Bulldogs Drop Five-Set Heartbreaker in Central Final

Canton volleyball
Nicole Brown (3) and Erin Devine (17) go up for the block in the second set of the D2 Central final against Groton-Dunstable. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


WELLESLEY, Mass. – Momentum is a key to any high school volleyball match. Teams build up confidence and go on scoring runs, which is amplified when that run closes out a critical fourth set and keeps a season alive.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Groton-Dunstable went on that type of run in the Div. 2 Central final on Saturday afternoon at Wellesley High, winning nine of the last 11 points to pull out the fourth set 25-19 and force a decisive final set. The momentum from that run to keep the season alive, helped the Crusaders take control of the fifth and deny Canton its first sectional title since 2012.

The Crusaders won the fifth set 15-7, including eight of the last nine points, to beat the Bulldogs 3-2 (20-25, 25-14, 16-25, 25-19, 15-7) and claim the Central title.

“It’s a game of momentum, but unfortunately in the end they had the momentum,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “They did carry it over [from the fourth set] and we didn’t have an answer for it. We played a little tight on serve-receive…we didn’t get our offense going at all.”

Canton got off to a strong start to the match in a back-and-forth opening set. Despite dealing with the strong hitting and blocking abilities of Crusaders star Lily Blodgett, the Bulldogs were able to get into a groove with Taylor Harris and Theresa O’Brien on the outside. The five-point edge that Canton ended the set with was the largest lead for either team in the first.

Groton-Dunstable answered right back with a dominant second set. Blodgett was in total control and had the Bulldogs out of sorts at the start, particularly middle hitter Erin Devine, who had a couple of hits blocked in the first and had to be creative to get good looks.

“She (Blodgett) blocked her a lot, but I was proud of Erin because she scored a lot of points in different ways,” Cawley said.

Devine and the Bulldogs bounced right back in the third and had their strongest set of the match. Devine got things started with a kill and then Harris added two on the outside, as Canton jumped in front 10-2. After the Crusaders cut the lead to five points, Harris again found a hole in the G-D defense for a big points and a 12-6 lead.

Everything seemed to be working for the Bulldogs in the third. Olivia Chinsen and libero Megan McDonough each had an ace, Rose Hazam came off the bench and was able to scramble a ball over the net that dropped in for a point, Bailey Shea had a kill in the middle, and Liz Bickett snagged a point for Canton as well.

The fourth set was also back-and-forth, as the two teams were within no more than three points of each other until the final stretch. Groton-Dunstable built an early 6-3 lead, but Canton answered right back with kills from Shea and Harris. Harris also earned a point with a block and setter Nicole Brown (who Cawley called the “glue of the team”) stepped up to the net for a block that made it 11-10.

With the score tied at 16-16, the Bulldogs won the type of point that had its fans thinking the trophy was heading to Canton. After a long rally between the teams, Harris managed to dig a tough hit, Brown hustled to keep the play alive and then McDonough not only bumped the ball back across the net from outside the court but also saw it drop in for the point and the lead.

G-D looked unfazed, winning the next three points to regain the advantage and force a Canton timeout. The set was closed out on back-to-back aces by Crusaders libero Peter White, who was a defensive stalwart for the Groton-Dunstable back line.

“Obviously, they didn’t let the ball fall on their side, so they could run their offense,” Cawley explained. “Their defense was better than just about any we faced this season.”

The fifth and deciding set started out even, with the teams trading the first six points. After a pair of Crusaders kills, Harris stepped up and found space down the line to make it 5-4. Carolyn Mullins, who stepped up in the middle when Blodgett was on the bench, had a kill and a block to extend the lead.

A kill from Shea and a mishit got Canton back within one and gave the Bulldogs hope that they could turn things around, but three straight points, including a pair of aces from White, put the Crusaders in the driver’s seat.

“We hung in their in the first half of the fifth set and then we had some trouble with serve-receive and we just couldn’t get out of it,” said Cawley.

Canton’s struggles with serve-receive continued down the stretch as the Crusaders won two more service points before Blodgett put an exclamation point on her night with one final kill to seal the championship.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my team tonight,” Cawley said. “None of them had played in the tournament before. This was the first time for every single one of them. Their growth from last year to this year has been amazing.”

For Canton (19-3), this was an impressive bounce back year. The Bulldogs regained their spot atop the Davenport division and reached the sectional final through a complete team effort.

Cawley said, “It was big growth in their confidence level as well as their skill level. They put all out there and it just didn’t go our way.”

