Taunton Rallies Late To Earn Draw With Franklin

Taunton boys soccer Alec Nunes
Taunton senior Alec Nunes takes a shot that found the back of the net for the Tigers’ first goal against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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TAUNTON, Mass, – Holding a two-goal lead in the second half on Tuesday afternoon’s contest on the road at Taunton, the Franklin boys soccer team came close to padding its lead and securing two points.

But the Panthers were unable to find the back of the net again, leaving the door open for the hosts.

The Taunton boys soccer team took full advantage, scoring a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes of play to steal a point in a 2-2 draw.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“This is a great tie for us,” said Taunton coach Taylor Whitters. “We’ve been struggling a little bit with some finishing and hustling, and in the second half they showed what they are capable of, and they are capable of a lot. They were great teammates today and they worked hard, and going forward that’s what we need to keep doing.”

Franklin scored just under five minutes into the game and added a second tally in the final minute of the first half to take a comfortable 2-0 advantage into the halftime break. The Panthers carried some of that momentum into the second half but couldn’t find the final touch to add a third goal in the second half.

“This was a very bad tie for us as far as I’m concerned, we should have put them away,” said Franklin head coach Fran Bositis. “I thought we had some chances to put them away and didn’t take them. Their goalie played recklessly but he played well. But there’s no way this team should be giving up two goals in a half, let alone the last 15 minutes of the game.”

The Panthers found success playing through balls behind the Tigers’ defense throughout the first half, including junior Ethan Cain played Donny Tappin in alone in the 5th minute, and the senior striker calmly finished his chance to put the visitors up 1-0.

In the second half, Taunton goalie Nolan Melo made tough for Franklin to connect on those chances. Melo was quick off his line and often came out to clear the ball played through.

“He reads the game incredibly well,” Whitters said of Melo. “He’s willing to take risks, and sometimes it’s a big risk, but he anticipates very well. And that is a huge help when teams are trying to play those through balls or the ball over the top.”

Franklin did have its chances though, as Lucas Moura beat a defender one-on-one but his service through the six-yard box just missed Tappin. Six minutes later, Tyler Powderly looked to have given the Panthers some breathing room when he got a piece of a cross from Tappin, but Melo grabbed the ball before it could completely cross the line.

“That’s the type of team that all they need is a chance,” Bositis said. “If we had scored that third goal, I think that would have been it. But allowing them to get the next goal, even with only 15 minutes left, that gave them life. And we just weren’t playing smart at that point anyway.”

Moura had Franklin’s best chance of the half in the 62nd minute, dribbling his way past a defender to get an open shot but Melo made the point-blank save to keep the deficit at 2-0.

That saved proved even bigger as Taunton got on the board just five minutes later. After a long clearance, the Tigers developed a quick 2-on-1 up the middle and junior Donovan Hibbert played senior Alec Nunes onto his right foot, and the striker buried a low shot into the bottom corner of the goal to make it 2-1.

“I think we were building towards it in the second half,” Whitters said. “We were using some high pressure, and once they saw that something was coming from their hustle and their effort, they started to believe, and they started to see some results from it.”

Taunton continued to press, and a free kick service fell into the area and bounced around. The referee at midfield called a handful on the Panthers, awarding the hosts with a penalty kick. Senior Colton Madeira buried the chance from the spot to make it 2-2 in the 75th minute.

Franklin had the majority of chances in the opening half. Tappin flashed a header at the near post off a service from Moura in the 23rd minute but Melo made the stop. Jeff Yelle and Charlie Amante nearly connected in the 28th minute but Melo was quick off his line.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton’s best chance of the first half came when Nunes won a challenge and fired a shot from 25 yards out but Franklin keeper Jack Rudolph made the save on the bounce.

