Boys Soccer: 2016 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview
Oliver Ames’ Thomas McCormick and King Philip’s Cam Mullins battle for possession last season. OA and KP will battle for the same division title this season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Kelley-Rex Boys Soccer Preview

Attleboro

2015 Record: 4-10-3
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Peter Pereira

Attleboro is only returning three starters from last year’s squad but the Bombardiers are hopeful that its incoming players will keep them competitive in the Kelley-Rex this season.

Senior captain Harry Lancaster will anchor the back line, showing his versatility by playing yet another position in his fourth year on varsity. Senior captain Ahijah Joseph will see time at both forward as well as some time in the midfield, alongside junior Zach White, another returnee. Junior Nick Hasenfus will take over as the starting goalie while seniors Tyler Treichler and Nick Lawrence will also emerge as key contributors this season. Head coach Peter Pereira also expects to get contributions from underclassmen including sophomore Will Halben and freshmen Mike Russo and Nathan LaPlume.

“We will be a hard working team that should get better every game,” Pereira said. “I think we will surprise some teams.”

Franklin

2015 Record: 12-7-1
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Fran Bositis

Franklin has some big holes to fill around the field but returning nearly a dozen varsity players is a good start. Around 10 returning players saw valuable varsity minutes last season and that is something the Panthers will rely on.

The Panthers have to find replacements for midfielders Austin Kent and Nick Parent, along with defender Dan Geraci and goalie Henri Guilmette. However, Franklin doesn’t need to find any replacements for its strikers with both Farley Asmath and Kevin Hall back this year. Hall was second on the team with seven goals a season ago and Asmath is speedy, strong player that could add a lot to the attack. Hatim Brahimi (five goals, three assists in 2015) is one of the top returning players in the league and will lead the midfield for the Panthers this season. Franklin’s defense will consist of a rotation of five or six players, including Wesley Kozil and Noah Scafati. Senior Joe Kroon and junior Fred Beckmann will battle for the starting goalie spot.

“We’ve got a bunch of great athletes that are pretty good soccer players that work really hard,” head coach Fran Bositis said.

King Philip

2015 Record: 8-8-3
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Second Round
Coach: Nick Gale

The Kelley-Rex division title race expects to be a very contested one and King Philip looks like they’ll be right in the mix this season because of a strong balance of returning players.

Senior captains Cam Mullins and Ryan Coulter are returning to anchor the back line, which had a strong showing in 2015 with the fourth least goals surrendered in the Hockomock. Both have proved in the past to be reliable defenders, especially in the air against set pieces. Although the Warriors will have to replace the versatile Joe Kellett, KP has a handful of young players that saw valuable minutes on varsity and can make an impact this year. Tyler Mann will lead the attack, a year after scoring a team-high eight goals as a sophomore. Senior Colby Koch has shown his versatility in the past and will also be a factor for KP again this this. Juniors Connor Mullins, Larsen Keys and Mike Rowe also will be key players for the Warriors this season after each of them played meaningful minutes as sophomores.

“Our goal is to build off last year’s successes, continue to improve everyday, and compete hard,” head coach Nick Gale said.
“We know what we want, but we also know we have to earn it.”

Mansfield

2015 Record: 13-4-3 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Steve Sheridan

The defending Kelley-Rex champions will look to try to win back-to-back league titles for the first time in program history and they have a large amount of returning players that could help accomplish that goal.

Captain Max Gurnon, a 2015 HockomockSports.com Best XI selection, returns for his senior campaign to anchor an experienced back line that allowed just 15 goals last season. While Mansfield must overcome the graduation of Chris Elsner, juniors Nick Hyland and Harry Braidt both started on the back line last year while sophomore Ethan Brill-Cass looks to be the final piece to the defense. Mansfield will have to find a replacement for goalie Mike Kirejczyk but head coach Steve Sheridan said senior Jed Tolbert and junior Nick Ferraz will battle for the starting spot.

“As far as our strengths go, our defense should be strong,” Sheridan said. “Losing [Chris] Elsner is a big loss, but Ethan [Brill-Cass] saw a lot of time as a freshman last season and learned a lot from Chris. I’m hoping our offense is much improved over last season.”