She added, “I carried 18 kids on my team and I can honestly say for the first time ever all 18 of them I could put in there and feel confident. Every day someone new stepped up.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/05/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Soccer
D1 South

#5 Mansfield, 5 @ #4 Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – FinalMansfield got goals from five different players to win on the road and reach the sectional semifinal. Katie Garvin, Bryn Anderson, Sydney Mulkern, Cassidy McMahon, and Sarah Sacco each tallied goals for the Hornets. Steph Kemp had a pair of assists, while Emily Viegant, Cathryn Cooney, and Anderson each had one assist. Vigeant and her center back partner Mikaela Maughn led the way for the Mansfield defense, which held onto a clean sheet.

Field Hockey
D1 South

#3 King Philip, 4 vs. #11 Barnstable, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

#7 Canton, 1 @ #2 Somerset-Berkley, 3 – Final

#13 Franklin, 3 @ #5 Plymouth North, 2 – Final Franklin scored the first three goals of the game and then held off a comeback attempt from Plymouth North to earn the win on the road. The Panthers seized the lead at the 10th minute when Regan Paterson scored off an assist from Amanda Lewandowski. Sara Carney made it 2-0 just over a minute before halftime with Cassi Ronan and Paterson earning assists. Franklin added to its lead 10 minutes into the second half when Carney set up Lewandowski to make it 3-0. Plymouth North got on the board just two minutes later, and made it a one-goal game with 10 minutes to play but Christina Luccini didn’t allow the hosts to tie the game. Franklin advances to the semifinal to face top seed Walpole on Thursday at Taunton High.

Volleyball
D1 South

#8 Oliver Ames, 0 @ #1 Barnstable, 3 – Final

D1 Central East
#9 King Philip, 0 @ #1 Newton North, 3 – FinalKing Philip saw its 2018 campaign come to a close at the hands of top-seeded Newton North, falling 3-0 (10-25, 9-25, 19-25). Catherine Waldeck and Nicole Coughlan (two blocks) each recorded four kills while Shayla Weitzman and Lily Carlow (ace) each recorded six digs.

D2 South
#2 Stoughton, 3 vs. #10 Middleboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this match.

D2 Central
#1 Canton, 3 vs. #8 Holliston, 0 – FinalCanton shined defensively and got contributions from a handful of players at the net to open the state tournament in style with a 3-0 win (25-9, 25-11, 25-16). “We played a strong match from start to finish,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley. The offense was spread around to all the hitters with Taylor Harris leading the way with 10 kills. Erin Devine, Liz Bickett, Theresa O’Brien and Rose Hazam all played well. The strong defensive play was anchored by Megan McDonough, Julia Minichiello and Olivia Chinsen. Nicole Brown ran the offense with precision, with 24 assists, 10 digs, four kills, and two aces. Top-seeded Canton advances to the D2 Central Semifinal to play #5 Medway.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/18/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Sharon, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final Sharon saw a lead disappear in the first half, but didn’t let it happen in the second. After going up 1-0 on a goal from Michael Baur (assisted by Brian Higgins) but Canton leveled before the break behind a goal from Paul Corcoran. Sharon took the lead again when Antonio El-Khoury finished off a cross from Baur. The Eagles added a key insurance goal on an unassisted goal from Higgins. Canton’s Avery Minkin scored to make it 3-2.

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 6 – Final Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Morgan McCabe and Elisa Diletizia each scored twice for the Bulldogs, who scored the first three and the last three goals of the game to get the win. Sarah Collins had a goal and assist and Anne Hoban scored once in the win. Marika Fillion scored off a Bridget McManus free kick early in the second half for the Eagles.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final

Foxboro, 2 vs. Martha’s Vineyard, 0 – FinalJamie Notarangelo and Molly Murphy (assisted by Lily Daly) scored in the second half to give Foxboro the non-league win at Forekicks and extend the Warriors unbeaten streak to nine games.

Volleyball
Canton, 3 @ Notre Dame Academy, 2 – Final Despite falling behind 2-1, Canton picked up two straight wins to earn a 3-2 (19-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-11, 15-8) decision on the road at Notre Dame Academy. “The entire team stayed strong throughout,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley. Taylor Harris has a great night with 22 kills, 18 digs, a block and two aces, and Erin Devine added seven kills and eight blocks. Theresa O’Brien chipped in on both sides of the ball with nine kills and 18 digs while Nicole Brown finished with 36 assists, six kills, and 27 digs. Cawley said Megan McDonough and Julia Minichiello were awesome on defense, combining for 37 digs and seven aces.

Norton, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final

Golf
Hockomock League Championships – Click here for results and a photo gallery of this event.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/17/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Soccer
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalErin Holmberg scored two goals and an assist to lead Oliver Ames over Taunton. Daniella Ferrini, Briana Gibson, Gabi McLaughlin, Allison Evin and Abby Hodges also scored for OA.

Field Hockey
King Philip, 5 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalKing Philip had a strong showing in the first half, building a 4-1 lead and never looked back in a win on the road. Alli Meehan had three goals, including two in the first half, along with an assist while Nicole Connor had three helpers in the win. Kate Lindmark and Meghan MacDonald each scored once and Abby Nixon had two assists for KP. Alex Compton scored a second half goal for the Bombardiers.

Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 4 – Final

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final

Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalTaunton took a 2-0 lead in the first half but Franklin rallied for a pair of late goals to knot the game by halftime and then scored twice in the second half to beat the Tigers. Hannah Blackwell (from Alana Tavares) opened the scoring for Taunton in the third minute and Kathryn Robinson (from Jillian Pagliuca) made it 2-0 in the 24th minute. Franklin’s Victoria Quinn scored twice in the final six minutes of the first half, the first unassisted in the 27th minute and the second set up by Amanda Lewandowski in the 29th minute. In the second half, Cassi Ronan put Franklin up 3-2 on a penalty stroke and Regan Paterson (from Quinn) iced the game with a goal in the final minute. Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan had 14 saves while Franklin goalie Christina Luccini made six stops.

Mansfield, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final

Milford @ North Attleboro, 6:00

Volleyball
King Philip, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip went on the road and notched a 3-0 sweep (25-7, 25-7, 25-16) over Attleboro. Catherine Waldeck (seven kills) and Nicole Coughlan (four kills) paced the Warrior offense while Livvie Atkins chipped in with four aces, three digs, and 15 service points.

Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalIt took four sets but Canton earned at least a share of the Davenport division title with a 3-1 (25-12, 25-15, 9-25, 25-8) win over Sharon. Canton head coach Pat Cawley said all ten of her seniors played very wel. Rose Hazam, Theresa O’Brien, and Nyah Claiborne combined for 17 kills, Ally Irons and Bella Touzos combined for 15 digs, and Bailey Shea finished with five kills and two blocks.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalFranklin continued its strong season with a dominant performance on the road, beating Taunton, 3-0 (25-11, 25-77, 25-9). Peyton Arone had a team-high six kills while Ellie Wisniewski (six aces) and Emma Chase each had five kills. Lauren McGrath finished with 23 assists and four aces.

Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first two sets, North Attleboro rattled off two straight wins to beat Milford, 3-1 (25-14, 21-25, 25-13, 25-11). For the Rocketeers, Hayley Gaskin had 26 assists and Tatiana Sotelo added 10 aces and 10 kills. Sotelo rattled off a dozen straight service points in the final set to help Big Red clinch the win. North head coach Kim Hallahan said sophomore Joanna Collins-Bilyeu had a great offensive and defensive game for the Rocketeers.

Mansfield, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames continued to add to its win total sweeping Mansfield 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-15) to earn its 12th victory of the year. Sadie Homer paced OA defensively with 35 digs, Grace McCallum added 12 digs, Sarah Litwack finished with 10 assists and for aces, and Allie Kemp totaled 15 assists and three aces. For Mansfield, Olivia McGrath had seven kills, Greenly Kelly added six kills, and Abby Sullivan finished with service points

Golf
Canton, 165 @ Stoughton, 175 – FinalCanton clinched the Davenport title outright with a win on the road at Easton Country Club. Tommy Dimock earned medalist honors for the Bulldogs, shooting a low-round of 37. Chris Lavoie added a 41, Mike Gobbi shot a 43, and Ryan Nolte contributed with a round of 44. Stoughton’s Luke Bainton and Josh Hough led the Black Knights with a 41.

Franklin, 176 @ Foxboro, 175 – Final

Mansfield, 181 @ Sharon, 166 – FinalCorey Carter and Nathan Daley had strong showings as the Eagles picked up a nice win heading into Hock Championships on Thursday. Carter shot 39 and Daley shot 40 to pace Sharon while Ryan Dow had a team-low round of 42 for Mansfield.

Taunton @ Coyle Cassidy, 3:00

Canton Prevails In Five Set Thriller Against Stoughton

Canton volleyball
Canton’s Erin Devine goes up for an attack in the fourth set against Stoughton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – After losing a lead late in the fourth set to rival Stoughton, the Canton volleyball team found themselves in a place they hadn’t been all year: a fifth set.

And despite the Black Knights having the momentum and home court advantage, Bulldogs head coach Pat Cawley was confident her squad would be up to the challenge.

