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Woodstock Academy senior captain Hallie Saracina tries to control the ball in the Centaurs 4-0 win over Waterford. Photo by Jeremy Useted/The Woodstock Academy.

The Woodstock Academy Centaurs girls’ soccer team climbed the ladder this week.
Sept. 16 they blanked the Waterford Lancers, 4-0. Sept.19 it was a 5-0 victory over Fitch. Sept. 21 it was still one better than that, a 6-0 win over Burrillville.
“I like the shutouts more than the amount of goals,” said Woodstock Academy coach Dennis Snelling. “We’ve been playing good defense, protecting our end. I like the way we’re possessing the ball and getting a lot of scoring chances.”
The three wins raised the Centaurs record to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in Division I of the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
The Centaurs got almost all of the scoring chances against Burrillville. The Mustangs took only one shot on goal in the first half.
It enabled the Centaurs to break out to a 3-0 lead.
Lucy McDermott opened the scoring just 3 minutes, 48 seconds into the match when she scored on an assist from Grace Gelhaus.
It took another half-hour, however, before Woodstock Academy would find the net again.
Adeline Smith scored with 6:05 left on an assist from Peyton Saracina.
Linda St. Laurent finished it up with 2:21 left in the half when she took it in from almost midfield and made a few moves to get inside scoring range.
The early lead was good for the Centaurs was good as they knew little about the Mustangs.
“We knew that they were in Division I, the biggest division in Rhode Island, and their results don’t look good, but you still don’t know anything. I like the mystery. It was like a state game. They’re a medium school that is playing up since they won a state championship two years ago,” Snelling said.
Gelhaus added two goals to start the second half, one that came in the first 17 seconds.
Senior Kayla Gaudreau delivered the ball to her.
“I always look for her because I know she has a good foot especially on her left. She’s the only lefty on the team,” Gaudreau said.
Gelhaus now has six goals on the season.
“She’s very reliable. She’s just like (her older sister) Ivy (who graduated in the spring). We know how she plays and know we can trust her. She gives all of her energy all of the time,” Gaudreau added.
Gaudreau scored her first goal of the season with under five minutes to play to account for the final.
Saracina scored three goals and Gelhaus added a pair and an assist as the Centaurs (3-1) won their ECC Division I opener over the Fitch Falcons (1-3, 0-1) Sept. 19.
“You want your strikers to have multiple goals and Grace and Peyton do that. (Saturday) was the first game that Peyton didn’t score but certainly created a lot of chances and draws a lot of defensive attention. It makes it easier for everyone else,” Snelling said.
Brynn Kusnarowis and Emma Redfield had assists for the Centaurs.
The Centaurs opened the week by finishing off a stretch of three games in five days with the win over Waterford.
Snelling was just happy to get through the grueling opening stretch, not only with a 2-1 record, but no injuries.
Saracina scored the first goal of the game just 2 minutes, 34 seconds into the match.
“It was a beautiful ball by Lucy (McDermott) after a throw-in that she took and I was in the perfect place,” Saracina said. “It was in the air and I controlled it, volleyed it, fell down, but I had so much room behind me. Those (Waterford) defenders were letting me play.”
Gelhaus took a through ball from McDermott with 2:02 left in the half and made it 2-0.
That added insurance, the real game-winner, came just 55 seconds into the second half by McDermott.
“You expect a team down only two to come out (strong). They had the physical size on us which I thought they would use to their advantage. But we came out with all the energy and scored on the chance.”
Saracina finished things off with her second goal of the match just four minutes later.
It was the junior’s fourth goal of the season.
“I knew (scoring goals) would be my place as an upperclassmen. I can’t leave it all to another Gelhaus (Grace’s sister, Ivy) was the team’s leading scorer last season),” Saracina said with a laugh.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

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