The Hornets finished fifth in the league in scoring last year and graduated its top four scorers. However, there is a group of attacking players back that saw plenty of minutes. Senior captain Brendan Sullivan will be a speedy option up top while classmates Kevin Bouck and Ryan Amaral will figure into the offense. Senior captain James Chotkowski will lead a midfield unit along with Jackson Murphy, Cullin Anastasia and Sean Lanzillo.

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 18-0-3 (Davenport Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Division 2 State Champions
Coach: John Barata

Oliver Ames has had a target on its back for the last couple of years as they claimed four of the last five Davenport titles but after winning the program’s first ever Division 2 State Title last Fall, it’s bigger than ever.

The Tigers will have to replace two All-State players in Chris Romero and Keegan Nutt, as well as three seniors from their league-best defense last season. However, OA does return a good chunk of starters as well as experienced bench players from the state championship team.

Senior Thomas McCormick has been causing havoc for defenses for two years and will be relied upon to do so again this year. Nathaniel Cardoza, the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will be back to control the middle of the pitch alongside Cam Vella, who showed his ability to get forward last season. Juniors Matt Campbell, Matt Alvarado, Jack Sheldon and Mason Galbato all saw time in the midfield last season and look to be contributors this year. Junior Jack Carroll is back in net again this year.

“We will try to be competitive this season and make another run at qualifying for the postseason,” head coach John Barata said. “Our path to the state tourney is extremely difficult this season as we join the Kelley-Rex. We look forward to a great season and hope to be in a position to qualify for the state tournament in late October.”

Barata noted that losing the back line, one that surrendered just 12 goals all season, will be a major challenge for the Tigers this season.

Taunton

2015 Record: 2-13-2
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Taylor Whitters

With a new coach at the helm in Taylor Whitters, the Taunton Tigers are looking to build a new foundation for years to come. Whitters, who was previously the boys freshmen coach, is hoping the Tigers can rise up to the challenge of the very talented Kelley-Rex division.

Two key returning players include sophomore Hasan Farahat and junior Daeshawn Duffie. Both players possess strong soccer skills and will be vital parts for Taunton both ways as they patrol the midfield. Senior Sean Crowley will be tasked with pacing the scoring for the Tigers while freshman Colton Madeira, senior Dan DeAndreade and junior Jake DeAndrade will all be factors as Taunton pushes forward. Junior Liam Crowley will factor into Taunton’s defense and sophomore Liam Crowley will play a role in Taunton’s midfield.

“We are going to rise up in our league with respect, integrity,encouragement, unity and pride,” Whitters said.

Friday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/23/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Football
Attleboro, 35 @ Franklin, 0 – Final
First Quarter: (A) Brendan Nunes 12 yard rush, Elijah Lewis XP; (A) B. Nunes 9 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
Second Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 38 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
Third Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 11 yard rush, E. Lewis XP; (A) Cam Furtado 8 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
Fourth Quarter: No scoring.

Foxboro, 42 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final

King Philip, 47 @ Taunton, 22 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Sean Garrity 10 yard rush, XP missed; (KP) John DeLuca 9 yard pass to Cory Lombardo, J. DeLuca 2pt rush.
2nd Quarter: (KP) J. DeLuca 24 yard pass to Mike Mello, XP missed; (KP) J. DeLuca 3 yard rush. Zach Boari XP; (KP) Gio Fernandez 5 yard rush, Z. Boari XP; (T) Collin Hunter 6 yard pass to Tanner Costa, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 18 yard pass to M. Mello, XP missed; (T) C. Hunter 47 yard pass to T. Costa, Jason DeRosa 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 1 yard rush, Z. Boari XP; (T) C. Hunter 1 yard rush, Lazare Joseph 2pt rush.
North Attleboro, 14 @ Mansfield, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 4 yard pass to Bobby Mylod, Connor Flynn XP.
2nd Quarter: (M) Diogo DeSousa 23 yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (M) Anthony DeGirolamo 12 yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, D. DeSousa XP; (NA) Nick Morrison 39 yard rush, C. Flynn XP.
4th Quarter: (M) D. DeSousa 27 yard field goal.
Boys Soccer
Canton, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Canton went up first but Milford scored three second half goals to get the win. Marcello Panno, Zach Browne and Matt Fornaciari scored for the Scarlet Hawks while Justin Borges had a pair of assists.

Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Noah Schulze gave Stoughton the lead with a goal six minutes into the game. The lead stood until the second half when Devante Teixeira, Anthony Barreira, and Joe Morrison all scored for the Warriors.

Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – David Stowell put Franklin ahead in the first half off an assist from Wes Kozil. Brian Czuba got his first goal before the break off an assist from Cam LeBlanc. Taunton pulled within one in the second half off a free kick from Austin Botelho but Czuba added an insurance goal off an assist from Hatim Brahimi. 

North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield’s defense set the school record with its 10th shutout this season. Michael Kirejczyk made six saves for his ninth shutout of the season, which ties a school record. Cullin Anastasia and Jack Reilly scored for the Hornets while Reilly and Brenden Sullivan each had an assist. 
Girls Soccer
Canton, 4 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Riley Duserick, Hannah Link, Sarah MacQuarrie and Hayley Mulford each found the back of the net for Canton. Tessa Cudmore had a pair of assists in the win and Shannon Foley had one assist.

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Shaina Abbott scored a pair of goals and Katherine Luciano and Riley Collins each scored once for the Warriors. Emerson Sprague scored for the Black Knights. 

Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – Hana Caster scored off a corner kick from Grace Guertin with just four minutes left to life the Rocketeers. North held a 3-0 lead at the break as Guertin factored into all four goals for Big Red. Guertin was fouled in the area in the 12th minute and Shannon Kingsley buried the penalty kick. Guertin then set up Leah Jette in the 21st minute and then linked up with Kingsley in the 31st minute to build a 3-0 lead at half. Hannah Reiter scored a pair of goals in the second half for Mansfield and Katie Bongarzone scored once to tie the game at three.

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Kiana Lozzi scored a pair of goals, Delaney Benton and Francesca Calabraro each netted one goal and Jackie Mills had two assists for Oliver Ames.
Volleyball
King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final – King Philip dropped the first two sets but rallied back to get the win at home, 20-25, 12-25, 25-12, 25-21, 15-12. Seniors Josie Rowean and Gwen Uyrus shined on senior night with 21 and 12 kills respectively while senior Molly Citarell and Micaela Murray anchored the defense for the Warriors. 
Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – The Black Knights and Eagles played in their annual Dig for a Cure match and raised over $3,200 for cancer research according to SMAC’s Jeffrey Pickette. Stoughton picked up a 25-16, 25-19, 25-15 sweep on the road. Bridgette Whalen led the Black Knights with nine blocks, six kills, 15 digs and four aces, Bianca DeSousa had 11 digs, nine service points, five kills and four aces and Ava Siegel added 13 service points, five kills and two aces.
Field Hockey
Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Caroline Lounsbury scored the game winning goal with 44 seconds left off assists from Taylor Reutlinger and Kenzi Pleshaw to lift the Panthers. Taunton held a 1-0 lead at halftime but Diana Griffin knotted the game just three minutes into the second half off assists from Cassi Ronan and Reutlinger. Annie Walsh put Franklin ahead at 2-1. Abbey Kingman scored both of Taunton’s goals. 

Stoughton, 3 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final – Courtney Campbell, Mia Russell and Ashley Chipman scored for Stoughton, who qualified for the state tournament with the win. 

