Academy pg 10 9-13-18

Category: Current Issue

WOODSTOCK — Woodstock Academy boys’ soccer coach Paul Rearden said the season opener with Stonington was a bit different than in games of the recent past between the two programs.
“I don’t think it was as physical a game as it has been in the past. It was still hard fought and contested, but it didn’t have the edge that it might have in previous games,” Rearden said. “It was the season opener and a lot of players who had been at the hub of things in the last couple years who weren’t there on either side. I don’t think we had those personality battles.”
The Bears, according to Rearden, had a little more experience than his Centaurs and that may have played more of a role in the 1-0 loss for his club in Stonington Sept. 7.
“We warned them that this was varsity soccer and it was the fastest that they were going to play,” Rearden said. “But we adjusted, got used to it and some of the younger lads, as the game went on, got stronger and settled into it.”
The early part of the match proved to be the Centaurs undoing, however.
The only goal came just 5 minutes, 10 seconds into the match in a situation that the Centaurs could have prevented, according to Rearden.
Woodstock Academy had three opportunities to clear the ball, but Stonington’s Tyler Fidrych was able to get a header over to Graham Johnstone who kicked the ball past keeper Jack Lotter for the only tally of the match.
The Centaurs did challenge Bears keeper Peter Fernholz who had to make nine saves.
The best opportunity coming on a pass from Doug Newton to Ethan Holcomb but the senior’s shot struck the post and bounced harmlessly away.
As expected, the offense will need the most work as Woodstock Academy lost the majority of its goal scoring from last season to graduation.
There has also been another issue.
The suddenly midsummer-type weather that descended upon the region for the last two weeks has made it difficult on many to practice. “The preseason has been interrupted massively,” Rearden said. “But most coaches, when they get a new set of players and this includes myself, first and foremost, you work on knocking goals away. If you don’t give goals away, you don’t lose games. You use that as the foundation to build on.”
Rearden said he thought the defensive effort was pretty good. “The defense looked steady. We moved the ball around really well at times, but now, we know we have confidence in the guys in the back to defend. Now, we can afford to push up and be a little braver going forward and attacking,” Rearden said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy