FRANKLIN, Mass. -- Senior forward Taylor Cogliano, the newly minted Hockomock League MVP, scored a hat trick and sophomore Meg Adams had a pair of assists as the defending Division 1 South champion Panthers rolled to a 4-0 first round victory over Brockton at Pisini Field on Wednesday night.
“We came out really hard and we were very positive and I think we did awesome as a team,” said Cogliano after the game.
After spurning her first chance of the game on a low cross across the six-yard-box by Victoria Stowell that she just could not direct on target, Cogliano scored two goals in the span of just a few minutes to break the game wide open.
In the 16th minute, Megan Georges slipped a pass between a pair of Brockton defenders to play Cogliano in on goal. The senior opened up and calmly slid the ball into the far corner. The next chance came of a pass from Adams that the Boxers seemed to have covered, but Cogliano took it off the defender’s toe and this time lifted it over the keeper at the near post.
“She didn’t have as many goals as last year because we moved her around a lot but she was more valuable this year [because] even when she’s not on offensively then she’s on defensively,” said Franklin coach Tom Geysen about his MVP forward. He added with a chuckle, “Of course, I’d rather have her on than off.”
“He gets mad if I don’t ‘touch the cone’ and take the goalie on,” said Cogliano about her coach’s instructions. “They gave me a lot of space too, which was nice. They backed off and I just took it.”
Brockton coach Admir DaSilva, whose team got into the first round by way of a 3-2 overtime win against Braintree, admitted that he had feared a quick start from the Panthers.
He explained, “They didn’t play in the preliminary game and we knew that coming in it would be the first 15 minutes and we prepared for it, but unfortunately they got two quick goals in a couple minutes and that was the game.”
If Brockton was hopeful of a comeback, then those wishes were dashed just four minutes into the second half when Cogliano cut in front of a defender to get to a squared ball at the top of the box from Adams. Cogliano took a touch into the box and then fired a left-footed shot into the bottom far corner to make it 3-0.
“Two down early, we created a couple of chances but that third goal was the killer,” said DaSilva. “I like the way we reacted and still showed signs that we wanted to get back in the game, but that third goal was basically the game.”
Brockton did create a couple of chances in the match through star striker Jen Caruso. She had a chance at a breakaway in the first half that was closed down by Franklin keeper Dani Lonati and then shot right at the goalie from inside the 18.
Geysen said, “I told the kids that there always has to be a second defender and if that girl gets beat then there better be another second defender...I told them to challenge at the 18 and they did that in the second half.”
Franklin had a number of chances in the second half with junior Alexis Stowell have a pair of chances that were saved by Brockton freshman keeper Tory Viola. Cogliano nearly added a fourth but for another good sliding save by Viola.
The Panthers tacked on a fourth goal in the dying minutes with junior Emily Spath getting on the end of an angled pass from Molly Duncan just in front of Viola.
Franklin, which has won three of the last four D1 South titles, advances to play No. 7 Bridgewater-Raynham, which beat No. 10 North Quincy 5-1.
Old foes in forecast: Franklin’s path to another D1 South girls’ title is by no means an easy one, but it is also shaping up to be very familiar. Natick beat Oliver Ames 2-0 on Wednesday and will take on Bay State rival Needham on Saturday in a rematch of the 2013 quarterfinal. Needham won last year’s tournament game and then met Franklin in the semifinal. On the other side of the bracket, top seed Bishop Feehan got off to a great start in its quest to get back to the sectional final with a convincing 4-1 win against Wellesley. Feehan will next face Mansfield, which defeated Hockomock rival North Attleboro in double overtime on Jackie Carchedi’s goal off a corner kick. The winner of the Feehan/Mansfield game will take on the winner of Walpole/Whitman-Hanson. This is a very tough bracket with six of the eight quarterfinalists finishing the regular season in the final ESPNBoston.com top 20 or last 10 out.
Needham, Wellesley renew rivalry: D1 South on the boys’ side also has a very familiar feel to it with six of the eight quarterfinalists from 2013 returning this year. Top seed Needham will face rival Wellesley for the second time this season after the Raiders avenged a loss in the final game of the season against Natick, which forced a share of the Herget title. Four-time defending Hockomock League champions Franklin will host last year’s sectional champion Silver Lake, which defeated another Hock team (King Philip) in the first round. BC High and New Bedford are the other two returning quarterfinal teams. Coincendentally, the two teams that didn’t reach this point last year are conference rivals of the teams that made the quarters in 2013 (Attleboro instead of Mansfield and Durfee not Brockton).
No repeats in D2: There will be two new Division 2 state champions. Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) was held to a draw with Hanover in its final game of the regular season and then Masconomet, the No. 2 seed in D2 North and No. 6 team in the final top 20 rankings, was stunned 3-1 at home by Woburn in the opening round of the tournament. That seems to open the way for No. 1 Concord-Carlisle to get through the North bracket, although undefeated Beverly still looms. The Panthers were beaten 4-0 in the playoffs by the Patriots in 2013. Both of last year’s beaten finalists are still alive with the Wilmington girls unbeaten and into the quarterfinals after a 1-0 win over Belmont and the Walpole boys escaping a challenge by Canton on penalties after keeper Dillon Knight made a save in the shootout. The Nauset and Oliver Ames boys will be hoping for a rematch against Walpole in that bracket, while Wilmington still has strong challenges coming from the likes of North Andover, Arlington, and Concord-Carlisle.
Clippers shipped off: There will also be a new girls champion in D3. Newburyport was beaten in the first round by North Reading to open things up for a host of challengers. The boys’ side is still for the moment in Belchertown’s hands with the Orioles kicking off their tournament on Friday. Division 4 was the property of both Sutton teams last year and the Sammies and Suzies both got off to great starts with big wins on Wednesday night.
Looking at Central semis: The semifinals are set in D1 Central. Westborough beat Groton-Dunstable in the final game of the season to take the Mid-Wach B title and on Tuesday night beat them again -- this time on penalties. Griffin Barry was the hero with a penalty save and a penalty scored in the shootout to lift the Rangers into the semis to face top seed Algonquin, which eased past Hudson 3-0 on a pair of goals by Dom Cianci. On the other side of the bracket, 2013 sectional champ Wachusett scored five straight second half goals to defeat Doherty and advanced to face Shrewsbury, who needed penalties to knock of in-town rivals St. John’s. On the girls’ side, Sydney Carney scored a pair of goals to send Algonquin into the semifinal against top seed Wachusett, which had a bye, and Nashoba shutout Quabbin 2-0 to take on No. 2 seed Westborough, which rolled to a 7-0 win over Doherty.