whole team.”






Opponent
Result
TauntonW, 5-0
Oliver AmesW, 4-1
AttleboroW, 5-0
North AttleboroW, 3-2
FoxboroW, 4-1
CantonW, 4-1
StoughtonW, 5-0
MansfieldW, 5-0
MilfordW, 4-1
King PhilipW, 5-0
FranklinW, 4-1
FoxboroW, 4-1
North AttleboroW, 5-0
BrooklineW, 3-2
CantonW, 5-0
Bishop FeehanW, 4-1
StoughtonW, 5-0
Martha's VineyardW, 3-2
MilfordW, 4-1
ShrewsburyW, 5-0
#16 NatickW, 5-0
#9 BrooklineW, 4-1
#12 WeymouthW, 5-0
#2 WellesleyW, 3-2
Westford Academy (State Semifinals)W, 4-1 (Recap)
Longmeadow (State Final)W, 3-2 (Recap)






Sharon girls tennis

Sharon girls tennis



Video from MassLive.com

Teams of the Decade #20: 2019 Milford Boys Soccer

Milford boys soccer

Team: Milford Boys Soccer
Year: 2019
Record: 18-1-2
2019 Davenport Division Champions
2019 Division 2 State Finalists


Some of the most talented individual players to compete in the Hockomock League together came together as a team and orchestrated one of the best seasons on the soccer pitch this decade.

The 2019 Milford boys soccer team was full of gifted players that formed one of the most dangerous attacking groups over the past 10 seasons. One question coming into the season was the defense but throughout the season, the Hawks got better and better on the defensive end and only allowed one goal in four South sectional tournament games. The combination of a deadly offense and a solid defense propelled the Hawks to their first state final appearance in two decades.

“I think the thing that made this team very different was the fact they really enjoyed playing the game together,” said head coach Brian Edwards. “In training, they would typically have a lot of fun and while it was sometimes very challenging to keep them on task, they genuinely enjoyed the game. More importantly, they genuinely enjoyed helping one another achieve something. They are a very special group of guys and their work rate was something that always blew me away.”

The Hawks went unbeaten throughout the regular season, which didn’t feature any non-league games. Milford rallied for a last-minute goal to tie Foxboro and battled to a 1-1 draw with North Attleboro late in the season; Milford picked up 14 wins including one over a talented Oliver Ames squad and went on to win the Davenport division title for the second straight season.

The likes of Pedro Araujo, Joao Pedro Da Silva, Jordan Borges, Lucas Da Silva, and Hockomock League MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Leo Coelho helped the Hawks average over three goals per game, notching a league-best 56 goals in the regular season. On the flip side, senior Dan Santos anchored a defensive line along with classmate Nuno Mestre and new faces freshman Gabriel Godoy and sophomore Chris Tocci. Senior Carlos Terrinha was one of the most reliable players sitting in the six role. Leo Oliveira and Kevin Gomes split time in net, allowing just one goal per game in the regular season.

“Another thing that made them special was their belief in themselves and one another,” Edwards said. “They had a level of confidence that I loved to see as a coach. One other piece of the puzzle was their ability to tackle one challenge at a time. They did a great job of not looking ahead and getting distracted. As a coach who is slightly obsessive over preparation, it was something that made my job a lot easier. I think about the Nauset game and the preparation that went into it. We scouted them three times and we put together a game plan that I felt gave us a very good chance of beating them. The guys really committed themselves to proving that they could beat a team that many people felt was one of the best in the country. We weren’t surprised that we beat them because we knew we had the ability to execute a plan that we felt was solid.”

The postseason featured a 6-0 blasting of Catholic Memorial, a hard-fought 2-0 decision over Dartmouth, and Coelho gave the Hawks a 1-0 win over Bishop Feehan in overtime. In the South Sectional Final, the Hawks hosted perennial state power and nationally ranked Nauset. Despite giving up a late equalizer in regulation, the Hawks prevailed. After switching goalies for overtime and penalties, Leo Oliveira made a terrific save in the shootout and the Hawks made all five attempts with the freshman Godoy scoring the winner as Milford advanced to the state final.

“One of my favorite memories of the season is the moment Leo Oliveira made the PK save on the fourth Nauset attempt,” Edwards said. “It was the single most exciting moment of a soccer game I can remember. I think the last time I lost my mind like that was when [Adam] Vinatieri hit the 45 yard game-tying kick against the Raiders in the Blizzard Bowl back in January of 2002. Leo stepped up in the middle of Double Overtime in a Sectional Final and made the play of the game.”

After an incredible run through the south sectional, the Milford boys soccer team had an uncharacteristic showing in the final, surrendering five goals (including the game-winner in overtime) in a goal-heavy 5-4 loss to Winchester.






Milford boys soccer
Milford boys soccer

Opponent
Result
FranklinW, 3-1 (Recap)
SharonW, 7-2
King PhilipW, 2-1
FoxboroT, 2-2
MansfieldW, 4-1
North AttleboroW, 1-0 (Recap)
TauntonW, 4-0
Oliver AmesW, 3-2 (Recap)
CantonW, 2-1
StoughtonW, 5-0 (POTW)
AttleboroW, 4-1
SharonW, 6-4
FoxboroW, 6-0
North AttleboroT, 1-1
StoughtonW, 3-0
CantonW, 3-0
#15 Catholic MemorialW, 6-0
#7 DartmouthW, 2-0 (Recap)
#6 Bishop FeehanW, 1-0 (OT) (Recap)
#1 Nauset W, 2-1 (PKs) (Recap)
Winchester (State Final)L, 5-4 (OT) (Recap)


Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer


Milford boys soccer
Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer

Milford boys soccer