“Pressure is a privilege,” Cawley said. “It’s a privilege to be here and play and it’s a privilege to play under pressure. If you’re going to be a good team, you have to be able to play in the fifth set. That’s the first time we’ve gone five all year. If we want to make a run in the tournament, we have to learn how to play under pressure so they did a great job.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Senior middle Erin Devine (12 kills, eight blocks) set the tone early in the fifth set with a pair of blocks that gave Canton a 5-1 lead. It was an advantage that the Bulldogs didn’t relinquish the rest of the way, earning a win in the fifth set and a 3-2 victory (25-16, 20-25, 25-15, 24-26, 15-9) over the Black Knights.

“It was very exciting, we knew it was going to be like that because Stoughton is a great team, we’re pretty even,” Cawley said. “We have a rough time playing in this gym, it’s a terrible volleyball gym because the ceiling is low but its great home court advantage because they are used to playing here. But Stoughton is an aggressive team, they have good servers, they hit the ball.”

Stoughton fought back on a pair of occasions to make the fifth set tight. After going down 5-1, back-to-back kills from Sasha Hyacinthe (eight kills) and Alexa Quinones helped get within a point. But a couple of kills from Taylor Harris (15 kills, 20 digs) kept the Bulldogs in front, forcing a timeout.

Stoughton’s Hanna Holden (18 assists, 10 kills) had a kill and Amaya Morris landed a kill to give the Black Knights some momentum down 12-9, but Canton setter Nicole Brown (33 assists, 21 digs, five kills, three aces) picked the perfect time to dump the ball over on the second touch, catching the Black Knights’ defense.

“She’s the floor general out there, we wouldn’t be anywhere without her,” Cawley said of Brown. “Erin’s a great player but Nicole has to put the ball where she wants it, she’s just one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached. I’ve been here 18 years and she’s one of the best athletes I’ve seen, she’s the real deal. She’s the glue that holds us together.”

Devine registered a kill with a hard hit off a block out of bounds and Theresa O’Brien won a battle at the net for the game point.

“I’m really proud of this team,” Cawley said. “We had a tough time year last season, and most all of them were here last year apart of that. We gritted it out, they played hard and they made a lot of advancements. So I know who I have, I know they can do it. I believe in them, I believe in them more than they do themselves. I’m trying to convince them they can do it, I think this will help them do that.”

Before Canton earned the win in five, the Bulldogs were on the edge of a 3-1 win. Holding a 19-14 lead after a net infraction, it looked like Canton was positioned to close out the match. But three straight points from Stoughton, punctuated by a kill from Molly Turner (23 digs, 15 assists, 11 service points, eight kills, three aces) gave Stoughton life.

Canton went up by four again, 21-17, but Stoughton refused to go away. A net call, a kill from Hyacinthe, and a Canton hitting error (after a couple of nice defensive plays from the Knights) tied the game 23-23.

Stoughton went up 24-23, but Canton tied it back up on a hitting error. The Knights didn’t flinch as Delaney Nagel hammered down a kill and Veronica Noe gave the hosts a win in the fourth set with an ace.

“The last time we played them, it definitely wasn’t our best game, and we lost 3-0 at their court, so to come back and go to five sets with them is incredible, I’m really proud of my girls for doing that,” said Stoughton head coach Erica Batchelder.

“I just told them to play like they can. We’ve grown so much throughout this season. When we started out, we weren’t really playing together but now we play as a team. The way that they lift each other up, and be able to make that run at the end…they don’t like to lose on their home court. Unfortunately, in the end, they did today but it was a hard fought game, and they never gave up.”

Canton built a 12-6 in the first set, Stoughton rallied to make it a four-point game at 16-12, but the Bulldogs were able to finish it off. Julia Minichiello had a pair of aces and Harris added two more kills, including a nice line shot, to clinch the first set.

Stoughton responded with a win in the second set. It was tight throughout, with neither side holding more than a four-point advantage in the early stages. The Knights took a 17-14 lead only for Canton to storm back to get within one, down 20-19.

The Black Knights finished it off by winning five of the next six points, including consecutive kills from Turner and Nagel, an ace from Turner, and a kill from Hyacinthe to make it 1-1.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The third set went similar to the second, with the teams trading points in the early stages. Canton had its first real advantage at 11-8 and then extended that advantage to 17-10 with four of those points coming off kills or blocks from Devine. Devine had just two total errors on 36 attack attempts.

“Erin’s been our go-to person this season, she makes very few errors,” Cawley said. “I tell my setter if she’s on and not making errors, go to her. I don’t care if she gets every ball, if she’s putting it down, go to her. And her block is aggressive. At 6’3, it’s tough to get around. Even if she’s not touching the ball, she affects the other hitters.”