The Panthers made it 2-0 just before the halftime whistle when Ben Moccia played a low service and Tappin made a terrific run to the near post and simply one-timed the cross into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

Taunton boys soccer (0-3-3 Hockomock, 0-3-3 overall) entertains Milford on Friday while Franklin (3-1-2, 3-1-3) will host North Attleboro on the same day.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/18/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Franklin, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalSenior Donny Tappin, junior Charlie Amante, and junior Sam George all had multiple points as Franklin earned a big win on the road at Stoughton. Tappin and Amante each scored once and had an assist while George registered two helpers in the win. Ben Moccia, Terry O’Neill, Jeff Yelle, Trevor O’Neill and Tyler Powderly also scored for the Panthers while Ethan Cain had an assist in the win.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 2 – FinalAttleboro senior Anna Beck completed her second half hat trick by scoring the go-ahead goal with five minutes left to complete the Bombardiers’ comeback. North Attleboro led 2-0 at halftime but Beck scored three straight goals to give the visitors a win.

King Philip, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Canton freshman Ellie Bohane scored a pair of second half goals to lead the Bulldogs to a win over visiting King Philip. Meg Aldrich also had a second half tally for the Bulldogs. KP goalie Makenzie Manning made 12 saves while Molly Piller had a strong showing defensively for the Warriors.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final

Franklin, 9 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalFranklin’s Amanda Lewandowski scored four first half goals to pace the Panthers to a big win on the road. Lewandowski scored in the 6th minute (from Kate O’Rourke), the 16th minute (from Olivia Rondeau), the 25th minute (unassisted) and in the 28th minute (from Rondeau) to give the Panthers a 4-1 lead at the break. Hanna Richardson added two second half goals for the Panthers. Haley Nelson scored an unassisted goal in the first half for Stoughton.

Taunton, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalAlana Tavares scored a pair of goals to lead the Tigers to a win on the road at Sharon. Kennedy Thielker, Braeley MacDonald, and Kylie Thorpe also scored in the win for Taunton while Kat Robinson and Ashley Amaro also played well in the win.

Mansfield @ Milford, 3:45

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro defended home court with a clean 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 26-24) sweep of their rivals of Attleboro High. Haley Gaskin dished out 20 assists in the win with Kylie Melanson (nine kills) and Joanna Collins-Bilyeu (eight kills) paced the offense. Lauren Antonetti shined on the service line with six aces to clinch the second set.




King Philip, 3 @ Canton, 2 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match.King Philip rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two sets, earning a 3-2 (25-21, 16-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-12) win over Canton. Catherine Waldeck (12 kills, five blocks), Nicole Coughlan (eight kills, two blocks) and Paige Kannally (six blocks) had strong games at the net for the Warriors while Emma Brooks added six aces, three kills, and 13 digs and Kylie Sullivan had five aces and a pair of kills in the win. Taylor Harris paced the Bulldogs with 19 kills, 12 digs, and a pair of aces, and Jackie Morrissey dished out 15 assists and had five aces. Canton coach Pat Cawley said sophomore Taylor Reynolds (12 assists, ace) did a great job filling in for an injury.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalOliver Ames went on the road and picked up a 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-13) win over Foxboro. Senior Jordyn Vella had five kills and three blocks in a strong outing for the Tigers while Jordan Bosse added nine kills and six aces. Senior Allie Kemp dished out 23 assists and classmate Alison Barth notched 21 digs. For Foxboro, Grace Boudreau had 10 kills and 10 digs while Kelsey Treweek added 11 digs.

Franklin, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Mansfield, 2 @ Milford, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Taunton, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final

Golf
Canton, 165 @ Foxboro, 180 – FinalCanton’s Chris Lavoie fired a match medalist round of 39 to lead the Bulldogs to a key division win on the road. Conor Hunter added a 40 while Will Gefteas, Mike Leonetti, and Nate MacDonald all shot a 43 in the win. Foxboro’s Noah Hicks had a team-low round of 43 while Matt Lathrop added a 45.

King Philip, 166 @ Franklin, 152 – FinalFranklin’s Pat Dolan shot an even par round of 35 to help the Panthers secure a key win over division rival King Philip. Jack Paterson shot a 38, Jake Blaney added a 39, and Quinten Faro carded a round of 40 for Franklin. King Philip’s Jack Hastry led the Warriors with a 40 while Kayla Schuberth and Nate Ihley each finished with a 42.

