Boston High School: Taylor Shepherd

ESPN Boston MIAA All-State girls' hockey team

March, 24, 2011
First Team
F - Sabrina Iannetti, St. Mary’s (Lynn)

The state’s most feared offensive player, Iannetti led the Spartans with 53 points, including 29 goals, during the regular season. The Lynn native was also instrumental to the Spartan’s state long 100-game unbeaten streak, which ended in an overtime loss to Hingham in the Division 1 quarterfinals.
F - Colleen Martell, Woburn
The explosive Tanners forward led the state in scoring, notching 73 points, including a 40-goal regular season. The captain helped lead Division 1 semifinalists to the Middlesex League title.

F - Kayla Smith, Woburn
Smith was also among the state’s top scoring threats, playing alongside Martell on the Tanners’ top line. The sophomore tallied 61 points (26 G, 35 A) during the regular season for the Middlesex League champs.

D - Angela Dandreo, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The Swampscott resident played on the Spartans’ top pairing and was not only a top-notch defender, but also a scoring threat. Dandreo, a captain, finished fifth on the team in points with 27 while dishing out 22 assists.
D - Caleigh LaBossiere, Acton-Boxborough
The senior provided a boost of offense from the blue line, trailing only fellow All-State teammates Sarah McNicholas and Kati Goguen in points for the Colonials. LaBossiere tallied 11 goals and 13 assists to finish with 24 points for the regular season.
G - Sarah Foss, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The sensational sophomore was nearly unbeatable in net for the Spartans. Foss, a North Reading resident, posted a 0.55 goals against average during the regular season while posting shutouts in 11 of her 16 starts.

“Line Change” Second Team
F - Michaela Chiuccarriello, Winchester

Chiuccarriello became the Sachems’ all-time leading scorer this season, finishing her career with 170 points (110 G, 60 A) and smashing Carly Robinson’s record of 123 points. The senior scored 37 goals for 54 points while leading Winchester to its fourth straight tournament appearance.
F - Sarah McNicholas, Acton-Boxborough
The senior led the Colonials in scoring with 32 points (12 G, 20 A), while leading the Division 1 state finalists to the MVC/DCL Large title this season.
F - Taylor Shepherd, Fontbonne Academy
The senior topped the 100-goal plateau for her career with a 32-goal season this year while leading the Ducks to yet another Division 2 title game appearance.
D - Martha Findley, Duxbury
Findley was regarded as one of the state’s premiere blue liners and was instrumental in helping freshman goaltender Rachel Myette and the Dragons to a Division 2 state title. Thanks to Findley, Duxbury surrendered only 25 goals all season and was a staggering +96 in goal differential.
D - Taylor Brown, Winthrop/Lynn
The Eastern Mass Ice Hockey League MVP helped lead the Bulldawgs to the Division 1 semifinals in front of eighth-grade goaltender Katie Burt.
G - Beth Findley, Hingham
The senior capped a stellar career at Hingham by winning the Division 1 state title, the second of her career after taking a D2 title three years ago. Findley collected 82 career wins while posting 39 shutouts in her four-year varsity career.

Best of the Rest
F Amanda Abromson, Braintree
F Alison Butler, St. Mary’s
F Christie Caliendo, Billerica
F Lily Connolly, Duxbury
F Cara Curran, Westford Academy
F Kati Goguen, Acton-Boxborough
F Erika Kelly, Watertown/Melrose
F Brittani Lanzilli, Medford
F Sara Lehman, Lexington
F Kim Lizzotte, Westford Academy
F Jessica Love, Medway/Ashland
F Ali Maloof, Norwood
F Hannah Murphy, Duxbury
F Jenny Robinson, Concord-Carlisle
F Sarah Schwenzfeier, Hingham
F Katie Walsh, Hingham
F Alex Warren-Caldwell, Arlington
D Catherine Chittick, Hingham
D Meg Collins, Fontbonne Academy
D Meghan McNabb, Lexington
G Katie Burt, Winthrop/Lynn
G Courtney Davis, Woburn
G Casey Schaejbe, Arlington

All-Freshman Team
F - Cathrine Linehan, Hingham
F – Gina Beth Manganiello, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
F – Ashley Moran, Woburn
D – Hannah Quin, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
D – Tori Messina, Hingham
G – Rachel Myette, Duxbury

Coach of the Year
Tom Findley, Hingham

In just seven years, Findley has established the Harborwomen as a state power, building the team from scratch into a Division 1 state champion. Findley claimed his second state championship (D2 champions three seasons ago) while leading Hingham to a 20-4-2 record, culminating with a 3-1 win over Acton-Boxborough in the D1 final.