An ace from freshman Sydney Gallery and a kill from sophomore Liz Bickett (seven kills, two blocks) helped Canton earn a 25-15 win in the third set.

With the win, Canton volleyball (12-1 overall, 12-1 Hock) moves within one win of clinching at least a share of the Davenport division title. The Bulldogs host Sharon on Wednesday. Stoughton (10-4, 10-3) will try to bounce back on the same day when it travels to Foxboro.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/24/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalKing Philip scored three goals in the first half, overcoming a one-goal deficit, to beat Attleboro. The Warriors opened the scoring in the third minute when sophomore Ajae Olsen converted a feed from classmate Camron Lawrence. Attleboro struck back for a pair of goals to seize a 2-1 lead as Hugo Henriquez struck in the 11th minute (from Josh Smith) and Will Halben scored in the 29th minute. But KP responded quickly as Ian Zimmerman (from Gavon Fox) made it 2-2 in the 34th minute. Just before halftime, senior Tony Bozza put the hosts ahead, 3-2, in the 38th minute. Bozza added an insurance goal midway through the second off an assist from freshman Stephen Griffin.

Canton, 1 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalCanton’s Simon Cruz with just under 10 minutes to play to give the Bulldogs two points on the road.

Foxboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalFoxboro junior Dylan Barreira exploded for six goals in the first half to pace the Warriors to a win. Nic Beigel scored the other goal for the Warriors while also recording four assists in the victory. Stoughton sophomore Nolan Gerome made his varsity debut in net, recording 19 saves for the Black Knights.

Taunton, 3 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalTaunton exploded for three goals in the second half to pick up its second straight win. Alec Nunes scored the game-winner in the 52nd minute, taking a pass from Kyle Aubin and blasting a shot from range to put the Tigers ahead 1-0. Mateusz Hagemajer scored the next two goals, first off an assist from Brett Beaulieu in the 55th minute and then unassisted in the 67th minute. THS coach Taylor Whitters said Liam Crowley and Charlie Fiske also played well for the Tigers while Nolan Melo recorded his second shutout of the season.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalMansfield jumped ahead just moments into the second half but Oliver Ames knotted the score just over 10 minutes later as the Hornets and Tigers finished level. Junior Owen Mullahy put the hosts in front, heading in a cross in the 42nd minute. Oliver Ames’ Kevin Louhis tied the game in the 55th minute, tucking his shot inside the near post. Louhis collected a loose ball after a volley from sophomore Colin Milliken hit off the crossbar and bounced into the area.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Joe Hilf gave the visitors the lead with a goal from distance but Milford found the equalizer midway through the second half to earn a draw at home. Hilf put Big Red ahead just over the midway point of the first half with a hard shot from distance. In the second half, Milford junior Omar Lema scored his first career goal off an assist from Walisson de Oliveira, tying the game in the 60th minute.

Girls Soccer
King Philip, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalAvery Snead scored once and assisted on another, as KP remained on top in the Kelley-Rex with the win. Makayla Griffin scored inside the opening 10 minutes, on a Snead assist, for what turned out to be the game-winner. Snead double the lead in the second half with a shot from just inside the 18 and Jenny Montville sealed the win on a through ball by Ally Stanton. Attleboro goalie Tayla Drape made 12 saves to keep the Bombardiers in the game and earned praise from both coaches.

Canton, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 7 – FinalFoxboro senior Kenzi Fraser exploded for four goals and one assist to lead the Warriors to a big win at home. Jordyn Collins, Kendra Wentling, and Lizzy Davis (goal) all had an assist while Kailee McCabe scored off a feed from Fraser. Freshman Kaitryn Franchino capped with the scoring with an unassisted tally.

Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalSydney St. Marie scored a pair of goals, Calen Frongillo had a pair of assists and Hailey Toolin had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Stella Regan also had a goal and Sabrina Addi had an assist in the win.

Milford @ North Attleboro – Postponed to date and time TBD.

Mansfield, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalSteph Kemp scored the only goal of the game to keep Mansfield unbeaten in the league this season. For Oliver Ames, head coach Britt Sellmayer said Emma O’Donnell had a great game in net and credited Anna Tempestoso and Abby Hodges with strong games.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 7 – FinalAlli Meehan scored a hat trick to lead the Warriors to a win. Meghan MacDonald, Claire Lawler, Kate Lindmark, and Nicole Connor also scored for KP. Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Canton, 6 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalCanton’s Maggie Malloy scored a hat trick as the Bulldogs rolled on the road at Sharon. Shannon Crowley and Beth Oldenburg each scored once while Allie Gefteas scored her first career goal in Canton’s win.

Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalLily Daly scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third as Foxboro notched a win on the road over Stoughton. Daly scored two goals in the first half as Foxboro took a 2-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, Daly set up Jamie Notarangelo for the third goal.

Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalTaunton rallied from a 2-0 deficit to grab a point on the road with the draw. Goals from Cassi Ronan (from Regan Paterson) and Amanda Lewandowski (from Stephanie Bell) put the Panthers ahead 2-0 at halftime. But Taunton scored twice in the second, tying the game with 10 minutes to go. Lauren Torres (from Jillian Pagliuca) made it a one goal game and then Alana Tavares tied the game. Emma Sheehan had five saves in net for the Tigers. THS head coach Liz Hathaway praised the work of her defense, including Skylar Rheaume, who made a big defensive save for Taunton.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final

North Attleboro @ Milford, 3:45

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip defended home court with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-14) sweep over Attleboro. For King Philip, Kat Kmetz had four kills, two aces, and 10 service points, Catherine Waldeck and Kristen Masse each added three kills, and Jessie Kornfeld and Shalya Weitzman each chipped in with three aces.

Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalCanton went on the road and earned a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-17, 25-21) behind a strong all-around team performance. Nicole Brown continued to lead the Bulldogs, finishing with 18 assists, 18 digs, five kills, and an ace while Taylor Harris added seven kills, five aces, and nine digs, and Theresa O’Brien chipped in while six kills and an ace. Freshman Sydney Gallery added three kills in her first full varsity set.

Foxboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton notched its fourth win of the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-16, 25-14) of visiting Foxboro. Mia Bennett was strong in the back row with 34 digs, Sasha Hyacinthe and Amaya Morris led the offense combining for 17 kills, Hanna Holden had 18 assists, and Molly Turner had a well rounded game of 15 assists, eight kills, and five aces.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final

North Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final Oliver Ames fended off a furious rally attempt from Mansfield in the first set and went on to earn the sweep (26-24, 25-14, 25-20). For OA, senior Sadie Homer led the way with 21 digs, senior Sarah Litwack added 17 assists, junior Jordan Bosse finished with 10 kills, senior Grace McCallum chipped in with seven aces, and junior Mary Davenport had a strong game in the middle. For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly and Katie Dardinski each had eight service points while Emily Dardinski paced the offense with nine kills.

Golf
Sharon, 162 @ Oliver Ames, 145 – FinalOliver Ames’ Liam Barry earned medalist honors with a low-round of 35 as the Tigers handed Sharon its first loss of the season. Thomas Walsh and Tate Hadges each cared a 36 while Nolan Donze shot a 38 at Pine Oaks.

Taunton, 181 @ Mansfield, 167 – FinalSophomore Nathan Morreale shot a team-low round of 41 while three other Hornets shot 42 in a win over Taunton at Norton Country Club. Sophomores Jason See, Ava Haggis and Joseph Gormley rounded out Mansfield’s scoring each with a 42.

North Attleboro, 165 @ Milford, 179 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Marcus Costa shot a low-round of 38 to earn medalist honors and pace the Rocketeers on the road. Matt Wanless added a 41 for Big Red while Jillian Barend carded a round of 42.

Bulldogs Avenge Finals Loss and Return to D2 Semis

Canton girls hockey
Maggie Malloy (27) celebrates after scoring the first of her two goals against Notre Dame Academy (her fourth and fifth goals of the playoffs) to help Canton avenge last year’s state final loss and return to the Div. 2 semifinal. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


BRIGHTON, Mass. – When Canton faced off against Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in last year’s Div. 2 state title game at the TD Garden, the 14th seed Bulldogs were the prohibitive favorite against the undefeated defending state champions and the game played out as expected with the Cougars claiming a second straight title.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Fast forward 12 months and the Bulldogs were more experienced, deeper, and full of belief that they could skate with NDA in Tuesday night’s Div. 2 quarterfinal at the Warrior Ice Arena and that was exactly how the game played out.

Junior forward Maggie Malloy continued her hot start to the playoffs with two goals and two assists and Canton’s top line accounted for all but one goal in a 5-2 victory that returned the Bulldogs to the state semifinal and exacted a measure of revenge for last March.

“It feels great,” said Malloy outside the locker room after the game. “We reversed it. We’re calling it the revenge tour.”

Canton coach Dennis Aldrich credited a preseason scrimmage with the Cougars, which finished in a 2-2 tie, for giving the team an extra boost of confidence heading into the season. He was able to remind his team of that performance heading into Tuesday’s rematch.

