Centaur pg 1 10-22-20

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The Woodstock Academy senior Huck Gelhaus (10) works his way through Putnam defenders Nick Renshaw (5) and Cole Dignam (3) last week. Photo by Marc Allard

It’s a different kind of season.
And for the Woodstock Academy boys’ soccer team, it has given it a chance to build back some confidence and also the opportunity to work on things that may not normally be an emphasis during the course of a season.
Like polished passing as opposed to relentless attacking.
But that, and a pared down schedule, has led to more balls in the back of the net.
It could pay off for the future.
As expected, the Centaurs have not been challenged often this season.
They have outscored their opponents, 35-1.
Woodstock Academy finished last week with a 5-0 record after a 6-0 win over Putnam in its only game of the week Oct. 14.
But records and stats have been pretty much thrown out the window due to the pandemic and the switch to a regional schedule without the pursuit of league or state titles.
“The big thing for me is to improve every practice and every game and that doesn’t have to be the score, it can just be things that I ask them to do. The lads’ attitudes have been great,” said Woodstock Academy coach Paul Rearden.
It doesn’t hurt to be on the winning side in all five of their matches.
“I’m extremely happy,” said senior Eric Phongsa. “After we had a really terrible season last year (1 win), we have really turned it around. We did a lot of conditioning at the beginning which got us prepared for the season.”
Phongsa, Huck Gelhaus, Stefan Chervenkov, Zach Roethlein, Ty Morgan and Matt Marshall also scored for the Centaurs in the win over the Clippers.
Phongsa is still the team’s leading scorer.
But unlike last year when he paced the team with seven goals and no one else had more than four, the Centaurs have found the net more often with a variety of players.
Phongsa has already equaled last season’s output while Morgan has six goals, Gelhaus five and fellow senior Richard Hickson four.
“After scoring (eight) goals in the first game, our confidence skyrocketed,” Phongsa said. “We had also done a lot of finishing drills and we were prepared to finish this season.”
The nice thing for Rearden is that Morgan has another year left.
Rearden admitted he had a question for Morgan before the season began.
Where did he enjoy playing most?
“He did well last year when we brought him in, but we had him on defense and in the midfield, anywhere we could fit him in because he was a younger player. We have (Andrew Johnson) in the back this year. He’s strong, physical and quick. (Morgan) has pace, he works hard, and in conditioning practice, he was doing good things that I thought would allow him to play up front,” said Rearden.
“If anything, he was trying to cover too much ground so I told him not to play any wider than the six-yard box. It’s the little things like that where this team has been improving.”

Girls’ Soccer
The Centaurs were dominant as they raised their record to 4-1 with a 5-0 victory over Putnam Oct. 15.
The Centaurs struck first just under 12 minutes into the match when Adeline Smith took a pass from the back from senior Brynn Kusnarowis for the goal.
Senior Peyton Saracina got the next two.
She made it 2-0 with 10:16 left in the first half on a feed from Ava Coutu.
Saracina then scored her ninth goal of the season 12 minutes into the second half with an assist from Lucy McDermott.
Grace Gelhaus added her third goal of the season in the second half and Stella Brin, who assisted on the Gelhaus tally, added her first goal of the year off a Gelhaus assist to complete the scoring.

Field Hockey
The Centaurs traveled to Waterford and battled not only the Lancers but a pouring rain through much of the contest early last week.
As a result, scoring was at a premium and Woodstock Academy got the late goal for the 1-0 win over the Lancers.
The Centaurs scored with just about three minutes left off a corner.
Eliza Dutson inserted the ball to Rachel Canedy who passed back to Dutson. The senior made a nice cross to classmate Olivia Ott who put it home for what proved to be the game winner.
In addition to the play of Dutson and Ott, Centaurs coach Lauren Gagnon was also pleased with the performances of Elaina Borski and goalie Kaily LaChappelle in the win.
The Centaurs went back to the shoreline Oct. 15 and the result was not as good.
Woodstock Academy traveled to Stonington to play the Bears, a perennial power in the ECC.
The Bears (5-1) proved that to be true again with a 5-0 win over the Centaurs. Woodstock Academy is now 3-2 on the season.

The Centaurs remain undefeated.
There are few programs in northeastern Connecticut that can field full cross-country teams.
Five runners are necessary for a team to compete.
As has been the case with the majority of the competition so far for the Woodstock Academy cross-country teams, Killingly did not have those numbers on either the boys’ or girls’ side Oct. 17.
It meant the Centaurs boys and girls recorded identical 15-50 wins to raise their records to 3-0 on the season.
Woodstock Academy senior Ethan Aspiras again paced the field as he finished in 18 minutes, 29 seconds on the Centaurs’ South Campus course.
Teammate Vince Bastura was second in 20:14.
Killingly’s Lance Groh (20:43) finished third overall followed Max Auker (20:47) and Seamus Lippy (20:50) in fourth and fifth overall for the Centaurs.
The Woodstock Academy girls put the first 10 runners across the line.
Sophomore Brooke Bergevin won the 3.1 mile race in 21:07.
She was followed by four Centaurs who finished within eight seconds of one another.
Tessa Brown led the pack in 24:46 followed by Carah Bruce, Julia Coyle and Talia Tremblay.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

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