Duxbury wrestles away D2 title from Fontbonne

March, 20, 2011

BOSTON -- Duxbury coach Friend Weiler had an inkling all week in practice that special teams might play a big role in the Green Dragons Division 2 state championship matchup against Fontbonne, so he worked his team hard on every possible scenario.

To be forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and Duxbury's prescience and preparation paid major dividends. The Green Dragons killed off six penalties, including a pair of 5-on-3 situations, and Hannah Murphy came through the game-winning goal with just 45 seconds remaining to give No. 2 Duxbury a 2-1 victory over No. 4 Fontbonne and the program's first state title at TD Garden Sunday morning.

"To not get scored on when we were shorthanded is a credit to the girls," praised Dragons coach Friend Weiler. "They worked hard, they believed, and I knew once we weathered those we were going to be alright. We waited til the last minute to do it but it’s very sweet. I’m proud of all the girls, they worked so hard.

Offensively, it was Murphy who came up big when her team needed it most. The sophomore collected a loose puck off a turnover outside the Ducks blue line, skated in, deked once to her left and fired toward the right for the game-winner.

"At the faceoff, they had just scored and I was like, we got this," Murphy said. "We couldn’t give up and I could just feel that we were going to score. It just happened to be me. I got the puck and the defense was just straight on. I went left first and saw the right was open and just shot it."

The first period was pretty much back and forth, but Duxbury (21-3) took three penalties in the frame, two of which resulted in the first 5-on-3. Murphy was the hero of that penalty kill, breaking out of her own zone and killing off nearly 40 seconds protecting the puck in the corner near Fontbonne's crease.

Duxbury (21-3) began to assert itself in the second and grabbed a 1-0 lead just 39 seconds in. Briana Connolly won a faceoff in the Fontbonne (16-3-5) zone, then found herself open as defenseman Ally Hammel poked the puck forward. Connolly split through the defense and fired her wrist shot to the short side of the net.

Early in the third, the Dragons found themselves facing another 5-on-3, but the Martha Findley-led penalty killing unit didn't allow a single shot.

"We practice those a lot and it worked out very well," Findley said. "Five on three we needed to stay in the triangle. Taylor Shepherd is their best player so we had one girl stay on her and see what she would do and then we all just focused on the triangle and rotated."

Ducks goalie Lan Crofton proved nearly impossible to beat throughout the game, weathering a 16-shot storm in the second while giving her team a chance to get back into the game. The sophomore finished with 29 saves.

"She made a lot of good saves, made a couple good glove saves, from the bottom of the net to the top," said Fontbonne coach Bob Huxley, who's team reached the title game for the third consecutive season. "She kept the puck moving. She tied it up when she needed to. She has a good feel for the team and when she needs to tie up so it gives us chance to get a whistle if we need it. She moves well side to side and sees the puck well."

Crofton's offense rewarded her effort late in the third, when Taylor Shepherd, who has scored as many clutch goals as anyone in Massachusetts over the last four years, finally sprung loose for a breakaway. Erin McLaughlin made a terrific pass between the blue lines and Shepherd walked in for the tying goal with just 2:40 remaining.

That was the only shot the Ducks were able to get past Duxbury's freshman netminding sensation, Rachel Myette, who finished with 20 saves. Instead of faltering after Shepherd's goal, the Dragons dug in and Murphy's game-winner sent everyone wearing green home with a smile.

"She’s a stud," Weiler said of Murphy. "Big players play the biggest in the big games and she saved the best for last. She got it done for us. She’s a great kid and a hard worker. She never gives up."

FONTBONNE (16-3-5) 0 0 1 - 1
DUXBURY (21-3-0) 0 1 1 - 2

FIRST - No scoring.
SECOND - D, Briana Connolly (Ally Hammel), :31.
THIRD - F, Taylor Shepherd (Erin McLoughlin, Michelle Barrett), 12:20; D, Hannah Murphy (Martha Findley, Briana Connolly), 14:15.