“It just built a lot of confidence and they came out and just wanted to out-compete them,” he said. “We had the talent level, we had seen enough of them…It was just our time.”

Malloy agreed, adding, “Playing a team like that the first time is going to be shocking but once you play them a couple times we have a better feel for who they are. This year we just said, we’re in great shape, we have great competition, and we’re just working together well.”

When the Bulldogs beat Walpole in the opening round, Aldrich was reminded of how every opponent that Canton beat last year claimed the better team had lost. He should have no concerns about that this season, as the Bulldogs controlled the majority of play right from the opening face-off.

Malloy, who scored a hat trick in the win against Walpole, had an early chance with a backhand that forced NDA goalie Erin Murray into a save. Two minutes later and Malloy put the Bulldogs in front. She stole the puck in the neutral zone, which Canton successfully clogged up all night, and skated in alone on Murray before ripping a shot into the top corner.

The Canton defensive pairings (Meg Aldrich and Katie Trerice and Alexa Maffeo and Leah McClellan) limited the potent Cougars attack to half-chances and only allowed six shots on goal in the first and 22 for the game.

“The biggest threat for them that I saw was their transition game and the best way to counter that for us is to get [the puck] behind them and wear them out a little,” Adrich said. “Our defensive reads were better, especially on [Alexa Graziano].”

With 4:39 left in the first, Malloy nearly doubled the lead after Lauren Fitzpatrick’s pass went off the skate of Kendra Farrelly on the edge of the crease and Malloy was able to put the loose puck on net. Just 10 seconds later, NDA had its first good look when Kelly Morrissey got free in the slot but Colleen Kelleher (20 saves) made a smart pad stop.

The Cougars would go into the first intermission level. On the face-off following the game’s first penalty, Canton got mixed up on coverage and gave Kelsey Stewart the time to pick her corner.

NDA seemed to take some momentum from the tying goal into the second period and Kelleher had to be sharp to deny Alexa Graziano has she drove in from the left circle. Canton regained its edge and the lead with 7:36 left in the second. Fitzpatrick centered for Farrelly again and this time the puck found Andrea McNeil on the far post. She took a second and then fired a shot inside the post before leaping in celebration.

“Our second goal came right off what we’re trying to do [on face-offs],” Aldrich explained. “One of their guys is trying to fire out and we just want to set a pick on her coming out and it ended up screwing her up a little bit, puck bounced around and boom it’s 2-1.”

The goal sparked Canton back into action. A Theresa O’Brien shot from the point was stopped by Lizzie Tassinari in the slot but her backhand went narrowly wide. Kelleher then had to make three saves on Graziano, including a nice double save coming off an NDA face-off win.

Aldrich said of Kelleher, “She made some huge saves early on. That Graziano girl, god she’s quite a player. She gave us fits but the only shots that Colleen didn’t save were the ones she didn’t see and that’s our fault.”

As the clock ticked under two minutes left in the period, Malloy struck again (her fifth goal of the postseason). Farrelly’s shot from the left was blocked but not held by Murray and Malloy was quick to dig out the puck from a scrum of sticks and skates and then flick it in for a 3-1 lead.

Malloy deflected praise for her scoring streak onto her teammates. She said, “As a team, everybody’s getting their effort to the net and the fact that I’ve scored them reflects on everyone that is on the ice. You can just tell that everyone in the locker room, on the bench, wants to get the puck in the back of the net.”

The first line has only been playing as a unit for a few games, but it has certainly found a rhythm at the right time of the season. Malloy said, “The first game, I don’t think it went that well but once we decided it doesn’t matter who is putting the puck in the net than things started to go well.”

Fitzpatrick got behind the NDA defense right from the opening face-off of the third period but Murray made a big stop to keep the Cougars in it. NDA then turned on the pressure, out-skating Canton for the first and really only stretch of the contest as it desperately tried to get back into the game. It paid off with a goal a minute into the third, as Merideth Stewart snuck a shot through a crowd in front and past an unsighted Kelleher to make it 3-2.

After a few minutes of NDA pressure, Canton recovered and took back the impetus. Malloy saw a shot glance off the shoulder of Murray and then on the power play Maffeo’s shot from the point and Malloy’s follow-up were both kept out by the NDA goalie.

Murray could only do so much and with 6:25 to play, Fitzpatrick got on the scoresheet when she drove off the right circle and went top shelf at the near post to restore the two-goal advantage. With 1:20 left and NDA putting on some pressure with an extra skater, Farrelly managed to hold off a defenseman and slide into a shot for an empty net goal that sealed the win.

Canton (17-3-3) will await the winner of Archbishop Williams and Natick in the state semifinal on Monday night back at the Warrior Ice Arena.