Hornets Beat Franklin, Seize Control of Kelley-Rex

By Lance Reynolds, HockomockSports.com Contributor
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Charlie Rogers’ goal in the fifth minute of Monday night’s Kelley-Rex clash between Mansfield and Franklin sure was a welcome sight for the struggling Hornet offense.
In the previous two games against Sharon and King Philip, Mansfield was held off the scoreboard so the Hornets knew a fast start was going to be needed against the Panthers.
Senior captain Jared Miller launched a 20 yard shot off of the crossbar and Rogers was in the right place at the right time as he was able to recover the ball and put it into the back of the net giving Mansfield a quick 1-0 lead.
“We talk all the time about following up each other’s shots and that’s what (Rogers) did,” Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan said.  “Jared took his shot, went off the crossbar, and Charlie was going right in and he was right there.”
Just two minutes into the second half, Miller recorded his second assist when he found senior Jack Reilly open from 15 yards out.  Reilly gathered the pass and rifled the shot to the far post of the goal giving the Hornets comfort room with a 2-0 lead.
“He’s (Miller) just coming back from a knee injury and I wasn’t sure if he was going to play before the game but he ended up playing a heck of a game,” Sheridan said of Miller’s performance. “I think he was more determined than ever for this game.  He was prepared for this game.”
Mansfield had several chances to increase their lead to three but the Franklin defense had other ideas.  In the 56th minute, Jareme DiLorenzo broke away from the pesky Panther defense and found Sean Lanzillo.  After a couple dribbles, Lanzillo fed Chris Elsner near the goal and Elsner took a chance at goal but Franklin goalie Henri Guilmette came up with the save.  Two minutes later in the 58th minute, Max Gurnon’s free kick went off the bar forcing a corner.  Elsner took the corner finding Miller but Guilmette dove to the right to stop the ball from going in.
From there, Franklin dominated possession time and gave Mansfield a scare.  Cam LeBlanc pulled the Panthers within a goal in the 61st minute.  LeBlanc came away with the ball after a scrum with the Hornet defense and shot it near the right post.
A minute later, Franklin had an opportunity to tie the score at two but Kevin Hall’s shot went just right of the net.  In the 67th minute, Patrick Kapples found LeBlanc on a cross but the ball, again, went right of the net.
The last real scoring threat came in the 78th minute.  After a Wesley Kozil throw-in resulted in a scrum in the box, Hatim Brahimi came away with the ball and took another chance at goal.  This time, however, the ball was over the bar.
“I knew that they were going to come out in the second half.  Tonight’s battle we were both tied for first place and whoever comes out of this game controls their own destiny for the rest of year with three games left.  I knew they were going to come out and thank God that Jack got that one goal right off the bat to give us a two goal cushion,” Sheridan said. “They pressed us and I went with five midfielders after we scored that goal just to try to control the midfield and that’s what it was, it was an extra defender in the midfield.”
Leading the Mansfield defense was senior captain Chris Elsner.  Whenever the Panthers got near striking distance, it seemed as though Elsner was always finding a way to break up the scrums and give the ball back to the Hornets with clearances.  In addition to his tenacious defense, Elsner had several attacking throw-ins but the Hornets weren’t able to make the most of them.
“That’s what his job is – to control the midfield and help us move up when he can and his big throws have been key,” Sheridan said of Elsner. “We’ve scored a lot off of his throws but unfortunately we didn’t get any today.  His defense has been rock solid and we can’t ask for anything more from him.”
The win clinches the Hornets a spot in the tournament as well as giving them the sole lead for first place in the Kelley-Rex.
“It feels great.  We’ve finally got enough points, we qualified for the tournament and hopefully we can hold (Franklin) off for the league.  I feel really good about the tournament,” Sheridan said. “I said that was our number one goal was to just qualify for the tournament.  If we can get our offense going, I like our chances.”
Mansfield (8-3-2) hosts North Attleboro on Friday while Franklin (8-5) travels to Xaverian for a non-league game on Wednesday.

Kent Helps Panthers Roar Past Foxboro

Austin Kent Kevin Hall
Austin Kent (2) scored a penalty and assisted on Kevin Hall’s (6) goal, as the Panthers defeated Foxboro 2-0 on Friday afternoon. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Click HERE for photo gallery from the game.

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FOXBORO, Mass. – Franklin scored with the last touch of the first half and again just three minutes after the break to get its first win of the season. The Panthers defeated Foxboro 2-0 at Sam Berns Community Field in a battle of last year’s league champions.

“I know Foxboro is shorthanded, missing two quality players, but they’re still a really good team, so it was a big win for us,” said Franklin coach Fran Bositis, referencing the absent duo of midfielder Joe Morrison and defender Jeff Melo, who will be out for the season after an off-field injury.