F, Lan Crofton (29 SAVES); D, Rachel Myette (20 SAVES).
All eyes will be on the TD Garden Sunday as championships will be decided in six divisions of MIAA title games. We'll have you covered all day long, but until then, we provide to you a breakdown of each of the game and our predictions:

Division 2

No. 4 Fontbonne Academy (16-2-5) vs. No. 2 Duxbury (20-3-0), 9 a.m., TD Garden
The Breakdown: The Ducks’ Taylor Shepherd can hold her own against the very best the state has to offer and along with linemates Liz Coleman and Erin McLoughlin, they’ve created one of the state’s most potent pairings. Make no mistake, the Green Dragons can also score with the best of them — with prolific sister duo Brianna and Lily Connolly leading the way—but Duxbury is strong from the net out with freshman Rachel Myette turning in a strong first season between the pipes.
The Pick: While the Dragons might be the deeper team, Shepherd is perhaps the most dynamic player in the state, and talent goes a long way this deep in the tournament. We like the Ducks to win their second title in three seasons. Fontbonne, 3-2.

Division 1
No. 8 Hingham (19-4-2) vs. No. 3 Acton-Boxborough (19-3-1), 8:15 p.m.

The Breakdown: Jane Freda scored a rather historic goal during the Harborwomen’s overtime upset of top-seeded St. Mary’s. Not only did she catapult Hingham forward on its march to the finals, she also ended the Lady Spartans’ 100-game unbeaten streak. Katie Walsh and Sarah Schwenzfeier have contributed a consistent scoring punch all season for Tom Findley’s team, while Beth Findley has been stellar in nets with a 1.30 goals against average to go along with nine shutouts. While it might not have as historic, Kati Goguen’s third-period goal lifted the Colonials in their upset win over Woburn in the semifinals. A-B boasts a staunch defense led by one of the best in the state in Caleigh LaBossiere and seventh-grader Cali Loblundo (90.6 save percentage) has been a revelation in goal.
The Pick: Instant karma’s going to get you, and we feel that Hingham has it on their side after toppling the state’s undisputed No. 1 team. Hingham, 2-1.

Division 3
Westfield (15-5-4) vs. Marblehead (20-4-3), 11:15 a.m.

The Breakdown: Defenseman Colin Arnold and forward Matt Gagnon were just freshmen when the Bombers won their last state title in 2008. This year, the pair were a major driving force behind Westfield’s run to the state title game, which included an upset over Central champion Hudson in the state semifinals. Marblehead’s seniors are trying to win their first state title as a group, despite having won three of the last four North sectional titles. Forwards Chris McLeod and Ryan Dempsey lead a dynamic offense, while you’d be hard pressed to find a better blue-liner in all of D3 than captain Jake Kulevich.
The Pick: We’re going with the emotional pick here and siding with the Magicians, but it’s also a reflection of their skill. This is a very talented and deep hockey team. Marblehead, 4-2.

Division 2
Tewksbury (18-5-1) vs. Franklin (17-4-2), 1:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: The Redmen won their first D2 North title since 1995, while the Panthers haven’t won a state title since 1983 – that’s a year after somebody named Laviolette moved onto bigger and brighter things and when current head coach Chris Spillane was playing. Something has to give and one of the hockey-rich towns will come away with a long-awaited title. Tewksbury is led by explosive forward Ryan Doherty, who leads the Redmen in scoring, along with Frank Mazzei and Derek and Mark Petti. The Panthers are very strong on the back end with defensemen Alex Taddeo, who’s among the state’s best, and netminder Billy Spillane, who’s been solid all year.
The Pick: It’s usually a safe bet to take defense over offense this time of year and we’ve always been a fan of the Panthers’ team defensive philosophy. Franklin, 3-2.

Division 1
Wakefield (14-6-4) vs. Marshfield (18-3-5), 3:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: Both of these teams had to defeat the No. 1 seeds, who also happened to be Super Eight tournament participants to win their respective sectional tournaments. The Warriors slipped by St. Mary’s in a one-goal decision while the Rams took a hammer to Springfield Cathedral in the South. Wakefield (No. 7 seed in the North) has been led on its Cinderella run by goaltender Joe Centrella, who’s big and plays high (think Martin Brodeur) while playing his angles well. The potent Marshfield offense is led by 100-point scorer Ryan Connors and Chris Perry.
The Pick: This game might be the hardest of the day to forecast. We went back and forth on this one before settling with the Rams. Marshfield, 2-1.

Division 1A
No. 2 St. John’s Prep (18-5-1) vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic (20-2-2), 6 p.m.

The Breakdown: This is the matchup everyone’s been waiting for, simply put, they truly are the two best teams in the state this season. Both are skilled. Both play fast. Both have the type of talent that draws attention from scouts. The Lancers top line of Brendan Collier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Mike Vecchione hasn’t seen a parallel in this state in quite some time. MC’s second isn’t far behind with Mike Iovanna, Nick Roberto and Garrett White stepping up their play in the tournament. The Lancers have plenty of talent along the blue line as well with playmaker Connor Evangelista and rising star Colin MacGillivray. Pat Young is a stalwart in net. The Eagles have perhaps the best player in the state in center Colin Blackwell, who’s put on an offensive display along with linemates John Farrow and Shane Eiserman. Winger Sam Kurker provides a power-forward presence on the Eagles’ second line. Junior netminder David Letarte has been steady all season long.
The Pick: We wouldn’t be at all surprised if this one turns into a barnburner, however, the most encouraging thing the Lancers might have going for them is the defensive clinic they put on during the second period of their crossover round win over BC High. If the Lancers forecheck like they did against BC High, they will be very hard to beat. Malden Catholic, 5-3.

No. 1 St. Mary's stymies Fontbonne attack

January, 20, 2011

QUINCY, Mass. -- Last year, Fontbonne Academy sniper Taylor Shepherd stole a rare point from St. Mary’s of Lynn with a last-second goal.

As the fifth-ranked Ducks welcomed back the reigning Division 1 girls’ hockey state champions Thursday at Shea Memorial Rink, there would be no such comeback. The top-ranked Spartans’ cagy defense shut down Shepherd and the Fontbonne attack while sophomore goaltender Sarah Foss made 20 saves to shut out the Ducks, 2-0.

St. Mary’s undefeated streak stretched to 87 games with the win.

“We’re really pride ourselves in the D-zone,” Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca said. “We’re really taking pride in getting the puck out and making good decisions. Like I said, we didn’t do a good job in the first period, but as the game went on, we were making better decisions as we were breaking up the ice.”

Pagliuca’s squad got off to a slow start and were out-shot (8-4) and out-chanced in the first period.

However, St. Mary’s (8-0-2) had a penchant for closing periods strong, scoring each of their goals in the final minute of the first and second periods, respectively.

Sabrina Iannetti knocked home a backhander on a cross-ice feed from Marisa Maccario on a 2-on-1 chance with 40 seconds remaining in the first. Defenseman Angela Dandreo also picked up an assist on the play.

The Spartans struck for their second goal with nine seconds remaining in the second. Sophomore winger Alison Butler took a feed from Maccario at the top of the left side face-off circle and unleashed a slapper past Fontbonne goalie Samantha Curley (18 saves) stick side.

While St. Mary’s finished periods strong, Pagliuca saw room for improvement.

“We can’t come out flat against teams like that. We were fortunate enough to be up 1-0 [after the first].”

The Spartans’ bench boss did have high praise for his defensive corps, led by Dandreo, a senior captain. St. Mary’s bottled up the Ducks (7-1-2) through the neutral zone, playing a trap system with three skaters back at all times.

“Obviously, Taylor Shepherd is one of the best players in the state, so you have to account for her every time she’s on the ice,” Pagliuca said about game-planning for Fontbonne. “We gave her one opportunity on the breakaway, but I thought overall we did a nice job limiting her shots. We kept her to perimeter for the most part.”

That aforementioned opportunity came in the third period when Shepherd steamed in on Foss on a breakaway. After a sly fake to the forehand, Shepherd went stick side and Foss stopped the shot with a deft blocker save.

“I thought back to last year and I said, ‘I’m not letting this in,’” Foss said. “I stepped out and made sure not to make any moves before she shot the puck.”

While Fontbonne didn’t lack for opportunities, head coach Bob Huxley said it simply came down to a lack of execution.

“If you don’t score any goals, I don’t care whether you’re playing mites, high school, college or pros, zero goals equals zero wins,” Huxley said. “We’re going to need to emphasize shooting and rebounds a little bit more.”