Milford, 174 @ Attleboro, 159 – Final

Oliver Ames, 158 @ North Attleboro, 160 – FinalOliver Ames’ Tate Hadges birded on the third and fifth holes to help the Tigers grab a two-stroke win over the Rocketeers. Hadges finished with a 37 on the day. North Attleboro’s Jillian Barend shared medalist honors, also shooting a 37.

Taunton, 193 @ Mansfield, 154 – FinalMansfield juniors Nate Morreale and Brian See shared medalist honors, each shooting a 38, to pace the Hornets past visiting Taunton. Ava Haggis and Ryan Dow also played well, finishing at 39.

Boys Soccer: 2019 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2019 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
Mansfield will try to defend its Kelley-Rex division crown this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 5-10-3
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Peter Pereira

The Bombardiers have put last year’s season in the rearview mirror and are aiming to get back to the state tournament in 2019.

Attleboro will rely on its eight returners from last year’s squad plus a good amount of new faces to try and make a push for the playoffs. Senior captains Mike Russo, Nathan LaPlume, and Josh Smith will provide leadership both on and off of the field for the Bombardiers. All three have a good amount of varsity experience with LaPlume and Smith tasked with anchoring the Bombardiers’ defensive unit. Both started a season ago so the defense should be a strength to start the season. Russo started in the midfield a year ago and will be in charge of leading that unit. Attleboro will have to fill the shoes left by leading scorer Will Halben (seven goals, five assists) but there is a strong group of forwards that includes Joey Soucy, Justin Lurssen, and Hugo Henriquez — all of whom have varsity experience — that is ready to pace the offense. Patrick Raczkowski and Kevin Raczkowski should give Attleboro help defensively, junior Jackson Singer bolted academy and should give the Bombardiers a boost in the midfield while junior Zackary Brown takes over in goal.

“I am looking to get some leadership and good play from my tri-captains and I’m hoping for a better season [than last year],” said longtime head coach Peter Pereira. “The team’s attitude has been great and we are working hard.”

Franklin

2018 Record: 10-7-2
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Fran Bositis

Franklin was one of the hottest teams in the league over the second half of the season last year and the Panthers are hoping to carry that momentum into 2019.

When the calendar turned to October, the Panthers finished the regular season 7-1-1. Longtime head coach Fran Bositis has the pieces to continue that success to begin this year and contend for a league title. A strong suit for the 2019 squad will be the defensive unit, featuring returning keeper Jack Rudolph and center backs Sam Stowell and Jacob Cummings. Anytime a team returns two center backs and its keeper, especially a unit that allowed just three goals in its final nine regular seasons, it’s a big positive. Matt Szczepanowski and Trevor O’Neill, both seniors, will factor in defensively as well. Sophomore Terry O’Neill anchors the midfield from the center of the pitch after a successful freshman campaign while the addition of junior Ethan Cain should give Franklin one of the top midfielder duos, and sophomore Tyler Powderly will likely play in a variety of roles. The challenge for Franklin this season will be finding a consistent offense but there is experience up top with Donny Tappin and Lucas Moura back.

“I think we have the potential to be pretty good, but it all comes one game at a time,” Bositis said. “I think if we can score some goals consistently, we can be pretty dangerous this year.”

King Philip

2018 Record: 4-12-2
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike O’Neill

King Philip begins a new chapter in program history as Mike O’Neill takes over after Nick Gale stepped down following a successful stint with the Warriors.

O’Neill will be looking to help the Warriors bounce back from a four-win season, the first time the squad missed the state tournament in over a decade. King Philip graduated nearly a dozen seniors from last year’s squad but have some key players back in key positions. Senior captain Brian McCarthy has a lot of varsity experience and O’Neill will lean on him to organize the midfield. Senior captains Wes Orzell and Matt Clarke anchor the back line and will be tasked with helping the Warriors keep possession by playing out of the back. Behind the defense, senior Grant Orzell and junior Aidan Lindmark are both strong options in goal. Juniors Evan McEvoy and Camron Lawrence both begin their third season on varsity and are poised to have big years at midfield.