Even without Morrison patrolling the center of the pitch, Foxboro started the game on the attack, mostly through the left-side and senior attacker Devante Teixeira, who was fresh off a four-goal game against Attleboro in Foxboro’s season-opening win.

Teixeira started brightly forcing Franklin keeper Henri Guilmette into a save at his near post after beating the right back with pace. The resulting corner was nearly headed in for an own goal but slipped just wide. A minute later, Teixeira drew a foul in a dangerous position, but was unable to direct Anthony Barreira’s free kick on target from close-range.

“He is…he’s just really dangerous and so is [Barreira],” said Bositis. “They’re just really tough an we’re fortunate to keep them off the scoresheet today.”

After those early chances, Teixeira faded with the combination of right backs Matt Piorier and Wesley Kozil keeping him mostly quiet with help from covering center backs Pat Kapples and Dan Geraci.

Bositis explained, “We just told the kids to keep him in front of you and don’t dive in because he’s so quick that if you go for the ball and he gets by you…forget it. We just tried to contain and delay and I thought they did a pretty good job.”

While the Panthers, defense kept the Foxboro attack quiet, the Panthers midfielders started to push the Warriors back. Substitute Farley Asmath came in and created the first big chance with a cross from the left that just missed the head of Cam LeBlanc.

Senior Austin Kent, the lone returning starter back from last season, almost opened the scoring with a shot from outside the box that slipped wide of the post and then his corner nearly found Nick Parent but Foxboro keeper Clay Leopold cut it out.

With the clock stopped at 2:00, Kent again found space in behind the fullback, this time on the right side, and he sent in a perfect cross that was met Kevin Hall on the edge of the six-yard-box. Immediately after the ball found the back of the net, the officials signaled for halftime.

Foxboro coach, and former New England Revolution player, Joe Franchino made a few adjustments at halftime to try and alter the pattern of play, including moving Barreira back into the midfield and moving Sean Millhollan up top as the striker. Unfortunately, those change had barely been put in place before Franklin had double the lead.

Left back Shawn McNamara attempted to stop a cross coming in from the left but in the process the ball ricocheted off his arm, giving Franklin a chance from the spot. Kent stepped up and made no mistake, sending Leopold the wrong way and making it 2-0.

“It is what it is but you’ve got to grind it out,” said Franchino about the difficulty of giving up goals on either side of halftime.

“I told the guys that they got to look at themselves in the mirror and see if you did everything you possibly could today and my gut feeling is that the guys had an off day.”

Bositis admitted that the second goal eased the players’ nerves and added confidence tin a bounce back performance from the season opening loss to Oliver Ames.

He said, “You’ve got a little bit of leeway. You can play with a little more comfort; you feel like there’s a little more margin for error.”

In the 61st minute, Piorier cleared a header off the post and started a Franklin counter that raced through LeBlanc to Hatim Brahimi and just past the toe of Hall at the far post. Three minutes later, Hall had a another chance from a LeBlanc cut back but blazed his shot over the bar.

Teixeira finally got back into the game in the 69th minute but his right-footed shot after a good run was right at Guilmette, who was then forced to punch away a long free kick by Barreira. Millhollan almost cut the lead in half after good buildup play by Teixeira and Barreira, but his shot from inside the box was also saved by Guilmette.

As the clock wound down, Foxboro was running out of ideas on how to get back into it and afterwards Franchino admitted that Franklin was the deserved winner.

“We just got outplayed today, they just beat us to every ball,” he said. “It’s a reality check. The quality of players that we have is there but if we don’t put in the work then we’re going to get beat.”

Franklin lost 16 players from last year’s Kelley-Rex Division champions and he saw a lot of growth from his relatively new roster.

“I thought we won a lot of 50-50 balls today,” said Bositis. “Nick Parent kind of set the tone on that and everyone else just kind of joined in. We talked about it yesterday and once their confidence started to build, they started to play some good soccer.

Franklin will look to keep momentum when it hosts Sharon on Wednesday. Foxboro may welcome Joe Morrison back for its next game at Taunton on Tuesday.

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