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Bulldogs Come Up Aces On Special Night Against OA

Canton volleyball
Emma Murphy (9) gets a point for the Bulldogs in a three-game sweep of Oliver Ames on Ace It For Alaina Night. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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CANTON, Mass. – Prior to Thursday night’s game, senior setter Nicole Poole took the microphone and addressed the large crowd of students, family members, and friends sitting in the Canton High gym. She spoke about her best friend Alaina Goodwin, a fellow senior who was stricken with a rare spinal cord stroke that has left her immobile from the waist down and who was the inspiration for Ace It For Alaina.

Poole and the other Canton captains presented flowers to Alaina’s parents and to her twin sister Darria before posing for a photo. When the pregame ceremony was done, the Bulldogs took the emotion of the evening and channeled it into a dominating sweep of visiting Oliver Ames, winning 25-15, 25-16, 25-11.

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It was fitting that on match point, Poole toed the service line and fired her sixth ace of the night to seal a victory in honor of her good friend. She added 17 assists, 10 digs and five kills in a stellar all-around performance.

“Alaina is really important to me, especially, and all the girls on this team,” said Poole after the game. “She’s an amazing girl. I can’t describe in words how important she is to all of us. I think it definitely motivated us a lot.”

Canton coach Pat Cawley added, “Nicole plays like that everyday. She’s solid. We’ve had great setters, athletic setters, but she’s pure hands and she has the best attitude, she never complains, she runs down every ball and she did it again tonight. She is the calm in every storm.”

It definitely felt like a storm at the start of the game, as a raucous student section echoed through the gym to spur on the Bulldogs. OA jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the game, but Canton would start to take control behind senior middle hitter Casey Shea, who had five of her seven kills in the opening set. OA’sKatie Flynn kept it close with three kills and Kayla Raymond added two of her nine kills in the first but Poole closed out the set with a quick kill of her own.

“We’re kind of a different look this year,” said Cawley. “We’re trying to cut down on our unforced errors. We have some solid hitters, but we don’t have any ‘wow’ hitters this year. We have a great setter and great defense.”

The game stayed close in the second set, until Poole stepped to the service line with the Bulldogs leading 11-10 after a kill by OA’s Emma Petrillo. Canton would win the next six points, three of them on Poole aces and one on a kill by Emma Murphy. Despite three kills from Raymond down the stretch of the set, Canton pulled into a 2-0 lead in the match.

“Our serve-receive has been on for two weeks and they chose tonight to not have it on,” said OA coach Chelsea Correia with a chuckle. “I’ve switched my liberos so my sophomore is getting a lot of playing time, but it shouldn’t be a problem if I switch one player in. We’re working on connection and chemistry.”

The crowd got even louder in the third set and the Bulldogs continued to feed off the energy in the gym. Although OA would get 20 assists from senior setter Bridget McCarthy, the Tigers struggled to get a rhythm going. Outside hitter Erika Lum had a couple of kills for Canton and libero Julia Panico and Emily Lynch kept the plays alive defensively. Sophomore Theresa O’Brien added two kills in the final few points.

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Poole stepped up to win the match with a grin that stretched from ear to ear and sent in another solid serve that the Tigers could not return. “It was an overwhelming feeling when the final shot went in,” she explained.

“You really felt like you made a difference and we learned that this is a community that relies so much on each other and you feel like when you do it for someone it means so much more.”

The players put back on the purple t-shirts made for the occasion and, after making a video to send to Alaina, gathered around the Goodwin family for a moment with Alaina’s parents.

“Volleyball is important, we work hard, we want to win the Hock, we want to win a state championship, but when you have a kid that is paralyzed it put everything in perspective,” said Cawley, who praised her team for being able to refocus on the game in the midst of everything.

“They gave everything they could to make this the best night they could for Alaina.”

After the game was over, Alaina’s sister Darria took a moment to speak about what the night an the response from the Canton community meant to her. “At first I was nervous because I don’t like the attention and it’s been hard to talk about,” she admitted, “but I’m happy all of this was put together and all the support, all the people rallying behind her makes it easier.”

Darria continued, “Everyone has been so supportive. I have a lot of great teachers and classmates. Everyone is really understanding.”

A fundraising page has been established for the Goodwin family to help while Alaina remains at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, where Darria said there have been noticeable improvements. To support the Goodwin family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/2m29n9y4.

Canton (10-1) will play again on Friday in its first non-league game of the season against defending Div. 2 state champion Notre Dame Academy (Hingham). Oliver Ames (7-7, 6-5) will have three home games next week beginning with Franklin on Monday.

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