“The team is eager to get started, the seniors want to make their mark after a tough season last year, and the juniors and sophomores are hungry to prove themselves,” O’Neill said. “We will need to stay organized and committed to team defending if we are going to be able to compete in the difficult Hockomock League.”




Mansfield

2018 Record: 13-3-5 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Steve Sheridan

The Hornets have won two division titles in the past four years and took second place in the other two seasons, so it’s safe to assume Mansfield will be in the mix once again this year.

In that span of success, Mansfield has been one of the best defensive teams year in and year out, average under a goal against in each of those seasons, including just 0.67 goals against in 2018. The big challenge this season will be replicating that stingy defense because the Hornets graduated their entire back four. The good news is that Mansfield has Anthony Salisbury back in net after he set the program record for shutouts while Cam Bovey serves as the backup keeper, though he is pushing for minutes this season. The strength of the 2019 squad will be in the midfield where senior captains Peter Oldow and Colin Caridi will be. Both have a good amount of varsity experience and will be joined by fellow returners Robbie Healey, Raffi Marzella, Tommy Lanzillo, Colin True, and Evan Eames. Sophomore Dylan Buchanan made a strong impression during his freshman season and will be joined up front by senior Owen Mullahy, who also picked up some valuable minutes a year ago.

“Our biggest question will be, ‘Who’s going to take over our defense that graduated?”, said head coach Steve Sheridan. “That is what I’m trying to figure out and hopefully it will iron itself out during the preseason.”

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 8-4-5
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: John Barata

A lot of people learned last year what we already knew: Under head coach John Barata, Oliver Ames doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. The Tigers had to replace their entire starting lineup last season but still had a shot at the division title heading into the final week.

Oliver Ames has a healthy amount of returning players that either started or saw valuable minutes at the varsity level last year starting with seniors Jon Freeman and Matthew Nosalek, who will be key pieces along the back line for the Tigers. Senior Harry Ahearn is another experienced player that will factor in defensively, senior Josh LaBrosse could see time in the midfield or defense, and seniors Nick Farley and Andrew Hanna could get minutes up top. OA has a strong junior class that learned a lot during last season. Colin Milliken, last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year, will organize the Tigers from the midfield while Anthony DaCosta, Kevin Louhis, and Jimmy Keane are all strong attacking options. Drew Nickla will take over as the starting keeper this year.

“It is too early to tell what we will look like but I’m looking forward to a great season with the boys,” Barata said. “We are excited for the opportunity to compete this season in the Hock. There are lots of talented teams coming back, from the defending champions to the schools with new coaches ready to make a mark. It’s going to be one of the toughest seasons in my tenure and we hope to be competitive.”

Taunton

2018 Record: 3-12-4
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Taylor Whitters

While the record might not reflect it, it felt like Taunton took a step in the right direction last year, and the Tigers are expecting to take another one this season.

One area of improvement that head coach Taylor Whitters is excited about is the defensive group. The Tigers had the most goals allowed in the Kelley-Rex division but have a reinforced back line ready to fend off the top offenses the Hockomock League has to offer. Senior Colton Medeiros, who had a terrific freshman year before missing time to academy and injury, will anchor the defense in the middle alongside freshman Riley Rebelo. Khalil Ba, a transfer in from Tolman, gives Taunton an outside back that can join in on the attack, while Nolan Melo returns as the starting keeper. Alec Nunes and Colby Fernandes are two dynamic, experienced players that can play both in the midfield or up front. Junior Travis Nunes returns from injury and classmate Hunter Cabral is a versatile player that will play in various roles.

“We have a lot of versatility this year, we’re going to be able to move guys around based on each game,” Whitters said. “No one is locked into a position, we’re going to take it game by game this season.”