Fall Sports Recap: Soccer Teams Advanced to New England’s
by The Milton Measure on Friday, November 18th, 2016
Milton’s cross country team came into the 2016 season focused on rebuilding its depleted team. Luckily, a plethora of new underclassmen runners who were excited to begin their distance careers supplied the team with a necessary boost. The team started off strong and continued to get stronger throughout the season. Throughout the regular season, the team beat ISL teams such as Thayer and Lawrence who have become more competitive than in past years. However, in cross country, the ISL and New England Championship races are the only races that actually count towards league rankings. At ISL’s, the team had some great races from key members of both the JV and Varsity squad leading to an 8th place finish, a solid finish for a majority underclassmen team. At New England’s, the team had a slightly worse performance, finishing 12th place, but with an extremely young squad moving up from next year, the team is looking forward to a positive season next year.
The Girls’ Cross Country team welcomed twenty new runners to their team this season as well as an energetic assistant coach, Erin Carberry. While most of these runners had never competitively competed before, this season marked great improvement for everyone on the team. Unfortunately the team’s top two runners, Minnie Stavis (I) and Anya Wiggins (II) were injured, but Lily Wright (III), Emily Bell (I), Tara O’Malley (IV), and the rest of the varsity runners stepped up. Most of the regular season races were extremely, close and the team performed well at ISL’s. New England’s was a fun way to end the season, and most people had their best race yet. With a core group of returners, there is much hope for next year.
For the Milton girls’ soccer team, postseason play in the NEPSAC tournament was uncertain. That is, until the team overcame the odds and defeated rival Nobles with a 2-0 win on Nobles Day this past Saturday. Nobles, as a Class A team and the ISL league champions, was the team for the Wolfpack to beat, and the girls followed through. The Milton team placed second in the ISL with a 6-2-3 league record and earned the #8 seed in the Class A division of the New England tournament. The girls played in the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday against an undoubtedly tough opponent: Worcester Academy, the undefeated, #1 ranked team in the tournament. The Wolfpack battled hard on Wednesday but came up just short, losing 0-1. While the end to the season may have been disappointing, the girls showed great improvement over the course of the fall, evident by the fact that they lost to the same Worcester team 1-4 in October.
Coming into the 2016 season, the Boys’ Soccer team hoped to reclaim their ISL Championship title. Although they lost many seniors from last year, captain Jack O’Brien (I) said that beating Lawrence in their first ISL game “gave them much needed confidence for the rest of the season.” Since that game, the team lost only two games and tied six. Jack Sheehan (I), another captain, stated that a main highlight for him was beating Brooks since Brooks had won every game before playing Milton and even went on to win the ISL. This win meant no senior lost a game at home. The team ended their regular season by tying a nail-biter game against Nobles, but Milton still made playoffs. They played Berkshire in New England’s on Wednesday and fought hard in a 2-1 loss. Although they didn’t recapture the glory of 2015, the future remains bright.
The Varsity Field Hockey team’s season started off pretty rough. The team started with three losses in a row, but the momentum soon changed after the 1-0 OT win against Thayer in the fourth official game of the season. In the Thayer game, Emma Murphy (II) scored to solidify the W for MAFH. Including this game, MAFH was able to create a three-game winning streak. Then, the momentum changed, yet again, as the team racked up several losses. However, about three weeks from the end of the season MAFH looked like an entirely different team. Passing well and scoring, the team beat Middlesex 2-1 in OT and continued on to win four games in six days, due to games being rescheduled. This newly established MAFH had a shot at making post-season if they won their last three games and ended as an over-500 team. Unfortunately, after winning the first two, MAFH lost against Nobles 2-0 and were unable to make it into the NEPSAC tournament. Regardless of the standings, captains Te Palandjian (I) and Kaja Hartwell (I) proudly led the team throughout.
Boys’ Football had a very successful season overall. While they experienced some adversity midway through the season, they, according to Mike Silva (I), “battled it out to finish as the most dominant team in the ISL.” Their key seniors, including Silva as well as Dan Cox, Allan Rappleyea, Freddy Okito, Tristan Manuel, Wes Hudson, and Kevin Crabtree, played really well all year leading the team on and off the field in both defense and offense. The juniors, specifically starting quarterback Alec Beesmer, also stepped up tremendously to give the team a lot of hope for next season. A season highlight was the Friday night light game where Milton came back from behind to beat BB&N in a very close game with a great Milton fan section. The ending defeat against Nobles of 56-6 was a perfect way to end their successful season. However, Football unfortunately did not get the chance to play in a Bowl Game.
With a new head coach and some new young players, the Volleyball team saw their season as consisting mostly of laying a solid foundation for years to come. After a series of early losses, the team came back with a big win against Thayer, whom they had lost to just the week before. The setup of the ISL Volleyball schedule made great opportunities for revenge since each team played every other team twice. The volleyball team definitely took advantage of these opportunities by beating Lawrence and Governors the second time they played after losing to them the first time. One of the highlights of the volleyball team’s season was beating BB&N twice, the first time being at BB&N in a nail-biting fifth set. Although volleyball didn’t make New England’s this year, their season allowed them to grow individually and as a team both on and off the court.
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