Academy pg 9 4-5-18

The first thing first-year Woodstock Academy coach Michael Noel said he has to instill in the Centaurs boys’ lacrosse team is a bit of discipline.
“He’s really tough on us, but we definitely need that. We need more discipline, more focus and that’s the key to victory,” said senior goalie Carson Hadley.
If it sounds a little more like a military academy philosophy with the words, ‘discipline,’ ‘commitment’ and ‘focus’ bantered about on a regular basis – it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Noel is a graduate of Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. It’s the oldest private military college in the U.S.
Hadley wants to know what that kind of life is all about.
He will attend Navy Prep in Newport, R.I.,  in the fall, getting ready, hopefully, for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
Hadley sounds likes he’s ready for the military life.
When asked what has to go right for the team this season, Hadley is quick with the answer.
“Communication, teamwork. We have to know how each other works on the field, have to know each other very well,” Hadley said.
But it’s definitely a work in progress.
The Centaurs finished just 3-13 last season and were just 2-10 in Division II of the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
Noel is hoping to change that.
He played lacrosse in high school in Exeter, N.H., before crossing the border to Vermont.
He has been coaching in the youth ranks in Woodstock for several years and thought he could help The Academy’s program.
“We have tons of potential,” Noel said. “We have a lot of kids with a lacrosse background. We just have to put it all together, show some discipline and focus on the field.”
There are those key words again.
Noel not only will try and instill a new philosophy, but also a new game plan.
It begins with the defense where Noel will try to build from the back, slowing down the opposition’s offense and speeding up the Centaurs’ offense.
“We have some scorers, some ballhandlers and some good feeders so the attack and middies are the strength of the team,” Noel said. “You will see us run a lot of different schemes, a lot of different sets, a 2-3-1, a 2-2-2. You will see us feeding from behind anf attacking from the front. I’m not  a big fan of just setting up an (isolation play) and let our best ballhandler try and score. That’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for people who can pass, throw and catch and move the ball around.”
Senior Brendan Chapuis will be a key attacker with classmate Ryan Wojciechowski in the midfield. Seniors Tyler Stuba and Zach Douglas will anchor the defense.
“We’re going to play zone, but it will be aggressive,” Noel said.
Noel’s squad has also been bolstered by the addition of Guerin Favreau, whom according to the first-year coach, probably has some of the best skills on the team and will be a factor at midfield. Another freshman, Sam Listro, will see time at attack. The team has, so far, bought into the changes. Especially from Hadley who has earned the respect of his teammates, many of whom, according to Noel, consider him one of the best goalies in the state.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director

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